6 Traitorous Cold War Spies

6 Traitorous Cold War Spies

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1. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Married in 1939, New York City residents Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were devoted communists who allegedly headed a spy ring that passed military secrets to the Soviets. The scheme got underway sometime after 1940, when Julius became a civilian engineer with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was dismissed in 1945 once the military learned of his communist sympathies, but not before recruiting Ethel’s brother, an Army machinist working on the Manhattan Project, to turn over handwritten notes and sketches pertaining to the atomic bomb. Meanwhile, other Rosenberg recruits purportedly delivered thousands of pages of documents detailing new radar and aircraft technologies. At trial following their 1950 arrest, Ethel’s brother testified against them, and a judge sentenced them to death, declaring their crime “worse than murder.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower then sealed their fate by denying a petition for executive clemency. The two were sent to the electric chair at New York State’s Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953, marking the first time American civilians had ever been executed for espionage. Although worldwide protests erupted over the Rosenbergs’ treatment, with many people feeling they had fallen victim to McCarthy-era red baiting, the post-Soviet release of decrypted KGB messages proved that Julius had in fact been a spy. The evidence against Ethel is less ironclad, and her guilt remains in dispute.

2. Klaus Fuchs

Following Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, Klaus Fuchs fled his native Germany for the United Kingdom, where he received a doctorate in physics and eventually became a citizen. During World War II he was invited to join Britain’s clandestine atomic bomb development program, despite his known communist leanings, and from there was sent to the United States to take part in the Manhattan Project. Upon returning to the U.K., Fuchs secured a prestigious post at a nuclear energy research center. In 1950, however, he was apprehended after U.S. agents discovered that for years he had been handing nuclear secrets to the Soviets, who by now had their own atomic bomb. Fuchs confessed, telling the authorities that he “had complete confidence in Russian policy” and that “the Western Allies deliberately allowed Russia and Germany to fight each other to the death.” Though Fuchs claimed not to know his American contact’s true name, the FBI quickly traced a trail back to the Rosenberg spy ring, resulting in the arrest of the Rosenbergs and several co-conspirators. Compared to the Rosenbergs, Fuchs got off easy. After nine years in British prison, he immigrated to East Germany, where he continued working as a nuclear physicist until his retirement in 1979. A winner of the Karl Marx Medal, East Germany’s highest civilian honor, Fuchs died in 1988 at age 76.

3. Ray Mawby

Ray Mawby, a one-time electrician, served from 1955 to 1983 in the House of Commons, where he championed so-called traditional British values (he campaigned, for example, against the legalization of homosexuality). For Conservative Party members like him, hatred of communism was practically a prerequisite. Yet in 2012, a dozen years after his death, a BBC reporter unearthed a file showing that Mawby had been a mole for Czechoslovakia, then part of the Soviet bloc. Hundreds of pages of documents revealed that Mawby, who was given the codename Laval, began secretly handing over intelligence not long after Czech agents first approached him at a November 1960 cocktail party. Lacking access to classified information, Mawby supplied them instead with political gossip, such as the existence of a confidential investigation into a Conservative Party colleague. More insidiously, he also apparently provided floor plans of the prime minister’s parliamentary office, as well as details about the prime minister’s security team. For each helpful tidbit, Mawby received £100, which, his handlers implied, went toward his drinking and gambling habits. In later years, they upped the total to £400 per year. Though Mawby at one point met several times a month with his handlers, their collaboration appears to have ended in 1971. Remarkably, some Labour Party politicians are also known to have been in cahoots with the Czechs.

4. The Cambridge Five

Incredulous that a Conservative member of Parliament could be a communist spy, the British authorities were likewise thrown off by the elite educations and upper-class backgrounds of the so-called Cambridge Five, who were recruited into the Soviet sphere around the time they attended the University of Cambridge in the 1930s. Within a decade or so of graduation, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross had all worked their way up to important intelligence posts, which they used to pass an array of secrets to the Soviets. For example, thanks to these double agents, who were reportedly motivated by ideology, not money, the Soviet Union learned about an Allied plan to send anti-communist insurgents into Albania, as well as Allied military strategy during the Korean War. Upon discovering that the authorities were closing in, Philby, who ironically headed the anti-Soviet section of MI6 (the British equivalent of the CIA), tipped off Maclean and Burgess, prompting them to defect to Moscow in 1951. Philby joined them there in 1963, whereas Cairncross ended up in Italy and France. Blunt, meanwhile, confessed in exchange for immunity from prosecution and was allowed to stay in Britain. None of the five ever faced espionage charges.

5. Aldrich Ames

The son of a CIA analyst, Wisconsin-born Aldrich Ames wasted no time in joining the agency himself, starting there in high school as a part-time clerical worker and later becoming a full-fledged spy. Posted to such places as Turkey and Mexico, Ames spent much of his three-decade-long career attempting to coax Soviet officials into the CIA’s service. Despite an obvious drinking problem and poor performance reviews, he advanced to become head of the counterintelligence branch of the CIA’s Soviet division. In 1985, however, while going through a financially disastrous divorce, Ames walked into the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., and offered to trade secrets for money. Paid some $2.7 million over the next nine years, he in return left classified documents at prearranged drop sites for the KGB to pick up later. He moreover disclosed the identities of virtually every secret agent working for the Americans within the Soviet Union, at least 10 of whom were subsequently executed. “[They] died because this warped, murdering traitor wanted a bigger house and a Jaguar,” the CIA’s director said later. Though U.S. officials had suspected the existence of a mole for quite some time, Ames avoided arrest until 1994, when the FBI finally closed in after uncovering incriminating evidence in his trash and on his computer. He is currently serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

6. Adolf Tolkachev

The previous five examples notwithstanding, not every traitorous Cold War spy supported the communist cause. In early 1977, for instance, Soviet electronics engineer Adolf Tolkachev began dropping notes into the cars of U.S. diplomats, asking to meet with an American official. The CIA originally ignored him, worried that it would fall into a KGB trap. But Tolkachev, who worked at a military aviation institute in Moscow, persisted and eventually gained the CIA’s trust. From 1979 to 1985, he regularly stuffed classified documents into his coat in order to photograph them at home with a CIA-supplied camera. His CIA handlers would then intermittently pick up this film, along with handwritten messages, after taking great care to avoid KGB surveillance. From Tolkachev, the CIA learned that U.S. cruise missiles and bomber planes could fly under Soviet radar. It also gained great knowledge of new Soviet weapon systems, thus saving the U.S. military an estimated $2 billion in research and manufacturing costs. For this spy work, the CIA paid Tolkachev more than $1 million—the majority of which was held in escrow pending his planned defection—and supplied Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and other Western rock albums for his son. Yet he appears to have been motivated more by revenge than money, telling his CIA handlers about the murder of his wife’s mother and the imprisonment of her father during Joseph Stalin’s purges of the 1930s. (Tolkachev was furthermore upset by the government’s treatment of contemporary dissidents he admired.) The collaboration came to an abrupt end in 1985, when it’s believed that former CIA agent Edward Lee Howard, and possibly Aldrich Ames as well, told the Soviets about Tolkachev’s activities. He was executed the following year.

