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Tue Jan 1, 2019, 12:14 PM

Retired U.S. Marine suspected of spying on Russia is innocent: family

Source: Reuters

brielle Tétrault-Farber, Barbara Goldberg

MOSCOW/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A retired U.S. Marine detained by Russia on spying charges was visiting Moscow for a wedding and is innocent, his family said on Tuesday

Paul Whelan was staying with the wedding party for a fellow former Marine at the Metropol hotel in Moscow when his brother David Whelan learned on Monday that he had been detained.

“His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected,” his family said in a statement released on Twitter on Tuesday.

Russia’s FSB state security service said the American had been detained on Friday, but it gave no details of the nature of his alleged espionage activities. Under Russian law, espionage can carry between 10 and 20 years in prison.

A U.S. State Department representative said Russia had notified it that a U.S. citizen had been detained and it expected Moscow to provide consular access to see him.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-espionage/retired-u-s-marine-suspected-of-spying-on-russia-is-innocent-family-idUSKCN1OV1NZ?il=0

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Reply Retired U.S. Marine suspected of spying on Russia is innocent: family (Original post)
turbinetree Jan 1 OP
YessirAtsaFact Jan 1 #1
DENVERPOPS Jan 1 #5
Igel Jan 1 #9
YessirAtsaFact Jan 1 #10
JDC Jan 1 #2
Igel Jan 1 #7
monmouth4 Jan 1 #3
Recursion Jan 1 #4
PeeJ52 Jan 1 #8
Recursion Jan 2 #14
mainer Jan 2 #16
nycbos Jan 1 #6
orangecrush Jan 1 #13
Recursion Jan 2 #17
nycbos Jan 2 #19
oberliner Jan 1 #11
PeeJ52 Jan 1 #12
Demonaut Jan 2 #15
Recursion Jan 2 #18

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 12:18 PM

1. This is about getting Maria Butina released

Poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time

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Response to YessirAtsaFact (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:44 PM

5. DenverPops

Agree with you.

They just needed some innocent American to trade for the Russian NRA Slut.

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Response to YessirAtsaFact (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:54 PM

9. That makes an assumption.

Assumptions are bad.

In the past people were officially kidnapped in this way and the US government told to reduce press coverage over something unpleasant, or to make a company stop doing something. The assumption was that the US government is in charge of the press and private company's behavior. Because that's true in the other country. It's a clever ruse, they think, when the US says, "Um, we can't do that." Then the kidnappers are just embarrassed, still suspicious, and have to figure out what to do. Food is expensive.

It might be over whatever the mystery company is that appealed to SCOTUS or one of the law cases involving Russian nationals. It might be over something dealing with the Sea of Azov or somebody in custody that the media hasn't really bothered to mention. It might have to do with Whelan's friend more than with Whelan.

It might be real espionage. It might be that this Paul Whelan fellow's company is competing with some Russia firm for a piece of the pie in the Polish car industry. Or over sanctions against Russian oligarchs.

Don't be distracted. It might be Butina. But even in a total absence of actual evidence, suspicion still doesn't count as evidence.

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Response to Igel (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 02:03 PM

10. This is a message board. My prior post is just my take, but the timing is suspect.

It came out recently that Butina is cooperating and testifying in front of Grand Juries. There may be information that Putin/Trump know that she has and Putin is willing to kidnap an American to stop her from talking.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 12:20 PM

2. This is horrible. I have to say, if you read his bio, one had to wonder

What he really does for a living. It sounds sort of off and a bit like cover.

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Response to JDC (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:47 PM

7. I'd focus more on the Russian definition of espionage.

That's usually where the action was.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 12:32 PM

3. Typical Vlad the Horrible. He wants Butina back so this poor guy is going to have to pay for it. nt

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:19 PM

4. I assumed Russia just nabbed an innocent American to bargain for Butina. Then they released his bio

45-year-old retired Marine who works in "corporate security"? Might as well put a "spy" sticker on the poor bastard's forehead.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:49 PM

8. ... and his brother won't confirm where he works or lives?

I wouldn't be surprised to find we had spies in Russia too. Perhaps they can both give full public confessions to what they both know then we can exchange them back. I'm pretty sure what they both know is dirt on tRump and putrid anayway...

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 09:21 AM

14. Every capital city has spies in it.

They used to remind us every so often:

"Your work is boring and nobody cares about it. If a stranger starts caring about it, that needs to send flags up."

I also liked

"You don't get younger, thinner, or less bald just because you are overseas: remember OPSEC."

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 10:31 AM

16. Yeah, I wondered why an auto parts company needed a global security chief

It does sound like a made-up position.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 01:45 PM

6. The State Department should issue a travel warning about Russia

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Response to nycbos (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:40 PM

13. If we had a State Department

they probably would.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 03:47 PM

17. Their most recent warning was on Dec. 10th

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/russia-travel-advisory.html

Consular services (the people who do Americans in distress services) is still "kind of" operating despite the shutdown, because the whole Consular bureau is self funding.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 03:50 PM

19. Good to know

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 05:51 PM

11. What do you make of the fact that Paul Whelan is a Trump supporter?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 1, 2019, 08:07 PM

12. I wonder if he is kin to Ed Whelan

the guy that made up and spread the story about Christine Blasey Ford being "mistaken"...

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 10:29 AM

15. not retired, bad conduct discharge

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Response to Demonaut (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 03:48 PM

18. He got the big chicken dinner and then got a corporate security job?

Yeah, something doesn't add up here

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