INT: So when you...
AA: Also, they were in the country black, I assume, you know.
INT: ... So you're walking up and down, you've actually got the time wrong, and you're waiting for a...
INT: Can you tell me... just be explicit about that (Some overlap)... the audience.
06:22:01 AA: (Overlap) Yes, I was walking up and down, wondering what had happened to my KGB contact, who had been there an hour earlier. And such inattention to the tradecraft can be embarrassing... especially to have to say it to you on camera. (Laughs) (Pause) Anthony Blunt would not have approved.
INT: ... Towards the end, did you feel the net closing in, did you get some sense that anything...?
06:22:55 AA: No. No, I didn't. I had a second polygraph examination after I returned from Rome; I had that in '92, and passed that, so I was feeling all right. But, as I say, plenty of things had happened that, had I sat back and assessed them coldly and carefully, would have told me that the net was closing in. But I resolutely refused to perceive anything that would disturb what I felt was the situation I was in.
06:23:36 INT: ... We've talked about this before, but I would like another little go at it, and that is: you give the names very early on, and then - was it? - nine years or something goes by of you continuing to get paid, and plots of land are carved out for you on which dachas are going to be built. And just as a separate thing, can you explain what sort of work you were doing which was earning you big bucks, after the thing for which, if you like, you've become notorious? Because it's a very interesting...
06:24:09 AA: Well in fact the big bucks were not really being earned. As I said, there was not a quid pro quo... I said there was certainly not a horse-trading element to my relationship with the KGB, and there really wasn't a quid pro quo either. Very early on, the KGB said, "Look, we're going to give you this big chunk of money, so you don't have to worry." I said, "Fine." That was the end of it. Most of the money I got after that was drawn from that initial chunk. ... so let's not confuse it with the money, OK?
06:25:01 AA: Now, after I left Washington in '85, I never again had the kind of access to sensitive Soviet operations that I had had before. and this was natural enough. I mean, there are very few jobs that give you that quality of access. While I was in Rome, I had access to a lot of very sensitive other sorts of information, communications information, all kinds of stuff. That was extremely valuable, I presume - I mean, at least the KGB officers I dealt with.. felt that way. this involved material on arms negotiations, State Department traffic and Agency traffic on a whole variety of topics, intelligence assessments of all sorts, and then all kinds of European agent operations, CIA operations all over Europe, because a lot of paper goes back and forth among all the European stations, and so the KGB got a good picture of an awful lot of things for those three years. When I returned to Washington, I got... pretty much the premier job in the division among the Soviet operational branches dealing with outside the Soviet Union. I was in charge of all Soviet and Eastern European operations conducted in Europe, and of course that involved a lot of extremely interesting operational material. Then we reorganized, and I became chief of the new Czechoslovak branch, and so the KGB had a ringside seat as the Wall fell, and afterwards, how the new governments were... what we were doing with them, and how this was all looking. That was very interesting. After that, I went to the Counterintelligence Center, where I took on an analytical job and was doing finished counterintelligence, if you can picture the word, in a DI-ish sense, on the KGB and the Soviet intelligence service that grew into the KGB. And I did a number of studies at that time, and I had access to a lot of Counterintelligence Center information. Then I was offered this jump, because they liked my work (Laughs) in there, and I was offered the job to jump over to the Directorate of Intelligence and to take on a new account they were creating, which was to be the guy to do Yeltsin, to be the analyst who would kind of be in charge of everything to do with Yeltsin. And I was awfully tempted, but at that point the coup attempt occurred, and the chief of the Soviet division asked me to come back to the division and take over the KGB task force, which was to oversee some of the initial liaison with the KGB, its successors, to put a stake through the heart of the old KGB, and so that was very interesting. Then I got sent to the Counter-narcotic Center, and that was a clear sort of.. sidelining of me, but I got really interested in what was happening in the Counter-narcotic Center, and... it's of no interest to this program, but I did a lot of fascinating things, and started up a lot of fascinating things, got into liaison with the Russians and then everybody else, which was real fun. So all through this time I had access to different sorts of information that I assumed was of very high value. And particularly once Mr. Primakov became chief of the... First Chief Directorate's successor, I would assume that Primakov put a considerable emphasis on usefulness of intelligence, the value of intelligence, and making it relevant to policy-makers, and all of that. Mr. Primakov suffers from very bad press in the United States, but I think very unjustly. Where was I on that? What was I saying before I digressed there? ...
