BOOK REVIEW: MY TEN YEARS AS A COUNTERSPY

Created: 6/1/1959

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

TITLE: Book Review: My Ten Yearsounterspy

REVIEWER: Samuel R. Burvick

VOLUME:

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A collection ol articles on trie historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ot intelligence.

All statements ol* fact, opinion or analysis expressed inntelligence are those of

theey do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual statements and interpretations.

COKHDENTIAl

CRITIQUES OF SOME RECENT BOOKS ON INTELLIGENCE

MY TEN YEARSOUNTERS PVT. By Boris Morros. (New York: The Viking Press.

The story told In this book Is thatussian Immigrant to the Unitedperson of soundbackground and musical competence, who after reaching professional heights in the entertainment and movie worlds got himself involved in espionage. According to his account, his desire to assist his aging parents in Russia ledecruitment proposal by the Soviets for clandestine work against the United States, which he accepted under the threat of reprisals to his family. Subsequently, and quite belatedly, he came intowith the FBI and under Its guidance continued hiswith the Soviet intelligence service for ten more yearsouble agent or counterspy. Tbe fruit of this effort was the dissolution of an important Soviet spy ring.

The value of the book is not the story told. Tales of the same ilk in numbers line tbe operational coffers of intelligence organizations throughout the world. Its true meritrofessional point of view is embodied, rather, in tbeintimate, indispensable, but hard-to-corne-byit reveals concerning the formidable yetchief target. counterintelligence, the Russian intelligence service. The validity of this assessment becomes Immediately clear when one considers the cost in time, money, and personnel of procuring such details through otheroperations. Yet here are intimate and damaging data on RIS objectives, personnel, modus operandi, andovertly available for the modest priceook. The obvious conclusion is that the coordination of overt and covert information remains ah important and obligatory aspect of the Intelligence process.

The Communist cause is moreolitical creed; Iteligion to an otherwise atheisticts devotees are or are supposed to be dedicated men wbo preach and live by the credo that selflessness Is the cornerstone of their religion. The concept of the Cause as overriding all considerations of per-

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loyalty and ordinary ethics is illustrated in

"How In bell didlike you, pretends to be mythat terrible report aboutWhat else could she do? She only did it for your ownyra lookedull-blooded passionatem sure that if It had been necessary for the sake of the Cause to be unfaithful to her husband, she would not hesitate to give herself.

I neverhance to use that Sunday punch because of what he said next: "No matter what the Communists do. I'll always be true to them. ideologically."

Korotkovffection for his old friend was trulym convinced ofut then he asked. "What In the worldo It* he continues to cause me so muchOh. he will come out ol it Inaid. "And If he doesuppose then there will be nothing for me to do but order him liquidated."

(Comment on Beria'sAfter all, to preserve the system requires continuous examination and re-cxamlnation of each of us."

It is important for the intelligence professional to understand this religion and the Marxist code of ethics, for they permeate the relations among Communists, the attitude of thecenter toward Its agents, their operations, and even the conduct of the lowliest sub-source on the intelligence totem pole. In them lies the secret to their thinking and behavior. Theyource both of great strength and of criticalFor the utter self-abnegation required by the Cause is somethinghuman. This humanis illustrated in Morros' words:

an like Soble Is useful to his masters In Moscow,also an ever present danger to them. They have nomust use men like him, and the Jack Sobles, nooften they are put through the psychologicalremain men. Like everyone else, like allthey have their vanity arid pride, their

"Idenllsta, youaid Oeneral Korotkov, "have tCSneUnng soft in themnd that soft side exposed toent temptation win corrupt them."

If ft were up to IKonittov],would not let one of his men stay In America for moreear. He said tbe

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capitallil regime, with Its easy liTlng and emphasis on false values, was loo corrupting

(Sotlel was puUcd both wars. Be believed with aU bis heart Id Umdeal" At the same Otoe he wished lo lake hki wife and son out of the ever-present danter that was an integral part of bis roleecret agent operatingoitlgn country Tbe two dreams be nouruhed for Uie future were dragglni him in opposite directions.

The clue to the strange fate that caught up with Jack Soble may Hp In hi* passionate tore for his son and his wife. In the non-Communist world this sort of devotion la accepted as UM norm. In the Soviet world It Is regarded with deep distrust.an lets family love Interfere with his duUes to the state, the Kremlin considers his usefulness ended.

Moscow recognizes well this vulnerability In the persistent humanness of human nature, but lis corrective efforts serve only to create other vulnerabilities, the rigidity of strongand the resentment created by its mistrust of Its people:

'People back Rome sat there with their maps, deciding what should bt doneertain dry and now It should be done, even though they bad never been In the Unitedo detail of the plans they make at Roma can be changed witboathey should know by

this Ume that emergencies artl* evenhecker game that one cannot foresee."*

They art always testing you. trying to And out If yourhave shifted, listening for the. chance remark that wilteakness or characterven when their oonversaUon appears casual, there Is some purpose behind It

Theseaa soon to And out. were continually being changed. The MCVD never trusted even Its own people very far, did not believe it wise or sate to leave any secret agent In the same city for any great length of Ume.

Reviewing the Soviet intelligence effort as portrayed In this book, we observe specific differences between It and tbe parallel operations conducted by WesternSoviet stress on sex bothool for the control of women agents and In toe procurement of Information from men; the regular ose of threats for recruitment and control of agents; the' extensive eountersurvelUenee mounted over rendezvous andete; murdereans of agent disposal But In broader view we

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that the principal difference lies In the Insecurity of Soviet operatives stemming from their continual struggle to remain human beings under the demands of an autocratic, inflexible, and unrealistic credo that seeks to convert them Intoinstruments of the Cause.

Samuel R. Bubvick

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Original document.

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