The truth caught up with the “national security expert,” György Nógrádi

It was on October 19 that I wrote a negative post about three Hungarian national security “experts.” Although I am less familiar with Georg Spöttle, a relative newcomer, I always felt that something was not quite right with both György Nógrádi and László Földi. Well, Nógrádi has now been exposed.

I wasn’t the only one who found Nógrádi’s qualifications suspect. Two days after my post came a bombshell: an article on Nógrádi by András Dezső of Index, who earlier did a superb job unraveling the possible connection between Béla Kovács, a Jobbik member of the European Parliament, and the Russian secret service, following the trail all the way to Japan. Only a few days ago the European Parliament revoked his parliamentary immunity.

Dezső was originally planning to write a simple portrait of Nógrádi, who has become an important person in Hungarian politics of late. Sometime in June it was Nógrádi who suggested erecting a fence or wall against the inflow of migrants and, behold, nine days later preparations for a fence along the Serbian border were already underway. Since Nógrádi is such a busy man, mostly because of his media appearances, Dezső had to wait a whole week for the interview, which gave him plenty of time to ferret out as much as he could about the man.

Dezső learned from other well-respected experts that Nógrádi has no track record of research or serious publications. Instead, he is a talking head. Nógrádi told reporters that as of last month he had appeared on television 134 times and on radio 162 times. He also wrote 61 newspaper articles and participated in 56 “large”conferences. These activities, however, don’t seem weighty enough to merit all the honors Nógrádi has received, according to his curriculum vitae. So, Dezső investigated two items on Nógrádi’s list. For starters, Nógrádi claimed that he has been a member of the board of the Swedish Defense University (Försvarshögskolan) since 2001. There is only one problem. The Swedish Defense University never heard of György Nógrádi. Since then he admitted that this item on his c.v. was a mistake.

In another version of his curriculum vitae Nógrádi claimed that he is the president of the Europe Academy and, since 2011, has been vice-president of the Europe University. Both are supposed to be in Vienna. Despite hours of searching, Dezső couldn’t find such a university. When he confronted Nógrádi with this fact, the professor admitted that, although the university has been established, it is not yet functioning.

The president of this new university will be Rüdiger Stix, a former politician of the far-right Freedom Party who was accused by the Austrian paper Kurier in 2011 of buying his Ph.D. from the Miklós Zrínyi National Defense University. A Hungarian article also covered the story. Apparently about 100 Austrian military men paid 2,300 euros each for Ph.D.s from Zrínyi as well as from Corvinus. At both universities the professor who was handling the Austrian officers’ studies was György Nógrádi. I might as well mention here that Friedrich Korkisch, another Zrínyi bogus Ph.D. and a student of Nógrádi, was the co-author along with Rüdiger Stix and Nógrádi of a book published in 2012 on the first anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy: Gut gegen Böse.

Miklós Zrínyi National Defense Academy where Ph.D.s were sold to Austrian officers

Miklós Zrínyi National Defense Academy where Ph.D.s were sold to Austrian officers

Then there’s the question of the organization Hungarian sources called Európa Akadémia, which, presumably at the behest of Nógrádi, who is a member, bestowed its grand prize on István Tarlós, lord mayor of Budapest, last year, three days before the municipal election. According to MTI, the academy has been in existence since 1962. Its yearly grand prize is given to the person who has done the most for European integration. In Tarlós’s case the prize was awarded because of his efforts at guarding Budapest’s past grandeur while making it a competitive European metropolis. After some search Dezső found the organization, Europäische Akademie Wien, which appears to be either phony or inactive. At least this is what its website suggests.

Dezső was on a roll, so he decided to continue his search. Nógrádi likes to boast about his high-level international contacts. He brags about being an adviser to important politicians. Among the many he is especially proud of is being adviser to the Austrian defense minister–this by virtue of being a member of a research council that functions in association (mellett) with the ministry. According to Nógrádi, the members of the council meet regularly to survey the state of the world and affairs that have an impact on Austria. When Dezső inquired whether this advisory council functions under the ministry or the minister, Nógrádi claimed that it was in direct contact with the minister himself. Although ministers came and ministers went since 2001, each of them asked him to stay. He was the only member from a formerly socialist country. It’s just too bad that the Austrian defense minister doesn’t seem to know anything about Nógrádi.

