Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain, edited by Jon R. Lindsay, Tai Ming Cheung, and Derek S. Reveron

The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, by Lt. General Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen

A Passion For Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service, by Robert M. Gates

Spooked: How The CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood, by Nicholas Schou

The United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, by Peter Bergen

Cold War Counterfeit Spies: Tales of Espionage; Genuine or Bogus?, by Nigel West

George Washington’s Secret Spy War: The Making of America’s First Spymaster, by John A. Nagy

House of Spies: St. Ermin’s Hotel, The London Base of British Espionage, by Peter Matthews

The Man With The Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story, by Serhii Plokhy

A Season of Inquiry Revisited: The Church Committee Confronts America’s Spy Agencies, by Loch K. Johnson

The Secret History of World War II: Spies, Code Breakers & Covert Operations, by Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop

Spies in Palestine: Love, Betrayal, and the Heroic Life of Sarah Aaronsohn, by James Srodes

The Spies of Winter: The GCHQ Codebreakers Who Fought the Cold War, by Sinclair McKay

The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets, by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

Spymaster: The Life of Britain’s Most Decorated Cold War Spy and Head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield, by Martin Pearce

True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy, by Kati Marton

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb, by Neal Bascomb

The Handbook of European Intelligence Cultures, edited by Bob de Graaff and James M. Nyce with Chelsea Locke

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain, edited by Jon R. Lindsay, Tai Ming Cheung, and Derek S. Reveron. (Oxford University Press, 2015) 375, end of chapter notes, index.

“Born in a US university laboratory in the 1960s, the Internet is one of the most successful inventions in human history.” (123) This acknowledgment by Ye Zheng, a senior colonel in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), reflects the more objective non-ideological analysis found in each of the five contributions by Chinese specialists in China and Cybersecurity. Moreover, they agree, in general, with the other authors from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom about the importance of cybersecurity in foreign relations and domestic security, and the problems encountered. The latter include technical complexity, secrecy, privacy, national security constraints, and the form of government concerned. Understanding how these factors interact when they are complicated by cultural, political, economic, and military issues is the purpose of China and Cybersecurity. Each of the papers examines China’s cybersecurity program and its relationship with other nations.

In his introductory chapter, “Controversy and Context,” co-editor Jon Lindsay discusses how the Internet era has influenced China domestically and in its relationships with other nations, especially the United States. Western analysts, he suggests, see China as “the source and target of extensive cyber exploitation.” China agrees with the latter but views the former, in part, as “a thief crying, ‘Stop, thief!’” (3) China and Cybersecurity “investigates how China both generates and copes with Internet insecurity through its close attention to its domestic institutions and processes.” (4) Its 12 chapters, divided into four parts, cover the following areas: espionage and cyber crime, military strategy and institutions, national cybersecurity policy, and practical and theoretical implications.

Part I looks at the current organization, missions, and general tradecraft of China’s principal intelligence services—the Ministry of State Security (MSS) and the intelligence departments of the PLA. Cyber espionage and cyber (online) crime are also discussed. The former raises traditional issues due to secrecy, while the latter raises new challenges due to the nature of the Internet and the volume of users.

Part II argues that national security is now dependent on cyberspace and its security. Forms of cyberwarfare, “a hidden and quiet type of combat,” (125) are examined, along with Chinese writings on the subject. Coercive applications as applied by the PLA, the role of information warfare militias, and the problems of civil-military integration are also assessed.

Part III deals with China’s cybersecurity and the need for policies that account for the fact that “China has the largest number of users around the world.” (228) This part of the book also considers the legal frameworks required to protect the right to privacy in China, and the “ideological and institutional differences” (239) between China and the United States. It concludes with a call for “a China-US bilateral dialogue” (240) to sort out common problems.

The final part of China and Cybersecurity considers China’s information security threats to the United States, the reasons for the US “political and diplomatic inability” (325) to deal with them effectively, and suggestions for surmounting these shortcomings. 

For all but the best informed analysts, China and Cybersecurity—a thoroughly documented treatise—offers new material and new perspectives on a topic that will be a major part of global cybersecurity for the foreseeable future.

The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, by Lt. General Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen. (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) 194, bibliography, index.

The Field of Fight[1] tells the story of Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an Army brat who devoted his 33-year career to military intelligence. A self-described “maverick, an atypical square peg in a round hole,” (3) he concedes that his critics see him as a strong-willed, unbending contrarian. After asserting his views on the war on terror to a Congress and government that did not wish to hear them, he was forced to retire one year early as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He wrote this book to alert the public to the threat posed by “Radical Islamists”—a term he was forbidden to use while on active duty—to account for the mistakes that allowed the threat to increase, and to “lay out a winning strategy.” (3) To establish his credentials, after a brief account of his formative years, he describes the importance of military intelligence and how it evolved during his career, in the field at all levels of command; and the impact of political decisions on the military as it tried to fight the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Flynn sets the stage by explaining how a “nasty tough kid” (13) who dropped out of college after one year managed to return with an Army ROTC scholarship and receive a commission as a military intelligence officer “in the field of signals intelligence and electronic warfare.” (18) After assignments in the states and overseas, Flynn was assigned to Ft. Polk as an instructor. It was there he met then-“Colonels Stan McChrystal [and] David Petraeus.” (32) From their discussions about fighting a guerrilla war, he realized that timely intelligence “would be vastly more important” (33) fighting terrorists than it had been under WWII conditions. Throughout the narrative he lays out the basic principles and innovative approaches he developed—both technical and personnel-oriented—required to provide the timely intelligence needed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Central Command (CENTCOM), and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Field of Fight provides examples of how Flynn implemented his largely successful concepts and their use in “the surge” in the Iraq War. In doing so, other problems emerged that, from Flynn’s frustrated perspective, complicated accomplishing the mission. For example, when Iranians were discovered supporting—financially and with sophisticated electronics—insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan, permission to “go after them” was refused repeatedly by two administrations. On the home front, when the administration assured “the American people that al-Qa‘ida was broken,” while intelligence showed “their strength had roughly doubled” and the threat spread to Yemen and Africa, (105) the decision to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan made things worse. Flynn asserts that these and other facts, coupled with the appearance on the scene of ISIS, whose members are highly skilled in the use of social media, meant that the terrorists were winning, and he would later say as much to Congress.

