Was Hillary Clinton Advisor Strobe Talbott Manipulated By Soviet Intelligence?

February 1, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - If we are to believe the Hillary Clinton campaign line, the main attribute which qualifies her above all others is that, "She is ready to lead on day one."

She derives this alleged standing from what can only be called political osmosis, having been the wife of Bill Clinton, serving as his "co-president." This echoes a theme which Bill stated often during the 1992 presidential campaign, suggesting that a vote for him was a bargain because the lucky voter would get "two for the price of one," thus providing a first hint, both into the role that Hillary would play during his administration as well as her own remarkable appetite for power and desire to become president in her own right.

The problem with the thesis "ready to lead" has always been that Mrs. Clinton is a creature of her husband's. Without Bill to grease the pathway it is unlikely that she would have ever been successful in politics or even have made it to Arkansas' sleazy Rose Law firm, let alone now be the odds on favorite for the Democrat nomination.

Like much about the Clintons, Hillary being ready to lead is a myth.

If however we accept that proposition for the sake of argument, then Hillary must be evaluated on the basis of how her co-presidency faired.

Hundreds of books and probably tens of thousands of articles have been written dealing with various aspects of the Clinton presidency. Many of these center on the myriad of scandals that befell these two during those 8 years, so there is no reason to revisit that at this juncture.

However according to a just published book "Comrade J" another calamity is stalking the Clinton legacy, one which gives unique insight into how the "co-presidents" conducted American foreign policy throughout the 1990's as well as the fitness of Mrs. Clinton to serve.

The book was authored by former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley, an authority on Soviet era espionage, whose previous works include "A Family of Spies," which tells the story about the Walker family spy ring which provided the KGB with a vast amount of intelligence. Earley having cut his teeth on that case gives him a special ability to tell this story, which he was reluctant at first to take up.

That initial hesitancy quickly evaporated when Earley was first introduced to Tretyakov, ushered with military efficiency into the plush hotel suite by two CIA operatives and two FBI Special Agents.

Comrade Jean was Tretyakov's code name. From 1995 to 2000 served as the highest ranking U.S. operative of the SVR, the spy agency that replaced the KGB upon the fall of the Soviet Union. He defected to the United States in 2000 and is now, along with his wife, under government protection. Tretyakov is perhaps the most important Soviet era spy to ever "come in from the cold"

Building the story upon an exhaustive series of interviews with the spy master, the book details the intricate and widespread network of pre and post-Soviet era spies that continues to operate throughout America, infesting such places as the United Nations, which the author characterizes as a den of espionage.

Perhaps the book's most shocking revelation is that the office of Strobe Talbott [Nelson Strobridge Talbott III], Clinton's blueblood Deputy Secretary of State and a long-time friend from his Oxford days, was penetrated by a Russian agent by the name of Georgi Mamedov.

Mamedov became great friends with Talbott, spending much private time with him. The relationship was so deep that Talbott came to be identified by the SVR as a "SPECIAL UNOFFICIAL CONTACT."

That designation does not mean that Talbott was a Russian spy, however it did indicate that in their opinion he could be manipulated, becoming according to Tretyakov, "an extremely valuable intelligence source."

"Sergei was told that SVR director Primakov and his deputy, General Trubnikov, decided early on that Talbottt could be 'massaged' and developed into a useful source based on a psychological profile that the SVR had prepared. 'Mr. Talbott saw himself as an expert on Russia and he thought he knew what was best for the country and its people. The SVR had seen this arrogant attitude before in Western leaders. We understood this, and Mr. Mamedov was instructed to massage Mr. Talbott's ego to suit our purposes.'...Sergei was told that Mamedov's special relationship with Talbott was an 'example of how a skilled intelligence agency could manipulate a situation and a diplomatic source to its advantage without the target realizing he was being used for intelligence gathering purposes.'" [source, "Comrade J," p 182]

The alleged compromising of Talbott is of special concern given his leadership role in devising foreign policy towards Russia.

In 2000 the U.S. House of Representatives released what can only be called a scathing report [see, Russia's Road To Corruption, How the Clinton Administration Exported Government Instead of Free Enterprise and Failed the Russian People] which outlined the Clinton administration's malfeasance in handling the transition from communist totalitarian rule in the former Soviet Union [for further reference also see the Cox Commission's conclusions regarding the extensive Chinese nuclear espionage which took place under the Clintons - Cox Committee Report Documented Massive Nuclear Espionage By ChiComs].

The report states that Talbott was part of a "troika" within the Clinton team, along with Al Gore and Treasury secretary Larry Summers. Their responsibility was formulating foreign policy toward Russia.

Remarkably, no one in this trio had any expertise in diplomatic matters.

About the Cox report, an article published in the 2000 NYU Law Review, a source not usually identified as leaning towards the right, observed caustically:

"Few other studies capture so well the administrative chaos underlying US policy. The report shows how three officials, with little or no first-hand knowledge of Russia, were daily responsible for relations with Moscow: Vice President Al Gore, who headed the bilateral Gore Chernomyrdin Commission; Strobe Talbott, at first Special Assistant for the Newly Independent States, later Deputy Secretary of State, and a journalist friend of Bill Clinton with no experience in public affairs; and Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a former Harvard professor with little interest in Russia but with a great deal of confidence - misplaced, as it turns out." [source, "Clinton's Moscow Circus," http://www.law.nyu.edu/eecr/vol9num4/special/jensen.html]

Talbot was perhaps the perfect target for this type of Russian intrigue, bringing to the State Department his considerably biased opposition to taking a hard line against the Soviets, "In his previous career as a journalist Talbott had been a critic of the Reagan-Bush policies of peace through strength that had precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union."


"Strobe Talbott was named "coordinator" for U.S. policy toward the nations of the former Soviet Union in the second month of the Clinton administration. The new president's deliberately anti-hierarchical style led him to appoint such "coordinators" in order to give and additional crosscutting authority over all aspects of a policy question. According to one senior Clinton administration official, this expedient was adopted whenever 'it looks like a presidential policy is going to require day-to-day management.'...A journalist whose only previous management background was running Time magazine's Washington bureau for five years, Talbott had no government, military or political experience...Talbott had been a prominent and controversial participant in the arms control debate in Washington during the 1970s and 1980s, arguing against the Reagan policies that eventually forced the collapse of the Soviet Union. Talbott, even more than Gore, sought to become the full-time manager of U.S.-Russia relations and soon built his own policy making apparatus. He chaired the Former Soviet Union Policy Steering Group, which he said carried "a presidential mandate to coordinate all elements of administration policy toward the former Soviet Union." [source, Report p 73]

Talbot's personality traits, combining ignorance with an arrogantly driven ego, were perfectly suited for exploitation by his dear "friend" Mr. Mamedov, who apparently played him like a violin.

By way of temperament, not only was the Russophile Talbott personally hostile to militarily resisting Soviet tyranny, he is a long-time disciple of what is known as World Federalism, a philosophy which seeks to diminish national sovereignty and work towards world government, hence his support of the corrupt United Nations.

In a now infamous July 20, 1992 article in Time magazine America Abroad Talbott wrote [we quote extensively so that one can get the flavor of Talbott's crackpot, otherworldly, idealism]:

"I'll bet that within the next hundred years (I'm giving the world time for setbacks and myself time to be out of the betting game, just in case I lose this one), nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority...All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary...Dante in the 14th century, Erasmus in the 16th and Grotius in the 17th all envisioned international law as a means of overcoming the natural tendency of states to settle their differences by force...Once again great minds thought alike: Einstein, Gandhi, Toynbee and Camus all favored giving primacy to interests higher than those of the nation...However limited its accomplishments, last month's Earth Summit in Rio signified the participants' acceptance of what Maurice Strong, the main impresario of the event, called "the transcending sovereignty of nature": since the by-products of industrial civilization cross borders, so must the authority to deal with them...The best mechanism for democracy, whether at the level of the multinational state or that of the planet as a whole, is not an all-powerful Leviathan or centralized superstate, but a federation, a union of separate states that allocate certain powers to a central government while retaining many others for themselves...Federalism has already proved the most successful of all political experiments, and organizations like the World Federalist Association have for decades advocated it as the basis for global government. Federalism is largely an American invention. For all its troubles, including its own serious bout of secessionism 130 years ago and the persistence of various forms of tribalism today, the U.S. is still the best example of a multinational federal state. If that model does indeed work globally, it would be the logical extension of the Founding Fathers' wisdom, therefore a special source of pride for a world government's American constituents."

Of current importance, like most key Clinton associates Talbott has not retired from the political game. He has run the liberal Brookings Institution since 2002 and now serves as an adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign [source http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/documents/the-war-over-the-wonks.html]. Should she become president it's hard to imagine that Strobe Talbott will not once again loom - with predictably disastrous results - over some aspect of foreign policy.

Mrs. Clinton continues to rely almost exclusively on the same discredited cast of characters who served in her husband's administrations. Including in this bunch are the document thief Sandy Berger, the proven "Plamegate" liar Joe Wilson, the incompetent Madeline Albright along with the aforementioned dupe Strobe Talbott.

In that sense a Hillary victory in 2008 will mean much more than a personal triumph for her along with a third term for her husband; it will represent a profound step backwards into a time when the flames of radical Islamic jihad, a resurrected Soviet-like state and a modernized highly aggressive communist China all smoldered in the White House basement while Bill philandered, Hillary schemed and the public slept.

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