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tv   Book Discussion on The Billion Dollar Spy  CSPAN  August 23, 2015 8:00am-8:55am EDT

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signify and where they fit in a hierarchy of humanity, vis-à-vis serena williams. some of you know serena williams has won wimbledon just last week and some of you read "the new york times" article or heard the critique of the article. .., her response to the article describing williams has a very muscular woman and contradistinction to one of her opponents who said that because she is a woman and she was to be a woman is a coach, but i also have the genes why don't i have to do you figure because this is not going anywhere. in. in other words, the coach is european tennis player say
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essentially i'll have the capacity to be like serena williams. >> there was one tennis player who has suggested that she could do that. she just chose not to. right.right. that was my favorite. yeah, right. >> maria syrup over says i always want to be skinnier with the cellulite. i think that's every girls wish. so these debates about body and one's own capacity and place in the world >> and there've been a number of studies that show black women have a healthier body image awareness and self esteem about their body types because most black women don't want to be a stick. it's true. it is true. >> questions? >> thank you. wondering if you have a start than the contacts of sarah barkman. >> there are definitely
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similarities. the biggest difference -- >> can you repeat it. >> she's asking about the comparison to oda bango. the similarity is clear that they were both degraded and exhibited. the biggest difference of course is that was 100 years earlier. you would think there would be some kind of progress going on. more than not, she is horrible as it was, what is not in a cage with a monkey or orangutan. as far as i know she wasn't but i don't know because i've never done research on sarah barkman. i do know at the time ota benga was in the cage being exhibited in the bronx, sarah barkman's was in a case at the paris museum being exhibited because
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they set black women, african women are over sex and they have different body parts. so they actually had her body part in the museum of man in paris on display at the time that this was going on. >> thank you for the forum. it is very eye-opening and enlightening. i appreciate it. one question about the st. louis fair and ota benga. why did ota benga get special treatment? >> i think it's because of the teeth. >> they didn't have -- >> they were all from different places. >> okay, thanks. >> and he appeared to be the youngest is not the youngest, so he's probably more mala ball. >> high, and i wanted to perhaps
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draw everyone's attention to your methodology in creating this narrative. i'm a little bit familiar with your work. pam and i are friends for my work as a tv journalist. >> in a fulbright scholar and producer arius tv, which i hope you're all watching. it is amazing. >> i wanted to stand up to complement him because her technology is nothing short of artistic. the amount of how tedious it must have been to four overall at this data in create ota benga 's story, i want you to share that with the audience because that is what i marvel at. >> thank you. it was tedious and i think it was difficult. khalil knows when you do research or marginalize people come you can't go to the schaumburg and finer papers.
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>> it's a pretty good try. >> it's a great place. >> that's the first place. if ota benga are papers they'd be at the schaumburg. many of our ancestors did not have papers. he had no boys and so many people had filled the void at his silence with these lies. they made a harder not just to construct a narrative and find his voice, but to go against these major institutions that are told these lies, like who am i.? i am going against 100 years of fiction that has been accepted as scholar. it is a little intimidating. fortunately, there is so much evidence in the archives. there were hundreds if not
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thousands of letters written by the very people who were exploiting him, kind of telling you what they were doing. wonderful. i don't know if the bronx me with those of the archives that they let me in. and i sat with those letters, poring over them for months and months, taking pictures when i could because once they find out when i'm finding, i may never see those letters again. the same at the museum of national history. tons of letters. because no one had ever looked at these things, many of the people, the contemporary scholars curated at these institutions, they are not going back 100 years and they are hearing the same stories we've heard that oda bingo is a fun and everybody was above board. but they are wise.
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then i began to find signs of ota benga everywhere. i found him in the census in long island or hubert is a horse groomer. i found him in passenger records were found out how he traveled here. after a while, it was like he was stalking me. after two years of really having a tough time and at some point wondering if i would be a lot of finish days, case in point i was going to visit my daughter at college and i was writing at the log to the book. writing about all of the artists who inspired by ota benga today. i was writing fred wilson, this artist, macarthur fellow. he had done an exhibit. i said let me see exactly what
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he did. as it turned out, he won a dartmouth to the museum and the genius of fred's work as he goes to institutions, goes into the closet, into their warehouses, pulls out the infantry positions them to make a statement on what it is they are doing. why did you collect those. and he found a cast of ota benga commissioned by the museum of national history in st. louis but i have been looking for the whole time i was doing this project. the peabody museum, i don't know what that is. we don't know. he founded dartmouth in their closet and pulled it out. when i got there he had the extension record, how they got it. it was like everything that i look for in more i found. ota benga has a voice now
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because there was so much documented about would have been. >> that's really powerful. we will take these last two questions together. i just wanted to say you don't have to make this stuff up. that is i think the powerful lesson of colonial archive is that everything you can imagine any making sounds fantastical in our capacity to destroy other human beings and defend it and make it legitimate and was at the ball, you are not to make it appear the next time you pass some person on the street who seems like they literally lost their mind, you might pass for sacking, listen to the details entries the record back to the archives because it is essentially what pamela has done. the stories are all there and they are unfolding before our
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eyes in this moment as well. >> in a way recently. i've been doing research on afro germans. within my research i found humane zoos to germany. i was wondering if you could comment on what the international aspect and the national aspect of humans is. >> you know, as i said, they were assembled by the people who had conquered the staffer ken or whatever nation applies, philippines. they would then exhibit them as the spoils. we took their land, their minerals and whatever resources and now here they are. here are these primitive people and they were put on display as humane zoos. i always wanted to draw a distinction because ota benga
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was not part of a human zoo. more so in st. louis he was. in the bronx, only he was a human being in a cage with monkeys. >> because the director could get more people to the zoo. >> it was last to the spectator to figure out whether he was humane or in between. at that time in 1904 i forgot which encyclopedia, but one of the big ones, maybe britannica that africans were midway between an orangutan and a human being. so this was a far-fetched for them. this was grounded in the scholarship. and it was being taught in the text. absolutely. >> -- when i was in college. i never heard he was amazed to, and the wrongs do.
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especially 1906. especially when you have like seven or fewer like mad at cornell university and the naacp being formed around that time. then you had the movement in 1904. i'm trying to wonder, what did the progressive? think about? what did they do when they saw this at the same time. when you had black men at cornell university, don't they see the brilliancy. >> they were the ones who protested. that is how ota benga eventually was able to come out. they were the ones who rescued them. >> not due out the necessarily. [laughter]
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>> that is funny. there is a point about 1906. you also make note that thomas dixon as a novelist who publishes the clansmen, his work will go on to be the basis for the birth of the nation. >> which was screened at the white house. we are now celebrating the centennial of the release of the film which was not only -- which is to this day original in its caution for essentially reconciling the north in the south on the basis of white supremacy and defending not only subjugation of black people, the clan violence directed against. so ota benga moment is also
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wrapped in this letter very moment which produces a groundbreaking film in our popular culture. >> another groundbreaking book around that time was than the groupies, charles carroll. >> so whenever he fear, essentially of human endeavor from popular culture to literature to scholarship was the reinforcing of this idea that these people were subhuman and certainly not worthy of equality. we want to thank pamela newkirk for telling the story for the first time, for setting the historical record straight and throwing the gauntlet down to our nation's audience commit to viewers, teachers as this is a story that must be told and taught. thank you for being here. thank you so much.
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[applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> david hoffman talks about adolf tolkachev, working for the soviet military and became a spy for the u.s. the secrets tolkachev passed a one help if the soviet radar during the cold war.
