Intelligence in Recent Public Literature
Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake
Counterdeception: Principles and
Applications for National Security-- Michael Bennett and Edward Waltz
Understanding the Hidden Side of Government - Volumes 1-5--Loch
K. Johnson (ed.)
Alliance of Enemies: The Untold Story of the
Secret American and German Collaboration to End World War II--Agostino von
Hassell and Sigrid MacRae
American Spy: My Secret History in
the CIA, Watergate & Beyond -- E. Howard Hunt
The Enemy Within: A History of
FDR's 12 Apostles: The Spies Who
Paved The Way for The Invasion of North Africa--Hal
GATEKEEPER: Memoirs of a CIA
Polygraph Examiner--John Sullivan
My Father's Secret War: A
The Origins of FBI
Counterintelligence--Raymond J. Batvinis
The Politics and Strategy of
Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946--Neville Wylie (ed.)
Spies of the Bible: Espionage
from the Exodus to the Bar Kokhba Revolt-- Rose Mary Sheldon
SPY Satellites: and Other Intelligence
Technologies That Changed History--Thomas Graham Jr. and Keith A. Hansen
Spying On Science: Western
Intelligence in Divided Germany
ZIGZAG: The Incredible Wartime
Exploits of Double Agent Eddie Chapman--Nicholas Booth
Agent ZIGZAG: The True Wartime
Story of Eddie Chapman--Lover, Betrayer, Hero, Spy--Ben Macintyre
Intelligence Services Abroad
Espionage and the War On Terror--Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe D'Avanzo
The Litvinenko File: The True
Story of A Death Foretold--Martin Sixsmith
[Top of page]
Michael Bennett and Edward
Waltz, Counterdeception: Principles and Applications for National Security (Boston: Artech, House,
2007), 335 pp., end-of-chapter notes, bibliography, charts, index.
Source validation is a critical
step in all phases of intelligence. Michael Bennett and Edward Waltz have
written a book that asks how one can be sure a source is valid and not
deceptive and what can be done when deception is suspected and/or detected?
Their answers appear in nine chapters brimming with historical precedent,
theories, principles, models, case studies, and documentation. As former CIA
officer James Bruce writes in the introduction, "Readers seeking a quick
read or a simplistic solution here are bound to be disappointed, but those
seeking deeper understanding or high-order complexity that bears on quality
intelligence...will be handsomely repaid for the intellectual investment this
book demands." Put another way, Counterdeception has the imperative substance
and narrative elegance of an army training manual.
Although there are myriad endnotes
and citations in the text, the 14-item bibliography is in the final section of
the first chapter. The implicit suggestion is that familiarity with these
sources will help when reading Counterdeception, and they are right. If one
must choose from their list, Thadeus Holt's The Deceivers and R.V. Jones's
Reflections on Intelligence are good for openers.
After a discussion of the need for
counterdeception, the authors devote three chapters to deception itself on the
theory that one must understand what it is that must be countered. The next
five chapters discuss the principles of counterdeception, nontechnical and
technical approaches, the architecture and technologies of counterdeception,
the team structure and methods to get the job done, and the challenges of
counterdeception in the modern and future global information age.
While most of the text is concerned
with the use of the models and theories, there are practical examples such as
the section on metadata, which assesses the factors that go into validating
human source reporting.1
Specific ideas and methods are presented for getting the job done.
Counterdeception is a comprehensive
treatment of a long-neglected but currently important subject. Beginners will
get the most value from it if it is a text for a class taught by an experienced
instructor. As a general admonition, don't just read this book, study it.
[Top of page]
Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic
Intelligence: Understanding the Hidden Side of Government--Volume 1 (Westport, CT:
Praeger Security International, 2007), 322 pp., end-of-chapter notes, appendix,
Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic
Intelligence: The Intelligence Cycle--The Flow of Secret Information From
Overseas to the Highest Councils of Government--Volume 2 (Westport, CT:
Praeger Security International, 2007), 366 pp., end-of-chapter notes, appendix,
Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic
Intelligence: Covert Action--Beyond The Veils of Secret Foreign Policy--Volume
3 (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2007),
332 pp., end-of-chapter notes, appendix, glossary, index.
Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic
Intelligence: Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism--Defending The Nation
Against Hostile Forces--Volume 4 (Westport,
CT: Praeger Security
International, 2007), 376 pp., end-of-chapter notes, appendix, glossary, index.
Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic
Intelligence: Intelligence and Accountability--Safeguards Against The Abuse of
Power--Volume 5 (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2007),
310 pp., end-of-chapter notes, appendix, glossary, index.
The literature of intelligence
contains some 10,000 books and many thousands of articles. The views on the
nature of the profession expressed in them are often controversial, if not
contradictory. Where might one start to get a handle on this complex
of Georgia professor Loch
Johnson provides an answer in this five volume set. The 49 original articles by
academics and former intelligence officers from four countries--the United States, the United
the profession from its modern origins to the present. The first two volumes
consider the literature, the study of intelligence in academia, the problems of
analysis, the essence of the so-called intelligence cycle, recent failures and
their implications, the roles of oversight, imagery and signals intelligence,
the value of espionage, the contributions of intelligence to globalization, the
intelligence-policy nexus, and the value of post mortems. Volume 3 is devoted
to the most controversial component of intelligence, covert action. Volume 4 is
concerned with counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Volume 5 gives
detailed attention to the problems of accountability and safeguards against
abuse of power.
These volumes look at "the
what" of intelligence, not "the how." Although cases are
described to illustrate points, the tradecraft and legal details are not
discussed, though aspects can be explored using the references provided. Each
volume has extensive appendices that add documentary support.
While the subject of a general
definition of intelligence is discussed, its context-dependent meanings, with
one exception, remain unchallenged. The exception has to do with
counterintelligence, which in several articles is said to include
responsibility for cryptographic, physical, and personnel security. In
practice, these functions are undertaken by separate organizational elements.
Several articles are notable for
discussing unconventional topics. Katharina von Kop's Women in Religious
Terrorist Organizations: A Comparative Analysis, and Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones's
The Idea of a European FBI, are two interesting examples. Similarly, the
Israeli experience with covert action, Canadian views on legislative oversight,
and the British analysis of the 9/11 failures, add valuable perspective.
The Strategic Intelligence volumes
draw on the past to offer a broad view of the role intelligence is supposed to
play in today's world and the realities of its challenging existence. The
conscientious reader will learn of the myriad problems while developing an understanding
of the difficult solutions required.
[Top of page]
Agostino von Hassell and Sigrid
MacRae, Alliance of Enemies: The Untold Story of the Secret American and German
Collaboration to End World War II (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006), 391 pp., endnotes,
bibliography, appendices, index.
The 1996 book American Intelligence
and the German Resistance to Hitler reproduces 102 documents, nearly all from
OSS, on various aspects of German wartime plots, including those to assassinate
Hitler, and the hoped for allied assistance.2 While the principal
plotters are identified, there is no narrative on their backgrounds, positions,
motivations, conflicts or, in many cases, their executions. Agostino von
Hassell adds that missing dimension and additional historical details in
Alliance of Enemies.
After the war, writes von Hassell,
"Americans were wholly, blissfully ignorant of what resistance to a
totalitarian regime meant....There were no good Germans, only Nazis...and
traitors of questionable motivation." (296) Allen Dulles did his best to
correct this image in his book, Germany Underground (1946), but he was just
"tilting at windmills" says von Hassell. Many postwar Germans were
contemptuous of the surviving plotters and their families, as von Hassell knows
from personal experience: his grandfather was hanged for his efforts.
Alliance of Enemies traces the
German resistance movements from prewar days through the war when Admiral
Canaris and his Abwehr colleagues, plus the Kreisau Circle, to name two groups, made
numerous muddled attempts to assassinate Hitler. Considerable space is devoted
to the efforts of Allen Dulles to encourage the "good Germans," as he
called them, in their efforts to end the war and form a democratic government.
Dulles wanted to help them, but when this option was tabled in Washington, Donovan
"reminded Dulles that his assignment was nonpolitical." (205) Dulles
quietly ignored his orders and encouraged the Breakers group, as it was called,
to carry out the notorious plot of 20 July 1944, which Hitler miraculously
survived. Von Hassell describes several other OSS operations intended to boost German
resisters. One in Turkey,
the Dogwood Chain, got out of hand when a network grew to more than 60 agents
and was penetrated by the Germans.
The final chapters of the book
discuss what von Hassell calls the allied hypocrisy of dealing with the Nazis
and collaborators after the war to advance Cold War objectives, while ignoring
those who resisted Hitler. He asks rhetorically whether an early peace could
have been negotiated had not the policy of unconditional surrender been so
fiercely followed. Here too, the OSS
is recognized for a study by the Research and Analysis Branch, which reported
that German opposition to Hitler was "a tribute to human endurance and
courage, and a revelation of a great hope." These views too were ignored.
