Tag Archives: spies

How to Spot a Spook

by John Marks
This article first appeared in the November 1974 issue of Washington Monthly

Both the Soviet and American intelligence establishments seem to share the obsession that the other side is always trying to bug them. Since the other side is, in fact, usually trying, our technicians and their technicians are constantly sweeping military installations and embassies to make sure no enemy, real or imagined, has succeeded. One night about ten years ago, a State Department security officer, prowling through the American embassy in Santiago, Chile, in search of Communist microphones, found a listening device carefully hidden in the office of a senior “political officer.” The security man, along with everyone else in the embassy, knew that this particular “political officer” was actually the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Station Chief,” or principal operative in Chile. Bugging his office would have indeed been a major coup for the opposition. Triumphantly. the security man ripped the microphone out of the wall – only to discover later that it had been installed by the CIA station chief himself. Read more