Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

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pages: 485 words: 148,662

Farewell by Sergei Kostin, Eric Raynaud

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car-free, cuban missile crisis, index card, invisible hand, kremlinology, Lao Tzu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

The target of his revenge was the KGB, but we have to admit that he committed to it with such a destructive determination and passion that it shook the entire edifice. Among the American protagonists who had developed the “take-down strategy” toward the Soviet Union, many had access to the Farewell documents, but very few had heard of Vladimir Vetrov, let alone of the French connection at the source of those documents. This makes it difficult to assess accurately the impact of the Farewell dossier on the end of the Cold War. There is enough material available, however, for deductive reasoning and clue analysis. We saw in chapter 28 that the NSC directive NSDD 75 was used as a road map for strangling the Soviet economy. Reagan in person launched this strategy soon after his arrival at the White House in January 1981.

Strangely, moral judgments often lose their weight when applied to historical figures who have been eventually proven right by events. When reflecting upon Vladimir Vetrov’s path, one is reminded of Madame de Staël’s words: “If the Russians do not hit the mark, it is because they overshoot it.”14 Farewell, with his Russian excessiveness, unquestionably overreached his goal, since the KGB was dismantled in 1991. Yet the man whose name will remain in the history of secrets services, if not in History with a big “H,” was a man of his time with an inglorious end. Will he ever be rehabilitated in his country? This is doubtful. For the Russians, betraying one’s caste and homeland is inexcusable.15 NOTES: Introduction 1 Gus W. Weiss, “The Farewell Dossier: Strategic Deception and Economic Warfare in the Cold War” (unpublished essay, 2002, “for the sophisticates and esthetes desirous of the consummate espionage experience of the Cold War”).

Chalet’s retirement only accentuated the feeling of having lost this “French connection,” already perceptible in the field. Chronologically, it marked the transition of the Farewell dossier from its gathering phase to its exploitation phase. From this perspective, the affair was just starting, and in that sense, Farewell had already accomplished his “Great Work.” It was precisely at the time when Vetrov was about to leave for the Gulag in a third-class car with bars on the windows that the Farewell dossier started acquiring its true historical dimension. CHAPTER 28 The Cold War, Reagan, and the Strange Dr. Weiss There is no evidence that while he was languishing in his cell in the Lefortovo prison Vetrov was aware of the developments the Farewell dossier was already having at the international level. By confiding in the French secret services, Vetrov had chosen first of all the surest way to take his revenge on his own service.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

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Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce

Weiss Jr., “The Farewell Dossier: Strategic Deception and Economic Warfare in the Cold War” (unpublished essay, 2003), p. 2. These remarks were denoted “The New Brezhnev Approach” by the U.S. Department of Defense in Hearings before the House Committee on Banking and Currency (1974), p. 800. Leebaert, The FiftyYear Wound, p. 512. 23. These details would later be fi tionalized in John Le Carré’s The Russia House (1989), in which Farewell’s original contact, Jacques Prevost, a highly successful French corporate leader, and M. Ameil, the mole’s firs contact, are transformed into a single person, the unsuccessful English publisher Barley Scott Blair.Le Carré also appears to have substituted Soviet rocket scientist Sergei Korolev for a more realistic portrayal of Vladimir Vetrov. While it was too dangerous for Gordievsky to escape the Soviet Union with a copy of his KGB history,he later collaborated on a Western version with a British intelligence historian.

Reed, At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War (New York: Random House, 2004), pp. 266–270; Thomas C. Reed, personal correspondence, January 26, 2005; William Safi e, “The Farewell Dossier,” New York Times, February 2, 2004; Gus W. Weiss Jr., “Cold War Reminiscences: Super Computer Games,” Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (Winter/Spring 2003): 57–60; Weiss, “Duping the Soviets: The Farewell Dossier”; Gus W. Weiss Jr., “The Farewell Dossier: Strategic Deception and Economic Warfare in the Cold War” (unpublished, 2003), pp. 7–11. 41. Schweizer, Victory, p. 62. 42. Leebaert, The Fifty-Year Wound, p. 527. 43. Ibid., pp. 43, 71, 74. 44. Ibid., p. 83. 45. Ibid., p. 110; see also pp. 82–83. 46. Ibid. 47. Safi e, “The Farewell Dossier.” 48. Reed, At the Abyss, pp. 268–269. 49. Ibid., p. 268. 50. Leggett, The Carbon Wars, p. 67. 51. Leebaert, The Fifty-Year Wound, p. 509. 52.

