Sebastian L. von Gorka’s encounter with the Hungarian National Security Office

I’m sure that many of Hungarian Spectrum’s readers were expecting me to write about the Putin visit to Budapest, but only a few hours after Putin’s airplanes, all three of them, landed at the Ferenc Liszt International Airport I cannot say anything meaningful about the much heralded visit except that it cost the Hungarian taxpayers an immense amount of money. The cost of official visits must be borne by the host country.

It is hard to know precisely what benefits Vladimir Putin expects to reap from his Hungarian visits. As far as Viktor Orbán is concerned, however, they must boost his ego. It doesn’t happen too often that the Russian president pays an official visit to a member state of the European Union. In fact, it is extremely rare. In the last two years there were only two such visits: in February 2015 to Hungary and in May 2016 to Greece. The Greek visit, just like, I believe, Putin’s trip to Hungary today, had something to do with Putin’s eagerness to have the crippling economic sanctions against his country lifted. Perhaps he was hoping for a Greek veto as now he is hoping for Orbán’s assistance. Whether he succeeded this time around in convincing the Hungarian prime minister to veto the renewal of sanctions against Russia is not at all sure. Orbán usually talks a lot about the sanctions’ harmful effects on Hungary, but when the chips are down he votes with the rest of his colleagues in the European Council.

So, instead of the Putin visit, I am returning to the Sebastian Gorka story. There are details about Gorka’s life in Hungary that might shed additional light on the qualifications and trustworthiness of Donald Trump’s new deputy assistant.

Gorka himself has revealed very little about his life in Hungary, although he spent 16 years in the country, arriving in 1992 and leaving in 2008. In 2002, however, his name was all over the Hungarian media. There were strong suspicions that Gorka was a spy working for British counterintelligence. How did such rumors emerge?

It was in June 2002 that Magyar Nemzet, then affiliated with Fidesz, which had just lost the election, revealed that Péter Medgyessy, the new prime minister of the country, was a counterespionage officer in the 1980s during the Kádár regime. Fidesz naturally insisted on setting up a special parliamentary committee to investigate Medgyessy’s role as a counterintelligence officer. Fidesz recommended Sebastian Gorka as one of its experts on such matters. The other recommendation was Gábor Kiszely, a right-wing historian whose favorite subject was the history of freemasonry. For the job the participants needed security clearance. The National Security Office (Nemzetbiztonsági Hivatal/NH), however, was suspicious of both Gorka and Kiszely. It eventually refused to green light the two experts.

Gorka naturally denied the truthfulness of the media reports. The undersecretary in charge of national security, however, assured the public that, as a precaution, Gorka hadn’t had any opportunity to get to top secret documents in the absence of such clearance. The expert delegated by the government party sailed through the vetting process, but the clearance of Gorka and Kiszely was nowhere. Gorka suspected that the security officials were simply dragging their heels in order to delay matters until the competence of the committee expired in August. To Origo he explained that he had never had anything to do with counterintelligence because he was only “a uniformed member of the British army’s anti-terrorist unit.” As we know from his Wikipedia entry, this was not the case because there we can learn that “at university, he joined the British Territorial Army reserves serving in the Intelligence Corps.” His only duty, he told Origo, was “to measure the possible dangers posed by terrorists,” such as members of the Irish Republican Army. Moreover, Gorka misleadingly renamed his unit “Territorial Army 22 Company” instead of “UK Territorial Army, Intelligence Corps (22),” the correct name, given by Népszabadság at the time and also given in Wikipedia, at least for today.

Now let’s see how László Bartus, currently editor-in-chief of Népszava, the oldest Hungarian-language paper in the United States, remembers Gorka from those days. Bartus was working as a journalist in Hungary at the time. He claims that it was discovered that Gorka had never attended any institution of higher education. This may have been the case in 2002, but it certainly wasn’t true in 2008 when he received his Ph.D. for a dissertation titled “Content and end-state-based alteration in the practice of political violence since the end of the cold war: The difference between the terrorism of the cold war and the terrorism of Al-Quaeda: The rise of the ‘transcendental terrorist.’” His dissertation adviser was András Lánczi, Viktor Orbán’s favorite political scientist, who became notorious after announcing that “What [the critics of the Orbán regime] call corruption in practical terms is the most important policy goal of Fidesz.” More about Lánczi can be found in my post “András Lánczi: What others call corruption is the raison d’être of Fidesz.” I may add that on the dissertation Gorka’s full name is given as Sebastian L. v. Gorka. So, the brief appearance of his name in Wikipedia as Sebastian Lukács von Gorka was not a mistake.