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>> tonight we will be hearing from david hoffman about his new boat, "the billion dollar spy: a true story of cold war espionage and betrayal". a gripping tale that engages the reader in the first few pages of the prologue. "the billion dollar spy" focuses on the intriguing story of a spy in the soviet union who assisted the cia for more than 20 years. true to us to other nonfiction books including the 2010 pulitzer prize-winning title, that hand, the untold story of the cold war arms race in the dangerous legacy. he's a contributing editor to the "washington post" where he covered the white house during presidencies of ronald reagan and george h.w. bush. he has served as diplomatic correspondent in jerusalem correspondent from 1995 to mac 2001, served as moscow bureau chief and later as foreign editor and assistant manager editor for the foreign news.
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please join me in welcoming the david e. hoffman to the louisville free public library. [applause] >> thank you all for coming here tonight. it is a weeknight and i know a lot of you have other things to do and it's really exciting for an author to come to louisville and see so many people interested. a book takes years and years to write and i'm going to give you the best of it in 35 minutes. and answer your questions. i would like to thank the louisville free public library, lisa, the library foundation for making this possible and i hope that after i've spoken for a little while, that you will have some questions because they
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can't possibly get everything i wrote into the spoken 35 minutes. the book is about spying. a cia age are bred a generation ago that legwork on this by ian is a dirty business. you peel away the trap of espionage, he said in the spy's job is to betray trusts. i would add to that, a spy's job is to steal. to steal secrets. so why do people do it? why would a man with a family, career, good salary and his time, why would he risk everything, risk his life to spy for another country? another country he had never been to, one he admitted he didn't have a lot of romance for. why did he do it?
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i will talk to you tonight about why "the billion dollar spy" did what he did. the story begins in the late 1930s and early 1940s. in june 1941, hitler's germany invaded the soviet union by surprise and a month later, more meetings like this july on july 21st, waves of german bombers attacked moscow, capital of the soviet union and they reached moscow. hitler had ordered that moscow be destroyed from the air. the first wave of bombers dropped 140 tons of high explosive. 46,000 incendiary bombs, 130 people were killed and tens of thousands scrambled into the deep moscow subway station to
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stay safer. looking up at the sky at that time as a young 14 year old teenager, adolf tolkachev. tolkachev lived in moscow at the time. he was too young to go off to war, but i see key and all of those thousands of people crowding into the subway station to stay safe asked themselves, how did the bombers get through? moscow is surrounded by 600 large searchlights, 800 anti-aircraft guns, but the german bombers got through because with the soviet union really needed was radar. radar was a new invention in the 1930s and it could give early warning of airplanes in flight. the soviet union was way behind. they had only the most primitive
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kind. it couldn't even tell the altitude of a plane or the speed. they desperately needed better radar. and that was evident while the muscovites under the bombs on this war summer nights in august of 1941. much of it was built out of wood, old buildings, one bob hit the kremlin. and that through the roof and it just landed on the floor. but it is pretty frightening. so tolkachev didn't go to war. he went to school. he went to school to study radar. he went to the equivalent of a high school where he studied like comics and radar. when the war was over he was sent to the equivalent of the technical university to study radar. in fact, he spent the whole rest of his career becoming an engineer and scientist to build better radar for the soviet
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union. they got much more sophisticated as the years went by. the cold war came, radar became very, very important and i will explain in a minute. let's just pause and think about tolkachev's life. at a secret institute to build radar which he was assigned after the university, he met a young woman named natasha. sasha worked in the antenna department. tolkachev was an engineer and natasha had a very tough life. her mother had worked in the timber industry in moscow in the 1930s. she was a communist party member working in a government ministry. one night the secret police showed up at her apartment. she was arrested on the spot and taken away. september 1937, the middle of
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stalin's purges, enemies are perceived everywhere. natasha's mother was accused of being a subversive and she was shot. natasha's father was scared. he ran to a friends house and hid in his friend apartment for a week. her father was a newspaper editor, editor of the party news paper. a week later, he too was arrested and to the for years. when this happened, natasha was only two years old. you can imagine how terrible it must to bed. one night her parents just disappeared and her world turned upside down. she grew up in the war years and after at an orphanage. her father was finally released in the good luck, back from the camps and was still so frightened he didn't come to moscow right away but when he fell to a safe he found his
