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Re: DISCUSSION- Russian spies update

Released on 2012-03-08 09:00 GMT

Email-ID 1649504
Date 2010-12-02 22:19:01
Or more likely a ploy to criticize Putin/the Russians.=C2=A0 Trying to get
out there that the spies were in fact dangerous--and they were, but this
is more of a political thing.=C2=A0

The more I think about it and look back at the chain of events, this makes
sense to me.=C2=A0 Gertz and the China Threat, Gertz and t= he Russia
Threat, etc.=C2=A0
On 12/2/10 3:09 PM, Ben West wrote:

I would lean more towards the opinion that the Gertz leak is a ploy,
like Fred pointed out. If there really were an active
counter-intelligence investigation going on within the NSA, I can't
imagine anyone wanting to get it leaked out. I guess it's a question of
how specific this probe is. If they've got a specific person they're
looking into, they'd want to keep it on lock-down. If they are just
monitoring for suspicious activity, then I don't see how this leak
reveals anything that isn't normal, everyday security efforts at the

On 12/2/2010 2:50 PM, Sean Noonan wrote:

that makes much more sense.=C2=A0 Thanks.=C2=A0

On 12/2/10 2:49 PM, Lauren Goodrich wrote:

Putin's interview was taped Tues & a few transcripts were
circulating, so Gertz would have most likely seen it with nearly 2
days to come up with something.

On 12/2/10 2:40 PM, Sean Noonan wrote:

-Putin said last night that the "deep-cover agents...who only
become active during crises and when diplomatic ties are severed,
when other forms of intelligence become ineffective or
impossible.... their activity in no way undermined the interests
of the United States."=C2=A0 We discussed last night how it seems
he was covering for their mission.=C2=A0

-Last night, just before Putin's interview Bill Gertz published an
article that the NSA and DIA are investigating a possible
infiltration orchestrated by one or more of the 10 russians.=C2=A0
His source is a former intelligence official (presumably NSA, but
not clear).=C2=A0 FBI is handling the CI investigation which means
that they probably got some evidence from the spies or another
outside source (My guess is NSA would handle this internally as
long as it could).=C2=A0=

-We haven't written on the information that came out in the last
few weeks about Potoyev/Shcherbakov being the source for the
intelligence that led to their capture.=C2=A0 These lea= ks could
be a cover for something else, but it's also about time for us to
correct/modify our point about Comrade J.=C2=A0 = In the very
murky world of espionage, it's impossible to tell who exactly was
responsible for fingering the investigation that came to light in

Here's what we can say:
The Gertz leak may be intentional to counter Putin's
interview.=C2=A0 It also could be the truth, and it onl underlines
that the Russians were no amateurs and were slowly working their
way into US government and intelligence networks.=C2=A0 They work
much differently than the West (or Bond/Bauer movies), so the fact
they had no major pay-off at that point does not mean they
couldn't be damaging.=C2=A0 Then there is George's important point
from last night--that this group caught just as they were
"sequencing" to a recruiting phase.=C2=A0 That could very well
explain the timing, quick spy trade, and this current mole

On 12/2/10 2:14 PM, Sean Noonan wrote:

I should have caught this in the morning.=C2=A0 This bit about
NSA/DIA is very interesting and goes to George's argument last

Also note theere is a ton of dirt in here on the Chinese and
Manas in Kyrgyzstan, and some prediction for a new provocation
by DPRK.

We know Gertz has a bias and gets fed by certain people.=C2= =A0
But that doens't mean this stuff is necessarily wrong.=C2=A0 =

On 12/2/10 1:46 PM, Sean Noonan wrote:

Inside the Ring: Counterspies hunt Russian mole inside
National Security Agency

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
6:46 p.m., Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The National Security Agency (NSA) is conducting a
counterintelligence probe at its Fort Meade, Md., headquarters
in a top-secret hunt for a Russian agent, according to a
former intelligence official close to the agency.

The former official said the probe grew out of the case of 10
Russian "illegals," or deep-cover spies, who were uncovered
last summer and sent back to Moscow after the defection of
Col. Alexander Poteyev, a former SVR foreign intelligence
officer who reportedly fled to the U.S. shortly before Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev visited here in June.

Col. Poteyev is believed to be the source who disclosed the
U.S.-based agent network.

NSA counterintelligence officials suspect that members of the
illegals network were used by Russia's SVR spy agency to
communicate with one or more agents inside the agency, which
conducts electronic intelligence gathering and code-breaking.

One sign that the probe is fairly advanced is that FBI
counterintelligence agents are involved in the search.

"They are looking for one or more Russian spies that NSA is
convinced reside at Fort Meade and possibly other DoD intel
offices, like DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency]," the former
official said. "NSA is convinced that at least one is at NSA."

Some of the 10 illegals who were posing as U.S. citizens
helped service Russian agents working inside the U.S.
intelligence community, the former official said.

No other details of the investigation could be learned.

NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in e-mail: "I don't have any
information to provide regarding your query."

An FBI spokesman had no immediate comment.

NSA has been the victim of several damaging spy cases dating
back to the 1960s, when two officials defected to the Soviet

In 1985, NSA analyst Ronald Pelton was caught spying for
Moscow. He had provided the Soviets with extremely damaging
secrets, including details of an underwater electronic
eavesdropping program on Russian military cables called
"Operation Ivy Bells."

China in Kyrgyzstan

A confidential State Department cable made public this week
highlights China's role in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

The U.S. ambassador in far-off Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, confronted
China's ambassador about a covert attempt by Beijing to bribe
the government there to shut down the strategic U.S. military
transit base at Manas in exchange for $3 billion in cash.

