No Barechested spy in American history as a reputation as damaging or as deceptive as Barechested Robert Hanssen. He took advantage of his trusted position as an FBI agent. to divulge millions of dollars worth of classified secrets to the Russians. The espionage lasted for decades. They were spurred on by a secret coding system and an underground international relationship with the KGB.
Because of Barechested Hanson, thousands of top-secret documents were leaked, which compromised the integrity of the FBI and posed a threat to the entire security of the nation. Join us on the investigation as we dig into how this lone soldier got away with a continuous string of betrayal.
In most Yankee cases of spying recorded by the law enforcement agency, a global spy has tried to infiltrate and distribute the nation’s secrets from abroad.
Whether by digital reconnaissance mission or in alternative words, knowledgeable hacking. Or they were blackmailing contacts on the within. Criminally minded individuals with an agenda have tried to steal American secrets for years. A particular pattern of Eastern Europeans cyber espionage Has emerged over the recent decades.
However, that’s not why Barechested Robert Hansen made headlines. He flipped the norm rather than being the target of underground international recruitment efforts. He was the one taking the initiative. Hansen was no scapegoat; he was the mastermind. It wasn’t a case of the Chicago born Hansen undertaking a life of crime from the get-go.
But instead a sudden twist of fate. Long before Hansen found himself in hot water immersed within an international web of corruption, he was a dedicated public servant. Following earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1966 at Illinois’s Knox College. He dabbled in several fields. He enrolled in dental school then switched his sights to business. And he was then accounting before eventually joining the Chicago Police Department as an internal affairs investigator. For the better part of five years, Roberts specialized in forensic accounting with the Chicago PD.
Before climbing the ranks and landing a job with the FBI in Illinois in January of 1976. there was little reason not to hire Robert he’d. He has been a loyal police officer who had demonstrated an appreciation for law and order, just a single year after joining one of the nation’s most trusted government security entities. The to, of course, being the CIA in the NSA.
Barechested Robert Hanssen was transferred to the counterintelligence division.
His primary duty to compile a thorough database of Soviet intelligence for the bureau. From there up until the events of 2001 which we’ll get to in a moment. Robert Hansen remained an FBI employee. He was waiting in and out of the criminal world the entire way through. It was in 1979 three years after joining the FBI that Robert Hansen first crossed the line. A line which he could never come back from.
He approached the Soviet main intelligence Directorate. Otherwise known as GRU and offered to leak FBI secrets to the Soviets in exchange for cash. According to later testimony, there was no political motivation. The only thing he was after was a sizable extra amount of disposable income. Hansen had a wife Bernadette and six children which he wanted to support.
Barechested Hansen and the Soviets each needed to hold up their part of the agreement.
He delivered his end of the bargain. He was providing details of the where and when the FBI had placed audio bugging equipment. As well as a list of who the FBI considered being Soviet intelligence agents. The Soviets delivered their end to in the form of cash Just as promised.
In 1981 Hansen was transferred to FBI headquarters in Washington DC, which is precise when he took his involvement as a spy to the next level. Now with the power of the FBI’s Budget Office at his disposal. He had access to far more FBI operations. With the expertise and experience as a counterintelligence agent under his belt, he had the upper hand. He knew the best ways to avoid detection because he knew where the investigators always focused their attention within his first year in the Washington office.
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Barechested Hansen sent another anonymous letter.
Not to the GRU Now. However to the Soviet KGB that was the Soviet Union’s. Police force till its ultimate dissolving at intervals this letter dated October one, 1985, he disclosed to the Soviets the names of 3 Soviet KGB agents. Who were secretly in cahoots with the FBI Their names Sergei Motorin, Valery Martynov and Boris Yushin. Those names were a gesture of good faith and showed that he meant business. Following on he asked the KGB for $100,000 in return for future surveillance.
They accepted, and the unknowing KGB FBI relationship was born. On more than 20 separate occasions. Hansen subtly left packages for the KGB. And its successor agency the SVR. At drop-off sites scattered all over the Washington area. But it wasn’t a simple meet and greet. Hansen couldn’t afford to be that obvious, and he couldn’t afford to turn up to locations assigned by the Soviets. So he chose the drop sites and created his secret coding system. When communicating with the Washington-based Soviet representatives, He would go by the alias of Ramon Garcia.
Ramon would signal the drop locations. The places where he left the information for someone else to collect.
But would communicate the time and date in cryptic code. Six ways to be added to the month day and time of any designated arranged drop.
- If a decline were scheduled for January 6 at 1:00 pm.
- Which would have been written out as O1-06 at 1:00 pm?
