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|Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump||Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate||Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate)||House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate||Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine||Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit||UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate||Civil war in Ukraine||Ukraine debt enslavement|
|Adam Schiff Witch Hunt||Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco||Brennan elections machinations||Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections||Infiltration of Trump campaign||Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team||Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime"||Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit||Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration|
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|Rick Perry induced Trump blunder||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak||Color revolutions||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||Poroshenko presidency||War is Racket||The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies||History of American False Flag Operations|
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The Foreign Policy Blob Versus Trump: are the attacks on Trump's Ukraine conduct causing real damage? by Hunter DeRensis
October 30, 2019
Ever since the whistleblower complaint from inside the CIA first surfaced against President Donald Trump, a steady stream of national security and State Department officials have testified about their consternation at his dealings with Ukraine. The dominant impression that they have left, however, is that they are blurring the line between what constitutes unsavory behavior when it comes to pressuring Ukraine for information on domestic political opponents, on the one hand, and what are legitimate policy disagreements. Indeed, it appears that they are, more often than not, substituting their own political judgments for the president’s when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy—something that should concern Democrats as much as Republicans. A whole caste of government officials seems to believe that for an American president to aim to improve relations with Russia is an illegitimate, even treasonous, aspiration.
Today was no exception. Consider the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft. In her brief opening statement, she declared, “As the Director covering Ukraine, I staffed the President's December 2017 decision to provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missile systems. I also staffed his September 2017 meeting with then-President Petro Poroshenko on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Throughout both, I heard—directly and indirectly—President Trump describe Ukraine as a corrupt country.” The implication was that Trump had no business complaining about corruption in Ukraine. But why not? The persistence of corruption, which President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected by an overwhelming majority to combat, is hardly a secret.
Perhaps even more revealing was Croft’s declaration to the House Intelligence Committee that in November 2018 the White House refused to approve the release of a statement condemning Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships located close to Crimea. It sounds damning at first glance. But once again, why shouldn’t Trump have practiced restraint in this instance if he was intent on improving relations with Russia, a platform that he was elected on? As it happens, the Zelensky campaign depicted the ship incident as a political provocation on the part of the Poroshenko government.
The implicit assumptions that appear to guide these veteran members of the bureaucracy were even more obvious in the case of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. As the media has underscored, he is the first person to testify in the impeachment inquiry who participated in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Initially, Trump’s defenders sought to portray him as guilty of “espionage” or dual loyalty because he emigrated to America as a toddler. But this was always preposterous. More telling is that Vindman, no less than Croft, epitomizes a mindset that seems to regard a deviation from the strictures of the foreign policy establishment as by definition unacceptable.
In his opening statement, Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a “frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.” He added, “the U.S. government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.” But what if Trump has a different view of matters than the “U.S. government policy community’s view”? After all, Trump was elected in part on his explicit declarations that he would not rely on the experts who had plunged America into Iraq and Libya.
Consider as well the attention that Vindman has lavished upon Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. According to Vindman, portions of the call he considered important were not included in the document kept by the government that was released to the last month. This includes President Trump claiming there are recordings of former Vice President Joe Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption, and President Zelensky specifically referring to Biden’s son’s company, Burisma Holdings. The document released by the administration includes Zelensky talking about “the company” and Trump saying, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution,” which is an interpretation of a video of Joe Biden describing how the Obama administration made firing Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin a prerequisite for receiving foreign aid. Vindman’s recollection of the call does not change the substance of what was already understood. However, the changes in language are being portrayed as more analogous to Richard Nixon editing the White House tapes than the routine process that produced a routine document. “Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript,” blared the New York Times headline.
For two months, major media outlets have described the document as a “transcript,” as a shorthand term. But as the document, and TNI’s previous reporting makes clear, it is not a transcript in the strict sense of the term. “This is what’s known as a memorandum of conversation: MEMCON. It is a standard tool that is used throughout the government and the procedures can vary from agency to agency, or who your boss is. But generally, they’re all done about the same way,” explains Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.
“In my own experience in government for 24 years it’s a pretty standardized practice. The idea is, for all sorts of reasons, most interactions are not recorded. Instead, they’re memorialized through this process of MEMCON. Typically, while there are many people who may be listening in or present at a meeting, someone (or sometimes two people) are designated as official notetakers and they take down the conversation. And they’re not trying necessarily to get an exact word-for-word account, but they’re certainly trying to get an idea for idea. And in many cases when you’re dealing at the White House level, they are getting it pretty much word for word,” Van Buren tells TNI.
