Le Carre on the CIA, the KGB, and you

From a faithful reader calls attention to John le Carre’s introduction to a Pocket Books edition of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

He is writing about the damage done by double agents such as Kim Philby and George Blake, both KGB agents who were buried deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service after World War II.

James Angleton

James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s counterintelligence staff

“Such an abject state of affairs was certainly reached by SIS in the high days of Blake and Philby, just as it was inflicted on the CIA by the paranoid influence of (James) Angleton himself, who, in the aftermath of discovering that he had been eating out of the hand of the KGB’s most successful double agent, spent the rest of his life trying to prove that the Agency, like the SIS, was being controlled by Moscow; and that its occasional successes were consequently no more than sweeteners tossed to it by the fiendish manipulators of the KGB. Angleton was wrong, but his effect on the CIA was as disastrous as if he had been right. Both services would have done much less damage to their countries, moral and financial, if they had simply been disbanded.”

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