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  Entry dated :: April 26, 1980
Washington, DC  
Philippe Thyraud de Vosjoli:
The French Connection

I had been invited to the Consortium for the Study of Intelligence, a foundation-financed project of the so-called Nation strategy Information Center. It was a series of conferences on international deception at which top officials of the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and Israeli Intelligence service discussed the concept of counterintelligence. Since I was writing a book on the subject, I found it useful to attend. The April Conference was held at 1800 K Street. Among the guests was a short, bald-headed man, Philippe de Vosjoli. "I am probably the only French intelligence officer in history to defect to the United States," he said.

Over a leisurely dinner, he explained that he had been posted to Washington in 1960 as the liaison officer between the French intelligence service, SDECE, and the CIA. He was the first French liaison officer. In this capacity, he worked closely with Angleton. Beginning in 1962, Angleton warned him that a CIA source, Anatoli Golitsyn, who had defected from the Russian Embassy in Finland, had revealed that the KGB had managed to infiltrate SDECE, his own intelligence service, at the highest levels. At first, he had assumed Golitsyn was a "lunatic". Then, Angleton gave him a "shopping list" of questions about US missile programs. It was, according to Golitsyn, to be filled by SDECE officers moonlighting for the KGB. Again, it sounded "insane" to him that French officers would be spies for the KGB and acquire US secrets on demand. His view changed radically when SDECE headquarters told him to organize a spying operation in Washington. Its targets were precisely the ones that Golitsyn had identified. He alerted the head of his service that a KGB spy ring was operating from within its ranks. In November 1963, he learned from an associate in France that he had been ordered assassinated by his own intelligence service. When he received a telegram the next week ordering him back to Paris, he assumed it was his death notice.

Rather than returning to Paris, he resigned from the French Secret Service in November 1963. Angleton helped arranged his defection. After years of hiding his identity, he sold a book idea to Leon Uris for Topaz, and moved to Lighthouse Point, Florida.

He told me over a leisurely dinner that he still had extensive files on the "take" from Golitsyn which I could see if I came to Florida. It was an offer I quickly accepted.
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