“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Washington Post Wonders About FBI and Russian Spies

Meanwhile the NY Times is being very solicitous. Can anyone remember the NY Times being more so? Why has the liberal US media been so excited about this story?

Perhaps Obama wasn't resting until he rid the US of Russian spies.


Did Russian spies fool the FBI?

Washington Post

Two longtime veterans of the intelligence wars between Russia and the West say it’s inconceivable that the spies deported to Moscow Friday didn’t detect FBI surveillance years ago.

And that, they say, could explain why the FBI never produced evidence in court that the “illegals” had obtained any classified information: They stopped spying as soon as they discovered they were being watched -- but stayed just busy enough to distract the FBI, potentially, from more important operations.

“If you’re under surveillance, you don’t do anything -- you’re burnt,” said Victor Ostrovsky, a prominent former Mossad operative who said the lsraelis taught trainees about surveillance by studying real Russian spies at work. “You might as well pack yourself up slowly and go home.”

An American counterintelligence veteran said: "It does boggle the mind that they never allegedly picked up on any of the watchers nor learned of any of the technical ops run against them. It really is amazing."

"If this is true, was the FBI that good or the Illegals just that bad? If they did pick up surveillance towards the end, perhaps that is what triggered the alleged plans to depart the country by some of them, which supposedly triggered the arrests. It's purely speculation on my part, but a lot of this does not pass the smell test."

U.S. authorities have said they were watching, bugging and breaking into the houses of at least some of the Russians for as long as a decade. Theoretically, Ostrovsky said, the spies could have aborted any attempts to recruit Americans or gather classified documents as long ago as that.

"Illegals,” sometimes called “sleepers,” are handled differently by their bosses than the spies who are pretending to be diplomats, Ostrovsky noted. They must remain undetected to be useful.

“When you’re a diplomat, you have your official cover, you’re expected to be out and meeting people, officials,” he said. And you know the FBI has its eyes on you, he said.

“But when you’re an illegal and they find you, that’s it, you’re over,” Ostrovsky added.

The Mossad recruited Ostrovsky out of the Israeli navy in 1982. Disenchanted by its methods, he quit after four years and in the 1990s he wrote two highly critical, first-person books about the agency.

Today he lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and owns a literary Web site,

“As a former officer in an intelligence agency, Mossad, I had been trained extensively in counter surveillance,” he said. “Being able to detect surveillance is the cornerstone of any covert action.”

“The techniques we learned were for the most part gleaned from watching Soviet operatives and from information received from KGB and other Eastern Bloc defectors,” he said.

“Over the years we had perfected the methods but were always aware that the leaders in that field were the Soviets,” he said. “The current Russian intelligence service the SVR evolved out of the KGB it is therefore logical to assume they are as good in counter surveillance as their predecessors were.”

Which raises a number of questions, he said.

Such as: Were the Russian spies under orders from Moscow to pretend they didn’t know the FBI was watching, in order to divert its attention from other operations?

“Is there another ring they preferred to steer the U.S. counter espionage community from?” Ostrovsky asked.

“Were they causing the FBI to assume they were no longer as good as their predecessors were? Were they providing false information and making the FBI believe they had no assets in certain places while they actually had, and they were run by another ring?”

When the spies were arrested, prosecutors said the criminal complaint was just "the tip of an iceberg."


  1. The Times are just happy to find that they are Not "Alone."

  2. Rat's fav outfit looks to make some moolah off solar BLM looks to "cash in on Solar.

  3. The perils of socialism, exemplified right there, rufus.

    The 200 applications currently awaiting approvals on BLM land ....

    Waiting upon Federal approval, to lease those lands for their projects. Leaving the Federals in control.
    One of the reasons I advocated for the sale of those lands, but some here thought the Federal Socialists were better managers, than Capitalists.

    That Obama model of Federal control beats the Jack Walsh and Lee Iacocca model of private/public economic stewardship.

  4. Chinese Exports set Record in June. IMF pegs Global Growth in 2010 at 4.6%

  5. A 1% increase in oil consumption is required for 1.3% global growth. So,

    4.6 / 1.3 = 3.5%

    Global oil demand can be expected to increase by 3.5%, or approx. 86 X .035 = 3.01 Million Barrels/Day.

  6. You have a better chance of seeing Wall Street Bankers passing through the "Pearly Gates."

  7. Brilliant. Someone better redefine free trade.

  8. China manipulates its currency, and, at least for another month, or so, subsidizes "exports." That ain't "Free Trade."

  9. Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf States may have 1.5 to 2.0 million bpd of production "shut in."

    On the other hand, that half a million to a million bpd that we've been drawing out of "floating" storage is about gone.

    There's not one chance in a thousand that the world will be producing 3.01 Million Barrels/Day more oil a year from now than it is today.

    And, there's not one chance in a hundred kazillion that it will be producing 6 Million bpd more in Two years.

    Better get "strapped in," folks. When we reach the end of the pavement it's going to get bumpy.

  10. You mean to say ...

    There may be some economic slippage?

    Glory be!

  11. Gonna be "somethin," Rat. I ain't for sure "what."

    It seems to me that those that use energy most efficiently will get more of it, and those that use it to drive to the mall will be stayin home more.

