Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Commentary: For the President's Eyes Only

This is the best book written on CIA by an author who was not previously a CIA officer, overwhelmingly correct and complete in its description of the higher-ranking CIA leadership and significant operational activities. It is even more comprehensive, thorough, and accurate than many books actually written by previous CIA officers.

For the President's Eyes Only, Christopher Andrew, 1995

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Commentary: Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA

In 1968, when Colby was appointed chief of the Soviet and East European Division, he points out that his responsibility was to collect intelligence on the countries "behind the Iron Curtain", while James Angleton's CI Staff was carrying on an "unrelenting campaign" to frustrate the KGB operations against the United States. It is stated here that Angleton worked closely with the FBI. Not so. He had denied the FBI information from KGB defector Yuriy Nosenko from 1964 on, and tried unsuccessfully to get the FBI to accept the paranoid reporting and analysis by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn.

Colby found the SE Division and the CI Staff to be in almost total conflict. The CI Staff considered all of CIA's Soviet assets and defectors (except Golitsyn) to be under KGB control , suspected several CIA staff officers of working for the KGB, and doubted the existence of a Sino-Soviet split.

While Colby was being briefed on this new job, before taking over the SE Division, he received a message from Helms that the president wanted him to return to Vietnam. And he did.

As Executive Director to DCI Schlesinger when he took over in 1973, Colby tried to get Schlesinger to remove Angleton, along with the other senior CIA officials Schlesinger was replacing. He refused to that, but allowed Colby to shut down the Operation CHAOS mail-intercept program, transfer the Israel-CIA relationship to the Near East Division, and terminate the CI Staff responsibility for liaison with the FBI. A possible reason for Schlesinger’s being unwilling to remove Angleton is said to be his "undoubted brilliance”.

The term "brilliance" has appeared in descriptions of him in other books, with no examples given, but the history of his performance as chief of the CI Staff reveals no examples of decisions or actions which support that description. Quite the opposite, every important judgment and operational decision he made of CIA's Soviet assets, defectors, and suspected foreign intelligence and government officials was wrong. As the officer assigned to review the entirety of his operational decisions and evaluations after his departure, I identified no brilliance—quite the opposite—only serious mistakes affecting the national security of the US and allied countries negatively in several respects. When a later biography of him stated that practically every course he took at Yale ended up with the grades "D" or "F", the reference to "brilliance" seemed even more contradictory.

Colby's conclusion after becoming DCI, and finding Angleton’s "brilliant" analysis impossible to follow, with his evidence not adding up to his conclusions, he "looked in vain for some tangible results" of the CI Staff and "could not figure out at all what the Staff was doing. The devastating damage of the Staff decisions and analysis to operations against the USSR, to national security, was real and increasing. When Colby confronted Angleton with his decision to alter the counterintelligence responsibility, remove Israel from the Staff and transfer Angleton to other work, Angleton refused to accept those changes, but was removed from the CI Staff by Colby after a news article exposing many of domestic affairs"—Angleton's essentially illegal activities, was published a day or two later.

Angleton’s tenure of the CI Staff for over 20 years , with unjustified responsibility for CIA relations with Israel and liaison with the FBI, and some operational activities which should have come under the jurisdiction of other CIA elements, is explained in large part as having been authorized by his former OSS colleagues, Helms and Dulles. After that, his personality played a large part. Having been a poet, later a fly fisherman and orchid grower, and alcoholic to the point of requiring time off for treatment, his sensitivity to the paranoid influence of Golitsyn is not too surprising.

Angleton was imaginative, a gifted speaker, insightful, and friendly. When he encountered questions or comments in an operational or analytical discussion which countered his own position, he would often say that there was information about the matter which he could not expose to his interlocutor or audience, as is stated here. Like several of his OSS colleagues, he had little or no experience with clandestine operations, so his evaluation of operational developments, asset behavior, defectors, and case officer handling and assessment of assets generally was dependent on factors which originated in his personality rather than in actual counterintelligence aspects which were gradually gaining in confidence and comprehension as CIA involvement in clandestine operations and liaison relationships advanced over time.

Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA, William Colby and Peter Forbath, 1978

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: The KGB in Europe and the West: The Mitrokhin Archive

The voluminous KGB documents with which Mitrokhin defected provided definitive information on KGB defectors Anatoliy Golitsyn and Yuriy Nosenko, confirming Nosenko's bona fides even more absolutely than other KGB defectors, all of whom gave that same information.

It is reported here that Golitsyn correctly identified a CIA employee whose names started with "K", who had worked in Berlin as being a KGB asset, but inaccurately gave his KGB codename as "SASHA", which conflicted with Nosenko's report of another KGB asset as being "SASHA". The three codenames actually assigned to Aleksandr (nickname ”Sasha") Kopatskiy (alias Orlov) by the KGB are stated in Mitrokhin's documents. Golitsyn is described as having provided “leads to a number of Soviet agents", but actually provided only vague and mostly garbled leads, such as the one which eventually led to Kopatskiy, another, to a British Navy employee, which remained unresolved until Nosenko's report on him, and one on a French official, which led to an arrest, but not of the individual described by Golitsyn! Golitsyn is identified as having persuaded CIA CI Staff chief James Angleton "of a series of increasingly extravagant conspiracy theories" such as that the KGB was engaged in a "gigantic global deception" , that the Sino-Soviet split was a charade, and that the Czech "Prague Spring" was also a KGB deception. It is concluded that the KGB did not realize that Golitsyn's defection would "infect a small but troublesome minority of CIA officials with his own paranoid tendencies". Mitrokhin's documents confirmed that the KGB had taken drastic corrective and defensive action to counter the damage done by Golitsyn's defection.

The February 1964 defection of Nosenko is described as having been considered a serious setback by the KGB, but was "wrongly concluded" by his CIA debriefers to be a KGB plant. The discovery of over 40 bugs in the US embassy in Moscow, thanks to Nosenko's reporting, is cited. CIA’s mishandling of Nosenko is attributed to CIA believing "tragically" in Golitsyn. Tennent Bagley, the CIA officer who oversaw the Nosenko case, is quoted as having said that Nosenko made things sound less sinister” than Golitsyn did, so Golitsyn’s "version was simply superior”. While Nosenko was being "appallingly mishandled" by CIA, the KGB was making plans to kill him and Golitsyn.

Mitrokhin's documents completely discredit Golitsyn's (and Peter Wright's) primary accusation against a foreign politician, UK's Harold Wilson. Wright is described as having gone on and devised "several conspiracy theories of his own”. The conclusion here is that Angleton and Wright, "with a penchant for conspiracy theory", "were seduced by Golitsyn's fantasies", which is exactly what Angleton's universally false evaluations and accusations, and the corresponding content of Wright's book (”Spycatcher”)" demonstrate.

The KGB in Europe and the West: The Mitrokhin Archive, Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew, 1999

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Commentary: Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games

This book is an imaginative and theoretically expanded version of the "1000 page" paper written by the author in an effort to question the bona fides of Nosenko after he defected in February 1964. The first counterattack on his paper was my memo to the DD/O in March 1966, and his paper (and this book) was totally disproven in October 1968.

The theme of this work is stated clearly in its first paragraph, as Bagley first met Nosenko:

"As he took my welcoming hand, I had no idea that it was to drag me and my service into a labyrinth so complex that even today, more than forty years later, my successors still have not found their way through its twists and turns.”

The problem with that declaration is that it is entirely false. It is true that Bagley, guided by Angleton, did create a complex of invalid theories and assumptions which dragged CIA's Soviet operations and counterintelligence into a labyrinth. Their successors, however, found their way out of the Nosenko aspect of it in October 1968, when Nosenko was found to be a bona fide defector. The remainder of Bagley's book is a summary of the unsubstantiated arguments he made against Nosenko's bona fides from 1962 to 1967.

Bagley's initial concern regarding Nosenko's bona fides is the fact that many of the cases cited and comments made by Nosenko related to matters which Golitsyn had already reported on, although more vaguely and without concrete investigative or arrest results. The only case Golitsyn did report in detail sufficient to identify a KGB agent was of a French officer in the NATO press office, though the person arrested had not started working for the KGB until several months after Golitsyn's defection! The conclusion that Nosenko somehow was sent out by the KGB to divert Golitsyn's leads has no validity whatsoever—there is not one case which both reported on which was not better reported by Nosenko.

The only valid case of genuine overlap is the report here that Golitsyn had studied the file of the Soviet interpreter/ Radio Moscow announcer whom the KGB had run against us in Brussels and again in London in April 1961, when our polygrapher cleared him. Nosenko confirmed that, and I had already reported the polygraph as wrong in April 1961-that Belitskiy was a KGB plant.

In reporting identities of KGB spies in Western countries, Golitsyn is credited with two NATO officials—actually only one, a Frenchman, a Norwegian intelligence official—untrue, he cited the wrong one, a Canadian ambassador—who died during interrogation, a former CIA principal agent—not so, a minor support agent, and some highly placed French officers—not at all-none of his accusations led to any identification. Most-of his vague, inaccurate, and meaningless accusations came after he had reviewed numerous CIA documents, and then documents of the British , French, and Canadian services. Typical of his reporting was on a Canadian who was in and out of government assignments, who went on reporting to the KGB for 20 years because Golitsyn's "lead" was so vague.

The basic error in the author's analysis of Nosenko's reporting was the assumption that KGB officers should all report in the same way, no matter what their personal backgrounds and experiences. In fact, we had little background to go on in evaluating KGB officers, as we had only a couple of defectors as examples. The author goes back to the 20's and 30’s to come up with assumptions of KGB behavior in the 60's. Then WWII KGB operations and operations springing from immediate postwar disorganization and uncertainty. It is hardly worth re-analyzing every aspect of the author's presumptive treatment of every major element of Nosenko's reporting—it should be reexamined based on the fact that Nosenko was found to be bona fide after over three years of solitary confinement. It would require another book. The first step would be to discount everything which Golitsyn reported—only the Frenchman in the NATO press office is to his credit, and then only by chance. ls indefinite, but relevant information on Belitskiy helps. His denial that there was a Sino-Soviet split is the best reason for ignoring his theories/reporting. From the Nosenko standpoint, the fact is that every defector and asset with any KGB background has testified that Nosenko was a bona fide KGB defector.

The approach in this story is that all assets or defectors who supported Nosenko's bona fides were under KGB control. In the almost 50 years since then, none of them has ever been demonstrated to have been under KGB control. There is a recurrent, underlying assumption that there was a KGB penetration of CIA who was responsible for our loss of Soviet intelligence assets. No such penetration was ever found, nor supporting evidence developed , during the period of Nosenko's incarceration, or subsequently relevant. It is argued that Nosenko identified no KGB penetration, but it was his information that identified Vassall in the British Admiralty staff, not Golitsyn's, the U.S. army sergeant controlling the DOD classified documents station at Orly Airport, and more important, the argument that Golitsyn had reported the technical penetration of the American embassy was, like almost all of Golitsyn's information. too vague to get results. It was Nosenko's precise reporting on the location of wiring and microphones which led to discovery of the KGB technical equipment. The final conclusion of this argument was that Nosenko probably would redefect, which then led to his being placed in solitary confinement for another two years.

The author then denigrates, belittles, even insults, anyone who disagreed with his intricate conclusions about Nosenko and Golitsyn. As the first person to have reviewed his “1000 pages", and found them a complicated series of sometimes contradictory conclusions and assumptions, I am described as “a reports handler". Well, reports handlers are automatically Cl analysts—evaluating the bona fides of an asset by the information he reports. In my case, I had the same operational training the author did, then spent over two years running South and North Korean operations in Korea. Running operations against the USSR definitely was different, but working as the officer responsible for exploiting the intelligence potential of Popov, Artamonov, and Penkovskiy, and others was immediately informative.

The description of the actions of the new Cl Staff officers in 1975 Is quite incorrect. The author was most critical of the officer brought in to review the Nosenko case, alleging incorrectly that significant information of the previous staff officers had been discarded. Also, that the FBI NICKNACK information was properly handled by Angleton. Not so—Kalaris did go to Switzerland to report a penetration of the air force there, whether or not Hood had done so previously. And a code clerk in Austria who had been working for the KGB for five years was finally identified to the Austrians, arrested, and imprisoned. The author then invents a scheme in which he works out within the KGB a deception operation involving Nosenko. Part of this scheme ls based on KGB officer statements following the collapse of Communism which the author believes to support his theory.

The negative evaluation of Nosenko's bona fides is based on what the author had learned and concluded over the years about KGB officers' behavior and KGB operational techniques—no KGB officer would behave and be so uncertain of important facts as Nosenko was. However, if Nosenko had been trained and sent out by the KGB to be a deception agent, would he be so forgetful and inaccurate about KGB organizational and procedural matters?

The report of BW analyst Kuron's having been an asset of the East German HVA as of 1981, when I had been dealing with him and his chief, Tiedge, for three years, comes as no surprise, and recalls the mysterious loss of an HVA officer who had walked in to us. The defection of Tiedge to the KGB, three months after my retirement, also is an unpleasant reminder in this book. Tiedge tells his story in his 1998 book published in Berlin, "Der Ueberlaeufer"--“The Defector".

One thing which is confirmed here is that there were four French intelligence officers and a former French security agency department chief working for the KGB in the early 60's, which Golitsyn theorized, but, as usual, could provide no facts identifying them or the subjects on which they reported.

Comment: A standard statement in most books which report on the replacement of the Angleton staff in 1975 was that the new officers had no experience. Well, Kalaris had been a COS twice, Sternfield was an experienced field case officer, and I had had 20 years as a reports officer (CMO) after two years of operations in South Korea. Every COS has had Cl experience, which involves every operation which he oversees. So does every case officer. In my case, I believe that every CMO is a Cl officer—every report he handles must be considered from the Cl standpoint:

  • What is the probable access of the source?
  • Is the source reporting what he has access to?
  • Is the source reporting information to which he should not have access?
  • Is the source reporting information which is false, inconsistent with known information, incomplete, or "accidentally" illegible?

Using those principles, I made evaluations three times which were countered by polygraph findings, but which later turned out to be correct (Belitskiy, Artamonov, and a Finnish man, also in 1961, who claimed falsely to be receiving information from a Soviet scientist). My formal presentations on Nosenko and Loginov, disagreeing with the Angleton CI Staff, were correct, and my positive conclusions on FEDORA and TOPHAT , disagreeing with the Angleton Cl Staff and the FBI CI Staff, also were correct. In no case was any evaluation of bona fides which I made found later to be incorrect, in my 20 years as a CMO and three years as DC/Cl Staff.

So those who did have/claim CI experience and competence in the FBI were wrong about FEDORA and TOPHAT and I was right. Angleton's Cl Staff was wrong about Artamonov/Shadrin, Nosenko, Loginov, FEDORA, TOPHAT, NICKNACK, accusations against three clandestine operations officers whom they falsely accused of being KGB assets, officers they falsely accused in the Canadian RCMP and Norwegian military service, and accusations they made against the Soviet Division chief and deputy chief, and—Angleton himself. Angleton actually went to France and told the internal security chief that the former CIA Soviet Division chief was a KGB asset! The French security chief repeated that to me when I met him in Paris in 1976.

The truth is, in fact, that the new CI Staff was right about every bona fides judgment it made, including those of the Angleton CI Staff that the new staff reversed, as well as the key bona fides decisions made by the FBI Cl Staff. On the other hand, it is difficult to come up with any correct bona fides assessment made by the Angleton CI Staff, going all the way back to his assuming leadership of the CI Staff in 1953.

Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games, Tenent H. Bagley, 2007

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Commentary: Legacy of Ashes

The overall approach taken by Weiner is to interpret practically any Soviet operation or activity in which CIA was ever engaged as having been a failure, or actually run against CIA by the KGB. He does describe the operationally disastrous acceptance of Golitsyn's paranoid theories for 12 years and mishandling of the Nosenko case, by Angleton and the Soviet Division, correctly, and Helms' failure to oversee their actions.

Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner, 2007

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Commentary: Spy Handler

Published over ten years after his retirement and the end of the Cold War, KGB officer Cherkashin makes a good account of his work as case officer for Ames. He also provides authoritative information on a number of operational matters of importance to us. He gives a good description of the compromise of Penkovskiy, consistent with somewhat less detailed reports from reliable sources on the surveillance of Penkovskiy and MI-6 wife Janet Chisholm. He confirms the reporting by reliable sources that Nosenko's defection led to the recall of many KGB officers from their overseas assignments, including his own. He confirms previous reporting on TOPHAT, including some details on the GRU reaction to information indicating that he was reporting to the FBI/CIA. The GRU was reluctant to accept that possibility when it first appeared in Epstein's book, based on information from Angleton or FBI deputy director Sullivan, and on 1979 information from Hanssen, who had not yet been accepted as a reliable source. Ames sealed the matter in 1986. TOPHAT was then brought from retirement, tried, and executed. Yurchenko's "redefection"is described, confirming that the KGB knew that he actually had defected to us, but was able to use his "redefection" for propaganda purposes.

Spy Handler, Victor Cherkashin and Gregory Feifer, 2005

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Commentary: A Secret Life

The handling of Kuklinski's material was not quite as stated here. When the material started coming in from Kuklinski in 1972, in Polish and Russian, it was my assignment, as in the Penkovskiy case, to evaluate the incoming reports, assign them priorities for translation, and provide comment and guidance for further collection to Kuklinski. My first decision was to set up two task forces, independent of one another and unaware of the common source. That meant my interviewing and assigning Polish and Russian speakers. Every report provided by Kuklinski came to me, was translated by the senior Polish speaker I had recruited for the task force, and handed on to the case officer. When he prepared his reply, I added the comment and requirements for advising Kuklinski's next collection of material for us, and my senior translator put that information into Polish. Some of the specific requirements are quoted here. It was regularly necessary to remove Polish words and stamps from the Russian-language documents to maintain the concept of two different sources producing the material. Translation of the documents was prioritized by me, and every translation prepared for publication was reviewed by me before going into the publication process, just as had been the case with my Penkovskiy task force. The language problem which had become apparent in the Penkovskiy document processing was that the Russian language had evolved considerably since most of us had learned the language. Therefore, I decided to disseminate some of the Russian documents in Russian. The problem was that no Russian typists were available anyplace in the intelligence community. When I mentioned that to DCI Colby, and the fact that my daughter had studied Russian, he instructed me to hire her, which happened very quickly. My task force work ended in early 1975, when l was assigned to the CI Staff.

