Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bassett was a cowboy

(Guest-blogged by lukery)

Ken Silverstein at Harpers has a post outlining why Goss failed at the CIA - and he included this:

During the same period, (Nine-Fingers) Bassett is said to have sent a prank letter to a friend at the CIA who was then stationed in Vienna. I've heard various accounts of precisely what he wrote, but multiple former intelligence sources said that the letter contained exaggerated talk about sexual relationships. Two of the sources said that the letter was intercepted in Vienna by the KGB, which, believing it had Bassett in a compromised position, subsequently made a blackmail recruitment pitch to him. Bassett properly reported the contact to his superiors, they said, but was again reprimanded for sending the letter in the first place. “Bassett was a cowboy who violated procedures, but he had a lot of influence with Porter,” said one person.”
Do you buy that?

Which was it? Did 9 Fingers send a 'prank letter'? Or was he 'exaggerating'? What sort of conduct do you think might be involved if the KGB thought it blackmail-worthy?


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