Kiszely and Gorka were barred from displaying their expertise in counterintelligence because, as some right-winger readers claimed in their comments, they were dual citizens. As for his citizenship, Hungarian newspapers claimed at the time that in addition to his British citizenship, he was also a citizen of the United States. Considering that he got married to an American woman in 1996, he could certainly have held U.S. citizenship by then. However, he hotly denied being a citizen of the country that he now wants to help make great.

Bartus sums up the Hungarian opinion of Gorka: “Then the unanimous opinion was that this man is a fortune hunter and a conman, who wriggles his way in everywhere, where he convinces everybody of his extraordinary expertise, when actually the only thing he is an expert on is extremist incitement. This picture of him among those who knew him in Budapest has not changed since.” Bartus is not surprised that Trump and Gorka found each other since “birds of a feather flock together.”

February 2, 2017
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gdfxx
Guest

The only thing that plants some doubt in my mind is that I have to assume: to get a position in the White House like the one Gorka got, he had to be vetted by some US governmental agencies. This has to be true even in the Trump White House.

Observer
Guest

“a fortune hunter and a con man..” ..birds of a feather
with dr. Pál Schmitt, professor Pharaon, (prímary school educated) adviser/non adviser A. Habony, Swedish … member/non member, security expert Nogràdi, unorthodox and unrecognized genius Matolcsy, historian Maria Schmidt, director intellectual I.Kerèny, commissars like (handsome) A.Tallai, Gy.Budai, and many more who’s only qualifications is their readiness to be loyal accomplices.

And, on top of the dung heap, of course, the great leader of Hungary, but also of Europe, the slightly educated (not to be confused with civilized), of mixed blood/culture character of Felcsut (fèlművelt felcsuti félc…y).
What a lowly, ghastly array of con men and thieves rapeing the country!

Guest

“Mixed blood?” In what sense?

Member

The implications of Roma lineage are irrelevant and it is distasteful (indeed Orban-like) even to allude to them. Orban’s vices are abundant without being mitigated by racist aspersions.

Guest

Agreed.

Observer
Guest

Guys,
Although we agreed to disagree, I have to respond to the Stevan re “lineage”. It is also social culture that is coupled with the former in all, but few cases. Denying this as irrelevant is prejudice, or PC leftover from the 70s, if you prefer, and runs against to all evidence. The inheritance, passing of this social culture makes for “traditions”, national psyche, stereotypes, etc.

exTor
Guest

The question is whether (in the first instance) the ‘von’ was a con.

As of this comment, there have been at least 4 Wikipedia iterations (during the past two days) for the Sebastian Gorka entry, the most recent being the February 2nd version at 21:53 [UTC].

The February 1st iteration [11:06 UTC] had Gorka’s name with the ‘von’ inserted. Subsequent Wikipedia iterations had the ‘von’ removed.

Given Gorka’s dubiousness, it is very believable that he penned his own Wikipedia portrait or caused to have it written. Regardless, people are onto him, one of those disbelievers having put an alert at the top of the current Wikiarticle questioning its neutrality. Check it out. Cant be removed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Gorka

Gorka, whose name smacks of Polish ethnicity, now (unofficially) having a German nobility [‘von’] signifier, reminds me of György Nógrádi, another expert with impeccable credentials. His field of expertise: dubiousness.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Ferenc
Guest

Searched for “von Gorka” on Hungarian websites, and no serious results, so seems to be his own addition.
In his PhD dissertation as Eva wrote his name is given as “Sebastian L. v. Gorka”.

Further searches of “von Gorka” and “Gorka” gave:
*Stanislaus von Gorka, a Polish politician and military (1538-1592)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislaus_von_Gorka (no English wiki entry, only German, Polish, Czech and Russian)
*Gorka is a Basque form of the given name George (in Hungarian György/Gyuri), meaning farmer or peasant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorka
*In Poland many village names are spelled ‘Górka ……..’
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B3rka

Ferenc
Guest

Gorka’s own website, called ‘thegorkabriefing.com’, is off line (until further notice).
For anybody interested what was there, it can be found through “the Wayback Machine”: http://web.archive.org/web/20170112042239*/http://thegorkabriefing.com/ (latest saving was done 2017.Jan.12)

Ferenc
Guest

He gives his name there as “Sebastian L. Gorka, Ph.D.”

Observer
Guest

Very unscientific observation and absolutely correct.

Guest

“Searched for “von Gorka” on Hungarian websites, and no serious results, so seems to be his own addition.”

