Those Russian Spies 15

I don’t have any difficulty in believing that the FBI really have discovered a colony of Russian sleeper spies in the United States.

Spying is an industry. Most of its activity is pointless, counter-productive and misdirected. Those employed in it have the strongest urge to strengthen and perpetuate their own industry. They are, worldwide, shielded from public scrutiny of their efficiency, and it is easy to persuade politicians to dole out more and more funds. Politicians are flattered to see papers marked “Top Secret” and their vanity is stoked by knowing about things happening that the public is not allowed to know about. It gives them a feeling of power.

But the extraordinary question is why the FBI would, after years of surveillance, pull the plug exactly now? A spy ring you have under complete surveillance and whose communications you have decoded is the most valuable asset imaginable. Simply think what could be learnt of Russia’s intentions towards the US from decoded instructions to these agents over the years. Think what “traitors” may have been revealed, with whom agents may have been asked to make contact. Why on earth would this priceless asset be thrown away?

Of course, for the long term future of their industry, spies are heavily dependent on the perception of an “enemy”. Perhaps there was concern that the perception of a viable enemy was slipping, so anti-Russian public and political sentiment needed to be stoked. Spies, of course, are not the only ones whose livelihood depends upon poor relations with an “enemy”. Obama’s pursuit of arms reduction negotiations with Medvedev is worrying the defence industry, Now what might cause domestic political problems for arms reduction negotiations with Russia?

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15 thoughts on “Those Russian Spies

  • Paul Johnston

    Of course the security services must also be seen to be doing something. All well and good saying we know about these spies but every so often you need the headlines. The groups dealing with the old Soviet Union have probably been sidelined by “The War on Terror ™” and this is their way of saying look we need money too.

  • Freeborn

    One should be deeply suspicious of these latest Cold War deja vu reports re-Russian spies in the US.

    The real spies are the veritable vespiary of dual nationality Israelis who buzz around the White House. Inrecent decades many of these provided intelligence to the Soviets in a trade-off for Soviet sanctioning of large-scale Ashkenazi migration to Israel.

    The Russian spy story is so red herring it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    The first BBC reports of the story suggested Auntie had no intention whatever of reporting the affair properly or even seriously. It was patently clear that they knew or at any rate were pretending to know nothing. Not a rare occurrence with this ludicrous anachronism of an organization.

    British corporate media reports on the US as a whole seem to those of us who follow US news on the internet absurdly decontextualized anyway. The euphoria and expectation around the President’s 2008 election died long ago. Obama’s personal ratings are now down to 41% last I read.

    Yet while there is growing domestic opposition across the States around the perception that the President is yet another puppet of Israel and the Zionist bankers; that he is intent on prolonging the unwinnable conflicts initiated by his predeceesor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and while many Americans even doubt that Obama is reslly the legal President because of his citizenship issues-the British media report as if Obama’s legendary charisma would be enough to ensure US world leadership well into the future.

    Of course we’re all now familiar with suggestions in the British media especially the tabloid press that Obama is playing the anti-British card over the BP oil-spill and should lay off.But there seems to be little coverage of the US outrage against an infamous largely British Rothschild-owned corporate giant with an appalling safety record that has now authored the mother of all eco-disasters in the Gulf.

    Moreover the perception held by many in the US is that Obama has done nowhere near enough to clamp down on BP. The fact that he’s not even declared a national disaster is taken by many as further evidence he’s another British puppet.

    The spy story, the belligerence towards Iran, the internet crackdown all fuel the feeling the US is under siege at home and abroad; that the hegemoth has reached endgame and Petraeus the new neo-con Presidential hopeful is being groomed to become Obama’s replacement in the near future.

    The recent NYT planted story purporting to document new mineral wealth in Afghanistan was used to boost perceptions that the war still had some purpose to it and that the “new” General would lead the “surge” forward again on the back of his undoubted “successes” in Iraq.

    The truth about where the US and the rest of the world come to that is headed has very little to do with a new Cold War era of Russian spies in Washington.

