In the autumn of 1997, an American friend I knew at Full Sutton prison had shown me an article he had seen published in the U.S. News & World Report magazine. This article was an excerpt from a book by Pete Earley about the CIA spy Aldrich Ames, and my friend thought the story might interest me. The actual book from which this excerpt had been taken was “Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames”. I couldn’t understand how this magazine had turned up at the prison, but as my friend was a citizen of the USA he had asked the US Embassy in London for some reading material from the States, and this magazine was one of the items he had been sent.
At first I thought there was nothing of much interest in this article, but then I spotted the name Oleg Gordievsky, a witness at my trial, and I noticed a strange clash of dates involving Gordievsky’s recall to the Soviet Union, when he was interrogated by the KGB about being a double agent. I felt this would be a good opportunity for raising several issues with the U.S. News magazine, in the hope that they may be able to help me investigate the evidence in my case. After a few days thought I sent the following letter to the magazine:
From: Michael John Smith
H.M.P., Full Sutton, York
22 November 1997
To: Mr James Fallows
U.S. News & World Report
2400 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Dear Mr Fallows,
I read with interest your book excerpt about Aldrich Ames, by Pete Earley, in the issue of 17 February 1997. I was concerned at the excerpt’s reference to Oleg Gordievsky, and how Ames revealed Gordievsky’s involvement with MI6 when he met Viktor Cherkashin for lunch on 13 June 1985. Amongst papers in my possession I have a witness statement from Gordievsky, in which he says he was recalled to Moscow on 19 May 1985. Is your date a mistake, or is there an anomaly there?
Allow me to explain my situation. I am in a British prison serving a 20 year sentence, mainly as a result of Gordievsky’s “evidence”. I was arrested on 8 August 1992, following the defection to Britain of Viktor Alekseevich Oshchenko (known under the codename “Ozerov” within the KGB), who was a KGB Colonel in the Russian embassy in Paris (France). I was the only person arrested in Britain as a result of Oshchenko’s defection.
The prosecution claimed I was recruited to the KGB by Oshchenko in the mid-1970s, although I never met Oshchenko, and no evidence has ever been produced to show I met him. It was further claimed I met other KGB officers in London: Viktor Nikolayevich Lazin (Head of Line X c1979), A.A. Chernyayev (Line X 1979-83) and O.P. Krasakov (Line X 1984-5). The names of two other Line X officers, Bozhanov and Demchenko, were also quoted to me, but I do not know if I am supposed to have met them also. “Mrs C”, a MI5 Section Head in charge of studying hostile intelligence agencies, said under oath that there was no evidence I had ever met anyone in the KGB.
Mrs C said in court that Oshchenko arrived in Britain on 29 August 1972, to work at the Soviet embassy as a 3rd Secretary. He was identified as an agent-running KGB officer within 12 to 18 months, but was allowed to remain in Britain for a further 5½ years until his duties ended, on 22 September 1979. This in itself is a strange admission, since many KGB officers were expelled from Britain in the 1970s, when it was found they indulged in ‘activities incompatible with their status’.
Mrs C said Oshchenko was not a double-agent prior to his defection in July 1992, and neither did he pass information to the Security Services before his defection. These denials have been contradicted by claims made in 3 different books, which indicate that Oshchenko had been working for the British for some time; if true, this would greatly alter the case brought against me. If Oshchenko was being run by MI6, what was his real role in my case, and what did he tell MI6? However, it is by no means certain that Oshchenko was working for the British: a source with knowledge of the Security Services has told me he believes Oshchenko was a long-term CIA agent. There were many connections to the USA in my case, which is one of the reasons I am writing to you. Oshchenko now appears to have disappeared and nobody seems to know his whereabouts.
Mrs C accepted, under cross-examination, that no espionage equipment had been found in my possession: there were no cameras, microdots, secret writing materials, code books, radio transmitters, secret containers (such as false bottomed brief-cases), etc. Nothing was found that would indicate I was operating as a professional spy.
I had been a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) between 1972-5, but I became disillusioned with their politics and resigned. In August/September 1976 I visited a friend Diane in Chicago. During this holiday I also visited an old university friend Sol, who then lived in Quebec city (Canada), and I visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington for sight-seeing. However, the prosecution claimed I visited the USA to clear dead-letter boxes, but, again, no evidence was produced and that charge was dropped. I must point out that I have never done anything harmful to the USA; just the reverse, I have always had great admiration for your country, particularly its outstanding achievements in the artistic and scientific fields.