A Secret Life, Benjamin Weiser, 2004

Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Commentary: A Look Over My Shoulder

In a review of this book, two of the three themes which Tom Troy cites as important are the Nosenko affair and the influence of Angleton in CIA. He concludes that Helms actually reveals almost nothing that has not already appeared in other public analyses and declassified publications. He raises Helms’ claim that Angleton did not concur in the treatment of Nosenko, and he then refutes that claim, as he well should. Bagley confirms in his book the fact that Angleton did support the handling of Nosenko. The book makes no mention of my 40page memo countering the 900-page case made against Nosenko by Bagley, which i delivered to Helms in March 1966. The next day after I delivered it to Helms, he called and asked if he could pass it to psychologist Gittinger. Of course. A couple of weeks later, Gittinger called and we went out for lunch. We did that a couple of times. Gittinger had interviewed Nosenko and agreed with me. Nosenko stayed in solitary, under much worse conditions than described by Helms. Meanwhile, the new DD/P, Karamessines, cancelled my recent promotion, for having delivered a memo to the DD/P without going through the proper channels, after the chief of the Soviet Division, to whom it had been addressed, ordered that it be destroyed and never mentioned to anyone. I then contacted the DD/P and asked for an interview. At the end of the interview, he restored my promotion and directed me to go to the C/SR Division, apologize, and tell him that my promotion had been restored.

In September 1967, I wrote another memo, arguing that our handling of Nosenko was totally inappropriate, if not illegal, and that he should be released and his behavior monitored. l delivered that to DCI Helms. He called me to his office the next day and said that he was going to turn the case over to his deputy, Admiral Taylor, who would take it up with Security. Admiral Taylor called me a few days later, I went to his office, and he asked me why the SR and CI leadership would make such a case against someone. I could only refer to the influence which Golitsyn/Angleton had had on them.

As Troy states in his review, Helms never accepted that Nosenko was bona fide, but states in his book that Nosenko was the most challenging operation in his entire career. Before leaving CIA, he gave a medal to Gittinger. When I met Gittinger at the ceremony, he said that the medal actually should have been given to me. All Soviet assets and detectors have testified to Nosenko’s bona tides, and to the devastating impact that his defection had on KGB management and the assignments of many KGB officers overseas. Helms left the Nosenko case in the hands of Angleton. Although the SR Division dealt with Nosenko during his solitary confinement for over three years, the basis for the division’s approach was Angleton’s evaluation of Nosenko, based on Golitsyn’s continuing analysis, his accusations against any new assets or defectors who supported Nosenko, and Angleton’s jealousy of SR Division authority over Soviet operations.

The willingness of Helms to allow Angleton to take charge of anything he was interested in was never more evident than in the Loginov case. This case of a KGB illegal preparing to take over their operations in the US had been running for six years, when his apparent last training assignment, in South Africa, came up in late 1967. The night before CIA intended to turn him over to the South African security service, I was called at home by an officer familiar with the operation, and warned of the plan. The next day, I called DCI Helms and objected that the only reason that a case had been made against Loginov was that he had supported Nosenko’s bona fides. Helms was quite angry, raised his voice and almost shouted into the phone: —”Len, that’s out of my hands, Jim’s handling that”. In other words, if Angleton is 13 doing it, it must be the right thing to do. As in the case of Nosenko, one word from Helms and Nosenko would have been treated more humanely, and Loginov would have continued as a CIA asset, rather than being compromised to the KGB under circumstances which made his arrest and shooting likely. Troy refers to 088, and the fact that Helms and Angleton had served in it -—”with distinction”. The problem in CIA was that the OSS veterans remained in control of most of it, and they stuck together. With 088 veteran Dulles in charge, Helms and Angleton had undisputed authority. Helms had had almost no operational experience before he started to move up the management chain in CIA. An example of his general lack of operational concern and sense of responsibility occurred after we met with Penkovskiy in London in April 1961. Division chief Maury took the three of us to Helms' office to report on the operation. Joe and George made some comments, I summarized briefly the intelligence acquired, and then Maury said that I had evaluated Radio Moscow announcer Belitskiy, whom we had been running since he walked in at the Brussels world's fair in 1958, as under KGB control. Helms threw up his hands and exclaimed that he did not "have time for that!".

That attitude may be reflective of his failure to oversee Angleton’s actions and decisions. Angleton has generally been praised for his performance as our chief in Rome for several years at the end of WWII. However, there is really no way to judge that assessment by his 088 colleagues, and all of the OSS veterans were automatically viewed by CIA as exceptional as a result of their wartime service. A quite different view of Angleton’s wartime and X-2 service in Rome was given me by the senior MI-6 officer on the Penkovskiy case, Harold Shergold (who spoke on the Penkovskiy case in the CIA bubble in March 1998). Shergold had been Angleton’s MI-6 counterpart in Rome, and had nothing at all positive to say about Angleton’s actions there as far as he knew about them. Helms claims that much said about Angleton is unfair, to him and his superiors. Co-author Hood worked for Angleton in the CI Staff, and could hardly take issue with any of Helms’ positive remarks about Angleton without raising 7 questions as to why he, himself, did not take action against any of Angleton’s countless errors in analysis and management. As for his performance in Israel, when I went to Israel after moving into the CI Staff, the Israeli service chiefs were quite critical of Angleton (perhaps making me feel better about being there?). After the millions of CIA dollars which he delivered to them over 20 years, it is not too surprising that they named some woods after Angleton.

Troy refers with extreme negativity to the activity initiated by Angleton against officers of the SR Division, especially those with any Russian- language capability, or background, ending up with destroying the careers of at least four, damaging numerous others. He first evaluated Penkovskiy as a valuable asset, but after Golitsyn's detection in December 1961, he even decided that Penkovskiy had been sent to us by the KGB.

Helms cites nothing accomplished by Angleton, and there is, in fact, no operational or CI decision in the record which can be cited as evidence of his counterintelligence, or even his intelligence, capability or achievement. —-The best of his work is still classified. Well, I wish I could think of something classified, unclassified, whatever, to cite as support to his reputation, but I cannot. The only exception which comes to mind is my analysis of cosmonaut Gagarin’s interpreter’s (Belitskiy) bona fides, which Angleton asked me to discuss with him, apparently ending up with his agreement, but the acting SR Division chief called me up to his office and reprimanded me as being wrong—until a KGB detector confirmed the fact seven months later. If he did learn something from Philby, CIA will never know it, as none of the countless memos he dictated after meeting with Philby has ever been found.

He did set up the Anglophone CI committee, which was a useful means of getting to know, and coordinate with, officers of other government CI agencies. Helms denies that Angleton’s policies brought Soviet operations to a halt, but having been directly in the middle of them, i will deny that — detectors and potential assets were turned down in large part, and overseas stations were warned that the KGB had a large disinformation and deception program under way—totally untrue, as it turned out. Helms says no one in CIA ever raised any doubts, or criticized, Angleton—well, then, he forgets my memos on Nosenko and doubts raised by officers in the SR Division at the working level who were at serious risk if they expressed themselves other than to one another. Helms makes no mention at all of the fact that Angleton gave Golitsyn several hundred classified files on operations and personnel. Those files were recovered by my staff in 1975, from Golitsyn’s house in eastern New York (including my own personnel file).

Particularly puzzling to me is the absolute absence of any mention by Helms of the highest- ranking Soviet officer ever to work for us—two-star General Polyakov, (TOPHAT) from 1961 with the FBI until 1985 for us. He was identified in several books before Helms wrote his. There also is no mention of a KGB officer who worked for us, and the FBI, from 1961 to 1985—Kulak, (FEDOBA) also identified in several books previously. in both cases, the FBI CI chief, Nolan, evaluated them as under KGB control while I was in the CI Staff. Angleton had concurred in those assessments. In both cases, I received FBI agreement in 1975 to send CIA analysts to the FBI to review their reporting. In both cases, those analysts concluded that the two assets were bona fide, as their continued reporting for the following ten years indicates.

