spies

Photo of the Day

Rick Ames. The Takedown of a CIA Officer Turned Soviet Spy – Photo: ABC News

Brilliant or Bumbling Idiot?

Rick Ames, a lifelong employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, betrayed at least 12 of the best secret agents working for the United States from within the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc during the 1980’s. All were jailed and most were executed. “They died because this warped, murdering traitor wanted a bigger house and a Jaguar,” says the Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey.

From 1975 to 1985, the C.I.A. promoted Aldrich Hazen Ames, an alcoholic underachiever going through a financially ruinous divorce from a fellow spy, to increasingly sensitive posts, unaware that he was thinking all the decade about selling the agency’s deepest secrets to Moscow. For the next decade, it remained unaware that he was hand-delivering reams of top secret papers to the Soviets and talking his vodka-soaked heart out with his Communist case officers in annual all-nighters.

Spies. Nuclear warheads. Submarine technology. Stolen documents that could threaten national security. Countries have been spying on each other as long as there have been countries. When countries get their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar, denial and feigned shock are the official reactions.

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Photo of the Day

The Great Seal that held a listening device. Other grape-pit size transistor mikes have become available as the space age has developed,some from Japan for as little as $14. Private detectives specializing in divorce cases use one which can be secreted in a man’s food. When he swallows it, the warmth of the man’s stomach powers it, and it emits a high-frequency beep which can be picked up on a receiver 300 feet away. Another pill, with a different beep, is secreted in the food of the mistress. If the operative hears the two beeps together coming from the same room, he knows the two are making more than beautiful music together.” Photo: NSA.

The Great Seal that held a listening device. Other grape-pit size transistor mikes have become available as the space age has developed, some from Japan for as little as $14. Private detectives specializing in divorce cases use one which can be secreted in a man’s food. When he swallows it, the warmth of the man’s stomach powers it, and it emits a high-frequency beep which can be picked up on a receiver 300 feet away. Another pill, with a different beep, is secreted in the food of the mistress. If the operative hears the two beeps together coming from the same room, he knows the two are making more than beautiful music together.” Photo: NSA.

 Great Seal Bug

 That Time Soviet School Children Bugged the US Ambassador’s Office

In 1946, a group of Russian children from the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organisation (sort of a Soviet scouting group) presented a carved wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States to Averell Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

The gift, a gesture of friendship to the USSR’s World War II ally, was hung in the ambassador’s official residence at Spaso House in Moscow. It stayed there on a wall in the study for six years until, through accident and a ruse, the State Department discovered that the seal was more than a mere decoration.

It was a bug.

The Soviets had built a listening device—dubbed “The Thing” by the U.S. intelligence community—into the replica seal and had been eavesdropping on Harriman and his successors the whole time it was in the house. “It represented, for that day, a fantastically advanced bit of applied electronics,” wrote George Kennan, the Ambassador at the time the device was found. “I have the impression that with its discovery the whole art of intergovernmental eavesdropping was raised to a new technological level.”

There it hung until one day in 1952, when a British radio technician in Moscow, listening in on Russian air traffic, discovered something unexpected on one frequency: the sound of the British ambassador, loud and clear, along with other American-accented conversations. Thus began one of many exhaustive tear-downs of the embassy. They were looking to find a listening device—and they did, along with a new frontier of spying. The culprit was the Great Seal.

Inside the Americans and British found a tiny device the likes of which they’d never seen. So alien was the Great Seal Bug that the only appropriate name for it seemed to be “The Thing,” after the character in the Addams Family (which was then still just a New Yorker cartoon). It was a retroreflector.

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Photo Of The Day

newspaper

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

The first Civilians in American History to be Executed for Treason

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – Americans who were involved in coordinating and recruiting an espionage network that included Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for conspiracy to commit espionage, since the prosecution seemed to feel that there was not enough evidence to convict on espionage. Treason charges were not applicable, since the United States and the Soviet Union were allies at the time. The Rosenbergs denied all the charges but were convicted in a trial in which the prosecutor Roy Cohn said he was in daily secret contact with the judge, Irving Kaufman. Despite an international movement demanding clemency, and appeals to President Dwight D. Eisenhower by leading European intellectuals and the Pope, the Rosenbergs were executed at the height of the Korean War. President Eisenhower wrote to his son, serving in Korea, that if he spared Ethel (presumably for the sake of her children), then the Soviets would simply recruit their spies from among women.

Saturday 20th June 1953.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed early this morning at Sing Sing Prison for conspiring to pass atomic secrets to Russia in World War II.

Only a few minutes before, President Eisenhower had rejected a last desperate plea written in her cell by Ethel Rosenberg. Mr Emanuel Bloch, the couple’s lawyer, personally took the note to the White House where guards turned him away.

Neither of the two said anything before they died. The news of their execution was announced at 1.43 a.m. (British time).

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The traitor Snowden proven to be a liar, bad bastards have now got his stolen data

Edward Snowden is a traitor and he may well have blood on his hands.

