See, that's the things about spies, some of them don't get known to be spies until after the fact.
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Be wary, dear reader, life isn't always rainbows and butterflies.
Crimethinc.com Security Culture.
Spycraft: The subterranean lives of heroes and traitors
WHAT MAKES THE SPY TICK?
In a book seriously devoted to undercover agents and the repercussions of their actions, the question merits some consideration.
Despite the complexity we find in human affairs, spycraft is an occupation with a rather narrow range of causality, aptly summed up by the pros in the mnemonic “MICE”.
Indeed, a surprising number of spies and defectors seem motivated by nothing loftier than money (the “M” in the acronym).
Many more, of course, join up out of idealism (the “I”), of which “patriotism”—so often a primal, manipulated emotion rooted in tribalism—could be regarded as a bastardized subset.
Others—as the record shows—have been recruited through coercion (the “C”), following entrapment or sexual blackmail, or by threats to their families or friends.
Still others join for personal reasons (ego, the closing “E”)— such as racism, revenge for crimes inflicted or imagined, thirst for adventure, and, in a significant percentage, silent disenchantment with a given ideology.
Some spies naturally incorporate in their makeup a combination of several factors.
In this framework no segment seems to have had an uncontested superiority in terms of productivity, albeit steadfastness has normally been the province of idealists.
Still, while lacking the possibly redeeming rationale of those who betray out of principle, the mercenary crowd has left a heavy imprint on history.
Elyesa Bazna (incarnated by James Mason in the memorable thriller 5 Fingers), an intrepid Albanian working as a valet for the British ambassador in Turkey during WWII sold critical secrets to the Germans.
The material was so sensitive that, had the Nazis acted on the information, the allies would have paid a much higher price to defeat Hitler.
And Bazna was hardly the only one risking his life for money in that conflict.
With the start of the Cold War, new opportunities opened for those who saw the selling of key secrets as a fast track to a hefty bank account.
CIA operative Aldrich Ames, one of the most prolific, specialized in selling the identities of CIA agents placed within the KGB to the KGB. He reputedly betrayed no less than 100 agents.
Matching Ames’ industriousness, Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent, spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years (1979 to 2001).
During his espionage career Hanssen compromised scores of investigations and operations, including the surveillance of suspected mole Felix Bloch.
And then there was Navy communications officer John Walker, Jr. who in 1967 snuck into the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., and offered to sell secrets.
He then handed over settings for the KL-47 cipher machine, which decoded sensitive US Navy messages.
His motivations were strictly financial, and he proved to be a screaming bargain: over the next 17 years, Walker gave the KGB the locations of all American nuclear submarines, as well as the procedures the US would follow to launch nuclear missiles at the Soviet Union in the event of war.
The Soviets also learned the locations of underwater microphones tracking Soviet nuclear submarines.
Moreover, KGB agents learned every American troop and air movement to Vietnam from 1971-1973, and they passed this on to their allies, including the planned sites and times for U.S. airstrikes against North Vietnam.
According to Vitaly Yurchenko, a KGB defector, “It was the greatest case in KGB history.
We deciphered millions of your messages.
If there had been a war, we would have won it.”
This story goes on at some length.
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