What is the true value of a foreign power placing an agent in the president’s circle?

The obvious answer would seem to be the potential to steal highly classified information and pass along the nation’s most intimate secrets. But in a Halloween speech [PDF] more than 30 years ago, then-CIA Director William Casey offered a different answer: Influence.

Casey used as his example the case of Alger Hiss, an infamous former State Department official who was convicted in 1950 of perjury related to his work as a Soviet spy.


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