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The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

Intelligence in Recent Public Literature

Compiled and Reviewed by Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake


This section contains brief reviews of recent books of interest to both the intelligence professional and the student of intelligence.

Jeffrey M. Moore. Spies for Nimitz: Joint Military Intelligence in the Pacific War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004. 300 pages, endnotes, bibliography, photos, maps, index.

On his way to becoming Director of Central Intelligence, Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter served as a naval attaché in France, the executive officer of the battleship USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, captain of the USS Missouri, and head of the unit that became the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA). This relatively little known center provided Adm. Chester Nimitz, Pacific Fleet commander-in-chief, the intelligence necessary for the naval and marine island-hopping campaigns in the northwestern Pacific during World War II. Although mentioned briefly in other studies of naval intelligence, [1] Spies for Nimitz is the first full examination of how this group of all-source analysts functioned and contributed to the war.

Military scholar Jeffrey Moore discovered that, unlike many other service units, JICPOA was closed down before a summary after-action report was written. His book, based mainly on primary sources, corrects that omission. It is not just a descriptive history; Moore has evaluated the sources, the quality of intelligence that JICPOA produced—terrain, aerial, and cryptographic data, interrogation reports, and order of battle—and the importance of the intelligence to the outcome for each of the major Pacific battles.

Moore’s research shows a mix of successes and mishaps. Overall, JICPOA produced the accurate order of battle absolutely essential to successful invasion planning. And in the Guam campaign, JICPOA aerial reconnaissance pinpointed defenses and troop dispositions. Prior to the invasion of Saipan, however, “sufficient geographic intelligence necessary for effective campaign planning and execution” was lacking (111). And then there was the irony of Iwo Jima and Okinawa: Well before these battles, a captured document revealed a change in Japanese defensive tactics called fukkaku (a camouflaged fight-to-the-death, defense-in-depth approach). But the document was not translated until near the end of the war. Unaware of the new tactics, the Marines suffered heavy losses taking the islands.

Although most of the book examines the application of intelligence to the various battles, Moore also discusses how the five-step navy intelligence cycle—planning and direction, collection, processing, production, and dissemination—was applied by JICPOA during World War II. In the end, he concludes that the lessons learned from the JICPOA experience are applicable to those engaged in joint intelligence operations today. Although Spies for Nimitz is not a how-to-do-it book, it does tell what has to be done and how important the result is to successful operations. A valuable and very interesting book.

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Hugh Wilford. The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune. London: Frank Cass, 2003. 328 pages, end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, photos, index.

This is the latest in a series of books examining the role of the United States, and particularly the CIA, in countering the attempts of the Soviet Union to influence the liberal left in Europe after World War II. [2] The fact that the CIA provided clandestine start-up money and some continuing support for anti-communist artists, writers, and publications became public in 1967. The New Left, as Wilford and others call the movement, has been furious ever since about American cultural imperialism. Perhaps not surprisingly, the animosity about Soviet attempts to accomplish rigorous control of what was said and written during the early Cold War did not upset those who oppose links in any form with the CIA. It is an interesting story, and Wilford presents a well-documented account of the origins of the program and assesses its overall impact on communist-infiltrated trade unions and cultural organizations. Not all anti-communist support came from the CIA, although the Agency was blamed for it anyway. Wilford tells that story, too. Overall, he sees lasting benefits with some unintended consequences, especially within the CIA, where conflicts arose between intelligence professionals and those they were supporting in the anti-communist cultural movement. CIA officer Cord Meyer played an important role in this program, although Wilford mentions him only in passing. For those wishing for the American point of view, see Cord Meyer’s memoir, Facing Reality. [3]

 

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George Crile. Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. 550 pages, photos, index.

