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INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS: Whose Spies Are The Best
StrategyPage ^ | Aug 10, 2005

Posted on 08/10/2005 10:19:29 AM PDT by spetznaz

August 10, 2005: Figuring out who the best intelligence service is can be quite difficult. The very nature of intelligence often means that the successes will not be public knowledge for years (for instance, World War II decryption efforts – the key to the United States winning the battle of Midway in 1942 – were not declassified until the 1970s), whereas failures or controversial operations will be taken to the press. It’s a thankless situation. Still, from what little has emerged, one can have an idea of some of the better intelligence services out there, with the understanding that this is based on incomplete data.

For instance, the CIA has had a few successes despite having a lot of its dirty laundry aired in the press. Just as he was about to depart, then-DCI George Tenet revealed that the CIA had played a huge part in destroying the nuclear proliferation network of Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist A.Q. Khan. A CIA Predator also killed the planner of the October 2000 attack on USS Cole in 2002. In the 1980s, under Bill Casey, the CIA waged what was, for all intents and purposes, an economic war against the Soviet Union. Much of this story remains classified, but some outlines are already emerging.

One cannot discuss the CIA without discussing the Russians – and this would include the SVR and its forerunner, the KGB. Unlike the CIA, the KGB and (to a lesser extent) the SVR, have not had to deal with things like politicians leaking to friendly reporters when they got upset about an operation. Russian successes can be described by just naming names: John Walker (who penetrated the U.S. Navy and American encryption secrets), Aldrich Ames (their mole inside the CIA), Robert Hanssen (their mole in the FBI), and Melita Norwood (a British civil servant). These moles delivered a great deal of information. A number of American sources were lost due to Ames and Hanssen, while the Russians used Walker’s information to read many secret American documents, and improve the design of Russian submarines.

The British have had a long public perception of an effective intelligence agency (due to the success of the unrealistic, yet entertaining, James Bond movies). This perception matches reality. MI6, the British equivalent to the CIA, has had two big advantages in staying effective: The British Official Secrets Act and “D notices” can often prevent leaks (which have been the bane of the CIA’s existence). Some stories have emerged. In the Cold War, MI6 recruited Oleg Penkovsky, who played a key part in the favorable resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Oleg Gordievski, who operated for a decade before MI6 extracted him via Finland. The British were even aware of Norwood’s activities, but made the decision not to tip their hand. MI6 also is rumored to have sabotaged the Tu-144 supersonic airliner program by altering documents and making sure they fell into the hands of the KGB.

The DGSE, France’s intelligence agency, has an even lower profile. Yet it was this agency that was the first to announce the Yom Kipper war in 1973, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and which also carried out a coup against the Central African Republic. A more recent success was the “Nicobar” network, which not only got technical data on the T-72 main battle tank, but also enabled France to sell Mirage 2000 jets to India.

Finally, there is the Mossad. Israel’s intelligence agency is most famous for having taken out a number of PLO operatives in retaliation for the attack that killed eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. However, this agency has other success to its name, including the acquisition of a MiG-21 prior to the Six-Day war of 1967 and the theft of the plans for the Mirage 5 after the deal with France went sour. Mossad also assisted the United States in supporting Solidarity in Poland during the 1980s.

Which of these is the best? It is arguably a tie between MI6 and Mossad. Both agencies have had lengthy track records of success. The CIA has not done poorly, but it has been handicapped by a nearly unrestrained press which has often harmed the agency.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; Miscellaneous; Russia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cia; kgb; mi6; mossad; spies; spy; svr
Nice read.
1 posted on 08/10/2005 10:19:32 AM PDT by spetznaz
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To: spetznaz

Interesting, glad the top two are on our side...


2 posted on 08/10/2005 10:31:27 AM PDT by Asphalt (Join my NFL ping list! FReepmail me| The best things in life aren't things)
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To: IAF ThunderPilot; F15Eagle; Bombardier

Interesting article - Ping!


3 posted on 08/10/2005 11:04:48 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of all the shucking and jiving)
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To: Asphalt
Interesting, glad the top two are on our side...

Pollard, Franklin, Pearle, the students 'selling art', Urban Moving. I don't blame them for looking out for their own interests, but some of their best successes have been against the US.

4 posted on 08/10/2005 11:07:06 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

..................

5 posted on 08/10/2005 11:30:33 AM PDT by SJackson (America...thru dissent and protest lost the ability to mobilize a will to win, Col Bui Tin, PAVN)
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To: Convert from ECUSA; All
Some of the Mossad’s operations:

* Achieving the "Secret Speech" of Nikita Khrushchev, where he condemning the crimes of Stalin.

