Unclassified Extracts from Classified Studies 56-2Extracts by VegasStreetProphet


									Studies in Intelligence
    Journal of the American Intelligence Professional

Unclassified articles from Studies in Intelligence Volume 56, Number 2
                                  (June 2012)

        A “Spy” Who Made His Own Way: Ernest Hemingway

        The United States, Britain, and the Hidden Justification
        of Operation TPAJAX


        Thinking, Fast and Slow

        Espionage and Covert Operations:
        A Global History
        —An Audio Course

        The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel

        Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

                   Center for the Study of Intelligence
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Awards                        The Sherman Kent Award of $3,500 is offered annually for the most signifi-
                              cant contribution to the literature of intelligence submitted for publication in
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                              The Editorial Board welcomes readers’ nominations for awards.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (Extracts, June 2012)                                                       i
                                               Studies in Intelligence
       Washington, DC 20505
                                                  C O N T E N T S
Articles for Studies in Intelligence may
be written on any historical, opera-           A Spy Who Made His Own Way
tional, doctrinal, or theoretical aspect       Ernest Hemingway, Wartime Spy                      1
of intelligence.                               Nicholas Reynolds
The final responsibility for accepting
or rejecting an article rests with the         The Economics of Overthrow
Editorial Board.                               The United States, Britain, and the Hidden
The criterion for publication is               Justification of Operation TPAJAX             15
whether, in the opinion of the Board,          Torey L. McMurdo
the article makes a contribution to the
literature of intelligence.
                                               Thinking, Fast and Slow                       27
Peter S. Usowski, Chairman                     Reviewed by Frank J. Babetski
Pamela S. Barry
LtGen. Michael T. Flynn
Nicholas Dujmovic                              Espionage and Covert Operations:
John McLaughlin                                A Global History—An Audio Course              31
Philip Mudd                                    Reviewed by Nicholas Dujmovic
Wayne M. Murphy
Matthew J. Ouimet                              The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel              33
Valerie P.
Michael L. Rosenthal
                                               Reviewed by John Ehrman
Barry G. Royden
Ursula M. Wilder                               Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf              35
Members of the board are drawn from the        Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake
Central Intelligence Agency and other
Intelligence Community components.

Andres Vaart

                                           Vol. 56, No. 2 (Extracts, June 2012)             iii

Frank Babetski is a CIA Directorate of Intelligence analyst. He holds the Tradecraft Chair at
the Sherman Kent School at CIA University.

Nicholas Dujmovic, a member of CIA’s History Staff, is also a member of the Studies in Intel-
ligence Editorial Board. He is a frequent contributor to Studies.

John Ehrman is a CIA analyst specializing in counterintelligence matters. He is a frequent, and
award-winning, contributor to Studies in Intelligence.

Torey L. McMurdo is a researcher focusing on US national security and the Intelligence Com-
munity at Stanford University. She earned a B.A. in political science, magna cum laude, from
the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. She completed research for her article at the
University of Cambridge.

Hayden Peake has served in the CIA’s Directorates of Operations and Science and Technology.
He is celebrating his first decade as the compiler of the Intelligence Officer’s bookshelf.

Nicholas Reynolds, a semi-retired CIA officer, is the CIA Museum’s historian.

Vol. 56, No. 2 (Extracts, June 2012)                                                          v
A Spy Who Made His Own Way

Ernest Hemingway, Wartime Spy
Nicholas Reynolds

                                              During World War II, Ernest                  not produce much for anyone
                                            Hemingway happily devoted                      except himself and his literary
                                            much more of his time and                      executors.
                                            energy to the field of intelli-
                                            gence than to his normal liter-                  Although many of the details
                                            ary pursuits. He had                           of Hemingway’s wartime work
                                            relationships with the intelli-                are not well known, the gen-

                                            gence section of the US                        eral outlines of the story are. At
                                            embassy in Havana as well as                   the beginning of 1941, before
                                            with at least three US intelli-                the United States entered WW
   As an auxiliary spy,
                                            gence agencies: the Office of                  II, Hemingway and his third
 Hemingway more than                                                                       wife, Martha Gellhorn, were
                                            Naval Intelligence (ONI), the
   once demonstrated                        Office of Strategic Services                   living in Cuba. In the first
willingness to take risks                   (OSS), and the Federal Bureau                  quarter of that year, the two
and work hard, but in the                   of Investigation (FBI). In addi-               went to China on an assign-
  end, no matter what                       tion, he dealt with the Soviet                 ment for Collier’s Weekly, a
 others had in mind for                     Union’s intelligence service at                well-regarded magazine that
 him, Hemingway made                        the time, the NKVD. a                          featured investigative report-
his own way through the                                                                    ing and commentary. 1 Upon
                                              The threshold question for                   their return to Cuba, they set-
         war….                              each organization was, what                    tled back into their comfortable
                                            could, or should, Hemingway do                 routine at Finca Vigia, a spec-

                ”                           for the war effort? Two of the
                                            organizations decided officially
                                            not to have anything to do with
                                            the novelist; the others tried to
                                            put him to work as an auxil-
                                                                                           tacular hillside estate by the
                                                                                           sea, a few miles outside

                                                                                             There, Hemingway had a
                                            iary spy. In that capacity he                  remarkable circle of friends and
                                            more than once demonstrated                    acquaintances, from literary
                                            willingness to take risks and                  figures and artists, to barmen
                                            work hard, but in the end, no                  and prostitutes, sailors and
                                            matter what others had in                      hunters, and even some govern-
                                            mind for him, Hemingway                        ment officials. Among those
                                            made his own way through the                   officials was Spruille Braden,
                                            war and, for the most part, did                the colorful and energetic
                                                                                           American ambassador, and his

                                            a The NKVD, the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, was a predecessor of the

                                            KGB, the Committee for State Security, which was established in 1954.

                                             All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the
                                             authors. Nothing in the article should be construed as asserting or implying US gov-
                                             ernment endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                     1
Novelist Spy?

                                                       inefficient, and           way was to use his contacts in
                                                       unenthusiastic             Havana to keep an eye out for
                                                       bureaucrat. 2              Axis spies, especially in the
                                                                                  city’s large Spanish commu-
                                                      This meant that             nity. Hemingway readily agreed
                                                    Hemingway and Joyce           —ever since his experiences in
                                                    could become friends.         Spain during the Spanish Civil
                                                    By the time the               War, Hemingway had been a
                                                    United States entered         dedicated antifascist—and got
                                                    the war in December           to work on what he came to call
                                                    1941, Joyce had been          “the Crook Factory,” his varia-
                                                    invited to many long          tion on “crime section,” which
                                                    dinners at the Finca          was the more bureaucratic term
                                                    —where he and his             that the embassy used for the
                                                    wife were often the           operation.
                                                    only guests—and felt
                                                    that he knew Heming-            As head of the Crook Factory,
                                                    way well:                     Hemingway reported to Joyce,
                                                                                  for whom Braden had created
                                                          I suppose the           the unusual position of chief of
                                                          reason why we           intelligence. For the unfortu-
Hemingway (right) and Martha Gellhorn (second
from the left) were met en route to China in January      got on so well          nate Joyce, this meant that he
1941 by film star Gary Cooper and his wife. Photo ©       was that we             would have to do his best to
Bettmann/CORBIS.                                          agreed in hat-          coordinate his own intelligence
                                                          ing the same            operations, like the Crook Fac-
subordinate, Robert P. Joyce.                   things such as Hitlerism,         tory, with the work of other sec-
Both Braden and Joyce were, by                  Marxist-Leninist totali-          tions in the embassy that were
chance, Yale graduates and                      tarian communism, …               also conducting intelligence
willing not only to think out-                  petty bourgeois confor-           operations in Cuba: the naval
side the box, but also to invent                mity, and all abuses of           and army attaché offices and
new boxes if necessary. In his                  state power to police and         the FBI. For a few months in
unpublished memoir, Joyce                       restrict human freedom. 3         the second half of 1942, Hem-
remembered that                                                                   ingway appears to have tried
                                           When they met in the sum-              his best to uncover Axis spies
    I first met Ernest Heming-           mer of 1942, Hemingway and               for Joyce. He found none,
    way…in the early summer              Braden discussed what the                although he produced a num-
    of 1941…. I felt in him a            writer could do for the war              ber of reports of varying qual-
    mild but polite hostility            effort. It is not clear who first        ity. Some of them were wildly
    and a complete lack of               broached the idea of intelli-            implausible; others were accu-
    interest in any future               gence work. Hemingway may                rate but not important. 5 The
    meetings. This attitude, I           have volunteered his services in         man who was probably the only
    soon learned, was his                a general way, leaving it to             bona fide Nazi spy in town,
    habitual stance of dislike           Braden to come up with the               Heinz Luening, was unmasked,
    and suspicion in all his             idea for Hemingway “to orga-             not by anyone in Havana, but
    dealings with civilian               nize an intelligence service” to         by British censors in Bermuda
    government officials and             keep an eye on fascist sympa-            who detected anomalies in his
    authority in general. [But]          thizers in Havana. 4 What                correspondence and found that
    Ernest soon found out I              Braden had in mind was actu-             it contained secret writing.
    was a poorly disciplined,            ally more of a counterintelli-           (Ironically, Luening was a
                                         gence service than an                    heavy drinker and ladies’ man
                                         intelligence service: Heming-

2                                                                       Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                  Novelist Spy?

who ran in the same kinds of
                                            A major by-product of Hemingway’s work in the Crook Facto-
circles as many members of the              ry—and one of Joyce’s biggest headaches—was friction with
Crook Factory. 6)                           the FBI.
  While Hemingway was work-
ing for the embassy, Braden                 March 1942, and it came to the      ingway had explained that he
and Joyce added another group               attention of the FBI because,       was always signing one peti-
to his target list: communists.             according to a confidential         tion or another without focus-
Braden was an early anticom-                informant, the author was           ing on its content, and that he
munist and claimed in his                   residing in a hotel in Mexico       had been joking when he com-
memoirs that he had told the                City “under an assumed name”        pared the FBI to the Gestapo. 10
members “of [his] amateur                   and having what appeared to be
intelligence organization” to               secretive meetings with the dis-      This was not true, and Joyce
keep an eye on local commu-                 illusioned communist Gustav         knew it. As Joyce himself wrote,
nists and “find out who [the]               Regler, a good friend from the      “Ernest reacted with violent
most dangerous enemies were”                time of the Spanish Civil War. 9    hostility to the FBI and all its
so that he could attempt to                                                     works and personnel.” For one
tamp down Cuban enthusiasm                    A major by-product of Hem-        thing, Hemingway believed
for Stalin and the Red Army. 7 A            ingway’s work in the Crook Fac-     that, because many FBI agents
draft of a note from Joyce to               tory—and one of Joyce’s biggest     happened to be Roman Catho-
Hemingway written in the sum-               headaches—was friction with         lics, they were Franco sympa-
mer of 1942 captures the diplo-             the FBI. The extent of the          thizers. He liked to refer to the
mat’s frame of mind:                        enmity emerges from FBI mem-        FBI as “Franco’s Bastard Irish”
                                            orandums and even more              and “Franco’s Iron Cavalry.”
   As you know, Commies                     clearly from Joyce’s memoirs.       Hemingway also believed that,
   are putting on in Mexico                 Though Joyce liked to think of      in Joyce’s words, the FBI under-
   City, starting next Mon-                 himself as an unenthusiastic        stood “nothing about the subtle-
   day, September 5th…their                 bureaucrat, he knew enough          ties of sophisticated intelligence
   traveling peace circus.                  about the art form to consult       in wartime” and was undermin-
   Commie big shots                         the legal attaché at the            ing his work in Cuba. In one
   throughout Latin Amer-                   embassy, an FBI agent named         instance, the Cuban police
   ica are scheduled to                     R. G. Leddy, before enlisting       picked up a member of the
   attend. Plus fuzzy-minded                Hemingway’s services. Leddy         Crook Factory. Hemingway was
   liberals from universi-                  described the meeting to his        certain that the FBI was behind
   ties.... I have discussed                headquarters in Washington          the arrest, and he drove imme-
   this matter with Spruille                saying “that Mr. Joyce was          diately to Joyce’s apartment
   [Braden]… and think it                   advised that there was some         even though it was after hours.
   would be an excellent idea               question of the attitude of Mr.     Joyce remembered that Hem-
   if you could find yourself               Hemingway to the FBI,” to           ingway was “in a towering rage”
   in Mexico City next                      include Hemingway’s signature       when he arrived. Joyce sum-
   week…in a position to                    on a denunciation of the FBI        moned the FBI agent on duty
   make…comment on peace                    and his remark upon meeting         and, while Hemingway and the
   conference of a deflation-               Leddy for the first time that the   agent glared at each other,
   ary nature. 8                            FBI was “the American               asked that the FBI intervene on
                                            Gestapo.” Joyce promised to ask     the Crook Factory’s behalf,
 There is no evidence that                  Hemingway whether this was          which it apparently did. 11
Hemingway went to Mexico to                 an accurate reflection of his
attend the “peace circus.” He               views on the FBI and, not sur-        Hemingway was wrong when
did travel to Mexico City in                prisingly, soon got back to         he accused the Bureau of lack-
1942, but not in September.                 Leddy with the answer: Hem-         ing sophistication. Declassified
Hemingway’s trip took place in

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                 3
Novelist Spy?

It would all be highly secret. Hemingway clearly relished the se-        trained submariners of the
crecy and the danger.                                                    Third Reich, but the Marine
                                                                         could not say no to Hemingway,
                                                                         especially since the author had
FBI records show a nuanced         arrangements for a Spanish ref-       the support of the ambassador.
reaction to his encroachment on    ugee named Gustavo Durán to           In the end, the ONI arranged
its turf. While at least one       come to Cuba to run it. 13 This       for Hemingway to receive just
agent believed that the ama-       would free Hemingway up for           enough gear—guns, ammuni-
teur needed to be confronted       another project that interested       tion, grenades, a direction
and revealed as “the phony”        him far more. Hemingway               finder, and a radio—to make
that he was, J. Edgar Hoover       pitched the idea to Braden,           the mission viable. The ONI
himself stepped in to ensure       Joyce, and the ONI. According         even threw in an experienced
that the Bureau trod carefully     to Braden, Hemingway claimed          Marine to sail with Heming-
in the Hemingway case. On the      that the embassy should “pay”         way. It would all be highly
one hand, Hoover directed that     him for starting the Crook Fac-       secret. Hemingway clearly rel-
his agent in Havana relay his      tory by supporting another one        ished the secrecy and the dan-
concerns about using a volun-      of his schemes, patrolling the        ger. He especially enjoyed
teer for intelligence work,        waters on the north coast of          developing his cover, which was
instructing him “to discuss dip-   Cuba in his cabin cruiser, the        that he was performing oceano-
lomatically with Ambassador        Pilar, in search of Germans. 14       graphic research for the Ameri-
Braden the disadvantages” of                                             can Museum of Natural
allowing someone like Heming-        While other American sailors        History. The Pilar’s war cruises
way, who was not a govern-         were volunteering their boats         lasted from the second half of
ment official, into the fold.      and their time along the East         1942 through most of 1943.
                                   Coast to spot U-boats, Heming-        Although Hemingway patrolled
 On the other hand, Hoover did     way’s concept of operations           diligently for much of the time,
not want to press the case         went further. He would pre-           he only spotted one German
because Hemingway had the          tend to be fishing, wait until a      submarine, which sailed away
ambassador’s ear, as well as       German submarine came along-          on the surface as he
connections to the White House.    side to buy fresh fish and water,     approached. 15
(Hoover knew this because the      and then attack the enemy with
president had told him about a     bazookas, machine guns, and             By late 1943, it was clear that
request by Hemingway for the       hand grenades. Hemingway              the focus of the war had shifted
US government to help Europe-      would use Basque jai alai play-       eastward. The submarine
ans interned in Cuba, most of      ers to lob the grenades down          threat in American waters had
whom were victims of fascism.)     the open hatches of the unsus-        receded. The Allies had invaded
None of this, Hoover added,        pecting U-boat.                       North Africa in late 1942 and
changed his conclusion that                                              ejected the Germans from Tuni-
“Hemingway is the last man, in       Hemingway had a good ONI            sia by the summer of 1943. It
my estimation, to be used in       contact, the redoubtable Marine       was now only a matter of time
any such capacity. His judg-       Col. John A. Thomason, who            before the Allies would invade
ment is not of the best.” Hoover   was the writer’s kind of man: a       the mainland of Europe. Gell-
continued with an apparent         veteran of World War I infan-         horn traveled across the Atlan-
expression of concern about        try combat, a distinguished           tic in the fall and started
Hemingway’s evident lack of        short-story writer and sketch         working as one of the few
sobriety in the past. 12           artist, a heavy drinker, and an       female war correspondents. She
                                   intelligence officer. Thomason        wrote back to Cuba to urge
  Before long, Hemingway tired     told Hemingway that he and            Hemingway to join her. Hem-
of the Crook Factory and sug-      his crew would stand no chance        ingway resisted stubbornly, urg-
gested that the embassy make       of success against the highly         ing her instead to return to

4                                                              Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                       Novelist Spy?

                                                                                     the sophisticated international
                                                                                     businessman who was head of
                                                                                     Secret Intelligence (SI, the espi-
                                                                                     onage branch of the OSS), con-
                                                                                     sider approaching Hemingway
                                                                                     about working for SI.

                                                                                       This message caused some
                                                                                     head scratching as it worked its
                                                                                     way around the OSS. Just what
                                                                                     could Hemingway do for the
                                                                                     OSS? wondered Lt. Cdr. Turner
                                                                                     McWine, the chief intelligence
                                                                                     officer for the OSS in the Mid-
                                                                                     dle East. The author’s promi-
                                                                                     nence and reputed
                                                                                     temperament would make it
                                                                                     hard for him to fit in. 18

                                                                                       Joyce addressed these con-
                                                                                     cerns in a long letter to Shepa-
                                                                                     rdson a month later. He
Hemingway on his beloved boat, Pilar, in an undated photograph. During the war, he
patrolled the Caribbean on the Pilar for more than a year in search of German sub-
                                                                                     enumerated Hemingway’s attri-
marines. Not content merely to find them, he hoped to sink any that he and his       butes: he was an authority on
armed crew encountered. They saw only one U-boat and didn’t get close enough to do   Spain; he knew more non-
(or suffer) damage. Photo ©Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.                             Franco Spaniards than “any
Cuba to keep him company.                   way wanted her to come home.             other American”; he had run
Gellhorn did not give up easily             She told Joyce that she was pre-         intelligence organizations him-
and, in February 1944, went so              pared to obey “the orders of her         self; and, from the Spanish
far as to ask the OSS for help in           lord and master,” but was deso-          Civil War, he had a firsthand
getting her husband into the                late about the prospect of giv-          and extensive knowledge of
war.                                        ing up her plans to cover “the           guerrilla warfare and special
                                            big show,” meaning the Allied            operations. Joyce defended
  Gellhorn encountered Joyce in             invasion of France. She thought          Hemingway from traditional-
Bari, Italy, where he was serv-             that Hemingway might have                ists like the head of military
ing as the OSS base chief. Like             made plans to come to Europe             intelligence, Maj. Gen. George
many others, he had joined the              in some capacity, but that he            V. Strong, a perennial thorn in
OSS in search of excitement.                seemed to have run into trans-           the side of the OSS. Joyce
He found it easy to separate                portation and perhaps passport           claimed that Strong’s criticism
from the Foreign Service, which             difficulties. 17                         of Hemingway was related
he thought was too stuffy and                                                        more to the author’s lifestyle
hidebound for a free spirit like              The record is silent on                and sympathies for the Span-
himself. 16 With his background             whether Gellhorn then asked              ish Republic than to his abili-
in Cuba and friendship with                 for Joyce’s help, or if Joyce            ties. What did it matter to the
Hemingway, Joyce was just the               offered to do what he could. In          OSS if Hemingway had been
kind of man Gellhorn was look-              any case, Joyce cabled OSS               married three times? Joyce
ing for. She laid the family                headquarters with the sugges-            summed up that Hemingway
issue out for Joyce: she was                tion that OSS Director Dono-             was a man “of the highest
having a good war, but Heming-              van and Whitney Shepardson,              integrity and loyalty,” about as

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                   5
Novelist Spy?

