The Washington Times has a blockbuster editorial from Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former Romanian spy chief under the Communist Bloc, making him the highest ranking Communist intelligence official ever to defect. What he says is nothing short of extraordinary.
Pacepa said the Soviet Union had a contingency plan called Operation Sarindar, which means “Operation Emergency Exit” in English. This plan, originally developed for Libya, was drawn up to rid a rogue state ally of the Soviets of any traces of WMD development should it be threatened with a Western attack. “We wanted to make sure they [the WMDs] would never be traced back to us, and we also wanted to frustrate the West by not giving them anything they could make propaganda with.”
According to the plan, chemical weapons would be burned or buried at sea, but the technical data would be preserved in waterproof containers so it could be used later. All weapons plants were disguised as having civilian purposes. In addition, the Soviets would utilize their propaganda assets, such as political activist groups, to criticize the ones attacking the Soviet ally. This would include huge anti-war demonstrations in Europe.
Pacepa confirms that the plan, although originally written up for Libya, was expanded to include Iraq. He said Nicolae Ceausescu discussed the existence of the plan for Iraq with him, and that Ceasescu said he was told about it by KGB Chief Leonid Breshnev. Pacepa also discussed the adaption of Operation Sarindar for Iraq with Yuri Andropov and Yevgeny Primakov. Pacepa points to the presence of former high-ranking Soviet military personnel and Primakov in Iraq in the months leading up to the war as evidence that Operation Sarindar was enacted.
Smoking gun? Not quite, but in the intelligence world, rarely is one found.
Source: “Ex-Spy Fingers Russians on WMD,” Washington Times, August 21, 2003.