posted by Anthony Venticelli Amadeus on .
What is the tone of this article? I know what it is but I can't seem to think of the word. I want to say condescending but I don't think that is right. Thank you for the help!
Le Carréd Away
Let's not compare them to cold War spies, because that diminishes the role two generations of covert operatives played in the 20th century's great geopolitical conflict. The only thing the 11 men and women recently accused of being Russian secret agents have in common with the legendary Soviet moles and sleepers is the occasional use of their tools: invisible ink, dead drops, buried cash, even Morse code. But the four couples and three individuals arrested on June 27 and 29 were not only out of date; they were also out of their depth.
Consider the reflexes of Anna Chapman, one of the group's members. On June 26, an FBI agent posing as a Russian consulate employee set up a meeting with Chapman at a coffee shop in downtown Manhattan. Judging by court documents later filed by the Justice Department, Chapman wasn't even suspicious that the call had come from someone other than her usual controller. When they met that afternoon, she complained that her laptop computer — which she used for covert communications — was having connection difficulties and handed it over to the agent, someone she had never previously met, asking him to have it fixed.
I think condescending is a very nice choice. The author is not just being critical; he belittles the spies. They are not in the same league as James Bond; the author judges them with derision: "not only out of date; they were also out of their depth."