Between 1976-8, I worked for EMI Electronics (UK) on the trigger mechanism for Britain’s free-fall nuclear bomb (WE-177). The prosecution claimed that Oshchenko told me to leave the CPGB and seek a job at EMI, although no evidence was produced to support this. In 1977 I was responsible for discovering a potentially disastrous design fault in the electronic circuit of this trigger, which could have led to its premature detonation and risk to airmen’s lives. I have never been charged with any mis-conduct concerning my work on the WE-177 project.
I understand the CIA had me under some form of surveillance since the early 1970s, I do not know why, although I believe it had something to do with targeting students with potential to help the CIA. It has been admitted that MI5 had me under surveillance since 1977, and I have a copy of a letter I wrote to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), dated November 1980, in which I mentioned my awareness of this surveillance. Even the British Prime Minister’s personal security section apparently monitored my case.
The prosecution claimed that, while on holiday in Vienna in August 1979, I had passed a KGB lie detector test - a ‘non-contact’ lie detector instrument (if there is such a thing). It was claimed by Oshchenko that 2 other KGB officers, Stalnov and Boris Snu (from Moscow it seems), had been involved in this Vienna test.
In May 1978, unknown to me, I lost my security clearance. When I learned of my lost clearance, in early November 1979, I enquired about the reasons, and on 10 June 1980 I was interviewed at Fleetbank House by a MI5 officer posing as a MoD employee. The tape recording of this interview was later destroyed, although I have a transcript copy which suspiciously appears to have been altered. My file at the MoD also contains a strange co-incidence - it is identified as HW/1073 - could this be linked to Harry Williams (see below)? It was claimed Oshchenko directed me to get my security clearance restored, but this cannot be true, as Oshchenko left Britain on 22 September 1979, before I learned about my lost clearance.
In 1982-3 I worked for EMI Datatech on a project to supply special digital tape recorders to NASA for recording satellite signals. As a result of this project I had dealings with a Quality Control chief (Mr Perry) in the States, and a Greenham Common based USAF officer (whose name I have forgotten).
The prosecution made absurd claims that the KGB directed me to take up tennis, because 4 tennis racquets were found in my home; Oshchenko has claimed he codenamed me “Borg”, because of his own interest in tennis. Another unsubstantiated claim was that a planned holiday to France with my wife, in September 1991, was really cover for a meeting with a KGB controller, although we never made the trip because my wife was taken ill.
In January 1990, I was lured into an industrial espionage operation by a man calling himself Harry Williams; he was very persuasive and bribed me with £20,000, at a time when I was in financial difficulties. The money was given to me in mint condition, large denomination £50 bills, in sequential serialised batches; these were later traced to London and New York banks. I even kept a letter that Williams posted to my home (which was used in evidence). Mrs C said that, as my meetings with Williams were covertly organised, this was sufficient proof that a foreign and hostile intelligence agency was behind it. Mrs C said MI5 was not concerned with industrial espionage, nor with the operations of “friendly” intelligence agencies. However, Mrs C accepted that the USA had been successfully penetrated by the “friendly” French intelligence service in the early 90’s, and industrial espionage was widespread in Europe and the USA.
I was directed to meet Harry Williams at sites known to MI5, and which Oleg Gordievsky had previously used himself to meet or leave messages for agents. The suspicious circumstances of my surveillance and arrest make me believe everything had been planned by MI5, and that Harry Williams was a MI5 officer pretending to be involved in industrial espionage.
I was arrested following a “sting” operation, which MI5 codenamed operation “Billiards”. On the morning of my arrest, I was asked on the telephone to acknowledge that I knew ‘Viktor’ (no surname given). I did indeed know a Spaniard called “Victor” and so I replied ‘yes’, but it was later claimed that this Viktor could only be Viktor Oshchenko, and there was a debate in court about whether it was possible to distinguish aurally between Viktor/Victor spelt with a “k” or a “c”. There is a confusing story concerning the telephone call, as the police lied and distorted the evidence - key witnesses were interviewed 8½ months after my arrest, so they would not remember the events which supported my story.
Everything in the Crown’s case hinges on the assumption that the “Victor” mentioned in the telephone call was Viktor Oshchenko. It was an MI5 officer who made the telephone call, and no information was presented at my trial to prove that ‘Victor’, in the telephone call, was Viktor Oshchenko.
