More than a decade later, Dinescu continues to hound those who had links to Ceausescu. A member of a special council set up in 2000 to investigate the Securitate's archives, Dinescu frequently and forcefully demands that its files be made public and that Ceausescu's cronies be named and shamed. But he has met with open resistance from officials and politicians; only a third of the 14,700 files requested have so far been released by the SRI, the current Romanian Intelligence Service. Dinescu says the government, made up of former communists (now called Social Democrats) and nationalists, is behind the stonewalling.
The government argues that publishing the names of former Securitate officers and informers would jeopardize national security. Dinescu allows that it would "provoke an earthquake," but he believes passionately that the council's work must be allowed to go forward if the country is to shake off its communist legacy. "What is going on shows that the country cannot function that there is no desire to uncover the truth of 50 years of Securitate," he says. Many ordinary Romanians feel his frustration: last month a 3,000-strong human chain marched around the Palace of the Parliament in downtown Bucharest, to show support for Dinescu's cause.
Opponents are quick to suggest that his status as a TV celebrity and girlie-mag publisher means his role as a crusader cannot be taken seriously. Dinescu disdains the criticism and, as a poet and former dissident, sees no contradiction. Although last year he claimed to have "hung up his revolutionary jacket," Dinescu is still intent on baring all.