In a chapter titled “How To Win,” Flynn recommends destroying the jihadi armies and discrediting their ideology, among other actions—but he also discusses the political and military difficulties associated with actually doing so. He concludes with a warning about the global intentions and ambitions of ISIS/ISIL and other radicals—not Muslims in general. To emphasize the risks associated with failing to challenge them in the media and on the battlefield, Flynn quotes an ISIS leader: “the Caliphate will . . . take over the entire world and behead every last person who rebels against Allah . . . this is the bitter truth, swallow it.” (159)

The Field of Fight is a spirited, candid, and sometimes colorful account of the threat of radical terrorism and what is, in General Flynn’s view, necessary to defeat it.

A Passion For Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service, by Robert M. Gates. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) 239, index.

Former DCI Robert Gates begins A Passion For Leadership with a simple truism: “Everybody hates bureaucracies, even those who work in them.” (89) The reasons, he assures us, are neither complicated nor profound: “as bureaucratic tentacles extend their reach into every nook and cranny of America, the litany of their incompetence and arrogance grows exponentially.” (4) The irony is that many have “become indispensable,” especially at the national level. (4) Gates quickly gets specific, citing examples that include the 9/11 intelligence failures, the IRS, the failure to plan for a post-invasion Iraq, inconsistent rules for airport security, and “the entrenched cultures that make real change difficult” (5)—to name just a few. The influence of bureaucracies on “the everyday experiences of Americans makes a compelling case that [they] do not work and cannot be reformed.” (6) It gets worse when “elective bodies with oversight responsibilities also are unreliable, unpredictable, and even irresponsible when it come to the lifeblood of public institutions—funding . . . And when you toss in the mindless acts of congressional misgovernance—such as shutdowns, furloughs, and sequestration—and micromanagement masquerading as oversight, just keeping the doors open is a challenge.” (10) A final contributing factor “is the uneven quality of the individuals elected or appointed to fulfill” key positions. (11)

And yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, Gates concludes it doesn’t have to be this way. In A Passion For Leadership he offers “leaders in bureaucracies—public and private, at all levels of leadership—specific ideas and techniques that can enable them to successfully reform and improve their organizations.” (20) Drawing on his experiences “leading transformational change” (10) at the CIA, as president of Texas A&M University, Secretary of Defense, chancellor of William and Mary College, and president of the Boy Scouts of America, Gates argues that “reform is not a luxury but a necessity” and that his book “is about people and how to lead them where they often don’t want to go.” (21)

Before he provides examples of how he approached his leadership challenges, Gates considers two of the 54 dictionary definitions of the term “leader” or “leadership.” Calling a leader “a pipe for conducting hot air [is] an apt definition perhaps for Washington, DC,” but does not suit his purposes: rather, his definition is “one who guides; one who shows the way.” (23) The principal characteristic a leader must possess, writes Gates, is a bold vision of the organization’s future, and “a realistic path to attaining that future,” with the understanding that the “transformation must start at the top.” (24)

Each of the 10 chapters in the book covers factors Gates deems essential for a successful leader, with examples of how these factors should and should not be applied. In the latter category, he reveals how he approached the need for change in the Directorate of Intelligence at CIA when he became its director in 1981. He filled the auditorium with managers and analysts, lectured them on their deficiencies, and informed them how they would be corrected—with the result being that he managed to alienate everyone, even those who agreed with his ideas. He admits that “the resentment smoldered for a long time” (41) and his approach to reform changed forever. 

Some of the topics Gates covers in the book are the risks of reorganizing to achieve operational benefit, encouraging the use of task forces to achieve specific goals, the importance of the “people factor” in all decisions, setting positive examples, the necessity of delegating authority, and the value of humor. In a surprising editorial gesture, Gates takes the somewhat stunning approach of defying convention with sentences such as this: “A leader’s heart must be on fire with belief in what she seeks to do. Changing institutions is a battle, and she must undertake it with courage. She must believe in it before she can persuade others to believe in it.” (227) While there are one or two uses of “he/she” (where either could be employed), the female pronoun is dominant throughout the book—without comment from the author.

A Passion For Leadership is full of valuable guidance and, while it does not tell how to train a leader, it does offer criteria that defines a good one.

Spooked: How The CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood, by Nicholas Schou. (Hot Books, 2016) 146, endnotes, no index.

In his foreword, journalist David Talbot (author of a dreadful biography of Allen Dulles[2] and now executive director of Hot Books) sets the tone for Spooked when he writes, “in today’s downsized media business . . . ambitious journalists soon learn to play ball with the right people at CIA headquarters . . . if they value their professional future.” He goes on to charge that “producers, directors, writers and stars . . . give CIA personnel supervisory powers and screen credits in return for the dubious benefits of private tours of CIA headquarters and meeting with CIA bigwigs.” The only accuracies here are the correctly spelled words. Author Nicholas Schou, writes Talbot, “. . . shows us how the Langley media machine works.” (x–xi)

Schou’s argument is straightforward: every journalistic and media contact with the CIA leads to CIA manipulation of the journalist and the journalist’s message. He attempts to support these and related charges with assertions, not facts, such as: “after 9/11, American screenwriters, directors, and producers have traded positive portrayal of the spy profession in film or television projects for special access and favors at CIA headquarters.” (4)

Schou fills his pages with examples of past CIA operations that he twists and misinterprets to conform to his preconceived notions. His treatment of the Gary Webb case is typical. Webb claimed the CIA was involved in drug trafficking; when the mainstream press and his own publisher repudiated the story, it was withdrawn. Webb lost his job, his marriage, and tragically took his own life. Schou claims the CIA was behind the withdrawal; he includes a quote attributed to the CIA, but typically fails to provide a source. (53–54)

Some Spooked accusations about media manipulation are dodgy, if not dishonest. For example, Schou notes that “not a single US official, military officer, or CIA interrogator . . . has been convicted in connection with the torture or death of a detainee.” He ignores the fact that the only CIA employee charged—a contractor—was, in fact, convicted.

