Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake (except as noted)


Current Topics
Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, by Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa and Ronald J. Rychlak

Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America, by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman

Fixing Leaks: Assessing the Department of Defense’s Approach to Preventing and Deterring Unauthorized Disclosures, by James B. Bruce and W. George Jameson

Fountainhead of Jihad: The Haqqani Nexus, 1973–2012, by Vahid Brown and Don Rassler

Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God, by Matthew Levitt

This Machine Kills Secrets: How Wikileakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information, by Andy Greenberg

Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz


The Atom Spy and MI5: The Story of Alan Nunn May, by John H. Smith

The Cuckoos’ Nest: Five Hundred Years of Cambridge Spies, by Christopher Catherwood

The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power, by John Prados

Hog’s Exit: Jerry Daniels, the Hmong, and the CIA, by Gayle L. Morrison

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson

MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 (revised and updated), by Keith Jeffery

Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort, by Raffaele Laudani (ed.)

The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines, by Cate Lineberry

Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA, by Randall Woods

Spy and Counterspy: A History of Secret Agents and Double Agents From the Second World War to the Cold War, by Ian Dear

Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals, by Richard Rashke


Against All Enemies: An American’s Cold War Journey, by Jeffrey M. Carney

Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief, by Tennent H. Bagley


Intelligence Abroad
Intelligence Tradecraft: An Art of Trapping the Enemy, by Uday Kumar


Current Topics

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, by Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa and Ronald J. Rychlak (WND Books, 2013) 428 pp., endnotes, bibliography, index. Introduction by R. James Woolsey.

In his 1987 memoir Red Horizons[1] former Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa described his rapid advance and high-level service in the Romanian secret police, the Securitate, until his defection in 1978. Pacepa’s second book, Programmed To Kill (2007), applied his experience and analytic skills to arguing the proposition that the KGB had recruited and trained Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate president Kennedy. In Disinformation, he returns to both themes as he reviews the Soviet variant of political deception, which he suggests remains a constant in today’s Russian foreign policy. For much of the book he relies on his extensive and high-level contacts with the KGB and the Soviet government. But since Soviet disinformation practices included persistent attacks on religion, Pacepa enlisted the help of his coauthor, Ronald J, Rychlak, professor of law and history at the University of Mississippi and author of Hitler, the War, and the Pope[2] to add depth to that story.

Early on, Pacepa makes clear that one should not confuse disinformation with misinformation, “an official government tool.” Disinformation, on the other hand, “is a secret intelligence tool, intended to bestow a Western nongovernment cachet on government lies” contained in planted stories with no obvious links to the real source, in this case, Moscow. (35) Examples he cites include Gorbachev’s glasnost, “one of the most secret secrets of the Kremlin,” (13) the activities of the World Council of Churches, and “the creation of the image of a ‘new Ceauşescu.’” (15) While discussing Khrushchev’s contribution to disinformation, Pacepa offers a new firsthand account of how Khrushchev’s secret speech was leaked to the Israelis—the KGB asked the Romanian service to do it. (184) The conventional Polish link is not mentioned.

Pacepa suggests that the common thread in these and other examples is that such efforts create a popular conception that disguises real Russian objectives. But most of the book is devoted to three topics. The first deals with how disinformation was used—mainly through the media—in the creation of “Hitler’s Pope” (59) after WW II to minimize church influence. The second concerns “framing the US government as a pack of assassins.” Here Pacepa revisits his undocumented speculations about Oswald’s recruitment by the KGB and role as a KGB assassin. (207) Claims of “new hard proof of the KGB’s hand” are not convincing. (241) The third topic is Russian disinformation in the age of terrorism.

The final chapters of Disinformation examine the legacy of Yuri Andropov, “the father of the new disinformation era.” (259) Pacepa attributes to Andropov the view that “the Islamic world was a Petri dish in which the KGB could nurture a virulent strain of anti-American hatred” that could be inflamed by convincing the West “the Jews wanted to take over the world” and from which Muslim “terrorism would flow naturally.” (261)

Looking to today’s Russia, Pacepa sees the current government in a “war against Zionist America,” and he provides a few examples of “European America-bashing” and the antiwar movement subtly provoked by Russian disinformation. (296–97) He even sees signs that current US political leaders are becoming “a kind of Ceauşescu-style nomenklatura…with unchecked powers” responsive to Russian disinformation operations. (316)

Disinformation is a provocative book that presents the dangers of officially manipulated information and urges that measures be taken to prevent its use in America.


Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America, by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman (Touchstone, 2013), 321 pp., endnotes, index.

Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman are investigative reporters for the Associated Press. The title of their book has a double meaning. The first refers to the central character of the story they tell, Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan immigrant who planned to blow up New York subways with the help of friends in the United States and Afghanistan. The second meaning concerns the internal bureaucratic battles that erupted between the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)—run by the FBI and staffed by NYPD detectives and representatives from the CIA, NSA, and DHS—and the special counterterrorism intelligence unit of the NYPD. The unit was headed by David Cohen, a former top CIA officer. His unit was well funded and focused on spotting homegrown terrorists. Although the elements were supposed to cooperate, Cohen operated independently, and that caused friction, which the authors deal with at length.

Enemies Within begins with Zazi’s bomb-making attempts in Colorado. It then tells how his intercepted e-mails alerted the FBI to his plans, details the near constant surveillance of his activities, and describes his travel to New York and then to Pakistan for training with colleagues. He was arrested before he could carry out his act of jihad and finally confessed to the FBI. The details of how the JTTF ran its investigation are described with emphasis on the limitations imposed by the rules of evidence collection and privacy requirements.

The authors are critical of the parallel operations of Cohen’s unit. For example, they conclude his “mosque crawlers”—paid informants visiting mosques to pick up indications of terrorist plots (186–87)—were ineffective, and his demographics unit, which concentrated on men from Middle Eastern countries, practically illegal. (79) Moreover, the key point of contention in the Zazi case occurred when he was tipped off that he was under suspicion by a source linked to the Cohen’s people. Everyone admitted that it should not have happened.

Despite these difficulties, Zazi was eventually arrested and interrogated by the FBI with help from the JTTF. The contribution from the the counterterrorism intelligence unit, the authors suggest, was minimal: “When it mattered most [its] programs failed.” (278) But to their obvious irritation, they note that the unit claimed credit for the success and got away with it. (280)

Enemies Within tells a fascinating story and illuminates the complicated operations that comprise post 9/11 counterterrorism in the United States.


Fixing Leaks: Assessing the Department of Defense’s Approach to Preventing and Deterring Unauthorized Disclosures, by James B. Bruce and W. George Jameson (RAND Corporation, 2013), 52 pp., bibliography, no index.

After the Department of Defense (DoD) concluded that “the inadequacy of extant law and policy to address the causes [of] and remedies” (ix) for unauthorized disclosures, it developed a strategic plan that it hoped would correct the problem. To oversee the plan’s execution, it created the Unauthorized Disclosure Program Implementation Team (UD PIT). Then it hired the RAND Corporation to provide outside experts—in security analysis, not leaking—to make an independent assessment of the “potential effectiveness” of the program. (x) Fixing Leaks reports their findings.

