Although the CIA would like to learn more from Aldrich Ames, the veteran intelligence officer convicted of selling secrets to Moscow, he no longer is cooperating with agency debriefers seeking to assess the damage he caused, U.S. officials say.
Ames last met with the debriefers in mid-November, although the CIA still had questions it wanted him to answer, said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday.Ames is being held in the maximum security facility at Allenwood Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. He has completed one year of a life sentence with no possibility of parole. His nearly nine years of acting as the Soviet KGB's mole inside the CIA caused the deaths of at least 10 U.S.-paid agents and exposed dozens of operations.
Ames was extensively debriefed in the weeks immediately after his conviction on espionage charges in April 1994, but last fall he refused to continue helping the CIA piece together a picture of the damage his spying caused.
Dave Christian, a CIA spokesman, said the agency's damage assessment is "far along" and should be completed this fall. Although officials had intended to question Ames further, "they don't feel that follow-up sessions are essential," he said.
Christian said the CIA's team of debriefers spent about 200 hours with Ames before he stopped the sessions. "Given Ames' current attitude, the team is not sure they could put a lot of stock in his answers at this point, anyway," he added.