CIA holds symposium on Polish Cold War asset Col. Kuklinski

As intelNews reported on December 10, Dariusz Jablonski’s documentary War Games, about the life of Polish spy Ryszard Kuklinski, was shown at the CIA headquarters during a “Symposium on the Polish Martial Law” held on December 11. Kuklinski, a Polish Army Colonel who spied for the US and NATO from 1972 until 1981, supplied his handlers with microfilms of over 40,000 documents detailing Soviet tactical plans for Poland and the rest of Europe. During the symposium, CIA Director Michael Hayden delivered brief remarks in which he called Col. Kuklinski a “mutual hero” of the US and Poland, who “helped liberate his nation”. Kuklinski came over to the West’s side because “he understood that Poland -its army and people- would be sacrificed by the Soviets in the event of war”, said Hayden. He failed to explain, however, how this differed in any substantial way from US tactical plans for West Germany in the event of an armed confrontation with the Soviet Union. Polskie Radio reports that on December 11 the CIA declassified over 1,000 pages of reports produced by Col. Kuklinski during this covert work for the US and NATO (the declassified material is available in PDF form here). Former CIA intelligence analyst and current CIA-employed historian Nicholas Dujmovic said the contents of the declassified material were “disappointing to [him] as a historian”, as they do not “give a clear answer to the question of general Wojciech Jaruzelski’s [1981] decision to enforce martial law in Poland”. The CIA has written about Col. Kuklinski before in its Studies in Intelligence journal. [IA]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to CIA holds symposium on Polish Cold War asset Col. Kuklinski

  1. Virginia Gentleman says:

    The work of Col. Kuklinski was invaluable. He proves the point that the most useful intelligence comes from those inside an organization or nation who voluntarily risk their lives for a greater good. No one “turned” Col. Kuklinski into a spy via tradecraft. He was turned and sustained by, if anything, a Greater Spirit that was energizing the people of Poland throughout this period. That same Greater Spirit gave the world another great Polish hero: John Paul II.

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