Citizen Espionage: Studies in Trust and Betrayal

By Theodore R. Sarbin; Ralph M. Carney et al. | Go to book overview

3
A History of Recent American Espionage

Katherine L. Herbig

In the 1980s, espionage by American citizens suddenly seemed to become a common crime. Twenty-four Americans were convicted of espionage against the United States between 1984 and 1987, eleven of them in 1985, the so-called Year of the Spy ( "Why the Secrets Slip Out", 1987, p. 20). This represented an increase from an average of two or three cases of espionage a year since 1950 to an annual average three times higher in the mid-1980s. 1 This ground swell of espionage convictions generated considerable public soul-searching by journalists and politicians about what the trend might mean. Committees of both houses of Congress held investigations into alleged failures in the federal programs for personnel security and counterespionage. A stream of books documented the often sleazy life stories of the more serious offenders. Others explored espionage through the ages ( Pincher, 1987; Knightley, 1987; Wright, 1987; Barron, 1987; Wise, 1988).

Espionage by Americans during the 1980s was indeed a disturbing phenomenon in need of explanation, and there has been no dearth of attempts to explain it. Some commentators saw in the wave of espionage implications about the national character and the condition of the nation's morals ( Shapiro, 1987, pp. 14-17; Carlin, 1986, pp. 6-7). Others focused on failings in the protections given sensitive information or in the selection system by which some people were entrusted with the nation's secrets ( Caldwell, 1987, p. C1). To still others, what was important about these instances of espionage was the evidence they provided of the highly organized, professional operation by which the

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Citizen Espionage: Studies in Trust and Betrayal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Enemy Within: a Social History of Treason 19
  • Notes 38
  • 3 - A History of Recent American Espionage 39
  • Notes 66
  • 4: Models of Espionage 69
  • 5 - The Mask of Integrity 93
  • 6 - Criminological Approach to Security Violations 107
  • Notes 125
  • 7 - Trade Secret Theft as an Analogue to Treason 127
  • 8 - The Temptations of Espionage: Self-Control and Social Control 143
  • 9 - Work Organizations as Contexts for Trust and Betrayal 163
  • Notes 187
  • References 189
  • Index 203
  • About the Contributors 211
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