Following my arrest, I told the police I had noticed people watching my home in the past, including only a week before my arrest. Although I now know this surveillance was real, the interviewing officer dismissed my comments as ‘bullshit’.
MI5 conducted many debriefings with Oshchenko - I know from my case papers that over 200 reports were raised in the first few months following Oshchenko’s defection - however, I am referred to in only 10 of these reports, in which I am identified as ‘Parellic’. MI5 also linked me with Mr E, a man I have no connection with whatsoever, because the names “George” and “Viktor” (KGB contacts of Mr E) were used in the telephone call; this gave the jury the impression I was connected with “George” and “Viktor”. Mr E also introduced a connection with Portugal (see below).
All my lawyers’ telephones were bugged, from the time of my arrest until after my trial ended, and so they had to communicate everything clandestinely. This was obviously an unfair tactic by the prosecution to gain an advantage, and to discover how the defence were planning their case.
Gordievsky was briefed about my case on 19 August 1992, when he was given a typed list of MI5’s interpretation of the facts of my case. Although Gordievsky agreed to help the prosecution, it was not until 10 December 1992 that he produced his first witness statement, in which he completely accepted MI5’s version of the story. A puzzling aspect of Gordievsky’s position was: why did he not give my name when he defected in 1985? Gordievsky has claimed he gave all the KGB agents’ names to MI5, as well as exposing the KGB’s spying operations in Britain.
In court, Gordievsky made great play of his love of democracy, and how he would not lie to the British. However, newspaper reports state that in 1982-5, while still in the KGB, Gordievsky gave information to MI5 about the activities of left-wing trade unionists he met; he appears to have used his position to undermine lawful activities in a democracy. His credibility was further questioned by my lawyers, because they were informed that Gordievsky did not volunteer to become a British agent in the 1970s, as he claimed, but was blackmailed into it by a sexual affair (or trap) while working at the KGB station in Copenhagen.
Gordievsky said he recognised notes I made, of my meetings with Harry Williams, as very familiar to him. Although individual details in the notes could be used by anyone, or any intelligence agency, Gordievsky said that, taken as a whole, he recognised the pattern as typical of the KGB. Two examples of Gordievsky’s views are:-
(i) He claimed KGB officers instruct their agents using phrases containing the word “suggest”, as in “I suggest you go to the railway station”. However, the police officer who interviewed me (Malcolm MacLeod) used this word 49 times in the 4 days of my interviews; so I guess that makes him an excellent suspect for a KGB officer.
(ii) He claimed KGB officers like to meet their agents regularly at lunch time (12:45 p.m.) - ‘a good time to meet’, he said.
Gordievsky claimed in his book, ‘Next Stop Execution’, that he was instrumental in my arrest (English 1st edition, p.395). Gordievsky said earlier in court that he knew nothing about me - despite prosecution claims I worked for the KGB from the mid-1970s to early 1990s - Gordievsky explained this by saying that, although he was Rezident in London in 1982-5, he had not known all the KGB’s spies in Britain, as they didn’t keep a list of them. This could not have been a long list, as Oshchenko admitted, in his MI5 debriefings, that the KGB only had about 5 agents at any one time in London in the 1970s. At my appeal, the prosecution accepted that Gordievsky was ‘not correct’ in claiming responsibility for my arrest. In the same admission, the prosecution also accepted that Gordievsky had not told the truth in his book about George Robertson (Britain’s current Secretary of State for Defence) - Gordievsky claimed Mr Robertson had acted as a KGB agent in the mid-1980s (ibid, p.360 footnote). However, the prosecution said Gordievsky remained a ‘witness of truth’.
At my trial I was charged with trivial matters related to my work in 1990-92 for the General Electric Company (UK) - a small quantity of old GEC documents had been found at my home. I was convicted at the Old Bailey on 18 November 1993, under Britain’s Official Secrets Act, for allegedly passing secrets to a KGB contact. However, the material used to convict me was of extremely doubtful validity: no KGB contact was identified, and the so-called ‘secrets’ have not been identified (I lost access to secrets in 1978, and in 1990-92 I only had access to the lowest level of classified documents). In fact, the “crime” I was convicted of did not actually take place at all, it was a hypothetical offence. No actual or potential damage has been caused by the “crimes” I was charged with. I am serving my sentence for nothing more than suspicion, since the jury could not have been certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, that a crime had even been committed.
Most of the material found in my possession was already published, but the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) and MoD used 20 experts to build a case that I handled sensitive military documents. Despite the simplicity of the truth - I genuinely did not handle sensitive documents at GEC - the facts were misrepresented. The only relevant item found in my possession was one 10 year old document (dated January 1982 and marked RESTRICTED) - the only classified material involved in the whole of my case. This document did not identify its exact use, but it did identify the name and address of Marconi, who had produced the document.
No evidence was disclosed to the defence about the RESTRICTED document for 14 months after my arrest. I find it odd that, although this was the only classified document in my case, the prosecution gave the impression that they never investigated its relevance. It was not until mid-trial that one witness, Dr Meirion Francis Lewis, gave any evidence about this document. Dr Lewis, of the Defence Research Agency (DRA) at Malvern, admitted in court that he was not an expert in missile technology nor in jamming (he was an expert in the design of surface acoustic wave devices).
Dr Lewis said the document was sensitive and would enable the missile on which it was used to be jammed, although he said he did not know that missile’s identity. Dr Lewis’s evidence surprised the defence, and an adjournment of 3 days was allowed for the defence to make enquiries. When Dr Lewis returned to court, he added a further surprise by claiming he could identify the document’s use on a project for Britain’s anti-radar missile ALARM. Dr Lewis claimed that, despite his lack of expertise in this field, he could personally identify: the document’s link to ALARM; the information in the document which would enable ALARM to be jammed; and, he claimed Britain’s deployment of the ALARM missile caused Saddam Hussein to switch off all his radar systems during the Gulf War.
Dr Lewis said he made enquiries with Marconi’s Technical Director during the adjournment, and the document’s use on the ALARM project had been confirmed to him on the telephone. No witness from Marconi came to court, and so I was convicted on the basis of “hearsay” telephone evidence. When Dr Lewis was in danger of revealing too much information about the document, Dr D I Weatherley (a senior MoD observer present throughout the trial) made the prosecution stop the cross-examination of Dr Lewis, on the basis that he was going into secret matters, although the trial was held “in camera” so that such matters could be discussed.
Dr Lewis was a MoD employee, who was shown to exaggerate evidence in his own field of SAW technology, therefore his evidence must be unreliable in a field in which he admitted not to be an expert. However, the judge allowed Dr Lewis’s evidence, and he told the jury that all the experts were ‘extraordinarily well-qualified’. It was obvious, from the prosecution’s “ambush” tactics, that the police, CPS and MoD were all involved in withholding evidence about the RESTRICTED document from the defence. I believe Dr Lewis must have known about this withholding of information, because he was involved in my case from the start, being questioned as a witness only 3 days after my arrest, i.e. 14 months before his court appearance.
The RESTRICTED document had been issued to a colleague of mine, F.S. MacClemont, who is an expert on the design and manufacture of surface acoustic wave devices. However, Mr MacClemont was not called as a witness; maybe the fact that he did important work on quartz crystals (for Trident missiles) might have proved embarrassing to the MoD, for its USA connections.
I was found not guilty of a charge which alleged I gave the Russians details of part of a $2.9 million US Department of Defense funded contract, which was a project to develop multi-notch rugate filters for use in the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). This was a good example of the prosecution’s methods: they claimed I stole this ‘sensitive’ military information, although the same material had already been published in a glossy brochure by the Wright Patterson Air Force base in the USA. The MoD were so concerned that the DoD should not think them lax over security, that they never bothered to check the accuracy of their evidence.
Holding my trial “in camera” effectively prevented the public from knowing that my case involved no secrets, and that a KGB connection was unproven. Oshchenko was not produced at my trial, and so the jury had to speculate whether the prosecution told the truth; this clearly bothered the jury, as they asked two questions about why he had not appeared, and why they had heard no evidence that linked me to him. I was smeared by dirty tactics, designed to make me look guilty to the jury. Unfortunately for me, circumstantial evidence alone is sufficient to win a conviction in a British court.
