The Net

Four years ago I published The Fifth Internationale. The novel dealt with the aftermath of the transformation of intelligence and security agencies of the former Eastern Bloc following the events of 1989 / 1991.

In the 1990s the subject seemed a taboo. That's no surprise given that most of the channels responsible for the funneling of information were owned, financed or controlled by operatives of former secret police.

Well, today one does not need a novel to find out what happened, not that it was ever a secret. Recently RZ published an article which summarizes the transformation very nicely: as the old wisdom goes - power is everything. During commie times the system of oppression guaranteed power, after 1989 the road to power was called money. The first step was to cover tracks - Party and intel files burned for weeks. Then the communists became entrepreneurs: the biggest fortunes were built on money channeled from Party accounts. Banks, mass media, privatized former state owned companies, and their branches in the West were headed and staffed by intelligence operatives, secret police officers, their agents, and Party officials... Officers charged with confiscated private property during communist times were now running businesses that helped rightful owners reclaim their property, for a fee of course...

How was it all possible, how could this be permitted? The very same way it works everywhere else: intel / security agencies' existence in changing times is guaranteed by agents they run. Self preservation, regardless of changes within the administration, is the number 1 concern of any intel agency. Measure of a successful intel agency is its ability to survive and thrive no matter who fancies themselves to be in charge: the System changed in the Eastern Bloc but the net of agents (former revolutionaries / underground opposition) remained and many of them hold key offices in the governments of their respective countries.

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