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daughter and told her everything that had happened to their family and then he died just shortly thereafter. when natasha was a young women, she met and married adolf tolkachev. this 30s, she was 22 and being seen to be getting better for them. 1957 was the year of sputnik. thanks for the soviet union seemed to be looking up. a little bit of optimism because the war was over. khrushchev had taken over and there's a period known as the thought which was really optimism many young people thought despite the horrible things that happened to the country in the last few decades, and maybe there is a better life ahead. in 1965, tolkachev and his wife had a son in our wave, their only child. but working at this radar institute, tolkachev began to
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feel things weren't quite right. he began to get disenchanted with what was happening around him. first of all, came to a crashing end. especially with the soviet invasion of czechoslovakia in 1968, crushing the democracy movement. and natasha's department, the antenna department had kind of a pro forma vote on day of how many people in the department supported the soviet in nation of czechoslovakia and you can imagine in the soviet police state, you were supposed to raise your hand yes and natasha was the only employee in that department her raise her head no. she was raised and she was courageous and she hated the system that had ruined her family. by the 1970s, things got worse as tolkachev's young son was
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growing up he lived in a society plagued by shortages, bread lines, the years of stagnation is that the soviets themselves called it. something began to eat away at them. it was a moment the long lines for bread with the fact they lived in a nuclear armed country that couldn't even make a pair of jeans. he began to feel anger. he was angry at the past, and what it happened to natasha's parent and he was angry at the president. he did not then the anger right away because his young son was growing up in god for that he thought it don't want to do anything that would bring upon my family what happened to natasha and her parents. but by the mid-1970s, began to read the writings of another scientist who is also working on a secret military is said to have started to speak out about
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this state of affairs. his name is andrei sakharov and tolkachev was inspired by what he wrote and also by the dissident writer and came home. natasha brought an end this sort of carbon paper, dogeared copies passed from person to person. while sakharov and tolkachev when the limelight, tolkachev is an unassuming fellow who kept to himself and by his own account and have a wide circle of friends to go to work with hands on weekends. he fixed radius and is a partner with a soldering gun or tackled other home repair it projects with great satisfaction. he was a real loner, even to those in his family. never once took his young son to the officer talked about what he
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did there. he liked to go on an isolated camping trip in the rugged old six feet area of the soviet union rather than a free pass to some fancy soviet style resort on the black teas. by the mid-1970s, tolkachev was really getting burned up and deciding he had to do something. but what. he told the cia the source of his anger was everything in the soviet union is going wrong, bad. soviet politics, literature and philosophy have been in mashed for a long time section impassable, hypocritical demagoguery, and ideological empty talk that he couldn't stand it anymore. he tried to ignore everything in public life. he liked the theater but he couldn't go anymore to the theater it was so bad. he'd never been a communist party member said he thought already up some leaflet can go
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on the street that could this have been within five minutes realized that wasn't a good idea because he could easily be arrested as natasha's parents had been. it is worth recalling lots of families, millions and millions installed. a lot of people in the 1970s were sick and tired of the years of stagnation. these people did not act on their feelings. the idea of what to do finally came monday in september 1976, mlb soviet fighter pilot defected from the soviet union in his plane and flew his land from the far east right to japan without telling anybody command of the plane in a civilian airport and said i want asylum and here is a big 25. he climbed out of the cot that
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which was a brand-new soviet airplane at the west believed it was probably the fastest fighter plane in the world. they have never seen one before and here is a soviet pilot landed the plane and saying i want asylum. here's the plan. the mid-25 is so mysterious that the minute the pilot landed, the united states secretly sent a team to japan to take the plane apart down to the rivets. it was an intelligence windfall wanted to find out what was in it, how what what perform. this is the cold war to blogs inexorably fighting each other in europe and all around the world. tolkachev heard about this on the voice of america, listening to assure radio in his apartment. is sometimes jammed but often
