'Fogle had been trying to recruit a Russian intelligence services officer responsible for fighting Islamist terrorists in Russia's Caucasus region, the Federal Security Service said. The agency, known as the FSB, also alleged he had been carrying a Russian-language recruitment note explaining how to set up a secure Gmail account and promising "up to $1 million a year with the promise of additional bonuses" for information. The State Department confirmed that a U.S. diplomat had been detained and released by Russian authorities but declined to say for which agency Mr. Fogle worked. U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said only that he was "an American staff member of the embassy." Pressed to say if that meant he may not be a foreign-service officer, he said, "right, I just don't have any more information, one way or another."" WSJ
Ho Hum. This is a game that the US and Russia have played with each other for a long time. There is no danger to bi-lateral relations and no admissions are expected. Nor should any be made.
Why does this "spying" continue? Simple - Countries cannot be trusted to tell the truth in negotiations. Therefore, a prudent course of action is to find people on the other side of issues who will tell you what your negotiating "partners" really intend. We should continue to do this kind of thing but we should do it better.
Wigs, concealment devices, a letter of instruction for an "asset" who might be recruited in a meeting, this is absurd. Why not hang a sign around your neck? The "Game of Nations" must be played by adults, not by post-adolescent fantasists who want theatrical "dress-up" as part of their lives.
Presuming that we know who this fellow worked for I must say that I remember an occasion when his group wanted to bring someone to my home overseas in disguise. I told them that this was unacceptable. The meeting went smoothly.
However, if they are still "into" this kind of thing I might suggest this costume.