Norwegian Labour Party banned KGB government infiltration book / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Labour Party banned KGB government infiltration book. A book revealing damning evidence that Norway’s Labour (Ap) politicians spied for Russia’s KGB during the Cold War was prevented from publication, new evidence reveals. Following the height of the Cold War a Soviet defector, Vasily Mitrokhin, co-authored a book with the British historian Christopher Andrew in 2001 about the KGB’s activities in the West. However, the book’s explosive revelations about how deeply the KGB had infiltrated the Norwegian government meant that it was too sensitive to release. “The publication was finished. He had free access to the Mitrokhin archive and the book arose from work on the archive. It was about a spy game in the far North,” said Dagbladet’s anonymous source.

arnetreholt, thorvaldstoltenberg, vasilymitrokhin, christopherandrewbook



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Norwegian Labour Party banned KGB government infiltration book

Published on Tuesday, 5th July, 2011 at 17:59 under the news category, by Gareth Corfield.
Last Updated on 6th July 2011 at 10:32.

A book revealing damning evidence that Norway’s Labour (Ap) politicians spied for Russia’s KGB during the Cold War was prevented from publication, new evidence reveals.

Thorvald Stoltenberg
Mr Stoltenberg says he has never heard about the book.Thorvald Stoltenberg
Photo: Arbeiderpartiet/Flickr


Denied knowledge

Following the height of the Cold War a Soviet defector, Vasily Mitrokhin, co-authored a book with the British historian Christopher Andrew in 2001 about the KGB’s activities in the West. However, the book’s explosive revelations about how deeply the KGB had infiltrated the Norwegian government meant that it was too sensitive to release.

“The publication was finished. He had free access to the Mitrokhin archive and the book arose from work on the archive. It was about a spy game in the far North,” said Dagbladet’s anonymous source.

As well as naming and shaming the convicted traitor Arne Treholt, who spent 8 years in prison for espionage, the book also names other Labour Party politicians and even the Foreign Ministry as KGB spies.

“A list with a lot of names in Norwegian politics circulated and my name was there. It was mostly people who worked with Russia,” said a senior politician who Dagbladet claims is listed in the book.

This politician is reportedly a long-standing member of the Labour Party and even sits on the Party’s central committee.

Although Dagbladet’s source – who refuses to reveal his identity – claims that Thorvald Stoltenberg, formerly the Minister for Foreign Affairs and father of the Prime Minister, Jens, applied diplomatic pressure to stop the book’s publication, the retired politician strenuously denies any knowledge of the affair.

In a statement released via the Prime Minister’s office, Thorvald Stoltenberg said, “I can honestly say I have never heard about this book or had any dealings with it. I have never heard of the names mentioned.”

Personal tragedy

Meanwhile, the Conservatives (H) have demanded an explanation of why the book was banned from publication. Ivar Kristiansen, who sits on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs, said that the case is “so spicy that both the Justice Minister and the Defence Minster should inform Parliament.”

Even as Dagbladet reveals the story to the world, their source firmly blames the government for censoring the book, declaring, “My personal opinion is that the Norwegian government and the Labour Party have spent substantial resources on establishing a narrative of what happened during the Cold War, who was good and who was evil.

“In the process they have managed to establish that Treholt was a personal tragedy, he was a Party member and that he had access to the material because he had become a bit ‘lost’, while much of the Socialist Left (SV) was cheering the Eastern Bloc on.”

“Christopher Andrew will bring a perspective into this debate that is not welcome for those in power. The book was blocked, and Norway was behind that. It went so far that those who were mentioned in the book mobilized large forces to get it stopped,” the paper’s source continues.

Legal fight

Yet the book itself is still banned from publication, making it difficult to pass judgement on its revelations. Even Norwegian academics are finding it difficult to obtain copies of the material on which it is based.

“This is a complicated story. The book was quite different than first thought for various reasons. We historians, apart from Mr Andrew, are still struggling to obtain the release of the source material from British Intelligence,” said Professor Odd Arne Westad. The professor worked with Mitrokhin on another book, called ‘KGB in Afghanistan’. Mitrokhin died in 2004.

Observers have compared this saga to the story of the book Spycatcher, written by a retired senior British intelligence officer. In it, he detailed how British counterintelligence was almost completely compromised by the KGB, right up to the then Director of MI6.

Although the British government banned Spycatcher after claiming that it breached national security, it was eventually released after a lengthy court battle. The book was secretly published abroad and national newspapers began publishing extracts from it. It remains to be seen whether Mr Andrew’s book will be published by the same route.

‘No basis’

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a press statement countering claims made to Dagbladet, stating, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has conducted an investigation regarding the matter of previous contact between [some of its] staff and the KGB following claims in the Norwegian media, which shows the following:

“In light of various allegations that Norwegian citizens were engaged in irregular communication with the KGB, the MFA contacted POT (now the Police Security Service/PST) in November 2000 to enquire whether ministry personnel were discussed in the historical material POT had access to. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) received a report from POT in 2001 about information from former chief archivist Vasily Mitrokhin. It was reported that the Norwegian Higher Prosecuting Authority (Riksadvokaten) and the Permanent Under-Secretary of State (Utenriksråden) would be informed.

“POT informed the MFA in January 2001 that three people working in the Foreign Service at that time were mentioned in the historical material.

“After having made further enquiries and reviewed the matter with the employees concerned, the MFA concluded there was no basis for claims about irregular contact between MFA personnel and persons presumed to be connected with the KGB.

“POT considered the matter and found no basis to initiate an investigation or draw up a preventative case based on the information.

“Allegations of attempts to stop publication of the book in the UK have emerged in the Norwegian media. Neither investigations by the MFA nor MOJ show any evidence of this.”




Published on Tuesday, 5th July, 2011 at 17:59 under the news category, by Gareth Corfield.
Last updated on 6th July 2011 at 10:32.

This post has the following tags: arnetreholt, thorvaldstoltenberg, vasilymitrokhin, christopherandrewbook.





  
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