Synopses & Reviews
From two men who know better than anyone how espionage really works, an unprecedented history?heavily illustrated with neverbefore- seen images?of the CIA?s most secretive operations and the gadgets that made them possible
It is a world where the intrigue of reality exceeds that of fiction. What is an invisible photo used for? What does it take to build a quiet helicopter? How does one embed a listening device in a cat? If these sound like challenges for Q, James Bond?s fictional gadget-master, think again. They?re all real-life devices created by the CIA?s Office of Technical Service?an ultrasecretive department that combines the marvels of state-of-the-art technology with the time-proven traditions of classic espionage. And now, in the first book ever written about this office, the former director of OTS teams up with an internationally renowned intelligence historian to take readers into the laboratory of espionage.
Spycraft tells amazing life and death stories about this littleknown group, much of it never before revealed. Against the backdrop of some of America?s most critical periods in recent history?including the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war on terror?the authors show the real technical and human story of how the CIA carries out its missions.
"Today's CIA is regularly criticized for emphasizing technology at the expense of 'human intelligence.' In this history of the agency's Office of Technical Services, Wallace, its former head, and academic specialist Melton (Ultimate Spy) refute the charge with exciting content and slam-bang style. The book's chief value is its perspective on the synergy of technology and tradecraft. From WWII through the Cold War and up to the present, the authors say, technical equipment for clandestine audio surveillance, for example has been an essential element of agent operations. In the post Cold War 'information society,' technology plays an even more significant role in fighting terrorism. Agents remain important, along with their traditional skills. Increasingly, however, they support clandestine technical operations, especially infiltrating and compromising computer networks. The authors persuasively argue that employing and defending against sophisticated digital technology is the primary challenge facing U.S. intelligence in the 21st century. Their position invites challenge, but it cannot be dismissed. 32 pages of photos, over 100 b&w illus. throughout. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Todays CIA is regularly criticized for emphasizing technology at the expense of human intelligence. In this history of the agencys Office of Technical Services, Wallace, its former head, and academic specialist Melton (Ultimate Spy) refute the charge with exciting content and slam-bang style. The books chief value is its perspective on the synergy of technology and tradecraft. From WWII through the Cold War and up to the present, the authors say, technical equipmentfor clandestine audio surveillance, for examplehas been an essential element of agent operations. In the post-Cold War information society, technology plays an even more significant role in fighting terrorism. Agents remain important, along with their traditional skills. Increasingly, however, they support clandestine technical operations, especially infiltrating and compromising computer networks. The authors persuasively argue that employing and defending against sophisticated digital technology is the primary challenge facing U.S. intelligence in the 21st century. Their position invites challenge, but it cannot be dismissed.
Modern espionage requires more than a fast car and a shaken martini; it demands suitable equipment with which to gather, store, and transmit information. Wallace, former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Services (OTS), and H. Keith Melton (CIA Special Weapons & Equipment: Spy Devices of the Cold War), together with Henry Robert Schlesinger (coauthor, Brooklyn Bounce: The True- Life Adventures of a Good Cop in a Bad Precinct), present this well-written account of the ingenious items and procedures developed by the OTS to support field agents. The details of operational activity are as engrossing as the descriptions of the equipment, military and otherwisee.g., miniature cameras and radios, obscure drugs, tiny weapons, secret compartments, and forged documentsdepicted here in 100- plus fascinating diagrams and photographs.
Just amazing! Page after page of jaw-dropping revelations about incredible cases and amazing technology. There has never been anything like this book.
Richard Gid Powers, author of Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover and Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI
This book is absolutely the best I've ever read about the CIA's "spy-techs" and the critical role they have played
Painstakingly researched, yet written with a novelist's flair, SPYCRAFT rips back the veils, revealing unfamiliar cases and offering fresh insights into infamous ones. From chronicling the invention of exploding pancakes to wristwatch cameras and quiet helicopters, SPYCRAFT documents how ingenious "techies" turned the CIA's lab into "the greatest toy shop in the world" and proved that if they "could think it --(they) could do it."
--Pete Earley, author of Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy After The End of The Cold War and Confessions of a Spy; The Real Story of Aldrich Ames
A must read for anyone interested in the world of CIA clandestine operations. The authors open a door on a hidden area that even those of us who have served in the Agency rarely see. Incredible research and great writing make this a fun ride through the history of this until now overlooked secret world deep inside the CIA.
