They Wouldn't Know a Mole If It Bit Them

Classified reports show how ineptly the CIA handled Aldrich Ames, its most damaging turncoat in decades

As a rookie spy, he left a briefcase stuffed with classified documents on a New York City subway train. He strewed clandestine communications gear around his office, unsecured. He couldn't account for Company money or for himself. His falling-down-drunk episodes were legion, including one at a CIA Christmas party when he had to be carted home. Even when sober, he had incompetence written all over him. A pre-employment psychological assessment found him lacking the people skills essential for spy work. Yet the CIA, desperate for warm bodies during the Vietnam War, hired him anyway. His first boss, the station chief in...

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