Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CIA Admits Relaying Tainted Intelligence Agency Knew or Suspected Some of Its Sources Were Soviet Agents

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CIA Admits Relaying Tainted Intelligence Agency Knew or Suspected Some of Its Sources Were Soviet Agents

Article excerpt

THE CIA ADMITTED on Tuesday that it knowingly gave the White House and the Pentagon inside information on the Soviet Union from foreign agents it knew or strongly suspected were controlled by Moscow.

The information was crucial to Washington's perceptions of Moscow in the last seven years of the Cold War, said members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, and may have affected decisions to spend billions of dollars on military hardware.

In one instance, a CIA officer passed on 16 reports from an agent he knew was controlled by Soviet intelligence without warning that his fountain of information was a poisoned well, ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee said.

Even when the agency knew or suspected that its sources were double agents - sometime in 1991 or 1992 - it never warned the White House or the Pentagon that its inside information on the Kremlin was fatally tainted. The agency thought it more important to protect its suspect Soviet sources than to tell the nation's leaders the truth, members of the committees said.

CIA Director John M. Deutch, who briefed the intelligence committees for nearly five hours on Tuesday, called the agency's behavior "inexcusable." Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called it "mind-boggling."

The disclosure was the latest chapter in the case of Aldrich Ames, Moscow's mole in the CIA from 1985 to 1994.

Ames passed inside information to Moscow on the inner workings of the agency. The Soviets used that information to create double agents - Soviet and Soviet-bloc military and intelligence officers who offered to work for the CIA while remaining loyal to Moscow all the while.

These double agents gave the agency information and disinformation so craftily mixed that the CIA has yet to sort fact from fiction.

Members of the intelligence committees said information, or disinformation, about Moscow's military prowess that passed through this pipeline contributed to the Pentagon's decision to spend billions of dollars on weapons systems to combat threats that might have been illusions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.