American and Australian media brought today a story straight from the Cold War chronicles. According to reports, an FBI counterintelligence agent was arrested Sunday and charged later with spying for Russia. Robert Philip Hanssen was an FBI agent since 1976 and allegedly has been working for Russian intelligence services for the last 15 years. Media reports accuse him of betraying U.S. agents working in Russia. He has been allegedly paid US$1.4 million in cash and diamonds for his services. At this stage, the media story about Robert Hanssen appears to be strongly edited for mass consumption: The alleged spy was arrested after placing 'a large packet full of secret documents in a dead drop under a bridge. Stealing hard copies of confidential paperwork? What about using microfilms or computer disks? Somehow, FBI decided not to wait for a Russian agent coming to pick up the goods... Another story tells how a “Russian” put a parcel with $50,000 under a park bench for Mr. Hanssen. That’s not professional. A plastic card with Visa Travel Money would be much more discreet. Anyway, no Russian diplomat or agent was arrested. All of this comes at the time when United States attempt to prove Russia is still an Evil Empire. We are not in a position to determine facts here. It’s just the presentation seems strange, our correspondent Henry L. Marconi writes from Australia.

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