such as when the Author hurls at his Aroused Readers and all other listening devices his several startling anti-espionage proposals, emits several hysterical shouts for peace and world union, and escapes before anyone can capture him.
THE PRESIDENT of Switzerland, when he is so inclined, can go to work by streetcar. No other head of state can make a similar claim. If one could, there would be more hope for the world.
A Swiss who is suspected of a crime can be imprisoned for at least fifty-one days incommunicado, as we have seen, without an attorney, and without charges being preferred against him.
This contradiction could in time become deadly. In the long run, if you can do the one, you cannot do the other. The President will end up going to work in an armored stretch limousine with bodyguards and a motorcycle escort. The Helvetian Confederation would become Helvetia Totalitariana.
A propos, the time for a call to arms to protect liberties is like now, when all is calm, and the opposition can be defeated, not at times of great fear, when the defenders of liberties are outnumbered ten to one by the hysterical and enraged suppressors.
The present condition of Swiss counter-espionage appears to be pathetic. The Swiss claim to have only 36 agents and 60 analysts assigned to counterespionage duties. These are augmented by local police assigned to assist them. The Prosecutor's office estimates the Soviet Union and Eastern communist allies of the USSR to have 700 spies and 1400 Swiss moles working inside the country. (The figures are unlisted in the tables of occupations.)
British counter-intelligence has suffered the same inferiority of numbers, complains Peter Wright. To its chief, the major MI5 problem was the scale of the Soviet assault, in terms of numbers of Russian intelligence officers in London, relative to his own pitiful forces. His tenure " was marked by his campaign to expand MI5 and reduce Soviet diplomatic personnel." I cannot say whether the same director was the brains behind the scheme to pickpocket all known KGB agents on the streets of London. "It didn't work," says Wright, but it made the Russians feel they were under attack for the first time in years." (And helped pay for out-of-pocket expenses of MI5?)
The KGB as a whole employs some 700,000 agents, who are supplemented by some 6,000,000 correspondents and stringers. Some 70% of the Soviet diplomats stationed around the world work for the KGB. But recall once more that the Soviet Union, being fully socialist, naturally has great numbers of people working for the government who in capitalist countries would be in private occupations.
Were you to add to the C.I.A. the F.B.I. and all the State special police resembling the F.B.I., then all the Detective and Protective Services working for private industry as spies and counter-spies and performing middle- and upper-grade police work akin to KGB functions, you would well exceed the KGB tally. I doubt that the United States is in danger of losing to the Soviet Union its position as the most lawless and most policed nation in the world.
An interesting socialist type of development is the VKP, which is a separate organization that handles and distributes to the Soviet knowledge industry -- universities, libraries and the media -- information resulting from espionage activities. The USA does the same; I've used interviews of defectors from communist countries as normal public research materials, so don't get excited. It's consoling to know that some of the product gathered at such enormous cost eventually gets into the stream of education and science, and isn't it uplifting to think of Chris Marx's tiny stream of data inching its way through the capillaries of the immense circulation system of the Soviet Union? An estimated 61% of the VKP product comes from U.S. sources, only 3% from Japan, and 10% from West Germany, Britain and France together.
While my grand plan for supplying knowledge in shopping bags full of Compact Disks is undergoing consideration, I employ a homemade system of getting my works into circulation in the Soviet Union. I just mail the package of books or papers to a logical known address -- a library, a town hall, or whatever -- without insurance or registration, by surface mail. It arrives, is stolen by experienced hands, is sold to a fence, who knows where to find purchasers of books from various specialized fields, and these persons are delighted to purchase them. They will unfailingly read them, and share them with colleagues. I lose a little money but succeed in doing what I cannot even be sure of doing in America, getting my work into the hands of those who have a desire and need to know.
Chris Marx discovered that he could get in and out of the Soviet Union without losing any of his technical and suspicious-looking papers. He went on a quick trip to Beijing, where a great computer and weaponry exposition was being held.
He spent money he could ill afford on the trip. He had hoped to sell the Russians reports on what was useful there in the way of computer systems (they bought one report) and especially to sell some software to the Chinese and other nationalities who might be interested in Artificial Intelligence.
He sold only one software program and could not collect for it in the end. But the total experience in itself was valuable.
