Who was the highest-ranking American ever recruited as a mole by the Russian Intelligence Service?


Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Whalen. When Whelan was arrested by the FBI in 1962, he was Intelligence Adviser to the Army Chief of Staff-- one of the highest intelligence positions in the country. As Intelligence Adviser, he had "need to know" access to virtually whatever intelligence was relevant to the Joint Chief of Staff's planning and allocation of military forces, including communications and electronic intelligence-gathering. He had also served since 1957 as deputy chairman of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency, which, among other tasks, assessed secret nuclear and ballistic intelligence received from scientists. During most of that period, he held a third surreptitious position as a paid mole for the Russian Intelligence Service. He had been compromised and recruited in the mid 1950s for the Russian Intelligence Service by Colonel Sergei Edemski in Washington. At that time, he worked for the Foreign Liaison Service at the Pentagon. After being caught, he admitted passing documents that revealed some of America's most carefully guarded secrets, including the deployment of US nuclear weapons and the US retaliation strategy. He was convicted and, because of his cooperation, was given a relatively light sentence. He served six years in a federal prison before being paroled.

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