Skip to main content

tv   History Bookshelf Sandra Grimes Circle of Treason  CSPAN  October 8, 2017 8:00am-9:06am EDT

8:00 am
announcer: next on history bookshelf, sandra grimes talks about her book "circle of treason: the cia account of traitor aldrich ames and the men he betrayed." she chronicles her work as a cia agent to hunt down and capture the cia mole who compromised the second-largest number of assets in cia history. she was one of five cia principals tasked with rooting out aldrich ames and building a ase against him. this was recorded at politics politics in 2014. this is about an hour. host: we are very fortunate with us to have sandra grimes this afternoon. she has quite a remarkable story to tell, a story from inside the
8:01 am
cia where she worked for years, hired by the cia right out of college in 1967. she spent two and a half decades rising through the agency's ranks and assignments working against the soviet union and eastern european countries. she was about to resign in 1991 when she was asked to stay for one more assignment. that assignment involves joining a five person team charged with figuring out why so many of the cia's most valued soviet assets ad been executed or imprisoned several years earlier. the investigation ended up exposing one of the most destructive traders in u.s. history, aldrich ames, a cia counterintelligence officer. since his conviction in 1994, ames has been serving a life entence. her book, "circle of treason,"
8:02 am
was the first account from inside the cia not only of how aldrich ames was caught, but of the men that he betrayed. sandy wrote it with another longtime agency member who participated in the investigation. their book was first published a little over a year ago in 2012 and jeanne passed away at the end of 2012. but their story has gained fresh attention as the result of the eight part abc miniseries, "the asset," which started airing last month. there has been a lot of focus on women at the cia. the movie, "zero dark thirty" played up a role of a female undercover officer tracking down osama bin laden, the popular showtime series "homeland" revolves around a female analyst.
8:03 am
sandy's real-life experience lacked some of the drama of these fictionalized characters, and she told me also that one of her conditions putting together "the assets" was her character have no affairs. she put her foot down. ld school, she says. but sandy definitely remains a very bright and determined intelligence professional who did our country a very great service. a review of her book in the "washington times" calls "circle of treason: the cia account of traitor aldrich ames and the men he betrayed" the most gripping insider account of a counterintelligence operation that you will ever read. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming sandra rimes. [applause]
8:04 am
sandra: thank you very much. can everybody hear me? i have to take my glasses off to see my notes. all right. i am delighted to be here to talk about our book "circle of treason or co- before i get started, my remarks are going to be fairly brief because i want to leave a lot of time for your questions and i will be glad to answer, i assume, most of them i will be, able to. i also want to say i am here to represent my good friend and co-author jeanne vertefeuille. as i tell you about our journey to determine who or what caused the wholesale loss of our soviet assets in 1985 and in 1986. in 1991, that led us to search for a traitor in cia. to make matters worse, we knew he wouldn't be a stranger. he would be a co-worker, a colleague, someone we had known for a very long time, and someone we probably saw everyday
8:05 am
in the hallways of our headquarters building. but it is not just a story of how we identified a spy. it is much more than that. for the first time, jeanne and i are able to tell the history of cia's contacts with his victims. many of their stories are ours as well. we participated in the handling of a number of these cases and we watched as those we knew were arrested and executed. always concerned that we might have made a mistake, which led to their deaths is the burden no one wants to carry. but i have to be completely honest, that is what a number of us in cia had to do for the next eight years. until our mole was dentified. you may have noticed i have yet
8:06 am
to mention his name. we all know it is aldrich ames, or rick as he was known to us. and yes, he was a colleague. and for me personally, he and i were carpool partners in the mid-1970s. and on april 16, 1985, aldrich ames decided to walk through the front door of the soviet embassy, downtown washington d.c. 16th street and volunteer his services to the soviet union. two months later, he also decided to provide his kgb handlers with the names of identifying information on every single one of our human sources reporting on the soviet union. those who were currently reporting, those who were long retired, those who were
8:07 am
dormant. and in doing so, he knew full well what fate awaited them. they would be a arrested, they would be interrogated, they would face a trial, they would be convicted, and they would be executed. a bullet to the back of the ead. now, it is 1985. nd our nightmare begins. late may, gru asset vulcan who we are handling in athens, greece, received a cable from his headquarters saying you are to return to moscow. he decides to defect and we bring him safely to the u.s. early august, our kgb asset, arrested in moscow during a home
8:08 am
leave. sometime between late august and early october, our asset in lisbon, portugal is also arrested in moscow also during a home leave. november 6, our kgb asset in washington d.c. boards a flight at dulles bound for moscow. over and back, short trip. we never see him again. again, early november. our kgb asset in west germany travels to east berlin for a three day conference. he disappears. and in 1986, february, our kgb asset in moscow is arrested.
8:09 am
une or july, as best as we can tell, our g.r.u. asset in moscow is arrested. july 7, 1986, our long retired g.r.u. asset is arrested in moscow, one day after his 65th birthday. he is the highest ranking soviet intelligence officer this government has ever run. nd unfortunately, into 1987, our kgb asset in moscow, long etired, is arrested. so here we are, it is the end of 1985, and obviously something is seriously wrong. two possible explanations.
8:10 am
we either have a human penetration of cia, or our communications have been compromised. in other words they are reading our traffic. what do we do? ur first action was taken in response to a new volunteer. in january of 1986, a soviet intelligence officer volunteered to cia. now, our goal was simple. we got to try to keep this one alive. we have no idea whether it is a traitor or technical penetration, so we have to guard gainst each possibility. with respect to the traitor side of the equation, we institute what we still to this day still affectionately call draconian security measures.
8:11 am
we simply eliminate almost everybody from those who are aware of our new asset. now, we have got to address the technical side. with respect to our staff communications and the possibility that they are reading traffic on soviet cases. well, this one was a little bit more difficult, so we basically punted. we ignored staff communications. we did not, there was zero cable traffic between headquarters and the field station where our new asset was located. we went back to basics to communicate. as we affectionately also say, it was not the stone age, but it as pretty close. although we did have something that was sort of out of this world at the time. ok. we have our new asset, he is
8:12 am
okay. we are keeping this one alive. enter my co-author jeanne vertefeuille, who is on assignment in libreville as our chief of station. she returns to headquarters in the middle of the 1986, and she is tapped with trying to determine what the heck happened. she has a small task force of people who begin this effort. now at the same time, jeanne and her people are looking at our losses, the fbi has also established a task force. they suffered similar problems with their soviet cases during the same time period as we.
8:13 am
alright. now we are going to have to fast-forward. it is early 1991, a little over five years, we still do not have a clue as to what happened. not a clue. now, that is not to say that there were not plenty of explanations, plenty of leads. there were lots. each was fully investigated and each was discarded. meanwhile, the fbi also doesn't have a clue as to what caused their losses. however, there is a bit of good news. since we instituted those draconian security measures we haven't lost a single new ource. and the number of reporting sources on the soviet union had continued to increase and we were able to keep every single
8:14 am
one of them alive. because of this, there were some eople in senior positions in cia, who believed that what had happened in 1985 and in 1986 was largely a historical problem. it might be nice to know the answer, but it was not affecting our current operations. we were doing just fine. we were once again back in business. enter jean again. she was facing mandatory retirement at the end of 992. she still felt terribly guilty that she had been unable to answer the question as to why we suffered so many losses during that awful period, and she
8:15 am
wanted to spend the rest of her time until mandatory retirement taking one more look at these cases. there had to be an answer. she viewed this as a solitary effort. it would only be jeanne looking at me old record. however, that was soon to change. i have to be completely honest. it was really due to happenstance that i ended up working with her, looking for the answer, as did two fbi employees, one was a special agent and one a soviet analyst. eventually, we added a fifth member to our little task force, cia officer, our office of ecurity. now, the book takes you for our search for a traitor.
