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Obama Resets Amercan National Defense Back to Zero: More on the U.S.-Russia Spy Sweep

The New York Times reports today: Spy Suspects Leave U.S. in Swap With Russia. This is officially the fastest thing Obama has done yet. Here are a few additional comments to what I said already:

  • The New York Times still calls them “suspects” even though the first words of the article are “Ten convicted Russian sleeper agents”. Maybe even the Times realizes the phoniness of this scheme.
  • When was the last front-page news article you’ve seen about the four American spies we’re “trading” these 10 Russian for? I take that back. When was the last last-page article? I guess what I’m saying is: who the fuck are these people? Just another four, random, innocent people who’ve been locked up in a foreign jail cell? Actually, that’s both scary and entirely possible. And good thing we’ve been fighting for them all this time!
  • To what end does Obama want to “reset” American-Russian relations? So far, I see the part about burying our heads in the sand about Russia’s mafia-style government, and the part about eliminating our own nuclear defense capabilities. But what other good stuff to get out of it?
  • What is the nature of a “new-era relationship” between the U.S. and Russia, if said relationship involves rushing their spies home before thoroughly investigating what the fuck those spies were actually doing here?
  • Am I the only who thinks Obama is like a child who just got caught stealing a cookie from the cookie jar and is acting like nothing ever happened? No, actually it’s more like: he was about to steal a cookie from the cookie jar, when along came ten Russian spies who got in the way. Let’s ship these spies out of here so I can get back to stealing cookies!
  • And back to the four so-called American spies we care so deeply about that Hillary Clinton has been about as interested and publicly vocal about them as she is about extramarital blowjobs. Who are these people? According to the Times: “Igor V. Sutyagin, an arms control researcher held for 11 years; Sergei Skripal, a colonel in Russia’s military intelligence service sentenced in 2006 to 13 years for spying for Britain; Aleksandr Zaporozhsky, a former agent with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service who has served seven years of an 18-year sentence; and Gennadi Vasilenko, a former K.G.B. major who was arrested in 1998″. Not one American! No wonder we haven’t given two flying shits about these people. It’s a good thing we got four Russians in exchange for our trade of ten Russians. Sounds like a great deal to me!
  • In the same Times article, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is quoted: “It sends a clear signal to not only Russia but other countries that will attempt this that we are on to them.” Even I don’t think the American people are stupid enough to believe this act of brazen pussiness is somehow a show of strength. This Obama administration is truly the lowest rung of scum I might ever have come across.
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1 Michael Spitler { 07.12.10 at 10:46 am }

To be honest, I think Americans have become so apathetic that even this latest act of treason by the president will elicit no more than a yawn from the general public. Which is OK with me. Any society dumb enough to elect clowns like this deserves what it gets.

2 Jason Roth { 07.13.10 at 8:13 am }

There might be a little more than yawns. For example, I’d also expect a Lifetime Channel biopic about the young female spy. What is it with Russian spies, anyway?

3 Kay Watamba { 07.15.10 at 6:45 am }

Jason, you must be breath-takingly naive if you think a spy’s nationality has anything to do with his loyalties. What does the four Russian-held spies’ not being American have to do with their value to America?? If anything, I’d think a spy’s being Russian makes him more privy to Russian secrets, and hence more valuable. But then again, we don’t know the specifics. Which brings me to my second gripe with your logic:

When discussing a SECRET intelligence story, why would anyone ever expect to see “front page” or even “last page” coverage as a matter of course? It’s called the secret service for a reason, and any public revelations are only done for PR purposes, in this case the Obama administration wanting to let us know how safe they’re keeping us - even though it opens them to criticism about them being ’soft’ for the swap, and your article clearly proves my point.

So with all due respect (which in this case is none), I beg to disagree.

4 Jason Roth { 07.19.10 at 2:15 pm }

Your first point is well taken, and I’d go further than “breathtakingly naive” (no need for the hyphens) and say it was pretty stupid of me to make an issue of those American spies not being American citizens. I think I was distracted by the brazenness of the Russians in spying with actual Russians.

I beg to disagree with your second point. Based on the timing of Obama’s decision to immediately ship the spies back to Russia (smack dab in the middle of his strategic attempt to kiss the ass of every dictator on the planet before his term is up), there is simply no chance in hell you can interpret this as some run-of-the-mill, Cold-War style spy swap.

