Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Original Classification: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 8, 2012
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
July 15, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000403720057-7.pdf68.28 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000403720057-7 ARTICLE AP? EARED ON PAGE ..._Z3_ NEW YORK POST 15 July 1985 INSIDE . ' WASHINGTON I AOL BY NILES LATHEM igehi*nd the big spy crackdown THE Justice Dept. has 12 accused spies waiting to go on trial for espionage - an all-time record. With the Navy family spy team and the CIA clerk and her Ghanian lover joining an FBI counterintelligence agent, two Russian emigres, and an Army intelligence agent in the slammer, the public is seeing the impressive results of a clear change in strategy by the Reagan admin- istration from the way espionage cases were handled in the 1960s and '70s, say the experts. Bell won spy battles with the CIA over the prosecu. tion of Vietnamese agent David Troung and others. But at the same time the government's ability to prosecute spies - pouring into the nation under dip- lomatic cover as a result of the government's policy of opening its doors to the Soviet Union - was se. verely damaged. The picture changed when President Reagan came Into office in 1981 and redirected the force of the law so that it was aimed only at the traitors - not those trying to put them behind bars. With the firm support of CIA Director William Casey and Defense Secre. tary Caspar Weinberger, his Justice Dept. made fighting Soviet intelli- gence operations a major priority. He approved beefing up the counterin- telligence sections as well as modifying some of the laws imposed during the 1970s that had restricted the ability of counter-intel. ligence to operate. Although law enforce. ment and intelligence ex- perts say they have a long way to go before they will be able to restrict Soviet Intelligence operations ef. fectively in this country, the number of spectacular cases made in the past two years should come as no suprise to anyone. Intelligence experts note that they have learned a considerable am mount about how the KGB and its sister services operate in this country from investi- gating the 12 spies - as well as from two recent Soviet bloc defectors. The conclusion of the ex- perts is that there is just as much to gain from prosecuting intelligence agents as there is from playing games with dou- ble and triple agents. And the propoganda value of the recent cases is an additional and unexpected prize. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/02/08: CIA-RDP90-00965R000403720057-7 During J. Edgar Hoov- er's heyday in the 1960s - when the CIA also had a major say in domestic in- vestigations - people like CIA clerk Sharon Scrange or retired naval communi- cations man John Walker would never have seen their names in headlines - much less be awaiting public trial. In those days, they prob- ably would have been taken to a "safe house" somewhere in rural Vir- ginia for a less than peace- ful debriefing session and then "turned" into work- ing for the U.S. as double agents - feeding their Soviet or Ghanian controls carefully selected infor. mation sprinkled with a bit of disinformation. But such clever decep. tion is really the stuff of spy novels these days and rarely happens In actual practice. Although somewhere in the vast and murky intelli- gence underworld, double agents still operate, that kind of chess game largely vanished during the spy scandals of the 1970s - when the old coun- ter-intelligence blood- hounds like the CIA's James Angleton were purged after the discovery that these units had gone out of control. The Justice Dept., start. ing with Jimmy Carter's Attorney General Griffin Bell, responded to the spy scandals by reining in the counter-intelligence units and using the law against both hunters and hunted.