The FBI announced Tuesday that they had arrested a veteran FBI agent on charges of espionage after accusations of being a Russian spy.
According to AP wire reports, Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested at his home on Sunday and was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, February 20.
Hanssen, the father of six, had been in the FBI for 27 years and was currently stationed at FBI headquarters in Washington where he had the highest FBI security clearance. During his time at the FBI, Hanssen had been involved in counterintelligence, spying on Russian outposts in America, and was even assigned to the State Department at one point.
Hanssen had been under surveillance for the past four months; he was arrested after agents saw him drop classified information at a “dead drop.” According to the AP, Hanssen had been feeding the Russian government information concerning national security, including secrets concerning America’s use of electronic surveillance.
It is also reported that Hanssen was confirming information sent to Russia by CIA spy Aldrich Ames. It is thought that the leaked information provided by Ames led to the execution of 10 American agents in Russia.
So, out of the last 27 years, it seems the FBI has only suspected Hanssen for the last four months! Our national security is in danger of being violated, as stated by an anonymous source to the AP.
Of course it is! Reports from CNN state that Hanssen had top FBI security clearance. Let’s roll the carpet out for them!
Now the question is how to change things so that the information given to Russia is inaccurate. Even after that heavy job, somebody’s got to ask the question: How are spies infiltrating the FBI and CIA?
Obviously, this infiltration occurred after many months of planning and years of work. Hanssen didn’t just appear in the FBI. After 27 years of what appeared to be faithful service, he is found to be a spy. A spy? How did he pass security tests, background checks, psychological tests, and every other kind of test the FBI and CIA administer to their in-coming agents?
Hanssen will no doubt go to prison for many years if found guilty. Only two men have previously been identified as spies in the FBI. Earl Pitts was convicted in 1997 and is now spending 27 years in prison, and Richard W. Miller was arrested in 1984 and is spending 20 years in prison.
How did we prove that these men were spies? In Hanssen’s case, one of our spies in Moscow gave him up. So, our spy found out that one of our agents investigating Russian spies was a Russian spy, giving up national security to the Russians.
The news has shocked Hanssen’s neighbors and the rest of the country. We seem to have thought that the ever precarious and dangerous art of spying died during the first few years following the “end” of the cold war.
It doesn’t seem to have ever really “ended.” Maybe it just changed.