Association of Former Intelligence Officers

THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD: THE MITHROKHIN ARCHIVE, by Christopher Andrews and Vaily Mitrokhin, soon to be published, received a good deal of pre-publication publicity in the London Times this week. The book is based on a " treasure trove" of top-secret information that a former KGB senior archivist, Vasiley Mitrokhin, purloined from his agency's files during a period of at least twelve years. Mithrokin said that the British Embassy in Latvia had helped him to travel to England after the local CIA officials allegedly had turned him down. He brought six trunks of notes and copied documents that filled in many missing pieces in the Cold War intelligence puzzle. His motivation for leaving after the breakup of the Soviet Union was said to be his disgust with his intelligence bosses. Be that as it may, his information promises to be interesting and possibly useful.

One of the more sensational announcements was the identification of Mrs Melita Norwood, 87, a member of the British communist party, as a longtime spy for the Soviets. She was said to have been a more important spy than Kim Philby. She contributed thousands of photographed secret documents from the British Non Ferrous Metals Research association. Mrs Norwood never accepted any financial reward. Said she "I did what I did not to make money but toi help prevent the defeat of a system which had at great cost given ordinary people food and fares which they could afford, good education and a health service." The Norwood treason began in 1937 and reflected a broad trend among British socialists favorable to the communist ideals -- an attitude that persisted long after there was abundant evidence of Stalin's totalitarian excesses. Prosecution of Mrs Norwood is under consideration.

The Mitrokhin papers show that the KGB intercepted White House and State Department communications (no great surprise there), and that they tapped into the telephone lines of major American defense industries, where they also planted spies. These efforts enabled Soviet engineers to take shortcuts and build weapons based on American designs.

Another note of interest was that the KGB's Service A took credit for crafting Philip Agee's book, "Inside the Company," a slanderous attack on the CIA. Service A was the KGB's disinformation and covert action section that launched numerous anti-American campaigns, many of which are detailed in the book - - which should have good sales after this advance publicity. (Wpost 12Sep99, p. A27 (Drozdiak) ; (WashTimes p. A5) (Bill Gertz) Sep 15) (RoyJ)

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

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