On the Trail of Lira Tskhovrebova
On October 8th of this year an op-ed column appeared in the Christian Science Monitor with the byline Lira Tskhovrebova. The write was identified as “the founder of the Association of South Ossetian Women for Democracy and Human Rights and has worked for more than a decade to improve relations between people of Georgian and Ossetian descent in the Caucasus.” The column began: “I survived the Georgian war. Here’s what I saw. I blame Georgia’s leaders.”
A woman who traveled to the U.S. as an independent activist is at the center of a high-stakes campaign between Russia and its neighbor, Georgia. Georgia says she’s a spy. The woman (Lira Tskhovrebova) says she is the victim of a smear campaign. But U.S. officials have become wary of her – questioning who paid for her Washington tour. She challenges U.S. support for Georgia. Georgia and Russia are eager to blame the other for the August war over the disputed region of South Ossestia, and to influence the incoming administration’s policy. Georgian intelligence provided The Associated Press with secret tapes of the woman with a man the Georgians say helps lead the South-Ossetian security agency still known as the KGB. The woman says she didn’t know she was under surveillance. The KGB man appeared interested in her frequent contact with the West.
Once again, crudely ham-handed Russian propaganda is unmasked. So much for the idea that the facts of the Georgia campaign were on Russia’s side! The CSM owes its readers a massive apology.
It says a lot about the state of neo-Soviet propaganda that one of the first members of Congress sought out by Tskhovrebova was one of the very craziest, the demonically insipid Ron Paul of Texas, a man with more crazy and scary skeletons in his closet than perhaps even Vladimir Putin may have. Paul is now refusing to comment on his meeting with Tskhovrebova, according to the AP story.
And truth, no regular reader of this blog can be the least bit surprised by these revelations. In fact, most of us are probably disturbed that it took this long to “out” the first KGB mole, wondering how many more Liras and Ivans are lurking out there, as yet undiscovered.
But that doesn’t make these revelations one bit less outrageous. Only days ago, the Kremlin was trying to spin leaks from the OSCE investigation of the war with Georgia into some kind of “victory” for the Kremlin’s version of events. As LR publisher Kim Zigfeld showed on Pajamas Media, that was a total sham, and now the worm has turned once again. Russia is totally unable to defend its barbaric behavior in Georgia by normal means, so it has dispatched an army of KGB spies to sow the seeds of disinformation, exactly the same thing that the USSR tried to do.
It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Russia’s actions merely hold up the people of the nation to scorn and riducule from civilized countries, and prove better than any other type of evidence how utterly indefensible the Kremlin’s position really is.