By Ante Horvat
Foreign Intelligence Agencies, Capabilities, and Croatia
The revelations last year by Edward Snowden – and the brave reporting by Glenn Greenwald and his colleagues at The Intercept, as well as in quality independent blogs such as Washingtonsblog.com – shine a bright light on just how massive, invasive, many times in most countries, blatantly unconstitutional, and illegal surveillance has become in the world today with borderline psychotic government obsessions to control internet discourse on politics and geopolitics.
Information management is power, as management equates to control.
While the internet was not what it is today in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, signals intelligence was a key component of intelligence for all states – the pervasiveness of Internet usage has only exponentially increased its usefulness to further these goals.
Yugoslavia, which broke with Stalin earning it a false reputation as some moderate Communist regime and not a police state, due to Cold War realities managed to receive many perks.
Or, as was the case with the Croatian Six, a Western intelligence agency and national police would collude with UDBa to frame law-abiding citizens of Croatian descent for trumped up, UDBa planned and planted “terrorism” charges. In the case of Chicago’s Bozic family, UDBa’s attempted murder of Mrs. Bozic after she told her husband’s would be UDBa assassins that came knocking on her home door that he had left early for work that day, the Cold War perks for Yugoslavia led to a total gag on the investigation after 24 hours with no valid explanation, no further investigation, nor justice, to date.
Yet, even with the repressive domestic police state apparatus, and an aggressive foreign intelligence apparatus targeting dissenters in the West for murder, Yugoslavia was of many nations to be sold the intelligence and law enforcement Google before Google – PROMIS software.
The controversial software – which tracked cases in legal systems, but also intelligence operatives, assets, intelligence targets, and built matrices of relationships between everything in the system if there was any connection – was sold by the US to over 80 nations in the 1980s after being stolen from Inslaw Inc..
It is known that the sold pirated versions – which made it to over 80 countries – had exploits to allow for information extraction.
Which means that the U.S. – and its Five Eyes allies – potentially almost certainly had back door access to all of the not just judicial files, but also intelligence agencies’ files which in the case of Yugoslavia and other nations in the Eastern Bloc, including repressive secret police agent lists, informants and snitches, and the names and dossiers of all civilians under surveillance, which in Croatia’s case, was one third of its population.
This opens several questions.
The first is that with the fall of Tito’s Yugoslavia, why haven’t Western governments, other than Germany, aggressively called for UDBa operatives who engaged in state sponsored terrorism, to be held accountable, as well as for insisting that European states that were under Communism, to push through vigorous lustration laws such as in Germany upon reunification and Poland after it regained true independence?
The second is why, after 1990, this information which the U.S. and more than likely other Five Eyes have on the inner-workings, employee lists, informant and snitch lists, and innocent victims’ dossier lists, have not been shared with Croatia’s (or other Central, Eastern and South Eastern) European post-Communist states?
Could it be that all of those former regime elements, who were loyal to Yugoslavia and their own power within it and who were also trained operatives, were recruited by foreign governments for subversive activities?
All signs point to yes.
About the author: Ante Horvat was born in the USA in 1970′s. He has recently moved to live permanently in Croatia and although spending most of his life in the USA he had made several temporary residence visits to Croatia during that time. His education and professional development in history and international relations also spans across the two continents. He is an active observer of and participant in the development of democracy in Croatia since the early 1990’s and its correlation with the developed Western democracies.