Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf

Reviewed and Compiled by Hayden Peake

How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, The Man and The Threat, by Edward Jay Epstein

Spy Sites of Washington, DC, by Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton with Henry R. Schlesinger

Agent 110: An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII, by Scott Miller

Deep Under Cover: My Secret Life & Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America, by Jack Barsky with Cindy Coloma

Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, by Joel Whitney

The Gestapo: The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police, by Frank McDonough

Lawrence of Arabia’s War: The Arabs, The British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI, by Neil Faulkner

Operation Blunderhead: The Incredible Adventures of a Double Agent in Nazi-Occupied Europe, by David Gordon Kirby

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War, by Ben Macintyre

Shattered Illusions: KGB Cold War Espionage in Canada, by Donald G. Mahar

Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game, by Craig Murray

Silver: The Spy Who Fooled the Nazis—The Most Remarkable Agent of the Second World War, by Mihir Bose

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935–1961, by Nicholas Reynolds

Intelligence Governance and Democratisation: A Comparative Analysis of the Limits of Reform, by Peter Gill

Swedish Military Intelligence: Producing Knowledge, by Gunilla Eriksson

How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, The Man and The Threat, by Edward Jay Epstein. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017) 350, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

The image of Edward Snowden as champion whistleblower—propagated by a generally friendly, sometimes fawning media[1]—is irreconcilable with the account articulated in How America Lost Its Secrets. Author Edward Epstein first came to the attention of many in the Intelligence Community with his book Legend (McGraw-Hill, 1978) about Lee Harvey Oswald, Yuri Nosenko, and the JFK assassination. It was there that he argued Nosenko was a KGB provocation—not a genuine defector. The source of this controversial view, he later admitted, was former CIA counterintelligence officer, James Angleton. History suggests that Epstein was wrong about Nosenko. Now, using multiple sources, is he right about Snowden?

The central theme of How America Lost Its Secrets is how and why Snowden violated his oath and stole classified information that he gave to journalists and foreign nations. A corollary question is whether he was also a source of classified material for Chinese and Russian intelligence.

With those issues in mind, Epstein turns to Snowden’s credentials: Snowden was a high school dropout who failed to complete army basic training; at CIA, a “derogatory” performance rating forced his resignation. He cheated on the entrance exam when he applied to NSA and demanded a senior ranking position (which was not granted). He lied about his educational achievements, embellished the titles of various positions he had held, and faked illnesses when convenient. Nonetheless, he was an accomplished “hacktivist” who managed to retain his clearances and become a computer systems administrator with Dell Corporation, where he began to steal classified material.

Epstein examines Snowden’s carefully planned chronology of theft. His research for the book confirms Snowden’s own account about the files he stole from Dell. Those acquired later at Booz, Allen, Hamilton (BAH), however, were a different matter: they were more highly classified than those at Dell and Snowden did not have access. Just how he managed to acquire them remains a mystery, but NSA’s subsequent damage assessment was that “more than one million of them had been moved by [the] unauthorized party.” (138)

Before he left BAH in Hawaii, Snowden made elaborate arrangements with journalists that led to a meeting in Hong Kong. Epstein went there as well, and traced Snowden’s actions. Epstein soon discovered anomalies in the timeline Snowden had provided and discrepancies in the events he claimed had taken place; for example, although he told journalists who interviewed him that he had been at the Mira Hotel since his arrival on 20 May 2013, hotel records showed he had not checked in until 1 June. Where had he been in the interim? One of his Hong Kong lawyers, Albert Ho, said Snowden stayed at “a residence arranged for him by a party Snowden knew prior to his arrival.” (82) Epstein suggests it is not unreasonable to assume that during this time, the Chinese managed “to drain the contents of the laptop that Snowden brought to Hong Kong.” He cites several other sources who reached the same conclusion. (180)

By the time Snowden decided to leave Hong Kong, his credit cards had been nullified and his passport cancelled. Yet after meeting with Russian officials—and without hindrance from the Chinese—he boarded an Aeroflot flight with neither a visa nor a valid passport. After arriving in Moscow, Snowden spent several weeks incommunicado. Surely, Epstein suggests, he was being debriefed by Russian intelligence and security services.

Prior to leaving Hong Kong, Snowden provided some 50 million documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras taken from the Dell downloads, which Greenwald and Poitras then began releasing to the media; however, Snowden claimed he did not release the more classified material acquired from BAH. In fact, according to one report, he claimed to have destroyed the files for patriotic reasons. Yet months after arriving in Moscow, a story alleging that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone had been monitored appeared in Der Spiegel, (287) a fact that was not in the Dell documents.

How America Lost Its Secrets analyzes these events and Snowden’s relations with the press, and explores a variety of possible motivations. While Epstein sees some benefit from the selected disclosures, he concludes that the persistent assertions by the media that Snowden was just a splendid whistleblower are implausible. Put another way, it is unlikely that the Chinese and Russians were aiding Snowden as a humanitarian gesture. The history of these intelligence services suggests Snowden earned their protection because he was a valuable source and gave or allowed them access to all his stolen files. Few counterintelligence officers would disagree.

Spy Sites of Washington, DC, by Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton with Henry R. Schlesinger. (Washington, DC: Georgetown, University Press, 2017) 332, photos, appendices, maps, index.

Pamela Kessler set the precedent with her 1992 book, Undercover Washington: Touring the Sites Where Famous Spies Lived, Worked and Loved (EPM Publications) that included about 100 entries. In the 25 years since then, many new espionage cases have become public and new details about previous ones discovered. In Spy Sites of Washington, retired CIA officer Robert Wallace and espionage historian H. Keith Melton account for these changes in 220 entries that contain crisp commentary, color photos, and maps that locate each site.

