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Monday, February 19, 2018

US measures against Russian intelligence beyond the reasonable

The intelligence Committee of the U.S. Senate wants to create at administration of the President of a special group to track Russian spies. “Such actions are contrary to logic and only call upon the spirit of the cold war”, – noted in the Russian Embassy in the United States. And hit the bull’s-eye: in the proposals of the Senate is not only a spy, but elements of pure insanity.

The bill was approved by Committee in may and awaits final adoption. It involves the creation of a special group, whose participants (primarily, state Department employees and members of the intelligence community) would be appointed personally by the head of state to run the task on “opening the Russian spies”. It remains to add that this group (Committee) is created in the image and likeness of the one that existed during the cold war. However, then coordinating on going from case to case when it was necessary to organize joint work of several agencies in the US, traditionally a difficult task. Now assume the work of the Committee on a regular basis – meetings will be held monthly. The date of the vote on the bill has not yet been appointed, presumably, it will happen before the Senate recess, which will begin next month.

“War the Washington traffic police with Russian diplomats about Parking in the wrong places has long been the subject of jokes”

This same bill provides for the tightening of the rules of stay in the U.S. to Russian diplomats and confronts the new Committee several fundamentally new – an amazing and even shocking task. You can start with the fact that all members of the Russian diplomatic missions will have to notify the FBI about all of their upcoming travel for a distance greater than 50 miles from their “home base”. This introduces a rather bizarre principle of “collective responsibility”: if someone breaks the rules of movement, has none of the diplomats will not be able to go further than 50 miles for three months. Also, the FBI will notify Congress (apparently as a reward Russian citizens) about how well the diplomats follow the rules of the move. It sort of has to force the Russians to follow the “normal Protocol”.

Meanwhile, there is no “typical Protocol” trips around the country for diplomatic staff of foreign embassies and missions do not exist in principle. This is also confirmed by the “talking head” of the Senate miss Pooja Jhunjhunwala: “as a General rule, employees of foreign embassies and consulates are allowed to move freely within the territory of the United States.” However, she added, depending on the circumstances there can be restrictions.

We believe that we can. Recently employee of the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok found in Kamchatka, where she (Mary Gunn, Vice Consul for administrative Affairs, that is, an intelligence operative, by definition) traveled on horses in the restricted zone near the village of Razdolnoe elizovskiy area with my girlfriend and some American student. She was “a private visit” and did it for it was not.

In reality, a strange decision with notice of the 50-mile perimeter” due to the fact that the FBI for all can not keep up. An anonymous representative of the us intelligence community has spoken out very frankly: “the Russian have a tendency to notify the state Department about what they’re going to leave 50-mile radius, at 5 PM on Friday, and the state Department doesn’t want to look like the bad guys”. That is, in most cases, the FBI simply is not enough time to decide whether to investigate plan the trip of Russian and does this damage the United States.” “We have no such number of human resources, as in Russian, to 24/7 hanging on the tail of each. I think that in Moscow even the receptionist will not be able to get out of the American Embassy, to her were not followed”, – concluded the anonymous.

In addition, this law is a direct consequence of anti-Russian spy mania that swept the specialized agencies of the United States in recent years. Over the last six months, the FBI reported the identification of 11 “Russian operatives” in Washington worried. The result of this excitement last year was exactly the same bill of intelligence, which bore, however, a pronounced defensive character. According to the Statute, “in the Russian Federation, all countries with a common border with Russia or was part of the Soviet Union earlier,” must be organized “safe space” on the American embassies and other diplomatic missions and buildings. In practice, it is hanging on the ropes of the room that are not associated with the bearing structure of the building, in order to exclude any external removal of oscillations from the sound of human speech. In very advanced cases, to talk customary, wearing special helmets with “trunks”.

At the same time from the Embassy was dismissed all civilian Russian citizens and some categories of employees were ordered not to leave the building without special permission. The male part of missions, including Marines guard strictly forbidden to get acquainted with Muscovite. Many thought the ban excessive and “moved” in the social network.

The American intelligence community is usually justified by “special occupancy” of the staff in the middle East, resulting in the “Russian spies” literally unbelted. But until now the FBI, CIA and other counter-intelligence work in the U.S. do not participate in accordance with the special law and separation of powers) didn’t exist specialized counterintelligence units. There is generally no hard and fast specialization. For example, in the Washington FBI office, the same agent can participate in the exciting pursuit of drug dealers in a troubled suburb of Alexandria, and then to hunt for some serial killer, and after that be involved in spying for the Russians or, say, Chinese. That is, the creation of a certain organizational structure that will coordinate passive monitoring of Russian diplomats, a step up the occupational ladder.

On the other hand, not to mention unexpected for the Americans the emphasis on operational activities during the cold war. It would seem that in the XXI century, around gadgets, cyber threats and all that, but there is an obvious old school “methods of James bond”.

Obviously, a specialized Senate Committee on intelligence focused on the so-called human intelligence, or, as they say, HUMINT. From their point of view, the Embassy and diplomatic building is the first floor (ground zero) human intelligence. All agents one way or another “accompanied” (supervised) by intelligence officials who generally have cover in the form of diplomatic positions that allow them to avoid criminal prosecution and gives many benefits. For example, the ability to Park anywhere – the war of the Washington traffic police with Russian diplomats about Parking in the wrong places has long been the subject of jokes.

But if the issue of trips outside a 50-mile perimeter is still possible though as-that to explain from the point of view of counterintelligence routine, from other points of the Senate bill from the professionals hair stand on end.

So, the Committee should investigate the “mystery killings” carried out by order of the Kremlin. So just written: Russian-sponsored assassinations. In another sentence: covert killings. This delirium bound and other function of the Committee is to monitor the financing of these groups “secret killers” and “manipulation of media” and “covert translation” (probably the radio).

In this regard, of course, possible to say that the intelligence (despite the narrow-minded immorality of the profession itself) from time immemorial, there are the peculiar principles of fair play, chief among them not to commit murder on foreign territory, and still each other to kill. Yes, in Soviet times there was the practice of destroying defectors and traitors, but it was relatively short and was in the form of an order forbidden and excluded from the set theoretical methods. The CIA had sinned not only by the killings in third countries, but also the mass executions of political opponents. But for those who believe that in our time crowds of Russian-sponsored assassinations are worn across the United States and dozens of do covert killings, the straitjacket is crying. The Senate intelligence Committee sit people, let’s say, not very young, but this rhetoric is not even “late period of the cold war, it is much older – from the days of Senator McCarthy.

To comment on such in General is meaningless. As talk about “manipulation of the media” and “hidden translation”. It is easier to imagine how the Russian diplomats, afterburner escaping in a 50-mile radius, somewhere in the wild Wyoming unfold in a corn field transmitter, “bump” into broadcasting local country radio and start transmitting on his frequency propaganda mixed with “Boots” and “Katyusha”, clearing the sniper rifle.

This really could be treated as humoresque, but, it seems, and in the Senate, and in the us intelligence community think so.

In the 90 years the US has destroyed its system of human intelligence, switched on electronics, satellites and global listening. And now an emergency it is reduced, not having at hand not only basic skills but also the training of operatives, capable of working with complex human material. Perhaps, hence the belief in the second coming of the age of cambodain” fueled by stories of arrests of the Russian illegals. But beyond reasonable to go out is clearly not worth it.

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