Bernon F. Mitchell and William H. Martin were NSA cryptologists who defected to the Soviet Union in 1960. They surfaced at a Moscow news conference on 6 September 1960. This was a major embarrassment for NSA. A statement released in Moscow was carried by the New York Times on 7 September 1960. See Bamford (Penguin, 1983), pp. 177-196, as a starting point.
Materials presented in chronological order.
Gieske, Tony. "NSA's Missing Pair Had Parallel Careers." Washington Post, 6 Aug. 1960, A8. [Barrett]
Raymond, Jack. "U.S. Fears Two Security Aides Have Gone Behind the Iron Curtain." New York Times, 6 Aug. 1960, A1. [Barrett]
Casey, Phil. "Senate Committee Wants Full Report on Two Missing Employees of NSA." Washington Post, 7 Aug. 1960, A1. [Barrett]
Pearson, Drew. "Missing NSA Aides Know Codes." Washington Post, 17 Aug. 1960, B25. [Barrett]
Pryor, Betty. "McCormick Says Missing NSA Pair Took Valuable Code Secrets to Soviet." Washington Post, 31 Aug. 1960, A11. [Barrett]
Raymond, Jack. "Defectors Data Called Valuable." New York Times, 31 Aug. 1960, A15. [Barrett]
Caruthers, Osgood. "Two Code Clerks Defect to Soviet Union, Score U.S. 'Spying.'" New York Times, 7 Sep. 1960, 1, 11. [Bamford2]
Mitchell, Bernon F., and William H. Martin. "Prepared Statement." New York Times, 7 Sep. 1960, A6.
Raymond, Jack. "Pentagon Terms Statements False." New York Times, 7 Sep. 1960, A1. [Barrett]
Barker, Wayne G., and Rodney E. Coffman. The Anatomy of Two Traitors: The Story of the Defection of Two Americans to the Soviet Union. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1981.
Petersen: "Not held in high regard by some experts."
Bamford, James. The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. With New Afterword. New York: Penguin, 1983. [pb] UB251U5B35
Clark comment: This work continues to be reviled by critics; but if Bamford had not written it, we would not have had an early, serious, and in-depth look at NSA's activities and organization. It is not completely superceded by Bamford's later Body of Secrets (2001). Pforzheimer suggests that the book "must be used with caution because of some errors of fact." The Afterword in the 1983 paperback edition includes material on the British spy, Geoffrey Arthur Prime, and on Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of NSA.
For Lowenthal, the book is "[s]tronger on organizational history than on the actual work of signals intelligence." Watson, et al, Encyclopedia, p. xiii, notes that Puzzle Palace "is the result of an outstanding research effort, and it provides a detailed and accurate study of the agency." Powers, NYRB, 3 Feb. 1983, and Intelligence Wars (2004), 243-255, comments that the author "has assembled all that was known, and much that was unknown," about NSA, "but the result does not make for light reading." Except for a handful of stories, the "book reads like a study of AT&T," with methodical lists of organizational detail.
For some insights on Bamford's monumental research effort, see Paul Constance, "How Jim Bamford Probed the NSA," Cryptologia 21, no. 1 (Jan. 1997): 71-74.
Barrett, David M. "Secrecy, Security, and Sex: The NSA, Congress, and the Martin-Mitchell Defections." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 699-729.
It "seems fair and accurate" to say that congressional oversight of NSA from late1952 through the summer of 1960 "was almost nonexistant.... When Martin's and Mitchell's spectacular defections and press conference in Moscow unfolded, the 'alarms' set off in the United States were sufficient to provoke a relatively assertive response from Capitol Hill which did, indeed, result in changes of NSA policies and procedures. Having said that, no available evidence suggests that monitoring of the NSA by legislators became even close to comprehensive during the remainder of the 1960s."
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