Spy Sites contains seven chapters, each encompassing a historical period beginning with the Revolutionary War and ending in the post-Cold War era. Each chapter contains familiar topics, such as Washington’s intelligence contributions, and some less well-known entries, such as Dolly Madison’s efforts to save White House treasures during the War of 1812, including her rescue of the Gilbert Stuart painting of Washington. (6) The seldom mentioned exploits of Daniel Webster are also included. (7–8) To the Civil War era, Spy Sites adds the story of Confederate spy Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow and points out locations used by spies from both sides in the war, many of which are still standing. (26–28)

The post-Civil War period section includes an entry for the elite Alibi Club, where OSS officer David Bruce and DCI Allen Dulles were among the elite membership (limited to 50). (46) The story of Agnes Meyer Driscoll, a groundbreaking cryptographer, runs through the World War I and World War II sections covering the period during which she worked on the Japanese naval codes, until her retirement from NSA in 1952. (57–58)

The WWII chapter contains many OSS-related locations, including a photo of the French embassy where OSS agent Elizabeth Thorpe, clad only in a necklace and high heels, stole codes from the embassy safe. (87–88) Several British intelligence officers serving in America are also mentioned, one of whom was Roald Dahl, who would later author the beloved children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (107)

Among the many Cold War entries is one for Ashford Farm, a once-top secret, Maryland safehouse where many Soviet defectors and U-2 pilot Gary Powers were debriefed. (138) This was also the time of early NSA penetrations, and the section contains an entry about Soviet spy and NSA employee Jack Dunlop, whose sad end as a suicide is particularly morbid.

The later Cold War period section includes the story of the hapless former CIA officer Edwin Moore, who attempted to peddle documents to the KGB and was caught when the KGB didn’t believe him and notified the FBI. (192–194) A more uplifting entry deals with the first CIA female chief of station, Eloise Page, (158) and a photo of the first National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) building in the District. (163) Even Congress got into the act when Soviet officer Aleksandr Mikheyev attempted to recruit an aide to then-Congresswoman Olympia Snow, who reported the pitch to the FBI. The aide wore a recorder to the next meeting, ending Mikheyev’s tour in America. (231)

The final chapter includes the much publicized 21st century cases. In addition to the narrative, Spy Sites adds locations and other less well-known details. For example, it identifies the parks where Brian Regan, the NRO would-be spy who couldn’t spell, hid stolen classified documents and then forgot where he had hidden them. (251) Then there is the Alexandria, Virginia, restaurant on the Potomac River where a US diplomat met his Taiwanese handler, while the FBI observed the exchange of documents. (256) And then there is the case of the 11 Russian illegals, three of whom lived in the Washington area. (261) The final entry lists intelligence officers who are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. (272)

If you want proof that the Washington area has been the crossroads of international espionage, follow the paths laid out in Spy Sites and see for yourself.

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Agent 110: An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII, by Scott Miller. (Simon & Schuster, 2017) 342, endnotes, bibliography, index.

To some, Agent 110 may be the surprise book of the year—not because of its content, but because it was written at all. After two lengthy biographies, Dulles’s own recollections about one part of his wartime OSS adventures, and a 10-page summary of his career on the CIA website, what more is there to say about Allen Dulles? [2], [3] Veteran foreign correspondent Scott Miller answers, with the first account that focuses mainly on Dulles’s service as OSS chief of station, Bern.

Agent 110 begins with a review of Dulles’s introduction to intelligence during World War I. Miller then tracks the events that led to Dulles’s OSS recruitment by William Donovan in June 1941, and ultimately his assignment to Bern. Dulles didn’t go through any tradecraft training; none existed at the time, and it isn’t likely he would have considered it necessary. Moreover, there was no formal relationship between OSS and the State Department. Thus his ad hoc administrative and operational procedures in Bern were developed on the job—but they worked. Miller tells how he set up his station, acquired local support staff, and hired a reports officer secretary—the married daughter of the editor of the Wall Street Journal—with whom he had an affair. To encourage potential agents, he put out the word in Bern that he was Roosevelt’s personal representative. While establishing safehouses throughout Switzerland, he developed a liaison arrangement with the Swiss intelligence service and the Allied representatives in Bern, and then began recruiting agents who could inform him about events in Germany.

Miller deals at length with the principal agents recruited, the most important being a German foreign ministry officer, Fritz Kolbe (code named George Wood), who had been rejected by the local Brits. Kolbe’s reports were considered valuable by OSS and MI6, though thanks to Philby, the British took the credit within their organization. It was Kolbe’s reporting that revealed a penetration—codenamed CICERO by the Germans—in the British embassy in Turkey, though he was not initially believed by MI6. Only after Dulles convinced Roosevelt that CICERO had provided data about D-Day—that the Germans ignored—was Churchill informed.

Some of the most vexing challenges for Dulles involved requests for support from Germans plotting to assassinate Hitler, but because of the “unconditional surrender” policy of the Allies, they were rebuffed by Washington. After the unsuccessful assassination attempt on 20 July 1944, one of the participants, Hans Bernd Gisevius, a principal Dulles agent, was trapped in Berlin and Dulles arranged a complicated but successful exfiltration.

Perhaps the most complex and controversial covert action Dulles facilitated was dubbed Operation Sunrise, which involved dealing directly with SS general Karl Wolff to obtain the early surrender of German forces in Italy. The Russians were not told of the early contacts, which precipitated an angry exchange among Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. In the end, it was a success and lives were saved.

Miller describes Dulles’s brief post-war assignments in Germany after the surrender, and his efforts to help his former agents—Kolbe in particular—even after he returned to civilian life. For those who want a good summary of Dulles’s wartime experiences, Agent 110 is the best single source.

Deep Under Cover: My Secret Life & Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America, by Jack Barsky with Cindy Coloma. (Tyndale Momentum, 2017) 339, photos, no index.

Albrecht Dittrich’s makeover began in September 1970 while he was studying chemistry at university in Jena, East Germany; at the time, he was headed for academia. Then came “a life changing knock” on his dorm door. (67) The stranger who entered asked him intriguing questions that indicated he knew a great deal about Albrecht’s life and capabilities. Albrecht assumed he was Stasi. When invited to Moscow for further training, he realized he was dealing with the KGB. Years of training to be an illegal followed. Albrecht developed a legend, polished his English, learned espionage tradecraft, and studied imperialist Western societies. Then he was dispatched to Canada, where he acquired the birth certificate of Henry van Randall of California and a US passport under that name. When the certificate arrived marked “Deceased,” Albrecht realized the incongruity and returned to Moscow immediately; someone had not done his or her homework.

While waiting for the KGB to straighten things out, Albrecht married his Berlin sweetheart and she was read in to the program; she would bear his first child. When the KGB rezidentura in New York obtained the birth certificate of a Staten Island boy who died in 1955, Albrecht went to New York and assumed his identity: Jack Barsky was reborn.

Following instructions, Barsky learned New York City, first as a bike messenger, then as a college student at Columbia, and then as a MetLife computer programmer. After eight years, he married and had a second child. All the while he maintained contact with his KGB masters by coded radio messages, secret writing letters, and periodic trips to Moscow. Crunch time arrived in December 1988, when he noticed an emergency danger signal at a prearranged location: he was to return immediately—but he didn’t. In 1997, he was contacted by the FBI.