In general, the authors concluded that the UD PIT had identified the three main issues that required attention. The first two are not unexpected: “Media leaks have many causes but few feasible and effective solutions; To be fully effective, remedies must address the full range of security, classification, and particularly UD-related behavior,” from initial detection to imposition of effective penalties. The third issue is surprising: “[There exists a] longstanding organizational culture in DoD that treats leaking classified information to the media as nearly risk-free, which suggests to some that the behavior is acceptable.” (xi)

The monograph goes on to discuss these issues in somewhat more depth but shuns specific correctives, providing instead, general, even self-evident solutions. For example, the authors note that because leaks result from the “culture of acceptance and permissibility, changing that culture to one that will prevent and deter UDs requires both declaratory policy and demonstrable actions that result in real consequences for violating security and nondisclosure rules…and breaking the law.” (16) They go on to suggest additional training on each of these points, with an emphasis on accountability, while acknowledging the current statutory framework complicates matters. Other issues treated include the obligation to report UDs, the need for metrics—though just what form they might take is not discussed—improved personnel vetting, better management, and increased outreach. The vetting topic is illustrated with a discussion of the Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning cases. (23–24)

The concluding chapter contains summary recommendations that focus on what should be done, leaving the “how” to management. One of the recommendations is typical: “Study ways to improve the ability to implement sanction when leakers are identified.” There are two appendices. One discusses legal issues such as degree of damage and intent. The other looks at the perception that senior officials get away with leaking and subordinates do not.

Fixing Leaks is a primer on what DoD is trying to do about leaks. If the detailed answers are classified, the authors can be confident they are not guilty of leaking.


Fountainhead of Jihad: The Haqqani Nexus, 1973–2012, by Vahid Brown and Don Rassler (London: Hurst & Company, 2013), 320 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

On 13 September 2011, Haqqani network terrorists staged a 20-hour attack on foreign embassies in Kabul, Afghanistan—the longest to date. It gained them worldwide attention. The following week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified to the US Senate that the group was a “veritable arm of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency.” (1) Authors Vahid Brown, a Princeton PhD student specializing in Islamic militancy, and Don Rassler, a director at the West Point Combatting Terrorism Center, argue that Mullen’s assessment was an understatement. The Fountainhead of Jihad makes their case.

Under its founder and leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, the network has existed for nearly 40 years. It initially established control in a crucial strategic area that straddles the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. From this base it supported Pakistan against the Afghans in the 1970s and again in the 1980s after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And it was there that al-Qaeda established its training camps. At this time also, its power was enhanced by “hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military aid provided by the ISI and CIA.” (59) And it was during the 1980s that it began publishing its brand-defining magazine and video productions titled, Manbá al-Jihad—Fountainhead of Jihad—from which the book title is taken.

The authors consider violent jihad as one of two themes key to understanding the network’s ever increasing influence and power. In fact, as they point out, Jalaluddin Haqqani advocated the idea of jihad as a universal obligation binding on all Muslims before al-Qaeda popularized it. (7) The other theme is the nexus of pragmatic relationships the Haqqani network developed with other organizations with different, sometimes conflicting objectives. For example, al-Qaeda, the Tehrik-e-Taliban (Pakistani Taliban) and elements of the ISI, while battling each other, all work with the Haqqani network. Attempts by the United States to reach an agreement with the network further complicated matters. (122) Nevertheless, the Haqqani network cooperated with each one, gradually expanding its influence and power as it worked to become a player among global terrorist organizations. (184)

Fountainhead of Jihad shows how the Haqqani network evolved and manipulated various political and religious factions to improve its position as an essential global power broker. The book is less certain about the future, though it offers some interesting possibilities.


Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God, by Matthew Levitt (Georgetown University Press, 2013), 426 pp., end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, index.

Former CIA operations officer Robert Baer wrote in his memoir that by 1997, he had concluded that the April 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut—an attack that killed more than 60 people, including several CIA officers—was the work of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyah.[3] Matthew Levitt, a former FBI analyst and assistant secretary of the treasury for intelligence analysis, writes in his new study, Hezbollah, that the terrorist group denied Mughniyah’s very existence until it erected a memorial to him after his assassination in 2008. Levitt goes on to affirm Baer’s judgment and to document Mughniyah’s role in the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983, noting the Mughniyah watched the explosion from a nearby rooftop. (3, 28)

In this first comprehensive examination of Hezbollah (Party of God) from its beginning to the present, Levitt uses the Mughniyah story to explain the group’s origins in the early 1980s as an Iranian Shiite surrogate in Lebanon. He shows how Hezbollah developed multiple identities as it became the dominant political faction in Lebanon and successfully expanded its social and religious programs. Hezbollah’s paramilitary units also began operating in Lebanon, carrying out bombings and frequent airplane hijackings.

Then, with Iranian support, Hezbollah gradually expanded its terrorist activities to other parts of the Middle East, as well as Europe, Central and South America, South Asia, and Africa. Special units were created for suicide attacks in Israel and Iraq, often in support of Hamas and the PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad). While the main purpose of the attacks was to harm those perceived as anti-Shi’a or pro-Israeli, they often had additional goals, including freeing captured militants.

Hezbollah provided personnel and most of the financial and logistical support for its operations. Levitt describes Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises—mainly narcotics trafficking and money laundering—conducted in Africa and the United States to meet these goals. Still, its dependence on Iran was substantial and its operations were reduced as sanctions on Iran began to bite.

Levitt devotes considerable attention to one of Hezbollah’s principal objectives, the extension of its global reach. The likelihood of future successful Hezbollah terrorist operations, Levitt suggests, may have been reduced because of a series of costly failures “in places like Azerbaijan, Egypt and Turkey,” (360) the increasingly effective opposition of Western and Sunni governments, and Hezbollah’s support of the Assad regime in Syria. But Levitt concludes that Hezbollah’s international terrorist activities must be taken seriously lest it find ways to export its operations to Western countries, particularly the United States.


This Machine Kills Secrets: How Wikileakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information, by Andy Greenberg (Dutton, 2012) 370 pp., endnotes, index.

The little sign on folk singer Woody Guthrie’s guitar read: “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Journalist Andy Greenberg’s variant on that idea is a machine whose only purpose is to expose information others want to keep secret. Unlike a guitar, it has no physical reality. It is an unofficial system of very clever, talented, eccentric programmers and cryptographers who have found their calling in hacking, anonymity, and making secrets public. While they acknowledge that some secrets should not be revealed, they reserve to themselves the right to make that decision. This Machine Kills Secrets looks at the origins of this subculture, its super competitive inhabitants, their internal power struggles, their battles with the law, and how they gain cooperation from those with access to secrets.

The machine Greenberg examines is a long way from the xeroxed Pentagon Papers. Today’s disclosures are digital, travel over and live on the Internet, and have the essential anonymity provided by encryption. Greenberg provides short biographies explaining what stimulated the participation of the principal contributors—he calls them cypherpunks. WikiLeaks gets considerable attention, both for its groundbreaking exploits and the internal personnel conflicts that developed when its founder, Julian Assange, didn’t get his way. He also describes the many WikiLeaks competitors—OpenLeaks, Cryptome, GlobalLeaks to name just three—and various attempts by governments to shut them down.

