Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
2


You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Bagley had more choice things to say about John L. Hart (and Bruce "Gumshoe" Solie, and Tommy Mangold's buddy Leonard "I Have No Counterintelligence Experience" McCoy) in the remainder of his book.

Can you find them in these excerpts, or shall I "highlight" them for you?


In early October 1 968, after months spent reviewing the case and consulting with
Nosenko, CIA security officer Bruce Solie submitted a long report that wiped out
all doubts about Nosenko. Within hours, evidently without taking the time to
assess the validity of the report, CIA made its “final decision.” Its deputy director
ruled "that Nosenko was a legitimate defector. . . . [He] has not knowingly and
willfully withheld information from us and there is no conflict between what we
have learned from him and what we have learned from other defectors or infor-
mants that would cast any doubts on his bona fides." 11

This decision was validated by yet another CIA review of the Nosenko case in
1976. Just how firmly it supported Nosenko’s bona fides was demonstrated two
years later when the CIA director sent the leader of that review process to testify
for him before Congress in September 1978. As described above, the director’s
spokesman (John L. Hart) testified under oath to Nosenko’s complete honesty
and the incompetence and failure of those who distrusted him. 12



APPENDIX B 259


CIA’s adamant state of denial was baldly expressed by one of its top coun-
terintelligence officials. He declared flatly that if Nosenko ever told fibs, they
“were not [spoken] at the behest of the KGB" but only “to inflate his personal
prestige, . . . self-serving braggadocio ... [to make himself] more important, more
decent, perhaps more like what his father would have wished him to be.” 13

To these findings a director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, gave
his top-level authority. He proclaimed to CIA personnel in writing that “it was
eventually determined that [Nosenko] had defected of his own free will, had not
sought to deceive us and had indeed supplied very valuable intelligence informa-
tion to the U.S. Government. The hypothesis which had led to the original . . .
[conclusion that Mr. Nosenko had defected under KGB orders] was found to have
been based on inadequate evidence.” In his memoirs, moreover, Turner described
those who had distrusted Nosenko as “a group of Agency paranoids.” 14

How did this happen? How did truth get buried and fiction become doctrine?

The first, essential step for anyone anxious to believe in Nosenko and to clear
him of suspicions was to suppress the facts of the case.

Not one of Nosenko’s defenders addressed the questions raised by, for exam-
ple, Nosenko’s association with Guk and Kislov in Geneva, or the clash between
Nosenko’s (authoritative) account and the real circumstances of Kovshuk's trip to
Washington, or the connections of Nosenko’s stories with the KGB’s uncovering
of CIA’s great spies Pyotr Popov and Oleg Penkovsky. In presenting a “true" ver-
sion of Nosenko's life and career they failed to mention that it was a sixth or
seventh version (and not the last).

Ignoring the inconvenient aspects, the mythmakers fabricated a wholly new
picture. They did this by 1) misrepresenting Nosenko the man and his truthful-
ness, 2) grossly exaggerating the value of his reporting, 3) building a straw man of
(false) reasons for suspecting him, then knocking the straw man down rather
than addressing the real reasons, 4) vilifying CIA colleagues who suspected No-
senko, 5) diverting attention from the real issues, and 6) ridiculing the very idea
of Soviet deception.

1. Misrepresenting Nosenko’s truthfulness:

Nosenko’s defenders abandoned objectivity, consistency, and truth in extol-
ling his personal qualities. One wrote of the "fundamental nobility” of his nature
while another testified under oath that “anything that [Nosenko] has said has
been said in good faith.” Nosenko “neither embroidered nor distorted” and "had
no knack for lying or dissembling.” Indeed it had been his very honesty that had
caused his temporary downfall at the hands of CIA. There is “no reason to think
that [Nosenko] has ever told an untruth,” except due to forgetfulness, ignorance,
or drunken exaggeration. Any little white lies, as noted above, were mere brag-
gadocio. Though Nosenko's defender Hart found him “hard to believe" on the
subject of Oswald, he falsely called that a one-time aberration. Though he had
studied the file, he could not remember anything substantive that Nosenko said
that had been proven to be incorrect. 15

In fact, Nosenko's sworn testimony on Lee Harvey Oswald was so evasive
and contradictory that the congressional committee, having questioned him at
length, recognized and officially declared that Nosenko was lying. Ten years after-
ward his defenders tried to wipe that out, evidently relying on the ignorance or
forgetfulness of readers. No, Hart wrote, Nosenko's testimony on Oswald was not



260 APPENDIX B


at all incredible. On the contrary, Nosenko “was telling the truth about his in-
volvement in Oswald’s case." 16

Had Nosenko’s reporting on Oswald been the only aberration in an otherwise
normal performance, as the CIA spokesman testified that it was, it might indeed
have been shrugged off. But CIA officers who interviewed Nosenko encountered
the same sorts of evasion, contradiction, and excuses from Nosenko whenever he
was pinned down on practically any subject— just as the House Select Committee
on Assassinations did on his Oswald story. This included his KGB career and
activities, his travels and contacts, how he had learned what he told us, and even
his private life.

Nosenko himself admitted that he had lied repeatedly about KGB activities
and about the career that gave him authority to tell of them . In a written statement
dated 23 April 1 966 he said he had simply been unable to tell the truth throughout
1964 and 1965. But he was never willing to tell which of his statements were lies,
except his KGB rank and certain of his claims to have recruited foreigners and the
commendation these acts had earned him. This confession in no way inhibited his
continued lying. He proceeded to tell tales no more believable than the earlier
ones. Moreover, several witnesses from Moscow since the Cold War have belied
Nosenko’s KGB career and his claimed knowledge of Oswald.

2. Misstating the value of Nosenko ’s reporting:

Nosenko, said one of his defenders, was "the most valuable defector from
the KGB yet to come over to the West.” He provided a “solid layer of counter-
intelligence gold.” Another delivered, under oath, the breathtaking misstatement
that Nosenko provided “quantitatively and qualitatively” far greater information
than Golitsyn did. 17

Nosenko’s defenders cite his uncovering of John Vassall, the British Admi-
ralty employee, as a great contribution although they knew that Golitsyn had
previously exposed Vassall. To explain that away, they went further in inventive-
ness: the British weren’t really on Vassall's track at all, they said. Had it not been for
Nosenko’s information the British might have mistaken Golitsyn’s lead to Vassall for
a totally different Admiralty source, the Houghton-Gee-Lonsdale network earlier un-
covered by Goleniewski. 18 In fact, no such confusion was even remotely possible.

They pumped up Sergeant “Andrey,” Nosenko’s most important lead in 1962,
to unrecognizable proportions. So little access to secrets did the sergeant really
have that the KGB had dropped contact with him even before he retired from the
army and American authorities found that he could not have betrayed secrets
and saw no reason to prosecute him. But Nosenko’s cleansers magically trans-
formed this KGB reject into a “code clerk" who “had supplied the Soviets with top
secret U.S. military codes," permitting the KGB to break “the most sensitive U.S.
communications. [ Even worse:] ‘Andrey’ had later transferred to the super-sensitive
communications agency NSA that would give him even greater access to cipher
information. ” 19

In fact, Nosenko uncovered nothing that truly harmed the Soviet regime. He
did not uncover a single KGB asset that the KGB could not have sacrificed— not
one that had current access to NATO governmental secrets, was actively coop-
erating at the time, and had previously been unsuspected by Western counter-
intelligence agencies.

3. Distorting the reasons Nosenko fell under suspicion:

Nosenko’s CIA defenders repeated publicly that their CIA predecessors had



APPENDIX B 261


wrongly “prejudged” him even before debriefing him and without “even the most
cursory examination,” which would have demonstrated Nosenko's innocence.
Essentially, they “fabricated a case” to incriminate Nosenko. 20

They only suspected Nosenko because of paranoid theorizing by the earlier
defector Anatoly Golitsyn. Having adopted Golitsyn’s theories, Nosenko’s han-
dlers didn’t even try to find out what Nosenko had to say but simply set out to
break him. 21

This aspect of the myth required its creators to invent a role for Golitsyn
in the Nosenko investigation. One of the mythmakers testified under oath that
Golitsyn had "a substantial influence on the case” and “was masterminding the
examinations [of Nosenko] in many ways. It is with this in mind that we have
to approach everything that happened.” Golitsyn was "made part of [the anti-
Nosenko] investigating team,” Golitsyn had current access to the debriefing of
Nosenko, and “for six years whatever Yuri [Nosenko] said was submitted for final
judgment by" Golitsyn. 22

Pure invention. No member of the “investigating team” (which was in SB
Division) ever saw Golitsyn or asked or got information or comment from him.
He was being handled by the Cl Staff and even they did not give him details of the
case before 1967, aside from the fact of Nosenko's defection and his claimed
biography. This was long after the Soviet Bloc Division's interrogation and con-
clusions. Even then Golitsyn declined to comment because he had not read the
file. How, then, could he have ever exercised even an influence, much less a “final
judgment”?

It was not until 1968 that Golitsyn reviewed transcripts of meetings. Then he
stated unequivocally that Nosenko was a plant.