Alliance of Enemies ends with a
Churchill quote that WWII was an "unnecessary war." Von Hassel
suggests that it might have been avoided had the prewar opposition to Hitler
been supported. His view remains one of the unanswerable questions of history.
[Top of page]
E. Howard Hunt, American Spy: My
Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond (Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007), 340 pp., photos, index.
American Spy gets off to a poor
start, when, on page 1, the author identifies Bob Woodward's Watergate source
Deep Throat as Howard (not Mark) Felt. Then, on page 16, Hunt notes that he
served in OSS with "Jack Singlaub, who would
later become an army general and supreme commander of all forces in Korea," a
position General Singlaub never held. Disturbing doubt about the historical
accuracy of the book is heightened on page 47 when General Eisenhower is
designated president in 1950. The howlers are not confined to US history, as for example, Hunt's comment that
"almost all of Spain's
gold reserves" were sent to the Soviet Union
at the end of the Spanish Civil War (56); they were transferred early in the
war by Alexander Orlov.
This pattern of careless errors
forces the reader to question the accuracy of Hunt's memoir, which covers his
CIA career as chief of station in Mexico, his contributions to covert action
operations, including the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion, the Watergate disaster
that put him in jail, and his reflections on the assassination of President
Kennedy, in which he casually suggests President Johnson is the man to blame.
And, when he opines on the "problem with Langley," implying that the "CIA
should recruit more agents (he means officers)," in his image, one is left
wondering if a better model might be found.
American Spy has little to
[Top of page]
Terry Crowdy, The Enemy Within: A
History of Espionage (New York:
Osprey Publishing, 2006), 368 pp,. endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.
Espionage histories are out of date
when published, so it is not surprising that new ones appear periodically. This
latest contribution comes from former rock group bassist turned espionage
historian, Terry Crowdy. He begins with the ancient Egyptians and biblical
stories, and moves through the major periods of history giving examples which
show that the principal powers routinely engaged in military and political
espionage. There is little new in the book beyond his views on the 9/11
intelligence failures. Crowdy uses mostly secondary sources and he pays the
usual price: doubtful assertions and unforced errors. Beyond his persistent use
of agent when he means officer, one is left wondering how he knows "the
ancient Indians perfected the use of female spies and agents." Who beyond
Crowdy says Wilhelm Stieber was "the Godfather of Secret Service"--a
gross exaggeration--and why would Crowdy assert anew that J. Edgar Hoover never
passed on information in the famous microdot questionnaire provided by the
British double agent TRICYCLE--a false claim that has been conclusively
And then there are errors closer to
home: Philby joined SOE and then SIS, not the other way around, and he was not
close to Allen Dulles during the war. (304) MI5 officer Michael Bettaney never
worked for the KGB, though he tried hard enough. (330) Turning to the VENONA
project, Meredith Gardner did not use "the charred remains of a Russian codebook"
to do his pioneering work. Similarly, Julius Rosenberg did not join the
"Army Signal Corps"; he was a civilian. (313) Regarding Soviet
espionage, Crowdy's claim that Penkovskiy was "sold out" by "two
Washington-based KGB double agents, Jack Dunlap and William Whalen" is
unlikely, undocumented, and, in any case, neither was a double agent. (319)
Careless errors in the recent material suggest caution throughout. Perhaps the
paperback edition will be an improvement.
[Top of page]
Hal Vaughan, FDR's 12 Apostles: The
Spies Who Paved The Way for The Invasion of North Africa (Guilford, CT:
The Lyons Press, 2006), 311 pp., endnotes, bibliography, appendices, photos,
At age 92, Polish Major General
Rygor Slowikowski published his memoirs to set the record straight.4 The official British
intelligence history in WWII had not mentioned him or Agency Africa, the
intelligence unit he established in 1941 for the British in North
histories were no better. They not only ignored Agency Africa, they took credit
for much of its work. Finally, what intelligence successes the British and OSS didn't claim, the American vice counsels in North Africa did. Slowikowsi's historical challenge was
largely ignored at the time. FDR's 12 Apostles corrects the injustice and
provides a detailed, stimulating account of the complex military, diplomatic,
and intelligence relations among the allied government, the cantankerous
Charles de Gaulle, the Vichy French, and numerous underground groups of various
Author Hal Vaughan, himself a
former foreign service officer, describes how President Franklin Roosevelt
recognized the need for intelligence about French North Africa long before the United States was in the war and before there
was a US
foreign intelligence service. In September 1940, the president personally
selected and instructed diplomat Robert Murphy to go to Africa and assess the
intentions of Vichy
policy and not to inform the State Department of his mission. His report of the
situation led to recruitment, with the cooperation of military intelligence,
and serial dispatch to ports in North Africa,
of 12 vice-consuls, beginning in spring 1941. Their cover mission was trade.