After the appearance of this second article Nógrádi got in touch with Wolf Rauch, who is a professor of computer science at the University of Graz, and asked him to write a letter to Index, testifying that indeed Nógrádi has been a member of this body under his leadership. A rather strange position for a computer scientist.

The right-wing media is up in arms because these revelations are embarrassing to the Orbán government, whose policies Nógrádi supports to the letter. The government propaganda machine tried to come to his rescue yesterday by giving him an opportunity to explain himself and present himself in the best light. In a long interview on Híradó he talked about himself and, in his usual manner, kept bragging. This time we learned that among his many accomplishments he is an alumnus of the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr and that he completed some kind of “NATO course.”

One has the feeling that the man has a compulsion to tell stories that are either outright lies or that have only a superficial resemblance to reality. In any case, Nógrádi seems unstoppable, although some opposition politicians have already suggested that the “national security expert” might actually be a “national security risk” who should be thoroughly vetted. It will be interesting to see whether Viktor Orbán sends him a message to lie low for a while. If the accusations continue, I’m sure this will be the outcome.

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Member

OK, so György Nógrádi lies, likely has fake degrees, commits fraud, uses deception, and likely under qualified to most positions? Perfectly fit to be member of Orban’s inner circle. I bet he is great friend with Pal Schmitt.

exTor
Guest

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/world/europe/in-waves-of-migrants-children-arrive-alone-and-settle-in-uneasily.html

That Magyar szar [Orbán] should read this.
Not that he cares about refugees. Nor Nógrádi.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Istvan
Guest
I read the NYT story and its consistent with what has been out there in the media: (1) the bulk of the child refugees are boys fleeing being forced into terrorism or the military where they face the real possibility of becoming a sexual toy for an Afghan officer; (2) the project the Germans have under taken is very expensive and clearly not all refugees are highly educated; and (3) the reports of attacks, rapes, and robberies of refugees are rampant. I think this story would actually have the greatest impact not on PM Orban, but rather on state secretary for social affairs Károly Czibere. who has supported pulling HUF 35-38 billion out of the welfare system, a system that was underfunded to begin with. I suspect he breathes a sigh of relief that these children are not in Hungary because the funding for the programs depicted in the NYT article simply doesn’t exist in Hungary. Right now here in Chicago we have a number of Hungarian, Romanian, and Bulgarian fellows interning from the social services sector. The Great Lakes Consortium (GLC) for International Training and Development manages the organizers’ exchange, the program sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau… Read more »
exTor
Guest

As in my home territory of Ontario, the poor are often unseen because they are hidden in rural areas. The poverty figures for Hungary stagger the imagination, István. A 32% poverty rate !!!

I’m not clear on something. Are those with whom you spoke officials of the Hungarian government or are they independents of some sort?

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

If Corvinus doesn’t fire Nógrádi after the exposure of those lies…
And if Corvinus hasn’t revoked the PhDs it sold…
And if Corvinus hasn’t acted against those who sold PhDs..
And if Corvinus hasn’t completely reformed the PhD program from which those PhDs were sold…
Then I wonder, why does Corvinus’s IR dept. still have accreditation? And why is the Humanities Dean at Corvinus still in his/her place?

petofi
Guest

Does it seem plain only to me that Orban is reveling in holding up Hungarians to ridicule before world/European opinion?

When will Hungarians come to realize that Orban is making fools of all of them?

