Sergei Tretyakov, the Russian traitor / US patriot (whatever you prefer), died June 13, 2010, at the age of 53. The Russian “illegals” were rounded up on June 27. The two week gap is exactly the same as the amount of time President Obama is said to have known of the Russian spy ring. What I suspect is that the order to round up the Russian spy ring was issued immediately after President Medvedev’s visit to Silicon Valley in order to provide a source of leverage in case the autopsy found Tretyakov’s death to have been unnatural. It was only on July 9 that Tretyakov’s death – of natural causes – was announced by his biographer (hagiographer) Pete Earley. The same day, a federal court ruled the Russian spy ring were not guilty of espionage, paving the way for the US-Russia spy swap, the Anna Chapman personality cult and the patriotastic karaoke songs with Putin.
Neither Russia nor the US has any interest in rocking the “reset” boat, so the affair slipped by smoothly. Medvedev wants to modernize Russia and keep the US out of its sphere of influence in Eurasia; Obama wants Russian support – or at least acquiescence – on Afghanistan and Iran. (The “bad cop” of the tandem, Putin, did make some Aesopian comments regarding how “traitors always end badly”. This was a publicity stunt. Tretyakov almost certainly died naturally, as his wife and Earley claim: he had health problems – including alcoholism and smoker’s bronchitis, according to a (self-claimed) retired colonel from Russian intelligence – so the “massive cardiac arrest” story does make sense.)
Finally, while I know this might not be news to many of you, far from all spooks are the professional sleuths of James Bond fantasy. Judging from the fascinating discussion at Pete Earley’s post on Tretyakov’s death, some of them are paranoid, petty, ultranationalist nutjobs (at least the ones that care to comment on blogs). Many of the American commentators there suffered from the risible delusion that Tretyakov somehow did Russia a favor by betraying its secrets to the US (because, of course, what’s good for America must be good for everyone).
Pointing out the obvious – that while Tretyakov may have been a US patriot, he was certainly a Russian traitor – got me labeled as a “useful idiot” (along with the sane “Nicholas Arena“, a “former intelligence officer”) by one Brett Kingstone, an FBI-connected Orlando realty dealer*. One of Tretyakov’s fans, “Victoria Spain”, even references the “Final Phase” conspiracy theory – first expounded by the Soviet traitor Anatoly Golitsyn – that the FSB control Islamist terrorists, the USSR never collapsed and Putin is planning to invade Europe.
Not that Russia’s “intelligence” appears any more acute, judging from the comments of a “Colonel (Ret.)“: through he reveals some interesting anecdotes about Tretyakov (apparently, he was an alcoholic “stooping balloon on skinny legs with scraggy arms” and part of the SVR’s privileged, incompetent “nomenklatura” caste who never did any serious fieldwork), he frequently retreats into a “whataboutist” anti-American rant. Quite crude and Soviet.