Their actual mission was to collect intelligence on the ports, shipping, and
the local political situation. Soon tagged the 12 Apostles, these amateur
agents performed well. FDR's 12 Apostles tells how they did it. The emphasis is
on their performance after the US
entry into the war required cooperation with the British, OSS,
Agency Africa, and various French resistance elements in preparation for
Operation TORCH, the invasion of North Africa.
Hal Vaughan tells an exciting,
well-documented story that sets the record straight: General Slowikowksi would
[Top of page]
John Sullivan, GATEKEEPER:
Memoirs of A CIA Polygraph Examiner (Washington,
Books, 2007), photos, index.
The polygraph is a
controversial subject both in the Intelligence Community and in many outside
organizations. The National
Academy of Sciences, has
consistently declared it unreliable, while other government organizations rely
on it. GATEKEEPER examines the controversy from the point of view of career CIA
polygraph examiner, John Sullivan.
Sullivan's story begins in the
late 1940s with the introduction of the polygraph as a standard practice in
screening potential employees and reassessing staff and contractors for
security purposes. He also discusses how the technique is applied to potential
and recruited agents. Sullivan goes to great lengths to demonstrate that
polygraphy is just one tool in the process and that it seeks to identify
deceptive behavior, not detect lies. The examiner does not make the final
decision on whether the subject has passed, though his recommendation is
GATEKEEPER comments on examiner
training, the subjective aspect of the process, the propriety of questions, how
examiners reach their conclusions, the dangers of false-positive results, and
the distressing fact that subjects beat the machine. He offers many examples
that describe various scenarios encountered. These include what happens when
deception is indicated, what happens when the results are inconclusive, and how
follow-up interrogations are conducted when required. One case he offers to
illustrate the challenges is that of Cuban CIA agents whose examinations were
showing signs of deception; the examiner's recommendations were disregarded,
with unfortunate consequences.
Sullivan uses his own career to
illustrate how one becomes a polygrapher, the career options available, the
areas of conflict that can occur, and what his experience has shown are the
necessary personality characteristics of a reliable examiner. In response to those
who argue that the polygraph has never caught a spy, Sullivan points to the
Sharon Scranage and Harold Nicholson cases. In both instances, the polygraph
alerted counterintelligence officers to improper contacts with foreigners; each
went to jail. He is equally candid about the problems associated with the
testing of Aldrich Ames.
GATEKEEPER also looks at the
organizational growth of the Polygraph Division and the impact of the digital
world on operations. The sometimes contentious relationship with various
elements of the Office of Security and the Intelligence Community over the
years is also discussed. Overall, he gives an insightful view of the problems
the polygraph experience creates and the extensive efforts undertaken to
minimize their impact on the subjects.
No other book gives such a
comprehensive look at the polygraph and its utility as a security tool in the
community. It should reduce the apprehension of both prospective and staff
employees, while raising the anxiety level of would-be penetrators.
[Top of page]
Linda Franks, My Father's Secret
War: A Memoir (New York:
Miramax Books, 2007), 320 pp., photos, index .
In his memoir, My Father the Spy,
John Richardson tells of the personal and family problems that can result when
a child learns his father has been an intelligence officer, not a government
bureaucrat with the Department of Agriculture.5 In My Father's Secret
War, Linda Franks, the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting,
relates how long after she was married, with children of her own, she came to
suspect and then confirm that her father had been an OSS officer. She tells of his experiences in
Europe, where he conducted surreptitious entries, interrogated concentration
camp prisoners, and participated in Operation Paperclip, the program to recruit
German scientists to work for America.
He was then sent to the Far East.
But the real story is how she
learned the details--in jumps and starts through interviews, old letters, and
archival searches. As she put the pieces together she convinced her father to
elaborate on what she had learned. She was hampered by his chronic passion for
secrecy and his oncoming dementia. The story is told roughly in the fashion
that she learned it herself, with new facts popping up in between a busy family
schedule--her husband is the New York
City district attorney and she is a fulltime
journalist. Franks makes no attempt to generalize her experiences, they are
admittedly unique. But the issues of secrecy and pressures on an intelligence
officer she raises are worth contemplating.
