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December 22, 2016
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September 21, 2012
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April 20, 1987
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mH d 1111111 L 1111111_11111JIIIILIJIMIL11111111LILII __II I I_ I \ Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/09/21 : CIA-RDP90-00965R000302000004-6 ARTICLE ON PAM U.S.NEWS 4 WORLD REPORT 20 April 1987 The Moscow spy scandal spreads How to protect U.S. embassies III Just as he seemed to be controlling the damage from they Iran-Contra deba- cle, Ronald Reagan- now finds his ad- ministration ensnared in another crisis that could be every bit as threatening to national security. A growing sex-for- secrets scandal in the supersensitive U.S. Embassy in the Soviet Union has the President scrambling once again to appear in command but not responsible for the episode. By blaming the Krem- lin while hinting broadly that the impli- cations for U.S.-Soviet relations "are widespread," the President has so far avoided heavy damage, but leaders of both the State Department and Marine Corps are coming under heavy fire. For now, as the bad news tumbles down, Reagan insists that the Soviets will not occupy their new complex in Washington until the U.S. is convinced that its new Moscow embassy is secure. It's likely, however, that the new diplo- matic complex, rising next to the cur- rent embassy, will have to be destroyed and rebuilt because it is hopelessly rid- dled with snooping devices, all of which may never be detected and removed. How widespread the danger? With evidence of a major security breach mounting, a shaken Washington is looking at embassies in other capitals, fearing that they may be equally vulner- able. And with State Department plans to construct new embassies in six Com- munist nations?East Germany, Hun- gary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugo- slavia and China?over the next two years, the search for solutions is already well under way. Remedies for the prob- lem are expensive, however, and the quick fixes now under consideration would seem to do little to address long- term security concerns. The arrest last week of still another Marine?Sgt. John Weirick, 26, of Eu- reka, Calif.?on suspicion of espionage during a 1981-82 tour at the Leningrad consulate brings to four the number of Marine guards implicated in the evolv- ing scandal. There are also indications that the "fraternization" with Soviet women, as the State Department deli- cately puts it, is not limited to embassy guards. U.S. officials say that improper contacts with Soviet citizens, as well as other problems, have led to the recall of nine of 26 Americans sent to Moscow this year as support employes. The Americans had replaced some of the Soviet workers who were pulled out last fall amid a diplomatic showdown. The current debacle, the worst ever to hit U.S. embassy security, is sending tremors through the White House and ? the Pentagon, but the diplomats in the State Department, and particularly Sec- retary of State George Shultz, have been hardest hit. With Shultz in Moscow this week for three days of talks with For- eign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, se- curity specialists at State must insure that he will have secure communica- tions. President Reagan refused to scrub the trip, saying it must not seem that the U.S. was "run out of town." Yet there remains a strong presump- tion that the old embassy is a security sieve, infested with electronic bugging devices believed to have been hidden by the Soviets with the connivance of the ? Marines. Washington has shipped to Moscow a trailer with state-of-the-art gear said to insure that Shultz can send and receive messages without intercep- tion. In the embassy, he may use a new 8-by-10-foot cubicle meant to replace "the bubble," a superinsulated room whose security may have been broken. More unsettling news about the old embassy came from two lawmakers who flew to Moscow for snap inspections. Representatives Dan Mica (D-Fla.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) discovered in the existing building substandard securi- ty alarm systems and heard Marine com- plaints that diplomats paid no heed to security procedures. Snowe called the situation inside the embassy a" 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil' tendency towards. . . security." The two also said they found "hard evidence" of bugging in the new embassy but declined to elaborate. Back home, as the Central Intelli- gence Agency and other departments weigh solutions, the rhetorical heat is being turned up by lawmakers?and not all of them are Democrats. Embar- rassed by yet another scandal during ? Reagan's watch, the Senate Republican leadership has proposed tough mea-' sures curbing U.S. travel by Cuban and East-bloc envoys and demanding that the Kremlin pay for removing embassy bugs. "If the Soviets play this danger- ous game," says Senate Minority Lead- er Bob Dole (R- Kans.), "two can play." At the White House, Reagan aides maintain that the President cannot be blamed for the scandal. True, they concede. his own advisory panel did warn in 1985 of trou- ble brewing at the Moscow embassy, and a Senate panel ech- oed the caution only last year. But they also argue that the problems predate Reagan's arrival?and, in fact, such es- pionage is far from new. What are new are the apparent extent of the damage and