Andy Martin says that Russian spy rings, coded messages, Mata Hari agents, lavish living and “non-official cover” herald a return to the glory days of the Cold War. “Anna Chapman” will be 33 years old by the time she hits the streets; will we trade “our” Russkie prisoners for some of theirs? Will the Reds grab someone to use as trading bait? Are “Law and Order” actors standing by to make the movie, on location in
Internet powerhouse Andy Martin remembers growing up during the Cold War
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Andy Martin says the arrest of a “Russian spy ring” in
But Andy reminisces on what a fascinating era the Cold War really was
But I had grown up in a family where he clandestine operations were the rule, not the uniformed services. I had studied the day-to-day progress of the French Indochina War. I was heartbroken when
When my family moved to
I met my first Russian spies over forty years ago. In
The Cold War indeed was “something else.” The fear of war, the prospect of war, the preparation for war overshadowed everything. And then there was Viet-Nam. Viet-Nam was the realization of all of our fears. And the creation of new ones. It’s hard to believe now, but over 200 Americans were dying a week during the fiercest fighting.
One of the most interesting operations of the Viet-Nam war was the effort to spy on North and South Vietnamese spies who had infiltrated the local media. How to find them? Use a pigeon.
Many of my contemporaries had focused on
I was fascinated by
The Communist Chinese (or “Chicoms”), of course, were “inscrutable,” while the Russkies were merely bullies, maybe even thugs.
During the Cold War there really were “secrets.” Spy satellites had not yet been invented. And the U-2 had not yet been shot down. People actually had to go in, mooch about and look-see. And get out alive.
I was only a second generation cold warrior. It was our World War II parents who were “present at the creation” of the Cold War. Security concerns were everywhere. My mother worked with someone who was distantly related to the “atom spy”
The way it was explained to me, spying and special operations was almost a family business. My father had been in special ops; his father had been a spy. My mother’s grandfather was a double agent. My mother had worked for an intelligence agency. After listening to stories about spies and clandestine operations, who wanted to sit in a cockpit?
Spying and intelligence operations are among the most dangerous national security activities. A solider, sailor or airman always knows when he (she) is in uniform, that uniform and a team will protect him. A CIA “case officer” is usually attached to a diplomatic mission under a title such as “State Department—agricultural research liaison” or something like that. They enjoy diplomatic immunity. Risky business, but not too risky.
And then there are the people who are “out there.” Officially, they are called working under “non-official cover” or “NOC.” In reality, if someone working NOC gets caught, they’re caught. Or worse. One of the reasons the Valerie Plame controversy became such a serious issue in the run-up to the 2003
And now we come to this week’s “New York Russian spy ring.” Since the nation of
The Russian spy ring (we can’t call them a “Soviet” spy ring because the
The bottom line: governments will always spy on each other, sometimes in the open, sometimes clandestinely. Friends spy on friends. We spy on the Israelis, and they spy on us. Sometimes we catch them. Jonathan Pollard has spent 30 years in jail because he was bribed by
Spymasters have learned through bitter experience that when you don’t spy, you end up in a jam. The Shah of Iran did not allow the CIA to operate in
The only good thing about the Russian spy ring in
ABOUT ANDY: Andy Martin is the legendary
Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of investigative and overseas experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy's columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com.
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