Vicious Keepers of the Faith

"They are like cockroaches -- ugly, numerous, been around a long time and hard to kill," said a U.S. analyst in Washington last week. "They" are the Securitate, the Ceausescu dictatorship's ever present and dreaded security apparatus, whose members fought savagely for several days to keep the tyrant in power. Among the most vicious of such outfits in the history of the communist world, the Securitate was established in 1945, partly as a counterbalance to the regular military, and later, under Ceausescu, competing with it for funds. Its estimated 180,000 troops regarded themselves as being part of an elite unit; they...

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