Ken Blackwell

Americans can tell when we are being lied to. We’re being lied to when Harry Reid tells us that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia is a bit of unfinished business that the Senate must ratify because it’s “urgent.” Urgent? If that had been the case, why didn’t Mr. Reid bring the measure up last summer? Or last fall?

Last summer, too many Americans might have had fresh memories of the “Hamburger Summit” that President Obama held with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Putin’s puppet met with our Commander-in-Chief at a hamburger joint in Northern Virginia just a week after ten Russian spies had been arrested and booted out of the country. They didn’t even get their Miranda warning from Attorney General Eric Holder. Nor did we get a chance to interrogate them thoroughly.

I hope President Obama kept a better eye on his onion rings at that hurry-up summit than he did on our nation’s secrets. I suspect that the president also picked up the tab: So Medvedev can now say that he literally ate the president’s lunch.

How different this lax attitude toward national security is from the old days of the Cold War. In May, 1960, President Eisenhower refused to apologize for having sent Francis Gary Powers flying over the USSR in a U-2 spy plane. Powers, working then for the CIA, was shot down. Soon, his cover story unraveled and the U.S. was embarrassed internationally by Khrushchev, the Communist Party boss. Khrushchev demanded an apology from Ike before he would attend the scheduled Paris Summit Meeting. Ike steadfastly refused. The United States was forced to take such measures, he said, because of the closed nature of Soviet society.

Russian society has not greatly improved since 1960. Their post-Soviet era constitution gives all power to the president of the Russian Republic. Vladimir Putin used that power ruthlessly when he was president. He uses it still, now that his cat’s paw—Medvedev—sits in the president’s chair. Putin is an ex-KGB agent. He had a statue of the dreaded Felix Dzershinsky—founder of the Soviet secret police (Cheka)—replaced at the ministry of internal security in Moscow. It was the tearing down of Iron Felix’s statue that had signaled Russia’s brief dawn of liberty back in 1991. The replacement of the statue tells you all you need to know.

Two of those in the Senate who are trying to rush through the START treaty before Christmas have their own stories to tell. Here’s what Claire Berlinksi writes in City Journal:

And what of Vadim Zalagdin? [He was a top level Soviet official whose records were translated by former dissident Vladimir Bukovsky.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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