In his Washington Post review of this book, Thomas W. Lippman summed it up succinctly:

The stories George Crile tells . . . must be true—nobody could make them up. This is a rousing tale of jihad on the frontiers of the Cold War, infighting at the CIA, and horse-trading in Congress, spiced by sex, booze, ambition and larger-than-life personalities. [4]

The question remaining is, is it a good book? The answer is that it is, indeed. Whether or not there was a formal conspiracy to maneuver the United States into an all-out war against the Red Army in Afghanistan, as has been suggested, the description of what happened could lead one to that conclusion. The principal players in this saga are Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA case officer Gust Avrakotos. Long after the congressman became enamored of the Afghan cause and began using his position to add funds to the CIA assistance program that were not requested by the administration—a most unusual move—Avrakotos joined the program at CIA. From then on, things really began to move. With the help of a talented staff that never received adequate recognition, the CIA started providing the kind of weapons the Afghan warriors needed to win the war. The Enfield rifles that had kept them in a high-casualty, Russian-harassing mode were relegated to the waste bin. The Afghans were trained and supplied with Pakistani help, and the death-dealing Soviet HIND-21 helicopters began dropping out of the sky.

Wilson is portrayed as in a heroic battle against congressional equities that took all his considerable negotiating, persuading, coercing—take your pick—skills to get the job done. In the end, once the decision was made to provide a weapons mix that included Stinger missiles, success was achieved. Avrakotos is depicted as a bitter case officer unjustly treated by his superiors—with the exception of Milt Bearden, who eventually left the Agency without so much as a certificate of achievement after a full career.

Although there are no source notes, there are numerous specific circumstances and true names that will be familiar to many. Had there been major errors of fact, they would have surfaced by now; instead, the book gets a thumbs-up from those involved.

George Crile, a 60 Minutes producer, has told a good story well. It is a wonderful reading experience. [5]

 

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Milt Bearden and James Risen. The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB. New York: Random House, 2003. 563 pages, note on sources, index.

This is a splendid book by any measure. Former senior CIA case officer Milt Bearden and New York Times journalist James Risen tell how the KGB penetrated the CIA and FBI during the 1980s. They emphasize three cases: Edward Howard, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen. The reader will learn what these American intelligence officers did while they served the main enemy, what they got for it, how they were caught, and how each case progressed within the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and the FBI’s National Security Division.

From interviews with former KGB officers involved in the cases, the authors tell how the KGB identified, with the help of their American agents, more than 20 Soviets recruited by the CIA and FBI during the 1970s and 1980s. Then comes the sad story of their capture, conviction, and punishment. Of particular interest are the cases of Dmitri Polyakov and Adolf Tolkachev. [6] Both took great personal risks to contact and serve the CIA, only to be betrayed by Howard, Ames, and Hanssen.

The extraordinary level of detail provided is possible in part because Bearden was a participant. He often uses true names as he discusses the way the penetrations were discovered and handled. In addition, the authors were able to interview the KGB counterintelligence officer, Rem Krassilnikov, who supervised the arrests of the CIA agents in Russia. While separate books have been written about these American traitors, [7]   The Main Enemy is the only one in which the actions of so many of the players from both sides are described and their interactions clarified.

For part of the time during the long search for moles in the CIA and FBI, Milt Bearden was assigned to the Afghanistan problem. Two chapters of the book describe his role as chief of station in Pakistan, as the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan came to an end. We learn here how and why approval for the introduction of the Stinger missiles was obtained. The story adds to and agrees with George Crile’s assessment in Charlie Wilson’s War. [8]

In the end, after analyzing all the evidence, The Main Enemy reaches an unsettling conclusion: There is very likely at least one more Russian mole in the FBI or CIA that has yet to be caught.

 

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Stephen C. Mercado. The Shadow Warriors Of Nakano: A History of the Imperial Japanese Army’s Elite Intelligence School. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2002. 331 pages, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

In 1938, with imperial Japan fighting a war on mainland China and preparing for another with the Soviet Union, Tokyo’s need for better intelligence reached a critical point. To meet the demand, two unusual institutions were established in the Nakano district of the capital. One, officially named the Training Center for Rear Duties Personnel, came to be known as the Nakano School. By the end of World War II, the school had trained more than 2,500 military intelligence officers in subversion, covert action operations, commando support, tactical intelligence, and staff duties. The other agency, named the Noborito Research Institute, developed the covert devices and special weapons used by the Nakano School graduates. At about the same time, the Japanese army established the Yama (Mountain) Agency, officially called the Military Administration Bureau Annex, which was a counterintelligence organization about which little has been published to this day. Japanese journalists and historians have written about these organizations, but their Western counterparts have mentioned them only briefly. Military historian Stephen Mercado has filled this historical gap. Fluent in Japanese, using primary sources and interviews with graduates, he has investigated the history of the school and the role played by the Nakano officers in World War II.

