From: H B Laes
Date: 16 Jul 1999
Thank you for your interesting and informative post. We wish we had the background to examine, point by point, the issues you raise. Like yourself we are neither intelligence experts nor professional historians; also it would appear we are less well read on some of these matters than you.
Its a conundrum, no doubt about it - what to accept from Sudoplatov? Our own impression, based on not a wit of direct or factual knowledge, is that Sudoplatov was a consummate Intelligence professional and very effective. In this regard, exhibit A for us would be his selection by Beria to head up a 'Spec Ops' (Special Tasks) department. It says something when a paranoid, control freak like Beria chooses a person to handle, offline from the bureaucracy, sensitive and special problems (Trotsky and Tito come to mind). It is our experience that persons of such background neither need nor are inclined to fabricate a great deal. But again, this is just our impression.
You obviously are familiar with Special Tasks. We wonder, however, if you read the hardcover (1994) or paperback (1995) edition? If the hardcover, we might suggest you browse the paperback edition which has an added Forward by Robert Conquest and two new appendices, Report on the Bohr-Terletsky Meetings and Sudoplatov Responds to His Critics, all of which have some bearing on the credibility issue. Perhaps the additional material will ameliorate your opinion, Rhodes's Dark Sun also published in 1995 so he may or may not have factored the new material into his book, etc.
Notwithstanding the above, we ourselves are encounterng some 'Sudoplatov' difficulties that may be the subject of a future post.
Regards, H B Laes
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