This is a guest post by Lee McCaslin, Author of Secrets of the Cold War: US Army Europe’s Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities Against the Soviets During the Cold War. Names, units, and locations have been changed to protect classified information.
I knew spies were causing grave harm to USAREUR (US Army in Europe) and its ability to fight a successful war, if attacked. By conducting espionage against us, the East Bloc knew our order of battle and some of our defense and counter – attack plans. This is a known fact because our security experts were sent to testify at NATO espionage trials. The following narrative represents a real example of the espionage threats we faced (actual details are not revealed to protect classified information). Any real-world similarity to names cited is coincidental. The espionage techniques are true.
Ted was having money problems. His wife, Sandra was making more and more demands on him. They were living beyond their means. He was a Warrant Officer – that rank between Enlisted soldier and Commissioned Officer – and although it produced a good salary, he didn’t make that much money. But she demanded the best travel and they were already in Europe after all – they took many trips to Paris, bought new clothes and had a Porsche. If he didn’t comply with her demands, she would hold back sex. He couldn’t do without that.
“Let’s go to Majorca and have a beach holiday,” Sandra said excitedly to Ted one day. “Everyone is doing it. Think of all the quaint seafood places where we could eat right on the beach and enjoy some nice cold white wine and watch the sun go down… and the swimming!”
Ted thought for a few moments and then said, “That would be nice. What an experience!” Ted was tempted. “Get out of this cold climate and go to the warm beach.”
“And think of those warm nights with me,” Sandra teased as she drew close and kissed him. One thing led to another.
Ted looked longingly at Sandra and paused. “Well, it sounds all too good but let’s think on it a while. Maybe somehow I can come up with the money for the plane ride. Then there’s the cost of the hotel, food, and whatever other necessities.”
Ted worked as an Intel Supervisor in the G-2 at one of USAREUR’s Infantry Divisions. Everyone liked Ted. There was a low level FIS (Foreign Intelligence Service) agent already in his unit whose only job was to spot people with access to classified material with vulnerabilities.
This agent reported Ted to his Communist FIS case handler with rumors of Ted’s probable money problems. The handler would present himself to Ted not as an East Bloc agent but rather as an agent of a friendly country who just wanted to confirm the US actions (False Flag approach).
The case handler then approached Ted with a monetary offer he couldn’t refuse. Ted, with thoughts of Majorca in his mind, jumped at the offer and was soon spending an inordinate amount of time at the copying machine reproducing classified documents for the FIS.
“Sandra, I’m home,” Ted said, mimicking Ricky Ricardo. “I think I’ve worked out the money for Majorca. Don’t ask me how.” He slipped off his jacket. “You’ll just have to trust me.”
“Not a word,” Sandra said. “When do we leave?”
Ted had no conscience; he sold out his country for a beach trip and made a lot of money before he was caught and went to Leavenworth.
Sandra no longer lived the high life.
The low-level FIS observer remained in the unit…