The Longest, Living Disinformation
Soviet Union pursued its strategic goals using different methods. Probably one of the major and most effective was dezinformatsia (disinformation). Richard Schultz and Roy Godson, experts in intelligence studies, explain Soviet disinformation:
Covert disinformation is a non-attributed or falsely attributed communication, written or oral, containing intentionally false, incomplete, or misleading information (frequently combined with true information), which seeks to deceive, misinform, and/or mislead the target.
The target of such action may be foreign mass audience. Its objective is to lead into belief in the veracity of message and act in accordance with interests of the nation who stays behind the disinformation.
The most obvious case of such action is Operation Gladio. It was launched to defame the Central Intelligence in particular and president Ronald Reagan’s administration in general. It had to increase level of Anti-americanism in Western Europe. Fortunately rather exhaustive knowledge, provided by the best Western experts, helped to decode this lie.
Soviet Union disseminated many more false stories which remain to be uncovered. One of them is defamation of the Vatican bank president Archbishop Paul Marcinkus. As John Paul II repeatedly stated he was one of the most faithful priests in the most difficult times. However, this opinion is almost never quoted. Instead Archbishop Marcinkus was called a vilain, liar and thief by many international media.
The authors of these books accusing former president of the Vatican bank, rely on secret sources, rumors and equally false press reports. Marcinkus’s story has to be put into the Cold War context. He was one of the most important people in the Vatican of Pope John Paul II. The first attack on him took place only five months after Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, new pope, designed his foreign policy. A few days before the elections CardinalWojtyla, during the debate with then Hungarian primate Lekai, clearly stated that Cardinal Mindszenty, who found refuge at the United States Embassy, was a “martyr” and the Church should not negotiate with Communists. Having that knowledge Moscow designed an attack, which was “natural” for Soviet propaganda. The Vatican was accused of fraud. The attack, apparently, was conducted from the least expected side.
In “God’s Army vs Evil Empire“ I tell this story in detail.
The attack on Archbishop Marcinkus was in fact an attack on His Holiness John Paul II. It served to distract public opinion from the Ali Agca’s, the Pope assassin’s, trial. It also was designed to weaken the authority of John Paul II on the international scene for the long-run.