Aging spies from both sides of the Iron Curtain will gather this morning in Berlin, their old battleground, for a three-day conference on Cold War espionage sponsored by the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence.
It is the first time the Central Intelligence Agency has ever sponsored anything quite so public overseas, and the agency has clearly pulled out all the stops. Participants include the CIA's Peter Sichel, the KGB's Oleg Kalugin and Col. Oleg Gordievksy, the KGB's chief officer in London who defected to Britain in 1985.
"Taking the CIA flag overseas, for us, is unique, sensitive--an issue where we sought, frankly, to make sure we did it right," said Lloyd D. Salvetti, a former CIA operations officer who now directs the center.
The agency is planning to release at the conference a 600-page compilation of recently declassified documents that show how intelligence reporting from Berlin influenced U.S. foreign policy from 1945 to 1961.
The conference also includes an intelligence tour of Berlin--Stasi headquarters, the KGB station at Karlshorst and such--and a round-table discussion with the title, "Berlin in the Wilderness of Mirrors: Agents, Double Agents, and Defectors."
CIA TALKS: Adam J. Ciralski, a 27-year-old former CIA attorney who claims he lost his job after agency counterintelligence investigators falsely accused him of dual loyalty to Israel, has been trying to settle his dispute with Langley.
While CIA Director George J. Tenet conceded in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith earlier this year that investigators had used "insensitive, unprofessional and highly inappropriate" language in Ciralski's case, the talks aren't going well.
"There have been discussions for a long time," Ciralski's attorney, Neal M. Sher, said. "We have heard that George Tenet wants to resolve this. But the agency wants to resolve it without acknowledging any wrongdoing, in a way that will forever impair Mr. Ciralski. There is a difference between what Mr. Tenet wants and what his operatives are putting forth," said Sher, the Justice Department's former chief Nazi hunter.
CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said privacy considerations prohibit him from discussing the Ciralski matter. "We would be happy to comment if Mr. Ciralski's lawyer would provide a Privacy Act waiver on behalf of his client," Mansfield said.
SPY FICTION: With school back in session, Frederick P. Hitz, formerly with the CIA, can be found this fall on Wednesday afternoons at Princeton University teaching a course entitled, "The Myth and Reality of Espionage: The Spy Novel."
A syllabus prepared by the CIA's former inspector general explains that the 12-week freshman seminar "will grapple with the moral questions raised in espionage--the manipulation of other humans; its attempted justification in protecting the national interests of one's country; the long term corrosive effects of deceit and clandestinity on the soul of the spymaster, and the attraction of espionage for its own sake."
Reading material for the course will include some classics, potboilers, Cold War thrillers and post-Cold War fiction. On the list:
"Kim" by Rudyard Kipling (1900); "The Riddle of the Sands" by Erskine Childers (1903); "The Hunt For Red October" by Tom Clancy (1984); "The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad (1907); "Thirty-Nine Steps" by John Buchan (1915); "A Coffin for Dimitrios" by Eric Ambler (1937); "Ashenden" by W. Somerset Maughan (1937); "Casino Royale" (1982) and "Dr. No" (1958) by Ian Fleming; "The Day of the Jackal" by Frederick Forsyth (1971); "The Human Factor" by Graham Greene (1978); "The Perfect Spy" by John Le Carre (1986); "Agents of Innocence" by David Ignatius (1987); and "The Untouchable" by John Banville (1997).
INTELLIGENCE MONEY: Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Tenet's refusal to disclose how much money the intelligence community spends annually: "My own view is that the failure under law to let the public know what our expenditures are, and how those moneys are spent, decreases our security because, unless I am mistaken in just sensing citizens' attitudes toward our intelligence agencies, they do not have a sufficient amount of confidence that they are getting their money's worth."
Vernon Loeb's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org