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But, I think, as Bill said, there are grounds for optimism as far as what is happening right now.
Senator NUNN. You believe that there is a good number of former CIA agents and other intelligence types that worked in this area, who are retired, who would want to come into it as you have? You are doing volunteer work; is that right?
Mr. JAMESON. That is correct.
Mr. JAMESON. Not now. I will become a member of the staff, but at present I do it on a voluntary basis.
Senator NUNN. Are there other people like you that would like to be helpful part-time?
Mr. JAMESON. I think there are, not necessarily in the Washington area, but there are certainly and some who do.
General WILLIAMS. Senator, may I make a point?
General WILLIAMS. We run a risk, however, if we populate the assistance effort with former intelligence officers. I came into the effort because I believed in what the foundation was doing but, nevertheless, I sense some reluctance to get involved with people such as Mr. Jameson and myself, because it sort of looks like it is an intelligence operation, and that is not our intention. We might go too far if our colleagues were to join us in a tidal wave.
Senator Nunn. It is too many, too big a percentage.
Senator NUNN. I understand that Jamestown Foundation believes that there are inherent flaws in the philosophy of the United States Government as far as our approach as a government to defection. Do any of you want to comment on that?
Mr. GEIMER. Our opinion is that more people ought to be helped by the Federal government than presently are, and that could be done either by broadening the definition of who is covered by Public Law 110, or else liberalizing its interpretation for people who provide information.
There are people who are debriefed for months and months by the government, and then they are turned loose. The government says: They are not intelligence defectors. Then I ask, what is it that they were providing for all those months, if not intelligence? I think there needs to be a broadening of that.
Senator Nunn. Intelligence doesn't necessarily mean classified information. Intelligence about a totalitarian country goes far beyond that, does it not?
Mr. GEIMER. Yes, it does.
General WILLIAMS. One of the things we found, which has existed for a long time, regardless of whether the individual concerned is a defector or a legal emigre, once they have been talked to by the intelligence community, they tend to be swallowed up by our society, and there is no real good means for us to follow up with other questions.
I have had Jamestown clients tell me that the initial contact was in an environment that did not lend itself to them understanding the context of the questions. A year or so later, when they have been in our society, maybe studied English a little bit, in some cases attended academic institutions, they are more than willing to be reinterviewed because they have so much more to tell us.
There is no mechanism, and in most cases, because we have no controls on movement, we don't even know where these people are. They don't come forward because they don't know where to go, and there is a lot of information that slips between the cracks.
Senator NUNN. What is the main value that you, General Williams and Mr. Jameson, see in defectors? What is their value to American society?
Mr. JAMESON. I think over and above the specific intelligence, with a capital “I,” you might say, that they contribute, there is the question of understanding, helping us interpret what is going on in the societies from which they come.
I think that it is particularly important, perhaps, now when we are facing the Soviet Union with a new and innovative leadership that has launched many significant initiatives, and is rather changing, perhaps fundamentally, the way in which the Soviet Union goes about its business.
Obviously, what is going to happen is of critical importance to our government in this change, and one of the types of sources that is particularly important are those who have lived within these societies that can look at them from that point of view.
Their information is certainly not inherently biased by their own frustrations or experience over there. Among other things, it is demonstrated because, among themselves, they do not agree as to the significance of what is happening. But to have the access to their insight and their understanding and their knowledge on analyzing and interpreting what is happening, I think, may be of special importance now and in the immediate future.
Senator Nunn. General, would you like to add to that?
I think that it is also important-I agree with what Mr. Jameson said, however, there is more to it. The United States, by its nature, is a very open society. We almost tend to accept, in our naivety, people who are white, Anglo-Saxon, who smile and shake hands, as good guys. We fail to understand the depth of the control the Soviet society places on its people. We accept the Arbatov's and the Posner's at face value. We accept the people who attend Chatauqua as being representative of Soviet society. That is malarky.
We, as a society, do not understand that the people with whom we deal are those people who are allowed to deal with us, those people who speak the party line, and those people who are trying to project an image. It is important for us to take advantage of the opportunities to talk to defectors, to talk to people who have been at high levels, and find out the nature of that environment, and acquaint our population and our policy-makers with it, so that when we enter into these relationships, we are not blind and we are not being fooled.
Senator NUNN. That is a good point.
Senator Cohen, I have a few more questions that I want to come back to, but I want to yield to you at this point for whatever you have.
Senator COHEN. Just a couple of questions.
Again, back to the definition of the “high level” defector, would that include ballet stars, or would that include highwire circus performers?
Mr. GEIMER. No.
Mr. GEIMER. Just within the last few days, we were asked if we would take on the ballet dancer who defected in Dallas, and we had to say, no, that is not the kind of person that we are equipped to deal with.
Senator COHEN. What exactly do you mean by “high level?”
Mr. GEIMER. There is no definition for that, it is just kind of an idea. If we think that someone has got something, coming from an informed position over there, if they have something important to say, a book a write, or books to write, that is the kind of individual we work with. We wouldn't, normally, get involved with a physician, but if it was the number two guy in an embassy somewhere, it would be much of interest for us because that is what we need to know, how that system works and thinks at the higher levels.
Senator COHEN. What is it where someone who was just a bureaucrat, a sort of aspiring young bureaucrat within the system, is there any interest in understanding the Soviet bureaucracy?
Mr. GEIMER. Sure. You may remember the young diplomat who ran across the DMZ in Korea some years ago in a hail of gunfire. We have tried to help that young fellow because we think he has a potentially brilliant career academically here.
We are very flexible. On the one hand, you know, you have the Arkady Shevchenko, and on the other hand, you have this young fellow. It is just one day at a time.
