In 1973, West German security services learned that Chancellor Willy Brandt’s personal assistant and friend, Günther Guillaume, was a spy for the East German Intelligence Agency, STASI. Despite the gravity of the discovery, the widespread media coverage of the event, the damage to the Chancellor’s image and the raging Cold War between East and West, Brandt remained as Chancellor afterwards—even taking a private vacation with Guillaume after the discovery. Only after Guillaume was arrested on April 24, 1974, did Brandt resign, on May 6, 1974, remaining however as Chairman of the Social Democratic Party until 1987.
Gaither Stewart‘s The Trojan Spy takes the thriller genre an important step forward, advancing it from the work of his predecessors John le Carré and Robert Ludlum. Le Carré and Ludlum rebelled against the conventions of the classic spy thrillers, which assumed that we’re the good guys who are under attack by bad guys so evil that we’re justified in bending the rules to save ourselves from them. In that world, lies, deceit, sabotage, and even murder are sometimes necessary to defend peace, justice, and the American (or Western) Way against (pick one, depending on when the book was written) Nazis, communists, or terrorists.
The US-led economic war on Iran has been dangerously ratcheted up with the launching of a powerful new computer virus targeting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear research facilities and other vital commercial sectors, including the oil and banking industries.
Previously, the Iranian economy and scientific research centres have been hacked with the computer malware or virus known as Stuxnet. That sabotage of Iranian facilities is widely believed to have been the work of American and Israeli military agencies.
The US covert war against Iran raised the stakes even higher today with the assassination of yet another nuclear scientist, with some analysts saying that the Islamic Republic is being pushed into a corner to either back down in its confrontation with the US or retaliate – the latter most certainly triggering an all-out war.
The revelation that a US unmanned drone aircraft downed in eastern Iran was on a CIA secret surveillance operation raises troubling questions about the immediacy of Washington’s war plans on the Islamic Republic.
Initial reports of the lost drone at the weekend quoted US military officials claiming that the aircraft had strayed into Iranian territory while on a routine manoeuvre over Afghanistan as part of NATO’s occupation in that country.
Grant F. Smith joins us to discuss Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations book authored by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. He tells us about rarely discussed “massive non-market subsidies and distortions” designed and implemented to benefit Israel, such as an agreement with the Pentagon for Israel to provide goods and services to the US military, and gain access to the US military procurement system, and other congressionally approved agreements that create jobs in Israel rather than in the US. Continue reading
For two decades, investigator Greg Palast has been on BP’s trail. In BP: In Deep Water, Palast takes Dispatches viewers along on his world-wide investigation of the oil giant. (Broadcast tonight, 8pm. UK only.)
One year after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig blew apart and spewed 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP claims victory – that most of the oil is gone.
Now that “contractor” Allan Gross has been found guilty of spying and sentenced to prison in Cuba, it’s time to suck up our pride and exchange some prisoners. The “Cuban Five” are also convicted spies, but for those who don’t know The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001. But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba. Continue reading
[Note: replaced text Feb. 5, 2011.]
An amateur video showing the arrest in Egypt of an alleged spy belonging to the Israeli General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, the Sayeret Matkal, indicates how worried Tel Aviv is by the turmoil engulfing the Mubarak regime and suggests that attempts are underway by outside forces to destabilise the popular revolution.
By Eva Golinger
Postcards from the Revolution
December 3, 2010
The first batch of recently released secret and confidential US State Department documents obtained by Wikileaks include over a dozen dispatches from the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, evidencing espionage against the Chavez administration, use of opposition media and politicians as informants and insulting remarks about the country.
The Wikileaks release last Sunday, November 28, of over a quarter million US State Department cables obtained illegally has caused scandals worldwide over the methods, perspectives and dirty manuevering of US foreign policy. Almost no country or goverment is exempt from mention in the thousands of secret and classified documents, which are being released over a period of months in order to appreciate the quality of the information, while also subjecting Washington to a type of prolonged torture.
July 30, 2010
Investors at the CIA and Google are backing a company called “Recorded Future” that monitors tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts in real time in order to find patterns, events and relationships that may predict the future. The news comes amidst Google’s so-called “Wi-Spy” scandal, that refers to revelations that Google’s Street View cars operating in some thirty countries snooped on private WiFi networks over the last three years.
Oh, those Russian, or is it “Russian,” spies. I am channeling my inner John Le Carre. And so may have certain operatives in certain sections of the FBI and the CIA. However, none of us are the master spy thriller writer, so the possible plot becomes something not out of Le Carre, but out of, the FBI? The CIA? The we-ain’t-dead-yet neocons of “the Cold War ain’t over” and “boy do we need Permanent War” genre?
When I first saw the story, it somehow didn’t make sense. Russia plants not moles, because they are found within agencies of the opposing government, preferably in security or foreign policy. Rather they are “sleepers,” plants planted some time ago, to awaken when the time is ripe, at the command of their “control.” But something seemed rather odd from the beginning about these “sleepers.” First of all, they slept in beds that made them seem like ordinary folks, you know with kids, and schools, and Little Leagues, and barbeques and such. Second of all, they weren’t arrested for and charged with actually spying. No, it was “conspiracy ” and “illegal entry” (boy, just think what might happen to them in Arizona, except, I forgot, with one or two exceptions they weren’t Latinos), and “taking on false identities.”
There is no line that separates good and evil, no threshold over which one steps. Rather a long tunnel connects the two, a tunnel that moves from the brightly-lit chamber of the good towards the black abyss of the evil, a tunnel in which shadows deepen as we move closer to the abyss. We all spend time in these shadows, but most of us are equipped with a moral gyroscope that is constantly pulling us back towards the light. For some the pull is not strong enough and they plunge into the darkness of madness, criminality. Or they become CEOs.