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

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