Shepardson cabled back…he had “decided in the negative
about Hemingway…he undoubtedly has conspicuous ability
                                                                            unit made up of left-wing Amer-
for this type of work, [but] he would be too much of an individ-
                                                                            icans who had gone to Spain to
ualist to work under military supervision.                                  fight against Franco. But for
                                                                            those who were a little more
much of a communist or fellow         decided in the negative               conventional, even though they
traveler as the head of Chase         about Hemingway. We                   were in the OSS, Hemingway
National Bank. Joyce repeated         may be wrong, but feel                had nothing but scorn. As he
his suggestion that Shepardson        that although he undoubt-             wrote to Wolf after the war,
consider inviting Hemingway to        edly has conspicuous                  “many things…about O.S.S.
Washington for high-level dis-        ability for this type of              when [I] had contact with them
cussions to explore how he            work, he would be too                 were chicken and others really
could be useful to the OSS, per-      much of an individualist              excellent.” 24
haps in Spain or Italy. 19            to work under military
                                      supervision. 23                         Another of the OSS officers
  The record shows that the                                                 Hemingway found excellent
OSS staffed the request care-        It was a good call. Heming-            was David K. E. Bruce, a Vir-
fully. Shepardson solicited the    way’s attitude toward the OSS            ginia aristocrat who headed the
opinions of Donovan’s inner cir-   was typically ambivalent, and            organization’s operations in
cle and received comments from     he probably would not have               Europe and who after the war
OSS Deputy Directors Brig.         been any more of a company               became a prominent diplomat.
Gen. John Magruder and G.          man, even in a relatively                Theirs is a colorful, oft-told
Edward Buxton. Like others,        unconventional organization              story. 25 Hemingway had decided
Magruder expressed reserva-        like OSS, than he had been as            to travel to France as a war cor-
tions about Hemingway’s tem-       an adjunct member of the US              respondent. He was eager to
perament and left-wing politics,   embassy in Cuba.
adding the snide comment that      There were some peo-
Joyce was “an extremely intelli-   ple in OSS that Hem-
gent and somewhat tempera-         ingway admired, and
mental individual who would        some that he was quick
not be improved by association     to criticize. He was
with…Hemingway.” 20 For his        endlessly proud of his
part, Buxton wondered if Hem-      son, John Hemingway,
ingway might have more poten-      an OSS paramilitary
tial for Morale Operations         officer who parachuted
(MO), the OSS’s black propa-       into occupied France
ganda arm, than for the work of    with his fly rod, and
SI. 21 Hemingway’s file duly       there was never any
made its way over to MO,           question about his feel-
whose leaders concluded a few      ings for men like Joyce,
days later that Hemingway was      once it was clear that
too much of an individualist       they were more com-
even for their unconventional      fortable outside the box
mission. 22 No one suggested       than anywhere else.
that the 44-year-old Heming-       Similarly, he was posi-
way was suitable for a role in     tive about men like       David K.E. Bruce in 1961. He would become the
OSS’s paramilitary branch. In      Milton Wolf, a wartime chief US negotiator in peace negotiations with
the end, Shepardson cabled         member of the OSS         North Vietnam for the Nixon administration and
                                                             the first envoy to the People’s Republic of China
back to Joyce that he had          who had been with the after relations were restored in 1973.
                                   Lincoln Battalion, a      Photo © Bettmann/CORBIS.

6                                                                 Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                     Novelist Spy?

                                            Since Hemingway had by far exceeded his brief as a corre-
                                            spondent, he turned to Bruce for protection in case of “trouble.”
participate in the liberation of
Paris and by 19 August 1944
had set off on the road to the              chance, he ran into Bruce, who           For a little more than three
capital.                                    wrote in his diary that he had         days, Hemingway, Bruce, and
                                            been “enchanted” to meet               the French irregulars ran para-
  Along the way, he bumped                  Hemingway. 26 (Bruce was usu-          military intelligence operations
into a small group of commu-                ally more reserved, but he             from Rambouillet. They sent
nist Maquis from a group                    appears to have idolized Hem-          agents out into the surround-
known as the Francs-Tireurs et              ingway, describing him as              ing countryside to collect infor-
Partisans Français (FTPF) and               “patriarchal, with his gray            mation from locals; they
helped to arm and clothe them               beard, imposing physique,              scouted for Germans; they cap-
from US Army stocks. The                    much like God, as painted by           tured and interrogated prison-
Maquis subordinated them-                   Michelangelo.” 27) The author          ers of war; and they reported
selves to the charismatic Amer-             persuaded Bruce to meet him in         their useful (but not decisive)
ican who spoke their language               Rambouillet, which was closer          results to the US and French
and, with Hemingway almost                  to the front lines and a good          armies. Along the way, Heming-
literally calling the shots, the            stepping-off point for Paris.          way impressed Bruce with his
small group made its way to                 Bruce seized the opportunity           talent for battlefield reconnais-
Rambouillet, a town outside                 and, with Hemingway and a              sance. When the time was
Paris.                                      leader of the FTPF, established        right, they made their way to
                                            a small tactical intelligence          Paris, where they “liberated”
 Hemingway then went on                     headquarters.                          the Ritz and started celebrat-
briefly to a US divisional head-                                                   ing. It was, Hemingway would
quarters at Chartres, where, by                                                    write to Bruce after the war, “a
                                                                                   lovely story and one you and I
                                                                                   can both be proud of.” 28

                                                                                     Since Hemingway had by far
                                                                                   exceeded his brief as a corre-
                                                                                   spondent, he turned to Bruce
                                                                                   for protection in case of “trou-
                                                                                   ble,” by which the author
                                                                                   apparently meant losing his
                                                                                   accreditation (let alone capture
                                                                                   by the Germans, who were
                                                                                   given to shooting combatants
                                                                                   not in proper uniform). Accord-
                                                                                   ing to a letter that Hemingway
                                                                                   wrote after the war, Bruce had
                                                                                   obliged him by writing out a
                                                                                   simple set of orders, tanta-
                                                                                   mount to temporarily attach-
                                                                                   ing Hemingway to the OSS. If it
                                                                                   ever existed, this bit of paper
                                                                                   did not survive the war; Hem-
                                                                                   ingway claimed that he had
                                                                                   destroyed it to protect Bruce. 29
                                                                                   However, there is in the Hem-
Hemingway seen just before beginning a flight over France soon after D-Day land-
ings began on 6 June 1944. Photo © Bettmann/CORBIS.                                ingway archives a somewhat

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                 7
Novelist Spy?

That Hemingway would have accepted the [NKVD] pitch is
                                                                          scribe to their ideology. Like
                                                                          many others, Joyce remem-
                                                                          bered Hemingway as “apoliti-
formal handwritten note from        way went back to being a war          cal”:
Bruce to “Dear Mr. Heming-          correspondent with the infan-
way,” dated in Rambouillet, 23      try, staying through the Battle           The leftist intellectu-
August 1944:                        of the Bulge and then return-             als…were angry…because
                                    ing to Cuba in March 1945.                he always refused to enter
    I am leaving…for Paris in                                                 their “camp”…. [Heming-
    the morning. If you can           The liberation of Paris was             way said,] “I like
    conveniently arrange the        the high-water mark of Hem-               communists when they’re
    transportation there of the     ingway’s history with US intel-           soldiers but when they’re
    twelve Resistance men           ligence during the war. But it            priests, I hate them.” He
    who have done such excel-       was not the end of his relation-          was always particularly
    lent service here, I would      ship with the NKVD, which had             contemptuous of the “ide-
    be very grateful. I feel that   begun quietly in January 1941,            ology boys.” 34
    it is important to keep         possibly while Hemingway was
    them together to be used        in New York en route to China           Considering the timing, it is
    for certain future pur-         with Gellhorn. According to           especially hard to reconcile
    poses that I have in            transcripts of NKVD files pre-        Hemingway’s becoming a spy
    mind. 30                        pared by a Russian historian          for the NKVD with his long-
                                    who subsequently fled to the          standing antifascist views. In
  Considering Hemingway’s           West, Hemingway “was                  January 1941, when Heming-
ability to clothe and arm the       recruited for our work on ideo-       way reportedly accepted the
Maquis using US military            logical grounds” by an opera-         pitch, the Hitler-Stalin pact
materiel, as well as his rela-      tive named Jacob Golos. 32 It is      was still in force; the Nazi and
tionship with OSS officers in       not clear exactly what trans-         Soviet dictators were allies.
theater, some scholars have         pired between the two men,            More than 70 years later, it is
hinted that there might have        only that Hemingway accepted          hard to appreciate what a blow
been more to the story than         a material password for con-          the cynical pact, signed in 1939,
meets the eye. Was there some-      tact with another, unknown            had been to many on the left,
thing else, some other kind of      NKVD operative and that Golos         especially those who had seen
secret work, perhaps with the       came away satisfied that Hem-         Stalin as the only real counter-
French resistance or American       ingway had accepted the pitch.        weight to Hitler. Lifelong com-
intelligence that Hemingway         Golos’s words were: “I am sure        munists experienced agonizing
biographers have missed? 31 Per-    that he will cooperate with us        doubts. More than a few, like
haps, but the official OSS corre-   and will do everything he can         Hemingway’s communist friend
spondence about using him           [to help the NKVD].” He was           Regler, abandoned the party.
ended less than four months         assigned the codename “Argo.” 33      Those who found a way to ratio-
prior to his time at Rambouil-                                            nalize the Hitler-Stalin alli-
let, which would suggest that         That Hemingway would have           ance were on their way to
what happened there was noth-       accepted the pitch is stunning.       qualifying as true believers.
ing more than a momentary,          It is hard to reconcile with his
unofficial collaboration between    individualism and many of his           Could Golos have misunder-
Hemingway and Bruce, gov-           statements about communists           stood Hemingway’s response or
erned by chance and personal        and communism. He admired a           reported it incorrectly? The
chemistry. Supporting that con-     number of communists and how          short answer is that it is not
clusion is the fact that, after     they fought for their ideals, but     likely that he made a mistake.
the liberation of Paris, Heming-    he said that he did not sub-          Golos is an intriguing figure in

8                                                               Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                  Novelist Spy?

                                            Orlov’s literary executor wrote that the NKVD station chief con-
                                            sidered Hemingway to be “a true believer.”
the history of Soviet espionage
in the United States. 35 An old
Bolshevik who emigrated to the
United States before WW I, he               large group of veterans, who       his best-selling classic novel
eventually became a US citizen              were working in government         about the war. When Heming-
and a senior member of the                  service, to die in the path of a   way met Orlov in Madrid on
Communist Party of the United               hurricane. The NKVD was            7 November 1937 for a celebra-
States (CPUSA). Along with his              pleasantly surprised by the ide-   tion of the Bolshevik Revolu-
work for the party, he became a             ology that seemed to underlie      tion, Hemingway thanked him
key contact for the NKVD sta-               the article. 37 It was just as     for the unusually good bottle of
tions in New York and Wash-                 pleased with Hemingway’s           vodka that Orlov had given him
ington.                                     speech in New York in June         at the camp, and went on to
                                            1937, when he shared a podium      “vehemently denounce Franco
  Golos appears to have started             at a writer’s conference with      and the nationalists
out as a support asset, using               CPUSA Chairman Earl                while…having nothing but
his contacts to obtain US pass-             Browder and forcefully             praise for the [Communist]
ports for NKVD personnel. He                attacked fascism, the “one form    International Brigades’ com-
went on to work as a spotter,               of government that cannot pro-     manders and the
case handler, and case man-                 duce good writers.” Without        Republicans.” 39
ager. There is even a reference             mentioning another type of gov-
to him in the NKVD files as the             ernment that also limited free-      Orlov’s literary executor wrote
de facto chief of station in the            dom of speech, he concluded, “A    that the NKVD station chief
United States for periods when              writer who will not lie cannot     considered Hemingway to be “a
the service was shorthanded                 live and work under fascism.” 38   true believer.” Despite numer-
(which occurred more than once                                                 ous statements and actions to
during Stalin’s purges). He per-              For the NKVD, the speech was     the contrary, Hemingway did
sonally handled such famous                 said to have been pivotal. From    occasionally write or talk like a
and enormously productive                   that moment on, the NKVD           true believer, especially in the
spies as Julius Rosenberg and               would extend to “Hemingway         cause of antifascism and, by
Elizabeth Bentley. In short,                carte blanche on any wish or       extension, its communist and
while Golos was not a profes-               endeavour he might hope to         Soviet supporters. Robert Jor-
sional intelligence officer, he             pursue on his return to Spain.”    dan, the American guerrilla
was both experienced and suc-               The NKVD station chief in          who is the hero of For Whom
cessful when it came to spying              Madrid, Alexander Orlov,           the Bell Tolls, is disturbed by
in the United States. All of this           stepped in on more than one        atrocities on both sides of the
makes it unlikely that he had               occasion to make sure that         Spanish Civil War, to say noth-
somehow misinterpreted the                  Hemingway got access to the        ing of the cynical intrigues of at
meeting with Hemingway.                     people and places he needed for    least one communist leader
                                            his stories, not to mention all    that undermine the war effort.
  Nor was Hemingway a fleet-                the Soviet vodka and caviar he     But, for the greater good, he
ing target of opportunity for the           wanted in wartime Madrid,          decides to suspend judgment for
NKVD. Hemingway had come                    where shortages were the order     the duration of the war.
to the attention of the NKVD as             of the day for most. Orlov even
early as 1935, when he had                  arranged for Hemingway to           Is Jordan speaking for him-
written an article for the far-             visit a secret NKVD training       self or for Hemingway when he
left American journal, The New              camp for guerrillas, where         extols the benefits of commu-
Masses. 36 The article was an               Hemingway took in sights and       nist discipline—“the best…and
angry denunciation of the US                sounds that he would be able to    the soundest and sanest for the
establishment for leaving a                 use in For Whom the Bell Tolls,    prosecution of the war”? Then

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                              9
Novelist Spy?

[Hemingway’s] NKVD file reflects the service’s frustration in
keeping in touch with its agent, let alone getting him to pro-
                                                                                  to be an organization, and
duce….[and] summarizes Hemingway’s poor record as a Sovi-                         they have one. Go back to
et spy.                                                                           them!…The Russians are
                                                                                  the only ones doing any
                                                                                  fighting.” 41
there is Philip Rawlings, the          anti-Stalinist book, Darkness at
hero in Hemingway’s little-            Noon.)                                   If, then, the transcripts are
known play The Fifth Column.                                                  correct, and the NKVD did
Rawlings is an American jour-            Hemingway went on in the             recruit Hemingway for ideologi-
nalist who, behind the scenes,         letter to lament that his good         cal reasons, what did the
is happy to help a ruthless com-       and brave friend Gustav Regler         NKVD want from him? The
munist counterintelligence offi-       had left the Communist Party           record suggests that the NKVD
cer uncover fascist spies by           at the time of the Hitler-Stalin       wanted to start by carefully
spotting them in the cafes and         Pact. Hemingway said that he           weighing his potential, and
hotels of Madrid, all in order to      had visited Regler in Mexico,          then steer him in the right
save the Spanish Republic.             and that to hear him talk, one         direction. The fact that the
                                       might have thought that “Spain         NKVD referred to him as a
  In a remarkable letter dated         was only [about] NKVD [Soviet          journalist suggests that, for the
13 February 1947 and written in        intelligence] torture cells.” Yes,     NKVD, he might have had the
his own handwriting, Heming-           men had been executed, “many           same kind of potential as other
way appeared to be speaking for        times wrongly,” but that was           well-placed American journal-
himself when he defended the           only “the smallest part of what        ists whom it recruited: as a
Soviet Union and its work in           went on.” It was more impor-           source of direct reporting and
Spain. He started with the dis-        tant to remember the cause             referrals to other potential
claimer that is familiar to gener-     that they were fighting for. 40        spies, perhaps as a principal
ations of Hemingway readers:                                                  agent or agent of influence who
“It’s politics I do not agree with.”     Regler, who was a literary fig-      could write articles for them. 42
Then he continued with more            ure in his own right, wrote            Hemingway had an impressive
passion than logic, sounding like      about that March 1942 visit in         range of contacts. He could
many other true believers on the       his memoir. He remembered              report what prominent Ameri-
left who argued that the ends          Hemingway’s passionate plea            cans were saying or thinking.
justified the means, to include        for communism because it was           He was also in a position to
political killings.                    still the best hope for beating        influence many members of the
                                       the Nazis:                             public through his writing. It
  He wrote he had known the                                                   was not too different from what
Russians quite well in Spain,             Hemingway came from                 Braden and Joyce had wanted
and that none of the Russians             Cuba to see the bullfights          from him, only on a grander
whom he had admired had ever              … [At one point] he                 scale.
been executed. He had, how-               clapped his hand on my
ever, known some people who               shoulder and thrust me                The first thing that the NKVD
had “deserved shooting” who               against the marble façade           needed to do after the pitch was
had been shot. He knew noth-              [of the Tampico Club].              to get Hemingway to the next
ing about the purges in Russia.           “Why did you leave them             meeting, which is why Golos
Knowing Arthur Koestler, he               [the Communists]?...[H]e            gave him a material password.
found it hard to believe his book         would not let me go; he             Hemingway did not make good
about the purges, although he             was in an alarming state            use of the password. His NKVD
admitted it was an excellent              of emotional confusion.             file reflects the service’s frustra-
work. (This was an apparent               “Why did you believe [in]           tion in keeping in touch with its
reference to Koestler’s famous            them in Spain? There has            agent, let alone getting him to

10                                                                  Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                    Novelist Spy?

                                            Perhaps Hemingway eventually concluded that working with
                                            the KGB was not patriotic —by all accounts, he always thought
produce. A NKVD operative met
with Hemingway twice between                of himself as a loyal American.
September 1943 and April 1944
in Cuba, once in June 1944 in                  for our work. Through the          accounts, he always thought of
London, and once in April 1945                 period of his connection           himself as a loyal American. As
in Cuba. The NKVD file summa-                  with us, “Argo” did not            he angrily wrote to an Ameri-
rizes Hemingway’s poor record                  give us any polit. Infor-          can correspondent who asked
as a Soviet spy:                               mation [sic], though he            why he had gone to live in
                                               repeatedly expressed his           Cuba, it was “an unqualified
   Our meetings with “Argo”                    desire and willingness to          obscenity” for anyone to won-
   in London and Havana                        help us. “Argo” has not            der if he planned to become a
   were conducted with the                     been studied thoroughly            citizen of any other country. He
   aim of studying him and                     and is unverified. 43              had revolutionary forebears
   determining his potential                                                      “but none of them was named
                                                   Perhaps the work that the      Benedict Arnold.” 44 Or perhaps
                                                 NKVD had in mind for him         he simply held conflicting sets
                                                 did not suit Hemingway,          of beliefs. It is impossible to
                                                 just as the Crook Factory        know; there is just not enough
                                                 turned out to be less inter-     information, and that situation
                                                 esting than conducting a         is unlikely to change unless his
                                                 private war at sea aboard        entire NKVD file becomes
                                                 Pilar or operating with the      accessible or previously
                                                 Maquis and David Bruce to        unknown Hemingway letters
                                                 help liberate Paris. Per-        come to light. We are left with
                                                 haps he decided that it was      the irony that four organiza-
                                                 no longer necessary to sup-      tions that could not agree on
                                                 port the Soviets once it had     much—the NKVD, OSS, FBI,
                                                 become clear that the Axis       and Department of State—all
                                                 would be defeated.               arrived separately at the same
                                                                                  conclusion: Ernest Hemingway
                                                  Hemingway eventually            may have wanted to be a spy,
                                                 may have concluded that          but he never lived up to his
                                                 working with the NKVD            potential.
                                                 was not patriotic—by all
If there was any suspicion about Heming-
way’s involvement with the NKVD, it is not                                      ❖ ❖ ❖
evident in this 1947 ceremony in which he
was awarded the Bronze Star medal from the
US Army for his service as a war correspon-
dent. Photo © Bettmann/CORBIS.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                              11
Novelist Spy?

      1. In Hemingway on the China Front: His World War II Spy Mission with Martha Gellhorn (Potomac, MD:
      Potomac Books, 2006), Peter Moreira argues that Hemingway went to China on a spy mission for the US
      Department of Treasury and that the mission awakened in him a passion for intelligence work. However,
      Hemingway’s trip had little to do with intelligence. There was nothing secret about it. He and Gellhorn func-
      tioned largely as journalists and gathered their information openly. After their return, he wrote for Treasury
      a lengthy and totally unclassified report about his impressions. While it is true that Hemingway was develop-
      ing a taste for intelligence work, most authors look for its origins in the Spanish Civil War, not in China. See,
      for example, Stephen Koch, The Breaking Point: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and the Murder of José Robles (New
      York: Counterpoint, 2005).
      2. Robert Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 5, p. 45, Yale University Library. The Robert Joyce Papers are his mem-
      oirs, written in the 1970s.
      3. Ibid., 46.
      4. Spruille Braden, Diplomats and Demagogues: The Memoirs of Spruille Braden (New Rochelle, NY: Arling-
      ton House, 1971), 283. Contemporary FBI files describe the process whereby Hemingway met Braden and
      “volunteered his service to engage in intelligence work.” See R. G. Leddy, “Memorandum for Mr. Ladd Re:
      Intelligence Activities of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba,” 13 June 1943, published in Thomas Fensch, Behind
      Islands in the Stream: Hemingway, Cuba, the FBI and the crook factory (New York: Universe, 2009), 49.
      Fensch has performed the useful service of publishing the FBI files on Hemingway, which are also available in
      the FBI’s FOIA reading room online.
      5. Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 5: 47-54. Joyce offers a general discussion of his role in the embassy, as well as
      Hemingway’s work. See also Fensch, Behind Islands in the Stream, 57, for the FBI take on Crook Factory
      6. Luening’s story, set in the context of German intelligence initiatives in Latin America, is carefully
      described and analyzed in Thomas D. Schoonover, Hitler’s Man in Havana: Heinz Luening and Nazi Espio-
      nage in Latin America (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008). To be fair to the Crook Factory,
      Luening was arrested around the time that the Crook Factory began its operations.
      7. Braden, Diplomats and Demagogues, 302.
      8. Joyce to Hemingway, no date, Incoming Correspondence, The Ernest Hemingway Collection, JFK Presi-
      dential Library, Boston. Since Hemingway’s relationship with the embassy did not start until mid-1942, and
      Joyce’s tour ended in August 1943, the reference to “September” was almost certainly to September 1942.
      9. Daniel Robinson, “‘My True Occupation is that of a Writer’: Hemingway’s Passport Correspondence,” The
      Hemingway Review 24, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 87–93.
      10. Fensch, Behind Islands in the Stream, 50. Fensch includes a reproduction of Leddy’s, “Memorandum,”
      dated 13 June 1943.
      11. Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 5: 50-2.
      12. Edward A. Tamm, “Addendum,” 21 May 1943; J. Edgar Hoover, “Re: Ernest Hemingway,” 17 December
      1942; and J. Edgar Hoover, “Memorandum for Mr. Tamm [and] Mr. Ladd,” 19 December 1942. All are repro-
      duced in Fensch, Behind Islands in the Stream, 58, 25, and 27.
      13. Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 5: 54-5. Durán was another interesting and controversial character with a
      communist past and some experience as a secret policeman. See, for instance, Fensch, Behind Islands in the
      Stream, 75–84.
      14. Braden, Diplomats and Demagogues, 283–84.
      15. The primary source for the Pilar’s war patrols is Terry Mort, The Hemingway Patrols: Ernest Hemingway and His
      Hunt for U-boats (New York: Scribner, 2009). Some of the same ground is covered in a new book on Hemingway and his

12                                                                  Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                             Novelist Spy?

boat; see Paul Hendrickson, Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 (New York: Knopf,
16. Joyce describes his disengagement from the Foreign Service in Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 6: 1. His OSS
personnel record also contains material relating to his application to and service in the OSS. See “Robert P.
Joyce,” OSS Personnel Files, Record Group 226, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Col-
lege Park, MD.
17. Joyce to Shepardson, 16 March 1944, CIA FOIA Release. This letter contains references to an earlier mes-
sage from Joyce to Shepardson on 9 February 1944. I obtained the March 1944 memo, which apparently was
released in February 1983, courtesy of the scholar Daniel Robinson. These records were subsequently moved
to NARA in College Park, where I have been unable to locate them. The CIA FOIA database currently con-
tains only one page of this release.
18. McBaine to Shepardson, 14 February 1944, CIA FOIA Release.
19. Joyce to Shepardson, 16 March 1944, CIA FOIA Release.
20. Magruder to Shepardson, 6 April 1944, CIA FOIA Release.
21. Ibid. Buxton’s note is on the same page as Magruder’s memorandum to Shepardson.
22. Bigelow to Shepardson, 21 April 1944, CIA FOIA Release.
23. Shepardson to Joyce, 1 May 1944, Record Group 226, Entry 99, Box 53, Folder 6: Meto Pouch Review (1 Feb – 27 May
1944), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD. This is a summary of miscella-
neous communication received in the field, and does not include other messages relating to Hemingway.
24. Hemingway to Wolf, 14 April 1945, Private Collection of Kenneth Rendell. I am indebted to Mr. Rendell
for sending me a copy of this letter. “Chicken” was likely an abbreviation for “chickenshit,” the word that
Hemingway abbreviated in the preceding paragraph as “chickens_.”
25. The classic version is in Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (New York: Scribner’s, 1969),
408–18. Another useful source is Denis Brian, The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Hemingway by Those
Who Knew Him (New York: Grove Press, 1988), 157–67. The most detailed and careful description of Heming-
way’s movements in the summer of 1944 is in H. R. Stoneback, “Hemingway’s Happiest Summer,” The North
Dakota Quarterly 64, no. 3 (1997), 184–220.
26. Nelson Lankford, ed., OSS Against the Reich: The World War II Diaries of Colonel David K. E. Bruce
(Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1991), 160.
27. Quoted in Nelson Lankford, The Last American Aristocrat: The Biography of Ambassador David K. E.
Bruce (Boston: Little Brown, 1996), 155.
28. Hemingway to Bruce, 27 November 1948, Outgoing Correspondence, The Hemingway Collection, JFK
Presidential Library, Boston.
29. Hemingway to Leahy, 26 June 1952, Outgoing Correspondence, The Hemingway Collection, JFK Presi-
dential Library, Boston. Judge Paul Leahy never met Hemingway but took an interest in his affairs after serv-
ing with the executor of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s estate and reading some of the Hemingway-Fitzgerald
30. Bruce to Hemingway, 23 August 1944, Incoming Correspondence, The Hemingway Collection, JFK Presi-
dential Library, Boston.
31. See, for example, Michael Reynolds, Hemingway: The Final Years (New York and London: Norton 1999),
32. John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in Amer-
ica (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 154. The Russian researcher was Vassiliev him-
self. This exhaustive work includes translated quotations from the original transcripts, which are also
available in translation online and at the Library of Congress. I have relied on the book itself and on the rele-

        Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                              13
Novelist Spy?

      vant PDF files of the English-language translations of the transcripts. They are titled “White Notebook” and
      “Black Notebook,” and can be downloaded from www.wilsoncenter.org.
      33. Haynes, Klehr, and Vassiliev, Spies, 153–54, and White Notebook, 29. (The page number for White Note-
      book corresponds to the pagination of the PDF file.)
      34. Joyce Papers, Box 1, Folder 5: 47. Some of these quotes, or others like them, commonly appear in other
      works on Hemingway’s political views. See, for example, James R. Mellow, Hemingway: A Life Without Conse-
      quences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 503 and 520.
      35. Information about Golos is available in Haynes et al., Spies, especially 497–98 and 504–505.
      36. Ernest Hemingway, “Who Murdered the Vets?” The New Masses (17 September 1935): 9.
      37. Edward Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI’s KGB General (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2001), 124. Gazur
      was an FBI agent who handled the defector Orlov and became his friend and literary executor. Gazur writes
      that he took extensive notes during conversations with Orlov. John Costello and Oleg Tsarev’s Deadly Illu-
      sions: The KGB Orlov Dossier Reveals Stalin’s Master Spy (New York: Crown, 1993) is a work that relies on
      KGB files and is far less sympathetic to Orlov. Costello and Tsarev argue that Orlov was an unreconstructed
      Stalinist until his death.
      38. The speech is described in Baker, Ernest Hemingway, 314.
      39. Gazur, Alexander Orlov, 129-30, and 138.
      40. Hemingway to Craipeau, 13 February 1947, Outgoing Correspondence, The Hemingway Collection, JFK
      Presidential Library, Boston. The letter is to a “Miss Craipeau,” who apparently sent Hemingway a book and
      an article about the Soviet Union. Craipeau may well have been a relation of Yvan Craipeau, a French
      Trotskyite who was the author of works about the Soviet Union. To similar effect, in The Breaking Point, Koch
      describes a Hemingway who went to considerable—and unsavory—lengths to support the Soviet allies of the
      Spanish Republic.
      41. Gustav Regler, The Owl of Minerva/The Autobiography of Gustav Regler (New York: Farrar, Straus, and
      Cudahy, 1960), p. 357.
      42. See “The Journalist Spies” in Haynes et al., Spies, 145-193.
      43. Ibid., 154. See also the file summary in Black Notebook, 89.
      44. Undated draft of telegram to “Walter,” Outgoing Correspondence, The Hemingway Collection, JFK Presi-
      dential Library, Boston
                                                         ❖ ❖ ❖

14                                                               Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
The Economics of Overthrow

The United States, Britain, and the Hidden
Justification of Operation TPAJAX
Torey L. McMurdo

                                               With the overthrow of Iran’s                    threat in order to encourage US
                                             Prime Minister Mohammed                           action. The British concerns
                                             Mossadeq by a CIA-led and                         were less political, however.
                                             British-backed coup d’état on                     They were primarily economic
                                             19 August 1953, the landscape                     and centered on the threatened
                                             of Western involvement in the                     loss of currency reserves that

                                             Middle East was forever                           would follow nationalization of
                                             changed. The event, today seen                    the Anglo-Iranian Oil Com-
   TPAJAX was in fact                        as one of the most prominent                      pany (AIOC). This, in turn,
rooted in a complex web                      examples of US intervention in                    threatened a rapid depletion of
                                             the Middle East, was rooted in                    British dollar reserves, a loss of
of political and economic                    a complex web of political and                    international purchasing power,
     gamesmanship.                           economic factors and games-                       and a further drop in London’s
                                             manship played by the British                     international economic stand-

                ”                            and US governments. Corre-
                                             spondence between the govern-
                                             ment of Prime Minister
                                             Clement Attlee and the admin-
                                             istration of President Harry S.

                                                                                                 By contrast to the United
                                                                                               Kingdom, the United States,
                                                                                               had little stake, economic or
                                             Truman leading up to TPAJAX                       political, in Iran until it came
                                             illuminates not only shifting                     to be seen as a key in the West’s
                                             Anglo-Iranian relations but                       competition with the Soviet
                                             also a widening gap in the                        Union. An Iran oriented toward
                                             Anglo-American power struc-                       Moscow, it was argued, would
                                             ture.                                             open the door to the spread of
                                                                                               communism throughout the
                                               This essay examines the dif-                    Middle East. The Attlee and
                                             fering views of the United                        Churchill governments there-
                                             States and Britain on the post-                   fore worked to emphasize this
                                             war situation in Iran. In it I                    vulnerability to a Washington
                                             argue that although the US                        increasingly concerned about
                                             government justified the coup                     Soviet expansion.
                                             as an effort to turn Iran from
                                             the path of communism, the
                                             United States, in fact, was led                   Background
                                             to intervene on behalf of the                       The issues that arose in Per-
                                             British government, which                         sia in the early 1950s stemmed
                                             emphasized the communist                          from disagreements between

                                            All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the author.
                                            Nothing in the article should be construed as asserting or implying US government endorse-
                                            ment of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                       15
The Economics of Overthrow

                                                                                                   Mohammed Mossadeq, a
     The British Economic Situation in 1953
                                                                                                   nationalist who advocated tak-
     The British economy was still being buffeted by the impact of the war and changes             ing control of Iran’s oil
     to the international monetary structures brought about by the Atlantic Charter                production. 3
     (August 1941) and the Bretton Woods Agreement (July 1944). Primarily, it was try-
     ing to adjust to a world where the dollar had become the larger reserve currency.               In 1949, boosted by recent
     The loss of Persia's oil revenues cut into London’s ability to earn sterling to help          electoral victories over Moham-
     pay for much needed imports, which remained disproportionately high while Brit-
                                                                                                   med Reza Shah, a new govern-
     ain retooled back to a peacetime economy.
                                                                                                   ment hoped to sweep out the
     The British were slow to realign from their wartime production and so were unable             existing oil policy and asked to
     to export enough goods to gain the currency they needed to pay for imports and                open a renegotiation of British
     to pay back the large loans they had taken out to finance the war effort. Finances            oil concessions in the country.
     were also short because Britain had been reluctant to scale back spending to
     maintain its international empire.
                                                                                                   However, because Iran was
                                                                                                   credited with producing 76 per-
     The abrupt end of Lend-Lease, although relieving Britain of the burden of repaying            cent of the AIOC’s total output
     the loans, left it in an even weaker position to pay for imports. The United States           that year, the existing arrange-
     did not seem to realize or to care very much that the UK was bankrupt. In the
                                                                                                   ment was seen in London as
     negotiation of the Anglo-American Loan Agreement that followed the end of Lend-
     Lease, Washington used its leverage to cajole/coerce Britain into agreeing to the             vital to Britain’s postwar eco-
     Bretton Woods system, which had its roots in the economic themes laid out in the              nomic recovery. The AIOC and
     Atlantic Charter, and insisting on the convertibility of international sterling               the British government resisted
     reserves.                                                                                     and instead offered minimal
     The relatively undamaged US economy was much better equipped to take advan-
                                                                                                   concessions. 4 As the noted Iran
     tage of freer trade and convertible currency regimes than Britain, or the rest of             authority, Kenneth Pollack,
     Europe for that matter. Britain continued to bleed currency, causing it to devalue            comments in his book, The Per-
     the pound in 1949, but in 1953, it was still concerned about its ability to raise dol-        sian Puzzle,
     lars to finance its balance of payments.
                                                                                                      All they were willing to
the AIOC and the Persian gov-                     1950, for example, had Per-                         offer was an increase in
ernment and people. Relations                     sians controlled their own oil                      the minimum annual roy-
between the company and the                       revenues, they would have                           alty to £4 million, a
Tehran government were dic-                       earned £275 million; instead,                       further reduction in the
tated by the Concession of 1933,                  Persia made only £37 million. 2                     area in which AIOC could
a contract between the Iranian                    In addition to this lopsided rev-                   drill, and a promise to
government and AIOC, which                        enue split, the AIOC main-                          train more Iranians for
was overseen by the League of                     tained unfair labor practices.                      administrative posi-
Nations. Under it, disputes                       Persia’s workers were often                         tions…. Iran had made
between the company and Per-                      subjected to cramped living                         £16 million that year, so
sia were not to be argued in                      quarters, lengthy work weeks,                       the increase in the mini-
Persian courts and the Persian                    and low pay. In an attempt to                       mum royalty was
government was not allowed to                     alleviate the situation, the oil                    irrelevant; the reduced
cancel or expropriate the con-                    company’s employees founded a                       AIOC concession area
cession without compensation.                     political party, the National                       would still contain all of
At the same time, unilateral                      Front, in October 1949.                             Iran’s proven oil fields;
legislative action by Tehran’s                    Although the group was in                           and the company had
parliament was prohibited.1.                      many ways splintered, drawing                       repeatedly flagrantly dis-
                                                  members from socialist, nation-                     regarded its previous
  While the concession was prof-                  alist, and ultranationalist                         promises to train and pro-
itable to the AIOC, the same                      groups, it found a political fig-                   mote Iranians. 5
could not be said for Persia. In                  ure it could easily relate to in

16                                                                                       Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                  The Economics of Overthrow

  These uncertainties and                       Once the global repercussions of significant economic sanc-
unkept promises caused the                      tions were assessed, and the hesitancy to use them grew, the
Persians to reject the new                      possibility of military intervention increased.
terms. Instead, with extreme
nationalists in control, the
Majles, Persia’s parliamentary                   The British also determined                   tions were assessed, and the
body, began in February 1951 to                that the political risks of impos-              hesitancy to use them grew, the
advocate nationalization of the                ing sanctions were cause for                    possibility of military interven-
oil fields at Abadan. This coin-               concern. Economic chaos would                   tion increased. One of the pri-
cided with the assassination of                work to the advantage of the                    mary questions became how to
Prime Minister Ali Razmara                     communists and the Tudeh                        extract British citizens work-
after he renounced nationaliza-                Party, 1 which might create hos-                ing for the AIOC in Abadan
tion proposals and was labeled                 tility toward Britain in the                    (particularly if Persia were to
a “British stooge.” The cham-                  United Nations and the United                   try and take the fields by force),
pion of nationalization, Moss-                 States. The US response was                     both to ensure the safety of
adeq replaced him, and on                      London’s primary worry, how-                    British employees of AIOC and
30 April, the Majlis voted to                  ever, as described in a 5 May                   to send a message to the Per-
nationalize Persian oil. 7                     1951 Foreign Office telegram:                   sian government that its deci-
                                                                                               sion to nationalize oil was
                                                   Rather than see Persia                      unacceptable and would be
Nationalization                                    fall into economic and                      costly to the country. The
  Nationalization presented a                      political chaos, the U.S.                   removal of British workers, who
slew of issues for the British                     government might even                       supplied most of the expertise
government. As a result, its                       decide to send oil experts                  behind the operations, would
ideas on how to deal with the                      and U.S. tankers to Aba-                    have severely slowed opera-
situation varied. The possibil-                    dan and provide financial                   tions.
ity of imposing economic sanc-                     aid to offset H.M.G.’s
tions on Persia frequently made                    financial sanctions. 9                        A fundamental split in Brit-
its way to the top of agendas in                                                               ish and US ideological
                                                 Not only did British Foreign                  approaches soon emerged, as
Parliament, but the conse-
                                               Office officials fear US inter-                 the British government pre-
quences of these sanctions were
                                               vention because it would be                     ferred to use force to mitigate
estimated to be severe. Accord-
                                               harmful to British negotia-                     any problems that might arise,
ing to a telegram sent from
                                               tions, but also because it might                while the United States, partic-
Britain’s Tehran post to the
                                               be detrimental to Anglo-Ameri-                  ularly Secretary of State Dean
Foreign Office, economic penal-
                                               can relations, as the United                    Acheson, believed that military
ties would affect about 75 per-
                                               States would appear to have                     intervention would drive Per-
cent of Persia’s foreign
                                               “stepped into AIOC’s shoes.”                    sia into what would be welcom-
exchange earnings, and around
                                               The economic impact would                       ing Soviet arms. Furthermore,
30 percent of its foreign
                                               also undoubtedly negatively                     the US government felt that
exchange resources. Large-scale
                                               affect Britain’s relationship                   Mossadeq and his nationalist
unemployment in Persia’s oil-
                                               with other Middle Eastern                       followers were in fact capable of
producing regions would result,
                                               countries. 10                                   revising Iran’s political struc-
and its internal financial stand-
ing would further weaken. Put                                                                  ture and ensuring that the
                                                 Once the global repercussions                 country did not fall into the
simply, “Persia would be faced                 of significant economic sanc-
with ‘economic chaos.’” 8                                                                      hands of the Soviet Union. 11

1 Formed in 1941 by Marxists who had been jailed by Mohammad Reza Shah, the Tudeh Party had been encouraged by Stalin and the

Soviets to stir up political awareness for their causes. The party would ultimately be most utilized by the CIA, however, which staged dis-
turbances in the guise of the Tudeh that eventually led to riots and the overthrow of Mossadeq.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                     17
The Economics of Overthrow

Despite US qualms about the use of force, the British contin-                                adeq and perhaps even encour-
ued to draw up plans to evacuate their AIOC employees from                                   age a regime more friendly to
Abadan.                                                                                      the British to take over. This
                                                                                             was in direct contrast to the
                                                                                             wishes of Washington, which at
  The use of force, US officials              AIOC and Britain’s ambassa-                    the time felt that the sitting
feared, might change this. The                dor in Tehran favored the pol-                 Persian government should
British were well aware of US                 icy as a way of displaying their               maintain power in order to pre-
concerns; a cabinet document                  resilience to Persia. Attlee                   vent the country from falling
titled, “The Political Implica-               agreed with this stance, while                 into communist hands. 15
tions of Armed Intervention in                warning that it was unwise to
the Persian Oil Dispute” notes,               assume that if Britain suc-                      The British insistence on the
                                              ceeded in overturning the Per-                 use of military force, despite US
     The U.S. government                      sian government, any successor                 concerns, showed that they
     draws a distinction                      would be more favorable to the                 believed they were in complete
     between the use of force to              British government and the                     control of the situation. This
     protect the oil installa-                AIOC. After all, Mossadeq had                  sentiment is best seen in a cabi-
     tions: a) when there is a                gained power by earning the                    net meeting in July 1951, when
     regularly constituted gov-               support of Persians who were                   Morrison discouraged Sir Fran-
     ernment in Persia, and b)                dissatisfied with corrupt groups               cis Shepherd, British ambassa-
     to counter a Communist                   in Persian political circles. 13               dor to Iran, from meeting with
     coup. They don’t accept                                                                 US Ambassador to Britain
     the argument that to fail                  With this in mind, the British               W. Averell Harriman 1 because a
     to protect Persia’s oil                  moved forward with prepara-                    meeting might cause harmful
     industry might invite                    tions for military intervention.               speculation in the press and
     such a coup. We could not                Three plans, Midget, Midget                    among Persians. If Harriman
     expect support from the                  Reinforced, and Lethal, were                   helped mediate the dispute,
     U.S. Government, and                     proposed. Plan Midget was                      Morrison argued, the Persian
     American opinion at-large                designed solely to protect and                 government might be led to
     would be actively                        withdraw British nationals.                    believe that he was acquiring
     hostile. 12                              Midget Reinforced would pro-                   more favorable terms for
                                              tect UK nationals but also                     Persia. 16
  This distinction would later                allow forces to remain in Aba-
lead Attlee and Churchill to                  dan if the opposition was weak.                  Ultimately, Attlee’s concern
present oil nationalization as                Plan Lethal would seize and                    over the potential negative con-
an issue of communism rather                  hold Abadan Island in case of                  sequences of military action
than one of financial stability.              Persian opposition. 14                         seemed to win out in the early
                                                                                             stages of the oil nationalization
                                                Herbert Morrison, Britain’s                  dispute. Rather than withdraw
Proposals for Military                        secretary of state for foreign                 AIOC personnel and provoke a
Intervention                                  affairs, advocated protecting                  disastrous Persian response, he
 Despite US qualms about the                  British lives while seizing, hold-             decided that the British should
use of force, the British contin-             ing, and operating the refinery.               instead remain in Abadan and
ued to draw up plans to evacu-                Not only would this allow the                  execute Midget only if
ate their AIOC employees from                 flow of refined oil to continue,               necessary. 17 This would allow
Abadan. In a July 1951 cabinet                he determined, but it could                    further negotiations to occur,
meeting led by Attlee, both the               result in the downfall of Moss-                and would give the British gov-

1 Harriman would maintain a close relationship with the British government throughout his public service career, in this instance as

ambassador and later as US secretary of commerce.

