Espionage wilderness of mirrors.

Matthew X profrv at
Sat May 8 02:22:44 PDT 1999

Counterintelligence Book Review

By CI Centre Professor Hayden B. Peake

An Encyclopedic Disappointment .
Espionage: An Encyclopedia of Spies and Secrets
By Richard M. BENNETT
(London: Virgin Books, Ltd., 2002)
371 pp., bibliography, photos, index.  $29.99.
The dust jacket describes Richard BENNETT as an “intelligence analyst since 
1966,” and lists other impressive credentials.  Nevertheless, his 
encyclopedia of espionage, the most recent of the many books in this genre, 
stands alone as the most error filled by any measure.  This is particularly 
disappointing because reference works of this sort have a special 
obligation to get it right.  In his Preface, David SHAYLER—the former MI5 
officer charged with violations of the Official Secrets Act—claims it is ”a 
wealth of facts
 which have never been available in one publication 
before.”  James BAMFORD, author of Body of Secrets, writes in the Foreword 
that BENNETT “not only defines the language of spying he also presents 
comprehensive outlines of the intelligence services
 of the world today, 
and biographical sketches of key players, past and present.”  From these 
statements one can only conclude that the writers did not read the book or 
do not know the subject.
The entries are arranged alphabetically; they describe people, cases, and 
organizations intermingled with definitions and photographs.  In this mix 
are included BENNETT’s own views supplied without the documentation that a 
conscientious analyst or reader would expect to see in footnotes.  A 
typical example is the statement that the “CIA does not seem to have an 
efficient, centralized analytic apparatus, one that can distinguish 
credible intelligence from fantasy.”  But equally important are the 
abundant factual errors so numerous that representative samples are 
appended in tabular form to these comments.  Not specifically identified 
are the approximately 100 misspelled names—some more than once.  Citations 
for each correction noted are not given for two reasons.  First, the 
accurate data, properly footnoted, are easily found in the open 
literature.  Second, should a corrected edition be contemplated, the task 
of making the changes is left to the author.

There are accurate entries in this book, but trying to separate them from 
the inaccurate ones is too much work for the layman or student.  In short, 
the entire book is tainted by appalling editing and scholarship—a waste of 
time and money.

Typical Inaccuracies:
      KGB officer Rudolf ABEL was “exposed by one of his own cut-outs;” in 
fact it was by his colleague, another illegal, Reno HAYHANEN, who was not a 

·          Rudolf ABEL was the real name of the KGB illegal who used it; 
not so, he was really Willi FISHER.

·          Philip AGEE is identified as a ‘whistleblower’ rather than the 
DGI/KGB agent he became.

·          AFSA is not the Air Force Security Services as stated on page 3; 
it stood for the Armed Forces Security Agency.

·          Claims that Maj. ANDRE was challenged by a rebel patrol are 
wrong; in fact it was a group of bandits who turned him in when he didn’t 
have enough money to pay his way to freedom.

·          James ANGLETON died in 1980; 1987 is correct.

·          GOLITSYN was a “charming con-artist;” he was anything but 
charming, and he was a defector.

·          ANGLETON could walk into DULLES’ office unannounced; nonsense, 
just ask his secretary.

·          COLBY allowed ANGLETON to stay as a consultant hoping he would 
resign; not so, COLBY fired ANGLETON first and then allowed him to phase 
out as a consultant.

·          The ARCOS affair was a diplomatic incident by a Soviet spy ring; 
hardly that, it was a planned operation by the British Security Service 
that raided the ARCOS headquarters.

·          Klaus FUCHS was a member of the ROSENBERG spy ring; not so, 
there was no direct connection between FUCHS and the ROSENBERGS; they were 
completely separate rings.

·          Samuel CAHAN was the NKVD controller for BLUNT, BURGESS, and 
CAIRNCROSS; not according to their controller Yuri MODIN, among others.

·          COLBY was replaced by Adm. TURNER; not so, George H. W. BUSH had 
that honor.

·          GARBO was captured and turned by the XX Committee; incorrect, 
GARBO volunteered to the Brits several times before being accepted as an agent.

·          GOUZENKO’s information exposed Klaus FUCHS; not so, VENONA did 
that.  Most of the other putative facts in the GOUZENKO entry are incorrect.

·          PHILBY went up to Cambridge in 1928; wrong, it was 1929.

·          CORNFORD helped to recruit PHILBY, MACLEAN and BURGESS; not so, 
he was not involved.  See The MITROHKIN Archive.

·          PHILBY put SIS officers in touch with Sandor RADO; others have 
made this claim but like BENNETT never produced anything to verify the 

·          PHILBY became a close confidant of DONOVAN and DULLES; 
incorrect, he never met DONOVAN during the war and had only an official 
contact with DULLES.

·          BLUNT informed PHILBY that MACLEAN was about to be arrested; 
hardly the case, PHILBY told BURGESS who told BLUNT.

·          PHILBY notified BURGESS after he had returned to London; not so, 
it was before he returned to London.

·          BURGESS fled in a panic to MOSCOW; incorrect, he was ordered to 
go by the MGB on the pretext of being allowed to return.

·          PHILBY became a Major General in the KGB; he was never more than 
agent TOM and he knew it.

·          John WALKER began selling secrets in 1962; more like 1968.

·          The U-2 provides continuous coverage; no aircraft does that.

·          Ian FLEMING’ years in SIS; he was in Naval Intelligence.

·          Morris COHEN and his wife “hurriedly fled to London” from New 
York; wrong they fled to Europe before going to London.

·          KRIVITSKY was a Major General; KRIVITSKY never held general 
rank, and never claimed that he did.

·          KRIVITSKY was fully debriefed by the FBI; wrong, he was never 
fully debriefed by the FBI, a major mistake.

·          MI5 attached little importance to KRIVITSKY’s information; 
nonsense, they thought it extremely valuable, particularly the portion that 
revealed to crypto penetrations.

·          INSCOM Headquarters are at Ft. Huachuca, AZ; try Ft. Belvoir, VA.

·          Former DCI HELMS was found guilty of perjury; never happened.

·          HELMS had never been considered a leader or director, only a 
caretaker; only an outsider or one who has not read any reliable source 
about the CIA would make such foolish statement.

·          The FBI is starting to make all employees undergo polygraph 
testing; wrong, only certain ones.

·          OSS was dismantled by TRUMAN in 1946; incorrect, OSS was 
abolished effective 1 October 1945.

·          The Firm is a popular term for the CIA among is own personnel; 

·          BLUNT provided the evidence that caused CAIRCROSS to confess; 
not so, he tried to hide it, but it was discovered in BURGESS’ apartment.

·          The Soviets fed false information through the phone lines tapped 
by the Berlin tunnel operation; just the opposite, they did not inform the 
Red Army or the GRU the lines were tapped.

·          GOUZENKO was in touch with the RCMP Security Service before he 
defected and his cover was as a cipher clerk; rubbish on both counts, 
though some academics have speculated as much.

·          A member of the Lucy Ring, Rudolf ROESSLER, worked for both MI6 
and OSS; he worked for neither one.

·          The CIA organization is over a year out of date and many of the 
elements are incorrectly identified; see the CIA home page.

·          Adm. SOUERS was D/CIG; not correct; he was the first DCI; same 
error with Adm. HILLENKOETTER and General V ANDERBERG; and the same correction.

·          R. James WOOLSEY was DCI from February 1993 — May 1994; 
incorrect he served until January 1995.

·          John DEUTCH was DCI from May 1994 — July 1997; incorrect, he 
served May 1995 until December 1996.

·          COLBY was DCI form 1963-1976; incorrect, it was 1973-1976.

·     ·          The False Flag definition is wrong; the service involved 
does not have to be hostile, the only requirement is that the agent or 
asset think he/she is responding to one service when it is actually another 
service controlling the situation.

·          The definition for double agent is wrong; the term officer is 
not correct, a double agent involves an agent who is turned by one side to 
work against the service that recruited him.

·          There is no such thing as a defector-in-place; it is an oxymoron.

·          The definition for walk-in is incorrect.  First a defector who 
walks-in does not offer work in place, he defects.  If a potential defector 
offers or agrees to work in place, he is an agent-in-place or in some cases 
a mole.  Walk-in also applies to potential agents who volunteer their 
services, AMES and HANSSEN being two recent examples.

·          DCI SMITH began his service in 1959, it was 1950.

·          It is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not Investigations.

·          “Cointelpro during WWII”, contrary to BENNETT, the was no 
program with that name until many years later.

·          The VENONA story is inaccurate and incomplete, see any of the 
several books on VENONA for an accurate account.

·          There is an organization called the Joint Intelligence Centre; 
wrong, but there is a Joint Intelligence Committee.

·          Edward Lee HOWARD was the first CIA traitor; wrong again.  He 
was not in the CIA when he went to work for the KGB and there are several 
other candidates: AGEE and Larry CHINN to name two.  Contrary to BENNETT, 
HOWARD was not hired “despite his suspicious background.”

·          Osama bin LADEN, “as late as July 2001 and despite being a 
hunted man
 was able to travel safely to an American Hospital in a Gulf 
State to receive treatment for a serious kidney problem.”  The hospital 
concerned denied the story.  No evidence to the contrary is supplied by BENNETT.

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list