"I say it would be extremely unusual unless you had 150 percent confidence in the relationship," said Joseph Wippl, a former senior CIA clandestine officer who has worked overseas.
Fogle could have been tempted by a provocation or dangle, something that has always worried the CIA, especially in Russia. Someone could have provided the CIA such sensational "feeder" information that the CIA couldn't resist trying to send a message to the possible recruit in a predetermined place. But the Russians would have been waiting.
Why the Russians made a show of Fogle's arrest is unclear, even as it's happened in other cases. Were they sending a message to the U.S., expressing diplomatic displeasure?
"I don't know what to make of it," Wippl said. "It doesn't add up."
The CIA has declined to comment on Fogle's arrest.
Not every blow-up like Fogle obviously makes the nightly news.
In 1988, the KGB executed Soviet Gen. Dmitri Fyodorovich Polyakov for being a spy for the U.S. government, which had code-named him "Tophat," ''Bourbon" and "Roam." Afterward, according to two former CIA officials, the KGB sent a video of his execution to the CIA.