Magazine | March 24, 2014, Issue

NSA Surveillance

Document Extract: Telephone intercepts, Oval Office


10:43 Begin Extract:

POTUS: “Hello?”

Unidentified Female Voice: “Yes? Hello? Who is this please?”

POTUS: “May I speak to Mr. Putin, please?”

UFV: “Oh, no, no. Mr. Putin is very busy right now with famous singing star Beyoncé. They are having varenyky and singing and — ”

POTUS: “Vladimir, I know this is you.”

UFV: “What? No, no, no. This is not me.”

POTUS: “Vladimir . . .”

Vladimir Putin: “Okay, okay. Was making little joke. Talking in high voice and squeaking like a womens. C’mon! Is fun! Is funny joke. Talking like the lady who is your secretary of state.”

POTUS: “Hillary Clinton is no longer the secretary of state.”

Vladimir Putin: “I know that! I meant the new lady over there.”

POTUS: “Okay, okay. Can we please get down to business now?”

Vladimir Putin: “What business? This is a nice conversation. I make joke, you don’t laugh at joke. This is typical conversation. But tell me what is on your mind, as you say. You sound like a little bit stress.”

POTUS: “We’re concerned about the situation in Ukraine.”

Vladimir Putin: “Nothing to be concerned about. Will all be over in a week once everyone is dead.”

POTUS: “Excuse me?”

Vladimir Putin: “Is not the right way to say it? Everyone is dead? Is that wrong way to say? Not every. Not every one. But on the list. I have list. I did not make that clear. Everyone on my list must be dead. Okay. Makes sense more now, I think. One of my guys here in room is nodding and telling me, Yes, this is the way to say it.”

POTUS: “This is totally unacceptable to us.”

Vladimir Putin: “Who is this, us? Who is us? You and . . . you and Beyoncé? Did you ask Beyoncé about this? Hahahahahahahahahaha! No, no. I am kidding! But, seriously, for a moment, do you personally know this Beyoncé? Very pretty girl I think. Maybe you could send her here for . . . what you say, top-level talks? I like that! Top-level talks! Everyone here is laughing. Okay, now, are we done? I have many people to kill.”

POTUS: “Vladimir, I want to put this as clearly as possible. We cannot allow you to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign nation.”

Vladimir Putin: “You say this so much. You always say ‘cannot allow’ and ‘will not stand for’ and things like these words. And then somehow it is allow and stand for anyway. This is funny to me. But maybe it is my English. My English is not good, this I know. So maybe I hear you say ‘no’ and ‘cannot allow’ but you are actually saying ‘yes’ and ‘well, take what you want,’ because that is what I do anyway and nothing happens.”

#page#POTUS: “Vladimir, I assure you — ”

Vladimir Putin: “You assure me of this, you assure me of that. It’s crazy in Ukraine right now. Crazy town. It will be very simple: You go in, you kill who needs to be killed, you fold it all up together like varenyky. You know what varenyky is?”

POTUS: “I don’t think this is — ”

Vladimir Putin: “Is a dumpling. A Ukrainian dumpling. Very delicious. Also squirts hot liquid when you bite it! Is fun! Send me Beyoncé for the Top Level Talks and we will have varenyky together and become hot and juicy.”

POTUS: “I don’t think we are communicating.”

Vladimir Putin: “I think we are. I think you just don’t want to hear me. Okay, okay. You call me and I know why. You call me to say, Vladimir, you mustn’t invade the Ukraine! You cannot have varenyky with Beyoncé! You must be a good boy or I will do something small and loud. Okay, okay, Mr. President. I assure you that I have no plan to invade the Ukraine. Does that make you feel better?”

POTUS: “A little.”

Vladimir Putin: “I will kill the people I need to kill very quickly and then I will leave and people will say, Hey! How did these people become killed? Did anyone see it happening? And they will say, No, no, must have been the wind. Okay, let’s clean up the dead bodies and have varenyky! Will be like that. Bip, bip, bip. Fast. Promise.”

POTUS: “I don’t — ”

Vladimir Putin: “And then maybe I will get to meet Beyoncé, yes?”

POTUS: “I don’t really have — ”

Vladimir Putin: “And then maybe I will get to meet Beyoncé, yes?”

POTUS: “She’s not under my control, sir . . .”

Vladimir Putin: “And then maybe I will get to meet Beyoncé, yes?”

POTUS: “I can’t send you an American citizen — ”

Vladimir Putin: “And then maybe I will get to meet Beyoncé, yes?”

POTUS: “I mean, I suppose I could call her.”

Vladimir Putin: “Hey! Everyone! I will get to meet Beyoncé!”

10:58 End Extract.

19:02 Begin Extract:

Unidentified Female Voice: “Hello?”

POTUS: “Beyoncé?”

UFV: “Mr. President?”

POTUS: “Is this a bad time?”

UFV: “No, sir! Not at all! What can I do for you?”

POTUS: “Well, I’ve got a question for you. Do you know what a varenyky is?”

19:05 End Extract.

Rob Long — Rob Long, Hollywood writer and producer, started his career as a screenwriter for the TV show Cheers. He is a regular writer for National Review, Newsweek International, and the Los ...

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