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Russian Media Exposes Identity of CIA’s Moscow Station Chief

stephen holmes RT report

RT’s original uncensored report which exposes Stephen Holmes’ identity.

I’m more used to breaking stories concerning the Mossad than I am the CIA.  But in this case, Russia Today (now known as RT) dropped a scoop right in my lap.

The main thrust of this story deals with the exposure of an accused CIA operative, Ryan Fogle, who was arrested in Moscow several days ago.  Fogle’s “cover” was a job as third political secretary of the U.S. embassy.  His “crime” was an attempt to recruit a Russian agent to work for the CIA.

The entire incident, replete with fake wigs and an alleged letter of invitation to the Russian to spy on behalf of Uncle Sam, reeked of a put-up job.  Either Fogle was the dumbest spy ever to work for this country; or the Russians are the worst con artists in the history of counter-espionage practice.

Though I have no idea what really happened, reading the RT story, it appears the FSB was extremely unhappy with unspecified CIA activities in Russia and had warned the station chief that it was walking a fine line.  I’m guessing that nothing as extravagant as what the Russians claim actually happened.  But that the Russians set-up Fogle, and his arrest and expulsion were a warning to the U.S. to get back into line.

But here’s the real scoop: in the RT story, it exposed the identity of the CIA’s Moscow station chief.  His name is Stephen Holmes.  You’ll find the original story displayed here.  This is a link to the censored version.

So the real question is what happened to this story and why.  Presumably, the FSB wanted to expose the CIA station chief.  Doing so would blow his cover and render him less effective as a spook.  If that’s the case, it might have been further revenge for Holmes’ refusal to rein in his operatives when the FSB requested that he do so.

But why censor the report after you’ve exposed him?  A tug of war within the Kremlin?  Political operatives cooling off the FSB?  A complaint from the U.S. embassy?  A threat the U.S. would expose the identity of the SVR (Russia’s overseas intelligence service) station chief in DC?  At any rate, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. America will have to respond with a tit for tat.  And where does that leave us?

Just when the U.S. and Russia were making attempts to patch up a frayed relationship, it appears that either Putin or the spy apparatus want to return us to the days of the very Cold War.  It’s a time that ex-KGBniks like Putin remember well.  Perhaps they feel nostalgic for it.  Perhaps they don’t care whether Syria goes up in flames and want to topple a joint effort to negotiate an end to the crisis there.

At any rate, I expect that Mr. Holmes may be returning home himself a bit sooner than expected.

A number of media outlets have reported this story, though I don’t believe any have reported Holmes’ name.  I do so here because RT has already done so.  It will only be a matter of hours before someone else will do so in the western media.

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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Matan May 18, 2013, 2:24 AM

    cryptocomb has a picture (I don’t know if it’s really him, obviously): http://cryptocomb.org/RT%20News%20outs%20Stephen%20Holmes.jpg

    • John May 18, 2013, 5:10 AM

      that’s a picture of the suspect they arrested Ryan Fogle

    • Oui May 18, 2013, 5:31 AM

      That’s Fogle.

      • Matan May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM

        Oops, my bad.

  • John May 18, 2013, 5:09 AM

    Was amusing how many other news agencys were running the story without providing the identity. Weird, thanks

  • Oui May 18, 2013, 6:01 AM

    CIA Chief named Steven Hall (or Holl)

    (ruvr.com) – Back in October 2011, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) issued an official warning to CIA Chief in Moscow Steven Hall. The note of caution said that if provocative recruitment actions on the part of Hall’s agency toward FSB’s employees continued the FSB would have to reciprocate.

    KGB named U.S. Moscow embassy counsellor Steven Hall as CIA Moscow station chief

    I did find a Stephen Holmes with Carnegie Endowment, a specialist on constitutional law and legal reform in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

  • kmansfield May 18, 2013, 11:06 AM

    I don’t think it’s a put up job — by Russia, but you can’t blame them for the Schadenfreude.

    The US is blaming Russia for not doing their jobs regarding the Tsarnaev brothers, and after the Libyan Fiasco a more controlled repeat of it has been set up in Syria, but Assad is an important ally of Russia.

