A little thought should be sufficient to dispel the notion that the KGB would allow Khrushchev to sit in his dacha dictating tape after tape with no interference. He certainly dictated tapes, but the tapes were censored and edited by the KGB, and then a deal was struck between the U.S. and the USSR, after it was decided, at the highest level, that such a book would be mutually beneficial. Brezhnev could use against some of the resistance he was encountering from Stalinist hardliners, and Nixon could use it to increase support for detente.
Time bureau in Moscow. Strobe Talbot, who appears on television frequently today and is Time's bureau chief in Washington, brought the tapes back with him. I was present in an apartment in which he hid them for a couple of days. The tapes were then translated and a manuscript developed. During this period Time refused to let people who had known Khrushchev personally, including White House staff members, listen to the tapes.
Knowledgeable people began to tell me. "I don't believe this." "There's something mighty fishy here." When they read what Khrushchev was supposedly saying, they were even more incredulous. But the book came out, Khrushchev Remembers, accompanied by a massive publicity campaign. It was a great propaganda accomplishment for the CIA and the KGB.
I touched on Khrushchev Remembers in my book. I did not go into any great detail, merely devoting several tentative paragraphs to the affair. Just before my book was published Time was considering doing a two-page spread on me until they learned of my expressed reservations on the trustworthiness of Khrushchev Remembers. I began to get phone calls from Talbot and Jerry Schaechter, then Time's bureau chief in Washington, telling me I should take out the offending passages.
I had written, correctly, that before publication Strobe Talbot had taken the bound transcripts of the Khruschhev tapes back to Moscow, via Helsinki, so that the KGB could make one final review of them. I told Schaechter and Talbot that if they came to me, looked me in the eye, and told me I had the facts wrong, I would take out the section on Khruschhev Remembers. Neither of them ever came by, the paragraphs stayed in my book, and in any event Time went ahead with the two-page spread anyway.
A. Bogomolets, after some LBJ-style armtwisting by Khrushchev, glumly agrees to chair an investigatory commission so that other colleagues will not be too afraid to participate. To provide greater assurance that the investigation is successful and less of a death trap, Khrushchev tells Bogomolets he’ll set up a second commission to “double the chances of one commission’s coming up with the answer.”
In his memoir, Khrushchev passes over the gigantic horse hecatomb of the worst years of the 1930s (during which time he was working under Stalin in Moscow), let alone the millions of people killed in the famine. Instead, he seems to be angling for some credit for resisting the urge to continue purging Ukrainians over the horse mystery, and allowing Dr. Drobotko to trace the problem to its scientific roots. [I suppose Stalin & Khrushchev might have been trying to explain away Ukraine's missing horse problem by blaming it on the disease uncovered by Dr. Drobotko. However, it seems to have been presented as a local problem in western Ukraine, while the horse shortage was Ukraine-wide, indeed nation-wide. CH 12/8/2014]
Born 1885, Dekhtyary, now Sumy Oblast. Grad. 1913 Medical Faculty, Kiev University; 1914-25 zemstvo doctor in Romny, now in Poltava Oblast; 1925-31 assistant, Kiev Bacteriology Institute; 1931 became scientific associate and 1938 director and scientific supervisor, Zabolotny Microbiology and Epidemiology Institute, Kiev (now Microbiology Institute, Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences); 1948 elected full member, Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences; member, editorial council, journal "Antibiotiki;" author, about 100 works in the field of microbiology and epidemiology, dealing with the typhoid-enteric group of bacteria, rhinoscleroma, bacteriophages, dysentery, vaccination, the chemotherapy of infectious diseases, etc.; with other scientists defined the etiology of human and equine stachybotryotoxicosis, caused by the fungus stachybotrys alternans; in the USSR this disease was formerly considered the result of deliberate [sabotage] infection of horses and human beings which led, in 1937, to mass arrests of veterinary surgeons and bacteriologists; produced a new vegetable antibiotic "Imanin;" Order of Lenin; Order of Red Banner of Labor; medals.
The Institute website also has a picture of Drobotko and his team from a contemporary news article commemorating their success in licking the equine stachybotrytoxicosis problem. Dr. Drobotko is second from the left in the front row.
Marchetti, by the way, claims to have been intimately involved in the intelligence aspects of the Cuban crisis. He alleges that President Kennedy was well aware that the missiles in Cuba were still lacking their warheads and therefore posed no threat to the United States. Nevertheless, Kennedy and his hagiographers, perhaps in order to provide America’s youth with sufficient pretext for a frantic pre-apocalypse f*ckfest, have skated over this aspect of the crisis.
The illustration at the head of this post is a painting by Albert Pinkham Ryder, titled The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse), at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum's description:
Ryder’s subject was inspired by a horse race that took place in New York during 1888. One of the artist’s friends wagered $500 on the race and then committed suicide after the horse lost. Medieval symbolism infuses the composition: death appears as a skeleton on horseback holding a scythe with which he cuts down the living, while a snake-a sign of temptation and evil-slithers in the foreground. An intense man, Ryder worked on the painting for several years [1896-1908--ed.] and was deeply reluctant to part with it.