“F.B.I. Never Polygraphed Agent Charged With Spying”

David Johnston writes in the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 — Robert Philip Hanssen was never polygraphed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether he might be a security risk during the 15 years when, it is charged, he spied for the Soviet Union and then Russia, law enforcement officials said today.

Mr. Hanssen, who worked at the heart of the bureau’s most secret counterespionage operations, was not under suspicion until late last year, when American intelligence obtained what officials have said was the entire Russian case file on his activities as a secret agent.

The officials said that the failure to polygraph Mr. Hanssen, disclosed after an F.B.I. review, would revive long-debated proposals at the agency to require much wider use of polygraphs to screen counterintelligence agents like Mr. Hanssen.

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