We also have robust firewalls between intelligence agencies, the rest of government, the private sector, the media, NGOs and so forth. In Russia, there are no firewalls. You can be a businessman, a propagandist, a human-rights lawyer (I love that one) and a spy simultaneously. You can be a billionaire cruising the Greek islands on your mega-yacht, but if Putin’s dogsbody rings your cell with a task, vacation’s over.
Russia is, in the end, Putin Incorporated.
But when we know that a Russian has formally worked as a “former counterintelligence agent” — as we learned Friday about an additional person present at the now-famous meeting last year between Trump family members and Russians promising dirt on Mrs. Clinton — we can mentally drop that "former."
And to claim that a meeting with the Russian equivalent of a mob lawyer and a “former” Russian counterintelligence officer is business-as-usual for any American political campaign is utterly untrue.
(Yes, the Clintons have had more ugly connections than there are rats in Manhattan. But shabby as they are, the Clintons never sought campaign collusion with Russian intelligence agents. The Clintons prefer being bought over being fooled.)
This blog continues the discussion that we began with Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009).The latest book in this series is Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
There Are No "Former" Russian Agents
Ralph Peters, late of Army Intelligence, writes that American intelligence officers really do retire, unlike their Russian counterparts.
Posted by Pitney at 8:47 AM
Labels: government, intelligence, political science, Politics, Russia, scandal, Trump