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times got through. as he later told the cia, i'm going to do with the pilot did. tolkachev didn't think he would leave the soviet union, but he would effect within. he would strike back at the soviet system by taking secrets that were in his file drawers and in his institute. the top-secret blueprints of radars and military planning and research. and betrayed them. tolkachev's high-rise apartment building in moscow is just a few blocks from the american embassy. he often went jogging in the morning around the american embassy compound. he knew where the guard shacks were with a part or cars. he spent hours and hours talking
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and looking patiently, trying to find the license plate of americans )-right-paren moscow. the steel floor. one place he lived with his gas station. just a few months after was defected around 6:00 p.m. in 1977 and sst 04. he went up to the man. he memorized these three sentences that had it not a little note and went out to the man and said are you an american? the man said yes. i would like to talk to you. the american man had said now
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would be a good time. it would a difficult. he said it would be difficult. and then he took as now, put it on the man's friends see and when away from the gas station very quickly so no one would see him. he didn't realize he had just approached the head of the cia in moscow. so when they had known a situation on train station chief company is very interested. it was directory type in four layers of tape and the station chief side note saying i'm a russian engineer. he didn't say who it was so where to find him about his phone number was.
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but they were saying this man approached me. by the way i produce this in the books you can read it for yourself. the bottom line is the cia headquarters that it might be a trap. they sent people to send notes like this and make approaches and it was sometimes a real trap. headquarters that don't respond. and then note tolkachev have proposed another meeting. headquarters said don't go, don't do it. tolkachev didn't give up in the next few months about one month he kept trying. he kept finding the car, going up insane i can do it. and it was then. he was so mad he had a package and they went up and end on the hood of the cia man caller. you refuse to talk to him. long story short and this guy is
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probably not the kgb. maybe figure out what he's trying to tell us. it began in 1979 and in espionage operation to run tolkachev as a spy. until new year's day in 1979, they'd never met with them. the first meeting was on new year's day after sun that. the city was quiet, dark and extremely cold. this is a big gamble for the cia because they knew for decades and this time particularly the kgb had teams swarming over moscow. they knew one false move to get the men arrested and executed. they had been afraid to meet with agents are spies on the streets of moscow. it was just too dangerous. the opposition that began on new
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year's day shows something different. it shows that it could be done. in the past come in the cia used in personal methods like dead drops, fake bricks, favorite blogs to communicate with agents. i want to meet with you. i want to look you guys in the eye and shake your hand and talk to you. tolkachev was like that. he had to let off steam and have some personal contact. his first case officer for the cia, the men he met with was john pilcher. he had wonderful russian language skills in built-up trust with tolkachev and one day said to him why are you doing this? tolkachev was a bit vague. he sent and the dissident at
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heart. he trusted enough to explain more in that the cia and other case officers 21 times on the streets of moscow. tolkachev said i'm not spying en route to the cia have never seen your country with my own eyes and a love unseen i do not have been a fantasy of romanticism. tolkachev betrayed his own country out of anger and revenge. he told the cia over and over again he was bound and determined to do as much damage as possible to the soviet union in the shortest possible time. tolkachev even told the cia he had a plan. he said that seven stages. it will take 12 years and here's what i give you. everything had to be orderly.
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what did he want in return? the burning hatred of the system. he got a lot of money. you couldn't buy a decent pair of shoes. he wanted the money is a sign of respect and at one point the cia offered to pay him more than the salary the president of the united states. he never got the money, but he can't do pics of rubles, pretty worthless currency, but he could look at them and feel respect i suppose. he also wanted to like a decent razor blade, which you couldn't get in the soviet union. he wanted to pencils and erasers for a son who is studying architecture at school. he said one western rock music. want a tolkachev said this case officer, can you give me the
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following and handed the man a list written lock letters in english. he said led zeppelin, pink floyd, the who and so on. this is a big deal. he wanted headphones for his own stereo catalogs. once i got careless, he didn't have the cameras in the spy equipment he was using to get the materials for the cia. and his wife discovered what he was doing. as i mentioned to you, natasha had her deep feelings and said what are you doing? said i won't do it anymore. i'll stop. he said look what happened to my family. she was every bit as anti-soviet or she was. she hated the system even more, but she didn't want harm to come to the family. tolkachev didn't stop. he continued.
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so how did he do it? tolkachev discovered a huge gap in the security of the top-secret institute. he discovered he could put secret documents in his coat pocket, especially in the winter with a big heavy coat, carry them home, make copies and bring them back after lunch with a 20 minute walk from his front door to the place where he worked and stick them in the files before closing and nobody would know. the cia had a big album of days. obviously they were thrilled access that there is no photocopiers. he couldn't take it to kinko's and have a xerox spirit auto photocopiers were under lock and key in the soviet union. the cia had to come up with a camera. there is a spy camera that could fit into a fountain pen or a lipstick. it was hard to hold. it didn't work out first.
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then they gave tolkachev the ultimate weapon. they gave them a pentax 35-millimeter normal camera ten-day clan. tolkachev claimed that to the back of his kitchen chair and aimed at the table and spread secret documents on the kitchen table at lunch time and day after day, week after week for years, producing thousands and thousands of pages among 35-millimeter film. the cia put it into soviet boxes so that takes soviet film deep inside the cassettes they wound ferry high-quality kodak film and it paid off. i mention this because oftentimes in espionage we see the version where everything works. a taste of what it's like in
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factor, difficulties and often times there is a lot of technology and biotechnology and sometimes the technology that the simple pentax camera and was what works. this came up again because another big idea is cia had orders with let's give this spies and communications device. symbian's electronic thing they developed and have developed it. there were 90 this is 20 years before the blackberry or the iphone. the cia had invented one. a handheld communication device and they're probably spending millions of dollars on technology at headquarters said they sent to the mosque is stationed, let's give this to the sky. in moscow is a different thing because he or tolkachev was providing autographed copies of
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thousands of pages of documents. while this is going to pack into the handheld communicator that would be interesting. nobody knew. following orders, the moscow station gave him the device but before we ask them to use it, we have to test it because the great deal of the wonder of espionage in the success of the was not so much the things you see on television. paragraph car chases in the story but there's a lot of choreography. a lot of this is how people behave, how they look on the street, having a meeting with the spy in a park, looking normal, carried on normal routines and escaping the kgb everywhere. so they took the device to a vegetable market. the chief of station and his wife took it out and try to test
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it at a vegetable market and burden for one unit in his pocket and rosalie took the others. rosalie went to the cucumbers in word and stood at the tomatoes and send each other message. with the device which was called the distance, a little red light you had to see when you press the button to make sure your message got through. they saw him looking down into a shirt pocket and seen if the red light was on. about what kind of choreography espionage is it if you look in your shirt pocket. he didn't want to give that thing and when they did give it to them, tolkachev used it only once to send a message to the cia saying can we meet tomorrow. lots of well-intentioned people worked on the select tonics and i don't want to belittle it
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because i thing american ingenuity was a big advantage in the cold war, what we have been plain to her strength was a good idea. my investigation of the case and the story of the book will show a certain kind of shoe lover persists in sweat, patience, carefulness that paid off, too. i hope this book shows espionage none of them romanticized way but in the way of really was. those of us who remember the stakes of the cold war, difficulties have it and also the real question about who is going to prevail in the confrontation. the cold war was not some small conflict we were on the sure would work out the way it did. it was a frightening time because of nuclear missiles. it sets up an enormous amount of our national treasure.
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the story of one man to decide if natasha wrote that she was dying of cancer near the end of her life route to the americans and said tolkachev data for freedom in our country. the freedom they never got to see that eventually became the soviet union collapsed less than a year after tauscher wrote that. someone once said about this entire thing is not just history. we live in a dangerous world today. we have adversaries today. all of you know from watching the news and thinking about the world today may not be a cold war anymore but it does seem awfully difficult and spread out between russia and china, worse in ukraine, isis in the middle
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east. this book per se that human source intelligence, real spies as they were in the cold war. yes we do still prevail. we can intercept everybody's e-mail and telephone conversations. there's no substitute for a human source, for a real spy blake adolf tolkachev. so i would love to now take your questions. ask me anything and i would be happy to do my best. thank you. [applause]
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combine. >> if you have a question, come on up to the microphone to ask a question, please. >> if i can, i have two short questions. one is where did you get the title. [inaudible] >> sorry about that appear to share questions. one is where you get the title. the second is who is the head of the cia during that time? >> the first question is where did i get the title. "the billion dollar spy" refers to a moment in the operation when the cia was asked by the guys in moscow. we are doing a lot of the street with a spy. we could all these rolls of film, hundreds of them, but we are passing it along. what is so poor. the cia asked the air force say
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we give you all this top-secret intelligence. but even that circuit boards from inside the soviet military machine. the air force had already we've save $2 billion in research and development in the first few years. so "the billion dollar spy" save billions of dollars in research and development. i can explain that are there. stansfield turner was head of the cia in the first years of this including when headquarters was telling moscow don't talk to him. he was afraid something was wrong. turner or the station to stand on a not talk to anybody for a while and he was succeeded by bill case, the reagan cia director to the rest of the operation. >> a sickly, isn't he a whistleblower? >> i think whistleblower implies
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some person within our own government to maybe calls attention to waste or something. this is existential whistleblowing. he risked his life. >> of course. >> i don't think it's in the same category. >> been declared a traitor and probably can't come back to this country. >> the case is entirely different. in the case of tolkachev, both sides spied on each other. the difference was our two great systems. they represented some kind of reflection of liberty. there is a moral dimension in
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comparison to the the united states. what was moral dimension? i'm not sure. they could learn the government has overstepped in surveillance. i don't think we can have intelligence agencies have one and can release all the documents i will. those are an enormous amount of top-secret material and he took it upon himself to make a decision. i don't think it is the same. >> i have no doubts about your story but i've heard some very disturbing innings about the history of the cia. one is james chooses angleton was a raving paranoid and for many years during his rank, they just did not accept any information from people who claimed they had information
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that would damage the soviet union. i don't know how damaging that was at all. sacking as i read the book on the history of the cia called legacy of ashes which one award, which went on to show the tremendous incompetence of the cia in predicting many events of the soviet union. i was wondering if you could address this point. >> your question from 1954 to 1974 and important. and mr. are ultra- paranoid and because of his fears the kgb at some global plot, some master plan of deception, many, many valuable asians, we don't know how many were just ignored is damaging for the cia.
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i'm not an historian but a address then the book. [inaudible] >> my problem with that is the cia was a very secretive place. we don't know the sum total of it. if an author comes and tells you it was all bad and half of that is so secret, how does he know? that was a conceptual problem. certainly things in the book are true and the cia errors in the world are well known and certainly familiar with a lot of them from bay of pigs vietnam. the whole story is still locked up in the vaults. >> would you say the soviet intelligence works better to the u.s. or the u.s. intelligence work better than soviets?
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>> this is a big difficult question. it is very true we had far better technical intelligence. is true our satellites were superior. we could count soviet missile silos and see the number on the back of it cheap with the satellite. we could pick up signals intelligence. we have a lot of advantages a lot of advantages as innovators. the soviet kgb had been good at human source intelligence. they had run agents for years and did a lot of the same things we did. tolkachev case is particularly interesting because for a long time people were saying it could never be done and we did it. we had a human source agent. 21 meetings with the cia were carried out almost entirely within three miles of the front door of kgb


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