Despite Soviet assurances that these trucks would never be used for military purposes, the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan six years later was facilitated by an armada of Soviet vehicles whose drive trains included Kama engines.17 In 1981 Weiss had been at work on technology transfer to the Soviets for about a decade when President Francois Mitterrand invited President Ronald Reagan to meet with him privately en route to the G7 Summit in Ottawa. The French would soon pass a wealth of Soviet documents into American hands, and considering Weiss’s portfolio with the NSC and his Legion of Honor decoration, it was inevitable that this formidable body of intelligence—now known as the Farewell Dossier—would eventually come into his possession. By all accounts,Reagan had no reason to expect any such gift— and every reason to be suspicious of France’s new leader, who was a lifelong socialist and whose coalition cabinet included four communist ministers. But Mitterrand wanted a close and trusting partnership with America and had no great love for the Soviets. In particular, he viewed the Urengoi pipeline that was to provide Western Europe with Siberian natural gas for decades to come as a very mixed blessing, one that would guarantee France a dependable and fairly low-cost energy source but would also make the whole of Europe more dependent on a Soviet Union strengthened by hard European currency.


pages: 525 words: 131,496

Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence by Jonathan Haslam

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Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, falling living standards, John von Neumann, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, éminence grise

Once Erich Honecker replaced Walter Ulbricht at the top, Moscow’s communications with East Berlin had to be delivered not in Russian as usual, but in German. The Strange Case of Vetrov A key failure, the betrayal of the KGB’s entire military-industrial intelligence network by Vladimir Vetrov (agent “Farewell”) to the French in 1981–1982, seriously undermined a branch of the service critical to meeting the American challenge presented by the Strategic Defense Initiative, the American project for space-based defence with the potential for a preemptive first strike against missiles in their launch phase. Born in 1932 to Muscovite industrial workers, Vladimir Vetrov came to the attention of the KGB in 1959 while working as an engineer at a computer factory. On July 9 he sent in a letter of application that succceeded in gaining him admission to the KGB. A handsome young man with every advantage, three years later he graduated from the 101 training school.


pages: 719 words: 209,224

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

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anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, failed state, joint-stock company, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

It's as if the president thought maybe Brezhnev didn't know this stuff and that if he just heard it, he'd come to his senses." 17 Brezhnev replied in "the standard polemical form, stressing their differences," without any effort to be personal, recalled Dobrynin. Reagan remembered "an icy reply from Brezhnev." 18 At a private moment at an economic summit in Ottawa on July 19, 1981, French President Francois Mitterrand gave Reagan some stunning news. The French had recruited a defector in place in Moscow, whom the French had code-named "Farewell," and he had provided a huge treasure trove of intelligence. Colonel Vladimir Vetrov was an engineer whose job was to evaluate the intelligence collected by the KGB's technology directorate--Directorate T--responsible for finding and stealing the latest in Western high technology. A special arm of the KGB, known as Line X, carried out the thefts. Motivated to help the West, Vetrov had secretly photographed four thousand KGB documents on the program. After Mitterrand spoke to Reagan, the materials were passed to Vice President George H.

"Since 1970, Line X had obtained thousands of documents and sample products in such quantity that it appeared the Soviet military and civilian sectors were in large measure running their research on that of the West, particularly the United States. Our science was supporting their national defense." 20 Rather than roll up the Line X officers and expel them, Reagan approved a secret plan to exploit the Farewell dossier for economic warfare against the Soviet Union. The plan was to secretly feed the Line X officers with technology rigged to self-destruct after a certain interval. The idea came from Weiss, who approached Casey, who took it to Reagan. The CIA worked with American industry to alter products to be slipped to the KGB, matching the KGB's shopping list. "Contrived computer chips found their way into Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline, and defective plans disturbed the output of chemical plants and a tractor factory," Weiss said.