How did the FBI learn about him? Was he doubled against the KGB? Did he avoid KGB retaliation? What about his families in Germany and America? How did he become an American citizen? The answers to these questions are what make Deep Under Cover an engrossing book. In addition, Barsky includes the details of his extensive KGB tradecraft training and fieldwork as an illegal. He also points out some surprising errors the KGB made in his control procedures, while he was overseas. Deep Under Cover is a valuable contribution to the literature.

Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, by Joel Whitney. (OR Books, 2016) 329, endnotes, sources, photos, index.

The irony of the early Cold War influence operations conducted by the KGB and the CIA to promote the cultural benefits offered respectively by communism and democracy is striking: those working for the KGB knew their masters, while the well-known writers, poets, artists, historians, scientists, and critics, who were supported indirectly by the CIA to display Western values and opportunities, for the most part did not.

Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers devotes little space to the Soviet propaganda operations that were the genesis for what became the CIA-sponsored responses. Instead, journalist Joel Whitney dwells on the “liberal hawks, non-aligned leftist novelists, and Russian dissidents” whose writings and other artistic gifts portrayed life in the Western democracies. (5) Personalities like George Plimpton, Arthur Schlesinger, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Koestler, Vladimir Nabokov, Irving Kristol, Arthur Miller, James Baldwin, Stephen Spender, and Boris Pasternak—to name just a few—are woven into the narrative. He also addresses charges of censorship—he is on shaky ground here—and undue influence on some writers, especially those thought to be too sympathetic to the communists.

Whitney’s choice of a title is a tad misleading: the world’s best writers were not “tricked” and the pejorative term “fink”—an unpleasant or contemptible person who informs on people to the authorities—is ambiguous in application. Whitney writes that “the finks the book is named for” are those who attempted to thwart exposure of the CIA relationship with the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF) and its ancillary organizations. (5)

The basic story of the CIA’s role in the CCF has been told before but Whitney adds new details based on recently discovered letters and other archival documents.[4] His storyline describes how the idea of countering the persistent communist propaganda originated among liberal Western writers and artists, many with firsthand knowledge of the Soviet truth. It also reveals how their need for funds and publishing venues coincided with the nation’s need to counter the communist version of events. While he identifies the key players, his discussion of CIA organizational structure and management is not quite right.

The CCF supported writers, books, and magazines throughout the world. (37) Nevertheless, Whitney’s central focus is on the Americans. To that end, he provides short biographies of the principals—artists and CIA officers—as they sought to conduct international CCF publishing programs, exhibits, and conferences.

But to assert, as Whitney does, that “the Congress of Cultural Freedom was CIA’s new propaganda front” is disingenuous. (15) Many of the contributions supported over more than 15 years were anything but propaganda and reflected the genuine views of the authors.

In the end, the book’s implicit assumption that the CIA role in the CCF was somehow immoral and ultimately unproductive is problematic, when viewed in the Cold War context—a topic Whitney tends to downplay, if not ignore. The final chapter attempts to extend this argument to post-Cold War CIA operations. There he discusses the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, preposterously asserting that “the United States lured them there,” (262) and that the CIA attempted to propagandize the Afghans. More recent examples include what he considers the inappropriate CIA influence on motion pictures such as Zero Dark Thirty and Argo. His arguments leave room for alternative interpretations.

The Gestapo: The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police, by Frank McDonough. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017) 309, endnotes, bibliography, photos, glossary, index.

In 1946, American opponents of a central intelligence service argued that the United States didn’t need a Gestapo, the notorious German secret police of Nazi era fame. Movies of the era—O.S.S. (1946, starring Alan Ladd), 13 Rue Madeleine (1947), another O.S.S., (1947, starring James Cagney) and later The Diary Of Anne Frank (1952)—perpetuated an image of the Gestapo as the acme of Nazi terror. In Berlin today, a museum called the “Topography of Terror” on the site of WWII Gestapo headquarters on Prinz-Albrecht-Straße (now Niederkirchnerstraße) displays torture cells, and photos of Gestapo treatment of communists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, uncooperative Catholics, the mentally ill, gypsies, homosexuals, and Jews.

Frank McDonough’s The Gestapo doesn’t refute these images, but it does attempt to show that some historians have exaggerated reality when dealing with ordinary German citizens in domestic matters. In short, he concludes that representing the Gestapo as an omnipotent force that monitored and harshly punished citizens for anti-Nazi acts is inaccurate.

After reviewing the origins of the Gestapo, McDonough presents examples of how ordinary citizens who criticized or denounced to the Gestapo received fair, even lenient, treatment. The organization, he suggests, was only about 15,000 strong and could only deal with serious threats to the regime.

In what McDonough calls “history from below,” he uses recently discovered Gestapo files covering operations in the Düsseldorf region of Germany to support his position. But even if he is right about domestic operations, it is still hard not to conclude that the Gestapo’s control of the concentration camps and its treatment of anti-fascists at home justify its well-earned reputation as an evil organization.

Lawrence of Arabia’s War: The Arabs, The British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI, by Neil Faulkner. (Yale University Press, 2016) 528, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

In 1910, aspiring Oxford academic, archeologist, and author, Thomas E. Lawrence, selected a title—Seven Pillars of Wisdom—for a contemplated travel book based on seven Middle Eastern cities. World War I interrupted those plans and he discarded the idea for the book—but not its title. He would later use it for his personal account of the Arab Revolt, which curiously makes no mention of pillars of any kind.

Lawrence of Arabia’s War is a less misleading title than Seven Pillars, especially when taking the subtitle into account. But it is not just another biography of Lawrence and his role in the Arab Revolt—there have been more than 100 to date—although major, familiar parts of those topics are covered. Marxist archeologist and historian Neil Faulkner correlates Lawrence’s story with the conventional war operations in the Middle East during World War I. Fought on two parallel fronts, this hybrid war saw the Turks defeated in the West by a conventional army commanded by Gen. Edmund Allenby. Success, however, had little to do with Lt. Col. Richard Meinertzhagen’s so-called Haversack Ruse, as Faulkner claims. (299) and in the east by “a tribal insurgency of camel-mounted guerrillas.” (xiii)

Faulkner looks at both, factoring in strategic conflicts in the British War ministry between those whose priority was the European front and those favoring the Middle East to protect the gateway to India—the Suez Canal—while tying down Germans supporting the Turks. Using results from an archeological study, Faulkner concludes the Turk’s defensive efforts to protect the railway were far more sophisticated than is portrayed in some popular accounts. He also shows that the Turks, motivated by religion more than nationalism, were not the incompetent peasants and farmers some made them out to be, especially at Gallipoli and Armenia. The Great War cost them millions of dead and wounded.

Faulkner’s analysis of the conventional land war under Wavell (General Sir A. P. Wavell, Commander in Chief, South West Pacific) is straightforward, though his acceptance of Richard Meinertzhagen’s so-called Haversack Ruse is surprising, since it was discredited by Lockman.[5]

The Arab Revolt is given detailed attention as Faulkner describes its failures and successes, like the Aqaba battle depicted in the David Lean film, Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence’s capture in Deraa where he was on an intelligence gathering mission is briefly described. Faulkner accepts Lawrence’s account, given in Seven Pillars, that he was “sexually abused” (367) by the Turks, without commenting on other authors’ speculation that the event never happened. He discusses his conclusion that the Deraa experience and the British acceptance of the Sykes-Picot Agreement that denied the Arabs the fruits of their victorious revolt were to have a lifelong psychological impact on Lawrence.

Lawrence of Arabia’s War provides a broad view of the Arab Revolt and the war in the Middle East during World War I. Ironically, as Faulkner observes, the Turks lost their war, but ended up with a stable secular state. The Arabs who defeated the Turks and entered Damascus victorious eventually submitted to a contrived geopolitical solution that remains in disarray to this day. A fascinating story, well told and well documented.

Operation Blunderhead: The Incredible Adventures of a Double Agent in Nazi-Occupied Europe, by David Gordon Kirby. (The History Press, 2015) 223, end of chapter notes, bibliography, photos, index.

Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography (Westview Press, 1983), by the late OSS veteran George C. Constantinides, remains the best critical treatment of the literature written before 1982. He was especially unforgiving when it came to popular but unreliable books, a notorious example of which was Ronald Seth’s Encyclopedia of Espionage (New English Library, 1975). Constantinides described the book as “abounding in errors, poorly prepared, needing editing and cluttered with inane and trivial material . . . experts will not be happy with the results.” (406–407) Seth had already written 25 equally dubious books on espionage and fancied himself an expert. Were they unreliable, too? Constantinides thought so, and Operation Blunderhead explains the back story.

British historian David Kirby encountered Ronald Seth while studying the history of the Baltic countries—Estonia in particular—where Seth was a very popular English lecturer for three years prior to World War II. In his 1952 memoir, A Spy Has No Friends (Arnold Deutsch), Seth tells how he returned to England and joined the Royal Air Force when war broke out. Seconded to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1942, he volunteered to parachute in to Estonia on a sabotage mission to destroy shale oil processing plants. The book contained no references and disguised many names. Thus, when Kirby checked recently released SOE files, he found Seth’s story “often at variance with the evidence available in the archives.” (16) Operation Blunderhead sorts out the facts and fantasies in Seth’s wartime record. Kirby also establishes a pattern of behavior that explains why Seth’s postwar writings were unswervingly unreliable.

Using archival documents, Kirby shows that Seth never performed any acts of sabotage. In fact, he gave himself up to the Germans shortly after landing, and he never contacted SOE by radio. Then, after being officially presumed dead, British intelligence learned he had been “captured.” In 1944, he was spotted wearing a Luftwaffe uniform in Paris. Later the same year, British received a report signed “Blunderhead,” written, the author claimed, in an SS hospital in Paris. Further reports from Blunderhead and others indicated that he had been in several POW camps, where he was viewed as a stool pigeon. The ultimate surprise occurred when he turned himself in to the British minister in Switzerland where he claimed to be a double agent, returning to England with written peace proposals from Heinrich Himmler, meant for the British government. (203–204)

Seth was returned to London and interrogated by MI5, among others. Kirby shows that much of Seth’s explanation regarding how he avoided execution and where he had really been could not be documented. Complicating matters, Seth exhibited a pattern of embellishment and fabrication that confounded his interrogators. In the end, there was no evidence that he had cooperated, except to fool the Nazis. No charges were ever brought; he was honorably discharged and received back pay. Kirby questions why SOE ever allowed Seth to undertake the mission. He concludes the “soubriquet ‘Blunderhead’ was a mocking comment on the entire show.” (201) But Seth viewed himself as a successful agent and resorted to writing creatively embellished or just inaccurate espionage stories. Operation Blunderhead reaffirms Constantinides judgment: Ronald Seth was no avatar of truth.

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War, by Ben Macintyre. (Crown, 2016) 380, bibliography, appendices, photo, index.

In July 1941, while newly appointed Coordinator of Information (COI) William Donovan was setting up his new organization, British Lt. David Stirling was in a military hospital in Egypt recovering from a near-disastrous first parachute jump and planning an elite Special Forces unit that would become the Special Air Service (SAS). Rogue Heroes first tells how he managed to convince skeptical generals that his idea of a small, highly trained unit operating behind enemy lines in North Africa could wreak havoc on German airfields, lines of supply, and communications. And second, Rogue Heroes describes the operations in unforgiving African deserts that proved him right.

Stirling exits the battlefield saga in late 1942 after his capture by a German officer—“the unit dentist”—while on a mission in Tunisia. (197) One of his cell mates, nominally, “Capt. John Richards,” proved to be Private Theodore Schurch, the only British soldier executed for treachery during the war. (351) Stirling was not fooled. And although he proved adept at escaping on four occasions, he was equally susceptible to being captured and he spent the balance of the war in Colditz prison.

What was, by the end of the Africa campaign, an SAS regiment did not collapse after Stirling’s capture. It did, however, undergo reorganization and was temporarily stalled before reinstatement. And as demands for Special Forces services grew, a second regiment was formed—commanded by Stirling’s somewhat less colorful brother, Bill.

Rogue Heroes is initially concerned with SAS missions in Libya that destroyed aircraft and supplies behind enemy lines, after attacking from the desert (which few thought could be done). Modifying its tactics as needed, the regiment would go on to serve in Egypt, Italy, France, and Germany. Macintyre’s account of these exploits weaves in perceptive narrative portraits of the eccentric, aristocratic dilettante Stirling and his maverick, malcontent “Dirty Dozen” colleagues. All were self-reliant volunteers and most contemptuous of traditional army conventions and formalities. Stirling’s successor to command was Capt. Robert “Paddy” Mayne, a Northern Irishman characterized as “unexploded ordinance.” (209) A moody, heavy drinker “given to violent explosions of temper . . . and insubordination,” (38) Mayne was a dedicated, effective fighter and controlled his demons when necessary; he would lead his troops until the end of the war. More in Stirling’s mold was a subordinate, Capt. George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, the self-deprecating son of the World War I admiral. He would go on to become the first commander of the Special Boat Service (SBS), an SAS wartime spin-off.

For reasons not mentioned, Macintyre does not include source notes in his account. He does acknowledge the contribution of the SAS War Diary (Extraordinary Editions, Ltd., 2011; facsimile of original diary, 1946), a monumental volume that lists all wartime missions, and these are included in an appendix.

Rogue Heroes concludes with a summary of the post-war lives of the regiment’s survivors. Stirling, among other activities, helped train security units in Arab and African countries, and was knighted in 1990. (345) One survivor became a pub owner, while Paddy Mayne turned to exploring but never came to terms with his demons.

As with all Ben Macintyre’s books, he tells his story wonderfully, and in Rogue Heroes he has made another significant contribution to WWII Special Forces and intelligence history.

Shattered Illusions: KGB Cold War Espionage in Canada, by Donald G. Mahar. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) 221, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

The era of “the great illegals,” wrote Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew, occurred before World War II.[6] These KGB officers, operating in foreign countries without diplomatic or other official protection, recruited and handled some of the most successful Soviet agents. The Cambridge Five are well-known examples. After the war those illegal officers had either been eliminated by Stalin himself or neutralized by Western services, thanks to defectors and the VENONA decrypts. Thus the KGB attempted to recreate new illegal networks in the West. Canada was a useful entry point on the road to America, and Col. Rudolf Abel of Bridge of Spies fame followed that path; years later, Yevgeni Brik tried to do the same. Shattered Illusions tells his story.

After two years of tradecraft training in Moscow, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, Brik arrived in Canada under a false name that he abandoned immediately, assuming another—David Soboloff (a long dead Canadian)—as his operational identity. Brik’s instructions were “to take a familiarization trip across Canada” and continue to Toronto to acquire an intimate knowledge of the city where the real Soboloff had lived. (25) Ultimately, he would, “at a time chosen by Moscow, immigrate to the United States,” where he would join Rudolf Abel. (29) Things did not go as planned.

Brik took a variety of jobs to establish an employment record before he received approval to take a photography course in New York. He would later start a photography studio in the Verdun suburb of Montreal as his cover; Moscow’s plan that he become a watchmaker proved unfeasible.

Before starting his business, Brik needed to travel to other towns where Soboloff had lived or visited. It was on a trip to Winnipeg that he met and began an affair with Larissa Cunningham, the wife of a Canadian army corporal, to whom he eventually revealed his “illegal” secret—and his life changed irrevocably. She suggested that he turn himself in to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and he did just that. Brik was given the codename GIDEON, and the RCMP Security Service began Operation KEYSTONE.

Although his relationship with Larissa didn’t work out, Brik’s dual role with the Security Service went well. Things even improved a bit when Moscow Centre—KGB headquarters—decided not to send him to assist Abel and assigned him instead to support agents in Canada. Brik even envisioned becoming the illegal rezident there. (29)

Then in August 1955, Brik left on a scheduled trip to Moscow via Rio, and disappeared. Shattered Illusions explains how they later learned GIDEON had been betrayed by a Security Service officer to the KGB. He was presumed dead until 1991, when an old man walked into the British embassy in Vilnius, asking to see the MI6: Brik was back.

After confirming Brik’s identity, Donald Mahar, a retired Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officer, was assigned to help implement the exfiltration. He explains what happened to Brik when he was arrested and interrogated by the KGB, and how he managed to avoid execution.

After his return, Brik spent 19 often contentious, even prickly years in Canada, unbothered by the SVR (the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service). This is a famous case in Canadian intelligence history, and Mahar has provided a fine account of its complexities.

Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game, by Craig Murray. (Birlinn, Ltd, 2016) 437, endnotes, bibliography, photos, maps, index.

The “Great Game,” a term popularized but not originated by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim, refers to 19th-century intelligence operations between Britain and Russia when the former saw a threat from the latter. Alexander Burnes was a British military intelligence officer, a gifted linguist, and an active participant in the Great Game. Sikunder Burnes tells his story.

Author and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, learned of Sir Alexander Burnes while studying history at the University of Dundee. A great-nephew of the famed Scottish poet Robert Burns, Sir Alexander had an impressive record of his own: as a 15-year-old cadet, Burnes arrived in India on 31 October 1821 and before his death in Kabul just 20 years later, he would enjoy audiences with British monarch, be knighted for service to the crown, honored by the Royal Geographic Society, and write a best-selling, three-volume account of his travels from India to Bokhara and another book about his service in Kabul during the First Afghan War.[7]

Ambassador Murray acquired the details for his book by visiting long unexplored archives in India, Afghanistan, and London that revealed documents discussing Burnes’s travels on intelligence missions throughout India, Afghanistan, and neighboring regions. He often traveled in disguise while in unknown territory using the name “Sikunder Kahn” (“Sikunder” is Persian for Alexander). Facilitated by his gift for linguistics, Burnes met with tribal officials on nominally political matters while collecting military and geographic intelligence. His reports included hand-drawn maps and fortress details that were sent to London and contributed to his growing reputation.

Perhaps the most surprising result of Murray’s research was his discovery of Burnes’s portrait in the Mumbai Asiatic Society archive; the portrait is included in the book. Burnes’s books featured a frontispiece of him in a turban, but this was not his true likeness: he had insisted on a distorted rendition to protect his anonymity. (128–129)

Burnes was not a solitary intelligence officer: Murray introduces the reader to a number of his espionage colleagues, while describing their often contentious relationships, exploits, and awkward communication methods.

