Kudos to David Ignatius for writing this column in the Washington Post. Baer should be rightly mortified being called out by such a journalistic heavy weight. Goes a long way to restoring Paul’s honor. By David Ignatius Columnist, Washington Post, Feb. 16, 2023 Every good spy thriller needs a “mole hunt” — a search for the […]
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]
Hoover’s Secret War Against Axis Spies FBI Counterespionage During World War II By Raymond J. Batvinis April 2014 312 pages, 24 … [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]
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]
Chapter One from Hoover's Secret War against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage during World War II by Raymond J. Batvinis A Remarkable … [Continue Reading]
Read Chapter One – 1st Book
Read the first chapter of The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence, which tells the story of Nazis spies operating in America, focusing on the case of Guenther Rumrich, his arrest by the FBI, and how the case changed the FBI. Read More
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
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.
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.
Hoover’s Secret War offers fascinating details about FBI espionage and counter-espionage operations during a deadly period in modern history.
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 adversaries filled with lessons on counterintelligence (spycatching) as well as counterespionage (turning enemy agents against their spymasters).
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.
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.
A strong and compelling book on the FBI’s pre-World War II transformation.
Mr. Batvinis’ book is a splendid account of the FBI’s contribution to victory in World War II. Five cloaks, five daggers.
Raymond Batvinis recounts this FBI history with the insight of someone who has himself been in the game. An important contribution to the literature.
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.
FBI Studies Blog Posts
Former CIA Counterintelligence Chiefs Weigh in on The Fourth Man
By Michael Sulick, Cindy Webb and Mark Kelton (bios at the end) Robert Baer’s book The Fourth Man leads readers to conclude—falsely—that highly accomplished, retired CIA officer Paul Redmond was himself a long-time spy for the KGB. As former leaders of CIA Counterintelligence who were directly involved over decades in the Russian operations and investigations discussed […]
The Charles McGonigal Case
I was interviewed for this lengthy article concerning two former FBI officials in trouble with the law: Albanian Firm Ties Indicted Former FBI Official To Yet Another Disgraced Former Agent (TPM, January 27, 2023) Indicted former top FBI official Charles McGonigal is a partner in an Albanian firm along with another disgraced former FBI agent, […]
The Ghost of Angleton — Review of The Fourth Man
I wrote a book review in the summer of 2022 for the Fall 2022 issue of the Association of Former Intelligence Officer’s (AFIO) official publication, The Intelligencer: Journal of US Intelligence Studies. It was a review about The Fourth Man by Robert Baer: The Ghost of Angleton — Review of The Fourth Man (pdf) This […]
Spycraft 101 Podcast Interview
On the Spycraft 101 podcast, Justin Black interviewed me about my FBI career, the espionage cases I worked on, as well as my first book, The Origins FBI Counterintelligence. We had a good conversation and I hope you enjoy it. It’s available on your favorite podcast platform or you can listen here: – TRANSCRIPT Justin […]
Message from Director Wray Regarding Search at Mar-a-Lago, Florida
Public Statement from FBI Director Christopher A. Wray “Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others. Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply […]
World War II House of Secrets
I was interviewed for an article in Newsday about the Long Island house where the FBI ran a spy operation: The world was in a desperate battle with the Nazis when a German spy climbed to the third floor of a red-shingled home in Wading River to reveal the most closely guarded secret of World […]
Walking a Tightrope: FBI’s John Cimperman and the ULTRA Secret
The following article I wrote was published in the Winter-Spring 2022 issue of The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies. __ The morning gloom was no match for the gnawing anxiety that gripped him, as he stepped the door of the American embassy at 1 Grosvenor Square. Once a leafy park nestled in the heart […]
Watergate: Competing Fond Memories
My reviews of these two books: Melissa Graves: Nixon’s FBI: Hoover, Watergate, and a Bureau in Crisis. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, CO, 2020, 247 p. Shane O’Sullivan: Dirty Tricks: Nixon, Watergate, and the CIA. Hot Books, New York, 2018, 576 p., $12.76. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive.” This now […]
CODENAME: WALLFLOWER — The Guy Liddell Diaries
The codename was “WALLFLOWER” and according to noted British military historian Nigel West, it was the “most treasured possession” of the British Security Service. When finally released to the world in 2007 after decades under lock and key in the MI-5 director – general’s office safe, World War II and Cold War historians around the […]
Message from FBI Director Wray re Bob Levinson
This was sent to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI: Many of you may have seen yesterday’s news about Bob Levinson. I wanted to take a moment of your time to talk about Bob and this reporting. Along with some of our inter-agency partners, I recently had the opportunity to meet again […]
COVID 19 Message from the FBI
This message was given to members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Inc.: “The FBI is in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Office of Personnel Management, and other federal agencies tracking the spread of COVID-19 and is taking a comprehensive approach to prepare for […]
A Morning to Remember
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 […]
The First Victory
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 […]
The spies among us: More Chinese agents digging up secrets in Florida
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 […]
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