« National Journal Blog - 28 June 2010 | Main | Gone Away »

28 June 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Robert C.

Let me wonder outlowed. These ten probably are spies. However, there must be a reason to announce this now. The neocons have always wanted to "rollback" Russia. Perhaps this is all part of the framing of Russia as "bad" and Georgia as "good" vis a vis reports that Israel may use Geogian airstrips to attack Iran. Like an onion, there are likely many layers to this being released now.

PS..My immediate thoughts were as the Cols...when do we go after the Israeli spies?



"Excellent! Now what about Israel's spies and agents of influence?"

No, No, No, Col. Lang! Since when is being a friend of Israel a crime?

While it may be possible that there could be small technical violations of American laws committed in an excess of zeal by Americans who wholeheartedly support Israels right to exist and defend itself against existential threats like Iran, surely you aren't suggesting that our greatest ally in the Middle East would be deliberately doing something that might cause us harm?

I'm shocked that you might think that! Shocked I say!


Ahhh, yes, the interesting tidbit -- "It said the Russian intelligence agency SVR had tasked them with one main mission - to "search and develop ties in policymaking circles" in the United States.. "

Funny, the same thing could be said of AIPAC/Israeli firster D.C. think tanks, as well as Israei agents-of-influence operating as U.S. Congress Personas (both elected and staff positions). And the even sadder thing is that the stuff they pass on the Israeli Intelligence Apparatuses/Government is in turn passed on to the Russians and Chinese, one way or another.

There was recent statement by the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Oren (Bornstein) that alleged that any spying on the U.S. was done by 'rogue' operations within Israeli Intelligence. Guess that was Oren's cypher speak for 'quietly approved at the highest Israeli governmental levels'.

Patrick Lang


i prostrate myself in repentance before the tribunes of the Israeli state (especially Michael Rubin). How could have I have forgot myself so! pl

Russ Wagenfeld

ever the optimist?

William R. Cumming

I suspect that while most of what Russian interests need and want from the US there is certain technology and organizational alignments that still necessitate spying. Almost a decade ago the British government doubled the size of its Embassy and consular staff in the US. REASON SIMPLE: Knowledge of US and complexity of its polity makes it difficult to understand where the big largely friendly dog will next wag its tail and break the china in the china shop? While domestic lobbyists continue to increase by significant percentages each year, more and more countries have resorted to hiring of lobbyists and corruption of Member of Congress and their staffs by sometimes subtle but effective means. Example, marriage. Another example, donation of "volunteers" to help MEMBERS get their work done. This begs the issue of course that you must be in it for the long term to understand the shifts and nuances of American government and economy. The world knows we cannot forge tank turrets in any large numbers any more, even taking a decade to ramp up armored humvee production but hey we have made the whole world want UAV capability and the organizationa and support arrangements to utilize it to the maximum. After all shortly we will have the best loiter capability of any country manned or unmanned for weeks at a time over potential targets. Of course that is why burrowing is such a major emphasis of most of the world that might oppose the US militarily in the next few decades. I wonder how much of the US INTEL budget goes to industrial spying? How much of our potential or actual opponents?

Patrick Lang


Strangely, yes. Why does DIA not want to talk to me? pl

The Twisted Genius

Sounds like some pretty shabby tradecraft to have all ten rolled up. They apparently all got together for coffee and commo.


Please tell me the FBI are 'aving a larf. Or are they so strung out on ziocane that they feel the need to fabricate a myth to justify their existence?


Colonel Lang,

Be open to the possibility
that there is a relationship between the termination of this apparently harmless [as of now] Russian operation and the more serious problem you reference.

The termination of operations like these is almost always a political or foreign policy based decision. The preference of the security service [in whatever country]is to continue playing the Game. This is what they do for a living.

A message is being sent to someone. The someone is not always the obvious someone. Sometimes we "kill a chicken to scare the monkeys".

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96


'Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys' message? A better 'message' is one where the monkeys are afforded tickets back to their home country in body bags.


Nightsticker is most likely on to something. I'll throw something out. There are reputed to be deep connections between the Israeli criminal class and the Russian Thieves' World, sometimes from direct connections through emigrees from the old Soviet Union and its successor CIS. And why not? Through the "special relationship" between Israel and the U.S., the penetration of the transnational criminal element into the U.S. would be greatly facilitated. The Russian mob is quite sophisticated in its money-making schemes, well beyond just the traditional vice activities that one thinks of in connection with organized crime syndicates. Intellectual property theft, computer hacking, and financial crimes are all in their bag of tricks.

