SCENE: A conference room at the FBI in Quantico, Virginia. Special Agent Charles SIEGELMEYER, in charge of the Russian Online Political Espionage (ROPE) desk, sits at the head of the table.
In the room are Jared SCHLAUTERMEYER, a cybersecurity analyst with the ROPE desk, Juliana SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO, a senior Russian policy analyst, and Oscar VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ, from the Central Intelligence Agency. SIEGELMEYER convenes the meeting.
SIEGELMEYER: OK. Welcome to the task force on Russian political cyberespionage. Juliana, do we have an update on the Clinton case?
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: Nothing, really. Nobody, either at State or at FBI can tell what Putin would stand to gain by punking Clinton.
SIEGELMEYER: Devil’s advocate here – less defense of the Baltic States?
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: At the risk of getting all of Europe to start rebuilding its military?
SIEGELMEYER: I agree. At worst, I think Putin is just imparting chaos, because…
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: …chaos increases your options.
SCHLAUTERMEYER: Well, so far it’s just a story. Nothing hard to pin it on.
SIEGELMEYER: Huh. So it sounds like this investigation…
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: …is at a standstill?
(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCLAUTERMAYER nod glumly)
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: Let me interrupt here…?
SIEGELMEYER: I’m sorry – this is Oscar Villanueva-Lopez, from the CIA. You’re from the…
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: I’m from the Cuba desk. And we’ve really got one theory here.
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: Let’s hear it.
SCHLAUTERMEYER: Anything’s better than nothing.
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: So the question is “who is running a cybermole operation in the US, we’ve had one big clue to work with. In Cuba, the people at the top of the food chain are given to giving these loooooong speeches – four, five, even six or seven hours. They just go on and on. And sometimes it’s just babble; they’re not a whole lot more “accurate” than Kim Jong Un, plus they’re all full of that Latino sense of drama. It literally is about hearing their gums flap.
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: Now, at the CIA, one of our analytical tools is “Berg’s Law“, specifically Berg’s Seventh Law…
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: …Oh, yeah! “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: Wow – you use Berg’s Seventh here at FBI, too?
(SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in enthusiastic agreement)
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: Excellent. So the DNC has accused the GOP of colluding with a foreign power, that means…
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: Someone at the DNC is colluding with a foreign power.
VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ: And the Russians are know to work through proxies. What you need to do is find a long-winded liberal commentator who makes endless proclamations, puffed up with lots of drama and strurm und drang, but all talk. Not just any long-winded BSers – the longest-winded, most BS-addled ones!
SIEGELMEYER: And they’ll be a Cuban mole?
(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in agreement).
SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: So we just need to find an American liberal commentator that goes on and on and on and on, and never really says anything of value?
SIEGELMEYER: We’ll obviously have to continue this discussion. I’ll schedule a meeting on Monday.
Who. Who, indeed.