Of his many assignments, Burnes’s mission to Kabul as liaison to the Afghan leader Dost Mohammed was the most challenging. He “recruited spies in the Afghan court” (204) to monitor the threatening alliances contemplated and formed with the Persians, Russians, and the region’s many factions. When the Indian government decided to replace Dost, rejecting Burnes’s recommendation to support him, Burnes reluctantly agreed and his friend Dost was replaced by a British surrogate. The result was the first disastrous Afghan war and Burnes’s violent death and that of his younger brother Charles, who had followed him to India, in the courtyard of Burnes’s home. Some historians concluded Burnes was killed because of sexual affairs with native women, but Murray explains that Burnes observed the Afghan rules about such matters and traveled with his own harem. (170)

There are two interesting sub-themes in Sikunder Burnes. In the first, Murray find parallels with his own foreign officer career and, from time to time, points them out in the narrative, which interrupts the flow a bit. Then there are his digressions concerning Alexander and his brother, James—a doctor, also in India for a while—and their connection with the myths that link the Knights Templar and Scottish Freemasonry. Murray ponders whether this connection supports the conspiracy theories of “Da Vinci Code.”

Sikunder Burnes is the first biography of Burnes’s extraordinary life. Whether, as some historians have claimed, there was no genuine Russian threat to India at the time, it is clear the British thought there was. What they did to counter it will confound those who follow events in Afghanistan today; there are many analogous mistakes. A fine and important book that reveals how intelligence was practiced “back in the day,” and, to some extent, how the practice continues.

Silver: The Spy Who Fooled the Nazis—The Most Remarkable Agent of the Second World War, by Mihir Bose. (Fonthill Press, 2016) 350, endnotes, bibliography, appendix, photos, maps, no index.

Peter Fleming graduated from Eton and Oxford before joining the Army at the start of World War II. His younger brother, Ian, chose the Navy. While serving in India as chief of intelligence under General Sir A. P. Wavell, Commander in Chief, South West Pacific, Peter recruited an Indian agent to report on local anti-British movements and codenamed him SILVER (his true name was Bhagat Ram Talwar).

Talwar’s true pedigree was unknown to Fleming. A popular and dedicated communist, Talwar had been chosen by the Party in early 1941 to escort Subhas Bose (no relation to the author), the well-known Indian anti-British communist, to Kabul, Afghanistan. Bose planned to go to Germany and seek foreign help to free India from the British, but when a visa proved difficult to acquire, the astute Talwar made friends with the Italian ambassador, and soon Bose was on his way.

Talwar so impressed the Italian ambassador that he recruited him to provide details on anti-British activities in India. On his return to India, unwilling to betray his country or the communists, Talwar established a fictitious secret organization—the All-India National Revolutionary Committee—and on his next trip to Kabul convinced the ambassador that it was the source of the information he began supplying, for which the ambassador began paying. When the ambassador passed the information to his Nazi colleagues, they were equally impressed and also recruited him. When Hitler invaded Russia, ending the Hitler-Stalin pact, Talwar, ever the loyal communist, offered his services to the Soviets in Kabul. He would spy for them throughout the war without telling the Nazis, the Italians, or the British. Later in the war, Fleming sent Talwar to Kabul—one of 12 trips he made during the war—to discover how the Japanese were colluding with the Germans. Talwar managed to convince the Japanese he could be of help to them and was recruited. To speed communications, the Germans provided Talwar with a radio. Unbeknownst to him, the British at Bletchley Park were intercepting German communications and learned some of what SILVER was doing.

Inevitably, Talwar had confidants who knew aspects of his activities, if not their ultimate purpose and controllers. This led to suspicions about him from all sides. The author describes how he managed to survive through artful lying. But at least one case pestered him after the war, when he was suspected of having betrayed his former colleague, Subhas Bose, to the British.

Silver: The Spy Who Fooled the Nazis is a complicated, occasionally convoluted though very readable account of Talwar’s adventures as he struggled to keep his multiple masters satisfied. They, on the other hand, had their own difficulties dealing with SILVER. The author explains how the British and Soviets cooperated and competed for control of SILVER without alerting the Germans, who thought of him as their agent. All this amidst a war and the volatile political situation in pre-independence India that influenced SILVER’s allegiance.

As to the value of his contribution, British deception historian Sir Michael Howard found SILVER “comparable with GARBO [8] himself.” (24) This account does not entirely support this judgment, since he had much less impact on the outcome of World War II. Nevertheless, though Talwar’s exploits are mentioned in passing in the literature from time to time, Silver: The Spy Who Fooled the Nazis is the first full treatment of his contributions.

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935–1961, by Nicholas Reynolds. (HarperCollins, 2017) 357, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

At the annual OSS dinners in Washington, DC, veterans toast the late OSS Col. David Bruce and his friend Ernest Hemingway in honor of their ‘liberation’ of the Ritz Hotel bar in Paris in 1944. In 2010, Nicholas Reynolds, then-CIA museum historian recalled that story while working on the Agency’s OSS exhibit and wondered whether Hemingway was also in OSS.

A search of the National Archives OSS collection revealed there was, in fact, a file on Hemingway. It showed that his wife—Martha Gellhorn—“had lobbied OSS to put him on the payroll,” but he had never joined. (xviii) Further research into the open literature, however, disclosed an astonishing fact: Hemingway had “an official Soviet file” that exposed him as an NKVD agent![9] (xix) Was he also an American traitor? Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy answers that question and weighs how Hemingway’s links to spying influenced his work.

Reynolds begins the story with brief allusions to the 18-year-old Hemingway’s WWI experiences. Rejected by the US Army for poor eyesight, he volunteered to the Red Cross as an ambulance driver and was sent to Italy in June 1918. On 8 July, he was badly wounded by a mortar round and was hospitalized. After his recovery, he married, found work with Toronto Star Weekly as its European correspondent, and returned to Paris, where he became a member of the so-called lost generation “of talented writers” that included Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Ford Madox Ford.

By 1935, he had published two best sellers, The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell To Arms, was living in Key West with his second wife, and “was so successful that he was on his way to becoming a touchstone for every American writer.” (2) It was also when his left-leaning thinking surfaced in print, in an anti-New Deal article published in the communist supported magazine, New Masses. While the piece wasn’t “left” enough to label him a communist, it “attracted attention in . . . Moscow . . . probably the first time that anyone in the NKVD . . . took any interest in Hemingway . . . he was now on the NKVD radar.” (12–14)

Reynolds is unsure whether the NKVD influenced Hemingway’s assignment by the North American Newspaper Alliance to Spain in 1937. But there is no doubt his reporting from the Republican government’s side—fighting Franco and his Nationalists—exhibited a growing anti-fascism. This view was also evident in a film he narrated about the Nationalists in the war; in his anti-fascist play, The Fifth Column; and his articles for Pravda. (48) Reynolds also names other American communists, like Milton Wolff of the International Brigade, Hemingway met in Spain and would encounter later in his career. He also met NKVD officers. Hemingway’s best known account of the war, of course, was his book For Whom the Bell Tolls, which was based on his reporting experiences in Spain. It was there that he had become friends with and received help from the head of the NKVD in Spain, Alexander Orlov, and on whom he modeled the character Varloff. (17)

When Hemingway realized the Republican cause was all but lost, writes Reynolds, “although he was fond of saying he had signed on for the duration,” (52) Hemingway left for the States a few months before the war ended in April 1939.  In short order, Hemingway divorced his second wife, remarried, moved to Cuba, began work on For Whom the Bell Tolls, defended the Nazi-Soviet Pact, (77) and made plans for a trip to China after the book was published in 1940. Then an unexpected event occurred.

