An InterNation Story: U.S. Fund for Soviet Dissidents

By Coogan, Kevin; Vanden Heuvel, Katrina | The Nation, March 19, 1988 | Go to article overview

An InterNation Story: U.S. Fund for Soviet Dissidents


Coogan, Kevin, Vanden Heuvel, Katrina, The Nation


AN INTERNATION STORY U.S. FUNDS FOR SOVIET DISSIDENTS In recent months the independent Soviet journal Glasnot, created last July by a few former political prisoners, has become an important alternative source of news for the Western press. Glasnost's reports on dissident activity and protests have generated scores of news stories in the United States and Europe. The publication has also become a yardstick of liberalization within the Soviet Union. Just a week after the signing of the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty in December, Newsweek reported that "Glasnost is like the canary in the coal mine. Should the bird be suffocated so, too, might the movement whose name it bears." Glasnost is a worthy publication, but it has a potential albatross around its neck, in the form of its U.S. distributor, a small New York-based foundation run by Russian emigres, the Center for Democracy.

The center received $15,000 from the National Endowment for Democracy in late 1987 to translate Glasnost into English and distribute it in the West. The link between the center and Glasnost is disturbing because, as documents obtained by InterNation under the Freedom of Information Act show, the center first received U.S. government funds through the N.E.D. in 1985 for a program that more closely resembled intelligence-gathering than human rights work.

An investigation of the center shows that, while using the rhetoric of democracy and human rights, it has conducted activities that recklessly endanger and potentially discredit dissidents and independent political activity in the Soviet Union--or so believe members of the human rights community, some Russian emigres (including former political prisoners) and even members of the N.E.D.'s own advisory committee on Soviet and Eastern European Affairs. They fear that the center's ties to the N.E.D. will exacerbate the Soviet Union's longstanding paranoia and propaganda about dissidents' ties to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Richard Pipes, former National Security Council adviser on Soviet affairs and an adviser to the N.E.D. on its Soviet-area programs in 1986, told InterNation that "the moment you start running such an exchange with Soviet scholars and other people you could leave yourself open to charges of doing intelligence work and you could hurt some people." Pipes added that the center "may have had the best of intentions, but the moment you start using United States funds, the K.G.B. can accuse you of working for the government."

Despite such qualms, the center was the largest recipient of N.E.D. funds in the Soviet area in fiscal 1986, receiving $200,000. During fiscal 1987, it received an additional $125,000. And in fiscal 1988, the center received $40,000. Moreover, it was an N.E.D. grant of $50,000 for a feasibility study that led to the creation of the center in the first place, in 1985.

The Center for Democracy's success with the National Endowment for Democracy is largely due to its founding member Vladimir Bukovsky, who came to the West in 1976 after spending eleven years in Soviet prison camps and psychiatric hospitals for his human rights activity. Today, Bukovsky is a leading member of the contra lobbying enterprise Prodemca. He was also one of the founders of Resistance International, an anti-Communist group that supports the Afghan mujahedeen. Prodemca receives N.E.D. funding.

Bukovsky found a strong supporter in N.E.D. president Carl Gershman, a former assistant to Jeane Kirkpatrick at the United Nations and, like Bukovsky, a member of the neoconservative Committee for the Free World. According to one well-placed source, the center "was Carl Gershman's program. He pushed it and got the N.E.D. board to fund it." Under Gershman the N.E.D., which was established by Congress in 1983 as a nonpartisan agency to promote American-style democracy in Soviet bloc and "authoritarian" countries, has been used to advance the Reagan Administration's foreign policy objectives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An InterNation Story: U.S. Fund for Soviet Dissidents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.