Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This is how you deal with spies

Two weeks ago Alberto Nisman, an Argentinian prosecutor, was found dead in his apartment. Nisman had been investigating a government deal to cover up the Iranian bombing of a Jewish community centre in 1994, and was due to testify to parliament about it. The death was posed as a suicide, but was suspicious, and the motive was pretty clear - clear enough that Argentina's president has accepted that her own spies murdered him. Unlike the US, where spies get to torture and murder with impunity, she's doing something about it: dissolving the spy-agency responsible:

Argentina’s president announced a major shakeup of her country’s intelligence network on Monday in her most combative step yet to address the fallout from the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

In her first televised address since the prosecutor’s body was found at his apartment on 18 January, Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner said she would support a bill to dissolve the existing structure – which employs more than 2,000 people – and replace it with a new federal intelligence agency.

Obviously those responsible need to be found and prosecuted as well (and Kirchner could have dirty hands too - there's almost certainly more to see here). But there's clearly a toxic culture amongst Argentina's spies, which hasn't been stamped out from the era of the dictatorship. Time to get rid of them.