Thursday, October 6, 2005

Spies (2)

The espionage case I blogged about a couple of weeks back has taken a rather bizarre turn. The accused spy, Leandro Aragoncillo, former US Marine, was at one time assigned to US Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore. The criminal complaint against this villain allges that between May and August he either printed or downloaded 101 classified documents pertaining to the Philippines, of which 37 were classified “Secret” or higher.

More information, also, has surfaced about the putative spy’s employer. Mr. Aragoncillo’s contact and probable controller, Michael Ray Aquino, is allied with Filipino leftist factions seeking to unseat current Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

I don’t care, that much, what happens to Mr. Aquino or the spy’s Filipino bosses, provided the Philippines government cooperates fully with our investigation. We give the Philippines enough military and foreign aid to expect their eager and enthusiastic cooperation with our efforts, now that it appears Mr. Aquino was not working for his government. No doubt our ambassador and other diplomats have given, or will give, the Philippines counter-espionage and police authorities their marching orders soon enough, and they will certainly be complied with. Something seems to be happening on this front already, their Justice Secretary (equivalent of the US Attorney General), says that certain targets of the US investigation who are in the Philippines will be extradited upon request.

But that’s a Philippines problem. Mr. Aragoncillo’s ours. This wretch, and any other Americans who helped him, ought to hang or have something equally ghastly happen to them if they’re convicted.

Brief aside: I don’t like spies much. A personal failing of mine. They’re about on a level with child-rapists with me. This applies to our spies too. No, I don't mean CIA employees working (sometimes at great personal risk) to ferret out things we need to know; or Russian Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki (SVR) guys, or British MI6 people, or whoever, doing the same things for their countries. Those people are patriots. Sometimes they are enemies of ours, but that doesn't necessarily make them evil. I mean the other end of the food-chain -- the inside operators, the turncoats, the people stealing the documents -- people inside our camp, or inside somebody else's who are selling out their own country for money, ideology or whatever.
I know spies are a necessary evil and often useful, but I just don’t think it’s cricket to sell-out your own side. I find a lack of national loyalty repulsive. Two days before the Battle of Ligny, on 14 June 1815, a French general named Bourmont, a royalist, defected from the French army to the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher’s Prussian army, betraying Napoleon’s plans to the enemy. The old Prussian general turned the pestiferous traitor over to his staff, who learned what they needed to know, but Blucher refused to be in the same room with the traitor, acknowledge him, or shake his hand: saying something to the effect of “A dog is always a dog, no matter whose damn flag he waves.” Blucher hated Napoleon’s guts, but he knew a scumbag traitor for what he was when he saw one.

As for the Aragoncillo business, the question must be asked: how did this person get past the counterintelligence vetting process ? How was he handling classified documents over a period of months, without being apprehended? Don’t they polygraph people at the White House ? Snoop into their e-mail ? Check their bank statements, review their lifestyle ? Look into their personal phone-calls, friends, associates ? When you work with classified materials, you’re supposed to give up privacy.

The FBI needs to go back through the White House organization, especially during the period of this Aragoncillo’s employment, top to bottom. If this guy was there, is there anybody else ?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, there was one more.

His name? William Jefferson Clinton.

LaBelle said...

Spys always, past and future. Don't get in a huff.