Edward Snowden has been making news by releasing classified material he stole from the National Security Agency (NSA), but long before Snowden became a leaker and skipped to Russia, there was another NSA spy who passed secrets to the Soviet Union.
Yesterday I interviewed former FBI Special Agent John W. Whiteside III. Whiteside was the FBI agent who investigated, arrested and helped convict NSA spy Robert Stephen Lipka (seen in the above FBI mugshot photo).
Whiteside is the author of Fool's Mate: A True Story of Espionage at the National Security Agency. The book recounts the investigation that led to Lipka's arrest, conviction and imprisonment.
According to Fool's Mate, Lipka was a young U.S. soldier assigned to NSA in 1965 when he began the wholesale theft of top secret information from NSA and sold the information to the Soviet KGB.
He gave up espionage when he left the Army two years later and disappeared into obscurity. His case remained open for more than 30 years.
Decades after Lipka's betrayal, a KGB officer sought asylum in the West. He brought with him documents from the KGB's archives, and hidden in these documents was proof of Lipka's espionage.
Whiteside (seen in the below photo) then began an investigation that included a "False Flag" sting operation that drew Lipka out. Fool's Mate reads like a spy thriller.
Lipka, who recently died, resembled the comic actor Wayne Knight, who portrayed Newman on TV's Seinfeld. By all accounts, Lipka was also as creepy and strange as the Newman character.
My Q & A with Whiteside will appear in the upcoming issue of Counterterrorism magazine and I'll post the interview here when the magazine comes out.
You can purchase a copy of Fool's Mate at Amazon.com via the below links:
And you can check out the FBI's account of the Lipka spy case via the below link: