The 1980s

Col. Ryszard Kuklinski

See "Preparing for Martial Law: Through the Eyes of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski," at http://www.foia.cia.gov/MartialLawKulinski.asp. This is a "collection of over 75 documents concerning the planning and implementation [of] martial law in Poland from mid-1980 to late 1981. Col. Kuklinski, a member of the Polish Army General Staff, was the source of the documents. See also Douglas J. MacEachin, US Intelligence and the Polish Crisis, 1980 - 1981 (Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2001).

Kuklinski died 10 February 2004 at the age of 73. Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb, "Spy Ryszard Kuklinski Dies; Pole Aided CIA in Cold War," Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2004, B6.

Materials presented in chronological order.

Martin, David C. "A Polish Agent in Place." Newsweek, 20 Dec. 1982, 49.

This article reports the presence of a CIA penetration agent in the Polish Army, without naming Kuklinski. However, Martin has the agent remaining in place until just before the institution of martial law.

Woodward, Bob, and Michael Dobbs. "CIA Had Secret Agent on Polish General Staff." Washington Post, 4 Jun. 1986, A1.

Weiser, Benjamin.

1. "Polish Officer Was U.S.'s Window on Soviet War Plans." Washington Post, 27 Sep. 1992, A1ff.

2. "A Question of Loyalty." Washington Post Magazine, 18 Dec. 1992, W9 ff.

Polish Col. Ryszard Kuklinski escaped to the United States in 1981, "shortly after he had given the CIA advance warning of Jaruzelski's plans to crush Solidarity." He had spied for the West for almost 10 years, focusing primarily on the Soviet Union. Excerpt carried in American Intelligence Journal 14, no. 1 (Autumn-Winter 1992-1993): 61-70.

Masterov, Valery. "Spy Kuklinski: Traitor or Patriot?" Moscow News, 25 Oct. 1992, 7.

"[T]he Kuklinski case is becoming yet another factor tending to divide the already fragmented political scene" in Poland.

Rosenberg, Tina. "Poland's Belated Thanks to a Patriot Spy." New York Times, 29 Sep. 1997, A14 (N).

Following "much negotiation and a five-day interrogation of Colonel Kuklinski in Washington, Warsaw last week announced it had cleared his record. Colonel Kuklinski 'acted in conditions of higher necessity,' read the statement."

Spolar, Christine. "A Cold War Spy, Warm at Last: Polish Colonel Who Fed Soviet Secrets to CIA Is Absolved by His Homeland." Washington Post, 2 Oct. 1997, A17, A20.

Col. Ryszard Kuklinski, the Polish army officer who supplied the CIA Soviet military documents from 1972 until his defection in 1981, has been absolved of charges of treason in his homeland. The decision was made public on Polish television on 22 September 1997.

Nagorski, Andrew. "All Is Forgiven, or Is It?" Newsweek, 27 Oct. 1997, 40.

Perlez, Jane. "A Cold War Spy Doesn't Dare Go Home." New York Times, 16 Nov. 1997, section 4, 3.

Kramer, Mark. "Colonal Kuklinski and the Polish Crisis of 1980-81." Cold War International History Project Bulletin 11 (Winter 1998): 48-59.

Scislowska, Monika. "Former CIA Spy to Visit Homeland for First Time in 17 Years." Associated Press, 2 Mar. 1998. [http://flash.cleveland.com]

On 28 February 1998, Col. Ryszard Kuklinski was issued a new passport at the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC. He plans to return to Poland for a visit in late April. Kuklinski told reporters that he would like to return to his homeland "permanently" at a later date.

Grajewski, Marcin. "Spy for U.S Gets Mixed Reception in Poland." Reuters, 27 Apr. 1998. [http://dailynews.yahoo.com]

Ryszard Kuklinski returned to his native Poland on 27 April 1998. After meeting with the Cold War spy, Polish Premier Jerzy Buzek told reporters: "Kuklinski was a witness of history. He took his decision at moments that were very difficult for Poland. I have a right to suppose that these decisions saved our country from bloodshed." Public opinion polls show that Poles remain split over how to view Kuklinski's actions in spying for the CIA.

Perlez, Jane. "Spy Recounts Passing Data to CIA." New York Times, 30 Apr. 1998. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Washington Post. "For the Record." 27 Oct. 1998, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

"Poland is to pay around $366,000 to Col. Ryszard Kuklinski, one of the United States' top Cold War spies, to compensate him for property confiscated under Communist rule."

Seib, Gerald F. "Briefly, A Spy Steps Forward." Wall Street Journal, 24 Nov. 1999, A20.

Fischer, Benjamin B. "Entangled in History: The Vilification and Vindication of Colonel Kuklinski." Studies in Intelligence 9 (Summer 2000): 19-33. Intelligencer 11, no. 2 (Winter 2000): 39-50. [https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/summer00/art03.html]

This is an excellent review of the Kuklinski case.

Lamb, Yvonne Shinhoster. "Spy Ryszard Kuklinski Dies; Pole Aided CIA in Cold War." Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2004, B6. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Col. Ryszard Kuklinski, a Polish Cold War spy who has been hailed as a hero and denounced as a traitor for leaking confidential plans relating to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact alliance to the CIA, died Feb. 10 in Tampa after a stroke. He was 73.... Kuklinski fled to the United States with his family in 1981." DCI George J. Tenet said that "the information that Col. Kuklinski provided assisted the CIA in making critical national security decisions and helped keep the Cold War from escalating."

Weiser, Benjamin. A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country. New York: PublicAffairs, 2004. 2004. [pb]

Cold War International History Project. "New Kuklinski Documents on Martial Law in Poland Released." Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1 Dec. 2008. [http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=topics.item&news_id=494012]

On 1 December 2008, the CIA "released 82 documents relating to ... the case of Polish Army Col. Ryszard Kuklinski." The documents "include a 1977 document outlining governmental tasks in the event of a threat to national security; 18 reports by Kuklinski on information and impressions gained from his close contacts on the Polish General Staff and from contact with Soviet officers; 42 reports relaying Martial Law planning documents, 16 reports based on Kuklinski information disseminated after the declaration of Martial law on 13 December 1981, as well as one 1983 report prepared by Kuklinski after his (and his family's) extraction to the United States."

The individual documents are available as PDF files on the Wilson Center Website at the address listed above.

Kramer, Mark. "US Intelligence Performance and US Policy during the Polish Crisis of 1980–81: Revelations from the Kuklinski Files." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 2 & 3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011): 313-329.

"[I]t is simply not true ...that the distribution of Kuklinski's reports and documents within the intelligence community was too limited." The problem was "that analysts at the CIA and State Department did not make better use of it."

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