18                                                                                 Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                  The Economics of Overthrow

ernment time to discuss joint-               The Atlantic Charter would come to be seen as a sign of Amer-
force operations with the                    ica’s growing economic leadership and of the dire straits of Brit-
United States, which was still               ain’s sterling currency.
apprehensive about involving
itself in the issues in Abadan
and in greater Persia.                      and enter markets it previ-         Allied countries with war mate-
                                            ously could not access. In many     rials and supplies. Britain
  Attlee’s cabinet meetings in              ways, the 1941 Atlantic Char-       received an estimated $31.4 bil-
the summer of 1951 would                    ter paved the way for American      lion in wartime shipments, the
prove to be only the start of a             macroeconomic leadership.           most of any country listed
long line of discussions of force-          Among the eight points listed       under the agreement. 21 When
ful action in Persia. They would            under the agreement were the        Lend-Lease was abruptly can-
also prompt conversations on                principles of lowering trade bar-   celled, the UK was virtually
what would prove to be a much               riers; establishing more global     bankrupt and still in need of
broader and more strategic                  economic cooperation and            financial assistance, even
attempt to garner US diplo-                 advancement of social welfare;      though the United States had
matic and military support for              and ensuring freedom of the         decided to negotiate Lend-
intervention in Iran.                       seas, a key component for           Lease settlements without
                                            advancing the shipment of US        requiring repayments on war-
America’s Growing                           goods and exchanges on the          time deliveries. This arrange-
                                            international market. 19            ment had other costs for the
Economic Leadership
                                                                                recipients of Lend-Lease aid:
                                              The charter, drafted by Win-
The Atlantic Charter
                                            ston Churchill and President          The decision to settle Lend
  While on the surface the
                                            Franklin D. Roosevelt, solidi-        Lease debts without mon-
United Kingdom faced an
                                            fied the bond between Britain         etary or financial
immediate loss of revenue with
                                            and the United States and             repayments had a pro-
the nationalization of Iran’s oil,
                                            would serve as a model for            found impact on the shape
its larger concern was deeply
                                            future international contracts,       of the postwar economic
rooted in a growing currency
                                            including the General Agree-          system. The United States
crisis that plagued the British
                                            ment on Tariffs and Trade and         decided to extract foreign
economy throughout the post-
                                            the postwar liberalization of         policy promises from the
war period. With the conclu-
                                            trade in French and British           United Kingdom and
sion of the war, Britain was
                                            goods. 20 It would come to be         require its participation
slow to realign from wartime
                                            seen as a sign of America’s           in a new world economic
production back to a peace time
                                            growing economic leadership           framework. This also
economy. At the end of the war,
                                            and of the dire straits of the        meant that the State
nearly 55 percent of Britain’s
                                            pound sterling.                       Department, rather than
gross domestic product was
                                                                                  the Treasury Department,
derived from production associ-             Lend-Lease                            would be the lead US gov-
ated with making war. 18 As a                Shortly after the Japanese           ernment agency
result it was unable immedi-                announced their surrender, the        responsible for handling
ately to produce and export                 United States stopped its Lend-       the consideration. While
goods to gain currency to pay               Lease Program, which had been         the Treasury Department
for imports and to pay back its             a vital contributor to Britain’s      would have primary
large war loans.                            economy throughout the war.           authority for handling
                                            Under Lend-Lease, the United          postwar international
  By contrast, as the war drew
                                            States had provided the United        monetary and finance
to a close, the United States
                                            Kingdom, Soviet Union, China,         issues, the State Depart-
had been able to improve its
                                            France, and a host of other           ment took the lead in most
position in international trade

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                              19
The Economics of Overthrow

Although the British eventually accepted, negotiations over the
loan were sometimes heated, and with good reason.
                                                                                 satisfied. The first…in
                                                                                 effect is that, in the judg-
     other postwar arrange-          delivered or on the way after               ment of the British
     ments, such as creating         the war’s end. In addition, as              Government (1) payment
     the United Nations and          noted above, Britain was still              of the interest due would
     negotiating postwar trade       bankrupt. Hopeful of favorable              leave Britain with inade-
     agreements. 22                  terms for a loan to carry the               quate international
                                     country through the postwar                 reserves and (2) present or
  This is important in the con-      period, the Atlee government                prospective conditions of
text of Britain’s Persian oil cri-   sent economist John Maynard                 multi-lateral clearing are
sis, because the US Department       Keynes to seek financial assis-             such that Britain is or
of State, rather than the            tance in the summer of 1946.                will be unable to get dol-
Department of Treasury, han-         Apparently not appreciating                 lars for a large part of her
dled monetary negotiations           the full extent of British eco-             export proceeds. 30
with and between Persia and          nomic decline, the United
Great Britain, lending a dis-        States and Canada offered only             After extended negotiations,
tinctly political flavor to the      loans, not a grants of aid as            the condition remained and
pressing economic crisis. In         many British had hoped. The              would kick in a year after ratifi-
addition, then–Secretary of          United States offered a loan of          cation of the loan in 1947. This
State Cordell Hull “aimed            $4.3 billion, at an annual inter-        caused countries with sterling
to...extract from the United         est rate of 2 percent.                   to almost immediately begin
Kingdom a pledge to abolish                                                   drawing from British dollar
imperial preferences and secure        Although the British eventu-           reserves. Within one month,
Britain’s support for a more lib-    ally accepted, negotiations over         nearly $1 billion had been
eral and nondiscriminatory           the loan were sometimes                  taken, resulting in the British
international trade regime.” 23      heated, and with good reason.            government’s decision to place a
Indeed, this statement was a         While Britain felt the pangs of          hold on conversions and to start
sign of things to come and           a damaged economy, the United            cutting funding for domestic
would have a direct impact on        States saw the long-term                 and foreign projects. 27 This loss
the Anglo-American Loan              importance of convertible cur-           of dollars reflected the growing
Agreement, a major driver            rencies, then thought to be a            weakness of sterling, which by
behind Britain’s actions in the      necessity for a successful multi-        1949 was devalued from $4.02
Persian oil crisis. In addition,     lateral trading scheme, and              to $2.80. 28 Moreover, it was
the resulting agreement was to       pressed for including convert-           through this sterling conver-
demonstrate how quickly the          ibility of the sterling as a condi-      sion that the roots of Britain’s
United States had come to ful-       tion to the loan. British                crisis in Persia really began to
fill its potential as a deal maker   concerns over the effect this            take hold.
or deal breaker on the interna-      would have on UK dollar
tional political stage.              reserves were noted in final             The Problem with Servicing
                                     documentation of the condi-              Dollar Loans to Persia
The Anglo-American Loan              tions:                                    British concerns over sterling
Agreement                                                                     convertibility and decreasing
  Although the United States            In order that Great Brit-             dollar reserves extended beyond
did not charge for most mate-           ain might be able to claim            postwar repayments to the
rial sent to recipients of Lend-        a waiver of interest                  United States. By providing
Lease assistance, it did want           (which, it is to be noted, is         monetary assistance to Persia,
the return of large durable             a final surrender, not a              the British feared additional
goods like warships, and it             mere deferment) both of               depletion. In a 25 September
expected payment for material           two conditions must be                1950 memorandum on the ser-

20                                                                  Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                 The Economics of Overthrow

vicing of dollar loans to Persia,            British Treasury officials were particularly concerned about the
Britain’s situation with regard              effects of dollar loans.
to providing loans to Moss-
adeq’s government becomes                       lion…the difficulty which      oil and America’s role in the cri-
clear, as do Anglo-American                     has arisen is in respect of    sis peaked. If Persia acquired
agreements and disagreements                    the dollar servicing           dollars from the United States,
on the issue. The memorandum                    them….                         then it would not need Brit-
notes,                                                                         ain’s dollars under the Memo-
                                                The Persian Government         randum of Understanding. This
   We and the Americans are                     has virtually no source of     would allow Britain to preserve
   agreed on the urgent                         dollar income and her          dollar holdings and trade with
   necessity of providing                       dollar needs are provided      the US government, helping it
   immediate financial                          by ourselves under the         to remain a major economic
   assistance to Persia. Last                   terms of an agreement          power. If Britain could buy oil
   Spring the influence of the                  known as the Memoran-          in pounds in sterling areas, Per-
   communist-controlled                         dum of Understanding           sia would be empowered to buy
   Tudeh party was increas-                     between the Bank of Eng-       British manufactured goods
   ingly disturbing because a                   land and the Persian           with those pounds, leading to a
   series of inefficient Gov-                   Bank Melli, under which        better balance of trade. If oil
   ernments had destroyed                       sterling held by Persia is     started to be priced in dollars
   public confidence in the                     convertible into dollars for   and Persia was lost, however,
   ability of the regime to                     the purposes of a) essen-      then Britain would be left with
   improve economic stan-                       tial imports not               the question of where to acquire
   dards…. The importance                       obtainable from sterling       dollars to pay for oil, poten-
   of Persia’s oil to our econ-                 sources, and b) certain        tially leading to the cutoff of its
   omy, and the political                       other specific items such      pipeline.
   necessity of preventing her                  as diplomatic and educa-
   falling under communist                      tional expenses.                British Treasury officials were
   domination, need no                                                         particularly concerned about
   emphasis. 31                                 We have been considering       the effects of dollar loans. In a
                                                giving sterling aid to Per-    note from the Treasury Cham-
  The latter half of this passage               sia…but the Treasury           bers to the prime minister, they
is most important, as it reflects               have felt that if we were to   argued,
the importance of Persian oil to                do this, and if we were
Britain as well as Britain’s                    also to agree to provide          We could not tolerate a
emphasis on the communist                       the sterling backing or           situation where Persia
threat in discussions with the                  half of any assistance in         was freely converting her
United States. The memo con-                    local currency which Per-         sterling balances here into
tinues,                                         sia might require, we             dollars…they can use the
                                                could reasonably expect           sterling not so much to
   Mr. Razmara (the new                         the Americans on their            acquire dollars as to
   Prime Minister) has                          side to provide all the dol-      acquire dollar
   applied to the American                      lar assistance required,          commodities. 33
   Export-Import Bank for a                     including the servicing of
   loan, which the bank is                      the dollar loans, and also      In doing so, Britain’s dollar
   virtually committed to                       the dollar backing for half    reserves would decrease, as
   grant up to a figure of $25                  Persia’s internal currency     would its ability to purchase
   million and to the Inter-                    needs 32                       goods in dollars. This would
   national Bank for a loan                                                    have a severely negative impact
   which will probably                       Through this, Britain’s con-      on British purchasing power
   amount to $9 mil-                        cern over the nationalization of   and the economy as a whole.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                              21
The Economics of Overthrow

The US government seemingly dismissed British concerns.
                                                                             we are glad to know that
America’s Response to               nism in the region, particularly         there is no question of our
Britain’s Economic Woes             via the communist-backed                 asking for mediation. 36
                                    Tudeh Party.
  Washington’s response to Brit-                                            The letter reflects the general
ain’s concerns over payments to                                           determination within the
Persia was indicative of its new-   The Presentation of the               broader British government to
found role as a leader in the       Communist Threat                      obtain US support by con-
global economic network. The                                              stantly emphasizing Persia’s
                                      The presentation of the situa-
US government seemingly dis-                                              vulnerability, particularly to
                                    tion in Persia as an issue of
missed British concerns, believ-                                          communist influences. In a tele-
                                    communism changed little
ing that communism was the                                                gram from the Foreign Office to
                                    throughout the Attlee and
greater threat in Iran and,                                               Washington, the shared desire
                                    Churchill governments, as both
therefore, all involved should                                            to deter Soviet engagement
                                    realized that America’s stake in
compromise for the sake of                                                with Persia is discussed, as is
                                    the issue was far different than
stopping its spread. A telegram                                           the level of concern over issues
                                    their own. Attlee, more of a
from New York to the British                                              in Persia:
                                    negotiator than a fighter, con-
Foreign Office states,
                                    tinuously took a diplomatic
                                                                             We are at least as con-
     Mr. Acheson said that the      approach when dealing with US
                                                                             cerned as the State
     sum involved in dollars        concerns toward Persia.
                                                                             Department to prevent
     was a relatively small one     Churchill, while more brazen in
                                                                             Persia falling under Rus-
     and the United States          his attempts to secure US sup-
                                                                             sian or Communist
     Government hoped that in       port, also worked the political
                                                                             domination. Where we dif-
     view of the political          scene to emphasize to the
                                                                             fer from them is in our
     importance to both coun-       United States the growing com-
                                                                             feeling that the present
     tries of taking all possible   munist threat, even from the
                                                                             Persian Government,
     steps to counteract Soviet     early stages of the crisis. In a
                                                                             whilst in theory constitu-
     pressure on Persia, His        letter to Prime Minister Attlee,
                                                                             tional, appears to be
     Majesty’s Government           dated 9 July 1951, Churchill
                                                                             embarking on a course of
     would be prepared to           expressed his determination to
                                                                             action which, if not
     waive their objections and     present the crisis to the United
                                                                             stopped, can hardly fail to
     agree that the Persians        States as one plagued by the
                                                                             produce such administra-
     should be allowed to con-      potential of a communist take-
                                                                             tive and economic chaos
     vert the necessary amount      over:
                                                                             as must inevitably facili-
     of sterling into dollars. 34                                            tate the establishment of a
                                       We have urged that the
                                       strongest representation              Communist-dominated
  This view was supported by a                                               régime. 37
telegram from the US ambassa-          should be made to the
dor in Tehran, who was most            United States to take posi-
                                                                           The telegram underlines the
anxious that “the loan could be        tive action in supporting
                                                                          threat posed by communism
agreed by October 1st so that          the common interests of
                                                                          while questioning America’s
the announcement should fore-          the Atlantic Powers,
                                                                          resolve on the issue:
stall that of the Russian Trade        which would be deeply
Agreement [with Iran].” 35 To          endangered by the Soviet-             We are not sure whether
the United States, the stability       ization of the vital area             the State Department
of Britain’s economy was sec-          between the Caspian Sea               fully appreciates the dan-
ondary to the threat arising           and the Persian Gulf, and             ger to Persia’s future
from the influence of commu-                                                 which in our view is pre-

22                                                              Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                 The Economics of Overthrow

                                             A significant policy shift took place in the United States when
                                             Eisenhower replaced Truman in 1953.
   sented by Dr. Musaddiq’s
   régime. Our information
   regarding his character                  characters involved in the nego-   overthrow only occurred
   and behaviour, together                  tiations.                          because of US and British
   with his lack of any posi-                                                  intervention or whether Moss-
   tive programme apart                       In the UK, little had changed    adeq was essentially “doomed
   from oil nationalisation,                in the approach toward Persia      from the start” as a result of
   do not suggest that he or                during the Attlee and Churchill    the internal political situation
   his Government are capa-                 governments, but a significant     in Persia. To answer this ques-
   ble of tackling the many                 policy shift took place in the     tion would be to exceed the lim-
   and grave problems before                United States when Eisen-          its of historical evidence
   them. 38                                 hower replaced Truman in           reviewed for this essay, but
                                            1953. Truman, whose personal-      Musaddiq’s volatile relation-
  Combined, the excerpts from               ity resembled Attlee’s, pre-       ship with the Majlis certainly
this telegram reflect the dire              ferred a more diplomatic           makes the latter scenario at
attempts of both Attlee and                 approach to the problems in        least a noteworthy possibility.
Churchill to involve the United             Persia, both through loan nego-
States in a solution to the oil             tiations and economic sanc-
crisis by emphasizing the weak-             tions. Eisenhower, who entered     In Closing
ness of Mossadeq’s regime and               the 1952 presidential race           The 1953 overthrow of
the growing strength of commu-              promising to combat “commu-        Mohammed Mossadeq cannot
nist influence in the region.               nism, Korea and corruption,”       be analyzed as a sudden deci-
With the Korean War under-                  would keep his word in counter-    sion intended only to rid the
way, it would be this latter                ing communism in Persia, both      Middle East of an unstable and
issue that would finally assure             in committing to the 1953 over-    vulnerable regime. Instead, it
US support in ousting Moss-                 throw of Mossadeq and in           must be considered through a
adeq in 1953.                               establishing the Eisenhower        broad historical lens, taking
                                            Doctrine in 1955. This doctrine    into account more than a
                                            promised to Middle Eastern         decade of economic, political,
The Importance of                           countries the support of Amer-
Character                                                                      and military changes across the
                                            ica’s military and economic aid    world, from the United States
  While Truman was more                     in order to “secure and protect    to Britain, Persia, and the
interested in economic negotia-             the territorial integrity and      Soviet Union.
tions and Churchill in military             political independence of
solutions with regard to the                nations requesting such aid,         At its core, Mossadeq’s over-
Persian oil crisis, both would              against over armed aggression      throw was inspired not by a
find common ground on the                   from any nation controlled by      communist threat, but by an
nationalization issue—first                 International Communism.” 39       economic one. World War II had
because of the fear of depleting                                               left postwar Britain grasping
dollar reserves, and second                   Meanwhile, Mossadeq’s own        for fresh economic policies that
because of the threat of Soviet             personality and approach added     would help them rebuild into a
influence in Persia. Britain                to his country’s crisis. His       global economic power. Bogged
would present these concerns in             inability to make decisions and    down in loan repayments and
reverse order to the United                 his tendency to create waves       debt following the end of Lend-
States, however. When studied               within the Persian government      Lease, however, London had lit-
in a historical perspective, one            concerned the United States        tle choice but to borrow money
realizes that the end result was,           and Britain enough to ignite       on as favorable terms as possi-
in part, created by the multiple            coup planning. This begs ques-     ble, the Anglo-American Loan
                                            tion of whether Mossadeq’s         Agreement. A more dominant

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                           23
The Economics of Overthrow

Operation Ajax … demonstrated to the Arab world that Britain
was, essentially, finished as a major power in the Middle East.
                                                                           administration an opportunity
                                                                           to involve the United States in
US economic strategy further        ing that this would be a symbol        the unseating of Mossadeq.
kept Britain from regaining its     of power, it was, in reality, the      Without that motivation, and
economic power, as the sterling     one thing that needed fixing.          without the new administra-
convertibility clause of the loan                                          tion in Washington, it is doubt-
agreement would ultimately            Churchill’s approach in solicit-     ful that the CIA would have
prove devastating for the Brit-     ing the assistance of the United       been commissioned to carry out
ish economy and cause it to cut     States differed little from his        his overthrow.
funding for a variety of domes-     predecessor, however, as both
tic and foreign projects. 40        worked to gain American sup-             Operation Ajax made the Suez
                                    port by emphasizing the threat         Crisis in 1956 all the more
  The sterling conversion issue     of communist penetration in            acute, and also demonstrated to
would play a major role in the      the Middle East. Truman                the Arab world that Britain
oil nationalization crisis. Faced   sought to mediate the situation        was, essentially, finished as a
with the opportunity to float or    through loans and monetary             major power in the Middle
devalue the pound in 1952,          sanctions, and tried to find a         East. From the post-Suez
Churchill chose to do nothing.      practical solution that would          period onward, the United
On political grounds, the Tories    avoid military intervention.           States would be catapulted to
refused to devalue or float,        Eisenhower, in an effort to rid        center stage in the region, a
believing that floating would       the world of “communism,               position it still largely main-
undermine Bretton Woods,            Korea and corruption,” alterna-        tains to this day. Thus, the 1953
anger the United States, and        tively decided to try and elimi-       overthrow of Mossadeq ush-
harm the British economy.           nate communism’s role in the           ered in a new era of power
Churchill ultimately main-          Middle East through a CIA-led          shifts. America’s role in the
tained the status quo, having       and British-backed coup in             Middle East grew substan-
expended so much political cap-     1953, commonly referred to as          tially, as Britain’s sterling cri-
ital complaining about the          Operation Ajax. In its quest for       sis depleted not only its dollar
Labour view that he failed to       economic revitalization, the           reserves, but also its position in
act decisively otherwise. Believ-   British saw in the Eisenhower          a more globalized economy.

