Intelligence Figures in History: Sharon Scranage spies for Ghana

Earlier today I was listening to the International Spy Museum's podcast, which featured Michael Sulick. If you don't know about it, the Spycast is a great resource for interviews with former US intelligence and case officers that I highly recommend. In this episode, Sulick, who was Director of the US National Clandestine Service from 2007 to 2010, talks about his new book: Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War. Sulick's book particularly focuses on counterintelligence and the threat of Americans defecting to foreign nations. During the Q & A, one gentleman asked if Sulick knew of any "obscure nations," (i.e. not Russia, China, or Iran) that used American spies to penetrate the US Government. Sulick answered briefly with a woman who was spying for Ghana.

Sharon Scranage was a CIA employee working in Ghana during the 1980s when she started passing classified information to her Ghanian boyfriend, Michael Soussoudis. Soussoudis, a Ghanaian intelligence officer who was tasked with seducing Scranage in order to solicit US intelligence, was able to obtain the identities of eight Ghanaian citizens that were spying for the CIA. It was only when Scranage returned to the United States and failed a routine polygraph test that she came under suspicion. Upon investigation Scranage cooperated with authorities and in 1985 she was charged with espionage and with breaking the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Until this year she remained remained the only person to ever break the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. But on January 25th, 2013, John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst, became the second person in US history to be convicted of breaking the same such law after he passed classified information to a reporter in Washington.