Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI's Robert Hanssen Betrayed America
Spy tells, for the first time, the full, authoritative story of how FBI agent Robert Hanssen, code name grayday, spied for Russia for twenty-two years in what has been called the “worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history”–and how he was finally caught in an incredible gambit by U.S. intelligence.
David Wise, the nation’s leading espionage writer, has called on his unique knowledge and unrivaled intelligence sources to write the definitive, inside story of how Robert Hanssen betrayed his country, and why.
Spy at last reveals the mind and motives of a man who was a walking paradox: FBI counterspy, KGB mole, devout Catholic, obsessed pornographer who secretly televised himself and his wife having sex so that his best friend could watch, defender of family values, fantasy James Bond who took a stripper to Hong Kong and carried a machine gun in his car trunk.
Brimming with startling new details sure to make headlines, Spy discloses:
-the previously untold story of how the FBI got the actual file on Robert Hanssen out of KGB headquarters in Moscow for $7 million in an unprecedented operation that ended in Hanssen’s arrest.
-how for three years, the FBI pursued a CIA officer, code name gray deceiver, in the mistaken belief that he was the mole they were seeking inside U.S. intelligence. The innocent officer was accused as a spy and suspended by the CIA for nearly two years.
-why Hanssen spied, based on exclusive interviews with Dr. David L. Charney, the psychiatrist who met with Hanssen in his jail cell more than thirty times. Hanssen, in an extraordinary arrangement, authorized Charney to talk to the author.
-the full story of Robert Hanssen’s bizarre sex life, including the hidden video camera he set up in his bedroom and how he plotted to drug his wife, Bonnie, so that his best friend could father her child.
- how Hanssen and the CIA’s Aldrich Ames betrayed three Russians secretly spying for the FBI–including tophat, a Soviet general–who were then executed by Moscow.
-that after Hanssen was already working for the KGB, he directed a study of moles in the FBI when–as he alone knew–he was the mole.
Robert Hanssen betrayed the FBI. He betrayed his country. He betrayed his wife. He betrayed his children. He betrayed his best friend, offering him up to the KGB. He betrayed his God. Most of all, he betrayed himself. Only David Wise could tell the astonishing, full story, and he does so, in masterly style, in Spy.
From the Hardcover edition.
Agreed -- This is the best Hanssen book
By Fox in a Box - August 3, 2004
I'll keep it short. As a writer, I appreciate good writing -- clear, smooth, concise, accurate, with sources attributed and richly drawn, but never over-elaborated, portraits of the characters involved. Among these "characters" is Opus Dei, the arch-conservative Catholic cult group sanctioned by the Pope, of which Hanssen-the-killer-spy was an active and evangelical member.
"Spy" is, simply put, and not withstanding the enormously complicated story it tells, a very good read.
Author David Wise keeps to the facts -- a complex undertaking, which he accomplishes with extraordinary detail and literary grace. (Thank you, Mr. Wise.) He offers expert testimony regarding Hanssen's peculiar and convoluted value system without playing armchair psychologist, and sheds an astonishing light on the realm inhabited by spies, which is just as fraught with danger to life and limb as one might expect.
The book also suggests why the CIA and FBI... read more
First Rate Account of a Deeply Disturbing Case
By A Customer - October 25, 2002
Before the publication of this book, there had been four others to appear on the market, "The Spy Who Stayed out in the Cold," "The Bureau and the Mole," "The Spy Next Door," and "Into the Mirror." To put it bluntly, none of these books can hold a candle to David Wise's masterful telling of the Hanssen spy story, which is probably the most disgraceful and bizarre chapter in the FBI's long history. What sets Wise's account apart from its predecessors? The answer is diligent, long-term research and unparalleled access to people who knew Hanssen. The fact that the traitor gave his psychiatrist permission to be interviewed by Wise gives readers a window into Hanssen's soul that none of his competitors (who rushed their books to publication with almost indecent haste) were able to give. An added plus to Wise's book is that he gives a fairly comprehensive outline of the research he conducted for the book in his notes at the end. This is in stark contrast to his competitors' books... read more
Oh What Tangled Webs He Weaved
By C. W. Emblom "Bill Emblom" - June 20, 2007
Robert Hanssen was in a league of his own. There wasn't another spy to compare him to, and not only for the amount of damage he did to compromise American intelligence to Russia. This was a man of several contradictions. It must have been hard for him to keep his respective roles straight. He was an agent for the FBI, a devoted family man, devout Catholic, obsessed with porn, spying for Russia, and became infatuated with a stripper to the extent that he took her on a trip to Hong Kong and bought her a Mercedes. He was the computer guru who appeared contemptious of other co-workers. It appears to me that he often employed the defense mechanism called reaction formation which means he took an attitude with others the opposite of which produced anxiety in himself. He not only betrayed his country by using his job for personal gain, but horribly betrayed his wife by sharing sexual photos of her to his friend. Hanssen justifies his spying by saying his first job at the FBI was in... read more