We here at Robbservations have been remiss in diverting our readership with penetrating, and yet scintillating analysis of world events, so we return with a few peeks into the darkened corners of the intelligence world, as recounted in this story ("Russia uses dirty tricks despite U.S. ‘reset’") that appeared today:
In the past four years, Russia’s intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union. U.S. diplomats and officials have found their homes broken into and vandalized, or altered in ways as trivial as bathroom use; faced anonymous or veiled threats; and in some cases found themselves set up in compromising photos or videos that are later leaked to the local press and presented as a sex scandal...Some would say that Russia is our "friend".
Despite a stated policy from President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of warm U.S.-Russian ties, the campaign of intelligence intimidation -- or what the CIA calls “direct action” -- has persisted throughout what both sides have called a “reset” in the relations.Well, Obama does have warm relations with Russia. He's working for Putin as a deep cover mole. Explains a lot of his actions toward the country he pretends to lead, doesn't it? Especially his desire to ruin the U.S. economy with unfettered TARP spending ($1.5T), Obamacare ($1T/year), QE1, QE2, (QE3, QE4... $T and $T more), trillions to European banks (concealed but recently revealed), and his insistence on tax increases in a time of catastrophic national unemployment ($5T over the next 10 years with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, but Obama wanted much more).
To be sure, his 50% cuts in defense spending offset that spending a terabuck or so (ie, $1T, for those of you uninitiated in the new world of high stakes finance), but he's increased spending so much, what's a trillion here or there in savings going to hurt?
Well, that's what the recent debt deal in Congress purports to save, that's what. But if you're trying to help out Russia, it's well worth the price, not that the Russians didn't make out like bandits with a START treaty that requires us to decrease our missile forces by 2/3, and allows them to increase their missile forces 30%. Yes, that's right. We're pursuing nuclear parity with a dictatorship run by a killer with delusions of world domination. It will be such a boon to world peace. Three cheers to Obama and Hillary's State Department!
Back to our story.
The most brazen example of this kind of intimidation was the Sept. 22 bombing attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. [The CIA and] A National Intelligence Council assessment sent to Congress last week confirmed that the bombing was ordered by Maj. Yevgeny Borisov of Russian military intelligence, said four U.S. officials who have read the report.But over at Foggy Bottom, they decided "warm relations" were more important than the truth:
The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research assessed that Mr. Borisov was acting as a rogue agent, these officials said.Among the sex scandals,
According to a Jan. 30, 2009, cable from U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle disclosed by WikiLeaks, USAID employees received an email with a doctored photo of the NDI official reclining with an underage girl. The email [was] from someone purporting to be a Russian citizen [and] accused the official of raping her 9-year-old daughter.Most reporters today need a moral compass, but this guy needs a grammar checker.
Since 2007, according to two U.S. intelligence officials, American posts in Belarus, Russia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan have complained about instances in which junior Foreign Service officers have come home to find jewelry rearranged, cigarette butts stubbed out on the kitchen table, defecations in the bathroom, and break-ins with nothing of value stolen.
“It’s meant to limit a diplomat’s ability to meet with individuals by aggressively demonstrating that they are being watched."Sort of like Facebook, actually.
In August 2009, two Russian newspapers printed stories based on spliced video footage of Mr. Hatcher [a U.S. diplomat] at a hotel room, claiming he was employing the services of a prostitute... “They intercepted some phone calls he made and spliced them in a way that made them look strange. Then they took footage of him in a hotel room or something. They made it all look like they had footage of him in sex acts with prostitutes in a hotel,” one of those officials said.And so it goes. Right out of a James Bond movie. But then, Ian Fleming used to be a spy... he knew. As he wrote in 1956, in his introduction to From Russia, With Love,
Not that it matters, but a great deal of the background to this story is accurate. SMERSH, a contraction of Smiert Spionam--Death to Spies--exists and remains today the most secret department of the Soviet government.
At the beginning of 1956, when this book was written, the strength of SMERSH at home and abroad was about 40,000 and General Grubozaboyschikov was its chief. My description of his appearance is correct. Today, the headquarters of SMERSH are where, in Chapter 4, I have placed them, at No. 13 Sretenka Ulitsa, Moscow. The Conference Room is faithfully described and the intelligence chiefs who meet round the table are real officials who are frequently summoned to that room for purposes similar to those I have recounted.That is, murder.
Two U.S. officials familiar with the incident, who asked not to be named, said the U.S. intelligence community saw this as the work of the FSB.No surprises there. But that's just for domestic operations -- the FSB is the equivalent of our own FBI. With the fall of the Soviet Union (sort of), the Russian SVR replaced the KGB in handling foreign operations for things like moles, such as Obama. (Intriguing side note: Given George Soros' role in getting Obama elected, he's likely worked closely with the SVR/KGB for decades.)
Moscow’s intelligence services long have played dirty tricks on U.S. diplomats. In the “Spy vs. Spy” world of the Cold War, operations known as “honey traps” -- a young, attractive woman woos a U.S. Foreign Service officer into state of semi-undress where he can be photographed and blackmailed later -- were commonplace.That was exactly the plot of "From Russia, With Love", by the way. SMERSH launched an operation to embarrass the Western intelligence services by trapping Bond with a beautiful Russian spy, and then intended to kill him and the spy and publish the lurid details in the press. Fortunately, Bond prevailed.
If only we had our own Bond to prevail in Washington. But all we have are counterfeit T-bills flushed from the Fed.
The KGB-trained services also on occasion would deliberately break into the hotel room or residence of visiting dignitaries. In some cases, these incidents escalated and U.S. diplomats found their pets killed.As you can see, they can be pretty ugly. This is the Russia we are dealing with today -- one run by
Mr. Putin, a former FSB director, is widely regarded as the real man in charge of Russia’s elite establishment of current FSB and former KGB officers. In 2006, sociologist Olga Kryshtanovskaya produced a study that found 78 percent of Russia’s current elite had ties to the KGB or FSB.As I said, the demise of the Soviet Union was only "sort of". But let that not diminish your Hope for Change:
Mr. Obama was far more optimistic last week in an interview with Russia’s official ITAR-Tass news agency.
“Well, first of all, I think it’s important for us to look back over the last two years and see the enormous progress we’ve made.Yes, indeed he has. Made "progress", the root of "progressive", the euphemism and code word for "communist".
"I started talking about reset when I was still a candidate for president, and immediately reached out to President Medvedev as soon as I was elected. And we have been, I think, extraordinarily successful partners in moving towards reset,” he said.But what is he "resetting"? In this world, phrasing is everything.
An administration official who defended Mr. Obama’s 'reset' policy stressed that the political leadership of Russia was sincere in wanting to improve ties with the United States.Yep. I'm sure they'd like real close ties, though I'm not sure Obama will get that job as Commissar of the North American Satellite of the Russian Federation. Professionals tend not to trust starry-eyed idealists, and I think Obama would be among the first admissions to Putin's gulag on the archipelag of the North American continent. If he survived that long.