After grinding on with other undocumented examples, Spooked attacks the media, concluding that “the spooking of the news works because the media allows it to work. The strongest deterrent to independent reporting is not the CIA or the NSA, but the relentless will of the corporate media to conform to official government policy.” (133)

Spooked has signposts that suggest gross ignorance of the topic and a severe case of confirmation bias. That, of course, can be overcome by accurate analysis.

The United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, by Peter Bergen. (Crown Publishing, 2016) 387, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

First, the radicals mailed 36 mail bombs to government officials, business leaders, and newspapermen. Next, much larger bombs—with more than 26 pounds of explosive were sent to cities throughout the country. Among the victims, one secretary lost her hands, a watchman was killed, and a radical found eternal peace trying the blow up an attorney general’s home. None of the human targets were killed. The government reacted by deporting as many radicals as possible. America has experience with radicals’ attacking citizens. The bombings stopped the year they started—1919.

Peter Bergen does not suggest that today’s problems with radical terrorists be similarly addressed; he realizes that the underlying circumstances are vastly different. He seeks instead to understand why and how a few American Muslims become “American jihadists,” (11) willing in some cases to kill themselves and their fellow citizens. Having interviewed 330 militants or jihadists while researching The United States of Jihad, he concludes that they were “ordinary citizens” in ordinary families—before something happened to change their worldview. (15)

To determine what that change was, Bergen reviews the perpetrators involved in known cases of homegrown terrorism, such as the Ft. Hood shooter, the Boston marathon bombers, and the San Bernardino couple. In the process, he analyzes their backgrounds and the outside influences from al-Qa‘ida and ISIS discovered on the Internet, in other social media, and at the local mosque. He also compares these attacks with the attacks originating oversees, for example, the underwear bomber sent by Anwar al-Awlaki, and the ISIS-sponsored attacks in Europe. Bergen explores the mostly effective preventive and follow-up actions taken by the FBI and local police to identify, stop, or capture them.

The United States of Jihad doesn’t provide a silver bullet explanation for why Americans become terrorists. Bergen lists possibilities, like feelings of power and importance, belonging, religious inspiration, and the influence of “social bonds” which is further explained in the book with the insights of former officer and psychiatrist analyst Marc Sageman. (51) Looking to the future, Bergen discusses intervention by family, mosque elders, and law enforcement authorities as sensible paths to prevention, although he admits this is not new and has failed in the past. Perhaps the most curious observation is Bergen’s suggestion that the media and the public overreact to the threat of terrorist attacks, noting the “golden age of terrorism in the States was in the1970s, not post-9/11 America” (271) and the risk of violent death today is greater from other causes.

Somehow this is a troubling alternative, considering the well-organized, long-range ideological, legal, and political motivations of radical terrorists who seek to impose their will on the entire world.

The United States of Jihad does provide a framework for addressing and even eliminating the homegrown, lone-wolf terrorist threat, but the work will be neither easy nor quick.

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Cold War Counterfeit Spies: Tales of Espionage; Genuine or Bogus?, by Nigel West. (Frontline Books) 252, endnotes, index.

After World War II, accounts of espionage and derring-do became popular and sometimes profitable subjects in books by journalists and historians. Some were firsthand descriptions as, for example, Sir John Masterman’s The Double Cross System (Yale University Press, 1972) and Ewen Montagu’s The Man Who Never Was (Evans Bros., 1953). Others, such as William Stevenson’s The Man Called Intrepid (Ballantine, 1976)—still in print—achieved lasting fame, while Josephine Butler’s Cyanide in My Shoe (This London Books, 1991)—also published as Churchill’s Secret Agent (Blaketon-Hall, 1983)—reached a smaller audience. Both exposed adventures that seemed too good to be true. Nigel West’s 1998 book, Counterfeit Spies (St. Ermin’s Press, 1998) showed that they, along with 15 other titles, were indeed largely fiction. In Butler’s case, she had spent most of the war in Holloway Prison. (vii) Unhappily, this fondness for deceit and fabrication did not end with WWII stories.

Cold War Counterfeit Spies presents more than 20 published specimens in which fanciful invention is documented. Official Assassin (Phillips Publications, 1998) by Peter Mason is typical. Mason claims, inter alia, to have been part of a team that sought out and executed without trial unpunished Nazi war criminals. He says he was also recruited by MI5 to penetrate the IRA in the 1950s (but Special Branch had the IRA responsibility at that time). Mason also describes an undercover mission that required entering East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie some years before the Wall was actually constructed. (8) He also makes numerous factual errors; for example, he identifies Cyril Mills as an MI6 officer, when it was well known Mills served MI5. None of Mason’s adventures is documented.

Perhaps the most egregious example in Cold War Counterfeit Spies is found in The Secret Lives of a Secret Agent(Kultura Press, 2010) by Tim Crook, a purported biography of Brigadier Alexander Wilson, a onetime MI6 linguist and author of espionage fiction. West shows that Wilson was never a Brigadier, though he was a “serial bigamist”—four wives, children by each, unknown to each other until after his death—a philanderer, and a thief. Finally, Crook’s claim that Wilson’s books demonstrated “inside knowledge of SIS” does not stand up to scrutiny. (212)

The most outrageous examples of phony Cold War intelligence “literature” are contained in four volumes written under the name (a pseudonym) Gregory Douglas.[3] Among the fabrications he attempts to foist on the public are the claim the WWII Gestapo chief, Heinrich Müller, survived the war, was recruited by the CIA, and was brought to United States for debriefing. Once here, he had dinner with President Truman and worked for the CIA against the Soviets on the condition that Vice President Henry Wallace [West mistakenly says Harry Hopkins] not be informed because he was a Soviet agent. (197) The extensive “documentation” Douglas provided is shown to be fabricated.

Cold War Counterfeit Spies sends a strong message: fact checkers, beware!

George Washington’s Secret Spy War: The Making of America’s First Spymaster, by John A. Nagy. (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) 374, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

Much has been written about George Washington’s use of intelligence during the Revolutionary War; the late John Nagy himself contributed several other books on the subject.[4] Nagy justifies this level of attention because Washington’s “skill as a spymaster provided for the opportunity to win the American Revolution and independence from Great Britain.” (1) (Whether the opportunity came first and Washington’s skills then increased the chances of victory is another matter.) In any case, George Washington’s Secret Spy War takes a different approach to the subject by focusing on how Washington acquired his intelligence skills.

