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Betrayal; The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy

Weiner, Tim, Johnston, David, and Lewis, Neil A.

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ISBN 10: 067944050X / ISBN 13: 9780679440505
Published by Random House, New York, 1995
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

viii, 308, [4] pages. Note on sources. List of sources. Index. DJ has some wear and soiling. Signed on half-title by Davis Johnston and Neil Lewis. Tim Weiner (born June 20, 1956) is an American reporter and author. He is the author of four books and co-author of a fifth, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. He is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Weiner worked for the Times from 1993 to 2009 as a foreign correspondent in Mexico, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan and as a national security correspondent in Washington, DC. Weiner won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as an investigative reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, for his articles on the black budget spending at the Pentagon and the CIA. David Johnston and Neil Lewis also were journalists working at The New York Times. Derived from a Kirkus review: An eye-widening look inside one of America's most notorious spy cases. Veteran New York Times reporters Weiner, Johnston, and Lewis portray the CIA as populated by mediocre career bureaucrats more concerned with self-preservation than with doing the organization's legally mandated job. It comes as no surprise that Aldrich Ames, a severely alcoholic, incompetent spook, should have risen to head the counterintelligence branch of the CIA's central Soviet division. Ames sold critical government secrets to the Soviet Union. He turned to a quick source of cash--the KGB--to fund his expensive tastes in clothing, housing, food, drink, and companions during his postings in places like Mexico City and Rome. The information he supplied the Soviets led directly to the destruction of a network of double agents. His treason earned Ames nearly $3 million before his arrest and conviction for espionage in 1994. He was brazenly careless about his new wealth, but the CIA took years to wonder how Ames could afford an expensive home in a Washington, D.C., suburb and frequent weekend trips to Europe, questions that could have been answered ``by the kind of credit check millions of Americans undergo each year.''. Bookseller Inventory # 75296

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Betrayal; The Story of Aldrich Ames, an ...

Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition [stated].

About this title


The inside story of the biggest molehunt in the history of American intelligence: the search for and discovery by three New York Times journalists of Aldrich Ames, who was paid by the Soviets for years to spy in America. 16 pages of photos. Index.


Aldrich Ames, according to this account by a team of New York Times reporters, was an incompetent, office-bound, alcoholic spy in the middle of an undistinguished career. Even so, he was promoted to lead the counterintelligence branch of the CIA's central Soviet division, and there, in 1983, he began calling for the files on every important CIA operation involving Soviet spies in every corner of the world. He sold these files to the Soviets in order to fund tastes not appropriate to his salary; dozens of U.S. operatives were exposed, and many were killed.

Until his arrest and conviction for espionage in 1994, Ames received nearly $3 million for his treason, about which he was quite unsubtle. Yet the CIA took years to wonder why Ames could afford an expensive home in a Washington, D.C., suburb and frequent weekend trips to Europe. The agency was so slow to act, the authors suggest, because its leadership was more concerned with institutional self-preservation than with doing its job properly. This suspenseful book draws on interviews with Ames himself to show that major housecleaning is in order at Langley.

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