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Soviet Publicists Talk About U. S. Intelligence

 
 

APPROVED FOR RELEASE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
22 SEPT 93

The Soviets see in us an undifferentiated and repugnant threat to their security, much like Soviet espionage and subversion in U.S. eyes.

SOVIET PUBLICISTS TALK ABOUT

U. S. INTELLIGENCE

Leslie D. Weir

Peter Deriabin, in The Secret World,1 recalls that an old Soviet pamphlet on the subject of U.S. intelligence treats the CIA, CIC, Naval and Air Intelligence, and even the FBI as components of a single organization. This concept is entirely in accord with the standard Soviet public attitude, which regards U.S. intelligence as a distinct service or function in which many different U.S. government and private agencies may participate at one phase or another. The Soviets most often, therefore, refer generically to "U.S. intelligence," ignoring the niceties of bureaucratic organization. When they do mention individual components of the intelligence community, they are likely to blur or confuse their operational roles. If this imprecision seems a deliberate device to permit indiscriminate name-calling or to hide what they do know about U.S. intelligence organization, one should recall that U.S. citizens, officials, and even intelligence officers are likely to discriminate poorly among the several Soviet intelligence agencies, which have nevertheless been thoroughly described in Deriabin's book and others.

 

Spies of the State Department

The espionage activities of U.S. intelligence are generally depicted as being carried out under the guidance and direction of the State Department by virtually every group or individual that deals in any way with foreign governments or peoples. Several Soviet sources have recently described the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research as "the liaison link between striped-pants diplomats and the cloak-and-dagger personnel abroad." All U.S. embassy personnel are presumed to be involved in espionage activities directed against the Soviet Bloc. A Kozev article in Pravda alleged that General Bedell "Smith's guidance [of the Moscow Embassy] was notably distinguished by the fact that he forced literally every single member of the staff, down to the last clerk and regardless of the department in which he was employed, to engage in intelligence work."

The Soviets see verification of the relationship between diplomacy and espionage in such facts as General Smith's having been posted, after his tenure as Ambassador to the USSR, first to CIA and then to State, in Admiral Kirk's position in Naval Intelligence prior to his assignment as Ambassador to Moscow and his subsequent chairmanship of the American Committee for Liberation, and of course in the teaming of the Dulles brothers at the head of the twin foreign affairs agencies. Over the past eight years Soviet spokesmen have frequently quoted Annabelle Bucar's The Truth about American Diplomats,2 particularly the examples she gives to show that "intelligence agents are sent to the USSR under various guises: as counselors, second and third secretaries, attachés, and even ordinary clerks." Khrushchev's 9 May 1960 remark at the Czechoslovak Embassy exculpating Ambassador Thompson of complicity in the U-2 incident was a benign exception to the general view that there is no cleavage between U.S. diplomats and U.S. espionage.

A book by I. Nikitinsky, The Perfidious Methods of the Subversive Activity of Imperialist Intelligence Services,3 comments on the excellent espionage training given U.S. diplomats. It says that the student body at Columbia University's Russian Institute is made up primarily of Foreign Service officers, cadets from West Point, and students from the Naval Academy, and that the Universities of Indiana and Pennsylvania, Yale, and the Air Force School at Syracuse University have similar spy-training programs.

The State Department is also considered the focal point for espionage against the USSR done by official and unofficial groupings as diverse as the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, MSA, ICA, IBRD, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Rand Corporation, the Vatican, the IRO, journalists, correspondents, and many others. Moscow University students have been cautioned particularly against tourists, "50 percent of which are spies connected in one way or another with American intelligence." A 4 February 1960 Red Star article on the "U.S. espionage octopus" pointed out to Army personnel that "American intelligence employs military attachés, diplomats, and other official and unofficial observers as spies." Such warnings were given with increasing frequency as East-West exchanges and tourism were expanded.

In general, the Soviet military press carries more material on U.S. intelligence activities than say Pravda or Izvestia, with the obvious purpose of maintaining a high state of counterespionage alert within the Soviet military. Although U.S military attachés are described as the main link to the Intelligence organs of the armed forces, the distinction between military and other intelligence is generally presented, as by a 13 March 1959 Red Star article, as a purely functional break-down: the military attachés are primarily concerned with military dispositions and technology, whereas others spy out political and economic matters.