                                                 ❖ ❖ ❖

24                                                               Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                     The Economics of Overthrow

1. Foreign Office telegram No. 350, addressed to Tehran telegram No. 352. 5 May 1951, Foreign Office Papers,
the National Archives (Kew).
2. Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (New York: Random
House, 2005), 51.
3. Ibid., 53.
4. Ibid., 54.
5. Ibid.
6. Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons, 2003), 89.
7. Elton, L. Daniel, The History of Iran (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press), 149; Mark J. Gasiorowski, U.S. For-
eign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991), 49–50;
Nikki R. Keddie, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (Updated Edition) (New Haven, CT: Yale Uni-
versity Press, 2006), 124; Kinzer, 76-80; Barry M. Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The America? Experi-
ence in Iran (New York: Penguin, 1981), 51–52.
8. Telegram #350.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. James A. Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press, 1989), 61–63; Gasiorowski, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Shah, 82; Gasiorowski, “The 1953
Coup d’État Against Mosaddeq” in Malcolm Byrne and Mark J. Gasiorowski, Mohammad Mosaddeq and the
1953 Coup in Iran (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2004), 229–30; Kinzer, 86–92; Wm. Roger Louis,
“Britain and the Overthrow of the Mosaddeq Government,” in Byrne and Gasiorowski, 151–53; Rubin,. 43–45.
12. Cabinet Papers, Document Six. Cabinet meeting on Persia. 13 July 1951. The National Archives (Kew). Accessed 15 July
13. Cabinet Papers, Document One. Cabinet meeting on Persia. 12 July 1951. The National Archives (Kew).
Accessed 15 July 2010.
14. Cabinet Papers, Document Six.
15. Cabinet Papers, Document Fourteen. Cabinet meeting on Persia. 20 July 1951. The National Archives.
Accessed 15 July 2010. Signed Herbert Morrison.
16. Cabinet Papers, Document Fourteen. Persian Oil. 27 July 1951. The National Archives. Accessed 15 July 2010.
17. Cabinet Papers, Document Twenty-One. Persian Oil. 27 July 1951. The National Archives. Accessed
15 July 2010.
18. Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis led Germany from Conquest to Disaster (London:
Allen Lane, 2008), 33.
19. “Atlantic Charter.” The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Lillian Goldman Law Library. 2008. Accessed 8
August 2010. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/atlantic.asp
20. Douglas Irwin et al., “The Genesis of the GATT.” 13 Feb. 2008. Accessed 8 August 2010, 25. Made avail-
able through the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
21. Leo T. Crowley, “Lend-Lease” in Walter Yust, ed. 10 Eventful Years (1947) 1:520, 2: 858–60.
22. Irwin, 14.
23. Ibid., 15.
24. Ibid., 27.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                   25
The Economics of Overthrow

25. Ibid., 33.
26. Department of State Interim Report on the Anglo-American Trade Agreement, December. 1943: 16.
Accessed 15 August 2010.
27. Alex Rosenson, “The Terms of the Anglo-American Financial Agreement” in The American Economic
Review 37, No. 1 (March 1947): 178–87. Accessed 14 August 2010.
28. Cabinet Papers 128/10. The National Archives (UK). Accessed 18 July 2010.
29. Irwin, 53–54.
30. Rosenson, 178–79.
31. Memorandum. “Servicing of Dollar Loans to Persia.” 25 September 1950. Accessed 15 July 2010. The
National Archives (Kew).
32. Ibid.
33. Memorandum. Treasury Chambers to Prime Minister. 10 July 1951. Accessed 15 July 2010. The National
Archives (Kew).
34. Telegram No. 1256, from New York to Foreign Office, 29 September 1950. Sent by Sir G. Jebb. Accessed
28 July 2010. The National Archives (Kew).
35. Telegram No. 2617, from Washington to Foreign Office, 29 Sept. 1950. Sent by Sir O. France. Accessed 28
July 2010. The National Archives (Kew).
36. Personal Letter from Winston Churchill to Prime Minister Clement Attlee, 9 July 1951. Accessed 22 July
2010. The National Archives (Kew).
37. Telegram No. 2103 from Foreign Office to Washington, 18 May 1951. Accessed 22 July 2010. The National Archives
38. Ibid.
39. The Department of State Bulletin XXXVI, No. 917 (21 January 1957): 83–87. From Fordham University
Department of History. Accessed 17 August 2010.
40. Rosenson, 178–87.

                                                      ❖ ❖ ❖

26                                                                      Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
Intelligence in Public Literature

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 418 pp.

Reviewed by Frank J. Babetski

   Few books are “must reads” for intelligence                                The title of the book refers to what Kahne-
officers. Fewer still are “must reads” that men-                           man, adapting a device that other researchers
tion Intelligence Community functions or the                               originally proposed, calls the “two systems” of
CIA only once, and then only in passing. Dan-                              the human mind. System 1, or fast thinking,
iel Kahneman has written one of these rare                                 operates automatically and quickly with little
books. Thinking, Fast and Slow represents an                               or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.
elegant summation of a lifetime of research in                             Most System 1 skills—such as detecting the
which Kahneman, Princeton University Profes-                               relative distances of objects, orienting to a sud-
                                                                           den sound, or detecting hostility in a voice—are
sor Emeritus of Psychology and Public Affairs,
                                                                           innate and are found in other animals. Some
and his late collaborator, Amos Tversky,
                                                                           fast and automatic System 1 skills can be
changed the way psychologists think about                                  acquired through prolonged practice, such as
thinking. Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel                                 reading and understanding nuances of social
Prize in Economics for his work with Tversky                               situations. Experts in a field can even use Sys-
on prospect theory, also highlights the best                               tem 1 to quickly, effortlessly, and accurately
work of other researchers throughout the book.                             retrieve stored experience to make complex
Thinking, Fast and Slow introduces no revolu-                              judgments. A chess master quickly finding
tionary new material, but it is a masterpiece                              strong moves and a quarterback changing a
because of the way Kahneman weaves existing                                play sent to him from the sideline when he rec-
research together.                                                         ognizes a defensive weakness are examples of
                                                                           acquired System 1 thinking.
   Expert intelligence officers at CIA, an
agency with the “human intelligence” mission                                  System 2, or slow thinking, allocates atten-
at its core, have come through experience and                              tion to the mental activities that demand
practice to understand and exploit the human                               effort, such as complex computations and con-
cognitive processes of which Kahneman writes.                              scious, reasoned choices about what to think
                                                                           and what to do. System 2 requires most of us to
These expert officers will have many moments
                                                                           “pay attention” to do things such as drive on an
of recognition in reading this book, which gives
                                                                           unfamiliar road during a snowstorm, calculate
an empirical underpinning for much of their
                                                                           the product of 17x24, schedule transportation
hard-won wisdom.                                                           for a teenage daughter’s activities, or under-
                                                                           stand a complex logical argument.
   Kahneman also may challenge some strongly
held beliefs. Thinking, Fast and Slow gives                                   Kahneman focuses much of the book on the
experts and newer officers, regardless of the                              interactions of System 1 and System 2 and the
intelligence agency in which they serve, an                                problems inherent in those interactions. Both
enormously useful cognitive framework upon                                 systems are “on” when we are awake. System 1
which to hang their experiences.                                           runs automatically and effortlessly but

All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the author. Nothing in this article should be construed as
asserting or implying US government endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                           27
Thinking, Fast and Slow

System 2 idles, because using it requires effort                       A target’s biases put the “plausible” in plau-
and is tiring. System 1 generates impressions                       sible deniability during covert actions. Effec-
and feelings, which become the source of Sys-                       tive deceptions also fundamentally rely on a
tem 2’s explicit beliefs and deliberate choices.                    target’s unchallenged biases and so make it
System 1, when it encounters something it can-                      easy for the target to believe what they already
not quickly understand and did not expect (in                       are predisposed to believe. Effective fabrica-
other words, a surprise), enlists System 2 to                       tors, especially those with tantalizing access,
make sense of the anomaly. The alerted Sys-                         rely on our biased desire to believe them. One
tem 2 takes charge, overriding System 1’s auto-                     or two plausible reports from such a person
matic reactions. System 2 always has the last                       may be enough to engage the exaggerated emo-
word when it chooses to assert it.                                  tional coherence or halo effect. Roughly put,
                                                                    once lazy System 2 is satisfied, it tends to defer
   The systems operate to minimize effort and                       to System 1, which in turn projects positive
maximize performance and are the result of                          qualities in one area into a generalized posi-
hundreds of thousands of years of human evo-                        tive assessment.
lution in our environment. They work
extremel? well, usually. System 1 performs                             Terrorists rely on these biases, but they are
well at making accurate models and predic-                          also vulnerable to them. Terrorism works
tions in familiar environments. System 1 has                        because it provides extremely vivid images of
two significant weaknesses: it is prone to make                     death and destruction, which constant media
systemic errors in specified situations—these                       attention magnifies. These images are immedi-
are “biases”—and it cannot be turned off. Sys-                      ately available to a target’s System 1.
tem 2 can, with effort, overrule these biases if                    System 2, even when armed with reliable sta-
it recognizes them. Unfortunately, System 2 is                      tistics on the rarity of any type of terrorist
demonstrably very poor at recognizing one’s                         event, cannot overcome System 1’s associative
own biased thinking. Trying to engage System                        reaction to specific events. If you are a CIA offi-
2 at all times to prevent System 1 errors is                        cer who was working in Langley on 25 January
impractical and exhausting.                                         1993, then chances are that you cannot make
                                                                    the left turn into the compound from Dolley
   In terms of Kahneman’s construct, a signifi-                     Madison Boulevard without thinking of Aimal
cant part of the missions of intelligence agen-                     Kasi, the Pakistani who killed two CIA officers
cies boils down to seizing opportunities                            and wounded three others at that intersection
presented by the flawed interactions of the Sys-                    that day.
tem 1 and System 2 thinking of foreign actors
while at the same time recognizing and miti-                           The 9/11 hijackers on the first three planes
gating the flaws of their own System 1 and                          could count on passengers to stay seated, rely-
System 2 interactions. Hostile services and                         ing on their ability to quickly remember
organizations try to do the same thing in                           accounts of previous hijackings in which the
return. Operations officers rely on the biases of                   hijackers were motivated to survive—this is
foreign counterintelligence officers, essentially                   what Kahneman calls the availability bias.
advising assets to avoid exciting any System 2                      However, because of their success at the World
thinking in people positioned to do them harm.                      Trade Center and the Pentagon, the terrorists
Aldrich Ames’s Soviet handlers preferred that                       unwittingly and immediately rendered hijack-
we not focus System 2 thought on how he                             ing a less effective tactic. The passengers on
bought a Jaguar on a GS-14 paycheck—Sys-                            Flight 93, quickly armed with knowledge of the
tem 1 found a tale about his wife’s inheritance                     other three flights, were able to engage Sys-
cognitively easy to accept. a                                       tem 2 to overcome System 1’s existing avail-

a If you think that you certainly would have known Ames was a Soviet spy had you known of his Jaguar, then you are probably

guilty of hindsight bias, or the tendency to underestimate the extent to which you were surprised by past events. On the other hand,
you are not guilty of hindsight bias if you think this (before having read about Ames) and have ever reported a colleague to coun-
terintelligence for owning a Jaguar.

28                                                                            Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                     Thinking, Fast and Slow

ability bias and make the decision to physically                      look-up tables, precise calculations, and explicit
overpower the terrorists.                                             analyses of outcomes observed on similar occa-
                                                                      sions. This is the approach an analyst uses to
   Kahneman’s insights pertain to the entire                          predict the amount of explosive force needed to
spectrum of intelligence operations. We accept                        penetrate a certain thickness of concrete, or
information security practices that demonstra-                        calculate how much fuel a certain type of air-
bly impede productivity in order to reduce the                        plane needs to complete a certain type of mis-
danger of worse losses posed by cyberattack or                        sion.
penetration. At the same time, we would
almost certainly consider the same amount of                             Other forecasts and predictions involve intu-
lost productivity a major defeat if a hacker had                      ition and System 1 thinking. Kahneman fur-
inflicted it on us. This is what Kahneman calls                       ther breaks down this variety of prediction into
the loss aversion bias. System 2 does not assert                      two subvarieties. The first draws on the skills
control over System 1’s cognitive ease at imag-                       and expertise acquired by repeated experience,
ining a disaster because increased productivity                       in which a solution to the current problem
is much more difficult for System 2 to imagine.                       comes quickly to mind because System 1 accu-
                                                                      rately recognizes familiar cues. The second
   Any intelligence officer making budget deci-                       subvariety of intuitive prediction, which is
sions should read Kahneman’s thoughts on the                          often indistinguishable from the first, is based
biases underlying the sunk-cost fallacy, or the                       on biased judgments. This type of intuitive pre-
decision to invest additional resources in los-                       diction, typically forwarded with considerable
ing endeavors when better investments are                             confidence, very often leads to trouble. The
available. People find it difficult to engage Sys-                    expanded use in intelligence analysis of struc-
tem 2 to cut their losses in such situations,                         tured analytic techniques and approaches
especially when System 1 can easily convince                          adopted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the
them of the loss of prestige that would surely                        National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi weap-
follow. How often does the same officer who                           ons of mass destruction represents in part an
started an expensive major project also decide                        effort to eliminate this latter type of prediction.
to kill it? You likely did not have to engage Sys-
tem 2 to answer the question.                                            The trick is in using structured techniques
                                                                      and approaches—or applied System 2 think-
   Likewise, none of us are immune to what                            ing—in a way that eliminates biased intuitive
Kahneman calls the planning fallacy, which                            forecasts and predictions without also discour-
describes plans and forecasts that are unrealis-                      aging, delaying, or even eliminating the intui-
tically close to best-case scenarios and could be                     tive insights that true expertise provides. This
improved by consulting statistics in similar                          dilemma probably explains in part why some
cases. This review, for example, took twice as                        experts in the CIA’s Senior Analytic Service
long to write as I thought it would, just like                        remain ambivalent about structured analytic
almost every other paper I have ever written.                         techniques and approaches.

   Intelligence analysts should pay particu-                             Kahneman, despite his stated preference for
larly close attention to Kahneman’s chapters                          statistics and algorithms, cannot dismiss out of
on the nested problems of prediction, intuition,                      hand the value of intuitive prediction borne of
and expertise. a Forecasting and prediction are                       true expertise. His “Expert Intuition: When
core mission elements for analysts. Kahneman                          Can We Trust It?” chapter centers on what he
breaks them down into two main varieties. The                         calls his adversarial collaboration with Gary
first, such as those engineers make, rely on                          Klein, a leading proponent of Naturalistic Deci-

a Many intelligence analysts are familiar with some of these theories from Richards J. Heuer, Jr.’s Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

(Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1999), which is based in part on earlier versions of Kahneman’s and Tversky’s
work. This publication is available online at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                 29
Thinking, Fast and Slow

sion Making, who rejects Kahneman’s empha-           irrespective of the confidence with which they
sis on biases and focuses instead on the value       are stated. Moreover, they would probably con-
of expert intuition and on how intuitive skills      sider the feedback available to analysts—from
develop. It is not difficult to imagine that their   policymakers and events—inadequate for effi-
collaboration was more difficult than Kahne-         cient learning and expertise development. Kah-
man generously portrays it to have been, which       neman was not referring specifically to
makes the areas on which they were able to           intelligence analysts when he wrote, “it is
agree even more noteworthy.                          wrong to blame anyone for failing to forecast
                                                     accurately in an unpredictable world,” but he
   They agreed that the confidence that experts      has given interviews in which he discusses
express in their intuitive judgments is not a        intelligence analysts in this context. At the
reliable guide to their validity. They further       same time, he also wrote, “however, it seems
agreed that two basic conditions must be pres-       fair to blame professionals for believing they
ent before intuitive judgments reflect true          can succeed in an impossible task.” In short,
expertise: an environment that is sufficiently       Kahneman concedes that intuition has to be
regular to be predictable and an opportunity to      valued, but it cannot necessarily be trusted.
learn these regularities through prolonged
practice. An expert firefighter’s sensing the           Thinking, Fast and Slow provides intelli-
need to order his men to evacuate a burning          gence officers with an accessible vocabulary to
building just before it collapses or a race          discuss the processes of human cognition—the
driver’s knowing to slow down well before the        interactions between System 1 and System 2
massive accident comes into view are due to          thinking—which are at the center of their
highly valid clues that each expert’s System 1       work. It does not, however, provide solutions or
has learned to use, even if System 2 has not         reliable approaches to bias mitigation. Accord-
learned to name them.                                ing to Kahneman, the best we can hope to do is
                                                     learn to recognize situations in which mis-
   Learning, in turn, relies on receiving timely     takes are likely, and try harder to avoid spe-
and unambiguous feedback. Many if not most           cific errors when the stakes are high.
of the issues with which intelligence analysts       Kahneman also spends very little time discuss-
are seized are what Kahneman and Klein               ing how biases work in collaborative environ-
would probably call “low-validity” environ-          ments, despite his own very insightful accounts
ments, in which the intuitive predictions of         of his collaboration with Tversky. We can hope
experts should not be trusted at face value,         he will explore that in his next work.

                                                ❖ ❖ ❖

30                                                          Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
Intelligence in Public Media

Espionage and Covert Operations:
A Global History—An Audio Course
Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius. (Chantilly, VA: The Great Courses, 2011) 12 CDs, 12 hours.

