The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recently published a document called "Excerpts from a record of a meeting between Soviet journalist, Victor Louis, and General Director of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mordechai Gazit" (Date: 15 June 1973; Source: Israeli State Archives, Record Group 130 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – the Main Office), File No. 5973/4. Obtained for CWIHP by Guy Laron). It is described as a "Record of a meeting between Mordechai Gazit (MG), General Director of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, and Victor Louis (VL), a Soviet journalist. The meeting was held the week before a summit meeting between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. The two discussed the immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union and the low state of Israeli-Soviet relations."
Contained in the transcript is this exchange:
VL: [Armand] Hammer was in Moscow, he has been to my house-
MG: The millionaire?
VL: Yes… There are a few things because Hammer suggests that the Soviet Union should start a little bit of trade with Israel, because there is a most favorable national agreement which still exists between the Soviet Union and Israel. He thinks it might help to get [support] in the States with [Senator Henry ‘Scoop’] Jackson [D-Washington]. This is the sort of more personal interest I would say than anything else. I am not in the position to agree on trade, but it might be nice to mention and discuss it... So I mean in state terms here in general, anyone who is ready to open something… And whether Israel is interested, with a sort of neutral trade where no on could blame Russia. Of course, you couldn’t give me an answer immediately but you are ready to bring anything constructive and push it… Well, that is the Hammer idea which he was also trying to sell Moscow and push there...
That is a total fabrication. As Natan Sharansky wrote in The Jerusalem Report (Aug 22, 1991):
By breaking diplomatic relations after the Six-Day War in 1967 in the wake of an embarrassing failure of Soviet weaponry the Kremlin set a series of demands on Israel that it hoped would be met in the course of time. While these demands varied slightly over the years, the bottom line was always the same two points: to capitulate to the Soviets' Arab allies by retreating to the pre- 67 borders and, a demand that acquired increasing weight over the years, to stop "interfering in internal Soviet policy" by struggling for Soviet Jewish immigration.
During these 24 years, the Soviet Union never stopped playing cat-and-mouse with Israel. For example, they sent Victor Louis, a journalist known for his ties to the KGB, to Israel in the mid-70s.
Officially, he came for medical treatment, but he met with Moshe Dayan and other VIPs, triggering a flood of speculation in the world press about whether or not diplomatic relations would be resumed. They also occasionally allowed their United Nations delegate to speak to an Israeli counterpart and each time the question of diplomatic ties was raised again.
But the real meaning of these gestures was both a signal to the Arabs if you don't behave, we'll exercise our Israel option; and a message to the Israelis there is a chance for dialogue, but only on our terms, only if you accept our closed-doors policy.
Actually, according to another document, a KGB report from April 1973 (released in 2007), the Soviets were just stalling: "According to our information, the Egyptians are to receive a shipment of Soviet 'land-to-land' missiles, thus creating a good position from which to start military action. Because of this, we propose to hold back that shipment, until the end of the talks between comrade Brezhnev with Nixon." It is noteworthy that all the concern is about Egypt and not Syria. The reason was, as General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer to have defected from the Soviet bloc, once told me: "The Kremlin and its KGB were indeed pulling all the strings in Damascus."
The Soviet Union also had a related, wide-ranging economic plot, the middle eastern component of which was described by Edward Jay Epstein when he wrote: "[Since] the Soviets believed, with some justification, that oil prices were being artificially depressed by a cartel of Western oil companies, they attempted to break this control of marketing and refining." The campaign was already underway: "The first crack in the cartel's solid front actually had come [three] years earlier  in Libya which had granted a concession to Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum, ... [which was] well outside the cartel's purview. In the negotiations over Libya's share, Hammer agreed to Qaddafi's terms. The Persian Gulf nations, led by Iran, then demanded that the cartel match these terms; this gradually ratcheted up the price to $2.18 a barrel, and weakened the cartel's control over the marketplace. ... Whether by design or willy nilly, the Soviet Union played a role in the events which had precipitated the 2000-percent rise in the value of its chief export. The policy of undermining the Western cartel ... was brought to a successful realization by its client state in the Middle East, Libya. As U.S. intelligence learned from its intercepts of the traffic in messages between Tripoli and Moscow during Libyan negotiations with Armand Hammer, the Soviet Union was not uninvolved in the outcome. After the Western cartel's control over prices was weakened, the Soviet Union provided Egypt with the mobile surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank weapons, and canal-bridging equipment that made the Yom Kippur War possible."
There are two key players of note - one connected to former President Bill Clinton and one connected to Al Gore.
1) Victor Louis:
A 1986 State Department report titled Active Measures: A Report on the Substance and Process of Anti-U.S. Disinformation and Propaganda Campaigns states that the Soviets "gave high priority to the recruitment of foreign journalists who can help shape the opinion of elite audiences and the general public" and that "The USSR also uses Soviet citizens as unofficial sources to leak information to foreign journalists and to spread disinformation that Moscow does not want attributed directly. One of the most prolific of these individuals is Vitaliy Yevgeniyevich Lui-better known as Victor Louis-a Soviet journalist who several KGB defectors have independently identified as a KGB agent. In addition to his leaking such newsworthy items as Khrushchev's ouster, the imminent Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the reassignment of Marshal Ogarkov, he has been used to try to discredit the memoirs of Stalin's daughter Svetlana.... After the Chernobyl accident, Victor Louis was the vehicle for publicizing distorted statements by [Soviet dissident Andrei] Sakharov that implied he was supportive of the Soviet handling of the accident and critical of the Western reaction to it."
