Saturday, October 29, 2005

Interesting Factoid: Aldrich Ames believed the secrets he sold to the USSR would not harm the US

The conservative pundits (aka Republican talking points pushers) are already using this argument in the face of the Plame leak when they aren't denying that their friends in government ever leaked at all.

you could certainly argue that the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was extremely, extremely low that they simply had no intention of carrying one out. No one can realistically conceive of conditions in which they would do so.


At the time that I handed over the names and compromised so many CIA agents in the Soviet Union, at the time that I did that I had made a calculation, if you will, not conscious at that time, but had come to the conclusion that the loss of these sources to the United States Government, or to the West as well, would not compromise significant national defense, political, diplomatic interests, as I saw them. This calculation - or this belief, perhaps is better put - this belief grew out of my experiences in my profession, in my political outlook on the world, my own assessment of where things stood between the Soviet Union and the West. And I would say that this belief of the non-injurious nature of what I was doing... this belief was not a calculation that I made that then enabled... that then justified my turning the names over. Rather, it was a kind of a precondition, that having this belief then allowed or permitted me to do what I did for much more personal reasons. Had I not had that conviction or that belief, that strong belief that this was harmless apart from sort of institutional bureaucratic interests - had I not had that belief, I don't know that I could have done what I did.


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