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Some Lessons of the Hanssen Spy Case

Monday, 13 May 2002 12:00 AM

Hanssen avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty last year to providing Moscow with altogether more than 6,000 pages of highly classified documents in exchange for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds, and by his agreement to discuss his crime fully with federal investigators.

There is no doubt that the Hanssen case is a good lesson for people who are still spying in this country and selling U.S. secrets to hostile and so-called friendly intelligence services. They have to know that sooner or later their covert cooperation with foreign spies will be disclosed and that they will face serious punishment according to the level of damage they did to America.

The Hanssen case is also a very good reminder for us that at a time when liberals are trying to convey to the American people the mistaken idea that Russia is our friend and partner, Russian intelligence continues to spy on us and keeps trying to penetrate the security around the most sensitive U.S. secrets.

They are collecting vitally important data that Moscow and its satellites are currently using against U.S. interests worldwide and in preparation for a future war against America.

It's very difficult to estimate the number of spies in the U.S. who are still operating against America. However, according to recent law enforcement agency estimations, there are many hundreds of agents and so-called trusted persons currently working just for Russian intelligence services alone. These estimates can be considered the tip of the iceberg, because the real number of spies is undoubtedly several times larger.

We also should be aware that in the framework of war preparations, Russia's intelligence activity is combined with counterintelligence operations, created by Moscow to demonstrate to the Russian people the alleged hostility of American and Western policy vis-à-vis Russia.

Last week, the head of Russia's counterintelligence department, Lt. Gen. Nickolai Volobuyev, told the Gazeta newspaper that his office identified more than 80 foreign spies operating on Russian territory last year and prevented illegal activities by more than 31 foreign journalists.

He said that more than two-thirds of the spies identified last year were stopped from carrying out their work and 18 foreign journalists were deprived of their visas and are barred from entering Russia for the next five years. He didn't say where the alleged spies and journalists were from, or what they were accused of doing.

However, a few days before, a Russian counterintelligence official told the press that Russia's main security service had thwarted efforts by the CIA to obtain classified information about new Russian weaponry and about Russian military cooperation with the former Soviet republics.

A spokesman for the Federal Security Service (the major KGB successor in domestic spying) said that CIA officers posing as embassy officials in Russia and in another, unidentified, former Soviet republic had tried to recruit an employee at a secret Russian Defense Ministry installation.

Of course, this is nothing more than a propaganda campaign, designed by Moscow especially to cultivate hostile feelings between ordinary Russians and the U.S. and its friends and allies. This government propaganda campaign is intense and conducted on a regular basis, and has already dramatically altered the attitudes of Russians toward the U.S.

In the beginning of the 1990s, the general feelings of ordinary Russians about America were extremely positive and the Russian people looked at the U.S. as an example for their future democratic and economic development. Currently, public opinion polls show that anti-American sentiment in Russia has reached a level not seen since the days of the Cold War.

All these lessons are sounding a very clear alarm that during the war on terrorism we need to pay close attention to other challenges to America's national security, which at any time could pose a much more serious danger than the current threat of terrorism.

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Hanssen avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty last year to providing Moscow with altogether more than 6,000 pages of highly classified documents in exchange for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds, and by his agreement to discuss his crime fully with...
Some,Lessons,the,Hanssen,Spy,Case
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2002-00-13
Monday, 13 May 2002 12:00 AM
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