The details in many of the cases will have a familiar ring, while in others the problems are uniquely Japanese. In the first category, the training courses, although developed independently of Western influence, were similar to those adopted by Britain’s Special Operations Executive and Secret Intelligence Service, and by America’s Office of Strategic Services. Considering the generic nature of the subject, this should be none too surprising. There was also intense bureaucratic fighting for quality personnel between the intelligence and operations staffs. Perhaps the most implacable obstacle, however, was the hostile military culture—where “regular officers in general had scant regard for intelligence”—and the difficulties this posed for advancement (23). On the operational side, Mercado tells, inter alia, of attempts at radio deception, commando raids on the Australians, and subversion in India.

In the uniquely Japanese category is the story of Nakano graduate Onoda Hiroo, assigned in 1944 to gather intelligence in West Mindoro Province of the Philippines. Thirty years later, although officially declared dead, Onoda emerged from the jungle and formally surrendered after “receiving orders to end his wartime mission.” A Japanese adventurer had spotted him and informed one of his wartime buddies in Tokyo who then communicated the “order” to Onoda. Onoda was treated as something of a hero in Japan and the Philippines (243ff).

About two-thirds of Mercado’s book is concerned with the military intelligence operations conducted by Nakano School graduates throughout the world during the war. The balance deals with those tried for war crimes (in one case, for the execution of eight American pilots), the reactions of others to peace, and in some instances their cooperation with US army intelligence after the war. War crimes aside, Mercado concludes that the traditional intelligence officers and men did well, considering the constraints imposed on them. His after-action interviews with school graduates produced a surprising assessment—the Nakano School was established 10 years too late; had it begun its training in the 1920s, one suggested, “Japan would never have gone to war” (267).

In addition to being an interesting and impressive work, The Shadow Warriors Of Nakano is the only scholarly account of this subject in English and thus a unique contribution to the intelligence literature.

 

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Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz, eds. Strategic Intelligence: Windows Into A Secret WorldAn Anthology. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2004. 473 pages, end of chapter notes, bibliography, charts, tables, index.

The editors of this anthology have assembled 35 articles on the major functions of the intelligence profession written by intelligence officers, national security journalists, academics, think-tank analysts, novelists, and politicians. Topics range from the familiar history of the Intelligence Community, collection and analysis, foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and covert action, to those with particular contemporary relevance, as, for example, the relationship of intelligence to policy, the danger of politicization, accountability, the quandary of intelligence reform, and establishing intelligence services in new democracies.

With so many contributions, selecting a few for comment risks unintended offense. Still, by its mere inclusion, one raises the explicatory question: what does a novelist—in this case Percy Kemp—have to contribute to a non-fiction reader on intelligence? Mr. Kemp’s interesting contribution, “The Rise and Fall of France’s Spymasters,” argues that before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first Gulf War, the French government concluded it did not require “first rate intelligence organizations” (438). After those events, the reverse was true. He presents names, facts, and figures in support of arguments that make intuitive sense, but he makes clear that the paper is “based on private conversations with former and present French intelligence operatives” and diplomats (442). Thus he leaves readers with a conundrum the answer to which is left as an exercise for the student.

The purpose of creating this book was to fill a gap that has grown as more and more courses on intelligence matters have appeared in university curricula over the last 30 years. So many valuable texts were written to meet the demand that no course could assign them all and parts of their contents were soon out of date. What was needed, then, was a reader with contributions by recognized professionals that covered the main issues of the profession—the proven practices and the controversial policies—from many points of view. This book meets that need.

Since all the articles have appeared elsewhere in journals or books, the editors contribute chapter-length introductory essays for each of the nine sections to provide a common thread and historical parallels from topic to topic. For anyone seeking greater understanding of the role of strategic intelligence in today’s very challenging world, they will find it in this volume.

 

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Dana Priest. The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military. New York: W. W. Norton, 2003. 429 pages, endnotes, photos, index.

