Eli Lake has a pretty big scoop today on Russian espionage in Georgia: A bomb targeting the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi has been linked, by Georgian intelligence, to a series of bombings around the country over the last 12 months that all lead back to Russia's GRU.
A bomb blast near the U.S. Embassy in Tblisi, Georgia, in September was traced to a plot run by a Russian military intelligence officer, according to an investigation by the Georgian Interior Ministry.
Shota Utiashvili, the most senior official in charge of intelligence analysis for the ministry, said in an interview with The Washington Times that the recent spate of bombings and attempted bombings - including what he said was a blast targeting the U.S. Embassy - was the work of Russian GRU officer Maj. Yevgeny Borisov….
"These are extraordinarily specific and detailed allegations delivered by the government of Georgia," said Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican. "On the basis of this report, the Congress should examine these allegations of a Russian-sponsored attack on a U.S. Embassy and its personnel.
"If true, a Russian-sponsored attack on a U.S. Embassy would constitute the most serious crisis in U.S.-Russian relations since the Cold War and put to lie any 'reset' in bilateral relations."
The American Conservative's Daniel Larison gets right to work, defending Moscow from these charges (because real American conservatives carry water for the Kremlin, right?). But at least he's paying attention. The Obama administration, for its part, has said not a word about this attack on a U.S. embassy. At least when the Syrians attacked our embassy in Damascus earlier this month the Obama administration asked for financial compensation, after refusing to use force to defend U.S. property.
The deeper point here, though, is the extent to which the Obama administration will go to preserve the illusion of a relationship based on "mutual interests" and "mutual respect" with a corrupt, authoritarian regime in Russia. In exchange for Russian help on Iran (which, as the Washington Post editors point out today, continues unabated in its pursuit of nukes, despite the imposition of sanctions) and some limited logistical support for the war in Afghanistan, the United States gets … what, exactly?
America abandons its allies in Georgia, even as they double their commitment to the war in Afghanistan, where Georgian troops are fighting alongside U.S. Marines in the most dangerous areas of Helmand province. America abandons the cause of democracy and rule of law in Russia, where those responsible for the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky go about their business without fear of prosecution because they themselves are the prosecutors. America carries water for the Russians at the World Trade Organization, where consensus rule may soon be trampled by the imperatives of reset. America pretends that Medvedev is the head of the Russian government while Putin runs a kleptocracy of current and former FSB agents. And, of course, America watches silently as the Russians reassert a sphere of influence in their neighborhood—rolling back the color revolutions, propping up dictators, and demanding the obedience of their neighbors through threats and intimidation.
And this is what the Obama administration would have us believe is their greatest foreign policy success.