Raymond J. Batvinis, The Origins of
FBI Counterintelligence (Lawrence, KS University Press of Kansas,
2007), 332 pp., endnotes, bibliography, appendices, photos, index
In 1908 the Justice Department
formed a Bureau of Investigation (BOI) to deal with bankruptcy, fraud, and
anti-trust violations. During WW I the BOI worked with the military
intelligence services to counter domestic security and German espionage. After
the war, it broadened its mandate to investigate a nationwide series of
bombings, one of which blew up the front of the attorney general's house near Dupont Circle, Washington,
DC, killing only the bomber.
Assuming the bombs were the work of alien anarchists and communists, people
panicked. The task of keeping records on these subversive elements was assigned
in August 1920 to the attorney general's special assistant, J. Edgar Hoover. In
was appointed director of the BOI, with instructions to limit bureau activities
to violations of federal law. In 1933, the bureau was tasked with investigating
the new threat of Nazi propaganda in America, and in 1934 the mandate
was extended to communist activities. The BOI became the FBI in 1935. From these
beginnings, former special agent Ray Batvinis tells how the bureau became the
nation's domestic counterintelligence agency.
The Origins of FBI
Counterintelligence describes the bumpy CI road Hoover encountered until the end of WW II.
The initial attempts to counter Nazi espionage were only partially
succesful--most of the spies escaped. As war drew near, Hoover engaged in a series of turf battles
with the War and Navy Departments that eventually solidified the bureau's
position as the lead counterintelligence agency. By 1941, German and Japanese
espionage in America
had been neutralized, and gradually the bureau's attention turned to the threat
of communism, whose agents by that time had penetrated all important elements
of the government and the defense.
Batvinis forthrightly tells the
story of how the FBI developed techniques for dealing with foreign espionage.
He describes the successful methods devised to "follow the money,"
and the wire tapping program based solely on the president's authority, contrary
to recent law prohibiting the practice, and without informing Congress. One
chapter is devoted to "opportunities missed," describing cases that,
had they been handled properly, could have put an end to communist espionage in
America and England before
As the war in Europe approached,
the bureau undertook a series of overseas assignments that led to the formation
of the Special Intelligence Service, a secret FBI element that carried out
political counterespionage in the Western hemisphere during WW II; the first
foreign intelligence service in America's history.
The growth of the FBI
counterintelligence program was aided by the British before and during the war,
and Batvinis devotes a chapter to that sometimes stormy effort. Curiously, the
well-known conflicts with the OSS are barely
doesn't even appear in the index.
Only a few errors stand out in
Origins: Patton was not yet the 3rd Army commander before the invasion; Alger
Hiss began his prison sentence in March 1951, not January 1949; and Gaik
Ovakimian did not recruit the Rosenbergs
in 1938 or at any other time. That feat was accomplished by Konstantin Chugunov
in September 1942, long after Ovakimian returned to the Soviet
The book's final chapter covers the
DUCASE, the story of how the FBI used a double agent to identify, capture, and
convict over 30 Nazi agents. It was a singular success and later became the
basis of the movie, The House on 92nd
For those interested in how the FBI
crafted its niche in the American national security program, Origins of FBI
Counterintelligence is the place to start.
[Top of page]
Neville Wylie (ed.), The
Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive,
1940-1946 (New York:
Routledge, 2007), 214 pp., end-of-chapter notes, index.
In 1950, when actor and wartime
naval intelligence officer Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was in need of a butler,
"suitably trained staff" was hard to find. The only applicant was
referred on the condition that no references would be requested. The interview
went well, and Denis Rake was "engaged on the spot." While sorting
the mail one day, Fairbanks
found a letter addressed to Major Denis Rake, MC (Military Cross). When
queried, the butler reluctantly revealed his heroic SOE career. Like all SOE
officers, Rake had been sworn to secrecy and for years held his tongue.7 Thus, except for a few
official accounts on SOE operations in specific countries,8 plus some heavily
edited memoirs, operational secrecy prevailed until the late 1990s when what
remained of the wartime files were released to the public. Neville Wylie and
his contributors have exploited these records for this volume.
