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Allen Dulles’s book, aptly entitled The Craft of Intelligence, 1 has been so extensively and variously reviewed by the professionals of the press and so much wisdom has been reflected in the more thoughtful of these reviews that it was with the greatest reluctance and diffidence on the part of the undersigned that he was prevailed upon to undertake the task of addressing a further commentary to the readership of this publication.
The evident presumption of attempting to provide any useful commentary upon a work so cogently and concisely written, and more particularly of venturing views of possible value to such a uniquely sophisticated audience, would have sufficed to deter this effort but for the opportunity thus afforded of grinding certain special axes and getting in some plugs for a number of strongly-held convictions.
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Incidentally, it may be of interest to note in passing that the preponderance of the book reviews have allne from favorable to enthusiastic, with only a small proportion registering significant dissatisfaction or hostility. Dulles has written a most valuable book, one which, in the judgment of this reviewer, should be read and if possible possessed by all persons having a serious professional interest in the subject of intelligence, and hopefully also by a wide segment of the general public.
It is essentially an encyclopedia of the terminology, concepts, and craft of the trade, abundantly illustrated by cases and anecdotes drawn from the author’s own treasure-house of experience, and highly readable in form. One of the chief merits of the book from the standpoint of the public in general is its clarification, through definition and painstaking exposition, of the argot of the trade, which has sprouted and proliferated in such lush profusion as to have become highly confusing and dangerously misleading-largely as the result of intsligencia usage on the part of the considerable and still growing number of amateurish exploiters of this inteligfncia vein of literary ore.
Newspapermen, the authors of popular fiction, and, I fear, even a small number of would-be practitioners of the profession of intelligence have all made their contribution to the chaos, to the point that it was well overdue for one of the leading and most revered experts in the field to hack a clear track through the tangled undergrowth.
In fact, if it were possible for the intelligence community in general to accept and conform to Mr.
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Dulles’s definitions and supporting explanations for such variously used expressions as “deception,” “defector,” “double agent,” and “counterintelligence,” to mention but a few, much difficulty would be avoided in future; and if as an extra dividend the interested representatives of the fourth estate could be persuaded or influenced in the direction of adopting these definitions, there would be in time a constructive clarification of the public mind and a more understanding appreciation of the problems of intelligence.
The repeated references in the Western press to both H. In sharp contrast with the large and ever-mounting stacks of books and articles purporting to divulge the inside story of U.
Dulles does not reveal secrets which are still sensitive and many of which must always remain so but rather has confined himself to a serious discussion of the principles and methods of sound intelligence operations.
Whereas the omission of such succulent tidbits has disappointed many of the reviewers and also tends to circumscribe the appeal of the book to the public, it is taken for granted that the members of the intelligence community will understand and applaud its wisdom and will value this example of security-mindedness and restraint. It is in fact an excellent illustration of the general rule that persons having the deepest and most legitimate insights into intelligence matters are most scrupulous in their trusteeship of such knowledge and that the penchant for sensational revelations is the near monopoly of the charlatans and pretenders who scavenge along the flanks of the intelligence enterprise.
In his introductory recitation of the long historical background and the more recent evolution of modern intelligence, counterintelligence, and other forms of clandestine operations, Mr. Dulles has provided some much-needed perspectives on matters which will be alluded to later in this review.
Having thus set the stage for his examination and analysis of current practices and procedures of the leading intelligence services of the world, both friendly and opposed, he launches into an admirably complete discussion of our intelligence requirements and collection methods. Here he places well-merited emphasis upon the progress resulting from the invention and adaptation to the uses of intelligence of sophisticated scientific devices, but he does not permit the glitter of these technological marvels to obscure the perduring value of the classical methods of procurement.
Though the high-flying Mata Haris of today may with their glass eyes be able to discern the most minute of man-made molehills from untold miles of altitude, and though their acoustical siblings of equivalent acuteness may be able to hear across continents the rustle of a mounting missile, these are not and will never become any substitute for the older and less “exotic” measures which are essential to the discovery and frustration of subversive intent.
This point is made manifest by Mr. Dulles in his numerous allusions to recent successes of the covert intelligence and security agencies of the United States. He has also called attention to many of the detections of Soviet secret operatives which have been the fruit of close cooperation as between the American services and their allied opposite numbers. The chapter on “Counterintelligence,” taken together with relevant and related portions of two or three other chapters, viz.
For one thing, Mr.
Dulles disposes of the popular misconception that counterintelligence is e, a negative and responsive activity, that it moves only or chiefly in reaction to situations thrust upon it and in counter to initiatives mounted by the opposition. He shows that counterintelligence produces its most valuable results by subtle but aggressive attacks upon its chief target the structure and personnel inteligenciq hostile intelligence services.
