[Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 2 (Wednesday, January 8, 2003)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E39]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. FRANK R. WOLF

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, January 8, 2003

  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, on December 1, 2002 another chapter of the 
Cold War with the Former Soviet Union ended with the passing of William 
G. Geimer. Bill was the visionary founder and longtime president of the 
Jamestown Foundation, a non profit organization devoted to promoting 
liberty and fighting totalitarianism most notably in the Soviet Union 
during the Cold War.
  I had the privilege of working with and learning from Bill as he 
waged the good fight against the oppressive regimes of the Soviet Union 
that sought to crush the human spirit. Through his instrumental role at 
the Jamestown Foundation, Bill's leadership and vision helped bring 
down the Iron Curtain. Mr. Speaker, I will insert following these 
remarks a press release from the Jamestown Foundation that describes 
how Bill made a tremendous difference with his life.
  Bill's efforts and advocacy with the Jamestown Foundation influenced 
Members of Congress, government officials and the general public 
exposing the corrupt and immoral nature of Soviet communism. Bill will 
be truly missed as this nation confronts other totalitarian regimes, 
but his life and vision can serve as a legacy for others continuing the 
fight against evil.

   In Memoriam, William W. Geimer: August 18, 1937--December 1, 2002

          Jamestown Foundation Founder and Cold War Hero Dies

       Washington, DC.--With deep sorrow, the Jamestown Foundation 
     announces the death of William W. Geimer, its visionary 
     founder and longtime president.
       Mr. Geimer, 65, established the Jamestown Foundation at a 
     critical point in the Cold War as a source of first-hand 
     accounts of the inner workings of the Soviet Union and other 
     Eastern bloc countries. From its founding in 1984, the 
     foundation has become the leading force for disclosing to the 
     world the knowledge and insights of those in the top reaches 
     of closed totalitarian societies, including high level 
     defectors from the Soviet Union and its client states. For 
     creating a safe haven for high-ranking officials from behind 
     the Iron Curtain with the courage to tell the world the true 
     nature of communism, Geimer was recognized by President 
     Ronald Reagan as a key figure in the collapse of the Soviet 
       Geimer was inspired to launch the foundation following his 
     work with Arkady Shevchenko, the highest-ranking Soviet 
     official ever to defect when he left his position as 
     undersecretary general of the United Nations. Asked by the 
     State Department to serve as Shevchenko's attorney, Geimer 
     recognized that Shevchenko could provide a unique and 
     invaluable insider's view of Soviet policymaking, arms 
     control negotiation strategies and the workings of the top 
     reaches of the then-secret Soviet government. Geimer was 
     instrumental in the publication of Shevchenko's writings, 
     most notably, the bestseller ``Breaking with Moscow,'' in 
     which Shevchenko acknowledged, as well as the close personal 
     friendship between them, ``the countless hours, days, years 
     of himself'' that Bill Geimer had given to ``bring me into a 
     new life.''
       Following the end of the Cold War, Geimer moved the 
     foundation aggressively into monitoring the Soviet transition 
     away from totalitarianism by publishing daily analytical 
     reports on events in the region. The Jamestown Foundation's 
     research and publications have become the leading source of 
     information on the war in Chechnya, and on political, 
     military and economic trends in the states of the former 
     Soviet Union and in China.
       ``Bill was an American patriot who devoted his life to 
     promote freedom and democracy worldwide,'' said Barbara D. 
     Abbott, the Jamestown Foundation's vice chairman and now 
     president. ``From the Evil Empire to the Axis of Evil, he 
     never wavered in his belief that an attack on the secrecy of 
     closed societies is one of the greatest weapons in a 
     democracy's arsenal. Bill's vision, wisdom, kindness and 
     humor will be missed, but his work will continue at the 
     Jamestown Foundation.''
       ``Geimer was a visionary,'' long-time Board member and 
     former Central Intelligence Agency director R. James Woolsey 
     observed. ``He had an enormous impact on our national 
     security efforts. As the Soviet Union began to collapse, Bill 
     was one of the first to foresee that the instability brought 
     about by that dissolution might result in rogue groups more 
     difficult to deal with and potentially more of a threat to 
     freedom than the USSR, which is precisely the situation we 
     face with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.''
       Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jamestown Advisory Board member, 
     recalls that ``Bill Geimer was a patriot with a vision, an 
     idealist with a program, and a leader who knew how to get 
     things done.''
       Vice President Dick Cheney, a former Jamestown Foundation 
     board member who attended Wednesday's funeral services, 
     stated, ``The Jamestown Foundation has played an important 
     role in alleviating suffering and in furthering democracy.''
       A native of Chicago, William W. Geimer received his 
     bachelor's degree from Marquette University and his law 
     degree from Northwestern University. He served on President 
     Ronald Reagan's Export-Import Bank transition team, and in 
     top-level positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, 
     including as deputy assistant secretary of state for 
     international trade. He maintained a private law practice in 
     Washington, DC from 1976 to 1984.