The BBC reports:

UK intelligence agents have been moved because Russia and China can read files stolen by a US whistleblower, a senior government source has told the BBC.

The Sunday Times is reporting that Russia and China have cracked the encryption of the computer files.

The government source told the BBC the countries “have information” that led to agents being moved but added there was “no evidence” any had been harmed.

Edward Snowden, now in Russia, leaked intelligence data two years ago.

The former CIA contractor left the US in 2013 after leaking details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence to the media.

His information made international headlines in June 2013 when the Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

Mr Snowden is believed to have downloaded 1.7 million secret documents before he left the US.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Photo: Federal Bureau of Investigation

 The FBI’s Fingerprint Files

A Place For Every Print, And Every Print In Its Place

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Photo Of The Day

Photo by Walery/Hulton Archive/Getty Images The infamous Dutch spy Mata Hari, real name Margarete Geertruida Zelle, who was born in Leeuwarden the Netherlands and became a dancer in France is performing the Dance of the Seven Veils. (1906

Photo by Walery/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The infamous Dutch spy Mata Hari, real name Margarete Geertruida Zelle, who was born in Leeuwarden the Netherlands and became a dancer in France is performing the Dance of the Seven Veils. (1906

Who Was Mata Hari?

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Snowden runs before HK hands him over

Things were obviously getting a little bad for business so the HK government must have paid Edward Snowden a visit at his “safe house” that he thought they didn’t know about and had a chat about some discrepancy with the documentation, but that it was only a matter of time before the US provided “clarity” with that documentation.

They probably told him that there happened to be a spare seat on an Aeroflot flight to Russia that afternoon and they could perhaps arrange for a police escort to the airport to assist him with the annoyance that is transit, customs and immigration. It wouldn’t do for him to be spotted by some angry Americans, best they escort him nicely to the gate.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has flown out of Hong Kong, where he had been in hiding since identifying himself as the source of revelations on US surveillance programmes – despite a US request for his arrest.

The 30-year-old had previously said he would stay in the city and fight for his freedom in the courts. But the Hong Kong government confirmed that he left on Sunday, two days after the US announced it had charged him with espionage, saying documents filed by the US did not fully comply with legal requirements. It also said it was requesting clarification from Washington on Snowden’s claims that the US had hacked targets in the territory.

Snowden had been at a safe house since 10 June, when he checked out of his hotel after giving an interview to the Guardian outing himself as the source who leaked top secret documents.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

O’Sullivan on Shearer

Fran O’Sullivan excoriates the ineptitude displayed by David Shearer going large on pillow-talk rumours of his spinster Fran Mold:

It is astonishing that the Labour leader is so lacking in political worldliness that he did not demand bullet-proof evidence be presented to him before making his allegations. Now he is left floundering as the Prime Minister challenges him to “put up or shut up”.

Yesterday’s revelation by NewstalkZB’s Barry Soper that the prime source of the leak was a former GCSB official who is in a relationship with the Labour leader’s spin-doctor Fran Mold also compounds Shearer’s predicament.

He won’t confirm or deny the Soper revelation saying he doesn’t “declare his sources”.

But with no sense of irony, Mold later released a press statement under Shearer’s name saying the “PM must confirm or deny Dotcom comment”. (Realpolitik dictates that John Key doesn’t have to do anything until Shearer produces the video, Fran.)

It Key wants to get heavy he could demand that the GCSB fully investigates the links between Mold, her partner, his former close colleagues at the external intelligence agency and Shearer to see if they have breached the law. It’s doubtful Key would want to prolong the Dotcom embarrassment given the other issues on his plate. But the State Services Commission did appoint an investigator to try to track down the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) leaks.

Senior Labour figures must be rolling their eyes at the way their leader’s crusade has blown up in his face.

Shearer is finished…the only interesting questions that remain concern whether or not Frn mold did it on purpose to aid her pal Grant Robertson and when they finally knife Shearer. It is obvious that the caucus has let Shearer charge on ahead while they all looked busy doing other things.

David Shearer has scored a glorious own goal – the caucus knives will be sharpening.

They have been sharpened for quite sometime, they have just been waiting for the right time to plunge the knife in.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Who is the Mole?

David Fisher catches up two days late after this blog wrote about the Labour’s “Mole”:

The partner of the chief press secretary to Labour leader David Shearer has been drawn into the row over alleged leaks after being exposed as a former GCSB spy agency employee.

[Redacted] is an academic who lives with former New Zealand Herald and TVNZ journalist Fran Mold. She now works as an adviser to Mr Shearer.

Yesterday NewstalkZB reported [Redacted] was the source for Mr Shearer’s claims the Prime Minister had joked with GCSB staff about Kim Dotcom in the agency’s cafeteria.

Ms Mold and [Redacted] did not respond to messages.

Fisher must have pulled his head out of DotCon’s arse for five minutes to catch up on this.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Saturday General Debate

Open Forum: