Sunday, November 28, 2010
Code name for a secret Central Intelligence Agency operation initiated in 1979 which consisted of a sophisticated tape recorder placed in a sewer on the main landline cable that connected the KGB’s headquarters in Moscow to its communications center at Troitsk, 25 miles south of the capital. Because the site was outside the travel limit imposed on foreign diplomats, the tapes had to be serviced in a black operation by CIA personnel who had to elude their surveillance and adopt a disguise to make the illicit visit. The Soviets discovered the equipment immediately after the first approach to the KGB in Washington, D.C., made by disaffected CIA officer Edward Lee Howard. When a CIA technician was sent to check the equipment in 1985, an integral antitamper device indicated that it had been interfered with, so it was abandoned, leaving the CIA to conclude that the KGB had allowed it to operate for the prior three years, presumably to protect Howard.