Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Another ex-Marine in Trouble in Russia

Paul Whelan in Moscow.

Lots of similarities with the famous Defector.

As Mark Twain once said, “History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes.”  Such is the case with ex-Marine Paul Whelan who was arrested on late December of 2018 on espionage charges in Russia.  A squirrelly character, the former Marine got in trouble during his tour of duty attempting to steal over $10,000, bounced thousands of dollars in bad checks and was using Social Security numbers in a Marine program to try and increase his advancement in pay and rank.  He was court-martialed, given no jail time and was booted out of military service with a bad-conduct discharge.

Some news reports refer to Paul Whelan as an American but he holds citizenship in three other countries—Britain, Canada and Ireland.  Whelan has two citizenships, one thru his British parents and the other one from being born in Canada.  His sister and brother would also.  He needed the American passport (and citizenship) for entering the Marines.  The reason for Ireland is not known.  Highly peculiar to say the least.

The Washington Post, citing an undisclosed source said, absurdly, that collecting passports was a game between Whelan and his sister. One must take note that a passport is also proof of citizenship in the country that issues it.  It is not as easy as filling out an app with a picture and birth certificate and sending it off in the mail.  To be clear, if you want a passport for a country you are not born in, you have to apply to be a citizen of that country and go through that process.  That can take time.  And money.  Some game, huh?

Whelan’s arrest for espionage was in a Moscow hotel room after receiving a USB stick with allegedly, the classified names of Russian security personnel.  

Russian political analyst, Kirill Rogov, dismissed the use of memory stick saying that using online services, such as social media or WIFI was a quicker method.  How would Rogov know?  A USB stick does not seem that far out regarding a method of data transmission.  It would be more an issue of the drop-off method, such as the more traditional use of a dead drop.  Social media hardly seems like a secure method of intelligence transmission unless it was encoded.  And that would raise red flags considering how heavily monitored everything is now online.  Especially since Whelan was most likely already under watch.  Russian intelligence services would be remiss not to keep an eye on a guy with a bag full of passports and constant travel to their country.  

Never the less, the only evidence of espionage at this point is the USB stick.  

If Paul Whelan is an intelligence asset, what country’s intelligence service is he operating through?  

Before his arrest Whelan was working for BorgWarner, a worldwide automotive parts supplier, as a director of global security for the company.  This raises the question of what corporation would have their security headed by convicted thief with a bad-conduct discharge.  Who would hire a thief to be head of security?  People with this kind of background do not go from one gravy job after the other, except for some other hidden connection.  It is similar to Oswald, an alleged Marxist Soviet defector, getting a job at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall in the fall of 1962, a company that did classified work for the Navy and the Army Mapping Service.  No problem for either Oswald or Whelan getting a job in these sensitive areas despite their prior histories.  

From the New York Times:

“It is highly unlikely that he was working for an American intelligence service, former C.I.A. officers have said.”

Sure, sure.  That is what they said about Lee Oswald in the New York Times over 50 years ago.  Of course an intelligence service would.  It’s called “plausible deniability.”  Just work with an operative with an unsavory background and should he ever be revealed, simply say,  “He’s a kook, a loser, a ne'er-do-well.”  As if the CIA is of such high standards with whom they work with.  This is the bunch that did business with the mob!  Who eventually infiltrated them and compromised some of their secrets.  So this will always be their cover story.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, ”And if the detention is not appropriate, we will demand his immediate return.”  Indicating Whelan is an American, but he is also has citizen of other countries as well.  Just in this instance he is considered an American.  The consulate offices of the other countries are attempting to get in touch with him too.  An international incident in the making.  

Similarities with Lee H. Oswald:

  • Both former Marines.
  • Both served in the Marines overseas; Oswald in the Far East and Whelan in the Middle East.
  • Both were obsessed with all things Russian which included learning the language.  Whelan traveled there on vacation numerous times before being kicked out of the Marines and continued afterward.
  • Both got into trouble with authority and were court-martialed.
  • Oswald got an undesirable discharge and Whelan got a bad-conduct discharge
  • Both have been defined as “tourists” while traveling in Russia.

Other points of interest:
  • Whelan holds four passports. Besides British citizenship thru his parents, and has citizenship with three other countries; America, Ireland, and Canada.
  • His twin brother David said he had no knowledge of Paul’s “judicial proceedings” in the Marines or the court-martial.
  • Whelan’s sister has numerous citizenships/passports supposedly from some sort of game.  

More research needed on this story.  It is all confusing with multiple passports and citizenships, the brother not knowing Whelan was in legal trouble for larceny, the alleged “game” of passports and a thief getting a security job.  Very little makes sense here at all.

Addendum 1.10.19
Former U.S. Marine held for spying had Russian contacts with military backgrounds