Because there is no substance to the myth’s claim that Golitsyn participated
or influenced anything, we need not dwell here on the mythmakers’ denigration
of Golitsyn— as a paranoid with “mind-boggling pipe dreams” and "outlandish
theories." However, it is worth noting their own truly mind-boggling falsehood,
that Golitsyn “never compromised any important Soviet agent.” 23

The mythmakers never revealed details of how Nosenko’s reports overlapped
those of Golitsyn. They dismissed the question by claiming Golitsyn learned a
few facts from his brief orientation period in Nosenko’s directorate, all of which
Nosenko naturally knew better. This was a subterfuge: in reality, the Golitsyn tips
that Nosenko diverted had nothing to do with Golitsyn’s “orientation period” but
were from his service in Finland and his handling of reports from spies within
NATO governments.

The mythmakers reached out even further to misrepresent why Nosenko fell
under suspicion.

• Drunkenness: One, under oath, testified that CIA came to suspect Nosenko
because he had made some drunken misstatements. Yet the only time in all
those years that Nosenko might have been drunk while reporting anything
whatsoever to CIA was during one meeting in 1962, and even then he
showed no sign of being under the influence.

• Language problems : In sworn testimony the representative of CIA’s director
asserted that language difficulties in Geneva caused "crucial misunder-
standings.” Yet he knew that a native Russian speaker had been present at
all but the first meeting and even during that meeting the only misunder-
standings involved one school Nosenko claimed to have attended and one



262 APPENDIX B


detail about his father. The FBI had no problem debriefing Nosenko in
English. 24

• Faulty transcripts: CIA’s representative testified that "discrepancies” in the
transcriptions of the recordings of the 1962 meetings were “very important
in the history of this case because [they] gave rise to charges within the
Agency that Nosenko was not what he purported to be." 25 But the witness,
who had studied the case, must have known that no discrepancies ever
gave rise to any such charge. Moreover, any errors in the transcripts were
early detected and corrected by Peter Deriabin.

4. Vilifying those who suspected Nosenko:

Why, asked a congressman in 1978, would CIA director Stansfield Turner let
his representative "create smashing anti-CIA headlines” by publicly attacking his
own former colleagues?

The answer was that, lacking substantive arguments, CIA’s spokesmen fell
back on ad hominem attacks on Nosenko’s detractors.

In sworn testimony the director’s personal envoy publicly accused his for-
mer colleagues of fabricating a case, torturing, misusing Agency techniques, and
contemplating murder. He rated their performance as “zero,” “miserable,” and
“abominable." They were “naive,” "utterly insensitive,” “extremist,” prone to “fa-
natic theories,” blindly biased, “paranoid,” and of “muddled mind.” 26 Lumped
into a never-defined category of “fundamentalists,” they were derided as “zealots”
and “true believers." A CIA director ticked off Nosenko’s early handlers— whom he
had never met— as “a group of Agency paranoids." 27

So far gone in paranoia was this "group" that they thought “CIA could not
have a bona fide Soviet operation" and turned away honest people who were
offering to become spies for CIA. Nosenko’s defenders never cited a single exam-
ple because in fact CIA had never turned down any volunteer from a Soviet bloc
government who met normal security criteria. It even accepted ones it knew to be
provocateurs, like the Soviet lieutenant of the “Sasha and Olga” case I mention in
Chapter 4, simply to get their stories.

John Hart, a former division chief in CIA, was under oath when he told
Congress that the two top officers of the Soviet Division (David Murphy, its chief,
and me, its deputy chief) “had been discredited" for their work on the Nosenko
case and that this had “caused them to be transferred out ... to foreign assign-
ments." 28 But as the Headquarters supervisor of both these posts abroad, Hart
knew that we had both opted for those challenging and prestigious assignments
long before any “discrediting" began.

Never did Nosenko’s defenders mention any positive results of the hostile in-
terrogation. Indeed, the CIA director’s spokesman testified that it had "failed
miserably.” In fact, it was by confronting Nosenko under circumstances he could
not evade and where he could get no outside coaching that CIA established firmly
that Nosenko was a KGB plant and documented some of the KGB’s purposes in
planting him.

5. Diverting attention from the underlying issue:

Nosenko’s defenders presented his case as essentially "a human phenome-
non” and that the "human factors involved have a direct bearing on some of the
contradictions which have appeared in the case.” As one put it, any questions
of Nosenko’s truthfulness are “poignantly overshadowed by Nosenko’s personal



APPENDIX B 263


tragedy, arising from CIA’s handling of his defection.” "We may not allow our-
selves to forget," he wrote, “that this story deals with a living person.” 29

The central issue of the case, they were implying, was CIA’s mistreatment of
Nosenko. They expressed outrage that “duplicity” had been practiced against
Nosenko and that the polygraph machine had been used more as an instrument
of interrogation than as a fair test of Nosenko ’s truth. They misrepresented the
reason Nosenko was incarcerated. They raised a horrifying vision of his being
thrown into a “torture vault," as one put it, or a “dungeon,” in another’s words. By
1989 the former CIA senior officer John Hart had so lost touch with the truth that
he asserted in writing that the interrogators had deprived Nosenko of sensory
stimuli for more than three years, and another told an investigative reporter that
Nosenko had been starving and close to death. 30 They must have been aware that
Nosenko had regular (as I remember, weekly) visits by a doctor to ascertain his
health and the adequacy of his diet. He was never ill, much less "close to death.”

They were contradicting the documented record. CIA director Richard Helms
and Nosenko’s former handlers testified under oath that Nosenko had been in-
carcerated only to prevent him from evading questions about contradictions
and anomalies in his stories. (These were the ones that touched upon Oswald,
the possible breaking of American ciphers, and penetration of American Intelli-
gence.) We were preventing what happened in 1985, when the later defector
Vitaly Yurchenko walked out and back to the KGB.

Whereas this case had damning interconnections with other cases like that
of Kulak/“Fedora,” Nosenko’s defenders avoided this subject. One mentioned the
cases of Cherepanov and Loginov only to imply that they, like Nosenko, were
innocent individuals whom CIA had stupidly misunderstood. 31

6. Ridiculing the “theory” of Soviet deception:

CIA spokesmen conveyed the idea that Soviet deception was a figment of
paranoia. Golitsyn, said one, “was given to building up big, fantastic plots, and he
eventually built up a plot . . . which was centered around the idea that the KGB
had vast resources which it was using to deceive . . . Western governments. This
plot was able to deceive the West . . . because [the KGB] had penetrations at high
levels . . . within the intelligence services of these countries, including our own.”
They displayed contempt for those who believed in such a crazy idea as “a plot
against the West," an idea that stemmed only from “historical research.” “I don’t
happen to be able to share this kind of thing,” said one. “The so-called plot was
sheer nonsense.” 32 Thus did CIA’s official spokesman dismiss as mad fantasy the
documented history of sixty years of such KGB "plots" of the sort described in
Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of this book.

A top CIA counterintelligence officer attacked this “historical research” from
a different angle. He admitted that Soviet deception operations had indeed taken
place— but by Nosenko’s time they were irrelevant. The classic prewar deception
operation “Trust,” he wrote, had existed “in a ‘totally different KGB and a totally
different world." He pointed out that in those distant days [the KGB] had had to
deal with large-scale resistance from elements of the population who got support
from emigration groups abroad. But both the resistance and the groups had since
dwindled away— and with them, the need for this sort of operation. 33

This denial became CIA doctrine— but not the KGB’s. As set out explicitly in
the KGB’s in-house secret history of 1977, there was an unbroken continuum



264 APPENDIX B


from “Trust" to the present day. The KGB was teaching today’s officers that this
“aggressive counterintelligence” was the best way to succeed in counterintel-
ligence work.

The myth thus created was accepted not only by investigative reporters
who could not know the truth but also by reputable historians— and even CIA
personnel.

A writer in the 1990s, after talking to Agency insiders, could say with no fear
of being contradicted, "Although [Nosenko] was in fact a genuine defector, Angle-
ton became convinced that he was a fake.” 34 A BBC interviewer asked a reputable
British historian about the doubts that had circulated concerning Nosenko’s
bona fides. The historian answered confidently that there had never been genuine
doubts but only paranoid views that had been fully discredited. Later this same
historian wrote that CIA’s suspicions of Nosenko were a “horrendous misjudg-
ment" and its investigation “appallingly mishandled.” 35

Another prestigious historian in 1994 described “Lieutenant Colonel” No-
senko as “the highest-ranking officer of the KGB to fall into CIA hands." Though
CIA had kept Nosenko “in sub-human conditions for five years, his evidence is
now regarded as far more reliable than all that Angleton’s protege Golitsyn ever
provided.” 36

The myth became doctrine within CIA itself. So deeply rooted did this fiction
become that even later chiefs of the Soviet operations division adopted it and
passed it on with their special authority. Two successive chiefs had so little knowl-
edge of the Nosenko case that they propagated the myth that “Angleton . . .
persuaded others at the CIA that [Nosenko] had been sent by Moscow to tie them in
knots about Oswald and dozens of other sensitive cases. He was encouraged in his
paranoia by an earlier KGB defector, Anatoly Golitsyn, who had told Angleton that
every defector after him would be a double agent. . . . Angleton had managed to co-
opt key officials in the Soviet Division, convincing them that virtually all of the spies
they were running were double agents sent against them by the KGB. . . . Those
who . . . challenged the prevailing paranoia were in danger of coming under suspi-
cion of being Soviet agents themselves. . . . The end result of these mind games was
virtual paralysis in the CIA’s operations against the Soviet Union. . . . CIA officers
largely stopped trying to target Soviets [and] the Soviet Division had been turning
away dozens of ‘volunteers, ’ Soviets and Eastern Europeans [. . . offering] to work
for the United States .” 37 As stated in Chapter 20, this was unfounded nonsense,
and not a single Soviet volunteer was turned away.