    Assad has been a stable ally of Israel, but it seems that al Nusra on weakening Hezbollah is what they get out of this “civil war.” A smaller syria gives Turkey more water, israel secures the golan or more land and and water and the Kurds get a chunk of Syria and support for Autonomy. That the shia’s call southern lebanon home is really the problem for

    The diplomats and former spies i follow are not blaming Russia, they are not excusing terrible tradecraft. msrossletters said that if the Chief of Station was running out of the Embassy he deserves to be outed.

    The jokes are rather hilarious. I mean, Blonde… James Blonde…
    Casewitz: “It’s the coolest thing to say, you know, that I interned with Jason Bourne,”
    Diplomats are joking that the budget sequester is to blame for the crappy wigs he was wearing.

    Yousef Casewitz said Fogle was “brilliant” and “hard-working” during his CSIS internship, but that he seemed to lack in certain social graces.
    He likened Fogle to the title character of the “Bourne” movies, a trilogy of Hollywood blockbusters starting actor Matt Damon as a swashbuckling spy.”He wasn’t the type that would hang around and chat,” “He just wanted get his work done. … He really wanted to prove himself: He’d come early and leave late.”
    Meredith Aylward said she did not envision Fogle becoming a diplomat.
    “I’d see him doing engineering or something like that,” “He was definitely friendly but also quiet. He was very studious.”
    So I see Russia pressure on the US to not topple Assad.

    I think we should look at Atlantic’s reason no. 3. Americans set him up.
    Who would have given him a compass to carry, or a printed letter to carry?

    Hypenated Americans outed him, perhaps because he’s not a member of the Tribe.
    He specialized in Middle East Studies and he spoke Arabic, but according to Angry Arab’s statements over they years, our Middle East diplomatic positions which used to be filled with Arabists have been displaced by Zionists who do not even speak the language. Why was he not put where he might be most useful, was there a chance of that happening?

    Russia tossed out our USAID/NED cash endowed NGOs, so some privatized company like CSIS might want us to privatize what is left.
    At any rate, don’t you think the laurel and hardy information war is better than assassinations and false flag bombings in this new cold war?
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/05/russia-american-spy-arrest-explained/65250/

    • kmansfield May 18, 2013, 11:23 AM

      my comment wasn’t complete:
      That the shia’s call southern lebanon home is really the problem for .. Israel.
      They have always wanted to break up the region into small weak states that battle each other, but they also wanted to displace the Shi’ites with the Maronites since the time that they arranged for the rise and election of Bachir Gemayel.
      If the shia/Hezbollah were in northern Lebanon they would be closer to the turkish Alevis and Alawites and russia’s syrian port in Tartus. It would at least solidify that block and give Israel it’s buffer state, but it would just set up their next pieces chess pieces for war.
      Anything the zionist state can do to keep from having to make actual peace seems to it’s preference. It’s an expansionist with dreams of empire and it will never stop. I’m really tired of the US being israels dog.

  • Albert S. May 18, 2013, 3:57 PM

    I believe it’s really Stephen Holmes, as stated.

    A link to his picture on the internet was quickly taken down at the “DailyBell.com”.

    He is/was listed as an expert on Russian law at New York University Law School.

    He’s also a Dick Cheney enemy, in one link I found on him.

  • jessie May 18, 2013, 4:04 PM

    Holmes seems correct as this person is listed as an expert on Russia.

    This “Stephen Holmes” was also mentioned in an article saying “the CIA exists to serve its Anglo-Saxon masters”.

    Anybody else find anything? He’s listed as an NYU professor.

    • Richard Silverstein May 19, 2013, 2:34 AM

      I find it highly unlikely that a professor at NYU would be a CIA station chief. It would cause a huge scandal.

  • The Mighty Cynic May 19, 2013, 10:03 PM

    The most likely conclusion is that deals were made re: Syria and there is a necessity of deception by false opposition. It neither makes sense that Russia out this asset nor that he would have been deployed with that M.O.

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