West-Circus-MI5 Operations 1945-1972(soviet infiltration of MI5)(1984) - Printable Version
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West-Circus-MI5 Operations 1945-1972(soviet infiltration of MI5)(1984) - redgonzo - 11-21-2009 07:29 PM
This is Nigel West's shocking book The Circus - MI5 Operations 1945-1972 (1984) which reveals the secret history of British domestic counter-espionage agency MI5 from the end of WW2 onwards. Just like the title implies, West paints a sometimes comical, sometimes tragic portrayal of the circus-like "intelligence" blunders of the British Mi5 operations of the post-WWII period. There are three most interesting thoughts brought forth. One is the sheer quantity of cases of betrayal. In a practical sense, one may then wonder whether active espionage is worthwhile at all, since it appears to become a means of facilitating espionage against the nation engaged in active espionage in the first place. Secondly, one can picture the agonizing and miserably twisted lives that the individuals involved lead - something that only LeCarre's purported 'fictional' accounts can do justice. Espionage, counter-espionage, secrecy, years of covert operations; all these are foreign and seem to run counter to the most basic and endemic of human traits. Lastly, perhaps the most contradictory aspects of the whole spying business: the question of "what the real truth is". The Circus is the true story about real Soviet agents who infiltrated the British intelligence services after World War II. This book named so many names and revealed so many secrets that the High Court of Justice of Her Majesty's government issued an injunction against it's publication. Everybody knows about Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt - but what about the others? This fascinating book details the many recent failures of British intelligence to detect Soviet spies high in its own ranks and reveals how these Russian agents have compromised Western secrets worth billions of dollars. It also shows how this clandestine activity continues to this very day. 320 pages, some pictures. A must read for everyone.
Please share this book with others, add links on other forums as I don't know many of them.