Treason: How a Russian Spy Led an American Journalist to A U.S. Double Agent

Bill Powell, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7432-2915-9
The spy game is a messy business--and it's also a game the CIA doesn't always seem to play so well. As Newsweek Moscow bureau chief in the late 90s, Powell met Vyacheslav Baranov, an ex-spy with a remarkable story to tell. An up-and-coming operative in the GRU (the Russian military intelligence unit), Baranov had been sent to pose as a businessman in Bangladesh while monitoring illegal weapons movements. Unhappy with the corrupt Soviet regime, he agreed to become a double agent after being approached by an American operative. He passed along little information, however, as the CIA consistently bungled its communications. Arrested by the KGB in 1992 for espionage, he was sent to a Siberian work camp for five years; after his release, he set out to discover who fingered him to the authorities. Russian moles Aldridge Ames and Robert Hanssen were quickly ruled out as whistle blowers--which suggested that a high-profile Russian agent remained at work in the American intelligence community. A speedy, gripping read, the book nevertheless leaves many unanswered questions. How could the CIA ignore a former GRU operative who wanted to give up the goods? How could men like Ames and Hanssen have operated so successfully for so long without being caught? Who betrayed Baranov? Is the mole still at large? Powell and Baranov tirelessly sought the answers to these questions, but unfortunately, they were stonewalled at every turn. 8 pages b&w photos.
Reviewed on: 11/01/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-3333-0
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-4165-7837-6
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