Spying

31 articles
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The Traitor

The case against Jonathan Pollard, an American who spied for Israel.

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The Mark

On then-agent, now-congressman Michael Grimm and what happens when an F.B.I. informant turns out to be a con man.

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The 'Queen of Cuba'

Ana Montes was a decorated U.S. intelligence analyst. She was also a Cuban spy.

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The Great Escape

How the CIA used a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran. The declassified story that became Ben Affleck’s Argo.

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Hacking the President’s DNA

On the potential existence of personalized bioweapons, which could attack a single individual without leaving a trace, and how they might be stopped.

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Requiem for a Russian Spy

A CIA veteran remembers his Soviet nemesis, Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin, who was the chairman of the KGB for a single day during the 1991 coup against Gorbachev, and committed suicide in Moscow in March.

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My Father and Me: A Spy Story

The highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of spying passes the tricks of the trade along to his son.

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The Paris Review, the Cold War and the CIA

Uncovered letters reveal ties between the literary magazine and the CIA’s Congress for Cultural Freedom.

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Jamming Tripoli

Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network.

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The Yankee Comandante

The story of William Morgan: American, wanderer, Cuban revolutionary.

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The Most Dangerous Game

The parallel lives of a KGB defector and his CIA handler.

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The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret

How killing by remote control has changed the way we fight.

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Cable: A Caucasus Wedding

The lavish display and heavy drinking concealed the deadly serious North Caucasus politics of land, ethnicity, clan, and alliance.

In a cable brought to light by Wikileaks, the Ambassador to Russia describes a raucous three-day Dagestani wedding attended by Chechnya’s president Ramzan Kadyrov.

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Q&A: Edward Luttwak

Edward Luttwak is a rare bird whose peripatetic life and work are the envy of academics and spies alike. ...he published his first book, Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, at the age of 26. Over the past 40 years, he has made provocative and often deeply original contributions to multiple academic fields, including military strategy, Roman history, Byzantine history, and economics.
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The Informants

On the FBI’s program to infiltrate Muslim communities in America.

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The Journalist and the Spies

The death of the journalist who exposed dark secrets about Islamic extremism in Pakistan’s military.

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Black Ops and Blood Money

When a CIA operation in Pakistan went bad, leaving three men dead, the episode offered a rare glimpse inside a shadowy world of espionage. It also jeopardized America’s most critical outpost in the war against terrorism.

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Why Are Spy Researchers Building a 'Metaphor Program'?

What IARPA's project calls for is the deployment of spy resources against an entire language. Where you or I might parse a sentence, this project wants to parse, say, all the pages in Farsi on the Internet looking for hidden levers into the consciousness of a people.
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The Secret Sharer

How Thomas Drake, senior executive at the NSA, came to face some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen.

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The Point of No Return (Part 2)

Did A.Q. Khan sell nuclear secrets on the black market? The fame had unbalanced him. He was subjected to a degree of public acclaim rarely seen in the West—an extreme close to idol worship, which made him hungry for more. Money seems never to have been his obsession, but it did play a role.

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The Wrath of Khan (Part 1)

The unlikely ascent of A.Q. Khan, the scientist who gave Pakistan the Bomb, and his suspicious fall from grace.

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Spy Games

On January 27th in Lahore, an American named Raymond A. Davis stopped his Honda Civic and shot two Pakistani men, then made a failed attempt to flee. Beyond those basic facts, little is agreed upon, and the murders have ignited a diplomatic crisis, which only intensified with the revelation that Davis was a CIA subcontractor.

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The Confessions of 'Curveball'

How an Iraqi expat conned the United States, without ever once being interviewed by an American official, into making the case that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. “Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq.”

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A Mountain of Trouble

Anatomy of an international incident; how three idealistic young American hikers wandered across the Kurdistan-Iran border and ended up in Iranian prison charged with spying.

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Cables Shed Light on Ex-K.G.B. Officer’s Death

The Wikileaks-released documents regarding the polonium-poisoning assassination of Alexander V. Litvinenko speak to the potential involvement of both British and Russian security agencies and hint at the disappearance of a plane that bore evidence of the transport of polonium.

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Double Exposure

A profile of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, published at the height of the controversy.

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Pandora’s Briefcase

In “Operation Mincemeat” a vagrant’s corpse, raided from a London morgue, washed up on a beach in Spain, setting in motion an elaborate piece of espionage that fooled Nazi intelligence. Or did it?