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In 1961, KGB agent Anatoliy Golitsyn defected to the West. In his attempts to collaborate with American intelligence agencies, Golitsyn generated a number of memoranda to the CIA that accused subsequent defectors of operating as double agents. This paper interprets Golitsyn's writings through an epistemological approach to facts that distinguishes between situations in which what we know to be true is based on fact and situations in which we turned out to be right, but only because we were lucky (known as the Gettier Case). I argue, that Golitsyn's writings reflect a common epistemological strategy in disinformation campaigns that resembles the Gettier Case. Ultimately, as both FBI and CIA responses to Golitsyn show, the very existence of disinformation is enough to create debate about the existence of a knowable truth. The more disinformation generated, the more likely it is that some of it (through luck) will realize the desired effect.



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Anatoliy Golitsyn’s Epistemological Disinformation