Sandy Grimes is a former CIA officer who successfully uncovered Aldrich Ames as one of the most dangerous and notorious traitors inside the CIA at the end of the Cold War. Her book “Circle of Treason” recounts her investigations and has been adapted for the mini-series “The Assets” premiering tonight at 10 pm ET on ABC.

EDIT: I'm now taking your questions! EDIT 2: Thanks for all your questions today!

Comments: 912 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

BlueGreenOrange137 karma

Which mainstream movie gets closest to depicting accurately what it's like working in the CIA?

TheAssetsABC278 karma

While not a mainstream movie, the old PBS series "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" comes the closest to what it was like working in the CIA.

BeatrixVonBourbon127 karma

How ideologically driven was Ames and other defectors? Was it finacial or did they really have loyalty to the USSR?

Secondly, did you ever meet Oleg Gordievsky and what was he like?

TheAssetsABC148 karma

He was not ideologically driven--it was financial.

TheAssetsABC73 karma

And no, I did not meet Oleg.

symes107 karma

Did you ever get to play with cool spying toys? Like pens that were mini cameras and the like? Do you have any favorites?

TheAssetsABC202 karma

Yes! But it was so many years ago that they're probably in museums now. There was the plastic purse with a camera--a fashion faux pas!

joejoesvk107 karma

How did you become CIA agent ?

TheAssetsABC210 karma

I needed a job as I was graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Russian. CIA appeared to be the only possible employer!

joejoesvk37 karma

were paying enough ? And you knew you are going to be spy ?

TheAssetsABC78 karma

When I was recruited, I had no idea where I was going to be assigned at CIA headquarters.

JLJ41091 karma

Did your book have to be cleared by many higher ups before it could be published, if so was there things they made you change, or wouldn't let you include?

Why not answer any questions about snowden?

TheAssetsABC128 karma

Yes, our book had to be cleared by CIA's publications review board. It was a difficult process, which took a little over 3 years. Over 90% of our original material appears in the book. What was deleted, we considered of insignificance.

oh_thetruthhurts87 karma

Any confidential secrets that you would like to share with me? I promise to remain silent :)

TheAssetsABC344 karma

Yes, but I'd have to kill you! :)

NotSureWhatToBe82 karma

What do you believe is a common misconception about your former job?

TheAssetsABC133 karma

That it's always exciting! While there is a great deal of excitement, there are many days of tedium.

josejoe7280 karma

The GMA story said twenty names were given to the KGB, did any of our assets that were not executed make it out?

TheAssetsABC109 karma

Yes, some who were not executed did make it out after serving long prison terms.

Sirlantedise57 karma

How paranoid are some spooks?

TheAssetsABC132 karma

Good spooks are not paranoid. They're thoughtful, thorough, and well-prepared. Paranoia will only get you into trouble!

Parictis47 karma

Was there any pressure to keep this quiet? To deal with it internally, so to say?

TheAssetsABC71 karma

Absolutely not. We wanted our traitor to face justice.

xylocycle35 karma

On which continent has the CIA most successfully advanced US interests since 2000? (Antarctica?)

TheAssetsABC46 karma

I left the CIA in 1994 after Ames' arrest and have no knowledge of CIA activities except what appears in the press.

adamdbomb28 karma

What's the average age of moles in cia or other branches when recruited or hired on? Are moles always foreigners? Are they brainwashed to do this?

TheAssetsABC17 karma

1) There's no average age when somebody decides to commit treason. However, often it will occur in mid-life. 2) Moles aren't always foreigners--obviously Ames was not a foreigner! 3) No one is coerced into committing treason.

RosalindSHH18 karma

What would be your advice for someone wanting to join the CIA?

TheAssetsABC29 karma

My advice is to acquire a foreign language. CIA hires individuals with degrees in many subjects. For detailed information, I'd check their website

jenna23717 karma

Saw you on GMA. That is so cool what you did! For the mini-series, are you involved in any scenes in the show?

TheAssetsABC19 karma

No, I'm not personally involved. I'm portrayed by actress Jodie Whittaker.

TheBigBadDuke1 karma

with "operation paperclip", do you feel that the CIA was shaped with the influx of Nazis into the intelligence community?

TheAssetsABC-3 karma

I have no knowledge of "Operation Paperclip."

TheBigBadDuke2 karma

well here you go. edit: a great book to read is Secret Agenda by Linda Hunt its full of documented information about the whole ordeal.

TheAssetsABC2 karma

Thanks, I'll check it out!

jimjam270 karma

Have you watched "Chuck" ?

TheAssetsABC2 karma

No, I've never watched it. I'm more into sports!