What's your secret?
American Spies presents the stunning histories of more than forty Americans who spied against their country during the past six decades. Michael Sulick, former head of the CIA's clandestine service, illustrates through these stories - some familiar, others much less well known - the common threads in the spy cases and the evolution of American attitudes toward espionage since the onset of the Cold War. After highlighting the accounts of many who have spied for traditional adversaries such as Russian and Chinese intelligence services, Sulick shows how spy hunters today confront a far broader spectrum of threats not only from hostile states but also substate groups, including those conducting cyberespionage.
Sulick reveals six fundamental elements of espionage in these stories: the motivations that drove them to spy; their access and the secrets they betrayed; their tradecraft, i.e., the techniques of concealing their espionage; their exposure; their punishment; and, finally, the damage they inflicted on America's national security.
Not the book. The book is well done and well researched. Many of the criminals described were new to me, the other stories filled in a lot of gaps. Here’s what was disgusting:
1. That so many Americans would betray America to Communist countries. Countries that have killed millions of their own citizens.
2. That people would betray America, endanger the nation, and send American agents in other countries to their deaths for so little. $5000? What is wrong with you.
3. Disgusting because so many of these guys left tell-tale signs of their treason or were outright turned in to the FBI or other agencies and nothing happened for years.
4. And disgusting because the FBI would rather get a conviction than protect the nation. Who cares about evidence or search warrants, when you find these guys, pull them into a cell, beat the truth out of them, and then shoot them and leave their bodies on the doorstep of the Russian embassy.