Tag: Spies

On June 6, 2013, Americans learned that their government was spying broadly on its own people.

That’s when The Guardian and The Washington Post published the first of a series of reports put together from documents leaked by an anonymous source. The material exposed a government-run surveillance program that monitored the communications records of not just criminals or potential terrorists, but law-abiding citizens as well.

Three days later the source unmasked himself as Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor. But the question remained: Was he a whistleblower or a traitor?

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the perceived need for heightened national security, the U.S. government relaxed its rules around surveillance. The first story published in The Guardian revealed that the NSA was collecting and monitoring the telephone records and the texts of citizens. Days later, The Washington Post and The Guardian reported that the U.S. government was tapping into the servers of nine Internet companies, including Apple, Facebook and Google, to spy on people’s audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs, as part of a surveillance program called Prism. Later articles revealed that the government was even spying on leaders of other countries, including Germany’s Angela Merkel.

In the same month, Snowden was charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence. Facing up to 30 years in prison, Snowden left the country, originally traveling to Hong Kong and then to Russia, to avoid being extradited to the U.S.

In the wake of the leak, President Obama assigned two five-person teams to investigate the nation’s surveillance policy. The result: several new laws and regulations were enacted to limit things like how long U.S. citizens’ data could be held or how data accidentally collected on Americans through the surveillance of foreigners could be used. While the changes resulted in greater transparency, many experts say the regulations improved the surveillance practices only slightly and did not address the question of invasion of privacy.

“From a big-picture analysis, there’s been a lot of developments without a whole lot of movement… These reforms just feel like gestures,” Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s program on liberty and national security, told PBS’ Frontline.

Since the first leak from Mr. Snowden, journalists have released more than 7,000 top-secret documents, but some think that’s only a fraction of the entire archive. It’s unclear exactly how many he downloaded, but intelligence officials testified in 2014 that he accessed 1.7 million files.

In July 2013, a petition was started to have Snowden pardoned, but the government rejected it in 2015. Lisa Monaco, then-President Obama’s Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said Snowden should return home to be “judged by a jury of his peers—not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime,” and stop “running away from the consequences of his actions.”

In 2017, Moscow extended Snowden’s right to asylum until 2020. He released a memoir, Permanent Record, in 2019.

Spies of the Cold War Era

Spies and spying became part of the Cold War game. Both sides in the Cold War used spies as a way of acquiring knowledge of what the other was doing or to spread false knowledge of what one side was doing. Spies could become double agents and the whole story has developed a rather romantic image as a result of Western film portrayals of spies. However, for all of them spying was far from romantic – it was a highly dangerous job and many worked knowing that there was barely any chance of being rescued if caught. A few were exchanged for other spies – but prison or execution were the more usual punishments for being caught – either by betrayal or making errors.

Both sides involved in the Cold War used spies from all types of background. The ability to seamlessly blend into the background was vital. The Soviet Union also employed men from Britain to spy on Britain – men who had become disaffected by the British way of life and looked to the east. The most famous were the ‘Cambridge Five’ – graduates who as a result of their background had got into high positions in the British Establishment. Throughout the era of the Cold War information covertly acquired in Britain ended up with the KGB. British agents in the Soviet Union paid a high price for their betrayal.

The extent to which the ‘Establishment’ had been infiltrated first became publicly apparent in 1951 when Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled Britain for the Soviet Union. They had been tipped off that they were about to be arrested by Kim Philby who from 1944 to 1946 had been head of counter-intelligence activities at British Intelligence. All three men were part of the ‘Cambridge Five’. Burgess and Maclean had passed over to the Soviet Union thousands of confidential documents.

In 1955, John Vassal, who was the naval attaché at the British Embassy in Moscow was jailed for eighteen years after spying for the Soviet Union. One year later in 1956, Burgess and Maclean surfaced in Moscow after seemingly disappearing in 1951. Here they were reasonably safe as the Cold War moved to new heights with the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Uprising. Both sides in the Cold War became more entrenched in their views on the other and to the Soviet authorities Burgess and Maclean were excellent trophies – and also ‘proof’ that the British way of life could not be good. After all, why would two very well educated men leave if their lifestyle was so good there? Also in 1956, Anthony Blunt received a knighthood and was put in charge of the Queen’s art collection. Years later, it was announced that he was the fourth member of the ‘Cambridge Five’. However, in 1956, his appointment was an indication of just how far into the Establishment some spies had managed to inveigle themselves.

Nuclear technology was vital for both sides if they were not seen by the other as falling behind. The launch of Sputnik was a huge blow to American pride and its implication for rocket-delivered nuclear bombs was huge. However, nuclear submarine technology was also vital for submarine-launched nuclear missiles. Both sides wanted to know what the other was doing in this area. In 1961, three men and two women were jailed – Gordon Lonsdale, Peter Kroger, Helen Kroger, Henry Houghton and Ethel Gee. They were found guilty of plotting to hand over to the Russians secrets about Britain’s first nuclear submarine. Also in 1961, George Blake was given a 42-year prison sentence for spying for the Soviet Union. Blake had worked for British Intelligence but was, in fact, a double agent and had been for a total of nine years. In 1966, Blake escaped from prison.

In 1963, the man who led the ‘Cambridge Five’ fled to the Soviet Union. Kim Philby believed that it was only a matter of time before he was arrested – hence his defection. In 1963, Philby admitted that he was the so-called ‘Third Man’. Also in 1963, Grenville Wynne was sentenced to eight years in a Soviet prison having been found guilty of spying for the West. In 1964, Blunt announced that he was a member of the ‘Cambridge Five’ as did John Cairncross. However, neither was prosecuted despite their admissions.

In 1971, British Intelligence announced that 120 Soviet intelligence officers were operating in Britain – the bulk with some form of diplomatic status. Consequently the British government expelled 105 Soviet officials. In the past, British Intelligence had been dealing with small groups. However, they received an intelligence goldmine when a KGB officer – Oleg Lyalin – defected to Britain. He exposed those agents he knew of. This was an extraordinary piece of good luck for British Intelligence. However, this did not stop the KGB from attempting to infiltrate British Intelligence. Those agents known by Lyalin were expelled but they could be replaced with agents he did not know.

The KGB also put more effort into turning British agents working for MI5. Their success in doing this, however, was blighted when in 1984 Michael Bettany, an officer in MI5, was jailed for 23 years for passing secrets over to the Soviet Union. Russian intelligence had suffered another blow when another KGB agent, Oleg Gordievsky, became a MI6 agent and had exposed Bettany. Gordievsky also exposed other Russian agents operating in the UK and in 1985, 25 of these agents were expelled from Britain.

