Russian espionage, Big Red Car? Huh?
Big Red Car here on a lovely, cool, sunny ATX morning. Ahhh, breathe in the air of the last free state in the Union. On Earth as it is in Texas!
So, the Russians are engaged in espionage of the garden variety. Not the “collusion” kind, the real kind.
Let me explain it to y’all.
Russia is and has been engaged in garden variety espionage. They have been at it since early last century.
Today, they are looking for things like RADIATION HARDENED INTEGRATED CIRCUITS. They use these little gems in their rocketry, satellites, their space program, their first line fighters, and their nuclear weapons.
They have one big problem: they cannot make them. So, Big Red Car, what happens then?
So, Big Red Car, what do they do?
They steal them, dear reader. They steal them using the most basic espionage attack one can imagine.
They pay disloyal, greedy Americans to steal (buy) radiation hardened integrated circuits to send along to Mother Russia. Simple approach. Effective as Hell.
If these bits of tech wizardry were exported legally, they would require an export license from the US Department of Commerce, which would not be forthcoming. Hence, the necessity to steal them.
Peter Zuccarelli, Plano, Texas, Russian enabler?
Comes one Peter Zuccarelli of Plano, Texas who owns an eyeglass lens coating company.
Using that tech mojo as a cover, he is alleged to have purchased radiation hardened integrated circuits, repackaged them as “touch screen parts,” and sent them along to Vladimir Putin.
The FBI detected the transaction and called, “Foul!”
The FBI also detected that the Russians had deposited $1,500,000 in an account of Pete’s which he used to buy the radiation hardened integrated circuits.
Pete is not the only American selling stuff to our adversaries.
You may recall the case of Miss Si Chen who was arrested for smuggling US space communications to China.
There was another ring of Russian agents — Americans who are acting on behalf of Russia to the detriment of the USA — who were caught smuggling microchips from the US to Russia. These microchips were used in Russian fighters and missiles.
What does this mean, Big Red Car?
What it means is four fold:
1. Russia is engaged in constant, continuous espionage against the USA. Always has and always will be.
2. Much of what Russia wants is things they cannot make or master. They cannot make radiation hardened integrated circuits and certain microchips.
3. Russia uses MONEY as the Mother’s Milk of its espionage operations. They tap into the greed of individuals to betray their country. They have no shortage of takers.
4. The Russians are not subtle. They are not shy. They see what they want and they go after it, hammer and sickle. [Ooops, I guess I meant “hammer and tongs?”]
Why is this important? Because this is how Russia conducts its espionage. They do not send the Russian Ambassador to the US to cocktail parties to chat people up. They do not approach obvious citizens. They deal with crooked businessmen from Plano to do their handiwork. Give it a thought.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Have a great weekend. Get some sun and use some sunscreen.