Should the nation’s military forces wage war or keep peace? And if not the military as peacekeeper, who? These questions emerged as Dana Priest, military reporter for The Washington Post, talked with generals, diplomats, and “grunts,” as she calls them, in South America, Kosovo, Somalia, Albania, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Pentagon. Her answer is straightforward: After “twelve years of nation-building . . . the United States still hasn’t spawned an effective civilian corps of aid workers, agronomists, teachers, engineers—a real peace corps—to take charge of postwar reconstruction in Afghanistan or anywhere else” (xxx). And this was before the current Iraq war.

The process of reaching that conclusion involved traveling with the regional CINCs (Commanders-in-Chief, now just Commanders); learning about special forces A-Teams and the critical role of their non-commissioned officers; holding discussions with and about the Joint Chiefs of Staff; exploring the bureaucratic turf-protecting role of Washington civilians; and discovering how those on the ground dealt with the abyss between national and local intelligence in a peace-keeping situation.

On the working level in the field, she tells of the problems experienced by a civilian female translator with an army counterintelligence unit in Kosovo, which suggest that the army’s peacekeeping role has a few gaps to fill. Of a different kind are the difficulties dealing with the obstinate Nigerian military which demanded delivery of F-16s and other weapons before receiving training on them, illustrating the complexities of working with Third World countries to keep peace. And then there is the frustrating story of Special Forces Lt. Col. Michael Ellerbe who fought the army bureaucracy in Kosovo trying to work with the many ethnic locals, but could not please them all. Peacekeeping is not an easy task for the military. The final example in Priest’s book addresses post-invasion Afghanistan. Here, the author quotes JCS Chairman Shalikashvili: “Our level of resources doesn’t match our level of national interest” (xxx). The military was stunned and disappointed, Priest says, that it was ordered to turn its attention to Iraq before the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan had been completed.

The Mission makes clear that war-winning is a military objective understood by all, but who should perform the nation-building mission remains unclear. Priest states that not even the military has a satisfactory answer yet. But with the same problems surfacing in Iraq, her arguments for the need to resolve the quandary are persuasive.

 

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Robert W. Stephan. Stalin’s Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence Against the Nazis, 1941–1945. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004. 349 pages, endnotes, bibliography, appendix, photos, index.

The counterintelligence aspects of the opponents on the Eastern Front in World War II have received little attention from historians. Robert Stephan has taken steps to fill the gap with an impressive volume based on exemplary German, American, and selected Soviet primary- and secondary-source research. Postwar analysis shows that, in general, German sabotage agents were not productive and Stephan tells why. The Soviets, on the other hand, once the Red Army recovered from the shock of Operation BARBAROSSA, engaged in successful sabotage, deception, intelligence, and counterintelligence operations that neutralized German efforts. In the end, some 150,000 trained Soviet agents worked to thwart more than 40,000 Nazi agents directed against them.

Stephan lays out the reasons the Germans did so poorly: a combination of disorganization, poor management, untested assumptions, imposed ideology, and I-know-better arrogance on the part of the operations elements of the General Staff. Likewise, he analyzes the Soviet counterintelligence and deception successes—due in large part to dedication, experience, motivation, better training, rigid command and control, and centralization. Of particular interest are the chapters on operations MONASTERY (or the Klatt double-agent case) and BEREZINO (a radio playback deception). He has answers for Klatt’s real name and allegiance, the value of his material, and how he battled the Abwehr and fooled them with GRU help. Stephan views each of these operations as disinformation undertaken by the Soviet NKVD/NKGB. He concludes that they were crucial to frustrating the effectiveness of German intelligence, especially during the latter part of the war.

Stalin’s Secret War is a detailed, well-documented assessment. It shows the importance of intelligence—in all its varied forms—in military operations when executed properly and when not. The extensive appendices provide useful mission and organizational details on the primary Soviet and German intelligence elements. A major contribution to the literature.

 

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Jerrold M. Post. Leaders and Their Followers In A Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004. 302 pages, endnotes, bibliography, index.

Jerry Post was the founding director of the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior at the CIA—the profiler of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat for President Carter before the Camp David talks. Currently Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology, and International Affairs at George Washington University, Dr. Post includes here profiles of individual terrorists, the rationale behind “killing in the name of God,” the psychopolitics of hatred, and the relationship of the followers to their leaders. There are chapters on each of these issues with separate profiles of Fidel Castro, Usama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, and Slobadan Milosevic.