  12. bob said...

    "Nay, Svetlana is just some one I made up, cause I'm lonely, al-Doug.

    Everyone has to have a little company.

    She is a spirited woman, and takes no back talk, as you've found out.


    yes, yes, we all need our rabbit.

    Mine Fucks Like a Bunny.

  13. Pittsburg Airport is gonna suffer a massive failure when them LEDs freeze over.
    ...already proven by LED stopsigns on the east coast.

    Florescents Rule!

    (in the home, at least)

    Son has an LED Solar evangelist friend.
    We maintain that CFLs win on cost effectiveness most of the time.

    ...we have a couple of LED nightlights (2 dollars) and an emergency flashlight, and an emergency LED on our emergency battery backup system.

    (cost @ COSTCO ~ $25, not including batteries)

  14. Apropos spirited women, where is Ms T these days.
    Not to mention Quirk.

  15. I don't know much about LEDs, Doug. I've read a little bit that makes me think those stoplights just need to be designed a little better.

    That bein as it may, I just wanted to post something to the effect that huge energy savings Can be made.

  16. You may think I'm just a made up honey bunny but I know I turned Quirkie on cause imagination is life and Quirkie's got imagination and he said so too he said mee'mi is nice back when I was called mee'mi so there and besides I'm a free American woman here in the States and daddy is teaching me fly fishing too


  17. Miss T is in Glacier National Park today, at last report.

  18. Quirkie is out in the imagosphere, where he always resides.

  19. Back, Bob, and I didn't get eaten by a bear.

    Unbelievably pretty up there, and Kootenai Falls was nice too.

  20. Yeah, and the mountains are pretty, too, T. :)

  21. Aww Rufus.

    The glaciers carved a lot of valleys that filled with water, forming lakes. This is the biggest one.

  22. Wow, that is Indeed, Gorgeous.

    I'm glad you got a chance to see it. Wish it was me.

  23. Miss T, Lake Missoula, flooded down through the 'bad lands' here a little to the north, I don't know how many times. The geologists used to think it was one or two times but now the opinion is it was many many times, time after time. I'm glad you had a great time and trip.

    I've been studying up on the ancient history of Nevada, a land I love for my own reasons, it was wet there in the past, all sorts of old lake beds if you drive through it, and keep you eyes awake, and there were ancient men, and huge animals, now long forgotten.

  24. T, that is just...just amazing.

  25. Aww T....


    bob too, for that matter. Were it entirely up to me, I would sell out, load up the conestoga and go west. Ideeho or western Oregon looks good.

  26. My little corner of the whirled lost another young man in Afghanistan this past Wednesday. He was twenty-five years old.

  27. I mean eastern Oregon. The new wine country.

  28. Whit, eastern Oregon is nice. I think you'd like it there. The Steens are good, and it's a a lot of farmland and desert. Also, the people are pretty conservative, the kind you'd like. My sis and her hubby almost moved to Baker or Bend, to raise the kids, but then they stayed in California, for the jobs. Bad choice in my view, but I know you'd like it around here, or anywhere in Idaho, or British Columbia, which is wonderful.

  29. Melody: T, that is just...just amazing.

    This is the Garden Wall, which is part of the continental divide here in what they call the Crown of the Continent.
    The little horizontal line in this picture is the Going-to-the-Sun Highway, the scariest road in America.

    But you get a free car wash on the way back.

  30. B.S. it's not the scariest road in America. It's a beautiful drive but for wetting your pants it ain't much.

    Let me take you for a drive, out here, then you'll wet your pants. Some of our roads don't even have names.

    Not fancy names like the 'Going To The Sun Highway'

    wet your pants

    piddle piddle piddle

  31. Bob I already did Switchback City above Lewiston, if that's what you mean, they smoothed it out with the new highway.

  32. That ain't nothin' try Rattle
    Snake Grade, and that's even paved.

    I've got roads out here will scare you bra off.

    Try me sometimes, if you have the courage.


    Hewitt spent half the program ranting on how bad talking Az Law was for Pubs, cause it take attention away from budget, etc.

    F...... Pinhead

    drudge headline above, not yet linked.

  34. Beautiful, T.
    What were the temps?

  35. Temps were about 84 in the Flathead Valley, 70 at Logan Pass. Brought a little jacket up there but didn't need it. I did need some patience, there was construction on the Sun Road, 20 minute waits.

  36. In the Philippines, the Next Phuket?

    DON’T try to hoof it to the newly relocated Jungle Bar, at least not from Boracay’s main strip, White Beach, where it used to be a mainstay — you’ll never find it. Instead, hail a motorized rickshaw to Bulabog Beach, hang a right past a barren strip of bamboo shacks, and look for the colorful, ghoulish lanterns dangling from the coconut trees, which give this tiki bar the quirky feel of a Tim Burton-inspired guerrilla camp. The décor will probably be familiar to most Bob Marley-listening beach bums, right down to the rooster named Pedro dozing on the bar, the shirtless Filipinos eating grilled fish, and the $10 cocktails with profanity-laced names. All that’s missing is a drum circle.

