Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 4, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
April 4, IKE LCTHUIOOi HfUlD 41 Life in a fish bowl Security an aspect of mg WARSAW As Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, was driven out to Prague's military airport after his visit early last year he might have noticed the crowds thinning as the motor- cade reached the edge of the capital. FinalJy, beyond the las; apartment building, there no crowds, only two long lines of civilians, most of them in their 20's, standing about 30 or 40 feet apart on both sides of the road along the next few mi'es to the terminal. These -were security men, part of eastern Europe's huge pool of plain clothes police- men, assigned that day to pro- tect the visitor. They fill other roles, and they represent one of the unchanging aspects of life in a communist society. The easing of domestic pres- sure and the process of detente is unlikely to dininish their role significantly. WAY OF LIFE To most Eastern Europeans, strict internal security has be- come a way of life. They see it not in terms familiar in the vest torture of political pri- soners, murders but in mun- dane ways. For example, a Warsaw man seeking the answer to a routine question on visa requirement? for a West German friend found he was soon answering a long series of quesHons, and that his interrogator was filling out a questionnaire for the perman- ent record. The authorities wanted to know how be had met this friend, where the friend work- ed and when he was coming to Poland he decided not to come. They also asked the Pole about his own background. Security in Eastern Europe means the control of all mall, especially to and from Poland. and the presence, in unusal cases, of what one university student called "antisocial de- or microphones. These Intrusions are accepted, bow- ever. SELECTIVE Control can also be applied selectively. Foreigners, local residents in sensitive positions and special cases can be watch- ed, monitored and checked in a variety of ways. Opening mail is one. Polish authorities do so on the basis of economic censorship, seek- ing to control the transfer of money from the west. Envel- opes are reseated and then en- closed in a plastic envelope be- fore delivered, supposedly to protect the recipient from loss along the route. Some envelopes arrive "dam- with two or three edges heavily reinforced with tape. A Pole may be informed that there is a publication at the post office he will not bs per- mitted to receive, and he must sign for the nondelivery. Some mail known to have bsen sent never arrives at all. such as a book, "The Warsaw Uprising." published in London. Eastern Europeans who re- ceive foreign guests can some- times count on anothsr guest coming around when the for- eieners have gone, inquiring what was discussed. Polish employees of Western einftassies in Eastern Europe: either work for inleranal sccur- ity agencies or arc contacted by them for information. It is as- thst keys "or al em- i bassv veWc'es srd places of residence have been duplicat- 1 ed. and was told that it was "enough" and lie should "go which he did. Embassies in Eastern Europe are "guarded" by policemen who sit in glass booths and watch who comes and goss. Regular visitors are sometimes questioned at home and shown phtographs of themselves enter- ing the premises. In one country, traffic police- men can recognize security cars by the colored masking tape on their rear view mir- rors. In another country, agents routinely quit work at midday on Saturday and do not show up on Sunday. The tactics depend on the subject, and the circumstances. S3curity men in a variety of roles, some of them easily re- cognizable, filled the official press area when President Nixon visited Warsaw. They were interested primarily in what the newsmen were saying to each other about the visit. One assistant to a western diplomat WES met every week by men who offered "extra points" on college entrance for his son if he co-operated with them This later became a threat to keep the boy out of school. Dispute Flares Trouble in African Horn A little publicized border confrontation between Ethiopian police and So- rnali troops has revived a long dormant territorial dispute in the horn of Afri- ca. Authorities in nearby Kenya and the French Territory of the Afars and Issas with whom Somalia has had similar disputes, are watching developments with concern. Some fear that guerrilla fighting may erupt anew in a corner of the continent which has recently been relatively free of strife. Potentially valuable oil deposits have been found on the Ethiopian side. Restrain has prevailed so far but informants said Ethiopian police moved into a disputed town north of Mogadishu. Somali soldiers surrounded the town and waited until the Ethiop- ians withdrew. Somalia has a population of about 6 million, of whom about 2 million live in Ethiopia, Kenya and the French territory. Somali spokesmen con- tend that the national boundaries set by former colonial administrators must be redrawn. Kenya and Ethiopia say that state borders divide ethnic groups in many parts of Afrec and that moving the lines would open a Pandora's box of dis- putes. Somalia has claimed as much as one quarter of Ethiopia, mainly the arid Ogaden region where American exploration teams guarded by Ethiopian troops discovered oil last year. Observers say pressure may be building within Somalia's socialist military government to try to occupy neighboring lands in- habited largely by ethnic Somalis. Surveillance is another meth- od. for residents and visi- tors. During visits by Western political w trade delegations to Warsaw the parkins lot near fie Europe Ski Hotel is cramm- ed with vehicles containing ssc-, nien. !wo to a car, wait- j WibiJe tailing of most resi- dent diplomats is sporadic, mil- ilrry at'acres at mawr West- cm are watched con- are maiy Ser- ies of t'He relalionshrDs tVat iWs can dewlcn. Tn Warsaw, ihree embassy famf- a mcnic site several msn who to Twin Ire? to An auto rally organized by e Western embassies a1- eted a varidy ff toca! c to keep up. wbceaug man folkmine him Quality and safety in eight new tires from Simpsons-Sears 4ply nylon polyester tires a Your choice... tough de- pendable nylon or smooth riding polyester. The Crusader for every day driving... or our Supertred for longer mile- age. And for quiet comfort you need our Deluxe Supertred with 4 full plies of polyester. belted nylon or polyester- tires belted Fibreglass belted nylon or polyester tires as- sure long mileage, vehi- cle stability and control. 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