Reviewed by Nicholas Dujmovic
   As countless commuters know, hours of                                   historical context of their profession. In this
unproductive time in cars can be transformed                               respect, the breadth of Espionage and Covert
into learning experiences with interesting                                 Operations is impressive, covering in its 24 lec-
material on audio CDs, iPods, or other devices.                            tures spying and operations throughout human
The CIA Library has done the Agency’s work-                                history, from ancient Mesopotamia through
force a great service by providing a multitude                             today’s era of terrorism, cyber war, and
of audiobooks and courses on a wide range of                               Wikileaks. In addition—and this is an espe-
subjects. But what has been missing—because                                cially useful aspect of the course—Liulevicius
it hasn’t been available commercially—is an                                discusses how spies and spying have been per-
audiocourse on intelligence. For many years,                               ceived in terms of spy scares, cultural atti-
The Great Courses, a Virginia-based enter-                                 tudes, and spy fiction during various periods.
prise formerly named The Teaching Company,
has offered recordings on a wide variety of sub-                              On the downside, Liulevicius evidently has
jects in the sciences and the humanities. In his-                          researched the subject of intelligence, but he
tory, the courses, often taught by giants in the                           lacks experience and significant academic
field, cover the gamut from ancient civiliza-                              background in the field. It shows in the
tions to the rise of modern terrorism. But only                            course’s lack of depth, impersonal approach,
recently has The Great Courses produced a his-                             and lack of systematic arrangement—weak-
tory of intelligence. Espionage and Covert                                 nesses professional intelligence officers will
Operations: A Global History is the first com-                             recognize immediately and have to accept if
mercially available course that I’ve seen on the                           they are to continue the 12 hours of instruc-
world of intelligence. It is a first, I’d say wob-                         tion. For example, Liulevicius’s first lecture is
bly, step in the right direction, and one hopes it                         an overview of terms that, while marginally
has set the stage for better in the near future.                           acceptable for a general audience, will rightly
                                                                           be seen as flawed by knowledgeable profession-
   The course teacher, Vejas Gabriel Liulev-                               als. His bifurcation of intelligence collection
icius, is a professor at the University of Ten-                            into HUMINT and SIGINT is oversimplified
nessee. He has an academic background in                                   and unaccountably ignores IMINT, which he
European history, particularly in diplomacy                                does cover later in the course. Analysis is not
and war, which he teaches on four other sets of                            even mentioned up front as an intelligence
audiocourses prepared by The Great Courses.                                matter, as if what is gathered immediately
Liulevicius, whose resume includes an impres-                              makes sense and is useful to political authori-
sive list of published works on 20th century                               ties. Still, he covers prominent analytic issues
European history, is engaging and often witty,                             later. (One senses that the course was cobbled
with impressive knowledge of the historical                                together on the fly and without a full conceptu-
and cultural backdrop to the episodes he                                   alization of what was to follow.)
describes. This knowledge is used to good
effect, making the course valuable for intelli-                              On basic terminology, Liulevicius seems an
gence officers wishing to better understand the                            eager but not very precise beginner, guilty of

All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the author. Nothing in this article should be construed as
asserting or implying US government endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                           31
Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

many of the same terminological gaffes evi-        sian secret police, from Ivan the Terrible’s
dent in journalism and popular stories about       oprichniki to Lenin’s Cheka; about the conti-
intelligence. CIA officers are not “agents,” and   nental intrigues of France’s Cardinal Richeliu
Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were not           and Prussia’s Wilhelm Stieber; about the
“double agents.” A “walk-in” is inexplicably       American intelligence legacy of the Revolution-
termed a “covert operator.” He is not, at least    ary and Civil wars; and about much else. Spe-
not when he walks in to offer services.            cialists will never be happy with the lack of
                                                   depth on any particular subject, but overall
  He labels the use of Navajo code talkers dur-    this is an impressive achievement.
ing World War II “an intelligence success”
when it was really an innovative and effective        The course’s second half, however, will disap-
communications security measure. Herbert           point listeners knowledgeable about CIA his-
Yardley, the early 20th century US cryptogra-      tory, and it may mislead those without a fair
pher, was no “whistle blower”—he was a self-       background in that Agency’s story. In the con-
promoting publicity hound. A “fifth column” is     text of world history, beginning a breezy and
not a “Trojan Horse.”                              shallow treatment of CIA on the ninth of a
                                                   dozen discs probably is unavoidable. Some of
   Liulevicius also seems shaky or inconsistent    the faults in this portion of the lecture series
in relating basic concepts. He defines “covert     could easily have been rectified. These espe-
operations” as “secret action” by governments      cially include the lack of coverage of the devel-
to achieve some result, presumably an action       opment of US intelligence in the period
with a connection to intelligence, but this is     between the end of the OSS and the establish-
frequently not the case. Liulevicius categori-     ment of the CIA, and the muddled discourse,
cally overreaches, calling the stealing by Vene-   riddled with omissions and errors, on aspects of
tian merchants of St. Mark’s relics from           CIA history—e.g., the origins of covert action,
Alexandria in the 8th century a “covert opera-     Cold War covert influence campaigns, the U-2
tion.” Likewise earning the “covert” label are     program, and the Ames and Hanssen cases.
the passage of a ship manned by escaping           Most galling, Liulevicius repeats the
slaves from Charleston harbor during the Civil     canard—disproven by the record and by recent
War, the operation of the Underground Rail-        scholarship—that the decline and fall of the
road, the bomb plot against Hitler, or, most       Soviet Union came as a surprise and therefore
bizarrely, the Holocaust. It would have helped     represented a “massive intelligence failure” on
if Liulevicius had sorted out the differences      the part of the CIA and other Western intelli-
among “covert,” “clandestine,” and “secret”        gence services.
ahead of time. Liulevicius is very good in
addressing the historical theme of intelligence       In sum, this audiocourse is a good, pioneer-
in the service of internal repression, but men-    ing effort—a B minus in my judgment—that I
tioning the Nazi and Soviet secret police in the   hope will spark in listeners a greater apprecia-
same breath as the McCarthy era in the United      tion for and an interest in the role of intelli-
States is breathtakingly inappropriate.            gence in human history. I also thank
                                                   Liulevicius for citing the Web site of the Cen-
   Arguably one can ignore these quibbles and      ter for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) as an
focus on Liulevicius’s strength, which is his      online resource, but I urge him to use CSI
enthusiasm for telling stories that demon-         materials and the rest of his good course bibli-
strate the ubiquitous nature of espionage and,     ography to increase his familiarity with this
yes, “covert operations” throughout history. By    subject.
the end of the first half of the course the lis-
tener has learned something about the Rus-                                ❖ ❖ ❖

32                                                        Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
Intelligence in Public Literature

The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel
Adam Johnson, (New York: Random House, 2012), 443 pp.

Reviewed by John Ehrman
    Let’s ask the obvious question first: Is The                           Sun Moon—and Ga’s young children. Sun
Orphan Master’s Son, published in early 2012                               Moon, of course, is not fooled but reluctantly
to enthusiastic reviews in almost every major                              accepts him and lives with Jun Do as if he were
newspaper and journal, as good as the critics                              Ga. As Commander Ga, Jun Do also meets with
say? My answer is a resounding “yes.” Adam                                 Kim Jong-il—who, bizarrely, accepts the impos-
Johnson has constructed a fascinating plot, set                            ter even though he knew Ga—while simultane-
it in a carefully detailed world, and written in a                         ously plotting the escape of Sun Moon and her
style that captures the reader from the first                              children from North Korea. Johnson uses mul-
page.                                                                      tiple narrators for this part of the story, a
                                                                           device that enables him to maintain suspense
   Johnson’s novel follows the adventures of a                             as the plot twists to its conclusion.
North Korean, Jun Do, who grows up in an
orphanage run by his father. From there, he                                   Johnson, however, is not content just to tell
goes into the army, where he serves in a unit                              an interesting story. He has a larger goal,
trained to fight in the total darkness of the                              which is to bring home to his readers the awful
tunnels under the demilitarized zone between                               realities of life in totalitarian North Korea.
North and South Korea. Next, Jun Do is                                     Toward this end, Johnson has done his home-
assigned to an intelligence unit that kidnaps                              work—not only did he travel to Pyongyang, but
Japanese. Success in this assignment leads to                              his detailed references to Korean customs and
English language training, a stint as a radio                              descriptions of daily life and North Korea itself
intercept operator on a fishing boat, and then a                           demonstrate careful research. The resulting
trip to Texas as a translator for a Korean dele-                           portrait is unrelentingly grim; Johnson’s North
gation.                                                                    Korea is a place of starvation, casual brutality
                                                                           and extraordinary hardships in almost every
   Upon Jun Do’s return from Texas, Johnson                                aspect of life, and it is a place where everyone
sends the story in unexpected directions. Jun                              fatalistically assumes that at some point they
Do is imprisoned in a labor camp where prison-                             will be arrested and sent to a labor camp. All of
ers work in mines until they die. When the                                 this takes place amidst a constant din of
minister of prison mines, the brutal and thug-                             Orwellian propaganda, with the regime telling
gish Commander Ga, visits the mine, Jun Do                                 the people how good their lives are, and the
kills him, dons his uniform, and assumes Ga’s                              people, in turn, carefully repeating slogans to
persona.                                                                   stay out of trouble. The point is not just that
                                                                           North Korea is a place of material hardship
   Johnson uses the substitution to drive home                             and physical suffering, but also that it is a
a critical point, that in North Korea the truth                            place where the state seeks total control of
is whatever people are told it is. With no one                             each person’s soul. For anyone who has read
daring to question his new identity, Jun Do                                about Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia, even if
thus becomes Commander Ga and moves in                                     they know little about North Korea, Johnson’s
with Ga’s wife—an acclaimed film star named                                descriptions ring true.

All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the author. Nothing in this article should be construed as
asserting or implying US government endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                           33
Orphan Master’s Son

   In trying to bring North Korea to life, John-   readers, these rulers came to be seen as omni-
son seeks to follow other writers who have used    present and invincible. Johnson portrays Kim
fiction to tell the truth about totalitarianism.   Jong-il, however, as being just as caught up in
He is working in the tradition of Arthur Koes-     the regime’s propaganda fantasies as much as
tler’s Darkness at Noon, George Orwell’s 1984,     anyone else is; in his acceptance of Jun Do as
and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the        Ga, he seems unable to tell where his own fic-
Life of Ivan Denisovich, among many others.        tions end and reality begins. Moreover, John-
What these books have in common, it is impor-      son’s Kim at times seems less evil than
tant to note, is that their authors had not only   befuddled. It may be unintentional, but John-
researched and visited the communist states of     son has humanized Kim and thereby demoted
the 20th century, but actually had lived in        him from monster to curiosity.
them or been involved in communist politics.
Their fiction was grounded in long personal           Nonetheless, I highly recommend The
experience.                                        Orphan Master’s Son for anyone who wants to
                                                   gain insight into North Korea. We probably
  This is where The Orphan Master’s Son            will not have a full understanding of North
stumbles. Johnson’s mistake is to insert a gen-    Korea until the Kim dynasty has been gone for
uine leader into the story, something that nei-    many years—Stalin has been dead for almost
ther Koestler nor Orwell did. Indeed, Number       60 years, and scholars are still making fresh
One and Big Brother were all the more menac-       discoveries—but until then, Johnson’s descrip-
ing because they were unseen. Thus, in the         tions and insights provide a fascinating por-
imaginations of their subjects, victims, and       trait of life in this tragic land.

                                               ❖ ❖ ❖

34                                                        Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf
Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake

                                                            Current Topics
America The Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare, by
  Joel Brenner.

The Art and Science of Intelligence Analysis, by Julian Richards.

Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community, by Amy B. Zegart.

Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence, by Joshua Rovner.

Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis, by Patrick F. Walsh.

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (Fifth Edition), by Mark M. Lowenthal.

Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the Middle
  East, by André Gerolymatos.

The Fear Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial, by Scott Martelle.

Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, by Richard Minter.

Operation Fortitude: The Story of the Spy Operation that Saved D-DAY, by Joshua Levine.

Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground, by Thomas Sakmyster.

The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers,
  by Peter Tomsen.

The Vietnam War from the Rear Echelon: An Intelligence Officer's Memoir, 1972–1973, by Timothy
  J. Lomperis.

                                                        Intelligence Abroad
FAREWELL: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century, by Sergei Kostin and Eric Raynaud.

Guerrilla Leader: T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, by James J. Schneider.

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain's Counterinsurgency Failure, by J.B.E. Hittle.

SMERSH: Stalin's Secret Weapon; Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII, by Vadim Birstein.

Spies and Commissars: Bolshevik Russia and the West, by Robert Service.

All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the author. Nothing in the article should be construed as
asserting or implying US government endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                                          35
Bookshelf—June 2012

                                           Current Topics

 America The Vulnerable: Inside the New               power grid are all targets. Corrective action
Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime,            can’t, he suggests, be taken serially. The vulner-
and Warfare, by Joel Brenner. (New York: Pen-         ability is present simultaneously.
guin Press, 2011), 308 pp., endnotes, index.
                                                        Brenner identifies numerous real-world prob-
  Joel Brenner, a Harvard Law School graduate,        lems and some hypothetical ones that are any-
served as the National Security Agency’s inspec-      thing but unrealistic. One real-world example is
tor general and later as the national counterin-      the criminal organization called ShadowCrew,
telligence executive (NCIX), jobs in which he         which operated worldwide and demonstrated
gained a genuine understanding of the contem-         the hazards of not attending to security when
porary cyberthreat. To gain the attention of          using the internet. (27-31) Other examples in-
readers, he begins his story by stating that the      clude the cyberattacks on Google technology and
Chinese downloaded “up to twenty terabytes of         commercial cyberespionage against the Ford
information from the Defense Depart-                  Motor Company. He offers a hypothetical sce-
ment—equal to about 20 percent of all the data        nario that suggests how such capabilities can af-
in the Library of Congress. And we don’t know         fect international security.
what they took.” (1) Now those who have served
in the Pentagon may conclude that if the stolen
documents were written in “Pentagonese,” Chi-           A review of an assassination in Dubai in the
na may never do it again. On the other hand, if       chapter “Spies in a Glass House” illustrates the
the downloads contained sensitive material, a         risks associated with the today’s surveillance so-
serious problem exists. America the Vulnerable        ciety—such as drones and GPS—and the threat
assumes the latter and goes on to describe this       from groups like WikiLeaks. The title is taken
“new form of espionage: how it works; what the        from an experiment in transparency conducted
biggest and most valuable targets are; who does       by architect Philip Johnson, who built a glass
it best; as well as what it means for the future of   house and was confounded by society’s reaction.
warfare, intelligence, market competition, and        (11, 244)
society at large.” (2) It is a sobering account—he
is talking billons in potential losses of secret        America the Vulnerable deals with an alarm-
technology.                                           ing situation without being alarmist. It is very
                                                      well written and concludes with some sugges-
  But the vulnerability is not confined to cybere-    tions to Congress, the executive branch, individ-
spionage. He makes a very strong case that per-       uals, and the private sector for “managing the
sonal data and social networks are being              mess.” No one person can implement defensive
electronically undressed. Likewise, commercial        measures; that burden is on us all. Brenner does
secrets that could threaten the economy, and the      not estimate the likelihood of success.


The Art and Science of Intelligence Analysis, by Julian Richards. (New York: Oxford Univer-
sity Press, 2010), 197 pp., footnotes, index.

  After obtaining a PhD in Political Violence in      turning to academia. He is now deputy director
Pakistan from Cambridge University, Julian            of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Stud-
Richards spent 17 years as an intelligence ana-       ies at the University of Buckingham. The Art
lyst with the UK Ministry of Defence before re-       and Science of Intelligence Analysis is a

36                                                           Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                             Bookshelf—June 2012

thoughtful and practical two-part introduction                 roles of analysts are influenced by organization-
to the topic.                                                  al cultures, politics, and ethical considerations.

                                                                 Part II of the study first considers aspects of
  In preparation for an examination of the com-
                                                               analytical theory that are more art than science.
ponents of intelligence analysis, Part I begins
                                                               These are elements requiring judgment, critical
with a discussion of the definition of intelli-
                                                               thinking, communication, and intuition. Rich-
gence, in which Richards concludes that it is a                ards notes in passing that these topics have re-
complex system and that no single definition ad-               ceived significant attention at Center for the
equately applies. He then identifies the preven-               Study of Intelligence and the Sherman Kent
tion of surprise as a key analytic goal and                    School at the CIA. (117) The scientific elements
recognizes the difficulties imposed by the huge                of analysis are then reviewed—for example, hy-
volume of data in the contemporary information                 pothesis formulation and testing and other
environment. 1 In order to deal with this prob-                tradecraft techniques; the role of social net-
lem, Richards argues that a theory of an “intel-               works; the value of timelines; and massive data
ligence system” is necessary and suggests how                  extraction techniques. A basic assumption for
the “system” should work in any given circum-                  all analysts, he stresses, is that they all obtain
stances. Such an approach is required, he ar-                  extensive background knowledge and training.
gues, in order to understand why intelligence
fails. Further background in this part of the                    The Art and Science of Intelligence Analysis is
book covers the evolution of the current intelli-              a basic primer for anyone concerned about what
gence threat and how analysis today also ap-                   it takes to become an intelligence analyst. Well
plies to law enforcement and security functions.               documented and clearly written, it is a worth-
Part I concludes with a discussion of how the                  while introduction to the topic.

Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community, by Amy B. Zegart.
(Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011), 130 pp., footnotes, index.

  Author and former Assistant Director of Cen-                 question: why aren’t the intelligence commit-
tral Intelligence for Analysis and Production                  tees doing their job? Eyes on Spies answers that
Mark Lowenthal recognized that “the oversight                  question in simple declarative sentences.
of intelligence has always been a problem.” 2
University of Georgia professor Loch Johnson                     While UCLA professor and Hoover Institution
wrote that “oversight is better than it used to be,            senior fellow Amy Zegart strongly supports leg-
but nowhere near as good as it should be.” 3 The               islative oversight and the post-9/11 congressio-
9/11 Commission called Congressional oversight                 nal reforms, she argues persuasively that
“dysfunctional.” 4 These observations are typical              “Congress has been largely unable to reform it-
of those of many commissions that have investi-                self.” (3) Or put another way, “many of Con-
gated intelligence. While each one suggests pos-               gress’s biggest oversight problems lie with
sible functional corrections and improvements                  Congress” as an institution. (9) With regard to
—larger staffs, a joint intelligence committee,                intelligence oversight, she is more specific:
and no term limits are just three exam-                        “Simply put, Congress has never expended as
ples—none have addressed the fundamental                       much effort overseeing intelligence as other pol-

1 His use of the “signal-to-noise” metaphor (29) in this regard is, however, incorrect. By definition, noise has no signal

2 Mark Lowenthal, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (Washington, DC: Sage, 2012) 217.

3 Loch Johnson, “Accountability and America’s Secret Foreign Policy,” in Intelligence: Critical Concepts in Military,

Strategic & Security Studies, Volume 4 (New York: Routledge, 2011) 61.
4 The 9/11 Commission Report: The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United

States (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004) 420.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                    37
Bookshelf—June 2012

icy areas.” (10) The reasons for this situation are   point—the limited electoral incentives for ser-
straightforward, she concludes: “the intelligence     vice on the intelligence committee do not justify
oversight system…is well designed to serve the        the effort required to get the job done properly.
reelection interests of individual legislators and    Chapter 5 reinforces this conclusion by consid-
protect congressional committee prerogatives          ering the deficiencies that apply to the intelli-
but poorly designed to serve the national inter-      gence committees in particular. She provides
est.” (11) Current practice is weak on monitor-       ample evidence that they are “not designed to
ing accountability, meeting strategic objectives,     oversee intelligence agencies well,” restricted as
and “ensuring compliance with the law and pub-        they are by inexperienced members and staff,
lic trust for agencies that…must hide much of         term limits on the committees, “weak budget au-
what they do.” (6)                                    thority” splintered among other committees,
                                                      and a lack of other incentives for service. (112)
  In order to get a handle on the problem, Chap-
ter 2 of this six-chapter study examines the            In conclusion, Zegart suggests steps to im-
question: What does good oversight look like?         prove the situation. The main one is giving the
After reviewing the history of oversight and its      intelligence committees sole control over the In-
problems of partisanship, turf battles, and con-      telligence Community budget. In effect this
flicting bureaucratic interests, Zegart concludes     means “Congress will have to reform itself,”
poor oversight is hard to define but is easily rec-   something she does not see happening in the
ognized. Her interviews support this assertion.       current environment—electoral self-interest
One legislator called oversight “horrible.” (32)      and protection of turf are very powerful factors.
                                                      Finally, she notes that while “executive branch
  Zegart then identifies two metrics that suggest     secrecy may make meaningful oversight diffi-
an additional reason for poor oversight: the          cult…Congress’s self-inflicted weaknesses make
number of hearings held and the number of bills       it next to impossible.” (120-1) One point not con-
passed. She presents persuasive data that indi-       sidered, however, is whether effective oversight
cate the intelligence committees rank poorly on       would increase the already excessively time-
both counts when compared with other commit-          consuming burden on the IC.
tees. Why is this the case?
                                                        Eyes on Spies focuses critical attention on in-
 Subsequent chapters look at answers suggest-         telligence oversight to the same degree that
ed by analysts using political science techniques     Sherman Kent’s Strategic Intelligence for Amer-
and various intelligence study methods. The lit-      ican World Policy did on intelligence studies. It
erature they have produced identifies functional      is a bold, articulate book and should be taken as
weaknesses, Zegart suggests, but misses the key       seriously.

Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence, by Joshua Rovner.
(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011), 263 pp., endnotes, index.

  When an intelligence system fails as it did be-       The facts to be fixed, however, are not errors by
fore 9/11 or its judgments are as wrong as they       intelligence analysts, as a glance at the title of
were before the Iraq War, severe consequences         this book would suggest. Rovner takes a different
result, and the relationships among foreign, mil-     approach. He is concerned with “the connection
itary, and homeland security policymakers suf-        between intelligence officials and policymak-
fers. In order to prevent such occurrences, it is     ers…a relationship prone to dysfunction.” (3-4)
necessary to examine why they happen and what         For purposes of his study, he assumes the intelli-
needs to be done to avoid them in the future. Dr.     gence disseminated is as correct as possible, al-
Joshua Rovner, an MIT political science graduate      though perhaps not as complete or on point as
and currently an associate professor of strategy      may be desired by policymakers. Understanding
and policy at the US Naval War College, address-      the intricacies of the resulting friction or dysfunc-
es these issues in Fixing the Facts.                  tion is essential to fixing the problem.