The end of the Cold War and internal issues within Russia, including the break-up of the Soviet Union, led to a reduction in espionage – but it did not end it. In 1996, Russia expelled nine British diplomats for running a spy ring. In 1997, a former MI6 agent, Richard Norwood, was jailed for a year for passing secrets over to Russia. In 2002, Raphael Bravo was jailed for 11 years for trying to sell secrets to the Russians and in 2003 Ian Parr received a ten-year sentence for trying to sell to Russia Cruise missile secrets.

Spy who got the cold shoulder: how the west abandoned its star defector

O n a cold winter’s day, eight months before the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, the west’s most valuable double agent went on the run in East Berlin. Warned that his colleagues in both the Polish intelligence service and the KGB were on to him, Michal Goleniewski spent days crisscrossing the city, desperately trying to evade their surveillance for long enough to reach the US consulate – and defect to the west.

The day he managed it proved to be one of the most important of the cold war, a new book published later this month will argue. Drawing on previously unpublished documents, it reveals that Goleniewski exposed 1,693 Soviet bloc agents, including some of the most infamous spies of the period.

“No other defector or agent – before or since – has identified such a vast haul of spies,” said Tim Tate, author of The Spy Who Was Left Out in the Cold.

Despite the remarkable scale of Goleniewski’s successful espionage on behalf of the west, he is not the celebrated spy he should be, Tate argues, because the “mind games” the CIA played with him after he defected made him paranoid and delusional.

Michal Goleniewski in his Queens apartment, New York City, 1964. Photograph: Goleniewski's Polish Intelligence files courtesy Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw

“The CIA was primarily responsible for driving its best ever and most effective spy insane,” says Tate. During his research, he used freedom of information requests to obtain the CIA’s files on Goleniewski, many of which had never been made public before. “The agency’s files – and Goleniewski’s own previously unpublished letters and affidavits – reveal how the CIA and the US state department betrayed Goleniewski, reneged on his contract, harassed, smeared and attempted to discredit him and, ultimately, pushed his already fragile mind into full-blown madness.”

As a result, he says, Goleniewski is primarily known as the man who falsely claimed to be Alexei Romanov, heir apparent to the last Tsar of Russia. “His extraordinary contribution to western national security has been largely airbrushed from history,” Tate says.

A former Nazi collaborator, Goleniewski rose to become a high-ranking counterintelligence officer for the Polish intelligence service after the second world war. He was already spying on Polish intelligence for the KGB when, in April 1958, he also decided to start sending KGB and Polish intelligence material and Soviet military information anonymously to the FBI. “What he sends is unprecedented, both in quality and in quantity, and he sends it monthly.”

Unlike most defectors to the west, who primarily wanted a better life outside the Soviet Union, Goleniewski was ideologically motivated, Tate says. “He said later he had this Damascene conversion, this revelatory experience where he realised that the communist system was wrong. And that he needed, as a Polish intelligence officer working simultaneously for the KGB, to do everything he could to counter it, and to start working for the west and democracy.”

Goleniewski’s main condition was that he would only deal with the FBI. “He says: I’ll give you all of this information but I’m only going to deal with the FBI because every other American intelligence agency and government department, I know, has been penetrated by Soviet bloc intelligence.” His material was initially hidden from the FBI by the CIA. “The CIA intercepts it and then deceives him for the next three years.”

He exposed, in Britain, George Blake – the KGB’s man inside MI6 – and the Portland spy ring, a group of Soviet spies who were sending Admiralty secrets, such as details of the UK’s Polaris nuclear submarines, to the KGB. “He names and identifies some of the most devastating Soviet bloc spies who have been betraying British American and Nato secrets to Moscow for more than a decade, and only Goleniewski’s information enables them to be caught and the haemorrhaging of the west’s most vital secrets to be stopped.”

After Goleniewski defected at the US embassy in West Berlin, he was exfiltrated to the US, where he spent most of the next three years being debriefed. “The CIA is gobsmacked by the quality and importance of his material, as is MI5,” Tate says. “It’s absolutely clear, in the CIA’s own words, that he was the best spy the west ever had in the cold war.”

The British spy George Blake with Nishia Philby, a daughter-in-law of Kim Philby. Photograph: ANL/Rex/Shutterstock

Goleniewski was promised US citizenship and an employment contract at the CIA, and MI5 sent him a silver tankard as a thank you present. But then another defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn, arrived in the US, and managed to convince the CIA’s head of counter-intelligence that “only he, Golitsyn, is a true defector and everybody else is bogus”.

As a result, in 1964, the CIA started to renege on all its promises to Goleniewski. “His contract isn’t renewed, his payments stop coming and they take away the pistol they had provided for protection. And they know that his former masters in Warsaw and Moscow are looking for him at this point.”

The agency even started briefing other government departments that Goleniewski had “lost his mind”, even though statements from its own officers at this time reveal that he was still providing reliable information.

Caught in the CIA’s web of deceit, Goleniewski suffered an “immense” amount of financial and emotional distress and quickly started to lose his grip on reality. By the mid-1970s, he was accusing prominent politicians of being long-dead Nazi or Soviet intelligence figures. “He’s become completely paranoid, and gone completely insane,” Tate says.

He died in 1993 in New York, still claiming he was Tsarevich Alexei.

Not all the secrets he knew died with him, however. Tate says the one file on Goleniewski he did not manage to access was MI5’s, due to what was described as its “continuing sensitivity”. “I cannot find a legitimate reason for MI5 to withhold it. I cannot work out what ‘continuing sensitivity’ there could be in a file on a man six decades after he defected, and three decades after the fall of the iron curtain. It makes no sense.”

This article was amended on 24 May 2021. In an earlier version, a picture caption incorrectly referred to Nishia Philby as Kim Philby’s wife.

Infamous American Spies: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Wikimedia Commons The July 17, 1950 arrest photos of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg sat down in the electric chair in New York’s notorious Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953. At the end of the day, the Rosenbergs took their place in history as the only American civilians to be executed for espionage during peacetime.

The Rosenbergs were, and still are, a divisive couple. Convicted of conspiring to pass crucial information on the creation of an atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, both professed their innocence to their last breath.

Both Julius and Ethel were born and raised New Yorkers. They met as members of the Young Communist League, and married in 1939. Their devotion to the Soviet Union — coupled with their work for the U.S. government — ultimately led to their deaths.

Julius was an engineer for the United States Army Signal Corps. Ethel’s side of the family was employed by the government as well. Her younger brother, David Greenglass, worked as a machinist at the atomic bomb testing center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Greenglass would gather information and pass it to Julius, who would then pass it to a Soviet handler.

But this ended following a series of confessions. A coworker exposed Greenglass for passing on information, and he in turn gave up the names of his sister and brother in law. Both Julius and Ethel were arrested and charged with sharing information about the atomic bomb with the Soviet Union.

On April 5, 1951, the couple were sentenced to death and sent to Sing Sing.

For two years, people around the world reacted to the Rosenberg trial. Pablo Picasso publicly stated, “Do not let this crime against humanity take place,” and Pope Pius XII asked President Eisenhower to pardon the couple.

It was to no avail. “The execution of two human beings is a grave matter,” Eisenhower said. “But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.”

On Friday, April 10, 2015, I had the pleasure of serving on a six member panel in front of a packed audience at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC. The title of the program was British Patriot or Soviet Spy? Clarifying a Major Cold War Mystery.

Roger Hollis

Our mission was to take a fresh look at a seven decade old controversy that continues to swirl around Sir Roger Hollis (1905-1973), a counterintelligence officer and veteran of the British Security Service (BSS) who eventually rose to the rank of Director General. As the title suggests, we were charged with applying our professional experience to the question of whether Hollis was a loyal citizen of the United Kingdom and honorable government servant or a traitorous GRU mole.

The moderator, John Wilhelm, spent time as a naval officer and intelligence specialist before starting a long career as an award winning journalist. Today he owns and operates the WILHELM Group, Inc., a private communications company in Washington DC.

Dr. David Charney is a psychiatrist and founder and Medical Director of the Roundhouse Square Counseling Center in Alexandria, Virginia specializing in the treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders, and Attention Deficit Disorders in adults. He has also served as a psychiatric specialist for the legal defense teams representing such American spies as Earl Pitts, Robert Hanssen and Brian Regan. Last year he published NOIR, a controversial study, which offers innovative recommendations for managing the problem of the insider spy.

Dr. Charles Twardy was our panel’s third member. A dual Ph.D in History and Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Indiana University, Charles works at George Mason University where he applies his expertise to the study of evidence and inference with special interest in causal modeling and Bayesian networks. His 2004 article on Argument Mapping has been cited repeatedly over the years along with his report on Bayesian methods for intelligence analysis written in 2009 for the National Research Council.

Rounding out the local panel was Dr. Harvey Klehr, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and a renowned expert on American Communism and Russian espionage.

Dr. Paul Monk joined us by Skype from Melbourne, Australia. Paul is a critical-thinking skills expert and a partner in van Gelder and Monk Pty Limited which specializes in business, policy decisions and deliberation architectures. Over the past two years or so he has carefully extracted all the salient facts about Hollis from two major sources. The first is Treachery, a monumental examination of the Hollis case written by the late British journalist Harry Chapman-Pincher. The other is Defend the Realm authored by Dr. Christopher Andrews, Chairman of the Department of History at Cambridge University and the Official Historian of the BSS.

Employing a new methodology called Argument Mapping, Paul summarized his findings using a series of eight highly detailed maps which were displayed for the panel and audience alike (which can be found here: Report and Chronology).

Igor Gouzenko

His program opened with Igor Gouzenko, the GRU code-clerk who defected in 1945 from the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Among the staggering collection of secrets that he provided to his British, Canadian and US debriefers was the claim that in 1942 a GRU colleague in Moscow briefly described a spy codename “Elli” inside “Five of MI”. This remark coupled with other evidence gathered over the following decades narrowed the focus to Hollis. Each panel member was given ten minutes to offer comments and critiques.

After seven decades, scores of investigations, articles, books and a prime minister’s comments in the House of Commons the debate over Hollis’s guilt or innocence rages on. I assure you that our panel solved nothing. After so many years of controversy, however, attitudes have hardened and facts have gradually blurred with supposition and theory. Our panel reminded everyone of the importance of continued skepticism. It also suggested a reexamination of the entire Hollis case with fresh eyes applied to old evidence and new material released since the end of the Cold War.

The entire program is now available in ten parts on video which can be found here or below. If you are interested in Intelligence history and Cold War politics than I think you’ll find it interesting. I urge you to watch.


British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 1

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 2 (Introduction to Argument Mapping)

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 3

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 4 (Unfolding the Roger Hollis Claims)

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 5

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 6 (Hollis as the MI5 Mole?)

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 7
Ray Batvinis lecture

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 8 (Roger Hollis and SONIA)

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 9

British Patriot or Soviet Spy? The Case of Roger Hollis, Video 10

Cher Ami

Paul J. Richards/Getty Images

Carrier pigeons were crucial during the first world war. Perhaps the most honored of these pigeons was Cher Ami, whose name means "Dear Friend" in French. She delivered 12 important messages in the early 1900s, but in 1918, her work saved lives. During a battle that trapped more than 200 Americans behind enemy lines, Major Charles Whittlesey released the pigeon along with a message begging for help. Cher Ami flew through both enemy and friendly fire to deliver the note her bravery earned her a Croix de Guerre medal.

Humanities: VCE 20th Century History Unit 2 – The Cold War

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Espionage has been recognized as an importance in military affairs since ancient times.

The oldest known classified document was a report made by a spy disguised as a diplomatic envoy in the court of King Hammurabi, who died in around 1750 B.C. The Ancient Egyptians had a developed secret service and espionage is mentioned in the Iliad and the Bible as well as its recordings in the story of the Old Testament, The Twelve Spies. Espionage was also prevalent in the Greco-Roman world, when spies employed illiterate subjects in civil services. [ citation needed ]

The thesis that espionage and intelligence has a central role in war as well as peace was first advanced in The Art of War and in the Arthashastra. In the Middle Ages European states excelled at what has later been termed counter-subversion when Catholic inquisitions were staged to annihilate heresy. Inquisitions were marked by centrally organised mass interrogations and detailed record keeping. During the Renaissance European states funded codebreakers to obtain intelligence through frequency analysis. Western espionage changed fundamentally during the Renaissance when Italian city-states installed resident ambassadors in capital cities to collect intelligence. Renaissance Venice became so obsessed with espionage that the Council of Ten, which was nominally responsible for security, did not even allow the doge to consult government archives freely. In 1481 the Council of Ten barred all Venetian government officials from making contact with ambassadors or foreigners. Those revealing official secrets could face the death-penalty. Venice became obsessed with espionage because successful international trade demanded that the city-state could protect its trade secrets. Under Elizabeth I, Francis Walsingham was appointed foreign secretary and intelligence chief. [3]

In the 20th century, at the height of World War I, all great powers except the United States had elaborate civilian espionage systems and all national military establishments had intelligence units. In order to protect the country against foreign agents, the U.S. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917. Mata Hari, who obtained information for Germany by seducing French officials, was the most noted espionage agent of World War I. Prior to World War II, Germany and Imperial Japan established elaborate espionage nets. In 1942 the Office of Strategic Services was founded by Gen. William J. Donovan. However, the British system was the keystone of Allied intelligence. Numerous resistance groups such as the Austrian Maier-Messner Group, the French Resistance, the Witte Brigade, Milorg and the Polish Home Army worked against Nazi Germany and provided the Allied secret services with information that was very important for the war effort.

