November 2, 2019 was a very special day for me. That morning, I served as one of the keynote speakers commemorating the eightieth anniversary of the founding of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. The event was held in the Charles Bonaparte Auditorium at FBI headquarters in Washington. Having worked under the umbrella of the Division for […]
Chapter One from "The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence" by Raymond J. Batvinis Rumrich He was a US Army deserter when he was arrested on … [Continue Reading]
Chapter One from Hoover's Secret War against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage during World War II by Raymond J. Batvinis A Remarkable … [Continue Reading]
About Author Raymond J. Batvinis, PhD Ph.D., American History, The Catholic University of America, 2002 M.A., History, The Catholic University … [Continue Reading]
Hoover’s Secret War Against Axis Spies FBI Counterespionage During World War II By Raymond J. Batvinis April 2014 312 pages, 24 … [Continue Reading]
The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence By Raymond J. Batvinis, PhD Hardcover published in 2007 - Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1495-0 Paperback published … [Continue Reading]
Read Chapter One – 2nd Book
Read the first chapter of Hoover's Secret War Against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage During World War II, which tells the story of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's moment-by-moment weekend when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Read More
This is a monumental book, breaking new ground in the field of secret intelligence. I strongly suspect Batvinis will write a third book, covering the early years of the Cold War. When complete, that body of work should stand alongside Rick Atkinson’s Liberation trilogy as an essential source for anyone interested in America’s soldiers and spies.
Hoover’s Secret War offers fascinating details about FBI espionage and counter-espionage operations during a deadly period in modern history.
Mr. Batvinis’ book is a splendid account of the FBI’s contribution to victory in World War II. Five cloaks, five daggers.
Hoover’s Secret War goes beyond solid scholarship and provides an eminently readable, richly detailed narrative, which allows the reader to see the war through the eyes of counterespionage in the Allies’ camp. This book a must-read for both fledgling or old-hand intelligence professionals.
A welcome addition to the literature on both the FBI and the World War II era, Batvinis’s book provides new information about how FBI counterintelligence and counterespionage operations against Nazi Germany during World War II transformed the FBI’s culture and capabilities.
Raymond Batvinis recounts equally thrilling stories of international intrigue as the FBI, working alongside other US government elements and allies, sought to overcome Germany’s efforts to disrupt and defeat its war effort in the US before and during the war. They will transfix the reader to the book’s pages much as the writings of the great spy novelists. However, unlike the novelists’ works, Batvinis’ accounts are not amusements, but discussions of real cases of a struggle between …
A richly detailed account of the FBI’s response to the world crisis of the 1930s and 1940s that overturns much accepted ‘wisdom’ about FBI intelligence failures and turf battles. Batvinis stays close to his sources while telling an engrossing story that should become the new standard account of FBI counterintelligence. A stimulating and fascinating work.
Raymond Batvinis recounts this FBI history with the insight of someone who has himself been in the game. An important contribution to the literature.
A strong and compelling book on the FBI’s pre-World War II transformation.
FBI in Moscow
Read about FBI Agent Louis Beck who was sent undercover to the US Embassy in Moscow during WW2 to assess the security situation in the embassy. What he found was shockingly lax security attitudes that allowed the Soviet NKVD control of the place -- and of secret US codes. Read More
FBI in Honolulu
Relive the hour-to-hour experiences of the FBI field office in Honolulu as they respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Read More
Future of FBI CI
Read The Future of FBI Counterintelligence Through the Lens of the Past Hundred Years, an essay by Ray Batvinis which was published in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence.
FBI Studies Blog Posts
Shortly before midnight on December 12, 1941, not yet a week since the surprise Japanese attack on America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Judge Mortimer W. Byers asked jury foreman, Edward Logan, to rise and read the verdict. Only a day before, in Berlin’s Reichstag, Adolf Hitler had announced to the world that Germany […]
I was interviewed by Mario Ariza, a reporter for the Florida Sun Sentinel, for an article about the growing concern of Chinese espionage in Florida, I think you will find his piece interesting. – They’ve been caught taking photos of military installations, arrested trespassing at Mar-a-Lago, convicted of illegally exporting critical technology, and sentenced for […]
Here is FBI Director Christopher Wray’s letter to the Society of Former FBI Agents regarding the IG Report. Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf) To All: Today, the Office of the Inspector General released its report on certain actions by DOJ and the FBI in an […]
What follows is a transcript of an interview I did with Nicholas Best, a correspondent, with Norwegian Public Radio. It was done in connection with a series of broadcasts he is producing on the Arne Treholt espionage case. The well-born Norwegian diplomat and government official, now almost seventy-six years old, was convicted of high treason […]
Read this Washington Post article then read my letter below to the author of the article regarding the facts regarding what was said about George Koval and William Weisband: The ‘Wall of Spies’: A new museum you can’t visit dedicated to American turncoats (Washington Post) In November 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised a glass […]
Today, I had a special treat when I visited the Senator Richard Russell Senate Office Building and toured the beautiful Senate Caucus Room. I was accompanied by Dr. Kate Scott, an Associate Historian with the US Senate’s Office of the Historian. The reason for the walk-through had to do with some research for a book […]
This arrest highlights an interesting look at Chinese espionage tradecraft: (DOJ) The Department of Justice unsealed charges today in a criminal complaint charging Xuehua Peng, also known as Edward Peng, 56, for acting as an illegal foreign agent in delivering classified United States national security information to officials of the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry […]
I will be the Discussant for a counterintelligence panel at the 2019 North American Society for Intelligence History conference which will be held at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC on October 20-21, 2019. The Panel 5A: Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism will be on Monday, October 21 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in the […]
“What was she thinking”? That was a question posed by former FBI director James Comey in his 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty. It refers to his bewilderment over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to set up an unsecure email server in the basement of her New York home to conduct American foreign policy […]
“Tangle within, plot and counter-plot, ruse and treachery, cross and double cross, true agent, false agent, double agent, gold and steel, the bomb, the dagger and the firing party, were interwoven in many a texture so intricate as to be incredible yet true.” —Winston Churchill This month marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the surprise landings […]
I spent a terrific few hours the morning of 10 May 2019 at the National Cryptologic Museum chatting with Tanya Cimonetti and her husband, Bill. The name is probably unrecognizable to you, but Tanya’s maiden name is Tanya Zubko. She is the daughter of the late Leonard Zubko. Still in the dark? Well, Lieutenant Leonard […]
This is a sad story but, in its own way, a truly American one. It focuses on what we refer to today as an “undocumented immigrant” victimized by a nation suddenly, and, unexpectedly, caught up in the grip of irrational fear. My role in the saga began last fall with an email message from a […]
This article regarding the Wayne Williams, the Atlanta child killer, was written by my dear friend, Susan Lloyd (FBI 1979-2004). I hope you enjoy it. It appeared in the January/February 2019 FBI Grapevine published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. ATKID: The Atlanta Child Murders Case (pdf) When the first murder […]
This was my article for the December 2018 issue of The Grapevine: October 11, 2018 was a very special day for the American people. After more than a decade of waiting, a sea of local, state and federal law enforcement professionals along with friends, family members, and the loved ones of fallen officers gathered together […]