As a participant on the phone call, Vindman would have been one of the early editors. As the process continued, officials higher than him made changes, just like the editor of a magazine would for a writer. The precise reasons for the changes are open-ended and probably unknowable. There exists no evidence that the changes were nefarious or anything other than mundane word choice. The document released to the public is the official U.S. government record of what happened.
John Marshall Evans, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Ambassador to Armenia, narrows down what should be the focus of this inquiry—and what it’s actually becoming. “The issue is indeed not one of policy, which the President can change, but of the purpose that was pursued in the July 25th call: whether it was in the national interest or a private gain,” he says. So far, no one has shown that Trump demanded that the Ukrainian government produce a specific result or fabricate evidence about the Bidens.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to hold a House vote on the impeachment inquiry tomorrow, after a barrage of criticism from Republicans for moving forward without one. Whether the open hearings and public testimony will provide any more substance than a parade of national security bureaucrats ventilating their grievances about a president who sought to take a different course in foreign policy is questionable.
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest.
Dec 09, 2019 | www.wsj.com
Enthusiasm over entrepreneurship is now found in every corner of society -- even, apparently, within the federal bureaucracy. Witness after witness in last month's House impeachment inquiry hearings referred to "the interagency," an off-the-books informal government organization that we now know has enormous power to set and execute American foreign policy.
The first to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, State Department official George Kent, seemed to conceive of the interagency as the definitive source of foreign-policy consensus. That Mr. Trump's alleged decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine deviated from that consensus was, for Mr. Kent, prima facie evidence that it was misguided.Next up, Ambassador William Taylor told the committee that it was the "unanimous opinion of every level of interagency discussion" that the aid should be resumed without delay. Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, gave the game away by admitting how upset she was that Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, had established an "alternative" approach to helping Kyiv. "We have a robust interagency process that deals with Ukraine," she said.
What is the interagency, and why should its views guide the conduct of American diplomatic and national-security professionals? The Constitution grants the president the power to set defense and diplomatic policy. Where did this interagency come from?
I first heard of the interagency in Baghdad in 2009. I was there as part of a Council on Foreign Relations delegation to Iraq. As a U.S. Army general briefed us on how the war was being fought, he spoke of the interagency as the source of the strategy he was executing. Naively, I asked why he wasn't operating according to orders from his military superiors or the secretary of defense.How Did Adam Schiff Get Devin Nunes's Phone Records? How did Adam Schiff get Devin Nunes's phone records?
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He explained that American war-fighting was being guided by a "whole of government" philosophy. Incredibly, he explained that the war couldn't be won without, among other agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor. Iraq needed economic expansion, modern farming, business statistics, new hospitals, a working court system and workplace regulations. The strategy framed by the interagency was nothing less than a yearslong engagement in nation building -- precisely what President George W. Bush had rejected in his 2000 campaign.
Interagency cooperative agreements have been around for decades. The Justice Department, for example, has opioid-interdiction programs that require it to work with the Department of Homeland Security. Today a dictionary of more than 12,500 official terms exists to guide bureaucrats in writing interagency contracts that repurpose federal funds appropriated to various executive departments. Often these interdepartmental initiatives devised by bureaucrats are unknown to Congress. It's hard to imagine that the legislative branch wouldn't object to these arrangements, if only it were aware of them.
When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation's many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency -- a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy -- with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress.
Last month's testimony before the Intelligence Committee shed light on this club whose members are a permanent shadow government credentialed by family histories, elite schools and unique career experiences. This common pedigree informs their perspective of how America should relate to the world. The dogmatists of the interagency seem to share a common discomfort with a president who probably couldn't describe the doctrine of soft power, doesn't desire to be the center of attention at Davos, and wouldn't know that Francis Fukuyama once decided that history was over.
The impeachment hearings will have served a useful purpose if all they do is demonstrate that a cabal of unelected officials are fashioning profound aspects of U.S. foreign policy on their own motion. No statutes anticipate that the president or Congress will delegate such authority to a secret working group formed largely at the initiation of entrepreneurial bureaucrats, notwithstanding that they may be area experts, experienced in diplomatic and military affairs, and motivated by what they see as the best interests of the country.
