KGB papers, kept in secret since 1992, released by British archive

Original documents from one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history — a who’s who of Soviet spying — were released Monday after being held in secret for two decades.

Intelligence historian Christopher Andrew said the vast dossier, released by the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University, was considered “the most important single intelligence source ever” by British and American authorities.

Mitrokhin was a senior archivist in the KGB’s foreign intelligence headquarters — and a secret dissident. For more than a decade, he secretly took files home, copied them in longhand and then typed them and collated them into volumes. He hid the papers at his country cottage, or dacha, some stuffed into a milk churn and buried.

The world did not learn of Mitrokhin until Andrew published a book based on his files in 1999. It caused a sensation by exposing the identities of KGB agents including 87-year-old Melita Norwood, the “great-granny spy,” who had passed British atomic secrets to the Soviets for years. Continue reading

Attacking Iran: Did US just torpedo Israeli deal for a base in Azerbaijan?

Quoting unnamed senior US diplomats and military intelligence officials, a lengthy article in Foreign Policy magazine asserts that “Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran’s northern border.”

“The Israelis have bought an airfield,” a senior administration official is quoted as saying, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.”

Why would US officials be talking about this? Likely to slow down any rush to war in an already volatile region, some speculate.

“I think this leak today is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack,” former US diplomat John Bolton said Thursday on Fox News.

“Clearly, this is an administration-orchestrated leak,” Mr. Bolton said, adding, “It’s just unprecedented to reveal this kind of information about one of your own allies.”

Full article: Attacking Iran: Did US just torpedo Israeli deal for a base in Azerbaijan? (Christian Science Monitor)