These ate also bring out the fact that counterintelligence generates and delivers highly valuable by-products in the form of positive intelligence and the detection and exposure of enemy deception, including their so-called “disinformation” activities. Lastly, but by no means of lesser importance, there are the frequently significant indicators of Soviet policy and intentions which are provided by our successful operations in this field.
In this way our counterintelligence has been sounding a much-needed warning that in spite of the ostensible shifts of Soviet policy from warm to cold and vice versa, the fundamental and consistent aims thereof are essentially hostile, and that we must therefore at all times react most warily to Soviet and other Communist overtures packaged in the attractive wrappings of “peaceful coexistence,” “the new Spirit of Moscow,” or whatever may be the sales slogan of the moment.
For example, during the peak of the euphoria which broke out in certain Western capitals as the result of and in the wake of the August treaty for a limited nuclear test ban, and long before this premature and uncritical enthusiasm was beclouded by such recent Soviet actions 2 as their renewed interference with the Berlin access routes and their handling of the Barghoorn affair, the best available counterintelligence sources are understood never to have ceased signaling that the thrust of Soviet policy continued to be aggressively antagonistic and that despite all of the fair words at the top there was not the slightest diminution in the vigor and intensity of the Soviet effort at the level of the secret and subversive.
This may perhaps be another way of saying that the French seem to have had something on their side of the argument in maintaining inteligenica it would be a mistake quite capable of leading us into mortal danger to believe the test ban treaty to signify any substantial easing of tensions and that the behavior into which the Russians have relapsed most duloes 2 is in accordance with their normal pattern-the other being both abnormal and highly transitory.
Be that as it may, of such magnitude are the power, position, and prestige of the intelligence and security empire within the Soviet scheme of things as to suggest that it will be soon enough for us to begin believing in the sincerity of Soviet protestations of peaceful intent when we have received satisfactory evidence that they are muzzling their subversive bloodhounds and dismantling their apparatus of clandestine conquest–covert as well as open evidence, for example, in such matters as the Soviet position, both proclaimed and clandestine, toward so called “wars of liberation.
It was obviously impossible for Mr. Dulles to cover in adequate depth, in even such a comprehensive work as this, all of the multiple and complex phases of the subject which are currently included in the craft of intelligence. Doubtless each member of the intelligence community reading the book would desire a fuller treatment of his own pet subject, and this reviewer, in full recognition of the unfairness of criticizing a work which covers so much ground, finds himself in basic pa with certain observations in the most excellent review written by Professor Robert R.
Regrettably the experience and background of this reviewer are not such as to permit him-nor would it otherwise be either appropriate or possible in this short space to attempt to comment in detail upon these apparent deficiencies. However, in the hope that Mr.
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Dulles himself will soon find time to give us the benefit of his wisdom and close knowledge pertaining to these areas, it is suggested that more emphasis should be devoted to the very great reliance which our system places upon the open and above-board techniques of scholarly research and analysis and to bringing home more forcibly the weight accorded to the product of these efforts in the scientific and technical fields, for example.
It is further recommended that Mr. Bowie’s review be read by those interested in these spheres of activity and their attendant difficulties. Dulles has been both wise and just in the distribution of his commendations among the personnel concerned in the various departments and agencies of the Government which collectively comprise our intelligence community. In so doing he has singled out for special praise numerous non-CIA personnel and functions and he has attributed to “the men and women of the CIA,” to whom the book is dedicated, no more than their fair share of the honors.
Even so, some larger measure of recognition for the contribution of the researchers and analysts would be in order. In this same general connection it may be worth noting at this point what has long seemed to this reviewer to represent one of the most notable distinctions between the West the U. The relatively greater emphasis and reliance placed by the leading Western intelligence services upon the results obtainable from extensive overt collection and expert analysis stand out in marked contrast to the Soviet attitude and credo, in which these measures and methods have heretofore and at least until very recently been regarded as distinctly secondary to, and as valuable chiefly in so far as they served to confirm or interpret, the intelligence produced by clandestine means most notably stolen documentary materials.
This fundamental difference in approach may be explainable in part by the origins and character of the two opposing civilizations, Soviet intelligence having developed and at all times functioned within a highly secret and conspiratorial political atmosphere in which intense suspicion of the freely spoken or written word of the antagonist has been a major hallmark.
Although he has been out of Russia long enough to have perhaps fallen behind the times, the former NKVD general Alexander Orlov has provided a most incisive commentary upon this significant distinction in his provocative and edifying little book entitled Handbook of Intelligence and Guerrilla Warfare.
He explains that in the Russian view the secrets of foreign states having the most vital interest for them can be procured only from the classified governmental files of those states or from cooperative foreign officials and civil servants having access thereto.
