On This Day — Dr Gus W. Weiss Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances (November 25 2003)

“If some double agent told the KGB the Americans were alert to Line X and were interfering with their collection by subverting, if not sabotaging, the effort, I believed the United States still could not lose. The Soviets, being a suspicious lot, would be likely to question and reject everything Line X collected. If so, this would be a rarity in the world of espionage, an operation that would succeed even if compromised. Casey liked the proposal.”

Gus W. Weiss

November 25 2021 — Dr Gus W. Weiss was a White House policy adviser on technology, intelligence and economic affair and worked primarily on national security, intelligence and concerns on technology transfer to communist countries. Weiss died on November 25, 2003 under what the UK newspaper The Independent has characterized as “mysterious circumstances”. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY


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“Intelligence shortcomings, as we see, have a thousand fathers; secret intelligence triumphs are orphans. Here is the unremarked story of  ‘the Farewell dossier’: how a C.I.A. campaign of computer sabotage resulting in a huge explosion in Siberia — all engineered by a mild-mannered economist named Gus Weiss — helped us win the cold war. (…) Gus Weiss died from a fall a few months ago. Now is a time to remember that sometimes our spooks get it right in a big way.”

William Safire — New York Times

Gus W. Weiss’ body was found on the walk beneath his upstairs apartment in the Watergate building in Washington, DC.

The local medical examiner ruled his death a suicide, according to The Washington Post.

The Post obituary, which came twelve days after the fact, was the first local report that Weiss had died. It gave no reason for the suicide determination.

The Post published its Weiss obituary six days after his hometown newspaper, the Nashville Tennesseean, had reported his death. The Tennesseean did not know the cause of death.

He was 72 years old. It has been alleged that his fervent opposition to the Iraq war may have played a part in his death.

Intel Today never believed that Dr Frank Olson committed suicide. And I sure have great doubts about Dr Kelly having taken his own life.

And quite frankly, I also regard the death of Dr Gus W. Weiss as highly suspicious.


In the 70s, the Russians were badly trailing Western countries in micro-electronics and computers.

Thus the KGB was tasked with the mission to systematically spy on Western R&D programs. Directorate T was created solely for this purpose and its operating branch was named “Line X”.

In 1981, Colonel Vladimir I. Vetrov contacted French Intelligence and, over the next couple of years, supplied them with about 4000 documents “LINE X” had obtained.

French François President Mitterrand passed the information to Reagan.

Vladimir Vetrov talking with another KGB agent. Picture taken by Canadian Counter-Intelligence

“So the accomplishments of FAREWELL, in summary, are enormous. It was a major — major — accelerator to the end of the Cold War. (…) It was a critical and heroic accomplishment by President Mitterrand and his government, whatever the intentions may have been at the time…”

Richard V. Allen — President Ronald Reagan’s Former National Security Advisor

The “FAREWELL” Project

A CIA economist, Gus W. Weiss, suggested to William Casey to actually supply the material sought by the Russians.

The equipment would be designed to pass initial tests but would eventually fail due to intentionally added flaws.

“Contrived computer chips found their way into Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline, and defective plans disrupted the output of chemical plants.”

Weiss believed that when  historians will sort out the reasons for the end of the Cold War, the “Farewell Project” should receive a well deserved “footnote”.

According to Richard V. Allen — President Ronald Reagan’s Former National Security Advisor — the accomplishments of FAREWELL were enormous.

It was a “major accelerator to the end of the Cold War”.

A Bizarre Ending

In 1982, Vetrov was arrested and jailed for murder. While in jail,  his espionage activities were discovered. Colonel Vetrov was executed in 1983.

According to Weiss, the case took a bizarre turn when information on the “Farewell Dossier” surfaced in 1985.

French François President Mitterrand came to suspect that Vetrov had all along been a CIA plant set up to test him to see if the material would be handed over to the Americans or kept by the French.

Acting on this mistaken belief, Mitterrand fired Yves Bonnet, the chief of the French Intelligence service.


Gus W. Weiss — Wikipedia

The Farewell Dossier: Duping the Soviets  — Gus W. Weiss

The Farewell Dossier — NYT William Safire


On This Day — Dr Gus W. Weiss Dies Under Mysterious circumstances (November 25 2003)

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