This Machine Kills Secrets ends with a reference to the Architect, the anonymous network engineer Greenberg met at the secret Chaos Communication Camp (272) of Cypherpunks and hacktivists planning new methods of secure leaking. Somewhere, he writes, the Architect is “building, testing, and tweaking a new, sleeker, more powerful version of the machine that kills secrets.” (322) This battle has only begun.


Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), 320 pp., index.

Fred Burton is a former deputy chief of the Counterterrorism Division in the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DS). Samuel Katz is a writer specializing in Middle East security issues. They have combined their knowledge and skills to tell the now controversial story of the 11 September 2012 attack on the Special Mission Compound (SMC) and its annex in Benghazi, Libya. While true names are used for the four who lost their lives pseudonyms protect those who survived.

The authors begin with background material on the Benghazi situation, the DS, and the personnel in Benghazi. They also review DS training, weapons, and the grossly inadequate security arrangements in Benghazi. Also included are descriptions of the physical layout of the SMC and the actions taken to inform the State Department of the dangerous situation.

The authors describe the attack on the SMC from the viewpoint of those under attack, those they asked for help, and the security forces who deserted at the first shot fired instead of preventing the terrorists from entering the compound. The authors are able to reconstruct what happened to the ambassador and the two security men with him because one of them didn’t die until after he spoke to his rescuers. When the terrorists ceased firing on the SMC, the survivors were able to escape to the Annex, though without the ambassador. His body was later taken to a local hospital by some Libyans who used his cell phone to inform the DS of his whereabouts.

Two more men were killed during the subsequent attack on the Annex. The terrorists stopped shooting shortly after the rescue team from Tripoli arrived.  The survivors were flown to Tripoli and then to the United States.

As the authors recount the fast-moving events, they include digressions to explain what was going on at the embassy in Tripoli, CIA headquarters, the State Department, and various military commands.

Under Fire tells the story well, but leaves many questions unanswered. And curiously, although they give some administrative reasons, the authors never explain why the ambassador went to Benghazi on 11 September. This is not the last word on the attack.

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The Atom Spy and MI5: The Story of Alan Nunn May, by John H. Smith (Aspect Design, 2013), 196 pp., bibliography, photos. No index.

The subject of this biography may appear familiar to those who follow intelligence literature. Alan Nunn May was one of the spies discussed in Paul Broda’s 2011 book, Scientist Spies.[4] In this book, John Smith, a biochemist, covers some of the same ground as Broda, especially Nunn May’s communist days at Cambridge, his spying for the Soviets before and during WW II, his exposure by GRU Lt. Igor Gouzenko in 1945, and his arrest and imprisonment in 1946.

But most of The Atom Spy and MI5 concerns Nunn May’s relationship with MI5, his family, and his life after his release in 1952. Smith uses Nunn May’s letters to show how he adapted to prison life, maintained contact with his brother, and dealt with various legal problems. For example, MI5 wrote Nunn May requesting interviews. They wanted to know whether he would reveal how he was recruited and identify others who might have been involved in espionage. He never did either. Smith also found new material in the UK’s National Archives, and this presumably explains how he learned that MI5 maintained physical and communications surveillance on Nunn May for some time after his release to determine whether he was in contact with his former communist colleagues. Smith does not cite any of the sources, however. Letters also revealed that MI5 tried to help Nunn May gain employment and that the government refused his request for a passport until 1959. In 1962, Nunn May went to Ghana, where he became a research professor of physics at the University of Ghana. He retired in 1978 and returned to Cambridge, where he died in 2003. Throughout, Nunn May remained unrepentant and never expressed regret for what he had done.

Smith ends his account with the revelation that Nunn May made “one further act of disclosure…a prepared statement which was made public after his death.” In it, Nunn May noted he had passed “large quantities of information” to the “Russians” since 1941. He added that he had pleaded guilty at his trial to avoid mentioning how long he had been an agent and to “avoid incriminating others, in particular the Russian spy network in the United Kingdom.” (192–93)

The Atom Spy and MI5 adds background material to what we know about the life of the first atom spy to go to prison.


The Cuckoos’ Nest: Five Hundred Years of Cambridge Spies, by Christopher Catherwood (Oleander Press, 2013), 174 pp., no index.

The short title of this book. The Cuckoos’ Nest, is nowhere mentioned in the narrative, so readers must infer its meaning. The secondary title, on the other hand, is clear enough, but here, British historian Christopher Catherwood is somewhat misleading. After discussing two 16th-century Elizabethan spies—Christopher Marlowe and Sir Francis Walsingham—he leaps three centuries for his next entry, Anthony Blunt. Thus, The Cuckoos’ Nest is not all the title implies. Another problem is that the author uses only secondary sources because, he writes, “most of the primary sources are by their very nature, not available.” (ix) This bizarre assertion neglects the publication of two primary source histories of the principle British intelligence services, as well as both volumes of the Guy Liddell Diaries and the recently released MI5 files available at the British National Archives.[5] Moreover, Catherwood’s approach guaranteed that his book would reveal nothing new—beyond his own conjecture—and would contain many errors.

But Catherwood does accomplish a literary first. He devotes chapters to Anthony Blunt, another to Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, one to John Cairncross and Alan Nunn May, and one to Michael Straight and Leo Long. Then he remarks, “As we saw in the Philby chapter.” (86) But there is no chapter on the most famous Soviet spy from Cambridge, although he is mentioned from time to time.

A selection of errors centering on Blunt are worth noting among the many available. Blunt was not turned down by army intelligence in 1939 and then accepted by MI5. (62–63) He was accepted by the army, served in France, and joined MI5 in 1940 after France surrendered to Hitler. His first MI5 job was not opening correspondence from various London based embassies. (63) He was Liddell’s assistant. Blunt did not expose Cairncross in 1964 (127); Cairncross confessed in the United States when interviewed by Arthur Martin in 1963.

Catherwood’s treatment of the other Cambridge spies is equally careless. One example is his incorrect claim that Maclean was suspected of being an NKVD agent codenamed HOMER when he was promoted to the Foreign Office’s American Department in 1950. Maclean was not identified as HOMER until May 1951. And Burgess was not, as claimed, on the MI5 wartime staff.

A final yet curious example of Catherwood’s carelessness is his statement that “there were no Oxford spies to match those recruited at Cambridge.” As Anthony Glees and others have pointed out,[6] Dr. Christopher Hill, a Marxist Oxford academic and wartime Intelligence Corps officer attached to the Foreign Office, was a self-confessed Soviet spy. Moreover, he had been Master at Balliol College, Oxford, when Catherwood was an undergraduate there. Other Oxford spies exposed long ago include Jennifer Hart, Bernard Floud, Tom Driberg, Phoebe Pool, and Iris Murdoch.

In short, The Cuckoos’ Nest discusses many familiar spy stories, but not very carefully.


The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power, by John Prados (University of Texas Press, 2013), 388 pp., endnotes, index.

During Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers trial in May 1973, Bill Colby, then the CIA’s director of operations, was unhappily surprised by a newspaper article that linked the CIA to a break-in at Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in 1971. Colby’s new boss, Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger, was more than distressed by the news and promptly directed all CIA employees to report any incidents they were aware of that fell outside the Agency’s charter. Former employees were also encouraged to contribute.

