Yes, yes, yes, they can be "crude and clumsy," as Putin's political advisor Uri Ushakov called CIA after the apparently botched attempt by now outed former "third secretary" Ryan Fogle to "recruit" spies. We have to say "apparently," because as we know, nothing is as it seems. But we also know that CIA still like to get their Smiley on, pretend that that good ol' Cold War is still hotting up. It was the best of times for the game, running around spying on their spies, who were spying on them. An endless carousel of tax payer funded subterfuge and paranoia and, most importantly, exotic locales.
But the crude and clumsy was too much to ignore this time, all wigs and dark glasses, and now it seems the Kremlin has named names, outed CIA station chief in Moscow. The ever respectful press won't print the name, no doubt fearing reprisals from an increasingly punitive and pugnacious Obama zone, but those damnable Ruskies did. In a report! Shameful, really, such a breach of protocol. Breaching protocol! The horror. Not respecting the fact that they know who the Yankee spies are, and the Yanks know who the Russian spies are, but shhhh, it's still all secret don't cha know.
Russia’s security services openly named the US intelligence agency’s Moscow station chief on Friday in a rare breach of protocol after arresting an alleged CIA agent working undercover at the US embassy.
Russia announced this week that it had caught alleged agent Ryan Fogle as he prepared to recruit a member of the Russian security forces. Footage was aired showing him wearing a blond wig and his array of spying equipment, including a compass and an old-fashioned mobile phone.
An unnamed representative of the FSB security services told the Interfax news agency that back in 2011, the agency had “officially warned” the CIA station chief in Moscow over what it called “provocative recruiting moves towards Russian security services officers,” and threatened “reciprocal measures towards CIA officers.
The report gave the full name of the alleged CIA chief of station in Moscow.
It also named another alleged CIA agent who had worked at the US embassy in Moscow, saying that he had also been declared persona non grata, like Fogle, and left in January after he carried out a “similar action.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she had not seen the reports on the outing of the CIA Moscow chief, and also refused to say whether Fogle had now left Russia.
But she insisted that Washington and Moscow had worked “closely together” on various issues over the years.
“We still feel that we have a very positive relationship, and one that we can continue to work together on areas where we agree,” Psaki told reporters.
“There are still areas, of course, where we disagree. But I’m not going to weigh in further on the impact here.”
Kremlin-funded television channel RT cited on its website an FSB operative as saying that “in the case with Fogle, the CIA crossed a red line and we had no choice but to react observing official procedures.”
The FSB agent told RT that the Russian security agency held a 2011 meeting with the CIA chief of station in Moscow.
RT also named the station chief, although it gave a slightly different surname than Interfax.
“We decided to warn our American colleagues and ask them to stop these activities,” the FSB agent told RT.
“We hoped our American colleagues would hear us, given that we also presented to them precise information about CIA officers making recruitment attempts in Moscow and who exactly was doing that.”