Is Spy vs. Spy the Beginning of a Second Cold War?

By Beichman, Arnold | Insight on the News, March 28, 1994 | Go to article overview

Is Spy vs. Spy the Beginning of a Second Cold War?


Beichman, Arnold, Insight on the News


Is Russia to be trusted?

That is the paramount question if it proves true that Aldrich Hazen Ames was working for the Russian Federation while he was working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Ames and his wife have been charged with conspiracy to commit espionage since 1985 by passing CIA secrets, including the names and identities of Russian spies working for the CIA, to Moscow. As late as 1992, Ames was setting up a rendezvous in Venezuela with his Soviet handlers. That means cash-strapped Russia was paying Ames in hard currency -- American dollars, no doubt.

As a former Politburo member and a supposed target of the KGB, President Boris Yeltsin would know what that agency is capable of If he let the KGB operate as it always has, then he can no more be trusted than Mikhail Gorbachev.

In an interview on the McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, former CIA Director Robert Gates said that the GRU (the Soviet military intelligence) "is more active and aggressive than ever before," especially with regard to U.S. technology. That, coupled with the Ames arrest, may force the United States to rethink its future relations with Russia.

Whether or not Ames is convicted of espionage, we must assume the worst: namely, that there are moles in the CIA. If the KGB could recruit the man in charge of Soviet counterintelligence from 1983 to 1985, then almost certainly Soviet agents penetrated the CIA. In addition, for those two years -- and this happened under the reign of former CIA Director William Casey as well -- we can presume the CIA had no counterintelligence, for Am s may have frustrated the enduring search for KGB moles. …

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