INT: [Interrupts] John, can I ask you, was Jim Angleton present during the debriefing?

JM: Jim Angleton was present at the debriefing in Washington at CIA headquarters when I returned from Burma. in fact, he was the chief inquisitor. sat a right across like you're sitting from me and put questions to me and in his normal style, doodled all the time. He was a great doodler. He would doodle on paper while he was asking questions or while you were answering them and he was a strange man and you can take that from other people too. but anyway, the debriefing lasted a long time, most of the morning, and ended up with my returning to New York City and eventually they sent their man back to Burma.

INT: I'd like you to do just a little bit more on the matter of Angleton, because you've done it... spread it about rather, and I'd like you to do it in one sort of hit, that you went back and the CIA wanted to debrief you and the guy sitting opposite you was Jim Angleton and just explain a little that he didn't seem to trust that Polyakov was genuine. I mean, I would try not to use the word bona fide, because it's a very technical term for you guys and it might not be for an ordinary audience. That he sort of didn't believe he was the real... and that you felt it was slightly hostile situation there. Could you just do that bit again.

JM: Well, before we do it, this whole thing with Jim Angleton and his bona fides or not believing in Polyakov came about well before Polyakov actually was turned. there was a Soviet defector by the name of Anatoli Golitsyn who defected to CIA in Finland and was brought back to the United States, it was an open defection, and he had convinced Angleton anyway that any subsequent defectors out of the Soviet Union are being guided, they are false defectors, they are giving you misinformation. And in addition to that, there is a penetration of the CIA that is going on. He could not identify who that person was or what he was, but he got Angleton's ear and he convinced Angleton there was a penetration of the CIA. He also convinced Angleton that the so-called rift between Soviet Union and Communist China was a facade, that actually it was all a put-on situation and it was all going to be used to the detriment of the United States government. and this was a political thing that was being fought I'm sure by the CIto our government at the time and it fell over into the FBI and eventually worked itself in to the Polyakov investigation, since they claim that Polyakov was a person being used by the Soviet government to give us misinformation. It so happened that within months after the Polyakov investigation, we in New York got another defector, a KGB man, which we had a code name of Fedora, who also fed us information and Angleton said he is also a fake and after that there were two or three others and he maintained this right up until the end.... I'd rather not go into the CIA part of this, because if you want a... it's too complicated, number one.

JM: When we returned from Burma, it was within two or three days that I was more or less summoned down to Washington and for the purpose of being debriefed by our headquarters' people there, as well as the CIA. this was arranged and I appeared at the CIA headquarters in Langley, was set up in a conference room atmosphere type, two or three agents from our headquarters were there and on the CIA side was Jim Angleton, who was running the affair. Obviously he asked probably seventy five per cent of the questions. however, there were several other CIA people there who did interject their comments from time to time. But basically, Angleton was the inquisitor. he asked for personality data concerning Polyakov, how we operated in Burma, and it was my impression that some of these questions had to do with relaying to the person that was going to take over from me what the situation was and that was fine. But as the meeting went on, it more or less became more cold and he asked questions that to me were interpreted that he had...


JM: As the meeting progressed here, Angleton apparently was asking questions that had to do with the... bona fides of Polyakov as well as other sources that the FBI had. and he didn't come out and say it per se, but he demonstrated that he had no faith in the true situation that we found ourselves in Polyakov.

INT: I don't understand what you're saying...


JM: As this meeting progressed, Angleton, who was the chief inquisitor here, came out and started to ask questions that to me were interpreted that he had no faith whatsoever in the genuineness of Polyakov and even though that if they had committed themselves to taking up this situation in Burma by sending their personnel over there, he was going over there or at least being dispatched with the idea that this person was not genuine and they were approaching it in that manner and the questions that he was asking, Angleton that is, were centered around that fact. I tried to indicate to him that I had no question at all about how genuine he was. He had always been open with me, the information that he furnished to me was always backed, approved and he gave no indication whatsoever that he was trying to deceive me. as it turned out and history will record, Angleton was wrong, and I am certain that the CIA came around to believe that this was probably the best agent that they had ever developed, at least up in this [inaudible] he was and as the years went on and all the facts come out, he deserves a place in our history as a true star in the espionage field, counter-intelligence wise....


JM: Polyakov convinced me that he was probably at least to my mind...


JM: During my contacts with Polyakov, he convinced me that he was truly one of a kind. I've had exposure to other defectors and at least have read about them, that their motivation was mainly based on money, sex or some other weakness of character. this man, Polyakov, never demonstrated anything but the highest character that you could envision. He was a family man, he loved his sons, he certainly loved his wife and that was obvious that I personally observed, he was a true leader and he gave me that impression as being a leader without coming out and telling you he was a leader. He just had that aura about him that you respected. he was honest in everything he gave us. He was forthright, he came right out and made no bones about it. If he didn't wanna answer a question, he would tell you was not going to answer it and the reason for that is because whatever the question might have been, it had to do with his own security and his personal life. we did talk about... a little bit about his personal and family life, but he never went deeply into it. He felt that this was personal and had no reason to be exposed to the public. the same with his wife. He never got involved in their marital life at all, but it was obvious from his actions and what not that he respected her, as an individual. This was not true of all Soviets that I have had exposure to.... he felt very strongly, from a motivation factor I'm sure, that the Russian people were being put upon by the Communist government. he saw that there was no future for the run of the mill Russian back in the Soviet Union and his reasons for co-operating therefore were that he wanted to improve these situations. He knew that what the course the Communist Party was taking at the time was headed towards war with the United States and that the Russians could not win that war and the Russian people were going to suffer, not the politicians, the Russian people. And he wanted to try to rectify that in his own way. this was the basis for his co-operation. He also said that one of the reasons he was dissatisfied he wasn't being promoted the way he felt that he should have been promoted, although he was a colonel and eventually got to be a general, when we were in Burma he was a general. but for some reason he had a grudge against the military people that he worked for in the GRU. this is personal, I guess, and he had a legitimate reason I would suppose. He's a brave man, even to venture on such a trip such as this, but he never turned his back on it once he agreed to co-operate. Why he didn't co-operate the first two times we were in contact at the general's house and also at Columbus Circle I can only guess that he was evaluation the situation, that he wanted to see what happened after those two approaches and whether he was still on firm ground or not. that's the best I can come up with. it could be that at that period of time, his wife was pregnant, as it turned out, and maybe he wasn't decided that this was the time to make his approach, but that is speculation. but once he made the commitment, he followed through with it and make no bones about his genuineness in my opinion. he enjoyed the challenge, there was no question about that, you could see in his actions that he thought he could beat the system, the KGB system. He had a deep hatred of the KGB, feeling that they were the inquisitors. They not only did their intelligence work away from the Soviet Union, they infiltrated the whole Soviet Russian people. They had informers at every level over there and he just hated this. He was never friendly with KGB personnel that I'm aware of, he avoided them and what friends he did have were in the GRU colony at the Soviet mission when he worked there.