The FSO Isn’t A Punk After All

For some months I’ve seriously disliked our Facility Security Officer, John. I’ve avoided talking to him as much as possible because he’s frequently rude and mouthy. Each day he leaves the building by a side entrance where the smoking area is. We’re usually at break time so about a dozen of us are out there smoking cigarettes or playing hacky-sack. Usually I never said anything to John as he was leaving but something in one of the counterintelligence briefings made me want to ask him some questions. I wanted to know if there was some history behind each one of the main rules we have to abide by. You know, like if someone really did do something that stupid in the past rather than the guidelines just being common sense. We got to talking about it one afternoon and he told me about the Aldrich H. Ames case as a good example of someone who completely fucked up with classified information.

He let me read a copy of the DoD Security Institute’s assessment of Aldrich Ames and I have to admit it was completely disgusting. Ames was working for years at the CIA in their Russian intelligence section. To fund his own greed and that of his wife Ames sold out many of the Soviets who were working for the CIA. Most of them were picked up by the KGB and summarily executed. One of these executions was of a man chained up and lowered alive into a blast furnace. It was filmed and later became a training tool for the KGB on what to do with traitors. Ames went unchecked for far too long in part because his peers at the CIA kept overlooking his security breaches and swept it under the rug because he was a part of the “club.” I had not heard about Ames and I was fascinated with the read. It was actually quite cool of John to let me check it out. I picked up a few books from the library about the case after that and read through them in no time.

A few days later when John was leaving for the day he stopped in front of me in the break area and he tells me about the Walker Spy ring. I had never heard of this, either. From his description it sounded like another really ugly case that went on for far too long. I went to the used book store and found a couple things on it and bought them. Sure enough, the story was pretty bad. John Walker was a guy who started selling information to the Russians as early as 1968. He mainly gave them Navy codes and technical information on our Crypto machines that code and de-code messages. So, from the late 60s until the early 1980s John Walker essentially allowed the Russians to read almost everything the Navy was transmitting. John didn’t stop with his own treachery though. When he got out of the service he ended up recruiting a friend still in the Navy to continue supplying the Crypto codes to the Russians. John Walker also had his son doing some spying and even tried to recruit his own daughter who was in the Army. Totally messed up. Both Ames and Walker were eventually caught, tried, and convicted but the amount of damage they did was extreme.

I’ve been talking much more with John since then and I’m actually starting to like him alot. I think maybe he didn’t want to talk to me before now because he wanted to see if I was gonna last. I think I’ll be here for a while.

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~ by factorypeasant on November 23, 2004.

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