Dustup in Moscow

The U.S. takes a hard line with the Soviets

The phone calls from the U.S. embassy in Moscow last Wednesday struck a note of ominous mystery. Business people, journalists and students in the Soviet capital were "urged to attend" a 9:30 p.m. briefing at Spaso House, the residence of the American Ambassador. They would be asked to sign a list of those attending; no cameras or recording devices would be allowed. Subject: secret until the briefing.

But by the time the Americans assembled, the message read to them by Charge d'Affaires Richard Combs had already been trumpeted to the world by the State Department. The U.S. proclaimed that it had...

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