When indications surfaced that the White House was “pinning the blame for Watergate on the Agency,” a second directive was issued demanding details about the involvement of any CIA employee (or former employee). The result was a 693-page classified compilation, including an annex dealing with Watergate, that itemized dubious activities. It was quickly dubbed the “family jewels.” Although Colby informed the attorney general and Congress of their existence, he inexplicably failed to tell the White House, a decision he would later regret.[7]

In The Family Jewels, historian John Prados has gone beyond the activities described in the “family jewels” report to list what he terms “the broad range of questionable or abusive CIA activities” that have followed the “precedent” from the Watergate era. To set the stage, he reviews the original offenses. Separate chapters discuss domestic surveillance, mail opening, questionable detentions, and assassination operations that received public attention during the Church Committee[8] hearings of 1975. Then, in an extended, intense discussion, Prados addresses the “much more sinister…issue of what the CIA did to influence the ways in which it, itself, is portrayed” by the media. This includes spin-doctoring, press releases, “attempts to secure the dismissal of journalists,” and “suppressing the works of CIA’s own employees.” (192) He is particularly exercised about what he deems the CIA’s dilatory declassification practices and the selective treatment of authors “given privileged access to intelligence case files.” (226)

In a chapter devoted to CIA attempts to establish a “cloak of secrecy” around its operations, Prados returns to the subject of CIA authors. He challenges CIA’s handling of several well-known, controversial cases. These include Victor Marchetti (The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence), Frank Snepp (Decent Interval), and Philip Agee (Inside the Company). Prados’s judgments are open to alternative interpretations, especially the one that questions former KGB general Oleg Kalugin’s well-documented assessment that Agee was a Cuban agent. Prados asserts that “it is more likely the Cubans regarded Philip Agee as a friend.” (246)

A common theme Prados pushes in dealing with these issues is the influence of the CIA’s Publication Review Board (PRB) which, Prados argues, subjects even books favorable to CIA to unjustified scrutiny. Prados sees the PRB not as protecting security, but as attempting “to avoid accountability.” The result is a “fractured history” that obscures “known facts, embarrassing incidents, and outright illegalities.” (273) This excessive secrecy has obscured more recent putative examples of “family jewels,” the use of “kidnappers and torturers—and with the drone war—executioners.” (274)

The final chapters of The Family Jewels deal with the role of successive administrations in managing intelligence scandals and their investigation. Prados provides suggestions for preventing such problems in the future and puts reform of secrecy and accountability rules at the head of his list of needed changes: the number of secrets created should be reduced and accountability increased. At one point he hints at the need for a “truth commission” that would have total access to all intelligence operations and would work independent of the other branches of government. If Prados recognizes the bureaucratic and legal implications of such an entity, he doesn’t discuss them.

Prados begins his conclusion with the observation that “it is time to dispense with the fiction that the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and their confederates run around like ‘rogue elephants.’” (318) Conceding that intelligence agencies operate under presidential control, he concludes that this control is too often inadequate. Thus, he suggests, unless “the Central Intelligence Agency’s fortress of secrecy” is reformed, the discovery of more family jewels is likely. (330)

The Family Jewels is a critical examination of disturbing historical and contemporary events. Whether Prados’s extension of the original meaning of the phrase is justified remains to be seen. The patterns he develops are subjectively, not objectively linked. Likewise, his suggestion that more openness as “a tool of accountability” contributes to a solution without diminished operational effectiveness is not persuasive. Obeying the law and not repeating past mistakes are more promising alternatives.


Hog’s Exit: Jerry Daniels, the Hmong, and the CIA, by Gayle L. Morrison (Texas Tech University Press, 2013), 431 pp., endnotes, bibliography, appendices, photos, maps, index.

Gayle Morrison is an oral historian specializing in the Hmong people of Laos. Her first book, Sky Is Falling: An Oral History of the CIA’s Evacuation of the Hmong from Laos,[9] presents firsthand accounts from Hmong soldiers and their families of their resettlement after Laos fell. In Hog’s Exit, her focus is on the postwar activities and death of Jerry Daniels, nicknamed “Hog” by the admiring Hmong with whom he served. The interviews she recorded are attributed to family, former smokejumper buddies, an Air America cargo “kicker” in Laos, and various State Department, military and civilian colleagues. One, a former loadmaster in Laos, tells how Daniel’s mother showed him Daniels’s CIA Distinguished Intelligence Medal, awarded posthumously, and the accompanying citation, which Morrison quotes in an endnote. (342) The balance of the book dwells on the close relationships Daniels developed with the Hmong and the ceremonial honors they bestowed on him after his death in a Thai hotel room, a death that some consider to have occurred under suspicious circumstances.

Morrison’s style, however, detracts from this extraordinary tribute to a gallant officer. While she considers her interviews primary source material, most are not dated or adequately identified, and she doesn’t provide any connecting, contextual detail between interviews. Nor is there any transitional material from chapter to chapter. Each one discusses some aspect of Daniels’s life and death, but there is no apparent reason why any chapter appears when it does. The result is an oral mosaic that leaves the reader trying to make sense of disjointed, sometimes imprecise data on an unfamiliar subject. For example, one entry reads, “Do you remember all those years reading the local papers—The Bangkok Post, the World….?” The “you” is never identified. (11)

Hog’s Exit will bring back some memories for those who served in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and it may serve as a source for scholars of Hmong culture. But as a public tribute, another format would have been more effective.


Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson (Doubleday, 2013), 578 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

Enter “Lawrence” in Google, and the first option presented is Lawrence of Arabia. Thomas Edward Lawrence remains one of the few WW I heroes with wide name recognition today. The reasons include the 1962 movie, starring 6' 2” Peter O’Toole as the 5' 5” Lawrence, his memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom (still in print), and writings by and about him that fill a 1,000-page bibliography.[10] Lawrence in Arabia is the latest contribution.

Author and war correspondent Scott Anderson is mainly concerned with Lawrence’s contribution to the Arab Revolt in the Arabian peninsula during WW I. But he includes important biographical data to help the reader understand the man and his eccentricities. The book begins with Lawrence appearing before King George V and Queen Mary to be invested as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, an achievement Lawrence had dreamed of as a boy. But when it was time to kneel, Lawrence remained standing, informed the King he was declining the honor and walked away. (2) The book ends with Lawrence’s death on 19 May 1935 after a motorcycle accident. Winston Churchill travelled more than 200 miles to attend the funeral. His eulogy called Lawrence “one of the greatest beings alive in our time.” (505)

Much has been written about Lawrence, but Anderson has taken a different approach. He found three other amateur intelligence officers who worked in the Middle East during the war whose work affected Lawrence in different ways. One was William Yale—of the founding family of Yale University—who worked initially prospecting for Standard Oil and later was hired by the State Department to keep the US government informed. His performance may have helped Standard Oil but did little else. The second was Jewish agronomist Aaron Aaronsohn, who with his sister established an effective anti-Turkish espionage network in Palestine, which was poorly utilized by the British. The third was Curt Prüfer, a German mapmaker and later head of the German intelligence bureau in Constantinople. He worked hard to support the Turks trying to destroy the Arab Revolt and, with it, the British Empire. As Anderson weaves their stories into the Arab struggle for independence, the complex nature of Middle East culture and politics becomes clear.

