When Spies Are Out Of Control

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Gregory Clark via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The U.S. spy community - those nice people who told us they were certain the Iraq of President Saddam Hussein was holding weapons of mass destruction - have now made it known they are certain the Russian ambassador to the United States is Moscow’s top spy. But these people, even if they do not know much about WMD, must know what a top spy does. They do it themselves.

First, there is the messy and time-consuming job of finding information-loaded officials. Then there is the problem of maintaining contacts with those officials at secret rendezvous. So a senior ambassador, and former deputy Russian foreign minister, is able to do all this while going to cocktail parties, hobnobbing with the national elite, running a large embassy and studying the politics of the nation to which he is accredited?

I suggest U.S. top spies go back to doing their real work instead of inventing fairy tales.

I have seen the spies at work, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

On the Soviet side they were not a very attractive breed. Their idea of a hard day’s work was constant snooping on the few Russian-speaking foreigners in their midst and relentless interrogation of any Soviet citizen who spoke to a foreigner, together with the occasional attempt at blackmail or compromise.

In the process they created a generation of Western policymakers deeply prejudiced against their people and their nation. Not a bad result for their decades of hard work, especially since the Western hostility they helped generate guaranteed their continued employment till well into the future.

Almost all their successes were “walk-ins”— people who for money or ideology wanted to provide information. Those volunteers would probably have provided more if they were not disgusted by the crudity of the people they had to deal with.

Spies sent to work abroad were usually of better quality. But they always had cover, as private citizens or mid-rank embassy officials at best.

Much the same in reverse was going in the West. To some extent it is still going on. In Japan the spies are almost out of control. Even though Russia has granted Japanese diplomats there the freedoms now enjoyed by Western diplomats in Russia, the Japanese spies continue to behave as in Soviet days. Like dogs chasing a bone (according to one victim), they are so crudely persistent and obtrusive that even ordinary diplomatic work becomes impossible. And these “dogs”think this will help them get their Northern Territories back?

I once played host to a prominent Western critic of U.S. Vietnam War policies. Thuggish Japanese spies camped outside my apartment for days.

These people are not the suave, romantic James Bonds of film fantasy. For the most part they are what we used to call “second elevens”— a cricket analogy for people rejected for the top team. Failing to enter the diplomatic service they make do by joining a spy network. One result is a burning desire to get ahead by undercutting the “first eleven”diplomats and by using largely bogus information to get close to the people in power. Hence the WMD information failure and the Iraq disaster, opposed by most Western diplomats with Middle East experience.

When U.S. President Donald Trump visited the CIA headquarters in Washington he was upbraided for failing to respect a “sacred” memorial wall devoted to the 90-odd CIA officers who have died while on duty. Maybe he was looking for the wall devoted to the 900,000 or so Iraqis who died as a result of CIA failures. Even Trump had the sense to turn against that dreadful war.

I once worked for two years as a diplomat in the Soviet Union. On return to Australia I went through the usual spy-agency debriefing, partly because I had reported some KGB stunts against our embassy there. Suddenly the debriefer jumped to his feet waving a report which I had written saying that the Odessa hotel where I was staying was close to the local KGB headquarters. Leaning ominously over the table he demanded to know how I knew the KGB location. I had to educate this stalwart and grossly overpaid defender of Australian security that in Soviet Union the KGB was a public organization with a large brass plate on its buildings reading Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, or Committee for Government Security.

Later, because I also spoke Chinese and had also opposed the Vietnam War, I was subjected to one of their stunts (our usual term for spy operations) to persuade me that a Soviet Embassy official wanted to meet me urgently. They made a bad mistake; the telephone operative they had employed spoke pre-revolutionary Russian (Australia has many White Russians, mostly people fleeing to China following the Russian Revolution). There was no way he could have been working for the Soviet Embassy. It seems that little detail passed completely over the heads of our Australian security interest defenders — the people who decide whether we can be trusted with secrets. Nor were they very happy when I was able publicly to expose the stunt.