Jerrold Schecter, who at one time had been Time magazine's bureau chief in Moscow, describes in his book "Sacred Secrets" being approached by Louis with the prospect of translating and publishing the memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, an assignment Schecter passed on to Strobe Talbott. In 1999 Schecter met Louis' former-KGB superior Major General Vyacheslav Kevorkov in Germany, who revealed that the Khrushchev memoir leak had been an initiative of the KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov and that Louis had been keeping the KGB informed of the project the whole time he was working on it with Talbott.
This is also described by the autobiography of Talbott's roommate and friend, Bill Clinton. Shortly thereafter Clinton took off for Moscow - as is described in his autobiography and most other biographies, but you can also watch him describe his trip in a 2005 speech about 20th anniversary of "Perestroika" in the USSR (the event was about Gorbachev - but Clinton, being Clinton, talks mostly about himself).
Anyway, Talbott became Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton administration. While there, he did some strange things. In fact, according to a 2000 report from the "Speaker's Advisory Group on Russia", a congressional panel assessing the effects of U S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, a "Troika" made up of Vice President Al Gore, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and then-Treasury official Lawrence Summers "produced the following fundamental flaws in U.S. policy toward Russia from 1993 forward:
- "A strong preference for strengthening Russia's central government, rather than deconstructing the Soviet state and building from scratch a system of free enterprise
- "A close personal association with a few Russian officials, even after they became corrupt, instead of a consistent and principled approach to policy that transcended personalities
- "A narrow focus on the Russian executive branch to the near exclusion of the Russian legislature, regional governments, and private organizations
- "An arrogance toward Russia's nascent democratic constituencies that led to attempts at democratic ends through decidedly non-democratic means
- "An unwillingness to let facts guide policy, or even to make mid-course corrections in light of increasing corruption and mounting evidence of the failure of their policies."
Incompetence? Well, some new information came out in 2008: "Comrade J" author Pete Earley knows his spies... In "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War," Earley tells the true story of Sergei Tretyakov, the Russian spymaster who ran his country's post-Cold War espionage operation in New York City from 1995 to 2000 until he defected to the United States." When asked about Talbott, Earley said: "When Sergei Tretyakov was being trained to come to New York, he was told that Talbott was known within the SVR -- the Russian spy agency that replaced the KGB -- as a 'special unofficial contact' ... what Talbott did, according to what Sergei was told, was that he put himself in a position where the SVR thought they could manipulate and use him."
That is the man who was the Russia policy brains behind Bill Clinton, and it all started with Victor Louis.
2) Armand Hammer:
As previously mentioned, another member of what the Cox Report called the "Troika" that screwed up our Russia policy (and arguably resulted in the rise of Putin) was Al Gore. Also mentioned was the fact that Armand Hammer was helping the Soviet Union break the western oil cartel. Why would he do that? And what does he have to do with Gore?
Well, in 1997, Accuracy In Media reviewed "a remarkable new book now shows that the senior Gore had a silent partner who for several decades insured that Gore's pockets remained comfortably filled. The partner was Armand Hammer, the multi-millionaire businessman and oil promoter, who apparently collected art and politicians with equal zeal. The revelation is in a new book, Dossier [full name: Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer], by veteran investigative author Edward Jay Epstein. Epstein's book is must-reading for any political reporter who is going to be writing about the contenders for the Democratic nomination for president in the year  ... Son Al [had] put the family's Senate seat at Hammer's service. At the 1981 Reagan inauguration, the young Senator Gore arranged for Hammer to be seated in a section reserved for U. S. senators. Hammer lurked in a doorway, hoping to gladhand the President, but Reagan brushed by him without a glance, and with reason. [Months] earlier, Epstein writes, Alexandre de Marenches, the head of French intelligence, had warned him that Hammer was a Soviet 'agent of influence.'"
To make a long story short, Armand Hammer and his father (a founding member of the American Communist Party) were Soviet Agents from the creation of the Soviet Union in 1917 to the day they died (which in Armand's case was 1990), and by 1997 Edward Jay Epstein had the FBI, CIA, and Comintern documents and sources (NAMED sources, such as former CIA Counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton) - as well as previously published (but limited to western sources) exposes of Hammer such as Daniel Yergin's The Prize (1991) and Joseph Finder's extraordinary but long forgotten Red Carpet: The Connection Between The Kremlin And America's Most Powerful Businessmen (1983) - to prove it. See Epstein lay out the facts on C-Span and Charlie Rose. And the Gores made a fortune working with Hammer - even getting the Nobel Prize Hammer tried to buy (thus joining his fellow enviro-tyrant Mikhail Gorbachev).
With the publication of this document, we have evidence to show that the shadiest people in the backgrounds of one of the oddest President/Vice President pairings in resent history were close conspirators - in a plot against Israel (and for oil) no less. Coincidence? Maybe - but with the record Clinton/Gore have in telling the truth, we probably won't know for a long time.