This is Maria Butina. She recently graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a Masters Degree in International Relations. Congrats Maria! That’s a helluva an achievement! It’s also great school, I’d actually love to go there for my Ph.D. work if I ever pursue that again.  Maria graduated with, according to her attorney anyway, a 4.0 grade point average.

While it’s not considered socially couthe to mention it, she’s quite lovely as well – I only mention it because it plays a role in the discussion at hand.

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This beautiful and clearly intelligent woman was arrested last Friday and charged with “conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government.” Actually, it’s two charges…”Conspiracy” and “Acting as an unregistered foreign agent,” but you know, journalist shorthand, right?

A .PDF of the Criminal Complaint Affidavit can be downloaded here

Today we tend to use neutral terms such as “unregistered foreign agent,” mainly because they lack the emotional response that other words have. The great American comedian, entertainer, and philosopher (Yes, Philosopher) George Carlin called this “Soft Language.”

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Master Carlin would simply call Maria what she is.

Maria is a Russian Spy and a Femme Fatale

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Her mission, assigned to her by her former employer, Alexandr Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, was to infiltrate the NRA to gain access to Republican politicians.

Torshin, is also the founder of Russian’s gun rights organization – “The Right to Bear Arms.” Torshin has been affiliated with the NRA since at least 2011, but that, and the vulnerability to infiltration of the NRA, or for that matter any US social and political organizations by foreign agents is another – very long – essay, another time. In fact, I may not even bother, Tim Dickinson of the Rolling Stone has written an excellent article.

Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump

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Alexandr Torshin

One thing Dickinson mentions that caught my eye was that NRA President David Keene once said of Americans and Russians; “We both value the same kinds of things.” Now, I’ve partied with Russians, back in the bad old days of the Cold War, in Perth, Australia. It was a great night. Sailors have their own particular culture, even sailors of rival nations – we drink, we fight, we womanize. For one night, those Russians were my shipmates. If we’d run into trouble that night, we’d have fought for each other and protected each other. It was an armistice of beer and …. well, the generosity of Australian women is a thing of beauty. If we’d met on the high seas the day after with orders from our governments to kill each other, we’d have done so. I’ve also always said that 99% of people want three things, To live indoors, to eat on a regular basis, and to be loved (or, more crudely, to get laid once in a while). But I’m not convinced that anyone can say that any large nation universally shares the same values. This is especially true in the United States and Russia, both pluralistic nations with a wide range of ethnic groups extant. Russia has 160 different ethnic groups, the United States …. well, that the US Census only recognizes 6 – so, finding a real answer to that question is not something I’m going to take up right now – it’s kind of beside the point of this essay anyway. The point is that there is no way that Greene can make that statement and it have any meaning except to the narrow group of people who still, even now, blindly support the NRA and presumably, those same sorts in Russia supporting The Right To Bear Arms.


To start with, we should congratulate her. Not only did this very smart, very attractive women earn a 4.0 in grad school (as someone who holds a 3.67 gpa, I can tell you, that is a feat), but she managed to the also complete the job she actually came to do while earning that 4.0. I applaud her, that is an amazing feat and shows just how driven she is. She is a true Patriot, maybe even Hero of Mother Russia.

I salute you!

With apologies to Ms. Butina, I’m afraid this was Polish Vodka, the only Russia Vodka we have in the house is vanilla flavored….. which I consider a human rights violation. Why do ya’ll even allow it to be pro… never mind, Americans … right.

I just have this to say, dearest Maria; Жизнь не всегда идет по плану! Ты что сделал? Ничего! (Life does not go always as planned! What can you do? Nothing.)

Even so, while we must recognize the astounding skill of Ms. Butina, we must also recognize that she is also an enemy of the United States. For that, she should hang. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognize the professionalism, the skill, the patience, and the …well, she deserves to be Employee of the Year at SVR or whichever Russian Intelligence service she ultimately works for.

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Maria did a fabulous job. She performed her duties with aplomb, and, while she has caused more damage to this country than any physical attack, short of all-out nuclear war – ever could, one has to admire a job well done. We – at least publicly – aren’t even sure of the extend of that damage yet, or even if there are not more Russian Lotharios (not a perfect description, but I stand by it) within the GOP and their sycophantic supporters.

According to Dantes it is the eighth ring of Hell, Malebolge where spies (decievers) burn for eternity. It is in this ring that Dantes meets the Achaean spy who lied to the Trojans to convince them to take the Trojan Horse into their city (I mean, really… Trojans – REALLY???? Oh, wait, I’m sorry, I guess we should shut up, right??? Throw money and pretty women at politicians – well, should we change the nickname of the Republican Part to the … naw…there’s too many options).

John Walker is burning in his pit and he’s angry, embarrssed even. His personal demons aren’t even torturing him, they can’t stop laughing – exept for the one smart one who has realized that there’s literally nothing more they can do to poor ole John that Maria hasn’t already done in spades. Walker’s record of leading the most damaging spy ring in American history has been smashed irreparably upon the rocks of ….Greed and Party Partisanship – the VERY THINGS that real American presidents such as George Washington and Dwight David Eisenhower warned against in their final speeches before leaving office.

