Spy vs. Spy: Stalking Soviet Spies in America

Spy vs. Spy: Stalking Soviet Spies in America

by Ronald Kessler

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To his surprise, Washington Post reporter Kessler was allowed to interview FBI counterintelligence agents and observe them at work. (``I later found out that the approval to give me so much access had all been a mistake.'') His absorbing report focuses on the members of one FBI counterspy team called CI3 and their highly successful operations. Kessler also interviewed several convicted American spies, providing ``the inside story from the traitor's point of view.'' In another piece of good luck, he was able to spend five days with one of the most successful spies in history on his home ground of Czechoslovakia: Karl Koecher, who operated inside the CIA for 20 years, was arrested by the FBI in 1984 and released two years later in a prisoner-exchange for Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky. There is sensational material here, including Koecher's account of spouse-swapping parties attended by CIA employees, but most impressive are the author's revelations of FBI counterintelligence methods. Photos. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Basically, this interesting account of how the FBI catches Soviet spies (or doesn't) puts one in a spylike frame of mind: Why did the FBI permit journalist Kessler to learn so much? Turf war with the CIA? To tip the KGB about FBI knowledge of Soviet craft? To create a post-Hoover G-man mythology? To offset bad publicity? And why did the KGB let Kessler interview Karl Koecher in Prague? To twit the CIA about the Howard case? No matter. For those who think the CIA is the core of reaction and the FBI the gang that can't shoot straight, these live action stories would read like a pilot for a new TV series, were it not for Kessler's sobering comments on the tricky problem of keeping our freedoms while catching their spies. Henry Steck, SUNY Coll. at Cortland

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