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Probably a good part of the material has already been shredded. Much of it has never
been looked at, and never will be.
Beginning in the late 1940s, the US military, the CIA and the National Security
Agency regularly sent aircraft along the borders of the Soviet Union to collect visual,
photographic and electronic data of a military or industrial nature, particularly to do
with Soviet missile and nuclear capability. The increasingly sophisticated planes and
equipment, as well as satellites, submarines, and electronic listening posts in Turkey and
Iran, produced vast amounts of computer input. At times, the planes would
unintentionally drift over Soviet territory. At other times, they would do so intentionally
in order to photograph a particular target, or to activate radar installations so as to
capture their signals, or to evaluate the reaction of Soviet ground defenses against an


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attack. It was a dangerous game of aerial "chicken" and on many occasions the planes
were met by anti-aircraft fire or Soviet fighter planes.
In both 1950 and 1951, an espionage airplane with a crew of ten was shot down,
with no survivors. In 1969, a crew of 31 was lost, this time to North Korean fighters
over the Sea of Japan. During the intervening years, there were dozens of air incidents
involving American aircraft and Communist firepower, arising from hundreds, if not
thousands, of espionage flights. Some of the spy planes made it safely back to base
(which might be Turkey, Iran, Greece, Pakistan, Japan or Norway) after being attacked,
and even hit; others were downed with loss of life or with crew members captured by
the Soviets.1
There has been considerable confusion concerning the number and the fate of
US airmen captured by the Soviets after their planes made forced landings or were shot
down during the 1950s and '60s. Russian president Boris Yeltsin stated in 1992 that nine
US planes had been shot down in the early 1950s and twelve American survivors had
been held prisoner, their ultimate fate not yet discovered. Five months later, Dmitri
Volkogonov, former Soviet general and co-chairman of a Russian-US commission
investigating the whole question of missing Americans, told a US Senate committee that
730 airmen had been captured on cold war spy flights, their fate likewise unclear.2
The most notable of these incidents was of course the downing of the U-2
piloted by Francis Gary Powers on 1 May 1960. The ultra high-flying U-2 had been
developed because
of the vulnerability to being shot down of planes flying at normal altitudes. The
disappearance of Powers and his U-2 somewhere in the Soviet Union ensnared the
United States government publicly in an entanglement of a false cover story, denials,
and amendments to denials. Finally, when the Russians presented Powers and his plane
to the world, President Eisenhower had no alternative but to admit the truth. He
pointedly added, however, that flights such as the U-2's were "distasteful but vital",
given the Russian "fetish of secrecy and concealment".3 One of Eisenhower's advisers,
Emmet John Hughes, was later to observe that it thus took the administration only six
days "to transform an unthinkable falsehood into a sovereign right."4
On several occasions, the United States protested to the Soviet Union about
Soviet attacks on American planes which were not actually over Soviet territory, but
over the Sea of Japan, for example. Though engaged in espionage, such flights, strictly
speaking, appear to be acceptable under international law.
The most serious repercussion of the whole U-2 affair was that it doomed to
failure the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit meeting which took place two weeks later
in Paris, and upon which so much hope for peace and detente had been placed by people
all over the world.
Was the U-2 affair the unfortunate accident of timing that history has made it out
to be? Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, US Air Force, Ret. has suggested otherwise. From 1955
to 1963, Prouty served as the liaison between the CIA and the Pentagon on matters
concerning military support of "special operations". In his book, The Secret Team,
Prouty suggests that the CIA and certain of the Agency's colleagues in the Pentagon
sabotaged this particular U-2 flight, the last one scheduled before the summit. They did
this, presumably, because they did not relish a lessening of cold-war tensions, their
raison d'être.
The method employed, Prouty surmises, was remarkably simple. The U-2's
engine needed infusions of liquid hydrogen to maintain the plane's incredible altitude,
which placed it outside the range of Soviet firepower and interceptor aircraft. If the
hydrogen container were only partly filled upon takeoff from Turkey, it would be


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simply a matter of time”calculable to coincide with the plane being over Soviet
territory”before the U-2 was forced to descend to a lower altitude. At this point,
whether the plane was shot down or Powers bailed out, allowing it to crash, is not
certain. The Soviet Union claimed that it had shot down the U-2 at its normal high
altitude with a rocket, but this was probably a falsehood born of four years of frustrating
failure to shoot a single U-2 from the sky. In any event, the Russians were able to
present to the world a partially intact spy plane along with a fully intact spy pilot,
complete with all manner of incriminating papers on him, and an unused suicide needle.