8:16 am
out of approximately 160 cia employees, who over the years had access to information about one or more of our lost cases. the investigation itself, i will younes of jeanne's favorite words, was many-pronged, and it really involved just simply months of mind-numbing work with the occasional nugget which kept s going. that and is not to say there wasn't a eureka moment. there was. and it occurred in early august, 1992, just about a year after we had been -- our group had been assembled. at the time, i had been given the task of creating a chronology of all of rick's activities from 1985 until the
8:17 am
present, 1992. that particular august morning i was able to connect the dates of meetings he was having with the soviet development of contact in washington d.c. with cash deposits he had made to one of his local checking accounts. this was the first link that would lead to his arrest and his onviction. it was cash. it was after meetings with the soviet national, who was knocked an intelligence officer, arms control specialist. he really was what he said he was. and every one of these deposits, at that time there were only three we had records of. every one of them was below the
8:18 am
$10,000 reporting requirement that the feds had put on the banks at the time. alright. lastly, where we ever afraid he was going to get away with treason? you bet we were. all enough, it happened as our task force was drawing to a close in early 1993. several months prior, the fbi analyst began to prepare a report of our findings. now, this was not a cia document. it was an official fbi document, because we were turning everything over to them. jeanne and i definitely had a say in the draft stages of the paper, but the final wording was eyond our control.
8:19 am
and as we understood it, when he report came out in march of 1993, it did not identify rich ames as the primary suspect. it did, however, have his name on a short list of other possible suspects. for jeanne and myself, it was a very difficult time. we were convinced aldrich ames was our traitor. we spent two years looking for him and our analysis proved that o be the case. we also knew the fbi did not share our belief and would continue to focus on others on heir new short list. but thankfully, and it truly is thankfully, additional information became available
8:20 am
which did not offensive rick, -- did not identify rick, but it certainly pointed in his direction. and most importantly it forced the fbi to open a full-scale investigation of rick ames. one year later, february 21, 1994, presidents day, a government holiday, and we were at work. rick ames is arrested around the corner from his house. not too long after that, he was on his way to cia headquarters to answer a fictitious cable. however, not very long after that his wife was arrested at their home. both of them eventually pled guilty to espionage. rosario received five years, which she served in a federal facility in danbury, connecticut. upon her release she was stripped of her u.s.
8:21 am
citizenship. she was a naturalized citizen and deported to columbia. rick received life. and you know, i was just thinking it is almost 20 years, coming up on 20 years. and he is at alanwood federal penitentiary in pennsylvania. still residing there. as i mentioned at the beginning, jeanne and i are most proud that we have finally been given permission to be able to tell the story of our assets. they are about real people, real spying and real contributions. and most important, jeanne and i, and to so many others at the cia understood when these soviet
8:22 am
intelligence officers for the most part volunteered their services to the united states government, they knew they were putting their lives in our hands. and we, meaning cia, failed them. we couldn't repay them for their sacrifices and we certainly couldn't repay their families for their losses. but we did owe each and every one of them an answer. that was our goal, that was our mission, and that really is the story of "circle of reason." questions on that sad note? [applause] yes? >> so this happened over 20 years ago. with today's technology, with data mining and predicted analytics, do you think that would have accelerated you or
8:23 am
helped you in your search? sandra: no. not at all. i will use this as an example. rick ames had no personal meetings here in washington d.c. all his personal meetings with his kgb handlers were abroad. however, he managed, just like bob hansen from the fbi, if you keep it simple it usually tends to work. the basics usually don't fail you in spying. he loaded drops, he made signal sites, he unloaded drops, and he was under complete technical coverage by the fbi and they are very good at that. and the phones were bugged, cameras everywhere. it was not just at his house, it was at cia headquarters. there were beacons on his car. so no, all that stuff, not in the terms of the spying that we
8:24 am
did. questions, please. >> [indiscernible] >> i remember at the time the report talked about consumption, increased fluids, and it has been a long time, but i remember questions about how could people not see his increased influence? and why that did not raise questions. sandra: rick and his increased consumption, and one thing you read in the papers all the time, was his red jaguar. let's put it this way. rick, as i said, walked in, started to work for the soviets n april of 1985.
8:25 am
you saw zero change in rick ames until he returned from a tour in rome. that was in 1989. he was still the slovenly rick ames i had always known. truly. but rick said, this was his cover story, that he had gotten the money from his wife's family, rosario. her father had died in the mid-80's. we knew they were from a well-connected family in colombia. as a matter of fact, the family as it turned out, the extended family gave the land to build the largest soccer fields in bogota. rosario, who met rick when they were both assigned to mexico city, she was with the colombian embassy. she was there secretary. she got an appointment from the president of colombia, so it was not out of the question that
8:26 am
obviously some of this money came from her side of the family. but i always say this with respect to that stupid red jaguar. rick and i parked in the same garage. this was while we were on the task force. i had to walk past three red jaguars before i got to my car and one was rick's. [laughter] sandra: this wasn't out of the ordinary. the same, i might add, you didn't ask the question with respect to rick's drinking. jeanne and i had known him for over 20 years. i did socialize with rick a bit. we were not close friends, but we were closer in age and we had grown up as young officers together in the organization. even at the christmas parties, which were very nice affairs in the olden days, i never saw rick drunk ever. you read all this stuff.
8:27 am
he was a binge drinker, particularly after he had married rosario. this was his second marriage. whenever she was out of the country, or out of town, he would get drunk. i think it was this sort of, i owe myself one. and i never met rosario. but she apparently was so difficult that her lawyers couldn't stand her. even the poor bureau guys listening to the phone. [laughter] sandra: they thought rick was abused. [laughter] sandra: so a human touch to ames. and i will add one more thing, if you had told me that rick ames was going to be one of the worst traitors this country had ever seen, i would have said no in the early days. not the aldrich ames i knew.
8:28 am
and i knew him since 1973. so -- yes? >> were there other people around you other than rick ames that drew more suspicion and had you thought about what was the distinction between him and the others that he seemed to be not suspect to such an extreme degree? and do you know what ever happened to rosario? sandra: i will answer that one first. what happened to rosario. i don't have a clue. i suspect she is alive and well and living the good life in bogota where her family is. they did have one child, paul is his name. nd he is in his 20s now. when rosario went off to jail, her mother took paul back to colombia where he was raised.
8:29 am
he was 5 or 6 at the time. rick had no children by his irst marriage. what was the question again? e was not suspect. where there others who were more suspect? i am not going to tell you their names if they were. however this is a story, fairly long story. when we started the task force, we have 160 people, there is no way we can investigate 160 without an army. we had to find some way to rioritize. it was simple, not scientific, and roundly criticized after rick's arrest.
8:30 am
but it worked. we had four members of our task force and six other individuals, four from the cia and two from the fbi. we asked them to please rivately write down on a piece of paper -- i'm almost embarrassed to tell this story. 've told it so many times. the names of five or six people who made them uneasy. don't forget, we're looking for traitor here. and made them uneasy and individuals they thought we should take a close look at first. okay. then we asked them to please put them in rank order. the one that made you the most uneasy, second and so on down. this was not a contest you
8:31 am
wanted to win. we took the submissions, totaled all the numbers, and a real surprise. rick ames came out on top. he had the most points. 21. and i will toot my own horn here, as i say, i will use eanne's words. of all those who voted, only sandy gets the gold star. she had him in first place. now, here we are. we have a new short list. rick wasn't the only one who got more than one or two points. what we did, though, we looked at the small group first. eventually ames became our primary target, our primary focus. that is not to say we didn't continue to look at the rest of the people by this time, probably 150, 200 on the list.
8:32 am
we concentrated on those on the short list. so that sort of how it got orted out. >> so, these events were '85, '86, '87, and the task force was formed when? sandra: 1991. i got there in may and the bureau guys got there in the end of june. >> and a timeline question. how long did the four of you meet before you zeroed in and thought he was prime? was it immediately? sandra: it was about a year. it was less than a year. it was less than a year. the eureka moment came a little bit more than a year, and then there was no question. then there was no question. well, it wasn't a question to sandy and jeanne.
8:33 am
>> so the rest was getting the data to support? sandra: exactly. and then what happened, the bureau, in 1993, came in after we got that additional information. they got the fisa approvals, and then it was truly an nvestigative affair. obviously we're very involved with the justice department, and the attorneys, because they want evidence to be able to prove espionage charges. lawyers -- it's one of the worst cases in the world to have to try. they'd like to catch them in the act. but we didn't. >> my question is, how did they vet the members of the program to make sure you weren't the mole? that must have been unbelievable? did they take a chance?
8:34 am
i'm just very curious. sandra: i have to say you're the second person to ever ask me the question. i think it's a great question because it would be the first i'd ask. jeanne and i both had to be -- it was crazy. we were fortunate in that, while he and i knew almost all the sources, we had been doing different things. n 1985, '84 and '85. she was unaware of the new sources, the current ones, and i was handling all of our activity related to soviet and east europeans in africa. now, i certainly was aware of one of the cases. he was one my branch was responsible for keeping alive.
8:35 am
and that was colonel juke in nigeria. but because we had insufficient knowledge, and -- but you're correct, we both did have to be repolyed. it had been determined that sandy and jeanne were going to work together, and the fbi guys were going to come over. so then we got news, you're going to have a polygraph, and i will never forget that day. i said -- jeanne says, you'll do just fine. i said that's because i have to go first. but i got a speeding ticket that day on the way to the polygraph office. yes. >> were the five of you -- was the rest of the agency aware you were in this hunt or was it kept -- sandra: no. we didn't keep it from anybody. that's an important distinction. this was not going to be a paper exercise. ike the first time around.
8:36 am
we were looking for a human penetration of cia. rick was aware of it. we interviewed rick -- can't use the word, the bureau didn't like to us use that word -- we talk to people who were aware of the operations to gather more information about how paper was really handled. you can read what it says in a file. nowdays in e-mails. but you really don't know the interaction of people. >> so, two questions. i'm surprised that he could walk into the soviet embassy in washington, d.c. and didn't -- wasn't that embassy under surveillance? and, two, i wonder if there was a moment before he was arrested when he realized you knew who he was, or if not, what was it like to have to work -- once you realized it was him but you hadn't -- he hadn't been arrested yet, how difficult was it to have to deal with him? sandra: it was more than difficult.
8:37 am
i think most of the time we're pretty good actors and actresses, but that was tough, and i will say personally, confession: i smoked during those days. and you couldn't smoke in the building so i would go out to the courtyard to have my cigarette. rick was very heavy smoker. and because we're friends, acquaintances, he'd always come over. what are you doing today, sandy? how is the search going? oh, it's -- i stopped smoking. [laughter] sandra: i was so afraid i was going to mess it up. so i stopped -- but, you know, in hindsight, i didn't have a thing to worry about. rick was so arrogant. here was no way that two
8:38 am
ladies, and add two fbi guys, re ever going to catch me. t was really that. first part? oh, the surveillance. you're absolutely right, the bureau has coverage. so, what did rick do? he -- after he leaves the soviet union -- i mean leaves the soviet embassy, he calls his buddies -- i assume in the washington field office -- and said, if you see a guy that went nto the embassy at 1:15 p.m. today, it's i. now, he had sort of an excuse for being there, sort of. we, at cia headquarters, never knew that he walked into the embassy.
8:39 am
until later during the investigation. when the bureau was basically handling things. however, at the time, beginning in early 1985, rick was developing, as i said, a soviet ational. he was an arms control specialist. there was nothing out of the ordinary. rick doing this job. his contact with this individual was known to fbi headquarters, cia headquarters. it was -- he reported the contacts to each during this developmental phases, and that particular day, rick was scheduled to have a meeting with the man at the mayflower, and the man, who doesn't want anything to do with this -- rick was an alias -- this american --
8:40 am
that means if i have something to do with this american, i've got to report it to the kgb. that is not something that most soviet citizens wanted any part of. so, he kept ignoring rick, and that day, scheduled lunch, chuvakan does not show up, and rick throws down three or four vodkas. that's when the drinking -- a little courage, and decides he is going to walk right into that embassy, and if he is ever asked he will just say i got sick and tired of being stood up by this punk. so i walked in. and guess what? he showed up for the next scheduled meeting. so he had cover for action. as we say.
