Red Menace

One might be forgiven for thinking we’ve been trapped in some sort of time-warp-nexus lately. The Germans have bloodied the English yet again, Paul Krugman thinks we’re doomed to repeat the Long Depression, and now? Russian spies on our shores.

Yes, that’s right, 11 agents of the Kremlin were arrested in Yonkers, NY (where my alma mater is located), Boston (where I live), and northern Virginia (where thankfully I’ve never been to). But what exactly were they trying to do? Nothing less insidious than an “effort to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit people able to infiltrate government policy-making circles.”

Great heavens! The Manchurian Candidate all over again. The Times is unclear on the specific motivations of the suspects, but does point out that while nine of the eleven were charged with money laundering, none were accused of stealing secrets (or presumably, influencing government policy). The real crime, though, was apparently “conspiring to act as agents of a foreign government without registering with the Justice Department.”

Ah, if only they’d bothered to let their local US Attorney they were attempting to influence the government! Then this could all have been resolved without such a fuss.

The Times has the original criminal complaints, which outline the high-tech tools of spycraft like LAPTOPS, AD HOC NETWORKS and MAC ADDRESSES. How dare the Russians outwit us again! Time for a crash program to develop a new, all-American SUPERLAPTOP and beat the Russkies at their game. It should be our goal to do this by the end of the decade.

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