Nagy’s account shows how Washington learned on the job when serving in the British army during the French and Indian War. His mission was to learn what the French were doing in British territory. To answer this question, common military sense necessitated sending scouts—Nagy calls them spies—into French territory and recruiting personnel working with the French—in some cases, Indians—who would provide additional, corroborating intelligence. Nagy gives details of Washington’s not-always-successful efforts during this period that have not been written about before, and in some cases his research identifies agents not previously known.

The balance of the book describes Washington’s gradual application of espionage, counterespionage, codes and secret writing, and deception during the Revolutionary War. At one point, he digresses a bit to show how similar deception techniques are still used today, giving WWII and Operation Desert Storm examples.

Nagy’s descriptions of Washington’s use of and personal involvement in intelligence operations during the Revolutionary War are interesting but they are not new—though his extensive footnotes do add material not mentioned elsewhere.

There can be no doubt that Washington’s inherent grasp of military intelligence was a positive factor in the success of the Army during the war. George Washington’s Secret Spy War is a fine summary of his contribution.

House of Spies: St. Ermin’s Hotel, The London Base of British Espionage, by Peter Matthews. (The History Press, 2016) 285, bibliography, photos, index.

In his memoirs, My Silent War (MacGibbon and Kee, 1968), Kim Philby wrote that in the summer of 1940, he was interviewed at the St. Ermin’s Hotel for a position in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). In retrospect, this was a signal event in the hotel’s history. In addition to rooms for recruiting interviews, MI6 had other offices in St. Ermin’s during World War II because the hotel was a block from its headquarters on Broadway (the offices were given up after the war). Thus the book’s claim that the hotel—still in operation today—was, as its subtitle suggests, the London Base of British Espionage does not apply after World War II. This contradicts the dust jacket blurb that states, “St. Ermin’s has been at the centre of British intelligence since the 1930s,” adding that “Ian Fleming and Noel Coward were found to be in the hotel’s bar.” Neither is mentioned in the book.

Author Peter Matthews does not account for these discrepancies. Moreover, his book adds a few more of them—for example, the omission of Philby’s recruitment story. Equally surprising, St. Ermin’s itself is barely mentioned in House of Spies. There is a chapter entitled “London Spies,” that comments on “the Cambridge spy ring” and its “association with St. Ermin’s Hotel,” but no association is ever established in the book and the occasional mention of the hotel bar makes no reference to any espionage operations. The chapter does discuss the recruitment of the Cambridge spies by the Soviets, but those events did not involve the hotel in any way. In short, the book has too many inexcusable errors. These might have been avoided had source notes been provided.

The bulk of the book is devoted to intelligence matters in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War with only incidental mention of St Ermin’s; interesting, but not on topic. House of Spies does not live up to the promise of its title.

The Man With The Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story, by Serhii Plokhy. (Basic Books, 2016) 365, endnotes, maps, index.

On 12 August 1961, Josef Lehmann and his wife Inge took an S-Bahn train in the Soviet zone of Berlin, got off in West Berlin, and turned themselves in to the police. The Wall went up the next day. As was the custom then, they were promptly turned over to the CIA Berlin base, where Josef gave his true name—Bogdan Stashinsky—and confessed to having murdered, under orders from the KGB, two Ukrainians émigrés, Lev Rebet and Stepan Bandera, with a special gun that shot acid in the victims’ faces. After several months of interrogation, the skeptical CIA decided Stashinsky was no longer of use to them and returned the couple to the West German authorities, who verified their story. In a sensational public trial, Stashinsky was convicted of murder and sentenced to eight years.

This much of the Stashinsky case was told in a 1967 book by Karl Anders (true name: Hendrik van Bergh).[5] Harvard professor of Ukrainian history, Serhii Plokhy, after examining recently released documents from the archives of several countries, adds much more to the story.

The Man With The Poison Gun describes what is now known and suspected about Stashinsky’s life. There are brief comments about his childhood in Ukraine and his recruitment by the KGB. The assassinations he performed are covered in detail from the KGB perspective with considerable emphasis on the tradecraft employed. Equally important is Plokhy’s discussion of the Soviet political justification for eliminating the leaders of the Ukrainian autonomy movement and how Stashinsky’s defection influenced Soviet assassination policy. Intermixed with all this, Plokhy describes how Stashinsky met his wife and how the murders contributed to their defection.

Some aspects of Stashinsky’s life are still not well understood. In 1964 while in prison, he was interviewed by US senator Thomas Dodd about the KGB as background for the Kennedy assassination investigation, and links to Oswald that Plokhy considers improbable. Another puzzle is what followed after Stashinsky’s unannounced early release from prison in 1967. The German press claimed he was met by the CIA (296) and Plokhy speculates about what might have happened to him, had he been turned over to James Angleton. (299) Another report says he was retrained in Germany and later resettled elsewhere.

Other stories about Stashinsky have surfaced from time to time since then. The most bizarre was the assertion by the KGB that his defection was a KGB-controlled operation all along, and that he had been rescued from South America and returned to the Soviet Union. Plokhy dismisses the claim and, citing reliable South African sources, writes that he was sent to live in South Africa—“he is probably still living there”—from where he reportedly made occasional visits to his boyhood home in Ukraine. (xiii)

The Man With The Poison Gun concludes with allegations by Plokhy that “both Soviet and American intelligence services in the 1950s and 1960s resorted to assassination in order to deal with the same phenomena—insurgency aroused by the weakening or disintegration of empires.” (320) No examples of US assassinations are cited. Moreover, he suggests the Russians have continued this policy into the present and, to make his point, equates alleged FSB assassinations of Russian journalists and former FSB office Alexander Litvinenko with US drone operations in the Middle East, omitting any mention of 9/11.

Professor Plokhy has added many well documented details and some speculation to the Stashinsky story. Readers should value the former and treat the latter with caution.

A Season of Inquiry Revisited: The Church Committee Confronts America’s Spy Agencies, by Loch K. Johnson. (University of Kansas Press, 2015) 345, endnotes, chronology, index.