The first two articles discuss
how some SOE records survived end-of-the-war orders to destroy files. Another
looks at the impact of communist infiltration of SOE Cairo
in the person of James Klugman, the outspoken communist from Cambridge University.
SOE involvement in European political warfare and foreign currency transactions
are covered in separate contributions. Four of the 10 articles are about SOE
operations in the Balkans, India,
Spain, and the Middle East that have received little previous attention.
The Middle East study describes the intense
turf wars that limited operational successes and post-occupational planning
issues with contemporary relevance. The article on the Massingham mission--the
contentious first effort of OSS and SOE to
operate jointly--shows how Donovan battled both the British and the US military to keep OSS alive.
In a time when lessons from
earlier clandestine wars may guide current thinking, this is a welcome
[Top of page]
Rose Mary Sheldon, Spies of the
Bible: Espionage in Israel
from the Exodus to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (St.
Paul, MN: MBI
Publishing, 2007), 304 pp., endnotes, bibliography, glossary, maps, index.
In his book, The Craft of
Intelligence, Allen Dulles used Biblical illustrations of
"intelligence-gathering" to establish the "historical
point was that intelligence has ancient origins; he didn't question the truth
of the biblical accounts. That challenging task is the subject of Spies of the
The book considers
"intelligence activities" as they were practiced in ancient Israel, from the entry of the Hebrews into Canaan to the expulsion of the Jews from Roman Palestine
about 1,000 years ago. Recognizing that the books of the Bible were written
long after the events they describe, Professor Sheldon takes a different
approach. While some historians "base their narratives on a literal
reading of the Book of Joshua," she integrates "the accounts of the
Bible, the archeological evidence, and recent literary studies in an attempt to
see what they tell us about the intelligence history of Palestine." (15) She asks whether the
events described took place where and when the Bible claims and then compares
various accounts with those of Jewish, Greek, and Roman historians. Since most
ancient intelligence involved military battles, Professor Sheldon provides the
historical detail to understand the circumstances of the times and the
intelligence requirements they generated.
The book has two parts. The
first deals with spies of the Old Testament; the second with the battles the Jews
fought during Roman occupation. A "postscript" at the end of each
part summarizes her findings, and for those with little background in the
subject, these might well be read first for context.
Spies of the Bible concludes
that many of the espionage tales of the Bible didn't take place, at least as
described. Professor Sheldon provides ample evidence to support her conclusions
and in the process questions the historians who have "been so reluctant to
benefit from the last fifty years of research in archaeology or biblical and
literary criticism," allowing legends to exercise "great power over
the minds of people." (124) As to the existence of spies in ancient times,
Professor Sheldon argues that the documented military battles make their existence
a practical necessity, but the best the historian can do with regard to
specifics is make "an educated guess." Spies of the Bible is a bold
attempt to do just that.
[Top of page]
Thomas Graham Jr. and Keith A.
Hansen, SPY Satellites: and Other Intelligence Technologies That Changed
History (Seattle, WA:
University of Washington Press, 2007), 162 pp.,
endnotes, bibliography, no index.
Monitoring the spread of
nuclear weapons has been a strategic problem since the end of WWII. Soviet
secrecy and refusal to allow overflights or onsite inspections spurred the
development of the U-2 and eventually photo-satellites to do the job. In 1963,
the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed. Subsequently, a series of negotiations
produced additional agreements and, by 1993, reductions by both sides. SPY
Satellites tells the story of these events. Keith Hansen was a CIA arms control
analyst who worked with the data needed to monitor nuclear weapons programs.
Thomas Graham was the general counsel for the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency, where he was concerned with verification--determining whether the
monitoring data indicated compliance and what to do when violations were
The authors' narrative is not
technical. They track the progress of the various agreements--in which
verification was always a contentious issue--and the collection of monitoring
data by what was euphemistically termed National Technical Means (NTM), now
openly acknowledged as satellites (photo and signal). At the time, this
approach avoided illegal overflight and security issues. SPY Satellites also
shows how the complexity of both monitoring and verification increased with the
development of chemical and biological weapons and with improvements in
existing weapons and delivery means. Chapter 8 deals with monitoring "would-be
proliferators," including terrorists, planning to join the nuclear club.
These circumstances reveal both the strengths and limitations of NTM while
making the case for additional monitoring techniques, which in turn complicates
the legal issues.
For those wishing to know how
NTM contributed to the end of the Cold War and to learn about the demands
placed on them by the war against terror, SPY Satellites is an excellent place
[Top of page]
Paul Maddrell, Spying On Science:
Western Intelligence in Divided Germany 1945-1961 (Oxford, UK:
Oxford University Press, 2006), 330 pp., footnotes, bibliography, index.
More than 2 million refugees from East Germany
reached the West between the years 1945 and 1961. Each one was questioned and
those with information of military, economic, political or scientific value
were interrogated by the allied intelligence services. Defectors, former POWs,
and attachés received similar but separate attention. In addition, traditional
agents, special technical collection teams, mail interception units, and
telecommunications monitoring were also used. Spying on Science focuses on the
scientific intelligence obtained from these sources and the beneficial results
for Western military capabilities.
Chapters on each method of collection
describe in detail the techniques used, the types of targets involved, the
division of labor, and the roles of the various civilian and military
intelligence services--Great Britain, the United States and the Federal
Republic of Germany--and the political interactions guiding collection
policies. In each case the reactions of the Soviet Union and East Germany
intended to counter the Western espionage offensive are factored in.
In the summary and often redundant
chapter on the uses of the intelligence gathered, Maddrell argues that
substantial monetary benefits resulted from the intelligence, citing, though
without examples, the $500,000 savings attributed to input from GRU agent Peter
Popov. Maddrell gives only one example of a positive outcome from human
intelligence: the improved knowledge of the location of Soviet airfields and
military installations. In fact, much of this chapter is devoted to the
high-quality intelligence acquired from other sources, SIGINT, aerial
reconnaissance, and Operation Paperclip, to name a few. Though he concludes
that "returnees and Soviet defectors also provided an unprecedented
insight into the Soviet system of war-related scientific research and
development," he is short on specifics here too. Maddrell gives the
impression that the tremendous human intelligence effort he describes was less
productive than he implied at the outset. Spying on Intelligence leaves the
reader asking, was it worth the effort?
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Nicholas Booth, ZIGZAG: The
Incredible Wartime Exploits of Double Agent Eddie Chapman (London: Piatkus Books,
Ltd., 2007), 360 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.
Ben Macintyre, Agent ZIGZAG: The
True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman--Lover, Betrayer, Hero, Spy (London: Bloomsbury
Publishing, PLC, 2007), 372 pp., endnotes, photos, index.
Edward Chapman--former Coldstream Guardsman, movie extra, wrestler, nightclub
owner, con-man and safe cracker--was in a Jersey jail when Germans occupied the
Channel Islands in 1940. He promptly
volunteered to become an Abwehr (German security service) agent and work for
them in England.
They accepted and gave him the codename FRITZ. After training, Chapman was
inserted by parachute near Oxford
and immediately turned himself in to MI5 and revealed his mission. The British
knew he was coming because they had been reading the Abwehr ENIGMA traffic on
FRITZ--part of the ULTRA material--and his story checked out. When Chapman
offered to become an MI5 agent, they accepted and named him ZIGZAG.
Using MI5's facilities, Chapman
established communications with his Abwehr case officer and began feeding
carefully selected data from the Double Cross committee to his German masters.
After his recall to the continent for debriefing and training, Chapman was
again parachuted into England
to continue his work. He was ordered to blow up a factory, a task he
convincingly faked with MI5 help. This pattern of espionage and
counterespionage continued until 1944, when his services were no longer in
demand. The Germans awarded Chapman the Iron Cross for his efforts; the British
treated him shabbily and never officially recognized him.
Both books are based on primary
sources on Chapman's wartime exploits, but the overlap ends there. Ben
Macintyre has little to say about Chapman's pre-and-postwar life. Nicholas
Booth had the cooperation of Chapman's wife and family, and his story is full
of details about his origins, his numerous failed business ventures, his female
admirers, his Rolls Royce, and his long, but successful, battles to publish his
memoirs and make a movie about his double-agent life.10
Ewen Montagu (author of The Man Who
Never Was) characterized Eddie Chapman as "a rogue but a very brave
man." Denis Clift, president of the National
College, said in an address at Harvard University, Eddie was "just the
sort of person intelligence agencies would need in the twenty-first
century." (321) ZIGZAG was a successful double agent, and his story is
worth reading for that reason alone.
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Intelligence Services Abroad
Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe
D'Avanzo, Collusion: International Espionage and the War On Terror (Hoboken, NJ:
Melville House Publishing, 2007), 245 pp., endnotes, appendix, index.
