Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf

Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden Peake


The Future of Intelligence: Challenges in the 21st Century, by Isabelle Duyvesteyn, Ben de Jong and Joop van Reijn (eds.).

Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis, Christopher Andrew and Simona Tobia (eds.).

What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979–1989, by Bruce Riedel.


Analyzing Intelligence: National Security Practitioners’ Perspectives, Second Edition, by Roger Z. George and James B. Bruce (ed.).

The Art of Intelligence: Simulation, Exercises, and Games, by William J. Lahneman and Rubén Arcos (eds.).

Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies: An Anthology, Fourth Edition, by Loch Johnson and James Wirtz (eds).

Routledge Companion To Intelligence Studies, by Robert Dover, Michael S. Goodman and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.).

Understanding the Intelligence Cycle, by Mark Phythian (ed.).


Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo, by Jack Cheevers.

Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a WWII Special Agent, by Pearl Witherington Cornioley.

She Landed by Moonlight: The Story of Secret Agent Pearl Witherington: ‘The Real Charlotte Gray,’ by Carole Seymour-Jones.

Fighting To Lose: How The German Secret Intelligence Service Helped the Allies Win the Second World War, by John Bryden.

Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott, by Christian M. McBurney.

The Spy Who Changed the World: Klaus Fuchs and the Secrets of the Nuclear Bomb, by Mike Rossiter.

Spying for the Führer: Hitler’s Espionage Machine, by Christer Jörgensen.

Spymaster: The Secret Life of Kendrick, by Helen Fry.

Strategic Intelligence in the Cold War and Beyond, by Jefferson Adams.

Uphill Battle: Reflections on Viet Nam Counterinsurgency, by Frank Scotton.


China’s Security State: Philosophy, Evolution, and Politics, by Xuezhi Guo.

Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee—A Look Inside North Korea, by Jang Jin-Sung.

Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America, by Reg Whitaker, Gregory S. Kealey, and Andrew Parnaby.


Current Topics

The Future of Intelligence: Challenges in the 21st Century, Isabelle Duyvesteyn, Ben de Jong and Joop van Reijn (eds.) (Routledge, 2014), 165 pp., end-of-chapter notes, index.

The Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association was formed in 1991 “to provide informed debate on intelligence and security issues in the widest possible sense: to support historical research in this field; and to promote and contribute to academic education.”[1] In 2011, it hosted an international conference on the future of intelligence. Eleven thought-provoking papers from that conference comprise this book.

The contributors are a rather high-powered mix of academics and intelligence practitioners. Most familiar to US professionals will be the four American contributors—Mark Lowenthal (former assistant director of central intelligence for analysis and production), Greg Treverton (current chairman of the National Intelligence Council, who was with RAND at the time of the conference), Jennifer Sims (then a highly respected professor at Georgetown University), and Art Hulnick (former senior CIA officer teaching at Boston University). The British contributor is Sir David Omand (former head of GCHQ and a former senior coordinator for intelligence organizations of the British government). All of the remaining contributors—four Dutch and two Swedish—likewise have exceptional records of publication and research.

In his introduction, Utrecht University professor Bob de Graaff notes the tendency of the other contributors to “devote attention to current trends and their extrapolation rather than to threats that cannot yet be discerned.” (3) This is a fundamental problem when considering the future; still, there is plenty to consider in the extrapolations. Readers will find authors addressing the potential for the information revolution to transform the work of intelligence agencies in ways that will heighten already high concerns about the intrusion of intelligence operations in the private sector. Another author addresses issues in the operational sphere brought on by biometrics, geolocation, social networks, and cellular telephones. Another focuses on the increased risk of moles, leaks, and “insider spies” created by today’s (and tomorrow’s) ubiquitous digital connectivity. (76) Still another considers the influence of future global cooperation—private and governmental—on intelligence agencies as they face the prospect of serving nontraditional, international decision centers or “nodal governance of security.” (82) The future of organizational structures also received attention. Will more horizontal configurations or “flat hierarchies” (8) be required as social media “blur distinctions that have been used to organize intelligence?” (37)

In his summary article, Lund University professor Wilhelm Agrell talks about the importance of thinking about the future with awareness of the past. “If twentieth-century [intelligence] had some great moments” and failures, “so will most likely twenty-first [century] intelligence have all those as well.” (135) Agrell also discusses “six fundamental processes of change” that should be considered when thinking about the future.

The Future of Intelligence raises important issues that deserve serious attention as intelligence becomes an ever greater part of every citizen’s daily experience.

Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis, Christopher Andrew and Simona Tobia (eds.) (Routledge, 2014), 304 pp., end-of-chapter notes, index.

Christopher Andrew writes in his introduction to this book that despite the frequent mention of interrogation in the contemporary media, the subject “has long been understudied in history.” (2) The 14 case studies in Interrogation in War and Conflict are an attempt to remedy that deficiency.

All the contributors are academics: 15 are from UK universities, and one is from the United States. Their essays begin with a discussion of interrogation techniques developed in WW I. There follows a study of the interrogations of suspects in the 1935 “Kremlin Case,” which preceded the great terror in the Soviet Union. (36) The study contains some surprising revelations.  The methods employed by Stalin’s henchmen in dealing with former political prisoners who opposed the Soviets in postwar Czechoslovakia are examined, without any surprises. Three chapters are devoted to WW II, with attention given to the “myths and realities” of Gestapo methods, approaches in the UK, and ways German war criminals were interrogated. The final five case studies assess interrogations during colonial insurrections in Malaya, Cyprus, Algeria, Rhodesia, and Ireland.

The legal aspects of coercive interrogation authorized or performed on defendants before international tribunals are weighed in a separate chapter that reviews the difficulties of prosecution. While the focus of the book is on the twentieth-century, there is a short discussion of the topic as applied in the post 9/11 era. (284ff)

Interrogation in War and Conflict expresses a wide range of views on the use of torture during interrogation. Former MI5 Director General Baroness Manningham-Buller bookmarks one end: “Nothing, not even saving lives, justified torture.” (16) At the other extreme, the use of torture in “the most difficult cases” in the Algerian insurrection was explicitly allowed, though by the end it had been prohibited. Examples in between include the harsh methods, termed the “five techniques” used in Northern Ireland on interned prisoners, which were deemed a “success.” 

Interrogation in War and Conflict makes a strong historical case for minimum coercion during interrogation because it is more effective. Whether the 21st-century, filled with circumstances seemingly never encountered before, will support that conclusion remains to be seen.

What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979–1989, by Bruce Riedel (Brookings Institution Press, 2014), 189 pp., endnotes, index.

Bruce Riedel’s 30-year career at the CIA included assignments as special assistant for Near East affairs to both Presidents Bush and to President Clinton; deputy assistant secretary of defense for Near East and South Asian affairs; national intelligence officer on the National Intelligence Council; and special adviser to NATO. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to chair a strategic review of US policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now a senior fellow for Middle East policy at the Brookings Institution, he writes on the major events in South Asian affairs in which he participated. What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979–1989 is his most recent contribution.

Riedel’s story begins after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when, he writes, President Carter instructed the CIA to turn Afghanistan into a “Russian Vietnam.” President Reagan “upped the ante…when the goal became defeating the Soviet Army and driving it out of Afghanistan for good,” an event President Vladimir Putin later called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” (x) What We Won examines the secret intelligence alliance that got the job done and its consequences.

“It wasn’t Charlie Wilson’s War,” or even the CIA’s war. “It was Zia’s war,” says Riedel who makes Pakistani General Zia ul-Haq out to be the most important figure in “the epic battle with the Soviet Army.” (xii) But there are other important players—nations and individuals. In the first part of this two part book, Riedel focuses both on their history and their contributions to the Soviet defeat.

The history follows key Afghan participants and their struggle for power while battling outside influences before and during the Cold War.  The communist coup d’état in Kabul in the late 1970s, although supported by Moscow, did not result in a Soviet client state. The communist regime had its own agenda. “The sexes were declared equal, and a minimum age was set for marriage…and dowries were restricted to encourage girls to have more choices. (27)  But this resulted only in more internal turmoil and violent changes at the top until the Soviet “strategic surprise” in 1979.“

The anticommunist Afghan forces reacted as they had in the 19th century—guerrilla warfare. And what became known as the “Mujahedin, an army of illiterate peasants…defeated the Soviets.” (40). But they clearly couldn’t have done it alone, and Riedel describes at some length the role of each major contributor—Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United States.

In part two, Riedel lays out the sequence of events in the Carter and Reagan administrations that led to the decision to provide Stinger missiles to the Mujahedin to use against the Red Army. It wasn’t the CIA’s idea alone. After General Zia sent raiding units into the Soviet Union and tried other unsuccessful measures to defeat the Soviets, he made the critical decision to allow their use. Riedel reviews the obstacles the CIA had to overcome—setting up training and supply lines, arranging funding, gaining congressional cooperation, establishing rules of engagement, and managing alliances—to achieve its greatest covert-action success.

What We Won concludes with a discussion of lessons that in many cases “were never envisioned” at the outset and should be considered when future covert actions of this kind are considered. (141ff) This is an important book.

[Top of page]



Analyzing Intelligence: National Security Practitioners’ Perspectives, Second Edition, edited by Roger Z. George and James B. Bruce (Georgetown University Press, 2014), 381 pp., end-of-chapter notes, index.

In the first edition of Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations (2007), former senior CIA analysts Roger George and James Bruce presented 19 contributions from experts that reviewed the history of intelligence analysis, discussed its current status as a profession, and assessed promising analytic techniques. The second edition has 20 articles, arranged in six parts. Eight of the articles are new, and those retained have been updated. All reflect progress in training, analytic rigor, and professional certification compelled by developments since the previous edition.

The six parts are entitled: “The Analytic Tradition,” “The Policymaker-Analyst Relationship,” “Diagnosis and Prescription,” “Enduring Challenges,” “Analysis for Twenty-First-Century Issues,” and “Leading Analytic Change.” The specific subjects cover a range of issues: essential knowledge, reliability, dealing with uncertainty, developing relationships among analysts and collectors in different organizations (civilian and military), and new analytic techniques. The occupational hazards inherent in intelligence analysis—methodological, psychological and bureaucratic—are spelled out by CIA analyst emeritus Jack Davis, a protégé of Sherman Kent, in his article, “Why Bad Things Happen To Good Analysts.” In contrast, “Building a Community of Analysts” and “Analytic Outreach” consider the impact of IC-wide changes, their effect on collaboration, and the importance of “getting it right.” (288)

The idea of analysis as a profession is a common theme throughout the book. Just what does it mean to be a professional intelligence analyst? Does the term impart the same cachet and prestige as “lawyer” or “doctor”? Most authors say, “not yet,” and go on to suggest what needs to be done to achieve that goal. One article, “Is Intelligence Analysis a Discipline?” suggests that achieving a status comparable to “law, medicine and library science” (57) requires that analysis have the specific standards and certifications associated with a professional discipline. It also involves acknowledgement of the “risk mitigation” factor—a recognition that analytic results often put human lives at risk. Requirements for professional standing would include mastery of standardized critical analytical methods, development of analytic tradecraft, interaction with academia, and—unique to intelligence analysis—protection of sources, which is treated in the final chapter.

Analyzing Intelligence is an important, thoroughly documented book that clarifies the vital importance of analysis to the intelligence profession. It should be carefully read by students and practitioners alike.

The Art of Intelligence: Simulation, Exercises, and Games, William J. Lahneman and Rubén Arcos (eds.) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 282 pp., end-of-chapter notes and references, index.

The Art of Intelligence presents a study of analysis and the various methods the contributors use when teaching students about how “to think and perform analysis” and training them in the profession. (xi) And while the lecture is the most common technique for imparting this knowledge, when it comes to acquiring “analytic tradecraft,” the editors contend that students learn best through experimental simulations and games. To that end, the 15 chapters in The Art of Intelligence explain three types of simulations the authors have used to improve student analytic skills.

The first type is simulation involving one or two class sessions. There are five examples for this type, and the authors devote a chapter to each. Each stresses a different form of analysis. The components are the same, however: background data, objectives, number of players, raw data supplied, time allowed for various events, and debriefing guidance to assess whether objectives were met. The subjects include Iraqi WMD, competing hypotheses, analysis ethics, and cognitive strategies.

The second type—one-to-two-week exercises—brings in issues of cybersecurity, “need to share,” competitor and Big Data analysis. The third category—multiweek simulations—is intended for graduate courses and is the most ambitious. The first of the four chapters on this final category has “analysts seeking to locate a biological weapons research facility.” (185) Techniques intended for use in that exercise include Bayesian analysis and probabilities deployed in the context of competing hypotheses. The second and third chapters describe analytical simulation conducted at Brunel and Lund Universities. A final example deals with multimedia intelligence products and simulates all of the steps an analyst might face in writing assessments.

The Art of Intelligence does not cite studies to support its argument that these types of simulations will produce better intelligence analysts. Nor does it discuss the other important courses of study—languages, computers, international relations, etc. Still, it does document the sophisticated level of courses currently offered in European and American institutions.

Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies – An Anthology, Fourth Edition, Loch Johnson and James Wirtz (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2015), 606 pp., end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, index.

This latest edition of the Johnson and Wirtz anthology has 40 articles, six of which are new. The volume is intended for reading in courses on US intelligence and as an introduction for the general public. The contributors are a mix of academics and serving and former intelligence officers, mostly American. There are also selections from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the Aldrich Ames espionage case.

The anthology is organized into 10 parts. The first is an introduction to the subject of intelligence, followed by sections on collection, analysis, intelligence and the policymaker, the dangers of politicization, covert action, counterintelligence, the dangers of politicization, and accountability and civil liberties.  The ninth part, which is on intelligence in the aftermath of 9/11, presents some thought-provoking analysis on failures said to be associated with that event.

The final part looks at intelligence systems in the Soviet Union, Britain, Egypt, and France and how they compare with the United States. The authors are natives of the countries being compared, with the exception of the American specialist analyzing Egyptian intelligence.

The anthology has two disappointing shortcomings worth noting. The first is that only three foreign services are compared to their US counterparts; more would be helpful. The second is the absence of any indication in the bibliography of which intelligence texts best served the authors.

The epilogue is a useful look at the future of intelligence and the challenges of the information revolution. Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies is a good introduction to the topic and a valuable contribution.[2]

Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies, Robert Dover, Michael S. Goodman and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.) (Routledge, 2014), 363 pp., end-of-chapter notes, references, index.

In the early 1980s, Georgetown University professor Roy Godson edited a series of books on the principal fields of intelligence—collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence—with contributions by retired intelligence officers with firsthand experience.[3] Around that same time, historians Wilhelm Agrell and Bo Huldt edited a volume published devoted to the history of intelligence, with contributions from historians in Sweden, the United States, Germany, and Denmark. Since then, similar works have appeared with increasing frequency. The Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies is a recent example.

Editors Robert Dover, Michael S. Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand have assembled articles by 35 authors from universities and government and private organizations from eight different countries. The lead article, by Loch Johnson, summarizes the development of intelligence studies from his point of view as the editor of one of the several journals devoted to the subject. He considers, for example, how treatment of the subject has evolved in scholarly articles, books, and the media. He suggests critical questions that deserve attention but can only be answered by decisionmakers and perhaps by academics after long study, for example, how do we know “whether or not intelligence plays a significant role in the making of government decisions?” (19)

There are also articles on what can be learned from historical studies, the importance of theory and culture, and new ways of viewing old concepts like the intelligence cycle.  Of particular interest is the discussion of intelligence systems in 12 countries—the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, France, India, China, Japan, Israel, Germany, Russia, and Spain. The final and perhaps most stimulating section of the book has nine articles on challenges for the future. They cover a range of topics including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, WMD, energy and food security, privacy, accountability, and organized crime.

The Routledge Companion gives a good idea of the progress of intelligence studies over the past 30 years, the important questions that have yet to be answered, and the areas that will dominate the field for the foreseeable future.

Understanding the Intelligence Cycle, edited by Mark Phythian (Routledge, 2013), 167 pp., end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, index.

The intelligence cycle is a basic theoretical model often used to show how the principal parts of the intelligence process—requirements, collection, analysis, and dissemination—are related. There are many variants with more and different functions included, as a simple Google search will show. For example, planning and management, implicitly part of the cycle, are only sometimes included explicitly. But the idea that these steps are always involved in accomplishing an intelligence mission is generally accepted.

What is not accepted by anyone who works in the business is that the parts of the process always—or even ever—occur in the commonly described sequence. The model is often challenged because it does not depict the interrelationships and interactions that routinely occur during each phase. Changes due to modified requirements, updated information, conflicts among analysts, changed assumptions, and management decisions are the norm, and they are nonlinear, many occurring at the same time. Understanding the Intelligence Cycle deals with each of these issues and suggests alternative models that better reflect reality.

Each of the contributions to this book suggests variations of the basic model. None presents a system that will work in all circumstances. While most look at the production of national security intelligence, one chapter considers policing intelligence, and another looks at the corporate world. Several include covert action and counterintelligence explicitly while others look at the influence of “cyber-specific espionage” (86) and other technological variables.

Whether a single model of the intelligence-producing system is even possible remains in doubt. But Understanding the Intelligence Cycle provides a better understanding of the problem and should help professionals at all levels.

[Top of page]



Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo, by Jack Cheevers (NAL Caliber, 2014), 431 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

On 23 January 1968, the USS Pueblo was conducting a SIGINT mission in international waters off the coast of North Korea when it was attacked by North Korean naval gunboats. After one member of his crew had been killed, the ship’s captain, US Navy Commander Lloyd Bucher, surrendered the out gunned Pueblo without firing a shot. Bucher and his crew spent the next 11 months imprisoned under awful conditions. They were released on 23 December 1968. Although welcomed home sympathetically by the US public, a naval court of inquiry recommended that Bucher be court-martialed for surrendering his ship without a fight. The secretary of the navy overruled the court and returned Bucher to active duty.

In Act of War, former Los Angeles Times journalist Jack Cheevers tells the Pueblo’s story from several angles. The first concerns the crew—its selection, its personal relationships, its overall admirable behavior in captivity, and the impact of the stress its members endured. The second deals with senior naval officers responsible for the mission and addresses the many shortcomings in planning and training (especially in emergency destruction procedures for the top-secret communications equipment) and the inadequate refurbishing of the Pueblo, which left it incapable of effective combat. The third examines the US government at policymaking levels, which were dealing with a particularly stressful period on the Korean Peninsula—the North Koreans had just made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the South Korean president on 21 January 1968, and in Vietnam, the Tet Offensive was about to erupt. Cheevers describes how North Korea’s demands for an apology and President Johnson’s refusal were finally satisfied by a “diplomatic legerdemain.” (229)

Finally, Cheevers reviews the damage caused by the loss of the top-secret NSA communications equipment. Drawing on a recently released NSA history of the incident, he shows that attempts to destroy the gear before capture were not totally effective. The North Koreans were able to recover and make serviceable some of the crypto gear thrown overboard and to reassemble much of what had been smashed. They shared the results with the Soviet Union. The NSA assumed that possession of the equipment itself did not endanger security since the encryption keys were not compromised. Thus the NSA did not replace its other communications equipment that was in use throughout the military. Only when the espionage of John Walker was discovered in 1985—he supplied the keys—was it realized how vulnerable the Navy had been. Act of War follows commander Bucher’s post-Pueblo naval career and his retirement years. Despite the lasting admiration of his crew, Bucher would never overcome the stigma in navy circles of having surrendered his ship without a fight.

Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a WWII Special Agent, by Pearl Witherington Cornioley (Chicago Review Press, 2013). 208 pp., endnotes, bibliography, appendix, photos, index.

She Landed by Moonlight: The Story of Secret Agent Pearl Witherington; ‘the real Charlotte Gray,’ by Carole Seymour-Jones (Hodder & Stoughton, 2013), 421 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was the British paramilitary organization formed to support resistance movements in Nazi- and Japanese-occupied countries during WW II. “F” section was responsible for France, to which some 400 officers had been dispatched. Of the 39 women sent, 13 didn’t come back. Pearl Witherington was one who did. Recommended for the Military Cross, she was declared ineligible, as it was for men only. When awarded a civilian Member of the Order of the British Empire, she returned it with the comment that “she had done nothing civil.”[4] Code Name Pauline is her story as originally told to French historian Hervé Larroque in 1984, when she was 70 years old.

Witherington was born in Paris, the daughter of British parents. Her father was a ne’er-do-well traveling salesman who neglected his family. As a young adult, Witherington found a job with the air attaché in the British embassy to help support her mother and three sisters. When WW II started, the family escaped to England via Portugal. In London, she found work as a secretary with the Air Ministry. Not content to serve out the war typing memos, she sought some way to return to France and help the resistance. The SOE was the answer.

She describes her training and her parachute drop into occupied France, where she was to serve as a courier for the STATIONER circuit. When the circuit commander was arrested by the Gestapo, STATIONER was disbanded, and Witherington was given command of the new WRESTLER circuit, which would eventually grow to some 2,900 strong. After D-Day, her circuit went into action destroying communications lines and otherwise impeding the German advance. She was working with Jedburgh team JULIAN, when it brought a German panzer division to a near standstill.

After the war, Witherington returned to London, married her pre-war sweetheart and resistance comrade, Henri Cornioley, and eventually settled in France She lived to 93 years of age.

She Landed by Moonlight covers the same general story, but in much greater detail. The book’s subtitle refers to a novel by Sebastian Faulks that was based in part on Witherington’s resistance experiences.[5]

Author Carole Seymour-Jones includes much more about Witherington’s personal life and bureaucratic battles within the SOE and with de Gaulle’s resistance elements. She also expands on the logistical and organizational problems Witherington encountered in the field, and the reluctance—French and English—to accept women in command roles. In this connection, Seymour-Jones clarifies the issues surrounding Witherington’s initial refusal to accept a civilian award in lieu of the Military Cross and the successful battle she waged to have the regulations changed. (352–56) Seymour-Jones also adds a great deal about Witherington’s operational life in the resistance, including several close calls with the Gestapo and problems dealing with the French communists. Finally, there is more context on the conduct of the war as it affected the resistance.

She Landed by Moonlight provides the documentation lacking in Code Name Pauline and leaves no doubt as to the quality and uniqueness of Pearl Witherington’s wartime service.

Fighting to Lose: How the German Secret Intelligence Service Helped the Allies Win the Second World War, by John Bryden (Dundurn, 014), 415 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

In Fighting to Lose, John Bryden, a journalist and former member of the Canadian Parliament, attempts to rewrite the history of WW II intelligence. He speculates that the Germans intentionally worked to secure Allied victory by sending poorly qualified agents to operate in Britain, that British intelligence was inept, and that much of the intelligence history written about the events covered is wrong.

Among his conclusions is that the British Double-Cross System was “a flop,” (308) despite all the evidence—which he ignores—of its value in deceiving the Germans on D-Day. Then there is his assertion that SNOW, the first double-cross agent, was a really a German agent—and British traitor—who revealed to his German masters the existence of radar and how it worked. Bryden never acknowledges that the report SNOW furnished was an MI5 fabrication that succeeded in misinforming the Germans and caused them to redesign their own radar equipment so it would not function properly.

Equally dodgy thinking surfaces when Bryden claims that the MI5 registry files destroyed by fire at Wormwood Scrubs during an air raid were actually lost due to sabotage and that Guy Liddell, a senior MI5 officer, was somehow involved. (297) Bryden is more direct but equally inaccurate when he charges Liddell with allowing enemy agents to penetrate MI5. He writes, “Indeed the evidence against Liddell is huge. In addition to opening the doors for Burgess, Blunt and Philby to enter MI5 and MI6, and the access he gave Blunt to his office documents, it is not an innocent coincidence the MI5 totally failed to detect Soviet recruitment of young intellectuals at Oxford and Cambridge.” (287) But as is well established in Christopher Andrew’s authorized history of MI5, among other sources, Liddell did not know these Soviet agents before they joined British intelligence, and he can hardly be blamed for not detecting their recruitment.

And then there is Bryden’s novel claim that while supervising the interception of diplomatic bags—Operation TRIPLEX—Anthony Blunt “could freely put into them whatever he wanted, enabling the ever-suspicious Stalin to see for himself what Blunt stole.” A difficult task since Blunt never touched a diplomatic bag; he merely managed the operation.[6]

The most egregious speculation—in fact and in tone—is that at their August 1941 meeting at sea, Churchill showed Roosevelt the “Popov’s Pearl Harbor questionnaire…it would have been on ‘onion skin’…one can picture it hanging limp—tissue like—in Roosevelt’s hands. Churchill would have watched as he read, the president’s expression fading from polite interest to grim realization as he absorbed what it was that the Germans wanted.” (205) Bryden provides no evidence that this event occurred, and he is the only one to suggest it did.

Regrettably, the few examples given above are illustrative of the entire book. Fighting to Lose is appalling history.

Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott, by Christian M. McBurney (Westholme Publishing, 2014), 334 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

In Kidnapping the Enemy, Washington, DC lawyer-historian Christian McBurney tells the story of two major generals in the Revolutionary War. One, Charles Lee, joined the British army at age 14. He saw combat in America during the French and Indian War and later served in several European armies. While demonstrating admirable military abilities, he also earned a reputation as an outspoken critic of his superiors, referring to one as “our booby-in-chief.” (4) After several courts martials that diminished his chances for high rank in the British Army, Lee left for New York in 1773 to seek his fortune. By April 1775, he was major general in the Revolutionary Army and would soon become Washington’s second in command. True to his reputation, it wasn’t long before Lee was scheming to replace Washington, whom he characterized in a letter as “most damnably deficient.” (32)

On the night of 12 December 12, 1776, Lee’s career took an unanticipated turn: he was captured by a British patrol.  Prisoner Lee expected to be exchanged, as was the custom in America. However, the British considered him a deserter and wanted him hanged, as was the custom in Britain. When Washington offered to exchange a British lieutenant colonel for Lee, British General Howe demanded an officer of rank equal to Lee’s, a condition he knew the Americans couldn’t meet. While the stalemate continued, Lee became more and more sympathetic to the British cause.

In July 1777, the second major general entered the picture when American LtCol. William Barton learned where the much detested British MajGen. Richard Prescott—he chained and beat prisoners—was spending his nights. Using intelligence from British deserters and a slave, Quako Honeyman, Barton and his volunteers executed a daring night time raid and captured Prescott—an episode McBurney details.

After lengthy negotiations an exchange occurred on 5 April 1778, and Lee was returned to duty. But when he performed badly in a battle at Monmouth Court House in New Jersey, Washington had him court martialed for “making an unnecessary retreat.” (178) He was later dismissed from the army. Unrepentant, Lee continued his diatribes against Washington—some of which, McBurney writes, historians later supported (179)—but Lee was largely ignored and died in Philadelphia in 1782, aged 51.

Kidnapping the Enemy is a little known story of the War for Independence, beautifully told, wonderfully documented, and a pleasure to read.

The Spy Who Changed the World: Klaus Fuchs and the Secrets of the Nuclear Bomb, by Mike Rossiter (Headline Publishing Group, 2014), 344 pp., bibliography, photos, index.

In mid-September 1949, FBI special agent Robert Lamphere “found a startling bit of information in a newly deciphered 1944 KGB message…that seemed to have come from inside the Manhattan Project.” The investigation he conducted pointed directly at British atomic physicist Klaus Fuchs as the KGB source. MI5 was informed, and it began an inquiry. “Over a period of several weeks in December 1949,” Lamphere wrote, MI5 interrogator Jim “Skardon met with Fuchs and started to gain his confidence.”[7] On 24 January 1950, Fuchs confessed. What Skardon said in those meetings remained secret within MI5 for the next 60 years. In The Spy Who Changed the World, military historian Mike Rossiter draws on recently released MI5 files, which revealed details of Skardon’s approach and much more about the Fuchs case.

Fuchs was a committed communist when he arrived in England as a refugee from Nazi Germany in September 1933. Having studied physics at the University of Leipzig, he was accepted at the University of Bristol, where he earned his PhD. He then moved to the University of Edinburgh, where he worked until WW II started. Briefly interned in Canada, he returned to Britain in 1941, with the help of colleagues, and began work on the Tube Alloys project (Britain’s atomic research program). It was then that he started spying for the Soviet Union.

Among the many issues that have puzzled historians about Fuchs’s career is why he was made a British citizen and cleared by MI5 to work on the atomic bomb. According to Rossiter, Fuchs’s communist views and connections in England were well known among his friends and colleagues before the war. And some MI5 officers knew but were ignored. It is now clear from the released MI5 records that had a proper background investigation been conducted, Fuchs would never have been allowed to participate in Tube Alloys. The folly was compounded when Fuchs was assigned to work on the Manhattan Project and the British assured US Army counterintelligence that they had vetted him when they really had not.

While the book’s title, The Spy Who Changed the World, is probably an exaggeration of Fuchs’s contribution to the Soviet atom bomb program, Rossiter’s account of his role leaves little doubt that it was substantial. This view was echoed by the Russian atomic scientists that Rossiter interviewed, though few specifics are provided. The narrative also adds details of Fuchs’s walk-in recruitment, other communists he referred to the KGB, and how he met and worked with his handlers. Rossiter deals at some length with Fuchs’s relationship with his final KGB handler, Alexander Feklisov, the former Rosenberg case officer. Rossiter mistakenly writes that Feklisov once “worked under the name of Yuri Modin” (182); Modin was the KGB officer handling the Cambridge agents at the time.

Rossiter’s account of how Fuchs reluctantly identified Harry Gold as “Raymond,” his KGB contact in the United States, adds some new background details, but nothing that changes Gold’s story. Rossiter concludes his book with some new material about Fuchs’s life in Britain and East Germany after he was released from prison.

The one question that remains unanswered, Rossiter notes, is why Fuchs confessed. There was no evidence against him that could be used in court. And he could have retracted his confession at any time until sentencing; he didn’t do that, either. Rossiter puzzles over the situation and is forced to acknowledge it will remain a mystery at least until more files are released.

The Spy Who Changed the World is the most comprehensive account of the Fuchs case to date, but it suffers a major shortcoming. None of the many quotations and facts mentioned are specifically sourced. Thus it is not the last word.

Spying for the Führer: Hitler’s Espionage Machine, by Christer Jörgensen (Chartwell Books, 2014), 224 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

For those wishing for a broad overview of the German intelligence services from WW I to the end of WW II, Spying for the Führer is a good place to start. Swedish military historian Christer Jörgensen provides an easy-reading summary of how the services were dismantled after WW I and how they struggled to rebuild after Hitler came to power. His principal focus is on the Abwehr (military intelligence) commanded by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who fought bureaucratic battles with the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the Nazi party secret service that eventually took over the Abwehr. Jörgensen tells how Canaris, initially a follower of Hitler, decided Hitler was bad for Germany and worked to impede Nazi progress. At one point Canaris sent an emissary to meet with OSS in Istanbul to “discover what peace terms the Americans would be willing to offer a post-Hitler Germany.” (106) The effort was rebuffed.

