Theft Of Trade Secrets
The Silicon War Triology
Chapter 5 - Yakovlev
3rd Floor Offices, Lubyanka KGB Headquarters
Thursday, May 25, 1974 - 1130 hours MSK
Word spread very quickly upon hearing about the crash of Tango 13. For months, there had been rumors that the US was close to test firing a cruise missile but no valid information was available to verify it. However, the crash changed all that. It was real! This proved that Russia was now 6 years behind with theirs. It seemed everyone in Washington was now talking about the failed flight and with the need for budget cuts; this would be a good program to start with.
Anatoli Yakovlev was first to ask the question "Can we get to the missile first? Can we get our hands on that TERCOM system? What assets do we have in the area"?
"Sir, it's 65 Kilometers off the So California coast in about 700 meters of water. Currently, there are over 18 surface ships looking for it right now. None of our subs could get within 500 kilometers with their existing noise problems."
As the cold war heated up, it became well known that Russia focused their submarine designs on high speed and therefore sacrificed its stealth. Very quickly, it became known that the current version of Russian submarine had very serious noise or cavitation problems caused by the boat's propellers. The diameter of the propellers of the Russian submarines was relatively small and even at low speeds the submarines worked in a noisy cavitation mode where the formation of vapor bubbles were created around the propellers as they moved thru the water. The noise came when the cavitation created bubbles collapsed and emitted a shock wave that became the source of noise.
Years before, the US solved the problem with super secret, highly accurate Computer Aided Designed (CAD), and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems that allowed the US to build very large diameter, ultra quiet propellers for use on their high-speed nuclear submarines.
At the same time, Russia lagged behind the US in all computerized machining technologies needed during the manufacturing of large sizes tooth gears on the submarine's main turbine gear assembly. Russian tolerance was limited to 0.01 mm where the US was exceeding 0.005 mm tolerance, thus creating a reduction of the US submarine's noise by 3-4 orders of magnitude (30-40 dB).
"Damn it Vladimir, we need to take advantage of this. We need to get our hands on that damn system!"
Yea... Yakovlev knew Kazakov was the right man for the job. The foundation was in place, "legends" have been created, and now with the oil embargo created recession of 1975 starting to take place in the US, he knew that the American people again would do anything for money.
"So Kazakov my friend, tell me again how can I get my hands on this Tango 13?"
"First, we can't. It is in too deep of water for a surface dive and our subs are too noisy to get passed the surface traffic. So instead, we are going in the back door of these companies that built it. We have most of the assets we needed in place with solid legends that are based on real birth certificates. The rest of the team is just deploying as we speak."
"Good. Good. So again my friend, explain this weakness you have detected."
"Simple, the US government protects their military components with very elaborate security methods but they do not protect the tooling used to make these components. I'm just going to steal the tooling for these systems and we'll then make our own."
Yes, Yakovlev knew of the importance of missed opportunities. Ever since Yakovlev had been General Consul of the Soviet Union's delegation in New York City in the 1940s, his diplomatic role was a cover for his true activities as an NKVD Senior Case Officer for the Soviet spy network in the United States during the 1940s until his return to the Soviet Union in 1946.
Yakovlev began work in the central apparatus for external reconnaissance in 1940. In 1941, he was sent to the New York Rezidentura as an operational agent. He carried out critical operations on the acquisition of technical information on the Manhattan project ("ENORMOZ"). Yakovlev collaborated with Harry Gold, who stole industrial trade secrets from the Pennsylvania Sugar Company, and Soviet Union spymaster Alexander Feklisov in the infiltration of the United States' Manhattan Project by having Gold liaise with scientist Klaus Fuchs. He also was one of the handlers of Julius Rosenberg and was originally named in the indictment against the Rosenbergs, Morton Sobell and David Greenglass.
His repeated success was based on one primary fact: during financial hard times, people's loyalty diminishes. Because of the great depression during the 30s, recruitment of operatives and agents in the US was very fruitful because of the lack of money to spend on day-to-day vanity. All walks of life, any industry, any position of government was available for the taking.
Yakovlev had learned early "Debt was power! And that debt becomes control." Over and over, it happened "Can I borrow $5.00"? For men, it was to take a girl out for "dinner and dancing." For women, it was to buy clothes and makeup needed to meet the "right man." Vanity was more important than paying their bills or national security.
"The holder of debt has the power, and with that debt comes the control."- Anatoli Yakovlev
His recruitments in the 30s paid off during WW2 with agents in every circle of the US government. However, it wasn't until the discovery of the security breach of the Manhattan Project and the subsequent investigations by all the arms of US Security services did the magnitude of the US government breach become evident. Many in the US government attempted to cover it up. Others just resorted to the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without the proper regard for evidence.
Hundreds of books and thousands of articles and essays on McCarthyism, the Federal Loyalty Security Program, Soviet espionage, American communism, and the early Cold War have perpetuated many myths that have given Americans a warped view. Unfortunately, the response of US government to the security breaches seriously distorted the understanding of post-World War II history.
Still today, United States Government possessed information, which the American public needed to know. It has proof that there had been a serious attack on American security by the Soviet Union and with considerable assistance from what was, indeed, an "enemy within." The American public has been denied this information.
