- One of the earliest investigations of Soviet espionage occurred in 1945 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the editorial offices of Amerasia magazine in Washington, DC, confiscated several hundred classified U.S. documents, and arrested several people. Of the detained, two pled to minor charges of illegal possession of classified documents and were fined. The others were cleared. One of those involved but never prosecuted was John Service, a foreign service officer who had served in China during the war. Amerasia editor Philip Jaffe, who had been a Communist Party member, claimed that he was collecting documents to complete a detailed study of the Chinese civil war. Jaffe received documents from Service, who acted out of a personal desire to expose Washington’s alliance with the corrupt Nationalist regime in China. It is not known if any of the information reached Soviet intelligence, but the scandal demonstrated how lax U.S. security was during the war, and the unilateral steps some professionals would take to release classified material.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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