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Smith says Soviet forged KKK letters to several nations

CHICAGO -- The Soviet Union forged 'threatening and abusive' letters sent to some 20 nations planning to participate in the Olympics and made it appear that they were written by the Ku Klux Klan, Attorney General William French Smith said Monday.

In remarks to the American Bar Association, Smith said the Soviets apparently sent the letters to justify 'their boycott of the Olympics and to gain the support of non-communist-bloc countries.'

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'We have copies of those letters,' Smith said. 'They are openly racist and disgusting, and they threaten violence against Asian and African nations who participate in the games' in Los Angeles.

'Fortunately, none of the nations that received these letters succumbed to the attempted intimidation,' Smith said. He called the letters 'threatening and abusive.'

'But even more reprehensible than the letters themselves is what we now know about their actual origin,' Smith said. 'They were not produced or sent by the Ku Klux Klan. They were instead manufactured and mailed by another organization devoted to terror: the KGB.'

The attorney general said: 'Through this plot, the Soviet Union, employing cynical falsehood, struck at both the Olympic ideal and the rule of law. It is not, however, unique. The plot is an example of what the intelligence community refers to as an 'active measure.''

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Smith said, 'Active measures such as these are approved by the Soviet Politburo itself, and they are implemented through the Communist Party Central Committee's International Department and the KGB's Service A.'

The attorney general said, 'Although I cannot detail all of what we know about these documents for fear of helping the authors to refine their techniques, a thorough analysis -- including linguistic and forensic techniques -- reveals that they are classic examples of a Soviet forgery or disinformation operation.'

Such 'active measures' by communist nations 'strike at the intellectual underpinnings necessary to the rule of law,' Smith said. He also said there is 'evidence suggesting that some communist countries or organizations strike more directly at even our physical well-being' by involvement in drug trafficking.

Smith said the United States believes that two foreign governments - Cuba and Bulgaria -- 'have actively used drug-trafficking to assist terrorists.'

Smith also said, 'In recent months, we have discovered evidence that the government of Nicaragua or at least some of its officials may also be using the drug trade to finance their revolutionary efforts.'

The Soviet Union forged 'threatening and abusive' letters sent to some 20 nations planning to participate in the Olympics and made it appear that they were written by the Ku Klux Klan, Attorney General William French Smith said Monday.

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In remarks to the American Bar Association, Smith said the Soviets apparently sent the letters to justify 'their boycott of the Olympics and to gain the support of non-communist-bloc countries.'

'We have copies of those letters,' Smith said. 'They are openly racist and disgusting, and they threaten violence against Asian and African nations who participate in the games' in Los Angeles.

'Fortunately, none of the nations that received these letters succumbed to the attempted intimidation,' Smith said. He called the letters 'threatening and abusive.'

'But even more reprehensible than the letters themselves is what we now know about their actual origin,' Smith said. 'They were not produced or sent by the Ku Klux Klan. They were instead manufactured and mailed by another organization devoted to terror: the KGB.'

The attorney general said: 'Through this plot, the Soviet Union, employing cynical falsehood, struck at both the Olympic ideal and the rule of law. It is not, however, unique. The plot is an example of what the intelligence community refers to as an 'active measure.''

Smith said, 'Active measures such as these are approved by the Soviet Politburo itself, and they are implemented through the Communist Party Central Committee's International Department and the KGB's Service A.'

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The attorney general said, 'Although I cannot detail all of what we know about these documents for fear of helping the authors to refine their techniques, a thorough analysis -- including linguistic and forensic techniques -- reveals that they are classic examples of a Soviet forgery or disinformation operation.'

Such 'active measures' by communist nations 'strike at the intellectual underpinnings necessary to the rule of law,' Smith said. He also said there is 'evidence suggesting that some communist countries or organizations strike more directly at even our physical well-being' by involvement in drug trafficking.

Smith said the United States believes that two foreign governments - Cuba and Bulgaria -- 'have actively used drug-trafficking to assist terrorists.'

Smith also said, 'In recent months, we have discovered evidence that the government of Nicaragua or at least some of its officials may also be using the drug trade to finance their revolutionary efforts.'

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Monday 'a lot of the information is still classified' and she was checking with the FBI to see whether additional details could be released, including a list of nations that received the threatening letters.

South Korean Olympic Committee officials said last month that they received a letter sent from Maryland on July 4th. Seoul has beenselected by the International Olympic Committee to host the 1988 Summer Olympics.

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The letter, bearing the Ku Klux Klan insignia, said, in part: 'If your cubs dare to come to the Summer Olympics in America, they will be shot or hanged.'

At the time, FBI spokesdman Steve Grippi in Los Angeles said the agency was not immediately aware of the threat mailed to the South Koreans, but said a similar message had been sent to Zimbabwe.

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