Document Type: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 2, 2011
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Publication Date: 
November 30, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000706360003-0.pdf98.6 KB
STAT ~ Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/02 :CIA-RDP90-009658000706360003-0 oxe~E..,~., - The walls have ears at new embassy By Gregory Spears /nQuirer Washin;ton aurtau WASHINGTON -The new U.S. Embassy being built in Moscow is riddled with Soviet listening devices planted in its main struc- tural components, according to several members of Congress who received secret briefings re- cently about its problems. They said that an elaborate and far-reaching network of spying equipment was concealed inside precast concrete construction units, including beams, walls and floor slabs, and that the devices may be impossible to remove without wrecking the building. Construction has been stopped at the nine-story building, al- ready three years behind sched- ule and with more than $20 mil- lion in cost overruns, while U.S. officials decide what to do. The building is not occupied. "We'll either have to make a decision to go ahead land attempt to remove the devices) of we'll have to blow the building up," said Rep. Dan Mica (D., Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs international operations subcommittee, which oversees U.S. Embassies. "The building it- self is a monumental disaster." Sen. Lawton Chiles (D., Fla.) confirmed that espionage equip- ment had been found within the building, which was begun in 1979. He said the devices were imbedded in prefabricated build- ing components manufactured outside the building site and without U.S. inspection. An agreement signed in 1977 required the United States to em- ploy Soviet laborers and materi- als in its new embassy. Only nine U.S. government inspectors were permitted inside the 10-acre job PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER 30 November 1986 site, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard N. Derta- dian, director of the Office of For- eign- Buildings. .Dertadian said he could not dis- cuss the existence of any listening devices in the building. He did say a painstaking inspection was under way that would not be completed until the spring or summer. He said he doubted that the build- ing would be torn down. "If we were to tear that building down now and try to do it again, how to get our materials and people in and out would be a real bilateral problem," he said. Soviet workers have been locked out of the construction site since August 1985, after it was discovered they had been doing concealed work not called for on building plans, Der- tadian said. The listening devices were found by U.S. officials using equipment Mica likened to a CAT-scan machine, capable of producing three-dimen- sional views of the interior of build- ing components. What was discovered "would make James Bond look old-fashioned," Mica said. "The entire building may be a [sgyingl device. That's part of the problem." U.S. intelligence experts estimate it will cost $30 million to $40 million to attempt to rid the building of the bugs, Mica said. But they may never be assured of secure communica- tions in the building -the heart of a $192 million U.S. Embassy complex that was supposed originally to cost $89.1 million -because it might be impossible to remove the devices without destroying the building. The intelligence experts are weighing the possibility of crippling the spy system by destroying its transmission equipment but leaving some Soviet spy gear buried within the embassy walls. The risk is the Soviets may be able to reactivate the bugs, Mica said. Searchers found "an .entire beam that's an antenna," Mica said. "Maybe you disconnect the transmit- ter that hooks up to that beam, but maybe somebody else will hook up a new transmitter." House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dante Fascell (D., Fla.) said he favored salvaging the build- ing because "there is no secure place, and no way to get a secure place, in Moscow." Fascell toured the building in March. He said U.S. officials would have to use their ingenuity to outwit Soviet eavesdropping equipment. "Every- body might have to learn sign lan- guage -maybe that's far-fetched, maybe it's not," he said. Fascell also said he did not want the dispute over the embassy build- ing to further disrupt already strained U.S.-Soviet relations. "You have to find some way not to force this fight into the other fight, the arms control effort," he said. The two nations agreed in 1977 to build new embassies in each other's capital cities. Under the agreement, the Soviets are prevented from occu- pying thetr new Washington em? bassy, which is unfinished on the inside, until the United States moves into its new embassy in Moscow. The current U.S. Embassy in Mos- cow is a SS-yearold converted apart- ment building. Dertadian described it as "the worst embassy building I have ever been in," and said it was vulnerable to spying because it abuts another building. In 1978, embassy employees doing. some repair work after a major fide discovered a tunnel filled with sans)=' five listening equipment alongside the embassy. In 1983, U.S. officials reportedly were concerned that ~~. Soviets were beaming low-level mi? crowave signals at the U.S. Embassy' that could interfere or intercept em= bassy communications. Declassified in Part -Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/12/02 :CIA-RDP90-009658000706360003-0