CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnT H E SPYING O F CIA operativernAldrich Hazen Ames and his wife Mariarndel Rosario Casas Ames—who havernbeen accused by the FBI of working forrnthe Soviets and later the Russians—isrnsignificant for reasons that have escapedrnthe Establishment press. RepublicanrnSenator Dole and Democratic SenatorrnDeConcini and many others shouldrnthink twice before denouncing the manifestrnincompetence of a federal agency,rnthe gross treachery of Mr. and Mrs.rnAmes against the nation, or the regressiverndeceptions practiced by a “new”rnRussia.rnNever mind that the CIA let Amesrnsell his country down the river for nearlyrna decade, as he betrayed numerousrnSoviet “assets” to their death. Duringrnthis same period, the CIA missed thernbreakup of the Soviet Union and the attemptedrncoup against Yeltsin. Whateverrnthe mission of the CIA is, providingrnintelligence is not it. For that, we havernCNN, which was how the White Housernfound out about Russia’s involvementrnin the Bosnia mess. Boris wouldn’t answerrnthe phone.rnNever mind that the SVRR (formerlyrnthe KCB) runs spy networks in our country,rneven penetrating our counterintelligence.rnSince our “assets” in Russia werernpaid to betray their country, whatrngrounds do we have for complaint? Wernpaid the Soviet double agents, paidrnAmes to control them, paid his salaryrnwhile he betrayed them, and helpedrnfund Russia as its government paid himrnsome more—but this is not a newrnsituation.rnSince the American people have sornoften been told about the benignity ofrnBoris Yeltsin and the Russian yearningrnfor McDonald’s, Pepsi, and MichaelrnJackson, an unpleasant and inappropriaternreaction would be extreme and irresponsible.rnPresident Clinton and RobertrnStrauss and others have already sagelyrncalled for a steady course, continuing tornprovide foreign governments with moneyrnthat is then used to subvert the Americanrnpeople who provided the funds.rnThe American government and the Russianrngovernment have the same policy,rnproving that they have more in commonrnwith each other than they do with thernconstituencies they affect to representrnand serve. Don’t rock the boat.rnAmerica’s foreign policy is foreign inrnmore than one sense; indeed, its domestiernpolicy is foreign as well. It’s ratherrnconfusing to impute treachery to a manrnwhose job it was to supervise therntreacheries of others. Besides, what countryrndid Ames betray? Since we havernporous borders, it’s hard to say who is arncitizen and who is not, and thereforernhard to say that the United States is literallyrna nation. The GATT and NAFTArnagreements indicate that the governmentrnregards foreign lobbyists and notrnthe American people as its constituency.rnWhy should we withhold from hostilernnations what we grant to rootless andrnexploitative corporations?rnThe American government has longrnknown better than the people uponrnwhom it battens. Franklin D. Roosevelt,rnfor instance, knew quite well thatrnthe “Man Called Intrepid,” WilliamrnStephenson, was spying on AmericarnFirsters before Pearl I larbor. That Presidentrnhad no problem with foreignrnagents—British ones, in this case—rninterfering in his country. Maybe thatrnwas because he knew he would laterrnbetray Britain.rnOne unfortunate by-product of thernAmes ease—as Wolf Blitzer has impliedrn—has been to derail the ponderousrnmovement to pardon Jonathan JayrnPollard, the Navy intelligence analystrnwho was sentenced to life in prison inrn1987 for passing secrets to Israel, is mostrndistressing. The Clinton administrationrnhad recently floated balloons about arnpardon for Pollard, fulfilling a commitmentrnmade during the 1992 campaign.rnThe Israeli head of state, furnishing arnnew definition of chutzpah, actuallyrnwrote to Clinton asking for such a pardon,rnand there have been well-publicizedrnAmerican petitions seeking such arnpardon. After all, the country Pollardrnsold secrets to is our ally, so what’s thernproblem? Don’t we want Israel to knowrnwhat it needs to know? Of course, the Israelirnspy network in the United States isrnsecond only to Russia’s in size and seriousness,rnand that is not surprising, sincernboth of them have been subvented byrnAmerican money. One hand washes thernother. Seymour Hersh convincingly arguesrnthat some of the material Pollardrnshowed to Israel was then passed by Israelrnto the Soviets. You might say thatrnAmes, by dealing directly with Russia,rnonly cut out the middleman. SincernAmes is accused of doing somethingrnsimilar, and since calls for Pollard’s pardonrnhave already been floated by therngovernment that he betrayed as well asrnby the government that recruited himrnand lied about it, I don’t think it’s toornearly to call for a pardon of Ames—andrnhis spouse. After all, no one wishes tornhear nasty taunts like “Who does Russiarnthink she is— Israel?” Actually, a Russianrndiplomat said something similar onrnCNN: If Israel could do it, why couldn’trnRussia? Aren’t we all allies now?rnOf course we arc. That’s why myrnforthright and preemptive call for a pardonrnof the Ameses will be supported nationally.rnIt wouldn’t do to single out thernAmeses for punishment while pardoningrnPollard. Pardoning the Ameses would establishrna sure basis for pardoning Pollard,rnwhich is obviously a national as wellrnas international priority, though not onernthat President Clinton is in a position tornact on—yet. Anyway, why withhold aidrnfrom Russia for spying on us with ourrnown money, when we’ve opened the nationalrncoffers to Israel for doing thernsame? The only fair thing—fair to Russia,rnfair to Israel, fair to Pollard, and fairrnto Mr. and Mrs. Ames—is to pardon everybodyrnand then to pretend that nothingrnever happened. That way there willrnbe no embarrassment, and the money tornfinance more extractions of intelligencernfrom our country will continue to flow tornRussia and Israel. That way we can givernup the exhausting pretense that thernUnited States has a national interest orrnthat, if we do, the government knowsrnwhat it is. And that way Russia and Israelrnwill have as much money and even morernintelligence than we do (as if that werernnot already demonstrated), thus relaxingrninternational tensions.rnA pardon for Ms. Ames will even robrnthe horde of feminist commentators ofrntheir fodder, since Lorena Bobbitt has alreadyrnproved that a Latin woman can’trnbe convicted of anything if she cries onrnthe witness stand. A pardon for bothrnshe and her husband will also show thatrnif greed justifies the betrayal of the nationrnby corporate lobbyists, then thernfranchise can be extended. Finally, arnpardon for Ames will assure at least onernperson that Rick Ames is not lonely.rn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn