On July 13, a Soviet operative concealing his identity showed up at the Library of Congress in quest of an unpublished comparison of U.S.-Soviet military strength - an example of the bold intelligence game played by the Russians.
Two alarmed defense analysts for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) immediately informed their supervisor and urged ighter security to prevent Soviet operatives from roaming at will. But their report was brushed off as "overdrawn," and nothing was done.
This points up a recurring porblem of an open society: Foreign agents have the run of Capitol Hill with access to all but the most sensitive committee hearings and studies.
Andrei Suvorov, third secretary of the Soviet embassy, appeared unannounced at 12:35 p.m. on July 13 on Deck A of the Library of Congress, site of the foreign-affairs and national-defense section. Suvorov, suspected of KGB connections, did not edentify himself but asked for the U.S.-Soviet defense study prepared by CRS analyst John collins for the Senate Armed Services Committee. That report, detailing relatives U.S. weakness, had been suppressed by the Senate committee's staff.
Defense analysts Robert L. Goldich and Mark Lowenthal reported in a memo written that day to their chief, Dr. William W. Whitson: "Comments by us to the effect that (Suvorov) could leave his name and address ofr a callback were parried; this and other obviously intentionally vague replies (as well as looks and accent) made us suspect within about five minutes that he was a Soviet or Eastern European citizen."
Finally, pressed to identify himself by another CRS employee, Suvorov told who he was, prompting this warning in the Goldich-Lowenthal memo:
"This appears to be the latest incident in an increasing number of unannounced visits by Soviet personnel to various analysts on Dect A . . . Soviet authorities have apparently discovered that anybody can just walk in. We suggest that some sort of identification, escort or logging-in requirement has been made necessary by this overt targetting of the division as an information source. Placing some restrictions in effect now might solve some potentially large problems later on."
Nothing was done. Indeed, Whitson told us "the memo was badly overdrawn." The Soviet operatives, who love to prowl Capitol Hill, have free rein on Dect A.
A hush-hush Aug. 10 meeting in Houston called by John B. Connally decided to form political-action committee to raise $1 million for a national campaign by Connally next year. Its purpose would be to help 1978 Republican candidates for Congress and governor, but 1980 presidential implications are clear.
Connally summoned a dozen political allies to he Hyatt-Regency Hote. Included were Republican state chairmen from Kansas, Kentucky and his own state of Texas, plus the national committeeman from Colorado.
Asked at hte meeting about a possible run for the 1980 presidential nomination, Connally snorted; "I don't want anyone here even to think about 1980. I might run or I might not, but that is not the issue here." Nevertheless, several Rebublicans present look on the 1978 Connally effort - patterned after Nixon's restorative 1966 campaign for GOP candidates - as a 1980 thresold.
The fast broom of Paul Warnke, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) has swept out another victim: Pedro Sanjuan, invaluable as ACDA's public-affairs chief because of his bridges to defense-minded congressmen who are worried about the Carter administration's arms-control policy.
Warnke gave every indication early this year that he understood Sanjuan's political value and wanted him to stay. But then came pressure from the control lobby, particularly the Washington-base Arms Control AssociatioN. Its executive director, Thomas Halstead, was named by Warnke to replace Sanjuan in charge of affairs.
Warnke may rue the change. Under Warnke, ACDA's old posture as a skeptical, tough-minded bargainer with Moscow is no more. Instead, ACDA is under attack un Congress for pursuing dangerously risky disarmament goals.
Halstead, who has written extensively against the B-1 bomber and crusie missile, is an ardent arms controller regarded with suspicion by the congressional defense bloc. Far form deflecting criticism of Warnke and the administration, Halstead may attract more flak.
Sanjuan has been assigned to the White House for "special projects in the arms-control field - that is, to help presidential aide Landon Butler smmoth the way for Senate ratification of a SALT treaty. The president might well find useful Sanjuan's talents, which were spurned by Paul Warnke.