The SR Division chief, Murphy, and deputy, Bagley, were in complete agreement with Angleton in this case as well, and one of my later deputies in the CI Staff who told C/SR Murphy that Poiyakov was bona tide was dispatched the next day to an assignment in Africa! As Troy concludes, Helms’ (and Hood’s) obscuring and defending of Angleton’s actions is a major blot on Helms’ career and reputation. No detail at all is provided by Helms to justify his praise of Angleton’s performance in CIA, and my own 20 years in the middle of our Soviet operations and CI Research and Analysis left me with nothing to commend in that respect except the interview with him in 1961 of my negative analysis of the case of Gagarin interpreter Belitskiy mentioned above (and his aid in getting Artamonov under CIA control). After Angleton declined reassignment in December 1974 (he was never fired), he called me in and told me, with an arrogant and hostile look on his face, how he had straightened Bagley out when he came to him in June 1962 boasting of having dealt with the most valuable defector ever—Nosenko. That is why an excellent article by Samuel Halpern and Hayden Peake: "Did Angleton Jail Nosenko" (arguing that he did not) essentially loses its well- argumented validity--the fact is that the decision that Nosenko was not bonafide was Angleton's alone, and, after acceptance by the Soviet Division, resulted in his brutal handling for the next three and a half years. He certainly did not order the savage handling of Nosenko by the Soviet Division, but he gave them the reason for conducting a hostile interrogation a of Nosenko. Documents found in Angleton's personal files following his retirement show that he, and Helms were kept fully informed of Soviet Division treatment of Nosenko. One word to Helms from counterintelligence chief Angleton would have changed the Soviet Division interrogation methodology, starting with removing him from the absolutely unjustified, if not illegal, imprisonment of him in solitary confinement for over three years.

A Look Over My Shoulder, Richard Helms and William Hood, 2003

Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Commentary: The Secret History of the CIA

This was Trento's second book, the first having been co-authored with his wife, Susan Trento, and former CIA officer William Corson. When he came to CIA to say that he was writing about Artamonov/Shadrin, l was assigned to advise him, and met several times with him and his wife. Some of the information he acquired then was used in this book.

One report on Berlin operations refers to a request to HQ for a book on a German religious sect, the Weisenbergers, who dominated a town where air defense personnel lived. I spent all day at the Library of Congress looking for the book and never found it, which left the case officer believing that there had been no effort to find it.

When he came to me at headquarters to say why he had needed the book, and called attention to some reports relating to the Soviet SA-2 system, I told him that we already had the SA-2 manual (and parts) from an asset in Indonesia, as the Soviets had sold the system to Indonesia. The case officer was stunned , considering all of his assets who had been lost trying to collect on the system. The problem, of course, was that the Eastern European Division had never revealed to the Soviet Division that they were running such an operation.

Trento makes an odd mistake in reference to the defection of Artamonov/Shadrin. Instead of the information I gave him regarding getting Artamonov out of Sweden quickly to avoid his being returned to the USSR during an imminent visit by Khrushchev, and get him into American hands, he invents the explanation that we did not want the U.S. navy to control him. First of all, defectors are CIA responsibility, and the coordination with the navy was going on from the beginning of the defection. Trento then comes up with the fantasy out of nowhere that Artamonov was sent to us by the Soviet Navy commander as a messenger to calm our anxieties that the Soviet Navy wanted to start a war with us! Trento attributes this to Soviet Minister of Culture Furtseva, whom he identifies as directing the KGB to support a group of Soviet leaders planning to unseat Khrushchev. This theory was never confirmed in any respect throughout CIA collection of information on the Soviet Union to date!

Trento then comes up with another totally unfounded theory—that Soviet KGB defector Golitsyn was dispatched by the KGB in December 1961 to convince Cl Staff chief Angleton of a number of theories and allegations, which were to handicap CIA operations against the Soviet Union for over 12 years. That happened, but the cause was Golitsyn's paranoia and Angleton's wish to dominate Soviet operations and become the counterintelligence leader of Western intelligence and security services. It is difficult to imagine the unfounded origins of these Furtseva and Golitsyn theories, but in the Golitsyn case, it is also hard to imagine his having been able to do more damage than he could have done if he had been sent out. He produced very little useful information, but Angleton fell into Golitsyn's paranoia for his own professional reasons, the real problem being that Angleton was not supervised by Helms or any other 00/0 or director, even when he denied the existence of a Sino-Soviet split.

In his comments on the Penkovskiy case, Trento refers to Penkovskiy's mentor and protector, Chief Marshal of Artillery Varentsov (not Varentov) as commander of the Soviet ICBM program, which he never was. Once again,Trento comes up with a theory that Penkovskiy was sent out by “conservative elements of the Soviet power structure" to help get Khrushchev removed from power. The information he provided supposedly was controlled by that "Soviet power structure", when it was in fact determined by the requirements which we gave him to provide us information responding to our national intelligence objectives. There was never the slightest indication that Penkovskiy was being controlled by anyone in the Soviet leadership, all the way to his trial and execution in May 1963.

More nonsense on Penkovskiy is the assertion that we asked the DOD for all of its questions on the Soviet strategic missile program. There is no way on earth that we could have expected to answer such questions, and as the officer who prepared all questions and requirements guidance for Penkovskiy's information collection, such questions would never have been on the list which I provided to Kisevalter and the other officers who met with Penkovskiy. He had no contact whosoever who could answer any such questions; this additional invalid identification of Varentsov as chief of Soviet ICBM. And supposedly, Penkovskiy gave us information which helped to guide U-2 flights over Cuba—totally false—what he gave us told us which missiles were being deployed in Cuba and when they would be ready for launch. The account of State Department security officer Abidian becoming involved in passing of information from Penkovskiy also is false; Abidian checked one deaddrop—as Trento states, but that was all he had to do with the case. Again, the unsupported theory that Penkovskiy may have been sent out to deliver a message to the West has no factual support whatsoever. Trento treats Nosenko as an agent dispatched by the KGB, with no special explanation —just assuming that he was sent out to deny that the USSR/KGB was behind the killing of President Kennedy by Oswald.

Following the removal of Angleton, rather, his decision not to be reassigned, Trento states that we, the new CI Staff, wanted to reactivate the KITTY HAWK operation, the FBI operation involving Artamonov being run by a KGB officer who volunteered to cooperate with CIA in 1966 if we would have Artamonov serve as his agent. That is not true. The Soviet Division was unaware of the operation—it had been run by the FBI with the participation of a CIA Security officer—Angleton refused to bring in the Soviet Division because he suspected there was a mole there. The new CI Staff was completely surprised to learn of the operation, that Artamonov had met with the KGB once in Montreal in 1971 and once in Vienna . The latter meeting had been in 1972, and there had been no meetings since. We then found that the Montreal meeting was used by CIA and the RCMP to check whether RCMP C/CI Bennett was a KGB agent, as Angleton had said—Bennett was to be told about the operation, then RCMP surveillance would watch to see if any KGB officers appeared to observe the operation. Bennett was told the meeting was to take place, but afterwards, no decision about the operation was made—even though the RCMP C/CI remained in place, theoretically knowing that the FBI /CIA were running Artamonov. When we found out about the operation in March 1975, we learned that a meeting of Artamonov with the KGB was to take place in Vienna in December 1975. We met with the FBI to work out a plan for monitoring the meeting. They refused to allow surveillance, not unreasonable, but accepted that we could send out an officer to maintain contact with Artamonov and his wife during the meeting. In spite of the exposure of Artamonov to the suspect RCMP CI chief, the latter was still considered an asset of the KGB.

Trento then comes up with another fairy story, that Artamonov was returning home on purpose, and the KGB was giving him its assistance for cover purposes. That does not quite explain why they chloroformed him to death on the way to Bratislava after picking him up at the Vienna Votivkirche meeting place. Trento repeats the assumption that the US consulate was located in view of the Votivkirche, so surveillance was not needed. While the consulate is only a couple of hundred yards across the square, its windows are not on the square. Not that surveillance would have been of any help. Trento goes on to claim that his nonsensical story about the Artamonov meeting with the KGB in Vienna was a KGB-Mossad scheme. The bottom line to his imaginative tale is that the KGB officer who ran the KGB office which was handling the Artamonov case, and had gone to Vienna to help kidnap Artamonov (after "promoting" him to colonel and giving him $1,000) has actually been a US citizen for about nine years, and contradicts Trento in every respect. The KGB defector of 1985 who identified the RCMP DC/CI as a KGB agent (not C/CI Bennett), also told the story of Artamonov's death, exactly as known from the naturalized KGB officer who was involved in the kidnapping/murder of Artamonov.

Another truly unfortunate aspect of the Artamonov case involves the CIA accusation against Bennett. That was one of the first cases which came to the new CI Staff attention, as we attended a meeting of the Anglophone CI group, CAZAB, just before moving into the staff, and the accusation against Bennett came up in that meeting. We immediately started a review of that accusation, found it unfounded, and went to Ottawa to advise the RCMP chief and deputy. However, they said that they had started their own investigation, and were very suspicious, but when CAZAB met again in Melbourne the following year, they said they had ended their investigation. The suspicion ended completely when a KGB officer who defected in 1985 said that the KGB penetration of the RCMP had been Bennett's deputy—Brunet. The new CI Staff mistake is not having followed up the operational losses which the RCMP had suffered and come up with another suspect—hopefully Brunet. Even had we done so, of course, the possibility of convincing the FBI that their operation was compromised was not that likely. A significant fact which our limited CI Staff experience had kept from us was that the KGB had met only one of their other sources in Canada, an army recruit who appeared to be under KGB suspicion. Had we known that, we might have speculated that the KGB had a special reason for meeting someone in Canada—an RCMP penetration (but not Bennett).

Trento's worst departure from the truth probably is his account of the CI Staff after Angleton's retirement several months later. The new CI Staff did not undertake any action intended to discredit Angleton, and certainly the commissioning of Cleve Cram to do the Angleton CI Staff history had no such purpose. In fact, Cram worked directly with Angleton to acquire accurate information on Angleton's involvement in particular actions of the CI Staff. And the new staff officers had nothing to do with Cram's work except to provide him whatever we could find relating to past CI Staff activities in which he was interested. We never saw his long history of the Angleton CI Staff. It was handled on an “Eyes Only" basis. The study on Angleton by Petty was done well before we new staff officers got into the staff, and we were not involved in evaluating the study, Trento wrong again. Contrary to Trento, we had nothing to do with the Boyce and Kampiles cases. Trento makes a common mistake, confusing the responsibilities of Security, the FBI, and CIA counterintelligence.

The Secret History of the CIA, Joseph J. Trento, 2001

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Commentary: The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

The identity of Golitsyn's highly exaggerated CIA penetration "SASHA" is resolved unequivocally here. The individual involved was Aleksandr G. Kopatskiy, alias Koischwitz, (eventually "Igor Orlov") and his pseudonym was not Sasha, but other vague information Golitsyn reported about him was correct, just not enough to identify him for certain. Presumably that leaves open the report of Nosenko that there was a KGB asset with the pseudonym "SASHA" somewhere in the US military.

A peculiar aspect of the background of KGB/StB asset Koecher, cited here, a Soviet Division translator who compromised CKTRIGON, is that he had broken off KGB/StB relations when he joined CIA in 1973. Not long after his security clearance, including polygraph, had come through, he applied to the StB to establish his role as a CIA penetration, which was accepted by the StB/KGB.

Nosenko is credited with our finding forty bugs in bamboo tubes behind the radiators in the US embassy, in direct contradiction to the report questioning Nosenko's bona fides, that Golitsyn's report of the bugs was just duplicated by Nosenko.

Nosenko's treatment by CIA is denigrated, based on Mitrokhin's documents, in which he is cited by the KGB as having been called a "particularly dangerous traitor", to be liquidated by a KGB illegal, along with Golitsyn, should they appear at the 1967 Montreal World Fair.

When the KGB could track down only two defectors from 1973 to 1979, probably Petrov and Deryabin, the KGB chief dismissed them, saying that if Lyalin and Nosenko could be found, he would approve their assassination. After Artamonov was killed by a drug overdose when he was kidnapped by the KGB in Vienna in 1975, the KGB chief asked those responsible which medal they would prefer, for killing a traitor. So much for the theories of some CIA officers that Nosenko and Artamonov were really KGB assets.

Another witch hunt which Mitrokhin puts to rest is Wright's Golitsyn-inspired effort to prove that his MI-5 chief or deputy, Hollis or Mitchell, was a KGB asset. Mitrokhin found nothing even suggesting that either of them was a KGB developmental operation. Another Wright suspect, Labor party chief Wilson, also is exonerated by Mitrokhin's documents. These findings were confirmed by defected KGB London rezident, and MI-5 asset , Gordiyevskiy. Wright's acknowledged technical expertise hardly qualified him to be a counterintelligence analyst.

The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Commentary: Der Überläufer

The author had been my primary contact on East German matters in the West German Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz (BfV) from 1978 until 1985. His defection in August 1985, three months after my retirement in Europe, came very much as a surprise. Strangely, I am referred to in the book as "John McCoy". Of course, while, in our discussions, in German, we referred to one another as “Herr Tiedge" and "Herr McCoy", it is odd that Tiedge never learned, or had forgotten, my first name! I am described as having left Vietnam on the last helicopter, which obviously relates to Tom Polgar, our last COS Saigon, whom Tiedge also had met. Tiedge learned of the volunteering of his subordinate, Kuron, to the MfS after his defection.

Der Überläufer, Hans Joachim Tiedge, 1998

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Commentary: Battleground Berlin

Numerous authors have reported that our Berlin tunnel, from which we collected Soviet phone calls made from Germany from Spring 1955 to Spring 1956, was producing only information prepared for us by the KGB, as they had known of the tunnel long before it was dug. Their penetration of MI-6, George Blake, was the recorder of the meeting we held with the British to discuss the tunnel plan. In fact, as the KGB co-author of the book, who was aware of the KGB action to have the tunnel "discovered" without compromising Blake, stated that the KGB had tried to increase security in phone conversations on the cables running through the tunnel, but could not take action to alert users of the lines, or even KGB officers who were not cleared to know of the Blake operation. Therefore, the information which we acquired from the tunnel was actually reliable and valuable as generally concluded at the time.

Battleground Berlin, David E. Murphy, 1997

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Commentary: Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

Right after Ogorodnik (CKTRIGON) was arrested and committed suicide in KGB hands in Moscow, in July 1977, DCI Turner sent me a memo directing me to investigate his compromise, and come up with a conclusion in two weeks. When I started to work on it, reviewing Ogorodnik's production, which was no longer coming automatically to the CI Staff, as it would have in Angleton's days, I ran onto the disturbing cable cited here which appeared to report Kissinger's briefing the Soviet ambassador on US strategy for the SALT talks. In spite of that startling diversion, I went on with the investigation, which included visiting our translation/transcription team , which eventually turned out to harbor the Communist penetration which compromised Ogorodnik. That was Koecher, a Czech who had entered the US in 1965, was hired by us in 1973, and was not exposed by a Czech defector for another seven years. Had I even learned of his background, it is doubtful that I could have persuaded Security/FBI to conduct an investigation of him, including another polygraph examination. Since it had nothing to do with Ames, it is not quite clear why it appears here.

Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, Pete Earley, 1997

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Commentary: Wedge

There is a good discussion of the contradictory reception of Golitsyn and Nosenko by CIA and the FBI, the FBI correctly accepting Nosenko as bona fide and doubting Golitsyn's theories and conclusions. However, in referring to Golitsyn's statement about CIA penetrations, it is not correct to give Golitsyn any credit in that respect. When first asked, including in a private meeting with DCI Dulles, whether he knew of any KGB penetration of CIA, he said he did not. He later came up with his "Sasha" lead, which led to false accusations against three case officers , but eventually turned out to be a low-level operational support agent in Munich and Berlin. But "Sasha" had been dismissed by CIA some months before Golitsyn defected. Nosenko is referred to as having duplicated Golitsyn's report on KGB technical penetration of the US embassy in Moscow. The significant difference is that Golitsyn's report was followed up by technical experts searching for such microphones in the embassy, but found none. In his report, Nosenko pointed out that the microphones and wiring were hidden behind the pipes and radiators of the heating system. The search was made and the microphones found. Nosenko has been blamed for not having reported on the microphone systems being installed in the new embassy building, but when the technicians tracked the wires to the roof of the existing embassy, they found another set of wires installed to support microphone installation in the new embassy building. They were buried in a similar manner to those in the old embassy building, but even more deeply embedded in the reinforcing cables.

The reporting on our replacement of Angleton and his staff operationally has little accurate objective information in it. it starts off saying that we wanted to reopen the KITTY HAWK operation, which was never so. The new staff came into it with no warning at all, only that Artamonov was scheduled to meet the KGB in Vienna in December 1975. We met with the FBI, whose case it was, to work out the plan for the meeting. We were described as having had no CI experience, although the Analysis element of the new staff was composed almost entirely of officers who had served in the Soviet Division CI Branch , and all had been involved in the major Soviet operations for up to 20 years. As Angleton had never cut the Soviet Division in on the operation, but turned it over to Security, it seemed time to place it back in the Clandestine Service by getting rid of the Security officer involved. The FBI objected when we met to discuss the operation, so he stayed on for the Vienna trip. There was no indication in the record that Angleton opposed Vienna at all, but the last meeting having taken place in Canada three years ago should have aroused our suspicions. At that point, Angleton had tried to use the meeting to prove his totally unjustified suspicions of the RCMP counterintelligence chief. There was no CIA conclusion that KITTY HAWK had been a provocateur, whether FBI thought so or not.

The ironic aspect of the CIA/FBI relations at that time was that the FBI decided that FEDORA and TOPHAT were under KGB control. By that time, we had asked the FBI to let us review the intelligence that TOPHAT had provided, to evaluate his bona fides. They agreed, and-we sent two of our most experienced CI analysts to the FBI to work for several days on their files. They returned with the conclusion that he was bona fide, a conclusion with which the FBI did not agree and which left them angry. TOPHAT continued to work for us very productively in Moscow, in Rangoon, and during his two tours in New Delhi. Not quite the KGB approach. FEDORA also continued to report reliably, although he was close to leaving New York after his second assignment and going into retirement.

