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Justice Dept. Strikes Deal With Traitor

July 08, 2001

Re "Accused Spy Cuts Deal to Save His Life," July 4: It is heartwarming, indeed, to read that Robert Hanssen's plea agreement with the Justice Department includes not only Justice's agreement to refrain from seeking the death penalty but also its acquiescence in payment of part of his pension to Hanssen's wife and children. It's nice to know that he's now concerned with the welfare of his family.

And where was that concern when he was spying for Russia? His family was around then, but he apparently didn't consider the outcome of the course he chose. Nobody holds any animus for Hanssen's family, but payment of any kind of pension exceeds believability. Hanssen didn't earn a pension. He is a traitor.

Unfortunately, the Hanssen family is a victim of his deceit, and should not be the beneficiary of a survivor's benefit. If there is anybody who should be eligible for a survivor's benefit, it is the families of the two U.S. spies Hanssen betrayed to the Russians, who were executed.

Ralph Seifer

Long Beach

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