The Fallout from the Ames Case

Materials arranged chronologically.

Newsweek [Evan Thomas, et al.]. "Deadly Mole," 7 Mar. 1994, 24-29.

Includes sidebar: "The Decade of the Spy," pp. 26-27; and associated stories: Michael Elliott, "Why Russia Continues to Torment America," pp. 28-29; Dorinda Elliott, with Yevgenia Albats, "Back at KGB Headquarters," p. 29; David Wise, "The Spy Who Didn't Get Away," p. 30 [on Edward Lee Howard]; Jonathan Alter, "Not-So-Smart Intelligence," p. 31.

Pincus, Walter, and Pierre Thomas. "A Tug-of-War Over Handling Counterspies." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 4-10 Apr. 1994, 34.

"[A] behind-the-scenes battle [is going on] between the CIA and FBI over which agency will run future counterintelligence investigations.... [T]he Senate intelligence committee has drafted a bill to change the way such counterintelligence investigations are conducted.... CIA Director R. James Woolsey has complained about the FBI provision to intelligence committee members and to President Clinton's national security adviser, Anthony Lake."

Pincus, Walter. "Mission Improbable: Is It Time to Reconsider the CIA's Role?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 May-5 Jun. 1994, 6-7.

"Sharp public criticism over the case of Aldrich H. Ames has aggravated an identity crisis at the Central Intelligence Agency, which faces turmoil and uncertainty unprecedented in its 47-year history."

Odom, William E. "The Ames Case: A Symptom of Crisis." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 25-31 Jul. 1994, 29.

The author argues that "[h]ad intelligence been a private business corporation, it would have restructured at least two or three times by now." He supports the idea of a presidential commission to study the role and capabilities of U.S. intelligence.

One point made by Odom (that the "public tarnishing of the [intelligence] community's image ... is unfair to the professionals who gave the United States a remarkable intelligence edge throughout the Cold War") is treated derisively by a responding writer: William T. Lee, "What Intelligence Edge?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 1-7 Aug. 1994, 29. "Odom's ... piece ... is symptomatic of the real crisis in U.S. intelligence: refusal to learn from past mistakes."

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "The CIA's Ill-Advised Dumping Ground." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 1-7 Aug. 1994, 32.

A "new classified study" by "a panel of independent experts," chaired by Jeffrey H. Smith, "sharply criticizes the CIA for what Smith describes as a series of management blunders during the period of Ames's admitted spying."

Pincus, Walter. "Tracking Down the CIA's Skeletons: Heads Are Bound to Roll over the Handling of the Aldrich Ames Spying Case." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 8-14 Aug. 1994, 33-34.

Palmer, Elizabeth A. "Conferees Agree on Bigger Role for FBI in Spy Cases." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 24 Sep. 1994, 2706.

House and Senate conferees completed work on the fiscal 1995 intelligence authorization bill on 22 September 1994. The conference committee "decided to clip the wings of the CIA, effectively placing the FBI in charge of all counterespionage investigations.... In return for the House's agreement to the FBI provision, Senate conferees dropped their objections to a satellite project backed by House members."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Unclassified Abstract of the CIA Inspector General's Report on the Aldrich H. Ames Case. Washington, DC: 1994.

Surveillant 4.4/5: "This abstract is 78 numbered paragraphs which constituted the summary, and includes a preface to the report by the IG."

Pincus, Walter. "The Spy vs. Spy Report." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 26 Sep.-2 Oct. 1994, 33.

CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz' report on the Ames spy case cites senior officers in the CIA's Office of Security and Directorate of Operations for failures to pay attention over the period that Ames spied for Moscow.

Pincus, Walter. "The Spy Case That Just Keeps on Growing." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 3-9 Oct. 1994, 31.

In the wake of Inspector General Hitz' report on the Ames case, DCI Woolsey "announced on Sept. 28 that he had disciplined five active and six retired senior agency officers, but no one was fired or demoted.... Woolsey's actions drew immediate criticism on Capitol Hill."

Weiner, Tim. "Two Senior C.I.A. Officials Lose Jobs in Spy Case Fallout." New York Times, 13 Oct. 1994. [http://www.nytimes.com]

CIA ADDO John McGaffin and the Near East operations chief, Frank Anderson, have resigned in the wake of their demotion by DCI R. James Woolsey. "Two weeks ago, they gave Milton Bearden, the agency's station chief in Bonn, an award for outstanding work during the 1980's." The day before, Woolsey had reprimanded Bearden "for 'very serious' failures" in the Aldrich Ames spy case.

Carr, Caleb. "Aldrich Ames and the Conduct of American Intelligence." World Policy Journal 11, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 19-28.

This article is remarkably poor in content and execution. Carr's broadbrush rejection of what he calls (contrary to all normally accepted definitions) "operational" intelligence is at best a polemic; the article certainly gives no evidence of a research base. The author consistently fails to make the vital connection between the "CIA" actions he abhors and the broader national policies of which those actions were a part. His starting point is the "criticism" of the CIA voiced by Aldrich Ames, an approach that can be seen only as malicious in intent. The self-serving justifications of a man who betrayed his country for money certainly do not deserve to be taken seriously, despite Carr's argument to the contrary. Carr's desire to leave the "research and analysis" function to NSA shows an abysmal -- and telling -- ignorance of that organization's role in American intelligence; but, then, general ignorance of the subject matter is the most salient feature of this article.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence. An Assessment of the Aldrich H. Ames Espionage Case and Its Implications for U.S. Intelligence. Washington, DC: GPO, 1994.

See Donna Cassata, "Senate Panel Broadly Indicts CIA Culture of 'Negligence,'" Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 5 Nov. 1994, 3136-3138: The SSCI's 116-page report on the CIA's handling of the Ames spy case says that the CIA "was guilty of 'gross negligence -- both individually and institutionally -- in creating and perpetrating the environment in which Ames was able to carry out his espionage activities for nine years without detection.'" CQ's presentation includes a sidebar containing "edited excerpts from Sen. Dennis DeConcini's Aug. 5 interview with Aldrich H. Ames."

Cassata, Donna. "Panel Orders CIA to Explain Complacency in Ames Case." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 3 Dec. 1994, 3455.

On 30 November 1994, the House intelligence committee issued a 79-page report critical of both the CIA and FBI in the handling of the Aldrich Ames spy case. The House report "is less harsh than the Senate report in its assessment of Woolsey's directorship, faulting him for giving senior officials the benefit of the doubt."

Hiatt, Fred. "Left Out in the Cold: The Widow of a Spy Betrayed by Aldrich Ames Seeks Answers." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 26 Dec. 1994-1 Jan. 1995, 19-20.

The widow of Valery Martynov, one of the spies supposedly revealed by Aldrich Ames to his Russian paymasters, is trying to find out if she and her children might be entitled to compensation from the U.S. government. Martynov was a KGB Line X officer who served in the United States 1980-1985. He was arrested upon returning to Moscow with the redefecting Vitaly Yurchenko, and executed in 1987.

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