Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Spy Who Left, Maybe

Graham Greene wrote a number of great spy literary pieces in his life ("Our Man in Havana" was my favorite).  

As I'm watching the latest in US-German-NSA-Spy news....I'm kinda reminded of the witty situations that Greene wrote into his novels, and how some half-way usually bumbled his way to success in the end....showing that the spy business isn't exactly a choreographed play or Fortune-500 run operation.

Today, we kinda learn that the Germans are now wondering if the American spy-master out of Berlin....a diplomat or at least noted as one....has left the country as they requested.  Note, they didn't demand he leave, which usually means 72-hours to pack and go.  This nicer version....usually means a guy has at least seven days, and me might even stretch it a bit as long as he's showing activity.  

In this case, the US government says they don't have to be publicly open over who is at the embassy or who has left.  It's kind of a "secret".

Naturally, German news media folks think this is bizarre and just not the way that a legit government operation runs.  Course, the same German news media don't have any inspiration to quiz folks on the meth-head political guy from the SPD, or the child-sex-pervert from the SPD (both in the last six months).  Both individuals got weeks of time to clean their laptops, homes and files.....before the cops were given permission to search the residence.  

As for the American spy-master? It would not surprise me if he simply packed up a suitcase, and drove his car into France....where he runs the same job and operation quietly out of the US embassy in Paris.  In essence, what we Americans call.....telecommuting.  You check emails, do conferences by a secure Skype connection, and operate along the same way as in the past.  

I'm guessing that Chancellor Merkel's crew will come up by late next week, and ask about the guy.  The US will simply say it's complied to the letter of intent, and everyone will be happy.  As for the guy actually leaving Europe?  I'd suspect that he hasn't left the continent.  But I'm only guessing.  

All of this leads me to the general script of a Graham Greene spy-novel.  Some double-agents, some triple-agents, some quadruple-agents, a bored Russian mobster, some geeky NSA guys whose top data collection each week is a listing of ways to cook pork schnitzel, some intellectual German journalists who wouldn't know a one-star story from a four-star story, a couple of drunk soccer fans, a meth-head German minister, a Vietnamese pimp running a Berlin brothel, some North Korean agents selling bogus pallets of Marlboro cigarettes they've smuggled into Germany, a brilliant-pretender genius who quit the NSA saying he had morals but couldn't demonstrate them in public, a lost Obama supporter who discovered the Noble Prize is worthless, and a team of CIA agents out of Mainz whose intent is to be on the inside of Channel Two (ZDF) and create a scandal to bring down the TV network chiefs.
Yeah, I could write such a Greene-style novel....but who would believe it?  

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