How Can Anyone Take The State Department Seriously On Russia?

Yes, I realize my post title question is two words too long.

As you probably know, a diplomat was caught on a phone call arranging the Ukrainian “independence” leaders. It was all horrible but the low point was her saying, “Eff the E.U.”—except she used another word for “Eff.”

Bob already wrote about this yesterday (actually he had it written the day before), but I have noticed yet more stories were published in the media. And they all take some of the most stomach-clenching whining and moral posturing from the State Department seriously. I don’t get it.

Here, for example, is the Wall Street Journal:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that because the recording was “first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government, I think it says something about Russia’s role.”

Ms. Psaki called it “a new low in Russian tradecraft.”

“New low”?

If the US found out that Russian diplomats were in Canada or Mexico trying to change the government so that they could get Russian-friendly politicians in power, and we intercepted a phone conversation that humiliated Russia, we wouldn’t be ashamed of that fact. We would boast about how it was a triumph for the NSA.

I would agree that the NSA was doing a good job in such circumstances. Spying on foreign adversaries is exactly what the NSA is supposed to do. Instead, we find it is spying on Americans and also being used to do industrial espionage against our allies.

It gets weirder.

…the interception of a U.S. diplomatic phone call, if shown to be orchestrated by Russia, would highlight a frequent U.S. counterargument: that other countries engage in electronic surveillance, but don’t disclose it.

That controversy arose over the way the NSA was caught behaving toward Germany and Brazil. No one ever claimed Russia would not do such a thing. Russia’s behavior is not the model for the ethics of the (allegedly) “free world.”

But do we even know that Russia has a general practice of spying on everyone? They could, if they have the resources to spend on such a wasteful practice. But if they were trying to be efficient they would spy on suspects to confirm or deny their suspicions. Spying on everyone all the time is expensive and increases the level of “noise” that can drown out needed intelligence.

In the case of our American diplomats in the Ukraine, only an idiot could read the news reports and not deduce a 99-percent probability that we were interfering in the affairs of Russia’s neighbor in order to gain leverage. If Russia suspected such behavior, then they would obviously try to confirm those suspicions and investigate our methods.

What’s really the “low point” is that no one in White House or State Department realizes they have been caught doing wrong. They don’t have consciences and they have no sense of shame.

I’m sure Russia has an evil and corrupt government. All I have to do is look at my own and figure out they are probably no better. But that doesn’t mean we should be covertly working to make Ukraine what we want them to be. And this horrible display of arrogance is going to make everyone hate us even more.

Frankly, the behavior of our executive regime terrifies me. Are they stupid enough to blunder into a major war? It is almost credible that they could do so.