He was flying Aeroflot, Tupolevs, crudely finished but serviceable. He had to stay over two days in Moscow with his companion, Maude Mayer, to make flight connections, and they were cleared in and out of customs. Twice his baggage and papers were examined with scrupulous care: all of the ominous designs, weapon diagrams, computers, software, were turned front and back, the hundreds of pages riffled through, and his Compaq portable was duly noted.
No problem in these most highly sensitive areas of intelligence and espionage. In fact, all kinds of high-tech equipment was being brought in and out by passengers.
However, one passenger scheduled to depart did bring about a flurry of excitement. He was stopped, scratched from the passenger list and disappeared behind grim doors of the gloomy, massively policed airport. His delict: pornographic literature had been discovered in his baggage. Marx and M.M. could not believe their eyes. Dirty pictures!
To complete my snapshot of Soviet intelligence I would merely mention the very large and independent military system, which pinpoints all the targets that will be presumably struck when Venus'-flytrap is tickled. (Incidentally, the Trap will not slam shut on the insect unless it has at least two triggerings of its antennae -- a fail-safe device, you might say.) The United States has, of course, the same.
As I say, the present situation of Swiss counter-espionage is sad. If there are over 2000 Red agents in this land of seven million inhabitants there must be another 8000 spies of all other countries, including the corporate and financial interests that maintain industrial espionage here at a high level. That makes ten thousand in all. Most of them are incompetent, of course.
Moreover, the Swiss do not watch and catch American spies as assiduously as they do communist ones, although they officially claim that they assign equal time to the Superpowers. Since 1970, I think I have said, of 149 spy cases broken, 100 involved the East Europeans Reds (that 100 figure looks too round to me). I wonder whether equal time includes friendly time.
In fact, some of the American effort, most of which is dedicated to spying on the Reds, can be counted as part of the Swiss effort. But the Swiss do not have quite the same interests. It's like the Liberians who decide to cheer for Sweden in the Olympic ski races faute de mieux.
Furthermore, the Swiss Feds can count on the police of the cantons to back them up, although this can be like having the Keystone Kops chasing around the landscape for you in their 1925 Ford. And they give an investigation that has proven unfruitful to a local police force to pursue it, and finally either to press charges or drop the matter.
So one has an impossible policing condition. There is one Swiss counter-espionage employee for every one hundred foreign agents. One hundred to one on their home grounds! Not even did the Swiss infantry at St.Jakob an der Birs face such odds! And, as we have seen, the Feds do not tackle problems in order of priority.
It would not be enough if there were 10,000 Swiss agents for counter-espionage! Because, to catch a spy you cannot go one-to-one. It takes at least three agents to catch one spy. It's an exhausting day and night job. You've seen all the movies: I don't have to tell you. These damnable spies get up at all hours of the night to go to night clubs, visit their mistresses, xerox their documents, get a head start on their counter-spies, and blow up the Bank, any Bank!
All joking aside. It's like the attacking force in warfare. It is heretical to think of launching an attack against the enemy with less than a three-to-one advantage. For instance, General Montgomery, the hero of el-Alamein, where the British forces scored a decisive victory over the German-Italian army on the Libyan Front in late October 1942, enjoyed a superiority of three to one in troops, five to one in airplanes and six to one in tanks! Or, if actual figures impress you more than ratios, 230,000 to 80,000 men, 1500 to 350 warplanes, and 1230 to 210 tanks.
Not even this was enough. Because General Montgomery, as is well known, had God on his side, and devoted some of his time prior to and during the battle, to prayer. Now Christoph Marx could never win this kind of battle, agnostic that he is.
The situation lends itself to a Maxim: #26:
"An Equilibrium of Spies to Counter-spies occurs at the ratio of 1 to 4 between any two concerned aggregates A and B."
If the average competency of spies and counter-spies is equal in two countries, say, each will have to have practically four times as many people employed in counter-espionage.
Corollary (a) is that the effectiveness of one's spies increases with the decrease in the ratio; this is obvious.
Perhaps less obvious is (b) that the easily obtainable statistics of the number of A's counterspies can be used by B to determine how many spies it should support (that is to say, 3Ns = 1/3ANcs+1...n).
(c) A third corollary is that every new spy adds over three counterspies on the average.
Under such conditions spydom tends to expand because of the greater cost imposed by a spy upon the competing nation or power or organization. Thus, just by getting the Swiss to suspect Marx was a spy, the Soviets could count on a loss to the Swiss of several hundred thousand Swiss francs in personnel-time and expenses. The same holds true of private industrial espionage; in America, for example, the increase in personnel and costs has been logarithmic.
