Spies At an Inquisition

After Ames' arrest, legislators demand that the CIA admit to -- and clean up -- sloppy security procedures

Locked inside the Capitol in room H305, a racquetball-court-size chamber outfitted with eavesdrop-proof paneled walls and soundproof padded doors, the members of the House Intelligence Committee could barely mask their indignation last week as they hurled questions from a horseshoe-shape dais.

How, they demanded, could Aldrich Ames have spied for Moscow since 1985 without detection by his CIA colleagues? Seated at a table below the opening of the curve, Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey parried the questions with candor, defensiveness and anger. Yes, there had been warning signs that Ames might be a problem: a drinking habit, a foreign-born...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!