Bimbi
Guest

a) No it doesn’t, the message is clear

b) probably not in our lifetime (or their’s)

Member

A further nice connection also discovered by index.hu (http://index.hu/belfold/2015/10/28/expo_milano_vilagkiallitas_korrupcio_szocs_geza_samandob_fidesz/ ): The notorious Hungarian pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, as it seems, has been used for funnelling taxpayers’ money to the pockets of the cultural bureaucrat in charge, Géza Szőcs, and his buddies. The programme also included an art exhibition, not in the pavilion in Milan but in an old UNESCO-protected monastery in nearby Varese, rented for this purpose and also for presenting works such as a play by Géza Szőcs. (Officially, the monastery was rented for conferences and negotiations promoting international cooperation and export of Hungarian enterprises.) The exhibition featured works of an artist called Magdolna Nógrádi Kiss, wife of György Nógrádi. A further connection: the obscure “European Academy”, as it seems, has also granted an award to Géza Szőcs a few years ago.
What a nice bunch of old buddies.

Webber
Guest

Szőcs: I wonder if he is a Hungarian citizen. Did he ever get citizenship?
He is originally from Romania.

Guest

Remarkable speech by US ambassador Colleen Bell

http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/we-will-build-a-stronger-bridge-ambassador-colleen-bells-speech-at-corvinus-university/28702

Angela Merkel ought to study it carefully.

Guest

Re: The American Ambassador’s Hid To Magyarorszag’

Lots of stuff in the speech for the ‘tag-team’ perhaps of Germany and the US to focus a sharp light on the relationship and make the government think a bit more on their literal ‘shaping’ of Magyar society.

However with the kinds of political antics going on
perhaps this ‘hid’ could in fact be a ‘hid too far’. Am I pessimistic? Perhaps. For the simple reason that all indications show Hungary is steaming ahead through an ice-strewn sea. It just keeps on moseying along its merry way seemingly oblivious to its image and the state of its ‘soul’.

And Halloween is coming up here. As I look at the scary show in the haunted castle all I see are wicked ‘tricks’. There sure any ‘treats’ in Magyar political confectionary!

exTor
Guest

Had to smile at your conflicting metaphors
in the middle paragraph, Rikard. … [–: …

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

Re: those conflicting metaphors!

exTor..yeah forgive me! First I had visions of the Titanic in all of this Magyar business and two of seeing our ambassador as perhaps a ‘Montgomery’ who also had a thing for ‘hids’. Great to plan things out on paper but all is for naught if you can’t execute the operation. That’s another needed skill. Really the jury will be out for awhile on the latter.

Guest
Bimbi
Guest
Oh dear! Prof. Balogh, I have to confess Hungarian Spectrum has never made me laugh so much as today’s entry. Priceless! Nogradi is the latest member of that great Magyar troupe known as the Fidesz Hungarian Circus whose ringmaster the peacock strutter himself, the Saviour of European Chistendom, the inimitable leader who keeps ‘em parading across the European stage for our continued delectation and delight. Nogradi (Mr. Turrist) now joins the long line of part-time performers including “Dr.” Pal Schmitt, swordsman and academic liar, “Dr.” Demjen, part-time plagiarist, Mr. Matolcsi our contender for the Nobel prize in Economics with the contention that “I can live on 42,000 HUF/month”, or Antal Rogan, new chief of the propaganda ministry who until recently apparently ran a successful Rent-to-Buy scheme for the impoverished and the criminal in the Vth district of Budapest, Janos Lazar, international art expert whose motto seems to be, “If you can’t buy it, steal it” and Mr. Five-a-Side at the Foreign Ministry who has recently reportedly ripped into the US Ambassador, telling her that her country should horn out of Hungarian affairs because we are under the protection of the EU and only answer to that body, or Mr. Taborcz… Read more »
Webber
Guest

That Nógrádi (still!) teaches at Corvinus at the rank of Associate Prof. (egyetemi docens – only the Univ. can give him that rank) says it all. That someone at Corvinus sold PhD diplomas to Austrians just tops it off.

The next time anyone tells me Corvinus is one of Hungary’s leading universities, I’ll laugh in their face.

Guest

Re: Mistah Nogradi

The takeaway: the enunciation of truth is inversely proportional to ‘Gyorgy’s’ who constantly yak for the Magyar pundit limelight. That guy is all over the place. What a talker!

Webber
Guest

After these revelations, if Corvinus keeps Nógrádi on staff, and as associate prof (egyetemi docens)… well….
That will tell you everything you need to know about Corvinus.
A proper univ. would fire the man for just one of those lies.

