I got into jail and met face-to-face with Aldrich Ames all alone before the CIA and FBI knew what was happening. After they booted me out, I flew to Moscow where a KGB general took me to a “safe house” to discuss his favorite American traitor. Back home, the CIA team that had unmasked Ames welcomed me with exclusive access.
All that makes this book special, but what really sets it apart are the pages where Ames explains himself in his own words, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of a CIA turncoat.
Interviews with Aldrich Ames
These recordings with Ames were done without the CIA or FBI’s knowledge immediately after his arrest while he was in jail. In this tape, he describes two secret CIA operations that had never been exposed until after my book was published.
CK – Absorb was a $60 million covert project where the CIA filled a cargo container on a train going west on the TransSiberia railroad with highly sensitive electronic sensors that were supposed to take readings of Soviet warheads that were being shipped by rail eastward on the same train line. The project never produced any useful information because Ames tipped off the Soviets before it was fully developed. He also describes CK – TAW an operation where the CIA was able to wire tap the KGB in Moscow. The “CK” designation was used as a prefix by the agency to denote a secret operation.
In this next clip, Ames describes the CIA “assets” he betrayed, including several who the KGB immediately arrested and executed.
He identified them by the cryptonyms — code names — that the CIA had assigned them. You will hear him discussing GT Accord — later identified as Vladimir Vasilyev — who was in the GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie — Soviet Military Intelligence), which sounds like “ga-new” on the tape when Ames says it. One of his most sensational revelations is the story of GT Fitness — Gennady Varenik — an officer in Germany who warned the CIA about a KGB plot to plant bombs near US military bases.