The presence of identification papers was no oversight, says Prouty: deliberately,
"neither pilot not plane were sanitized on this flight as was required on other flights".5
Powers, in his book, doesn't discuss the liquid hydrogen at ad. He believed his
plane was disabled and forced to descend by the shock waves of a Soviet near-miss. But
he recounts technical problems with the plane even before the presumed near-miss.6
In light of the furor raised by the shooting down of a South Korean commercial
airliner by the Soviet Union in 1983, which the Russians claimed was spying, it is
interesting to note that Prouty also makes mention of the United States at one time using
"a seemingly clean national commercial airline" of an unspecified foreign country "to
do some camera spying or other clandestine project".7
To the Russians, the spy planes were more than simply a violation of their air
space, and they rejected the notion put forth by the US that the flights were just another
form of espionage”"intelligence collection activities are practiced by all countries",
said Washington.8 (At the time there had been no indication of Soviet flights over the
United States.)9 The Russians viewed the flights as particularly provocative because
airplanes are a means of conducting warfare, they can be considered as the beginning of
hostilities, and may even be carrying bombs. The Russians could not forget that the
Nazis had preceded their invasion of the Soviet Union with frequent reconnaissance
overflights. Neither could they forget that in April 1958, US planes carrying nuclear
bombs had flown over the Arctic in the direction of the USSR due to a false warning
signal on American radar. The planes were called back when only two hours flying time
separated them from the Soviet Union.10
No American plane dropped bombs on the Soviet Union but many of them
dropped men assigned to carry out hostile missions. The men who fell from the sky
were Russians who had emigrated to the West where they were recruited by the CIA
and other Western intelligence organizations.
The leading ©migr© organization was known as National Alliance of Russian
Solidarists, or the National Union of Labor (NTS). It was composed largely of two
distinct groups: the sons of the Russians who had gone to the West following the
revolution, and those Russians who, through circumstance or choice, had wound up in
Western Europe at the close of the Second World War. Members of both groups had
collaborated with the Nazis during the war. Although NTS was generally classified in
the right wing of the various ©migr© organizations, their collaboration had been
motivated more by anti-Stalinism than by pro-Nazi sentiments.
NTS was based primarily in West Germany where, throughout the 1950s, the
CIA was the organization's chief benefactor, often its sole support. At a CIA school set
up in Germany, under the imposing name of the Institute for the Study of the USSR, as
well as at schools in Great Britain and the United States, the Agency provided NTS
members with extensive training before airdropping them into Soviet territory. The men
landed on their native soil elaborately equipped, with everything from weapons to
collapsible bicycles, frogmen suits, and rubber mats for crossing electrically-charged
barbed-wire fences.


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The Russians were returned to their homeland for a variety of reasons: to gather
intelligence about military and technological installations; commit assassinations; obtain
current samples of identification documents; assist Western agents to escape; engage in
sabotage, for which they were well trained (methods of derailing trains and wrecking
bridges, actions against arms factories and power plants, etc.); or instigate armed
political struggle against Communist rule by linking up with resistance movements”a
wholly unrealistic goal given the feeble state of such movements, but one which some
NTS fanatics swore by.
It will never be known just how many men the CIA infiltrated into the Soviet
Union, not only by air but by border crossings and by boat as well; many hundreds at
least. As to their fate ... the Soviet Union published a book in 1961 called Caught In the
Act (=CIA), in which were listed the names and other details of about two dozen
infiltrators the Russians claimed to have captured, often almost immediately upon
arrival. Some were executed, others received prison sentences, one allegedly was an
individual who had taken part in a mass execution of Jews in German-occupied Soviet
territory. The book asserts that there were many more caught who were not listed. This
may have been a self-serving statement, but it was a relatively simple matter for the
Russians to infiltrate the ©migr©s' ranks in Western Europe and learn the entire
operation.
