Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ветераны ЦРУ удивляются театральности шпионского скандала в Москве -

Ветераны ЦРУ удивляются театральности шпионского скандала в Москве

Источник в ФСБ заявил LA Times, что факт задержания Фогла был предан огласке из-за его «наглости»
Агент ЦРУ Райан Фогл
Агент ЦРУ Райан Фогл Фото: кадр YouTube
ФСБ сначала не собиралась так скоро обнародовать факт задержания агента ЦРУ Райана Фогла, заявил Los Angeles Times источник в этой российской спецслужбе. «При иных обстоятельствах мы бы постарались избежать огласки, чтобы не смутить наших американских партнеров, — сказал он. — Однако их человек вел себя слишком нагло и вызывающе, как если б это было шпионское кино: у него была куча денег, наборы инструкций, набор по изменению внешности и другие аксессуары».
Многие западные СМИ прокомментировали задержание Фогла, отметив неуместность этого инцидента на фоне последних попыток «перезагрузить» российско-американские отношения после последнего охлаждения. Также все они не без иронии прошлись по обнародованным деталям задержания — изъятым у разведчика трем парам черных очков, парикам, компасу и стилю и содержанию русскоязычной инструкции для новобранцев.
Источники The Wall Street Journal среди бывших разведчиков говорят, что очень редко доходит до обнародования имен задержанных американских шпионов. Еще более редки случаи, когда их публично осуждают российские власти, говорят они. Накануне с критикой попытки вербовки со стороны Фогла выступил российский МИД, назвав это«провокационными действиями в духе холодной войны», которые «отнюдь не способствуют укреплению взаимного доверия». Также ФСБ опубликовала видеозапись, на которой задержанного Фогла и других американских дипломатов отчитывает неизвестный представитель службы безопасности.
Опрошенные The Washington Post ветераны ЦРУ и иные эксперты удивляются театральности инцидента, сравнивают его оформление с 60-ми и более поздними годами холодной войны и с шпионскими романами и фильмами. То, как российские власти преподнесли это задержание, свидетельствует о том, что это решение явно требовало одобрения со стороны «Путина, бывшего руководителя КГБ», пишет газета. Она не исключает, что избранный формат должен сигнализировать Вашингтону, что сотрудничество США и России возможно лишь в определенных границах.
«Это все взято прямо из сборника пьес 1980-х гг., — заявил газете Милтор Берден, бывший руководитель отделения ЦРУ по СССР и Восточной Европе. — Продуманность постановки указывает на то, что, скорее всего, это была подготовленная засада. Камеры были наготове. Задержание проводила натренированная группа захвата. И все было готово для скорейшего обнародования видео». Изъятые у Фогла предметы издание... читать целиком →

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Mark Galeotti: A full public spread like this is decided on in the Kremlin, and in my opinion was intended to reinforce the current official line that Russia is beleaguered–with NGOs and anti-government protesters alike working for foreign governments–such that what is needed is a common front behind Vladimir Putin. Again: clumsy and possibly counter-productive un-subtlety.

Mark Galeotti on Today’s Spy Saga

Was today's big Russia news a legitimate CIA embarrassment or Kremlin propaganda?

Today’s announcement that a US “spy” working in the American embassy in Moscow had been captured by the FSB has raised more than a few eyebrows about not only the details of this case (the alleged spy’s Get Smart paraphernalia) but also the timing. I asked Professor Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian intelligence, what he made of this bizarre story:
Michael Weiss: So now evidently our spies wear “flashy” blonde wigs and carry compasses. What do you make of this story?
Mark Galeotti: Who knows whether the hapless Mr. Fogle is indeed a spy or not; it’s by no means impossible. But the various props with which he was allegedly caught are much less credible. A wig? Maybe; sometimes you may need to change your appearance to throw off surveillance. An atlas of Moscow? Perhaps; it’s a big city and using your cellphone’s map and GPS apps invites electronic location-finding. A letter offering a million bucks? That’s what really looks suspicious to me; if he genuinely was carrying something like this around, then he must be one of the dumber spies around, and on the whole it’s the sharp, up-and-comers who get posted to Moscow.
I couldn’t rule out a genuine spy capture being garnished to make it more visual–some guy in a baseball cap does not make for great TV–not least because it’s clumsy and possibly counter-productive un-subtlety isn’t that out of line with the clumsy and possibly counter-productive un-subtlety we’ve seen in so many aspects of Kremlin PR of late.
Michael Weiss: And it comes off John Kerry’s meeting with Putin and Lavrov on Syria, which itself was followed by the embarrassing disclosure that Russia intends to sell Assad S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. Is this a timed “gotcha,” do you suppose?
Mark Galeotti: It was undoubtedly a political decision to do this, to do this now, and to do this in this way. I can’t exclude wanting to underline to Kerry–and UK prime minister David Cameron, who also recently met with Putin–than security cooperation agreements don’t make Moscow any less fierce in defending its national interests, but primarily I see this as directed for a domestic constituency. It also reflected a public embarrassment for beleaguered and rather hapless US ambassador Mike McFaul, who was engaged in a confidence-building twitter Q&A session at the very moment the news was broken.
Michael Weiss: What happens, typically, when the Russians do capture an American spy? Do we see him paraded on RT or Channel 1 like this?
Mark Galeotti: This is precisely why I see this as a political act. In the first case, when counter-intelligence agencies identify a foreign spy under official cover, their impulse is generally to watch rather than act: see who the spy meets and recruits. After all, make them persona non grata and sooner or later a new, unknown spy gets moved in. If the decision is made to PNG, then usually that will be done quietly, not least to avoid tit-for-tat retaliation. A full public spread like this is decided on in the Kremlin, and in my opinion was intended to reinforce the current official line that Russia is beleaguered–with NGOs and anti-government protesters alike working for foreign governments–such that what is needed is a common front behind Vladimir Putin. Again: clumsy and possibly counter-productive un-subtlety.

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5/15/2013 - Ex-Soviet Intelligence Officer Calls CIA Spy Case 'Badly Staged Comedy' - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Wig-wearing 'CIA spy' in Russia 'was investigating Boston bombings'
The alleged CIA spy caught red-handed by Russia was likely interested in obtaining information about the Boston bombing suspects, whose origins were in the Russian Caucasus, it has been reported.

Russia summons US Ambassador over alleged spy Ryan Fogle's detention in ... - CBS News

CBS News

Russia summons US Ambassador over alleged spy Ryan Fogle's detention in ...
CBS News
Russia's Federal Security Service said Tuesday that it briefly detained Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, who was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money. Fogle was later ... 
Russia summons US ambassador amid CIA spying claimsFox News

