The inside story of the CIA vs Russia

In the early 1990s, Senator Patrick Moynihan campaigned for the abolition of the CIA. The brilliant campaigner thought the US Department of State should take over its intelligence functions. For him, the age of secrecy was over.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Moynihan wrote:

For 30 years the intelligence community systematically misinformed successive presidents as to the size and growth of the Soviet economy … Somehow our analysts had internalised a Soviet view of the world.

In the speech introducing his Abolition of the CIA bill in January 1995, Moynihan cited British author John le Carré’s scorn for the idea that the CIA had contributed to victory in the cold war against the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev and his successors. “The Soviet Empire did not fall apart because the spooks had bugged the man’s room in the Kremlin or put broken glass in Mrs Brezhnev’s bath,” Le Carré had written.