But it was Lawrence, also an amateur, who made a real difference in the war effort. An archeologist with years of experience in Syria before the war, he enlisted in London and served first as a mapmaker and briefer. This knowledge and his fluency in Arabic led to an assignment as an analyst—when he was a lieutenant—to what became the Arab Bureau in Cairo. His eventual posting as the British contact for leaders of the Arab Revolt and the deceptive means he employed to become its effective leader make for exciting reading. His greatest contribution, as Anderson makes clear, was his intuitive realization that to deal with the Arabs, one had to understand their culture and then live and act like them. The practical consequence of this was Lawrence’s successful adaptation of guerrilla warfare techniques—about which he had only read—to fight the Turks.

A critical factor in the Arab acceptance of Lawrence as their unofficial leader was the political promise—sincerely made—that if successful in their operations, Arab independence in the non-Palestine areas would be their prize. When he learned the British and French had no intention of keeping the promise, he made Herculean but unsuccessful efforts to reverse the policy. His final attempt failed after he led the Arabs into Damascus. By then a colonel, he left the army. Further attempts to hold the Allies to their original promises in the Paris Peace Conference had no effect. He did manage some concessions for the Arabs while working on Churchill’s Middle East Commission, which created the Middle Eastern states that exist today.

Lawrence became a world famous hero after the war, thanks to American Lowell Thomas’s book, With Lawrence in Arabia.[11] For the remainder of his life he endured the paradox created by his desire to make his memoirs a major work while seeking at the same time to be inconspicuous. To escape attention, he joined the RAF as an enlisted man, had a tour in tanks, and then tested high-speed rescue boats. All the while he was sought out by the press and movie makers.

In this mix, Anderson discusses wartime psychological scars that Lawrence battled to the end. Lawrence in Arabia is a fine story, thoroughly documented, beautifully told.


MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 (revised and updated), by Keith Jeffery (Bloomsbury Publishing, Plc., 2012), 840 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

In his foreword to MI6, the then chief of service (“C”), Sir John Sawers, writes that the book “is a landmark in the history of the service.” And indeed it is, by any measure. Although the service was officially recognized in 1994, only Alan Judd’s 1999 biography of Sir Mansfield Cumming was based on official MI6 files. This is not to say that prior to 1994 the existence of MI6 was a well-kept secret. In 1992, publication of The Spy Who Saved The World revealed MI6’s contribution to the work of Oleg Penkovsky in great detail while identifying the principle officers involved.[12] The following year, British intelligence historian Nigel West unofficially surveyed the many MI6 officers who had published their memoirs.[13] What distinguishes Keith Jeffery’s book from these earlier works is its more broad timeframe and his unrestricted access to MI6 archives. MI6 confirms and corrects the record, although not the entire record.

As Jeffery makes clear in his preface, while his access was unlimited, what he could write about was not. The primary restrictions were the timeframe, 1909–1949, and the prohibition against identifying certain agents, officer, and operations. By stopping at 1949, the book could mention Kim Philby of the Cambridge Five only in connection with the Gouzenko case. Likewise, Venona had to be excluded. With respect to naming individuals, Jeffery could not use names unless they had been officially released, even if the names appear in the public domain. Jeffery explains the reasoning with the comment that unofficial sources were often “unsubstantiated assertions in sensational and evanescent publications” or what he more colorfully terms the “sub-prime intelligence literature.” (xii)

These limitations aside, MI6 is an astonishing work of scholarship. It reveals the development of the service from its one-man origins, through WW I, the interwar period, and WW II. The latter brought great challenges, first with the abolition of the Z Organization—which controlled nonofficial cover officers—under Claude Dansey. Then came the formation of the SOE (Special Operations Executive), the work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, and the initial loss and subsequent rebuilding of British worldwide espionage capabilities. MI6 concludes with the transition from a wartime structure to its Cold War organization. About one third of the book concerns administration, and the balance covers operations.

Along the way some colorful Brits make an appearance. Examples include Sir Paul Dukes, who operated under the noses of the Bolsheviks in Russia, and Wilfred “Biffy” Dunderdale—fond of fast cars and a friend of Ian Fleming—in France, whose fluent Russian aided in the debriefing of the first Soviet defector, Boris Bajanov. Then there was Haline Szymańska, the wife of a Polish military attaché and “friend” of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the German Abwehr chief. She served as an agent for the Poles and MI6, and Canaris arranged for her escape to Switzerland, though Jeffery does not mention the rumor that she was also his mistress. She also had links to Allen Dulles. When she informed him that the Germans were reading his cipher, he continued to use it until Claude Dansey, then the assistant to “C,” told the MI6 head of station to remind “the fool [Dulles]” of the fact. Subsequent communications were passed through British channels. (511)

This is just a minute sampling of the hundreds of stories Jeffery tells in MI6. In this revised edition he has added details to the adventures of Sir Paul Dukes, SIS’s role in the Rudolf Hess defection, and on the agent NANNYGOAT’s links to a Romanian network. Finally, he describes in detail a case omitted entirely from the first edition—the Volkov case, which threatened to expose Philby and other Soviet penetrations of British intelligence.

MI6 is a most valuable addition to the literature of intelligence.


Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort, Raffaele Laudani (ed.) (Princeton University Press, 2013), 679 pp., endnotes, index.

The Research and Analysis Branch (R&A) was the first element formed by William Donovan when he became the President Roosevelt’s Coordinator of Information in 1942. His staffing policy was to recruit first-class minds “without any special concern for particular political commitments,” (ix) expert in subjects that would be needed to inform the president during the upcoming war. By 1943, R&A had grown to some “1,200 employees.” (2) Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer were leading members of the Central European Section (CES). They were also Marxists—or communists, as some would later have it—and advocates of the Frankfurt School of thought formulated during their prewar association with the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany. Each had written widely on the evils of Nazi Germany, and in the OSS they applied their knowledge to explaining that political movement and later to discussing social alternatives in the postwar era. Secret Reports On Nazi Germany contains 31 of the studies they produced during and after the war.

When written, the studies were unsigned and circulated for comment within R&A before publication. The volume’s editor, history professor Raffaele Laudani of the University of Bologna, has determined the principal author of each study based on content and other records. In his informative introduction, Laudani provides biographical entries on the three authors, with summaries of their principal writings. He also notes the prejudice they encountered within OSS due to their German accents. Neumann was the most senior and well known. He had been vetted by the FBI and had served elsewhere in the US government before joining R&A as deputy chief of CES. He was also the only one later identified in Venona decrypts—cryptonym RUFF—to have simultaneously served Soviet intelligence.[14]

The topics covered in this volume range from anti-Semitism, changes in the Nazi government, psychological warfare, Nazi morale and the possibility of collapse, the effects of Allied air raids, the German Communist Party, the economic situation, the Nazi Master Plan, and the postwar treatment of Germany and its leaders. Laudani makes a point of emphasizing the OSS policy of “scientific objectivity” and the avoidance of “personal opinions” in the analysts’ work. He concludes the policy was rigorously followed. (7) He also discusses the degree of acceptance of the work, especially its contribution to the Nuremburg trials, which proved controversial. Nevertheless, it is not possible even today to assess its impact completely.

For those wondering what R&A did during the war and after it was assigned to the State Department, Secret Reports On Nazi Germany provides the basis for a firsthand assessment.


The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines, by Cate Lineberry (Little, Brown and Company, 2013), 303 pp., endnotes, photos, index.

On a hot day in August 1943, a group of 90 doctors, medics, and nurses assigned to the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron left Louisville, Kentucky by train. Though they didn’t know it at the time, the nurses and medics were headed for a new military base in Bari, Italy. After a sea voyage and stops in Tunisia and Sicily, they boarded a “Gooney Bird,” C-47 on 8 November for the flight to Bari. They crash landed in Albania, linked up with friendly communist partisans, and were attacked by Germans while trying to escape on foot over rugged, snow-covered mountains.  After several months, they finally arrived in Bari by boat. The Secret Rescue tells their story.

The loss of the plane didn’t go unnoticed by the Germans or the press. Reports that there were “13 nurses aboard” made headlines in the States. (115) Public attention soon shifted to other wartime events, but the nurses and medics were not forgotten. The friendly partisans notified their contacts in the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Albania, who subsequently informed the newly established OSS base in Bari. Officers from both organizations cooperated. Major Anthony Quayle, an actor in civilian life, volunteered with the partisans to aid in the rescue, provide food and winter clothing, and arrange communications with the Americans.

Secrecy was imposed in an attempt to prevent the Germans from determining locations and rescue plans. For two months, the medics and nurses were moved from village to village. They narrowly escaped one German attack, when three of the nurses were separated from the rest. Their clothes became infected with lice and gradually deteriorated so that frostbite became a problem. After a failed rescue attempt by air, all but the missing nurses were rescued and evacuated by boat on a moonlight night.

Shortly after the rescue of the main group, General Donovan arrived at Bari to discuss operations. When he learned of the missing nurses, he sent OSS Captain Lloyd Smith, who had accompanied the original group, back to Albania for the remainder of the party. He found them, and they made it out by boat on 21 March.

Author Cate Lineberry interviewed some of the survivors and some of the Albanians who risked their lives in the endeavor. In her epilogue, she describes what happened to them after the war. The Secret Rescue is a well-told story of wartime cooperation and heroism.


Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA, by Randall Woods (Basic Books, 2013), 546 pp., bibliography and index.

—Review contributed by Thomas Coffey

Randall Woods is a professor of American history at the University of Arkansas, who has specialized in the history of the Vietnam War period. After publishing writings about the war and a biography of Lyndon Johnson, Woods has turned to the business of intelligence during the period through this biography of an operations officer who played key roles in Southeast Asian operations, in particular the controversial Phoenix Program, and was director of central intelligence when the South Vietnamese government fell to the communists in 1975.

That Woods begins his widely acclaimed biography with Colby’s death is in some way appropriate, given the puzzle he was to many in CIA when he worked there. Many still regard his death as mysterious, and although the coroner judged that Colby died of natural causes, others have speculated that it was murder or suicide.[15] Despite being a man of action, Colby never belonged to the brotherhood of Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Frank Wisner, and James Angleton—in fact, two of them would become his bitter enemies. As inconspicuous as Colby appeared (“I could never catch a waiter’s attention”), he became a target of Vietnam protesters, and the clinical expression on his face, along with his eyeglass frames, an iconic image for posters. As one of the heads of the Phoenix Program, he managed one of the most controversial programs in CIA history, a program opponents of the war claimed was an assassination operation.

Colby’s delivery in 1974 of the “family jewels” report to Congress (see the above review of The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power, by John Prados) did not endear him to many CIA professionals. On his retirement in 1976, he famously slipped out of the CIA campus in a car as nondescript as he himself had been before the controversies of the Vietnam War era.

With Shadow Warrior, Woods has attempted to make sense of Colby’s life and times. Indeed, he gives readers lots, perhaps too much, about Colby’s time and, like other works published about the man, not enough about his life. These other books play a huge role in the biography, for Woods relies heavily on secondary sources—including the spreading bad habit among spy historians of quoting Tim Weiner’s dubious Legacy of Ashes.

Shadow Warriors comes across at times as a more readable translation of some of the denser texts that have been published about Colby and his spy career. The book is relentless in its retelling of history, and this starts to grate after a while. A reader could not be faulted for wondering if Woods periodically used Colby’s life to give his take on the times. However, when Colby is actually a participant in the history, the man and, to a more limited extent, the book, start to grow on you. By the end, the reader can better understand and admire Colby’s conviction and perhaps be convinced that he was more right than wrong in the way he handled some tough issues of the time.

Regrettably, Woods’s work needed fact-checking; it contained some 30 factual errors, a number of them of the easy-to-know variety. For example, the Guatemala coup took place in 1954, not 1953; the CIA top brass works out of the seventh floor, not the fourth; it was the National Intelligence Daily, not the Daily Intelligencer; and Alexander Butterfield, not John Dean, revealed the existence of Nixon’s taping system. Other errors required some digging but are more consequential. The Voice of America was not a CIA-funded front organization; CIA officers had no contact with Yuri Nosenko between 1962 and 1964 and so received no intelligence from him; Operation Mongoose was not, as is too commonly claimed, an assassination program; and, as any Bond fan knows, the gadget maker is Q, not M.


Spy and Counterspy: A History of Secret Agents and Double Agents From the Second World War to the Cold War, by Ian Dear (History Press, 2013), 256 pp., photos, index.

In the mid-1990s, historian Ian Dear began a trilogy on clandestine warfare. Spy and Counterspy is the final volume.[16] While it is not a comprehensive treatment of wartime espionage, the seven cases the book summarizes illustrate the full range of problems the Allies encountered. And although the cases have been the subject of other writings, Dear has added additional material to each from Western and Russian sources. Where cases began before or continued after the war, they are included.

Five of the seven studies will be familiar to those who follow espionage history. In the first group, he includes the Sorge case, the Cicero story, the Cambridge Five, the Double Cross program, and Venona. The first of the lesser known cases is Operation SALAM, mounted by the Abwehr to place agents in Cairo for Rommel. The movie The English Patient was based in part on one the SALAM agents, László Almásy. Once the agents were in place, their reporting on the British military was codenamed CONDOR. The final and least known of the case summaries concerns Major Mieczysław Słowikowski’s, Agency Africa, a Polish spy ring cooperating with the French resistance. Słowikowski passed data on the Germans to the OSS for use in planning Operation TORCH, the Allied landings in Africa in 1942.

Spy and Counterspy is well documented and will serve as a good starting point for those interested in WW II espionage.


Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals, by Richard Rashke (Delphinium Books, 2013), 622 pp., endnotes, timeline, photos, index.

Richard Rashke’s book, Escape from Sobibor, told the story of a revolt by brave prisoners in that Nazi death camp. Useful Enemies takes a broader look at the collaborating captors who served in many death camps in Eastern Europe and who found their way to America after the war. His principal theme is that “the FBI and the CIA welcomed and protected these Nazi collaborators,” using them as agents, informants, and anticommunist leaders in their émigré communities. (19) The central narrative of the book is the story of John Demjanjuk, a former camp guard who lived quietly in the United States until his name came to the attention of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1975. Rashke explains the unusual circumstances that led to Demjanjuk’s name being added to the INS list (based on Nazi hunter Otto Karbach’s list) of collaborators living in the United States.  Rashke also describes Demjanjuk’s eventual trials and deportations. (He was extradited to Israel in 1986, convicted, and later acquitted.  He returned to the United States, in 1993. The United States deported him again in 2009, this time to Germany, where he was convicted in 2011 of being an accessory to murder. He died in Germany in 2012 while waiting for his appeal to be heard.)