If you search for “Gorka Pal”, the suspects father, you will find his book which carries the name “v. Gorka Pál” on the front. I assume that “v.” is an abbreviation of “von”. So Sebastian may have used the “von” in good faith. Of course this has no bearing on other suspicions.

https://bookline.hu/product/home.action?_v=Gorka_Pal_Budapest_elarulva&id=64815&type=20

Ferenc
Guest

You’re right.
Here’s the English edition of that book: https://www.antikvarium.hu/konyv/paul-v-gorka-budapest-betrayed-690863

Delta sounds
Guest

Does Gorka have a Monica Crowley problem? Has anyone checked his thesis?

Guest

Dear Eva

My posts are being swallowed and keep disappearing. Any reason for that?

Member

@Observer

This is one of the best discussion sites, so please don’t drag in probably racistic means of argumentation.

Observer
Guest

Pls note answer above.

Guest
Thank you for this Éva, I finally understand how the baby-man Trump got voted into the White House. There was an article recently in The Guardian about how a previously Democrat state voted for Trump instead. A car factory worker on the assembly line said he had changed allegiance because Trump talked like “the people”. The voters in the US have elected someone who does not make them feel like they have been “left-behind”. I have been asking myself what low paid workers mean by that, when Trump is a billionaire. Do they mean that they will also become wealthy? Now I realise from this article that what they mean is that they no longer have to feel inferior or bad about being uneducated since most of Trump’s White House appointees are on the same educational level as they are. In the US, anything can be bought, including college degrees, and with the uneducated Gorka’s appointment, it is clear that Trump intends to surround himslef with his ilk- ie. illiterates. There are good and bad educated people and likewise uneducated but, terrifyingly for the world, the only real talent any of Trump’s gang seem to possess, as this article says… Read more »
gdfxx
Guest

I would not base predictions of a civil war in the US on an article in The Guardian. My impression of that paper is that it lacks objectivity.

Ferenc
Guest

Looking at developments around djT, like ‘our Mr.’ Gorka, I get very suspicious about that Breitbart and it’s boys. How far was his campaign (and now his policies) driven by himself and how far by others (mainky Breitbart?).
Anybody here know the history of the connection between djT and BB?

Istvan
Guest

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said eight Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Donbass region with another 26 wounded over the last two days. So while Putin is making nice in Budapest his forces are attempting to seize more land in the Ukraine. Russia is also using cyber war against the Ukrainians. Cellphones of Ukrainian soldiers received text messages addressed to them, saying, “You are just meat to your commanders.” I find it astonishing that any solider would carry a cellphone in combat, because it can give your exact GPS coordinates to your enemy. I wonder what words of advise Gorka is giving Trump about the situation in Ukraine.

gdfxx
Guest

My impression of the guy was that he is not pro-Russian…

Member

If Gorka was resident in Hungary between 1992-2008, then he obviously was not resident in the US during that time. And without establishing residency in the US, I don’t believe you can become a naturalized citizen. There may be exceptions, but my understanding is that in general you are not entitled to apply for US citizenship simply if you are married to a US citizen. So it seems highly improbable to me that Gorka could have been a naturalized US citizen in 2002.

Incidentally, Hungary is different in this regard. Under current laws, you can apply for Hungarian citizenship simply by being married to a Hungarian for a certain length of time, no matter where in the world you live. (Supposedly you have to learn the language too, but there’s no guidance on how good it has to be.)

Member

Gorka got married pretty well. His wife “is a direct descendant of George Cornell, the founder of the Cornell Iron Works company”

“She co-edited Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism”

Mrs “Gorka writes articles for Breitbart News Network. On March 17, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced [Mrs] Gorka would be a member of his national security coalition which would advise him on foreign policy issues.”

Source: Wikipedia

Member

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Gorka

« Cherchez la femme, pardieu ! Cherchez la femme ! »

Alexandre Dumas, Les Mohicans de Paris, vol. 1

Member

NYT: “If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? ”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “I suggest “Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies From Communism to Islamism.” It is an anthology of essays edited by Patrick Sookhdeo and Katharine Gorka.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/books/review/ayaan-hirsi-ali-by-the-book.html

Member

Has President Trump read the book ? Mr Bannon certainly has.

Member
petofi
Guest

O the great, Hungarian mind!

Next thing you know Bannon will ask Matolcsy to advise as well…

Member

I just started to read Mr Gorka’s “Fighting the Ideological War” (2016).

I will comment on the book once I have an opinion.

Member

Correction: the title is “Defeating Jihad”

Member

Praises on the blurb by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn & Stephen K. Bannon

Member

End of the afterword (p.144)

“Initiate a billion-dollar covert psychological warfare
campaign to support Muslim reformers across the Middle
East, Asia, and North Africa in their ideological
war to delegitimize the message of holy war against the
infidel and bolster modern interpretations of Islam.”

Good luck.

