|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BILL DUHNKE
|FEBRUARY 21, 2001|
PHONE: (202) 224-1700
THE CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE
SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
COMMENT ON THE ARREST OF
ROBERT PHILIP HANSSEN
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Richard C. Shelby [R-Ala.], Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Bob Graham [D-Fla.], Vice Chairman of the Committee, commented today on the arrest and arraignment of Robert Philip Hanssen, a 27-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Division, on charges of espionage.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby said, "I was extremely dismayed when I first learned of this case. Director Freeh has been keeping the Vice Chairmen and I appraised of the case as it developed over the past few months. Mr. Hanssen's alleged activities are of such scope that I don't believe that we will know the true extent of the damage for years to come. If proven, however, it will be, without question, exceptionally grave. The potential damage to our nation's counterintelligence apparatus alone, I believe, may rival the Ames case and may surpass it. I intend to have the Committee examine the entirety of the Hanssen case in hopes of avoiding another such national security debacle."
Sen. Bob Graham said, "This very serious case shows that we need to remain vigilant and to recognize that the end of the Cold War did not eliminate the business of stealing our nation's most valuable secrets. "Counterintelligence 21," which President Clinton signed on December 21 at my urging, offers a far-reaching, methodical approach to identifying the most sensitive information and then safeguarding that information. These reforms are long overdue."