Loch Johnson was a special assistant to Senator Frank Church, chairman of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities—popularly known as the Church Committee. The investigations occurred during 1975–1976 and initially focused on, inter alia, charges of domestic spying, assassinations, and covert actions by the CIA. Senator Church soon expanded his charter to include the entire Intelligence Community and published a 14-volume report documenting the committee’s findings. In 1985, Johnson published his account of the committee’s work in book entitled A Season of Inquiry (Dorsey Press, 1985). It was, as Johnson claimed, a candid “warts and all” description of the investigations that did indeed prove to be “a benchmark in the history of intelligence oversight.” (272) The present edition adds a new foreword, a lengthy postscript, an updated chronology, and new organizational charts.

The foreword summarizes the reasons for the committee’s creation and the difficulties it encountered executing its mandate. The postscript adds perspective to what Johnson describes as “the high-water mark of intelligence accountability.” (285) It also reveals that Senator Church’s famous “rogue elephant” charge about the CIA originated with McGeorge Bundy. (290) He then reviews the Intelligence Community principal investigations undertaken by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), formed after the Church Committee was dissolved. Johnson’s intent is to demonstrate the value of oversight in holding the Intelligence Community to account, and he does that. Unfortunately, though, his lengthy description of the SSCI report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques as displaying “laudatory tenacity” reflects a disregard for the facts that is atypical of Johnson’s usual objectivity. He does note that “the intelligence agencies are vital to the security of the United States, and intelligence officers are among the brightest and most dedicated of America’s public service.” (291) This truth notwithstanding, his general conclusion is that “intelligence accountability should be taken more seriously—by lawmakers, presidents, and their presidential aides, judges, and most of all, the public.” (291) By “more seriously” perhaps he means as seriously as the Intelligence Community itself regards accountability.

For those unfamiliar with the tumultuous events of the intelligence services in the 1970s, A Season of Inquiry Revisited is worth close study. It presents a view of the intelligence profession from the outside and should be understood by all officers. A really valuable, firsthand contribution to the literature.

The Secret History of World War II: Spies, Code Breakers & Covert Operations, by Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop. (National Geographic, 2016) 352, bibliography, photos, index, with a foreword by Kenneth W. Rendell.

The phrase “secret history” appears frequently as part of book titles, despite the semantic inconsistency—unless, of course, the book itself is secret. What is no doubt intended in books about intelligence operations is that the subject matter itself was once secret. That is certainly the case with The Secret History of World War II, an elegant, oversized volume with many color photographs and informative commentary discussing artifacts of WWII intelligence.

The wide variety of artifacts represent most countries that were involved in the war. Examples include a false-bottom baby carriage used to transport resistance radios; special cameras; agent documentation; war plans; Enigma machines; weapons; war posters; and photos of officers, agents, and the aircraft they used.

The acquisition adventures and present location of the artifacts is a story in itself. It is told in the book’s foreword by Kenneth Rendell, founder and executive director of Boston’s Museum of World War II that exhibits 7,500 of the half-million items in the collection; a selection from this collection appears in The Secret History of World War II. Although not mentioned in the book, Rendell is an expert in the forensic analysis that he applies to artifact provenance certification. He is most well-known for his investigation of the so-called Hitler Diaries, which he revealed to be forgeries in 1983.[6]

The commentary accompanying the artifacts is provided by the National Geographic editors, Neil Kagan and Stephen Hyslop, with help from experts like historian Ann Todd of the University of Texas, and military historians Lee Richards and Harris Andrews. They reveal Dr. Seuss’s contribution to the war (52–53); add details about the Midway codebreaking (97–100); explore Josephine Baker’s role in the resistance (140); describe the grizzly guillotine employed by the Gestapo; explain artifacts associated with OSS (there are pages devoted to Virginia Hall and Betty McIntosh) and SOE in resistance operations; and discuss artifacts linked to many espionage cases, to cite just a few informative aspects of the compendium.

The Secret History of World War II is a major contribution to intelligence history.

Spies in Palestine: Love, Betrayal, and the Heroic Life of Sarah Aaronsohn, by James Srodes. (Counterpoint Press, 2016) 203, endnotes, photos, index.

It wasn’t the pigeon’s fault: the bird had been poorly trained and frequently stopped for food in unsafe areas on its way to British headquarters in Cairo. Discovered by the Turks in Palestine, the bird was found to be carrying a coded message, which confirmed suspicions that spies were operating in their midst. When Sarah Aaronsohn, then leader of the NILI[7] spies, learned of the pigeon’s fate, she killed the remaining birds—but it was too late.

In Spies in Palestine, James Srodes (author of a fine biography of Allen Dulles[8]) tells the NILI story. He begins with Ephraim and Malka Aaronsohn, who emigrated from Romania to Syria-Palestine—then part of the Ottoman Empire—in the late 1800s with their six-year-old son, Aaron, and other Jewish Zionists. They spoke neither Arabic nor Turkish, but working with the local Arabs, they established what gradually became a prosperous settlement named Zichron Ya’akov, just south of Haifa. Ephraim was an agronomist, a skill at which Aaron later became an expert. After Aaron developed a strain of wheat that survived well in the harsh conditions, he attracted worldwide scientific recognition and financial support from wealthy French and Americans. By the start of World War I, the Aaronsohns had three more sons and two girls, Sarah and Rivka.

The war changed life in Zichron Ya’akov socially, economically, and politically when Turkey sided with Germany and began military actions aimed at the Suez Canal, and later against the British advance into Palestine. Srodes explains how these events led to what became the NILI spy network, initially headed by Aaron, which provided key order-of-battle intelligence to the British in Cairo in anticipation of their support for the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland. When Aaron went to work with the British in Cairo, Sarah took over the network. Srodes describes the challenges she faced, both personal and operational.

Spies in Palestine offers much praise for the NILI spies, but little concrete information as to the effects of their efforts—though at times Srodes suggests these effects were more important than those of Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab revolt he led. What tradecraft is alluded to is amateurish, but of course that is just what they were: a family of spies learning on the job, with little support from other Jewish settlers in the area who feared Turkish reprisals.

That the NILI network endured over two years was due as much to Turkish corruption and ineptitude as to NILI luck and determination. When the Turks finally came to Zichron Ya’akov and began torturing the inhabitants to learn what they had revealed to the British, those who knew said nothing—and Sarah chose suicide rather than the torture she feared she could not withstand.

