Ryan Fogle-Accused Spy-Leaves Russia

 Five days, accused spy Ryan Fogle was ordered to leave Russia.  He finally departed the country on Sunday.

Fogle was detained by the Russian government for “attempting to recruit a double agent”.  The Russians claimed he was a member of the CIA.  Fogle said he was an employee of the U.S. Embassy.  The embassy in turn confirmed that he did work there, but refused to elaborate.  The CIA simply would not comment.

When Fogle was detained, he was wearing a badly made blonde wig.  In his possession were antiquated recording and transmitting devices.

The Russian newspaper, reported that he was in the country investigating the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who came from the Caucasus.

Whether or not Mr. Fogle is associated with the CIA, with the ‘cold war’ over, why are both the United States and Russia continuing to recruit spies?  The answer is simple, and, maybe a bit foolish.  We are like nosey neighbors; we want to know what the other is up to.

What is Moscow really thinking and doing about Syria or Iran, for instance? And where are Russia’s spies hidden within the West?

And the Russians, of course, want information on British and American politics, defense assets and wider industry (especially high-tech) as well as its spies.

As recent as 2010 the FBI discovered a Russian spy ring led by Anna Chapman, who was involved with gathering intelligence about American politics.

In 2006 Britain’s MI-6 was accused of planting a “spy rock” in a Moscow Park.

And so it goes.

Russian intelligence believes that spies continue to be planted inside the country to “subvert” the Russian people.  This belief stretches all the way back to 1917 when several British spies were exposed.

There are some slightly famous stories about double agents.  One was discovered in the early 50’s.

In 1951, the British became concerned about two of their diplomats who were missing, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.  They had been out of touch for about a month when it was discovered that they were in the former Soviet Union.  They had taken refuge when discovery of their acts as double agents for the Soviets was imminent.

They were part of the infamous “Cambridge Five”, a communist spy ring recruited at Cambridge University in the 1930s.

The other three members were; Kim Philby, who had worked in senior positions both within the Foreign Office and the intelligence services.  He was exposed 5 years later.  In 1964 a former member of the intelligence services, Anthony Blunt, was named as a fourth member of the ring. The identity of a fifth member, John Cairncross, a former MI6 officer, was not confirmed until 1990.

During the cold war, the Glienicke bridge linked West Berlin with Potsdam in the east, allowing both sides to exchange prisoners.

In 1962, Soviet spy Rudolf Abel was swapped for US pilot Francis Gary Powers at the bridge.

Two years later, Konon Molody, who masterminded the Portland spy ring in south-west England, was exchanged for MI6 agent Greville Wynne.

In 1985, 23 American agents were traded at the bridge for four Warsaw Pact officers. Further exchanges were made the following year.

Movies made of ‘spy’ stories are often entertaining, but the reality rarely is as glamorous.  More often than not, their escapades could come under the heading of “the games people play”.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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