from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
February 28, 2001


The government yesterday released another FBI affidavit in the case of Robert Philip Hanssen, the FBI agent who was arrested on February 18 on suspicion of espionage.

The newly released 9 page affidavit was filed in DC District Court in support of a search of Hanssen's office space at the FBI and at the State Department located in the District of Columbia. Last week's ample 100 page affidavit was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, in support of Hanssen's arrest and search of his home and cars located in Virginia.

The latest affidavit adds a few poignant details to the picture, notably the text of a decrypted farewell message that Hanssen allegedly sent to his Russian handlers.

The text of the affidavit, dated February 21, is posted here:


"It's kind of shocking, the extent to which classified information frequently and with great speed, finds its way into public in one form or another," said Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush Administration nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense, at his confirmation hearing yesterday.

"Any one of us has come across a classified document that we may have thought was overclassified, but that doesn't give you an individual right to take it on yourself -- (laughs) -- to declassify it or downgrade it," Mr. Wolfowitz said. "There are procedures for doing that and they should be stuck with."

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner asked Mr. Wolfowitz if he would undertake, "as one of your top priorities," a review of the safeguarding of classified information at the Pentagon. Mr. Wolfowitz said he would.

Their discussion of classification policy is excerpted here:


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