The judge was extremely biased in his handling of my trial: he frequently interrupted the proceedings, and interfered in the examination of my only scientific expert, Dr Eamonn Maher. The judge was more a prosecutor than impartial referee, as can be seen from the court transcripts, and many decisions had already been taken in the judge’s room before the trial started: Public Interest Immunity orders were signed to withhold evidence which might prejudice the prosecution case. It is easy to see why there have been so many miscarriages of justice in Britain over recent years, such as the “Birmingham 6” and “Guildford 4” cases.
It was shameful to see those who profess to uphold the law - the CPS, the judge and the last Solicitor General (Sir Derek Spencer) - working behind the scenes to avoid the presentation of a complete package of evidence. My solicitor told me not to expect justice, due to the nature of my case, but I never expected to find such a level of hypocrisy amongst prosecutors and judges; you have to experience the subtle words used to see how a jury can be swayed to see the evidence from the wrong viewpoint.
Oleg Kalugin, a former Head of Soviet Counter Intelligence, came to give evidence at my trial, but he was arrested as he arrived at Heathrow on 30 October 1993. After hours of interrogation, concerning “suspicion” that Kalugin was involved in the 1979 Georgi Markov ‘umbrella murder’ in London, he was released without charge. This was obviously a ploy to destroy Kalugin’s credibility as a defence witness, and my lawyers decided it would be unwise to use him, although his evidence would have been that my case did not have the hallmark of the KGB.
“Mr E”, a US citizen born in Yorkshire (England), gave evidence at my trial. He said he was recruited to the KGB about December 1978, and it seems he was targeted because he had been in the US Navy, leaving as a Petty Officer. The Russians were interested in Mr E’s relatives: his father was a retired US Army 0-6, his mother an English nurse, and his father-in-law worked with one of the US House of Representatives subcommittees. Mr E worked as a salesman in a hi-fi shop in Tottenham Court Road (London) when Viktor Oshchenko recruited him, and he was soon on the KGB’s payroll, receiving a regular salary equivalent to the monthly mortgage payments on his home.
While working for the KGB, Mr E attempted to procure some sensitive integrated circuits, which were proscribed to the Russians under COCOM. He also undertook KGB training methods and sought to improve his professional position, so he might gain access to information useful to the Russians. One of Mr E’s training mission’s was a trip to Lisbon (Portugal) on the weekend of 21/22 July 1979, to deliver a package to a KGB contact.
The prosecution used Mr E’s Portuguese trip to claim I did the same in August 1977, when I went on holiday with a friend. Unlike Mr E, my visit to Oporto was a camping holiday, nothing to do with any Russians, and I did nothing more harmful than sight-seeing. Unfortunately, I retained a marked map given to us by a camp-site attendant, showing bus stops we used to reach the camp-site. Both Gordievsky and Mrs C claimed that the map could be evidence of a KGB officer meeting an agent.
In early May 1980, Mr E reported his activities with the KGB to the US embassy (London), and was then run by MI5 for some months. This resulted in the exposure of at least 2 KGB officers operating in Britain: Viktor Oshchenko and Yuriy Gennadyevich Pokrovskiy (who was later expelled from Britain). Mr E last saw Oshchenko in 1979, and he met him about 10 times, yet in June 1993 Mr E was able to identify Oshchenko from a photograph, although it was stated by American and British Security Service personnel that Mr E had an ‘atrocious’ memory. Mr E admitted he enjoyed reading books about espionage and he offered to work as a double-agent - it seems he is a sort of Walter Mitty character. The Russians apparently groomed him as a long-term “mole” for when he returned to the States.
A “Mr P”, an ex-CIA Station Chief, who received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Head of the CIA, and was highly commended for ‘his extraordinary tradecraft skills’ (a major aspect of my case) was a defence witness at my trial. Mr P retired from the CIA in February 1986 and took up work as an intelligence consultant and an attorney at law; he was trusted to de-classify papers from President Kennedy’s assassination, and is also a member of the retired CIA officers association. Mr P said my case could not be linked with the KGB, it was too amateur an operation, and he raised 14 points which indicated that it was unlikely I had any involvement with the KGB.
After my trial, the then British Prime Minister, Mr John Major, asked the Security Commission to conduct an enquiry into my case, only the 14th to have been ordered since the Commission was set up in the early 1960s. The Security Commission’s report (HMSO Security Commission Report Cm 2930) was published in July 1995 after my appeal failed.