The basic principle of the book is that in order to deal with terrorists, one must understand the world from their perspective. Misconceptions can, as in the case of Khrushchev during the initial part of the Cuban missile crisis, lead to misjudgments. Chapter one considers 9/11 and Usama bin Laden in this regard. Here we learn that terrorists are not psychological misfits or emotionally disturbed. Candidates with those characteristics are considered security risks by terrorist recruiters, too, and sent packing. Post argues that normal recruits are manipulated psychologically, persuaded or brainwashed, into believing that “by carrying out a suicide bombing, their lives would be meaningful and they would find an honored place in the corridors of martyrs; moreover their parents would win status and would be financially rewarded.” Explaining their persuasiveness is more difficult. In the chapter on “The Mind of a Terrorist,” Post quotes the Koran to show that violence is justified, but his psychological explanations must be accepted on faith by the nonexpert (136). Likewise for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, whose idiosyncrasies, especially his relationship to his father, are analyzed in detail. Whether his behavior can be understood well enough to deal with him effectively is unclear.

What this book does make clear, however, is how complex dealing with terrorist leaders can be, especially when they are motivated by religion and hatred in addition to politics. For that reason alone, it should be studied by all those charged with solving the problem.

 

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Robert A. McDonald, ed. Recollections of the Pioneers And Founders Of National Reconnaissance: Beyond Expectations-Building an American National Reconnaissance Capability. Bethesda, MD: ASPRS, 2003. 366 pages, footnotes, appendices, photos, index.

For the 40th anniversary of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Director Keith Hall asked that 40 individuals who had made significant and lasting contributions to the national reconnaissance program be nominated as Pioneers. Forty-six were named and received awards in September 2000. The director himself identified 10 Founders of national reconnaissance—scientists who had made major contributions to the program. The NRO’s Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance recorded the recollections of many of these individuals, and this book is the result.

The book has three sections. Section I is devoted to the founders; Section II includes SIGINT pioneers; and Section III has the recollections of the photo satellite programs. An appropriate Intelligence Community historian introduces each section. Participation in the interview program was voluntary, and not all those honored participated. Those who did have left as a legacy a valuable record of the once very secret programs.

Three examples illustrate the contributions in the book. To those growing up in the world of digital cameras, the contribution of Founder Edwin Land, a Harvard dropout and inventor of the Polaroid instant camera, may seem archaic. But it was his major contributions to the U-2 and photo satellite programs that earned him the Founder recognition. Reid D. Mayo served in the navy during World War II, received an electrical engineering degree after the war, and joined the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) staff. When Sputnik went into orbit, he began thinking about intercepting signals from a satellite. In March 1958, stranded by a snowstorm in Pennsylvania, he performed the initial feasibility calculations on the back of a placemat. When Mayo presented his ideas to the NRL scientists, they were impressed and authorized what became the Signals Intelligence Reconnaissance Satellite. The rest is NSA history. Finally, those familiar with vicissitudes of the satellite imagery program and its image-quality rating system, called NIIRS, are indebted to the unconventional, if not eccentric, manager, Bob Kohler. His article in this book is a masterpiece of little details describing monstrous technical and bureaucratic problems during the time when the CIA still played a major roll in NRO imagery intelligence. It conveys the sense of the human and technical problems of the day with lessons that those now on duty would do well to remember.

Editor Bob McDonald has put together a valuable history, well worth the attention of intelligence officers of all stripes.

 

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James Lilley, with Jeffrey Lilley. China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in Asia. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. 417 pages, endnotes, photos, maps, index.