the alleged cooperation of Marine guards, whose service projects an image of utter incorruptibility. Much of the past spying has occurred because the Americans either failed to: take into account Soviet clever- ness or were simply negligent. In the 1950s and 1960s, for in- stance, U.S. diplomats in Mos- cow felt their cars provided air- tight security. They slowly tumbled to the fact that their radios had been "adjusted" by Soviet mechanics to serve as two- way radios, broadcasting all that was said to the KGB. More re- cently, in the 1970s, Marines were caught giving to Soviet citi- zens papers earmarked for burn- ing. Compromised by Russian women, the Marines were black- mailed by the KGB into selling the only documents they could lay hands on?the contents of burn bags. In perhaps the most curious in- stance, a shipment of typewriters from the U.S. wound up in an unguarded embassy room adjacent to the work- shop of one "Radio Sasha," resident Soviet electronics wizard. When the typewriters went into use, U.S. officials found many had been transformed, no doubt by Sasha, into transmitting de- vices. "If they see a vulnerability," says a veteran U.S. envoy, "they exploit it." Continued Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/09/21 : CIA-RDP90-00965R000302000004-6 L I . ... I I Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/09/21 : CIA-RDP90-00965R000302000004-6 Soviet efforts to undermine security at U.S. embassies are nothing new. If the stories of KGB defectors are credi- ble, the campaign is strongest, and most effective, in Eastern ? Europe, followed by friendly Third World countries. Oth- er targets for KGB penetration of U.S. stations: Hong Kong, New Delhi, Paris, Brussels, Geneva and Vienna. Older Marines, tighter rules For years, the CIA has pointed out security problems to the diplomats at the State Department, who apparently paid little heed. Some of the recom- mended precautions cost big money. But others?as investigators from two congressional panels, the Pentagon and a special presidential commission are already learning?require just plain old common sense. Some prescriptions, for instance, would require that: ? Marines sent to sensitive posts be married, older?over 25?and more ex- perienced, having served at least one hitch. Employing younger leathernecks and depriving them of females is to invite disaster. One proposal calls for guards to take twice-yearly lie-detector tests, as CIA employes now do. Moscow might also be made a special hardship post, with Marines rotated every 90 days. ? Embassy workers avoid using word processors or even electronic typewrit- ers, both of which emit signals that may be picked up. When possible, em- ployes should shun electronic transmis- sions and instead use the tried-and-true diplomatic pouch. ? Only architectural and engineering firms with security clearances be hired to build top-secret embassy communi- cations centers. Although clearances are now required, a survey has shown that 30 centers?including the one in Moscow?were being built by firms lacking proper credentials. Obviously, some of the other pro- posed remedies will be expensive, re- quiring more-elaborate facilities and well-paid security personnel. The most expensive single project, however, could well be in Moscow. As U.S. News first reported last year, the new embas- sy compound is so shot through with bugs, many sown in concrete used for the foundation and walls, that the $191 million structure may be a total loss and need to be destroyed. Any hope that the new embassy was not com- pletely vulnerable vanished last week with disclosure of a yet unpublished Senate Foreign Relations Committee report. It found that a Soviet ?gr? named Herman Silber was hired in 1975 by the San Francisco architectur- al firm of Skidmore, Owings and Mer- rill to help design the new embassy. Apparently working without security clearances, he finished in about five months, then vanished. Moscow later said he died of a heart attack. Com- mented an astounded Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): "Our general contrac- tor is the KGB. . . . When you come right down to it, that's what it is." Not all the news on the horizon is bleak, however, and some solutions un- der consideration could actually wind up saving money. Intelligence experts in Washington want the State Department to drop its $250 million plan to link all embassies by computer. Even amateur hackers have shown that the most so- phisticated system can be cracked with enough time, effort and brains. For all the hand wringing in the U.S., America has resorted to aggressive tac- tics of its own in the unending superpow- er spy war. It planted bugs in the chan- cery of the Soviet Union's new $65 million Washington diplomatic complex when it was being built in 1979. It is ironic that the Moscow spy caper now could provide the excuse some have long sought to prevent the Soviets from using their new Washington embassy, still unoccupied. Approved during the cozier days of detente, the complex sprawls atop one of the capital's highest hills, vastly improving Moscow's access to sensitive U.S. government telecom- munications. In the long run, America's Moscow losses, humiliating as they are, may well be outweighed by the vacancy sign at the Soviet Embassy. ? by William L. Chaze with Charles Fenyvesi, James M. Hildreth, Gordon Witkin and Maureen Santini Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/09/21 : CIA-RDP90-00965R000302000004-6