Senator COHEN. I was just curious. One of the witnesses who will testify later was such an individual. He defected back in 1970 or 1971, and he was, in fact, a young, rising bureaucrat as such.
[At this point, Senator Nunn departed the hearing room.]
General WILLIAMS. Senator Cohen, in Mr. Geimer's statement, he said that we deal or try to deal primarily with people from policymaking levels, people from embassies. There is a bit of a dichotomy in that, too, because my role has been to present to the United States society people who have hard skills, scientists, engineers.
In some of the professional societies to which I belong, I have been confronted by representatives of industry saying, if you come across these people, we would like to know about it. We would like to find out how our adversaries go about engineering. Their universities are different. Their skills in titanium surprised us. How do they produce airplanes? What are they doing in space?
Every once in a while, you get somebody who has done a lot of research in those areas, and our marketing, if you want to call it that, of the availability of those people is very poor. Not just Jamestown Foundation, but the United States society doesn't know who is available.
Senator COHEN. How many defectors do you handle, about 40?
Senator COHEN. Do you keep sort of a data bank, keep a defector's resume on hand, so that if you have such a request from industry saying, we need somebody with a specialty in computers, for example, who might be involved in international banking, who
might understand something about leverage buy-outs at the international level.
Would you keep something on hand such as that, even though you are not handling him, that you would consider him in terms of job placement?
Mr. GEIMER. We do have a good deal of information on who is out there, and even though we are not working with them.
From the standpoint of the people that we do work with, if one of them gets a job in banking, they are lost as far as we are concerned. We are helping one individual now, for example, interested in working with the Federal government, and we are helping her because there isn't much alternative. But once she gets that job, if she gets it, then she is silenced as a public educator. From our standpoint, she is not of any interest, except on a human level.
Senator COHEN. Do you find that many, if not most, of these defectors have false expectations in terms of what their standard of living should be in the United States compared to what it was in the Soviet Union?
Mr. GEIMER. I think that when they defect, most are overly optimistic about what will happen to them here.
Senator COHEN. If they are high level enough, then they are probably at the higher levels of Soviet society, are they not? Don't they tend to expect to have a comparable standard here?
Mr. GEIMER. Some do.
Mr. JAMESON. I think they do. I think there are those who expect to be received with great ceremony, et cetera, but I think that most of them, particularly these days, have a fairly realistic understanding of what the opportunities may be. There are almost invariably frustrations, however, and aspirations that are never quite realized.
Speaking of this business of "high level," if I might just refer to it for a little, it does seem to me, at any rate, that the critical question is the potential of the person to help us understand the country that he came from.
It could be like this young man in Boston who crossed from North Korea to South Korea, or another one who is a student in training for the Foreign Service, who is an expert in the Japanese language. These are people who can make a contribution at the beginning of their career, and there have been many of those from past years as well.
I think that it is also important to say that the Jamestown Foundation is, I believe, concerned with finding people the right kind of jobs, even if it means possibly some reduction in the amount of public information they can pass on, because that is also a way in which they can radiate their information.
Senator COHEN. Is there a deep-seated bias or prejudice in the United States toward defectors, in other words, they associate defector with being defective?
[At this point, Senator Nunn returned to the hearing room.]
Mr. GEIMER. I think there is in many quarters. I think that it will change in time as more people get more exposure to them. There is some bias against them, and there are also a lot of people out there willing to pitch in and help.
Mr. JAMESON. I think one facet of that that needs to be mentioned is that basically we have these people who are called “defectors” because of the nature of Soviet law, which makes it a crime to emigrate without the government's permission, and that is really what a defector is. From France, from England, or from Germany, indeed, from almost any other country in the world, people can leave, but you cannot leave over there unless the government says that you can leave. If you leave under other circumstances, you are in a way a defector. What we are dealing with is a problem that has been created for us by the Soviet attempt to keep its citizens fully under control.
Senator COHEN. Do you find a difference between, let's say, Soviet emigres and their attitude toward defectors? Is there a problem within Soviet society itself for those who come here and really risk a good deal by filing a petition to leave, and as such be called Refuseniks, or whatever, and wait their seven years or ten, 12 or 15 years, and finally are allowed to emigrate? Is there a difference of attitude toward those who defected to come over?
In other words, is there a sense of community that exists between emigres and defectors?
Mr. JAMESON. To a significant extent, they are somewhat different in that most of the emigres, for example, do have specific ethnic origins, although not all of them. I don't think that the question of how you got out is a barrier to people in establishing relations or friendships or confidence. The legal emigres can do it.
Senator COHEN. I think that some of the prior witnesses have indicated that there is, and this is the reason that I asked the question.
Mr. JAMESON. When you are talking to them, let them speak for themselves.
Senator Nunn. We have had some testimony, I think, that there is a strained relationship because the defectors normally have been people in leadership positions, and there is some usual resentment by the emigres toward those people, the emigres being normally not people who have been in high leadership positions.
Senator COHEN. I just want to test their testimony against your experience.
Mr. JAMESON. I think that it is true that there is a difference in position. There are certainly both defectors and emigres who really don't care to meet an ex-KGB officer no matter how decent a guy he is now, or how helpful he is, just per se, and there are other considerations like that. But you will be talking to more of them, and I have to yield to them as they are closer to the truth than I am.
I know a great many cases where people came out legally and people who came out illegally have certainly developed friendships and have been close, and have worked together. I think that this is the experience among various clients in Jamestown.
Senator Cohen. I take it that none of you are advocating that the government undertake a public program of providing funding for the resettlement of defectors, other than what we have on the intelligence side?
Mr. GEIMER. I think that we are ambivalent about that. We want to see more help forthcoming, but what we do, I don't think can be