It is suspicious that the Security Commission’s report states of the RESTRICTED document that: ‘at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system’ (Annex A.5). The MoD and the Security Commission appear to have covered up the true importance of the RESTRICTED document; the report cannot hide the muddled way they try to justify that an apparently non-sensitive technical document contained highly damaging material.
It took the MoD between 8 August 1992 (my arrest) and May 1995 (at my appeal) to decide that the RESTRICTED document was ‘wrongly classified’ and it should have been marked SECRET, or at least CONFIDENTIAL (Security Commission’s report 1.7, 5.5, 6.2, Annex A.3, A.4, A.5). The “wrong classification” of the document was not mentioned during my trial. A Deputy Director of the MoD (James Francis MacCulloch) was criticised for misleading the Security Commission - although I believe he made an honest statement - and the MoD preferred to admit making “mistakes” in document classification to maintain my conviction.
Naturally, I believe the public are not being told the truth about the document, so, on 10 January 1997 I wrote to the secretary of the Security Commission (Mr J K Barron) about this matter. Although Mr Barron sent me an acknowledgement (dated 24 January 1997), I have not received an answer to my claims that the document was misrepresented at my trial and in the Security Commission’s report. [I finally received a reply in a letter dated 13 October 1999, but despite the long period they had to consider my questions, this letter still did not answer any of them.]
The Security Commission’s report was also used to proclaim me guilty of more serious crimes in the 1970s - the leaking of information about WE-177 - of which I have been neither convicted, nor even charged. It is obvious that my long sentence was really for suspected offences in the 1970s (rather than the actual charges), although this was not put to the jury at my trial. It seems unusual to declare a British citizen guilty without first charging him with the crime, and democrats have always considered this type of treatment to be symptomatic of totalitarian regimes.
A specialist in espionage methods, James Rusbridger, helped my defence by collecting evidence from spy novels. On 16 February 1994, shortly after my trial ended, Mr Rusbridger was found dead at his Cornish cottage in mysterious circumstances - he was found hanged, wearing oilskins and a gas-mask.
After my appeal I tried to obtain help from those interested in espionage cases. A friend put me onto Professor Christopher Andrew of Cambridge University (England), and I wrote to him with some details of my case at the end of March 1996. Professor Andrew said he never received my letter, but I know he did receive a copy on 22 April 1996, because my friend delivered it to him by hand. I included in my letter the detail that William Colby (ex-head of the CIA) had helped my defence - Colby was puzzled by the facts of my case. It was William Colby who recommended the defence to use an expert from the retired CIA officers association. I was completely unaware that Professor Andrew was co-author of Oleg Gordievsky’s books, as I have never read any of Gordievsky’s books. About a week after Professor Andrew received my letter, Colby was dead - this might be co-incidence, but it seems uncanny to me. Another ex-CIA officer who considered my case untypical of the KGB was Philip Agee, who also helped the defence.
I appreciate you are busy and may not be interested in my case, so I have only given you some highlights in this letter. I am still fighting my conviction, as I know the MoD, MI5 and MI6 are all withholding important evidence. There has been a conspiracy to distort the truth, and I am certain that there are political issues at the heart of this case. I have served over 5 years in prison, and I could serve another 8 years if I do not find evidence to win a future appeal against my conviction.
What I would like to ask you is:
(1) Would your organisation be interested in investigating my case?
(2) Can you identify any specialists in the appropriate fields who could help me?
(3) Could you find any evidence of CIA involvement in my case?
(4) What is known about Viktor Oshchenko?
In the USA you have a right to Freedom of Information, giving you access to material that is impossible to obtain in Britain. I would be very grateful for any assistance you can give me.
Michael John Smith
Unfortunately the U.S. News magazine were not able to help me directly, and I received the following reply:
From: Harrison Rainie
U.S. News & World Report
January 23 1998
To: Michael John Smith
H.M.P. Full Sutton, York
Dear Mr Smith,
Thanks for your letter to James Fallows.
I am sorry, but U.S. News simply does not have the resources to look into a case like yours. As you might imagine, we receive scores of very similar letters, and if we looked into each and every one thoroughly, we would have no time for the weekly work of covering world news. You might have better luck with a local publication or with one of the big television investigative units like the following:
147 Columbus Ave., 10th Floor
New York, NY 10023
ABC’s “Prime Time Live”
147 Columbus Ave., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10023
CBS’s “60 Minutes”
555 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019-2985
Meanwhile, we wish you good luck. With best wishes,