Free Markets, Free People

Russia is not our friend – part XVII

Russian spies?


Apparently so, or at least the FBI is convinced that 11 people it has arrested were indeed spies and they were spying for Russia.  Apparently the KGB’s successor, the SVR, just couldn’t help itself and places at least 5 couples in the US in deep cover.

The arrests were made after President Obama had a seemingly warm, back-slapping, hamburger eating meeting with Russian President Medvedev.  We’re told that Obama was not happy with the timing of the arrests (is there ever a good time?), but that the FBI feared their spies were about to bolt.

The arrests came after years of surveillance.  And, according to what has been released, if they weren’t spies, they certainly acted like them:

Criminal complaints filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Monday read like an old-fashioned cold war thriller: Spies swapping identical orange bags as they brushed past one another in a train station stairway. An identity borrowed from a dead Canadian, forged passports, messages sent by shortwave burst transmission or in invisible ink. A money cache buried for years in a field in upstate New York.

But the network of so-called illegals — spies operating under false names outside of diplomatic cover — also used cyber-age technology, according to the charges. They embedded coded texts in ordinary-looking images posted on the Internet, and they communicated by having two agents with laptops containing special software pass casually as messages flashed between them.

Their mission, according to the FBI, was to “penetrate American policy making circles”, something ordinary Americans have been trying to do for years.

Specifically they were to, “gather information on nuclear weapons, American policy toward Iran, C.I.A. leadership, Congressional politics and many other topics.”

One old KGB general was a little shocked at the size of the operation:

“The magnitude, and the fact that so many illegals were involved, was a shock to me,” said Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who was a Soviet spy in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s under “legal” cover as a diplomat and Radio Moscow correspondent. “It’s a return to the old days, but even in the worst years of the cold war, I think there were no more than 10 illegals in the U.S., probably fewer.”

I’m not particularly shocked – this isn’t anything particularly surprising at all.  We’re talking about Russia here – a country that still resents the US and isn’t a friend, despite all the smiles, visits and hamburgers shared.

It’ll be interesting to watch how the administration reacts to this.  True, these folks were put in place when Bush was enamored with Pootie Poot, but supposedly the relationship is much closer and has been ‘reset’.

Apparently no one told the Russians that “reset” is supposed to work both ways?



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12 Responses to Russia is not our friend – part XVII

  • I understand that the 12th member of that ring was in fact wildly successful and has risen far, far into our “policy making circles” and in fact is still active today and likes to play golf very much.

  • I’m not particularly shocked – this isn’t anything particularly surprising at all.  We’re talking about Russia here – a country that still resents the US and isn’t a friend, despite all the smiles, visits and hamburgers shared

    >>> PS – It’s hard to get outraged at Russia for this. Countries spy. It’s the game  all nations play. Wouldn’t shock me if we had (or were trying) to have spies over there as well. Enemies spy on each other. I’m sure “friends” do it as well, albeit in maybe a more casual way.  I’m mad at our side for such an epic fail, if anything.

  • I’m with shark – You think we DON’T have spies in Russia? I’d be flippin’ pissed if that were true.
    Wait… The Dear Reader probably wouldn’t approve, so we might not have them.

    • Our recent escapades with intel in Iraq tell me we abandoned the policy of having deep infiltration as part of our intel arsenal a long time ago.  We rely probably on bribes and ‘turning’ people which makes them less reliable a source. 

      Not to mention that infiltrating Russia with Americans is not as easy as infiltrating America with Russians.  The lack of ethnic and cultural diversity in Russia cuts the list of possible agents to almost nothing.  Then add in the fact Big Brother is watching.  

      Anyway I find it believable that we have ‘contacts’ but no direct plants. 

  • How is Øbama going to react?
    He is so far out of his league now, it’s a little like asking how Wavy Gravy going to react;
    It doesn’t matter what he thinks, Øbama is a dope, and the Russians are fully aware of it.
    The matters is what the Russians think, and how they will use Øbama’s naivety to their advantage.

    • President “Flounder”

    • “How is Øbama going to react?”

      Well, the last time Putin flexed a muscle (notice the singular), Øbama double-crosse Eastern Europe by backing out of the deployment of defensive anti-missile defenses, essentially ceding to Russia those states as within their “sphere of influence” and beyond our assistance. 

      Should Putin flex a different muscle this time, Øbama may feel the need to kill several birds with one stone – cede the Gulf Coast Region to Russia.  That region obviously is a thorn in his side since he can’t figure out how to deal with the oil spill issue – why not leave it to the Russkies to sort it out.  It will also kill more than one bird with a single stone:
      1) Offshore Drilling in the Gulf would no longer be his concern
      2) Cap & Trade would be easier to pass with all of those Southerners out of the Political picture and;
      3) Who cares about the Gulf Coast, those folks didn’t and won’t vote for him anyway.

  • “They couldn’t have been spies,” she said jokingly. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”

    Are spies supposed to be good with hydrangeas .. or any other assorted flowers or shrubberies ?

  • Irony of my chosen posting name aside (a hero of the Cold War who singlehandedly crippled Soviet genetic and biological research for decades ;P), I’m also not terribly surprised, and frankly I’m not so sure this IS an “epic fail” on the FBI’s part. It’s early days yet but from the way this is being reported it sounds like we snapped them up before they’d managed to get much in the way of valuable intel. Sounds to me like one of their initial approaches did the right thing and reported the contact.

  • A wild guess: The spy ring’s first job was to get insider information to help Putin and his old KGB buddies maintain their investment portfolios.

    And there could be some urgency for them of late, given that they know better than anyone what happens to an economy when a Marxist regime takes over.

  • Wait… OUR FBI caught these people???  The FBI that is run by Eric “Bagman” Holder????  THAT FBI???

    I’m taking bets:

    1.  The FBI screwed this up and these people are not spies at all, or;

    2.  We’ll let them go after Putin muscles Imeme.