«Rien n'est plus facile que de dénoncer un malfaiteur; rien n'est plus difficile que de le comprendre» ---Fédor Dostoïevski

samedi 6 décembre 2008

Histoire d'Espionnage à Washington

Pour les fans d'espionnage, et vu que c'est le weekend et que personne ne veut s'ennuyer avec de longs articles, voici une très chouette petite histoire d'espionnage (véridique) qui s'est passée récemment à Washington DC - au coin de là où j'habitais, dans MON Starbucks ;) - et qui démontre que les espions sont toujours aussi actifs.

“Would you be interested in writing stories about what we are doing in the Russian government?” Vladimir asked me. We were eating lunch at Cactus Cantina, a sprawling Mexican restaurant near the Russian Embassy; he was having fajitas, I was having enchiladas. His English, by diplomatic standards, wasn’t great, so I couldn’t tell exactly what he was getting at. Then he added: “We would pay you, of course.” Ah. Now it was clear.

I had met Vladimir (not his real name) a week before, at a conference in Washington. He had seen my name on the registration list and sought me out, which was unusual: Russian government officials don’t often seek out journalists. The embassy’s public-relations officer had never even returned any of the calls I’d made; Vladimir significantly outranked him.

Vladimir had said he’d been following my stories on eurasianet.org, a news Web site primarily about the former Soviet Union to which I regularly contribute, and wanted to talk to me. So he’d invited me out for lunch, and there we were.

I had no intention of taking his money, but I tried to be noncommittal; I enjoyed his company and the rare chance to talk about Russian-U.S. relations with a high-ranking Russian diplomat. Kosovo had just declared independence—a clear precedent, he argued, taking a sip of his Dos Equis, for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the pro-Russia separatist regions in Georgia, to do the same. I replied that one could make the same case, then, for Chechnya. He looked genuinely puzzled. “But no one in Chechnya wants to be independent,” he said.

After Vladimir paid the bill and we left the restaurant, I pointed out a nearby pizza place that was one of my favorites in D.C. and recommended that he try it some time. So when he next called, about a month later, he proposed that we eat there.

Suite de l'article sur The Atlantic

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