Observations on the Military Prosecutors’ Recent Communiques on the Status of Investigations into December 1989 (IV, the Case of Teodor Brates, part 3)

For previous episodes in this series, please see:






(for recent use of my work, see Andrei Ursu, Mădălin Hodor, Roland O. Thomasson, „Cine a tras în noi după 22?”Studiu asupra vinovățiilor pentru victimele Revoluției Române din decembrie 1989)

Linked to the allegations of supposedly intentionally hyping the threat posed by the “terrorists” is the certitude with which many Romanians and Romanianists assert that TV personnel (especially Teodor Brates) intentionally spread rumors about the water being poisioned and the army running out of ammunition in Sibiu etc.–rumors that proved to be unsubstantiated. Here is what they likely remember:

“One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack mili tary units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that the enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (from the transcript of 22 December 1989 in “Revolutia Romana in Direct” (Bucharest: 1990), pp. 47, 48, 51, quoted p. 324, Richard Andrew Hall, 1997, Ph.D. Dissertation, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania”)

What they don’t remember is that Brates returned later to inform the audience a) when the fighting had ceased in Sibiu, b) when supplies of bottled water were on their way to Sibiu, and c) when the competent authorities verified that the water in Bucharest was safe to drink (“Revolutia Romana in Direct,” pp. 51, 72, 75, discussed p. 327 Hall, “Rewriting the Revolution”)…If your goal is “diversion,” intentional panic and manipulation, is it likely that you would return to the same subjects and say things designed to calm fears? Of course, not.





For an example of the difficulty Romanian researchers face when trying to address the full complexity of Brates’ actions (few have even admitted that much)–and the logical acrobatics they have to engage in in an effort to save the Military Procuracy’s one-sided and deceptive presentation–see the following (which only addresses one of the three key interventions listed above, no. 3). Sure, Brates returned and personally (!) announced that the Water Authority said the water was ok to drink, but because he warned people to still remain vigilant, that is evidence that he was still attempting to deceive people!

După ce anunțase că apa e otrăvită s-au agitat cei de la Consiliul Național al Apelor să se dezmintă, dar Brateș dă aici o demințire cu jumătate de gură – adaugă să fim totuși vigilenți, să luăm măsurile corespunzătoare ca să nu se petreacă nenoriciri. (care-s măsurile alea nu e clar) (Marius Mioc pe FB, 31 decembrie 2018)


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