A counterintelligence success years in the making was framed as a lucky break fueled by drunk driving
The Federal Bureau of Investigation file on Oleg Lyalin offers new insight into what’s been called “the single biggest action taken against Moscow by any western government” - the 1971 expulsion of dozens of Soviet personnel. According to the narrative established at the time, and repeated even in recent publications, Lyalin’s defection “led to the discovery and deportation of 105 Soviet officials who were accused of spying in Britain” and was prompted by a drunk driving arrest. As his FBI file shows, however, the real story is more complicated than that and has long been one of MI-5’s closely held secrets.
Nearly 50 years before President Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, a SECRET Central Intelligence Agency report had already declared the issue of the city’s ownership a “stumbling block” which could sink the entire peace process, and worse, one “without prospects” for a solution.
With the option to air grievances and conduct discussions via direct messages and private posts, some cities are able to sidestep public records laws. Is yours among them?
Recently declassified records released to the National Security Archive confirm the U.S. government’s awareness of, and active participation in, the Indonesian mass killings that spanned late 1965 to early 1966. A search through the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives for that time period reveals over a thousand related records in various degrees of redaction, showing the Agency’s keen interest in the “Situation in Indonesia.”
In August of 1971, the White House directed the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct a “crash study of intelligence leaks” that had appeared in the press since the beginning of the Nixon Administration on January 20, 1969. That study resulted in a new proposal - an Agency created and maintained database of past and present leaks to help track their damage and identify the leakers. While ultimately successful, the creation of the database raised some unexpected questions for CIA, such as who should be responsible for it, what counted as a leak, and did the Agency care?