Since the end of World War II, the activity of espionage has enlarged, much of it growing out of the Cold War between the United States and the former USSR. The Russian Empire and its successor, the Soviet Union have had a long tradition of espionage ranging from the Okhrana to the KGB (Committee for State Security), which also acted as a secret police force. In the United States, the 1947 National Security Act created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to coordinate intelligence and the National Security Agency for research into codes and electronic communication. In addition to these, the United States has 13 other intelligence gathering agencies most of the U.S. expenditures for intelligence gathering are budgeted to various Defense Dept. agencies and their programs. Under the intelligence reorganization of 2004, the director of national intelligence is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the activities and budgets of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

In the Cold War, espionage cases included Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers and the Rosenberg Case. In 1952 the Communist Chinese captured two CIA agents, and in 1960 Francis Gary Powers, flying a U-2 reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union for the CIA, was shot down and captured. During the cold war, many Soviet intelligence officials defected to the West, including Gen. Walter Krivitsky, Victor Kravchenko, Vladimir Petrov, Peter Deriabin Pawel Monat, and Oleg Penkovsky, of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence). Among Western officials who defected to the Soviet Union are Guy F. Burgess and Donald D. Maclean of Great Britain in 1951, Otto John of West Germany in 1954, William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, U.S. cryptographers, in 1960, and Harold (Kim) Philby of Great Britain in 1962. U.S. acknowledgment of its U-2 flights and the exchange of Francis Gary Powers for Rudolf Abel in 1962 implied the legitimacy of some espionage as an arm of foreign policy.

China has a very cost-effective intelligence program that is especially effective in monitoring neighboring countries such as Mongolia, Russia, and India. Smaller countries can also mount effective and focused espionage efforts. For instance, the Vietnamese Communists had consistently superior intelligence during the Vietnam War. Some Islamic countries, including Libya, Iran, and Syria, have highly developed operations as well. SAVAK, the secret police of the Pahlavi dynasty, was particularly feared by Iranian dissidents before the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Today, spy agencies target the illegal drug trade and terrorists as well as state actors. Between 2008 and 2011, the United States charged at least 57 defendants for attempting to spy for China. [4]

Intelligence services value certain intelligence collection techniques over others. The former Soviet Union, for example, preferred human sources over research in open sources, while the United States has tended to emphasize technological methods such as SIGINT and IMINT. In the Soviet Union, both political (KGB) and military intelligence (GRU [5] ) officers were judged by the number of agents they recruited.

The espionage efforts and knowledge of a nation are often used by other countries by hiring their intelligence employees. The United Arab Emirates is one of the major countries relying on the technique, where they have hired the former employees of the US’ National Security Agency and the White House veterans. Some of the agents were hired to hack the Emirates’ former rival nation Qatar, its royals and even FIFA officials. Others were asked to conduct surveillance on other governments, human rights activists, social media critics, and even militants. However, the spying efforts of the UAE by using the Americans were also used to target the US itself, including former first lady Michelle Obama. [6] [7]

Espionage agents are usually trained experts in a targeted field so they can differentiate mundane information from targets of value to their own organizational development. Correct identification of the target at its execution is the sole purpose of the espionage operation. [ citation needed ]

Broad areas of espionage targeting expertise include: [ citation needed ]

    : strategic production identification and assessment (food, energy, materials). Agents are usually found among bureaucrats who administer these resources in their own countries towards domestic and foreign policies (popular, middle class, elites). Agents often recruited from field journalistic crews, exchange postgraduate students and sociology researchers
  • Strategic economic strengths (production, research, manufacture, infrastructure). Agents recruited from science and technology academia, commercial enterprises, and more rarely from among military technologists intelligence (offensive, defensive, manoeuvre, naval, air, space). Agents are trained by military espionage education facilities and posted to an area of operation with covert identities to minimize prosecution operations targeting opponents' intelligence services themselves, such as breaching the confidentiality of communications, and recruiting defectors or moles

Although the news media may speak of "spy satellites" and the like, espionage is not a synonym for all intelligence-gathering disciplines. It is a specific form of human source intelligence (HUMINT). Codebreaking (cryptanalysis or COMINT), aircraft or satellite photography, (IMINT) and analysis of publicly available data sources (OSINT) are all intelligence gathering disciplines, but none of them is considered espionage. Many HUMINT activities, such as prisoner interrogation, reports from military reconnaissance patrols and from diplomats, etc., are not considered espionage. Espionage is the disclosure of sensitive information (classified) to people who are not cleared for that information or access to that sensitive information.

Unlike other forms of intelligence collection disciplines, espionage usually involves accessing the place where the desired information is stored or accessing the people who know the information and will divulge it through some kind of subterfuge. There are exceptions to physical meetings, such as the Oslo Report, or the insistence of Robert Hanssen in never meeting the people who bought his information.

The US defines espionage towards itself as "The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defence with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation". Black's Law Dictionary (1990) defines espionage as: ". gathering, transmitting, or losing . information related to the national defense". Espionage is a violation of United States law, 18 U.S.C. §§ 792–798 and Article 106a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice". [8] The United States, like most nations, conducts espionage against other nations, under the control of the National Clandestine Service. Britain's espionage activities are controlled by the Secret Intelligence Service.

Technology and techniques Edit

A spy is a person employed to seek out top secret information from a source. Within the United States Intelligence Community, "asset" is more common usage. A case officer or Special Agent, who may have diplomatic status (i.e., official cover or non-official cover), supports and directs the human collector. Cutouts are couriers who do not know the agent or case officer but transfer messages. A safe house is a refuge for spies. Spies often seek to obtain secret information from another source.

In larger networks, the organization can be complex with many methods to avoid detection, including clandestine cell systems. Often the players have never met. Case officers are stationed in foreign countries to recruit and to supervise intelligence agents, who in turn spy on targets in their countries where they are assigned. A spy need not be a citizen of the target country—hence does not automatically commit treason when operating within it. While the more common practice is to recruit a person already trusted with access to sensitive information, sometimes a person with a well-prepared synthetic identity (cover background), called a legend in tradecraft, may attempt to infiltrate a target organization.

These agents can be moles (who are recruited before they get access to secrets), defectors (who are recruited after they get access to secrets and leave their country) or defectors in place (who get access but do not leave).

A legend is also employed for an individual who is not an illegal agent, but is an ordinary citizen who is "relocated", for example, a "protected witness". Nevertheless, such a non-agent very likely will also have a case officer who will act as a controller. As in most, if not all synthetic identity schemes, for whatever purpose (illegal or legal), the assistance of a controller is required.

Spies may also be used to spread disinformation in the organization in which they are planted, such as giving false reports about their country's military movements, or about a competing company's ability to bring a product to market. Spies may be given other roles that also require infiltration, such as sabotage.

Many governments spy on their allies as well as their enemies, although they typically maintain a policy of not commenting on this. Governments also employ private companies to collect information on their behalf such as SCG International Risk, International Intelligence Limited and others.

Many organizations, both national and non-national, conduct espionage operations. It should not be assumed that espionage is always directed at the most secret operations of a target country. National and terrorist organizations and other groups are also targeted. [ citation needed ] This is because governments want to retrieve information that they can use to be proactive in protecting their nation from potential terrorist attacks.

