Former CIA operative Brian Kelley passed away
last night. He was a remarkable man. During my time as a fellow at the Institute of World Politics, I had the opportunity to interact with him several times and listen to him speak. He was one of the country's leading authorities on counterintelligence, and was very involved during his time in the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency with many of the biggest espionage cases
in American history. Kelley and his family suffered greatly during the hunt for the most notorious Russian mole
within the United States intelligence community-- traitor Robert Hanssen, whose capture was the subject of the motion picture Breach
. Kelley had a similar profile to Hanssen, doing much of the same type of work and happening to live relatively close to where the real spy lived. It did not help that Hanssen was involved in hunting for the spy. Kelley ended up suffering interrogation, placed on administrative leave, was rejected by the American intelligence community, and had his privacy subject to wiretaps. Suffering this for nearly two years, he was vindicated at last when Hanssen was discovered
to be the spy and arrested. Hanssen now sits in the Supermax prison on a life sentence without parole, spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, convicted of doing more damage to the American intelligence community than any other individual person in our history. Kelley was restored to his status, and spent much of his later life teaching counterintelligence studies at the Institute of World Politics. He was a patriot and a wise warrior, who served his country and his neighbors well. He will be missed.