The Feb. 13, 2009, cable signed by Ambassador Tatiana C.
Gfoeller revealed that Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Zhang
Yannian "did not deny categorically" the covert cash offer to
close the base, which is a major transit and refueling point
for U.S. troops and supplies heading into northern

"After opening pleasantries, the ambassador mentioned that
Kyrgyz officials had told her that China had offered a $3
billion financial package to close Manas Air Base and asked
for the ambassador's reaction to such an allegation," the
cable stated.<= br>
"Visibly flustered, Zhang temporarily lost the ability to
speak Russian and began spluttering in Chinese to the silent
aide diligently taking notes right behind him. Once he had
recovered the power of Russian speech, he inveighed against
such a calumny, claiming that such an idea was impossible,
China was a staunch opponent of terrorism, and China's
attitude toward Kyrgyzstan's decision to close Manas was one
of 'respect and understanding.' "

The cable highlights what observers say has been China's
behind-the-scenes, anti-U.S. strategy of seeking to undermine
U.S. global counterterrorism efforts.

Mr. Zhang insisted that China's interest in Kyrgyzstan, which
shares a border with China's restive Xinjiang province, is
purely commercial. He then said China rejected calls by "some
Kyrgyz" for China to set up a military base there to
counterbalance Russian and U.S. influence.

"We want no military or political advantage. Therefore, we
wouldn't pay $3 billion for Manas," Mr. Zhang was quoted as

Chinese intelligence personnel, however, are another story,
according to U.S. officials who have said Beijing's
intelligence presence is very large in the country.

Mr. Zhang advised the U.S. ambassador on how to keep the base.
"Just give them $150 million in cash [per year, and] you will
have the base," he said.

The Chinese official also said several times during the
meeting that a "revolution in China" is possible if the
economy failed to improve and millions remain unemployed.

"In our experience, talk of revolution at home is taboo for
Chinese," the cable said.

However, observers have noted that Chinese diplomats used
similar language in meetings with U.S. officials as scare
tactics, warning of a coming Chinese collapse as a way to
stave off political pressure for democratic change.
Braced for attack

Amid high tensions, U.S. and allied militaries are braced for
another North Korean attack - more artillery shelling, missile
test launches or possibly another underground nuclear blast.

The next incident is expected in coming days after U.S.-South
Korean joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea that ended on
Wednesday, said intelligence sources familiar with the region.

North Korean military forces remain on heightened alert, as do
South Korean forces, and the sources said the South Korean
military is set to counter any further artillery strikes.

One possible target being watched closely is the northernmost
of South Korea's five northwest islands, called Baengnyeong
Island, a major intelligence base that has been a safe harbor
for North Korean defectors fleeing the communist state in the

South Korea's military is prepared to carry out aggressive
counterattacks against any new strikes.

Intelligence analysis of the Nov. 23 artillery attack on
Yeonpyeong Island, which killed four people and wounded 17,
indicates that the surprise bombardment is connected to the
ongoing leadership succession of Kim Jong-il's third son, Kim
Jong-un, as well as to the recent disclosure by the North
Koreans of a covert uranium-enrichment program.

Kim Jong-un was recently promoted and has aligned himself with
North Korean generals involved in artillery forces, according
to the intelligence sources. Reports from North Korea
indicated that both Kims visited the 4th Corps, whose unit
carried out an artillery barrage before the Yeonpyeong attack.

Gay training

The Pentagon working group on open gays in the military sets
out an ambitious training program to ensure that troops treat
their colleagues, gay or straight, with dignity.

The group, led by Army Gen. Carter Ham and Pentagon General
Counsel Jeh Johnson, appears to shy away from what some might
call "sensitively training."

The report's implementation plan states that "service members
are not expected to change their personal religious or moral
beliefs; however, they are expected to treat all others with
dignity and respect, consistent with the core values that
already exist within each service."

But objections to homosexuality are not grounds to request a
transfer, reports special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

Says the report: Service "members do not have the right to
refuse duty or duty assignments based on a moral objection to
another's sexual orientation. Service members remain obligated
to follow orders that involve interaction with others who are
gay or lesbian, even if an unwillingness to do so is based on
strong, sincerely held, moral or religious beliefs."

And it states that "harassment or abuse based on sexual
orientation is unacceptable. All service members are to treat
one another with dignity and respect regardless of sexual

Gay survey

While the Pentagon working group concluded the negative impact
on the force would be "low" if gays serve openly, its survey
results present a different story.

Republicans likely will cite some of these numbers in arguing
in the Senate, where a vote on repeal is pending, that now is
not the time to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, as two
wars are being fought.

The most striking number is that nearly 60 percent of combat
soldiers and Marines believe open gays will hurt unit

There are other similar findings, reports special
correspondent Mr. Scarborough.

Of respondents who said they served under a leader they
believed to be gay, 46 percent said it had a "mostly negative"
effect on the unit's performance. Only 8 percent termed it
"mostly positive."

Of all troops asked how repeal will affect their future, 23
percent said they will either leave the military sooner than
planned or think about leaving. For Marines, the percentage
was nearly 40 percent.

If the figures are accurate, repeal would result in a surge of
troop departures and leave the military scrambling to fill the

A quarter of those surveyed also said they would shower at a
different time if someone they believed to be gay were using
the facility.

Gay-rights advocates cite the survey's most publicized result:
Seventy percent of all troops - support and combat - say
repeal will have a positive, mixed or no effect on the force.

=C2=A9 Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC. Click he= re
for reprint permission.

Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.


Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.


Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

Lauren Goodrich
Senior Eurasia Analyst
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334


Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

Ben West
Tactical Analyst
Austin, TX


Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.