The Puppet Masters: Spies, Traitors And The Real Forces Behind World Events
John Hughes-Wilson is a recently retired Colonel in British military intelligence. He reveals how espionage networks are the hidden force behind major events. The Cold War spying game, as depicted by John Le Carr?, has been going on for centuries. Almost every devious trick used by the KGB or the CIA would have been familiar to Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I’s intelligence chief. He trapped Mary Queen of Scots in a conspiracy that led to her execution: a brilliant operation that involved breaking Spanish codes, torturing their spies and turning many into double-agents. His methods, and his conviction that ‘the ends justify the means’, have been shared by successful intelligence chiefs from Roman times to the present day.
John argues that Military Intelligence – not prostitution – is the world’s ‘oldest profession’, but the two often overlap. From the prostitute in Jericho who hid Joshua’s spies to the infamous KGB ‘honey traps’ that ensnared CIA agents, politicians and businessmen, ladies of the night appear with salacious frequency in the story. Not that all of them are real women: the brilliant French agent at the court of Catherine the Great was a transvestite who eventually moved to London with enough compromising documents to blackmail half the princes in Europe.
Secret intelligence networks were the secret of success for all the great statesmen and generals from Caesar and Genghis Khan to Cardinal Richelieu and George Washington. Napoleon’s intelligence network was world famous, but the Duke of Wellington’s system proved just as adept. With radio, telephone and email, the mechanics of espionage have been transformed and vast agencies spawned by the world wars and the cold war have now reinvented themselves for the ‘war on terror’. John investigates the ‘monumental intelligence failure’ of 9/11 and describes the progress of the undercover war against Al Qaida.