Other CIA officers, without access to the files, typically knew only what they
had been taught. One wrote, "The KGB defector Yuri Nosenko was badly and
illegally mistreated . . . because James Angleton and the CIA were mesmerized by
the paranoid ravings of a previous defector, Anatoly Golitsyn." 38

Wrote another CIA veteran a generation afterward, “When Nosenko offered a
version of Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination that didn't fit the
agency’s corporate view, he was sent to solitary confinement . . . for three years.” 39

With historians accepting it and CIA insiders reciting it, and with its high-
level sponsorship, the myth has prevailed. Wishful thinking triumphed.



APPENDIX C

Self-deception— Bane of
Counterintelligence


The most amazing part of the story of Arthur Or-
ton, the imposter better known as “the Tichborne claimant,” is that he nearly
prevailed.

The butcher’s apprentice Orton (if this was really who he was— he never
admitted it) sailed from Australia to pose as the long-missing heir to the fortune
and title of the Tichborne family in Victorian England. He was undeterred by his
ignorance; he later proved unable to name a single one of the real heir's boyhood
friends or schoolteachers. Also, he could not say what was written in a letter that
the heir had left behind with his best friend and could not speak French although
the heir had spent his boyhood in Paris. Whereas the heir was well educated, the
claimant could not spell or write grammatically; worse, he was older, fatter, and
looked quite different.

To compensate for all that, Orton had going for him the con man’s equip-
ment: a confident and persuasive air, quick thinking, skill in playing back infor-
mation given to him, and— most important of all— the natural gullibility of others.

He managed to persuade the heir's own mother that he was her son and got
more than eighty witnesses from the heir’s army service, school, and other circles
to certify that they recognized him. His claim caught the public’s imagination,
won organized support, and proved so difficult to judge that Orton’s trial— which
finally condemned him— spanned a total of 827 days and stands in the Guinness
Book of Records as the longest in British history. 1

Is this really so amazing? Frauds have succeeded with even less foundation.
A late-eighteenth-century forger managed to convince renowned scholars that
his hastily turned out letters and manuscripts were really written by Shakespeare
despite errors and anachronisms that to one expert revealed "forgery palpable to
the meanest capacity.” Inspired by a drawing of the ancient British King Vorti-
gern that hung prominently in his father’s study, William Henry Ireland pro-
ceeded to write "Shakespeare’s” manuscript of a play by that name. When his
father told visitors the stunning and quite unbelievable news that this play had
been unearthed, they simply considered it an "enchanting coincidence [that]
Ireland should so long have owned a drawing on the same subject." 2

“How willingly,” the forger recognized, “people will blind themselves on



266 APPENDIX C


any point interesting to their feelings. Once a false idea becomes fixed in a per-
son’s mind, he will twist facts or probability to accommodate it rather than ques-
tion it.” 3

Among such con men and imposters feeding at the trough of human cred-
ulity are more dangerous predators: traitors and provocateurs, stealing not just
money but the safety of nations. Not surprisingly, governments maintain orga-
nizations of specialists to detect and thwart them. What is surprising is that
gullibility and self-deception flourish among these professional skeptics almost
as extravagantly as along the patent medicine trail.

Looking back at the long string of successful Soviet bloc provocations from
the "Trust” operation of the 1920s, we might suppose that naive Westerners are
the natural dupes of ruthless Eastern guile. Nothing of the sort: wily Russian
conspirators too (as we shall see) have been undone by almost transparent dup-
ery. Gullibility respects no frontiers or organizational fences; while the British in
World War Two were cunningly manipulating Nazi agents in England in the
famous “Double Cross” operations, other British were at the same time being
duped on the continent by the Nazi counterespionage services.

The colorful and never-ending history of fraud continues to unfold in our
daily newspapers with stories of innocent oldsters being gulled— and profes-
sional intelligence services as well. A defecting Cuban intelligence officer startled
CIA in the late 1980s by revealing that every CIA spy in Cuba was working under
the control of the Soviet-trained Cuban counterintelligence service. Defectors
during the Prague Spring of 1968 gave CIA the unwelcome news that Czecho-
slovak officials the CIA thought had been successfully recruited by one of its fast-
rising operatives in Asia had actually been pushed into CIA’s overeager and under-
skeptical nets by Czech-Soviet controllers.

Clearly, this tendency to deceive ourselves deserves the attention of any stu-
dent of counterintelligence.

We cannot and need not try to cover the whole subject of dupes and duplicity.
That would lead us far back in history, far out in geography, and deep down into
abstruse realms of psychology and epistemology. But we can usefully recall to
mind some famous disasters and the human foibles that made them possible. We
cannot help wondering whether the CIA handlers of those Cuban and Czech
double agents— and others we will meet here— might have averted trouble for
themselves and their organizations had they remembered their adversaries’ pen-
chant for deception and their own penchant for self-deception.

Among the plotters trying to overthrow the tsarist regime in Russia, none were
more active than the Socialist Revolutionaries, and among these SRs none were
more dangerously exposed than the members of their terrorist wing, the so-called
combat organization. They lived with nerves stretched and sensitive to any un-
usual occurrence because they knew that the Okhrana, the Tsarist political po-
lice, was trying to insert agents provocateurs into their ranks.

How strange it seems, then, that they blinded themselves to the most threat-
ening evidence. When their plans went astray and their members fell into police
traps, they failed again and again to draw the seemingly inescapable conclu-
sion. They even rejected precise warning that came to them from within the
Okhrana itself.

In early 1903 a friendly Okhrana agent slipped the word to Khristianinov, a
member of the combat organization, that the Okhrana would refrain from raid-



APPENDIX C 267


ing the organization’s secret weapons assembly shop “because it has an agent
there already.” Now, only a handful of the members even knew of the existence of
that shop, so the finger pointed at the man who had set it up— their leader, Yevno
Azev. But after Khristianinov had ineptly presented the facts and Azev, on the
contrary, had defended himself lucidly and convincingly, an investigating group
concluded that all was well and that Azev (who had, after all, organized the
assassination of the tsarist Interior Minister Plehve) stood above suspicion.

Three years later came an anonymous letter from within the Okhrana, giving
the names of two members of the combat organization who were police spies: "T.,
an ex-convict, and the engineer Azev who recently arrived from abroad.” The SRs
took this warning seriously enough; they immediately recognized "T” as Tatarov
and checked, interrogated, and verified the accusation, and killed him. But with
half the Okhrana message proven correct— excluding the ever-present menace of
false denunciations— the SRs still could not bring themselves to accept the other
half. Not even when, after another year, they got more news from inside the
Okhrana. Their friend, the journalist and historian Vladimir Burtsev, confirmed
that there was a traitor high in the SR leadership and even gave his police pseu-
donym, “Raskin." Despite the earlier warning, and despite the growing signs of
betrayal from within, the SRs chose to treat Burtsev as “a ridiculous and harmful
maniac.” They accused him of trying to disrupt the revolutionary movement by
discrediting Azev, its most formidable terrorist, and they warned him to desist.
Lacking legal proof, Burtsev stood alone and helpless.

Again and again the SR combat organization’s missions failed, and its mem-
bers were arrested, but still the leaders rejected Burtsev’s pleading as “idle chat-
ter," the more so because the accused Azev was at that moment planning an
assassination attempt against the tsar himself.

Finally Burtsev got the proof he needed. In Germany he met the retired, dis-
credited Okhrana chief Lopukhin and, while telling him something that Lopuk-
hin had not known, that Azev had masterminded Plehve ’s assassination— tried
out on him the pseudonym "Raskin.” In that dramatic moment in a train com-
partment Lopukhin answered, “I know nobody by the name of Raskin but I have
met the engineer Yevno Azev several times.”

Now Burtsev forced the SR party leadership to react by printing an open
letter to it, accusing Azev. So how did they react? They sought to silence Burtsev
by putting him on trial for libeling Azev. The judges were cold and hostile until he
finally revealed Lopukhin’s words, and even then one of them called it “slander.”
Finally they began the investigation of Azev that confirmed his guilt and in Janu-
ary 1909 precipitated his flight from the country. But this happened six years
after the necessary evidence had been at hand, too late to restore the will and
cohesion of the shattered combat organization. 4

Lenin could also be deceived, despite the rosy view expressed by his wife and
closest associate Krupskaya: "Of our entire group Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin] was the
best prepared in the field of conspiracy; he knew his way about and was able to
dupe spies superbly.”

