The Tretyakov Tornado

The new book about spy defector Sergei Tretyakov and his various interviews divulging Russia’s state secrets is causing quite the political tornado. RA plans to post a review of the book when time permits, but so far some people are already calling for a probe on Strobe Talbott, and fallout could be significant in Canada.

Regarding Tretyakov’s accusation that the Russian Federation defrauded the UN of $500 million in the Iraq oil-for-food program, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service angrily snapped back today, stating that “Leaving the so-called ‘revelations’ to Tretyakov’s conscience, we would like to emphasize that intelligence services in all countries have always condemned propaganda and PR moves based on treason as an abominable act, and treason is considered a crime punished by law.“One book review from the Washington Post, where the author Pete Earley formerly worked, suggests that U.S. officials might have been eager to let the wider public know about their “super-mole” Tretyakov so as not to seem totally incompetent before the high-profile cases of Soviet moles Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen.The reviewer David Wise is skeptical and dismissive: “Yet, if Tretyakov was not a world-class mole, he was definitely a world-class name-dropper. And that is the difficulty with his story. All defectors tend to exaggerate their own importance, or at least the importance of their information, especially if they worry that when they run out of secrets to reveal they may be cast aside.” However Wise does note that Tretyakov was very highly paid by the U.S. for sharing intelligence ($2 million) and he and his wife drive a Porshe