Intelligence agencies have a reputation for being tough on employes who raise suspicions. But that's not what happened in the case of Edwin G. Moore II of Bethesda.
Moore, who joined the CIA in 1952, left the agency in 1961 when he was charged with burning down a North Carolina motel he owned. After repeated trials and final acquittal in 1967, he was rehired personally by then-CIA Director Richard Helms.
After a tour in Vietnam, Moore returned to the United States experiencing what CIA doctors described as "paranoid-like" traits. But he was kept on the payroll until he retired in 1973.
Two years later, CIA officials suspected privately that Moore was responsible for an unsigned letter to then-Director William Colby threatening release of the names of 5,000 CIA employes to "the opposition" unless some veteran CIA personnel were promoted.
It didn't end there. On Dec. 21, 1976, an employe at a Soviet residence in the District found a package outside and, fearing it was a bomb, called police.
Authorities found it contained a photocopied CIA telephone directory, eight other CIA documents, a demand for $3,000 to be dropped at a specific time and place, and offers to identify CIA covert employes and give other information for $197,000.
FBI agents, pretending to be Soviets, made a "drop" at the designated time and place, near Moore's home, and watched as he retrieved it. A search of his home yielded hundreds more CIA documents, from almost every room. Moore pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but he was convicted of attempting to sell documents to the Soviets. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.