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Book review by Anonymous of Frogman Extraordinary and Danger from Moscow by Joseph Heisler aka J. Bernard Hutton

book about British Commander Lionel Crabb,
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to the USSR, it "rehabilitated" the frogman instead of shooting him.
         
  Finally, there are 31 assertions in the text that the Crabb operation was sponsored by U.S. Naval Intelligence. The sequence of the references is an interesting example of conditioning technique. Most British and Canadian readers, by the time they finish the book, will have the Crabb affair firmly associated with U.S. intelligence. Because U.S. intelligence in the past year has become a primary Soviet propaganda target everywhere, this linking of it to the Crabb case and placing it in the sponsor's role serves the overall Soviet purpose. On the one hand, British public opinion may be nudged toward anti-Americanism; on the other, American confidence in British security and operational skill would be weakened if U.S. readers were persuaded that Soviet intelligence had the Crabb operation so thoroughly penetrated that it knew everything in advance.
    
  Danger from Moscow is based on the device of "secret instructions," a standard fabrication come-on throughout the existence of the Cominform which still appears in intelligence frauds. It is the classic mixture of fabrication and previously published fact. Without taking into account "Hutton's" own murky Communist past--Heisler belonged to the Czech Party--the possibility persists that his writing may reflect deeper origins in some paper mill group such as those that operated most successfully in the late forties and early fifties.1
 
  Except for a chapter on developments in the Middle East, the piece consists entirely of retold news stories superimposed on "secret Cominform instructions" by which overt developments in the U.K., the United States, West Germany, and the rest of the world are attributed to "hidden Communist activists." In a final chapter, "On the Home Front," Hutton develops the provocatory thesis that Russia is constantly on the verge of a popular revolt against the Communist regime. The Middle East treatment was quite apparently written by another pen: here, though the material is overt, it is assembled in a professional manner and is not saturated, like the remainder of the book, with émigré self-interest. The book
         
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  1 See Intelligence Articles II 1, p. 95 ff.  
         
A36      

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Posted: May 08, 2007 07:37 AM
Last Updated: May 09, 2007 07:15 AM