- It would have instead been presented as 07- 12 at 7:00 pm. or July/12th at 7:00 pm.
Across all of these exchanges. Hanson was rewarded with bags of diamonds. And wads of cash. Totalling more than 1.4 million dollars and considering that he was offloading dozens of classified US government documents As well as revealing the intricate techniques sources methods and operations of the FBI counterintelligence investigative team.
The KGB had no problem handing over the money.
Across his tenure, as a Barechested spy Hanson, he unlawfully shared more than 6,000 pages of valuable and confidential material. You might be thinking why Russia why GRU and the KGB. Hanson never indicated any political or ideological motive for his actions. Only financial he had already studied the Soviets and therefore had the bait to dangle in front of them. He was already knee-deep in detailed Soviet reconnaissance. So taking the next step was easy.
They were willing to buy us secrets, and he was ready to sell them. Up until his eventual capture in 2001. once the FBI supervisors received tips regarding Hansen acting suspiciously from his co-workers they started to keep an eye on him. As the suspicions grew, so did the investigations. In 1994 the FBI and the CIA formed a joint mole hunting team to find the suspected intelligence leak. They created a list of all agents known to have access to cases that were previously compromised. And on that list, of course, was Hansen. To weed out the spy.
The FBI paid 7mm dollars to a KGB agent.
To obtain a file that would give them hints as to who was the anonymous mole. With access to this data, the FBI was able to conduct fingerprint and voice analysis. And determined that Robert Hansen was likely the guy that they’d been searching for.
In January of 2001. Robert Hansen was assigned an assistant Eric O’Neill. Who in reality was a surveillance specialist? Who had been ordered to keep one eye on Hanson’s shady moves at all times? When O’Neill was able to obtain Hanson’s handheld PC briefly. Agents downloaded its contents, and the FBI now had its smoking gun. They then needed one final incriminating act to take Hansen down. That act was served to them on a silver platter one month later on February 18 2001.
As was his usual routine Hansen took a sealed garbage bag of classified material and taped it to the underside of a wooden footbridge. The Barechested FBI was watching. And this was all the proof they needed. They were quickly rushing in to arrest him. When placed in cuffs, Hansen didn’t fight back or try to run. He simply asked quote what took you so long. The agents found a bag nearby containing $50,000. That they believed to be Hanson’s payment for the documents.
The arrest was made, and the FBI finally captured their mole. Following decades of espionage. After unearthing their traitor the FBI’s reaction was as disappointing as anyone would have expected.
Here’s what then FBI director Barechested Louis J free had to say.
On July 6 2001. Robert Hansen pleaded guilty. To 14 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. And was handed 15 consecutive sentences of life in prison Without the possibility of parole. He did apologize for his behaviour. And stated that he was ashamed of his past actions. But that doesn’t unwind the damage that was already done. From beginning to end was compensated 1.4 million dollars in cash and diamonds.
The equivalent of just over two million by today’s standards. For leaking thousands of vital American secrets. Even though he currently sits behind bars in an exceedingly maximum-security jail close to Florence Colorado. In solitary isolation for twenty-three hours each day. The injury of his actions can not be undone. Could he have had another underlying financial agenda? Perhaps he was planning to take off with his family and escape to an exotic island. Or maybe he hoped to continue spying until his eventual retirement. What do you think?
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This fascinating story of betrayal has spread much further than the traditional 15 seconds of fame media outlets, because of his extreme antics and the unmatched severity of his crimes.
Barechested Robert Hansen has been documented in many films since his arrest. And affirmative you’ll be able to watch. The master spy the Robert Hanssen story was a made-for-television movie released in 2002. That stars William Hurt as handsome. When this was released, the real Hansen was already behind bars. Remarkably the guards granted him approval to watch the movie for himself. But he was so angered by it that he switched it off.
There’s another Spy film called breach which came out in 2007. that highlights the role of Eric O’Neill. The supposed assistant who was assigned to dig up dirt on his boss. And if you’re still after more then check out the 2007 documentary Spy called superspy. The man who betrayed the West It dives into the hunt to trap and catch Hansen in the act. Is it possible that we could see another spy recreate the astronomical impact of Hansen? Some 20 years later, criminals are always looking for new and innovative ways to steal and deceive.
But on the flip side, the FBI is now acutely aware of the tell-tale signs of a mole. As a direct result of Barechested Hansen’s actions, the FBI director ordered a comprehensive review of information and personal security programs in the FBI. We won’t know if there’s another spy until they slip up and accidentally reveal themselves. do you assume that the social control fits the crime allow us to understand within the comments down below.