In 1912 this paragon of wariness promoted Roman Malinovsky to member-
ship in the Bolsheviks' first Central Committee and made him his deputy inside
Russia and the leading Bolshevik of the Social Democrat (SD) representation in
the tsarist parliament (Fourth Duma). When Lenin’s close collaborators Bukha-
rin and Troyanovsky gave him solid reasons to suspect that Malinovsky was a



268 APPENDIX C


tsarist police provocateur, Lenin angrily rejected the charges and threatened that
if Bukharin joined this “dark campaign of slander” Lenin would publicly brand
him a traitor. (Bukharin desisted.)

At the Duma Malinovsky gave the SDs’ first major speech of the parliamen-
tary session. Though its main purpose was to present two major platform items,
Malinovsky (on Okhrana instructions) omitted precisely those two items. He
explained afterward that he had been nervous in his maiden speech and had lost
his place. When the SD newspapers then printed the passage that Malinovsky had
omitted, the police confiscated the whole issue. Sill Malinovsky was able to brush
suspicions aside. He even survived a later, more blatant episode: in February
1914a new Okhrana chief, appalled at the potential scandal of running an op-
position parliamentary deputy as a spy, forced Malinovsky to resign his Duma
post without any logical excuse. To many this meant that Malinovsky must be a
traitor. But not to Lenin.

By June of that year the Menshevik leaders Martov and Dan were “convinced
beyond any doubt" that Malinovsky was a traitor and that the Okhrana controlled
the internal Bolshevik organization around the newspaper Pravda, which Mali-
novsky had helped set up (with capital provided by another tsarist provocateur).
But Martov recognized that "whether we shall succeed in proving it is another
question, because we are handcuffed by our own people.” How right he was;
Lenin again refused to investigate these "dark rumors" and again turned on the
accusers: “We do not regard them as honest citizens.” As late as 1916 he was still
speaking of the “dirty fabrications" against Malinovsky. He said that the “party
leadership" had reached “the unqualified and unshakable conviction that . . . the
legend of his being an agent provocateur was invented by conscious calumnia-
tors." Still later he called the charges “absolutely absurd.” 5

When the Okhrana files were opened after the tsar’s fall in February 1917,
Malinovsky was revealed, of course, to have been a provocateur from the outset.
After the Bolshevik coup d’etat, Lenin had him shot.

Leon Trotsky, old conspirator and co-founder of the Bolshevik state, was no more
astute than Lenin in this way.

Outmaneuvered by Stalin, exiled and driven from one country to another,
some of his helpers killed, Trotsky could not fail to be wary— but he proved unable
to read the warnings he was getting. His faithful Dutch follower Sneevliet gave
him good reason to believe that Mark Zborowski, the closest associate of Trots-
ky’s son Leon Sedov in the Paris-based International Secretariat of the move-
ment, was an NKVD (early designation of the KGB) provocateur. Trotsky, instead
of ridding himself of Zborowski, called for a tribunal to condemn Sneevliet for
sowing discord. It must have jolted him two years later, when his son died myste-
riously in a Paris hospital; few beside Zborowski had even known Sedov’s where-
abouts. (Indeed, as was later learned, the KGB, with Zborowski’s help, had found
and murdered Sedov.)

Two years later, an anonymous source from inside the NKVD (identifying
himself after his defection as Aleksandr Orlov, a senior official) sent a message
telling Trotsky that Zborowski was an NKVD agent. Trotsky derisively rejected
the warning as an NKVD effort to spread suspicion in his organization.

Orlov’s message also told Trotsky that Stalin was trying to have him killed.
Confirmation, if any was needed, came in the spring of 1940 when a team of
assassins raided Trotsky's house in Mexico and sprayed seventy-five bullets into



APPENDIX C 269


his bedroom, miraculously missing him and his wife. As a result, every morning
thereafter Trotsky is said to have exulted, “Another lucky day; we are still alive.”

All this was still not enough to alert him to the suspicious signs that his
future assassin was scattering about. Ramon Mercader had insinuated himself
from nowhere, introduced by his Trotskyite girlfriend, into Trotsky’s guarded
household. He was known to be using a false passport and the life story he gave,
even his identity documents, could not withstand the most superficial check. And
his character changed, too; once inside Trotsky’s circle this formerly apolitical
and ignorant drifter became so sharp and involved that Trotsky thought he might
become a useful member of the movement.

Two days before the killing, in an almost blatant rehearsal, Mercader oddly
kept his hat on while in Trotsky’s study and, despite the warm weather, kept his
coat (which would later hide the murder weapon) under his arm while he sat
impolitely close by Trotsky’s side rather than apart in a chair. This irritated rather
than alarmed Trotsky, who complained to his wife that night, “I don’t like the
man." She remarked, moreover, that “he never wears a hat.” When Mercader
appeared at the house two days later, he appeared to Mrs. Trotsky strangely pale
and troubled. But he was allowed in, again with his hat and coat, this time hiding
the fatal ice axe . 6

The success of the much-publicized Soviet deception operation called the “Trust”
has been attributed to the cunning of its perpetrators in the KGB (then called
OGPU), but it depended as much upon the gullibility of its victims.

These were people who, more than others, should have been wary. Military
exiles driven from Russia after long civil war and terror, they knew the ruthless
hand of the OGPU and knew it would reach out and try to neutralize them in their
places of refuge abroad. Their clubs in Paris and Germany and their paramilitary
units in Yugoslavia should be bastions of disenchantment, sprouting antennas
sensitive to the slightest hostile move or beguilement from Soviet Russia, and
ready to react with skepticism and outrage.

Nothing of the sort. They responded with simple joy when, hardly a year
after their military defeat, a messenger brought news of a resistance to Bolshevik
rule growing secretly in the form of a “Monarchist Organization of Central Rus-
sia” (MOCR), with secret sympathizers inside the OGPU and other Soviet agen-
cies. They admired the uncanny ability of these new “friends” to move into and
out of the tightly policed country, to procure false identities backed by authentic
Soviet documentation, and even to spring co-conspirators from jail. When the
MOCR set up “windows” for couriers to pass through the borders of Poland,
Finland, or Estonia, the emigres spent less time asking how were the wires cut or
the guards bribed than in exulting over these openings to the homeland. Even in
Paris their “secret” plots were the talk of the cafes, but they deluded themselves
that unbeknownst to the OGPU whole roomfuls of conspirators could safely meet
in Moscow and Petrograd.

Western intelligence services were sucked in, too. Neglecting Machiavelli’s
warning about emigres, they saw this “resistance organization” not as a trap but
as an opportunity to get information from the forbidden land . 7 After a while some
recognized Trust’s intelligence as spurious, and others drew back after experi-
enced operatives Sidney Reilly and pre-Revolutionary SR terrorist Boris Savin-
kov (Azev’s onetime deputy) had gone to their doom in Soviet Russia through
MOCR “windows." But even these deceived themselves long enough to permit the



270 APPENDIX C


OGPU to close out the hoax at a time of its own choosing and to use this closure to
open yet another trap— into which the outsiders again leaped.

This and similar KGB provocations neutralized resistance to Bolshevik rule
in its early years. But even after they were exposed, their victims’ embarrassment
was still not intense enough to cure gullibility. The Poles, for example, had been
among the first to recognize that the Trust’s information was useless and decep-
tive, but hardly twenty years later some of these same individuals, by then in
emigration themselves, allowed themselves to be duped by a carbon copy of the
Trust. The same Soviet manipulators organized a new “resistance” to Soviet rule,
this time in Poland with Polish communist helpers, in an organization called
“WiN” (Polish initials for “Freedom and Independence"). It accomplished its So-
viet aims for five years but then the Soviets chose to close it down at the end of
1 952 in order to use its closure, as they had that of Trust, as part of another Soviet
operation. 8

The British in World War Two used captured spies as double agents to mislead
the Germans concerning the time and place of the Allies’ 1944 invasion of
Europe— and were playing a risky game. A single mistake might be enough to
alert the German handlers and expose what the British were hiding: the real
invasion plans.

In fact, the British controllers of the double agents did make some slips, and
mishaps did occur. But they were protected by the adversaries’ gullibility. If the
German handlers noticed (wrote one of the British officers involved), they man-
aged to find “far more credible explanations of what had occurred than the true
explanation that the agent was a double cross. ... It was far more reasonable to
suppose that he had been misled by the British than that he had over a period of
years tricked and deceived his German paymaster. ... It was extremely, almost
fantastically difficult to ‘blow’ a well-established agent." 9

Not only the Germans were gullible. While the British were deceiving them, they
were deceiving the British. Whole networks of Allied agents dedicated to sabo-
tage in occupied Europe were taken under German control. The German han-
dling of these double agents was flawed— more than one managed to radio to
London the prearranged signal that he had fallen under German control— but like
the Germans, the British “found more credible explanation for what had oc-
curred than the true explanation that the agent was a double cross." So at the end,
as Allied armies advanced through Europe, the last German-controlled message
from the ostensibly British “North Pole” agent network in Holland, addressed by
name to the British handlers in London, shed crocodile tears of “regret” that “we
[Germans] have acted for so long as your sole representatives in this country."

