Monday, 5 July 2010

Reds Under The Beds

They showed the movie Reds (1981) last night, with Warren Beatty & Diane Keaton. 'A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States'.
Reds Under The Bed

This weekend the media is in a frenzy over the 'spy' Anna Chapman. Her ex seems to be making a fortune selling old pictures of her, along with detailed stories. What he is doing is appaling, perhaps that should be the story. The fact that Max Clifford is involved just makes it all seem less credible.

I think the popular image of a spy is a long way from the real thing, we all think of James Bond as the ultimate spy. He went everywhere using his real name, everyone knows who he is. Completely unlike any actual spies, but quite fun as a movie.

Actual spies are not famous or glamarous, don't get there pictues in the media, or featured on russian news tv. They blend into the background and pass unnoticed.

An ex MI5 agent claims this is all propaganda, a PR stunt by the FBI. The FBI has described Anna as a "highly trained intelligence operative".

The FBI has arrested 10 alleged Russian spies and claims to have broken up a "long term, deep cover" network of agents that spent years adopting American identities and gathering an array of intelligence, from information about nuclear weapons to the gold market and personnel changes at the CIA.

Some of the agents lived as married couples and had children who have grown up as Americans unaware that their parents are Russian. The FBI alleges that the accused spies were able to get close to a scientist working with "bunker-buster" nuclear bombs and a New York financier with powerful political ties. But the intercepts do not suggest they were successful at uncovering valuable information and some of the exchanges with Moscow appear almost laughable.

The arrests were made in Arlington, Virginia – close to the Pentagon and CIA headquarters – and in New York, Boston and New Jersey. One of the detained couples lives on the west coast, in Seattle. The justice department said one other alleged spy, who is accused of delivering payments to members of the ring, is still being sought.

Another alleged spy, named as Cynthia Murphy, built a relationship with a man described as a prominent New York-based financier active in politics. Moscow responded that he was a very interesting target because he might be able to provide information about foreign policy and discussions among the president's closest aides.

The man who called himself Juan Lazaro admitted on Thursday that he was using a false name, that he sent letters to the Russian intelligence service, that the Russian government paid for his house, and that although he loved his son, he would not violate loyalty to the "Service," even for his child.

Vicky Pelaez is the only defendant the government concedes lived under her own name, according to The New York Times. Neighbors said they knew Lazaro to be an economics professor at a college in New Jersey, and Pelaez to be a columnist for New York’s Spanish-language newspaper, El Diario La Presna. The couple has two sons: Waldomar Mariscal, 38 (Pelaez's son, Lazaro's stepson), and Juan Jose Lazaro, Jr., 17. Both sons told reporters shortly after the arrests that they didn't believe the allegations.

"This looks like an Alfred Hitchcock movie with all this stuff from the 1960s. This is preposterous," Mariscal said. Of the charges, he said, "They're all inflated little pieces in the mosaic of unbelievable things."

Each of the 10 has been charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. They face up to five years in prison if convicted although it is possible that more serious charges will be added.

Previous suspects were UB40. Agents were said to have bugged the homes of Ali and Robin Campbell and taped phone conversations between band members, fearing they were closet Communists.
"Bastards. Outrageous. What a total waste of money, eh? Tapping our phones for 15 years ..." said singer Ali, whose No 1 records include "Red, Red Wine".
"We did a bunch of benefits for the miners and Legalise Cannabis. We went to Russia. We sang pro riot songs. We were just smoking weed. Nobody could understand the lyrics anyway."

Robin, the group's guitarist and brother of Ali, said: "In the past, people have told us we were being watched and bugged. "Once, a squad of undercover policemen moved in over the road from us. But we're just a pop group - we aren't planning to invade Poland or overthrow the Government."

Ian Campbell, the musicians' father, who is a folk singer, said he believed that the band were targeted because of his own links to CND and support for the 1984 miners' strike.

The band wanted any tapes of their conversations handed over and even considered suing MI5 . He laughed off the unwanted attention: "Have you been in the [swimming] pool yet? Any bugs on top? I was an hour there this morning with my net."

1 comment:

Adrian Windisch said...

Well they pleaded guilty and have been swapped for some spies in Russia. They are still unlikely spies, one of them seem to have been in positions of reponsibility.