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Is story a direct account of what he did in the US after we all assumed the spying was over and of what Putin and Russia continue to do today The revelations are stunning It is also the story of growing up in a family of agents dating back to the revolution; of how Russia molded him into one of its most high flying operatives; of the day to day perils of living a double then triple life; and finally of how his growing disuiet with the corruption and ambitions of the new Russia led him to take the most perilous step of all Many spies have told their stories None has the astonishing immediacy relevance and cautionary warnings of Comrade. I almost felt bad giving this book a five star rating as I have never particularly like the idea of spying generally no matter who is spying on whom As the volume conclude Sergei Tretyakov rationalizes his betrayal of Russia the Soviet Unionthe KGB by designating himself an American patriot Perhaps a stretch but as Sergei relates the story of how the KGB gutted the republics one can sympathize with hie outlookI recall clearly reading of the cruelties visited upon draftees in the army and choking on the thought that sadistic KGBSVRFSB were given free reign toe toughen up the troups pretty much disgusting Tretyakov's story lends no credence to the thought that the FSB masueraded as Chechnyan terrorist to blow up Moscow apartments to engender sympathy for a new regime of law and order but one wonders based on lot of other bureaucratic infighting Gives new meaning and impetus to Trump's draining of the Washington intelligence swamp

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Comrade JSpymaster defector double agent the remarkable true story of the man who ran Russia's post Cold War spy program in America In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed the Cold War ended and a new world order began We thought everything had changed But one thing never changed the spies From 1997 to 2000 a man known as Comrade J was the highest ranking operative in the SVR the successor agency to the KGB in the United States He directed all Russian spy action in New York City and personally oversaw every covert operation against the United States and its allies in the United Nations He recruited spies planted agents penetrated security manipulat. I'd previously read Earley's books on Aldrich Ames and the Walker spy family both of which were also uick and easy reads which should please anyone interested in contemporary espionage This one being about a former Russian citizen rests on a weaker evidential footing than the others reliant as it is on the testimony of its subject Sergei Tretyakov Beyond learning of his life in the USSR's secret services during the eighties and into the 2000s one also learns about the Russian espionage establishment In this regard I was particularly interested in what he had to say about the disastrous Yeltsin and Putin regimes which he regarded as criminal and because of which he chose to become first a double agent and second a defector

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summary Comrade J ↠ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ¶ Spymaster defector double agent the remarkable true story of the man who ran Russia's post Cold War spy program in America In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed the Cold War ended and a new world order began We thought everything had changed But one thing never changed the spies From 1997 Ed intelligence and influenced American policy all under the direct leadership of Boris Yeltsin and then Vladimir Putin He was a legend in the SVR the man who kept the secrets Then in 2000 he defected and it turned out he had one secret For the previous two years he had also been a double agent for the FBI By far the most important Russian spy that our side has had in decades He has never granted a public interview The FBI and CIA have refused to answer all media uestions about him He has remained in hiding He has never revealed his secrets Until now Comrade J written by the bestselling author of Family of Spies and The Hot House is h. book about the career of Russian spy Sergei Tretyakov before his defection to the US was strongly recommended to me by someone who said that its portrayal of how intelligence agents handle contacts was scrupulously accurate and my source is in a position to know This was before the recent revelations about the group of deep cover Russian agents in the US and UK and indeed before Tretyakov's own sudden death in June this year not revealed until July; my informant may have known about the former but I hope he was not tipped off about the latter in advanceThere is some interesting material but the whole feels a bit shallow For instance Earley doesn't seem to know much about the European Union and his account of COREU telegrams is confused and inaccurate; when his details on points that I know about are poor I naturally become suspicious about the rest Though other bits rang true there is one beautiful Kafka moment which Earley calls 'a catch 22 situation' one section of the Russian intelligence establishment in New York had the job of recruiting and converting FBI and CIA agents but were also forbidden by their own regulations from having any contact with known FBI or CIA agents This of course led to significant padding of reports making it appear that the rather few genuine US contacts were impressive than they wereEarley does not examine the extent to which Tretyakov's work actually affected Russian policy and actions than would have been the case had he been an ordinary diplomat and that is the biggest gap in the book though of course it's a much broader uestion eually applicable to Western intelligence agencies There are two interesting passages about spreading disinformation among the academic community I remember the Transdniestrian astroturf affair from a couple of years back as chronicled by Edward Lucas at the time which was a rather good example of this; but a audacious claim is that the KGB simply invented the idea that the widespread use of atomic weapons would result in a 'nuclear winter' in order to strengthen the anti nuclear lobby in the West I've no idea what the current status of nuclear winter theory is among climate scientists and Earley doesn't investigate this simply accepting Tretyakov's account that his colleagues made it all up and again I wish he had checked a bit furtherOne of the interesting but less believable claims in the book is that Strobe Talbott then a senior US official was 'played' by a Russian official who was really in intelligence but pretended to be matey with him Talbott asked to respond contends entirely credibly though Earley doesn't seem to believe him that he always expected and believed that his interlocutor was passing the entire contents of their conversations back to various contacts in Moscow and spoke to him on that basis; he doesn't add but might have that that is what makes such conversations worth while in the first place The fact that Tretyakov or his FBICIA handlers wanted this story published is itself perhaps significantThere is a cautionary tale there My own policy with contacts who I know or suspect to be in that line of work is to treat them as I do 'ordinary' officials or indeed reasonably motivated graduate students If my interlocutors fancy they are getting better information from me than their competition that is their lookout; any such conversation from my point of view is always at least partly about influencing government decision makers or the wider epistemic community This is a game played in both directions of course; the details of how one of the world's most famous services handles HUMINT are fascinating and the general guidelines and specific judgement calls that Tretyakov and his colleagues made when deciding how and when to develop contacts make for interesting reading The other interesting human story though of course one has to treat it with due caution is the slow disillusionment of Tretyakov and his family with Russia after the fall of Communism the increasing surrender of Russian territory as well as the economy to criminal oligarchs backed by what passed for the central government must have been an awful process of disillusionment for all patriotic Russians Each has made their own accommodation with the new state of affairs; Tretyakov chose to turn his back on it and seek a new beginning He enjoyed it for less than ten years