Secrets Are Not What They Used To Be

Secrets Are Not What They Used To Be, by Jim Dunnigan.

When the Cold War ended in 1991 and Russian archives were opened for a while a lot of mysteries were revealed. Some revelations still cause problems, not because so many myths were disproved but because about the same time the Internet came along and made it much more difficult keep secrets or create false realities and maintain them in the future. …

The Moscow archives revealed that the Soviets had already created schemes that were indeed stranger than fiction. These included a plan to move saboteurs from Nicaragua across the Mexican border and into the U.S. disguised as illegal aliens. Radar stations, pipelines and power towers were all targeted in great detail as were port facilities in places like New York City.

The Rosenbergs were indeed Russian spies, Alger Hiss was mixed up in Russian espionage efforts and the American Communist Party was in the pay of the Soviet Union and served as a tool for espionage, subversion and propaganda. Many left wing writers and politicians were either on the Soviet payroll, or eager to assist Soviet espionage activities. …

Sex and blackmail (often used together) were very successful. Attractive men and women were recruited, trained and sent forth to be romantic for the revolution. This worked particularly well in West Germany, where East German spy studs recruited a number of key female staff in NATO and West German organizations. By the 1970s, the Soviets were frequently using the most basic of all enticements; money. This worked quite well, and until the end of the Cold War Western nations refused to realize how successful this approach could be. …

Other nations have since developed new angles that are, in some ways, superior to the Soviet innovations and refinements. China, for example, has had large overseas populations for centuries. These “overseas Chinese” usually did not assimilate completely and retained considerable loyalty, and family connections, with the homeland. For many decades after World War II, most overseas Chinese were either anti-communist or reluctant to get involved with Chinese politics. But once China began economic reforms in the 1970s this changed. It was OK to visit China, and to receive Chinese officials in America. This was China’s espionage opportunity.