Wow, Russia Still Wants to Spy on Us! ... Wait, Why?
Spy game flattering, but pointless
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2010 12:46 PM CDT
This courtroom sketch shows the Russian spies during their arraignment in in Manhattan federal court Thursday, July 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Aggie Kenny)

(Newser) – At first, Thomas Friedman was flattered. “Someone still wants to spy on us! Just when we were feeling down and out, the Russians show up and tell us it’s still worth briefcases of money to plant people in our think tanks,” he writes in the New York Times. But on reflection it’s more of a good news/bad news scenario. Good news: Someone wants to spy on us. “The bad news is that it’s the Russians.”

If, say, Finland had been spying on our schools, or Singapore on our government, or Hong Kong on our financial markets, that would be great news, because we’re lagging behind in all those areas. But instead it’s Russia, a fading nation which somehow still hasn’t figured out that it doesn’t take spies to get the secrets behind America's success. “All it requires is a tourist guide to Washington, DC, which you can buy for under $10.” If they started imitating our culture of freedom and innovation, “we’d have to start taking them more seriously as competitors.”