Real Spies

Could foreign spies have penetrated the CIA, FBI, and DOJ?

Attorney General Barr is looking at internal American spying, and it’s a good thing. But while he’s at it, he should take a hard look at traditional spying. You know, enemy spies in our midst.

What if the coup operation worked, in whole or in part, thanks to the skilled efforts of one or more foreign intelligence services? What if our intelligence services were penetrated by Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Cuban and North Korean agents, who manipulated our spooks by dint of disinformation?

It would not be the first time we were gulled into believing we were getting assistance from our enemies, nor would it be the first time American politicians turned to enemy spooks for assistance in American political campaigns and operations. The most sensational such case was when, in 1983, Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts sent his law school buddy, former California Senator John Tunney, to Moscow with a message for the head of the KGB. The message: the strained relations between Washington and Moscow were the fault of Ronald Reagan, and the Kremlin needed a media campaign to make things better. Kennedy offered to help:

Kennedy suggested a number of PR moves to help the Soviets in terms of their public image with the American public. He reportedly believed that the Soviet problem was a communication problem, resulting from an inability to counter Reagan’s (not the USSR’s) “propaganda.” If only Americans could get through Reagan’s smokescreen and hear the Soviets’ peaceful intentions.

So, there was a plan, or at least a suggested plan, to hook up Andropov and other senior apparatchiks with the American media, where they could better present their message and make their case. Specifically, the names of Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters are mentioned in the document. Also, Kennedy himself would travel to Moscow to meet with the dictator.

Sound familiar? A foreign intelligence service meddling in an American presidential election? This sort of collusion was commonplace, as you can learn by reading Vladimir Bukosvky’s soon-to-be-released English version of Judgment in Moscow. Bukovsky cites Central Committee documents to show how closely the KGB worked with American trade unions, academics, politicians and journalists. To this day, the CIA refuses to release the Mitrokhin files on American journalists who worked closely with the Soviets, but those files do exist. I have no doubt Americans worked for and with the Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans and Cubans, some for money, others for conviction. I’m struck (as is Tony Badran, who has sharp eyes) by the similarity of leftist American posters to older Maoist ones, for example. It’s a graphic demonstration of the ideological appeal of radical communist themes in our popular culture. Anyone who closely studied the ease with which Americans were recruited by the Soviets during the Cold War would harbor deep suspicion of today’s leftists. It may well be that some of them are fully recruited foreign agents, like the Cambridge gang around Philby at Cambridge after the Second World War.

Is it hard to imagine that enemy intelligence services recruited Americans (yes, even including Justice and FBI officials) to spy on our politicians? Not at all. They might even be smart enough to pretend to be working for Trump, as on the Steele Memo, when in reality they were supporting Hillary, using U.S. officials to eliminate serious enemies like General Flynn. The “Russia supports Trump” song never made sense to me. I always thought they favored the Clintons, to whom they had funneled millions of dollars via the Clinton Foundation.

Surely the Iranians preferred Hillary. They had every good reason—the sanction question—and they had many friends in the Clinton entourage. I’m just thinking out loud, mind you. Maybe one of our counterintelligence experts has some hard evidence. In any event, the possibility that real enemy agents were at work in the coup operation must be seriously investigated. Mr. Barr?

Finally, we have the Brits. The Russians have played with the 5’s and 6’s for a long time, starting with Reilly, the ace of all spies. Why not here? Steele is, after all, a British spy working on Russia. That makes him an automatic major target for the Kremlin, doesn’t it? And it just so happens that the only “evidence” for Trumpian/Russian collusion comes from him. Via some of his Russian “contacts.”

We need to know a lot more before we can begin to understand what really went on.

Mr. Barr?