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Aldrich Ames QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
After I got the $50,000, the realization that despite my ideas and beliefs that there was nothing really damaging in all of this, I had overlooked the element of betrayal.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
An espionage organization is a collector: it collects raw information. That gets processed by a machinery that is supposed to resolve its reliability, and to present a finished product.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
An FBI agent investigating a lead can inure themselves to the personal consequences of what's going to happen to the person they're investigating.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Because interrogations are intended to coerce confessions, interrogators feel themselves justified in using their coercive means. Consistency regarding the technique is not important; inducing anxiety and fear is the point.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
By the late '70s I had come to question the point of a great deal of what we were doing, in terms of the CIA's overall charter.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Deciding whether to trust or credit a person is always an uncertain task.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Despite the enormous illegalities and injustices of the Soviet system, I could quite easily see how the Soviet legal system works.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Each decade of the Cold War has its own kind of nasty history of the policy-makers... from Congress to the Executive branch, debating over whether these can be trusted.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Espionage against the Soviet Union had started at a low level and remained at a low level.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Espionage can carry political risks, and it will do so increasingly for the United States, unless and until the policy-makers enforce on the intelligence managers.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Espionage, for the most part, involves finding a person who knows something or has something that you can induce them secretly to give to you. That almost always involves a betrayal of trust.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Foreign Ministry guys don't become agents. Party officials, the Foreign Ministry nerds, tend not to volunteer to Western intelligence agencies.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Historians don't really like to carry on speculative debates, but you could certainly argue that the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was extremely, extremely low.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I came into the Agency with a set of ideas and attitudes that were quite typical of people coming into the Agency at that time. You could call it liberal anti-communism.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I could have stopped it after they paid me the $50,000. I wouldn't even have had to go on to do more than I already had: just the double agents' names that I gave.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I found that our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I handed over names and compromised so many CIA agents in the Soviet Union.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I have no idea how this mass of information, starting with the dramatic impact of names, how that shock was really felt and perceived and worked itself out.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I knew quite well, when I gave the names of our agents in the Soviet Union, that I was exposing them to the full machinery of counterespionage and the law, and then prosecution and capital punishment.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I never felt I was betraying my country as I did this. I was betraying a whole series of other loyalties, though, the enormity of which came to me very soon.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I said in court a long time ago that I didn't see that the Soviet Union was significantly helped by the information I gave them, nor that the United States was significantly harmed.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I saw a limit to what I was giving as kind of a scam I was running on the KGB, by giving them people that I knew were their double agents fed to us.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I wasn't afraid of any pressure from the Soviet side.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
I'm a traitor, but I don't consider myself a traitor.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
In my professional work with the Agency, by the late '70s, I had come to question the value of a great deal of what we were doing, in terms of the intelligence agency's impact on American policy.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
It was a matter of pursuing an intensely personal agenda, of trying to make some money I felt I needed very badly, and in a sense that I felt at the time, one of terrible desperation.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
It was not considered useful to get low-level political sources in the Soviet Union, because how could they get us the minutes of the Politburo meetings?
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Let's say a Soviet exchange student back in the '70s would go back and tell the KGB about people and places and things that he'd seen and done and been involved with. This is not really espionage; there's no betrayal of trust.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
My little scam in April '85 went like this: Give me $50,000; here's some names of some people we've recruited.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
No one's interested really in knowing what policies or diplomatic initiatives or arms negotiations might have been compromised by me.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Perhaps my information hurt the Soviet Union more than it helped. I have no idea. It was not something I ever discussed with the KGB officers that I was dealing with.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Remote sensing or remote imaging were probably the more productive against primarily military and economic targets.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The betrayal of trust carries a heavy taboo.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The counterintelligence specialists in the intelligence agencies always have such a rocky relationship with the counterespionage officials and police.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The difficulties of conducting espionage against the Soviet Union in the Soviet Union were such that historically the Agency had backed away from the task.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The disappearance of those Soviet sources, their drying up, appeared to have had no effect on our intelligence collection and our ability to understand what's going on in the Soviet Union.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The dream of every DO case officer is to recruit a KGB officer. For what? Naming names as a counterintelligence source.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The FBI, to its credit in a self-serving sort of way, rejects the routine use of the polygraph on its own people.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The human spy, in terms of the American espionage effort, had never been terribly pertinent.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The KGB succeeded in obtaining and running for long periods of time. The question is: what good were they doing?
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The national security state has many unfair and cruel weapons in its arsenal, but that of junk science is one which can be fought and perhaps defeated.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The only thing I ever withheld from the KGB were the names of two agents whom I personally had known and handled and had a particular feeling for.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The polygraph is asserted to have been a useful tool in counterintelligence investigations. This is a nice example of retreating into secret knowledge: we know it works, but it's too secret to explain.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The reasons that I did what I did in April of 1985 were personal, banal, and amounted really to kind of greed and folly.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The reasons that I did what I did in April of 1985 were personal, banal, and amounted really to kind of greed and folly. As simple as that.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The resistance of policy-makers to intelligence is not just founded on an ideological presupposition. They distrust intelligence sources and intelligence officials because they don't understand what the real problems are.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The Soviet Union did not achieve victory over the West, so was my information inadequate to help them to victory, or did it play no particular role in their failure to achieve victory?
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The U.S. is, so far as I know, the only nation which places such extensive reliance on the polygraph. It has gotten us into a lot of trouble.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
The use of the polygraph has done little more than create confusion, ambiguity and mistakes.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
There are so many things a large intelligence espionage organization can do to justify its existence, that people can get promotions for, because it could result in results.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
There's almost a consistency throughout the Cold War that the information that comes out on politics generally tends to downplay grand Soviet strategies, big plans, world domination.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
They gave up the names of people who had placed their trust in them. I did the same thing, for reasons that I considered sufficient to myself. It's a nasty kind of circle, with terrible human costs.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
Thousands of people in sensitive positions in the United States, in Britain or in the former Soviet Union, had all kinds of personal problems, to the extent that they wrecked their lives over them.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
To the extent that I considered the personal burden of harming the people who had trusted me, plus the Agency, or the United States, I wasn't processing that.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
We had periodic crises in this country when the technical intelligence didn't support the policy. We had the bomber gap, the missile gap.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
When I got the money, the whole burden descended on me, and the realization of what I had done. And it led me then to make the further step, a change of loyalties.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
When I handed over the names and compromised so many CIA agents in the Soviet Union, I had come to the conclusion that the loss of these sources to the U.S. would not compromise significant national defense, political, diplomatic interests.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
When Reagan was elected, I felt that the Agency had gone much more into the service of a political tendency in the country with which I had already felt very strong disagreement.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames
You might as well ask why a middle-aged man with no criminal record might put a paper bag over his head and rob a bank. I acted out of personal desperation.
Quotation of Aldrich Ames