Association of Former Intelligence Officers

DARK SECRETS -- In a book review on several recent books dealing with the history of espionage in The Economist, a sentence occurred that raised a question with a number of members. "More bizarrely, for a substantial fee paid by their publisher to the Association of Retired Intelligence Officers, some authors were given access to thousands of documents in the KGB files, a treasure chest that has subsequently been closed." Now AFIO was known as the Association of Retired Officers in the early days, but the reference here is not to AFIO cum ARIO. As Sam Halpern enlightened us, the ARIO referenced in this paragraph refers to the Russian organization of retired officers. Rest assured, this has nothing to do with AFIO.

The article, incidentally, referenced the following books:

  1. Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, by Nigel West, Harper-Collins, 384 pages;
  2. Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Yale: 487 pages;
  3. The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets Exposed by theKGB Archives, by Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev, Yale, 366 pages;
  4. The Haunted Wood, by Alen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, Random House, 402 pages. (The Economist, Aug 28, 1999; p. 67) (RoyJ)

Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #37-99, 17 Sep 1999

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