France: The Sapphire Affair

One day in the spring of 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave to a special White House courier a note on his personal stationery addressed to French President Charles de Gaulle. In it, Kennedy told De Gaulle that he had good reason to believe that Soviet spies had penetrated the highest echelons of French government — perhaps even the Cabinet — and offered to let De Gaulle's representatives interview his source for themselves. The French counterintelligence agency, SDECE, conducted an investigation that lent substantial credence to the Kennedy contention—but somewhere along the line the investigation was called off and...