The FBI has sought to recruit “Russian spies” in Washington, DC through a series of Facebook ads – suggesting a degree of desperation when it comes to counter-intelligence assets, but also a serious lack of copy editing talent.
“The FBI obtains the best intelligence to combat threats through information provided by the public. If you have information that can help the FBI, visit us,” the three ads launched on September 11 urge in English. They are accompanied by stock photos with trite captions in Russian.
“Time to build Bridges,” says one, over a drawing of a man crossing a bridge.
“Isn’t it time to make your move?” says another, showing a very unlikely arrangement of figures on a chessboard.
The third was presumably supposed to say “For your future and the future of your family!” but managed to mis-spell “future” (twice), “your” and “family,” and misplaced a comma to boot.
One thing the ads make clear is that the Bureau could really use an actual Russian linguist – unless the FBI was hoping to attract the attention of grammar sticklers, that is.
They also raise concerns that the FBI might be getting a bit desperate, since it’s trying to recruit spies via Facebook. Then again, in a country where mainstream media have managed to convince themselves that “Russian meddling” in form of Facebook and Twitter ads has somehow influenced the 2016 election, anything is possible.
Facebook’s own transparency tool, adopted amid the brouhaha over alleged ‘Russian meddling,’ shows the ad campaign was launched on September 11 this year, and is still active.
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Media outlets who reached out to the FBI after CNN broke the news about the existence of the ads on Wednesday evening received a canned statement from Alan E. Kohler Jr., special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Counterintelligence Division.
“We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Russian diplomatic facilities around the world. They are very active and pose a security risk to the US and our allies,” said Kohler. “The FBI will use all legal means available to locate individuals with information that can help protect the United States from threats to our national security.”
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For the past three years, any Russian living in the US has been under a microscope, courtesy of the hysterical conspiracy pushed by the political and media establishment about “Kremlin collusion” with the Trump administration – which is refusing to go away even after the special counsel report admitted there was nothing there.
One of the casualties of that hysteria has been Maria Butina, who came to Washington to study at American University and sought to promote US values at home – such as gun ownership, for example. For this, she was jailed and imprisoned as a “Russian agent” and defamed by prosecutors and the media.
Adding insult to injury, the stock photo in the criminally illiterate ad features a beaming family at their daughter’s graduation.
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