The story of the NILI spies has been told before and Srodes adds little new.[9] But he does deal with some of the myths about Sarah; for example, he revisits “one of the tantalizing puzzles of the Sarah Aaronsohn story . . . [which was] the widely believed romance with T. E. Lawrence [of Arabia].” (ix) That myth grew in part out of speculation that the “S.A.” to whom Lawrence dedicated his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom was Sarah. “Widely believed” is a stretch, and Srodes himself adds doubt to the dedication and romance stories by repeating an undocumented fable by author Douglas Duff. Duff claimed that when he met Lawrence in 1935, Lawrence asked him if Duff had dedicated a book to Sarah Aaronsohn. When Duff said he had, Lawrence noted it was strange that “both of us [have] a book dedicated to her, without either of us having seen her alive.” (189) That Duff ever met Lawrence is extremely doubtful, and the book he dedicated to Sarah was published after Lawrence’s death.

For those unfamiliar with the NILI spy story, Spies in Palestine is fine account of their contributions and testament to the bravery of Sarah Aaronsohn.

The Spies of Winter: The GCHQ Codebreakers Who Fought the Cold War, by Sinclair McKay. (Aurum Press, Ltd., 2016) 345, endnotes, photos, index.

In 1901, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim popularized the “Great Game” as a reference to classical espionage and the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and Great Britain. In The Spies of Winter journalist Sinclair McKay employs the term to describe two different forms of the British-Soviet Cold War relationship: chess and codebreaking. He deals with chess mainly in the prologue and the final chapter where codebreaker and chess amateur Hugh Alexander takes on two Soviet grand masters in 1954. The balance of the book is devoted to how British—and, to a lesser extent, American—wartime codebreaking programs evolved to meet early Cold War threats.

McKay’s approach does not include the details of codebreaking; rather, he concentrates on the people who did the work and the practical challenges they overcame. Many of them, for example, Joan Clarke, a brilliant Cambridge university mathematician and one-time fiancé of Alan Turing, had worked at Bletchley Park during the war. In telling her story and others, he flashes back to the Bletchley experience to provide background. The practical challenges McKay deals with include Clarke’s decision to remain in government service; the difficulties associated with moving twice to new and improved quarters, when Bletchley Park proved inadequate; securing financial support; and the bureaucratic conflicts over who would have government responsibility for codebreaking.

In addition to the general techniques of codebreaking and the difficulties of signal collection, McKay considers the everyday professional challenges involved in operational security at a time when some Soviet codes were actually being broken. On the other hand, circumstances were complicated because Soviet agents had penetrated both British and American governments. McKay’s discussions of the now-familiar penetrations of Fuchs, Philby, Burgess, Blake, and Melita Norwood (whom he persists in calling double agents—but they were just Soviet agents) are not always accurate. For example, he attributes to American Elizabeth Bentley and Kim Philby the exposure of the Venona secret to the Soviets. In fact, Bentley had merely passed on agent rumors and Philby learned of the program a year after the real culprit, American Army officer William Weisband, had passed on hard facts in 1948. After Weisband’s reporting, “all Soviet systems were changed, overnight, on 29 October 1948,” ending British and American access. (229) McKay does describe the partially successful operations undertaken to restore the capability in the years before satellites changed everything.

There is little new in The Spies of Winter, but for those unfamiliar with the early Cold War cryptologic story, it provides a well written introduction.

The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets, by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee. (New American Library, 2016) 304, endnotes, photos, index.

In the fall of 2000, Air Force master sergeant Brian Regan decided to enhance his retirement nest egg by selling secrets he acquired while assigned to the NRO. Toward that end he prepared an encrypted proposal, separate decryption instructions, and a separate key. Next, he wrote a clear-text letter with contact and dissemination details. He then created three packages—for security reasons—each containing classified documents, portions of the encrypted material and additional coded- and clear-text instructions. Finally, he mailed the packages to the Libyan consulate in New York. That is when everything began to go wrong—though he didn’t realize it.

The person who received the packages at the consulate was an FBI informant who turned the material over to the New York field office; the FBI was thus able to decrypt some of the instructions. A special agent in Washington assigned to the case soon discovered that whoever prepared the material could not spell. The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell describes the lengthy investigation that led to Regan.

By way of background, journalist Yudhijit Bhattacharjee explains what led Regan down the path of self-destruction. He reviews Regan’s troubled childhood and the dyslexia that plagued his life, and he tells how Regan managed to overcome his disability enough to join the Air Force, rise to a senior enlisted rank, be commended for his leadership, and then assigned to a trusted position at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Along the way, Regan married, had children, and seemed to establish a normal lifestyle. But once at the NRO where the staff was better educated and higher in grade, he became reclusive and began to demonstrate personality traits that led his colleagues to regard him as an oddball. At the same time, his wife was spending more than he could afford and his pending retirement offered little hope of improvement. It was then that he began copying documents, which he concealed in his basement and later buried in local parks. Things looked up briefly when he succeeded in returning to the NRO as a contractor after retirement, but not sufficiently to solve his financial problems.

Meanwhile, the FBI traced the intercepted documents Regan had sent to the Libyan consulate to his computer at the NRO and he was placed under surveillance in April 2001. Bhattacharjee reveals how the FBI—with NRO cooperation—recorded Regan’s copying top secret documents at work. Their hope was to catch him passing the material to a foreign agent, but when instead he scheduled a flight to Libya (he told others he was going to Orlando), they arrested him on a people-mover at Dulles Airport.

While readers might expect a conviction to be a “slam dunk,” the FBI wasn’t satisfied. Regan was found guilty only of mishandling of classified documents. A charge of attempted espionage was pre-empted because the documents he had mailed to the embassy could not be used as evidence, in order to protect the informant. Moreover, they wanted to recover the thousands of documents—paper and digital—he had buried in parks, and Regan would only reveal their location in exchange for a much reduced sentence. In what is one of the most fascinating parts of the book, Bhattacharjee tells how the FBI overcame these obstacles.

