Date: Sun Feb 27 1994 09:21:10 To: All Subj: Ames Passed Polygraph POLITICS - As seen on a

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Date: Sun Feb 27 1994 09:21:10 From: Thomas Yoha To: All Subj: Ames Passed Polygraph POLITICS ------------------------------- As seen on a wire service Saturday, February 26, 1994; Report: Ames Passed Polygraph Test WASHINGTON-5:16 PM (ET) 2/24/94-Accused CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames passed agency polygraph tests twice during the time he is suspected of working for Moscow, and the Senate Intelligence Committee plans to review the agency's internal security procedures, officials said today. Meantime, the CIA suspects that secrets allegedly sold by the former counterintelligence officer led to the deaths of at least 10 Soviets working for US intelligence, according to 1 official familiar with CIA and FBI briefings to the House and Senate intelligence committees. In an effort to detect traitors, the CIA tries to administer polygraph tests every 5 years to its employees, but there have been backlogs. Ames, alleged to have worked for the Soviets and then the Russians from 1985 until his arrest Monday, was tested on schedule without his spying being discovered, according to a government official who declined to be identified by name. Those tests occurred in 1986 and 1991, according to another official. "Doesn't the machine work? Or is it that easy to beat?" asked a congressional official who had been advised that Ames' passed the tests. "That's one area the Senate Intelligence Committee will be looking at." One of the government officials said successful polygraphing depends on the questions. "They ask you if you are a spy. It's about that blunt," said the congressional official. This official said the committee also has questions about CIA and FBI cooperation on the case. CIA Director James Woolsey and Attorney General Janet Reno have hailed the cooperation, but Reno said today she did not know how well they worked together before her arrival last year. Cooperation has been fine the past couple years, the congressional official said, but the government doesn't have a clear idea of the investigative effort from 1986-91, a period when Ames far outspent his salary. Government sources have said the Ames investigation began 2 years ago, but suspicion that a Soviet mole had penetrated US intelligence was aroused in 1985, the year ex-CIA agent Edward Howard defected to the Soviet Union while under FBI surveillance. The Senate panel also wants more information about exactly how and when Ames was recruited by the Soviets, including any role his wife may have played. In August 1985, Ames married Maria del Rosario Casas. When he was stationed in Mexico City during 1981-83, she was a cultural attache there for Colombia, her native land, and a paid CIA source. Her attorney, William Cummings, said she is "devastated by the distortions, out-of-context, selected statements and alleged quotations in the government's affidavit along with the subsequent press coverage." Cummings statement did not address a report by a government official that she had begun cooperating after her arrest Monday. Ames' attorney, Plato Cacheris, said Ames was not talking with authorities. Cacheris visited Ames in custody yesterday. A hearing on the couple's continued detention without bail was postponed until Tuesday. Shortly after the arrests, the CIA informed Congress it had reason to believe Ames' alleged disclosures had led to the deaths of 10 US agents, according to another congressional official. "We've been given a number, but at the same time we've been told the damage assessment is just starting" and the death figure could go higher. This official cautioned that it had not been made clear that the link between Ames and the deaths could be proved. In Moscow, Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Yuri Kobaladze told the AP the reports of 10 deaths were "speculations." "There have been cases of intelligence officials who have spied for the US and were unmasked and sentenced to death by firing squad," Kobaladze said. Asked whether there have been 10 such cases, he answered, "Certainly not." On Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Warren Christopher rejected calls in Congress to suspend US aid to Russia over the Ames incident. "American assistance is not charity," Christopher said. "We do it because it is in the interest of the US" to promote political, economic and foreign policy reform in Russia. "Don't act shocked that there are spies in the world," Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a Senate speech urging continued Russian aid. "I hope if there are other Russian spies in the country, and I fully expect there are, that we can catch them soon." The Vermont Democrat chairs a foreign aid appropriations subcommittee. Senate Republican leader Bob Dole of Kansas had called for a halt to aid to Moscow unless the Russians cooperate in the Ames prosecution. The Clinton administration is still awaiting a reply from Moscow to its demand that Russia recall intelligence officials in the US who dealt with Ames. "If they don't take action, we will," White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers has said. (From The Associated Press)


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