Did you know that during the cold war the U.S. allowed the Soviets to pirate software that had a trojan horse in it causing the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.
Intelligence shortcomings, as we see, have a thousand fathers; secret intelligence triumphs are orphans. Here is the unremarked story of ”the Farewell dossier”: how a C.I.A. campaign of computer sabotage resulting in a huge explosion in Siberia — all engineered by a mild-mannered economist named Gus Weiss — helped us win the cold war.
Weiss worked down the hall from me in the Nixon administration. In early 1974, he wrote a report on Soviet advances in technology through purchasing and copying that led the beleaguered president — détente notwithstanding — to place restrictions on the export of computers and software to the U.S.S.R.
Seven years later, we learned how the K.G.B. responded. I was writing a series of hard-line columns denouncing the financial backing being given Moscow by Germany and Britain for a major natural gas pipeline from Siberia to Europe. That project would give control of European energy supplies to the Communists, as well as generate $8 billion a year to support Soviet computer and satellite research.