Skip to comments.How FBI paid $12m to unmask a traitor Robert Hanssen
Posted on 10/19/2002 5:08:36 PM PDT by USA21
How FBI paid $12m to unmask a traitor
The FBI paid $US7 million ($12.7million) to a former Russian intelligence officer to smuggle out of Moscow a secret KGB file that unmasked a veteran FBI agent as a spy for Russia, according to a new book about the case.
Although it was known that the FBI got the file from a Russian source, it was not known just how much it cost the bureau to find the agent, Robert Hanssen, or that the former KGB officer, whose name is not disclosed in the book, was secretly relocated to the United States.
The payment to the former KGB officer and other details about the Hanssen case are disclosed in SPY, The Inside Story of How the FBI's Robert Hanssen Betrayed America, written by David Wise, the author of several espionage books.
Although the FBI would not discuss payment officially, unnamed sources confirmed the amount and the relocation of the former KGB officer to the US.
Hanssen, who held senior counterintelligence posts at the bureau for more than two decades, pleaded guilty in July 2001 to spying for Moscow. Under a plea arrangement, he agreed to co-operate with the authorities, in return for which the death penalty was not sought.
For several years before Hanssen's arrest in February 2001, the FBI and the CIA realised that someone was passing vital secrets to the Russians.
The investigation originally centred on Brian Kelley, a CIA officer, who was cleared when Hanssen was arrested.
Mr Kelley was identified for the first time in Wise's book despite attempts by the CIA to prevent him being named.
Hanssen began a 22-year secret life in 1979, and in an early phase of espionage betrayed one of the most important agents for the US, Dmitri Polyakov of the Soviet military intelligence agency GRU, who was later executed.
The former KGB official who supplied the file was delighted with the deal he struck with the United States. "He was very satisfied with the financial arrangement," Wise quoted a former top FBI official as saying
...As an active duty Army Officer from 91 - 00, my rage seethes at how this jerk-off jeopardized my life, the lives of my soldiers, peers, and friends.
I suppose his crimes are only minimized by the fact we had a commander in chief who essentially did the same thing.
Probably the most despicable spy the U.S. has ever seen.
He's got stiff competition from the Walkers and Jerry Whitworth.
Here's the story.
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