It's amusing to listen to the US counter-intelligence officials now scorning Hanssen for lack of “tradecraft” in using the same drop week after week. These are the same counter-intelligence officials who remained incurious across the decades about the tinny clang of empty drawers in their TOP SECRET filing cabinets, all contents removed on a daily basis by Ames and Hanssen who deemed the use of copying machines too laborious. In just one assignment, the CIA later calculated, Ames gave the KGB a stack of documents estimated to be 15 to 20 feet high. Hanssen was slack about “tradecraft” because he knew just how remote the possibility of discovery was. The only risk he couldn't accurately assess was the one that brought him down, betrayal by a Russian official privy to the material he was sending to Moscow.
Mr. Speaker, the Senate is about to confirm another director of the CIA, even though America found out about the collapse of the Soviet Union on CNN. America learned of the fall of the Berlin Wall on CNN. America found out about Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait on CNN. After all this, Congress keeps pouring billions of dollars into that big sinkhole called the Central Intelligence Agency. I say, with a track record like that, Congress does not need a Committee on the Budget; Congress needs a proctologist. I think the record is real clear. Congress should fire the CIA and hire CNN. Maybe we will learn what is happening in the world.
Rep. James Traficant (Ohio) 1997
I've seen Three Days of the Condor and some of Spies Like Us and in reading this article, it seems that the CIA is more inept than Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd and that of Harrison Ford or Willem Dafoe (from Clear and Present Danger).
I find it both hard to believe and amusing that the CIA is claiming that such theft of material is responsible for their failing to notice that the Soviet Union was crumbling. Um … didn't they notice their filing cabinets were failing to hold documents? Seems to me that the folks living within the Beltway are in their own little world not subject to reality as we know it.