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State Department Counterintelligence: Leaks, Spies, and Lies is an account of the author’s work for the US State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security from 1974 to 2012. Robert David Booth served as a Special Agent with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security from 1974 to 2002. His overseas postings include China, Switzerland, Japan, Haiti and France. The author was Deputy Director, Office of Counterintelligence from 1996 2002. After his retirement, he was a consultant for the Office of Counterintelligence from 2003 2012.
State Department Counterintelligence: Leaks, Spies, and Lies being a nonfiction book, is generally boring. It is perfect to read prior to going to bed as it induces sleep quite easily. As a lover of nonfiction, particularly history and espionage, I did find this book very interesting to read. We are very familiar with CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. I did not realize that there was such a thing as Bureau of Diplomatic Security until I read this book. As the book’s title suggests, the author reveals how the threats of leaks, spies and lies were vital to national security interests. In this book, the author recalls the times when he protected US domestic interests from dangers. As stated earlier, the author was posted in many countries where he worked to gather foreign information and at the same time preserving the secrets of the USA. It is apparent that the author wrote about well publicized cases and there is a possibility that this is not a tell-all book. Two of the most interesting spy cases that the author recounts are the cases of Kendall Myers and Donald Keyser, both US State Department employees. Kendall Myers was caught spying for Cuba. His was a rare case of spying because of ideology and not for money. Donald Keyser was charged for unauthorized possession of secret documents and lying to the FBI about his sexual relationship with Isabelle Cheng, who turned out to be a Taiwanese intelligence officer. The accounts of the leaks, although serious, could be considered as amusing and comical. Imagine this, classified documents were found as reading materials in a US prison! Another case is the discovery of Thai fisherman using classified documents as wrapping paper for their catch. This is very embarrassing for the US State Department. Overall, State Department Counterintelligence: Leaks, Spies, and Lies is a great book to read. Although, as I said earlier, it could get boring at times. It allows the reader to be in the world of an intelligence officer. The book helps the reader understand the events happening in the world and their relationship to national security. Similar books can be found HERE.