A Rainy Evening and SPY

So, it rained on the way back from fab dinner at Pasta Moon. Surrounded by ghostly fog on 280, was reminded of ghost of Balete Drive, thankfully hubby was driving.

Could hardly wait to zip through book I began this morning, Spy, which is about FBI traitor Robert Hanssen. First chapter was terrific — talks about how, in 1988, FBI finally woke up to the terrible realization that there was a possible mole in their midst (said mole had been active since 1975 but FBI, it seems, was in denial, can think of no other reason why it would take them thirteen years to get with the program), and how it assigned task of finding suspected mole to two men who worked out of a little cubicle in Langley, VA:

Within the Soviet unit, two experienced analysts, Bob King and Jim Milburn, were assigned to read the debriefings of Soviet defectors and reports of Soviet intelligence sources who had, over the years, been recruited as spies by the FBI. The two shared a cubicle in Room 4835 with their supervisor.

The supervisor, a tall, forty-four-year-old, somewhat dour man, was not a popular figure among his fellow special agents, although he was respected for his wizardry with computers. He had been born in Chicago, served for a while as a police officer in that city, and joined the FBI twelve years before, in 1976. Now he was responsible for preparing and overseeing the mole study.

For the supervisor, directing the analysis to help pinpoint a possible mole inside the FBI was a task of exquisite irony. For he knew who had turned over the names of (American informants) Valery Martynov and Sergei Motorin to the KGB. He knew there was in fact an active mole inside the FBI, passing the bureau’s most highly classified secrets to Moscow. He knew the spy was a trusted counterintelligence agent at headquarters. He knew, in fact, that the spy was a supervisory special agent inside the Soviet analytical unit. He knew all this but could tell no one. And for good reason.

Robert Hanssen was looking for himself.



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