Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Commentary: Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

Right after Ogorodnik (CKTRIGON) was arrested and committed suicide in KGB hands in Moscow, in July 1977, DCI Turner sent me a memo directing me to investigate his compromise, and come up with a conclusion in two weeks. When I started to work on it, reviewing Ogorodnik's production, which was no longer coming automatically to the CI Staff, as it would have in Angleton's days, I ran onto the disturbing cable cited here which appeared to report Kissinger's briefing the Soviet ambassador on US strategy for the SALT talks. In spite of that startling diversion, I went on with the investigation, which included visiting our translation/transcription team , which eventually turned out to harbor the Communist penetration which compromised Ogorodnik. That was Koecher, a Czech who had entered the US in 1965, was hired by us in 1973, and was not exposed by a Czech defector for another seven years. Had I even learned of his background, it is doubtful that I could have persuaded Security/FBI to conduct an investigation of him, including another polygraph examination. Since it had nothing to do with Ames, it is not quite clear why it appears here.

Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, Pete Earley, 1997

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