The Obama Administration closed down two lovely mansions used by the Russians to further their surveillance operations in the United States. We know that the mansions weren’t merely for tennis and tea dances because CBS reported that when the Russians decamped they destroyed documents and equipment, among the wreckage antennas, electronics, and computers. Not the sort of thing on which one keeps score of bridge games or tennis tournaments among a few friends. Now the Kremlin wants them back. Their Foreign Minister says the closure was daylight robbery. Better still, the Russians want them back,no little strings or threads attached. One has to admire the chutzpah. If the compounds (read SIGNIT stations) aren’t returned the Russians will “retaliate.” The timing is interesting.
There was no “retaliation” in December, the obvious time for that sort of thing. There was no threat of retaliation until: After Gen. Flynn was removed from the administration; and then more statements about ‘retaliation’ after the ill fated June meeting with 2, 4, 6, 8 (How many more Russians crashed the Gate?) with a Russian lawyer and lobbyist who wanted to discuss “child adoptions.”
By now, only the most willfully ignorant, or those who have been in a vegetative state since last December, don’t know that “child adoptions” is code for the Russian retaliation for the enactment of the Magnitsky Act. This makes the following news bit disturbing: “The State Department wants a deal that could include restarting U.S. adoptions of Russian children. It also has to deal with concerns at home – the FBI and some U.S. intelligence professionals fear giving back the sites would aid Russian spy efforts.”
The stoppage imposed on the US family adoptions of Russian children was Vladimir Putin’s reaction to the enactment of the Magnitsky Act. And, the US State Department “WANTS” a “DEAL” to restart the adoption process? Please tell me that the US State Department is NOT using babies and young orphans as cover for reducing the sanctions on a hostile foreign adversary that very much wants to sow discord among NATO allies, maintain its control of Crimea, indulge in military operations in eastern Ukraine, support the murderous Assad Regime, threaten its Baltic nation neighbors, and assault US, German, and French elections.
Not only should the US NOT cave to Russian threats and tantrums, but the House should pass S. 722 to maintain and upgrade sanctions against the Putin Regime — and this should happen now, and not later.
A word to one’s Representative in the House would be wise.