06:00:51 INT: I'll re-put, slightly more neatly, to encourage you to be neat, the point that I was making, which was: do you think that we throw our hands up in horror and reach for the smelling salts because we don't really know how nasty in a way - and I'm not trying to be offensive about intelligence as a whole, but we don't know how nasty some bits of it can be, and that the people who actually live with the nastiness of it, and the betrayals and the deaths that are entailed with that, are used to something and are inured to it, so that the taboo may be very slightly less, and that the general public is as horrified as if we were to walk into an abattoir in a way and say, "We'll eat the steak but we don't want to watch the beasts getting killed," and that we are in effect paying people like you and Polyakov to do things we don't want to do ourselves, and that therefore it's a common language and a common way of behaving?
06:01:45 AA: The proposition that espionage corrupts the people who practice it, or at least corrupts the people who recruit, induce or handle the spies who are betraying their trusts, has a... has a lot of weight to it. I think it is corrupting; it is corrupting for men and women to.. induce and to pander the kinds of betrayals and personal tragedies that result from these betrayals. In any open-eyed view of things, it is corrupting to engage in such activities: corrupting to the person who does it, it's corrupting to the... to the people or institutions who sponsor it. This is why espionage has never been respectable; this is why espionage has always been disreputable, because people instinctively understand it. You know, I don't think the films of James Bond and romantic views of spies have done anything to alter the public revulsion to what espionage really is, any more than you know, people, despite law-and-order, tough-on-crime views are likely to really like the public hangman. that stench is there. And it's deeply compromising to the people in institutions that practice it. But does it lead to a later betrayal? No, I don't think so, I don't think so. I don't think that a KGB officer, a CIA officer, an SIS officer, out pandering to betrayals on the part of the people that he's recruiting and handling - I don't think that the corruption and perversion of ethics, and the way you believe that happens to him, expresses itself in any natural way in a willingness for himself to go out and do it. I don't think so. I think what it does is, it makes a person callused. I mean, I take it for granted that doing these things has to have an effect on you, just as a professional soldier who has overseen the deaths of thousands of people, you know, for this great cause, as his professional duty, it has an effect on him. It doesn't turn him into a sadistic killer, or at least for most it doesn't (Laughs) but it has a deeply forming and shaping effect on character. And I'll just have to leave for others to try and figure that out. ... I think that it doesn't translate into repeating of betrayal - in other words, you've gotten so many people to betray things, so it makes you more likely. It may make you less likely, for all ... I mean, I can't see that... I think that... why have so few CIA officers, relatively speaking, volunteered to an opposition service? I mean, I could sit and think of a million speculative reasons, and try and weight them all and come up with an order of priority. Why did so many KGB officers do it? Why did so few Foreign Ministry officers do it? There are other things operating here.
INT: I've got some bits of the story I need to go back to, but that's OK. I wanted to go on to that point which is an interesting one, which is the point when you realize that... we touched on this earlier in a way; we didn't take it to its conclusion... Instead of taking the names and actually being very careful, demoting, moving people around, putting them in charge of the waterworks in Sverdlovsk, or whatever the hell they should have done - prosecute one or two, bug their friends and wait till they trip themselves up, blah blah blah - they roll them up, and the CIA of course becomes immediately aware that there's a problem. They don't know what the problem is, they don't know that it's a human problem, and of course a mammoth operation, which is reinvigorated for periods of time, and falls into abeyance, and so on and so forth, takes nine years to grind exceedingly fine... Now can you tell us what your feelings were when you realized that the CIA knew that they had this problem, because this is a problem that was laid, as it were... you knew was in fact being laid at your door, and that a knock on your door, an unpleasant phone call, and the handcuffs were just a moment away. I mean...
06:07:53 AA: In early autumn of 1985, I'd left my job in the counterintelligence branch, and was outside the headquarters building; I was at our language school, learning Italian. And traditionally, at the end of the week, the language students would go back to headquarters and, you know, visit the offices that they came from, or sit and read stuff at the desk for their future assignment, to get up to speed, and things like that. And of course, that's what I did. And in so doing, I would hear a little bit, because compartmentation is reasonably well practiced. Well, let's put it this way: by Agency terms compartmentation is quite well practiced within the Soviet division. But even so, I would go back to my old office and talk to the people that I knew there, and would hear ... you know, because some of it hit the newspapers, that some of these operations had been compromised, and I found myself definitely wondering what was going on, because it was contrary to my expectations. I had expected a much lower key, and transferring people to Sverdlovsk and what not, just kind of generally defusing it. So I was so surprised. By the spring, I was seriously worried because I had heard enough bits and pieces to realize that a lot was going on. and of course, then I was called in for a polygraph examination, a routine one, so far as I knew. and of course, my passing that polygraph test gave me a big... at least a big temporary boost in confidence because I knew that I had to be on any shortlist of people on the cases at that point, so having passed the polygraph made me feel much more confident. When I got to Rome, and when I finally had a meeting the following fall the first words out of my KGB contact's mouth were apologies for ... saying that, you know, "We wouldn't have done it for the world, but we had no choice. It was handed down that it had to be done this way." And, perhaps as much a matter of just my personality and my intellectual style as anything else, I immediately felt that I saw the reasons why it certainly could have worked out that way, and I had no great complaint against the KGB. I felt that, you know, these are the risks I signed up for, just as any defector, any KGB defector or volunteer who had heard just the wrong thing in the halls, could... you know, I could get called home because of some story about my sister being sick or something, and that would be the end of it. This was the solid drift for nine years, knowing that it could happen that way any time, and that there was no conceivable way I could know.
INT: ... I mean, it was a professional counterintelligence officer, and you knew, presumably, some of the personalities involved in this long-running hunt, which you must have known at some point became a mole-hunt rather than a technical hunt or...
INT: ... you know, whatever. And I presume that at a certain point you realized that old answers were not going to work, that Lonetree was not going to be the explanation for this particular fit of cases going bad.
INT: Did you take a guess in your own mind as to whether or not you were cacheable? Because one of the things, I think, about this mole hunt wasn't it the case that nobody had ever actually done this sort of thing before, where they'd actually sat down virtually with a blank sheet of paper and found the mole. So did you feel reasonably safe, or did you think that "Jeanne is quite a persistent woman, and it's only a matter of time?" Or how did you...
06:12:42 AA: (Overlap) Well, I had very great respect for Jeanne, and for several of the other people involved in that project, whom I knew quite well and... but I believed... there's a rational component and an irrational component there. The rational component was simply the fact that so much time had gone by... the institutional or bureaucratic and legal barriers to an effective investigation seemed to me to be so high that there was unlikely to be any effective outcome to an investigation. That's the rational level, and it clearly has its limits. On the irrational level, I had deceived myself by that time, into a feeling of false confidence, based largely on not wanting to take the actions which a serious alertness and sense of danger would have impelled me to take. I should have retired in 1991, when I was able. I wasn't going to get promoted, I wasn't going to be the division chief - I should have just retired. But I was interested in a lot of the work I was doing, having fun, feeling rather productive, as a matter of fact;, and a whole lot of personal reasons as to what to do, where... what am I going to do when I retire, da-dum ta-tum - problems like that. So I was disinclined to disturb the status quo, which I irrationally deceived myself into thinking was the status quo, and things would be fine. ... you know, defect - you know, I mean, if I seriously... if I had ever... let's see... at any point after about 1991, if I had sat back and seriously analyzed, thought about, totted up all the signals available to me, there's no question, I would have had to disappear - and it could have been done, easily. But... these irrational components, or these delusions, are part of the whole scheme of things. Just as we've talked several times about the parallels; there really aren't many serious parallels between myself and General Polyakov, just as I'm sure General Polyakov, in his happy retirement, had considered himself as Sandy considered him: home free.
INT: ... I'll be quite frank with you: the reason why I again wanted to discuss Bogota is that we just happened, by one of those strange little bits of coincidence and chance, to have been given a bit of film of you in Bogota...
06:16:23 AA: Which bit of film would this be?
INT: ... which comes from the FBI.
AA: Oh, this is their attempt at surveillance?
INT: This is their attempt at surveillance, where you're seen pacing up and down in what looks like a shopping mall, or outside a bowling alley or something.
06:16:38 AA: It's a bowling alley in a large (Overlap) mall...
INT: (Overlap) Have you seen that footage?
AA: Yes, I have.
INT: I'd really quite like to use that piece of film, because it's...
AA: (Overlap) It's spy stuff.
INT: It's a very rare (Overlap) (bit of?) story, where there's actually something to see, and you're there in period. But in order to make use of it, I need you to talk about it, in as succinct - to use the word - way as possible. I presume you remember the walk... do you?... I mean, maybe you [AA says, "Sure."] don't remember walking (out there?), but could you talk to me about that, and why you were there, and the doing of it? Because it fleshes out something to do with actually... had you gone there to meet somebody, or...? I know it's rather banal... (Overlaps)... and sort of philosophical matters as well as serious and emotional ones. This is almost a practical one, that you went to Bogota... tell me.
06:17:36 AA: Well, it's quite simple. I had several personal meetings in Bogota, because I had.. decent cover for personal travel to Bogota. and the meetings were pre-set in terms of day and time of day, and the initial contact location, outside the bowling alley in a large mall in Bogota. So the drill simply called for me to show up in this location... and for my KGB contact to show up, after which, having established that we were each there, I would follow him outside and he would lead me to the car, he would get in the car, I would get in the car, long counter-surveillance run in the car, and to a meeting site to the Soviet Embassy in Bogota. on this particular occasion, the FBI surveillance had the heavy surveillance had begun some time before, and they knew I was going to Bogota, and they suspected, they had good reason to think that I might meet the KGB there. So I presume the FBI illegally infiltrated their surveillance team into Colombia to try and record that meeting, that initial contact, because it would make evidence for a prosecution. And they set it up very nicely. I was reasonably alert, but I didn't see the surveillance, though of course... you know, I was under surveillance for I suppose a good 9-10 months before my arrest, and I did a lot of operational activity, like meetings and dead drops, and this, that and the other thing. And I suppose it was frustrating for the FBI, because they were scared to death of me seeing the surveillance, so they had to stay way back. As a result, they never saw me doing anything; they had no evidence of any operational activity on my part, which is a very interesting topic. And the same thing happened in Bogota: they had no evidence of operational activity. They had me walking up and down in front of a bowling alley, and that was it. And it wasn't until after my arrest, and I was being debriefed by them under the terms of my play agreement, that I was able to tell them, you know, what had apparently happened then, which was that I had mistaken the time of the meeting, and so, on that first night on the primary date I showed up an hour late, so the KGB contact was there at, I guess, let's say 6, and he's not going to hang around, so he left, and I showed up at 7, and that was that. And... then, on the alternate date, the next night, I got the hour straight, and we had a meeting, but the FBI was, I think, reluctant... I haven't really talked to them about this in this way, but I assume the FBI was just terribly reluctant to set up the counter-surveillance a second time, that the dangers of it being spotted were just too great a second time.