Streetwise Professor

July 31, 2011

Borisov Did It. Did Natasha Help?

Filed under: Music,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:20 pm

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.

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  1. Cui bono? (Georgian-looking cartoon characters.)

    Comment by So? — July 31, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  2. Don’t believe everything Soros protege Misha the Tie Eater’s propaganda ministry puts out. And what, D.C.’s gonna say he’s full of crap? Of course not, they’ll have Ileana Ros Lehtinen, McCain and Graham all over their butts within days. I suspect even Mike McFaul thinks the telephoning the EU monitors blunder was the tipoff of a false flag. Hell, the SS Viking wannabe in Norway trained in Belarus and seemed far more deadly competent than the alleged Russian operatives [in Georgia] in this case.

    Funny how the Anglo-American media’s staying silent on that score (unless I missed the Daily Torygraph story asking what ABB was doing in Minsk besides checking out the nightlife). Call me cynical about our press when it comes to toeing the Party line on Eastern Europe, but maybe it’s because Belarus is alternately the last dictatorship in Europe or yet another victim of Russian energy imperialism, depending on what day of the week it is and the amount of smoke Lukashenko is blowing up the IMF/EMF’s a$$ this week.

    Peace out.

    Comment by Mr. X — August 1, 2011 @ 12:58 am

  3. @So? Uhm, you’ve never heard of Boris & Natasha from Bullwinkle and Rocky?

    @ X-man: I said this before and I guess my own site swallowed my own comment, so I’ll repeat. Occam’s Razor. (I keep it in the cabinet right next to Hanlon’s Razor–both are getting a workout these days.) Simplest explanation is that US intelligence believes the Georgian story. If they had any non-risible reason to doubt it, they would surely p*ss all over it. Since they haven’t, but have resorted to making lame-o excuses, I conclude that the intelligence is pretty solid, even coming from a tie-chewer.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  4. ONE (Russia hates America and her values) plus ONE (Russia is ruled by a proud KGB spy) equals TWO (Russia uses all means possible to harm and destroy America, especially when America is ruled by a craven, gutless coward who is unlikely to fight back).

    Comment by La Russophobe — August 1, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  5. Russia is a dependency of the 4th Reich. Wipe that spittle off your mouth, and write an angry letter to Merkel.

    Comment by So? — August 1, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  6. Putin calls Americans “parasites.”

    And what to do with parasites? Exterminate them, of course. Bombs are useful in accomplishing that.

    Comment by La Russophobe — August 3, 2011 @ 6:10 am

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