Va. Documents Reveal History of American Espionage

July 30, 2010

The world can get a look at the long-hidden roots of American espionage now that tens of thousands of once-secret documents found in locked safes in 2001 in rural Virginia have become public.

The documents at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland give the most detailed view yet into the exploits of an agency known as the Pond.

Those records, plus documents reviewed by The Associated Press over two years, portray a sophisticated organization obsessed with secrecy that operated a network of 40 chief agents and more than 600 sources in 32 countries.

The organization was created during World War II and lasted 13 years. It was led by the pugnacious John Grombach from New York City and its sources included Nazi officials, Stalinists and a French serial killer.

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