SPY CASES - UNITED STATES

Bernon F. Mitchell & William H. Martin

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.

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

Barrett, David M. "NSA Secrets Revealed -- in 1960." Washington Post, 21 Jun. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Professor Barrett's Op-Ed piece reviews the Mitchell-Martin defection in 1960. He notes: "Whereas Edward Snowden's recent revelations have provoked significant debate about whether the NSA's activities are legal, properly monitored by Congress and justifiable, such a debate did not occur in 1960.... [E]xcept for having to change its security clearance procedures, the NSA was largely unscathed by the controversy."

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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