The Most Infamous Spies In U.S. History

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James Bond (aka007) will undoubtedly be the first thing you will think of when the word spy rings in your head. However, this is just a fictional and fantasy work. Despite the security measures put in place by America, being one of the strongest countries globally, it’s no secret it has had its fair share of deadly spies.

Unlike 007, who was the good guy saving people, many of these spies worked to destroy the country and its people. Several duplicitous and traitorous spies have rocked the U.S. in the past. You cannot underestimate the effects of these U.S. Infamous spies. Here is a list of the top ten infamous U.S spies.

staff, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

1. John Walker

The U.S. will never forget the role of John Walker when it comes to revealing the country’s vital information, particularly on naval technology. While he was causing more harm to the U.S., the Union of Soviets was enjoying the services of John Walker.

He was a senior warrant officer in the U.S. navy, and having worked for more than two decades; nobody knew his intentions. During this time, Walker ran a spy ring that supplied the Soviets Union “access to the tactics of navy airborne training, and other vital information.

staff, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Aldrich Ames

While some double agents are concerned about revealing information that can damage the affairs of the government, others may be enthusiastic about harming individuals. Aldrich Ames never had business with the government but instead chose to sell information to the Union of Soviets and Russia for about ten years.

This information revealed saw 12 Americans who acted under pretense working in Moscow exposed. Upon the discovery, they sent these 12 Americans to jail. Many among them were made to face execution. The CIA director in 1994 through the N.Y. Times said, “these men died because a traitor wanted a bigger house and car.”

Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Allan Pinkerton (The Accidental Spy)

Popularly known as “the accidental spy” with the actual name Allan Pinkerton, he began his career as a savvy industrialist and later turned into a spy. Pinkerton somehow came across this vocation while trying to get rid of counterfeits using his detective skills. “The accidental spy” later found out that his detective skills and talents could be of more beneficial use.

This decision led Pinkerton in the year 1850 to establish a detective agency. This helped set his path to play the major role of spying on the confederacy while the civil war took place.

he:משתמש:תמרה Tamar hayardeni, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Jonathan Pollard

Pollard is often referred to as one of the U.S. most notorious two-sided agents who functioned as a cold war spy. Up to this moment, Pollard is known to be a man of legacy with a double standard. To the nation of America, Pollard is referred to as a double legacy man and a traitor, while the nation of Israel regards him as a true soldier, even a hero.

Pollard never swore his allegiance to his country of origin. He began the sales of classified documents to the secret service of Israel in the year 1984.

Image From http://www.lanl.gov/history/wartime/staff.shtml Via Wikicommons

5. Klaus Fuchs (The Bombmaker)

During this period, the Manhattan Project was underway as preparation for World War II. “The Bomb Maker” became a part of the team of scientists carrying out this project for expedition research to manufacture a viable atomic bomb. However, there was a problem as none of these scientists understood Fuchs was Russian spying on them.

In 1949 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British Intelligence began interrogating the bomb maker, which led him to confessions of his identity. Klaus Fuchs was later convicted of trying to obtain information in a two-day trial.

staff, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Public domain

6. David Sheldon Boone

America will not forget Boone as one of the most popular spies in the history of the nation. Boone sold secretive documents of the National Security Agency (NSA) to the Union of Soviets for three years. (1988 to 1991). One of these documents sold to the Soviets Union was a 600-page manual that contained the full description of the reconnaissance of the United States.

It also contained a collection of nuclear targets in Russia. Boone worked in the U.S Army as a signals intelligence analyst. He joined the NSA as a cryptologic traffic analyst in 1985, giving him access to this classified information.

Roger Higgins, photographer from “New York World-Telegram and the Sun”, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (The Soviet Spies)

Everyone suspected to be a spy was pursued everywhere during the period of Communist and McCarthyism. These duo spies were caught when evidence came from Ethel’s brother against the family. This happened when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was questioning them in return for a less ruthless sentence.

This duo turned out to be one of the popular cases of foreigners acting as a spy on U.S intelligence. The Soviet spies later got arrested by the U.S. and were charged with conspiracy. They carried on by claiming not guilty. Later on, they were sent to prison and executed by an electric chair.

Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress); restored by Coffeeandcrumbs, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Belle Boyd (The Actress)

Belle Boyd is a professional when it comes to capitalizing on her status of spy. Known to be a confederate spy, General “Stonewall” Jackson got secret information on the activities of the Union Armies in the area of Shenandoah. The successful receipt of this piece of information was traceable to Belle Boyd.

After some time, “The Actress” was captured and was later thrown into prison. After a while, they freed her. Belle later made an appearance after some years in her confederate uniform. She also authored a book about her spy life.

Thomas Hart, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Benedict Arnold (The Ultimate Traitor)

He was known to be a very popular and an early leader in the revolutionary war in America. Being an American, he was loved by many, but he had his reputation soiled and image tarnished due to his betrayal. We knew the ultimate traitor to have switched sides during times of war. Being an American, he also fought for the British.

As a result of his treacherous activities, he has gone down in the history of the United States as one of the most infamous traitors to have ever originated from America.

Image By Sorbis From Shutterstock

10. Edward Snowden (The Whistleblower)

Popularly known as the whistleblower, Edward Snowden was a former contractor of the National Security Agency. He is also known as a former computer intelligence consultant responsible for leaking highly classified information from the NSA. Snowden was, however, accused of using spies to obtain information about plans and activities of the government and theft of its property.

However, Snowden was not charged with treason. After some time, he was nowhere to be found in the States after escaping. In May 2013, he was indicted in absentia. Later, they extradited Snowden to the United States for his criminal activities.

Image By Stock-Asso From Shutterstock

Conclusion

The activities of spies can not be underrated. It’s no longer a thing to cover that a powerful country like the U.S has had a taste of spies in recent years. Despite the intelligence of the U.S., no country is spy-free.

It has been historically shown that Spies can wrath a lot of harm, not just to the countries pride and security, but also to the safety of the common people who are at risk from potential enemies.

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