Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spy Aldrich Ames Pled Guilty On This Date In 1994

On this date in 1994, CIA counter-intelligence official Rick (Aldrich) Ames, who had spied for nine years for the Soviet Union and then its successor state Russia, pled guilty to charges of spying and tax evasion and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Rick Ames betrayed to his KGB handlers some of the CIA's most important spies inside the Soviet Union.  In exchange he was paid a mere $2.7 million in total, almost all of which he blew through with his Columbian wife Rosario (who knew of his spying) by living well above their means.

I've embedded below the best summary of the Ames case that I've ever seen. It is a 10 minute section from CNN's Cold War documentary series, which first aired in 1998.  This clip includes a prison interview with Rick Ames himself.  When Ames admits with an ironic smile and a casual wave of the hand that he was well aware of the deadly consequences for those he betrayed, the filmmakers cleverly intersperse chilling footage of the arrest by the KGB of one of our most important-ever Russian spies, GRU General Dmitri Polyakov. The juxtaposition of Ames' flip smugness in his prison jumpsuit with Polyakov's dignified stoicism while being manhandled on the way to certain death is remarkable.

1 comment:

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