Russian Spies Are Everywhere!


This story is giving me a headache. Being a Russian, of course, I generally tend to jump in defense of all things Russian – “Oh yeah, well they killed my granny! So bomb them” – basically confirming the stereotype of a nationalist of the worst kind. But this story is ridiculous, especially when Huffington Post get its manicured and thoroughly lotioned hands on it:

Whether or not the 11 alleged Russian spies arrested this week ever succeeded at the task of espionage, they certainly did manage to pull off the trick of passing for run of the mill, mundane Americans.

The Los Angeles Times perhaps best captured the banality of the alleged spy ring’s lives when it wrote: “The group led mundane lives far from the James Bond image. Instead of car chases and shootouts, they paid taxes, haggled over mortgages, and struggled to remember computer passwords.”

Not surprisingly, neighbors and co-workers of those charged were shocked to learn the news. After all, some of them were, as one neighbor of the ‘Murphys’ of Montclair, NJ, put it, the “suburbs personified.”

Wow, talk about affected writing. I’m yet to see what exactly constitutes spying in their case – asking people around about US policies and making friends/networking is spying now? But the best part, of course, is HP masterful and subtle portraits of these alleged spies (in the article linked) – my favorite part is “Interesting Fact” section and the sorts of things they think are interesting. Example:

“Often seen picking up his daughters from the school bus”? Oh no! What a giveaway, amateur! And “often seen” by whom exactly? American spies? I knew the world of spying wasn’t the same after the Cold War, but this is really lame.

Agent 1: “Wilco, The Father is moving in the direction of the school bus” [Camera Shutter Sounds]

Agent 2: [Pretending to mow lawn] “Copy that, Roger. Interception bicycle agent informed.”

Agent 3: [Leaning closer to sophisticated equipment in the bushes] “Audio signal established.”

Agent 4: [Headquarters] “Make sure you record everything, he might be gathering information about our school bus system.”

You know what, America? INTERESTING FACT: This is moronic!

9 thoughts on “Russian Spies Are Everywhere!

  1. Dunno if you guys have seen them, but the criminal complaints that the justice department have filed are pretty much the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read. There are pages and pages of transcribed conversation, with the ‘undercover’ US investigators babbling on to Chapman about secret codewords and fake passports, and Chapman saying pretty much literally nothing except “okay” – or, as I think it probably should have been transcribed, “okaaaay…..”

  2. Look, comrades, it’s clear that there were spies before they actually did any spying – their spying nature was ontologically prior to their actual spying (which, it seems, is kind of missing…) – not only is this an idiotic decision by FBI (especially after Medvedev and Obama were all buddy buddy at some burger joint), it’s going to piss off the Russians who were just about got nice and cuddly. Okay, arresting some foreigners who were thinking about blowing up Americans might be against civil liberties of this country (thinking about a crime doing anything about it is not a crime, as far as I can tell), but this story is just bizarre – what is the point?

    I agree with Stephen Colbert – Russians just wanted to learn some stuff about US policies, but watching C-SPAN was too boring…

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