Edward Lee Howard

Edward Lee Howard, 50, died in Moscow on 12 July 2002. Pincus, Washington Post, 21 Jul. 2002, A19. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

Eringer, Robert. RUSE: Undercover with FBI Counterintelligence. Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2008.

According to Peake, Studies 52.3 (Sep. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.2 (Fall 2008), this work concerns the author's activities with the FBI to lure Edward Lee Howard back to the United States, where he could be arrested for espionage. In terms of documentation, it "falls squarely in the 'trust me' category" and "struggles to attain mediocrity."

Howard, Edward Lee. Safe House: The Compelling Memoirs of the Only CIA Spy to Seek Asylum in Russia. Bethesda, MD: National Press Books, 1995.

Surveillant 14.1 notes that Howard does not say whether he gave the Soviets secrets after he fled the United States. He "describes a purported clandestine return to the U.S. in 1986,... [and] describes meeting a Soviet mole ... working for the U.S. government who remains hidden today and implies that there are others.... Those who believe Howard's account of this trip can generally be recognized by the number of deeds they carry announcing ownership in various bridges." The bottomline: "His story, such as it is, is old hat. He reveals nothing new in the way of fact although he does embellish the known events to rationalize his persecution complex. It all adds up to boredom squared."

According to Valcourt, IJI&C 9.1, Howard's book is "an attempt to secure a favorable place for himself in the pantheon of intelligence operatives. Painting himself as a victim of surly bureaucrats..., Howard offers little of substance to sustain his innocence." Safe House mixes "bravado, fable, and whimpering" and will become a "mostly forgotten work" by someone who was not nearly as significant as originally thought. Peake, Studies 52.3 (Sep. 2008), refers to Howard's book as "a forgettable and largely fantasy memoir."

Chambers: "Howard does himself few favors with this book. From his drug use in the Peace Corps to his defection and to the time he nearly gets repatriated by an enthusiastic Soviet guard, he makes one dumb decision after another.... When he isn't being silly, Howard is being disingenuous. He admits that he did give information to the KGB, but claims that it can't have done any harm as such information is ephemeral.... The style is clear, but flat....

"Howard expresses a considerable dislike for David Wise's book about him, claiming to have been misquoted a number of times. However, Wise ... did take the time to find out more about the CIA's treatment of Howard after the firing than Howard tells us about and he shows a level of detachment from the case that allows useful lessons to be drawn. It is recommended over this offering." For Chambers' full review, CLICK here.

Newsweek [Evan Thomas, et al.]. "Deadly Mole." 7 Mar. 1994, 24-29.

Includes sidebar: "The Decade of the Spy," pp. 26-27; and associated stories: Michael Elliott, "Why Russia Continues to Torment America," pp. 28-29; Dorinda Elliott, with Yevgenia Albats, "Back at KGB Headquarters," p. 29; David Wise, "The Spy Who Didn't Get Away," p. 30 [on Edward Lee Howard]; Jonathan Alter, "Not-So-Smart Intelligence," p. 31.

Peake, Hayden B. "Risks of Recruitment." Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 6, no. 6 (1988): 8-10.

Pincus, Walter. "CIA Defector Edward Lee Howard Said to Have Died in Moscow." Washington Post, 21 Jul. 2002, A19. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Edward Lee Howard, the former CIA case officer who escaped to Moscow in September 1985 after coming under suspicion as a spy for the Soviet Union, died there [12 July 2002,] according to a family friend."

Wise, David.

1. "The Spy Who Got Away." New York Times Magazine, 2 Nov. 1986, 30.

2. The Spy Who Got Away: The Inside Story of Edward Lee Howard, The CIA Agent Who Betrayed His Country's Secrets and Escaped to Moscow. New York: Random House, 1988. New York: Avon, 1988. [pb]

Chambers recommends this work over Howard's Safe House. Maas, NYT (12 Jun. 1988), suggests that whatever the author "lacks stylistically, he is a reporter of impeccable credentials.... Certainly his version of the events pertaining to ... Edward Lee Howard ... is as good as we can expect to get."

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