Users Currently Browsing This Topic:
0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Author Topic: My Critiques Of C. Cram's 18 Anti-Angleton / Anti-Bagley Book Reviews  (Read 137 times)

Online Thomas Graves

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2798
Post # 1

In 1993, the CIA's "Center for the Study of Intelligence" published Cleveland Cram's monograph Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature 1977-92, in which he reviewed eighteen books on the subject of alleged moles in American Intelligence and the intelligence officers who tried to uncover them.

Cram's first review is of Edward J. Epstein's 1978 book, Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald, which Cram particularly disliked.

LOL

I'll start critiquing his review of that book and the seventeen other ones shortly.

Some of my critiques will probably be much more detailed than the others.
.
In fact, some of them are likely to be downright cursory.

--  MWT  ;)

PS  Here's Cram's above-mentioned monograph:
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/U-Oct%20%201993-%20Of%20Moles%20-%20Molehunters%20-%20A%20Review%20of%20Counterintelligence%20Literature-%201977-92%20-v2.pdf

And here's Epstein's 1978 book Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald: https://archive.org/stream/nsia-EpsteinEdwardJayLegend/nsia-EpsteinEdwardJayLegend/Epstein%20Ed%20J%20Legend%20056_djvu.txt
.
Note:  From Tennent H. Bagley's 2007 book Spy Wars and Epstein's own internet "diary", we now know that Epstein's main source of information on defector Yuri Nosenko was Bagley, one of two CIA officers (the other one being probable mole George Kisevalter) who interviewed Nosenko six times in Geneva in June,1962, and who, upon being promoted to chief of Soviet Block Counterintelligence, was in charge of Nosenko's interrogation after he "defected" to the U.S. in January 1964, a few weeks after the assassination of JFK.
.
Regarding true-defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, Epstein's main source was undoubtedly James Angleton.

Unfortunately, I don't know who Epstein's source on Lee Harvey Oswald was, but I assume it was Angleton.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 07:28:40 AM by Thomas Graves »

Online Thomas Graves

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2798
Re: My Critiques Of C. Cram's 18 Anti-Angleton / Anti-Bagley Book Reviews
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 09:07:35 PM »
Post # 2

Some observations for now:

Cram's review of Epstein's Legend begins on page 25, but he has a lot of negative things to say about him before that.

Cram believes he was spreading James Angleton's "propaganda" in Legend.

Cram's ignorance-based bias against Angleton is almost palpable.

Example: "The theme of Legend was extended in a 1980 novel called The Spike by Arnaud de Borchgrave and Robert Moss.  De Borchgrave, soon-to-be editor of the new Washington Times, and Moss were friends and admirers of Angleton, whose conspiracy theories were consistent with their own. Moss had been spreading Angleton propaganda for some time, such as the claim that [Anatoliy] Golitsyn had provided the lead to [Kim] Philby. This caught the eye of Adm. Stansfield Turner, who was then DCI [director of the CIA]. When he asked the Counter Intelligence Staff about it, the staff replied from solid knowledge that the claim was false." (emphasis added)
...

The fact is, Golitsyn did provide the final clue to British intelligence that lead to the uncovering of Philby (and also lead to the uncovering of fellow mole Anthony Blunt).

The following excerpt is from the London Review of Books in its review of Philby in Beruit by Tom Carver:

"In December 1961, Anatoly Golitsyn, a senior KGB officer, defected to the West. He brought with him a number of clues which substantially strengthened the case against Philby."

(I'll expand on that shortly ...)

Regarding what the CI Staff allegedly told DCI Turner in 1968 about the uncovering of Philby, it must be born in mind that Angleton had been fired by (possible mole) William Colby in December of 1974 and replaced by counterintelligence newbie George Kalaris, and that shortly thereafter, CI Staff had been stripped of its pro-Angleton/pro-Golitsyn officers.

Throughout the monograph, Cram disparages the view of Angleton, Bagley and Golitsyn that, beginning in 1959, the KGB was more interested in waging CIA-manipulaing "deception operations" against the already-penetrated Agency than in was in penetrating it further and stealing more information from it.

(To be continued ...)

Okay, here's Cram's review of Legend --

Epstein is a bright and able writer who took his M.A. at Cornell and his doctorate in government at Harvard. He made a name for himself with his book Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, his master's thesis at Cornell. It was one of the first serious works to expose the shortcomings of that Commission. Epstein became aware of the Yuriy Nosenko case through The Reader's Digest, and this led to his acquaintance with James Angleton. Their association flourished, and Angleton became Epstein's major source on Nosenko and the controversy surrounding his defection. Eventually The Reader's Digest sponsored Epstein's research to the tune of $500,000. Legend, the book that resulted, was a bestseller, projecting the author to the forefront of those who were proponents of Angleton's theories. Following its publication, Epstein wrote numerous articles for New York, Commentary, and other publications, mostly—though not always—supportive of the Angleton theories. Legend has two parts: the first is about Nosenko and Angleton's belief that he was part of a KGB deception operation; the second is about Oswald's sojourn in the Soviet Union following his service with the Marine Corps in Japan. While in Japan the book suggests that Oswald acquired information about U-2 flights flown from the airfield at which he was stationed. In brief, Epstein accepted Angleton's conclusion that "Nosenko was a Soviet intelligence agent dispatched by the KGB expressly for the purpose of delivering disinformation to the CIA, FBI, and the Warren Commission." In this scheme, Oswald, the supposed lone assassin of President Kennedy, probably was working for the KGB. (Nosenko said this was not true.) Oswald, having defected to the USSR in 1959 and returned three years later, had been living a "legend," a false biography concocted for him by the KGB. A central theme in both parts of the book, carefully stated and always present, was that the highest level of the Intelligence Community, and certainly the CIA, was penetrated by a "mole" working for the KGB. Although this mole had not been found by 1978, the best "proof" that one existed, according to the book's argument, was Nosenko's assertion that he knew of no penetration, thereby contradicting statements made by a "Mr. Stone," who subsequently proved to be Anatoliy Golitsyn. Epstein thus promoted the twin beliefs of deception and penetration by the KGB, Angleton's theory that came to be called derisively "the monster plot." Epstein's source notes state that his work is based on interviews with Nosenko and retired CIA and FBI officers. He lists Gordon Stewart, Admiral Turner, Richard Helms, James Angleton and members of his CI (Counterintelligence) Staff, William Sullivan and Sam Papich of the FBI, and others connected with the Golitsyn and Nosenko cases. Epstein carefully camouflaged his sources by never quoting them directly, but clearly a number of CIA officers provided an immense amount of classified information. This leaking about sensitive Soviet cases was on a scale the CIA had not experienced before. But, because Epstein so cleverly refrained from pinpoint sourcing, exactly which CIA or FBI officers provided classified information could not be determined. In 1989 the mystery was solved when Epstein published a second book, Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA, which again dealt with the contentious old cases, including Nosenko and Golitsyn. Angleton, his major source, by then was dead, and Epstein revealed who his informants had been. (See review of Deception)  Although the presentation of these highly classified cases shocked most observers, within a year the entire Nosenko case was opened to the public by the US House Select Committee on Assassinations. Legend sold well, and conspiracy buffs found it a welcome addition to the growing literature on the Kennedy assassination. Many others, however, found the book confusing, its claims extravagant, and its conclusions unsupported by evidence. One of the chief critics, George Lardner of The Washington Post, wrote: "What Epstein has written .. . is a fascinating, important, and essentially dishonest book. Fascinating because it offers new information about Oswald, about the KGB, and about the CIA. Dishonest because it pretends to be objective, because it is saddled with demonstrable errors and inexcusable omissions, because it assumes the KGB always knows what it is doing while the CIA does not. It is paranoid. It is naive." Nevertheless, Legend unquestionably set the tone for the debate that subsequently ensued in the media about the Nosenko affair. It gave Angleton and his supporters an advantage by putting their argument adroitly — if dishonestly — before the public first. Not until David Martin responded with Wilderness of Mirrors was an opposing view presented coherently.

