Sunday, November 21, 2010
Codename assigned by the Central Intelligence Agency to an anonymous KGB officer who volunteered to supply information in May 1987 to Jack Downing, the station chief in Moscow. PROLOGUE continued to pass messages to Downing until July 1990 when he was given instructions for his exfiltration through Tallinn, Estonia. PROLOGUE failed to make the trip and lamely complained that his documentation, carefully prepared by the CIA, had been deficient. By then PROLGUE has been identified by a defector, Sergei Papushin, as Aleksandr Zhomov, and the CIA had concluded he had been a sophisticated but definite dangle. PROLOGUE was the only time the KGB ever used one of its own staff officers as a dangle, a very high-risk strategy. When considering why the KGB had adopted these tactics, it was concluded that PROLOGUE had been primed as a possible channel to give protection to either Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen, or both. Zhomov’s career was unaffected by the episode, and he went on to lead the SVR investigation into the leak that eventually had led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Hanssen.