More Adventures of the Keystone KGB

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While some of my media comrades are busy addressing the supposedly ineffable (Who's the mommy?), and awaiting the predictable (tonight's speeches), I'll take this moment to catch up on the goings-on in Putin's Russia. We'll start with opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev, who ran afoul of local leaders in Ingushetia and was "accidently" shot in the head by the Russian police. As The Economist noted, "even by Russia's recent bloody standards, it was a brazen killing." The BBC has details:

According to a lawyer close to the website, Mr Yevloyev was detained by police after landing at Nazran airport late on Sunday. They took him away in a car, Reuters reports. "As they drove he was shot in the temple… They threw him out of the car near the hospital," Kaloi Akhilgov said.

Then there is the case of itinerant English teacher Michael White, who stands accused of fomenting war between Russia and Georgia. According to Kremlin officials, White's passport was captured on the battlefield by Russian forces. Nonsense, White says. From the WSJ:

The passport the Russians showed off last week does appear to have been Mr. White's. He says it looks to be the one he accidentally left in the seat pocket of a Moscow-New York flight in October 2005. "It seems probable that some Russian person on the flight picked it up," says Mr. White.

The U.S. State Department confirms Mr. White reported the passport missing in 2005 and that it was canceled. Mr. White was issued a new U.S. passport that year, and another in 2008, both of which he showed a reporter.

[…]

Milton Bearden, a highly decorated former CIA operative, dismissed the notion that an intelligence agent with any intelligence would carry his passport with him in the field, much less lose it. He characterized the Russian claims as "slapstick," saying that if a passport is going to be held up as evidence of U.S. meddling, "it shouldn't belong to some guy teaching English in China."

Alexei Kondaurov, a KGB veteran and critic of the Kremlin, said that "using a 'found' passport to expose the Americans seems really small-time," adding that "the Soviet Union's secret services never stooped that low."

From The Guardian's Russia correspondent Luke Harding comes this fascinating piece, in which he writes that "In South Ossetia, I witnessed the worst ethnic cleansing since the war in the Balkans." For those unfamiliar with The Guardian's politics, it should be mentioned that they have been predictably hostile to Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, their editorial page editor writing that the Georgia conflict was some sort of neoconservative setup. A snippet from Harding:

Refugees from Karaleti and nearby villages gave the same account: South Ossetian militias had swept in on August 12, killing, burning, stealing and kidnapping. Sasha, our Kremlin minder, however, had a different explanation. "Georgian special commandos burned the houses," he told us. I demurred, pointing out that it was unlikely Georgian special commandos would have burned down Georgian villages north of Tskhinvali, deep inside rebel-held South Ossetia. Sasha's face grew dark; he wasn't used to contradiction. "Those houses suffered from a gas or electricity leak," he answered majestically.

Full story.

NEXT: What Wikipedia Knew About Palin

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  1. Fucking ruskies. Glass ’em all, and let God sort ’em out.

    Oh, wait…

  2. OMG I just love political Hoopla dont you?

  3. LOL, yeah, political Hoopla is what makes the world go round! LOL

    Justin
    http://www.useurl.us/17n

  4. So, Elemenope, you recommend a first strike? Gosh, that seems rather extreme. Though I vunder, mein fuhrer, vether zer missiles still vurk?

  5. “I was aiming for the moon, but I missed and hit London.”

    No, of course not. Whenever I think of Russia, I can’t help but get Reagan’s ’84 “Bear” Ad out of my head. To me, no matter how scary Russia actually is, it will always be as ridiculous as that ad.

  6. They will always make big trouble for moose and squirrel.

  7. Although I thought Reagan took some unnecessary chances in facing off the Soviets–given the possible consequences–I have wondered since then whether the dire straits that the U.S.S.R. found itself in at the time might’ve tempted them into a nuclear attack if we’d been perceived as weak. Instead of as cowboy crazy. Not that that appearance is always a good thing, but maybe it worked out okay then. If I’m alive thanks to it, good. Or despite it, also good.

  8. I have a plan to use peacekeeping operations to reduce tensions and limit the likelihood of war. Ready?

    We pay to send as many Indian and Pakistani peacekeepers as possible – Indians and Pakistanis make up the bulk of the peacekeepers currently deployed around the world – to stand around with rifles in places like South Ossetia, Darfur, and the Gaza strip. Really, as many as we can.

    This will leave India and Pakistan without enough ground forces to carry out offensive operations against each other.

    Presto.

  9. Those houses suffered from a gas or electricity leak

    An electricity leak?

    Although, if you’re going to insult my intelligence, I guess it doesn’t hurt to give every indication of having none of your own.

  10. “Those houses suffered from a gas or electricity leak,” he answered majestically.\

    Seriously? An electricity leak? That is one of the best bad explanations for anything since the Soviet Union collapsed.

  11. Damn your slightly faster fingers, R C Dean!

  12. electricity leaks rock.

    And it’s not exactly as impossible as you guys are making it out to be. You can have a load on a line from a short or an inopportune ground. That’s as much an “electricity leak” as anything else.

  13. Tho, ’tis true, not exactly a good excuse to burn a house down.

  14. Uhh, electricity does leak. Otherwise capacitors would stay charged forever.

  15. I’d like to shoot electricity out of my fingers, like all those Dark Side guys. Without being evil and stuff, though. I’d shoot electricity only for good.

    Well, and maybe for laughs, too.

  16. Pro L —

    That’s my thing about the Sith. If you’re gonna be evil, it’s gotta be for the fun. Only, they never seem to *have* any fun.

  17. Elemenope,

    I’m a fan of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and, although I prefer playing the Light Side, some evil hijinks do occasionally ensue when playing the Dark Side. An example of that, sort of, was the fun that Chevy Chase had in Modern Problems.

  18. Pro L —

    True that. Well, I always thought that Sidious looked like he was having fun. However, he was all wrinkly; if that is the price of fun, then fuck it!

    KOTOR and KOTOR2 were fucking excellent. Like Baldur’s Gate before them.

  19. Isn’t it possible to be anti-Georgia’s fictional liberal democracy and anti-Putin? MM’s articles and blog posts are generally right in their criticism of russia/venezuela/etc. but tend to cast the situation in such black and white terms as to be as bad as Raimondo’s ‘the russians can do no wrong the US can do no right’.

  20. Be careful what you say. Michael Moynihan likes to delete your posts and block your IP from posting.

  21. Be careful what you say. Michael Moynihan likes to delete your posts and block your IP from posting.

    Hey douchebag, if your any of your other comments were anything close to the garbage you posted about another commenter’s recent tragic loss of a child you deserve any ban you get.

    Go whine to someone who cares.

  22. More Adventures of the Keystone KGB

    Two Words:

    W H O C A R E S ?

    It’s the Russians’ country. Who cares? Leave it.

  23. W H O C A R E S ?

    Since the introduction of the airplane and the development of the satellite and a couple World Wars, it seems what happens in one part of the world often has repercussions in another.
    Or, I think I heard a historian say something like that once.

  24. Those houses suffered from a gas or electricity leak,” he answered majestically.

    In Russia, utilities switch you off!

  25. Anyone who thinks it’s a case of ‘Russians bad, Georgians good’ should read this:

    Gardner article

    by Dan Gardner, who’s got a great book out on the psychology of fear that I think’s been mentioned on this blog at some point.
    His main point–it’s a mess, and everyone behaves badly.

  26. Team America | September 4, 2008, 10:51pm | #

    Be careful what you say. Michael Moynihan likes to delete your posts and block your IP from posting.

    With good reason, you piece of fucking shit.

  27. Nice, Abdul,

    It’s the Russians’ country. What’s the Russians’ country? Georgia? South Ossetia?

  28. “…Mr Yevloyev was detained by police after landing at Nazran airport late on Sunday. They took him away in a car, Reuters reports. “As they drove he was shot in the temple… They threw him out of the car near the hospital,…”

    This is really disturbing… Fuck, real old-school-KGB style.

  29. If we can just start a nuclear war with russia then I’m sure we’d make the world safe for all the fledgling democracies we are helping to start.

    If we could just overcome this hickish-isolationist american idea that we shouldn’t start nuclear wars…Thanks for the update Moynihan, we have much work to do.

  30. Re: The journalist, are we sure it wasn’t a Vincent Vega situation?

    See, the problem is all the competent KGB personnel either went into crime or politics* after the Soviet Union broke up. Now it’s just the second string guys running around.

    *If there’s a difference.

  31. “slapstick”? Ha!

  32. vincent vega situation? you mean like, his more competent hitman-partner leaves the business, and he ends up dying because he leaves his gun on the kitchen counter while taking a dump?

  33. Francisco Torres wrote:

    Two Words:

    W H O C A R E S ?

    It’s the Russians’ country. Who cares? Leave it.

    To which Art-P.O.G. replied:

    Since the introduction of the airplane and the development of the satellite and a couple World Wars, it seems what happens in one part of the world often has repercussions in another.

    Or, I think I heard a historian say something like that once.

    I never knew national boundaries were so important. This is a blog for a libertarian magazine. Yes, the magazine focuses on American politics and culture, but presumably we’re interested in the cause of liberty all over the world, regardless of whether it affects the geopolitical interests of the United States government.

    If the Russian government is murdering opposition journalists (ha, if!), that should be of interest to anyone who cares about freedom of the press. Fuck nationalism.

  34. Yeah, passport hijinx can be a stitch. Remember when they found Mohammed Atta’s on the ground below where the Twin Towers stood, as further proof that Al Qaeda had done it?

    Hilarious!

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