Revolution

CIA fed Soviet misinformation to President

From 1985 to 1994, CIA agent Aldrich Ames served as a double agent for the Soviets, causing immense damage to U.S. national security. Ames caused the death of at least nine U.S. spies, rendered U.S. intelligence operations in the Soviet Union ineffective, and supplied disinformation that the CIA fed to the president and top advisers.

The CIA passed along the information, despite knowing that some of it was contaminated. The Defense Department used Ames' disinformation to justify multibillion-dollar weapons systems. The Soviets succeeded in convincing U.S. policy makers that they were militarily strong when in fact they were near collapse.

The disinformation continued with Russian intelligence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ames was arrested in February 1994, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Probably the only reason he was not executed is that he made it clear he had more information about the Soviets to give.


Source: December 9, 1995, Boston Globe article, "Report acknowledges major damage to U.S. spy effort."