In An American Life, pp. 272-273, Reagan reprints a broader version of the handwritten letter, apparently reflecting revisions by the State Department and others. 17 James A. Baker III, "Work Hard, Study ...And Keep Out of Politics!" (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2006), p. 163. 18 Reagan, An American Life, p. 273. 19 Thomas C. Reed, At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), pp. 266-270. 20 Gus Weiss, "The Farewell Dossier," Studies in Intelligence, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, vol. 39, no. 5, 1996. 21 Pelton volunteered information about the program as early as his first contact with the Soviets on Jan. 15, 1980, and received $20,000 from them in October. He received another $15,000 in 1983. Pelton was arrested in 1985 and convicted of spying in 1986. See United States of America v.


pages: 492 words: 153,565

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter

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In the 1980s, the CIA, the DoD, and the FBI had run a joint operation to sabotage software and hardware headed to the Soviet Union. It began after Lt. Col. Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov, a forty-eight-year-old official in the Line X division of the KGB’s Technology Directorate, began leaking intelligence to the French about a decade-long Soviet operation to steal technology from the West. Vetrov leaked about three thousand documents, dubbed the “Farewell Dossier” by the French, detailing a long list of technologies the Soviets had already pilfered from the West as well as a wish list of items still to be procured. When the wish list made its way to Dr. Gus Weiss, an economics adviser to Reagan’s National Security Council, he proposed a shrewd plan to then-CIA director William Casey. The CIA would let the Soviets continue to obtain the technology they wanted—but with the spy agency slipping modified designs and blueprints into the mix to misdirect their scientific efforts toward money-wasting ventures.

He was imprisoned in 1982 after stabbing his mistress, a married KGB colleague, and was exposed as a double agent—though the CIA’s sabotage efforts remained a secret.19 In 1986, the CIA shuttered the operation. Weiss, who is now dead, never specified the effects of the contrived computer chips and other defective parts that were slipped into the Soviet supply chain, but in 2004, Thomas C. Reed, who worked with Weiss on the National Security Council, wrote a book that briefly mentioned the Farewell Dossier and attributed a 1982 Siberian pipeline explosion to the CIA scheme—the same pipeline explosion that Symantec referenced in its blog post about Stuxnet. According to Reed, one of the items on the Line X shopping list was software for controlling the pumps, valves, and turbines on the Trans-Siberian Pipeline, which was being built to carry natural gas from the Urengoi gas fields in Siberia to countries in Europe.

But then at some predetermined point it caused the pumps and valves to go haywire, creating a gas-pressure buildup so immense it set off a three-kiloton explosion—the “most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” according to Reed. There are many who believe the story of the exploding pipeline is apocryphal; a former KGB official has denied the tale and believes Reed and Weiss confused their facts.21 Regardless, the Farewell Dossier operation did exist and served as inspiration for later sabotage schemes focused on Iran’s nuclear program. One such operation occurred after the CIA infiltrated A. Q. Khan’s nuclear supply network around 2000 and began inserting doctored parts into components headed to Iran and Libya—where Khan had also begun peddling his illicit nuclear services. A weapons expert at Los Alamos National Laboratory worked with the CIA to alter a series of vacuum pumps so that they would malfunction at random intervals.


pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

On 19 November 2005 the Czech newspaper Dnes reported that Jelínek was to publish his memoirs. 123 Security Service Archives. 124 Howe, Conflict of Loyalty, pp. 349–50. On Gordievsky’s meetings with Margaret Thatcher, see Gordievsky, Next Stop Execution, pp. 368–72. 125 Security Service Archives. 126 Andrew and Mitrokhin, Mitrokhin Archive, pp. 548–53. 127 See above, pp. 583–5. 128 Security Service Archives. 129 During the early 1980s statistics on Soviet S&T were obtained by a French agent in FCD Directorate T, Vladimir Vetrov (codenamed FAREWELL). Hanson, Soviet Industrial Espionage. Andrew and Mitrokhin, Mitrokhin Archive, pp. 618–20. 130 Security Service Archives. 131 Security Service Archives. 132 Security Service Archives. 133 Security Service Archives. 134 Security Service Archives. 135 Security Service Archives. 136 Recollections of a former Security Service officer. 137 See above, pp. 583–5. 138 Recollections of a former Security Service officer.