Communications both are necessary to espionage and clandestine operations, and also a great vulnerability when the adversary has sophisticated SIGINT detection and interception capability. Agents must also transfer money securely. [ citation needed ]

Reportedly Canada is losing $12 billion [10] and German companies are estimated to be losing about €50 billion ($87 billion) and 30,000 jobs [11] to industrial espionage every year.

In espionage jargon, an "agent" is the person who does the spying. They may be a citizen of a country recruited by that country to spy on another a citizen of a country recruited by that country to carry out false flag assignments disrupting his own country a citizen of one country who is recruited by a second country to spy on or work against his own country or a third country, and more.

In popular usage, this term is sometimes confused with an intelligence officer, intelligence operative or case officer who recruits and handles agents.

Among the most common forms of agent are:

    : instigates trouble or provides information to gather as many people as possible into one location for an arrest.
  • Intelligence agent: provides access to sensitive information through the use of special privileges. If used in corporate intelligence gathering, this may include gathering information of a corporate business venture or stock portfolio. In economic intelligence, "Economic Analysts may use their specialized skills to analyze and interpret economic trends and developments, assess and track foreign financial activities, and develop new econometric and modelling methodologies." [12] This may also include information of trade or tariff.
  • Agent of influence: provides political influence in an area of interest, possibly including publications needed to further an intelligence service agenda. The use of the media to print a story to mislead a foreign service into action, exposing their operations while under surveillance. : "engages in clandestine activity for two intelligence or security services (or more in joint operations), who provides information about one or about each to the other, and who wittingly withholds significant information from one on the instructions of the other or is unwittingly manipulated by one so that significant facts are withheld from the adversary. Peddlers, fabricators and others who work for themselves rather than a service are not double agents because they are not agents. The fact that double agents have an agent relationship with both sides distinguishes them from penetrations, who normally are placed with the target service in a staff or officer capacity." [13]
      : forced to mislead the foreign intelligence service after being caught as a double agent.
  • Unwitting double agent: offers or is forced to recruit as a double or redoubled agent and in the process is recruited by either a third-party intelligence service or his own government without the knowledge of the intended target intelligence service or the agent. This can be useful in capturing important information from an agent that is attempting to seek allegiance with another country. The double agent usually has knowledge of both intelligence services and can identify operational techniques of both, thus making third-party recruitment difficult or impossible. The knowledge of operational techniques can also affect the relationship between the operations officer (or case officer) and the agent if the case is transferred by an operational targeting officer to a new operations officer, leaving the new officer vulnerable to attack. This type of transfer may occur when an officer has completed his term of service or when his cover is blown.
  • Less common or lesser known forms of agent include:

    • Access agent: provides access to other potential agents by providing offender profiling information that can help lead to recruitment into an intelligence service. : provides access to buildings, such as garages or offices used for staging operations, resupply, etc.
    • Principal agent: functions as a handler for an established network of agents, usually considered "blue chip." : provides misleading information to an enemy intelligence service or attempts to discredit the operations of the target in an operation. : lives in another country under false credentials and does not report to a local station. A nonofficial cover operative can be dubbed an "illegal" [14] when working in another country without diplomatic protection.

    Espionage against a nation is a crime under the legal code of many nations. In the United States, it is covered by the Espionage Act of 1917. The risks of espionage vary. A spy violating the host country's laws may be deported, imprisoned, or even executed. A spy violating its own country's laws can be imprisoned for espionage or/and treason (which in the United States and some other jurisdictions can only occur if they take up arms or aids the enemy against their own country during wartime), or even executed, as the Rosenbergs were. For example, when Aldrich Ames handed a stack of dossiers of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents in the Eastern Bloc to his KGB-officer "handler", the KGB "rolled up" several networks, and at least ten people were secretly shot. When Ames was arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he faced life in prison his contact, who had diplomatic immunity, was declared persona non grata and taken to the airport. Ames' wife was threatened with life imprisonment if her husband did not cooperate he did, and she was given a five-year sentence. Hugh Francis Redmond, a CIA officer in China, spent nineteen years in a Chinese prison for espionage—and died there—as he was operating without diplomatic cover and immunity. [15]

    In United States law, treason, [16] espionage, [17] and spying [18] are separate crimes. Treason and espionage have graduated punishment levels.

    The United States in World War I passed the Espionage Act of 1917. Over the years, many spies, such as the Soble spy ring, Robert Lee Johnson, the Rosenberg ring, Aldrich Hazen Ames, [19] Robert Philip Hanssen, [20] Jonathan Pollard, John Anthony Walker, James Hall III, and others have been prosecuted under this law.

    History of espionage laws Edit

    From ancient times, the penalty for espionage in many countries was execution. This was true right up until the era of World War II for example, Josef Jakobs was a Nazi spy who parachuted into Great Britain in 1941 and was executed for espionage.

    In modern times, many people convicted of espionage have been given penal sentences rather than execution. For example, Aldrich Hazen Ames is an American CIA analyst, turned KGB mole, who was convicted of espionage in 1994 he is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the high-security Allenwood U.S. Penitentiary. [21] Ames was formerly a 31-year CIA counterintelligence officer and analyst who committed espionage against his country by spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. [22] So far as it is known, Ames compromised the second-largest number of CIA agents, second only to Robert Hanssen, who is also serving a prison sentence.

    Use against non-spies Edit

    Espionage laws are also used to prosecute non-spies. In the United States, the Espionage Act of 1917 was used against socialist politician Eugene V. Debs (at that time the Act had much stricter guidelines and amongst other things banned speech against military recruiting). The law was later used to suppress publication of periodicals, for example of Father Coughlin in World War II. In the early 21st century, the act was used to prosecute whistleblowers such as Thomas Andrews Drake, John Kiriakou, and Edward Snowden, as well as officials who communicated with journalists for innocuous reasons, such as Stephen Jin-Woo Kim. [23] [24]

    As of 2012 [update] , India and Pakistan were holding several hundred prisoners of each other's country for minor violations like trespass or visa overstay, often with accusations of espionage attached. Some of these include cases where Pakistan and India both deny citizenship to these people, leaving them stateless. [ citation needed ] The BBC reported in 2012 on one such case, that of Mohammed Idrees, who was held under Indian police control for approximately 13 years for overstaying his 15-day visa by 2–3 days after seeing his ill parents in 1999. Much of the 13 years were spent in prison waiting for a hearing, and more time was spent homeless or living with generous families. The Indian People's Union for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law Network both decried his treatment. The BBC attributed some of the problems to tensions caused by the Kashmir conflict. [25]

    Espionage laws in the UK Edit

    Espionage is illegal in the UK under the Official Secrets Acts of 1911 and 1920. The UK law under this legislation considers espionage as "concerning those who intend to help an enemy and deliberately harm the security of the nation". According to MI5, a person commits the offence of 'spying' if they, "for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State": approaches, enters or inspects a prohibited area makes documents such as plans that are intended, calculated, or could directly or indirectly be of use to an enemy or "obtains, collects, records, or publishes, or communicates to any other person any secret official code word, or password, or any sketch, plan, model, article, or note, or other document which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy". The illegality of espionage also includes any action which may be considered 'preparatory to' spying, or encouraging or aiding another to spy. [26]

    Under the penal codes of the UK, those found guilty of espionage are liable to imprisonment for a term of up to 14 years, although multiple sentences can be issued.