In 1 94 1 the German battleship Bismarck, having intercepted and sunk the British
battle cruiser Hood, and having fought off other warships, escaped into the vast
Atlantic. In a surprisingly short time a huge force assembled and then intercepted
and sank the Bismarck. The German naval command asked itself, might the
British have broken the Germans’ ciphers? (Indeed they had, in the now famous
"Ultra" affair.)

No, decided the German board of inquiry. “It is not necessary to put the
blame on a breach of security as regards the code and cipher tables.” There is the



APPENDIX C 271


defensive reaction of almost any organization: “not necessary,” meaning in effect
not easy, not pleasant.

The question kept popping up. Some convoys supplying Rommel’s corps in
the North African desert from across the Mediterranean were spotted with sus-
picious speed (one as it emerged from dense fog) and were attacked and sunk
from sea and air. The Germans were forced again to ask themselves about the
security of their ciphers. Then U-boat losses to Allied aircraft rose startlingly. In
mid- 1943 they were being spotted suspiciously often in many different areas (in
fact, thanks to Ultra). Again a German board reviewed communications security.
Each of these reviews concluded smugly that the ciphers were safe. As late as
1959 Grand- Admiral Doenitz still refused to believe they were not, and ascribed
his navy’s losses to the excellence of British radar.


This kind of self-deception joined with a lack of courtroom-quality proof to grant
to Kim Philby many extra years to do the work that has since caused him to be
labeled (perhaps prematurely) as “the spy of the century.”

Philby's career was jolted on 25 May 1953 when British diplomats Guy Bur-
gess and Donald Maclean fled England to the USSR just after Burgess had re-
turned to London from Washington, where he had lived for a year with Philby,
and just three days before Maclean was to have been interviewed by British
counterintelligence. As MI6 chief in Washington, Philby had been one of the few
people to know of the impending move against Maclean (exposed by a break of
KGB ciphers code-named "Venona”). Now the CIA and FBI refused to deal fur-
ther with Philby, so he was recalled to London and questioned about “indiscre-
tions" and “misconduct.”

His interrogators, Milmo and Skardon, considered Philby a traitor and they
had better reasons than the “third man” warning to Burgess and Maclean. One
was Philby’s communist first wife, another was “the nasty little sentence in Krivit-
sky’s evidence” (as Philby later called it). NKVD operative Walter Krivitsky, after
defecting in 1937, had told the British that the NKVD had sent a young English
journalist to Spain during the civil war there. This had caused Philby no problem
at the time because many fit this description. But the lead hung there waiting for
a cross-bearing.

Pointing more directly toward Philby were four fingers left behind by the
ghost of Konstantin Volkov. This British-desk NKVD officer had contacted the
British Consulate in Istanbul in August 1945 offering information about Soviet
spies in the British government. His information could have uncovered Philby,
Maclean, and Burgess (and doubtless others) but fate— and Soviet manipulation
—had placed Philby across his path. Philby had become head of counterintelli-
gence work against the USSR and was the logical choice, as he pointed out, to
handle the case. He quickly alerted the NKVD, which removed Volkov before he
could make his next contact. But these pointers remained:

• Volkov had told the British Consul that a “head of a British counteres-
pionage organization” was an NKVD agent. Philby was now head of a
recently formed MI6 organization to counter Soviet espionage.

• Within MI6 Philby had handled the Volkov matter almost single-handedly.
Any suspicion that a leak might have caused Volkov’s untimely disappear-
ance would necessarily point toward him.



272 APPENDIX C


• Philby had so dragged his fee and delayed the British response to Volkov’s
appeal that the British Consul correctly concluded that unless Philby was
criminally incompetent, he must be a Soviet agent.

• "Two days after the Volkov information reached London," as Philby learned
from his British interrogator Milmo, "there had been a spectacular rise in
the volume of NKVD wireless traffic between London and Moscow, fol-
lowed by a similar rise in the traffic between Moscow and Istanbul.”

But this had not been enough. It took the Burgess-Maclean flight, eight years
later, to halt Philby’s rise toward the top of MI6. And even that was not enough to
make him confess. MI6 dropped him for errors of judgment, not for treason, and
a few years later, in what may have been an accident of parliamentary procedure,
he was publicly cleared by Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan. So those ice-
bergs of suspicion gradually melted in the warm waters of organizational self-
deception and forgetfulness— and Philby sailed on. Incredibly, MI6 rehired him.
Its chiefs, like many MI6 officers, had scoffed at the very thought that Philby
might be a traitor, and at the paranoid idea that the Soviets might have pene-
trated their ranks. Now they set him up as a journalist in Beirut where they
thought his contacts would prove useful.

Useful they were, but mainly for the KGB. Though removed from MI6’s
central files, Philby kept in touch with former colleagues and other Westerners of
interest to KGB recruiters. These Westerners still trusted Philby; even those who
thought he might have warned Burgess and Maclean did not suspect he had done
it on the KGB’s behalf. A former CIA official in the area wrote, “When I went to
Beirut in 1957 to set up a consulting firm I was told by both CIA officers and SIS
officers that Philby was still suspect, although he had been formally cleared of
any connection with Burgess and Maclean, and that I would be doing a great
service to my country were I to keep an eye on him. I did, as did other British and
American laymen who were friends of his. Like all the others, I didn’t have the
slightest suspicion that he was a Soviet agent and, in fact, wouldn’t believe it until
he surfaced in Moscow. . . . Believe me, it was a terrible shock.” 10

Finally, in 1962 new information pointed unmistakably at Philby, and MI6
had to act. A longtime colleague, Nicholas Elliott, got a partial confession from
him, but then he fled to the Soviet Union and until his death in 1988 kept on
helping the KGB damage the West.

Alger Hiss was another beneficiary of willful neglect of the obvious. His secret
collaboration with Soviet Intelligence was known to Western authorities long
before he moved up to play a substantive role in conferences where America’s
posture toward the Soviet regime was being worked out, and more than a decade
before he was finally brought before a court. Here is how:

• In 1937 the Soviet defector Walter Krivitsky, when he met the former So-
viet diplomat Alexander Barmine in Paris, named Hiss as an agent.

• In September 1939 French Intelligence passed to American Ambassador
Bullitt information (presumably from Krivitsky) that Alger and his brother
Donald Hiss were Soviet agents. Bullitt told President Roosevelt soon
thereafter.

• On 2 September 1939 the journalist Isaac Don Levine, Krivitsky s friend,
escorted Whittaker Chambers to the home of Assistant Secretary of State
Adolph Berle, where Chambers gave details of his Soviet and Communist



APPENDIX C 273


Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) intelligence activity and
clandestine contacts with Alger and Donald Hiss. Berle took notes and
reported to President Roosevelt— who laughed it off. Others also told Roo-
sevelt about the suspicions, but neither he nor Berle passed the informa-
tion to the FBI.

• In 1941 the FBI got its first news of Hiss directly from Chambers. Despite
their initial interest, they neglected to follow up.

• In April 1945 at the San Francisco Conference, which founded the United
Nations, Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko indiscreetly told American
Secretary of State Stettinius that he would be “very happy to see Alger Hiss
appointed temporary secretary general, as he had a very high regard for
Hiss, particularly for his fairness and impartiality.”

• In August 1945 the GRU code clerk Igor Gouzenko defected and reported
that an assistant to Secretary Stettinius was a Soviet spy.

• In November 1945 Elizabeth Bentley, a communist underground courier,
named to the FBI Soviet spies in government, including some who had
been previously named by Chambers. She had been told about Hiss. FBI
director J. Edgar Hoover asked President Truman for permission to take
action against Hiss, but Truman remained "stubbornly antagonistic” to the
allegations.

Hiss’s career path to the top was blocked only when Congress took an interest
in him after a 1946 grand jury in New York had begun looking into Soviet es-
pionage. This finally forced the State Department to remove him from access to
secrets. In mid- 1948— more than ten years after he had first been exposed— the
spotlight finally shone on him. The House Un-American Activities Committee
called Chambers to testify and arranged his dramatic confrontation with Hiss.
Chambers then revealed the famous “pumpkin papers” that documented Hiss’s
treason. He denied under oath having ever known Chambers, but when con-
fronted with contrary facts began to back off and equivocate. The committee
“kept Hiss on the stand, leading him point by point over his past testimony,
leading him to dodge, bend and weave— a spectacle of agile and dogged indignity
—through his discrepancies and contradictions, but never bringing him com-
pletely to lose his footing or to yield an inch in his denials.” To one committee
member Hiss’s testimony appeared “clouded by a strangely deficient memory."

Nevertheless the press echoed public sympathy for Hiss (“tall, handsome,
well-educated, a brilliant law student”) and skepticism and contempt for Cham-
bers: “Not only was he untidy,” commented a biographer of President Truman,
“but he had had an erratic career and was clearly far gone into paranoia.”

