Voices from Russia

Friday, 17 May 2013

Russia “Outs” Alleged Moscow CIA Station Chief… “Unprecedented” CIA Moscow Chief Leak Puzzles Ex-Spies

squirrel spy


On Friday, the FSB publicly identified an individual it claims was the Moscow station chief of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as of late 2011… a move widely-seen as a breach of protocol in the intelligence community. A man identified as an FSB official named the alleged CIA station chief in an interview with state-run television, in which he gave new details about the agency’s highly-publicised detention of alleged American spy Ryan Fogle earlier this week. In the interview, the FSB official reiterated earlier claims that his agency explicitly asked the CIA to stop trying to recruit Russian security and intelligence officers. In late 2011, he added, the FSB formally warned the CIA station chief in Moscow, whom he identified by name, “In the event that provocative efforts to recruit employees of the Russian special services continue, the FSB … would take reciprocal measures against American intelligence officers”. The officer, his face blacked out, and voice altered, said that Fogle’s brief detention this week… reportedly preceded in January by the unpublicised ouster of another American diplomat suspected of spying… was made public because the CIA continued to disregard the warning.

The Daily Telegraph reported, “A diplomat of the same name [given by the FSB official] is listed as a Counsellor in the US Embassy in Moscow in the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 edition of a directory of foreign diplomatic, media, and business offices in the city”. It wasn’t clear whether the man identified as the station chief is still in Moscow. US Embassy officials weren’t immediately available for comment. On Friday, US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told a news conference in Washington DC that she hadn’t seen the report and referred further questions to the CIA. On Friday afternoon, the CIA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

17 May 2013


On Friday, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers and security experts told RIA-Novosti that Russia’s decision to identify a purported top American spy in the country is an “unprecedented” move in relations between Moscow and Washington with no clear indication of how the USA will react. Peter Earnest, who operated intelligence collection and covert operations in Europe and the Middle East during a 35-year career with the CIA, said, “Certainly, throughout the Cold War, and even after that, there was a practise of not naming the head of the [spy agencies] in the respective countries”. Earnest and other security experts said that the television interview in which a man identified as an FSB officer named an alleged CIA station chief in Moscow puzzled them.

In the interview with state-run television, the FSB officer explained that his agency detained purported US spy Ryan Fogle in Moscow earlier this week because a request in late 2011 to the purported station chief, whom he identified by name, to halt “provocative” CIA efforts to recruit Russian intelligence agents went unheeded. The Daily Telegraph reported, “A diplomat of the same name [given by the FSB official] is listed as a Counsellor in the US Embassy in Moscow in the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 edition of a directory of foreign diplomatic, media, and business offices in the city”. On Friday, neither the US State Department nor the CIA responded to requests for comment.

Melvin Goodman, who served as division chief and senior analyst at the CIA’s Office of Soviet Affairs in the 1970s and 1980s, said, “The leak of the purported spy’s name represents a serious breach in protocol. These things are usually done quietly”. He added that the release of the name was “unprecedented” in the history of American relations with Russia and the USSR. Goodman pointed up that the disclosure of a CIA operative’s name in such a fashion is typically a death knell for the agent’s career, saying, “He could stay operational clandestinely, but I don’t see how they could send him out under any cover”.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security services at New York University, called the naming of the alleged station chief a “definite escalation” in the wake of Fogle’s brief detention and subsequent eviction from Russia, where he served as a third secretary in the political section at the US embassy. Galeotti told RIA-Novosti, “It’s almost as if the Russians are inviting the Americans to respond, but as it is, they seem to have Washington off balance”.

Earnest and Goodman both said that without the full picture of the circumstances surrounding Fogle’s detention and the public naming of the purported station chief, it’s difficult to predict how Washington might respond. Goodman said that if Russia’s reaction was indeed precipitated by CIA operatives’ aggressive attempts to recruit Russian intelligence officers, Washington “may just decide to let it go, but without knowing what some of the operational details are, I’d hesitate to speculate on this”.

It wasn’t the first time that the name of an alleged CIA station chief was publicly disclosed in recent years. In 2010 and early 2011, American officials accused Pakistani authorities of leaking the name of two CIA station chiefs in Islamabad to the country’s news media within five months. However, Earnest, the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, noted that Washington’s relationship with Pakistan is considerably different than its relationship with Russia is, adding that there’s no formal protocol dictating how countries should respond in these cases. “It’s very situational, and the fact that you and I and the public don’t know what occasioned the takedown of Fogle means we don’t know what the signal [from Russia] was. That makes it doubly-hard to know the signal of this latest development is. It sort of deepens the mystery”.

Goodman, who spent 24 years as a CIA analyst specialising in Soviet affairs, said the spy spat surprised him given public overtures from both countries in recent weeks indicating they were interested in cooperating on the investigation of last month’s Boston Marathon bombings and ending the civil war in Syria, saying, “This past week suggests that something else is going on”.

18 May 2013 (MSK)

Carl Schreck






Pope Francisco Bergoglio Attacks the Tyranny of the Markets… He’s Rather MORE “Lefty” than Benny Ratz Was

Vasili Ostrovsky. The Russian Market. Satan Reigns There. 2004

The Russian Market: Satan Reigns There

Vasili Ostrovsky



The cult of money is today’s golden calf.

