China, Spies, and Other Dragons
The ongoing Chinese spy scandal is reminiscent of a 50-year old case that rocked the Truman administration. In January 1945, an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer was surprised to read the verbatim contents of his recent Top Secret report on Asian resistance movements in Amerasia, a left-wing U.S.-published magazine. After breaking into the magazine's offices, the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) found numerous other classified documents, as well as a well-equipped photo studio and darkroom, and other espionage equipment. Wire taps made it clear that many staff members were Soviet intelligence agents. Eventually the FBI obtained indictments, but the case stalled because the break-ins and the wiretaps had been illegal. Federal prosecutors hoped that at least some of those indicted would admit their espionage, thus making their case. As it happened, none did. The case had to be abandoned because, whatever the prosecutors knew, they could not prove anything in court.