When former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles wrote The Craft of Intelligence after his retirement, the only first person comments on his career appeared in an eight-page introductory note to the reader. Since then, the unspoken policy of silence on career details for retired intelligence officers has gradually relaxed. [9]

The latest contribution comes from James Lilley, whose life is a moving, exciting, and informative adventure. Born in China in 1928, where his father worked for Standard Oil, Lilley came to the States in 1940 to begin his education. Entering Yale in the late 1940s to become a Russian specialist, Lilley encountered a pipe-smoking professor who suggested that, with his background and given the outbreak of the Korean War, China was a better major and a career in intelligence with the CIA was worth considering. After service in Japan, Manila, Laos, Korea, Taiwan, China, and at CIA headquarters, Lilley retired in 1979. He was soon involved in the 1980 presidential campaign, working for George H. W. Bush, whom he had known in China and at the CIA. In the new administration, Lilley worked on the NSC staff and then was appointed director of the American Institute in Taiwan, which had replaced the US embassy in 1979. From there, he was appointed ambassador to South Korea, and subsequently ambassador to China, where he was serving at the time of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989.

Lilley tells of fascinating experiences in each of these positions. In a chapter titled “Kissinger’s Man in China,” Lilley recounts how, with the help of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) James Schlesinger and William Colby, he became the first CIA officer assigned to Beijing, where he served as National Security Director Kissinger’s private contact under George Bush in the US Liaison Office. Although his intelligence affiliation was declared to the Chinese, the arrangement was to be kept secret. In 1974, however, Washington Post columnist Jack Anderson, tipped off by a source in the State Department, announced the “CIA plant” in his column, bringing Lilley’s assignment to a close. He returned to Washington for his final assignment in the CIA as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, where he once again served under George Bush, who became DCI in 1976.

The Lilley story is more than an interesting series of assignments. There are insightful anecdotes about his contacts with Taiwanese and Korean officials, President Reagan, and China’s Deng Xiaoping, among others. The importance of family life is evident throughout the book—the account of how he and his wife, Sally, informed their teenage children that he was not really a diplomat will ring many bells. For those wishing to pursue a career in intelligence, it is also a story of the value of education, foreign experience, and knowledge of foreign languages in this profession—and the possibility for wider assignments for those who pay their dues.

Written with his son Jeffrey, James Lilley’s China Hands is a pleasure to read and a valuable contribution to the literature of intelligence.

 

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Michael Dobbs. SABOTEURS: The Nazi Raid on America. New York: Alfred. A. Knopf, 2004. 316 pages, endnotes, photos, index.

The “Nazi raid on America” refers to the landing on the beaches of Long Island and Florida by German espionage agents dispatched to sabotage American targets in World War II. The story has been told on the History Channel and in some World War II history works. What makes this book especially pertinent, however, is the depth of detail and the particular relevance to current legal decisions facing the government concerning the use of military tribunals to deal with agents or combatants of a foreign government. Two of the eight saboteurs in this case turned themselves in to the FBI—not without difficulty, as Dobbs shows—and then exposed the rest. All went before a military tribunal in Washington, DC, and six were executed. Dobbs has used primary and secondary sources mixed with interviews of participants to write an important history in a way that makes for stimulating reading.

For a view of this case that emphasizes the legal aspects even more and characterizes the tribunal approach as ill-conceived, see Louis Fisher’s, Nazi Saboteurs On Trial: A Military Tribunal & American Law. [10]

 

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A. Denis Clift. Clift Notes: Intelligence and National Security. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, 2003. 244 pages, no index.

Denis Clift is president of the Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC), an accredited institution that grants the degrees of Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence and Bachelor of Science in Intelligence. His duties include giving talks about intelligence to various government and civilian agencies. The 22 essays in this edition, seven of which are new, were originally talks presented in these forums or articles that appeared in journals. They are arranged in four parts: intelligence history, intelligence in military planning, intelligence and national security policy, and intelligence in the Internet era. Though there is some overlap, they answer questions of concern to JMIC students and their families, prospective students, and those just interested in intelligence.

The articles are a mix of personal experience and history, each designed to make a point. While working with Vice President Mondale, Clift tells of his criticism of the CIA’s President’s Daily Brief (PDB), which he characterized as “inadequate, terrible on occasion.” He told the CIA what he thought, in writing; the PDB was revised along the lines suggested. In telling the story, his intention is not self-congratulation, but to make clear that one can share good ideas without fear of career damage. In an article on the future of intelligence, Clift reviews its past, the demands of the future, the increase in intelligence courses being offered at universities, and the increasingly positive prospects for intelligence professionals. And, no surprise, the Internet comes up frequently. He does not offer any solutions for pop-ups or spam, but he does emphasize the role of information technology in all phases of intelligence, not the least of which is the battle against international terrorism.

