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Author Pulls Cover Off FBI Spy Operations

Robert Eringer's 'Ruse' sheds light on several famous cases, including that of Edward Lee Howard.

For nearly 10 years, beginning in 1993, Robert Eringer, author of Ruse: Undercover with FBI Counterintelligence, lived a clandestine life of intrigue, conducting a spectrum of covert operations for the FBI’s foreign-counterintelligence division. His primary assignment: to lure American traitor Edward Lee Howard to capture.


About to be arrested by the FBI for spying for Moscow, Howard defected to the Soviet Union in 1985. The CIA officer then wanted to tell his story to the world. Utilizing cover as a book-publishing consultant, the author gained Howard’s trust as his editor and confidant.

As Eringer’s skillfully orchestrated ruse progressed, he pierced not only Howard’s inner circle of KGB croniesincluding the KGB’s former chairman, making him an unwitting intelligence asset but also Howard’s Cuban intelligence contact network in Havana.


Only at the 11th hour did a highly politicized Justice Department order Howard’s “extraordinary rendition” scrapped; he died mysteriously under ominous circumstances in Moscow in 2002. Nonetheless, the secrets Eringer gathered shed light on such sensitive espionage cases as the treachery of senior CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames and FBI traitor Robert Hanssen.

In addition to his counterespionage docket, Eringer undertook assignments for the FBI’s criminal
division, including a ruse he devised to hasten the extradition from France of notorious convicted
murderer Ira Einhorn.

Ruse, released last month, tells the unknown side of a significant piece of U.S. intelligence history, an unvarnished insider’s view of the FBI between the end of the Cold War and the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Eringer has had a wide-ranging career as a private intelligence consultant, undercover operative, journalist, novelist, editor and literary agent. Before going undercover for the FBI, he was an investigative reporter, once infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan.

Since parting with the bureau, Eringer has created and directed an intelligence service for Prince Albert II of Monaco. He divides his time among Santa Barbara, London, Monte Carlo and Washington, D.C. Click here for his Web site.

Kate Bechtel is Robert Eringer’s agent.

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