Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 1999
What if, during the height of the Cold War, the defense plans of Western Europe and the United States had been compromised—and the Soviet Bloc had attacked successfully? A scary thought, but from 1983 to 1994 this scenario was not as far-fetched as people would have believed. After sharing his experiences from his years in Vietnam (Stalking the Vietcong, 1997), Colonel Herrington reveals in his latest work the horrifying betrayal of top secret war defense strategies for Western Europe by United States army personnel stationed in West Germany. This is the true story of the discovery of traitors within America’s most sensitive army installations and the tactics used by the Army’s elite Foreign Counterintelligence Activity (FCA) to bring them to justice.
To give a clearer understanding of the times and circumstances in which the FCA operated, Herrington first discusses his previous appointment as a military intelligence officer in West Berlin and the security problems inherent in being literally surrounded by enemy territory. Procedures followed by army counterintelligence are introduced and, though seemingly unconnected with the rest of the story, the events described end bizarrely related to the Clyde Conrad investigation—an investigation that would expose the most damaging spy ring ever to betray the United States. The Clyde Conrad investigation began when a tip-off from a double agent behind the Iron Curtain revealed that top secret war plans from a U.S. military installation were being sold to the Soviets through East Germany. It would take investigators six months to narrow the search to Conrad, and it would take the FCA nearly a decade to collect the necessary evidence for a conviction. Herrington takes readers into the world of counterintelligence and reveals the myriad details of each step of the investigation. From interviewing former coworkers to the missteps that almost gave Conrad the signal to flee, and from revelations that point to other traitors to the other investigations that are spun off of Conrad’s, the story is intriguing because of the horrifying truth that an American could sell out his or her country for monetary or other personal gain.
Not just for the politically minded, Herrington’s story is an excellent choice for those who do not understand why all Americans do not have the right to know absolutely everything our government and military are doing or planning.