A final observation: These essays are not editorials or think pieces. Each is anchored with references to the literature of intelligence—including mentions of Allen Dulles’s Great True Spy Stories; Harold Ford’s views on analysis; various graduate student theses; David Stafford’s writings on Churchill and intelligence; official reports, such as The Conduct of the Persian Gulf War; newspaper columns, including James Van Wagenen’s “Congressional Oversight: Look Back”; and even great spy fiction like Graham Greene’s The Human Factor, a super story. There is a rich and interesting mix here, with value for all.

 

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Phillip H. Mason. An American Freedom Fighter Inside the CIA Making a Difference: One Man’s Struggle for Freedom, Opportunity, and Respect for African Americans in the CIA. Alexandria, VA: Washington House, 2001. 259 pages, appendices, photos, no index.

Phil Mason’s career with the CIA spanned more than 20 years, all of them unusual. Sponsored by then-DCI Bill Colby, he was excused from taking a polygraph and entered in 1974 as a GS-15 budget officer. His wide civilian experience—with the YMCA, Department of Justice, and Shaw University, to which the first half of the book is devoted—was linked to the civil rights movement, where he was associated with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, Ken Norton, Roger Wilkins, and Angela Davis, to name a few of his well-known colleagues. Not all were pleased with Mason’s decision to join the Agency—Jesse Jackson stopped speaking to him, and Roger Wilkins told him: “I despise where you work.” Overlooking these slights, Mason pursued his goal of improving opportunities for minorities in the CIA by serving on the DCI’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Advisory Committee while broadening his intelligence experience. Notwithstanding his seniority, he completed case officer training and served in Africa for a year. After tours as EEO officer and then chief of information security for the Directorate of Operations, he became executive officer for the Near East Division. His final contribution was a study of Agency recruitment policies, and he ends his book with a discussion of his findings. Phil Mason certainly made a difference at the CIA and his memoir is a candid, forthright contribution to the intelligence literature.

 

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Charles E. Lathrop, compiler, annotator. The Literary Spy: The Ultimate Source For Quotations On Espionage & Intelligence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004. 450 pages, entry sources, bibliography, glossary, source and subject indices.

Many of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations are not so familiar. Still, when a pithy expression of an idea or topic is needed, it can almost always be found in this famous work, now in its 17th edition. But a few subjects have consistently escaped attention, and, as CIA analyst and DCI speechwriter Charles Lathrop discovered, intelligence, espionage, and spying are in that category. At first glance that did not appear to be a problem, because he was told that the DCI for whom he was writing did not use quotations. This created a dilemma for Lathrop, however, because, as with most speechwriters, he liked to employ apt words of the famous and respected to emphasize with bumper-sticker simplicity the point at hand. So he decided to slip in a few quotes that he found in the Agency library. When his first attempt was successful, the DCI expected more. Thus, as with his Harvard Square bookseller predecessor, John Bartlett, Lathrop began a notebook of thoughts and expressions extracted from books, articles, and speeches about intelligence. His sources ranged from experienced professionals to novelists, from journalists to academics, and even “singularly unqualified pundits . . . when they, like a broken clock, happen to be right” (ix). The effort evolved into an unintended consequence—The Literary Spy.

The title is defined by Lathrop in the broadest most generic sense of the terms—“the literary spy is me, it’s you, the reader, anyone who wants to know more about intelligence and is willing to learn from diverse sources” (x). Toward this end, there are more than 3,000 entries in 65 categories arranged by topic and chronological order. Each category is preceded by short, crisp, often quotable commentary that reflects the inclusion criterion applied. A few examples of the author’s commentary make the point. “Critics & Defenders” is a category with material one would expect to find “in a country where people are free to lambaste and even demonize the men and women who serve that country and who help protect it” (80). On the topic “Directors of Central Intelligence,” Lathrop observes that “if one wants a cozy and secure job in Washington, The Literary Spy suggests a stab at journalism” (107). Lastly, the terrorism category begins by noting that “totalitarianism is terrorism come to power, and terrorists are would-be totalitarians” (375).

