The goal of the Russian government, Beyrle believes, is to "smear him in the eyes of his contacts."
According to a senior State Department official, the most disturbing element of the video may be the authentic elements that precede the fraudulent portion. According to this official, the tape begins with surveillance video of Hatcher walking Moscow streets some five years ago.
"That portion of the tape is real," the official said.
Hatcher, according to the official, traveled to Moscow as a tourist years before he worked for the US.. government.
The video then cuts to Hatcher, alone, in a hotel room watching television and checking something on a wall near the hidden camera. Within a few seconds, the lights in the room are off and a man and woman begin touching each other. But with the lights dimmed, it is impossible to identify Hatcher as the man on the tape.
"The Bear is back," says former FBI counterintelligence agent David Majors. Majors ran operations against the KGB for more than 20 years at the FBI. He says that while most Americans believed the struggle with Russian ended when the Berlin Wall fell, the KGB's new iteration, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, is as potent as its Soviet predecessor. "The intelligence service of Russian is as aggressive and large as it was when we had to face them in the Cold War," he said.
A month before the Hatcher video surfaced on the internet, another video was released showing British diplomat James Hudson allegedly having sex with two prostitutes. Hudson resigned within a few days, causing an uproar in England.
Hudson offered no public denials and has avoided all media inquiries since resigning.
The Hatcher video was released on the same website, Komsomolskaya Pravda.
According to Andrei Soldatov, a Russian journalist who covers Russian intelligence, Komsomolskaya Pravda is a known propaganda site linked to the FSB.
"I think that [this] information was provided to this website by security services," Soldatov told ABC News.
Soldatov said that only Russian intelligence would be interested in smearing Hatcher and Hudson.
"In the time of the Cold War, this kind of tactic was used mostly for recruiting of diplomats," Soldatov said. "I think now the same tactics are used for—not for recruiting—but just for expelling diplomats."
According to Majors, producing a fake tape would not work as a method to have recruited Hatcher to spy for Russia, but it would work to hurt his ability to work in Russia.
"If you wanted to cause a wedge and cause problems for this guy, you do that. Do you want to cause the American Embassy to be less aggressive on contacting human rights people? It might work. If anything, this is a message to everybody in the future [that] this can happen," Majors said.
According to Ambassador Beyrle, using the internet as a tool in "honey traps" is a new, effective tactic of pressuring a diplomat. But it is still nothing more than "an old game," he said.
"Clearly since we were antagonists for a long time during the Cold War there are possibly people here who still find that difficult to accept and who feel they need to fight against that," Ambassador Beyrle said. "That's unfortunate. I don't think time or history is on their side but we have to deal with it from time to time."