While Oleg Gordievsky, KGB colonel spying for MI6, said he didn’t want to be paid, mid-level CIA operative Aldrich Ames made payment the heart of his approach to the KGB: he demanded $50,000 up front. At a subsequent meeting with his handler, Ames delivered seven pounds of classified information, and made sure he named every single spy working for America or Britain inside the Soviet Union.
In the month of his first payment from the KGB, Ames had arrived at a brutally logical conclusion. Any of the CIA’s numerous spies inside Soviet intelligence could get wind of what he was up to and expose him. The only way to protect himself, therefore, was to reveal to the KGB any and every asset who could betray him, so the Russians could sweep them up and execute the lot.
Ames: “If one of them learned about me, he would have told the CIA and I would have been arrested and thrown in jail . . . it wasn’t personal. It was simply how the game was played.”
At least ten spies identified by Ames would perish at the hands of the KGB, and more than one hundred intelligence operations were compromised. Soon after the big dump, Ames received a message . . . from Moscow: “Congratulations, you are now a millionaire!”— The Spy and the Traitor, pp. 243 – 244
One of the spies whose identity he blew was that of Oleg Gordievsky.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.