The intelligence services sometimes play complicated games, which may successfully tangle both the services themselves, and their adversaries. FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen’s case is a very good example of this: he was charged with espionage in Russia’s favor. The committee that conducted the investigation on Hanssen’s case was shocked when it found out that the Russian special services were going “to deliver” the super-spy to Americans ten years ago. Russian special services wanted to deliver the American spy to Americans! As it becomes clear from the report, Russia wrote an official protest to the Americans in connection with Hanssen. A “displeased” FBI agents (his name is not known) wanted to hand American secrets over to a Russian diplomat. Such “protests” were usually submitted when the agents working under diplomatic protection sensed a dirty trick on the part of their adversaries and feared that they could be trapped. In other words, the agent of the Russian special services did not believe Hanssen for some reason. The Russians decided to make the situation secure and almost delivered the spy to his own employers in FBI.
The committee that is investigating the case in the FBI is no longer surprised: so many notorious failures have been discovered in the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently. Nevertheless, the fact that Russians informed Americans about their own spy, Hanssen, is an eye-opener.
One of Hanssen’s relatives that was also employed in FBI reported to the authorities that Hanssen was working for Russians. The same opinion made in 1997 by another FBI agent, Earl Pitts, who was arrested for spying for Russia’s himself, by the way.
The discrepancy with delivering Hanssen by Russian agents happened due to the spy himself. He broke his contacts with Moscow for two years (The Americans say he has been working for Moscow since 1985). In 1993, he tried to establish links again. An officer of the Russian intelligence did not know about Hanssen’s previous work. “He refused the secret documents that Hanssen offered, and convinced the authorities to come out with a protest to the Americans.” The report of the committee that investigated the case said that Russians presented Hanssen to the Americans as “a displeased FBI agent.” The meeting between a Russian intelligence officer with Robert Hanssen took place in a parking lot not far from Washington.
However, the Americans could not use the “gift” from their Russian colleagues. FBI assistant Director John Collingwood said there was not enough information at that time to determine the personality of a man that Russians were talking about.
If the information in the report is true, then it is not clear how such a mistake could happen, when Russian special services almost gave their agent away to their own adversary? It is not clear, how the Russians could “forget” that they had a guy in FBI.
There is no point in the Americans making up the story, since the committee was investigating the drawbacks and mistakes in FBI’s work. William Webster is the head of the committee, and Webster is the former director of FBI and then the CIA. The report, which will be soon presented to the US Congress, harshly criticizes the activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was Hanssen himself who had to correct the mistake of the Russian special services. The FBI started checking on the information that they received from Russia, without even knowing that it was all about Hanssen. The spy hacked the FBI’s files and obtained the information pertaining to the process of the investigation. He stopped his activity before 1999, fearing being caught. The contact resumed only in October of 1999. As AP reported, Hanssen received a message from Russians, in which it was said: “We are very happy to hear from you!” The FBI found Hanssen’s traces and did not lose him in December of the year 2000.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov