During the height of the Vietnam war in 1972, film starlet Jane Fonda visited Hanoi and collaborated with the North Vietnamese enemy. She condemned all US soldiers as “war criminals”, posed for photographs on North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns wearing portions of Communist uniforms, and repeated Communist propaganda that American prisoners of war were being treated humanely - something only a brainwashed mind-numbed robot could possibly believe. Upon hearing of POW claims of torture, Jane Fonda denounced them as “liars”. She encountered no legal or professional repercussions upon her return to the US, but claims to deeply regret her actions today. How nice for her.
ADAM YAHIYE GADAHN
American-born Adam Yahiye Gadahn (a.k.a. “Azzam the American”) converted to Islam, traveled Afghanistan and served on the Al Qaeda “media committee” as translator, video producer, cultural interpreter and spokesman. His zeal in their propaganda was cartoonish in its intensity, but all too real; Gadahn referred to the United States as “enemy soil” and threatened a terrorist attack on Los Angeles in a 2005 Al Qaeda video. After Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri endorsed the videos the Justice Department indicted Gadahn, the first American accused of treason since World War II. It is believed that “Azzam the American” is now “Azzam the DEAD American” following reports that he was killed by Predator drone strike in January 2008.
Aldrich Ames began with the CIA during high school, and worked there for almost 36 years until he was discovered to be a Soviet double agent in 1994. He specialized in selling the identities of CIA spies within the KGB, to the Soviets. The damage he caused US intelligence can’t be measured; conservative estimates he exposed over 100 agents, and was directly responsible for at least 10 deaths. A thorough accounting of his finances revealed that he and his wife made over $4.6 million over the course of their espionage career. Ames explained the full extent of his activities as part of a plea bargain to mitigate his wife’s sentence (how gallant). As a result, Ames was sentenced to life in prison, while his wife received 63 months.
“Tokyo Rose” is a collective nickname applied to several sultry-voiced women who worked for Radio Tokyo during World War II. In between popular songs, these sirens cooed Japanese propaganda designed to make American soldiers nostalgic and homesick. UCLA grad Iva Toguri D’Aquino was the most infamous. An American citizen of Japanese descent, she worked as a Radio Tokyo announcer from 1943-1945. Immediately after the war, D’Aquino was arrested, but released without being charged. Authorities reopened her case with a vengeance in 1948, and she was promptly convicted of treason in 1949. D’Aquino served six years in prison. Throughout her trial she denied any disloyalty to the US, and prosecutors didn’t present a single radio broadcast as evidence against her. In fact, critical testimony against her was later found to be false and coerced, to the extent that President Gerald Ford pardoned D’Aquino in 1977.
Soldier, adventurer, lawyer, duelist and Vice President of the United States, Aaran Burr was also one of our nation's greatest traitors. Fresh off his duel with Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr's political career was dead in the water. Burr developed a plan to steal a sizable chunk of the new Louisiana Purchase; so he contacted Britain’s ambassador, offering to help Britain take the territory. Then, in a move only a lawyer could dream up, Burr sabotaged his own plans when by sending the infamous “Cipher Letter” to General James Wilkinson - Commander-in-Chief of the US Army - detailing the plot and requesting his services. Wilkinson believed the plan would fail, and ratted him out to President Thomas Jefferson. Thus, on December 9, 1806, the US Army seized most of Burr’s boats and supplies. But Burr knew it was REALLY over when he saw a New Orleans newspaper article with a verbatim copy of the Cipher Letter to Britain. Burr appeared in court and was not initially indicted, but fled when asked to appear a second time. After recapture, he was found not guilty, due to a very precise Supreme Court reading of the Constitution’s definition of treason. He then fled to Europe but returned after four years, living a reclusive life in New York and working as an attorney.
