A 30-year veteran of the intelligence field says most Americans “almost ignore … the power of intelligence and counterintelligence” in this country, despite the danger foreign intelligence agents pose to the nation’s security.

In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily, David Major identified the use of counterintelligence as a “serious” public issue for the United States. If a nation “chooses not to invest in good security – counterintelligence,” said Major, “it simply makes it easier for the collector [foreign intelligence agents].”

Although espionage activities are carried out against the Unites States “every single day,” Americans, according to Major, “have a love/hate relationship” with counterintelligence, which people “never really see. … It’s just something that’s in Hollywood; its something in a book – but it never really happens.”

Major, an FBI veteran who was a member of Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, is now dean and professor of the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, a non-governmental center committed to counterintelligence and security education.

The Centre and their professors – former intelligence officers in the FBI, CIA, DOD and KGB – provide advanced counterintelligence and security training for the U.S. government, the intelligence community and private-sector companies. The Centre offers several programs to acquaint the public with the unfamiliar world of spies and counterspies, including its unique SpyCruise, which will be offered March 2002.

Revelations from the case of Robert Hanssen and the Wasp Network trial have publicly exposed the vulnerabilities of the U.S. to infiltration by foreign intelligence services.

Hanssen, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, is alleged to have spied for the Soviet Union, and then Russia, for 15 years. If the allegations against Hanssen prove correct, the former FBI agent would be guilty not only of revealing U.S. secrets, but would also be implicated in the deaths of several individuals who were assisting the U.S.

The six-month Miami Wasp Network trial involves accusations of Cuban-directed spying against U.S. bases, locating points for the importation of explosives into the U.S., Cuban government-sponsored terrorism and murder. Five Cubans were convicted of spying by a Miami jury yesterday. One spy was found guilty of contributing to the death of four Brothers to the Rescue members shot down by Cuban jet fighters in international airspace in 1996.

Referring to the ambivalence some Americans have regarding counterintelligence, Major stated that there is “nothing evil about doing counterintelligence. … Vigilance is very important.”

Major addressed the lack of media coverage given to the Wasp Network trial in Florida and the group’s connection with the government of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Regarding evidence implicating the Cuban government with assassination attempts and murder, Major expressed surprise that “nobody talks about it. No one seems to mind that Castro is involved in this,” yet the myth of the CIA as “the personification of evil” is spread throughout the world.

“The United States doesn’t do it (assassinations), and yet no one seems to mind that Castro is involved in this,” Major said.

“There appears to be no price to pay for Castro for implementing this kind of program, Major observed. “It shows you the aggressiveness of the [Cuban intelligence] service.”

“If you were to look at intelligence operations against the United States for the last 50 years, you’ll not find one that has more intrigue, more complexity. … It shows that the Cubans have all the toys,” Major reflected.

Major stated that intelligence services normally seek to have more than one source for information – “redundancy” – and the public revelations surrounding the Wasp Network may indicate “what else is going on that you don’t see in the public domain.”

On the question of Cuba sharing its intelligence information gathered in the U.S. with “rogue states,” Major responded, “I think the chances of that are extremely high.”

Cuban intelligence also hosts a super-sophisticated Russian spy base at Lourdes.

“For what purpose” is the base, Major asked, “if Russia is the ally it says it is?”

Major quoted one associate, a retired KGB agent, who stated that reform in Russia “is clearly slipping away.”

The Peoples Republic of China, another close friend of Cuba, represents a formidable counterintelligence problem for the U.S. In contrast to European and American methods of intelligence gathering, the Chinese government relies mainly upon those in sympathy with it to come forward and supply information. The Chinese, according to Major, do not use embassy personnel or seek to recruit agents in the same manner as the Americans and Europeans.

Major’s organization is striving to make the world of intelligence and counterintelligence understandable to the general public. The group’s activities include a variety of training seminars on intelligence topics, and a “spy tour” of Washington, D.C. – examining the nation’s capital the way a spy might do.

Related stories:

Media ignore Cuban espionage

‘Wasp Network’ stung in Miami

Spying on the spies

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.