In June 2001 a shipment of
60,000 aluminum tubes destined for Iraq
was intercepted in Jordan.
A dispute arose in the US
Intelligence Community over whether the tubes were intended for use in a
centrifuge for enriching uranium or whether they were to be used in
construction of rockets. If the former, Iraq would need concentrated
uranium (yellowcake). When, in 2002, reporting "from a foreign
service" indicated that Iraq
was "vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake from
Africa," it was the basis of a statement in an NIE that Iraq "had
reconstituted its nuclear weapons program." Several months later it was
discovered that the documents on which the foreign service based its reports
were forgeries, and they were recalled. 11 Then, in February
2003, an Egyptian terrorist, Abu Omar, was kidnapped in Milan, Italy.
How are these events linked? What damage did they cause? Italian investigative
journalists Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe D'Avanzo, present answers in Collusion.
The link between these events,
the authors assert, was the Italian intelligence service. With regard to the
tubes, the Italians knew they were intended for an Iraqi adaptation of the
Italian Medusa 8 air-to-ground missile system, but they did not tell the Americans
until November 2003. In the interim, some Intelligence Community elements
concluded they were part of the putative Iraqi nuclear program. The
yellowcake story is more complicated. It involves a group of known fabricators
who provided documents that indicated Iraqi attempts to procure yellowcake.
More disturbing, the authors charge that officials in several countries
suspected that the documents the group had generated were forgeries. The
kidnapping story is more complicated still. Abu Omar was abducted because it
was thought, after a secret meeting between Americans from the US Defense
Department and Iranians in Rome, that he could
establish a link between Iraq
and al-Qa'ida. The authors provide some complicated political explanations for
the Italian behavior in each instance.
Collusion is well documented,
well told and provides an explanation for some of the confused intelligence
reporting leading to the war in Iraq.
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Martin Sixsmith, The Litvinenko
File: The True Story of A Death Foretold (New York:
St. Martin's Press, 2007), 320 pp., color
photos, no index.
In his book, Blowing Up Russia, former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko
accused the Russian government of blaming Chechen terrorists for bombing a Moscow apartment building
in 1999 when elements of the domestic security service (FSB) had been
years later, Litvinenko was dead of polonium 210 poisoning. In The Litvinenko
File, BBC Moscow correspondent Martin Sixsmith sets out to explain how and why
Litvinenko was killed, and who was responsible. He does a plausible job on the
former but leaves the answer to the latter in a haze of speculation.
Based entirely on interviews,
Sixsmith reviews Litvinenko's life in Russia. After a promising start in
the KGB, according to Sixsmith, Litvinenko's career began to falter when he
refused to assassinate the so-called oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, a claim the
FSB vigorously denies. Litvinenko was forced to escape to England, where he
went to work for Berezovsky himself. After reconstructing the itinerary that
led to Litvinenko's poisoning and identifying the various players involved,
Sixsmith concludes that the Russian government was not directly involved in the
death. But he is unable to explain how the polonium got to England or who
it was that administered it. Thus, despite the implication of the subtitle, the
"truth" about Litvinenko's assassination remains a mystery. The
Litvinenko File will likely become a cold case before it can, if ever, be
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is not defined in the narrative but is said elsewhere to be "descriptive
statistical information about the elements of a set of data." Just how
this applies to human reporting is not intuitively clear and is left unspecified.
Heideking and Christoff Mauch (eds.), American Intelligence and the German
Resistance to Hitler (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996).
Thomas F. Troy, Donovan and the CIA (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence
Slowikowski, In the Secret Service: The Lighting of the Torch (London:
Peake, "The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf," Studies in
Intelligence 50, No. 1 (March 2006).
Feklisov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (New York: Enigma Books,
Rake, Rake's Progress (London: Leslie Frewin, 1968), Foreword by Douglas
FairbanksJr., KBE, DSC. Rake was one of the SOE officers Virginia Hall helped
in Lyon, France.
for example, M.R.D. Foot, SOE in France (London: HMSO, 1966).
Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers,
Chapman, The Eddie Chapman Story (London: Allan Wingate, 1954); The Real Eddie
Chapman Story (London: Tandem, 1966). The movie starred Christopher Plummer as
Eddie and Gert Frobe (Goldfinger himself) as Chapman's Abwehr controller. It
was not an Academy Award contender.
on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United
States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, Report to
the President (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2005), 58.
Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky, Blowing Up Russia:
Terror From Within (New York:
S.P.I. Books, 2002).
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