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on one of our major shows, that they call one of you to appear in opposition.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Nunn. You have been invited and he actually has refused?
Ms. Costa. Yes. ABC tried to put Mr. Shevchenko against him on Nightline, and a station in San Francisco tried to make me a spokesman for the audience on their show, but the ethics of broadcasting is that he has to be notified in advance, and he never agrees to appear against any of us.
Senator Nunn. Thank you both for your appearances, your suggestions, your enlightenment of the subcommittee. We will be having one more hearing, maybe two more, on this subject and then we will be working on a series of recommendations to our own government and to our own private sector, although our private sector, as you have already observed, they make their own decisions. We don't tell them what to do. We may make some recommendations in that regard, and we will hopefully be able to keep in touch with both of you so that we could get the continuing thoughts and ideas you may have.
Ms. Costa. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 12.33 p.m., the subcommittee recessed to reconvene Wednesday, October 21, 1987.]
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S HANDLING OF SOVIET AND COMMUNIST BLOC DEFECTORS
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1987
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 9:35 a.m., in room SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, under authority of S. Res. 80, Section 13, dated January 28, 1987, Hon. Sam Nunn, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Members of the subcommittee present: Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat, Georgia; Senator Jim Sasser, Democrat, Tennessee; and Senator William Cohen, Republican, Maine.
Members of the professional staff present: Eleanore J. Hill, Chief Counsel and Staff Director; Mary D. Robertson, Chief Clerk; John F. Sopko, Deputy Chief Counsel; Cynthia Comstock, Staff Assistant; Mary K. Vinson, Staff Investigator for the Minority; Alan Edelman, Counsel; Kathleen A. Dias, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel; David B. Buckley, Investigator; David Munson, Investigator; Jim Dykstra, Intelligence Committee; Marianne McGettigan (Senator Rudman); Natalie Bocock (Senator Cohen); Evelyn Boyd (Senator Sasser); and Jill Abelson (Senator Chiles).
(Senator present at convening of hearing: Senator Nunn.] Senator NUNN. Good morning.
Before we begin with the witnesses I have a statement for Senator Chiles that he would like entered into the record. (Senator Chiles' statement follows:)
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CHILES Mr. Chairman, I am glad to be here today as the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations continues hearings on the handling of Soviet and Communist bloc defectors. I commend the subcommittee for the work it has done, and for your leadership on this issue.
There is no question that defectors from the Soviet Union and Communist bloc countries serve as unique and invaluable sources of information. Through first-hand knowledge and insight, defectors contribute to our understanding of the military, political, economic, cultural and national security workings of the Soviet bloc. They provide information that our best intelligence efforts simply cannot provide, given the closed nature of Communist bloc societies.
These hearings have stressed, however, that the United States has not "tapped" defectors for the resources they can provide. In fact, there is no agency of the Federal Government which is uniquely charged with the complete handling, questioning, and resettling of Communist bloc defectors. I was surprised to note in the subcommittee's staff report that some defectors spend as many as ten years in the West without having once been questioned fully about their previous experiences under Communist regimes. I was disturbed to learn about the specific case of a high-rank
ing economist who spent five years selling ice cream before his knowledge and expertise were discovered and put to use. I think this is a tremendous waste. It is clear that our system of handling these defectors must be improved.
I believe that these hearings serve a unique purpose, in that they will help the Senate to better understand the potential that defectors hold for us in terms of national security. I regret that I will not be able to hear all of today's testimony, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to signal my support. Again, I commend you and the subcommittee staff for the excellent work you have done so far.
Senator Nunn. This morning, we open the third day of hearings with a panel representing the Jamestown Foundation, a private, non-profit organization whose goal is to assist the high-level defector in coming to our country and adjusting.
Mr. William Geimer is the President of Jamestown Foundation, which was founded in 1984. Mr. Geimer is an attorney who represented Mr. Shevchenko, a Soviet diplomat at the United Nations, when he defected to the United States in 1975.
Mr. Geimer is accompanied by General James A. Williams, a former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, and Mr. Donald Jameson, a former CIA official. Both General Williams and Mr. Jameson bring with them considerable knowledge about the intelligence factors and the benefits we gain from these and other categories of defectors. Mr. Jameson also has years of serving as a volunteer in helping defectors from the Communist Bloc.
Mr. Geimer has a brief statement on behalf of all three members of the panel. I understand that Mr. Jameson and General Williams will not make any statements, but are available for questions.
We are very grateful to you for the considerable amount of time and effort you spend, unremunerated in this case, on behalf of this important area to our country.
Mr. Geimer, Mr. Jameson, and General Williams, we thank you not only for your present work, but for your services to the country over a number of years, and for your leadership in this important endeavor. We look forward to your statement.
I have to swear all of you in as we do with all of our witnesses according to the rules of our subcommittee. I can't change the rule and make an exemption so if you would all stand and take the oath.
Do you swear that the testimony you will give before the subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mr. GEIMER. I do.
TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM W. GEIMER, PRESIDENT, JAMESTOWN
FOUNDATION, ACCOMPANIED BY DONALD F.B. JAMESON, VICE PRESIDENT, JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION, AND LT. GEN. JAMES A. WILLIAMS (RET.), VICE PRESIDENT, JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION
Mr. GEIMER. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you and discuss the situation of defectors to the United States.
As has been said, I'm President of the Jamestown Foundation, a privately supported organization which works with high level defectors from communist countries. The gentlemen seated with me are both vice presidents of the foundation on a part time basis. Donald Jameson retired from a distinguished career at the CIA, where be became an expert on the subject of defectors and defection. Lt. Gen. James Williams retired recently as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a position in which he had direct experience with the value of the defector to military intelligence.
I think that it might be useful at the outset to define a few terms. At Jamestown, when we use the word “defector,” we mean an individual who has illegally removed himself or herself from jurisdiction of a Communist government. We do not as a rule work with emigres who have left their former countries legally.
When we use the term "high level," we mean someone whose position and experience in his former country was such that he is qualified to make a sustained contribution to Western understanding of the East.
Senator NUNN. Mr. Geimer, unfortunately, we have a vote up there. I would like to hear your testimony, and we don't have anybody else here. This is a strange time to take a break, but we are going to have to take about a five-minute break. I will run and vote, and come back as soon as possible. I think that it will be better than going all the way through it. I will be back in about five minutes.
Senator Nunn. Mr. Geimer, why don't you proceed right where you left off.
Mr. GEIMER. I was explaining that Jamestown represents high level defectors. I was saying that when we say high level, we mean someone whose position and experience in his former country was such that he is qualified to make a sustained contribution to Western understanding of the East. Admittedly, applying this label entails a certain amount of subjectivity:
Within the category of “defector,” we distinguish four groups. First, there are the people with relatively little education and who occupied relatively low positions in their former country. I refer here to seamen who jump ship, and soldiers who defect in Afghanistan, for example. Jamestown does not work with people of this type because they have little of interest to say beyond the initial press conference.
Second, there are the people from ordinary occupations who have transferable skills. I refer here to hockey players, physicians, engineers, ballerinas, and so forth. Jamestown does not work with people in this cateogry. For the most part these individuals simply want to practice their profession in freedom. They have relatively little trouble adjusting to life in the West, and little interest in participating in the public dialogue on East-West issues.
Third are the intelligence officers. Usually people in this category live quiet lives in the United States. They are given new identities, learn new skills, and live anonymously. This group is believed to be at risk of reprisal from their former governments and, as a result, are not given to public activity.
In most cases, the public and Jamestown would not even know of the existence of an intelligence officer who has defected. There are a few exceptions, however, and Jamestown does work with some former intelligence officers who are willing to write books and to lecture.
The fourth category consists of people who were diplomats, or occupied other high positions in government or in the academic world. These are the people with whom Jamestown works, because we believe it important that the experience and insights of such people be shared as widely as possible in the West. These are the people from whom we can learn the nature and purposes of our adversaries in the East.
Among those whom Jamestown assists, as I mentioned above, are a few former intelligence officers. These are supported by the Federal government under what is commonly referred to as Public Law 110. This law requires the government to support for life individuals who defect and who bring with them important intelligence. However, the vast majority of the people we work with receive no financial assistance. They work for a living just like anyone else.
If an individual is newly defected and requires resettlement assistance, Jamestown will help him find housing, employment, language training, driver's license, or whatever is needed. If an individual is well settled here, Jamestown will provide whatever services are necessary to enable the defector to convey his message to policy-makers and the public.
We may provide editing and translation services for those who are writing articles and books. We may provide training in public speaking for those who have joined Jamestown's speakers bureau. The one thing that we don't provide, because we don't have enough of it, is money.
Most of the people Jamestown works with could and should work full time speaking, writing, and teaching in the field of international relations. They are, after all, a unique and scarce national resource. However, this resource is not being fully used. Let me cite some examples.
A former Soviet scientist works for the U.S. Government in a capacity unrelated to his education or experience. He should be a full-fledged member of the American academic community, but there are no funds to support his research or to enable him to acquire a degree from an American university.
A former Soviet military officer and university professor makes his living teaching Russian. In our opinion, he should be studying for a U.S. degree so that eventually he can teach in a university here.
A former Soviet diplomat is studying for a graduate degree here, but his studies suffer because he must work nights repairing refrigeration equipment in order to support himself.
A former Cuban diplomat, with a wealth of experience, has just lost his job as an editor because the company he worked for has collapsed. His future is uncertain. A former ambassador from
Ethiopia, a highly educated and cultivated man, is unemployed. For a while he earned a living doing menial work, but found it beyond his physical capacity.
A former high level diplomat from Eastern Europe is nearing the end of a temporary assignment. He would like to obtain a U.S. graduate degree and pursue a career in teaching, but this is impossible because he needs to support his family.