US Cranking Up the Information War with Russia
VOA gets new funding to pierce Putin’s electronic curtain
In the late spring of 1953, a CIA officer aptly named Coffin learned that four agents he’d dispatched into Russia had been caught by security forces that seemed to know they were coming. In fact, the CIA man and his Berlin-based colleagues had lost virtually all the agents parachuted or otherwise slipped into the Soviet Union or its satellites to organize resistance movements. The Russians had penetrated every plot. One agent in particular among Coffin’s would-be spies and saboteurs, mostly Poles and Ukrainians, had become a close friend. Now he was dead, like all the others.
“It destroyed him,” a CIA colleague told author Scott Anderson for his magisterial 2020 book, The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War—a Tragedy in Three Acts. It “just totally destroyed him. When I next saw him he was a changed man.”
William Sloane Coffin, Jr. resigned from the CIA in despair and went on to become an ordained minister, Yale University c…