In late 1940, although “the contact details remain a mystery,” (77), writes Reynolds, Hemingway met Jacob Golos, the veteran NKVD case officer in New York. (79) Reynolds then cites a NKVD report stating that, “before he left for China, Hemingway was recruited for our work on ideological grounds.” (81) More specifically, after several meetings with Golos, “by January, the American novelist agreed to work with Moscow.” (88)

Based on his professional knowledge, Reynolds conjectures sensibly about the nature of these initial contacts and what they may have meant to both sides. He also adds some interesting facts. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Hemingway “received a telegram from the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov . . . inviting him to visit the Soviet Union.” (125) He never made the trip, but the NKVD didn’t give up. Hemingway was contacted by the NKVD several times during and after the war. Reynolds also found message traffic between the NKVD rezidency in Washington and Moscow inquiring about ARGO—Hemingway’s codename—as late as 1950. (215) But he found no evidence that Hemingway was ever a participating NKVD agent.

Hemingway did become involved in two intelligence actions concerning Cuba, however, before he went to Europe to report on the war. One was a cockamamie counterintelligence operation called “The Crook Factory” that Hemingway designed and implemented to “keep an eye on actual or potential Axis sympathizers.” (123) The other was a bizarre scheme in which Hemingway, accompanied by local recruits, would employ his boat—the Pilar—to search for and even sink Axis submarines. As Reynolds notes, Hemingway had official sanction for these efforts from the US embassy in Cuba, apparently took them seriously, and received much praise (the limited results notwithstanding). Reynolds considers the possible motivations and the impact they may have had on Hemingway’s patriotism.

In 1943, with the Axis Caribbean threat diminished, Hemingway left for Europe, where he would meet the lady who would become his fourth wife. In 1944 he would follow the troops to France and there undertake another self-generated, quasi-intelligence mission. The latter involved his independent efforts to identify the best route to Paris for the Army, during which he met David Bruce—and they went on to liberate the Ritz. He was subsequently involved in some actual fighting in the field, for which he was nearly court-martialed. For his “combat” efforts, he thought a Distinguished Service Cross appropriate; he later received a Bronze Star.[10] Reynolds uses these anecdotes to reflect on Hemingway’s courageous character and his desire to be part of the action—without assuming all the responsibility.

It was during the combat events that he met Gen. Charles “Buck” Lanham, who became a close friend for the rest of his life. As part of their continuing correspondence, he once wrote to Lanham that “he had done odd jobs for the Soviets in Spain and, after the Civil War, stayed in touch with ‘Russkis’ who shared secrets with him.” (86, 211)

Hemingway tired of the war once the end was in sight and returned to his home in Cuba in early 1945. There he followed the congressional hearings on communist espionage and continued his literary life. The former “kept him on edge,” (215) and he worried that his own case might surface in defectors’ testimony—but it never did. Reynolds found no evidence in the archives or in Hemingway’s many letters to Lanham that he ever admitted to anyone he had met with the NKVD. It was equally clear, however, that he retained his sympathy for Stalin—who “had to be ruthless in order to protect the Soviet Union from enemies like Hitler.” (193)

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy follows Hemingway’s reactions to the major events of the early Cold War. He continued writing and was awarded the Nobel Prize, but did not go to Sweden to accept it. He was also increasingly concerned that the FBI was bugging his phones and monitoring him—more so as his health gradually deteriorated and he was hospitalized several times. The diagnosis was “depression complicated by paranoia.” (253) He “tried at least twice to kill himself,” (258) and on 2 July 1961, he succeeded. In 1980, when the FBI released its Hemingway file, it emerged that Hemingway had been partially right: the Bureau file showed he had been a continuing subject of interest because of his leftish tendencies, but he was never under surveillance. (263)

Nicholas Reynolds’s fine intelligence biography of Ernest Hemingway adds much to the story of this famous man. As a writer, Hemingway succeeded by any measure. As an amateur sailor, in addition to writing The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway used his nautical skills in attempts at gathering intelligence and assisting in covert operations, droll examples of which Reynolds does not fail to provide. His portrait of Hemingway as the “veteran” soldier shows that that particular image was more in Hemingway’s mind than it was rooted in reality. But Hemingway’s role as an NKVD spy remains curiously ambiguous, though Reynolds makes a strong case that—at heart—he was a patriot.

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy is a thoroughly documented, positive contribution to the intelligence literature and a thoughtful contribution to the reputation of Ernest Hemingway.

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Intelligence Governance and Democratisation: A Comparative Analysis of the Limits of Reform, by Peter Gill. (Routledge, 2016) 225, end of chapter notes, references, index.

What is “intelligence governance and democratisation”? British intelligence scholar Peter Gill suggests that intelligence governance has to do with the organization, control, and oversight of an intelligence community by legitimate authorities. Democratization on the other hand, is “concerned with the process by which intelligence in former authoritarian regimes in Europe and Latin America have become more democratic, or not.” (3) Intelligence Governance and Democratisation examines the evolution of these concepts, the operational problems encountered, and the options for reform. It also extends the discussion beyond nation-states to include private and corporate security elements and non-state entities.

