Robert Lamphere

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Robert Lamphere (1918-2002) was an FBI officer working in counterintelligence in the 1940s and 1950s.[1]

In the late 1940s, he was responsible for liaison with the Army Security Agency and the Armed Forces Security Agency on VENONA decryption.[2] He worked daily with cryptanalys Meredith Gardner, providing him with cables stolen from a Soviet trade mission by FBI black bag operatives.[3]

He was also in charge of sharing VENONA material with MI5 and MI6 liaison officers. Dick Thistlethwaite of MI5 regarded him as 'exceptionally friendly and able'.[2]

In January 1949, Lamphere informed MI5 of British spy, 'Homer', who appeared in VENONA messages.[4]

Lamphere was responsible for a 1949 sting operation that led to the arrest and trial of Justice Department employeee Judith Coplon.[5]

In around 1949, Lamphere deduced that a paper on uranium exposive in the Venona decrpyts had been written by Klaus Fuchs.[6]

Between February and May 1950, Lamphere was forbidden by J. Edgar Hoover to give any information on counterintelligence investigations to MI5.[7]

Along with fellow FBI officer Hugh Clegg, Lamphere interviewed Fuchs in England on 19 May 1950.[8] Lamphere believed that Roger Hollis was responsible for tipping off the Soviets about the VENONA decrypts.[9]

In April 1951, Lamphere attended a party at the Washington home of Kim Philby. Also present were James Angleton and William Harvey from the CIA, Mickey Ladd of the FBI, Robert Mackenzie and Geoffrey Patterson of British intelligence, and Guy Burgess.[10]

The British did not inform Lamphere when his information enabled them to identify Donald Maclean in 1951.[11] The FBI only learned of Maclean's identity when he defected. Arthur Martin later told Lamphere this was due to pressure from the Foreign Office.[12]

Lamphere told Chapman Pincher that a CIA officer had tipped off Labour MP Marcus Lipton that Kim Philby was a Soviet spy.[13]

According to Chapman Pincher, Lamphere regarded Hollis' response to Igor Gouzenko's allegation of a spy, 'Elli' in British intelligence as suspicious.[14]

Notes

  1. Douglas Martin, Robert J. Lamphere, 83, Spy Chaser for the F.B.I., Dies, New York Times, 11 February 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.374.
  3. Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI, Allen Lane, 2012, p.157.
  4. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.373.
  5. Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI, Allen Lane, 2012, p.163.
  6. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.2295.
  7. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.611.
  8. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.240.
  9. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.173.
  10. Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI, Allen Lane, 2012, p.174.
  11. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.373.
  12. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.385.
  13. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.410.
  14. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.240.