Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heh: Russian Pols Claim Spy Arrests are Right-Wing Plot to Embarrass Obama

As if the "right-wingers" in this country could conspire to meet privately for lunch, let alone clandestinely operate a spy trap for over a decade knowing that years later they could use the arrests to make an inept president look even weaker than he already is.

And here we thought such delusions were only left to liberal Democrats.
So it was that the most rabid anti-American Kremlin stooges on state TV were muzzled and state TV portrayed President Medvedev’s trip to the United States last week as a sign that Russia is once again, if not exactly an equal partner, a great power whose opinion matters. Backed by generally high oil prices, the third largest international reserves in the world, and an economy that appears to be coming out of the global recession faster than Western rivals, the Kremlin is once again feeling confident.

Yet the spy row has left it in a bind. President Medvedev has invested too much political capital and too much propaganda in better relations with the United States to suddenly perform a U-turn now. The only way is forward. Russian politicians are therefore already punting a convenient conspiracy theory. The spies are not spies and the “plot” was announced just after President Medvedev’s trip to the US by American Right-wingers intent on embarrassing President Obama and killing of better relations between the two countries.

It is a theory that allows the Russians to publicly save face: it is not our new friends that have stabbed us in the back but the enemies of our new friends. Yet the real victim of the dispute may not be Mr Obama but Mr Medvedev or, more accurately, the policy vector he represents. He is the one who has publicly gambled on embracing the West, while Vladimir Putin, the prime minister and former president, has kept notably quiet on the subject and is known for his tough anti-Western rhetoric.
It shouldn't be long until some in our own media run with this theory. I figure the crack staff at MSNBC is feverishly pursuing this insane line of logic.

Putie, meanwhile, claims Russia is the real victim.
Russia is the real victim of the spy scandal, Moscow angrily said yesterday -- while the Obama administration acted embarrassed at carrying off the biggest counterespionage coup in years.

Kremlin officials acknowledged that at least 10 of the 11 suspects caught in the US spy dragnet were Russian citizens. But in a bizarre role reversal, they said this showed America was acting irresponsibly.

"Back at your home, the police went out of control," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a visiting Bill Clinton in Moscow. "Throwing people in jail."

Clinton appeared to chuckle but made no comment.

Other Kremlin leaders demanded an explanation for reviving what the Foreign Ministry labeled "Cold War-era spy stories" and making "groundless" accusations.

In contrast, President Obama dodged the issue.

While talking to reporters about the economy, Obama was asked about the arrests. "Thank you," he replied. He declined comment when asked a second time.
Speaking of Clinton, it appears an ally of his wife was a target of one of the alleged spies.
A close political ally of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believes he was the target of one of the ten alleged Russian spies arrested in the U.S.

Alan Patricof, the former finance chairman of Clinton’s Senate campaign, confirmed that the woman known as Cynthia Murphy had worked on his account at a New York finance firm.

According to the FBI complaint filed in New York on the arrests, which were the result of a ten-year investigation, Murphy had been told to get close to a New York-based financier described as a fundraiser “for a major political party” who is “a personal friend” of a Cabinet member.
Seems the one spy receiving much of the attention isn't exactly the brightest bulb.
Those who knew Chapman from the social and club scenes described her as "sweet," "flirtatious" and "friendly" -- sometimes too friendly.

At parties, she "would be very flirtatious," said one moneyman, who encountered her at a couple of Wall Street cocktail soirees. "She was very sexually aggressive [and] wore revealing clothing . . . I thought she was a call girl because she dressed that way," said the man, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity.

She also had problems keeping her cover stories straight.

"She made up a different story every time," he said.

"The first time, she said she ran a real-estate Web site. Then the next time, she was working on an oil deal."

"[Then] she told me she was a derivatives trader. I asked her one thing any derivatives trader would know and she didn't know what I was talking about," he said. "She was just dumb, quite frankly."
That, of course, may well be an act by the woman whose real name is Kuschenko.
If it is proven she is a spy, Chapman is one of a new breed of young attractive female agents trained in the era of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, himself a former Soviet agent, for a new age of espionage to undermine the West.

Documents in Russia reveal that Chapman’s real surname is Kuschenko. She was born in Ukraine and raised in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, southern Russia. As a teenager she studied at the Economics Department of the University of People’s Friendship in Moscow – an institution with long-standing links to the old feared KGB.

But this could all be a decoy by Russian intelligence to mask her real identity. She is widely travelled, fun-loving and a fashionably dressed Russian entrepreneur who sends her photographs to friends about her glittering, cosmopolitan lifestyle in New York, London and Moscow.

Her CV also suggests she is involved in a dizzying array of businesses, including interests in London up to 2006. In the UK she is listed as the marketing manager of a company called Navigator and also worked in the City as an investment banker. In the US she runs an online real estate business.

It was also reported last night that it was in London that she acquired her English surname after she married an Englishman and moved with him to America. But it is unclear when she married. An online friend said: “Anna loves to exchange experiences with successful entrepreneurs around the world.”
Looking at her it's easy to see how she could lure the men in.

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