    It has everything to do with an embattled elite intent on using the take-down of the US as a vehicle to impose their long-planned totalitarian NWO across the board.

  • Anonymous

    ‘But the extraordinary question is why the FBI would, after years of surveillance, pull the plug exactly now?’

    Why the arrest of Christopher “Dudus” Coke after all these years?.

    We will I think see that both occurrence will generate leads back to Venezuela, a top priority to the US administration.

  • Ingram

    Indeed, why is the non-story breaking now?

    Whenever (ex) CIA bod ‘Vincent Cannistraro’ is reeled out to comment on an issue, you can be sure there is more to it than appears.

  • Abe Rene

    I wondered about the motive behind arresting them. In 1960 when the FBI caught Kaarlo Tuomi, they made him work as a double agent, and in the end he defected and disappeared into the USA. Why arrest Anna Chapman when she could be more valuable as a double agent? Unless, possibly, the FBI suspected that she was intended to be arrested and used as a mole in the FBI – in short, that Chapman was a disinformation agent. Another reason might be that American traitors were involved, who had already done damage by disclosing secrets, and so they had to be punished.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Everybody spies on everybody all of the time.

    I do think that we are not hearing the real story here – that’s also normal. Perhaps we never will hear the real story. There’s more going on that meets the eye. Just ask that man over there in the raincoat who looks too ordinary by far.

  • avatar singh

    america and britian oipenly say that they will overturn the duly elelcted govt. of such countries which they donto like-both britian and americans are supporting the terrorist groups the world over therough thier spies-so what is a big deal? we all know that in chechneya the terrorists are those who are trained and supported by britian jsut as britian is too happy to give asylum to all thsose billionaires who stolea money from their countryrfootball teams and park it in london vaults or buy football team.

    so waht is a big deal about spy?

  • Tom Welsh

    This story smells very high indeed, for a number of reasons. Apart from those very valid reasons Craig mentioned, I wonder why the Russian intelligence establishment should have become so incompetent that even the FBI could outwit it. In the 1960s and 1970s, the GRU and KGB (among others) had successfully penetrated most of the Western intelligence and counter-intelligence departments (see Messrs Le Carre, Deighton, etc. passim). And even earlier, of course, the very outcome of WW2 was affected by the brilliant successes of Richard Sorge, the Red Orchestra, etc. The much better-known Reinhard Gehlen accomplished far less for the Germans.

    Moreover, it is one of the fundamentals of intelligence gathering never to use one’s own nationals to do the actual dirty work. It was never the GRU colonels and generals who stole secrets or entered sensitive areas. Instead, they cultivated “locals” with a grievance, a need for money, or other motivations that could be tapped to get the desired results.

    So is this whole announcement nothing more than a provocation, designed to whip up indignation against the Russians? Who knows? Since the USA has spent the past 20 years encircling Russia with military forces and bases – in a way that is well known to raise the bear’s hackles – it is hardly surprising if Moscow wishes to learn what (if anything) is in the US administration’s minds.

    One mildly amusing aspect of the reports on the BBC was that the Russian spies were said to have aimed to infiltrate government policy making circles. How would one know whether a given policy maker was a Russian spy or a native American political hack, I wondered. Maybe the Russian would propose policies that would be good for the USA as a whole, rather than the politician’s paymasters? That would be a dead giveaway, which even the FBI could spot.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Interesting piece, thanks, Paul. What are you thoughts on the matter? D’you think they are a smokescreen for proper spies? Or that they were just not very good?

  • Inga Dombrovskaya

    Dear Mr Murray, it’s a little off the topic, but what do you think about this astonishing speech by British deputy Michael Hancock at PACE debates on democracy in Azerbaidjan?

    cit.: “It is difficult for anyone who has the opportunity to visit Azerbaijan not to be captivated by the beauty of the country, whether of Baku or the mountains ?” I urge members to go on the election-monitoring trip later this year and try to see the wonderful country.

    ../.. The people are also very friendly.

    It is wrong to say that they do not have a democratic system or that they are working towards one.”

    Original URL:

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