In 1977 the writer Allen Weinstein, helped by Hiss and intending to prove his
innocence, set out to review all the data. But he was an honest man and the facts
he found convinced him (as they do any reader of his book) that Hiss was guilty.
Still some journalists kept suggesting that Hiss had been diabolically framed. 1 1

Why do we fall prey to hoaxes, deceptive tricks, impostures, lies, and misrepre-
sentations that seem obvious to others less emotional or less involved? Why, once
duped, do we then hang on to our misconception, sometimes against the evi-
dence of our senses? Why, when supplied with that evidence, are we more likely
to attack its suppliers— a Burtsev, Bukharin, Martov, Sneevliet, or Chambers—
instead of the deceiver?



274 APPENDIX C


And why do professional intelligence officers, trained to expect such hoaxes
and paying fulsome lip service to alertness, fall again and again into traps? Why
does the harsh light of skepticism so often diffuse into a rosy glow of wishful
thinking?

You might blame a training that fails to instill skepticism, or you could
criticize bureaucratic structures that let responsibility fall between stools, but
that would be too easy. The reason lies deeper— far down in the recesses of the
human mind. It is not our eyes and ears that shape our reality but our brain,
which biters and translates their perceptions, a brain produced by a unique set of
needs and desires so that different people may make different interpretations and
draw different conclusions from the same evidence.

Here we touch upon the classic conbict between mind and heart, reason and
emotion, sun and moon, a conbict which, as we are reminded by ancient poems
and aphorisms, is as old as humanity. Scientibc enlightenment has not resolved
that conbict. Our brains still biter in the perceptions they desire and biter out
those they do not. They still lead us unconsciously toward “reasonable” choices
that favor our self-interest or our ease and— in debance of warning, instruction,
or experience— lead us away from those that bother or threaten. Hence we suffer
from that “universal inability to distinguish true from false, right from wrong,
when the false is cast in the image of the world's desire and the true is nothing
that the world can fathom, or wants to." 12

Alger Hiss knew this and cynically built it into his defense. In essence, he
asked the committee to disregard the evidence and follow its emotions. “It is
inconceivable that there could have been on my part, during hfteen years or more
in public office . . . any departure from the highest rectitude without its becoming
known. It is inconceivable that the men with whom I was intimately associated
during those hfteen years should not know my true character better than this
accuser. It is inconceivable that . . . [etc.]" How right he was: we have seen two
presidents bnding it inconceivable, Roosevelt "laughing it off” and Truman “stub-
bornly antagonistic.”

Trained and experienced intelligence officers are only human. As a KGB
(then OGPU) officer said to calm the nerves of a Trust provocateur he was dis-
patching to contact Western Intelligence, “You’ll have no problem. They want to
believe and trust you." 13 Indeed “they” do— as they showed through the decades
by falling for hoax after Soviet hoax, false defectors, double agents, and opera-
tional traps, and by failing to recognize penetration agents in their midst.

Perhaps those German case officers noticed oddities in their agents’ reports
from England, but their own careers and prestige depended on these agents and
obscured their concern for winning the war. Those SR conspirators genuinely
could not imagine that Azev would betray them. Those MI6 leaders could not
believe Philby to be a traitor, because that would annul all their hard work and
devoted careers.

If Americans are not alone in suffering this form of blindness, they are par-
ticularly predisposed to it. Whittaker Chambers wrote of that "invincible igno-
rance, rooted in what was most generous in the American character, which be-
cause it was incapable of such conspiracy itself, could not believe that others
practiced it. It was rooted, too, in what was most singular in the American experi-
ence, which because it had prospered so much apart from the rest of the world,
could not really grasp . . . why [Communists] acted as they did." Regarding the
sincere belief of Hiss’s lawyer, Marbury, in Hiss’s innocence, Chambers concluded



APPENDIX C 275


that Marbury “knew that my charges could not be true because . . . Communists
simply could not occur in [his] social and professional world. . . . Marbury ’s mind
was closed to certain possibilities and a part of its natural acuteness blunted— a
condition that would seem to be almost as dangerous to a lawyer as to a general
in the field .” 14

This, perhaps, helps explain why many American intelligence officers refuse
to accept the idea of Soviet deception operations. After a lifetime in intelligence
work, former director of Central Intelligence William Colby seemed proud to
admit that he “could just not figure out at all” what [his own counterintelligence
staff] were doing .” 15 A veteran supervisor of CIA operations abroad dismissed
sixty years of KGB deception operations as a sort of paranoid fantasy and ad-
mitted with candor, “I don’t happen to be able to share this kind of thing ." 16

Having committed himself to an erroneous position— having been duped— a
person is likely to react to contrary evidence in the same way as those German
handlers of the "double cross” agents: by refusing to admit it. “Faith, fanatic
Faith," a poet wrote, “once wedded fast/To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the
last.” Samuel Ireland, father of that faker of Shakespeare, was a renowned expert
and collector of Elizabethan manuscripts. Ridiculed for (unwittingly) lending his
prestige to his son’s forgery by publishing it, he never to his death allowed himself
to believe they were false, despite expert evidence and even his son’s repeated
confession.......

3

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"Booth's pistol?  LOL."  No one saw Booth pull the trigger or carry the pistol into Ford's theatre per the CTer standard.  He had worked there.  Just going about his business.  Afterward he heard a commotion and decided to go for a horseback ride since he figured the play was over.  Never convicted.  Presumed innocent.  Obviously he was killed to silence him.   

 :D
4
Bagley had more choice things to say about John L. Hart (and Bruce "Gumshoe" Solie, and Tommy Mangold's buddy Leonard "I Have No Counterintelligence Experience" McCoy) in the remainder of his book.

Can you find them in these excerpts, or shall I "highlight" them for you?


In early October 1 968, after months spent reviewing the case and consulting with
Nosenko, CIA security officer Bruce Solie submitted a long report that wiped out
all doubts about Nosenko. Within hours, evidently without taking the time to
assess the validity of the report, CIA made its “final decision.” Its deputy director
ruled "that Nosenko was a legitimate defector. . . . [He] has not knowingly and
willfully withheld information from us and there is no conflict between what we
have learned from him and what we have learned from other defectors or infor-
mants that would cast any doubts on his bona fides." 11

This decision was validated by yet another CIA review of the Nosenko case in
1976. Just how firmly it supported Nosenko’s bona fides was demonstrated two
years later when the CIA director sent the leader of that review process to testify
for him before Congress in September 1978. As described above, the director’s
spokesman (John L. Hart) testified under oath to Nosenko’s complete honesty
and the incompetence and failure of those who distrusted him. 12

CIA’s adamant state of denial was baldly expressed by one of its top coun-
terintelligence officials. He declared flatly that if Nosenko ever told fibs, they
“were not [spoken] at the behest of the KGB" but only “to inflate his personal
prestige, . . . self-serving braggadocio ... [to make himself] more important, more
decent, perhaps more like what his father would have wished him to be.” 13

To these findings a director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, gave
his top-level authority. He proclaimed to CIA personnel in writing that “it was
eventually determined that [Nosenko] had defected of his own free will, had not
sought to deceive us and had indeed supplied very valuable intelligence informa-
tion to the U.S. Government. The hypothesis which had led to the original . . .
[conclusion that Mr. Nosenko had defected under KGB orders] was found to have
been based on inadequate evidence.” In his memoirs, moreover, Turner described
those who had distrusted Nosenko as “a group of Agency paranoids.” 14

How did this happen? How did truth get buried and fiction become doctrine?

The first, essential step for anyone anxious to believe in Nosenko and to clear
him of suspicions was to suppress the facts of the case.

Not one of Nosenko’s defenders addressed the questions raised by, for exam-
ple, Nosenko’s association with Guk and Kislov in Geneva, or the clash between
Nosenko’s (authoritative) account and the real circumstances of Kovshuk's trip to
Washington, or the connections of Nosenko’s stories with the KGB’s uncovering
of CIA’s great spies Pyotr Popov and Oleg Penkovsky. In presenting a “true" ver-
sion of Nosenko's life and career they failed to mention that it was a sixth or
seventh version (and not the last).

Ignoring the inconvenient aspects, the mythmakers fabricated a wholly new
picture. They did this by 1) misrepresenting Nosenko the man and his truthful-
ness, 2) grossly exaggerating the value of his reporting, 3) building a straw man of
(false) reasons for suspecting him, then knocking the straw man down rather
than addressing the real reasons, 4) vilifying CIA colleagues who suspected No-
senko, 5) diverting attention from the real issues, and 6) ridiculing the very idea
of Soviet deception.