The origin and use of the list is an equally compelling subtheme. Rashke shows how postwar anti-Jewish immigration laws played a disturbing role in protecting collaborators. Then he documents the actions of bureaucratically corrupt INS officials who implemented policies instigated by the FBI, the CIA, the Army Criminal Investigation Corps, and the Air Force to protect Nazi collaborators from prosecution despite their known records of wartime atrocities.

The story of how the collaborators were exposed involves freshman member of Congress Elizabeth Holtzman, who was chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration. In 1973 she received an anonymous phone call from an INS worker, who said the “INS had a list of Nazi war criminals living in America, and it was doing nothing about them.” (51) The whistleblower’s information was supported by an article in the New York Times by two former INS officers whose investigations of Nazi war criminals had been blocked by superiors. Holtzman’s efforts to produce the Karbach list were ultimately successful, and Demjanjuk’s name was found on it.

Rashke gives many examples of the cases Holtzman uncovered. One collaborator “responsible for the murder of thousands of Romanian Jews had become a Ukrainian Orthodox bishop” in America. (62) Another with an equally bad record was living quietly in California with his family. He was an FBI informer. Then there was Operation Paperclip that arranged the immigration of German scientists. Rashke describes some of their wartime records, Wernher von Braun being an unsettling example. Rashke also includes a chapter on former German intelligence officers and the Gehlen Organization, in which CIA’s role is discussed. Holtzman’s efforts led to new organizations in the Department of Justice, new federal laws, and new immigration regulations, many coming into play before any on the Karbach list were brought to justice. Some on the list still have not been held accountable.

Rashke finds it hard to understand how Nazi war criminals could be recruited as agents to work against the Soviet Union. He leaves the impression that the Soviet threat was not so serious as some had argued and that it could have been dealt with through other means. But that is not how the situation was viewed by those on the ground at the time. Useful Enemies is a detailed, well-documented account that clarifies some issues and leaves others to history.

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Against All Enemies: An American’s Cold War Journey, by Jeffrey M. Carney (CreateSpace Publishing, 2013), 700 pp., no index.

In April 1983, US Air Force Specialist Jeffrey Carney walked through Check Point Charlie in Berlin and offered his services as a spy to the Stasi. His SIGINT duties with the 6912th Marienfelde Field site in West Berlin made him a valuable asset for the East Germans. After training by the Stasi’s foreign intelligence element, the HVA, Carney provided his handlers classified documents, the amount of each delivery limited only by what he could conveniently carry over the border. (276–77) Carney denied receiving payment; it was the respect for his homosexual lifestyle and his devotion to communism and the GDR that made it worthwhile.

After he was transferred to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas in 1984, Carney initially continued to cooperate. But he missed the HVA’s comradeship, and in 1985 deserted the Air Force and returned to the GDR via Mexico and Cuba. He was given work and for a while also served the HVA as a spotter of others in the military who might be willing to follow in his footsteps. In 1987 he was granted GDR citizenship as Jens Karney, but he did not formally renounce his US citizenship, a decision that would come back to haunt him. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) had not forgotten him, and after the collapse of the GDR, Carney’s former HVA handler told OSI where he could be found. Carney was arrested in 1991—he calls the arrest a kidnapping—and returned to the United States. A plea agreement was eventually negotiated, and Carney served nearly 12 years in the Ft. Leavenworth federal prison. His attempt to regain German citizenship after release was denied.

The 700 pages of Against All Enemies are devoted to describing how he committed espionage and to explaining his reasons. As to the former, he is critical of Markus Wolf’s treatment of his contribution. (566–67) Carney covers his unhappy home life, his decision to defect, his life with his partner in the GDR, his view of his illegal arrest, and his treatment in prison. He doesn’t regret his decision to defect and still views the GDR as representing “the collective hopes and dreams of millions of its citizens. Today…it lives on inside of those us who knew it, filling us with good memories as well as memories that are not so pleasant. The German Democratic Republic will only cease to exist when the last person who knew her is placed in his grave. Until then it lives on.” (4)

While Against All Enemies gives no hint of Carney’s current status, a short afterword describes a visit to Berlin with his 13-year-old son, whom he quotes as being proud of what his father did. Most readers will reach a different conclusion.


Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief, by Tennent H. Bagley (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013), 302 pp., endnotes, photos, index.

Counterintelligence cases are often bounded on one side by Occam’s Razor and on the other by Crabtree’s Bludgeon. Occam’s Razor argues for accepting the simplest hypothesis consistent with the information. Crabtree’s Bludgeon, on the other hand, accepts the proposition that no set of mutually inconsistent observations exists for which an analyst cannot formulate a coherent explanation.[17] Spymaster is, in part, a study showing what happens when these approaches clash. It is also at once a biography of retired KGB general Sergei Kondrashev and a memoir of former CIA officer and author Tennent “Pete” Bagley.

Kondrashev and Bagley met in 1994 when they participated in a series of Franco-German television productions that brought together former members of opposing Cold War intelligence services in different European cities to discuss espionage cases as seen from each side. Kondrashev and Bagley got on well, finding much common ground, and gradually became friends. Bagley had already published a book on the KGB, and Kondrashev would soon coauthor Battleground Berlin with David Murphy, a colleague of Bagley’s at CIA.[18] Encouraged by the television experience, Kondrashev decided to write his memoir. To profit from its publication, he wanted to publish an English edition and asked Bagley for help. Spymaster is the result.

Kondrashev’s initial draft was approved during the late Yeltsin era, but permission was revoked after Putin came to power. Bagley retained a copy of the manuscript and asked Kondrashev about publishing independently in the West. Fearing doing so would compromise his continuing links to the new Russian intelligence service (the SVR), yet wanting to have his story told, Kondrashev asked Bagley to wait until after his death. (Kondrashev died in 2007.)

Even before their agreement to collaborate, it became clear to Bagley in their conversations that Kondrashev had been involved in espionage operations that Bagley had worked on from the CIA side. One illustration is Kondrashev’s description of a penetration of the US embassy code room in Moscow. Bagley had suspected a penetration at the time, and Kondrashev’s memoir confirmed it. (Kondrashev never named the traitor.) The book also contains interesting side stories about how Kondrashev survived the Stalinist purges and, later, KGB bureaucratic turmoil.

In this work, Bagley reveals the source of his knowledge of two big cases in which he had been involved: Yuri Nosenko, who defected to the CIA in 1964, and Gen. Dmitry Polyakov, a longtime CIA agent. Bagley contends that the KGB had dispatched both to the United States as part of a grand long-range—internally controversial—deception operation. Bagley also acknowledges, however, that Polyakov was regarded as one of the best Soviet intelligence agents ever to work for the CIA. Bagley resolves the apparent contradiction—here Occam’s Razor applies—by concluding that Polyakov changed his mind at some point and began passing truly important secrets to the CIA, thus justifying agency confidence in him and explaining his eventual execution in the Soviet Union.

