The Atlantic Wire reports:
Now that we've all had to time to digest the story of the American "spy" arrested in Moscow, everyone seems to agree that it's really bizarre and more than a little bit fishy… A headline like "CIA Agent Arrested in Moscow" conjures up images of an elaborate spy movie, of course, but the actual pictures of the arrest and the evidence being presented conjure up images of a really terrible spy movie that doesn't have much of a plot.
According to Russia's security agency, the FSB, U.S. embassy secretary Ryan Fogle was arrested this week while going to meet a potential source he was recruiting as a double agent. He did this while wearing one really poor-fitting wig under a baseball cap and (for some unknown reason) while carrying another bad wig in his bag. He was also carrying a compass. In Moscow, that would seem unnecessary in the age of GPS-enabled cell phones, but Fogle's cell phone also looks like it was made in 2001…
And that's before you even get to the form letter Fogle was allegedly planning to deliver to his mark. ("Dear Friend!") It doesn’t take years of training in espionage tactics at Langley to know that it's probably not a good idea to write down your secret plans in a nicely typed letter, and include written instructions on the best ways for your source to betray his country. Especially when the actual instructions are how to sign up for a Gmail account.
Surely, no actual CIA spy could be this incompetent, right?
Here are…working theories that… all seem equally plausible to us.
The Russians set him up:
The FSB needed a "win." Rounding up an American spy probably seemed like a good PR move that would make it seem like Russian intelligence still has its eye on the ball, but catching actual spies is hard work. So they reached out to Fogle—a low-level embassy employee with some access, but little to no training in intelligence work—and made him think there was a Russian double agent ripe for the taking…
The Americans set him up:
Fogle could be a patsy, hung out to dry by his own country. Or he could be an actual CIA agent "taking a dive" and allowing himself to be caught as part of some larger, unseen scheme. There are a lot of reasons why America's intelligence service might be willing to temporarily look foolish—misdirection for another actual mission…
Fogle is literally the worst spy of all time:
If all the Russian media reports are taken at face value, then this is the only explanation that makes sense. There was no point in trying to lure him deeper or feed him false information in order to dupe the Americans. Just send him packing and be done with it.
Source: The full article was originally published by the Atlantic Wire, http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/05/russia-american-spy-arrest-explained/65250/