There is an odd reference to the Kampiles case, stating that our photo analysts found the Soviets evading the KH-11 collection operation and that the FBI tracked down Kampiles. It was our asset in the GRU in Athens who identified Kampiles as having delivered the manual to the Soviets. The reference to Koecher, who compromised Ogorodnik (not Ogorodnikov), our asset in the Soviet Foreign Ministry , is of interest from the standpoint of just when the FBI began suspecting him. Koecher had been in the country for 8 years when we hired him in 1973 as a translator, (and polygraphed him with no deception indicated) but the FBI is said to have started their case against him in 1982—a little late for us, as he compromised Ogorodnik in 1977.

Wedge, Mark Riebling, 1994

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Commentary: Case Closed

Regarding Nosenko's statement that the KGB had sent a cable to him in Geneva giving a phony reason for his returning at once to Moscow, the author makes the sensible argument that if he had been dispatched by the KGB, the KGB would surely have made a cable readily available to support his statement.

Case Closed, Gerald Posner, 1993

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Commentary: The Spy Who Saved the World

Before the authors started writing this impressive book, they called me to visit them in the CIA office where they were working—since most of their reference material was classified. They just asked me to provide them with a list of those persons most able to provide them details of the operation and the impact of Penkovskiy's reporting. That was the last time I spoke to them, as l was leaving at once to accompany my wife on her assignment to Europe.

One puzzling thing that comes up in the book is the report that Kisevalter was born in the North Caucasus—that has appeared in other books, but he was actually born in St. Petersburg, as stated in "CIA Spymaster", essentially his autobiography.

As stated, my primary function with the Penkovskiy operational team was to provide the guidance as to what Penkovskiy should try to collect for us. That meant conducting liaison with MI-5, MI-6, and the British Defense Department. After each meeting with Penkovskiy, it was a matter of debriefing the team to see if there was anything timely or critical which needed to be forwarded to HQ at once, then briefing the team on matters to be taken up in the next meeting. After the September meetings in Paris, the British team leader, Shergold, told me that he wanted me to come to London, interview their Russian speakers, and set up a translation task force. When I sent that proposal to HQ, a message came back saying that the team was to be set up at HQ under my direction. Upon returning to HQ after the April meetings in London, I interviewed our Russian speakers and set up a translation team in Central Building; the second MI-6 case officer, Mike Stokes, was assigned as my partner, with the official title of MI-6 deputy station chief, and stayed with me for over a year.

That function was to review Penkovskiy's incoming documents, assign them priorities, review the translations, and take them to HQ for processing into reports. After reports were published, it was my responsibility to react to customer requests to use the information in finished intelligence, which meant visiting the agencies making the requests and assuring that their use of the information was not a risk to Penkovskiy's security, and that everything he had reported was included in their analysis.

The chapter " Return to London" omits an unpleasant operational development which was to reappear later in Paris to impact adversely on MI-6/CIA relations. When I arrived in London about a week before the second series of meetings started, in July 1961, to coordinate with MI-6, COS Wisner called me in and asked me to look at a HQ cable . The cable accused MI-6 of trying to steal the operation in Moscow, when the MI-6 station chief there wore a recognition signal so that Penkovskiy could, and did, identify him as a reliable contact.

Wisner asked for my opinion, and I replied that this was unhelpful nonsense. He thanked me and I left. When our team got there for the meetings, Wisner called for a meeting in the Carleton Gardens offices where we were meeting. The team met and Wisner asked Bulik to make his case. After he finished, Shergold responded. Wisner then thanked both of them and called the meeting over.

Another unfortunate complication arose when certain senior officers in HQ thought Penkovskiy should be polygraphed, in spite of the large volume of high- quality information he had already provided in the first series of some 20 meetings. The entire team opposed that for that reason. Also, the interpreter for cosmonaut Gagarin, who was visiting London, Belitskiy, had been recruited by us in Brussels in 1958, and had just been polygraphed. Asked to review his reporting, I concluded that he was under KGB control, in spite of the strong opinion of the polygraph operator and case officer that he was bona fide. MI-6 knew of my opinion, which did not help give them a strong feeling for the polygraph. (My Belitskiy analysis was not accepted by HQ until Golitsyn and Nosenko walked in and confirmed it in January 1962/June 1962!)

The report of Penkovskiy's being spotted walking down the Champs Elysees as the three-man American team sat at a café having a glass of wine is not quite right. When I saw him coming, I alerted Bulik, who, after he knew Penkovskiy saw him, got up and walked into an alley beside the café. Penkovskiy followed him, and after a few minutes, Bulik came back out, but Penkovskiy did not.

The awards which Quentin Johnson brought out from HQ for George and Joe were meant primarily to reassure George of our faith in him just before he was to be removed from the operation. .Ioe protested that an award also should be given to me, and Johnson said that would happen later. It never did. Some months after the operation ended in October 1962, my chief and l were given awards for preparation and dissemination of the Penkovskiy production. My involvement in the operational

team was never recognized until Shergold came to HQ in March 1998 and spoke about the operation to a full house in the HQ auditorium. When he started by identifying the team members, he gave my name and characterized me as “the unsung hero of the operation". In the "Circle of Treason", Vertefeuille and Grimes, is the statement: "The operational development by the CIA and its British partner, SIS (Special Intelligence Service), to capitalize on the opportunity has rightly been termed the most successful in the history of espionage". It remains a mystery after these 50 years as to why the “unsung hero" of the "most successful operation in the history of espionage" has never received from the CIA any recognition for that achievement!

The Spy Who Saved the World, Peter S. Deryabin and Jerrold L. Schecter, 1992

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book Commentary: Molehunt

The account of the Golitsyn arrival and behavior is well done. But once again, the role of the CI Staff is distorted, claiming that it is responsible for preventing penetration of CIA. That is not its function, which is why Ames was identified as a penetration by the Soviet Division in which he worked , not by the CI Staff ( or the Office of Security (05), whose job it was). As Helms is quoted as having said later in an interview by the author ” was Angleton who raised the possibilities, but investigations had to be conducted by 05, not by Angleton". Angleton never mentioned Ames.

The Belitskiy case is raised and presented from the viewpoint of the case officer, who had first met Belitskiy in Brussels in 1958, and was always reluctant to admit that he had been taken in by Belitskiy, and that Belitskiy was at that time under KGB control. I reported that Belitskiy was under KGB control when l was asked to review his reporting in London in April 1961, and reported it to C/CI Staff at his request, but HQ did not accept it until Golitsyn confirmed that in January 1962 and Nosenko in June 1962.

There is a peculiar account of the meeting of Artamonov with the KGB in Montreal in 1972, at which time RCMP C/CI Bennett was advised of the upcoming meeting to monitor his actions and see if he alerted the KGB. This account alleges that Bennett was warned of such a meeting but that there was no such meeting actually planned. The meeting was planned, and took place, but the snowstorm at the time left the conclusion uncertain.

Another error arises regarding the codewords for Penkovskiy's material—the separation was not of missile from other material, but separation of his documentary material (IRONBARK) from his oral reporting (CHICKADEE).

There is a discussion of responsibility for Loginov’s being turned over to the South Africans, with an unnamed station chief citing Angleton as being behind it. That is correct. Just before it happened, the Loginov case officer called me and told me that was about to happen. I called DCI Helms the next day and objected that Loginov was bona fide, only accused because he supported Nosenko's bona fides. Helms was irritated, and said "That is out of my hands, Jim (Angleton) is handling that".

In describing our correction of the case of Norwegian secretary Lygren, accused by Angleton of being a KGB agent, the new CI Staff chief, Kalaris, is said to have assigned my deputy to review the

case. In fact, I assigned that job to my deputy, and approved his conclusion that Lygren was bona fide. Then Kalaris is described as tall and thin—totally untrue, more descriptive of us two deputies. In describing the recovery of classified documents from Golitsyn, CI Staff Operations deputy Sternfield is said to have managed that project, while it was actually two of my officers who did that.

Molehunt, David Wise, 1992

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Book Commentary: Seven Spies Who Changed the World

The strange aspect of this book is that it identifies Greville Wynne, a go-between of MI-6 with Penkovskiy, as one of the seven major spies, instead of Penkovskiy. West correctly cites almost of Wynne's accounts of his personal involvement in the Penkovskiy and other cases, as false. A good example is Wynne's story that he and Penkovskiy went to the US and met with President Kennedy, which West personally determined correctly had never happened. He identifies Harry (Mike) Stokes as the MI-6 deputy in Washington at the time—actually, he was my partner in the Penkovskiy translation task force.

Seven Spies Who Changed the World, Nigel West, 1991

Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Commentary: KGB: The Inside Story

Soviet ambassador Dobrynin is described as having had “secret discussions" with Henry Kissinger which are called a "back channel" between Moscow and Washington , and having “paved the way for détente". This raises again the statement by Goleniewski several years after his defection that Kissinger was working for the KGB, and the April 1977 cable in the CKTRIGON case which allegedly is a report by Dobrynin of a discussion of START talks with Kissinger.

There is an account of the recruitment of the Norwegian secretary in Moscow, Gunvor Haavik, who was the KGB asset about whom Golitsyn's usually vague information led to CIA's (

Angleton/Golitsyn) falsely accusing Norwegian military intelligence chief's secretary Ingeborg Lygren.

KGB: The Inside Story, Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, 1990

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Commentary: Widows

When Trento came to CIA to ask for someone to assist him in writing up our relationship with Artamonov, l was designated to assist him. Although my secretary in the Soviet Division , handling the processing of reporting in the late 60's, was the wife of another major figure in this book, John Paisley, I had no part in the section dealing with Paisley.

The first case he discusses is James Kronthal, whom he identifies as a KGB agent. That is not true. After his suicide in 1953, his history was thoroughly reviewed, and the conclusion, supported by his suicide letter (being homosexual was part of his suicide decision), was that he had not been a KGB asset in any way.

The problem with evaluating Trento's writing is that it is a series of theorized, imagined, or even false, statements. The latter is a good example of what the author uses as "evidence" or reasoning for his conclusions—the allegation that defector Deryabin provided information "unmasking" two KGB penetrations of the German BND—Deryabin did say that there were two penetrations, but had no detail at all on who they might be, so they continued to work for the KGB for another seven years after Deryabin's defection. One of the totally unfounded theories at this point is that the Polish defector who did identify the BND penetrations returned to KGB service after defecting to the US in early 1961! The allegation that Cleve Cram was to do a review of the case against Angleton is also nonsense—he was assigned to do the history of counterintelligence, which Angleton had basically turned down when made that offer by Colby. Cram was not selected or appointed by the new CI Staff but by the DD/O. The description of David Sullivan's behavior in the Office of Strategic Research, which John Paisley headed for a while, is far from the truth. He had no relationship with either the Soviet Division or the CI Staff, until the Soviet Division asked OSR for an analyst who could provide advice on complicated and technical reporting and Sullivan was assigned. Had he worked with the Soviet Division previously, he would have had to work with me, as I was the Division officer responsible for coordinating with OSR.

The FBI sources in the KGB and GRU, FEDORA and TOPHAT, are again described as having been identified by the FBI as under KGB control. These assessments were not shared by CIA after Angleton left the CI Staff, and CIA continued running them and evaluating their information as accurate for several more years. The TOPHAT reporting was reviewed by CI Staff officers in 1976 and found to be valid. The negative evaluations of FEDORA and TOPHAT bona fides by FBI CI chief Nolan and Angleton proved wrong over time.

The reference to Kissinger in the CKTRIGON cable supposedly reporting his discussion of the START talks with ambassador Dobrynin departs again from the truth. It is stated that the cable was an NSA intercept—not so, according to Sullivan's report, after taking the cable to NSA for analysis. And I never had any suspicion that Kissinger might have compromised CKTRIGON, nor any question of his loyalty as a result of Goleniewski's reporting eight years after he defected in 1961. The compromise of CKTRIGON was not known until six years later, when Koecher was discovered to have been a KGB agent while transcribing CKTRIGON's reporting. Again, the report of the handling of the cable citing Kissinger as revealing US SALT strategy is filled with assumptions and allegations. The translated cable was not shown to Sullivan by me, only the print from the original negative, and Soviet communications permitted NSA no analysis which would show whether a particular cable had been sent. Koecher was never given operational details on Soviet Division cases—even his transcriptions were essentially anonymous. There was no direct identification of CKTRlGON—he could be identified only by the information in his reporting which revealed his location and knowledge, which is why his reporting continued for some time after Koecher turned over his reports to the StB/ KGB.

The report of Sullivan's polygraph and its involvement of me lacks important facts. The totally false impression following the polygraphing was that I had been a party to Sullivan's passing CIA information to Senator Jackson. That is why DCI Turner demoted me in 1978. That demotion was removed and my rank restored in 2001, after Sullivan had provided me a full report of the facts relating to his relationship with Senator Jackson and the details of my request to him to have the original cable checked by NSA, and after I sent his detailed report to CIA from my job in Europe.

The case built up piece by invalid piece, making the case that Paisley was a KGB asset is utter nonsense. Everything that has no absolutely clear explanation, or could be somehow used to support that outlandish theory, is taken as evidence against him, then tied to other imaginative suspicions to support that case. There has never been any evidence whatsoever, from internal or FBI investigations, or from the reporting of our internal KGB assets or defectors, to suggest in any way that Paisley reported to a hostile intelligence service. His death was surely the consequence of the miserable life which he had come to lead, and the absence of any basis for looking ahead and seeing his life change for the better. Should there be any serious question as to whether the body found and identified as him is truly Paisley, DNA tests today would settle it.

The next case taken up in this book, Artamonov/ Shadrin, is the case l was designated to discuss with the Trentos. The author had already previously cast doubt on the report of KGB defector Yurchenko that Shadrin was killed by accident when captured in Vienna in December 1975. That fact was confirmed later by a KGB officer who had been involved personally in the incident (who is now a US citizen). That should remove any credibility of the last chapter here on Shadrin, a long concoction of another totally factless plot of which Artamonov was supposedly a KGB tool. There are even reports here of his having been seen later in Moscow! The authors present a photo in the book which purportedly shows Artamonov at a funeral in Moscow—a photo obviously either prepared by the KGB or happening to have someone in it with some similarity to Artamonov.

Widows, William R. Corson, Susan B. Trento, Joseph J. Trento, 1989

Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Commentary: Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition

With no intelligence background, only his experience in the Navy, Turner focused heavily on the organization and management of CIA, bringing several of his former Navy associates into CIA management. After some consideration, he decided to eliminate 820 persons from the CIA staff. Two of them came to me for aid. One was an excellent case officer, with Russian language, who had recently carried out a major operational mission in Moscow. He was just somewhat more than a year short of retirement age, and he was homosexual. My recommendation was that he be granted that time for retirement, others joined in, and he was retired on annuity instead of being fired. The other had very good Russian, and I proposed that he be assigned to my department in the CI Staff . That was approved, and 20 years later we worked together in the Middle East on contract, and he is still working in Russia House.

Although Angleton had been gone for two years by the time Turner became DCI, Turner makes some appropriate comments about Angleton’s career as chief of the CI Staff for 20 years. As an example, he cites the Nosenko case, and Angleton’s totally inept and unprofessional assessment of Nosenko as a KGB asset sent to deceive us about important intelligence and political developments, including the assassination of President Kennedy. Turner goes into some depth regarding the Nosenko case, pointing out specifically and correctly that Helms as DD/P and DCI was very much to blame for not supervising Angleton and countering his actions against Nosenko, staff officers whom he falsely accused or suspected of being KGB penetrations, and his support of the Golitsyn analysis that the Sino-Soviet dispute was a fraud intended to deceive Western governments. Turner cites his excellent decision that all new officers read the Hart study of the Nosenko case done in 1976. He makes no reference to my involvement in the clearing of Nosenko, which concludes in ——”Circle of Treason” (Vertefeuille and Grimes, 2012) with the statement: —Thanks to McCoy alone...the vindication of Nosenko and his release from CIA imprisonment”. When Cleve Cram was interviewing Angleton at his home in 1975, before Angleton formally retired in September, Angleton suddenly asked him to turn off the recorder. Cram did so. Angleton then said that his career had been ended by the paper McCoy wrote on Nosenko. "Therefore", he said “McCoy is the KGB penetration of CIA that l have been searching for". Wrong again.

In his discussion of the CI Staff, Turner is quite complimentary about the operation of the new CI Staff under the management of George Kalaris as chief and deputies as chief of Research and Analysis, and Operations. Considering, as chief of CI Research and Analysis, that all of the review and correction of the disastrous and unprofessional actions of Angleton were my responsibility (e.g. Nosenko, RCMP CI chief Bennett, Norwegian intelligence service secretary Lygren, etc), it would not have been out of place for Turner to have mentioned that. He is once more precisely and deadly accurate in deploring the ongoing myth that counterintelligence had suffered a grievous blow in the departure of Angleton. My position included approval of operational clearance requests and supervision of CI defectors (Golitsyn, Nosenko, Deryabin, Rastvorov...). The reason for Turner’s reluctance to mention my involvement in these major CI developments may be apparent in his discussion of CIA analysts. He describes the event in which David Sullivan, a DI analyst, delivered a highly classified document to Admiral Zumwalt (then to Senator Jackson). When that came out on Sullivan’s polygraph test, Turner fired Sullivan. That is when Turner involved me—Sullivan had been identified to the clandestine service Soviet Division by his superior as the analyst to consult when we received intelligence more complicated or significant than we could evaluate properly. As the Soviet Division officer handling all of that material (from Penkovskiy, Kuklinski, etc), I had consulted him several times.

After we had lost an important asset in Moscow in July 1977 ("Widow Spy“, Martha Peterson, 2012), Sullivan came to me and mentioned the last report from CKTRIGON, a cable from the Soviet embassy in Washington to Moscow, purporting to report a discussion between the Soviet ambassador and Secretary Kissinger. That report had been translated by the division and disseminated only to the White House. Sullivan said that he was still consulting regularly with the special branch at NSA which was responsible for Soviet communications, and would be glad to take the Soviet cable to NSA for their evaluation. That was an excellent opportunity for me, and l retrieved the only copy of the original cable and asked him to take it to NSA and see if they could find anything supporting the fact that it had been sent. He asked for the translation version, and I told him that all NSA needed was the original Russian cable. He took it and came back the next day, saying that NSA had no comment.