Jörgensen also examines the quality of Abwehr espionage operations and mentions some of the double-cross agents turned and run by the British. Jörgensen rates them as amateurs, giving higher marks to the Abwehr and Gestapo for shutting down the Red Orchestra, and to Major Hermann Giskes, who successfully doubled all the SOE agents sent to Holland. Jörgensen also gives high praise to General Reinhard Gehlen for his apolitical approach to military intelligence and provides a short review of German code-breaking efforts, which were successful here and there, but overall a failure. The one new topic in the book is Sweden’s role in the war, including its secret attempts to broker peace.

Spying for the Führer is richly illustrated with photographs that enhance the telling. In the end, Jörgensen rates the overall German intelligence performance as poor, though he provides few details of operations. He concludes that by the time the war started, the Allied services were already ahead, and the Germans never caught up.

Spymaster: The Secret Life of Kendrick, by Helen Fry (Marranos Press, 2014), 528 pp., bibliography, photos, index.

Researcher Helen Fry first heard about Thomas Kendrick while interviewing German and Austrian refugees. He had commanded an intelligence unit that interrogated German prisoners and secretly recorded their private conversations in Britain during WW II. The refugees Fry interviewed had been Kendrick’s interpreters, but would add no further details. Intrigued, she interviewed his family members, located the proverbial “attic trunk” containing his memorabilia, and found more material in British archives. Spymaster tells his story.

Kendrick was born in South Africa. He served in the Boer War and with British Field Intelligence Security in WW I. Fluent in German, he interrogated POWs for MI1(c)/MI6 and became friends with Stewart Menzies, who later became “C” (head of the SIS). Kendrick joined MI6 in Cologne after the war. At the time, he worked against communist networks. In 1925, age 44 and married, he was posted to Vienna as head of station. From there, he handled agents throughout Europe. In August 1938, the Gestapo arrested him for espionage—one of Kendrick’s agents had betrayed him. Thanks to the British Foreign Office, he was released, but he was expelled from Germany. The Gestapo never learned that he had also helped many Jews escape the Nazis—Fry dubs him “Vienna’s Oskar Schindler.” (499) Throughout WW II, Kendrick commanded the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC).

Kendrick remained with MI6 until retiring in 1948, although his duties are not disclosed. He spent the rest of his years in the village of Oxshott, where his neighbor was former colleague Charles “Dick” Ellis. At this point in the narrative, Fry digresses a bit with a discussion of whether Ellis was, as suspected, a former German and Soviet agent. Then she speculates on the possibility that Kim Philby, who had been in Vienna while Kendrick was there, was, in fact, a triple agent. (497)

Although Fry adds much detail to her story about Kendrick’s operational experiences in MI6 and about the various officers with whom he worked, she does not link the sources in her bibliography with any specific events. Thus it is difficult to evaluate her conclusions about the value of Kendrick’s operations. For example, she writes that CSDIC’s functions were really “as important for winning the war as Bletchley Park.” (9) And even more challenging is her claim that Kendrick “had been at the heart of the most important intelligence work in the history of SIS/MI6 over at least three decades.” (10) Spymaster leaves to historians the final decision on Thomas Kendrick’s career.

Strategic Intelligence in the Cold War and Beyond, by Jefferson Adams (Routledge, 2015), 166 pp., end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, chronology, glossary, index.

Jefferson Adams is a professor of European history at Sarah Lawrence College. He has written many articles on intelligence history, and his recent book, the Historical Dictionary of German Intelligence, is among the best reference works on the subject. When teaching a course on the role of intelligence in the Cold War era, he found that there was no one volume that covered the subject. Strategic Intelligence in the Cold War and Beyond is intended to fill that gap.

By way of introduction, Adams reviews the origins of the major principal intelligence services in each of the player nations—members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, plus Israel and China. Then he discusses the major early Cold War operations and confrontations, from the time GRU code clerk Igor Gouzenko defected in Canada, to the development of US photo satellites. This is followed by a review of the strategic impact of intelligence in dealing with the Cuban regime, the Berlin crises, Vietnam, and the Prague Spring. Intermixed chronologically are discussions of periodic eruptions in the Middle East and of the Iranian hostage crisis. Then comes an examination of the KGB role in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its aftermath. The latter includes several defector cases that influenced events before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites.

After looking at intelligence organizations and operations in the Cold War, Adams takes a step back to consider the motivations and actions of those in the field who made things happen. He presents three case studies toward that end. The first concerns Günter and Christel Guillaume, East German agents who spied on West Germany. The second discusses Robert Hanssen and what drove him to disloyalty. The third case reviews the contribution of Ryszard Kuklinski, the Polish army officer who informed the CIA about the Soviet threat to Poland and the Solidarity movement.

The end of the Cold War came suddenly, to the surprise of many, and the security services in the Warsaw Pact countries were powerless to prevent it. Adams looks at the reasons, including the role of the Vatican and the KGB and its satellite services, as they attempted to forestall it and discredit the United States.

Before considering the aftermath of these events, Adams digresses briefly to examine how Cold War espionage “entered the popular imagination through the medium of fiction, movies, and television.” (85) He includes precedent-setting pre-WW I examples and ends, of course, with James Bond.

The final chapter on the upshot of the Cold War summarizes what happened to the many intelligence services previously mentioned. He concludes that “probably the most enduring legacy left by the Cold War was the realization that intelligence organizations play an indispensable role in the structure of a modern state.” (141) Strategic Intelligence in the Cold War and Beyond is a valuable contribution to the intelligence literature.

Uphill Battle: Reflections on Viet Nam Counterinsurgency, by Frank Scotton. (Texas Tech University Press, 2014) 464 pp, endnotes, appendices, photos, index.

Frank Scotton retired in 1998 as the assistant director for East Asia at the US Information Agency of the State Department. He began his overseas career more than 50 years ago in Vietnam. Between 1962 and 1975, he spent part of each year in Vietnam with the US Information Service and then took assignments with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV)/Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) and with the Joint United States Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO), merged USIA, State Department, and Defense Department public affairs elements in Vietnam.  Several books and studies of the war mention Scotton and his USIS colleagues. Neil Sheehan’s A Bright and Shining Lie (1988) was one and Douglas Valentine’s The Phoenix Program (1990) was another. Citing an interview with Scotton, Valentine describes him as “the USIS officer most deeply involved in Phoenix.” Valentine, again citing Scotton, returned to the subject, with a twist, in a 2003 CounterPunch article in which he wrote that in “1965 Scotton was ostensibly employed by the U.S. Information Service, though his undercover job as a CIA officer was forming assassination squads around Saigon in what was the prototype of the CIA’s infamous Phoenix Program.”[8]

Uphill Battle does not deal with Valentine’s charges directly, but Scotton notes in the explanation of why he wrote the book that “much of what I read [about the Vietnam War] is mistaken… and one writer cited interviews with me when in fact we had not met.” (367-68) Uphill Battle presents a meticulously documented firsthand chronicle of Scotton’s experiences as a USIS officer in Vietnam.

Scotton’s initial assignment was to research life in the rural areas of Vietnam and compare it to the official line produced by the South Vietnamese government. His approach followed classic, but not always applied, advisor doctrine: learn the language, get to know the people and their culture, and report reality. He mostly travelled alone, visited places avoided by others, and survived a helicopter crash and a one-on-one encounter with an armed Viet Cong. Sometimes he drove, but he often walked with only a backpack and carbine.

Scotton gradually established contacts with South Vietnamese leaders and American military advisers as he developed techniques to report on and exploit the local political situation in the countryside. By 1964 he had organized local platoons to combat the VC propaganda. That experience led to his CORDS assignment where he worked under future Director of Central Intelligence William Colby. His duties included monitoring developments at the National Training Center and “maintaining the files on corruption and inept performance,” (255) which were based on reports from advisers in the field.

The latter function brought Scotton into contact with pacification operations and the Phoenix Program. (He refers to it by its Vietnamese name, Phung Hoang.) Scotton relates a conversation with Colby in which Scotton expressed his reservations about the program. He wrote that he was assured that others had been assigned “to work toward assuring a legal basis for the arrest and detention system.” (257) Before Colby returned to Washington in 1971, he arranged Scotton’s transfer to JUSPAO, whose public affairs operations were beginning to be cut back. It was to be Scotton’s final assignment in Vietnam.

Scotton’s account of these and many other events in his Vietnam experience is detailed using Vietnamese names and locations—one wishes maps had been included. He tries his best to address the continually changing political conditions that at one point he calls a “spongy bureaucratic mess.” (258) He also describes his personal and operational contacts with key Americans in Vietnam. These include Daniel Ellsberg, Lucien Conein, John Paul Vann, Edward Lansdale, and Frank Snepp. Scotton’s observations on their roles are worth attention. He also explains how his tours affected his personal life and how he managed his State Department career with short assignments in Washington, a Chinese language course, and a tour in Kuala Lumpur.

The end of the Vietnam saga came as no surprise to Scotton. He was in Taiwan in March 1975, on his way to Saigon, when he received word that Ambassador Martin had disapproved his return. He went anyway to arrange for the extraction of the Vietnamese with whom he had worked; in those times, few at Scotton’s level paid much attention to Martin. Back in Washington by April 1975, he viewed the debacle from afar.

Uphill Battle adds a perspective on the Vietnam War that armchair critics cannot hope to match.

[Top of page]



China’s Security State: Philosophy, Evolution, and Politics, by Xuezhi Guo (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 486 pp., footnotes, bibliography, index.

In his article on the challenges of understanding Chinese intelligence, China expert Peter Mattis concludes that “China’s intelligence services have long been underanalyzed as major bureaucratic organizations and components of state power.”[9] In China’s Security State, Guilford College political science professor Xuezhi Guo seeks to correct that deficiency in what he terms “the first scholarly study of Chinese security and intelligence organizations and their role in elite politics.” (4)

Professor Guo’s initial approach is straightforward though the narrative is dense and could do with an occasional dash of bumper-sticker simplicity. First he discusses the evolution of the security and intelligence services and outlines their distinctive functions. Then he examines how they function to protect the regime and guarantee compliance with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. Next, he analyzes the services’ organization and operations.

From then on, with one exception, nothing is straightforward in the Chinese system. The exception is that the party is the boss. China’s Security State is the story of multiple organizations whose names change frequently and whose missions overlap as they compete to collect the intelligence used to control citizens and officials and identify spies and dissidents, who often spy on one another while protecting CCP leaders.

The first seven chapters discuss the evolution of the Ministry of State Security, the Central Guards Regiment, the People’s Armed Police and the Garrison Commands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which are placed in major cities, at defense installations, and at various military sites. The succeeding two chapters examine the foreign intelligence elements. These are followed by a chapter on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—which has its own intelligence and security mission—and its relationship with the other security services and the political leadership. The overlap of missions between the civilian and “PLA intelligence services [is] encouraged” and “creates a competitive intelligence environment.” (422)

Despite the authoritarian character of the security state, Guo sees some future indications of “a democracy with Chinese characteristics, which would emphasize community welfare over individual rights and that is neither fully democratic nor completely repressive.” (444) Considering the complex bureaucratic relationships that dominate every aspect of society, this seems overly optimistic. One thing is evident, however: truly understanding China requires a thorough knowledge of its security and intelligence services. China’s Security State provides a necessary foundation toward that goal.

Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee—A Look Inside North Korea, by Jang Jin-sung (Atria Books, 2014), 339 pp., glossary, index.

North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung liked books, especially those about himself. His son and successor, Kim Jong-il, continued that tradition, but given the severe paper shortage in the mid-1990s, he favored poetry. Jang Jin-sung was one of six poet laureates designated by the Workers’ Party to compose epics in honor of the “Dear Leader.” (5) When Kim Jong-il praised one of Jang’s poems, he was made one of the “Admitted,” the “tiny circle of elite whose presence Kim Jong-il had personally requested and who have spent more than twenty minutes with him behind closed doors.” (323)

But Jang had another distinction. He also worked for the United Front Department (UFD), “the section of the Workers’ Party, responsible for inter-Korean espionage, policy making and diplomacy.” (6) He was assigned to Division 19 (Poetry), a unit that “specialized in conducting psychological warfare operations against and about the South through the cultural media such as the press, literary arts, music and film.” (6) To accomplish his mission, Jang was given special travel privileges and access to South Korean literature and media publications. His job was to compose material favorable to the North, as if it had been written in the South, for consumption by citizens of the North. Dear Leader is the story of Jang’s awakening to the North Korean reality in the mid-1980s and his eventual defection.

