There is a Very Proper Gander


Hard Talk in Geneva

I flew to Geneva along with a few other colleagues for a WHO session or whatever, and one of the free evenings I went to visit the bureau.

We drank some fine French wine, ate good Swiss cheese and other delicacies that did not actually exist in the Soviet Union in the mid-eighties, and talked. Both Tass guys were intelligent and I felt somewhat uncomfortable about how to tell them what their supreme boss wanted.

Finally, I managed to mention that before coming to Geneva I saw Losev and he was critical of their weak efforts to find more evidence that it was the CIA that was behind the AIDS epidemic.

My colleagues cursed, the way only Russians can, I mean they used really dirty words to describe what they think about the criticism, the epidemic and the people who wanted more “evidence” from them. These people were not just Losev, of course, but the entire propaganda department of the Communist party’s governing Central Committee, led by the Politburo.