Picture this: you find out your neighbor is wearing night goggles and spying through your window after dark. What do you do? Invite him over for a barbeque, give him a bear hug and tell him you’ll leave the venetian blinds open to provide the neighborly voyeur easier access to peer through your window.
That is exactly what Barack Obama did this week. Apparently, Mr. Obama wasn’t all that bothered about a Russian spy ring, made up of eleven agents, attempting to gather and use intelligence against the United States of America. A Russian spy ring “infiltrating policymaking circles” and sending “secrets back to the Kremlin” wasn’t going to mess up the warm bond and growing amity between two regular guys just attempting to cultivate a budding friendship.
The courtship started when Obama signed a “major nuclear arms control agreement that reduced the nuclear stockpiles of both nations.” Heck, the duo even had hamburgers and fries in Ray’s Hell Burger just the other day. “They both had burgers, of course. And yes, they shared fries.”
Although Obama knew about FBI plans to bust the New York Russian spy ring for passing information about the U.S. government to Moscow, the President chose not to raise the subject at last week’s scheduled talks nor with the Russian leader over hamburgers.
Just a few days after Barry and Dmitry simultaneously dipped French fries into shared ketchup the alleged operation was busted. Spy ring aside, how can you “bury lingering Cold War tensions” if you focus on the fact that a close buddy is furtively gathering intelligence to use against you and the nation you lead?
The FBI said it intercepted a message from SVR’s headquarters, Moscow Center, to two of the 10 defendants describing their main mission as “to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US.” Intercepted messages showed they were asked to learn about a wide range of topics, including nuclear weapons, U.S. arms control positions, Iran, White House rumors, CIA leadership turnover, the last presidential election, Congress and the political parties.
White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs agreed with Obama’s decision to disregard the espionage controversy. Gibbs said, “I do not believe [the spy issue] will affect the ‘reset’ of our relationship with Russia.” Exactly why should someone equipped with night vision goggles gazing through your bedroom window on Wednesday be excluded from attending your pool party on Saturday?
Phil Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European Affairs, claims “We’re moving towards a more trusting relationship. We’re beyond the Cold War; our relations absolutely demonstrate that.” Except of course “vestiges of old attempts to use intelligence” apparently at work in the 11 recently arrested Cold War-style spies.
The U.S. Justice Department said the spies “received extensive training in coded communications, how to evade detection and how to pass messages to other agents.” The more pressing issue, however, is who voluntarily sacrificed the last French fry at Ray’s Hell Burger, Barry or Dmitry?