Given the mutual usefulness of criminal organizations and intelligence services one to the other, perhaps the criminals and the intelligence agencies (both Israeli and Russian, who have worked together before [Pollock, anybody?]) have been up to no good? The above-mentioned trilogy of criminal activities bleeds over very smoothly into areas of compelling interest to state intelligence agencies.

As I said, just a wild-assed speculation.


I wonder if Putin is smirking while flexing his biceps ? Hope his buddy enjoyed the hamburger and fries. The timing of this reveal is damned interesting. If the Russians are having trouble recruiting quality help, perhaps they should give Erik a call. It appears that he is considering expanding his market area.



So the SVR was running one of their 'illegaals' program. Interesting how former KGB Kalugin remarked how he was 'shocked' at the 'size' of the SVR illegals op. Hmmm.....now were these 'illegals' SVR or GRU operatives? Imagine 'illegals' loosing site of their 'mission' and going 'native native' on their bosses back home. What a worry their Kremlin bosses have to work with, LOL.


Did none of you read the complaints? There is no message. There is indeed a reason to announce this now. And it's simple and boring: mildly botched FBI overreach:. We had an undercover agent contact one of the Russians, pretending to have a new task for her from Moscow. She seemed to buy it, but then picked up throwaway mobile and calling card. And didn't show at the meeting they'd set for her next day. They were blown and had to move on the network -- which they'd been following since 2002, at least -- immediately, lest it be dismantled.

It's interesting reading, but nothing you wouldn't expect.


Israel? Spies in the US? Preposterous! After all an entire generation of Israeli ambassador is on the record that, to the best of their knowledge, Israel does not conduct espionage in the US.

Roy G

Nightsticker, 'kill a chicken to scare the monkeys' is a gem--good thing I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read that!

Furthermore, 'political or foreign policy based decision' rings true. I am reminded of Sibel Edmonds' whistleblowing, which was swept under the rug with alacrity; at the time, I just heard 'the Turks were spying on us,' and thought it was suspicious. Now, I realize that it must have been the neocon-Ergenekon nexus, receiving cover from the Cheney cabal.

ps. Anybody know how the Nozette spy case is progressing? Is that going to be the Franklin case redux?

Roy G

Also, it looks like Lebanon has been active in arresting Israeli spies; more than 70 have been arrested in the past year. This includes a recent catch of a senior mobile phone technician, who has been spying for Israel for 14 years, giving them unfettered access to all Lebanese mobile data and traffic.


Lee B

In reference to Israeli spies, maybe we ought to start with those holding dual citizenships in the White House?


Surely, Colonel, you are not referring to a certain Dr K**s?

William R. Cumming

PL does not want to talk to you because you would gain insights from their questions!

The Russian Ex-Pat community in the DC area is NOW HUGE. Rivals the Brighton Beach area. Many are in real estate which is profitable but not closely watched by the tax authorities. Yes the free free market!
Just note for the record the attempt to transform the FBI into an analytic organization from an investigative one announced by the Director in May 2002 with much fanfare has totally failed as has the FBI IT expenditures failed to accomplish much. But hey they get bigger and bigger. Over 35,000 FTE with about 12,500 gold badge agents.


isnt it a shame that u.s intel has to resort to the silly game of killing a chicken to scare the monkey when the monkey deserves serious justice.

the chicken and the monkey.

u.s intel is afraid of the monkey.

deal with it.


If those "Russian spies" were spies why are they not charged for espionage?

There is other stuff that sounds wrong. Like they used pictures with code in it posted on the web for communicating with the center. That is easy and reliable to do.

But the the papers say they also used shortwave radio and had some "meetings" with WLAN connections.

That is kind of stupid. If you have one reliable good way of communicating, steganographic code in pictures on flickr, why would you use more unreliable and quite detectable stuff too?

The story, and the time of release, sounds very fishy to me.


Spies from a country that isn't Israel and the only commentary you have is.. bringing up Israel?


Personally, I would have gone with Famke Jensen's Xenia Onatopp from the GoldenEye movie.

But, while this is certainly news, it shouldn't be shocking. Illegals like these have been a key component of Russian security service operations. The question that does go unanswered is why now, were the illegals on the verge of achieving some goal given to them by Moscow? Will someone in the USG be resigning shortly? Expect a tit for tat from Moscow sooner than later.

I think that the political influence slant fits MO of SVR illegals. Military related technology tends to be the domain of another security service, but wouldn't necessarily preclude the SVR from taking a shot at it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad