President Obama keeps offering up every detail about the US nuke arsenal, so I don’t really understand why the Russians feel like they need spies anymore when they can get all the info they need just by calling up the White House, but they’re still spying nonetheless:
They had lived for more than a decade in American cities and suburbs from Seattle to New York, where they seemed to be ordinary couples working ordinary jobs, chatting to the neighbors about schools and apologizing for noisy teenagers.
But on Monday, federal prosecutors accused 11 people of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate what one coded message called American â€œpolicy making circles.â€
An F.B.I. investigation that began at least seven years ago culminated with the arrest on Sunday of 10 people in Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia. The documents detailed what the authorities called the â€œIllegals Program,â€ an ambitious, long-term effort by the S.V.R., the successor to the Soviet K.G.B., to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit more agents.
The alleged agents were directed to gather information on nuclear weapons, American policy toward Iran, C.I.A. leadership, Congressional politics and many other topics, prosecutors say. The Russian spies made contact with a former high-ranking American national security official and a nuclear weapons researcher, among others. But the charges did not include espionage, and it was unclear what secrets the suspected spy ring â€” which included five couples â€” actually managed to collect.
Predictably, Obama was concerned not about the fact that the friggin’ Russians have spies in the U.S., but rather about the timing of the arrests:
After years of F.B.I. surveillance, investigators decided to make the arrests last weekend, just after an upbeat visit to President Obama by the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said one administration official. Mr. Obama was not happy about the timing, but investigators feared some of their targets might flee, the official said.
Why would he be unhappy about the timing? Because the news comes too close to the beginning of Obama and Medvedev’s burger summit and Twitter relationship? If the US President had been, say, Reagan, he would have ordered a burger with the Russian president, taken a bite, glared at him, and said, “So, what’s with all the spies in my country, Russkie? Tell me who set that up or the bombing begins in five minutes.”
But not Obama, who unfortunately doesn’t view the arrest of several Russian spies as evidence of an ongoing security threat from Moscow, but as a reckless distraction from his illusion of unity.
If Obama is picking up the phone right now to holler at Medvedev, it won’t be to express anger that Russia sent spies, but rather to vent frustration that the Russians were careless enough to get caught while Obama was still in the middle of his dangerously naive “reset button” charade. That’s not exactly “national security we can believe in.”
Update: Check out one of the alleged Russian spy’s newspaper commentaries — that chick is in danger of being offered a position in the Obama administration.