It turns out that that Russians – clearly fed up with the CIA’s arrogance in spite of repeated warning – has, indeed, made public the name of the CIA station chief in Moscow: Steven Hall.
But now things get really hilarious: while lots of Anglo media outlets reported this fact, none of them – as far as I can tell – dared to actually mention the spook’s name. Ok, well, maybe I could understand why the putatively “independent” and “free” but still American and, therefore, rigidly “patriotic” American press would decide to keep quiet. But I also checked the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent. etc. and they all, as if in lockstep, loyally refuse to name the spook.
Besides being pathetic, this is also very dumb. In God’s name, from whom do these boneheaded journalists think they are hiding the spook’s name? The FSB? Don’t they even realize that once the name is all over the Russian media, its going to be picked up worldwide?
The Anglo media reminds me of puppies who, when they see their master, immediately pee as a sign of submission. It makes no sense, the master might not even like this kind of show, but they do that simply because they are puppies and this is what puppies do, without thinking, without ever considering options.
Finally, what a disgrace that anybody outside the CIA would think that anybody would somehow “owe” the CIA station chief in Moscow anything! Whether I – or anybody else – publishes his name at this point makes no difference to anybody, not to the CIA and not to Mr. Hall. At the age of the Internet, once something is “out”, its “out” forever. But even if we – all the non-CIA folks on the planet – could make a difference and hide Mr. Hall’s name – why would we have to?! Does anybody sincerely believe that the CIA is on anybody’s side besides the 1% who run the USA?
Pathetic. Pathetic beyond words.
Anyway, as a sign of “how its done”, let me show them:
See, that was not too hard.
what are the diplomatic practices or norms around this kind of spying? is it no secret to the Russian government that the CIA operates in the country? does Russian intelligence work or consult with the CIA in Russia? what are the norms around this? i’ve never read a good summary of how this kind of intelligence work takes place. the commonsense is that it’s all secretive. but obviously it’s not and governments must have some kind of mutual understanding about what takes place and who is who… Any thoughts?
@Anonymous: well, while the status and role of diplomats is covered by the formal rules of the Vienna Convention, the activities of spies are not formally covered by any official rules. But in the course of the long Cold War there definitely has been a special relationship established between the Soviets and the Americans, and the Russians nowadays expect the Americans to behave according to these rules. Rule one: both sides accept that both sides spy on each other. Rule two: diplomats are untouchable, illegals will eventually be exchanged. Rule three: no violence against each other. Rule four: neither side will reach out to the media to embarrass the other (typically, the media is informed *after* a diplomat has quietly been expelled). Rule five, we do not blow each other’s cover just for the hell of it. Rule six: when caught, bow your head and quietly move on.
There are more.
But what happened here is that the US seems to have broken rule 6 so the Russian retaliated and broke rules 4 and 5.
Does that make sense?
piece by Eric Margolis
@Anonymous3: thanks, good article.
Looks like the Syrians have scored another big victory: the strategic town of al Qusayr has been re-taken: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22586378
and they found israeli jeeps with communications jamming technologies in the town.
the town is important for linking damasacus to lattakia, and for keeping an arms route open to HA areas in northeastern lebanon.
if the gov’t controls the areas of damascus, homs, lattakia, and alleppo, the opposition will be marginalized to a few rural areas. it will still be able to carry out a few attacks here and there, but it will be highly marginalized — and demoralized.
you can tell that Asad and the state feel empowered. they have no reason to surrender or to make major compromises at this point.
obama should have gone for negotiations a few months ago, when asad was weaker. instead he bet on regime change from within.
now, the only way the gov’t will fall is by a major western, turkish, and israeli intervention, which would basically mean regional war, potentially drawing in russia.
i highly doubt that obama wants that kind of conflict. but can he accept or deal with the alternative: the victory of the resistance axis and a major strategic set back for US imperialism.
israel should also be very scared. it was happy with both sides bleeding each other dry. it liked a very weak, but not failed state. the current trajectory, though, points towards a stronger syrian state and army, with recent experience in liberating territory and a will to fight the external enemy.
what will israel do? will obama be able to restrain it?