-9. SPIES in CIA
In November 1996, for the second time in two years, a high-ranking CIA official was arrested for allegedly selling United States intelligence information to Russia. The FBI apprehended Harold J. Nicholson, who joined the CIA in 1980, and accused him of spying for Russia since 1994. According to the FBI, Nicholson sold the names of CIA agents operating in Russia to the Russian government. The motivation for Nicholson's betrayal, they believed, was purely monetary and was in no way ideologically charged. Nicholson was the highest ranking CIA official ever to be arrested for espionage. The most shocking aspect of his case was the fact that he began spying for Russia less than two weeks after another high-ranking CIA official, Aldrich Ames, had been arrested for serving as a Russian spy throughout the 1980s. The CIA estimated that the damage to United States intelligence work done by Nicholson, who had been under secret investigation since 1995, was considerably less than that done by Ames, who divulged information that compromised dozens of CIA operations and cost the lives of numerous agents. One indicator of the extent of the damage caused by the two spies, and of the changing times in the espionage game, could be gauged by their payoffs; whereas Nicholson had been paid an estimated $120,000 by Russian intelligence services, Ames reportedly received more than $2 million from the Soviets.
According to the passage, it is clear that Harold J. Nicholson gave information to the Russian government ........ .
because he had been ill-treated at work
because he was supporting the communist cause
merely for the £120.000 they paid him
in return for over S2 million dollars
to save the lives of several CIA agents
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