38                                                            Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                               Bookshelf—June 2012

  Rovner analyzes the problem from a political       and US and British estimates on Iraq during
science point of view, in which interactions are     1998-2003. In a chapter on each case, he dis-
characterized by three “pathologies of intelli-      cusses the interaction of the three pathologies.
gence-policy relations”: neglect, excessive har-
mony, and politicization. (5) Neglect occurs           The concluding chapter summarizes Rovner’s
when policymakers disregard intelligence that        theoretical constructs using examples—the im-
doesn’t conform to their expectations. Excessive     plications of then DCI Richard Helms’s judg-
harmony causes groupthink. Since these first         ment in the Vietnam order-of-battle controversy
two pathologies have been studied elsewhere,         and George Tenet’s “slam dunk” assessment, to
Rovner chooses to focus much of his discussion       name two. Whether application of the models
on the third, politicization, which he defines in    describing sound intelligence-policymaker rela-
detail and with many examples. After listing cri-    tions will reduce friction and dysfunction in the
teria to test the impact of the three pathologies,   future is impossible to say. That the models
Dr. Rovner applies them to three cases: the          identify key issues to be considered and a con-
Johnson administration and Vietnam, esti-            struct for doing so is evident. Fixing the Facts is
mates about the Soviet Union in 1969 and 1976,       a stimulating and challenging contribution.

Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis, by Patrick F. Walsh. (New York: Routledge, 2011), 332
pp., bibliography, index.

  Australian Patrick F. Walsh is a senior lecturer   however. There are chapters on leadership and
in criminal intelligence at Charles Stuart Uni-      management, the need for innovation and col-
versity. Before that he was an intelligence ana-     laboration, the importance of education, and the
lyst in the Office of National Assessments in        value of research and theory building.
Canberra. Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis
examines the post 9/11 reforms in the profession       The discussion of each topic is accompanied by
in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and        commentary on current literature dealing with
the United States. In particular, he looks at the    the subject and what Walsh calls case studies.
changes that have necessitated a closer relation-    The latter are actually summaries of what the
ship between domestic security agencies (17)         countries in his book are doing on each topic. For
and the traditional foreign intelligence organi-     example, in the chapter on intelligence frame-
zations in each of those countries.                  works and or organizational issues, there is a
                                                     case study on how each country has applied a
 After reviewing the situation before 9/11,          new framework to a problem. In the case of the
Walsh looks at two areas in which new practices      United States, for example, it is fusion centers;
have emerged to meet the changed threat: cor-        in New Zealand, it is the integration of intelli-
rections and biosecurity. Both illustrate the        gence into its single police agency.
magnitude of the challenges and the need for
rapid exchange of integrated information. Sub-        Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis does not
sequent topics include improving operational         pretend to present answers to meeting all post
capacity at various levels of government, intelli-   9/11 challenges, but Walsh has provided exam-
gence models and frameworks that may achieve         ples across five nations, making clear that the
this goal, and how to assess effectiveness. Walsh    problems are recognized and are being ad-
does not neglect the contributions of individuals,   dressed by each. It is a unique contribution.

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (Fifth Edition), by Mark M. Lowenthal. (Washington, DC:
CQ Press, 2011), 386 pp., bibliography, appendices, index.

 In 1984, perhaps looking toward retirement,         (IC) would require new editions in perpetuity. In
Mark Lowenthal hypothesized that well-written        this, the fifth edition of Intelligence, Dr. Lowen-
books describing the Intelligence Community          thal—who has served with the Congressional

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                   39
Bookshelf—June 2012

Research Service, the State Department, the          reform has been substantially revised and up-
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelli-         dated, as has the chapter on foreign intelligence
gence, the National Intelligence Council, and        services. New sources have been added to the
the Director of Central Intelligence—provides        suggestions for further reading at the end of
an expanded update of this basic text.               each chapter.

  The 15 chapters that cover the basic functions
of the profession and the IC remain unchanged,         Intelligence is more than a description of the
and there are 51 new pages. Additions include        functions, operational mandates, and other obli-
changes concerning operational matters—for           gations of the IC. Lowenthal has included anal-
example, the use of drones, policy initiatives of    ysis of performance, suggestions for
the Obama administration, and personnel              improvement, the role of ethics, and the need for
changes since 2009. There are also several new       community-wide accountability and reform. For
sections in the chapter on transnational issues:     these reasons, the book is both a valuable intro-
demographics, support to the military, and cy-       ductory text and a source of information on con-
berspace. The latter replaces the section on net-    temporary issues facing the IC. Only source
work warfare. The chapter on intelligence            notes could improve its quality.


Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the
Middle East, by André Gerolymatos. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2010), 347 pp., endnotes, bib-
liography, chronology, index.

  The track record of the attempts of foreign na-    ed are the WW II and postwar policies of the
tions to control and influence political events in   Truman and Eisenhower presidencies—specifi-
the Middle East is a mix of short-term success       cally, in Iran, Crete, Syria, and Pakistan—that
and long-term failure. In Castles Made of Sand,      continue into the present period.
Simon Fraser University historian André Gero-
lymatos explores the role of Anglo-American es-
                                                      Castles Made of Sand, however, is chronologi-
pionage and intervention operations in the
                                                     cally disjointed. Chapter 1, “Assassination,” for
region. The story he tells, however, is not con-
                                                     example, looks at attempts on the life of Gamal
fined to intelligence and covert action. He in-
                                                     Nasser by the Muslim Brotherhood and the role
cludes the political determinants and the
                                                     played by MI6. The next chapter concerns dis-
contributions of other national players—for ex-
                                                     ruptions in Egypt and Sudan in the late 19th
ample, Germany, France, Israel, and Rus-
                                                     century, only to be followed by a chapter on
sia—and Islamic movements like the Muslim
                                                     events in 1924. This, in turn, is followed by a
                                                     chapter concerning events in 1916. Though the
                                                     ordering improves in the second half of the book,
  Gerolymatos begins with the effects of the Cru-
                                                     Gerolymatos never makes clear the reason for
sades on current Islamic politics. He also covers
                                                     this confusing chronology and doesn't’ establish
the British imperial era, focusing on Egypt and
                                                     a smooth flow of events or ideas.
the local anti-Christian wars that resulted. Oth-
er major events include WW I and the Arab Re-
volt—and Lawrence of Arabia—the end of the             Some of the topics Gerolymatos covers really
Ottoman Empire and imperial Islam, the forced        don’t fit well. One example may be found in the
creation of the modern Middle Eastern States in      chapter on CIA subversive operations. It in-
1922 (Churchill’s fix), and the origins of turmoil   cludes background on Otto Skorzeny, Reinhard
in Palestine under British mandate. Also includ-     Gehlen, Carmel Offie, and covert actions in Eu-

40                                                          Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                   Bookshelf—June 2012

rope, but there are no apparent links to the Mid-          The final chapter considers Pakistan and its
dle East.                                                Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) organization,
                                                         from its creation to the present. The US and
  The book is mostly drawn from secondary                British intelligence roles were relatively minor.
sources, not all of them reliable. In the chapter        The focus in this chapter is on ISI’s role in assas-
titled “Spies, Adventurers, and Religious War-           sinations, its support to the Taliban, and its
riors,” for example, Harry St. John Philby is            links to radical Islam.
identified as both a British civil servant and an
intelligence officer; he was never the latter (53).        Castles Made of Sand stops at that point, bad-
On the topic of the CIA in the Middle East, Gero-        ly in need of a summary chapter that isn’t there.
lymatos discusses the role of James Angleton             Overall, a disappointing contribution.
and his links with Israeli intelligence, informa-
tion from a source identified only as “close

The Fear Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial, by Scott Martelle.
(New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011), 296 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos,

  The 1940 Smith Act set criminal penalties for          United States. Martelle reviews the consequenc-
advocating the overthrow of the US govern-               es of the evidence they presented. Each claimed
ment. 5 It also required all noncitizen adult resi-      firsthand knowledge of American communists
dents to register with the government, and it            who were spying for the Soviet Union. Some
barred admission into the country of commu-              identified leaders of the CPUSA as active
nists from abroad. The rationale for the act “was        agents. But there was no firsthand evidence ad-
not abstract—Hitler’s Abwehr and Stalin’s                missible in court except for what Chambers pro-
NKVD were actively trying to plant spies in the          duced, and espionage charges were not possible
United States.” (3) During WW II the act was             since the statute of limitations had run out. Cu-
used to prosecute Nazis without public objec-            riously, even though evidence of Chambers’ espi-
tion. But author Scott Martelle argues that              onage has long been documented, Martelle
when the act was used in 1949 to justify jailing         raises doubts that Chambers “was indeed a com-
leaders of the Communist Party of the United             munist” and claims that evidence of his “work-
States of America (CPUSA), authorities were              ing for the Soviets remains murky.” (264, fn 33)
guilty of overreaction. Worse yet, it was a threat       Thanks to Kim Philby, the Soviets quickly
to the American way of life. The Warren Su-              learned of the defections and shut down the net-
preme Court eventually ended Smith Act prose-            works. The FBI was unable to gather direct evi-
cutions, having concluded that intent to                 dence of espionage, so the Justice Department
advocate overthrow of the government by vio-             decided to prosecute the party leaders under the
lence was insufficient for conviction—one had to         Smith Act. (31)
try and do it before the law was violated. The
Fear Within tells the story of the convicted com-          Martelle discusses the case against the CPU-
munist leaders and attempts to draw parallels            SA leaders in detail, emphasizing their family
with the PATRIOT Act of 2001.                            ties and personal circumstances, while admit-
                                                         ting they were indeed committed communists.
  The spy scare began in the mid 1940s when              He also describes the often disruptive public re-
four agents of the Soviet Union defected—Igor            action to the trials from the right and left, and
Gouzenko in Canada and Louis Budenz, Eliza-              the consequences for left-leaning faculty in aca-
beth Bentley, and Whittaker Chambers in the              demia. He admits that the arrogant behavior of

5   Alien Registration Act (18 U.S.C. § 2385) of 1940.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                       41
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the CPUSA leaders hurt their position. And             The Fear Within argues that the victims of the
when the FBI produced witnesses who had pen-         Smith Act prosecutions were just good Ameri-
etrated CPUSA meetings and added documen-            cans with different points of view about the po-
                                                     litical future. The government and the public
tary evidence—somehow obtained from CPUSA
                                                     overreacted to their radical views, which were
files—the outcome was clear. Eleven were con-
                                                     permitted under the First Amendment of the
victed. All appealed. Some went directly to jail;    Constitution. Martelle warns—and this is the
others jumped bail but eventually landed in          main point of the book—that we risk doing the
prison.                                              same thing today.

Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, by Richard
Minter. (New York: Sentinel, 2011), 278 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

  How did a young, 5’ 4” Kuwaiti graduate of         in Bosnia, and his debut terrorist act, planned
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical            by KSM but carried out by Yousef. It was after
State University (NCA&T) end up in a Guan-           that event that he met Osama bin Laden and
tanamo Bay prison seeking martyrdom? Is he           was encouraged to continue the good work. Op-
really a member of al Qaeda, as he claims, and       portunities were everywhere, and KSM consid-
if so, how did he join? Was he the so-called “mas-   ered killing the pope, President Clinton, and
termind” behind 9/11, and if so, why did he do it?   Benazir Bhutto. He also began thinking about
What is his real name? In Mastermind, investi-       the use of airplanes as bombs. Of these, he at-
gative journalist Richard Minter attempts an-        tempted only the Bhutto plot, and it failed.
swers to these questions. Working from official      Minter then tells of the events that led to KSM’s
reports, unattributed interviews, and secondary      capture.
sources, he begins piecing together a view of
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s (KSM) early life.             Minter traces the psychological, religious, and
From interviews with people who knew him at          operational connections between various terror-
NCA&T, Minter describes KSM’s often unhappy          ist events. He answers some of the questions
student days in America. He examines the for-        raised above and speculates on others. He also
mative influences of the Muslim Brotherhood          reviews different CIA interrogation techniques
and the role of KSM’s extended family on the         and examines al Qaeda’s functioning. But has
path to his calling: His sister-in-law was an MIT    he got it right? Many key points in Mastermind
graduate charged with the attempted murder of        are based on sources that can’t be positively cor-
a US soldier (5); one nephew was involved with       roborated, including many of KSM’s. At least
Richard Reid and the shoe bomber plot; another       one of those can be verified, however—there is a
nephew, Ramzi Yousef, helped carry out the first     video of his beheading Wall Street Journal re-
Twin Towers bombing; and one of KSM’s broth-         porter Daniel Pearl. Minter is careful to distin-
ers was a leader of a terrorist group in Pakistan.   guish between the verifiable and the
  Minter traces KSM’s Islamic radicalism from
his college days, where KSM claimed to have            Mastermind conveys the motivations and de-
planned the murder of Meir Kahane, a rabbi and       termination that drive terrorists in general and
founder of the Jewish Defense League. This is        KSM in particular. It is a discouraging story but
followed by training in Afghanistan, experience      well worth contemplating.

Operation Fortitude: The Story of the Spy Operation that Saved D-DAY, by Joshua Levine.
(London: HarperCollins, 2011), 316 pp., bibliography, photos, index.

 The codename for the deception plan for the         been written about it. 6 What, then, is left to say?
Allied invasion of France on 6 June 1944 was         Is Operation Fortitude more than just a good
Fortitude. Several lengthy, scholarly books have     summary of those well-known events? The an-

42                                                           Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                             Bookshelf—June 2012

swer is a qualified “yes.” The “more,” though it is            British Commando Lt. George Lane (a Hungar-
not extensive, mostly touches on three areas.                  ian whose true name was Dyuri Länyi) and a
                                                               German general, Hans Cramer, who had been
  The first concerns three previously unreported               released in a prisoner exchange before D-Day.
German agents in Britain. The account of the                   Lane landed in France on a reconnaissance mis-
undetected agents disproves, Levine suggests,                  sion and was captured before the invasion.
the MI5 claims that all Abwehr agents dis-                     Eventually he was interrogated, over tea, Lane
patched to England after the beginning of the                  later wrote, by German Field Marshal Erwin
war were identified and captured. However,                     Rommel, who was in command of German
these three had nothing to do with Fortitude                   troops in Western Europe. Cramer also met
and are included here only as part of the histor-              Rommel. Together, Lane and Cramer further
ical background.                                               convinced Rommel that the main invasion tar-
                                                               get was the Pas-de-Calais. Lane, though not
  The second area includes the addition of new                 part of the deception plan, did so cleverly in his
details to a few well-known spy cases. These in-               conversation with Rommel. Cramer as part of
clude material about MI5 officer Christopher                   the deception operation achieved the same re-
Harmer derived from letters to which Levine                    sult. Levine documents this effort in a narrative
was given access.                                              essay on sources. In the Cramer case, he corrects
                                                               a version of the story previously reported by An-
  The third area involves correction of a previ-               thony Cave Brown in his book Bodyguard of
ous account of deception—the case of GARBO,                    Lies. Brown’s version differs substantially and
the Double-Cross agent to which the book’s sub-                was not documented, while Levine relies on
title refers. Here Levine offers new facts based               firsthand accounts obtained after the war.
on letters GARBO sent as part of the Fortitude
deception.                                                      Operation Fortitude is a well-written summa-
                                                               ry of the principal and most successful deception
 The most interesting new material concerns                    operation of WW II and is a useful addition to
two other contributors to the Allied deception,                the historical literature on intelligence.

Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground, by Thomas Sak-
myster. (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2011), 251 pp., endnotes, bibliography, index.

  J. Peters was a major figure during the heyday               ined documents about Peters in US and
of communist agents in the United States. From                 Hungarian archives—including Peters’s own
1932 to 1938 he was associated with under-                     unpublished autobiography—and interviewed
ground operations of the Communist Party of                    former US colleagues. The story he unearthed
the United States of America (CPUSA). At vari-                 begins in Hungary, when WW I veteran Sándor
ous times he worked with the NKVD and the                      Goldberg—Peters’s true name—became a com-
GRU and dealt with American agents like Whit-                  munist. Postwar economic conditions offered lit-
taker Chambers, Alger Hiss, Hede Massing, Hal                  tle opportunity, and he emigrated to the United
Ware, and Victor Perlo. Peters has not received                States in 1924, telling officials at Ellis Island
much scholarly attention, mainly because he                    that he was a doctor. Curiously, they didn’t be-
took the Fifth Amendment before Congress and                   lieve him, the documents show, but he was al-
because he left the United States in 1949, before              lowed stay anyway. For the next eight years,
the FBI could prove he was a spy.                              Peters worked at a variety of jobs. Finding he
                                                               had a talent for writing, he began editing a Hun-
  Thomas Sakmyster, professor emeritus of his-                 garian language newspaper. Soon contacts de-
tory at the University of Cincinnati, has exam-                veloped with various communist workers’

6 See for example: Roger Hesketh, FORTITUDE: The D-Day Deception Campaign (London: St. Ermin’s Press, 1999); and Thaddeus

Holt, The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War (New York: Scribner, 2004).

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                   43
Bookshelf—June 2012

organizations and eventually the Comintern. In          with Stalin’s purges in full swing, Peters’s oper-
1931 he went to Moscow and Berlin, where he             ations began to fall apart when Chambers decid-
received training in conspiratorial operations          ed to defect. After that event, Peters changed his
and became what Sakmyster calls an org practi-          name to Alexander Stevens and went under-
cant, an agent. On his return to America, Peters        ground. He eluded the FBI until 1943, when he
began espionage activities, although he kept a          was identified during a search for communists.
hand in CPUSA matters. (40)                             With no hard evidence of espionage, the Immi-
                                                        gration and Naturalization Service pursued a
  Sakmyster deals at length with the years Pe-          charge of illegal immigration against Peters. Be-
ters spent operating “the Washington Set-up,”           fore he was deported in 1949, Peters left volun-
the name he gave his illegal apparatus. He de-          tarily for Hungary, where he died in December
scribes the problems Peters had coordinating            1990. (180)
with the CPUSA, the NKVD, and the GRU, and
his successful efforts setting up and servicing
mail drops, providing false passports, placing           Red Conspirator fills a gap in the story of com-
and handling agents in the federal government,          munist agents and activity in America. It is an
transmitting documents, and battling turf-sen-          important contribution to counterintelligence
sitive contemporaries from Moscow. By 1937,             history.

The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of
Great Powers, by Peter Tomsen. (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011), 849 pp., endnotes, bibliography
(online at publicaffairsbooks.com), maps, index.

  Author and career Foreign Service officer Pe-           The dominant themes of The Wars of Afghani-
ter Tomsen served in Thailand, Vietnam, India,          stan explain Afghanistan’s geopolitical impor-
the Soviet Union, China, and in various senior          tance and why all attempts by Britain, the
State Department positions before President             Soviet Union, the United States, and Pakistan
George H. W. Bush appointed him Ambassador              to control its tribal society have failed. Tomsen
and Special Envoy on Afghanistan in 1989. His           identifies the political issues, internal bureau-
task was to “coordinate United States policies          cratic battles, and turf wars that complicated at-
and programs with the Afghan resistance.” (277)         tempts to achieve peace, while stressing the role
Part three of The Wars of Afghanistan tells the         of the various forms of Islam in shaping every
story of his ultimately unsuccessful efforts to ac-     decision.
complish his mission. Here, he focuses on the
post-Soviet era and the American-Afghan rela-             In Tomsen’s view, his extensive efforts to work
tionship during this period as influenced by            out a reasonable settlement to the Afghan wars
their devious mutual ally Pakistan. The first           after the Soviet withdrawal were complicated by
two parts of the book review the history of Af-         two factors. The first was an ambivalent US pol-
ghanistan from the 19th century and the era of          icy, which CIA complicated by support-
the “Great Game,” to the end of the Soviet occu-        ing—against official US policy—radical Islamic
pation in 1992. Readers unfamiliar with this pe-        elements backed by Pakistan. Those elements,
riod will learn of the centuries-long tribal            he argues, were attempting to establish an Af-
traditions that still dominate Afghanistan’s way        ghan government by force and opposed moder-
of life. Tomsen also identifies the key players,        ate forces favored by the State Department.
their Islamic pedigrees, and the rationale be-          This view is not universally held, as former CIA
hind their sudden and frequent shifts in loyal-         officer Charles Cogan explains in his review of
ties.                                                   Tomsen’s book last year 7.