INT: I feel you've done it, really, because you've explained very eloquently what you were doing, which is very useful for us because it means that when we use your version of it, or my version of it, you've dealt with this. What about being caught? There's a photograph of you being caught.
06:30:59 AA: Stretched over the top of my car. Not too much to say. Shock, depression, instant recognition, you know. You know, one's life flashes before one.
INT: A sense of relief, inevitability?
06:31:30 AA: Oh, no. (Laughs) No, certainly not. A sense of things coming to an end. But no sense of relief - it's much more painful than that. (Pause) I'm not going to be very forthcoming (Laughs) about this, I'm afraid. I mean, you can try me and see what you get, but... I mean, I'm not trying to blank you off, but I just don't express myself well on things like this.
INT: Do you think that your case... what does it tell us about the Cold War? If we're making a series, which we are, about the Cold War and spying in the Cold War, what is the point of your case? I mean, it's a terribly interesting story from a number of different points of view, and we've discussed them, but in an up-summing sense, what is the relevance of your case, and of what you did, if you like, more than the case, I mean, actually what you did and what you thought, to intelligence, the history of the Cold War, the intelligence part of the Cold War?
06:32:49 AA: Oh, I think it's an excellent example of the meaninglessness...
(Interruption - request for full answer)
06:33:00 AA: I suppose that my case, if it were to exemplify anything about the Cold War, simply exemplifies the meaningless [sic] of espionage and of intelligence generally, to a considerable extent, to the history of the Cold War, to the great events that moved nations and people. That it shows in pretty high relief a lot of the personal tragedies and sufferings that are a consequence of espionage, the moral insensitivities, the moral and ethical insensitivities, the calluses that grow up. A pretty good illustration of all of that.
INT: Do you think that you can hold, as it were in one thought, the idea... I mean by that: is there a paradox... maybe it's simpler... is there a paradox between your judgment that espionage was not that important, and that its product was undervalued, at best...
INT: Overvalued, I'm sorry, overvalued at best... do you think that there's a paradox between that and your own importance, if you like?
AA: To whom?
INT: To the KGB?
06:34:58 AA: No, I don't think there is a paradox in the sense that in trying to take a large view of my case, reduces it to rather petty terms, and the fact that at a certain time and place during a certain period, 1985 to 1994, the KGB, institutionally and many of its officers who were involved, felt that this was an extremely big case, and felt that this was very important, because it was important to them in a variety of ways. And, for example, I've been able to speculate about, you know, the possible political effects, good and bad, on the KGB itself, on the Soviet Union, and all of this, but these are all secondary or ancillary effects to what we're really getting at, and that's why I don't feel there is a big paradox. The effect is you know, the importance of something is assigned externally to it. You know, we're the ones who assign importance to things. I'm the one who assigns importance to my case, or you, or the KGB. A case, an event, a series of events, has no importance in and of itself. It's what we make of them.
INT: Do you think (Overlap)...
AA: (Overlap) I'm not sure that makes any sense...
INT: Well, no, the earlier bit of it was clear, I think. I think it then got a bit. Do you think there's something about secrets. Do you think there's something about secrets... do you think there's something that the people who go in for this business have in common, to do with thepower of the secret?
06:37:12 AA: Well, let's put it this way: it's an esoteric profession, like being a priest, or a military man, or a cop. These are all... you know, all... many professions, almost every human endeavor, has, or perceives itself to have, a special esoteric significance; and of course, espionage is one of those world-class systems of esoteric, of self-designated specialness, uniqueness, dedication, purpose and mission. And the secrecy isn't so much a genuinely independent factor, but it's a marvelously invigorating, aggravating factor, and so any espionage service is going to have a tremendous amount of inwardness and secretiveness and all of that. This goes along, and then you have to put it in mind of the kind of corrupting effects it has. this is why espionage services, in my view... I was beginning to write on this topic just before I was arrested. Some of my stuff is on a disk in the computer the FBI has. Espionage services should really be kept somewhat as the SIS has: small and weak, in bureaucratic institutional terms. The CIA and the KGB are espionage services, the First Chief Directorate and some others, and then the.. CIA's became institutionally large and powerful, and largely self-empowering after a certain point. This is a very bad situation. They should be kept small and weak and powerless. In this way, they would be used only for those things that cannot be otherwise done, are so valuable the risks are worth it. Otherwise you have a hypertrophied sort of institutional monster, and... not staffed by monsters, but the organization itself. And the esoteric, inward-looking nature of the profession is one that doesn't take very well to being bureaucratically expanded. it's best kept in a small... thing.
06:40:26 (Amos. End.)