Spies are among Soviet treaty monitors stationed at Hercules Inc.'s plant near Magna, but Americans should be more worried about enemies within their own society, says a Soviet defector Joseph Ioffe.
Ioffe, speaking during a so-called "Soviet symposium" at Weber State College, said he is convinced Soviet military intelligence agents are among the 30 inspectors assigned by the USSR to monitor U.S. compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty."For the Soviets, it's a chance for intelligence, for spying. They are in Utah and they are spying," Ioffe said, adding that putting public scrutiny on the Soviets and supporting the FBI in watching them will keep them in check.
"They're not going to poison Utah," said Ioffe, described as a former Moscow University professor who became disgusted with Soviet totalitarianism and fled to the United States 10 years ago.
Liberals, Ioffe said, are a more serious threat.
In an hourlong speech, the defector cursed, ridiculed and shouted at liberals. He told the 200 people crowded into Wildcat Theater Tuesday that he does not hesitate to publicly belittle liberal professors. And he said liberals, not the Soviets, are the real threat to a free society.
In that vein, Ioffe offered the following impressions of the current presidential campaign:
-America is "sick" because so many people voted for Jesse Jackson in the Democratic primaries.
"He's the friend of all the communist dictators," Ioffe said. "Jackson isn't black; he's Red. He belongs in jail, not the White House."
-Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis is a liberal, and a liberal is "a disguised socialist."
-To prevent a Dukakis win, conservative voters should be flexible and vote for a "so-so" conservative Republican if their favorite candidate isn't the GOP nominee.
Ioffe also said conservatives should take advantage of Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's glasnost, or "openness" initiative, since - whatever Gorbachev's intentions - it is "a small, first step away from communism."
"Help the Russian people get rid of communism through glasnost," he said.