Spilling Some Very Big Beans

Ronald Pelton's trial brings intelligence secrets to light

The defendant, said Federal Prosecutor John Douglass, was nothing short of a walking "gold mine" of U.S. intelligence capabilities. He knew how the U.S. was able to intercept the Soviet Union's "command and control" communications, which contained military instructions from "the highest level" of the Kremlin to the next echelon of authority, according to the defendant's former supervisor. He was familiar with a top-secret program for processing encoded Soviet messages and aware that it was being given an "upgraded capability" that would maintain its usefulness into the 1990s. He was the author of a 60-page "encyclopedia" on Soviet communication signals that...

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