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Was Kremlin behind plot to kill the Pope?


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This is an article by John Follain that appeared in yesterday's Sunday Times.

When Mehmet Ali Agca shot the Pope from just 9ft away as he toured St Peter’s Square in Rome in May 1981, the Turkish gunman came within a fraction of an inch of changing the course of history.

The bullet broke the Pope’s finger and tore through his abdomen, then dropped between the pontiff and Father Stanislaw Dziwisz, his secretary, who caught John Paul II as he fell.

Almost any other trajectory for the bullet would have killed him. John Paul has since said he is convinced that Mary, the mother of God, intervened and saved him, just as predicted in the third secret of Fatima — which, stored away in the Vatican, he read after his recovery. In simple terms, the bungled assassination reaffirmed that the Pope believed it was his destiny to save the Catholic church.

Quite apart from his theory of divine intervention, a myriad of potential motives and backers for the hapless Agca has sprung up around an assassination attempt that rivals the shooting of President John F Kennedy in the conspiracy theorists’ lexicon.

The Pope, the first non- Italian in the role for nearly 500 years, had suffered under the twin tyrannies of first Nazism and then communism, to which his crowd-pulling brand of public ministries was anathema. Had the Pope died, would communism have vanished from the map of eastern Europe so easily? Was the Soviet KGB, fearful of a Polish pope, the real sponsor of Agca? John Paul visited Poland in June 1979, the year after his election, and made no attempt to hide his support for Solidarity, the independent trade union movement.

Later he was widely credited with helping to create the climate that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Soviets, watching their empire crumble — it finally gave way in 1991, 10 years after the shooting — had every reason to fear his ministry.

At the time an Italian judicial investigation into the assassination attempt and an inquiry launched by the CIA were inconclusive. In his testimony, Agca at first said that he had planned the shooting with accomplices, but then he recanted.

Later he helped to push the KGB theory by saying that it and other eastern European secret services had backed him. Then in 1982, a year after an Italian court had jailed him for life, he was more specific, accusing three Bulgarian nationals of helping to plot the Pope’s death.

They had paid him $1.2m, he said. The Bulgarians were later acquitted and Agca recanted his accusations.

He was extradited to Turkey in 2000, after serving almost 20 years in Italy for the shooting, and is now serving time in jail for separate crimes. In all that time he has never revealed more — despite being visited and forgiven by the Pope — and has since shown more of a nervous interest in the supernatural forces that helped his intended victim to survive.

Even now, however, the debate over the assassination attempt carries on.

A newly opened batch of files from the Stasi, the former East German secret police, has revealed that Agca, four years before he made his unlikely entrance on to the world stage in St Peter’s Square, trained at a guerrilla camp run by Carlos the Jackal, the international terrorist.

Carlos — a Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez — fought at first for the Palestinian cause in the late 1960s and 1970s, but went on to create a private army to wreak havoc in western Europe.

His greatest coup was the kidnapping of 11 government ministers at a meeting of the Opec oil-producing nations in Vienna in 1975. He is now serving a life sentence in France for murdering two counter-espionage officers and an associate.

Shortly after the Vienna kidnappings, Carlos set up a network called Separat. It is this organisation that taught Agca, according to the Stasi files.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1552431,00.html

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  • 2 months later...

There is a wonderful book I read many years ago, mebbe called 'Time of the Assasin' which traces Memeht Ali Agca's involvement with a security force run by one of the Russian East European satelite states, which of course was ultimately run by the KGB. It strongly suggests that he was deliberately trained and placed as an assasin.

Andropov wanted him removed due to his capacity to unite the Poles against the Russians. The Pope was onced asked in an interview what he would do if the Russians invaded Poland again. His response was that he would return to fight along side his countrymen. The Russians knew this would be a disaster for them, so the Pope had to go.

There have been rumors for years that the Pope's predessor had been poisoned by the KGB, which was part of the reason the Wojitka (I hope my spelling is close) to be selected as Pope. The Vatican allegedly revenged themselved by poisoning Andropov, who did die under odd circumstances.

I will see if I still have the book, read it decades ago.

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Guest Stephen Turner
If the KGB tried to kill the late Pope, it certainly had reason to do so for I believe the Pope deserves much of the credit for the fall of communism.

tim Really, If I have to hear this hoary old chestnut again I'll vomit, neither the Pope, nor freemarket Capitalism," brought down Communism"Its own Internal contradictions did for it. If one man can take some of the credit its Gorbachov.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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If the KGB tried to kill the late Pope, it certainly had reason to do so for I believe the Pope deserves much of the credit for the fall of communism.

Tim, Really, If I have to hear this hoary old chestnut again I'll vomit, neither the Pope, nor freemarket Capitalism," brought down Communism"Its own Internal contradictions did for it. If one man can take some of the credit its Gorbachov.

I think it is fair to credit the Pope with major influence in deterring the Russians from re-invading Poland, which was a major crack in the fall of their empire. As to why the USSR fell, spending more than 50% of your GNP on the military every year for decades destroyed their economy.