* Locating and returning to his family Yossele Shumacher, a small boy who was kidnapped in Israel and spirited abroad.

* Pursuing Nazi war criminals, culminating in the capture of Adolf Eichmann and bringing him to justice in Israel. (1960)

* Bringing a complete Soviet Mig-21 to Israel, just a year before the Six Day War. The information collected from the plane was a major contribution to the IAF's absolute success in the war. The USA, who considered the Mig-21 as the "horror of the west", and who tried to achieve this plane as well, received the plane from Israel later that year. (1966)

* After the Munich massacre, the Mossad carried the Wrath of God operation, in which the "Black September" terrorists who participated in the massacre, were eliminated, including the leader of "Black September". (1972-1979)

* Assisting IDF special forces to locate and eliminate senior PLO terrorists in Beirut. (1973)

* Achieving the information that allowed IDF special forces to rescue the hijacked "Air-France" Israeli Passengers in Entebbe, Uganda. (1977)

* Achieving the information that allowed the IAF to attack the Iraqi Osiraq nuclear reactor, just days before Iraq would have reached the "point of no-return". (1981)

* Kidnapping the atomic spy, Mordechai Vaanunu, and bringing him to Israel for a trial. (1986)

* Bringing over 14,000 black Ethiopian Jews to Israel from a hostile territory, within 33 hours. (1991)

These are only a sample of the Mossad’s operations, which include collecting information in accordance with priority intelligence requirements, covert relations with other countries and intelligence agencies – making major contributions to the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan –redeeming MIA’s, technology and research.

Hope the info helped.
6 posted on 08/10/2005 12:04:48 PM PDT by IAF ThunderPilot (The basic point of the Israel Defense Forces: -Israel cannot afford to lose a single war.)
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To: spetznaz

Ping to my comment above ^


7 posted on 08/10/2005 12:16:26 PM PDT by IAF ThunderPilot (The basic point of the Israel Defense Forces: -Israel cannot afford to lose a single war.)
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To: PAR35

"Pollard, Franklin, Pearle, the students 'selling art', Urban Moving. I don't blame them for looking out for their own interests, but some of their best successes have been against the US."

Please document with sources your reason for putting Richard Perle on a list that includes a man convicted of spying (Pollard) and a man indicted recently on charges of passing classified documents(Franklin), and for your statement that says Perle's interests are against the interests of the US.

Richard Perle has spent his life in service to the US. He worked for Sen 'Scoop' Jackson, Pres Ronald Reagan as Assistant Secretary of Defense, and Pres George W Bush. He was a virulent opponent of Carter's arms control policies and the UN's multilateralism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Perle


8 posted on 08/10/2005 12:16:37 PM PDT by dervish (tagline for rent, inquire within)
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To: spetznaz
The CIA has not done poorly, but it has been handicapped by a nearly unrestrained press which has often harmed the agency.

More harm was done to the CIA by former Senator Torricelli (D-NJ) and his liberal cohorts when they made the CIA stop doing business with "unsavory people" than the press could ever do.

9 posted on 08/10/2005 12:30:16 PM PDT by Marauder (You can't stop sheep-killing predators by putting more restrictions on the sheep.)
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To: spetznaz

The entire US intelligence apparatus is far and beyond better than anyone else. There is no doubt about that.


10 posted on 08/10/2005 12:30:19 PM PDT by Alex Marko
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To: Asphalt

Most of the time


11 posted on 08/10/2005 12:35:42 PM PDT by colonialhk (sooprize sooprize sooprize)
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To: An.American.Expatriate; ASA Vet; Atigun; beyond the sea; BIGLOOK; Blue Collar Christian; ...
MI Ping

Sure seems like there was a thread about this within the last month.

12 posted on 08/10/2005 12:35:43 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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To: Alex Marko

Let us not forget that traitor Frank Church, and the even bigger traitor Patrick Leahy. As long as there are Democrats in this country's government, we will have moles and leaks, and the CIA will not be able to do its job as well as it should.


13 posted on 08/10/2005 12:56:52 PM PDT by Bombardier ("Religion of Peace" my butt.....sell that snakeoil to someone who'll buy it!)
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To: spetznaz

I vote for Q - the one who makes the best spies.

14 posted on 08/10/2005 1:00:30 PM PDT by shezza (God Bless Our Troops)
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To: dervish
Please document with sources your reason for putting Richard Perle on a list

Please document with sources where I said "Richard Perle".