However the impeachment drama plays out, Congress has cause to enact comprehensive legislation akin to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which created more-efficient structures and transparent processes in the Defense Department. Americans deserve to know who really is responsible for making the nation's foreign policy. The interagency, if it is to exist, should have a chairman appointed by the president, and its decisions, much like the once-secret minutes of the Federal Reserve, should be published, with limited and necessary exceptions, for all to see.
Mr. Schramm is a university professor at Syracuse. His most recent book is "Burn the Business Plan."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.cbsnews.comWashington -- A top National Security Council official who listened to President Trump's July call with the president of Ukraine told lawmakers he "promptly" told White House lawyers he was concerned details of the call would become public, but did not think "anything illegal was discussed" during the conversation.
Tim Morrison, the outgoing senior director of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council and a deputy assistant to the president, is testifying before committees leading the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill on Thursday. He has emerged as a central witness to the events at the center of the inquiry, particularly the administration's policy toward Ukraine.
CBS News learned the substance of his opening statement to the committees, which ran six pages and appears below. Morrison said the summary released by the White House of the call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accurately reflects his memory and understanding of the call, but he said he had three concerns in the event the summary became public.
"[F]irst, how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship," Morrison, who was in the Situation Room for the call, told lawmakers. "I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed."
However, he also corroborated a central allegation in the Democratic case against the president: that a U.S. ambassador told a high-ranking Ukrainian official that the release of military aid was contingent on an investigation into the Bidens.
Morrison said his predecessor, Fiona Hill, told him about "concerns about two Ukraine processes that were occurring": one led by traditional U.S. diplomatic entities, and one led by the U.S. Ambassador the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. He said Hill told him about their efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that had employed Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden's son.
"At the time, I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation entailed," Morrison said. "After the meeting with Dr. Hill, I googled Burisma and learned that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on its board."
Morrison said he spoke frequently with Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in the embassy in Kiev. Taylor testified before the committees last week and described his misgivings about efforts to pressure Ukraine to open investigations into the president's rivals. Morrison, in his statement, confirmed the substance of Taylor's account, but said he remembered two details differently.
Taylor testified that Morrison told him Sondland had demanded the Ukrainian president announce an investigation into Burisma, while Morrison said he remembered Sondland saying an announcement by the country's top prosecutor would suffice. Taylor also indicated Morrison met with the Ukrainian national security adviser in his hotel room, while Morrison said it was in the hotel's business center.
Morrison said he learned about a delay in military aid to Ukraine shortly after assuming his post, and was tasked with coordinating with various agencies to demonstrate why the aid was needed.
"I was confident that our national security principals -- the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the head of the National Security Council -- could convince President Trump to release the aid," he said.
Morrison testified he had "no reason to believe" the Ukrainians knew of a delay in military aid until August 28, and said he was unaware the aid may have been tied to the demand for an investigation into Burisma until he spoke to Sondland on September 1.
Morrison arrived on Capitol Hill before 8 a.m. Thursday for his deposition after Democrats issued a subpoena for his testimony. A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee chairman declined to comment on his opening statement. Morrison appeared on the same day the House approved a resolution greenlighting the rules for impeachment proceedings moving forward.
On Wednesday, officials said Morrison would be leaving his White House post. He said in his statement he has yet to submit his resignation "because I do not want anyone to think there is a connection between my testimony today and my impending departure."
"I am proud of what I have been able, in some small way, to help the Trump Administration to accomplish," he said.Read Morrison's full statement
Opening Statement of Timothy Morrison
Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
October 31, 2019
Chairman Schiff and Members of the Committees, I appear today under subpoena to answer your questions about my time as Senior Director for European Affairs at the White House and the National Security Council ("NSC"). I will give you the most complete information I can, consistent with my obligations to the President and the protection of classified information. I do not know who the whistleblower is, nor do I intend to speculate as to who it may be.
Before joining the NSC in 2018, I spent 17 years as a Republican staffer, serving in a variety of roles in both houses of Congress. My last position was Policy Director for the then-Majority Staff of the House Armed Services Committee.
I. The Role of the National Security Council
From July 9, 2018 to July 15, 2019, I served as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security and as the NSC Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Biodefense. In that role, I had limited exposure to Ukraine, focusing primarily on foreign military sales and arms control. On July 15, 2019, I became Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security. In this role, I serve as the lead interagency coordinator for national security issues involving Europe and Russia.
