The United States Department of State has on two recent occasions denied the US is engaged in espionage in Venezuela and Iran. Denials of espionage activities are standard operating procedure. What are you supposed to do? Cop to the crime and pay the price with reduced tariffs – not likely. The funny thing is that the State Department has thousands of formal and informal spies on the payroll – as does the CIA and other similar type organizations. If all of these folks are on the payroll (the rationale for increasing budgets after September 11 – remember), but they aren’t actually hard at work spying on countries like Iran, what exactly are they doing?
Can you really have it both ways all the time? Statement A: We need more money to increase our intelligence on the ground in hostile states. Response: Ok, we’ll give you the money. Go out and get results. Statement B: We categorically deny any espionage against your hostile state. Now that simply won’t work. Credibility problems abound. How can folks reasonably expect that the same people committed to DOMESTIC SPYING would NOT spy against a nation alleged to constitute an imminent nuclear threat. These press releases are like Hollywood movies starring the “Governator.” Everything is about the SOD…suspension of disbelief.
It’s early. The jury is not in. I suspect those suspects with dual citizenship might expect as fair a trial as a Negro might have expected in America at any time from 1619 through the O.J. Simpson verdict. I doubt that the US will go too far in pushing for the release of these people. One has been detained since mid-May. The Iranian government, masters of P.R., made an announcement over a long holiday weekend. The story is already buried under Bush’s recent call for sanctions against Sudan and Lindsay Lohan’s cocaine fiasco.
Haleh Esfandiari – currently held in Iran and accused of spying for the U.S.:
Time will reveal.