Pope Francisco Bergoglio


Yesterday, Pope Francisco gave his first major analysis on the causes of the global financial crisis

Our human family is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements that contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education, and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live, and, frequently, to live in an undignified way. One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over our society and ourselves. Consequently, the financial crisis that we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. It stems from the denial of the primacy of human beings! We’ve created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Exodus 32.15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy that’s faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.

The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely-deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, nowadays, human beings themselves are considered as consumer goods that can be used and thrown away. We’ve started a throw-away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it’s being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. Whilst the income of a minority increases exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies that uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and, thus, deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible, and at times virtual, tyranny is established; one that unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion that have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.

Concealed behind this attitude is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It’s regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativises money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people… because ethics leads to God, who’s situated outside the categories of the market. God is thought to be unmanageable by these financiers, economists, and politicians; God is unmanageable, even dangerous, because he calls man to his full realisation and to independence from any kind of slavery. Ethics … naturally, not the ethics of ideology… makes it possible, in my view, to create a balanced social order that is more humane. In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of St John Chrysostom, “Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It isn’t our goods that we possess, but theirs” (Homily on Lazarus, 1:6 – PG 48, 992D).

There’s a need for financial reform along ethical lines that’d produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. Nevertheless, this’d require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.

For her part, the Church always works for the integral development of every person. In this sense, she reiterates that the common good shouldn’t be simply an extra, simply a conceptual scheme of inferior quality tacked onto political programmes. The Church encourages those in power to be truly at the service of the common good of their peoples. She urges financial leaders to take account of ethics and solidarity. Why should they not turn to God to draw inspiration from His designs? In this way, a new political and economic mindset would arise that’d help to transform the absolute dichotomy between the economic and social spheres into a healthy symbiosis.

17 May 2013

The Tablet


Editor’s Note:

I discarded the boilerplate greetings at the head and foot of this piece. Let’s keep it simple. The reason that real Orthodox have to oppose the konvertsy and their attempt to ally the Church with rightwing forces is simple… they wish us all to bow down before Almighty Mammon. They want to ally us with warmongers, greedsters, and politicians so bloody in their use of the death penalty that they’d make Judge Jeffreys blush.

Don’t hate these people… but do oppose them. Hatred only dulls our vision and lowers us to the level of those such as Rod Dreher and James Paffhausen. God calls us to oppose them… not hate them… not do violence to them. As long as they’re alive, there’s hope that they’ll repent… it’s slim, but it’s there.

Keep your mind right and God’ll bless you.


Patriarch Ilia Called for Calm After Orthodox Groups Thwarted Gay Rights Rally

00 Patriarch Ilie of Georgia. 20.01.13


Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, called for calm after violence erupted after aggressive anti-gay protesters, led by Orthodox clergy, thwarted a rally by a small group of gay rights activists to mark International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May. Patriarch Ilia said in televised remarks on Friday evening, “We distance ourselves from violence”. However, in reference to the gay rights rally, he said, “It’s something that shouldn’t be propagandised. We should know that this is a sin before God. We can express our sorrow without interfering in anyone’s private life. I hope that everything will calm down. I call on our people on all sides to go from the streets and return back home and to pray for each other”.

On 16 May, the Patriarch released a written statement calling on the authorities to ban the gay rights rally in downtown Tbilisi. Speaking to Orthodox believers gathered in Holy Trinity Cathedral, after the 17 May developments in Tbilisi, a senior cleric, Bishop Jakob Iakobishvili of Gardabani and Martqopi, said, “What happened today was an order coming from the nation. You know very well that the United National Movement required two-and-a-half months to gather 5,000 people [for its 19 April rally], then, they boasted, ‘See how many people we gathered’. Today, people came into [the streets] on their own initiative… Several millions would’ve come [into the streets] if needed”.

17 May 2013

Civil Georgia


Editor’s Note:

What the Church opposes absolutely is “gay propaganda”… that is, the suborning of minors and gay rights marches are beyond the pale. On the other hand, the Church takes a nuanced view of individual homosexuals… unlike the crazed konvertsy in the USA and their hysterical leaders such as Paffhausen and Moriak (Paffhausen shouldn’t have thrown stones given his mentor and hierarchical sponsor… the roads in his case DO lead to Platina and Dallas). The Church does NOT agree with sectarian Evangelical nonsense.

In short… some people overreacted and the Patriarch made it clear that the Church doesn’t condone violence… even violence supposedly in the service of “morality”. We don’t resort to the iron boot to impose “moral behaviour” (such is a contradiction in terms, no?). That’s the way of it in Christ’s Church…


17 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Old-School Spy Mania

00 Sergei Yolkin. Old-School Spy Mania. 2013

Old-School Spy Mania

Sergei Yolkin



Yolkin captures the utter ridiculousness of this whole affair by showing the “spy” wearing an obvious blonde wig. Nonetheless, Ryan Fogle was an overly-ambitious over-educated little swine caught in his own machinations. This was so derisively-amateurish that it’s apparent that Fogle never had formal training in spycraft. He played right into the hands of the anti-American faction amongst the siloviki. Well, look at the bright side of it all… it would’ve been WORSE if Wet Willy had been elected… Romney’s ignorant bluster would’ve done nothing but deepen the conundrum. America dares to lecture the world…


Sergei Yolkin takes a sardonic look at the arrest in Moscow of an American spy, nicked during “a clumsy recruitment” of a Russian special services operative. The cops seized wigs, money, and instructions for recruitment from the alleged CIA agent.

17 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



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