The current anti-Russian hysteria in the U.S. media is fueled by similar ignorance. Various Trump officials and appointees are being persecuted relentlessly by leaks accusing them of talking to the Russian ambassador. But anyone who knows anything about diplomacy knows that such informal talks can be crucial to policymaking.

I admit to having joined secret talks with the premier and foreign minister of the Soviet Union in a fat-headed 1964 Australian attempt to have the Soviet Union join with the West in Vietnam to stop Chinese “aggression.” Because there were laws against revealing state secrets I sat on that important story for more than 20 years.

Today when the West is bent on equally fat-headed efforts to stop alleged Russian “aggression”(read the 2015 Minsk Two agreement if you want to know who really is the aggressor), talks with Moscow’s ambassador really are needed. And the spies who want to leak that information to embarrass their own government really should go to jail.

*  *  *

Gregory Clark served as first secretary at the Australian Embassy in Moscow, from 1963 to 1965.

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gigadeath's picture

What, Trump worry?

beemasters's picture

Speaking of spies, Putin told the world's top spy nation's PM to live in the present time instead of getting stuck in the 5th Century BC.


Putin really knows how to handle whining Israel. :)

techies-r-us's picture
techies-r-us (not verified) beemasters Mar 12, 2017 9:29 PM

When are our CIA spooks gonna start arresting Israeli Mossad agents in the US for orchestrating 9/11?

"I want Netanyahu to begin telling the truth, what the involvement of Israel was in 9/11. Over 134 Mossad operatives were picked up on 9/11. The FBI picked them up [and] debriefed them,” revealed Dr. Steve Pieczenik, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.


Mano-A-Mano's picture
Mano-A-Mano (not verified) techies-r-us Mar 12, 2017 9:30 PM

Or start bombing Tel Aviv.

kavlar's picture
kavlar (not verified) Mano-A-Mano Mar 12, 2017 9:31 PM

Then haul NetanYahoo to the Hague.

07564111's picture

Well done on picking this up Tyler. Everything in this article is true, but, sadly, so much is left unwritten.

Also Australians are as dumb as shit :D :D

Paul Kersey's picture

The article is leaving many things out. Here's what's not being talked about, to the public, by our spy community, but you can bet this stuff will eventually get some public scrutiny. This, for instance, is why Manafort got cut loose:

From the conservative publication, Free Beacon:


And a long, name naming article, detailing years of Trump's deals with Jewish mobsters (like the associates of the grossly obese and deadly Godfather, Semion Mogilevich) from the old Soviet block. This comes from the neocon magazine, "The American Interest":


It's amazing that people write these articles, under their real names, about a breed of mob more powerful than the old, homegrown Italian/Jewish mafia. Even the mob's got a New World Order.

flicker life's picture
flicker life (not verified) xythras Mar 13, 2017 5:32 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

JRobby's picture

"I suggest U.S. top spies go back to doing their real work instead of inventing fairy tales."

It's job security, until it isn't

BarkingCat's picture

An Australian would actually know the difference between modern Russian and as he calls it pre-revolutionary Russian??

We are talking a difference of 50 years. While I am not an expert on Russian, I seriously doubt that the language has changed in 50 years. The only difference would probably be all those silly communist titles and greetings.

If the people in Australia were White Russians that escaped during the revolution, then they would have been Belarusians.

They would have spoken Russian as Czarist Russia forced those they ruled over to speak Russian and actually punished the use of native language.   People from Belarus lost their language exempt for those who lived in rural western villages. Perhaps those are the people who made it to Australia - the richer peasants. 


07564111's picture

"While I am not an expert on Russian"

Nor are you Russian. If you were a native Russian speaker you'd know exactly what he was writing about. Nor have you knowledge of the Australian Russian community.

EvilScientist's picture

Wouldn' t you think that language has evolved a lot in 100 years? Find an american book authored 100 years ago...

"White" russians (not the cocktail) were the czarist ones as compared to the "red" communist russians. Knowledge of history is sometimes important

to understand context! My russian is very limited so I would tend to just believe the author and wait for native russian speakers to confirm the story or not...

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

When are you going to stop responding to yourself with sock puppets?

espirit's picture

He's off his meds.

(split personality)

Long memory man's picture

Bombing is a silly idea, Israel runs huge deficits, cut the cash.

sauldaddy's picture

They did Fukushima too. www. Jimstonefreelance.com a former NSA analyst just called the entire intelligence community traitors for with holding evidence on Israhells involvement with 911. Check out Jimstones website on the top right corner there is a link detailing Israel involvement with Fukushima aka the covert Sampson option.

LetThemEatRand's picture

2012:  Harry:  "I think my Samsung TV is probably used by the CIA to spy on me."  Sally:  "Need more tinfoil?"

2017:  Harry:  "I told you so!"  Sally:  "Everyone knew that already.  They are protecting our freedoms."

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


They are protecting our freedoms.

...and they're doing it for The Children®.

Because children are our future...





...exploited debt slaves and/or M.I.C. prison labor workforce.

Marshall Planz's picture

New Tarantino movie? ~ "When Barry became Sally?" ;-)

Ouch, that's borderline ~ "Goodnight, and, good luck" ;-)

scoutshonor's picture

Not actually off topic since this is about spys--when I got to the end of this article there was an ad for a tor router to provide "anonymous browsing."

Maybe I could just find an NSA wi-fi signal to leech off of--that should be equally anonymous right?

xrxs's picture

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

East Indian's picture

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.


+10,000. Well said. 

BTW, Putin is very careful in this regard. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Unless you are interested in building an empire, you don't need the CIA.  Abolish the CIA.  Bring the troops home.  Close the bases.  No one is going to invade the US.  End the Fed while you're at it.  Spend our wealth on infrastructure for commerce at home and exports instead of overseas entanglements and imports to keep the petrodollar (Fed bucks).  It will take some adjustment and pain, but the US would thrive like no nation in history if we did that.  And probably in a few short years.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

The Second World War ended more than 70 years ago. The US still hasn't demobilized from that war. It's long overdue.

mc888's picture

No one is going to invade the US.

Dude, seriously? I don't know where you live, but I see concrete evidence every day that China, India, Mexico, Central America and Colombia have already invaded.


EvilScientist's picture

Then relocate the army bases to the mexican border and use the navy to help out the coast guard. And tell the CIA to stop fuxxing up all these countries from where then refugees come to the US or other western nations...

BarkingCat's picture

Fuck that. If we are lucky we are going to follow in the footsteps of our economic rival from a century ago - Argentina. 

Most likely however it will be Brazil. 

Anarchyteez's picture

No CIA,...and no standing army!

We wouldn't have the MIC without it.

...being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to own and bear arms you don't fuck with. Why didn't Japan invade again?

Arnold's picture

Got cher crop in yit,Zeke?

not dead yet's picture

There really is a need for a Central Intelligence Agency that only gathers and passes on intelligence. What we have is the current CIA that is a power unto itself getting people killed and overthrowing governments to suit the spooks. It was the Dulles brothers who set up the current agency and just like Hoover and the FBI it writes it's own agenda and everyone is afraid to confront them. When Eisenhower was president he had a special envoy to the CIA that reported only to him and he still didn't know what the CIA was up to.

ThePhantom's picture

i recently got into a family argument over the whole #pizzagate thing.. one thing leads to another (i threw a water bottle at the floor and across the room). phone call made.. police come and arrest me for not allowig them to root through my car without a warrant. would not let me leave on foot, or call a cab ... just arrested me on the spot for declining the search. 4A? guess not. then fam uses arrest as reason to seek 4 day psychological hold.. and get it. then fam finds aR plate armor and rounds...take to police. police call fbi. fbi calling house want permision to search computer, smartly declined by fam.. the day i get out of lock up i open up my phone and find 7or 8 spam txt messages/click bait. i never get that shit and suddenly i have 8 spam text.... i wonder? fbeye?

joeyman9's picture

They weren't ready to hear stuff that would make them uncomfortable.  I'd have a hard time forgiving them for calling the police and putting a psych hold on me, might effect your ability to own and buy a gun.

BarkingCat's picture

Tell that family member(s) good bye and they do not exist as far as you are concerned. 

East Indian's picture

Is Pizzagate stil in public eye? I thought I am one of the very few eccentrics to still follow it...

If anything manages to stay in the public eye for six months, then there is certainly some element of truth in it. It certainly deserves an open minded investigation.

whatsupdoc's picture

Anybody who states that whistleblowing is a crime that is worthy of great punishment is a bully and a coward.  Whistleblowing occurs only when there is no real viable option to a person of conscience.  Scapegoating is for cowards in positions of authority.

The best and never-to-be-achieved situation is one of total transparency.

What about abuse in the military then Mr Clark ?  Hmmm?  Do you think a victim has any rights at all ?

Mr Clark, you are a shithead.  Its people like you who defend and uphold assholes like McCain and people I'd like to see dealt with harshly.

God I hope justice comes soon.


not dead yet's picture

Clark is condemning leakers who anonymously leak crapola to intentionally embarrass or unseat Trump, his people, or any president. Whistleblowers like Snowden are not leakers because they put themselves on the line and are doing a public service and nowhere did Clark condemn whistleblowers.

Jubal Early's picture

I am so sick of the parade of ex-CIA talking heads bragging about how important they are for protecting our freedoms.  Just as Israel was founded and conceived in terrorism so was the CIA founded on lies.  For instance this Clark parasite says:

Their idea of a hard day’s work was constant snooping on the few Russian-speaking foreigners in their midst and relentless interrogation of any Soviet citizen who spoke to a foreigner

Well no.  Actually they were infiltrating the education system and corrupting the media with social marxist techniques.   The CIA knew and  not only didn't stop it, they helped it along because they are totalitarian themselves and they knew it would help them construct their matrix.  Clark and his ilk should all be in prison.

Catahoula's picture

Ahh, the sweet hum of a single engine plane from above when you hit the WiFi button. 

williambanzai7's picture

Fuck Samsung TVs with microphones!

DuneCreature's picture

I suggest standing in front of your TV for 10 minutes a day reading out of old Mad Magazines and then placing an AM radio in front of the set tuned into InfoWars and walk away for the rest of the day and do something useful. ................ Show your government what a 'negative feedback loop' is all about. ...... The fucks do it to us all the time.

Live Hard, Make The Samsung Spy Bot Think You're Crazy As Hell And Live With Alex Jones, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

bh2's picture

Spies pretending to be native citizens of the target country really have a tough job getting the culture right.

In the mid 50's, my father was one of the brass working at Berlin Command and one day he caught a German taxi to get from one place to another because his staff car was in the shop.

My father spoke passible German and he and the cabbie chatted back and forth as they moved through traffic. The cabbie, every now and then, would point to a house and say "that's a spook [spy] house".

After about the third such affirmative identification, my father asked the cabbie how he could be so sure the people in those houses were spys.

The cabbie laughed and said "Everybody knows who they are. They speak perfect German. They dress like perfect Germans. They live in German houses and eat in German restaurants. They send their kids to German schools. But they also wash their own cars on the weekend -- and no real German would ever do that!"

So much for highly celebrated cleverness of undercover CIA operatives. Some may have been turned into little blue stars on "The Wall" owing not to their bravery, but to their fatally flawed cover.

IndyPat's picture

Now that...was fuckin funny.

LA_Goldbug's picture

That reminds me of a spy joke,

"So they train a cohort for years and then they choose the best candidate. They deploy him from a stealth submarine on a remote Russian coast and the spy starts making his way towards Moscow through the frozen tundra. After a few days he comes across a small trapping village and as he was starting to get hungry and wanting to give his skills a test run he decides to go in.

The people are extremely welcoming of the stranger. They share all they have with him and even throw a celebration that evening. The spy blends in perfectly, he speaks Russian with no accent, he knows all the songs, dances kazachok with the best of them and drinks all the Russians under the table with vodka.

At the end of the night, one of the villagers slaps him on the back and says with a wink: “You know, Igor, we really like you! But we know that you’re an American spy!”

Igor becomes sad: “But… I studied with the best, for years! What did I do wrong, how could you tell after just one day?!”

“But Igor,” says the Russian with a smile, “you’re black!”