8:41 am
>> you mentioned it was the inding of the fbi report and the way it was structured, could have either made or broken your case. was there an internal path within the cia you would have followed otherwise, they would have followed up on their own just based on the level of effort you had already put in? sandra: i don't know the answer to that question. all i know is -- i only know two things. one, when jeanne and i first started this, we always knew we would be able to identify who our traitor was. in our wildest dreams we never, ever imagined that he would be convicted and go to jail. that just wouldn't happen. we would be able to answer the question internally, and the fbi
8:42 am
report -- god, i don't know. it was an official fbi document. did we make mistakes? yes. and i think probably one thing -- we talk about in the book that we certainly should have done, but we didn't -- weren't even thinking about it. these are our buddies we're working with. the fbi and the cia. these were not strangers here, and there's no question we were surprised at the final report. how and why that happened is beyond me. i don't know. but in hindsight, we probably -- when that came out, yes, we should have done that ahead of time. on the off chance because we didn't know what the official final paper was going to look like. we should have written our own. these are our beliefs, rick, blah, blah, blah, and this is the reason, but we didn't. caused lots of problems.
8:43 am
>> this is about the tv program. i watched the two episodes that ere aired. is there any way to see the other episodes? i would like to see them as ell. sandra: i will say this, there is hope. and there is -- the reason there is hope is because the president of abc announced to the press that the assets will be shown in some format, whether it's cable, whether it's netflix, whether it's back on abc proper. now, he said that one week after he cancelled us. but -- no, i have hope. i have hope. it's sort of one of these, stay tuned. i did get to see episode three, and it's much better than the first two.
8:44 am
>> i am going to write to the president of abc and complain. sandra: there is still hope. another thing i will say for any of you who watched it, there is some creative license. number one, i have never made pancakes in my life. [laughter] sandra: and i certainly have never prepared a hot breakfast for my family during the week. ver. and it was always cold cereal in the cars for the girls as i took them to the babysitter. and no milk. dry. yes? >> my name is jordan and what did you think about the new tv show "the assets"? sandra: well, it was a world
8:45 am
that obviously i'd never been a part of, and i will laugh, hough. i wish that it happened maybe 20 years ago. a lot more fun. owever, for you ladies here, the day i was on "good morning america" i had a professional makeup artist who traveled with me the entire day. for each -- it was wonderful. i didn't wash my face for about three days either. and false eyelashes. it was fun. >> thank you. sandra: you're quite welcome. >> you said that you checked his bank records, and i'm just wondering in terms of employee confidentiality and stuff, do agents, cia agents, sign a
8:46 am
release that -- how do you get access? sandra: called the national intelligence letter or something like that. i have to tell you, i didn't know it existed simply because i was never involved in personnel security. but it is part of the authority of the director of cia, but only in a counterintelligence case. in other words, there has to be some suspicion. >> evidence? sandra: i wouldn't call it evidence. there was certainly circumstantial. there's no question. here was circumstantial. now, it also included brokerage houses, bank accounts, checking accounts. however, they could say no, and
8:47 am
in rick's case, they did. but what -- they said no. but the big thing was, i would say, part of it wasn't just his bank accounts. credit card accounts, and little hings would come up. i can't believe he was so sloppy -- well, i guess i can. he'd charge an airline ticket, new york to vienna, austria, and we were under the rules and regulations as a cia employee, you traveled anywhere out of the country, whether it was for pleasure -- vacation -- you had to get approval from the office of security to do that, and rick had not done that, and of all places, vienna, austria, the hotbed of spying east and
8:48 am
west? so there were little things like that. i have to say, as we were going along, it's probably like a police investigation. if you're looking for a murder suspect, or -- you are trying to eliminate rick as your suspect. every piece of information. you don't want to get the wrong guy. >> what did you determine were his motivations? sandra: simple greed. t was money. now, money, though, with, again, a little bit of a twist. jeanne and i are absolutely convinced if it had not been for rosario, rick never would have committed treason. the material things were not mportant to him. ut in early '85, he was facing
8:49 am
a divorce, although he hadn't told his current wife that he needed a divorce because he had promised rosario, who was now in the states, that they were getting married in august. so -- and rick knew he had to divide up his and nan's assets. there weren't a lot. basically it was $20,000. that's really all he needed. and he certainly could have come to the agency. we help our employees. and he chose not to. however, he never, ever would have been able to keep rosario in the style she had -- she thought she was accustomed o. neiman marcus was -- and up the ladder, that's all she was oncerned with.
8:50 am
>> you indicate in the book that getting the manuscript vetted by the agency was a struggle. you finally got 90% of what you wanted approved, but you think this would be a story that the agency would want out. why the difficulty? sandra: well, first, let me just tell you, we didn't start to write "circle of treason" until nine years after rick's arrest. the first time we put pen to paper. then it was four years later, after several serious medical issues, that we had our first draft. we submitted it to cia's publications review board for approval. it was painful. that first draft came back -- jeanne and i were shocked. it was pages of black. so it took us three years of
8:51 am
back and forth, and i think a big part of the problem was the story of the assets. this is the secret world of spying. however, every one of those guys, they were gone. and the kgb certainly knew more about the operations than we did because they were able to interrogate them. there were some other things that the agency asked that we removed. they didn't tell us why. although we sort of had an inkling. times change. things that might not have been classified -- when you're dealing with human beings, things that might not have been classified in 19 -- i don't know
8:52 am
-- 2004. there can be a circumstance that would require that story not be released at that time. so, for the most part, i would say we were able -- sorry, sorry. for most part, yes, 90%, and the 10%, one where circumstances had changed, and the others were just stupid. in the sense, when you read the book you'll see people, their first name, and the first nitial of their last name. i don't know. i think it was like working for an insurance company. it was just what was on the rules and regulations. it didn't make any difference if these people had not retired under cover. it did not make any difference they had passed away 20 years earlier.
8:53 am
it did not make any difference that their names were in books all over the place. o, finally, we just gave up on that and said, to heck with it. but i would say it was one of these -- it was just hard for them to accept that this kind of material should appear in public. but you paid for it. >> you mentioned that you did the straw poll and discovered that, amongst the investigators, for lack of a better term, you did a straw poll, and mr. ames made people the most uneasy, whatever the gramar is in the wake of all we learned over the the last ten years and more about the brilliance and genius and manifests itself after years of experience. did you ever sit around with
8:54 am
them or articulate now what made ou uneasy about him? andra: it was his ego. it was so huge, to the point that even his posture changed. that was the difference when i saw rick when he left for rome, when he came back. rick was a tall guy and always, as i say, slob, and slouched like this. he was erect. he was in charge of everything. he was smarter than anyone in the room. and we all knew that it certainly was not coming from cia. his career was a dead end. he was a gs14 and that was it. all of his classmates were
8:55 am
rising through the ranks, but it didn't make any difference. you have never seen anybody with such a frightening ego. it really was almost frightening. it was so huge. and that was, as i say in the book, wasn't the rick ames i had known. he was a gentle soul. it was really a personality change. but you have to remember, we worked with all of these people, with a pretty small little group, and we had known them for years, and i'm certain if you ask the same question yourself, to your own organization, you can look in your office and say, that person would never be a traitor. hopefully. and it was really one of those.
