Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) talk over lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia June 24, 2010. Obama and Medvedev huddled at the White House on Thursday, seeking to kickstart trade and investment to complement a political reset between former Cold War foes.
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

In the wake of the Medvedev-Obama hamburger summit, most normalized US-Russian parley of its kind in history, the FBI has launched indictments of 10 alleged Russian spies, who were not government officials and who had no access to US state secrets.

Ana Chapman, one of the alleged Russian spies arraigned in a U.S. Federal Court on 28 June 2010.

There is no indication so far that the accused succeeded in reporting any valuable information. The FBI’s allegations concentrate rather on cat and mouse games between their agents and the defendants that could easily come out of the pages of Ian Fleming or John LeCarré. Skepticism based on this case is enhanced by the current media campaign around Sergei Tretyakov, supposedly a high-level defector from the Russian SVR foreign intelligence who claims that he was station chief in New York for five years. “The cold war never ended,” is Tretyakov’s main talking point.

On June 17, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who owes his career to the sponsorship he enjoyed from Russophobe Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Carter National Security Council, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is “schizophrenic” about Iran — torn between fear of Iran as a security threat and the desire to cash in on lucrative trade deals. We are thus dealing with a pattern of events that add up to something of a neo-McCarthyite anti-Russian campaign.

Is this campaign the handiwork of a U.S. intelligence faction which does not like the current US-Russia rapprochement? The strident anti-Russian line of the Washington Post shows that a significant anti-Russian faction continues to agitate in Washington.