It is important to start with the role of the NSC. Since its creation by Congress in 1947, the NSC has appropriately evolved in shape and size to suit the needs of the President and the National Security Advisor it serves at the time. But its mission and core function has fundamentally remained the same: to coordinate across departments and agencies of the Executive Branch to ensure the President has the policy options he needs to accomplish his objectives and to see that his decisions are implemented. The NSC staff does not make policy. NSC staff are most effective when we are neutral arbiters, helping the relevant Executive Branch agencies develop options for the President and implement his direction.
In my current position, I understood our primary U.S. policy objective in Ukraine was to take advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity that resulted from the election of President Zelensky and the clear majority he had gained in the Ukrainian Rada to see real anti-corruption reform take root. The Administration's policy was that the best way for the United States to show its support for President Zelensky's reform efforts was to make sure the United States' longstanding bipartisan commitment to strengthen Ukraine's security remained unaltered, it is easy to forget here in Washington, but impossible in Kyiv, that Ukraine is still under armed assault by Russia, a nuclear-armed state. We also tend to forget that the United States had helped convince Ukraine to give up Soviet nuclear weapons in 1994. United States security sector assistance (from the Departments of Defense and State) is, therefore, essential to Ukraine. Also essential is a strong and positive relationship with Ukraine at the highest levels of our respective governments.
In my role as Senior Director for European Affairs, I reported directly to former Deputy National Security Advisor, Dr. Charles Kupperman, and former National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton. I kept them fully informed on matters that I believed merited their awareness or when I felt I needed some direction. During the time relevant to this inquiry, I never briefed the President or Vice President on matters related to Ukrainian security. It was my job to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy Chief of Mission to Ukraine William Taylor, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, and other interagency stakeholders in the Departments of Defense and State of Ukrainian matters.
My primary responsibility has been to ensure federal agencies had consistent messaging and policy guidance on national security issues involving European and Russian affairs. As Dr. Fiona Hill and I prepared for me to succeed her, one of the areas we discussed was Ukraine. In that discussion, she informed me of her concerns about two Ukraine processes that were occurring: the normal interagency process led by the NSC with the typical department and agency participation and a separate process that involved chiefly the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. Dr. Hill told me that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were trying to get President Zelensky to reopen Ukrainian investigations into Burisma. At the time, I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation entailed. After the meeting with Dr. Hill, I googled Burisma and learned that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on its board. I also did not understand why Ambassador Sondland would be involved in Ukraine policy, often without the involvement of our duly-appointed Chief of Mission, Ambassador Bill Taylor.
My most frequent conversations were with Ambassador Taylor because he was the U.S. Chief of Mission in Ukraine and I was his chief conduit for information related to White House deliberations, including security sector assistance and potential head-of-state meetings. This is a normal part of the coordination process.
II. Review of Open Source Documents in Preparation for Testimony
In preparation for my appearance today, I reviewed the statement Ambassador Taylor provided this inquiry on October 22, 2019. I can confirm that the substance of his statement, as it relates to conversations he and I had, is accurate. My recollections differ on two of the details, however. I have a slightly different recollection of my September 1, 2019 conversation with Ambassador Sondland. On page 10 of Ambassador Taylor's statement, he recounts a conversation I relayed to him regarding Ambassador Sondland's conversation with Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Yermak. Ambassador Taylor wrote: "Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that security assistance money would not come until President Zelensky committed to pursue the Burisma investigation." My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland's proposal to Mr. Yermak was that it could be sufficient if the new Ukrainian prosecutor general -- not President Zelensky -- would commit to pursue the Burisma investigation. I also would like to clarify that I did not meet with the Ukrainian National Security Advisor in his hotel room, as Ambassador Taylor indicated on page 11 of his statement. Instead, an NSC aide and I met with Mr. Danyliuk in the hotel's business center.
I also reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation ("MemCont') of the July 25 phone call that was released by the White House. I listened to the call as it occurred from the Situation Room. To the best of my recollection, the MemCon accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call. I also recall that I did not see anyone from the NSC Legal Advisor's Office in the room during the call. After the call, I promptly asked the NSC Legal Advisor and his Deputy to review it. I had three concerns about a potential leak of the MemCon: first, how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.