Gill summarizes the historical precedents that led to the necessity for reform in democratic and authoritarian regimes and the difficulties encountered in implementation. In the process, he cites the work of many other academics that resulted in conceptual models like securitism, which illustrates various forms of intelligence and security relationships. The chapter on “Kosovo and Amexica”—the latter refers to the American-Mexican border region—argues in favor of “the proposition that there are, indeed, general issues of governing intelligence that transcend national peculiarities.” (81) His lengthy treatment of democratization issues includes the notion that “the implementation of a ‘deeper’ democratization of intelligence by means of moving from ‘thinner’ to ‘thicker’ versions of the rule of law is from the perspective of ‘culture’: specifically the attitudes and values towards intelligence work that exist in the broader society.” (149) On the subject of external oversight, Gill notes that it “does not just refer to reviewing or overseeing the work of others but also to an unintentional failure to notice or do something.” (163) He offers examples of oversight problems in a number of countries. Allowing that “some progress has been made in achieving oversight of state agencies, the vexed issue of overseeing international intelligence cooperation remains, and the corporate and para-state sectors remain effectively untouched.” (191)

If these admittedly selective but typically phrased concepts seem esoteric, it is because Intelligence Governance and Democratisation is an academic assessment written mainly for academics. While practitioners will agree that reform and oversight are ongoing components in democratic and would-be democratic intelligence organizations, Gill’s complex treatment fails to persuade readers that the existing mechanisms should be replaced.

Swedish Military Intelligence: Producing Knowledge, by Gunilla Eriksson. (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) 228, end of chapter notes, bibliography, index.

Dr. Gunilla Eriksson is a political scientist with six years’ experience as an intelligence analyst with the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service (Militära Underrättelse-och Säkerhetstjänsten—the MUST). Now a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of War Studies at the Swedish National Defense University, she finds “intelligence-related research . . . [an] exciting topic.” (1)

In Swedish Military Intelligence, Eriksson considers intelligence “a special kind of knowledge,” what she calls “intelligence knowledge”—is a kind of unique database within an intelligence entity that is “more than empirical data alone” and forms the foundation of judgments that “help security policymakers to make informed decisions.” (1–2) A critical requirement for intelligence knowledge, she argues, is that it be based on unbiased, explicit rather than implied, evidence and assumptions. That these conditions are not always met, she suggests, may explain why assessments reach the wrong conclusions.

Eriksson’s approach to a system intended to prevent failure is described in the answers to the following questions: “What kind of knowledge does intelligence produce?” Are there current paradigms of analysis “that might obstruct or at least hamper the emergence of valid descriptions of explanations?” “Are there some traits in the social context of knowledge production (inherent norms and values, routines, or organizational patterns) that might constrain or hamper the emergence of valid knowledge?” (2)

Eriksson formulated these questions during her work in MUST, where she concluded that they hadn’t been adequately addressed. Thus, at the National Defense University, using strategic estimates produced at MUST, she investigated their “intellectual and substantial content” as well as the “social milieu and social context of knowledge production.” (3) Her overall purpose is “to examine the characteristics of knowledge in intelligence analysis and also to investigate how that knowledge is affected by the social context of its production, the military service.” (11) Swedish Military Intelligence presents the results.

The book includes a foundational discussion of analytical views expressed by CIA analyst Sherman Kent and Roger Hilsman, former director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the State Department, which Eriksson draws into her inquiry of “the characteristics of intelligence knowledge.” (8) As is typical of a political scientist, there is a chapter on the need for an intelligence theory that answers the question, “In theory, how should it work?” Here she introduces the concept of “critical discourse analysis,” where she argues that “discourse and discursive practices can further our understanding of intelligence knowledge by uncovering and conceptualizing the manner in which meaning is assigned and interpreted.” (24–25) She devotes several chapters to expanding her theory, using MUST as the exemplar organization.

A less theoretical viewpoint is expressed in the chapter on “creating knowledge” that assesses how MUST analysts function. It is based mainly on interviews with practitioners. She concludes that, “If assessments are not put into use by various kinds of decision makers, the knowledge is irrelevant.” (111) This is a bit surprising since the assertion appears to conflict with her previously articulated concept of “intelligence knowledge.” Eriksson then turns to how efforts to keep intelligence knowledge objective and unbiased can be influenced by the analyst’s or the institution’s overall worldview. She discusses examples involving relations with NATO, Russia, and terrorism, still using MUST as a reference point. She concludes by cautioning against the risks of “a collective of thought and a style of thought”—perhaps a kind of group-think—that can unintentionally and inappropriately shape results. (207)

Some new terms and unfamiliar concepts in Swedish Military Intelligence should stimulate thinking while providing a look at how Swedish military analysts function. Eriksson’s prose is at times intellectually and semantically challenging, but seeking to grasp her meaning is worth the effort. A very interesting, stimulating contribution to the intelligence literature.

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[1] See for example: Nicholas Lemann, “Is Edward Snowden a Spy? A New Book Calls Him One,” New York Times, 9 January 2017; Mike (“Mish”) Shedlock, “Superhero Snowden Trashed in Ab-surd WSJ Op-Ed,” (blog), 2 January 2017; Seth Rosenfeld, “‘How America Lost Its Secrets,’ by Jay Epstein,” San Francisco Chronicle 20 January 2017.

[2] Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (Houghton Mifflin, 1994); James Srodes, Allen Dulles, Master of Spies (Regnery Publishing, 1999).

[3] Mark Murphy, “The Exploits of Agent 110,” Studies in Intelligence 37, no. 1 (1993), 25–32; available online at

[4] See Francis Stoner Saunders, Who Paid The Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (Granta Books, 2000); Michael Warner, “Origins of the Congress for Cultural Freedom 1949–50, Studies In Intelligence 38, no. 5 (1995), 80–98.

[5] In his published post-war diaries, Meinertzhagen claimed to have placed false war plans in a haversack that successfully deceived the Turks as to the location of the main attack into Palestine. Lockman showed that to be a false claim, but the myth has persisted. See J. N. Lockman, Meinertzhagen’s Diary Ruse: False Entries on T. E. Lawrence (1870; reprinted by Cornerstone Publications, 1995).

[6] Christopher Andrew, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (Penguin, 2000), 11.

[7] Alexander Burnes, Travels to Bokhara and a Voyage on the Indus (John Murray, 1834); Lt. Col. Sir Alexander Burnes, Cabool: Being A Personal Narrative of A Journey To, and Residence in That City, in the Years 1836, -7, and -8 (John Murray, 1842).

[8] Juan Pujol, codenamed GARBO, is considered the most important of the British Double Cross agents run during World War II. For his story, see Tomás Harris, GARBO: The Spy Who Saved D-Day (The National Archives, UK, and Dundurn Press, 2000).

[9] See Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage In America—The Stalin Era (Random House, 1999) and John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (Yale University Press, 2009).

[10] A Bronze Star is the only Army award allowed for a non-military participant in war.

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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 05:51 PM
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2017 05:51 PM