To the extent that I considered the personal burden of harming the people who had trusted me, plus the Agency, or the United States, I wasn't processing that.
The human spy, in terms of the American espionage effort, had never been terribly pertinent.
Let's say a Soviet exchange student back in the '70s would go back and tell the KGB about people and places and things that he'd seen and done and been involved with. This is not really espionage; there's no betrayal of trust.
The use of the polygraph has done little more than create confusion, ambiguity and mistakes.
The FBI, to its credit in a self-serving sort of way, rejects the routine use of the polygraph on its own people.
I'm a traitor, but I don't consider myself a traitor.
The resistance of policy-makers to intelligence is not just founded on an ideological presupposition. They distrust intelligence sources and intelligence officials because they don't understand what the real problems are.
I handed over names and compromised so many CIA agents in the Soviet Union.
I found that our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union.
Historians don't really like to carry on speculative debates, but you could certainly argue that the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was extremely, extremely low.
Foreign Ministry guys don't become agents. Party officials, the Foreign Ministry nerds, tend not to volunteer to Western intelligence agencies.
I knew quite well, when I gave the names of our agents in the Soviet Union, that I was exposing them to the full machinery of counterespionage and the law, and then prosecution and capital punishment.
Deciding whether to trust or credit a person is always an uncertain task.
Espionage, for the most part, involves finding a person who knows something or has something that you can induce them secretly to give to you. That almost always involves a betrayal of trust.
By the late '70s I had come to question the point of a great deal of what we were doing, in terms of the CIA's overall charter.
I saw a limit to what I was giving as kind of a scam I was running on the KGB, by giving them people that I knew were their double agents fed to us.
My little scam in April '85 went like this: Give me $50,000; here's some names of some people we've recruited.
The national security state has many unfair and cruel weapons in its arsenal, but that of junk science is one which can be fought and perhaps defeated.
You might as well ask why a middle-aged man with no criminal record might put a paper bag over his head and rob a bank. I acted out of personal desperation.
I came into the Agency with a set of ideas and attitudes that were quite typical of people coming into the Agency at that time. You could call it liberal anti-communism.
The only thing I ever withheld from the KGB were the names of two agents whom I personally had known and handled and had a particular feeling for.
The Soviet Union did not achieve victory over the West, so was my information inadequate to help them to victory, or did it play no particular role in their failure to achieve victory?
When Reagan was elected, I felt that the Agency had gone much more into the service of a political tendency in the country with which I had already felt very strong disagreement.
I could have stopped it after they paid me the $50,000. I wouldn't even have had to go on to do more than I already had: just the double agents' names that I gave.
The difficulties of conducting espionage against the Soviet Union in the Soviet Union were such that historically the Agency had backed away from the task.
Follow AzQuotes on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Every day we present the best quotes! Improve yourself, find your inspiration, share with friends