Member

Closed websites of his:

thegorkabriefing.com/
threatknowledge.org/

Member

“And to Pali and Zsuzsi.
For loving me and showing me why we fight.” (“Defeating Jihad”)

v Gorka is NOT von Gorka, but vitéz Gorka (1930-2003) So his father’s father must have been Horthy’s vitéz !
(Mother: Zsuzsanna (1939-2003))

https://billiongraves.com/cemetery/Fiumei-úti-Nemzeti-Sírkert-National-Graveyard-in-Fiumei-Street/216535#/

“As a fifteen-year-old boy he [Paul[ had fought with a submachine gun through
the ruins of the Hungarian capital.” p.2 “Defeating Jihad”

Was his father Paul one of those Nyilas [Hungarian Nazi] teenagers of 1944 & 1945, who were armed to kill Jews?

Father Paul published a book, in which he wrote that he worked for British intelligence after the war,
then was jailed between 1950 and 1956.

http://valasz.hu/itthon/hirszerzo-es-hazafi-6726

Member

“Working through a courier who could move across the border
between captive Hungary and free Austria, Paul and his team would
send coded reports to London via Vienna” (p. 3)

Of course, Austria was not “free”, it was occupied until 1955, the eastern part by the Soviet Union.

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Member

“Paul was tortured for weeks before being
sentenced in a communist show trial, at the age of twenty, to life in
prison.
Paul was my father.” (p.4)

In fact, we was sentenced for 10 years, not for life:

“MŰEGYETEMI ÖSSZEESKÜVÉS:
Letartóztatások: 1951. januárjában.
Vád: összeesküvés, kémkedés (angol)
Kihallgatás: Andrássy út 60. Csokonai utca 8 hétig
Tárgyalás: 1951 október 6., Markó utca, zárt tárgyalás (2 és fél óra)
Bíróság: Dr. Jónás tanácselnök, Dr. Gönczi ügyész, 3 ülnök, ügyvédek
10 perccel a tárgyalás előtt jelentek meg.
….
Gorka Pál, 10 év börtön, [+12 other defendants]

http://www.kiss.szalez.ofm.hu/pdf/pdf/bortonvilag_magyarorszagon__fehervary_istvan.pdf

Andrew Endrey
Guest

I was about to say the same thing. But v. for vitez does not translate to a ‘von’.

Istvan
Guest

Magyar Nemzet has discovered the possibility the United States under a Trump administration could end up in a shooting war with China. I am glad the editors finally figured this out and alerted the Hungarian public. http://mno.hu/kulfold/trump-fotanacsadoja-haboruzna-kinaval-1384292

gdfxx
Guest

Just for completeness: President Obama’s pivot to Asia and his administration’s firm opposition to China’s expansionist policies in the Pacific could have resulted in the same. The only change by Trump was the criticism of China’s economic policies as they relate to commerce with the US.

Member

Noble title by a king or “vitéz” title given by Horthy vs US citizenship.

The procedure has not changed since I took the Oath:

“Hereditary Titles. If you have any hereditary titles or positions of nobility, you must renounce at the oath ceremony.”

p. 38 of chapter 5 of teh Naturalization Handbook.
https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/article/chapter5.pdf

Mr Gorka was naturalized in 2012, so he cannot claim to be a v [“von” or ” “vitéz”] Gorka now.

Member

Titles of nobility (herceg, őrgróf, gróf, báró, nemes, primor, lófő) were abolished in Hungary in 1947.

“3. § (1) A jelen törvény 1. §-ában említett rangjelző címek, valamint a “vitéz” cím használata tilos. ”

http://www.jogiforum.hu/torvenytar/tv/1947/IV

Member

“Seattle judge blocks Trump’s travel ban”

[Judge] Robart said no attacks had been carried out on U.S. soil by individuals from the seven countries affected by the travel ban since that assault. For Trump’s order to be constitutional, Robart said, it had to be “based in fact, as opposed to fiction.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-idUSKBN15I1CM

Let me add that the machete terrorist at the Louvre yesterday was an —>Egyptian on a —>tourist visa from —>Dubai, and NOT a —>Syrian on an —> immigrant visa from —>Greece

Member

“President Donald Trump signing an anti-abortion executive order while sitting in a room full of men.”

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“Il est désormais interdit d’éjaculer hors procréation aux Étas-Unis.”

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Swedish environmental minister Isabella Lövin make fun of Trump:

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Ferenc
Guest

Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, decided to launch the ‘She Decides’ – Global Fundraising Initiative.
All info how YOU can help is on their site: https://www.shedecides.eu/

Ferenc
Guest

Here’s her twitter video message: https://twitter.com/DutchMFA/status/825346857584979969

wpDiscuz