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Friday, August 8, 2014

13. SPOOK WRITER 3






UNDERCOVER WITH FBI COUNTERINTELLIGENCE

OCTOBER 1993



Bad news arrived next morning, by way of a fax from Howard:  He would not be coming to "the kids place" after all.  

The Russian Government, he said, had instructed him to freeze all foreign travel until after the Aldrich Ames's trial.  

Howard requested that I come see him in Moscow.
  
This, of course, would require a whole new set of approvals from the Big Cheese Family. 

John H was disappointed.  Finally, the FBI was all gung-ho, and now he'd have to tell his fromagerie that our Swiss rendezvous was a no-go. 

Joseph and Sultan were none too pleased either.  I visited their offices to commiserate with them.

"And we finally paid part of his advance," said Sultan.  "I bet the CIA would love to see this."  

Sultan showed me the wiring instruction, which identified Howard's numbered Swiss account:  234-877-60T, Union Bank of Switzerland, Zurich. 

I had John H on the horn thirty minutes later.  "Would you like The Author's Swiss bank account details?"

"You kidding?"  

I telephoned Howard, reached him at his dacha.  In the absence of a face-to-face meeting at this juncture, would he be prepared, I suggested, to engage in an editorial discussion over the phone? 

"Yeah I could do that." 

"I have a list of things I'd like to discuss with you."
  
"Shoot."  

ME:  “You mention a trip to Cuba where you give insights into the CIA.  It would be interesting to have those same insights in your book.  A few pages about that would help your book.” 

EH:  “Okay.” 

ME:  “Tell your reader what you told the Cubans.”

EH:  “Oh, okay.” 

ME:  “Another place, you refer to your relationship with Vladimir Kryuchkov.  I think you need to personalize this, convince the reader just how close you are with the former KGB chairman." 

EH:  “Okay.” 

ME:  “At the moment you come across like an angry man.  I don't think that's how you want to convey yourself in this book.  I think you need to lighten up, allow yourself some levity.  Humor is the best way to make a point.  Don't hold back.  Let it rip.” 

EH:  “Yeah, I agree.” 

ME:  “Now, this business about how an American court could never convict you.  Yet you refuse to return.  How do you reconcile that?” 

EH:  “I have a probation problem, a firearm conviction.  And the other thing is, my life would be destroyed anyway.  Plus I think some of my former CIA buddies would get me.” 

ME:  “Get you?” 

EH:  “I would be hit by a truck.” 

ME:  “Okay, detail those thoughts in writing.  Reviewers are going to look for holes.  We need to make sure they're all filled.” 

EH:  “Okay.” 

ME:  “Good.  Now, what you really need to address is the (Aldrich) Ames case.  A good overview from your unique perspective.”   

EH:  “Right.  Okay, I'll do that.” 

ME: “Do you think you were compromised by [Vitaly] Yurchenko to conceal Ames?” 

EH:  “What?” 

ME:  “Did he give up information about you to divert attention from Ames?” 

EH:  “Okay, I understand.  You know, I wrote the first part of this book a few years ago.  I was doing it for Kryuchkov.  He asked me to write this book.  The book he wanted was Glory to the Soviet State.  Fortunately, it never got published.  Now I'm able to address these points and do my best job.”


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