To start tracking down these leaks, in the late 40s, both the United States and United Kingdom implemented a project called VENONA. The project intercepted code messages passed among agents of the communist Soviet Union during World War II, and the attempt to decrypt them continued into the late 50s. Its mission was to help identify people who were spying for the Soviet Union, and passing on military secrets. Although manual decryption was having some success, an automated machine was needed and the electronic computer was born to do this. Now, the VENONA messages would surely supply a great cache of facts to bring the matter to some closure and with these computers, the balanced history of this period would begin to appear.
One thing for sure was, that
"- a significant Communist conspiracy was in place in Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles, but in the main, those involved systematically denied their involvement."
"No modern government was more thoroughly penetrated."
Central Intelligence Agency
Historical Intelligence Collection
This resulted in some of the darkest moments in American history that came from this Russian espionage success. It can best be described as Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
It seems that it always starts out as a noble cause for standing up for your beliefs, only for it to quickly turn into a nightmare, but when actor Larry Parks said:
"Don't present me with the choice of either being in contempt of this committee and going to jail or forcing me to really crawl through the mud to be an informer. For what purpose? I don't think it is a choice at all. I don't think this is really sportsmanlike. I don't think this is American. I don't think this is American justice."
It was noble, well rehearsed and cost him dearly. He was black listed in Hollywood, CA and was never again allowed to work in the Motion Pictures industry.
Or, how a simple, innocent, and indirect statement could be used to destroy someone. Committee Counsel Frank S. Tavenner asked Larry Parks the question "Do you know Lionel Stander"?
He answered "Yes I do."
No more was said by the committee - no accusation, no insinuation, nothing. However Lionel Stander became a target.
Stander himself when called before HUAC in Washington DC best exemplified the reaction by those mentioned in this inquisition. He began by giving this pledge and full support in the fight against "subversive" activities. His well-written and rehearsed comments were simple:
"I know of a group of fanatics who are desperately trying to undermine the constitution of the United States by depriving artists and others of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without due process of law... I can tell names and cite instances and I am one of the first victims of it...
This is a group of ex-fascists and america-firsters and anti-semites, people who hate everybody including negroes, minority groups and most likely themselves.... These people are engaged in a conspiracy outside all the legal processes to undermine the very fundamental American concepts upon which our entire system of democracy exists."
Stander was clearly speaking of the committee itself and as for that, Stander never worked in Hollywood again either. See, he too was black listed - not allowed to work - forbidden to be hired.
Those identified as communists or socialists were ordered to testify before the HUAC. If these people refused to name names, they were then added to a blacklist that had been drawn up by the Executives of the Hollywood film studios. Over 350 people were placed on this list.
However, again history only remembers the ten witnesses that became known as the Hollywood Ten. They claimed that the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution gave them the right not to testify. The HUAC said they didn't care and found all of them guilty anyway of Contempt of Congress. Each of these US citizens was sentenced to between six and twelve months in prison for expecting and then demanding their Constitutional Rights be honored. Now with criminal records, they would find employment impossible.
During this time of McCarthyism, unsubstantiated name-calling became a way of life in America. To be labeled a "communist" was the worst thing that could be done to you. The penalty was permanent unemployment, social black listing, physical retaliation, and prolonged emotional and physical isolation.
However when you asked someone "What is a communist"? Most people in America in the 70's could not answer it. They just referred to what they had been told by the TV. "Like... it's the Russians... you know."
For this generation of WWW2 veteran and now as corporate leaders, it was ingrained into their thinking -- where name-calling and blacklisting became a part of their everyday life. "Jap", "Gook, "Slant-eyes" were used extensively by Corporate American's management as Japan moved on Corporate America's markets.
In Hollywood CA, it wasn't much better. It was just a simple answer "I don't think it's any of your God damn business. Please refer to the Fifth Amendment and the right's it gives me not to say anything" that got the committee investigator upset.
Then after referring with counsel, the revised answer again was simple "To the best of my recollection, I don't recollect." Well, that's all it took and it started the argument of "Who you knew, what you knew, and when you knew it."
Then came: "Let's see, if you are gay, you're a communist. If you believe in unions, you're a communist. If you're Jewish, you're a communist. If you are Black, you are a communist. If you believe in sharing, you are a communist. And God help all of us if you just happen to be an opened minded, independent woman who has the ability to think for herself. Hum... Yea I know... she's also God damn communists."
Yep, the shit really hit the fan over that and I'm proud to say "That's my mom."
Yes, Yakovlev had been very successful with his first tier of agents and operatives, but he also understood that the US had their eyes closed for a long time. Not only did he obtain a vast wealth of knowledge but a secondary success was the US fighting between themselves. They became distracted and never opened their eyes to see what really had been done.
Well today however, the US had their eyes open and they were still angry. No, it was more than that, the word should be, "embarrassed". And a lesson he had learned early was that when you embarrassed an adversary, it then becomes personal. They become motivated. They become dangerous.
Well, so was he, and he knew Kazakov was the right man for the job. The foundation was in place, "legends" had been created. Now with the deep recession of 1975 starting to take place in the US, it was the perfect time to do it again. He gave the orders for the second tier of Russian espionage to commence.