YouTube: KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s warning to America

Russian meddling in America’s democratic processes is a big story at the moment. It is also an old one, too much ignored.

Back in the 1980s a Russian defector, Yuri Bezmenov, explained how Soviet espionage operations in the United States were being carried out. For a variety of reasons, Bezmenov’s observations went largely unnoticed or remarked upon at the time.

The video I share features an interview with G. Edward Griffin produced in 1984. In it, Bezmenov makes the claim, “The main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all… Only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures… or psychological warfare.

“What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their communities and their country.”

I propose that Bezmenov proved prophetic for our time. That is to say, each of us today has a burden to separate fact from fiction, whether we like it or not.

8 thoughts on “YouTube: KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s warning to America

  1. Yet on another thread, you said it is no big deal. WTH, Todd? Now you backup exactly what I was saying. A misinformed electorate is more dangerous than an uniformed one. -IMHO.

    The technology at the time of this interview made the Russian disinformation campaigns a little more challenging to carry out. With the intrawebs and social media, it is open season on the electorate. The confusion of facts and conspiracy based news and disinformation, and it is seen here regularly, has a negative effect on an informed electorate and the civil discourse between differing ideologies.

    But hey. Like you said. It is no big deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Yet on another thread, you said it is no big deal.”

      I said Russian meddling in our election processes was not a major risk. That would correspond to the 15% of effort Russia spends on espionage, with the other 85% effort spent on active measures, according to Bezmenov.

      Also, I would emphasize Bezmenov’s statement that the first phase of the KGB’s active measures program (demoralization) was already complete at the time the video was made (1984). Bezmenov goes on to describe three other phases.

      Johnny-come-latelys to the “Russia, Russia, Russia!” story have much old ground to make up.

      Like

  2. “What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their communities and their country.”

    “ ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.’

    It could not be any clearer that Trump is working from a tried and true playbook of changing the “perception of reality” by preventing citizens from coming to “sensible conclusions”.

    Thank you for clarifying this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Thank you for clarifying this.”

      If putting Trump’s name on it helps you understand the nature of the phenomenon, I’d call that a partial success.

      Like

      1. What is disconcerting is that the same techniques are being used by our own president. I’ve written about that since the 2016 campaign.

        Confusing the citizens is bad. But it is despicable when our own chief executive does it.

        And we have no way to hold him accountable for his efforts to destroy the Constitution. Or we thought we did, but Mitch took care of his “man”.

        That being said, our government has not had a sterling record of honesty to the American people.

        Tonkin Gulf, Iran-Contra, J. Edgar Hoover, Watergate, Iraq invasion, etc.

        But those lies and deceptions were exposed by the “enemy of the people”. And we have now a president who lies daily and purposefully attacks the press to further the confusion.

        So f you call it a success that Trump is following a Russian playbook, then that might explain the “Fifth Avenue” syndrome.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “So if you call it a success that Trump is following a Russian playbook…”

        I didn’t. I said if you need a crutch to walk, then it’s a partial success to have one.

        Like

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