Aldrich Ames Quotes
Aldrich Hazen Ames (born May 26, 1941) is a former American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative and analyst turned KGB mole, who was convicted of espionage in 1994. He is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana. Ames was formerly a 31-year CIA counterintelligence operative and analyst who committed espionage against the United States by spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. At the time of his arrest, Ames had compromised more CIA "assets" than any other mole in history until Robert Hanssen's arrest seven years later
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In my professional work with the Agency, by the late '70s, I had come to question the value of a great deal of what we were doing, in terms of the intelligence agency's impact on American policy.
Let's say a Soviet exchange student back in the '70s would go back and tell the KGB about people and places and things that he'd seen and done and been involved with. This is not really espionage; there's no betrayal of trust.
An espionage organization is a collector: it collects raw information. That gets processed by a machinery that is supposed to resolve its reliability, and to present a finished product.
My little scam in April '85 went like this: Give me $50,000; here's some names of some people we've recruited.
Because interrogations are intended to coerce confessions, interrogators feel themselves justified in using their coercive means. Consistency regarding the technique is not important; inducing anxiety and fear is the point.
To the extent that I considered the personal burden of harming the people who had trusted me, plus the Agency, or the United States, I wasn't processing that.
I found that our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
The difficulties of conducting espionage against the Soviet Union in the Soviet Union were such that historically the Agency had backed away from the task.
I knew quite well, when I gave the names of our agents in the Soviet Union, that I was exposing them to the full machinery of counterespionage and the law, and then prosecution and capital punishment.
The resistance of policy-makers to intelligence is not just founded on an ideological presupposition. They distrust intelligence sources and intelligence officials because they don't understand what the real problems are.
Foreign Ministry guys don't become agents. Party officials, the Foreign Ministry nerds, tend not to volunteer to Western intelligence agencies.
Historians don't really like to carry on speculative debates, but you could certainly argue that the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was extremely, extremely low."
Espionage, for the most part, involves finding a person who knows something or has something that you can induce them secretly to give to you. That almost always involves a betrayal of trust.
You might as well ask why a middle-aged man with no criminal record might put a paper bag over his head and rob a bank. I acted out of personal desperation.