From Russia, With Wig: American Spy Suspect Is EjectedNew York Times 
Russia orders US diplomat to leave the country after claiming he's a CIA spyNew York Daily News
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US ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry to face spy claims
American ambassador summoned to Russia's foreign ministry to face claims that US diplomat Ryan Fogle worked as spy
The US ambassador to Moscow has been summoned to Russia's foreign ministry to face claims that an American diplomat who was arrested on Tuesday had been working as a spy.
Russia has said it will expel the US diplomat after claiming he was arrested while trying to recruit a Russian agent for the CIA, in an elaborate raid that revealed the American was carrying a bizarre arsenal of suspected spying equipment.
Ryan Fogle, the third secretary at the US embassy in Moscow, was paraded in footage aired on state-run television after being detained late on Monday night by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor to the Soviet-era KGB.
He was declared persona non grata by the foreign ministry on Tuesday and ordered to leave the country immediately.
"A classic spy arsenal was discovered, as well as a large sum of money that doesn't just expose a foreign agent caught red-handed, but also raises serious questions for the American side,"the ministry said. "Such provocative actions in the spirit of the cold war in no way help to strengthen mutual trust."
Michael McFaul, the US ambassador, entered the foreign ministry's building in central Moscow on Wednesday morning and left half an hour later without saying a word to journalists waiting outside the compound.
The ambassador, who took office in January 2012, previously provoked the ire of Russian officials when one of his first acts was to invite a group of opposition activists and rights advocates to the embassy. Later, he alleged that Russia had offered money to the leader of Kyrgyzstan for removing a US base from its soil.
Fogle was said to be carrying two wigs, three pairs of glasses, a compass and map of Moscow, as well as a knife, lighter, stacks of €500 notes and his US embassy ID.
Russia Today, an English-language TV channel run by the Kremlin, also revealed the contents of an alleged letteraddressed to the Russian recruit.
It begins: "Dear friend, This is a down-payment from someone who is very impressed with your professionalism and who would greatly appreciate your co-operation in the future." It goes on to offer $100,000 "to discuss your experience, expertise and co-operation" as well as $1m "for long-term co-operation".
It then instructs the recruit on how to open a Gmail account, before signing off with "your friends". The letter, wigs, and immediate release of footage of the raid to state-run television like Russia Today elicited widespread confusion.
The scandal comes at an awkward time in US-Russia relations. On one hand, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly blamed the US for fomenting discontent with his government, with officials going so far as to accuse the state department of funding opposition protesters. On the other, Moscow and Washington have been seeking to strengthen co-operation after the attack on the Boston Marathon, suspected to have been carried out by two men with roots in Russia's troubled North Caucasus region.
It also comes less than a week after John Kerry, the US secretary of state, visited Moscow to help end the war in Syria. He was accompanied by Robert Mueller, the FBI director, who held a rare meeting with his Russian counterpart.
In Washington, a state department spokesman said: "We can confirm that an officer at our US embassy in Moscow was briefly detained and was released." It declined to comment further. The foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador, Michael McFaul, for a meeting on Wednesday.
In the video released by the FSB, a plainclothes officer, his face distorted for the camera, is shown taking a grey cap and blond wig off Fogle's head, before marching him to a car. Fogle is then shown seated, stone-faced, inside an FSB questioning site with three unidentified Americans, as a Russian official accuses him of trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer involved in anti-terrorism efforts in the North Caucasus.
"At first, we didn't believe this could happen, because you very well know that lately the FSB has been actively helping the investigation of the Boston bombs," the official says. He goes on to lecture the group about US-Russia relations, and aims to increase co-operation following telephone talks between Putin and US President Barack Obama.
"Understandings were reached about co-operation," the Russian says. "And on this background, when relations are being strengthened between the countries, an American diplomat commits a government crime against the Russian Federation."
In a rare statement, the FSB said Fogle's alleged attempt to recruit a Russian agent was not unique. "Lately, American intelligence has made multiple attempts to recruit employees of Russian law enforcement organs and special agencies, which have been detected and monitored by FSB counter-intelligence," it said.
The US has been at pains to reconstruct the six months that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of carrying out the Boston bombing and subsequently killed in a shootout with police, spent in Dagestan, a volatile republic in Russia's south in 2012.
In 2011, Russia had warned the FBI about Tsarnaev but, according to US officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, refused to respond to requests for information.
The bizarre details of the raid to capture Fogle recalled the "spy rock" scandal of 2006, when Russia said it had caught British spies "red-handed" using a fake rock able to transmit classified data. Britain initially laughed off the scandal as absurd, but early last year, Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to then prime minister Tony Blair, admitted it was true. He called the incident "embarrassing".

"They had us bang to rights," he said.

The Fogle scandal comes three years after the US broke up a sleeper cell of 10 Russian spies and expelled them via a dramatic swap at Vienna airport. The ring's most famous spy, Anna Chapman, has gone on to have a successful career as a TV host and Kremlin cheerleader at home.
It was unclear whether the US would respond with a tit-for-tat expulsion, coming as the scandal does amid concerted US, UK and Israeli efforts to convince Russia to drop support for Bashar al-Assad. Last week, Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, agreed to call a conference aimed at helping end the war.
Putin was meeting Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in the southern city of Sochi when news of the spy scandal broke.
Russian officials tried to downplay the scandal, including Alexey Pushkov, head of the Duma's international affairs committee and one of government's loudest US critics. "The spy scandal around the American diplomat will be, I think, fleeting," Pushkov tweeted. "And it won't bother the Lavrov-Kerry negotiations. But it won't help the atmosphere." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Ex-Soviet Intelligence Officer Calls CIA Spy Case 'Badly Staged Comedy'
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on May 14 that it had detained a U.S. diplomat in Moscow for allegedly trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer. The incident is one of the strangest spy scandals involving Russia in recent memory. But Boris Volodarsky, a veteran of Russia's GRU military intelligence service now based in London, believes the case was entirely fabricated. He spoke to RFE/RL’s Claire Bigg.

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Russian media delight in U.S. spy case as leaders try to limit fallout
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Russia summons U.S. ambassador over spy scandal
May 15 - U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry after Moscow expelled a U.S. diplomat suspected of recruiting spies. Sarah Sheffer reports.
I spy, you spy: Russian officials downplay Fogle incident
Russian officials are avoiding inflammatory language as they talk about the case of Ryan Fogle, a US diplomat suspected of being a CIA agent.