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Rick Ames. The Takedown of a CIA Officer Turned Soviet Spy – Photo: ABC News

Brilliant or Bumbling Idiot?

Rick Ames, a lifelong employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, betrayed at least 12 of the best secret agents working for the United States from within the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc during the 1980’s. All were jailed and most were executed. “They died because this warped, murdering traitor wanted a bigger house and a Jaguar,” says the Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey.

From 1975 to 1985, the C.I.A. promoted Aldrich Hazen Ames, an alcoholic underachiever going through a financially ruinous divorce from a fellow spy, to increasingly sensitive posts, unaware that he was thinking all the decade about selling the agency’s deepest secrets to Moscow. For the next decade, it remained unaware that he was hand-delivering reams of top secret papers to the Soviets and talking his vodka-soaked heart out with his Communist case officers in annual all-nighters.

Spies. Nuclear warheads. Submarine technology. Stolen documents that could threaten national security. Countries have been spying on each other as long as there have been countries. When countries get their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar, denial and feigned shock are the official reactions.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: (Jim Pickerell/NARA)

Photo: (Jim Pickerell/NARA)

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