Who knows what machinations and deals
are being made behind the scenes to protect
the truth about this ‘wunderkin’ and the
accompanying costs and risk to us and our
Obama part of group locked up at Russian airport // U.S. delegation stripped of passports as guards demand to inspect plane
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Monday, August 29, 2005
Author: Lynn Sweet, Sun-Times Washington Bureau chi
WASHINGTON Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) were not allowed to leave a Russian airport Sunday and were locked in a room briefly.
The incident prevented their departure for about three hours, but Obama told the Sun-Times it ended up not being a very big deal.
The senators had their passports seized by local officials at an airport in Perm. Obama said the officials demanded, unsuccessfully, to inspect the DC-9 military aircraft being used by the congressional delegation for the trip.
Although he was on a first-time diplomatic mission, Obama has traveled extensively, spending part of his youth in Indonesia and visiting Kenya, where his father was born. He noted that as a back- packing college student he had a lot less leverage than this time.
Obama , a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Lugar, its chairman, left Wednesday for a trip to inspect sites where nuclear and biological weapons are slated to be destroyed in Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. On Sunday, the U.S. group was scheduled to fly from Perm to Kiev, Ukraine. But border guards wanted proof that the groups aircraft which Obama said looked like a mini-Air Force One was really an official U.S. government plane, which would be exempt from an inspection.
Robert Gibbs, Obama s spokesman traveling with him, said in an e-mail that the border guards took our passports and demanded to inspect our aircraft, which we refused. We were moved to a room to wait.
At one point they were demanding to inspect virtually everything, including the gifts their representatives at the missile facility had given us. The border guard said they were acting on the authority of the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.
Precisely. And the key reason to have all those ‘records’ made public. After all, at least one guy, Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, died for something having to do with the passport fruad.
How does it work.... when dozens of different intel agencies can blackmail you, when dozens of political competitors have the goods on you — what happens when there are hundreds of people who can blackmail you??