FBI arrests another spy in the White House, 'prevents' Philippine revolution

American special services are trying to display vigilance looking for spies in the White House

Another spy scandal has recently occurred in the USA. FBI agents arrested an employee from the team of US Vice President Dick Cheney. The man of the Philippine origin is suspected of delivering secret information to his historic fatherland, where he was going to help the local opposition overthrow the incumbent Philippine president.

Finding and capturing spies in the US administration is not a surprising piece of news. However, Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, has been working in Dick Cheney's team for three years, delivering state secrets to the Philippines directly from the heart of the US administration. Aragoncillo has managed to send over 100 secret documents from FBI's computers to his fatherland during that period.

The scandal has not caused much controversy in the USA: the Philippines cannot be described either as a superpower or a regional leader like China or Japan. It turned out, though, that the White House employee was fishing for information to discredit Philippine President Gloria Arroyo – a close ally of the US in terms of the Iraqi campaign. The Philippine opposition was receiving documents from Leandro Aragoncillo and tried to use them to bring down the incumbent president over numerous accusations of power abuse. A certain part of opposition activists does not want the head of state to call Washington and ask for instructions every now and then.  

It is worthy of note that the USA has been gripped with spy-mania recently. The previous spy scandal ended with a three-month sentence for New York Times journalist Judith Miller. The woman had to spend three months in jail for disclosing the identity of a CIA operative Valerie Wilson and refused to cooperate with the CIA on the source of information. The journalist's colleague from Time magazine, Matthew Cooper did not wish to be accused of concealing criminal-related information and told the authorities that it was a top White House advisor Karl Rove who had shared the state secret with him. The journalist wrote in the magazine afterwards that there were about 100 Russian intelligence officers working in the USA. One should be on guard with Putin's spies, so to speak.

It is worthy of note that a lot of Russians are afraid of the Chinese, especially Americans of the Chinese origin. Three of them attempted to obtain military technologies for encoding signals of governmental communication for Chinese special services in 2001. The FBI arrested Ana Belen Montes in 2002: the woman was convicted of spying for Cuba since 1985. US special services believe that Fidel Castro obtained a whole variety of materials, which he could probably share with international terrorists. This is only a brief outline of spy scandals that the US administration had to deal with during the recent several years.

Such high frequency of scandals testifies to another outburst of anti-espionage activities in the USA. The first stage of the espionage-mania occurred in the 1950s, and became known in history as the period of “McCarthyism” when US special agents were jailing a lot of people for their reluctance to see Russian spies practically everywhere. The mastermind of the “anti-spying campaign,” Congressman Joseph McCarthy, eventually turned out to be a corrupt, alcohol-addicted official. The era of espionage continued in the 1980s during Ronald Reagan's stay at power, when dozens of Soviet embassy employees were forced out of the USA at a time.

The CIA's and FBI's “success” in the struggle against spies can probably be interpreted as an attempt of the services to put a good face on things against the harsh criticism of unprofessional work in connection with the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. More and more reports about the background of the horrendous attacks surface in the USA, casting doubts on the official version of the tragedy. One shall assume that American special services are trying to display vigilance looking for spies in the White House.

Ivan Shmelev

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Author`s name Olga Savka