The Great Spy’s Dream

I asked Patrick if there was anything particularly useful he could pass on to me “about the CIA.” “The first thing to remember is that nobody connected to the Agency calls it the CIA. It’s plain CIA.”

—Harry Mathews, My Life in CIA. 

Recruitment/Defection

Soviet Agit-Prop (Global Security)

“[The] single, simple, self-evident explanation is that the enormous act of defection, of betrayal, treason, is almost invariably the act of a warped, emotionally maladjusted personality. It is compelled by a fear, hatred, a deep sense of grievance, or obsession with revenge far exceeding in intensity these emotions as experienced by normal, reasonably well-integrated and well-adjusted individuals.”

“All [Soviet defectors] in the writer’s experience have manifest some behavioral problem – such as alcoholism, satyriasis, morbid depression, a psychopathic behavior pattern of one type or another, an evasion of adult responsibility – which was adequate evidence for an underlying personality defect decisive in their defection. It is only mild hyperbole to say that no one can consider himself a Soviet operations officer until he has gone through the sordid experience of holding his Soviet “friend’s” head while he vomits five days of drinking into the sink.”

TARGET CHARACTERISTICS

  • (Suggests Eleazar Lipsky’s The Scientist as fodder for finding sociopath/psychopaths.)
  • Neurotic. Prepsychopathic. More interesting from ops standpoint. Characterized by strong conflicting currents visible as “spottiness” by an outside viewer. Characteristically unable to evaluate friend/foe objectively.
  • Middle-aged. Period of life from 37 on, which shows the highest incidence of divorce, infidelity etc. “Middle-aged revolt”

    SYMPTOMS AND SOURCES

    Alienation in interpersonal relationships. Lack of close friends in the Soviet colony. Evidence of coldness in personal relationships. Personally difficult to get along with. Arrogant, offensive, sullen, hostile….

    Career situation. Evidence or reasonable inference of difficulties in job situation. Resentment of supervision, direction, interference. Evasion of job responsibilities. Lack of appropriate career progression. Resentment of others’ progression.

    Family situation.

    Non-Duty Outlets. Avoidance of other Soviets. Excessive drinking. Infidelity. Wasting time away in trivial diversions. Predominance of diversions over responsibilities and obligations.

    Personality. Agressive vs. submissive evaluation. Rigid and compulsive behavior patterns. Anxiety and self-protective maneuvers. Unusual shyness and over-dependency. Or anxious efforts to over-please, over-submissiveness. Preoccupied with self (“McLandress dimension”), selfish, overestimating own problems, ideas, outlook. Excessively implusive, chronically impatient, easily angered. Hypersensitive, feelings easily hurt, unable to accept criticism. Tendency to blame others, evade own responsibility. Arrogant, excessively prestige- and status-conscious, anxious to impress everyone with own brilliance and importance. Great mood swings, depressions, evidence of low self-esteem or self-estimate. Constant criticism of others, fault finding, sarcastic manner, sarcastic or anti-social type of humor. Rigid, highly organized, inflexible personality or its opposite.

    (“On the Recruitment of Soviets,” Studies in Intelligence, 1965)

  • Spies as Suicide Bombers

    From Xinhua

    Graham Greene, an Mi6 correspondent during his days in Lagos, wrote that “espionage today is really a branch of psychological warfare. The main objective is to sow mistrust between allies in the enemy’s camp… The real value of the two scientists [Fuchs and Nunn May] to the Soviet was not from their scientific information but from their capture, and the breakdown in Anglo-American relations that followed. A spy allowed to continue his work without interference is far less dangerous than the spy who is caught.” (1968) Which brings us to “Anne Chapman” et al.

    Given their limited access, it seems likely that the spies apprehended were running agents and transmitting material – what has come to light seems of little value, and was unlikely to have been classified at all: airport diagrams, discussions of ground penetrating small yield nuclear weapons – so why, after ten years of investigation, bother busting them at all? Besides the personal snaps of the winsome staff of Future Map Advisory Services LLC., the salient feature of the news coverage surrounding the spies has been their gross incompetence. Their clumsy craft (invisible inks, dead drops, ludicrous code words etc.), their pathetic approaches – it hardly seems worth ten years of investigation. A few observers (see editorials) suggested it was a carefully timed ploy to disrupt strategic arms limitation talks ahead of G20, or perhaps force Russia’s hand on some Iran-related matter.

    Something isn’t adding up. If the spies’ antics were really as amateurish as they say, why wait ten years to catch them? The United States is downplaying the threat of Russian espionage, has agreed to withhold something from the press as leverage against Russia, or has simply learned to emphasize the incompetence as a way to mitigate the discomforting thought that there might be vast networks of foreign spies and saboteurs at work in the United States and there’s little our special policemen can do about it.

    Cover//Approach

    From a FOIA-released WWII training manual for special officers:

    Cover

    A: General

    Freedom – financial – social – movement – leisure.

    B: Essential details

    Name – history – documents – clothes – behavior (money-associates-tastes-local conditions-table manners-slang-mannerisms).

    iv. Coming down to business – change your line of appeal to suit the case, eg for a priest, based on religious grounds, etc.

    Let concrete suggestions come from him in the first stages.

    Test reactions thoroughly before coming out into the open.

    Sound by half-suggestions.

    From the first give him the suggestion that we are part of a powerful and well-organized body – prestige counts heavily.

    DO NOT TRY TO BUY PEOPLE