Deciding whether to trust or credit a person is always an uncertain task.
Espionage, for the most part, involves finding a person who knows something or has something that you can induce them secretly to give to you. That almost always involves a betrayal of trust.
Foreign Ministry guys don't become agents. Party officials, the Foreign Ministry nerds, tend not to volunteer to Western intelligence agencies.
I found that our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
In my professional work with the Agency, by the late '70s, I had come to question the value of a great deal of what we were doing, in terms of the intelligence agency's impact on American policy.
Let's say a Soviet exchange student back in the '70s would go back and tell the KGB about people and places and things that he'd seen and done and been involved with. This is not really espionage there's no betrayal of trust.
Our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
The betrayal of trust carries a heavy taboo.
The resistance of policy-makers to intelligence is not just founded on an ideological presupposition. They distrust intelligence sources and intelligence officials because they don't understand what the real problems are.
The Soviet Union did not achieve victory over the West, so was my information inadequate to help them to victory, or did it play no particular role in their failure to achieve victory?
There are so many things a large intelligence espionage organization can do to justify its existence, that people can get promotions for, because it could result in results.
We had periodic crises in this country when the technical intelligence didn't support the policy. We had the bomber gap, the missile gap.