Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sat down with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show on Monday, and the visit ended up as a mini-grilling by the host. Leno quizzed Romney on healthcare, taxes, Afghanistan and more—the gamut of the candidate’s platform.
Leno failed on an epic level, however, when he brought up Russia. Had major media properly covered the ‘Ghost Stories’ Russian spy ring bust in November, 2011, Leno might have realized Russia in many ways is still our adversary.
What do I mean by ‘Ghost Stories’ and why is that important?
It’s important because of what Leno said after bringing up a major slip—President Barack Obama’s comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.
Obama thought no one was taping at that point, and he made what he thought was a private statement to Medvedev. Obama said he needed “space” to get past the election before talking about missile defense with the Russians.
One journalist, however, was still taping. Obama said, “After my election, I have more flexibility.”
Leno actually tried to run interference for Obama, asking Romney if Obama’s statement was just “politics as usual.”
Romney didn’t back off, declaring, “The Russians are not politics as usual.”
The governor is right about that in more ways than most Americans realize. This administration has understated U.S. issues with that country on numerous matters like human rights, Russia blocking sanctions on problematic actors like Iran, and our missile defense system.
Leno rationalized—“It doesn’t seem like Russia is our enemy anymore.”
Bear in mind, though, that Obama didn’t have to give anything away—he volunteered “flexibility” to Medvedev.
Fact is, the FBI said the Russians “came close to placing an agent near a Cabinet official in the Obama administration…” You read that right.
The operation the FBI tagged ‘Ghost Stories’ played out in 2010. Some information became public only after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed. The investigation of the spy plants began under the administration of President George W. Bush. Get this—the spy who triggered the greatest concern worked as a personal bookkeeper to a wealthy hedge fund manager who was a big Democrat donor. One recipient of those donations was then-Sen. Hillary Clinton.
The would-be spies stole identities and set up their lives as Americans, complete with assimilation into our society. The FBI said in a statement:
“[T]he threat is not limited to the Russians…There are a lot of foreign services who want what we have, and that’s why we have agents and analysts in FBI field offices across the country working with other intelligence community partners every day to address these threats.”
How many were there? Ten Russian officers came here as secret operatives. I covered the Ghost Stories operation for Examiner. Some conservative media covered it, but big media took little notice.
Romney is right about Russia, just as he was right about China on U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property rights.
Russia woudn't be too eager for President Romney to take office. Romney said in a statement on his website, “It is not an accident that Mr. Medvedev is now busy attacking me. The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the current incumbent of the White House.”
One other detail about Obama’s remarks to Medvedev bothered me. How can the president be so certain he will be re-elected?
Romney is the presumptive GOP frontrunner at present, with twice as many delegates as the candidate in second place, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 28, 2012)
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Another spy story connected to Russia, via Canada leak of US military intel. See Canadian Spy Leak May Have
Caused Major Breach of US Intel at New Media Journal.