new rider of the purple sage

Monday, December 16, 2013

The spy who was left out in the cold

The whole Robert Levinson saga is straight out of LeCarre. Analog side decides to run its own Joe on a rogue mission, then denies his existence when the ex FBI, DEA agent, way out of his turf, lands up trying to turn an Iranian on the Island of Kish off the Iranian coast in 2007. After a clumsy meeting at a hotel one morning, he goes missing, hasn't been seen in seven years and the official line is the guy was a private out sightseeing.

The firm of course denies all knowledge, sorry Bobby, you aren't one of ours, you never existed, ends up lying to Congress. DENY. And the lying continues, all the way up to Condi Rice apparently.

But eventually somebody gets a hold of internal emails, about the government running him,  a couple three heads roll over at the Agency and the U.S. finally has to claim him as one of their own. Kudos to the family for their dogged pursuit of Levinson.
McGee said he was previously told by FBI agents assigned to the case that the FBI was aware the CIA had hid its connection to Levinson, but said there was nothing they could do about it.
"...[They] passed on word that we should just drop the issue and go away," McGee recounted. "Leave Bob in Iran."
"He's 65 years old. He's diabetic. He doesn't have that many years left," McGee said. 
Today the Iranian Minister in charge of knowing these sorts of things, Javad Sharif, says that he has no idea, they don't have him, Dawud Salahuddin, the american convict turned Iranian emigre who Levinson was trying to turn, says that they definitely do. Or did.


There is a great scene in the movie Smiley's People when the Russian woman who had her daughter taken away when she was very young, asks Alec Guiness if she will ever see her again? And George Smiley, who lost all of his own hope when his beloved Ann started plonking that traitor Bill Hayden, looks at her sadly and rather coldly says, "No, you won't."

Once I would have expected more from our government. Say what you want about the Israelis but they never stop taking care of their own.

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