UNDER the heading Days of the Mole-hunter
this is what I wrote back in the Echo's Cardiff Post on February 9, 1989: "The legendary pied piper of Hamelin was employed to rid the town of its rats.
In the early 1960s, for instance, Venona documents helped convince the CIA's own Venona head man and mole-hunter
, James Jesus Angleton, that former governor of New York and ambassador to Russia Averell Harriman was a Soviet agent.
The title comes from a sexual pun in Hamlet that Rosenbaum interprets more broadly to suggest that the history of any period is often hidden in the seemingly trivial or obscure Rosenbaum loves secrets: secret meanings in literary texts; secrets about the ultimate loyalties of double agents (his Harper's profile of CIA mole-hunter
James Angleton isn't included, alas, but a marvelous New York Times Magazine piece about Kim Philby's private papers is); secret societies (probably Rosenbaum's best-known magazine article is an Esquire piece about Yale's Skull & Bones); and mysteries about murders and suicides, which are always shrouded in secrecy.
That is when the Estonian mole-hunters
began to reconstruct the movements of the supposed Spaniard and followed the thread back to the agent inside NATO.