Still another corollary, the fourth, moves far out. Recall what I said about Bad Morale being one's most effective counter-espionage agent. Hence, psychological warfare is the most effective antidote to the workings of Maxim #26; just as, in battle, it softens soldiers for desertion and surrender, in espionage it encourages defection and double-dealing and confession. This I would term the Herz corollary, after my side-kick in various operations, Martin Herz.
At this point, you must be quite clear as to where we are wending our drunken way. To do anything at all as a police and intelligence operation and customs operation that would begin to make up for the monstrous size of the problem, the Swiss would have to completely dyspionage the Swiss Republic.
Good-bye Helvetia! It would be enveloped in the Venus Spy-trap, and digested shortly thereafter by the acid juices of the police state.
I am drawn to these reflections by my past experiences, by my expertness in matters of the future of nations, and by my preoccupation with the instant case of one Christoph Marx, which, so long as it proceeds, like all good cases, and is scientifically handled, feeds the growth of a true science.
So what have I done and what am I going to do next?
I have proposed ways by which the Swiss Republic might save itself from dyspionage, a fate worse than death.
I have suggested to Marx, now quite knowledgeable about all that is expected of spies, an on-line network to service spies of all countries.
I have shown how we can feed so much knowledge to the Soviet Union that it won't have much further need to spy.
I am going to address a letter to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor, with copies sent to the C.I.A., KGB, and Deuxième Bureau, lending Marx a hand, and declaring the innocence of my quantavolutionary friends and myself.
I am going to tell you how despairing have been the experiences of an American with World responsibilities (self-imposed) over these past forty-five years.
I am going to go on and on doing the same thing until death do us part, the World and me, that is. From then on, we shall be supported by the Church of the Divine Succession.
By now it must be clear that disarmament and de-espionaging and other major steps have to be pursued together and forcefully, not in a chain that depends upon its weakest link.
You cannot have a world order that is peaceful and productive and cultured unless you adopt the idea that what is essentially good for the last soul is good for oneself, and vice versa. And unless you adopt a form of government that will let you and this last soul express themselves regarding the substance of the good.
Dump the nukes, of course. And let inspection teams be called guest teams and let them settle in with every military headquarters of any considerable importance. (What fun they will have together! But no whiskey and vodka, boys,that's poison, away with it until after breakfast!)
FLASH! "Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci leaves Thursday for an unprecedented tour of Soviet air, ground and naval bases."
While you are there, Frank, and I would say the same to your successor, do us all a favor:
As a friendly gesture (motivated by self-interest), I suggest offering to sell at bargain price to the Soviet Union our first-quality top-of-the-line nuclear warheads and guidance systems from out of our surplus stores (i.e. all over 150). This will:
a) absolutely stick a pacifying nipple in the Soviet mouth.
b) free the Soviet economy to operate successfully under Glasnost & Perestroika.
c) solve the problem of our alarming export-import imbalance.
d) make it quite clear to all Americans and the whole world that Nobody Wins in a hot nuclear missile exchange.
e) lead logically and irresistibly to total nuclear disarmament. f) help, by pacifying paranoid top leadership, to keep Mihail Gorbachev in office, he being far and away the best world and Soviet leader operating in these several years, or ensuring a decent succession.
Nuclear disarmament must go hand in hand with conventional disarmament, not to protect the West against the East but to protect the Soviets as well as the Allies against themselves; the Holocaust psyche is still in our minds; Venus-Hathor Rampant still is alive in us.
Heavy conventional armaments are even more dangerous invitations to start a great and withering war than nuclear arms, and of course will lead, upon the outbreak of hostilities, to a resort to nuclear arms as the conventional war proceeds. But nuclear bombs are hardly needed for catastrophe. Conventional bombs of TNT can be dropped or lobbed from great distances into the well-mapped, precisely located, hot chimneys of nuclear power plants, and will consequently provide an excellent simulation of a full-scale atomic war.
Actually every defunct weapons system opens doors wide on the next lower level of technology and explosiveness for destructive merciless warfare, until in the end men and women and children will slaughter each other with knives and stones, as they have frequently done in times past.
Therefore, there can be no stop. World rule of international conduct must be sought without delay, without awaiting the processes of disarmament.
