How a Double Agent Sold Out the FBI to Russia squib

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

With tensions between the United States and Russia at a level not seen since the Cold War, and likely not abating no matter the direction the war in Ukraine takes, our national security depends on the integrity of our intelligence community. The FBI and CIA must be able to securely plan covert operations, and to employ Russian double agents to carry them out.

In this context, just imagine an American FBI agent with top-secret clearance writing this letter to the Russian intelligence chief stationed in Washington:

“Soon I will send a box of documents. They are from certain of the most sensitive and highly compartmentalized projects of the U.S. Intelligence community. All are originals and aid to verifying their authenticity. Please recognize for our long-term interests that there are a limited number of persons with this array of clearances. As a collection they point to me I trust that an officer of your experience will handle them appropriately. I believe they are sufficient to justify a $100,000 payment to me.”

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