Although it is understood from other sources that the Russians have of late been paying more attention to the values of overt collection and analysis than they did during the period with which Orlov was so intimately familiar, it is nevertheless evident from the very massiveness of their clandestine collection effort-to say nothing of the rich rewards which they have to our knowledge been reaping from such sources that their main emphasis is still centered upon espionage and the procurement of secret documentary materials.
It is thus a fair assumption that these activities and functions have not been downgraded in the Soviet system and that they are not likely to be at any time in the foreseeable future. In commenting upon intelkgencia techniques and the art of deception Mr. Inteligenccia has made some very accurate observations concerning the difficulties of mounting significant deception operations from the base of “open societies” such as ours in peace time and the relative ease of such operations on the part of the Russians, who have all the advantages of the secrecy and discipline of their police state society going for them.
If anything, he has understated the obstacles confronting Western intelligence authorities in this area of activity; and he might well have placed more stress than he has upon the free assists which the opposition receives from a certain class of representatives of the Western press who, it would appear, have been seeking to elevate to the level of a national sport the ferreting out and public exposure of the clandestine operations of their own governments.
Given the intimacy of our journalists with almost all echelons of the Government, executive as well as legislative, and taking into account the extensive coordination as between all of the governmental arms which is essential to the success of a significant deception operation, the opportunities and possibilities for some leak or revelation fatal to the operation are very great indeed; and frequently the sleuthing is done for the Russians on a volunteer though doubtless unwitting basis by those re of our own competitive and “scoop-minded” information media who justify even the most reprehensible forms of “keyhole journalism” on the ground that they are acting as the chief guardians of our most cherished institutions.
The freedom of the press and the asserted right of the public to know all are used indiscriminately to either justify or condone actions which are damaging to our national security and the principal beneficiary of which cannot fail to be our mortal enemy.
Thus the fruit that is available to our side only as the result of our most diligent and successful professional operations may be expected by the Russians to fall gratis into their lap, and if in any particular case the branches should appear to require a little agitation, this is easy enough to arrange by the simple device of planting a few provocative questions about any policy or program of ours, either real or apparent, that may be obscure or perplexing to them.
Although the roster of Communist methods of subversion in artw cold war provided by Mr. Dulles is very extensive, it seems to this reviewer that he omitted adequate treatment of one of the most insidious and dullse of their techniques.
Reference is here made to the inteligencix of skillful and increasingly successful attacks upon individual personalities by the Chinese Communists as well as the Russians.
These are specialized operations targeted against key political allne military leaders in various parts of the world-not limited to the softer areas of the so-called uncommitted nations. This method of subversion embraces the widest variety of approaches and is designed to capitalize on the vanity, cupidity, prurience, ill health, hypochondria, superstition, or other special susceptibility of the target individual. It is hand-tailored for each particular case on the basis of the most intimate knowledge and study of the individual, and it depends for its success upon great skill lz perseverance on the part of the operatives employed.
This pinpoint, not to say needle-point, attack on selected individuals in positions of power obviously provides tremendous leverage if successful, and its workings are most difficult to perceive and to combat. Even though strongly allsn of being under way in a particular case, the proof to and even more so the persuasion of the subject of dulkes mental massage that he is being victimized or duped is well-nigh impossible, once the infection has spread to the bloodstream.
It is accordingly all the more important for those having the responsibility dullea guarding against and countering Communist subversive activities to be on a special alert against this insidious form of activity. One of the most readily recognizable telltales of such an operation is the sudden and otherwise inexplicable souring of a leading political or military personality previously regarded as pro-Western or at least dependably neutral in his views and policies.
Another indicator is the falling wrte grace and departure or removal from office of a number of subordinate officials known for their pro-Western and anti-Communist attitudes-for this may be the result of subtle and effective “well poisoning” against such personages, accomplished through repeated insinuations and suggestions to their superior that they are secretly hostile to him or are otherwise unreliable instrumentalities of his will.
The Russians may be less skillful in their application of this ancient technique than the Chinese, who possess all of the subtlety and sensitivity that comes to them from wl of familiarity with its traditional use.
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To accept as valid and treat with full seriousness the necessity for remedial measures against this form of subversive threat does not require disagreement with Mr. Dulles’s proposition that the Chinese have not yet achieved the full panoply of subversive tactics which have been developed and assembled by the Russians.
They, the Chinese, are clearly making rapid strides and may well already have perfected certain specialized techniques for which they have a greater natural aptitude than their Communist competition.
