(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has frozen U.S.-Russian relations. The Cold War spy wars never ended for some CIA and FBI veterans.
During the 1980s, the final decade of the Cold War, three Americans who spied for the Soviet Union — CIA officers Edward Lee Howard and Aldrich Ames and FBI agent Robert Hanssen — helped Moscow identify, arrest, imprison, or execute most Soviet agents who were secretly spying for the U.S. CIA agent losses left Moscow in the dark for years. Ames and Hanssen were eventually caught and jailed; Howard defected to Moscow and died in 2002.
Now there’s evidence of a fourth uncaught American spy. A mole hunt for the “fourth man,” a suspected CIA officer, began in the 1990s, but no one has been arrested or charged. “The Fourth Man,” a new book by former CIA officer Robert Baer, will be released Tuesday.
The story of the CIA double agent who escaped may sound like unfinished Cold War business. But it’s looking like the fourth man mystery is more historical than a spy story. It’s part of how America missed Putin and the KGB’s revival.
In 2003, Baer co-wrote “The Main Enemy” with former CIA officer Milt Bearden and revealed that U.S. officials believe the CIA had a “fourth man.” Baer has provided new details about the case, including a KGB agent’s role in informing the CIA about the fourth spy.
A former FBI counterintelligence agent involved in the investigation, Jim Milburn, said he believes there’s a fourth man. Everything points to a fourth man. John Lewis, former FBI assistant director for national security, agreed. The others couldn’t explain many things.
The “fourth man” investigation reads like John le Carré’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
In 1988, a CIA officer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, met KGB officer Alexander Zaporozhsky. The CIA codenamed Zaporozhsky “Max.”
Zaporozhsky said the KGB had moles in the CIA and FBI, but he didn’t know their names. The KGB called them “Karat” and “Rubine.”
Zaporozhsky’s information about two moles came before the CIA or FBI were convinced of Moscow’s double agents. Before Zaporozhsky, there were devastating CIA Russian agent losses. Baer writes that the theory lacked airtight evidence.
Baer writes that Zaporozhsky’s evidence led to Ames and Hanssen. He calls Zaporozhsky the CIA’s most important Russian spy. Zaporozhsky also told the CIA about a higher-ranking KGB mole than Ames. Americans called it the “big case.”
Zaporozhsky’s information led to Ames’ 1994 arrest and charge of spying for Moscow.
After Ames’ arrest, the CIA created a new counterintelligence team to investigate any losses not explained by Ames or Howard, who defected to Moscow in 1985. Baer says Laine Bannerman, Diana Worthen, and MaryAnn Hough were on the team.
They sifted through old tips, leads, and other evidence about compromised agents and operations Ames and Howard couldn’t explain. They eventually believed there were two more moles. Hanssen was arrested in 2001 based on evidence.
Baer’s book reveals the team believed there was a fourth mole, like Zaporozhsky. One of the now-retired CIA investigators, Worthen, confirmed this.