Add to that selling PhD degrees to Austrians – nice! Have they been revoked, since they were exposed? If not, that too….

That alone should have been enough to get accreditation for that PhD program revoked – immediately.

Eva, you know more about this sort of thing than anyone else here. There are scandals in all universities. What would happen, normally, in an American univ. to a person such as Nógrádi, and to a PhD program that sold degrees?

If you were Dean (or Rector) there, what would you do?

exTor
Guest

The ultimate validity of György Nógrádi’s presumed bonafides is irrelevant. Viktor Orbán only cares that the person who whispers in his ear is saying the right things from his [Orbán’s] personal perspective.

This kerfuffle about bogus credentials will wisp into the wind.

Viktor Orbán has made his moves, fencing the border, which was not just Nógrádi’s idea. Regardless, Orbán has guts, doing what he thinks is appropriate. The question is whether the Hungarian electorate catches on.

Nógrádi will disappear with Orbán’s wind.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

If Corvinus doesn’t fire Nógrádi after the exposure of those lies…
And if Corvinus hasn’t revoked the PhDs it sold…
And if Corvinus hasn’t acted against those who sold PhDs…
And if Corvinus hasn’t completely reformed the PhD program from which those PhDs were sold…
Then I wonder, why is the Dean of that faculty at Corvinus still in his/her place?

exTor
Guest

https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nógrádi_György#Tagságok

There’s an update in the Magyar Wikipédia entry for Nógrádi. It’s dated [at the bottom] October 28th at 20:24 Budapest time. The update reflects the Index article by András Dezső.

Watching Nógrádi being interviewed seems somewhat surreal. He speaks rapidly and nonstop, almost as if he doesn’t want to give the interviewer a chance to interject his questions.

Would be nice to hear an opinion here by András Dezső.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

Éva, please remove some of my comments above. I tried repeatedly to post them, and it looked like they didn’t go up, so I posted again (without apparent success), and then suddenly all of them appeared.

exTor
Guest

http://www.hirado.hu/2015/10/28/vona-szerint-2018-ban-jobbik-fidesz-parharc-lesz

According to Gábor Vona, 2018 will be an open struggle between the parties on the right. Further, Vona says that the left is in the process of removing itself from the picture. This is a wakeup call.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

Vona makes all kinds of predictions. It’s a little early to tell what will happen in three years.

alfonz6
Guest

The guy is a crazy silovik.

The only reason why someone is held reliable by both Fidesz and MSZP governments (remember that when Fidesz came to power in 2010 it fired many outright fideszniks and other right-wing people just because they survived in lowly administrative jobs under the Socialists) is if he/she is with the internal security.

His specialty is his “charm”, every good szélhámos (con artist, swindler) has this ability.

He is a jovial, “likeable” (in person to many at least) man. People know he is fake, that he is a con man, but they forgive him. In many cases people do understand that they are facing a con man or a spy but they nevertheless succumb to their charms, because at some level they want to. This is exactly why he was recruited in the first place when he was an IR major at Közgáz (then Karl Marx University of Economics). Plus if he spoke German that was enough to emerge as an “expert” in those days, whoa he could read Spiegel or FAZ, that was something in those days.

Member

Totally OT. Is there a way to donate anonymously to Szijjarto to have a decent hair cut? I do not mean to shame anyone, but this has nothing to do with his body type, shape, size, gender, or condition. I am totally into self-expression (likely more so than Fidesz) but this is so ridiculous now. comment image

Webber
Guest

Hairdo – I agree, but think positive:
It’s very nice to see that they are now coordinating tie color!

Also off topic: Panyi has come out with another idiocy, this time to explain what Ambassador Bell meant and why she said what she said now.

The guy shouldn’t be allowed to write a word about f.p.

müller
Guest

I hate the word “túlmozgásos” used in Panyi article, one of the most idiotic patronizing word usually used in an arrogant manner.

Like Goodfriend was túlmozgásos ie. hyperkinetic (like a child with motor neuron developmental issues) and that was so unprofessional that he had to recalled by DC. Also used with respect to Gyurcsány, I guess because he is more active than the catatonic MSZPniks.

