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2006-03-13 Home Front: Politix
Plame's identity no big secret
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Posted by Steve White 2006-03-13 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [294 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 U.S. intelligence officers working in American embassies under "diplomatic cover" are almost invariably known to friendly and opposition intelligence services alike. "If you were in an embassy," said a former CIA officer who posed as a U.S. diplomat in several countries, "you could count 100 percent on the Soviets knowing."

No 'Plame' surprises. The term "Diplomatic Cover" or Dip Cover simply means you carry a black passort and cannot be jailed, only kicked out ot the country as in PNG'd, (Persona non-gratta). You are a standard, garden variety intelligence officer, nothing fancy. Anyone who frequents a US Embassy abroad, or get his or her mail there is automatically on the "suspected intelligence operative" list of the host country. "Googling" true names and coming up with a USEMB address, is a sure sign of variety.
Posted by Visitor 2006-03-13 10:44||   2006-03-13 10:44|| Front Page Top

#2 There was a thing on one of the PBS stations last night about retired CIA spies training FBI people by playing Hares&Hounds. The pair they interviewed, a husband and wife who'd spent years in Moscow, emphasized that everybody knew everybody else, and always followed one another around. The key was to keep local contacts and drops unnoticed during the hours and hours of carefully keeping their followers from losing them and getting upset enough to do something about it, which would have messed up everything. They also commented that real spies are nothing at all like James Bond; the key is to look uninteresting and mildly incompetent, apparently. Our Mrs. Ambassador sounds completely unsuited to the job. Perhaps she was an unconscious decoy, while the real spies did the real work?
Posted by trailing wife 2006-03-13 14:56||   2006-03-13 14:56|| Front Page Top

#3 Our Mrs. Ambassador sounds completely unsuited to the job. Perhaps she was an unconscious decoy, while the real spies did the real work?

Your PBS folks probably hit it 'spot on' for the most part in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). No personal experience mind you, but I've been told being "followed" there was entirely expected and in fact kept the criminal element at bay. I can tell you with some degree of accuracy that having a lovely wife in residency does little to harm one's diplomatic career and social calendar. I suspect she surpassed company goals with Absolut aplomb and charisma.
Posted by Visitor 2006-03-13 15:19||   2006-03-13 15:19|| Front Page Top

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