If both conventional and nuclear armaments are regarded as intolerable, there is still an incentive for espionage with regard to the less sophisticated forms of warfare and for economic affairs. Still, if a world government oversees the peaceful processes of international banking, production and distribution, as well as guarding against the rearmament of the world, there is even less occasion for espionage.
Espionage will then come to resemble white collar crime -- expensive, disturbing, rampant -- but so accommodating to ordinary peaceful existence that it will get the less severe punishment and treatment that have generally been afforded to genteel criminals.
Or it will become like the treatment that will be given Admiral John Poindexter, Colonel Oliver North, General (ret) Richard Secord, and Mr. Albert Hakim, recently indicted in the Irangate and Nicaraguan Contras Affairs for the crimes of:
Theft of Government Property
Obstruction of Inquiries and Proceedings
Falsifying, Destruction & Removal of Documents
Offer, Payment, and Receipt of Gratuities
Obstruction of Justice
Conversion of Property of Another by Government Official
Aiding and Abetting Persons in the Performance of Forbidden Activities
The interminable intonation of "secrets of state" will be heard as the Court goes to work. The heads of the U.S. Government will be fronting and covering for them.
I would guess that the sum total of penalties resulting from the trial and judgement of these gentlemen will not exceed those that you and I would quite properly get if we got drunk in celebrating their conviction and crashed our car. I learned at my father's knee that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Unfortunately, it is often a safe refuge.
Characters like these, who become intensely involved in espionage as more than just a job, are mostly either patrimaniacs or megalomanic paranoid opportunists. Lt. Col. North, who became a patriotic hero to a sizeable section of the U.S. population for performing in the opinion of Federal investigators some of the aforesaid indictable actions concerning Iran and Nicaragua, had suffered serious mental, moral and religious crises from his early life onwards that should have disqualified him several times over for his final key role with the National Security Council that led to the national policy disasters in Iran and Nicaragua.
The dangers of espionage and war arise precisely with this kind of person. The best tactic against them would appear to be to attack the whole secrecy system, even respecting, or, should I say, especially respecting, the high-tech nuclear-armed missiles. For, foolish and lackadaisical leaders like Reagan, and media-drunk gullible publics dote upon these patrimaniacs and greedy opportunists.
Maybe high-tech weapons espionage should be ignored. Maybe the crime should be wiped from the law books. He who steals nuclear secrets is doing the world a favor, we are compelled to admit, for he will hasten the moment when the superpowers become so scared that they will agree to control the activities in this field of the Israelis, Argentineans, Pakistani, Iranians, Chinese, South Africans, French, British, Libyans, and the Senior Class of the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris, all of whom have independent nuclear armaments or are striving for them or could fashion them.
It is no insult to any of these groups to assert that they cannot be trusted with nuclear arms; indeed, the problem begins with the fact that the USA and USSR cannot be trusted with their own weaponry, and even they will now admit it.
So it may be best to wring some action out of Fear Itself, before an accident or paranoiac incident occurs.
Now that everyone understands what a good guy am I, they can appreciate my letter to the Swiss Prosecutor, copies of which go to the Soviet, American, and French Secret Services.
Schweizerische Bundesanwaltschaft: Attention: Dr. Gerber:
On April 1, 1987, your agents arrested a Swiss friend of mine by the name of Christoph Marx, native of Basle. He was deprived of ordinary rights of arrested persons in democratic countries, and that is cause for regret and protest.
You may have deleterious information that I know nothing about, and are concealing it; if so, I remind you that it is you then who will be responsible for any damage done to myself and others by deceit in the case. Please come clean as to what, if anything, you believe were the offenses of Mr. Marx. Charge him with a crime, if you will.
I have known Mr. Marx for about a decade. I beg to inform you that in all of this time I know of no acquaintance of his (other than of Soviet citizenship) who was in any way aware of the alleged activities described in your press release and interviews.
Neither I nor any member of my household over the past decade has known of or knows of any relationships or contacts he may have had with personnel or agents of the USSR.
Fortunately, upon his release, without charges having been levelled against him, Mr. Marx has made a good start in resuming his generally useful existence as a researcher of ancient history, as an exorciser of deeply hidden aggressions within peoples, as an organizer and disseminator of knowledge by the use of computers, and as an amusing and instructive friend and acquaintance.
Unless and until we should receive from you, whether by personal communication or announcement, information modifying substantially that which you have given out thus far, we shall have to consider the position of Mr. Marx to be superior to that of the State of Switzerland.
Very truly yours,
I fear that Dr. Gerber has not had time for our case; he is in hot water, a real duck soup savoring of bribery allegations, money laundry, a Minister astray, the mafia, and even C.I.A. condiments.
A Patriotic Peroration
Sometimes I rage at the way our American know-how, our riches, our products have been scattered around and sucked up all over the world since World War II. Every country I can think of has one way or another taken from us in the past half-century more than it has given us. Japan, Britain, the Soviet Union, France, Italy, Germany, China, Vietnam, Angola, dare I say Israel, or South Africa, or even Switzerland??
But do you know what holds back my rage? No, it is not the good that we have done all these countries, from Japan to the Soviet Union, from Israel to Liberia. I am not going to play the contented bitch with a hundred chewed-out teats.
What keeps me from busting a gut is knowing that it could all have been different and it is our damnable fault that we have not put together a better world in return for all the stuff that has leaked out of us. We were so powerfully situated throughout the world at that victorious moment of history in August 1945 that we might have imposed a world-protected democratic world order upon all of the nations.
It's easy for punk historians to scoff at these words, and there are unfortunately very few men still alive to attest to and confirm our sense and experience of overwhelming power and possession of leading ideals for the world.
I was against Roosevelt going after a fourth term in office -- he was well into the development of a dictatorial and dynastic tradition and it is a confession of fatal weakness if good leaders are not ready at hand for the succession in a republic.
Still, he would have known how to turn the world into a single governable entity.
He made two mistakes, the first in dumping Henry Wallace as Vice President in favor of Harry Truman, a lesser character who could appreciate the Bomb but not its Consequences. (What Henry Wallace put together as the Progressive Party in 1948 was not only a miserable failure, but served to paint the internationalist cause Red in America and isolate it up to this very moment.)
The second "mistake" was to die of a stroke soon after his fourth term began.
Such were my dismal thoughts as I sat in our conquerors' headquarters in desolated Germany while these several successive events occurred.
What has this got to do with Chris Marx the Spy? It has this to do. I have to get out of this predicament. I have to pacify four secret services, stick by my friends, keep my wife warm and content in and out of bed, support my theories of quantavolution, and inch toward creating a kalotic world. All of this without bodily harm, or, worse, being designated a traitor.
How shall I do it? I know that this triple martini that I have just mixed -- the best that Intermarché can afford: Gilbey's gin at 55 francs 95 centimes, Noilly Prat's driest Vermouth at 39 francs 95, two twists of rind of a Spanish lemon guaranteed to be untreated by chemicals, and ice from aqua pura of the springs that feed the pipes of Saint-Martian -- will not give me the answer.
I do not recommend reliance upon booze (a worse killer drug than all the other recreational drugs combined) in preference to historical knowledge, for helping to lay out one's plans. Actually I had it all figured out beforehand, and will explain it now, although with the martini it will be expostulated rather deviously. (back to peroration)
For several decades I have been morose over the declining state of America. I was worried almost as soon as I got home from the wars and found out that I had been spending four years in self-delusion, that most people I met up with had never had any intention of making anything about the destruction of half the world and fifty million people except a few bucks, a job, occasional sex, and funny movies.
I adapted myself very well to such conditions, and before long was swimming along in the school of fish. Still I was always trying to convert people to my way of thinking -- which was that the world was really only one big back lot to whatever shack you lived in, and that the people all over the world were no better or worse than you and me, and that if I were to insert my calculator program in this computer instead of the word processing software I have in it now, and performed some random selection of all the people of the world (slithering along toward the five billion mark these days), and I came out with Wah Sing from Beijing and with the next person who happens along the street outside my window, well, sorry old gal (boy?), I'd probably find Wah Sing to be just as compatible a person to be marooned on a desert island with as this neighbor or whoever it might be (Filly is clacking away above me, ha!). No matter where she or he came from.
What? I could not understand his language? I don't understand what people are saying usually, anyhow. Besides, think of all the time there would be on the Island to become a linguist! (sub-digression `b ')
I have better arguments than this for world brotherhood, but I'll hold them for another time. I want to end this chapter before the electricity goes off again and my screen dies and with it the pages I have not saved, save: Save!