Jang describes his youth in the small town of Sariwon in the 1950s and 60s as not unpleasant. His father was a party functionary, his mother a doctor. Their house was relatively spacious. The town had only one piano, but Jang still managed to become an accomplished pianist. When, after ten years working for the party, he returned home as one of the Admitted, he was shocked by the pervasive poverty evident from the train window and then in Sariwon itself. Until then, he had casually ignored the repression of the masses, wanting to believe that all would eventually be well if one followed the Dear Leader.

His disillusionment did not lead to any plans to defect, however. That decision came when he lent his only close friend in Pyongyang a book from South Korea—classified top secret—that he had taken home to read. The friend lost the book and some handwritten notes, and someone found it and turned it over to the secret police. When Jang heard what had happened, he knew he was in real trouble. The police traced the book to him from his fingerprints. They identified his friend from the handwritten notes. Jang’s status as one of the Admitted meant he could not be arrested until Kim Jong-il approved, but his friend was in immediate danger. Jang avoided surveillance, contacted his friend, and bought travel permits on the black market. The two headed for the border with China.

Their escape was a mixture of luck, close calls with the police, and help from sympathetic contacts made between the border and Beijing, where Jang received help at the South Korean embassy. He now lives in Seoul and has become a successful writer. Dear Leader is exciting reading that reveals firsthand, little-known insights about the North Korean regime.

Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America, by Reg Whitaker, Gregory S. Kealey, and Andrew Parnaby (University of Toronto Press, 2012), 687 pp., endnotes, photos, index.

 The three Canadian professors who published Secret Service in 2012 shared the 2013 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for this comprehensive history of the Canadian security and intelligence services. The central theme of the book is political policing, “usually against Canadian citizens.” And the authors argue that “Other countries do this as well—the FBI spies on Americans; MI5 and Special Branch spies on Britons; the French have…agencies…that spy on French citizens.” (7) In the US case, they invoke the preposterous metaphor of the early-1950s, “witch-hunts,” which they imply were in some respects illegal and unnecessarily repressive attempts to control subversion, a conclusion that may startle those who have read the work of Harvey Klehr and John Haynes.[10] Political repression in Canada, according to the authors, “has been confined to the legitimate auspices of the state.” (9) Thus, the authors candidly continue, “Canada has persistently spied on its own people, run undercover agents, and maintained secret sources of information [and] categorized people in terms of their personal beliefs…with serious consequences.” (10) Secret Service describes this Canadian-style “political policing” from 19th-century British colonial days to the present.

Colonial Canada faced social unrest from radicals in the Irish Fenian brotherhood and from Hindu groups advocating Indian self-rule.  The authors write that “Violence was part and parcel…of both movements.” (57)  The need to keep order led to “the creation of the secret service in the 1860s” (59) and in 1873, as labor unrest continued, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). (80) Security demands increased substantially with the onset of WW I. The enemy was no longer Irish or South Asian. Germans, Socialists and then the Bolsheviks assumed that role. After some initial postwar cutbacks in the security services, subversive activities increased as communism “replaced anti-imperialism as the source of the nation’s security anxieties,” and the RCMP was tasked with “surveillance and intelligence gathering operations.” (142)

The authors characterize WW II as a “good war for the Mounties,” (175) because they expanded security operations and responsibilities. They failed, however, to detect Soviet intelligence agents working in Canada until GRU code clerk Igor Gouzenko defected in September 1945. The fallout from his revelations became the focus of RCMP operations until the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors provide a lengthy, meticulous, and critical analysis of security service operations during the Cold War and the major organizational changes that occurred when questions of performance, accountability, and oversight arose.

In 1984, the Canadian Parliament authorized the creation of a new civilian security organization, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). At the same time, an independent, external review body—the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC)—was created to provide parliamentary oversight of CSIS operations. This structure is in place today.

A shift to antiterrorism operations took place rapidly after 9/11. What had been a domestic security service suddenly assumed overseas responsibilities just as requirements for domestic threat assessments increased and procedures for handling suspected terrorists were being developed. Some political challenges with the United States followed, and the authors explain how the Canadian version of the US Patriot Act was passed to deal with these issues.

The final chapter in Secret Service is a useful summary of the book and, when read directly after the introduction, will give readers a good overview of Canadian intelligence history. Issues raised in those essays can then be examined in detail in the intervening chapters.

While the authors document their story well, they also impart a point of view that questions whether many of the operations described were acts of repression or proper measures any security service would undertake to counter subversion and espionage. In any case, the book is an impressive history of the Canadian intelligence services.

[Top of page]



[1]  Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association, “About NISA,”

 [2] Readers interested in reading about non-Western intelligence may wish to read Charles Heard’s review of Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere on page 35 of this issue.

 [3]  See, for example, Roy Godson (ed.), Intelligence Requirements for the 1980s: Elements of Intelligence (Transaction Books, 1983).

 [4] M.R.D. Foot, SOE in France (Frank Cass, 2004), 48.

 [5] Sebastian Faulks, Charlotte Gray (Random House, 1999).

 [6] Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev, TRIPLEX Secrets from the Cambridge Spies (Yale University Press, 2009).

 [7] Robert J. Lamphere, The FBI-KGB War: A Special Agent’s Story (Mercer University Press, 1986), 133–36.

[8] Neil Sheehan, A Bright and Shinning Lie: John Paul Van and America in Vietnam (Random House, 1988); Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (William Morrow and Company, 1990); and Douglas Valentine, “The Clash of Icons—Will The Real Daniel Ellsberg Please Stand Up!” CounterPunch, March 8–10, 2003, For more of the same, see Douglas Valentine, “Vietnam Replay on Afghan ‘Defectors’,”, February 1, 2010, For a discussion of the pacification program using CIA sources and which touches on Scotton, see the declassified version of Thomas L. Ahern, CIA and Rural Pacification in South Vietnam (CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2001),*

 [9] Peter Mattis, “The Analytic Challenge of Understanding Chinese Intelligence Services,” Studies In Intelligence, 56 No. 3 (September, 2012): 54.  This article is available online at*

 [10] See, for example, John Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, SPIES: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press, 2009).

*Adobe® Reader® is needed to view Adobe PDF files. If you don't already have Adobe Reader installed, you may download the current version at (opens in a new window). [external link disclaimer]

[Top of page]


All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this journal are those of the authors. Nothing in any of the articles should be construed as asserting or implying US government endorsement of their factual statements and interpretations. Articles by non-US government employees are copyrighted.

Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:56 PM
Last Updated: Apr 24, 2015 12:56 PM