“Önjáró” a techical, industrial term metaphorically meaning independent but in a condescending way, as a problem, is another one I hate.

Tyrker
Guest

‘Önjáró’ literally means self-propelled (e.g. ‘önjáró tarack’ means a self-propelled howitzer). In a figurative sense it does mean ‘independent in a problematic way.’ It’s usually used to describe people who go beyond their mandate and cause headache for those on whose behalf they are supposed to be acting.

Webber
Guest

Exactly, and the suggestion Panyi is making is that people in the US Embassy are acting independently, without instructions from Washington; as if all this were just an anomaly; as if Washington was really happy with Orban and crew; as if those who criticize the Hungarian government from the embassy are loose cannons.
Panyi doesn’t have the slightest clue about the world outside Hungary. He just sucks up Fidesz lies and spits them back out on paper.

exTor
Guest

Szijjártó is wearing the hairstyle ‘du jour’, which wouldn’t be out of place at my gym. He’s trying to show that he’s hip. He’s only 37. Maybe he’ll get a haircut for his birthday tomorrow.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Magasdy
Guest

Hahhaahaha. Hungarian siloviki part 745.

There are 21 employees of Századvég, the main Fidesz think tank (which is an important money laundering outfit) who have top secret clearances meaning they can look into any government produced document with that classification. (As if it was usual for any Hungarian “think thank” that its employees could look into any such documents.)

In other words: if you had any doubts about that Századvég is not only a major money laundering outfit but most of the people associated with Századvég are also “in the services”. One has to be sure that the people involved in grand larceny to the tune of billions won’t ever talk.

http://444.hu/2015/10/29/a-kormanykozeli-szazadveg-21-munkatarsa-szigoruan-titkos-iratokba-is-betekinthet

petofi
Guest

Re Colleen Bell

I scanned her speech.
(She, the mistress of the Madison Ave soundbite: “…if we, as a people, stop striving to be good, we will stop being great.”)

But it only took me until the following phrase to drop interest in a deeper reading:
“Hungary has also been a great partner in the fields of law enforcement…” Yeah, right. Remember your list…? Probably not.

Lest it be forgot, the macho boys of Eastern Europe (including Emperor Putin) do not exactly consider it a compliment when forced to face a female diplomat or government representative. (Take note, Hillary fans…)

Webber
Guest

Petofi – I urge you to read more, though I’m with you when it comes to it being overly polite. The zingers come toward the end, and there are not a few. All are couched in diplomatic language.

Some idiots – Gábor Miklósi and András Földes – at Index turned that polite speech into the heading for an article “Soha ilyen durva kritikát nem kaptunk Amerikától” – “We’ve never gotten such rude criticism from America”

We?? (kaptUNK???) I thought Bell was criticizing the Hungarian government. Since when is that “we”?
Rude criticism??? The lady was as polite as could be.
Never before??? Puhlease!

And their analysis of the rest of the speech in that article is similarly idiotic. Either the authors of the Index article didn’t read the speech, or didn’t understand it.

Either way, it’s apparently seen as über shocking by people in love with Orbán.

Lazar’s comment is even more ridiculous than Miklósi and Földes’s – The US shouldn’t “come here and tell us how to live”. Bah!

borász józsi
Guest
It’s sensationalist, that’s for sure. Also, the speech was critical in light of the narrative which Fidesz propagated and to which Index and others subscribed to without any criticism (but note that just like at New York Times these index.hu journalists very much depend on government sources for their access to ‘news’ and there is no way to independently fact check the developments, as all other potential sources are also with the government/Fidesz too) that Orban was winning, that Orban, ever the genius, arranged a hush-hush deal with the US which dropped Goodfriend like a hot potato in order to appease Orban, that “the boys” (the affectionate nickname for the Bibo college fideszniks) are so smart and the Americans are dumb as a f*** and that the annoying Americans were settled for good, Orban can now move on without much interference and realize his genius. Compared to that narrative (which was supported by the narrative that Orban is winning in the EU) any criticism is “thunderstorm out of the blue” (derült égből a villámcsapás). This reaction shows index.hu’s cluelessness and subservience to Fidesz handlers in matters of foreign policy. But one has to note also that at least in the… Read more »
An
Guest

