Fairfax Times: For Vienna man, case of notorious spy Hanssen hit too close to home
Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011
Former CIA employee was thought to be guilty of passing information to Russians
by David Hoffman
One man was innocent. Another was guilty.
Guilty of spying for the Russians, of treason and espionage -- of being a "mole" deep inside America's counterintelligence force for years, and for selling out his country for cash.
One man worked for the CIA, the other for the FBI. Both appeared to be devout Roman Catholics. And both lived on the same street in Vienna for several years.
Then, 10 years ago, on Feb. 18, 2001, one of the men was arrested at Foxstone Park in Vienna, near his home, just after an FBI surveillance team closed in on him.
He had just come back to his car, after placing a cache of highly classified federal documents at the "dead drop" site he regularly used to pass secrets to the Russians, in a spot tucked away under the bottom side of a wooden footbridge in the park.
"What took you so long?" was all he said to them.
Two days later, when the news of Robert Hanssen's arrest -- after spying for 22 years -- was announced, the other man -- CIA senior counter-intelligence case officer Brian Kelley -- learned that the suspicion was over.