The havoc that was wrought in Britain by the Profumo scandal has been widely inteligenfia in the Western press as a triumph of Soviet disruptive design, and even in Lord Denning’s fascinating anaysis he poses at page 8 of his Report the suggestion that Captain Eugene Ivanov’s mission may have been directed more toward the creation of a crisis of confidence as between the Western allies than to the procurement of intelligence information. Yet it seems as though Ivanov was a fairly overt and heavy-handed operative, and that if disruption was his objective, his success was due more to lucky coincidence than to the cunning of his own contrivances.
At one critical Cliveden weekend in October of Ivanov is reliably dulled to have been going so flat out in his attempts to enlist high-level British sympathy and support for the Soviet position over Cuba as to render himself both objectionable and conspicuous; and it al,en just lagniappe that on the earlier occasion Jack met Christine by chance encounter at the pool and so swiftly succumbed to her charms.
Moreover, if such was his mission, Ivanov was also the beneficiary of the most extraordinary series of failures of coordination on the part of British authorities concerned, the security services having been well aware of his significance and the game that he was playing with the wretched Dr.
Ward as his tool nearly two years before the final explosion. From what may be a particularly subjective point of view, it is regretted that Mr. Dulles did not give us more in his chapter entitled “Intelligence in the Cold War,” for example by pointing up more clearly the essential differences in the Communist and Western approaches to propaganda and other forms of psychological warfare.
The standard Soviet oa of constant and continuing reiteration of a theme or thesis stands out in sharp contrast to the generally relevant practice among Western propagandists, which seems to have its origins in and to take its main inspiration from press attitudes toward “news.
Consider the contrary Soviet practice, which is well illustrated by their treatment of what must have been for their propagandists the extremely difficult and discouraging subject of the brash betrayal and dullles suppression of the Hungarian freedom fighters in November Throughout the non-Communist world and in many areas behind the iron curtain there was at the beginning an almost universal revulsion of feeling and condemnation for this act of naked Soviet imperialism.
Thus the Soviet propaganda machine was forced to begin from far behind scratch and invent and fabricate a whole series of justifications and rationalizations intteligencia few Western propagandists would have believed likely to command any significant degree of credence and acceptance. Yet in a remarkably short space of time, by continuing to hammer away at their bald-faced distortions, the Soviet mouthpieces had succeeded at the least in beclouding the issues and at the most in creating widespread belief that the Soviet action had been justified in e, interests of rescuing the Hungarian people from slipping back into a state of “reactionary feudalism.
Neither the consistency nor the truth of Soviet representations has ever appeared to be of much concern to their propagandists.
They seem to proceed on the assumption that they can get away with any amount of enlargement and tergiversation and to operate on the theory that the memory of man for words spoken and deeds done is very short. Moreover, they are not unduly concerned about being caught at and called to account for even the most transparent of their canards.
The Philby case offers a good illustration of this thick-skinned attitude and approach. Those who se the unfolding chapters of that case during the inteliigencia and summer months of will doubtless recall that many assets of the Soviet propaganda mechanism were marshaled to plant and cultivate the version that Philby’s mysterious disappearance from Beirut earlier in the year dullea in fact no mystery at all. He was simply denounced as a British secret agent and said to be operating in the deserts and mountains of the Yemen to overthrow the “glorious new revolutionary regime” there.
In less than a month’s time following the propagation of this wholly fabricated story, which incidentally had picked up widespread belief and following in the West, circumstances forced upon the Russians the acknowledgment of Philby’s defection to them, and they blandly announced the awarding to him of Soviet citizenship. In so doing they gave no slight indication of dismay, and there has never been any attempt on their part to explain or correct their previous account of the disappearance.
And they seem, unfortunately, to have been permitted to slip off this hook with little difficulty.
The still current incident arising from the imprisonment by the Russians of Yale professor Frederick C. Barghoorn, taken together with the mid-October event of the exchange of two American prisoners-Walter Ciszek and Marvin Makinen-for two Soviet espionage agents picked up last August by the FBI, provides timely corroboration for Mr.
Dulles’s reservations concerning the dulpes of establishing a pattern of this type of prisoner exchange. At page Mr. Dulles observes-and without the benefit of these two late developments-many of the risks which are inherent in such trafficking in the persons of real or alleged espionage agents. If our Government is going to play at this game it should at least do so with eyes wide open to the hazards which are involved, including the possibility that the Russians, who are very old hands at this form of enterprise, will be the gainers in the preponderance of any such swaps as may be engineered or acceded to by them.
It would certainly appear that in the Ciszek-Makinen exchange the Russians gave up nothing of value to themselves in releasing a middle-aged priest held since and a youthful student, whereas they realized a very significant gain in recovering two well-trained and experienced operatives-who, had they been held and subjected to the pressures and uncertainties which are the inevitable concomitants of conviction and heavy sentences, could du,les conceivably have ended by providing information and leads of the greatest value to the security services of the United States and presumably other Western allies.