As the NY Times reports:

“From the first time the president was told about the case on June 11 — 16 days before the Russian agents were actually arrested — a swap emerged as an option that could resolve a potentially volatile situation without undercutting Mr. Obama’s effort to rebuild Russian-American relations. “

I am slightly curious how you can think this spy swap illustrates Obama keeping us safe. A president does not keep his people safe by broadcasting his disinterest in his country’s national interests.

5 Kay Watamba { 07.20.10 at 7:11 am }

You make a fair point about this not being a run-of-the-mill spy swap. But you’ll notice that was precisely my point. Face it, we didn’t have to know about these spies if the government didn’t want us to. Do you know how many spy swaps the US has previously transacted? Neither do I. So the fact that the government chose to make this a public headline points to an ulterior PR motive. You’ll notice I didn’t actually say Obama is keeping us safe, but that’s the image he wants to convey.

Without being an Obama apologist, I feel your reading of the man and his motives is wide of the mark - but my experience in advertising has taught me that the truth is much less important than what people THINK is the truth. For instance that’s why Saddam found himself in quite a pickle: facing a US invasion, he needed to convince the world that he had no weapons of mass destruction - yet he also needed his nemesis Iran to think he DID have them - hence his bipolar mixed signals, like allowing weapons inspectors only to expel them.

Bottom line is, I’m more than happy to concede where Obama is screwing up, but reading your articles (and I’ve read plenty) I find real difficulty justifying your arguments. For example you simultaneously bash him for being too slow to react to the oil spill, AND thinking he knows more than BP engineers instead of letting them be - and that’s in the SAME article! Enough said.

6 Geoff { 07.20.10 at 3:32 pm }

“For example you simultaneously bash him for being too slow to react to the oil spill, AND thinking he knows more than BP engineers instead of letting them be - and that’s in the SAME article! Enough said.”

I don’t see any self-contradiction there. One can easily argue that:

1) Obama was too slow to react to the spill, and
2) When he finally did react to it, he acted as though he knew better than the engineers and scientists already involved.

The two statements aren’t mutually exclusive. Together they start to paint a picture of how Obama and his administration handled the spill, illustrating the argument that he’s inept (took too long to acknowledge an obvious crisis) and juvenile (acting like he knew better than the engineers who were actually trying to solve the problem). Not very far from the mark at all.

7 Jason Roth { 07.20.10 at 3:57 pm }

Yeah. What he said.

Kay, I forgot to compliment you for your “So with all due respect (which in this case is none)” comment. That’s wasn’t a bad one.

8 David Buchner { 07.20.10 at 9:24 pm }

Dude. You’re posting stuff here again. I did not know.

9 David Buchner { 07.20.10 at 9:25 pm }

Happy Moon Day.

10 Jason Roth { 07.20.10 at 9:42 pm }

Indeed (I am posting) and indeed it is July 20. A toast (in this case, of a Diet Pepsi) to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins.

The fact that you don’t know I’ve been posting is something I’d get fired for at work. An email really should go out soon. After next post, I’ll see if I can have my marketing department get on the case immediately.

11 Kay Watamba { 07.21.10 at 4:18 am }

To Geoff, I take your point that your picture of Obama isn’t self-contradictory. That’s not to say it’s correct, but it’s at least logical.

I’m at pains to stress that I don’t defend Obama wherever he’s bashed. If that were the case, I’d be responding to every article on this site. But I don’t see how he was “juvenile” or thinking “he knew more than BP engineers”, because it eventually became apparent that BP was in way over its, um, depth. No doubt BP was culpable for the negligence that ushered in the explosion in the first place; but once the spill occured, in all fairness they pulled the best brains and experts we could get worldwide. Problem is, nowhere in history had there ever been a containment at that depth, so the engineers were in essence writing the book as they went along.

Even then, the engineers had way more specialized expertise than a Chicago law graduate; so it would need to be a joint BP-government undertaking and I clearly remember Obama making that exact point. Problem is, everyone who’s ever fixed a leaking tap is apparently convinced they could do better.

At Jason: thanks for the compliment. Maybe I was a tad harsh on you but take that as a compliment because from reading your articles since 2007, I know when you can do better.

12 Joe { 08.04.10 at 1:18 pm }

I’m sure you may have already read this but here it is anyway:

“…despite BP’s desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer –the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment…”

Read more: http://www.financialpost.com/Avertible+catastrophe/3203808/story.html#ixzz0vesEnktQ

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