Vlad Socor at EDM has more details on the allegations about GRU involvement in the bombing of the US Embassy in Georgia (and in other bombings in that country):
On July 28, the US National Intelligence Council (analytical arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence) provided the Intelligence Committees of both chambers of Congress with a second analysis, following up to the December 2010 analysis of the September 2010 incident. Both analyses drew on a variety of inputs, including those from Georgian counterintelligence. The basic conclusion is that Russian GRU’s Major Yevgeny Borisov, stationed on a military base in Abkhazia, coordinated the planting of about a dozen low-yield bombs in Georgia during 2010, including that outside the US embassy (another bomb outside the embassy was detected and defused).
Borisov operated from Abkhazia through a few agents recruited inside Georgia, at least one of whom is in pre-trial detention since December in Tbilisi. Several of the bombs, including those at the US embassy, were made to look innocuous by using candy-box packaging.
A blunder helped to confirm Borisov’s already suspected role. On his behalf, his deputy telephoned the European Union’s Monitoring Mission (EUMM, in Georgia’s interior, with a hotline to the Russian military), offering to help with the casualties of a bomb explosion that had supposedly occurred on the railway bridge near Poti, Georgia’s Black Sea commercial port. However, the field agent had falsely reported to Borisov by mobile telephone minutes earlier that the bomb had exploded. In fact, Georgian counterintelligence was tracking that agent and defused the bomb.
The Georgians intercepted at least two telephone calls from field agents inside Georgia to Borisov’s office, immediately following explosions. Georgian authorities put six suspects on trial in December 2010. Borisov and his deputy, GRU officer Mukhran Tskhadaia, were sentenced in absentia to long prison terms. The investigation established that Borisov’s office supplied the explosive material (Hexogen, known as Cyclonit or RDX in the West) and paid those agents.
. . . .
Obama administration officials, speaking to the press without nominal attribution, downplay the incident in two ways. First, there is no full inter-agency consensus about a direct responsibility of the GRU at the high levels of that organization. Perhaps Borisov was operating as a rogue agent, these officials speculate aloud. Second, the incident at the US embassy in Tbilisi has more to do with Russia-Georgia than with Russia-US relations; and “it pokes the Georgians in the eye, not the US” (EurasiaNet, The Cable, The New York Times, Washington Times, July 27, 28, 29).
The first excuse is lame. The second is simply mendacious. Our embassy is our embassy, and bombing it is a poke in our eye, not Georgia’s. It is also clearly aimed at us, and intended to get us to back off in support for Georgia. Ah, for the days of “Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!” Turning the other cheek on this only encourages further probing–or worse–and not just by Russia, but by the even more unscrupulous.
Note that for those who want to blow this off as a figment of Georgian imagination–or propaganda note that the administration investigated the issue, and agreed with the Georgians despite its clear desire to sweep the whole matter under the rug. The administration is so invested in the precious reset that if it could have discredited the factual allegations, it would have done so. This lends credence to the reliability of those allegations. The only alternative available was to minimize the importance of the bombing. The justifications are palpably pathetic, but given Obama’s parlous domestic situation, plummeting poll numbers, and serial foreign policy follies (I can’t even bring myself to write anything about the Libyan fiasco which is playing out as badly as I forecast back in March), the administration is not about to admit failure on what it considers one of its signature accomplishments.
So expect more mischief in Georgia–and more silence and excuses in DC.