15 posted on 08/10/2005 1:13:32 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: spetznaz
The CIA has not done poorly, but it has been handicapped by a nearly unrestrained press which has often harmed the agency. Jimmy Carter and his buddy Stansfield Turner did not do the intelligence agencies any favors, they damn near crippled them.
16 posted on 08/10/2005 1:22:02 PM PDT by NY Attitude (You are responsible for your safety until the arrival of Law Enforcement Officers!)
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To: PAR35

Who did you mean by "Pearle?"


17 posted on 08/10/2005 2:16:45 PM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
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To: Bombardier

Yah, but realistically: the CIA doesnt really report to the House or Senate on ultra sensitive matters. I wouldnt expect them to. Nothing is said of CIA spies within the KGB and other operations that have been wildly successful either.


18 posted on 08/10/2005 2:46:23 PM PDT by Alex Marko
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To: Alex Marko

Good point. I still think they'd be a bit more effective if the political hacks had less knowledge of clandestine ops, though.


19 posted on 08/10/2005 2:48:22 PM PDT by Bombardier ("Religion of Peace" my butt.....sell that snakeoil to someone who'll buy it!)
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To: spetznaz

Interesting, but I noticed one glaring omission, an intelligence oranization NOT included.

CONTROL was not included. Chief would not be pleased. I don't recall Agent 86 ever failing to successfully complete a mission.

A glaring omission, but no doubt due CONTROL's adherence to secrecy protocols...such as the liberal use of the "Cone of Silence".


20 posted on 08/10/2005 2:50:53 PM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: Bombardier

Funny how all the traitors are democrats...I wonder if there is a connection? /sarcasm


21 posted on 08/10/2005 4:01:30 PM PDT by lancer (If you are not with us, you are against us!)
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To: lancer
Democrats are traitors?
That's a mild word for the b*stards, I was active in my cop union* and attended regional labor functions with Demos. Once they do a little drinking and let their hair down, there is no question how much they hate this nation.


*To understand why I was a strong union man, Google; Corrupted Sheriff, San Bernardino County, Floyd Tidwell.
22 posted on 08/10/2005 4:14:21 PM PDT by investigateworld ( God bless Poland for giving the world JP II & a Protestant bump for his Sainthood!)
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To: adam_az

It was a typo.


23 posted on 08/10/2005 4:23:59 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: PAR35

I apologize if I misunderstood. So who is "Pearle" in your reference?

When I Google "Pearle" and Israel I come up with pages of references to Richard Pearle who is the same person as Richard Perle (correct spelling).

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Pearle+israel

My post should have also noted that Richard Perle/Pearle has been the subject of a disgusting smear campaign.

Unfounded charges of "dual loyalty" against American Jews are a hallmark of anti-Semitism. Those who make such charges against Mr Perle are in the company of Seymour Hersh, writer New Yorker Magazine, who trashed the US soldiers in Iraq as war criminals responsible for atrocities in Abu Ghraib and the likes of Justin Raimondo and Noam Chomsky.

What religion and origin were Robert Hanssen and Earl Pitts? Funny how no one asks that question.


24 posted on 08/10/2005 4:29:14 PM PDT by dervish (tagline for rent, inquire within)
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To: ASA Vet
Thanks ASA! Good read.

Reread the acquisition of a Soviet MiG-21 by Mossad in '67. I recall a tale about a '21 ditching in a lake in W. Germany. We hauled it out, transported it to an AB, took it apart....blueprinting everything, then put it back. All done while diplomats hemmed and hawed over territorial violations and property rights. This was about the same time frame.

You ever heard this one....or is it just RUMOR?

25 posted on 08/10/2005 7:05:08 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
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To: BIGLOOK; ASA Vet
Addenda: BTW, the MiG-21's NATO designator is Fishbed. Coincidence?
26 posted on 08/10/2005 7:08:20 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
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To: SJackson

Bump


27 posted on 08/10/2005 7:29:37 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ("Remember Officers and Soldiers,that you are Freemen,fighting for blessings of Liberty" G.Washington)
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To: BIGLOOK
You ever heard this one....or is it just RUMOR?

I'm very good at Sgt Schultzing.

28 posted on 08/10/2005 7:56:12 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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To: spetznaz

noted


29 posted on 08/11/2005 7:11:20 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777 (N/A)
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To: spetznaz

aintitcool.com has really good spys. Damn shame that the tub of goo who runs the site is a liberal.


30 posted on 08/11/2005 7:13:28 PM PDT by Artemis Webb
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To: dervish

Then there was also the Walker spy family..


31 posted on 04/21/2010 9:49:15 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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