David Wise

A - M


Wise, David. The American Police State: The Government Against the People. New York: Random House, 1977.


Wise, David. "Another C.I.A. Disaster." New York Times, 13 Sep. 1996, A23 (N).

In this op-ed piece, the author uses the collapse of CIA covert operations in northern Iraq to argue against the use of covert action generally.

[CA/Iraq; CIA/90s/96][c]

Wise, David. Cassidy's Run: The Secret Spy War over Nerve Gas. New York: Random House, 2000.

Macartney, AFIO WIN 18-00 (5 May 2000), notes that this is the story of U.S. Army Master Sergeant Joseph Cassidy who "spent 23 years as an FBI double agent, feeding misleading information to his GRU handlers about US chemical weapons programs." According to Vernon Loeb, "IntelligenCIA: A Spy War Exposed," Washington Post, 1 May 2000, Operation SHOCKER was "the FBI's longest running [CI] case of the Cold War," lasting 21 years. Cassidy "exposed 10 Russian spy handlers and surfaced three 'illegal' Russian agents," while passing thousands of pages of "carefully vetted classified documents" to the Russians.

For Naftali, New York Times, 30 Apr. 2000, this work "is a meticulous reconstruction of a hitherto unknown counterespionage case.... Wise raises the possibility that the Cassidy deception operation backfired with horrendous consequences. Citing circumstantial evidence, he suggests that it compelled the Soviets to expand production of chemical weapons.... But lacking any rich sources in the chemical and biological weapons programs of the former Soviet Union, Wise is not able to build a persuasive case.... Wise has done readers a service in bringing Cassidy's remarkable tale to life."

See also, Raymond L. Garthoff, "Polyakov's Run," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 56, no. 5 (Sep.-Oct. 2000): 37-40, which discusses the deception/disinformation aspects of the Cassidy operation in connection with a similar operation run through Soviet Col. Dmitri Polyakov (Top Hat/Bourbon).

[CI/00s/Gen; FBI/00s/Gen; GenPostwar/Disinformation/U.S.]

Wise, David. "China's Spies Are Catching Up." New York Times, 10 Dec. 2011. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"China's success in stealing American secrets will provide a continuing challenge to the spy catchers. And Washington's counterintelligence agents, accustomed to the comfortable parameters of the cold war and more recent battles against Al Qaeda, must rethink their priorities and shift their focus, resources and energy eastward to counter China's spies."

[CI/10s; China/10s]

Wise, David. "The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue." Smithsonian (Oct. 2012). [http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIA-Burglar-Who-Went-Rogue-169800816.html]

The author provides background on the Douglas Groat spy case (concluded with a guilty plea of extortion), on Groat personally, and on Groat's work in "a secret CIA unit that ... specialized in stealing codes, the most guarded secrets of any nation."


Wise, David. "The CIA's Midlife Crisis." Washington Post, 14 Sep. 1997, C1, C5. Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 22 Sep. 1997, 21.

"Several distinct eras can be traced in examining the CIA's history. The first was the golden age. In the aftermath of World War II,... the CIA's covert operators were unchecked.... In the second phase, the CIA came under sharp scrutiny.... In the next era, the early 1980s, the agency enjoyed a brief renaissance under President Reagan.... Ironically, victory in the Cold War ... introduced the current shaky period in which the agency confronts its ultimate problem -- what is its reason for being?"


Wise, David. "The Cold that Came in with the Spy." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 7-13 Mar. 1994, 9.

Wise, David. "The Felix Bloch Affair." New York Times Magazine, 13 May 1990, 28-31 ff.


Wise, David. Molehunt: The Secret Search for Traitors That Shattered the CIA. New York: Random House, 1992.

According to Surveillant 4.3, Molehunt is "[o]ne of the most balanced treatments of CIA's counterintelligence horror story to have appeared in print.... This is a good example of responsible investigative journalism which demonstrates what a potentially self-destructive monster CI can be when permitted to exceed practical bounds for effective security." Ignatius, WPNWE, 16-22 Mar. 1992, says that the author "is at his best in describing the human consequences of this molehunt -- the price paid by the individual CIA officers who were its targets."

Cram sees Molehunt as a "readable and accurate account." There is some "slight exaggeration" to make it possible "to describe it as an event that 'shattered the CIA.'" Nevertheless, Wise has carried out "careful and extensive research." The story about Igor Orlov, on whom Golitsyn and Angleton concentrated so much attention, is "well-told." Wise has given us an "important addition to the literature of the Angleton period." Robarge, Studies 53.4 (Dec. 2009), also notes that the author "goes well beyond the facts to claim that the search 'shattered' the Agency."

To Bates, NIPQ 9.2, this is a "disturbing story.... If true -- and I am convinced most of it is -- it is a devastating indictment of Angleton's counterintelligence efforts.... Those I have talked to, who were involved, claim the book contains many errors, but that the overall story is true. A better book on the subject is Mangold's Cold Warrior." Rich, FILS 12.2, finds that the author's "distress is over how the hunt was conducted.... Although there is something that can ... be said to justify Angleton's actions, he eventually went far beyond the bounds of reason.... 'With his excess of zeal, Angleton has succeeded in destroying all that he had worked for.' (p 297)"

For Powers, NYRB (13 May 1993) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 295-320, "Wise ... adds much new information about the devastating effect of the CIA's prolonged investigation of Golitsyn's claims." The NameBase reviewer notes that "Golitsin's tall tales, together with Angleton's paranoia and power, led to a hunt for double agents that effectively ended the careers of some loyal CIA officers."

See also, David E. Murphy, "Sasha Who?" Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 1 (Jan. 1993), reprinted in CIRA Newsletter 18, no. 3, pp. 21-25.


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