1. Misrepresenting Nosenko’s truthfulness:

Nosenko’s defenders abandoned objectivity, consistency, and truth in extol-
ling his personal qualities. One wrote of the "fundamental nobility” of his nature
while another testified under oath that “anything that [Nosenko] has said has
been said in good faith.” Nosenko “neither embroidered nor distorted” and "had
no knack for lying or dissembling.” Indeed it had been his very honesty that had
caused his temporary downfall at the hands of CIA. There is “no reason to think
that [Nosenko] has ever told an untruth,” except due to forgetfulness, ignorance,
or drunken exaggeration. Any little white lies, as noted above, were mere brag-
gadocio. Though Nosenko's defender Hart found him “hard to believe" on the
subject of Oswald, he falsely called that a one-time aberration. Though he had
studied the file, he could not remember anything substantive that Nosenko said
that had been proven to be incorrect. 15

In fact, Nosenko's sworn testimony on Lee Harvey Oswald was so evasive
and contradictory that the congressional committee, having questioned him at
length, recognized and officially declared that Nosenko was lying. Ten years after-
ward his defenders tried to wipe that out, evidently relying on the ignorance or
forgetfulness of readers. No, Hart wrote, Nosenko's testimony on Oswald was not
at all incredible. On the contrary, Nosenko “was telling the truth about his in-
volvement in Oswald’s case." 16

Had Nosenko’s reporting on Oswald been the only aberration in an otherwise
normal performance, as the CIA spokesman testified that it was, it might indeed
have been shrugged off. But CIA officers who interviewed Nosenko encountered
the same sorts of evasion, contradiction, and excuses from Nosenko whenever he
was pinned down on practically any subject— just as the House Select Committee
on Assassinations did on his Oswald story. This included his KGB career and
activities, his travels and contacts, how he had learned what he told us, and even
his private life.

Nosenko himself admitted that he had lied repeatedly about KGB activities
and about the career that gave him authority to tell of them . In a written statement
dated 23 April 1 966 he said he had simply been unable to tell the truth throughout
1964 and 1965. But he was never willing to tell which of his statements were lies,
except his KGB rank and certain of his claims to have recruited foreigners and the
commendation these acts had earned him. This confession in no way inhibited his
continued lying. He proceeded to tell tales no more believable than the earlier
ones. Moreover, several witnesses from Moscow since the Cold War have belied
Nosenko’s KGB career and his claimed knowledge of Oswald.

2. Misstating the value of Nosenko ’s reporting:

Nosenko, said one of his defenders, was "the most valuable defector from
the KGB yet to come over to the West.” He provided a “solid layer of counter-
intelligence gold.” Another delivered, under oath, the breathtaking misstatement
that Nosenko provided “quantitatively and qualitatively” far greater information
than Golitsyn did. 17

Nosenko’s defenders cite his uncovering of John Vassall, the British Admi-
ralty employee, as a great contribution although they knew that Golitsyn had
previously exposed Vassall. To explain that away, they went further in inventive-
ness: the British weren’t really on Vassall's track at all, they said. Had it not been for
Nosenko’s information the British might have mistaken Golitsyn’s lead to Vassall for
a totally different Admiralty source, the Houghton-Gee-Lonsdale network earlier un-
covered by Goleniewski. 18 In fact, no such confusion was even remotely possible.

They pumped up Sergeant “Andrey,” Nosenko’s most important lead in 1962,
to unrecognizable proportions. So little access to secrets did the sergeant really
have that the KGB had dropped contact with him even before he retired from the
army and American authorities found that he could not have betrayed secrets
and saw no reason to prosecute him. But Nosenko’s cleansers magically trans-
formed this KGB reject into a “code clerk" who “had supplied the Soviets with top
secret U.S. military codes," permitting the KGB to break “the most sensitive U.S.
communications. [ Even worse:] ‘Andrey’ had later transferred to the super-sensitive
communications agency NSA that would give him even greater access to cipher
information. ” 19

In fact, Nosenko uncovered nothing that truly harmed the Soviet regime. He
did not uncover a single KGB asset that the KGB could not have sacrificed— not
one that had current access to NATO governmental secrets, was actively coop-
erating at the time, and had previously been unsuspected by Western counter-
intelligence agencies.

3. Distorting the reasons Nosenko fell under suspicion:

Nosenko’s CIA defenders repeated publicly that their CIA predecessors had
wrongly “prejudged” him even before debriefing him and without “even the most
cursory examination,” which would have demonstrated Nosenko's innocence.
Essentially, they “fabricated a case” to incriminate Nosenko. 20

They only suspected Nosenko because of paranoid theorizing by the earlier
defector Anatoly Golitsyn. Having adopted Golitsyn’s theories, Nosenko’s han-
dlers didn’t even try to find out what Nosenko had to say but simply set out to
break him. 21

This aspect of the myth required its creators to invent a role for Golitsyn
in the Nosenko investigation. One of the mythmakers testified under oath that
Golitsyn had "a substantial influence on the case” and “was masterminding the
examinations [of Nosenko] in many ways. It is with this in mind that we have
to approach everything that happened.” Golitsyn was "made part of [the anti-
Nosenko] investigating team,” Golitsyn had current access to the debriefing of
Nosenko, and “for six years whatever Yuri [Nosenko] said was submitted for final
judgment by" Golitsyn. 22

Pure invention. No member of the “investigating team” (which was in SB
Division) ever saw Golitsyn or asked or got information or comment from him.
He was being handled by the Cl Staff and even they did not give him details of the
case before 1967, aside from the fact of Nosenko's defection and his claimed
biography. This was long after the Soviet Bloc Division's interrogation and con-
clusions. Even then Golitsyn declined to comment because he had not read the
file. How, then, could he have ever exercised even an influence, much less a “final
judgment”?

It was not until 1968 that Golitsyn reviewed transcripts of meetings. Then he
stated unequivocally that Nosenko was a plant.

Because there is no substance to the myth’s claim that Golitsyn participated
or influenced anything, we need not dwell here on the mythmakers’ denigration
of Golitsyn— as a paranoid with “mind-boggling pipe dreams” and "outlandish
theories." However, it is worth noting their own truly mind-boggling falsehood,
that Golitsyn “never compromised any important Soviet agent.” 23

The mythmakers never revealed details of how Nosenko’s reports overlapped
those of Golitsyn. They dismissed the question by claiming Golitsyn learned a
few facts from his brief orientation period in Nosenko’s directorate, all of which
Nosenko naturally knew better. This was a subterfuge: in reality, the Golitsyn tips
that Nosenko diverted had nothing to do with Golitsyn’s “orientation period” but
were from his service in Finland and his handling of reports from spies within
NATO governments.

The mythmakers reached out even further to misrepresent why Nosenko fell
under suspicion.

• Drunkenness: One, under oath, testified that CIA came to suspect Nosenko
because he had made some drunken misstatements. Yet the only time in all
those years that Nosenko might have been drunk while reporting anything
whatsoever to CIA was during one meeting in 1962, and even then he
showed no sign of being under the influence.

• Language problems : In sworn testimony the representative of CIA’s director
asserted that language difficulties in Geneva caused "crucial misunder-
standings.” Yet he knew that a native Russian speaker had been present at
all but the first meeting and even during that meeting the only misunder-
standings involved one school Nosenko claimed to have attended and one
detail about his father. The FBI had no problem debriefing Nosenko in
English. 24

• Faulty transcripts: CIA’s representative testified that "discrepancies” in the
transcriptions of the recordings of the 1962 meetings were “very important
in the history of this case because [they] gave rise to charges within the
Agency that Nosenko was not what he purported to be." 25 But the witness,
who had studied the case, must have known that no discrepancies ever
gave rise to any such charge. Moreover, any errors in the transcripts were
early detected and corrected by Peter Deriabin.

4. Vilifying those who suspected Nosenko:

Why, asked a congressman in 1978, would CIA director Stansfield Turner let
his representative "create smashing anti-CIA headlines” by publicly attacking his
own former colleagues?

The answer was that, lacking substantive arguments, CIA’s spokesmen fell
back on ad hominem attacks on Nosenko’s detractors.

In sworn testimony the director’s personal envoy publicly accused his for-
mer colleagues of fabricating a case, torturing, misusing Agency techniques, and
contemplating murder. He rated their performance as “zero,” “miserable,” and
“abominable." They were “naive,” "utterly insensitive,” “extremist,” prone to “fa-
natic theories,” blindly biased, “paranoid,” and of “muddled mind.” 26 Lumped
into a never-defined category of “fundamentalists,” they were derided as “zealots”
and “true believers." A CIA director ticked off Nosenko’s early handlers— whom he
had never met— as “a group of Agency paranoids." 27

So far gone in paranoia was this "group" that they thought “CIA could not
have a bona fide Soviet operation" and turned away honest people who were
offering to become spies for CIA. Nosenko’s defenders never cited a single exam-
ple because in fact CIA had never turned down any volunteer from a Soviet bloc
government who met normal security criteria. It even accepted ones it knew to be
provocateurs, like the Soviet lieutenant of the “Sasha and Olga” case I mention in
Chapter 4, simply to get their stories.

John Hart, a former division chief in CIA, was under oath when he told
Congress that the two top officers of the Soviet Division (David Murphy, its chief,
and me, its deputy chief) “had been discredited" for their work on the Nosenko
case and that this had “caused them to be transferred out ... to foreign assign-
ments." 28 But as the Headquarters supervisor of both these posts abroad, Hart
knew that we had both opted for those challenging and prestigious assignments
long before any “discrediting" began.

