Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Way Too Late for Some Spy Games

To continue the theme of timing (too soon for HP?  too late for Lost), how about them Russian spies about two decades or more late and more than a few dollars short?  Drezner calls it the lamest espionage conspiracy ever.  He raises the point that the supposed info they sought is widely available on the net.  One of his commenters suggests that the effort was more about influence than about intel gathering.

The timing, always, is not random.  Right after a major US-Russian engagement, which is not going to make relations better, but before than the arrests happening just before or during (at least no spy planes have been shot down....).  The justice types in the US seem to claim that the timing was driven by the suspects getting close to fleeing.  But if they did no harm really, then who cares if they flee?  A bit perhaps, but again, unless they did get some significant intel or do some significant kind of damage, it is not clear why this is all that important, except that the FBI needs a win.

Ah, bureaucratic politics might be in play here.  That this major victory in counter-espionage is much less consequential than the on-going cyber-war with China (not that I blame Chinese hackers for my current computer problems--we have enough talented nihilists in the US, Canada and elsewhere).

But who knows?

Jessie Gugig, 15, said she could not believe the charges, especially against Mrs. Murphy.
“They couldn’t have been spies,” she said jokingly. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”
With a cover like that, these guys could be geniuses!

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