‘JSOC’ being short for the ‘Joint Special Operations Command,’ which is known to normal people as a group that coordinates communications and operations among various American Special Forces organizations*. The alleged would-be spy Bryan Martin allegedly traded secret documents to an FBI operative in exchange for roughly $3,500; there’s no indication as of yet that he was working with anyone else, but between this and the Wikileaks Manning case it looks like the US intelligence community is on heightened alert for potential espionage problems. Looks like it’s not the end of history, after all.
Moving along, the confusion of Hot Air over how cheap this transaction was is why I’m bringing it up. You see, this kind of money is the rule, not the exception. Hollywood aside, foreign governments do not pay out large amounts of cash to would-be spies. They are, in fact, usually very cheap about it: for every Aldrich Ames there’s there’s a dozen Markus Hess’s. However, the exception is generally found among American intelligence groups; the CIA in particular supposedly has a policy of paying very well for this kind of information. It’s not like the Cold War, where we could get highly trained and educated foreign professionals to crawl across broken glass in exchange for a green card and a retail franchise in Terr[e] Haute, Indiana – but if you’re a disaffected member of the repressive and shortsighted regime currently running your country, by all means: give Uncle Sam a call.
Moe Lane (crosspost)