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Exhibit A in Russia’s media offensive over last month’s hostilities in Georgia is an American passport its soldiers found in the war zone.

That passport belongs to Michael Lee White, a U.S. Army veteran from Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. On Aug. 28 in Moscow, military spokesman Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that White’s presence on the battlefield "together with Georgian commandos is a fact." White, it turns out, is an itinerant 41-year-old English teacher in China, the Journal reported. On Tuesday, he answered the door at his faculty apartment at the Guangdong University of Business Studies and told a Journal reporter that he’s never been to Georgia.

In the world of covert action, there’s no sure way to identify undercover operatives, the paper noted. But a look at White’s recent past, as well as interviews with him and his family, turned up nothing to suggest he’s a U.S. agent, according to the report.

The passport the Russians showed off does appear to have been White’s. He told the Wall Street Journal that it looks to be the one he accidentally left in the seat pocket of a Moscow-New York flight in October 2005.


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