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Tall tale or the truth?

Friendly Spies, a lauded tale of European Community (EC) espionage, may be less than meets the eye. But, then again seeing is believing.

The book, written by Peter Schweizer, describes eleven secret meetings that took place between 1985 and 1987 between a British foreign office diplomat and two French secret service agents. In these meetings, the diplomat supposedly betrayed his country by divulging details of the United Kingdom's negotiating position at the EC summits. Naturally, the story caught the attention of London's Sunday Times, which dispatched investigative reporters David Leppard, Nick Rufford, and Ian Burrell to get the facts. In an article Leppard and Rufford wrote for the April 11 edition of The Washington Post, the pair allege that Schweizer's story does not check out. Schweizer answered their charges in an article of his own, which appeared in the same newspaper's May 15th edition.

According to Leppard and Rufford's account, Schweizer was eager to help them. He provided them with the names of two retired directors of the DGSE--the French foreign intelligence service--and the names of two agents who he said were directly involved in the operation. Schweizer apparently assured them that former DGSE director Pierre Marion had given him the names of the two DGSE agents who became sources for his book--Pascal Fasquelle and Francois Lorot. Acting on those assurances, the reporters went to visit Marion. They allegedly discovered that he knew nothing of the operation featured in the book and never heard of Schweizer's two sources.

Schweizer, however, stands by his story and he claims that Marion's continued support is evidenced by his agreeing in April--after the initial article was published--to write an endorsement of the French edition of his book. Schweizer goes on to report that Marion described his interview with the Times reporters as "a police-style interrogation."

The reporters next searched for Pascal Fasquelle, the retired DGSE agent who Schweizer said handled the espionage operation. According to their article, they had no address, but Schweizer told them that Fasquelle lived in Vanves, a suburb in west Paris. After searching through local records and employing an investigator, the reporters came up empty-handed.

Schweizer explains in his article that he and his wife were in the process of packing for a cross-country move and his notes had already been packed. He says that he asked the reporters to hold off on doing the story until he was situated, but that they refused. Since he had no notes, he had to rely on his appointment book and recollections of interviews he had conducted more than a year before to answer all of their questions.

Based on those recollections, Schweizer described the block where he claimed to have visited Fasquelle. The Times reporters write in their account that they found the building, but no one had heard of the man. "However, a post box did show the name of Pascal Lorot--the same forename as Fasquelle's and the same surname as the second DGSE agent Schweizer claimed was involved in the spying operation, Francois Lorot," they write.

The reporters visited Pascal Lorot and discovered that Lorot knew Schweizer well. He and Schweizer met in 1985 at George Mason University in Virginia. Lorot is not a spy; he is an economist. Schweizer stayed with him while he was doing research for his book.

Schweizer says this should come as to surprise to anyone. "I had in fact, mentioned that I had stayed with Lorot while conducting my research in Paris," writes Schweizer. "In this case, I had simply confused addresses and last names."

Schweizer recalls his last conversation with the reporters as confrontational. "Leppard and Rufford gave me an ultimatum: Either I tell their editor that I was a fraud or they would 'tell the world.' I told them that I stood by the story, and that I needed the benefit of my notes."

Off-Duty Solution

A rash of violent incidents on the streets of Savannah, Georgia, in the summer of 1991 reminded the employees in Memorial Medical Center's emergency department (ED) how vulnerable they were. Although the action occurred away from the hospital, the victims were always taken to the facility, where their weapons-toting friends came to look for them. At the summer's end, the ED staff voiced its concern.

It was suggested that off-duty officers from the Savannah Police Department be brought in to provide additional security. Before officers could be posted, however, they had to go through training. Officers were given a crash course in the differences between private security and public law enforcement to limit liability; they were taught the basics of health care facility security; and they were briefed regarding expectations by hospital administrators and the security manager. Each officer was given a tour of the ED.

One officer was assigned to each shift. The two shifts ran from 5:00 p.m. until midnight and midnight until 7:00 a.m., the ED's busiest times. While serving as ED security, the officer was under the supervision of the security supervisor and the ED nurse in charge.

After a six-month trial, the security department asked the ED's staff to evaluate the program. A survey was conducted to determine the respondents' feelings toward ED security prior to the use of off-duty police officers as supplemental protection, and their feelings toward security since then.

Of the 92 surveys distributed, 87 were returned. Out of eighty-seven surveys, fifty-four (62 percent) favored the program; twenty-seven (31 percent) were strongly in favor, and six (7 percent) were neutral about it.

Fifty-one percent of the surveys returned included comments. While 16 percent, representing general comments about the security department, were not relevant, 43 percent reflected positively on the program. Another 41 percent recommended either additional police coverage or patrol changes.

COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Security Spotlight; EC espionage and the book Friendly Spies
Author:Arbetter, Lisa
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Previous Article:The widening gap.
Next Article:For your eyes only.

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