Aldrich Ames


Aldrich Ames was the chief of the CIA's Soviet-East Europe counterintelligence branch. He had access to every file on the agency's operations against the Soviet Union.

Ames walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington, and handed the duty officer a sealed envelope. In the envelope were the names of two KGB. officers who secretly worked for the United States, a page from the CIA.'s Soviet division personnel directory with his name highlighted in yellow marker -- "Aldrich H. Ames, chief, counterintelligence branch" -- and a request for $50,000.  

The Soviet Union paid him $2.7 million for revealing secret information from 1985 to 1994, including the identities of US agents. Ames sold out every single agent the United States had in the Soviet Union.

He is blamed for the deaths of at least nine US agents in the Soviet Union, and for disclosing US counterintelligence techniques.

Ames and his wife, Rosario pleaded guilty in 1994 to spying for the Soviet Union

Col. Viktor Cherkashin., who recruited Ames said the KGB was ``unnecessarily hasty'' in arresting and executing clandestine American agents identified by Ames, without providing a cover for him.

Cherkashin was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1986 for recruiting Ames. 

One of Ames duties was to debrief Vitaly Yurchenko, a top KGB officer who defected to the U.S. in August 1985 - and then redefected to the Soviet Union three months later.

See: Ames note to KGB


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