The CIA, to be sure, was not naive about this practice. The Agency went so far
as to torture suspected defectors in Munich”using such esoteric methods as applying
turpentine to a man's testicles or sealing someone in a room and playing Indonesian
music at deafening levels until he cracked.11
The Russians further claimed that some of those smuggled in were furnished
with special radio beacons to guide planes where to land other agents, and which could
also be used to direct US bombers in the event of war.
Some of the ©migr©s made it back to Western Europe with their bits and pieces
of information, or after attempting to catty out some other assignment. Others, provided
with a complete set of necessary documents, were instructed to integrate themselves
back into Soviet society and become "agents in place". Still others, caught up in the
emotions of being "home", turned themselves in”once again, "the human factor",
which no amount of training or indoctrination can necessarily circumvent.12
No American operation against the Soviet Union would be complete without its
propaganda side: bringing the gospel to the heathen, in a myriad of ways that displayed
the creativity of the CIA and its team of ©migr©s.
Novel mechanisms were developed to enable airplanes and balloons to drop
anti-Communist literature over the Soviet Union. When the wind was right, countless
leaflets and pamphlets were scattered across the land; or quantities of literature were
floated downstream in waterproof packages.
Soviet citizens coming to the West were met at every turn by NTS people
handing out their newspapers and magazines in Russian and Ukrainian. To facilitate
contact, NTS at times engaged in black market operations and opened small shops
which catered to Russians at cheap prices. From North Africa to Scandinavia, the CIA
network confronted Soviet seamen, tourists, officials, athletes, even Soviet soldiers in
East Germany, to present them with the Truth as seen by the "Free World", as well as to
pry information from them, to induce them to defect, or to recruit them as spies. Hotel
rooms were searched, phones tapped, bribes offered, or blackmail threatened in attempts
to reach these ends. Actions were also undertaken to entrap or provoke Soviet
diplomatic personnel so as to cause their expulsion and/or embarrass the Soviet Union.15



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The propaganda offensive led the US government into the book publishing
business. Under a variety of arrangements with American and foreign publishers,
distributors, literary agents and authors, the CIA and the United States Information
Agency (USIA) produced, subsidized or sponsored "well over a thousand books" by
1967 which were deemed to serve a propaganda need.14 Many of the books were sold in
the United Stares as well as abroad. None bore any indication of US government
involvement. Of some, said the USIA, "We control the things from the very idea down
to the final edited manuscript."15
Some books were published, and at times written, only after the USIA or the
CIA agreed to purchase a large number of copies. There is no way of determining what
effect this financial incentive had upon a publisher or author concerning a book's tone
and direction. In some cases, Washington released classified information to an author to
assist him or her in writing the book. In 1967, following revelations about CIA domestic
activities, this practice purportedly came to an end in the US although it continued
abroad. A Senate committee in 1976 stated that during the preceding few years, the CIA
had been connected with the publication of some 250 books, mostly in foreign
languages.16 Some of these were most likely later reprinted in the United States.
The actual identity of most of the books, however, is still classified. Among
those which have been revealed are: The Dynamics of Soviet Society by Walt Rostow,
The New Class by Milovan Djilas, Concise History of the Communist Party by Robert
A. Burton, The Foreign Aid Programs of the Soviet Bloc and Communist China by Kurt
Mullet, In Pursuit of World Order by Richard N. Gardner, Peking and People's Wars by
MajorGeneral Sam Griffith, The Yenan Way by Eudocio Ravines, Life and Death in
Soviet Russia by Valentin Gonzalez, The Anthill by Suzanne Labin, The Politics of
Struggle: The Communist Front and Political Warfare by James D. Atkinson, From
Colonialism to Communism by Hoang Van Chi, Why Vietnam? by Frank Trager, and
Terror in Vietnam by Jay Mallin. In addition, the CIA financed and distributed
throughout the world the animated cartoon film of George Orwell's Animal Farm.17-
The most pervasive propaganda penetration of the socialist bloc was by means
of the airwaves: Numerous transmitters, tremendous wattage, and often round-the-clock
programming brought Radio Liberty and Radio Free Russia to the Soviet Union, Radio
Free Europe and Radio in the American Sector to Eastern Europe, and the Voice of
America to all parts of the world. With the exception of the last, the stations were
ostensibly private organizations financed by "gifts" from American corporations, nickel-
and-dime donations from the American public, and other private sources. In actuality,
the CIA covertly funded almost all of the costs until 1971; exposure of the Agency's
role in 1967 (although it had been widely assumed long before then) led to Congress
eventually instituting open governmental financing of the stations.
