Archive for the ‘Covert Operations in Literature and Media Outlets’ Category

Illegal spy agency operated in West Germany, new book claims

December 7, 2012

Willy Brandt
Conservative politicians in Cold-War West Germany set up an illegal domestic intelligence agency in order to spy on their political rivals, a forthcoming book claims. In Destroy After Reading: The Secret Intelligence Service of the CDU and CSU, German journalist Stefanie Waske exposes what she says was an elaborate plot to undermine West Germany’s rapprochement with Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. The book, which is scheduled for publication in February of 2013, claims that the illegal intelligence agency, known as ‘the Little Service’, was set up by politicians from Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister organization, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU). The two parties allegedly founded ‘the Little Service’ in 1969, in response to the election of Willy Brandt as German Chancellor in 1969. Brandt, who was leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP), was elected based on a program of normalizing West Germany’s relations with Eastern Europe. Under this policy, which became known as ‘Neue Ostpolitik’ (‘new eastern policy’), Brandt radically transformed West German foreign policy on Eastern Europe. In 1970, just months after his election, he signed an extensive peace agreement with the Soviet Union, known as the Treaty of Moscow, which was followed later that year by the so-called Treaty of Warsaw. Under the latter agreement, West Germany officially recognized the existence and borders of the People’s Republic of Poland. Brandt’s Neue Ostpolitik, which continued until the end of his tenure in the Chancellery in 1974, earned him the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of the Soviet bloc, primarily East Germany. But Brandt’s policy of rapprochement alarmed the CDU/CSU coalition, says Waske, which quickly set up ‘the Little Service’ by enlisting former members of Germany’s intelligence community. Intelligence operatives were allegedly tasked with infiltrating the SPD and Brandt’s administration and collecting inside intelligence, which could then be used to subvert both the party and its leader. According to Waske, ‘the Little Service’ eventually established operational links with conservative groups and individuals abroad, including Henry Kissinger, who at the time was National Security Adviser to United States President Richard Nixon. One of the book’s most controversial allegations is that, in one of his communications with ‘the Little Service’, Kissinger entertained the possibility that the CDU/CSU coalition, with the assistance of the German military, might overthrow the government of Willy Brandt, though “it remain[ed] to be seen whether this would involve risks”, he argued. Waske alleges that the illegal intelligence network continued its operations until 1982, when CDU politician Helmut Kohl was elected Chancellor of Germany, thus ending fourteen straight years of rule by the SPD.

Canadian diplomats spied for the CIA in Cuba, claims new book

October 16, 2012

Embassy of Canada in Havana, Cuba
Several accredited Canadian diplomats were recruited by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to spy on Cuba in the aftermath of the 1962 missile crisis, according to a new book. Authored by Canadian retired diplomat John Graham, the book, entitled Whose Man in Havana? Adventures from the Far Side of Diplomacy, is to be published this week by Penumbra Press. In it, Graham claims that he was among a number of Canadian diplomats stationed in Cuba, who were secretly recruited by the CIA. The US agency had been essentially forced out of the island after Washington and Havana terminated diplomatic relations in 1961, soon after the government of Fidel Castro declared itself a proponent of Marxism. The closure of the US embassy meant that the CIA had no base from which to operate in the Caribbean island. Two years later, in May 1963, US President John F. Kennedy personally asked Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson for assistance in intelligence-gathering efforts in Cuba. The Canadian leader consented and, according to Graham, Canadian diplomatic officials actively assisted the CIA until at least 1970. The author states in his book that he himself operated in Cuba for two years, from 1962 until 1964, under the official cover of Political Officer at the Canadian embassy in Havana. Prior to that, he says, he was provided with rudimentary training by the CIA, which consisted of spending “just a few days” at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, VA. He was then tasked with conducting physical surveillance of Soviet military bases on Cuba and, if possible, identifying weapons and electronic security measures, and noting troop movements. Interestingly, Graham claims he turned down his CIA handlers’ request to carry around a miniature camera, opting instead for the old-school method of drawing sketches of Soviet bases. After completing a series of detailed drawings of his targets, the diplomat would fly to Mexico City and deposit them at the Canadian embassy there. The papers would then be flown to Ottawa via diplomatic pouch and from there sent to the CIA. It is worth noting that Graham’s revelation does not mark the first-ever instance of a Canadian diplomat admitting secretly working for the CIA. Two years ago, Canadian former Ambassador Ken Taylor acknowledged that he and a colleague worked for the CIA in the late 1970s while being stationed in Tehran, Iran.