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Norman is right.

But who do you suppose caused the Communists to spend themselves into ruin on their military budget? One hint: his initials were RR. From what I have read, Reagen knew exactly what he was doing in his military build-up and Star Wars program. He intended the result he got.

Interestingly, in Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA" wherein he proposes that a hard-line faction within the KGB plotted both the assassination of JFK and the coup that replaced Khruschev, regardless of the validity of his scenario, he makes the interesting point that Khruschev wanted to achieve peace with Kennedy because he knew the Soviet economy could not sustain continued expanded military build-up. Khruschev, of course, was right. So the Khruschev may have been working for peace with Kennedy not only due to his fear of war but also to save the Soviet system from collapse.

And re Stephen's post, hey, buddy, grab your vomit bag. It was Ronald Reagan who "played" Gorbachev correctly. I agree that Gorbachev does deserve some credit but the primary credit belongs to Reagan and the Pope.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Hi Tim, Sorry mate, that might play to the American right, but as a serious examination of the collapse of the USSR it wont do. As you yourself say, it had been on the brink for decades, both economically,and socially. any system that fails to hold the trust of the majority of its people,is, in the long term doomed, A fact, I fear both of our Countries will soon discover. Reagan (A second rate mind at best.) Was a consumate actor,and played the lines scripted for him well. but it mattered not a jot whether Ronald Reagan, Ronald McDonald, or Bonzo the Chimp was President, the Soviet system had failed Economically, and could not retain the trust and goodwill of its Citizens,It was F****d, and could no longer sustain the ideological illusion of the workers state. once this illusion was finished,so was the soviet system. and nobody cared enough to attempt a resusitation, mainly because the whole thing was biult on a pack of lies. Steve.

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Norman is right.

But who do you suppose caused the Communists to spend themselves into ruin on their military budget?  One hint: his initials were RR.  From what I have read, Reagen knew exactly what he was doing in his military build-up and Star Wars program.  He intended the result he got.

Interestingly, in Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA" wherein he proposes that a hard-line faction within the KGB plotted both the assassination of JFK and the coup that replaced Khruschev, regardless of the validity of his scenario, he makes the interesting point that Khruschev wanted to achieve peace with Kennedy because he knew the Soviet economy could not sustain continued expanded military build-up.  Khruschev, of course, was right.  So the Khruschev may have been working for peace with Kennedy not only due to his fear of war but also to save the Soviet system from collapse.

And re Stephen's post, hey, buddy, grab your vomit bag.  It was Ronald Reagan who "played" Gorbachev correctly. I agree that Gorbachev does deserve some credit but the primary credit belongs to Reagan and the Pope.

Not this argument again. The policy of containment, which stated that the USSR would go bankrupt if contained and otherwise left alone, was articulated as policy by George Kennan in 1948, implemented by Truman, and followed as policy by every president since then, Republican or Democrat. Reagan reaped the benfit of 40 years worth of effort. To credit RR with this initiative is just foolhardy.

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Tim Gratz wrote:

But who do you suppose caused the Communists to spend themselves into ruin on their military budget? One hint: his initials were RR. From what I have read, Reagen knew exactly what he was doing in his military build-up and Star Wars program. He intended the result he got.

[...]

Shall I be the one to tell you: there were other President's during the Cold War! Reagan, but, was ONE of them. What did Reagan know-have, that other US President's didn't? Timing (luck), a pure sense of theatrics, not to mention a willing partner in Gorbachev...Reagan knew what he was suppose to know. That being, what he was told by the CIA, amongst others -- yep, that ole gun-toting Hollywood buckeroo brought down the USSR all by his lonesome... rofl

Much none sense -- nonesense like the CIA missed the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Caught unawares" was the term, I believe.... yeah, right!

Edited by David G. Healy
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In response to Norman's post, and David's post, Reagan knew EXACTLY what Barry Goldwater knew when Goldwater wrote his classic book: "Why not VICTORY?"

The way to defeat Communism was to plan to DEFEAT it, not simply contain it. Reagan's policy was NOT the Kennan policy of "containment".

EVERY President before Reagan set out simply to prevent further Communist expansion (with the exception of JFK since he did attempt to overthrow a Communist dictatorship in Cuba but his ultimate obective was peace with the Communists, not victory over them).

Reagan was the FIRST president to make VICTORY over Communism (not detente which was Nixon's goal) our national objective.

Most assassination researchers do not believe in coincidences.

I can assure you it was no coincidence (or "luck" as David would have it) that Communism collapsed on Reagan's "watch".

Edited by Tim Gratz
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Stephen Turner

Reagan was the FIRST president to make VICTORY over Communism (not detente which was Nixon's goal) our national objective.

And Tim, if any other President much before the 1980's, when Soviet style Communism had, by and large run its course tried victory as an objective, what do you imagine the consequences might have been...... :blink::D

Edited by Stephen Turner
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