Regan was sentenced to life in prison in March 2003, but the story doesn’t end there. Part of the sentencing agreement required Regan to reveal the 12 locations of the buried documents, but some of the locations came up empty: his dyslexia had struck again, and it turned out that he’d reversed some numerals in the coded coordinates that identified the burial sites. The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell is an attention-grabbing, well told espionage story with only one major flaw: there are no source notes. Bhattacharjee does identify the FBI agents and the other participants interviewed, noting that he also used court documents—but he does not cite them. Fortunately, most are available on the web. Overall, the book is a case study well worth reading.

Spymaster: The Life of Britain’s Most Decorated Cold War Spy and Head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield, by Martin Pearce. (Bantam Press, 2016) 389, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

Sir Maurice Oldfield was born in the Derbyshire Peak district of England on 16 November 1915 to a family of farmers. The oldest of 10 brothers and sisters, he was educated locally and won a scholarship in 1934 to study at Manchester University. In June 1941 he was called for military duty and served most of the war in Cairo with military intelligence, initially as a private. He was soon commissioned and transferred to the Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME), an element of MI5, where one of his subordinates was Alistair (later Sir) Horne (author of A Savage War of Peace (Macmillan, 1977), about the Algerian insurgency). Oldfield ended the war as a lieutenant colonel, MBE, and, having decided he liked the work, in 1947 joined the counterintelligence section of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). In 1973 he was appointed “C”, the chief of MI6. Spymaster looks at the man, his professional career, and his final assignment, undertaken at the request of the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Author Martin Pearce is Sir Maurice’s grandnephew; his grandmother was “Uncle M”’s sister. Growing up, Pearce met his uncle during visits home from his uncle’s many travels and recalls discussions about the places on the postcards Sir Maurice had sent. He first learned of his uncle’s intelligence work when Kim Philby mentioned “the formidable Maurice Oldfield” (244) in his memoir, My Silent War (MacGibbon and Kee, 1968). In 1985, one of Sir Maurice’s journalist friends, Richard Deacon, published a biography of Oldfield[10] that Pearce found “something of a disappointment” (2) because it “didn’t describe the person I knew”—so he decided to do it himself.

Pearce’s main sources were family stories, passports, diaries, and letters Oldfield was careful to give to family members so they would not end up in MI6’s archives. He also relied on media coverage, interviews with former colleagues, and his many journalist friends.

Pearce is able to document Oldfield’s many assignments, the important cases in which he was involved, and the bureaucratic skirmishes he overcame. Oldfield’s time as head of station in Washington will be of interest to US readers. To put his CIA colleagues at ease, Oldfield voluntarily underwent a polygraph examination. When he was asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a practicing homosexual?”, he lied—but he passed the test. (183) Pearce’s claim that Oldfield “was the conduit for the voluminous intelligence HERO” (Penkovsky) (199) was providing—among other events said to have occurred during Oldfield’s time in Washington—is not supported by other accounts.

Pearce portrays Oldfield as ebullient, incisive, subtle, and quietly professional. These descriptions are the strong point of the book. His too-frequent comparisons of Oldfield to James Bond and George Smiley, however, get a bit tiresome, though he accepts David Cornwell’s statement that Oldfield was not his Smiley model. 

When Pearce turns to historical events to bolster his story, he is frequently incorrect. For example, William Melville did not “found the Secret Service Bureau” (21); Philby’s father never became “head of British intelligence in Palestine” (88); Philby did not teach “Angleton all he knew” (93); and the CIA’s Bill Harvey was not the first “to publicly air the link between Burgess and Philby.” (127)

Oldfield’s final assignment as coordinator of intelligence in Northern Ireland led to his exposure as a homosexual shortly before his death. While Pearce does not attempt to diminish the impact this had on his reputation, he does point out that it was Oldfield’s honesty (admitting that he had previously lied about it) that did the damage.

Spymaster presents the best account to date of a very professional and skilled intelligence officer and is an important contribution to the literature.

True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy, by Kati Marton. (Simon & Schuster, 2016) 288, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

May, 1949, found one-time American diplomat Noel Field in Prague where he had gone to pursue a teaching opportunity. His wife Herta remained in Geneva. When Field’s letters stopped, she called his brother Hermann, then in Italy, and they went to Prague to find out why. When Herta’s foster daughter, Erica Glaser, tried to contact the Fields, she got no response so she went to Berlin to enlist the help of a wartime friend. Neither the Fields nor Erica were heard from again for five years. True Believer explains why.

The basics of Noel Field’s story have been told before, but author Kati Marton adds new particulars based on material released after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Interestingly, the author’s parents, Endre and Illona Marton, were the only journalists ever to interview Field, in Budapest after the Hungarian Revolution.

Marton traces Field’s life from his birth to Quaker parents in London (1904), to his early education in Switzerland (where he first met Allen Dulles), and his college life at Harvard where he graduated with honors. By the 1930s he had married his childhood sweetheart and was a rising star in the foreign service. He was also on a “path to an alternate faith”—communism—and began addressing his mother as “Comrade Nina.” (45)

True Believer describes Field’s recruitment as a Soviet agent by Hede Massing and his contacts with communist coworkers Larry Duggan and Alger Hiss—links that would later seriously complicate his life. Marton goes on to explain his decision to leave the foreign service in 1936 for the League of Nations Disarmament Section, where he could work for world peace. But he also agreed to continue his work for the Soviets, and Massing arranged for him to support Soviet officers Ignace Reiss and Walter Krivitsky in several nasty operations. During the Spanish Civil War, the Fields helped anti-fascist refugees escape Franco’s forces, which is when he and Herta met a young teenager, Erica Glaser, who would live with them in Switzerland throughout World War II, eventually join the OSS, and marry an Army officer. Marton claims Field also worked for Allen Dulles during the war, a claim that has skeptics.

After the war, Field, knowing Krivitsky had defected, had no doubt Krivitsky had revealed to the FBI Field’s role as a Soviet agent. In fact, others—including Massing—had also disclosed this information. Worse, his friend Alger Hiss had become the subject of a congressional espionage investigation, and if Field returned, he knew he, too, would be charged and required to testify against Hiss. Thus, he remained in Switzerland until he received the May, 1949, job offer from Prague—a ruse that led to his arrest, disappearance, and imprisonment in Budapest.

