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The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. August 2000

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In early 1992, a Russian man walked into the British embassy in a newly independent Baltic republic and asked to "speak to someone in authority." As he sipped his first cup of proper English tea, he handed over a small file of notes. Eight months later, the man, his family, and his enormous archive had been safely exfiltrated to Britain. When news that a KGB officer had defected with the names of hundreds of undercover agents leaked out in 1996, a spokesperson for the SVR (Russia's foreign intelligence service, heir of the KGB) said, "Hundreds of people! That just doesn't happen! Any defector could get the name of one, two, perhaps three agents--but not hundreds!"

Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin worked as chief archivist for the FCD, the foreign-intelligence arm of the KGB. Mitrokhin was responsible for checking and sealing approximately 300,000 files, allowing him unrestricted access to one of the world's most closely guarded archives. He had lost faith in the Soviet system over the years, and was especially disturbed by the KGB's systematic silencing of dissidents at home and abroad. Faced with tough choices--stay silent, resign, or undermine the system from within--Mitrokhin decided to compile a record of the foreign operations of the KGB. Every day for 12 years, he smuggled notes out of the archive. He started by hiding scraps of paper covered with miniscule handwriting in his shoes, but later wrote notes on ordinary office paper, which he took home in his pockets. He hid the notes under his mattress, and on weekends took them to his dacha, where he typed them and hid them in containers buried under the floor. When he escaped to Britain, his archive contained tens of thousands of pages of notes.

In 1995, Mitrokhin, by then a British citizen, contacted Christopher Andrew (For the President's Eyes Only), head of the faculty of history at Cambridge University and one of the world's foremost historians of international intelligence. Andrew was allowed to examine the archive Mitrokhin created "to ensure that the truth was not forgotten, that posterity might some day come to know of it." The Sword and the Shield is the earthshaking result. The book details the KGB's foreign-intelligence operations, most notably those aimed at Great Britain and the "Main Adversary"--the United States. In the 700-page book, Andrew reveals operations aimed at discrediting high-profile Americans, from Martin Luther King to Ronald Reagan; secret arms caches still hidden--and boobytrapped--throughout the West; disinformation efforts, including forging a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald in an attempt to implicate the CIA in the assassination of JFK; attempts to stir up racial tensions in the U.S. by sending hate mail and even bombs; and the existence of deep-cover agents in North America and Europe--some of whom were effectively "outed" when the book was published.

Mitrokhin's detailed notes are well served by Andrew, who writes forcefully and clearly. The Sword and the Shield represents a remarkable intelligence coup--one that will have serious repercussions for years to come. As Andrew notes, "No one who spied for the Soviet Union at any period between the October Revolution and the eve of the Gorbachev era can now be confident that his or her secrets are still secure." --Sunny Delaney -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Synopsis

The Sword and the Shield is based on one of the most extraordinary intelligence coups of recent times: a secret archive of top-level KGB documents smuggled out of the Soviet Union which the FBI has described, after close examination, as the "most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source. " Its presence in the West represents a catastrophic hemorrhage of the KGBs secrets and reveals for the first time the full extent of its worldwide network. Vasili Mitrokhin, a secret dissident who worked in the KGB archive, smuggled out copies of its most highly classified files every day for twelve years. In 1992, a U. S. ally succeeded in exfiltrating the KGB officer and his entire archive out of Moscow. The archive covers the entire period from the Bolshevik Revolution to the 1980s and includes revelations concerning almost every country in the world. But the KGB's main target, of course, was the United States. Though there is top-secret material on almost every country in the world, the United States is at the top of the list. As well as containing many fascinating revelations, this is a major contribution to the secret history of the twentieth century. Among the topics and revelations explored are: * The KGBs covert operations in the United States and throughout the West, some of which remain dangerous today. * KGB files on Oswald and the JFK assassination that Boris Yeltsin almost certainly has no intention of showing President Clinton. * The KGBs attempts to discredit civil rights leader in the 1960s, including its infiltration of the inner circle of a key leader. * The KGBs use of radio intercept posts in New York and Washington, D. C. , in the 1970s to intercept high-level U. S. government communications. * The KGBs attempts to steal technological secrets from major U. S. aerospace and technology corporations. * KGB covert operations against former President Ronald Reagan, which began five years before he became president. * KGB spies who successfully posed as U. S. citizens under a series of ingenious disguises, including several who attained access to the upper echelons of New York society.

