Through the Looking Glass (page 2)

by Edward Jay Epstein

When the investigation then rules out Mitchell, Sir Roger, the head of MI-5, remained the sole candidate. Although the Fluency Committee had no direct evidence that Sir Roger ever was in contact with Soviet intelligence, De Mowbray went personally to the seat of the British government at 10 Downing Street, identified himself, and asked to see the Prime Minister. To his surprise, he received an immediate appointment. He came right to the point and told him that there was reason to believe Sir Roger was a traitor. This initiative was not "popular" with his superiors. Two years later, De Mowbray retired.

Golitsyn's stay in England turned out to be unexpectedly brief. During his interrogation about the KGB agents in British intelligence, he alluded to a similar situation in the CIA.

This possibility was of great concern to MI-5. It might explain the origin of some of its own untraced leaks. Arthur Martin, one of the most skilled interrogators in MI-5, quickly zeroed in on the CIA treatment of this charge. Had his leads been followed?

Golitsyn insisted that they had not. Instead, the interrogators from the Soviet Russia Division persisted in asking the wrong questions. They wanted to know the names of case officer from the KGB, not the purpose behind their activities. They confused tactics, with strategy.

He explained that the tactic was making contact with the "main enemy", the CIA, in order to compromise and recruit agents. The strategy was not merely to neutralize the CIA but to turn it into an instrument to serve Soviet objectives.

Martin listened attentively. He already knew, from his experience with recruits the KGB had made in British intelligence, of the vulnerability of intelligence officers. He had also come to believe that the CIA had placed too much faith in security procedures, such as lie detector tests. He asked Golitsyn if he had any ideas about why his CIA interrogators had downplayed, if not entirely avoided this issue.

Golitsyn said that he knew the KGB had been successful in recruiting at least one, and possibly more, CIA officers in the Soviet Russia Division. He assumed from the way he was treated that the mole (or moles) was still influential in the Division.

It was clear to both Martin and De Mowbray that the CIA had badly mishandled Golitsyn's interrogation. While they did not the entirely buy his theory of an active mole in the Soviet Russia Division, they realized that it might have inhibited him from openly discussing this issue with the CIA. In any case, his allegation could not be lightly dismissed. If there was a penetration of this sensitive part of the CIA, it would affect all the allied intelligence services. Martin decided to go directly to his friend, James Angleton.

Angleton had himself come to a similar conclusion about Golitsyn's original debriefing. Whatever was the reason, the Soviet Bloc Division had not got the full story out of Golitsyn. He thus went to Helms with an unprecedented request. He asked that responsibility for this defector be re-assigned to his counterintelligence staff.

Helms found Angleton's case persuasive. He not only made the re-assignment but, as he explained to me, he gave Angleton "carte blanche" authority to use whatever resources were needed. In doing so, although he didn't realize it at the time, he set in motion the longest and most incredible debriefing in the history of the CIA.

In July 1963, through a leak arranged by MI-5, a story appeared in the Daily Telegraph revealing that Golitsyn (under the purposely misspelled name "Dolitson" was in England. It had the calculated effect of persuading Golitsyn that his security could not be assured in England. Three weeks later, Golitsyn arrived back in the United States. Under Angleton's tutelage, there would be no more exhaustive grillings of him or repetitive showings of snapshots of Soviet diplomats. Angleton told him that his interest was not the KGB's staffing, or "order of battle", as it is called; but the "logic of Soviet penetration".

As Angleton saw it, it was not a debriefing, but an "elicitation". Golitsyn became an intellectual partner in the process where their dinners would turn into discussion of Soviet politics that would continue into the early hours of the morning. Golitsyn was allowed to sift through sanitized copies of Angleton's "serials", searching for connections between these clues.

To build his confidence, Angleton arranged for Golitsyn to brief Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy on the KGB threat, and took him on trips to Europe and Israel to speak to allied intelligence executives. Golitsyn, encouraged by this attention, proposed organizing a new counterintelligence service which would be independent of the CIA. Angleton took it under consideration, although it had no chance of coming to fruition, to further drew out his ideas about the KGB.

While this elicitation was proceeding, Angleton moved to plug the putative leak in the Soviet Russia Division. Golitsyn had insisted that it had to come from more than a single agent, and used the analogy of a growing "cancer" that the patient refused to recognize -- or cut out. With the assistance of the CIA's Office of Security, which has responsibility for ferreting out moles, he arranged a series of "marked cards" for the Soviet Russia Division. These were selected bits of information about planned CIA operations passed out, one at a time, to different units of the Division to see which, if any, leak to the enemy. The "marked card" in the initial test revealed that an effort would be made to recruit a particular Soviet diplomat in Canada. The Office of Security agents, watching the diplomat from a discreet distance, then observed the KGB putting its own survelliance on him on the day of the planned contact, realized that the "marked card" had gotten to the KGB. This test confirmed Golitsyn's suspicion that the mole was still active.

Through a process of elimination, subsequent marked cards narrowed down the leak to the unit directly involved with recruiting REDTOPS. Since more than one individual was exposed to this marked information, and there was no way of knowing if there was more than one leak in that unit, the investigation could not weed out the mole (or moles) from the roster of suspects. Instead, beginning in 1966, the entire unit was cut off from sensitive cases until its personnel could be reshuffled. Murphy, Bagley and a dozen other officers were re-posted to Europe, Africa and Asia. This "prophylactic", as Angleton called it accounted for what appeared to the uninitiate be a "purge" over the Nosenko case. In any case, after the transfers, additional "marked cards" indicated that the penetration had been remedied.

Angleton's interest, however, went well beyond the security problem arising from the recruitment of western case officers by the KGB. He wanted to know why the KGB had focussed its attention on particular units of the CIA, such as the operational side of the Soviet Russia Division. The real issue to Angleton was what purposes these penetrations advanced.

Golitsyn explained that they were a necessary part of the deception machinery that had been out in place in 1959. Their job was to report back on how the CIA was evaluating material it was receiving from other KGB agents. These moles attempted to work their way into positions of access in the Soviet Russia Division or other parts of American intelligence that intercepted soviet data. With them in place, disinformation became a game of "show and tell" for the KGB. The dispatched defectors and other provocateurs, who could be anyone from a Soviet diplomat to a touring scientist, " showed" the CIA a Soviet secret, and then its moles told the KGB how the CIA had interpreted it. It was all coordinated from Moscow like an orchestra. This system was designed by the KGB, according to Golitsyn, to gradually convert the CIA into its own mechanism for manipulating the American government.

Angleton wanted to know more about the Soviet apparatus foe deception. Why had the KGB moved from being a espionage to deception? Why had it been re-organized?

Golitsyn suggested that it all began with a Politburo assessment in the mid 1950s that the Soviet Union would be unlikely to prevail in a nuclear war. It followed that if it was to win against the West, it would be by fraud rather than force. For this singular purpose, Soviet intelligence would have to undertake the tricky job of manipulating the information western leaders received.

This sort of manipulation was not a new role for Soviet intelligence. After all,,under the leadership of Felix Dzerzhinskii in the 1920s, it had ran sustained disinformation campaigns, such as The Trust, against the West. Aleksandr Shelepin, a top executive of the Communist Party, was put in charge of the KGB in 1959, and given a mandate to return it to a mission of strategic deception.

Under Shelepin, during this reorganization, Golitsyn worked on an analysis intended to demonstrate how convention spying could be subordinated to deception goals, without potentially compromising the secrecy of the latter. The intrinsic problem was that KGB officers had to be in contact with western intelligence officers either to recruit them or to pass them disinformation, and, this presented the opportunity to defect or otherwise be compromised.

In fact, scores of Soviet intelligence officers had either defected or offered information to the CIA since the end of the war. While some of these sources could be assumed to be dispatched defectors from the KGB, a large number of the others turned out to be legitimate. How could the KGB sustain deceptions-- if it was probable that some of its officers would defect or otherwise betray its secret.

Golitsyn explained that the KGB re-organization in 1958-9 was designed to avoid this vulnerability. It effectively separated the KGB into two distinct entities. An outer and inner KGB.


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