    Yet this kind of anything-goes vibe is getting harder to find in Boracay, a speck of an island smack in the middle of the Philippines that in recent years has been making the leap from low-key tropical backwater to Southeast Asia’s newest hot spot. Even the Jungle Bar, which used to be squeezed in along the main walkway of White Beach, had to move this year after being priced out. It’s now in a desolate cove on the other side of the island — as close to Siberia as you can get on a slip of land about five miles long and a mile wide.

    The Philippines’ tourism ministry has pushed to promote and develop many of its prized islands and to draw more visitors than the usual weekenders from Manila or honeymooners from Korea. Boracay, with its long stretches of powdery white sand and kite-surfing- and-dive-friendly coral reefs, remains the crown jewel, if not yet the cash cow, of the Philippine Islands.

  37. Holder is preparing anther suit against AZ. Let them.

    Obama is not going to have a second term. Going after Arizona now will only help get rid of the Democrats in Congress and that is the end of Obama's agenda.

    Obama gets petulant and humorless (more so) when he does not get his own way. One term baby, get used to it.

    Presidential affirmative action will be put away for 25 years.

  38. Deuce: Obama gets petulant and humorless (more so) when he does not get his own way. One term baby, get used to it.

    Half-term. He's a lame duck after Nov 2.

  39. Arizona immigration law could lead to a second suit, Holder says

    The attorney general says that if the state's tough law goes into effect, another suit could result if the US believes racial profiling is taking place. The suit filed last week on constitutional issues could delay the law's implementation.

    What is the problem? That is how Holder got his job. He was racially profiled and picked for it as was Obama. Neither one of them with their experience would be there if they were not racially profiled.

    That is how Obama got his education and his seat in the senate.

    The racial profile for the Congressional Black Caucus is voluntarily all black. I doubt by coincidence. I bet the black congressmen noticed that all there members are black, decided that the color was the number one deciding factor to get in. They liked the profile and formed the club. They profile and if you do not meet the profile such as being white, you do not get in.

    No one has proven the Arizona law racially profiles. The federal government racially profiles with their census forms. Federal programs with Native American tribes is a study in racial profiling.

    You see there is good racial profiling such as when blacks self-profile. That is always a good thing.

    Then there is white racial profiling. That is always a bad thing.

    No white anything please unless it is white guilt, while prejudice, white racial profiling, all very bad things, unless you are a Democrat or a Liberal, excuse me a progressive. Then it goes into high gear.

    For instance, there are now profiled seats on the Supreme Court. We notice when there are too many white men anywhere where a seat is now a (fill in the blank) seat.

    Now I know people of color are no longer colored people. I know if I notice or if a cop notices they are not supposed to do it. What BET and they will tell you what profiling is good and bad. the Congressional Black Caucus has a good nose for racial profiling. Ever wonder why?

  40. That woman in that video is a bimbo of the first degree.

    T is correct, but I don't think we've seen half of the petulant/ornery that Obama can be and will be once Republicans start using the power of the majority to investigate and provide serious "oversight" to his corrupt administration. Holder will leave/be shit-canned by early 2011.

    Interesting isn't it that those Dem governors out there in flyover land see the world as it is, as opposed to how Obama, his czars and administration see it. I expect at least a 50 seat pickup by Repubs in the House, and with WV Senate seat now in play, possible takeover in the Senate. November 3rd is gonna be a cold, bracing splash of water in Obama's face.

  41. The Gloom, and Doom Debt Commission will strive mightily to promote a VAT Tax.

    The Republicans are like a bevy of Nymphos in the Green Bay Packers locker room. Their l'il nasties are just a'twittering at the idea of pushing the cost of government down the economic ladder to the "consumers" (also known as the "riff-raff.")

    The Dems would rather tax the "Rich," but will take the money wherever they can get it.

    There has never been an instrument on earth as destructive to an economy as a VAT. It has turned Europe into Japan in just a few short years; but it Will be good for the "Old, Large Money."

    It, also, won't "Save Us." It will just lock in higher unemployment.

    The fact is: in the long run the American people will "give up" about 20% of GDP to the Federal Government. That number has held steady through the most extreme tax regimes, over a hundred years. The Government collected the same percentage of GDP from Reagan's 28% as they did from Eisenhower's 90%.

    With a $14 Trillion GDP, and allowing for a 2% Deficit we have to get Federal Expenditures down to about $3.1 Trillion. Actually, that's not all that hard. Cut back on foreign adventures, and do a little tweaking at Soc. Sec, and you're pretty much there.

    You're going to hear a lot from the "Debt Commission" in the coming months; the truth won't be a large part of it.

  42. Don't bet on coal remaining cheap, forever. China uses half the world's coal production, and their imports are increasing dramatically.

    The USA is a Major Coal "Exporter."

  43. What's happening is the whites are finally getting pissed off and they are fed up and rightly too after all I compete on the free market and make my wages and the hell with all this affirmative action craparoo


  44. I get hot when you talk like that, Svetlana.
    Daddie Bob never explained how you and he, JW, anon, et al have non clikable names.

  45. It's a free market honey buster you pay you play.