It happened three times on a single page last week, and even once while I was calling the Electricité de France office to protest. The monsieur at the other end of the line was a) surprised at anyone having the nerve to call the monopole, b) concerned with my American accent, c) curious as to why anybody living in this medieval village should have a computer, ordinateur, traiteur de textes, d) thrilled at the idea that the electric system could cause some new group in the population trouble, e) reassuring that this trouble had a way of happening from time to time, f) indulgent of my ignorance that the mistral from the north liked to blow branches against wires, one wire against another, and cut off the juice, g) fully conversant with the horror stories of the blackout of New York, like which nothing has ever occurred in Provence, h) ready to inform himself of what could be done and i) did inform himself recommending the attachment of an onduleur that had to be bought je ne sais òu and j) good-bye, monsieur, how interesting to know you are writing in that old castle there on an ordinateur, and finally k) a call to the Marseilles dealer in heavy computers who said that the cheapest price for an onuleur was some 8,734 francs (for which I could purchase a nice computer), thank you very much and au revoir.
So now, listen out there, and you will pay for this book. Buy a computer that is equipped with batteries because the batteries pick up when the current is cut off and -- excuse my catastrophism -- it will be happening more and more often and so to protect yourself get the battery-run computer (and a charger if needed), etc.
Or, there is always the possibility of getting a stubby pencil, a schoolchild's tablet, and having a hell of a lot of fun writing a book while thinking only of what you are going to say rather than of fatiguedly mastering the complex armor and apparatus and systems that are supposed to help you say it.
The Human race will not become happier because of the computer. No way!
So now I allow myself to finish.
(return to peroration)
I traveled the world time and time again and as the years went by I discovered a relentless trend of opinion, whether I was venturing among the masses or the elite inhabiting five continents, toward depreciating the USA, to regard our culture as a thing to pluck bits of gaudy stuff from, but nothing to be desired as a whole, and sneering that the thing to do was to exploit America and support other waves of the future -- the USSR, the communists, the dictators, the Sovereign State of Greece or Israel, the native traditions of Haute Volta, Islam, whatever else came along.
If you were to draw a chart, you would discover that the disgust, contempt, and hatred of America has grown in close correlation with the number of nuclear warheads we possess. Figure it out for yourself!
But the word is passed to play clown with the Americans for the fun of it and don't take them seriously. After all, they can't do much besides exploding the world. Or conquering islets like Grenada. They couldn't make it with Cuba. (I blush to tell it: asked on 6. Feb. 1989 about the high point of his years as President, Ronald Reagan said it was the successful invasion of Grenada.)
I tell you, this comic strip is no joke. Do not think so for a moment. We have been witnessing a fifty-year decline in America's influence and regard in every part of the world. It is dismaying to travel unprotected by the Military, or the Hilton hotel, or the State department, or some pocket of relatives abroad, or a drug-pushers network, or your local multinational branch office, or a Fugazy guided tour, or a University; go it alone without credentials, with small pocket money, with nothing to commend you but your humanity and your American passport and then, then, you will see what I mean.
You will find that you will not amount to much. You'll be treated like a South African or a Guyanan. And we -- hell, you -- deserve it, all of it and more, for you stick with the safaris or don't go out at all, so where do you get the nerve to ask, "How can the USA be the biggest sucker nation in history, the biggest exploiter nation in history, the dumbest nation in history?"
Thank you, my fellow Americans.
Such is the situation we are in.
And if that be treason, make the most of it.
***END OF PERORATION***
Oh, yes, Christoph Marx.
Moderately useful as a World Spy this perverse need to save humanity has rendered him; but I have found him generally untrained for larger political assignments.
As a Soviet Spy his potential was perfect. In fifty years of espionage considerations, I've never seen a more perfect fit than Marx as a Soviet Spy. And yet he wasn't! He must have been but he was not. What more can I say?
I can fabricate a Maxim #27: "Guilt is Only Proven by Conditions that Render It Improbable."
There can be no absolute judge of innocence of anyone, nor Marx. To force a judgement one would have to intervene forcibly in just those processes of mind and body that make it uncertain and him uncertain of himself in the first place. That is, the experimenter forces the experiment to a misleading result. He will confess because forced to and does not see any reason not to. This would be improper.
"What IS wrong with Marx, then?" my wife asks. "Are you letting him off free, just like that?"
I am insulted. "Free! I let no one off free, haven't I made that clear enough? Not even myself, although I did my best. I've provided enough evidence to hang everybody, even discounting the Richelieu Corollary."
Let us say that Chris Marx was insistently bemused by the Androgenous Virgin Goddess of the planet Venus! Like many a hero of myth and science, he was undone by the devil, virus, beast, monster, storm, or trap, that he was trying to save others from.
Easy on him, no. Leaving him hanging around Limbo, not allowed to travel freely abroad, not completely discharged of allegations by the authorities, providing a guinea pig for the police to practice interrogating spies, immobilized to a degree, anticipating further attempts to force humble-pie down his throat. No, I am not leaving our hero at ease.
We leave him like the hero of Franz Kafka's Castle, who, as the novel ends, has still not been able to visit the Castle, but has achieved a certain acceptance in the miserable village where he has waited and worked so long to gain access to the rulers who had called him to come in the first place.
Furthermore, just as with Kafka's hero, he is thrown out of the Inn. Selena is drawn deeper behind the Earth into Stygian swamps of mysterious greens. She sells her houses and the new Czech owner evicts the rumored Russian spy from the premises. That's not all. Remember Selena's cute green "deux-chevaux" that Marx was driving? She dreamt it would bring terrible misfortune to him, her, or somebody. She had it destroyed. How do you destroy an almost new car? This is a Spy Story, isn't it? You bring it to a car-crusher (à la "Goldfinger") and have it compressed! I can scarcely believe it. But it's true! Just like everything else in this book.
I'd like also to present the Soviets with a moral for this case, after all the trouble it has made for them:
You wasted a lot of valuable time and money, measured by old-fashioned spy standards, but you did receive workable equipment of modest technical interest, scraps of useful information, and you had a good excuse for spending time with someone of intelligence, thereby learning more about the great world outside.
Besides, in my estimation, this story of mine, my parable of the Venus Spy-Trap, should convince you (the Soviet Leadership) to call in and re-tread practically all of your spies, and shut down most of the apparat at home and abroad.
I dread the moment when your KGB counterintelligence begins to cannibalize for lack of employment, going after Gorbachev, just as in 1974 30 British MI5 officers started to target in on then Prime Minister Harold Wilson of Great Britain as a security risk and likely Soviet tool.
Great sums of money (read foreign exchangeable money) will be saved. Allocate all the savings, amounting to hundreds of millions of rubles, to academic exchanges and fellowship programs in many parts of the world. For a modest fee, I would counsel you where they should go and what they should learn. You will get an inconceivable amount of espionage material called knowledge, experience, wisdom, information, technique, savoir faire. You will incite a Great Contextual Flow of Intelligence that will stimulate effective Autochthonic Gestalts instead of crude misunderstood stolen material.
You can do it if you try: Unilateral Disarmament in Espionage!
The Swiss Federal Government may have to pay Christoph Marx damages in the end. But if they cannot bring charges against him, then how will they explain why they dismissed one and perhaps two Soviet diplomats?
It would be embarrassing for the Prosecutor at Bern, especially. All the more danger for Marx. He had better be careful. Instead of being fully cleared for having done nothing but what one might be wrongly hanged for, which is the risk most of us take when we open our mouths, he will probably be interminably posted on the shit-list of the Bundespolizei. Just as Soviets put him on their friends' list, he will be on the Swiss "Watch List." Then, whenever "Nuke-Day" or "Swiss Crisis-Day Whatever" comes, he will be rounded up with the rest of the suspects deemed dangerous to the Long Life of the Swiss Cow and interrogated by Federal Prosecutor Ferdinand Feiler, Basle Prosecutor Friedrich Feder, and Untersucherbeamter Bruno Galgen, his old friends, who will feel that their fears have finally proven to be justified by events.
For my part, I never expected anything but trouble from the Venus Spy-Trap. Here, as in human affairs generally, five Maxims, #28 to #32, typically apply:
"Whatever you say, nobody is listening!"
"If they do listen, they can't understand you!"
"If they understand, they don't believe you!"
"If they believe you, they won't do anything about it!"
"If they do anything about it, they'll be turning it against you!"
I resort to Filly, who has been hanging around my study reading the French almanac, Quid, signifying that she may be interrupted at any time and in fact hopes to have my attention before long, and I repeat the lines.
"Is what I'm saying -- this `if..then' stuff -- true or untrue?" (You see? I cannot stop speaking of Truth.)
"No, generally, I mean."
"Well, that's good enough for me."
And we went on to what was preoccupying her on this rainy day that foggily enfolded the still village of Saint-Martian: the personal politics of Ecological Centrism.