The Nosenko case is more complicated for several reasons. First, Bagley had been involved in it from the beginning. Second, he had long ago accepted the argument that Nosenko had been dispatched as a KGB provocation. In this book, he uses details supplied by Kondrashev—who was assigned at various times to the KGB elements responsible for the plan’s implementation—to support his contention that the KGB had a long-range deception program that included dispatched agents. Third, many CIA officers disagreed with Bagley and would argue that Crabtree’s Bludgeon had affected his analysis. After the long discussion of the Nosenko case, for example, Bagley quotes Kondrashev saying, “How could your service ever believe that man?” (210) In the end, the Nosenko saga remains the most controversial defector CI case in CIA history. Curiously, Bagley does not consider the possibility that, like Polyakov, Nosenko might have changed his mind after being dispatched.

Three additional items in Spymaster are worth noting here. First, Bagley weaves a number of other well-known cases into the KGB deception program. The most familiar is Col. Oleg Penkovsky, and Bagley explains how Penkovsky was exposed. He discounts the traditional KGB explanation of blanket surveillance and argues it was due to an unknown KGB penetration in the CIA—a theory Bagley has long argued. He also writes that Penkovsky’s exposure occurred much earlier than previously thought and that Penkovsky was allowed to operate while under surveillance to protect the source that revealed him. The second item concerns Kondrashev’s career—an appendix reviews Kondrashev’s early life—and his views of the KGB’s role in the 1956 Hungarian crisis and the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. The third item is Kondrashev’s clarification of the strange case of Gregory Douglas—an author who claims US intelligence was responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy and that the never-captured Nazi Gestapo leader Heinrich Müller had been brought to the United States by the US Army and became a close friend of President Truman.[19] Bagley reports that Kondrashev exposes Douglas as a “Soviet connected journalist” feeding conspiracy theories intended to discredit Western countries and leaders. (151)

But has Bagley gotten it right? To answer in the affirmative, one must accept the contribution of a career KGB general experienced in deception, as well as Bagley’s analysis. Not everyone will. Still, Spymaster actually provides some new material on Cold War espionage about which many books have been written. It has raised the bar, but not ended the debate.

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Intelligence Abroad

Intelligence Tradecraft: An Art of Trapping the Enemy, by Uday Kumar (Lucky International, 2013), 214 pp., bibliography, photos, no index.

Uday Kumar is an officer in India’s Central Armed Paramilitary Force. He is also the author of several books dealing with the Naxalite-Mao insurgency in Eastern India.[20] Intelligence Tradecraft is a primer on a topic seldom written about in India. Kumar’s use of the word “tradecraft” is somewhat broader than the Western definition. In addition to the expected topics—agent handling, cover, elicitation, and surveillance techniques—he includes chapters on terminology, intelligence in general, the intelligence cycle, counterintelligence and counterespionage, subversion, propaganda, and report writing.

Overall, Kumar provides an elementary introduction to basics, but the topic of agent recruitment is notable for its absence. The only new material is in the short chapter entitled “Surveillance in Militancy and Naxalism,” in which he discusses the application of various techniques to the counterinsurgency problem.

Kumar does not provide sources notes, and his bibliography contains mainly Western references, some very outdated. And while Intelligence Tradecraft is in need of a good copy editor, it nevertheless gives a look at how intelligence is taught to India’s paramilitary forces.

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[1]Ion Pacepa, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief (Regnery Gateway, 1987).

[2]Ronald J, Rychlak, Hitler, the War, and the Pope (Our Sunday Visitor, 2010).

[3]Robert Baer, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism (Crown Publishers, 2002), 269.

[4]Paul Broda, Scientist Spies: A Memoir of My Three Parents and the Atom Bomb (Troubador Publishing, 2011).  This book was reviewed in “Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf,” Studies in Intelligence 55, No. 4 (December 2011).

[5]Christopher Andrew, Defend The Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (Knopf, 2009); Keith Jeffery, MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service, 1909—1949 (revised and updated) (Bloomsbury, 2012); Nigel West (ed.), The Guy Liddell Diaries Volume 1: 1939-1942—MI5’s Director of Counter-Espionage in World War II, and The Guy Liddell Diaries Volume II: 1942-1945—MI5’s Director of Counter-Espionage in World War II (Routledge, 2005 paperback and 2012 Kindle). Three additional volumes of material from Liddell’s diaries are available in the National Archives.

[6]Anthony Glees, The Secret of the Service: British Intelligence and Communist Subversion, 1939–51 (Jonathan Cape, 1987), 280–81. See also Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-Ups—Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain (Mainstream Publishing, 2011), 109.

[7]William Colby and Peter Forbath, Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA (Simon & Schuster, 1978), 19–20, 337–39; Fred Emery, Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon (Times Books, 1994), 58–68; Nicholas Dujmovic (ed.), “Oral History: Reflections of DCI Colby and Helms on the CIA’s ‘Time of Troubles,’” Studies in Intelligence 51, No. 3 (Extracts-September 2007), available at

[8]Its full title was the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. The committee’s final report was issued in 1976. See

[9]Gayle L. Morrison, Sky Is Falling: An Oral History of the CIA’s Evacuation of the Hmong from Laos (McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999).

[10]Philip M. O’Brien, T. E. Lawrence: A Bibliography (Oak Knoll Press, 2000), 2nd edition. A supplement was published in 2008, and many items have been published since that date.

[11]Lowell Thomas, With Lawrence in Arabia (Hutchinson, 1932).

[12]Jerrold Schecter and Peter Deriabin, The Spy Who Saved The World: How a Soviet Colonel Changed the Course of the Cold War (Scribner, 1992).

[13]Nigel West, The Faber Book of Espionage (Faber and Faber, 1993).

[14]For details on the materials Neumann passed, see John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press, 2009), 317–20.

[15]Colby died during an evening paddle in his canoe on the Chesapeake Bay in 1996. Some suspect his death was the result of foul play. In a documentary film, The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby, one of his sons, Carl, hinted at the possibility that his father, wracked by guilt over the Phoenix Program, might have committed suicide. Woods dismissed the idea that Colby felt guilt over Phoenix as “absurd” in his review of the movie, which appeared in Studies in Intelligence 57, No. 2 (June 2013).

[16]Ian Dear, Sabotage and Subversion: Stories for the Files of the SOE and OSS (Arms & Armour Books, 1996), and Escape and Evasion: Prisoner of War Breakouts and the Routes to Safety in World War Two (Arms & Armour Books, 1997).

[17]For more on these maxims see as they apply to intelligence, see R.V. Jones, Reflections On Intelligence (Heinemann, 1989), 88.

[18]Tennent Bagley and Peter Deriabin, KGB: Masters of the Soviet Union (Hippocrene Books, 1990); Sergei Kondrashev and David Murphy, Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War (Yale University Press, 1997).

[19]Gregory Douglas, Müller Journals: 1948–1950, the Washington Years, Volume 1 (R. James Bender, 1999).

[20]Uday Kumar, Naxalite Movement: A Biggest Challenge to the Internal Security (Lucky International, 2011); Maoist Terrorist and ISI: A Collaboration of Naxalite and IST Against India (Ankit Publication, 2011).

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Posted: May 01, 2014 01:49 PM
Last Updated: May 01, 2014 01:49 PM