郭宝胜 Baosheng Guo

The Revelation of The Breach

發布於


The movie “The Breach” is full of human emotion. From the perspective of an ordinary subordinate agent person, The Breach describes Robert Hanssen who is a significant double agent in U.S. history. Although the movie focus on Hanssen’s belief, family, and personality, it is beneficial for recognizing the importance of Counterintelligence and some revelation for strengthening counterintelligence.   

Robert Hanssen, spied for the Soviet Union as an FBI agent for 21 years, he sold out 50 people to Soviet security, at least 3 were executed, one was Polyakov, the U.S.'s greatest agent had inside the Soviet system. This case indicates that the most dangerous saboteurs are often inside our intelligence community (IC). Another example of a double agent is Larry Wu-Tai Chin, a senior CIA agent. He was not discovered until a defector of MSS of China reported him. Therefore, the U.S. must closely surveillance its own intelligence agents, especially high-level. They may probably turn into double agents because they are the easiest to approach the enemy and the easiest to grasp the classified intelligence.   

The movie also told us that Counterintelligence is a difficult duty, the double agents are good at disguising, those young counterintelligence agents have no experience to investigate them. Such as Hanssen in the movie was an old agent with decades of service, a devout Catholic, and he cares for Eric O'Neill’s family and life. So, Eric even developed a respect for his boss. Eric has almost been confused and his family has also beared a huge burden. All thing mentioned that the American IC need to improve the technology, institution, and ability of counterintelligence especially inside IC.    

In addition, IC lacks a mechanism to prevent it in advance and waits for a catastrophe happened to just begin to deal with problems. Why did these double agents only be discovered after they had caused huge damage during a few decades? This is a worthy reflection question for IC.   

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