Sellout: Aldrich Ames and the Corruption of the CIA

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9780140244670: Sellout: Aldrich Ames and the Corruption of the CIA

Aldrich Ames was the CIA agent who betrayed western intelligence's greatest asset - KGB double agent Oleg Gordievsky. Gordievsky barely escaped with his life and Ames was launched on his nine year career as an unlikely double agent, during which he delivered a stream of priceless information to Russia. This book traces the CIA's hardening suspicions about the mole in their midst and climaxes with the massive inter-agency scheme to trap and arrest Ames.

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Working with the facts of Ames' sellout to the Russians and with knowledge of the byzantine CIA culture that allegedly abetted such treason, British journalist Adams has created a well-rounded story of the sensational spy scandal. Adams collects the various revelations about Ames' biography, personality, and career and sets them into the managerial context in which he operated, which includes the chronic CIA/FBI turf war. It was the agencies' attempt to ameliorate the latter, ironically, that gave Ames his opportunity: he was the CIA's representative in a joint operation to recruit Soviet diplomats in Washington, and he used that cover instead to sell the Soviets the names of all CIA moles inside Soviet intelligence. Most were executed, and for nine years the CIA couldn't collar the culprit within. Its initial mole hunt stalled and revived only after another agent told superiors that the rumor that attributed the source of Ames' material extravagance to his "wealthy" wife was false. In the meantime, Ames' lax performance and breaches of security regulations earned not even a reprimand. Aside from any policy implications, Adams delivers a surefooted spy story bound to be as popular as the front-page treatment the case continues to attract. Gilbert Taylor

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ISBN 10: 0140244670 ISBN 13: 9780140244670
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Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1996)
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