...

I will critique it in my next post.

--  MWT   ;)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 09:04:52 AM by Thomas Graves »

Online Thomas Graves

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2798
Re: My Critiques Of C. Cram's 18 Anti-Angleton / Anti-Bagley Book Reviews
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 06:05:45 AM »
Post # 3

"In brief, Epstein accepted Angleton's conclusion that 'Nosenko was a Soviet intelligence agent dispatched by the KGB expressly for the purpose of delivering disinformation to the CIA, FBI, and the Warren Commission.' In this scheme, Oswald, the supposed lone assassin of President Kennedy, probably was working for the KGB. (Nosenko said this was not true.) Oswald, having defected to the USSR in 1959 and returned three years later, had been living a "legend," a false biography concocted for him by the KGB. A central theme in both parts of the book, carefully stated and always present, was that the highest level of the Intelligence Community, and certainly the CIA, was penetrated by a 'mole' working for the KGB. Although this mole had not been found by 1978 [...]"
-- Cleveland Cram, 1993

Angleton was right in believing false-defector Nosenko had been dispatched to the U.S. to deliver disinformation (afterall, that's  what false defectors do) to the CIA and the FBI, disinformation that implausibly only overlapped and contradicted what true-defector Anatoliy Golitsyn had been telling CIA since December, 1961, about KGB penetrations of American intelligence and the intelligence services of some of our allies (e.g., France and Canada). Angleton and Bagley both realized that Nosenko was fake when in June,1962 they compared what Nosenko had told Bagley and (probable mole) George Kisevalter earlier that month in Geneva with what Golitsyn had started telling CIA six months earlier.

Several years later it became apparent to Bagley that the mole Nosenko was trying to protect was Edward Ellis Smith, a CIA officer who had been "honey-trapped" and recruited by KGB in Moscow in 1956, and another mole in CIA's Soviet Russia Division whom Smith had probably helped KGB to recruit., as well as a never-uncovered U.S. Army cipher clerk whom the Soviets referred to as "Jack".

Smith and the other (never-uncovered) mole betrayed Pyotr Popov to the KGB in 1957.

You can learn more about this by reading Bagley's 2007 book Spy Wars ...
https://archive.org/details/SpyWarsMolesMysteriesAndDeadlyGames

But I'm not so sure that Angleton believed Nosenko was also sent here to give disinformation to the Warren Commission, or that he was correct in that assumption if he did.

It seems to me that Nosenko's (false) contention that he'd been in charge of Oswald's files four times before and after the assassination and his claiming (almost certainly falsely) that KGB had had absolutely nothing to do with Oswald in the USSR was meant not to sow disinformation about Oswald, but to force CIA's hand in taking him to America as a defector so that once there he could discredit (with help from at least two already-in-place KGB triple-agents) true-defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in the eyes of U.S. intelligence, and in the eyes of gullible and assassination-negligent J. Edgar Hoover in particular.

On the other hand and in addition to this, maybe Angleton (if he was Epstein's source on Oswald and if Epstein understood him correctly) did know or suspect that Oswald had been in a relationship with the KGB while he was stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, and believed that one of the reasons Nosenko had been dispatched to the U.S. was to divert the Warren Commission and the intelligence community away from from this (possibly) non-JFK-assassination related "fact".

Bottom line, contrary to Cram's "take" on the situation, I see nothing wrong with Angleton's assuming that known false-defector Yuri Nosenko was dispatched to the U.S., a few weeks after the assassination, "with the express purpose of distributing disinformation to the CIA, the FBI and the Warren Commission".

The problem I have with Epstein is that we don't know for sure if Angleton  (or some other in-the-know CIA officer) told him that he believed, with ostensible good reason, that Oswald "probably was working for the KGB," but I suppose it's plausible that Angleton or somebody did believe that in good faith, and that Epstein simply couldn't leak that out and get his book published.

(to be continued...)

-- MWT  ;)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 11:26:42 PM by Thomas Graves »

 

Mobile View