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Cryptonym: CHICKADEE

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According to the ARRB, CHICKADEE was the cryptonym for the information handling channel for non-documentary material generated by Oleg Penkovsky.


ARRB document: Research and Analysis: Acronyms/Abbreviations/Crypts/Organizations Identification Aid: Page 9: ..."CHICKADEE: Information handling channel for non-documentary material generated by Oleg Penkovsky..."


06/07/61: Memorandum for the record from John M. Maury, Chief, SR Division: Subject: Conversations with Messrs. Ed Proctor and Jack Smith Re Use of CHICKADEE Material in NIE 11-8-61: "1. Today Mr. Proctor informed me that USIB, in discussing NIE 11-8-61, did not mention the CHICKADEE report on the Soviet ICBM program. Although the paper had a brief reference to the report in a footnote, it was not mentioned, or even reflected, in the body of the Estimate, and none of the participants at the meeting referred to it. Proctor said he believed this was because even though they probably accepted the CS evaluation of the initial source, they were unwilling to put any weight in the subsource, about whom they knew nothing. Proctor's argument was that no matter how good the source was, since the subsource was unknown to the consumers and was given no evaluation in the dissemination, he would have to be considered 'F' source any consideration in changing an existing National Estimate. 2. Later in the day I discussed the same matter with Jack Smith who expressed somewhat the same views as Proctor, adding that another factor was simply that the CHICKADEE report did not exactly fit the views of anyone at the meeting."


01/25/62: Memorandum from Richard Helms, Deputy Director, Plans to Director: Subject: New Emphasis on Strengthening Soviet Strategic Missile Capabilities: "1. Enclosed is another of the special series of CS reports bearing the codename CHICKADEE. These reports, the product of a sensitive operation to which we wish to afford maximum security, are being distributed on a MUST KNOW basis within the TALENT CONTROL SYSTEM. Arrangements for utilizing any part of this material in any other form must be made with the originating office. 2. Information in the enclosed report was obtained by a senior Soviet official who has provided reliable information in the past. Questions regarding this report should be referred to Mr. Maury, Code 143, extension 2421." - - - Page 3: "NOTE: The codeword CHICKADEE designates material from a sensitive Clandestine Services operation which is being distributed on a MUST KNOW basis within the TALENT CONTROL SYSTEM...SOURCE: A senior Soviet official who has provided reliable information in the past (B), from various senior officers concerned with the Soviet missile program..."


Spring 1972: CIA document: STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE: VOL. 16 NO. 2: Pages 20-21: ..."On the subject of the SRF's organization, the researcher can set aside the IRONBARK volumes and make use of the colorful CHICKADEE series. CHICKADEE is the codename for the tape recordings Penkovskiy made and the reports he himself wrote. One of the particularly interesting series of CHICKADEE reports concerned a dispute between two important rocketry officials in the Soviet military, Marshals Varentsov and Moskalenko. Penkovskiy reported that beginning in early 1961 there were rumors at responsible levels of the Soviet General Staff that the strategic missile command under Moskalenko (then Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces) would be combined under a new command headed by Varentsov, a close associate of Penkovskiy. Varentsov, then responsible for tactical missiles, had openly referred to his rival, Moskalenko, as a 'stupid old sheep'...Politburo-level politics and policies, and particularly those dealing with research on the highest level military decision-making bodies in the Soviet Union, constitute another research target in which the Penkovskiy material retains value. Here the CHICKADEE series provides useful background on the rough-and-tumble way Khrushchev ran his Higher Military Council-the rough equivalent of our National Security Council...In short, the IRONBACK and CHICKADEE material have been invaluable in our research on bureaucratic behavior. This material, in part, helped us modify the simplistic Cold War notion of the Soviet Union as a monolithic system directed by a unified central power..."


07/12/2011: CIA document: Release of article by Leonard F. Parkinson and Logan H. Potter: Titled: Closing the Missile Gap: Pages 18-19: ..."The IRONBACK documents gave strategic researchers their first comprehensive look into Soviet strategic thinking. They also provided a wealth of information on Soviet ballistic missiles. The top secret publication of the Soviet's newly formed Strategic Rocket Forces, The Information Bulletin of the Missile Troops, permitted Agency analysts to learn the organization and structure of the USSR's strategic missile units, the functions of the various staffs in each unit, how these units were linked to the military high command in Moscow, and the activities of missile units at different levels of combat readiness. Through three sessions with Colonel Penkovskiy in England and France, sessions which, when written up in clandestine reports, generally carried the innocent-sounding codename CHICKADEE, Agency analysts received detailed technical information on the missiles themselves, the yields of their warheads, targeting methods and targets. (42) In April 1961, Penkovskiy had his first face-to-face sessions with his British and American case officers. In an Information Report of 16 May 1961, Penkovskiy described the 'missile gap' as a hoax. Khrushchev, he said, was more interested in fostering the impression that the Soviet Union already had a tremendous ICBM program when in fact it was practically nonexistent. Penkovskiy cautioned that the USSR would eventually have many missiles because 'millions of men's efforts are directed to this work', and the 'entire economy of a nation is directed by a one-party system to which all is subordinate. (43) Penkovskiy's testimony alone was not enough to close the 'missile gap,' but it tentatively supported the almost heretical argument for a limited Soviet ICBM program..."

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