During the past year the Soviets have taken increasing notice of U.S. intelligence collection by scientific and technological means. References to electronic devices for monitoring Soviet rocket tests and the launching of earth satellites, to the pilotless SD-3, and to project "Sentry" for using earth satellites to photograph Russian territory have been published. Discussions of scientific espionage are sometimes introduced by quoting Mr. Dulles' 15 October 1959 statement in New York, "We feel that the scientific side of intelligence collection should be emphasized to the point where radar and electronics tend to take the place of the wiles of the Mata Hari of several decades ago."

These warnings and other propaganda alerting the people to U.S. espionage activity are addressed chiefly to those who might disclose classified information unwittingly, rather than to the few "bourgeois degenerates" who would deliberately betray state secrets. A typical story is that of a young Soviet flyer on a train who got involved in a discussion of the relative merits of Soviet and foreign aircraft. Out of patriotic pride and in order to show off his knowledge, he cited Soviet advances that were classified information and even described aircraft in the testing stage. One of the passengers on the train took little part in the conversation, but occasionally expressed doubts about the young flyer's knowledge in a way that incited him to even more revelations. This quiet man, of course, was a U.S. agent.

 

Cutthroats of CIA

Several Soviet publicists have recently commented at length on CIA activities, particularly in connection with H. H. Ransom's Central Intelligence and National Security,4 which has obviously been carefully studied by responsible officials in the Soviet Union. An April 1959 New Times article by J. Yudin quotes data from the book on the new CIA building, the number of buildings currently occupied, the number of employees, an estimate of the total budget ($2 billion), and some of the functions of CIA.

Although these commentators take note of its role as coordinator of intelligence, CIA is normally presented primarily as the agency responsible for planning and carrying out subversive activities in the USSR and other Bloc countries, for the direction of psychological warfare campaigns, and for paramilitary operations related to the East-West struggle in the non-Communist world. The Soviet citizen is given the picture of a dangerous and wily adversary willing to stop at nothing to recruit agents, train them, and give them weapons, explosives, poison, money, false papers, and other equipment for organizing subversion in the Soviet camp. These operations have a dual purpose -- an economic one, to disrupt the work of industrial and agricultural components, and a political one, to prepare revolts, rebellions, street riots, and general disorder. It is said that CIA subversion was a major contributing factor in the Berlin riots and in the Hungarian revolt, and that such operations are not carried out without the knowledge of the high diplomats in U.S. embassies.

CIA's clandestine activities are ascribed variously to its "Secret Operations Branch," its "Department of Dirty Tricks," or its "Department of Covert Activities." The overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala is cited as the prime example of such activities outside the Bloc, with the coup against Mossadegh in Iran a regular second. The Moscow; broadcast of a recent Neues Deutschland article on CIA adds "two new examples which are fresh in our mind: Jordan, where the coup succeeded, and Syria, where it failed." The attempted assassinations of Togliatti, Duclos, and Tokuda and the murder of Julien Lahaut, however, were attributed generally to imperialist intelligence services, not to CIA.

Soviet sources refer frequently to the recruitment and use of defectors as agents against the Bloc. Since the enactment of the Mutual Security Act in October 1951, CIA is presented as having inexhaustible funds for this purpose. Propagandists constantly refer to the $100,000,000 granted by the Kersten Amendment and imply that the figure has increased since that time. It has also been alleged that large U.S. monopolies such as DuPont and General Motors spend, $350,000,000 annually for subversion and that the AFL provides $100,000 every month for U.S. intelligence. Occasionally an essayist seeks to sort out the roles of U.S. private and governmental agencies in subversive work: in the February 1957 International Affairs K. Ivanov distinguishes among the CIA, CIC, ICA, Office of Special Warfare, and USIA, and among the several foundations, the Crusade for Freedom, the Committee for Liberation, etc., noting that they are all coordinated by the OCB.

A book by P. Yakhlakov, Vigilance is the Tested Weapon of the Soviet People, describes U.S. subversive activities as the work of unscrupulous people who recruit "gangsters, pimps, criminals, and bandits from the dregs of society for whom espionage and subversion are a means of livelihood and profit." Several books and newspaper articles have referred to an alleged statement in late 1951 by C. D. Jackson, then described as the leader of the fascist organization Committee for a Free Europe: "We need the support of cutthroats and hoodlums, as many as we can recruit." The procedure is typically described as follows: U.S. intelligence agents screen displaced persons who are detained by force under miserable conditions in refugee camps in West Germany. All kinds of pressure, including deceit, bribery, and blackmail, are applied against these people to compel them to carry out subversive activity against their homeland. Selected persons are then sent to the village of Bad Wiesee near Munich where they are taught the arts of sabotage, terror, espionage and murder. When their training is completed they are given the necessary equipment and dropped by parachute from unmarked American aircraft over the Ukraine. They are instructed to get into Kiev and use whatever means are necessary, including murder, to obtain genuine Soviet documentation. Then they are to get into touch by radio with the American espionage center in West Germany for further instructions regarding espionage, sabotage, and subversion.

