Breathlessly and with great hyperbole the MSNBC report came across my iPad as I sipped my morning coffee. The reporter eagerly reporting on their “scoop” of locating, potentially, the Russian source inside the Kremlin’s whereabouts in Washington DC. As I sat agog at their reporting, a mix of “OMG OMG OMG LOOK AT US!” and “Sorry, I can’t report the details because two guys in an SUV came at us after we rang a doorbell!” as the bile rose inside of me. I then took to Twitter and began to get information that surprised me and made it all the worse. It turns out that MSNBC buried the real lede in their reporting. It seems their “tip” on the possible asset that was exfiltrated in 2017 was in fact from the Russian government by proxy of a news site called Kommersant.ru.
The Kommersant article, posted yesterday before MSNBC made their rush to the address of the alleged Russian asset in DC, gives the name plainly, which I will not do here, and links to earlier stories of the missing official who went on vacation in 2017 and “disappeared without a trace”… Of course the Russians would have readily known who the asset was after the EXFIL, but, to post it online was an interesting move. Originally “The Storm”, another Russian news outlet posted in October 2017 of the missing Russian official but no one in the media took note it seems. The updated story in Kommersant though was prompted by the stories in the media about how Trump could not be trusted with intel much like (think Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval) where Trump released code word intel to them and blew an Israeli operation. As the stories swirled from CNN quoting that the exfil had happened because Trump, the Russians I am sure began to ponder how they could stick a finger in the eye of the US and the CIA.
What they did was just remind everyone that the name of the asset in their opinion was <REDACTED> and that his new address was <REDACTED> in Virginia USA. They actually gave the address in the article. MSNBC got the tip somehow (likely monitoring sites like Kommersant) and immediately dispatched a crew to go to the address and knock on the door Geraldo style and get the scoopy scoop and win the news day! Pay no mind to the potential intelligence disaster it may cause to someone who did a great service to this country.
…But hey HEADLINES! CLICKS! ADS! BYLINES!
Anyway, the asset has been moved I am sure but a lot still needs to be discussed here about this whole thing. I mean, why would they re-settle this guy and his family under his own name? Why would they allow them to purchase a rather large house under their names? I mean, once upon a time when you were exfiltrated from Russia (SOV Bloc) you got a new name and you got some money and lived quietly as you are consistently debriefed. Has the CIA lost it’s collective mind? Is this even the guy? What the hell is going on here? With that question upon my mind I will give this a bit of thought.
Is this the asset in question? … Given the details of their disappearance in 2017, and his role in the Kremlin, I am going to lean toward yes.
Why was this guy allowed to buy property and live in the open under his real name? … I honestly have a few theories:
- The CIA wanted the Kremlin to know as a poke in the eye and a challenge. If this guy gets a polonium enema in the US, shit is gonna go plaid.
- Also, the assets new life in a free country with considerable assets would perhaps entice others.
- His EXFIL was pretty out in the open once he went RED RABBIT, so, perhaps there just was no need for an elaborate re-settlement and name change.
- Lastly, perhaps there is some incompetence going on? Who knows, maybe the asset demanded they live free and under their own name?
What is going to happen now? … Well, if this asset has been moved as I suspect, then they likely will get that name change because they are spectacularly blown because of Kommersant and now MSNBC and all the other services. I mean, I did not name the guy here but Kommersant did and with just the name I tracked them down to the house through sales records online!
All in all, this whole affair just makes me scratch my head. I mean, we are really through the looking glass in 2019 with everything that has been going on since 2016 but wow. This whole thing at least moved me to post, something I have been uninterested in doing for a long while now, so there is that. I will watch the game unfold and see what plays out. I gotta say though, recent events regarding losses for the CIA in China and Iran have me worried that we have lost some of our skill sets in HUMINT. I would love to find out that this whole debacle was really a play at something larger by the CIA, but, I fear it wasn’t.