    Government intelligence laws and its distinction from espionage Edit

    Government intelligence is very much distinct from espionage, and is not illegal in the UK, providing that the organisations of individuals are registered, often with the ICO, and are acting within the restrictions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). 'Intelligence' is considered legally as "information of all sorts gathered by a government or organisation to guide its decisions. It includes information that may be both public and private, obtained from much different public or secret sources. It could consist entirely of information from either publicly available or secret sources, or be a combination of the two." [27]

    However, espionage and intelligence can be linked. According to the MI5 website, "foreign intelligence officers acting in the UK under diplomatic cover may enjoy immunity from prosecution. Such persons can only be tried for spying (or, indeed, any criminal offence) if diplomatic immunity is waived beforehand. Those officers operating without diplomatic cover have no such immunity from prosecution".

    There are also laws surrounding government and organisational intelligence and surveillance. Generally, the body involved should be issued with some form of warrant or permission from the government and should be enacting their procedures in the interest of protecting national security or the safety of public citizens. Those carrying out intelligence missions should act within not only RIPA but also the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act. However, there are spy equipment laws and legal requirements around intelligence methods that vary for each form of intelligence enacted.

    War Edit

    In war, espionage is considered permissible as many nations recognize the inevitability of opposing sides seeking intelligence each about the dispositions of the other. To make the mission easier and successful, combatants wear disguises to conceal their true identity from the enemy while penetrating enemy lines for intelligence gathering. However, if they are caught behind enemy lines in disguises, they are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and subject to prosecution and punishment—including execution.

    The Hague Convention of 1907 addresses the status of wartime spies, specifically within "Laws and Customs of War on Land" (Hague IV) October 18, 1907: CHAPTER II Spies". [28] Article 29 states that a person is considered a spy who, acts clandestinely or on false pretences, infiltrates enemy lines with the intention of acquiring intelligence about the enemy and communicate it to the belligerent during times of war. Soldiers who penetrate enemy lines in proper uniforms for the purpose of acquiring intelligence are not considered spies but are lawful combatants entitled to be treated as prisoners of war upon capture by the enemy. Article 30 states that a spy captured behind enemy lines may only be punished following a trial. However, Article 31 provides that if a spy successfully rejoined his own military and is then captured by the enemy as a lawful combatant, he cannot be punished for his previous acts of espionage and must be treated as a prisoner of war. Note that this provision does not apply to citizens who committed treason against their own country or co-belligerents of that country and may be captured and prosecuted at any place or any time regardless whether he rejoined the military to which he belongs or not or during or after the war. [29] [30]

    The ones that are excluded from being treated as spies while behind enemy lines are escaping prisoners of war and downed airmen as international law distinguishes between a disguised spy and a disguised escaper. [9] It is permissible for these groups to wear enemy uniforms or civilian clothes in order to facilitate their escape back to friendly lines so long as they do not attack enemy forces, collect military intelligence, or engage in similar military operations while so disguised. [31] [32] Soldiers who are wearing enemy uniforms or civilian clothes simply for the sake of warmth along with other purposes rather than engaging in espionage or similar military operations while so attired are also excluded from being treated as unlawful combatants. [9]

    Saboteurs are treated as spies as they too wear disguises behind enemy lines for the purpose of waging destruction on an enemy's vital targets in addition to intelligence gathering. [33] [34] For example, during World War II, eight German agents entered the U.S. in June 1942 as part of Operation Pastorius, a sabotage mission against U.S. economic targets. Two weeks later, all were arrested in civilian clothes by the FBI thanks to two German agents betraying the mission to the U.S. Under the Hague Convention of 1907, these Germans were classified as spies and tried by a military tribunal in Washington D.C. [35] On August 3, 1942, all eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Five days later, six were executed by electric chair at the District of Columbia jail. Two who had given evidence against the others had their sentences reduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to prison terms. In 1948, they were released by President Harry S. Truman and deported to the American Zone of occupied Germany.

    The U.S. codification of enemy spies is Article 106 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This provides a mandatory death sentence if a person captured in the act is proven to be "lurking as a spy or acting as a spy in or about any place, vessel, or aircraft, within the control or jurisdiction of any of the armed forces, or in or about any shipyard, any manufacturing or industrial plant, or any other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the United States, or elsewhere". [36]

    Spies have long been favourite topics for novelists and filmmakers. [37] An early example of espionage literature is Kim by the English novelist Rudyard Kipling, with a description of the training of an intelligence agent in the Great Game between the UK and Russia in 19th century Central Asia. An even earlier work was James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel, The Spy, written in 1821, about an American spy in New York during the Revolutionary War.

    During the many 20th-century spy scandals, much information became publicly known about national spy agencies and dozens of real-life secret agents. These sensational stories piqued public interest in a profession largely off-limits to human interest news reporting, a natural consequence of the secrecy inherent in their work. To fill in the blanks, the popular conception of the secret agent has been formed largely by 20th and 21st-century fiction and film. Attractive and sociable real-life agents such as Valerie Plame find little employment in serious fiction, however. The fictional secret agent is more often a loner, sometimes amoral—an existential hero operating outside the everyday constraints of society. Loner spy personalities may have been a stereotype of convenience for authors who already knew how to write loner private investigator characters that sold well from the 1920s to the present. [38]

    Johnny Fedora achieved popularity as a fictional agent of early Cold War espionage, but James Bond is the most commercially successful of the many spy characters created by intelligence insiders during that struggle. His less fantastic rivals include Le Carre's George Smiley and Harry Palmer as played by Michael Caine.

    Jumping on the spy bandwagon, other writers also started writing about spy fiction featuring female spies as protagonists, such as The Baroness, which has more graphic action and sex, as compared to other novels featuring male protagonists.

    Spy fiction has also permeated the video game world, in such games as Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007, No One Lives Forever 1 and 2, and the Metal Gear series.

    Espionage has also made its way into comedy depictions. The 1960s TV series Get Smart, the 1983 Finnish film Agent 000 and the Deadly Curves, and Johnny English film trilogy portrays an inept spy, while the 1985 movie Spies Like Us depicts a pair of none-too-bright men sent to the Soviet Union to investigate a missile.

    3 Howard Hughes And The CIA Team Up To Steal A Sunken Nuclear Submarine

    In the 21st century, there are constant major diplomatic negotiations over the production and possession of nuclear weaponry. Attitudes were slightly more relaxed back in 1968, when the Soviets lost four-megaton nuclear warheads in the Pacific Ocean and treated it like some loose change slid down the side of their seat. After several months of searching, they decided the superweapons were fish food and left a potential mushroom cloud to marinate at the bottom of the ocean. If they couldn't find it, they figured no one else could.

    And then the US did, of course.

    American operatives located the misplaced weapons about 1,500 miles northeast of Hawaii, but retrieving the remains was another matter. To do so, they headed out to the Bond Villain School of Engineering (probably in one of the evil states, like Florida) and came up with the insane solution of using a giant claw, then concealing it in a submersible barge with a retractable roof. That's the sort of plan that ends with Superman punching you.

    Obviously, this device would be huge too huge to hide from Russia. And hiding this operation from Russia was extremely important. The US didn't want to appear too clingy. So they enlisted the help of Howard Hughes, engineer extraordinaire and exactly the kind of eccentric maniac who could believably execute such a wacky scheme.

    Hughes and the US claimed that it was a deep-sea mining operation. The media ate it up, and there was no genuine suspicion of government involvement. In 1974, the Hughes Glomar Explorer successfully retrieved a piece of the sub. The whole sub wasn't collected, as the machinery operated like all good claw games do: dropping half of the prize on the way up. Let's be thankful this didn't happen in 2015, because there's only one billionaire eccentric enough to pull it off, and he'd use the giant claw to throw Mexicans across the border.

    Related: Howard Hughes Bought A Major Movie Studio . To Ruin His Ex-Girlfriend's Career


    Before World War II, the theoretical possibility of nuclear fission resulted in intense discussion among leading physicists world-wide. Scientists from the Soviet Union were later recognized for their contributions to the understanding of a nuclear reality, and won several Nobel Prizes. Soviet scientists such as Igor Kurchatov, L. D. Landau, and Kirill Sinelnikov helped establish the idea of, and prove the existence of, a splittable atom. Dwarfed by the Manhattan Project conducted by the US during the war, the significance of the Soviet contributions has been rarely understood or credited outside the field of physics. According to several sources, it was understood on a theoretical level that the atom provided for extremely powerful and novel releases of energy, and could possibly be used in the future for military purposes. [1]

    In recorded comments, physicists lamented their inability to achieve any kind of practical application from the discoveries. They thought that creation of an atomic weapon was unattainable. According to a United States Congressional joint committee, although the scientists could conceivably have been first to generate a man-made fission reaction, they lacked the ambition, funding, engineering capability, leadership, and ultimately, the capability to do so. The undertaking would be of an unimaginable scale, and the resources required to engineer for such use as a nuclear bomb, and nuclear power were deemed too great to pursue. [2]

    At the urging of Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard in their letter of August 2, 1939, the United States — in collaboration with Britain and Canada — recognized the potential significance of an atomic bomb. They embarked in 1942 upon work to achieve a usable device. Estimates suggest that during the quest to create the atomic bomb, an investment of $2 billion, 86,000 tons of silver and 24,000 skilled workers drove the research and development phase of the project. [3] Those skilled workers included the people to maintain and operate the machinery necessary for research. The largest Western facility had five hundred scientists working on the project, as well as a team of fifty to derive the equations for the cascade of neutrons required to drive the reaction. The fledgling equivalent Soviet program was quite different: The program consisted of fifty scientists, and two mathematicians trying to work out the equations for the particle cascade. [4] The research and development of techniques to produce sufficiently enriched uranium and plutonium were beyond the scope and efforts of the Soviet group. The knowledge of techniques and strategies that the Allied programs employed, and which Soviet espionage obtained, may have played a role in the rapid development of the Soviet bomb after the war.

    The research and development of methods suitable for doping and separating the highly reactive isotopes needed to create the payload for a nuclear warhead took years, and consumed a vast amount of resources. The United States and Great Britain dedicated their best scientists to this cause and constructed three plants, each with a different isotope-extraction method. [5] The Allied program decided to use gas-phase extraction to obtain the pure uranium necessary for an atomic detonation. [2] Using this method took large quantities of uranium ore and other rare materials, such as graphite, to successfully purify the U-235 isotope. The quantities required for the development were beyond the scope and purview of the Soviet program.

    The Soviet Union did not have natural uranium-ore mines at the start of the nuclear arms race. A lack of materials made it very difficult for them to conduct novel research or to map out a clear pathway to achieving the fuel they needed. The Soviet scientists became frustrated with the difficulties of producing uranium fuel cheaply, and they found their industrial techniques for refinement lacking. The use of information stolen from the Manhattan Project eventually rectified the problem. [6] Without such information, the problems of the Soviet atomic team would have taken many years to correct, affecting the production of a Soviet atomic weapon significantly.

    Some historians believe that the Soviet Union achieved its great leaps in its atomic program by the espionage information and technical data that Moscow succeeded in obtaining from the Manhattan Project. Once the Soviets had learned of the American plans to develop an atomic bomb during the 1940s, Moscow began recruiting agents to get information. [7] Moscow sought very specific information from its intelligence cells in America, and demanded updates on the progress of the Allied project. Moscow was also greatly concerned with the procedures being used for U-235 separation, what method of detonation was being used, and what industrial equipment was being used for these techniques. [8]

    The Soviet Union needed spies who had security clearance high enough to have access to classified information at the Manhattan Project and who could understand and interpret what they were stealing. Moscow also needed reliable spies who believed in the communist cause and would provide accurate information. Theodore Hall was a spy who had worked on the development of the plutonium bomb the US dropped in Japan. [9] Hall provided the specifications of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. This information allowed the Soviet scientists a first-hand look at the set up of a successful atomic weapon built by the Manhattan Project.

    The most influential of the atomic spies was Klaus Fuchs. Fuchs, a German-born British physicist, went to the United States to work on the atomic project and became one of its lead scientists. Fuchs had become a member of the Communist Party in 1932 while still a student in Germany. At the onset of the Third Reich in 1933, Fuchs fled to Great Britain. He eventually became one of the lead nuclear physicists in the British program. In 1943 he moved to the United States to collaborate on the Manhattan Project. [10] Due to Fuchs's position in the atomic program, he had access to most, if not all, of the material Moscow desired. Fuchs was also able to interpret and understand the information he was stealing, which made him an invaluable resource. Fuchs provided the Soviets with detailed information on the gas-phase separation process. He also provided specifications for the payload, calculations and relationships for setting of the fission reaction, and schematics for labs producing weapons-grade isotopes. [11] This information helped the smaller under-manned and under-supplied Soviet group move toward the successful detonation of a nuclear weapon.

    The Soviet nuclear program would have eventually been able to develop a nuclear weapon without the aid of espionage. It did not develop a basic understanding of the usefulness of an atomic weapon, the sheer resources required, and the talent until much later. [ when? ] Espionage helped the Soviet scientists identify which methods worked and prevented their wasting valuable resources on techniques which the development of the American bomb had proven ineffective. The speed at which the Soviet nuclear program achieved a working bomb, with so few resources, depended on the amount of information acquired through espionage. During the Cold War trials, the United States emphasized the significance of that espionage. [12]

    Watch the video: Στηβ Λάλας - ο μεγαλύτερος Έλληνας κατάσκοπος (January 2023).

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