7   Charles Cogan, Foreign Policy, 15 September 2011.

44                                                             Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                     Bookshelf—June 2012

  The second factor complicating Tomsen’s ef-                       zones with no effective central government—the
forts was the behavior of duplicitous Pakistan,                     worst case scenario—when US troops leave. The
the “ally from hell that created the Taliban.”                      focus here is on Pakistan, not Afghanistan, (692)
(531) Pakistan’s continued support of the Tali-                     and takes into account Pakistan’s relationship
ban thwarted all attempts for a peaceful settle-                    with India and the Taliban. The key component,
ment on terms acceptable to the United States.                      however, is that a lasting solution must rest
                                                                    with moderate Muslims that the West can sup-
  The Wars of Afghanistan ends with Tomsen’s                        port. Tomsen has provided a fine panoramic
recommendations for preventing Afghanistan                          view of the problem, with all its attendant frus-
from returning to the era of shattered tribal                       trations.


The Vietnam War from the Rear Echelon: An Intelligence Officer’s Memoir, 1972–1973, by
Timothy J. Lomperis. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2011), 270 pp., endnotes, pho-
tos, chronology, index.

  Many memoirs by former military intelligence                      ing a long-range reconnaissance patrol, he de-
officers who served in Vietnam tell of service as                   clined and remained with the staff. (77) The
advisers or of field operations. 8 Author Timothy                   balance of his Army tour gave him a firsthand,
Lomperis, now a professor at St. Louis Universi-                    though low-level, inside view on how the war
ty, tells a different story. As Lieutenant Lomper-                  was run. He devotes a chapter to that topic.
is, he was a staff intelligence officer at the                      Lomperis was also concerned with implement-
Military Assistance Command Vietnam                                 ing general guidelines from Washington into
(MACV) from March 1972 until January 1973.                          practical concepts for ending the war. As an
Several events influenced his tour. These includ-                   aside, throughout the book, he adds sidebars of
ed President Nixon’s Cambodian policy, the Eas-                     moral reflection that make clear how the war in-
ter invasion of South Vietnam by the North                          fluenced him. In short, he saw what was hap-
Vietnamese regular army, and the Paris Peace                        pening, couldn’t make sense of much of what he
negotiations. With the help of post-tour hind-                      saw, and really couldn’t do much about it. That
sight and perspective gained later at the Johns                     clearly bothered him.
Hopkins School of Advanced International
Studies, Lomperis explains their impact.                              With the Paris Peace Agreement, his military
                                                                    tour ended in March 1973, and Lomperis accept-
  Lomperis was born in India to missionary par-                     ed a civilian appointment that lasted until Au-
ents. He returned to the United States in 1965                      gust. He relates the changes in his life, personal
to attend college. Vietnam was the lead story on                    and professional, that resulted from his new sta-
TV every night, and the atmosphere on campus                        tus. In particular, he tells a story of an unsuc-
was decidedly left of center. He explains how he                    cessful “secret assignment to end the war” that
dealt with the antiwar mindset, went to officer                     had not stopped with the Paris Accords. (210)
candidate school, and became a US Army intel-                       Overall, Loomis concludes it was a lousy war.
ligence officer. After learning Vietnamese, he                      Vietnamization was a poorly supported but seri-
was off to the MACV, where he began his not                         ous effort that turned into a political disaster.
very exciting staff duties. Given the more                          Lomperis has provided a candid and unusual
risky—though career-enhancing—option of join-                       view of staff intelligence in Vietnam.

8See for example: Lt. Col. John. L. Cook, The Advisor: The Phoenix Program in Vietnam (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1997);
and Jeff Stein, A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Story that Changed the Course of the Vietnam War (New York: St. Martin’s Press,

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                              45
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                                                  Intelligence Abroad

FAREWELL: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century, by Sergei Kostin and Eric
Raynaud, translated by Catherine Cauvin-Higgins. (Las Vegas, NV: AmazonCrossing, 2011), 429
pp., photos, no index.

  In February 1981, Vladimir Vetrov, a KGB of-                     cret Speech” expansion. He did well in early
ficer assigned to the Scientific and Technical Di-                 KGB training and found he had a gift for lan-
rectorate, offered his services to the French DST                  guages. His first foreign assignment was to
(Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire                        France. He later served in Canada, where he ac-
—equivalent to the FBI) rather than the SDE-                       cepted a recruitment pitch, according to the au-
CE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de                      thors. But if anything ever came of it, they were
Contre-Espionnage—equivalent of the CIA),                          unable to learn what it was. Back in Moscow af-
which would have made more sense. Vetrov                           ter the birth of a son, Vetrov had professional
knew what he was doing. He had served in Par-                      problems, began drinking too much, and ac-
is, where he knew Frenchmen linked to the DST.                     quired a mistress. In need of money, he contact-
He knew, too, that if the DST sent the right han-                  ed a Frenchman who traveled frequently to
dler, he would escape KGB notice since they                        Moscow and let it be known he was interested in
were concerned only with officers in the SDECE.                    cooperating with French intelligence.
And that is what happened. The DST secured
Prime Minister Mitterrand’s approval and then,
                                                                     Kostin and Raynaud explain the unusual rela-
without informing the SDECE, assigned Vetrov
                                                                   tionship of his recruitment and handling. The
the English codeword FAREWELL, hoping that
                                                                   material he provided, they say, was passed to the
in the event it became known, the KGB would
                                                                   CIA, which set up a special unit to handle it. The
look to the MI6 or the CIA for the source—and
                                                                   authors claim that the CIA, with National Secu-
they did. During the next 12 months, Vetrov pro-
                                                                   rity Council consent, arranged to have false data
vided extensive details on all manner of Soviet
                                                                   leaked to the KGB to lead its scientific efforts
scientific data. In February 1982, authorities in
                                                                   astray, but they cannot provide documentary ev-
the USSR arrested Vetrov for murder, not espio-
                                                                   idence. At some point—the authors are not sure
nage. In 1985 he was executed for espionage, not
                                                                   just when or how—a mole passed clues to the
murder, the authors explain why.
                                                                   KGB that material was finding its way to Wash-
                                                                   ington. Vetrov was one of only a few who had ac-
  While elements of the case have been men-
                                                                   cess to that material. Before proof was found,
tioned in the press since 1986, many questions
                                                                   Vetrov murdered a man in the aftermath of a lov-
remained. 9 Authors Sergei Kostin and Eric Ray-
                                                                   ers’ quarrel. He was arrested, tried, and sent to
naud have delved deeply into Vetrov’s life, ex-
                                                                   the Gulag. While there, he wrote to his wife ask-
amining records and interviewing
                                                                   ing her to contact his French friends and ask for
participants—including his wife, mistress, and
                                                                   help. The KGB intercepted the note. He was in-
various intelligence officers. FAREWELL pres-
                                                                   terrogated and promised only a prison term if he
ents the results of that research.
                                                                   confessed. He did, and he was executed.
 Vetrov’s family had no KGB connections. He
grew up in Moscow, became a mechanical engi-                        FAREWELL is an incredible tale of espionage
neer, and went to work in a factory. He played                     with many unexpected twists, turns, and unusu-
sports well and met his wife-to-be at the Dyna-                    al tradecraft elements. Whether it is “the great-
mo Sports Club. In 1959, he was recruited by the                   est spy story of the century” is open to question.
KGB directorate responsible for foreign intelli-                   But it is a very interesting case and well worth
gence collection during its post-Khrushchev “Se-                   reading.

9   See Thierry Wolton, Le KGB en France (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1986).

46                                                                         Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                                                     Bookshelf—June 2012

Guerrilla Leader: T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, by James J. Schneider with a fore-
word by Thomas E. Ricks. (New York: Bantam Books, 2011), 328 pp., endnotes, index.

  The 1962 motion picture Lawrence of Arabia                        er his order to “take no prisoners.” (293-4) Law-
starred 6’2” Peter O’Toole as T. E. Lawrence, a                     rence, professor Schneider concludes, was never
British Army intelligence officer who led an                        the same after that defining experience.
army of camel-riding Arabs to victory over Turk-
ish troops during WW I. In Guerrilla Leader,                          But there was another incident—which Sch-
Professor Emeritus James Schneider covers                           neider inexplicably does not mention—that con-
much of the same ground, but his account is                         tributed to Lawrence’s psychological condition.
more accurate. 10 While the movie projects a he-                    He does allude to Lawrence’s reconnaissance of
roic image of Lawrence’s leadership as a given,
                                                                    the town of Deraa (183) but omits his capture by
Professor Schneider analyzes how the 5’5” Law-
                                                                    the Turks and the humiliation of a sexual as-
rence, a civilian archeologist with no military
                                                                    sault by Turkish guards before he escaped. In
experience at the beginning of the war, did in-
                                                                    his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence
deed become the successful leader of the Arab
                                                                    discusses this event and the lasting impact it
Revolt. He explains how Lawrence developed
                                                                    had on him. While some Lawrence biographers
his relationship with Arab leaders by applying
                                                                    questioned whether it had in fact occurred, the
his language skills and his sensitivity to Arab
                                                                    most reliable narratives take it seriously, argu-
culture and traditions, and how he came upon
                                                                    ing that it accounts for much of Lawrence’s ec-
the idea of using guerrilla tactics rather than
                                                                    centric behavior after the war 11.
fighting a war of annihilation—a major depar-
ture for British army doctrine. Most important,
however, Schneider focuses on Lawrence’s lead-                        The only source notes in Guerrilla Leader refer
ership skills and especially on how he conceived                    to Lawrence’s writings. Schneider suggests oth-
and applied them.                                                   er sources were omitted to make the narrative
                                                                    read more easily, though he does not explain
  Schneider analyzes how the stress of British                      why eliminating reference numbers should have
efforts at political deception of the Arabs                         this effect. In any case, the reader is left to won-
weighed on Lawrence. But more significant was                       der how he knew of many of the details in the
the stress of battle and the demands of leader-                     book. In fact, the account of Lawrence’s illegiti-
ship. According to Schneider, it was the latter                     mate origins, education, and intellectual pur-
that eventually led to what he identifies as post-                  suits tracks well with the available record. As to
traumatic stress disorder, an affliction that fol-                  Schneider’s psychological interpretation of them
lowed Lawrence for the remainder of his life. A                     and their links to Lawrence’s leadership quali-
turning point, writes Schneider, occurred when                      ties during the Arab Revolt, the reader must
his Arab troops discovered that Turkish soldiers                    make a judgment. Guerrilla Leader is a
had massacred civilians in the village of Tafas.                    thoughtful book that addresses the fundamen-
He quotes Lawrence as commanding, “The best                         tal question of leadership in its many forms
of you bring me the most Turkish dead,” and lat-                    through the life of an extraordinary individual.

10 Schneider is professor emeritus of military theory at the School of Advanced Military Studies at the United State Army Command

and General Staff College (USACGSC) in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
11 For an account that questions whether the incident occurred, see James Barr, Setting the Desert on Fire: T. E. Lawrence and Brit-

ain's Secret War in Arabia, 1916-1918 (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006), 195ff. For the most authoritative account that argues
the incident did take place and discusses the impact on Lawrence, see John E. Mack, A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E.
Lawrence (Boston: Little Brown, 1976), 229ff. Mack was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical school.

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                                             47
Bookshelf—June 2012

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain’s Counterinsurgency Failure, by J.B.E.
Hittle. (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2011), 296 pp., endnotes, bibliography, appendices, index.

  During the failed Easter Rising of 1916, a                       act differently. It was, he argues, “simply good
group of Irish rebels attempted to gain indepen-                   tradecraft” and preserved the unit’s reputation
dence from England. Taking a different tack, on                    in a battle “against a cunning, numerically su-
21 January 1919, a group of Sinn Féin party                        perior, and extremely dangerous adversary.”
members recently elected to the British Parlia-                    (36-7)
ment declined the honor and instead issued the
Irish Declaration of Independence. On the same                       Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War be-
day, two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers                   gins with a review of the history that led to the
were killed in an ambush. These incidents pre-
                                                                   war and follows Collins’s ascent from a minor
cipitated the undeclared Anglo-Irish War. Mi-
                                                                   participant in the Easter Rising to a principal
chael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War is a study
                                                                   player—who had contacts with Churchill—in
of that war and the events that led to the cre-
                                                                   the Irish rebellion. Particular attention is giv-
ation of the Irish Free State, a Dominion of
                                                                   en to the network of inf?rmers Collins orga-
Great Britain, in December 1921.
                                                                   nized, the insurgency techniques he developed
                                                                   and exploited so effectively, the role of propa-
  Michael Collins, the chief of the IRA’s Intelli-                 ganda, and his ruthless use of assassination to
gence Department—just one of his many ti-                          achieve his goals. The most famous example of
tles—is the central character battling the                         the latter is Bloody Sunday, when his IRA men
British in numerous works. Retired CIA opera-                      eliminated most of Britain’s intelligence offi-
tions officer-turned-academic J.B.E. Hittle read-
                                                                   cers in Dublin.
ily acknowledges those histories and the
controversies they ignited. His approach to the
subject differs in that he looks at events from                      British intelligence and its attempts to counter
the perspective of an intelligence officer. Conse-                 Collins’s operations is a parallel theme of the
quently, his interpretations differ in many cases                  book, and Hittle provides detailed critical anal-
from those of academic historians. For example,                    ysis of those efforts. He concludes that the post-
when Collins discovered that William Doran, a                      war bureaucratic battle for the counterterrorist
porter at the hotel where Collins met colleagues,                  mission in Britain created confusion, mixed
was a British informer, he ordered Doran exe-                      with egocentric incompetence, that accounted
cuted. When Doran’s wife, who believed her hus-                    for much of the Irish success.
band worked for Collins, applied to Sinn Féin for
a pension, it was granted.                                           This book is not a primer on the IRA—of which
                                                                   the modern IRA is a political offshoot—and its
  The family was allowed to believe the assassi-                   many predecessors, affiliates, and successors.
nation was the work of the British. When Mi-                       Readers with limited knowledge on these sub-
chael T. Foy, a historian at Queen’s University,                   jects may wish to read the concluding chapter
Belfast, described the incident, he concluded                      first. It contains a fine summary of events that
that Collins “did not have the heart to tell                       may ease understanding of earlier chapters.
[Doran’s wife] the truth and authorized finan-                     This fresh look at familiar history is a very
cial assistance to the family 12.” Hittle sees the                 worthwhile addition to the literature.

12 Michael T. Foy, Michael Collins’s Intelligence War: The Struggle Between the British and the IRA 1919-1921 (Phoenix Mill, UK:

2006), 181.

48                                                                           Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)
                                                                              Bookshelf—June 2012

SMERSH: Stalin’s Secret Weapon; Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII, by Vadim
Birstein with a foreword by Nigel West. (London: BitebackPublishing, 2011), 512 pp., endnotes,
photos, index.

  Some words by their very sound convey an im-       They reported all suspicious and “inappropri-
pression of malicious intent. For readers of fic-    ate” behavior to Abakumov, and he reported
tion, Scrooge, the Grinch and SMERSH—the             only to Stalin. It was SMERSH that sent Sol-
latter thanks to Ian Fleming’s James Bond—are        zhenitsyn to the gulag for criticizing Stalin in a
familiar examples. Now Russian-American his-         letter, and it was SMERSH that some accounts
torian, Vadim Birstein, provides a thoroughly        say executed the “spy” Raoul Wallenberg. One
documented nonfiction story of SMERSH with           element of SMERSH worked against spies of the
an unprecedented level of evil behavior that was     German army and often turned them into dou-
unknown to Fleming. This is not the first book       ble agents. Another dealt with Nazi defectors,
on SMERSH in English. Dr. Birstein reviews           and the still unsolved case of the “Klatt Bureau,”
the other two and also discusses relevant Rus-       a German espionage network that operated in
sian literature only recently made available.        the USSR, is told from the Soviet point of view.
                                                     (153ff.) After the war, SMERSH interrogated
  The original proposal for a new Soviet counter-    POWs held in German camps and sent most to
intelligence organization named it SMERINSH          Soviet camps. Only one group of Soviet prison-
—an acronym for the phrase “death to foreign         ers escaped the grasp of SMERSH. They found
spies.” In the version approved and signed by St-    refuge in Liechtenstein, population 12,141 in
alin in March 1943 and sent to Viktor Abaku-         1945, where the government ignored SMERSH
mov, the organization’s first and only chief, the    threats. With the help of Allen Dulles and OSS,
word “foreign” had been eliminated and               the ex-POWs subsequently made their way to
SMERSH—“death to spies,” foreign and domes-          Argentina. (320-1) It was SMERSH, too, at Sta-
tic—was created. Birstein provides several           lin’s insistence, that represented the Soviet
chapters describing events that led to the cre-      Union at the Nuremberg Trials. (374ff.)
ation of SMERSH; his final chapter records the
reasons for its demise in 1946.                        Birstein relates these events in extensive de-
                                                     tail based on 10 years of research in Russian,
  The bulk of the book, however, is devoted to the   American, British, and Swedish archives.
operations of SMERSH officers who were as-           SMERSH is not easy reading, but it fills an im-
signed, with no distinguishing badges on their       portant gap in the literature. Another volume,
uniforms, throughout the Red Army and Navy.          focusing on Viktor Abakumov, is in the works.

Spies and Commissars: Bolshevik Russia and the West, by Robert Service. (New York: Mac-
Millan, 2011), 440 pp., endnotes, bibliography, photos, maps, index.

  The Russian Revolution of 1917 surprised           in Russia, their overthrow of the provisional
leaders throughout the world during WW               government, their ruthless consolidation of
I—even among the Bolsheviks. For the next four       power, and the peace treaty with Germany.
years, Bolshevik protagonists employed all           Then he covers the reaction of Western govern-
forms of power to create a government and pro-       ments to prevent Russia from leaving the war,
mote the revolution throughout the world. It is      culminating in military intervention—strongly
a story, as historian Robert Service acknowledg-     supported by Churchill—and the successful civil
es in his first sentence, that “has been told a      war that solidified the Lenin government.
thousand times...to the exclusion of the global
situation,” a judgment readers of George Ken-          But in one sense, Service is correct. More than
nan and Richard Pipes may find hard to accept.       earlier histories of the revolution, Spies and
The basic story covers the travels of Lenin and      Commissars includes considerable anecdotal de-
Trotsky from foreign lands to join the uprising      tail on the contributions and reactions of jour-

Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)                                                 49
Bookshelf—June 2012

nalists, spies, politicians, intellectuals,            Service describes unsuccessful Bolshevik ef-
diplomats and émigrés. For example, Russian          forts to spread the revolution to the entire world,
émigré Maxim Litvinov was so excited after the       starting in Hungary and Germany. At the same
news of Lenin’s success that he “tried to shave      time, with astonishing irony, Trotsky attempted
with his toothpaste and got into the bath with-      to establish diplomatic relations with the very
out having turned on the water.” (13) More seri-     countries the Bolsheviks intended to overthrow.
ous topics tell how some Western spies struggled     Then there is the mixed reaction from America.
at first to keep Russia in the war and, when they    Despite military intervention, which Russians
failed, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. British in-     hold against the United States to this day, Her-
telligence officer George Hill, fluent in Russian,   bert Hoover, director of the American Relief Ad-
did both. He worked with the Czarist opposition      ministration, negotiated food relief for starving
before the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty and            Russians, which the Russians seldom acknowl-
helped Trotsky set up the Soviet Air Force after     edge. On an individual level, Service tells of the
it. In the meantime, he and a Canadian officer       pro-Bolshevik actions of John Reed—whom he
smuggled the Romanian crown jewels out of            correctly describes as being buried beneath, not
Russia, at one point holding a gun to a train en-    in, the Kremlin wall—and others like Emma
gineer’s head. (221) More familiar to those          Goldman, who found communism did not live up
tracking Soviet intelligence history are the ef-     to its promises.
forts of the British ambassador Robert Bruce
Lockhart, “Ace of Spies” Sidney Reilly, and the
American agent Xenophon Kalamatiano to over-           Spies and Commissars is, with a few exceptions,
throw the Bolshevik government, and the suc-         based on secondary sources. Besides being enter-
cessful efforts by the Cheka to prevent it. The      taining, it also makes clear, with abundant evi-
espionage exploits of Paul Dukes and journalist      dence, that military force, spies, and diplomacy
Arthur Ransome, among others, are also dis-          will not deter a government that does not count
cussed.                                              lost lives as a determining factor in its policies.

                                                ❖ ❖ ❖

50                                                           Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 2 (June 2012)

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