A Warning for American Conservatives
Editor’s Note: What happened to Swedish anti-communist author Bertil Haggman is a warning for what is currently happening to American conservatives and anti-communists.
By Mr. Bertil Haggman, LL.M.
As an anti-communist in Sweden during the Cold War, I was the subject of surveillance by repeated Social Democratic governments in Sweden from 1963. After many years of struggle, I finally in 2007 got access to my file with the Swedish Security Police (very redacted). It turned out I had been under surveillance from 1963. The surveillance of me started when the Stalinist Communist Party in parliament supported the ruling socialist coalition.
The Socialist government from 1963 blacklisted me as a “right-wing extremist” although I at all time was a member of a democratic political party represented in the Swedish parliament and a supporter of this party’s political program.
The Socialist governments, especially during the periods 1969 – 1976, 1982 - 1986 of Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was an ardent anti-American and soft on Communism, anti-communists were subject of surveillance. Some of the members of the governing Social Democrat party in Sweden were actually anti-communist and only social democrats were supposedly “allowed” to be anti-communists, not Conservative anti-communists like myself. We were regarded as “extremists” and a danger to the good relations of Sweden with the Soviet Union.
In the copies of the Security Police files released to me (which also included a number of newspaper articles), the final notes are from 1981. There was of course reason for the Swedish Socialist government in the 1980s to keep watching me. During the decade I supported the administration policies of President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Taking part in many conferences and seminars outside Sweden I specialized in Soviet disinformation and in 1990 published a book in Sweden on the subject (“Desinformation”).
In 2001 I was contacted by a Commission set up by the Social Democratic majority in the Swedish parliament to study intelligence practices in Sweden since the Second World War. I had been given the impression that the “conversation” was to be on Communist subversion (I was not called as a witness under law) but instead the Commission secretary, a judge, was joined by an unidentified man, who started to ask questions that in effect were a charge against me of illegal intelligence activity. It later turned out that he was a “researcher” from a nearby university. I denied these claims and when after a couple of years later the protocol of the “conversation” in 2001 was released to me I found no record of what in reality was an interrogation.
The 2001 interrogation was the last so far. During the Cold War I had been under surveillance for almost 20 years.
The excesses of the Swedish Security Police (under direction of a number of Social Democrat ministers of justice) in 2003 led to my seeking information and compensation for what I deemed illegal surveillance according to the European Convention on Human Rights.
It was first the question of having copies of my files released as well as the records of my four interrogations. In 2005, the Internal Security Police released a copy of a 1964 interrogation but refused to release the records of interrogations in 1966 and 1981. In 2006 I filed a compensation request to the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern) the state agency for damage claims by citizens against the state. A negative decision by the chancellor leaves the possibility open for suing the state in court.
In late 2008 my request for compensation was denied by the chancellor. My lawyer had earlier filed a new claim of compensation based on other information on me noted in a general Internal Secret Police file on anticommunist activity. As a result of the work of the commission mentioned earlier this file had not been “sorted out” (“gallrats”, a legal Swedish term for sorting out and destroying of files by state archives after a certain period determined by law). Due to the Commission, all Security Police files that existed at the time of the Commission’s work were handed over from the Internal Security Police and later preserved in the National Archive (Riksarkivet) for “research purposes”.
In 2009 I had partial success. The Chancellor of Justice allowed the largest compensation in Sweden so far for violation of The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (Articles 8, 10, 11, and 13). Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) and article 13 (right to an effective remedy).
Still, I believed payment of damages should be higher and the case was continuing in 2014. In May 2010, I asked the Swedish non-Socialist government directly to pay over $50,000 US dollars (over 400 000 Swedish kronor) to me for the long violation of the European Convention of Human Rights. There is one earlier case from 1997 when the then Social Democrat government paid that sum to a Maoist communist as compensation “ex gratia”.
Attorney costs were paid by my insurance company until the case was finally adjudicated by the Supreme Court. After that I tried the European Court in Strasbourg with no success. With the attorney costs mounting it became a threat to my economic well-being. I had to pay attorney fees of the state when the Supreme Court refused to try the case.
*Bertil Haggman describes the Chinese Communist Party as presently the main threat to Western civilization, with 90 million party members (probably the strongest extremist party in history,) and an extensive structure both of the party and the state for influence and information warfare.