- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: ‘Get yourself some firearms’
Brian Kelley, veteran counterspy, dies at 68
Broke Moscow code, was falsely accused as KGB mole
Question of the Day
At the time of the Bloch case, the FBI theorized that the only person who could have tipped off the KGB to Bloch was Mr. Kelley, a theory that would prove false but not until years were wasted hounding him and trying to force him to confess to being a KGB spy.
Hanssen learned of that mole hunt in the spring of 1999, at a time when he was supplying secrets to the Russians, according to an FBI inspector general report.
On Aug. 18, 1999, FBI agents grilled Mr. Kelley for four hours in an effort to make him confess. Mr. Kelley refused and told the agents, according to an interview with this reporter: “Your facts are wrong. Your conclusions are wrong. Your underlying hypothesis is wrong.”
“It’s one thing to beat me up, come down hostile on me,” Mr. Kelley said in the interview several years ago. “My family was another matter. What the FBI did to my family - the threats, the outright lies, and the intimidation - was inexcusable.”
Another false lead that caused the FBI to target Mr. Kelley was the fact that a KGB officer was spotted in a park near Mr. Kelley’s McLean home. Agents were convinced the KGB was picking up documents left secretly by Mr. Kelley in the park, but failed to realize until later that the park was also yards from Hanssen’s house in the same neighborhood.
The false accusations against Mr. Kelley and his family continued until the FBI bought an audiotape from a KGB defector in 2000. Agents listened to the tape expecting to hear Mr. Kelley’s voice, but identified the mole as Hanssen, who was arrested in February 2001, ending Mr. Kelley’s nightmare.
He went back to work at the CIA and continued with the agency until 2006, when he retired.
In an interview in 2006, Mr. Kelley said in explaining his story that “I just want to make sure that what happened to me never happens again to anyone.”
Survivors include his wife, sons Barry Kelley and Brian T. Kelley, daughter Erin Kelley Aldrich and grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending, but a viewing will be held Sunday and a Mass on Monday.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
TWT Video Picks
By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
- Obama calls GOP lawsuit over executive overreach a 'political stunt'
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: 'Get yourself some firearms'
- Bloomberg: Pro-gun towns must lack roads
- Google Glass-equipped rifles can fire around corners: It's 'mind-blowing when you actually do it'
- McCain won't support Obama's $3.7B border plan
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs