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The sex espionages of the senior Central Intelligence Agency 1994

Friday, May 27, 2011

The sex espionages of the senior Central Intelligence Agency 1994

AMES, ALDRICH. A senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer arrested in February 1994 and sentenced to life imprisonment, Aldrich Ames approached the KGB in Washington, D.C., in May 1985 and received $50,000 for his information. He established his credentials by revealing that the KGB rezident, Stanislav Androsev, was known internally within the KGB by his codename CRONIN.
When he heard of the arrest of John Walker, he feared his own betrayal was likely and held a further meeting on 13 June to identify all the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CIA assets he knew of inside the KGB.
The result was a series of unpublicized arrests in Moscow, secret trials, and a dozen executions.

Fluent in Mandarin and the son of a CIA officer, Rick Ames had joined the CIA in 1967 and had turned in mediocre performances as a directorate of operations (DO) officer in Ankara and Mexico City.
Nevertheless, he had participated in some significant cases, including those of the Foreign Ministry spy Aleksandr Ogorodnik, and two members of the United Nations, Arkadi Shevchenko and Sergei Fedorenko. He had also participated in a double-agent operation against an East German physicist, Alfred Zehe, then living in Mexico City, who would be arrested in Boston in December 1983 and convicted of espionage in July 1984.
In September 1983, Ames, by now fluent in Russian, was appointed chief of the counterintelligence branch in the Soviet/Eastern Europe (SE) Division, which had given him complete access to the DO’s most closely guarded files on its most successful assets.
Heavily in debt following his divorce in August 1985 from a fellow CIA officer, Nancy Segebarth, Ames convinced himself that his talents had gone unrecognized. He had married Segebarth in May 1969, after they had trained together and were posted to the same station in Turkey.
They separated after 12 years of a childless marriage in 1981 when Ames went to Mexico and his wife remained in New York.
Within nine days of obtaining a divorce, Ames married one of his agents, Rosario.
The damage caused by the Ames list was immense, and severely compromised AE/TICKLE, Britain’s star agent inside the KGB’s London rezidentura. As a direct consequence of the tip from Ames, Oleg Gordievsky was unexpectedly recalled to Moscow on 17 May 1985, supposedly for urgent top-level consultations three days later, but actually for a lengthy, hostile interrogation that included the use of drugs.
Another lucky escape was made by Sergei Bokhan, the CIA’s GRU source in Athens. He had defected at the end of May, a fortnight be-fore Ames delivered his list.

Other agents working for the CIA suffered a rather dissimilar experience. Major Sergei M. Motorin and Colonel Valeri F. Martynov, both KGB officers who had been recruited by the FBI in Washington, D.C., were arrested and later executed. Although Ames never acknowledged precisely whom he fingered in his first letter, it is highly likely that he included the names of Motorin, Martynov, and Gordievsky, the KGB trio in the best position to warn the CIA of the existence of a well-placed traitor within its own ranks.
As a matter of self-preservation, Ames would have been bound to warn the rezident that some of his colleagues were really working for the West. In his list of 13 June, he mentioned Adolf Tolkachev, who had just been arrested and was to be executed, and a group of other Soviet intelligence officers who had been recruited while under diplomatic cover in the United States: Leonid Poleschuk, recruited in Katmandu in the 1970s; a GRU officer, Gennadi Smetanin, and his wife, Svetlana, who had been recruited in 1983; and Gennadi Varenik, the son of a senior KGB officer under TASS cover when he was recruited in March 1985 in Bonn, who was arrested in November and shot in February 1987.

In addition, GT/BACKBEND, GT/GLAZING, GT/TAME, and GT/VEST showed signs that they had come under the KGB’s intensive scrutiny, a development that indicated the Soviet/Eastern Europe (SE) Division had suffered a very comprehensive calamity.
The scale of the catastrophe was not lost on Burton Gerber or his deputy, Milton Bearden, who instituted a major review of each case so as to establish whether operational blunders were to blame or if there was something altogether more sinister afoot. Gus Hathaway, who had returned from Bonn in January 1985 to run the Counterintelligence Staff, estimated that up to 45 separate cases had been placed in jeopardy. As the losses mounted from May 1985, Hathaway became increasingly convinced that SE had been penetrated at a high level.

The director of central intelligence, Bill Casey, was briefed on the SE Division’s losses for the first time in January 1986 by the deputy director for operations (DDO) Clair George, Gerber, Hathaway, and Bearden, and Casey promptly instructed the former DDO, John Stein, who was then the CIA’s inspector-general, to conduct an urgent investigation. As Stein reviewed each case, the DO suffered more in-explicable losses. On 10 March Sergei Vorontsov, codenamed GT/COWL, who had spied since late 1984, was caught, and his CIA contact, Michael Sellers, was detained while on his way to a ren-dezvous in Moscow and expelled. Also in March, GT/VILLAGE was recalled from the Soviet consulate in Surabaja, Indonesia, and vanished. Two months later, on 7 May, another member of the Moscow station, Erik Sites, was ambushed while attempting to meet GT/EASTBOUND.
On 1 July, Vladimir V. Potashov (GT/ MEDIAN), an arms control negotiator at the Soviet Institute for the United States and Canada Studies who had spied since 1981, was taken into custody, and three days later Dmitri Polyakov was summoned unexpectedly to the Lubianka and arrested. Soon afterward Colonel Vladimir M. Piguzov (GT/JOGGER), who had been recruited in Djakarta and had been assigned to the KGB’s Andropov Institute training academy, dropped from sight. This was an especially mysterious and sinister loss because Piguzov had not been in contact with the CIA since 1979 when he had returned to Moscow, and had proved himself to be an exceptionally useful source by identifying David H. Barnett, a contracted CIA retiree working on a training program, as a turncoat; Barnett had been arrested in April 1980 and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.

It was almost as if, having exhausted the current hot cases, someone was rifling the DO’s dormant files to find less valuable spies to betray. Almost as confirmation, Boris Yuzhin (GT/TWINE), who had been the TASS correspondent in San Francisco in the 1970s and had returned to Moscow in 1982, was arrested on 23 December 1986.
Almost simultaneously Colonel Vladimir M. Vasilev (GT/ACCORD), a GRU officer recruited in Budapest in 1983 who had identified a GRU network in which U.S. Army sergeant Clyde L. Conrad had been active in West Germany, was also caught. Vasilev’s loss was significant, for he also enabled the Swedish security police to arrest Conrad’s controllers, Dr. Sandor Kercsik and his younger brother Imre, and roll up a large Hungarian military intelligence network headed by a retired warrant officer, Zoltan Szabo. Originally a refugee from Hungary in the 1956 exodus, Szabo had joined the U.S. Army and had been decorated for gallantry in Vietnam. According to his confession, he had been recruited by the Hungarians in 1971 when he took his
German wife and children on holiday to Lake Balaton.
Although Vasilev had tipped off the CIA to the existence of Szabo’s huge Hun-garian spy ring in 1985, which extended into Italy, his role had been skillfully concealed, so it was a surprise when he was suddenly taken into the KGB’s custody in 1986 and executed the following year.
Conrad was allowed his liberty until August 1988 and was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1990, but Szabo escaped to Budapest.
The damage caused by Ames was long lasting and, in terms of Soviet operations, was easily the worst case of penetration experienced by the CIA, which failed to notice the change in his circumstances following his divorce.


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