As Field would later learn, Stalin had had Field arrested so his putative links to Dulles and the OSS could be used to show Field was the leader of an anti-Soviet espionage network during the war. He was forced to acknowledge his guilt and to testify against Stalin’s targets in a show trial that purged Hungarian communists. Five years later, thanks to a Polish defector to the CIA who had arrested Hermann in Warsaw and knew the fate of the Fields in Hungary, their story became public. Only then did Noel learn that Herta had also been a prisoner in the same jail; both were released, as was Hermann. The Fields remained in Budapest, ever the loyal communists, until their deaths. Hermann returned to the West. Erica, who had been in a Soviet gulag that kept her from raising a public fuss, was released a year later. She returned to her family in Warrenton, Virginia, where she taught in a local school.

True Believer reveals the power and dangers of total commitment to a radical political cause and offers many parallels to current events.

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb, by Neal Bascomb. (Houghton Mifflin, 2016) 378, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

The 1965 British movie, The Heroes of Telemark starred Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris. It told how the Norwegian resistance working with SOE destroyed the plant manufacturing heaving water intended for use in making an atomic bomb in Vemork, Norway, in 1943. But the movie didn’t tell the whole story. A number of memoirs and movies told other versions, but none was anchored in official accounts of the operation that author Neal Bascomb used to write The Winter Fortress.

There were several unsuccessful joint—British and Norwegian—attempts to destroy the heavy water plant at Vemork, and Bascomb deals with each one. The first, Operation Freshman, tried to use gliders to land commandos who would then destroy the plant. It failed when one plane had to return to Britain and the other crash-landed in the wrong location. The Norwegian team awaiting the commandos survived. The glider troops who survived the crash were caught, tortured, and shot by the Germans. A second attempt, Operation Grouse, involved four Norwegian resistance fighters who succeeded in penetrating the plant itself and destroying, with a bomb, a key portion of the facility. While the plant shut down production and the commandos escaped, the Nazis soon had it back in operation. Then the US Air Force, without informing the Norwegians as previously promised, attempted to bomb the plant, but they hit only the surrounding city, causing civilian casualties. The Norwegian headquarters in London complained about not being informed; US planners apologized for missing the target but would not promise not to try again: civilian casualties are an unfortunate consequence when fighting a war to win. (272–274)

The final attempt was carried out by the resistance when the Nazis decided to ship what heavy water there was to Germany. A Norwegian team placed a bomb on the ferry that was carrying the heavily protected cargo and it sank in the middle of a deep lake as described in the Telemark film. The saboteurs realized the danger to civilian passengers; not all survived.

The Winter Fortress gives a thorough account of these operations, and more. Bascomb also includes the personal stories of the operatives and their families in Norway and Britain. He discusses the contributions by British and US planners and air crews based in England. Finally, he considers the impact of the Vemork operations on the German and Allies’ atomic bomb programs.

In the epilogue, Bascomb reviews what happened to the key players after the war. Most went quietly back to their former lives, though he notes that things were never quite the same. One of them, Knut Haukelid, became Thor Heyerdahl’s radio operator on the Kon-Tiki expedition.

The details in some of the other versions of the Vemork operations differ from those presented by Bascomb, but they are not as well documented. The Winter Fortress is the definitive account to date.

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The Handbook of European Intelligence Cultures, edited by Bob de Graaff and James M. Nyce with Chelsea Locke. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) 450, end of chapter notes, index.

Knowledge of a nation’s government and intelligence community has become a basic requirement for those concerned with world politics and commerce. But until recently, as noted by editors Bob de Graaff and James Nyce, nations studied in the literature are limited in number, and authors tend to presume a “hierarchy that equates a nation’s size and/or economic value with the quality of its intelligence service.” (xxx) Thus with just a few exceptions, “in spite of the growing number of intelligence studies, academic and public knowledge seems to begin and end with America, the United Kingdom, and Russia.” (xxxii) 

The Handbook of European Intelligence Cultures is intended to remedy that problem. It presents papers about the intelligence communities and services of 32 European nations that have received varying amounts of attention in Western/English intelligence literature: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Including the UK makes possible a useful comparison and updates recent British studies. The 40 contributors are academics who have written extensively about intelligence. At least eight have intelligence service experience.

In the very informative introduction, the editors review the intelligence literature and discuss the guidance provided to the contributors—parameters intended to establish a basis for comparing intelligence communities and services in the 32 countries. Each article describes an intelligence service and that service’s interaction with its social and political environment. The former Soviet Bloc nations are of particular interest since so little has been published about them in English.

The original papers in The Handbook of European Intelligence Cultures (perhaps the word Sourcebook would be a better descriptor) are a major contribution to the intelligence literature.

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[1] The title is taken from Homer’s Iliad. (3) See also Jason Manosevitz’s combined review of this book and The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia by Kurt Campbell in Studies in Intelligence 60, No. 4 (Extracts, December 2016)

[2] David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (HarperCollins, 2015). The book was reviewed by JR Seeger in the December 2016 issue of Studies and is available online at

[3] Gregory Douglas, Gestapo Chief: The 1948 Interrogation of Heinrich Müller (James Bender Publishing, 1995).

[4] Before his death in April 2016, Mr. Nagy wrote prolifically on the American Revolutionary War. His four other books include Dr. Benjamin Church, Spy: A Case of Espionage on the Eve of the American Revolution (2013), Spies in the Continental Capital: Espionage Across Pennsylvania During the American Revolution (2011); Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution (2011); and Rebellion in the Ranks: Mutinies of the American Revolution (2007), all published by Westholme Publishing.

[5] Karl Anders, Murder To Order (Devon-Adair, 1967).

[6] Kenneth Rendell, “Forgery—Uncovering The Hitler Hoax,” Newsweek 16 May 1983.

[7] NILI is an acronym taken from I Samuel, 15:29, ‘the Eternity of Israel will not lie”: Netzach Israel lo Ieshaker (NILI).

[8] James Srodes, Allen Dulles: Master of Spies (Regnery, 1999).

[9] Anita Engle, The NILI Spies (Frank Cass, 1997).

[10] Richard Deacon, ‘C’: A Biography of Sir Maurice Oldfield Head of MI6 (Macdonald, 1985).

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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: Aug 22, 2017 05:52 PM
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2017 05:52 PM