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Students of old-school counterintelligence, as practiced by legendary CIA counterspy chief James Jesus Angleton, should regard this book and its author with arched brows.
Mitrokhin was apparently given his bona fides by the CIA for exposing a KGB mole in the NSA, a fellow named Lipkin. As Lipkin had not had access to US secrets for 25 years, his exposure would have done little to damage SVR ops in the 1990s. The Lipkin revelation seems like classic "chicken feed."
That Mitrokhin exposed a little old lady who passed documents in World War Two, is even less solid proof of his legitimacy. Yet this disclosure has been cited, too, as proof that Mitrokhin is a genuine defector.
In the same way that the CIA has burned, destroyed, or segreated its most sensitive files (e.g., on Project BLUEBIRD, dealing with mind control in the 1960s), so too the KGB has surely dealt with its "family jewels." Thus, the net effect of Mitkrokhin's disclsoures may be to lull Western analysts into believing we now know most of what we need to know about the KGB.
In fact, certain of Mitrokhin's disclsoures raise more questions than they answer. That the KGB tried to frame the CIA for JFK's assassination was argued long ago by Angleton. Mitrokhin's confirmation of this frame-up is welcomed. That Eleanor Roosevelt was brought into the operation, to give conspiracy theorist Mark Lane free publicity, should give pause. That the USSR was ready with the frame-up in its essential details (complete with allegations about the Hunt Brothers) within HOURS of JFK's death, should cause us to take up a deep breath....
Interestingly, Mitrokhin provides no confirmation of the revelations made by an earlier KGB defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn.
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Anyone who is seriously interested in how to conduct government is the most responsible way should read this book. In addition, those who love spy stories, histories, and novels will be rewarded with many new details and perspectives on Soviet and Russian foreign intelligence activities since the Russian Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century.

This book surprised me in several ways. First, I did not expect to learn that the KGB did not have a lot of important successes that were not already known publicly. Second, the KGB's effectiveness was more related to Western mistakes than to KGB brilliance. Third, the Soviet perceptions of the United States and Britain seem to have come from Fantasyland. The Soviet state made very poor use of terrific foreign intelligence because its leaders were such poor thinkers and the system did not encourage free discussion. Fourth, helping the dissidents inside the Soviet Union could have helped undo Communism much sooner.

What makes this book unique is the combination of having had access to almost all of the foreign intelligence archives of the KGB for 12 years and having those archives interpreted by someone in the KGB who was interested in the need to reform Soviet socialism. By having Christpher Andrew join Vasili Mitrokhin in authoring this book, you do get a Western overlay but the fundamental Russian perspective is still there.

I found the "big picture" aspects of the book far more rewarding than the specific examples. The rise of fascism clearly was Moscow's greatest resource in getting information from the West. The most effective spies (like Kim Philby and the other Magnficent Five in Britain) were as much motivated by anti-fascism as they were by helping the U.S.S.R.
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While not everything in the book is news, the fact that virtually ALL the names (minor and major), dates and actions since 1917 are present makes this book a very valuable treasure indeed. Yes, folks, it's all true - the Rosenbergs were in fact guilty of espionage, Alger Hiss was in fact a Communist agent, the vicious innuendos that have been launched against J. Edgar Hoover since his death did in fact have their origin in Moscow - and the Soviet archives made public since 1991 back it all up. Andrew does sometimes go into tedious detail, but this may be necessary for those without a rudimentary understanding of the history of Soviet espionage. (The section on the Cambridge Five is especially illuminating - I would also recommend "Degenerate Moderns" by E. Michael Jones to anyone who wishes to further study that subject.)
I especially agreed with Andrew's conclusion in that the collapse of the Soviet empire has revealed the traditional faultline between East and West that has existed since the division of the Roman Empire in the fourth century A.D., which culminated in 1054 with the Eastern Schism that shattered the unity of the Christian Church. The cultural and political differences between East and West have been almost 1700 years in the making and sadly will not disappear overnight.
My only complaint about the book is the surprisingly large number of typographical errors, particlularly in regard to foreign names; however, this is of minor importance and does not diminish the book's effectiveness. Hopefully that minor problem will be corrected in subsequent printings.
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