Hi everybody. I’m Bill Whittle and this is the Firewall.
Russia is on the move. And we need to know just exactly who we are dealing with here, because Americans cannot understand the Russian people without…
You know what. Let’s just stop there. Americans cannot understand the Russian people. Period. They are, in every way, a mirror image of our society and we fundamentally free and decent people simply cannot get our minds around the institutionalized murder, terror and tyranny that infects that state to this day.
So, just to scratch the surface, let’s briefly look at the history of some of the leaders Russian secret police.
This is Felix Zher-zhin-ski [Dzerzhinsky]. He’s the father of what became known as the Checka, the Soviet secret police. Tens of thousands of political opponents were shot under his directions. Of course, tens of thousands of murdered men, women and children was small price to pay to bring about Comrade Lenin’s Worker’s Paradise, but just so there is no confusion about what his mission was, Zher-Zhin-ski once said, “We represent in ourselves organized terror -- this must be said very clearly” and that the mission of his Russian secret police was “the terrorization, arrests and extermination of enemies of the revolution on the basis of their class affiliation or of their pre-revolutionary roles.” Not based on their guilt. EXTERMINATION based on class distinctions.
His successor, Vyach-es-slav Men-zhin-ski was described by Comrade Trotsky as “more like the shadow of some other unrealized man, or rather like a poor sketch for an unfinished portrait.” These were relatively quiet times for the secret police, now renamed the OGPU.
Not the kind of man you need for heavy lifting when the work of real murder lay ahead, he was replaced by Genkrikh Yagoda.
Now we’re beginning to get down to business. This State Police murderer, like others before and to follow, took his orders from the Kremlin, but the actual killing took place in this stately yellow building, called the Lubyanka. It doesn’t look like a death camp; it sits right in the middle of Moscow and people go to work there every day. But as office buildings go, the Lubyanka has the distinction of having tens, or more likely hundreds of thousands, of people who entered the building but never left the building. Starting with the show trials of the leaders of the revolution, Yagoda secret police – now renamed again as the NKVD -- began killing his own people in earnest. However, when he privately wrote Comrade Stalin that these executions were starting to look bad in the foreign press, this was taken as a not having sufficient zeal for the Soviet Holy Cause. At his trial, he shouted to a closed curtain, begging the Great Leader in his defense to consider all of the ordinary Russian people he had worked to death in his name: “I appeal to you! For you I built two great canals!” Witnesses saw a flash of a match and a curl of smoke from behind the curtain. Yagoda was stripped naked, just for extra humiliation, beaten, and then shot.
He was replaced by this animal: Nikolai Yezhov. Five feet tall, he was nicknamed the Blackberry, or sometimes The Bloody Dwarf. During the Great Purge, peaking around 1937, 680 THOUSAND people were shot by the NKVD. That’s every single person in Baltimore, Maryland.
Why were you shot? Maybe you had relatives overseas and were engaged in Anti-Soviet spying. Maybe you raised your hand to make a suggestion to improve crop yield at a collective farm meeting and were guilty of lack of faith in the Soviet leadership. Maybe someone wanted your little dacha – your cottage. Or maybe someone wanted your job. Or your overcoat. Or your wife. All they had to do was write a letter and you were either sent to the frozen Gulags and worked to death, or more likely, taken to the Lubyanka and simply shot in the head. Yezhov, industrious Communist state murderer that he was, made a major improvement to the execution chamber in the basement of the Lubyanka: a sloping concrete floor with a small gutter that made it far, far easier to hose off the blood.
Now you’d think the Russians would be ashamed of this. But on December 20th, 1937 there was a gala celebration in the Bolshoi Theater to celebrate 20 years of Russian State Police terror. Yezhov’s picture hung beside Stalins, and he entered to thunderous applause.
Of course, killing thousands of people every week, by hand, all through the night can take a toll on a man. Yezhov descended into homosexual orgies and weeks of drunkenness. When it came his turn to receive his Soviet reward for outstanding service -- being shot in the Lubyanka basement -- this mass-murdering sadist fainted at the news, and hysterical and weeping he was carried to the room with the sloping floor and shot in the head.
Surely, you’d think nothing could be worse than Yezhov -- the Disappearing Commissar, the man airbrushed into a Soviet non-person. You’d be wrong.
Under Lavrentiy Beria the NKVD -- later to be renamed again as the KGB took the slave labor camps -- the Gulags -- into high gear. Who was worked to death in this frozen, dysentery ridden, institutionalized hell? Scientists. Musicians. Poets. Steelworkers. Peasants. Not people who had committed crimes so much as people who might someday commit crimes. Oh, and other people too: women. Lots of women. This entire system depended on signed confessions produced by torture. The wives of these innocent men had to denounce them as spies and traitors as well. Most of them did. But many did not, and they are buried in the permafrost, on orders from the Kremlin, because the sentence for not denouncing your husband for crimes he did not commit was ten years slave labor on the TIE-GA -- the frozen Russian forest plain, where the temperature dropped to 40 degrees below zero. That’s where these women died. Their children were sent to state orphanages to be beaten as enemies of the state.
Beria was proven to have committed scores of rapes -- the actual number was likely in the hundreds. He would cruise the streets of Moscow in his limousine, pick a woman that appealed to him, take her to his sound-proofed room and rape them, telling them “Scream or not; it doesn’t matter.” After they were raped they were given a bouquet of flowers as they were shoved out into the snow -- the implication being that it was all consensual.
When his turn came, this animal also collapsed, begging on his knees for mercy, wailing and crying so loudly that his Comrade executioner shoved a rag into his mouth in order to shut him up before he shot him in the forehead.
We always assumed the KGB was a spy service, just like the CIA. It’s not. Its primary purpose has been to impose terror on the Russian people. The Checka was renamed the OGPU. The OGPU was renamed the NKVD. The NKVD was renamed the KGB. And in 1991, the KGB was renamed the FSB – the Federal Security Service. And the FSB director, descended in an unbroken chain from Dzerzhinsky through Yagoda, through Yezhov and Beria was named Vladimir Putin, and his office was in the same Lubyanka building that had seen so much horror and blood.
As I said, we Americans cannot conceive of such people -- let alone the terror of living under them. But these men got to where they are through a willingness to commit cold blooded murder in service of the Russian state. Like all bullies, they view weakness with contempt, and like all bullies, they turn into whimpering, sobbing cowards the instant that the violence they deliver with such lack of conscience is delivered to them.
That is whom Barack Obama is up against. And if we don’t hit them, and hard, and soon, then he will commit an act we can’t ignore or forgive. Then the world will see something it has not seen since 1945: America all the way angry. And fundamentally kind, decent, generous people all the way angry is not something he is going to want to see.