‘Moscow Principles’: How The CIA Operated Under The Watchful Look Of The KGB – NPR
The Moscow Rules looks at how CIA officers evaded the suffocating security environment during the Soviet era. Courtesy of PublicAffairs hide caption toggle caption Courtesy of PublicAffairs The Moscow Rules looks at how CIA officers evaded the suffocating security environment during the Soviet era. Courtesy of PublicAffairs As a young government employee in 1975, Marti…

The Moscow Principles looks at how CIA officers averted the suffocating safety atmosphere all around the Soviet expertise.

Courtesy of PublicAffairs


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Courtesy of PublicAffairs

The Moscow Principles looks at how CIA officers averted the suffocating safety atmosphere all around the Soviet expertise.

Courtesy of PublicAffairs

As a young executive employee in 1975, Marti Peterson change into once assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. She loved the social scene and it earned her a nickname.

“I change into once identified as ‘Celebration Marti’ because I change into once out socializing with the Marine guards, with youthful secretaries, the one, social lifestyles,” Peterson acknowledged. “We did drink our allotment of Carlsberg beer.”

Peterson change into once the truth is with the CIA — potentially the most valuable woman officer despatched to Moscow. Her “quilt” change into once to be a fun-loving clerical worker, any individual Soviet safety would possibly perhaps perhaps perchance well safely ignore because it obsessively tracked real and suspected CIA officers.

Her mission change into once to handle one in every of potentially the most valuable Soviet sources the CIA had ever cultivated, a International Ministry worker who noticed the incoming cables from every Soviet embassy on the earth.

“So we bought a large insight into what the Soviets had been planning, what their intentions had been and what their negotiating aspects had been earlier than we even sat down with them,” she acknowledged.

Peterson and her source — code title TRIGON — communicated by unnecessary drops, in the unnecessary of evening, customarily at a Moscow park.

She would reveal a false log with messages internal. He would screen up an hour later and drop a rusty can or an aged, oily glove. Tucked internal change into once movie of top secret documents he’d photographed with a small camera.

Peterson never met him. And he or she never noticed these photography — but U.S. presidents did.

“We exact knew that we had been deciding on up gold off the avenue,” acknowledged Peterson, now retired and living in Wilmington, N.C.

Special tips for Moscow

Jonna and Tony Mendez every served as chief of disguise at the CIA all over their long careers at the survey agency. Grand of their work alive to working with CIA officers in Moscow, as detailed of their new book, The Moscow Principles.

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Courtesy of PublicAffairs

Jonna and Tony Mendez every served as chief of disguise at the CIA all over their long careers at the survey agency. Grand of their work alive to working with CIA officers in Moscow, as detailed of their new book, The Moscow Principles.

Courtesy of PublicAffairs

That is exact one in every of many survey tales in a new book, The Moscow Principles, by Tony and Jonna Mendez, a couple who every had long careers at the CIA.

Jonna spelled out a few of these tips:

“You are never alone. Form no longer have confidence anybody. Now no longer the runt woman in the restroom who’s sweeping out the stalls. Now no longer the flower woman in the corner. You exact did no longer have confidence anybody in Moscow,” she acknowledged.

The CIA concept to be it too harmful to recruit Soviet electorate contained in the communist country. They had been recruited when they had been in a foreign country, and when they returned to the Soviet Union, communique change into once never remark.

“In Moscow for heaps of, many years, we never met face-to-face because we concept it change into once too harmful,” she added.

Chiefs of disguise

At separate aspects, Tony and Jonna Mendez every served as chief of disguise at the CIA. They had been section of the Space of job of Technical Services and products.

“We had been the an identical of ‘Q’ in the James Bond movies,” she acknowledged.

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Tony Mendez, who died in January, is finest-identified for a previous book he wrote, Argo, which grew to turn into the Oscar-generous movie of the identical title. Ben Affleck portrayed Mendez, who guided trapped American diplomats out of modern Iran in 1980.

The couple change into once never essentially based completely in Moscow, but traveled there to abet CIA officers operate in the metropolis.

Jonna Mendez, the inclined chief of disguise at the CIA, explains learn the system to disguise one’s identification.

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Tracking CIA officers

The major Soviet safety agency, then identified as the KGB, made that as delicate as likely, acknowledged Oleg Kalugin, a inclined KGB officer who grew to turn into a critic of the Soviet machine. He now lives outside Washington, D.C.

“The Soviet KGB change into once a solid, powerful organization,” acknowledged Kalugin, who change into once one in every of its top officers in a virtually 30-year profession.

To make a choice up away KGB surveillance, Tony Mendez developed one methodology known as “disguise on the scurry.”

