Well, it looks like the ten infamous Russian spies are back in Mother Russia, and the four that were shilling for us have been extradited to the USA, from Russia, with love. And in the end, when all was said and done, more was said, than was done. Here’s the deal . . .
While it was all fun and games to titillate about Russia’s answer to Natasha Fatale, the simple fact is spying is not all that unusual. To riff of Cole Porter, We do it, they do it, even crafty Japanese do it. Fact is, every country has spies. When we do it, we call them “field assets.” Or “human intel.” Sounds so much better than “spies.” That’s what we call the other guy’s guys.
What’s disappointing (at least to the TTAG’s armed intelligentsia): there was no huge cache of handguns, rocket launchers, or full-auto weapons found on any of the spies. That’s largely because professional spying (usually) has little to do with killing people on foreign soil, and (mostly) doing a lot of boring intel work. Things like stealing passwords and compromising security. Spies usually try to keep a low profile, which runs counter to running about the countryside with a Walther PPK and blowing holes in people that get in your way.
There are a couple of different kinds of spies. The most obvious kind are those that come from the country they spy for, and work inside the country they are spying.
The second kind are the ones that usually get charged with treason – people that are natives of the country where they are spying, and have essentially been turned against their own country, working for another. Think of guys like “Johnny Walker Black,” the American who sold U.S. secrets to the U.S.S.R. for a great, big, honkin’ pot of money.
The third kind of spies are the ones that do the “black ops” work – the ones that pull all the assassinations, electronic surveillance, and other “wet work.” That’s NOT the kind of spies they found and deported here.
Bottom line, everybody spies. I guaran-damn-tee you that Israel, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Spain all have spies walking around the USA, reporting back to their employers. And those are countries that are friendly to us.
Newsflash – we’ve got spies in all those countries. It’s the way the game is played. Which brings up an interesting question…if everybody does it, why did they grab Russian spies, instead of compromising them, getting them to report bad intel back to Russia, or simply feed them bad intel? Interesting question.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might suggest that this was a little slight-of-hand, to distract us from something the powers-that-be desperately want us to ignore. It might have been because we needed a quid-pro-quo to be able to protect the assets compromised in Russia. It could have been that the administration wanted to look as if they were Doing Something, or it might well have been that the Feds had to step in because the local cops stumbled into something, and it required them to go through the motions, even though now the Feds have to spend time finding the replacement spies, instead of monitoring the ones they already knew about.
My guess? Probably a mix of “all of the above.”
The bottom line for TTAGers: nothing to see here. Move along. When they arrest a Boris Badenov type, complete with arsenal of lethal weapons, we’ll let you know.