8:56 am
and i know the guys in the bureau said, just can't believe we're doing this. we said, trust us. it's just like jeanne and i could never find a spy in the fbi. we don't know the people. even though we know some. we don't know the people and we don't know how the game is played. that does make a big difference. so, yeah, a lot of it is if we could never find a spy working for the chinese. the reason we couldn't do that is we don't know the chinese service. we knew the soviet services. we knew them probably better than almost any individual working in them. and you have to -- at times you have to think like the opposition. it's that old story, anybody -- there are a number of you here who saw george c. scott in
8:57 am
patton, when he said, rommel, you s.o.b., i read your book, and that's really what it is. that's part of it. anymore questions? >> one more. >> if all this evidence and he was convicted -- i have to say this rhetorically. why was he given life instead of the death penalty? sandra: a good question. that all that was on the federal books. at the time, and i think this went back -- i am not positive but i think this went back years to frank church, the church committee. i think that's what it was, and i think it was death only in times of war, and might not even have been that. however, what did happen because of ames, the death penalty was
8:58 am
put back on the books, and robert hansen faced death, but instead i think he got something even worse. he went to supermax in colorado. bad place. that's the reason. >> was rosario a spy? and if not, what was she convicted of? sandra: i had to look this up. all honesty. rosario was convicted of two things, espionage was one. and income tax evasion was the other. [laughter] andra: she signed those 1040s. she did not know rick was spying until about a year -- their stories match on this one -- until about a year and a half before he was arrested. she found some note that it was
8:59 am
obvious this was -- this had to do with the soviets. however, as it -- always said, she never once asked one question about the thousands of dollars, the bags bags of cash in the garage, and she spent every single cent she could. [laughter] sandra: so, it's my personal opinion, those guys having to listen to those taps, something was going o happen to her. but that's the reason she got the five years. okay? thank you, guys, for coming. [applause] >> thank you very much, sandy will be up here. she is happy to sign copies of her book, which are for sale if you don't have one, at the cash register at the front. thanks again. sandra: thank you.
9:00 am
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> american history tv is in prime time this week starting at a pm eastern. monday night on the national constitutional center in philadelphia, discussions on landmark supreme court cases, t versusg morama
9:01 am
the united statess and brownu versus board of education. tuesday night, the life and influence of buffalo bill cody on the 100th anniversary of his death. the 60th night, anniversary of little rock central high school's integration with bill clinton -- on wednesday night. thursday night, a discussion on the lead up in response to the 1957 forced a desegregation of little rock central high school and friday night, from american historytv's oral series, interview with prominent photojournalists with documented major events throughout american history. watch american history tv this week in prime time on c-span 3. on american history tv, descendents and participants in landmark supreme court cases and one commissioner talk about the decisions legacies. here's a preview. >> i want everybody to
9:02 am
understand, you know, we do not have to like everybody. not every black person likes every black person. the problem is you do not have a right to act on it. you do not have to like me, you do not have to live down the street from me, but you have no right to decide, and to violate my rights as an individual citizen. don't get us wrong. this is not a kumbayah. everybody has still love everybody. there is that human tendency to prejudge but you do not have the right to act on it, absolutely not. >> i'd like to add that we need to learn to respect our differences. and to appreciate them, because once you understand, you know, about each other, then you are going to have a better sense of yourself. go home and ask about your own story. the struggles of your family and where they came from. most of us were immigrants. and have the history.
9:03 am
unless you are indigenous and native american. and so, once you understand other people, your own, story you can appreciate other people's stories. but respect. what my father said along this line is to stand up for what is right. violence.ut not with otherwise, they will not listen to you. but don't be afraid to speak up. the entire discussion on the legacies of supreme court landmark cases hosted by the national constitution center in philadelphia monday at 8 p.m. here on american history tv, only on c-span 3. on afterwards. radio host charles sykes discusses his book "how the right lost its mind."
9:04 am
he's interviewed by tammy bruce. >> donald trump represented something. he certainly represented the finger from voters to the establishment. but if you really wanted to deal with some of these issues, you would have gone with a marco rubio or a ted cruz and they didn't. in terms of communication, yes, he's a master of twitter. liar, was crude, a serial thin-skinned, erratic, he's a fraud. >> not like you have an opinion. >> but this was relatively well-known. and conservatives, who not that long ago used to ouargue role modelent was a have found a way to rationalize the behavior of somebody who insults women, mocks the s, paid a mocks pow'
9:05 am
multimillion dollar fine to defrauding students. >> watch afterwards tonight at 9 p.m. on c-span 2's book tv. the monument site overlooking pierre, south dakota, c-span is spending time here. the verendrye brothers were the first europeans to explore the area. jay: that is the intriguing story, it was not founded until 1915 by schoolchildren and they said, it is lead we can make money from this. they are heading out to the newspaper shop to sell off the lead. they happen to run into a couple of legislators who were in town. as they were showing off what they had found and they realized this is probably something important. the plate, on one side, it is


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on