Friday, July 09, 2010

Russian spies going back to the cold – 10 agents admit their guilt.

They have to be the most incompetent spies in the history of espionage. A group of people who spent decades in a foreign country and managed to obtain nothing which they couldn't have come across with a Google search.

Now they are to be deported.

Standing one by one in a New York courtroom, 10 spies confessed yesterday to working in the US as undercover agents for Russia and were sentenced to immediate deportation, setting up one of the biggest, least secret swaps of intelligence officers since the end of the Cold War.

Under an agreement hastily thrashed out between government officials in Washington and Moscow, the five men and five women captured in US cities and suburbs last week by the FBI are to be exchanged for four people imprisoned in Russia for suspected contact with western intelligence agencies.

In Manhattan's federal courthouse, the Russian agents were obliged to strip away their false US identities, rising in turn to spell out their true names.

They gave almost identical statements that they had been "acting as agents of a foreign government, namely the Russian Federation, without providing prior notification to the US attorney-general". Convicted of a single count of espionage, they were each sentenced to expulsion following 10 days' imprisonment – time they have already served on remand.

I can't be the only person who has scratched their head reading about this, wondering what the Hell it was all about. Why did Russia spend so much time and money to find out so very little? Are Obama's team allowing them to be deported because they have almost nothing to really charge them with?

While the FBI has portrayed the deep-cover "sleeper" agents as a threat to American security, their at times bumbling attempts to infiltrate high policy-making circles has made them figures of fun to many Americans.

Chapman, a red-headed 28-year-old whose British former husband has sold compromising photos to tabloids, has become such a celebrity that a New York newspaper lamented her departure and asked if the city could keep her.

It's quite the strangest spy case I have ever come across. I have yet to read anything which they did which compromised American security in any way.

And yet the Russians are willing to swap prisoners which they hold in order to get these clowns back on Russian soil. Bizarre.

Click here for full article.

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