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(sorry, but that really is the best Angry George Washington I’ve found – If General Washington walked up to me with that look on his face, I’d go into brace and prepare to get my ass chewed off).

OH, and by the way, “conservatives,” THIS is what a Conservative looks like;

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NOT This.

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Ugh…. Get your shit together.
(oh, also, replace conservative with patriot above – same thing)

BACK TO MARIA! Sorry…… damnit…..

I’m always saying that we don’t have any James Bondian Villians in this world… I find myself reevaluting that assessment.

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(Do NOT look at me like that Daniel.)

It’s not even really her fault she got caught. Like those Bondian villians who have no clue where their limitations lie, or are simply arrogant in their own percieved perfection, her masters overplayed their hand.

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(Damnit, Jaws, you switched sides! Get out of there! Open my beer.)

Not that Maria’s bosses care about her. She, like so many of us, like so many journalists around the world, like so many former Russians, like so many victims of say… an uncontrolled chemical attack in Salisbury– are expendible. But disposing of people is a grand old Russian tradition, ain’t it, Leon Trotsky?(Seriously, where does one even get an ice-axe in Mexico City?)

These oligarchs beleive everyone is just pawns in their little game. A game which our government – and I’m not just holding this administration accountable for this – this has been going on for …. at least since the purported end of the Cold War – seems to have forgotten how to play.

Maria’s espionage may have gone undetected for many more years, except for one stooge – apparently hand picked because the Russians, including Vladimir Putin knew that he would cause – the word we used in the Navy was MASCONFLAG – Massive Conflagration – referring to a fire large enough that it could sink a ship – I’ve been in one, and this feels much the same. One can only assume that it was intentional, because it couldn’t have been a subtle ploy – unless the whole of Russian Intelligence doesn’t understand the word.

It’s утонченный (utonchennyy), guys… I’m not sure what the Russian phrase for “STUPID OBVIOUS PLOY” is.

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The election of this stooge, a Potemkin President, and everyone who has been brought aboard this government on his coat tails, brought attention to the fact that the U.S. Electoral process has become … I hate to say irreparably damaged, but…another essay, another time. If you don’t beleive the cyber and espionage equivelent of torpedoes are not being fired at our electoral system in advance of the Mid-term elections, you are either woefully, terminally even, ignorant, living under a rock, or complicit.

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I do keep mentioning the NRA, but the NRA’s culpibility in this situation is also another essay, at another time.  The evidence of the venality of the NRA in their theocratic desire to defend gun manufac…. I’m sorry, gun rights… excuse me…sometimes, unlike the host of sheep that have been (intentionally) bred in this country, actions – not words – lead me to draw conclusions…. 😐 I mean, it’s not like Reagan or Romney were gun grabbers who flip flopped for NRA money or anything…. But at least they didn’t have a “…a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms,” right Wayne? Thankfully, Republicans passed laws allowing us CHL holders to carry in national parks and transport our firearms on Amtrak…. oh, wait… Sorry… That was Barrack Obama.

I’m confused, Wayne…. no, wait, I’m informed. It’s your sychophants are confused – by you and your former organization – intentionally -…. uh… how many of your instructions were written originally in Cryllic? I’m sorry, is it rude to question your so-called “patriotism?”  I know, I’ll ask the pretty woman you’re pictured here with about it.

Wayne LaPierre & Maria Butina

Truth is, I’m not even really writing this essay to criticize the Republican Party this time. I’m not.

No, really, I’m not… Look, I know it kind of looks like it…but… just wait.


There are plenty of people out there pointing out the venality (I’ve used this word a few times here, I think it’s the perfect description of them) of the Republicans. These journalists, blooggers, et. al. are writing about how, in their zealous love of their party over country, their nationalistic and dogmatic fervor that put any hope of real patriotism and love of country in a terminal chokehold, their…. greed and love of money over the Constitution, put these “conservative” politicans in the position to be bought. They are writing about how the continued support of the pretender, in spite of his abdication of sovereignty to the Russian dictator…uh …sorry, “President” is tantamount to treason against the United States. They are calling the leaders of the GOP “honorable men.” They are all “honorable men”, even the women.

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No, there are plenty of writers pointing that out today, just a few days after their.. I’m sorry, the Potemkin President sided with his Russian master over the Intelligence and Law Enforcement officers of the United States (BTW, GOP, and so-called “conservatives” – you need take those blue stripes off the back of your cars). I will allow those writers to cover this topic. I feel no need to add to the morasse of reporting on the obvious – that any person, but particularly a President or any political servant of the nation, who holds faith and allegiance to the United States and gives comfort to our enemy by throwing our law enforcement and intellitence officials under the bus has committed treason.

That’s not why I’m here. I just want to pose a question, two really;

As someone who has some small amount of experience in dealing with intelligence matters, a tiny amount in fact, but enough raise this concern  – I’m left to wonder….

Why has the Democratic Party’s response been so muted?

What’s the name of the Russian spy(ies) within the Democratic Party and what agency(ies) have they infiltrated?

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But at least Soy and Almond Milk manufacturers won’t be able to confuse consumers anymore by calling their product “milk.”