Dangerous and Depressing: Consulate Closure in San Francisco

Visiting my parents this week, so I swung by the Russian consulate in San Francisco around 6pm on Friday, a day after its surprise closure was announced by Rex Tillerson. I saw a depressing scene. A few stragglers milling around the entrance while a bunch of consulate employees loaded boxes into a consulate van. They were sullen and clearly tired after moving boxes all day and having reporters jam cameras in their faces. They looked at anyone who happened to walk by with suspicion and loathing, expecting to be accosted.

Surprisingly, most of the people there were not happy with the closure. Even the goofy, misinformed activist holding a "Russia — Stop Killing Gay Chechens" sign said he did not support the closures ordered by Trump. "A bad development" is what I think he called it. The only guy grinning from ear to ear was a student reporter from a paper run out of the American River College in Sacramento. He seemed happy and excited as a kid, delighted that he was finally getting a glimpse into some heavy spycraft action. "This is not a just consulate," he told me. "It's a spying station. They have antennas on the roof!" He babbled on about RT and Russian propaganda, then pointed to the sky: "Look, it's a FBI plane circling overhead. It's been doing that all day! They're watching the Russians pack up their spy gear." I guess this was the kind of action he drove all the way down from Sacramento for!

As for me? I just felt deflated and depressed. We're headed into some dark times, and the liberal idiots just can’t stop grinning.

—Yasha Levine

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