“He had began as a businessman in a raincoat and a briefcase,” acknowledged Jonna Mendez. He grew to turn into the raincoat internal out, and it grew to turn into a red, woman’s overcoat. He pulled up his pant legs, revealing dusky stockings. He place on a veil and a wig of an elderly woman. The briefcase sprouted wheels.

In exact Forty five seconds, “he ended up [as] an aged woman in a red coat wearing a shawl with grey hair coming out, pushing a grocery cart. And it change into once exact extra or much less an incredible transformation,” she acknowledged.

Tony Mendez labored with a few of Hollywood top makeup artists to refine his methods of deception and disguise.

Jonna Mendez would develop the small roles of movie supplied by the agency’s Soviet spies who inclined the CIA’s small cameras hidden in items delight in pens or lipstick instances.

“You’d take into memoir the oldsters that had risked their lives to determine on up that recordsdata on movie and you would exact be so cautious,” she recalled. “Every time you potentially did it, I indicate, your coronary heart would exact pound.”

Their book looks at the Soviet expertise, and one of the most spycraft would possibly perhaps perhaps perchance well additionally be quite dated.

However the espionage game carries on, Oleg Kalugin acknowledged. Decades in the past, he change into once Vladimir Putin’s boss at the KGB, and acknowledged Putin’s background is mandatory to realizing as we train’s Russia.

“Putin brought aid a number of the worst sides of the Soviet regime,” acknowledged Kalugin, now eighty four. “As a inclined KGB man, his psychology is in keeping with the aged traditions of the Soviet machine.”

A source is uncovered

Talking of the Soviet machine, whatever came about to “Celebration Marti” Peterson and the Soviet source she dealt with?

After nearly two years in Moscow, Peterson went to the bridge one evening in the summertime of 1977 and hid a equipment for him. It incorporated money, emerald jewelry and a new camera.

CIA officer Marti Peterson is apprehended by Soviet safety officers in 1977 in Moscow after she placed a equipment for her Soviet source. Peterson did no longer are conscious of it at the time, but the source, one in every of potentially the most valuable the CIA had ever cultivated in the Soviet Union, had been uncovered and killed himself three weeks earlier.

H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum


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H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum

CIA officer Marti Peterson is apprehended by Soviet safety officers in 1977 in Moscow after she placed a equipment for her Soviet source. Peterson did no longer are conscious of it at the time, but the source, one in every of potentially the most valuable the CIA had ever cultivated in the Soviet Union, had been uncovered and killed himself three weeks earlier.

H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum

As she walked away, she change into once “accosted by these three men who grabbed me,” she acknowledged. “They knew exactly the set the equipment change into once and there change into once a complete van beefy of oldsters in suits.”

They had been KGB, and they also took Peterson to their notorious headquarters in central Moscow, Lubyanka.

She learned that her source TRIGON — whose real title change into once Alexandar Ogorodnik — had been uncovered by Soviet safety three weeks earlier.

When confronted, Ogorodnik acknowledged he would write a confession — but finest alongside with his make a choice up pen.

“This pen contained a natural poison the CIA had supplied to him, gratifying his place a question to to determine on up a mode to commit suicide, which he did at the 2nd,” acknowledged Peterson.

After she change into once detained, CIA officer Marti Peterson change into once taken to the KGB headquarters, Lubyanka, in central Moscow. She change into once held for four hours, and kicked out of the Soviet Union the next day. She went on to work one other 26 years for the CIA.

H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum


disguise caption

toggle caption

H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum

After she change into once detained, CIA officer Marti Peterson change into once taken to the KGB headquarters, Lubyanka, in central Moscow. She change into once held for four hours, and kicked out of the Soviet Union the next day. She went on to work one other 26 years for the CIA.

H. Keith Melton Sequence at the Worldwide Survey Museum

Peterson change into once kicked out of the Soviet Union the next day. However she labored one other 26 years with the CIA earlier than retiring, and now lives in Wilmington, N.C.

Earlier than all these reviews can be printed in The Moscow Principles, Tony and Jonna Mendez needed to submit their manuscript to the CIA for evaluate. It is far a lengthy direction of that came as Tony’s health change into once declining from Parkinson’s disease.

The CIA “knew that Tony change into once no longer smartly,” Jonna Mendez acknowledged. “I despatched a screen in, asserting, ‘Would possibly perhaps you take care of into memoir pulling our manuscript and placing it on the head of your pile. On memoir of I’d the truth is delight in for him to are conscious of it be OK.’ “

The CIA gave its approval this past January. The next day, Tony Mendez died.

Greg Myre is a nationwide safety correspondent. Apply him @gregmyre1.