WASHINGTON — The CIA inspector general has identified more than a dozen active or retired officials who either ignored warnings or overlooked complaints against onetime counterintelligence officer Aldrich H. Ames during the nine years he spied for Moscow, according to sources familiar with the report.
Chiefs, deputies and operating personnel in the Office of Security reportedly come under fire in a 400-page report for their failure to follow up on information about Ames' lavish spending in 1990. The security office's polygraph operation, which passed Ames in 1986 and 1991 despite some indications of deception, was specifically criticized.
Senior officials in the Operations Directorate, either his direct supervisors or managers, also are said to be cited in the report.
The draft report, which is described as "tough" by one person familiar with its contents, is made up of two basic sections. The first is a factual narrative of Ames' 31-year CIA career, exploring particularly the times he was reported for alcoholism, displayed sudden wealth and was identified as having violated agency rules. That history is followed by an analysis of the individual and institutional failures that permitted Ames to carry out his espionage activities undetected for almost a decade.
The draft is being circulated inside the agency for comments from the individuals and offices mentioned. The comments will be reviewed by Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz, who will deliver it shortly to CIA Director R. James Woolsey, sources said.
Woolsey is expected to decide before Sept. 29 what actions need to be taken.
Ames pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to life in prison.