In early 1978, as l was preparing to go to Europe on assignment, I was visited by a Security officer who asked if I had given a Soviet cable to Sullivan, as he had reported on his polygraph test. Yes, I had. A few days later, the Director of Security called and asked if I knew that l was to go to the DCl’s office the next day to be fired. I did not know that. Then I was called to go to the DCl’s office and wait to be interviewed by the DCI. I went there, and sat outside the DCI conference room waiting to be called in. After about a half hour, Sullivan came out. As he went past, he said that he had been fired. About 15 minutes later, the new C/CI Staff came out and said that I could go back to work. A couple of weeks later, I was called to the DCl’s office. I went in and found Turner and D/DCI Carlucci waiting. Turner said that, because I had cooperated with Sullivan in giving the special report to Jackson, he was demoting me. I stated that l had not given the translated report to Sullivan at all, much less for him to give to Jackson. Turner reached to the file on his desk, picked up a brown manila envelope, and said that I had, as he had it right there. A few days later, l left for six years in Europe. The demotion went into effect in September 1978. In 1985, as my tour was to end, I asked HQ what to expect as a reassignment. There was never any formal reply, so I had no choice but to retire two years early, in May 1985.

In May 2000, having returned to the States to accompany my son in his last year of high school, I was working in the Headquarters area declassifying clandestine Service documents. A contact in the History staff who knew of my demotion said that Sullivan had now retired to Whidbey Island, and would undoubtedly be willing to tell me the whole story about his polygraph test. He gave me Sullivan's e-mail address. Upon return to Europe, I sent Sullivan a summary of my meeting with Turner and requested that he give me a report of his polygraph test. He did that, making clear that I had not given him the document which he gave to Senator Jackson and that I had had no part in that action. I sent that report to HQ, verbatim. A few months later, in July 2001, I learned that my grade had been restored. When I returned to HQ, after my wife's retirement in 2002, I learned from Mike Sulick that he had received my cable, sent Jack Downing to visit Turner with it, and that Turner had agreed to restoration of my grade. That unfortunate, confused, polygraph test may be the reason why Turner had nothing positive to say about me in his reporting of major developments with which I was involved and which he reported on as having occurred during his service as DCI, as his book came out in 1985, and the matter was not resolved until 2001.

Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition, Stansfield Turner, 1985

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Commentary: Spycatcher

As the MI-5 senior technical officer, Wright was involved in the technical aspects of the Penkovskiy meetings in April and July 1961 in London. He comments that Penkovskiy alerted the West to the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. That is not true—one of Penkovskiy's documents described the missile site so that the missile could be identified and its readiness for launch be determined. I dealt with Wright only once, just before he retired, but none of the things in his book were discussed then.

More significant is Wright's theory that the Penkovskiy operation was a disinformation operation resulting from a supposed KGB extensive deception activity alleged by Golitsyn to be in its initial stages. He first cites the timing of Penkovskiy's contact with the West, but bases his theory in large part on his statement that Penkovskiy visited the American Embassy, known to be well-penetrated technically by the KGB. However, that is absolutely untrue—Penkovskiy never entered the embassy.

Wright also mistakenly identifies the origin of Penkovskiy's documents on missiles—not from an uncle in the GRU, but from Penkovskiy’s mentor and protector—commander of Soviet tactical missiles Chief Marshal of Artillery Varentsov. Wright's allegation that Penkovskiy's reporting from Varentsov misled us about minimal Soviet strategic missile capability is nonsense—the information was quite right, and gave the US government the information it needed to stand up to the Soviets in Berlin and Cuba.

Wright also incorrectly states that the KGB and GRU officers who walked in to the FBI in New York in 1962, FEDORA and TOPHAT, were identified by all US agencies as KGB provocations, and gave false information supporting Penkovskiy (and Nosenko). The CI Staff under Angleton, and the FBI CI staff under Nolan , did so, but both sources continued to report significant information for several years after those incorrect assessments, and were evaluated as bona fide by CIA after Angleton left the CI Staff in December 1974. The doubts about TOPHAT came up again when he provided information leading to the arrest of British national Bossard in 1965, who had been supplying American missile documents to the KGB. Again, instead of accepting this event as obvious support of TOPHAT's bona fides, Wright speculates as to why the KGB had given up Bossard!

Spycatcher, Peter Wright, 1982

Book Commentary: Mole

The last chapter focuses on Nosenko, presenting the negative case against him as was developed in the CI Staff while Hood was executive officer there. Emphasis is placed on Golitsyn's report that there was a KGB agent in "the highest echelons of US intelligence", after his having told DCI Dulles that there was no such penetration. Eventually, it turned out that the penetration ("Sasha") was a low-level support asset in Berlin who had already come under suspicion and been dismissed by CIA before Golitsyn defected.

Nosenko's report of the disinterested reaction of the KGB to Oswald's defection is strongly belittled, as was often the case. Once again, Oswald's suicide attempt and the reported instruction of Culture Minister Furtseva that he not be interviewed by the KGB are not taken into account. That he was no doubt monitored in Minsk by local security is certain, and Nosenko apparently did report that. The author makes a comment which should have been given more attention in the Nosenko case: "But obvious clues are rarely the best explanation of counterintelligence problems". A good point made about Nosenko's sometimes contradictory reporting is that he might originally have been meant to be a long-term deception agent, but after Kennedy's assassination, the KGB decided to take action at once to remove any suspicion of Soviet responsibility for that. Even then, the confusing recollections or memory lapses of Nosenko do not fit the consequent argument that Nosenko had been a KGB officer prepared or intended in any respect to be a deception agent deliberately dispatched by the KGB. Nothing to support such an argument has appeared from an asset or defector in the 50 years since his walking in to us in 1962, entirely to the contrary.

Mole, William Hood, 1982

Book Commentary: Shadrin: The Spy Who Never Came Back

After Artamonov arrived in Sweden, the author implies that the U.S. Navy was somehow responsible for bringing him to the US. Not so. As stated herein, British intelligence had sent their expert to Sweden to try to get him to the UK. What is not stated here is that Khrushchev was about to visit Sweden, which placed Artamonov in danger of being returned to the USSR at Khrushchev's personal request. That is when I went to Angleton, described the situation to him, and he called Dulles to have him contact Swedish official Olaf Palme. Artamonov then was turned over to us, and we worked very closely with the U.S. Navy, especially Lt. Cdr. Tom Dwyer, to debrief Artamonov, after he had been processed at the Defection Reception Center in Frankfurt. Oddly, the author says CIA had little interest in Artamonov—untrue, as we had an Interpreter working with him almost every day for the first few months. He was not "turned over to naval intelligence”, but shared with the navy for the first few months.

When the effort to recruit Artamonov for the double agent operation with the KGB is cited, there is an implication that I may have had something to do with recruiting him for that assignment. That never happened—l met Artamonov only once, probably in 1963, well before the call to Helms which initiated the double agent operation, and had no knowledge of the operation at all until I entered the CI Staff in March 1975.

The mistake is repeated here—that DCI Colby fired Angleton—not so—he offered him another job, basically to do a review of his 20 years as chief of the CI Staff, and Angleton declined. Nor did Angleton retire in December 1974, actually not until almost a year later, and he stayed in his own office for several weeks before the new chief, Kalaris, had the courage to ask him to move to the adjacent office. Angleton's staff and several of his key analysts, including the one who had made a case that Angleton was a KGB agent, retired at the same time.

The assumption that I had any knowledge of the call from the KGB officer to Helms, and had anything to do with Artamonov’s "recruitment" by the KGB is untrue. The discussion is handled as though the recruitment and running of Artamonov were CIA functions—not so, as the case belonged to the FBI, and CIA became involved only when Artamonov was met in Montreal and Vienna. 50 it was not CIA's decision to have Artamonov meet with the KGB again, but the FBI's.

Cynthia Hausmann, who was to be the CIA contact with Artamonov in Vienna, had not worked with me in the Reports Branch, nor was she still in the Soviet Division CI branch, as stated here; she was now working for me in the CI Staff. Another inaccuracy is the speculation that my trip to Australia in mid-1977 had anything to do with Artamonov—it was entirely for another CAZAB meeting with the Australian service as our host. An unfortunate event after that was the meeting of Mrs. Shadrin and her lawyer, the relentless Copaken, with DCI Turner. I knew that Turner had met with the president's security advisor and I told Copaken that the case had been taken up with the president. I expected Turner to explain to Copaken that he had spoken to the security advisor, but was certain that the advisor would pass the message to the president—instead, Turner flew into a vulgar rage. My subsequent transfer overseas was not because of the KGB-concocted CKTRIGON cable about Secretary of State Kissinger leaking SALT strategy to Soviet ambassador Dobrynin. My assignment to Europe had been decided some months previously.

The author goes into the Nosenko case, unfortunately essentially accepting the case made against him. That argument includes the standard argument that any KGB asset we had who supported Nosenko’s bona fides also was under KGB control.

Shadrin: The Spy Who Never Came Back, Henry Hurt, 1981