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As the Cold War was ending in the late 1980s, Americans might have been justified in thinking that their intelligence services were winning the clandestine spy battles across the globe. In fact, the U.S. was losing badly, despite the multiple arrests for espionage during 1985, known as “The Year of the Spy.” In fact, out of the arrests came a new generation of enemy operatives, and one of the worst of these was Aldrich "Rick" Ames. Working out of the CIA's Soviet Counterintelligence Group at their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Ames had access to virtually everything CIA knew about the USSR, including America's own deep cover assets. In 1985, amid a nasty divorce, severe money problems, and a chronic drinking addiction, Ames approached a Soviet contact in Washington, DC, and began his career as one of America's most deadly spies. For approximately $4.2 million from the Soviets, Ames turned over the identities of over a dozen American assets within the USSR, most of whom were immediately executed. Realizing that they had a “mole” inside “The Company," CIA mobilized a small and highly experienced group of operatives to hunt down the trader in their midst.
To learn more about the molehunt for Aldrich Ames, join military/intelligence historian, author and journalist John D. Gresham for Military Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern. His guest this week is former CIA case officer Sandy Grimes, co-author of the U.S. Naval Institute Press (@USNIPress) book CIRCLE OF TREASON. Together they will take listeners through the story of how Ames was hunted down and captured, along with just how much damage he did to the United States and its allies during his tenure as a Soviet spy. Listeners are encouraged to call in to talk to Mr. Gresham and Ms. Grimes, to ask questions and offer their own opinions on this critical story from American intelligence operations history.
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