Never did Nosenko’s defenders mention any positive results of the hostile in-
terrogation. Indeed, the CIA director’s spokesman testified that it had "failed
miserably.” In fact, it was by confronting Nosenko under circumstances he could
not evade and where he could get no outside coaching that CIA established firmly
that Nosenko was a KGB plant and documented some of the KGB’s purposes in
planting him.

5. Diverting attention from the underlying issue:

Nosenko’s defenders presented his case as essentially "a human phenome-
non” and that the "human factors involved have a direct bearing on some of the
contradictions which have appeared in the case.” As one put it, any questions
of Nosenko’s truthfulness are “poignantly overshadowed by Nosenko’s personal
tragedy, arising from CIA’s handling of his defection.” "We may not allow our-
selves to forget," he wrote, “that this story deals with a living person.” 29

The central issue of the case, they were implying, was CIA’s mistreatment of
Nosenko. They expressed outrage that “duplicity” had been practiced against
Nosenko and that the polygraph machine had been used more as an instrument
of interrogation than as a fair test of Nosenko ’s truth. They misrepresented the
reason Nosenko was incarcerated. They raised a horrifying vision of his being
thrown into a “torture vault," as one put it, or a “dungeon,” in another’s words. By
1989 the former CIA senior officer John Hart had so lost touch with the truth that
he asserted in writing that the interrogators had deprived Nosenko of sensory
stimuli for more than three years, and another told an investigative reporter that
Nosenko had been starving and close to death. 30 They must have been aware that
Nosenko had regular (as I remember, weekly) visits by a doctor to ascertain his
health and the adequacy of his diet. He was never ill, much less "close to death.”

They were contradicting the documented record. CIA director Richard Helms
and Nosenko’s former handlers testified under oath that Nosenko had been in-
carcerated only to prevent him from evading questions about contradictions
and anomalies in his stories. (These were the ones that touched upon Oswald,
the possible breaking of American ciphers, and penetration of American Intelli-
gence.) We were preventing what happened in 1985, when the later defector
Vitaly Yurchenko walked out and back to the KGB.

Whereas this case had damning interconnections with other cases like that
of Kulak/“Fedora,” Nosenko’s defenders avoided this subject. One mentioned the
cases of Cherepanov and Loginov only to imply that they, like Nosenko, were
innocent individuals whom CIA had stupidly misunderstood. 31

6. Ridiculing the “theory” of Soviet deception:

CIA spokesmen conveyed the idea that Soviet deception was a figment of
paranoia. Golitsyn, said one, “was given to building up big, fantastic plots, and he
eventually built up a plot . . . which was centered around the idea that the KGB
had vast resources which it was using to deceive . . . Western governments. This
plot was able to deceive the West . . . because [the KGB] had penetrations at high
levels . . . within the intelligence services of these countries, including our own.”
They displayed contempt for those who believed in such a crazy idea as “a plot
against the West," an idea that stemmed only from “historical research.” “I don’t
happen to be able to share this kind of thing,” said one. “The so-called plot was
sheer nonsense.” 32 Thus did CIA’s official spokesman dismiss as mad fantasy the
documented history of sixty years of such KGB "plots" of the sort described in
Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of this book.

A top CIA counterintelligence officer attacked this “historical research” from
a different angle. He admitted that Soviet deception operations had indeed taken
place— but by Nosenko’s time they were irrelevant. The classic prewar deception
operation “Trust,” he wrote, had existed “in a ‘totally different KGB and a totally
different world." He pointed out that in those distant days [the KGB] had had to
deal with large-scale resistance from elements of the population who got support
from emigration groups abroad. But both the resistance and the groups had since
dwindled away— and with them, the need for this sort of operation. 33

This denial became CIA doctrine— but not the KGB’s. As set out explicitly in
the KGB’s in-house secret history of 1977, there was an unbroken continuum
from “Operation Trust" to the present day. The KGB was teaching today’s officers
 that this “aggressive counterintelligence” was the best way to succeed in counterintel-
ligence work.

The myth thus created was accepted not only by investigative reporters
who could not know the truth but also by reputable historians— and even CIA
personnel.

A writer in the 1990s, after talking to Agency insiders, could say with no fear
of being contradicted, "Although [Nosenko] was in fact a genuine defector, Angle-
ton became convinced that he was a fake.” 34 A BBC interviewer asked a reputable
British historian about the doubts that had circulated concerning Nosenko’s
bona fides. The historian answered confidently that there had never been genuine
doubts but only paranoid views that had been fully discredited. Later this same
historian wrote that CIA’s suspicions of Nosenko were a “horrendous misjudg-
ment" and its investigation “appallingly mishandled.” 35

Another prestigious historian in 1994 described “Lieutenant Colonel” No-
senko as “the highest-ranking officer of the KGB to fall into CIA hands." Though
CIA had kept Nosenko “in sub-human conditions for five years, his evidence is
now regarded as far more reliable than all that Angleton’s protege Golitsyn ever
provided.” 36

The myth became doctrine within CIA itself. So deeply rooted did this fiction
become that even later chiefs of the Soviet operations division adopted it and
passed it on with their special authority. Two successive chiefs had so little knowl-
edge of the Nosenko case that they propagated the myth that “Angleton . . .
persuaded others at the CIA that [Nosenko] had been sent by Moscow to tie them in
knots about Oswald and dozens of other sensitive cases. He was encouraged in his
paranoia by an earlier KGB defector, Anatoly Golitsyn, who had told Angleton that
every defector after him would be a double agent. . . . Angleton had managed to co-
opt key officials in the Soviet Division, convincing them that virtually all of the spies
they were running were double agents sent against them by the KGB. . . . Those
who . . . challenged the prevailing paranoia were in danger of coming under suspi-
cion of being Soviet agents themselves. . . . The end result of these mind games was
virtual paralysis in the CIA’s operations against the Soviet Union. . . . CIA officers
largely stopped trying to target Soviets [and] the Soviet Division had been turning
away dozens of ‘volunteers, ’ Soviets and Eastern Europeans [. . . offering] to work
for the United States .” 37 As stated in Chapter 20, this was unfounded nonsense,
and not a single Soviet volunteer was turned away.

Other CIA officers, without access to the files, typically knew only what they
had been taught. One wrote, "The KGB defector Yuri Nosenko was badly and
illegally mistreated . . . because James Angleton and the CIA were mesmerized by
the paranoid ravings of a previous defector, Anatoly Golitsyn." 38

Wrote another CIA veteran a generation afterward, “When Nosenko offered a
version of Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination that didn't fit the
agency’s corporate view, he was sent to solitary confinement . . . for three years.” 39

With historians accepting it and CIA insiders reciting it, and with its high-
level sponsorship, the myth has prevailed. Wishful thinking triumphed.



APPENDIX C

Self-deception— Bane of Counterintelligence

(A "must read" if there ever was one.  -- MWT  ;) )

Plus this:

Hart, John L.: CIA* officer who had served in the Far East and later became
head of its European division. With assistants, he reviewed the Yuri
Nosenko* case in 1976 and cleared Nosenko of any suspicions lingering
after the Bruce Solie* report of 1968. In 1978, as personal representative of
CIA director Turner, testified to HSCA during its review of President Ken-
nedy’s assassination— instructed (as he admitted under oath) not to talk
about the assassin Oswald but to denigrate CIA personnel who had doubted
Nosenko's bona fides.

.....

Cheers!

--  Mudd Wrassler Tommy
5
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Ironic that lemming is multi species.... :D

Apparently, and reptiles ( ;)) have a taste for lemming meat..
7
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Cool, you can post a screen shot.  Now show me where I call you a lemming.

So you don't think I'm an LN then... after all, you sent your rant directly to me.
8
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You think the magic bullet traversed at Z-160?

Willis 5 was taken on Elm street as well.

Quote
You think the magic bullet traversed at Z-160?

No, and I don't think that CE399 was fired a couple of seconds later at about Zapruder frame 202 either, so what's your point?

Quote
Willis 5 was taken on Elm street as well.



Yawn, the old Willis 5 defence. But why rely on an overexposed blob when you have a near perfect image in Croft? Unbelievable!

As soon as Kennedy had settled into the Limo at Love Field his Jacket was bunched.



And the jacket was still bunched at Croft.



Fortunately we have film taken when both Croft and Willis took their photos and I see no evidence that in those two seconds that Kennedy finally decided to remove the bunch from his jacket. This Zapruder extract starts at Croft and finishes at Willis.



JohnM
9
Naturally, and as to be expected, the unbiased here are jumping around all over the place. When I talk about two dots on the Kennedy stand-in and expect someone from the unbiased to explain that point, they talk about the Connally guy being too low in the seat.

No explanation whatsoever of how a bullet heading from roughly 90 yards away and at a downward angle, hits the guy's back - and YES it's the back - and then somehow moves upward and exit the throat where the other marker is.

No explanation at all. And get this - the xxxxing back shot didn't even exit!  Hahahaha! That's a fact. Period.

Sure, sure.  Hahahaha!
10
Ironic that lemming is multi species.... :D
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
Mobile View