Soviet publicists also charge CIA with psychological warfare operations, of which the Free Europe Committee is seen as the archetype, and apparently quite dangerous. The Yudin article of April 1959 says that CIA provides about three-quarters of the funds for the Committee. Another CIA function in Soviet eyes is to oversee and subsidize the intelligence services of other Western governments, but published statements on this subject are vague and propagandistic. The West German intelligence service is most frequently cited as closely tied to CIA. The recent Neues Deutschland commentary on CIA had the establishment of a West German center for psychological warfare originating "in the CIA manure pile." "The espionage-sabotage service of the Hitlerite intelligence officer, Reinhard Gehlen, lives on American dollars under the guardianship of Dulles' CIA," says an article by V. Makhov in a 1957 collection, About Those Who Are Against Peace.

The ten-page Makhov article is probably the most detailed and comprehensive description of CIA and its works in the open Soviet literature. It expounds all the themes enumerated above, illustrating them -- with characteristic organizational imprecision -- from press reports of General Donovan's activities in Thailand and during the Hungarian revolution, from published U.S. allusions to Ambassador Peurifoy's and Allen Dulles' part in the Guatemalan coup, and from confessions of former members of "Dulles' full division of agents" who have been apprehended behind the iron curtain. It includes a biography of the evil genius Dulles himself, stressing his Wall Street background and his status as an agent for the monopolists in all foreign and military affairs from insuring the domination of U.S. capital abroad to establishing naval strength ratios. It affirms, on the basis of captured Nazi Foreign Ministry documents and other evidence, that his chief wartime mission in Switzerland was to see to the preservation of German economic and military might as a bulwark against the USSR.

 

Analysis, Estimates, and the Shaping of Policy

The very little that is published in the USSR on the U.S. intelligence community's estimative function is cast in tones of satire and belittlement. In a recent example, an article by Leontyev in the 31 January 1960 issue of Red Star, entitled "The Spies Count Rockets," noted Defense Secretary Gates' statement on Soviet ICBM capabilities and said that his information was derived through the following calculations: "There are five crows sitting on one fence and three crows sitting on another fence. Now, how many rockets does the Soviet Union have?" More generally the Soviets take the line that our ability to estimate their capabilities accurately is impeded by our preconceptions and by our inability to see the world situation in realistic terms.

The Nikitinsky book cited above mentions that "sociologists, historians, economists, geographers, transportation and communication engineers, and other 'scholars' are ... a part of the western intelligence service." These so-called scholars are said to have sold themselves to U.S. intelligence and bound themselves to carry out assignments on the demand of their masters. This and other such statements imply that academic or intellectual elements in the community merely prove what they are told to prove without any attempt to arrive at logically reasoned conclusions. The Soviets do not present the U.S. intelligence community or any part of it as an intellectual organization.

But they leave no doubt that the intelligence community, and CIA in particular, wields a critical influence in the formation of U.S. policy, for "every step a government takes is determined by the nature and the slant of the intelligence information it receives," and U.S. intelligence is an integral part of the Wall Street machinery that determines foreign policy. The Yudin article cited above says that Allen Dulles, "though normally only an adviser to the National Security Council, has become the chief figure in all its deliberations." Several Soviet publicists have quoted a Washington Post article to the effect that "CIA serves as a refuge for dare-devil cutthroats ... Through their activities they can start the ball rolling in the field of foreign policy." The 1955 summit conference had hardly ended, Makhov says, when Allen Dulles demanded that there be no yielding to the spirit of Geneva.

This Soviet view of the effect of intelligence on policy is consonant with that of the relationship between their own policy-making and intelligence organs. There was more than just scapegoating in Soviet statements that Beria, operating in his capacity as an intelligence chief, was primarily responsible for the rupture in relations between the USSR and Yugoslavia. And Soviet spokesmen's treatment of the exposure of U.S. overflights in its effect on the summit conference epitomizes their distrust of the force that intelligence activities exert on the framing and carrying out of national policy.


1 Doubleday, 1959. Reviewed in Intelligence Articles IV 1, p. 109.

2 Republished in the Soviet Union by Literary Gazette in 1950.

3 Moscow, 1954.

4 Cambridge, 1958. Reviewed in Intelligence Articles II 4, p. 79

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Posted: May 08, 2007 07:30 AM
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