Gary C. Schroen, author of First In
This is a story I thought could never be told. The CIA's super-secret gadgets and technical operations were the difference maker in the espionage wars. Bob Wallace and Keith Melton have done a brilliant job of taking us into this amazing and arcane world. Behind all of us who did the front line spying for the CIA stood some remarkable and unsung heroes, the scientists and engineers of OTS. It was a beautiful partnership. Don't miss this book. Nothing like it has been written before.
James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence and author of Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying
Stuffed with stories about chemical taggants, forged documents, physical and psychological disguises, software beacons that reveal the location of a cell phone or a laptop
this extraordinary, detailed, accurate book tells more about what spies really do, the risks they run and their schemes to avoid them, than all the James Bond stories put together.
David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers
"Details of operational activity are as engrossing as the descriptions of the equipment."
"Reveals more concrete information about CIA tradecraft than any book... [Deserves] a five cloak-and-dagger rating."
-The Washington Times
"Reveals more concrete information about CIA tradecraft than any book."
-The Washington Times
"This is a story I thought could never be told."
-James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence
"The first comprehensive look at the technical achievements of American espionage from the 1940s to the present."
In this the first book ever written about the CIA's Office of Technical Service, former director Robert Wallace (a real-life Q, straight out of the James Bond films) and internationally renowned intelligence historian H. Keith Melton offer an unprecedented look at the CIA's most secretive operations and the devices that made them possible. Against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions- including the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the current War on Terror-the authors show how the CIA carries out its missions employing amazingly inventive tools. Illustrated with images never before seen by the public-and featuring everything from micro cameras to wired kitties to exploding pancakes-Spycraft
is both a fantastic encyclopedia of gadgetry and a revealing primer on the fundamentals of high-tech espionage.
Who's spying on you? And how are they doing it?
Spycraft offers an unprecedented look at the CIA's most secretive operations and the devices that made them possible.
Written by the former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service, Robert Wallace (a real-life Q, straight out of the James Bond films), and internationally renowned intelligence historian H. Keith Melton, Spycraft reveals how the CIA carries out its life-and-death missions against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions - including the Cold War, the Cuben Missile Crisis, and the War on Terror.
More relevant than ever - given the news about Edward Snowden and the NSA, concerns about privacy rights, organizations like Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, and popular entertainment like The Americans and Homeland - Spycraft is an important and revealing primer on the fundamentals of high-tech espionage.
About the Author
Robert Wallace is the former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service and lives in Virginia. A recipient of the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit, Wallace founded the Artemus Consulting Group in 2004, providing management and intelligence counsel to corporate and government clients. He is also a contributor to the oral history program of CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence.
H. Keith Melton is an internationally recognized author, historian, and expert on clandestine devices and technology. He is the technical tradecraft historian at the Interagency Training Center in Washington, D.C. He has assembled the world's largest collection of espionage devices and lectures widely throughout the U.S. intelligence community and abroad. He resides in Florida.
Henry Robert Schlesinger is an author and journalist who has covered intelligence technologies, counterterrorism, and law enforcement. His work has appeared in Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Technology Review, and Smithsonian magazine. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Official Message from the CIA
Section I. At The Beggining
1. My Hair Stood on End
2. We Must Be Ruthless
Section II. Playing Catch-Up
3. The Penkovsky Era
4. Beyond Penkovsky
5. Bring in the Engineers
6. Building Better Gadgets
Section III. In The Passing Lane
7. Moving Through the Gap
8. The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword (and Shield)
9. Fire in the Arctic
10. A Dissident at Heart
11. An Operation Called CKTAW
Section IV. Let The Walls Have Ears
12. Cold Beer, Cheap Hotels, and a Voltmeter
13. Progress in a New Era
14. The Age of Bond Arrives
15. Genius Is Where You Find It
Section V. Prison, Bullet, Passport, Bomb
16. Conspicuous Fortitude, Exemplary Courage in a Cuban Jail
17. War by Any Other Name
18. Con Men, Fabricators, and Forgers
19. Tracking Terrorist Snakes
Section VI. Fundamentals Of Tradecraft
21. Cover and Disguise
23. Clandestine Surveillance
24. Covert Communications
25. Spies and the Age of Information
Epilogue: An Uncommon Service
Appendix A: U.S. Clandestine Services and OTS Organizational Genealogy
Appendix B: Selected Chronology of OTS
Appendix C: Directors of OTS
Appendix D: CIA Trailblazers from OTS
Appendix E: Pseudonyms of CIA Officers Used
Appendix F: Instructions to Decipher the Official Message from the CIA on page xxv