The stations served the purpose of filling in some of the gaps and correcting the
falsehoods of the Communist media, but could not escape presenting a picture of the
world, both East and West, shot through with their own omissions and distortions. Their
mission in life was to emphasize whatever could make the Communist regimes look
bad. "To many in the CIA," wrote Victor Marchetti, former senior official of the
Agency, "the primary value of the radios was to sow discontent in Eastern Europe and,
in the process, to weaken the communist governments".18
Many of the Russians who worked for the various stations, which broadcast at
length about freedom, democracy and other humanitarian concerns, were later identified
by the US Justice Department as members of Hitler's notorious Einsatzgruppen, which
rounded up and killed numerous jews in the Soviet Union. One of these worthies was
Stanislaw Stankievich, under whose command a mass murder of Jews in Byelorussia


117
was carried out in which babies were buried alive with the dead, presumably to save
ammunition. Stankievich wound up working for Radio Liberty. German war criminals
as well were employed by the CIA in a variety of anti-Soviet operations.19
By every account, the sundry programs to collect strategic information about the
Soviet Union, particularly via infiltration into the country and encountering Soviet
nationals in the West, were a singular flop. The information reported was usually trivial,
spotty, garbled, or out-of-date. Worse, it was often embellished, if not out-and-out
fabricated. Many post-war ©migr©s in Western Europe made their living in the
information business. It was their most saleable commodity. From a real or fictitious
meeting with a Soviet citizen they would prepare a report which was often just ordinary
facts with a bit of political color added on. At times, as many as four versions of the
report would be produced, differing in style and quantity of "facts"; written by four
different people, the reports would then be sold separately to US, British, French and
West German intelligence agencies. The CIA's version contained everything in the other
three versions, which were eventually transmitted to the Agency by the other countries
without their source being revealed. Analysis of all the reports tended to bring the CIA
to the conclusion that the NTS was giving them the fullest picture of all, and chat the
information all tallied. NTS looked good, and the files grew thick.20
The CIA's Russian files in Washington, meanwhile, approached mountainous
proportions with the data acquired from opening mail between the Soviet Union and the
United States, a practice begun in the early 1950s and continued at least into the
1970s.21 (Said a Post Office counsel in 1979: "If there was no national security mail
cover program, the FBI might be inhibited in finding out if a nation was planning war
against us.")22
Former CIA officer Harry Rositzke, who was closely involved with anti-Soviet
operations after the war, later wrote that the primary task of the ©migr©s infiltrated into
the Soviet Union during the early years”and the same could probably be said of the
spy-planes”was to provide "early warning" of a Soviet military offensive against the
West, an invasion which, in the minds of cold-warriors in the American government,
appeared perpetually "imminent". This apprehension was reminiscent of the alarms
sounded following the Russian Revolution (see Introduction to the Original Edition) and
similarly flourished despite the fact of a Russia recently devastated by a major war and
hardly in a position to undertake a military operation of any such magnitude.
Nevertheless, wrote Rositzke, "It was officially estimated that Soviet forces were
capable of reaching the English Channel in a matter of weeks. ... It was an axiom in
Washington that Stalin was plotting war. When would it come?" He pointed out,
however, that "The mere existence of radio-equipped agents on Soviet terrain with no
early warnings to report had some cautionary value in tempering the war scare among
the military estimators at the height of the Cold War."23
A secret report of the National Security Resources Board of January 1951
warned: "As things are now going, by 1953 if not 1952, the Soviet aggressors will
assume complete control of the world situation."24
Rositzke, although a committed anti-Communist, recognized the unreality of
such thinking. But, as he explained, his was a minority opinion in official Washington:

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