What then may be said about the balance of the book, the entries themselves? They range in length from a few words to a paragraph. An example of the former is expressed by the first “C” (head of MI6), Mansfield Cumming, on intelligence work: “Great sport” (226). At the other end, we find the words of Rebecca West commenting on the phenomenon that small fry mediocrities “also have the power of betrayal” (393). In between, there is the quote from Frederick the Great that French “Marshall de Soubise is always followed by a hundred cooks; I am always preceded by a hundred spies . . . The ratio of spies to cooks in my army is twenty to one.” (256) The sometimes disconcerting views of presidents become all too clear, as for example, when Lyndon Johnson admonished Adm. Raborn when he succeeded John McCone as DCI: “I’m sick and tired of John McCone’s tugging at my shirttails. If I want to see you, Raborn, I’ll call you!” (339). And then there was Richard Nixon on the CIA: “What use are they? They’ve got 40,000 people over there reading newspapers”—followed by: “To the Central Intelligence Agency, a vital aid in the defense of the nation” (340). On the other side, there were moments of humor, as when Ronald Reagan, on having trouble with his hearing aid, said: “My KGB handler must be trying to reach me” (343). On the subject of leaks, George H. W. Bush told an audience at CIA headquarters that, “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray our country by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors” (230). Journalist Bill Gertz, on the other hand, sees leakers differently: “I regard them as dissidents and patriots” (230). On the value of HUMINT, CIA analyst Marty Petersen noted that “Electronic intercepts are great, but you don’t know if you’ve got two idiots on the phone. And a picture may say a 1,000 words, it’s still just a snapshot. There is no context.” (15)

The author of this Herculean endeavor acknowledges that it is not comprehensive and asks readers to send suggestions to him—at <LiterarySpy@hotmail.com>—for inclusion in future editions. In the meantime, reading The Literary Spy will be both fun and informative. As Winston Churchill said, “ . . . quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.” [11]

 

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Footnotes

[1] See, for example: John Prados, The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II (New York: Random House, 1995), and Jasper Holmes, Double Edged Secrets: US Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific during World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1979).

[2] Others addressing this topic include: Scott Lucas, Freedom’s War: The US Crusade Against the Soviet Union 1945–1956 (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1999); Peter Coleman, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (New York: Free Press, 1989); and Francis Stoner Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (London: Granta, 1999).

[3] Cord Meyer, Facing Reality (New York: Harper and Row, 1980).

[4] Thomas W. Lippman, The Washington Post, 1 June 2003.

[5] See Milt Bearden and James Risen, The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB (New York: Random House, 2003). Several chapters in this book provide a supporting view of the Afghanistan story. Reviewed in Studies in Intelligence 48, no. 4 (2004).

[6] A detailed discussion of the Tolkachev case may be found in Barry Royden’s “Tolkachev, A Worthy Successor to Penkovsky,” Studies In Intelligence 47, no. 3 (2003): 5–33.

[7] For the Ames case, see Pete Earley’s Confessions of a Spy(New York: Putnam, 1997). For Hanssen, see David Wise, SPY: The Inside Story of How the FBI’s Robert Hanssen Betrayed America (New York: Random House, 2002). The Howard case is described in Wise’s book, The Spy Who Got Away: The Inside Story of Edward Howard, The CIA Agent Who Betrayed His Country's Secrets and Escaped to Moscow (New York: Random House, 1988). The late Edward Howard’s account of the case appears in his book, SAFEHOUSE: The Compelling Memoirs of the Only CIA Spy to Seek Asylum in Russia(Bethesda, MD: National Press Books, 1995). He tells of a secret trip to the United States from Russia that never happened.

[8] George Crile, Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003). Review in Studies in Intelligence 48, no. 4 (2004).

[9] See, for example, the memoirs of Robert Gates, Richard Helms, and Richard Holm.

[10] Louis Fisher, Nazi Saboteurs On Trial: A Military Tribunal & American Law (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003).

[11] John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 15th ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1992), 743.

 

 

 

Hayden B. Peake is the curator of CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. This article is unclassified in its entirety.

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Historical Document
Posted: Apr 14, 2007 08:36 PM
Last Updated: Jun 26, 2008 02:26 PM