III. White House Hold on Security Sector Assistance
I was not aware that the White House was holding up the security sector assistance passed by Congress until my superior, Dr. Charles Kupperman, told me soon after I succeeded Dr. Hill. I was aware that the President thought Ukraine had a corruption problem, as did many others familiar with Ukraine. I was also aware that the President believed that Europe did not contribute enough assistance to Ukraine. I was directed by Dr. Kupperman to coordinate with the interagency stakeholders to put together a policy process to demonstrate that the interagency supported security sector assistance to Ukraine. I was confident that our national security principals -- the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the head of the National Security Council -- could convince President Trump to release the aid because President Zelensky and the reform-oriented Rada were genuinely invested in their anti-corruption agenda.
Ambassador Taylor and I were concerned that the longer the money was withheld, the more questions the Zelensky administration would ask about the U.S. commitment to Ukraine. Our initial hope was that the money would be released before the hold became public because we did not want the newly constituted Ukrainian government to question U.S. support.
I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the review until August 28, 2019. Ambassador Taylor and I had no reason to believe that the release of the security sector assistance might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation until my September 1, 2019 conversation with Ambassador Sondland. Even then I hoped that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was exclusively his own and would not be considered by leaders in the Administration and Congress, who understood the strategic importance of Ukraine to our national security.
I am pleased our process gave the President the confidence he needed to approve the release of the security sector assistance. My regret is that Ukraine ever learned of the review and that, with this impeachment inquiry, Ukraine has become subsumed in the U.S. political process.
After 19 years of government service, I have decided to leave the NSC. I have not submitted a formal resignation at this time because I do not want anyone to think there is a connection between my testimony today and my impending departure. I plan to finalize my transition from the NSC after my testimony is complete.
During my time in public service, I have worked with some of the smartest and most self-sacrificing people in this country. Serving at the White House in this time of unprecedented global change has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I am proud of what I have been able, in some small way, to help the Trump Administration to accomplish.
Dec 07, 2019 | www.unz.com
gsjackson , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 3:44 am GMT@Z-man I wasn't sure how to characterize McMaster and Kelly. My sense was that they represented the foreign policy establishment consensus, ergo neocon by default.TellTheTruth-2 , says: Website Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 3:50 am GMT
I share your optimism about Trump -- because it's the only strand of hope out there, and his enemies are so impeccably loathsome -- but am fully prepared to be proved wrong.The neocon communist warmongers have Trump all tied up. Trumping Trump: A Gulliver Strategy (right click) https://medium.com/everyvote/trumping-trump-a-gulliver-strategy-3fc96e4d5d93renfro , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 4:53 am GMTfreedom-cat , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 5:51 am GMT
"How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees."
It started before Bolton came on board.
Believe Trump when he says "Loyalty to me first". And that begins with his son in law Jared .his former personal attorney Jason Greenblatt .his former bankruptcy attorney David Friedman and his largest donor Sheldon Adelson .
Trump is too stupid to see that his Zios have no loyalty to him. Trump doesn't appoint anyone, doesn't even know anyone to appoint to national security or foreign policy. He never had any associations or confidents in his business life in NY except the above Jews .
Ask yourself how a 29 year old Jewish boy (now gone) with zero experience got brought onto the WH NSC. He was recommended by Gen. Flynn who did it as a favor to Zio Frank Gaffney of Iraq fame, and Jared because he was a friend of Jared and Gaffney was a friend Ezra's family. ..getting the picture?
All Trumps appointments look like a chain letter started by Kushner and his Zio connections.It may be as simple as Trump does not really know what he's doing. He doesn't seem to understand the complexity and dynamics of foreign policy. The way he handled Israel is an example as well as some of the bombs he ordered dropped on Afghanistan and Syria. Was he behind that or was someone else?Erebus , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 10:34 am GMT
He's a walking contradiction.
After Bolton came onboard, and then Eliot Abrams, the 24/7 Russia-gate suddenly stopped. That was also around the time USA was fomenting a Venezuelan coup. Was obvious that Russia-Gate was designed to control Trump.
There was a lull in the attacks on Trump between the time they stopped the 24/7 Russia-gate garbage and start of Impeachment inquiry.
He did something else to tick them all off, so now impeachment is on front burner.@FBPandour , says: Website Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT
the 'permanent foreign policy establishment'
AKA, the Imperial Staff.
In the days of Kissinger, Baker, et al the Imperial Staff were well coached in the Calculus of Power, knew the limits to Empire and thrived within them. Since the end of history, and the apparent end of limits, policy makers had no more need of realists and their confusing calculations and analyses.
