Betrayal: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy by Tim Weiner, David Johnston, Neil A. Lewis

By Tim Weiner, David Johnston, Neil A. Lewis

The interior tale of the most important molehunt within the background of yank intelligence: the quest for and discovery through 3 manhattan instances newshounds of Aldrich Ames, who was once paid by way of the Soviets for years to secret agent in the United States.

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76 The eccentric behaviour of the first four spies to be convicted after the foundation of the Secret Service Bureau – Helm, Schultz, Grosse and Graves – makes it easy to underestimate the actual, and still more the potential, threat from German naval espionage. The final cases which came to court before the outbreak of war make clear that the threat was real. The spy trial of Karl Hentschel and George Parrott in January 1913 was the most sensational so far. Hentschel, a former German merchant seaman, was another in the series of criminal adventurers (though with a less well-developed fantasy world than Graves) who were recruited by ‘N’.

By obtaining HOWs on the intermediaries (‘postmen’), Kell was thus able to penetrate much of the network. 52 As well as handling correspondence, Ernst was also used intermittently by Steinhauer to approach disgruntled seamen who, it was hoped, might be persuaded to provide information on the Royal Navy. Some of his other inquiries were more humdrum. Ernst was asked to obtain a Daily Express article on Steinhauer entitled ‘German Spy Bureau. Chief Organizer and How He Works. A Man of Mystery. 53 On at least one occasion intelligence from the ‘letter checks’ almost led to Steinhauer’s capture.

Pfeiffer’, began corresponding with Devlin, who after a month gave his real name, John Hattrick, and his address in Plymouth. At a meeting with Pfeiffer on 16 May, Hattrick, who was a naval deserter, wrote out and signed an agreement undertaking to find out naval and military information as required by the German government. Next day, while inside Devonport dockyard, he was arrested on a charge of attempting to communicate information to a foreign power. 87 On 18 October he travelled to Hamburg to meet his case officer, ‘Richard’, who handed him the then considerable sum of £500.

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