Saturday, December 12, 2015
CIA Digs Tunnel from Richmond Virginia to Berlin
Back when we had patriotism in this country and before we collapsed into political acrimony and paranoid hatred of our own government, we all worked together to focus our paranoia outward and against the spectre of Marxism. Marxism and its cousin-in-law Communism, if left unchecked, promised to inconvenience our rich and self-entitled elite which could only lead inevitably to the empowerment of the disenfranchised whose lives were hopelessly crushed by poverty and racism.
To fight this Socialist evil all true Americans, North and South, black and white, came together and did their part to fight the Cold War and maintain our way of life.
I am proud to report that even my adopted home city, Richmond, Virginia did its part to fight the cold war.
One of the triumphs of the Cold War was the CIA's Berlin Tunnel in which they dug a tunnel from the US Zone to the Soviet Zone in Berlin and were able to tap some telephone cables that carried military communications from Berlin to Moscow. The tunnel was in operation for 11 months and was a giant success in its time, but its real value came afterwards when, to everyone's surprise, the Russians made the discovery of the tunnel public in order to show the perfidy and lack of good faith of the West.
One of the great moments in “unexpected consequences” this revelation increased the status of the USA in the eyes of Europeans who did not believe that we had the sophistication to pull such espionage off. In fact, we really didnt, and relied to a significant degree on the British, but that is another story.
Many years afterwards, since the tunnel was hardly a secret, the CIA published a report on the tunnel, its genesis, execution and aftermath.
For a summary, see here.
For a discussion of actually building the tunnel, see here.
And what should I find but in that latter report the news that Richmond Virginia, where I grew up, had a role to play in this effort:
I can only hope that the people who dug this trial tunnel ate at Waffle House or at the Commonwealth Club, perhaps even at the Country Club of Virginia.
I have confidence that even today, Virginians would rally to their call and work to support the CIA in their efforts.
For another discussion of the tunnel and its discovery, see