Something is clearly going on at Index. I just read an article on Index on how special police forces (not sure what the English equivalent of “rohamrendor” ;; riot police?) were used at the Slovenian Austrian border, quoting reporters on the scene from M1, the Hungarian state (party) TV (!!). Reading the article it turns out it was some cordon between two camps that the refugees pushed through. After a a quick google news search I found 2 English language sites mentioning an incident at that border (one is the Independent and the other is the Vatican Radio) who reported that there were clashes between different ethnic groups of the refugees at that border… an aspect that is not mentioned in the Index article at all, Seems like they just took over the M1 coverage indiscriminately.

http://index.hu/kulfold/2015/10/29/osztrak_szloven_hatar_rohamrendoroket_vetettek_be/

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/10/29/refugees_clash_near_austria%E2%80%99s_border_as_winter_sets_in/1183093.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-syrians-and-iraqis-clash-with-afghans-as-ethnic-tensions-simmer-near-slovenian-border-a6714056.html

petofi
Guest

You are correct: I made a snap, incorrect, judgement based on skimming her preamble.

It’s a great speech. It should be spread around the country by planes throwing leaflets everywhere. In English and Hungarian (NOT translated by the government).

Lazar is acting the moron, but if you expect to be an Orban-flunky that’s a role you must play heartily. (He’s at risk and hanging by a thread anyway; and will probably be gone in 3/4 months.)

Now I’ll go back and study the speech. It’s beautifully written.

Webber
Guest

The speech is excellent. The pleasant start is in the style people of my (and Bell’s) age were taught to use in debate in high school, that is: if you are going to criticize something or someone, start with praise; while if you mean to say something nice, start with something negative.

My debate teacher called it the “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” style (after Shakespeare).

The formula sounds easy, but it’s not. It’s hard to hit the right balance, and to find a good transition point to criticism without sounding forced or strident.

Given the response in the Hungarian press now, I think Bell got it right.

It is a very polite speech, yet some people are going ape – based solely on summaries of certain parts of the speech. It should be published in full in Hungarian.

Guest

Re: the US ambassador’s speech

You know I’d say that some of the specific Hungarian reaction to the speech does give the ambassador clues in formulating future communications to the seemingly irritable Magyar government. I can understand ‘politeness’ but nevertheless it is good to have the US settle itself perhaps to a new level of outspokenness.

For what is sure in the relationship is that Magyarorszag will be the irritable and irascible one. Personally I just don’t think those guys eg. the Szijjartos etc. are how can we say ‘mature’ in their outlooks considering their illustrious and quite extensive history. It must gall them no end to have a relatively young and I’ll say successful nation-state pronounce opinions on their goings-on. So we see them as pure id in the face of the great Ego the United States of America. If we didn’t know it before we now know the US will always be dealing with a bawling and obstreperously loud cry-baby.

exTor
Guest

“[Matthias Corvinus] brought the Renaissance to Hungary, introducing the humanist values of modern thinkers to this medieval kingdom.”

I hope the Fideszocracy picked up the insult in the above. It may not have been advertent, but who knows. Probably was.

I cracked up reading it. Good start.

I was induced to read –actually a fast skim in many places– Colleen Bell’s speech because petofi said he had done so. For that, I had to slog through a barf-inducing suckup to Hungary for almost the first half of the speech.

After the leadup, the speech got better. Bell did a pretty good job of litanizing Hungary’s [read: Fidesz’s] shortcomings. Orbán’s ears were surely burning. The speech will no doubt appear in Hungarian soon.

I’d like to know why petofi feels that Lázár will be gone in 3 or 4 months and whether others feel that way. I know that Éva has suggested that Lázár might be a competitor for Orbán’s position as the top Fidesz fido.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

We have a joke that might well be applied to Corvinus university:
When you’re there, always keep your bag closed and under supervision – they might put some diploma in it otherwise …

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