JULIUS AND ETHEL ROSENBERG
On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg became the first American civilians executed under Section 2 of the Espionage Act. Charges related to passing atomic bomb secrets to Russian agents (the data came from Ethel’s brother, who worked on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos). Their legal prosecution continues to be controversal; many feel the couple were unfairly convicted. However, recently declassified cables from the Soviet Union’s VENONA project, now support testimony that Julius was, indeed, a courier and recruiter for the USSR. In fact, Morton Sobell, who was tried along with the Rosenbergs (and served 17 years in prison), admitted in 2008 that yes, he was a spy, and that Julius Rosenberg handed atomic bomb information to the Soviets.
Robert Hanssen is a former FBI agent who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years (1979 to 2001). During his espionage career Hanssen compromised scores of investigations and operations, including the surveillance of suspected mole Felix Bloch, and completed an eavesdropping tunnel directly under the Soviet Embassy decoding room. At one time, he even became responsible for apprehending himself, and he passed some of that off to Aldrich Ames (above). Worse, however, were his leaks to the USSR of every KGB agent contacting the FBI— conveniently identifying detected double-agents and prospective defectors alike. The FBI was so flummoxed at finding Hanssen, they had to buy the information to put him away (most of which they already had). Cash and Hanssen’s carelessness eventually led to his capture, and in 2001 he pled guilty to 13 counts of espionage in the United States. He was then sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, and can be found in America’s “Supermax” prison, where he remains in his cell, alone, 23 hours a day. Many have described his activities as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history.”
NIDAL MALIK HASAN
U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on fellow soldiers and their families at the Fort Hood military base, weeks before scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan. Prior to the shooting, Hasan repeatedly expressed extremist views, most of which had been communicated to his superiors and the FBI. The Feds had even monitored his e-mails to Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a.k.a. the “Bin Laden of the Internet”. Political correctness prevented the Army from taking action before Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded 30 others. Oddly, the Pentagon makes no mention of Hasan’s Islamism in its entire 86-page review of the incident - despite the fact that during the attack, he was dressed in traditional Muslim clothing and was shouting “Allahu Ackbar”. Hasan is currently under heavy guard at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Houston, Texas, reportedly paralyzed from the chest down.
JOHN WALKER, JR.
In 1967 Navy communications officer John Walker, Jr. walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC and offered to sell secrets. He then handed over settings for the KL-47 cipher machine, which decoded sensitive US Navy messages. His motivations were purely financial; over the next 17 years, Walker gave the KGB the locations of all American nuclear submarines, the launch procedures for US nuclear missiles in the event of war, the locations of underwater microphones tracking Soviet nuclear submarines,every American troop and air movement to Vietnam from 1971-1973, and the planned sites and times for U.S. airstrikes against North Vietnam, which they passed this on to their Communist allies. A family man and an enterprising team player, Walker recruited his older brother Arthur, a Lt. Commander in the Navy, his son Michael, his wife and fellow Navy Warrant Officer Jerry Whitworth into his spy ring.
According to Vitaly Yurchenko, a KGB defector, “It was the greatest case in KGB history. We deciphered millions of your messages. If there had been a war, we would have won it.”
His name is synonymous with disloyalty. During the Revolution, Arnold was a general officer in the Continental Army, but later defected to the British Army. In September 1780, as Commander of West Point he offered to surrender the fort over to the British. Arnold’s plan unraveled when American forces captured British Major John André carrying papers revealing the proposed surrender of West Point. Arnold fled to a British ship docked on the Hudson river, narrowly escaping the forces of one highly pissed off George Washington. After the plot came to light, Arnold joined the British Army as a brigadier general, with a sizable pension and £6,000 signing bonus. Many believe that he was frustrated at being passed over for promotion, by others taking credit for his achievements, and groundless accusations that he exacted private property for the use of the Army. In fact, Congressional investigations later found Arnold had spent much of his own money on the American war effort. Britain quickly secured Arnold’s services, and he led British raids in Virginia, New London and Groton, Connecticut, before the war ended with the American victory at Yorktown. Arnold died in London; incredibly enough, there is a monument dedicated to his heroic actions on behalf of the Continental Army, prior to his betrayal.