The US had power, and no-one else had any. That's all they needed to know, and set about creating new, wonderfully intoxicating realities. As Rove famously inverted the MO they'll act first, creating realities and the analysis and calculation can come later. In awe of their creations, they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang, with no understanding how they got there. Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.
In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think
I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental.
The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment.
If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar.
Fascinating.Decades old rhetorical question and answer-the indolent, indoctrinated and illiterate masses who only care about the Super Bowl and other sports,Disneyland and burgers. Twelve per cent of Americans have never heard of the Vice President Mike Pence - that is 30,870,000 American adults.Johnny Walker Read , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMTWho Is Making US Foreign Policy?
It is the same people who have been making it since the creation of central banks in America (all three of them).
Never in the history of America, probably never in the history of any country, had there been such open and direct control of governmental activities by the very rich. So long as a handful of men in Wall Street control the credit and industrial processes of the country, they will continue to control the press, the government, and, by deception, the people. They will not only compel the public to work for them in peace, but to fight for them in war. – John Turner, 1922
Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.comPresident Trump campaigned and was elected on an anti-neocon platform: he promised to reduce direct US involvement in areas where, he believed, America had no vital strategic interest, including in Ukraine. He also promised a new détente ("cooperation") with Moscow.
And yet, as we have learned from their recent congressional testimony, key members of his own National Security Council did not share his views and indeed were opposed to them. Certainly, this was true of Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Both of them seemed prepared for a highly risky confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, though whether retroactively because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.
Similarly, Trump was slow in withdrawing Marie Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer appointed by President Obama as ambassador to Kiev, who had made clear, despite her official position in Kiev, that she did not share the new American president's thinking about Ukraine or Russia. In short, the president was surrounded in his own administration, even in the White House, by opponents of his foreign policy and presumably not only in regard to Ukraine.
How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees.
A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive.
The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain.
Listen to the podcast here . Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate , is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show , now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .
Curmudgeon , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMTRebel0007 , says: December 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT
because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.
In an otherwise decent overview, this sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be helpful to stop using the word annexation. While correct in a technical sense – that Crimea was added to the Russian Federation – the word comes with all kinds of connotations, that imply illegality and or force. Given Crimea was given special status when gifted to Ukraine for administration by the USSR, one could just as easily apply "annexation" of Crimea to Ukraine. After Ukraine voted to "leave" the USSR, Crimea voted to join Ukraine. Obviously the "Ukrainian" vote did not include Crimea. Even after voting to join Ukraine, Crimea had special status within Ukraine, and was semi autonomous. If you can vote to join, you can vote to leave. Either you have the right to self determination, or you don't.This is what is so infuriating, Stephen! These silent coups of the executive branch have been taking place for my entire life! Both parties are guilty of refusing to appoint cabinet members that the elected presidents would have chosen for themselves, because both parties are more interested in making the president of the opposing party look bad, make him ineffective, and incapable of carrying out policies that he was elected to carry out. That is the very definition of treason!National Institute for Study of the O... , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm GMT
Things are a disaster. The JCPOA is at the heart of the issue and Trump and his advisors stubborn refusal to capitulate on this issue very well may cause Trump to lose the 2020 election. Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline!
The anti-Iranian fever has created so much havoc not only with Iran, but with every country on earth other than Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Germany announced that it is seeking to unite with Russia, not only for Gazprom, but is now considering purchasing defense systems from Russia, and Germany is dictating EU policy, by and large. Germany has said that Europe must be able to defend itself independent of America and is requesting an EU military and Italy is on board with this idea, seeking to create jobs and weapons for its economy and defense.
The EU is fed up with the economic sanctions placed on countries that the U.S. has black-listed, particularly Russia and Iran, and China as well for Huwaei 5G.
Nobody in their right mind could ever claim this to be the free market capitalism that Larry Kudlow espouses!You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills.follyofwar , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy.
CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it.@Curmudgeon Pat Buchanan also uses the word "annexation" all the time.Rebel0007 , says: December 6, 2019 at 4:31 am GMTNational Institute for the study of the obvious,Haxo Angmark , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.
It is a political game between to competing kleptocratic cults. The DNC and RNC are whores and will do what ever their donors tell them to do. That is also treason. This country is just a total wasteland.
Everyone has pledged allegiance to fraud.
Too big to fail, like the Titanic and the Hindenberg.
We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them.Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise.Monty Ahwazi , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:03 am GMTWhat kind of stupid question is this? You mean you don't know or asking us for confirmation? If you really don't know then why are you writing an article about it? If you do know then why are you asking the UNZ readers?animalogic , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:21 am GMTPerhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards.EdNels , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT@Rebel0007Jon Baptist , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths.
That's ok but it's a bit unfair to Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths After all most of the country is Hedonistic as hell, it sells commercials or wtf. Satanic is philosophical and way over the heads of these clowns, though if the be a Satan, then they are in the plan for sure, and right on the mark. As for psychopaths, those are criminals who are insane, but they can have remorse and be their own worst enemies, often they just go off and go psycho and bad things happen, but can be unplanned off the wall stuff, not diabolic.
Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as .
So, once upon a time, a people got so hedonistic and they didn't watch the game and theier leaders were low quality (especially religeous/morals ) and long story short Satan unleashed the Socio's , Things seem to be heading disastrously, so will bit coin save the day? Green nudeal?The simple questions that beg to be asked are who are the accusers and what media agencies are providing the amplification to transmit these accusations?polistra , says: December 6, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
There is also this link courtesy of Haass' CFR – https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/russia-trump-and-2016-us-election
While massive attention is directed towards Russia and the Ukraine, the majority of the public are shown the slight of hand and their attention is never brought near to the real perpetrators of subverting American and British foreign policy.
The Truth Archive
The Israeli Lobby in the United States of America (2017) – Full Documentary HDDoesn't matter if he's surrounded. A president CAN make foreign policy, and a president CAN fire people who disagree with his policy. Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board.sally , says: December 6, 2019 at 8:51 am GMT@Rebel0007Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.
first off the supreme law of the land maybe the Constitution and to oppose it may be Treason, but the Law that is supreme to the Law of the land is Human rights law.. it is far superior to, and it is the TLD of all laws of the land of all of the Nation States that mankind has allowed the greedy among its masses, to impose.
There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value.
If you note the USA constitution has seven articles..
Article 1 is about 525 elected members of congress and their very limited powers to control
foreign activities. Each qualified to vote member of the governed (a citizen so to speak) is allowed to
vote for only 3 of the 525 persons. so basically there is no real national election anywhere .
Article II grants the electoral college the power to appoint two persons full control of the assets,
resources and manpower of America to conquer the entire world or to make peace in the entire world.
Either way: the governed are not allowed to vote for either; the EC vote determines the P or VP.
Article III allows the Article II person to appoint yes men to the judiciary
Where exist the power of the governed to deny USA governors the ability to the use the powers the constitution claims the governors are to have, against the governed? <==No where I can find? Theoretically, the governed are protected from abuse for as long as it takes to conduct due process?
One person, the Article II person, is basically the king when in comes to constitutional authority to establish, conduct, prosecute or defend USA involvement in foreign affairs.
No where does the constitution of the USA deny its President the use of American resources or USA military power, to make and use diplomat appointments, or to use the USA to use the wealth of America and the hegemonic powers of the USA to make a private or public profit in a foreign land. <= d/n matter if the profit is personal to the President or if it assigned by appointment (like the feudal powers granted by the feudal kings to the feudal lords) to corporate feudal lords or oligarch personal interest.
AFAICT, the president can USE the USA to conduct war, invade or otherwise infringe on, even destroy, the territory, or a private or public interest, within a foreign sovereign more or less at will. So if the President wants to command a private or secret Army like the CIA, he can as far as I can tell, obviously this president does, because he could with his pen alone shut it down.
Seems to me the "NO" from Wilson's four points
- no more secret diplomacy peace settlement must not lead the way to new wars
- no retribution, unjust claims, and huge fines <basically indemnities paid by the losers to the winners.
- no more war; includes controls on armaments and arming of nations.
- no more Trade Barriers so the nations of the world would become more interdependent.
have been made the essence of nation state operations world wide.
IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.@Curmudgeon all of that, plus the Kosovo precedent.Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:52 am GMT
In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determinationTrump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The 'heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice.Anon  Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.)https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/majority-germans-wants-less-reliance-us-more-engagement-russia/ri27985gotmituns , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
Macron said that NATO is " brain dead " :
The more the US sanctions so many countries around the world , the more the US generate an anti US reaction around the world .Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?DrWatson , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:20 am GMT
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Could it be israel?Trump should have kept Steve Bannon as his advisor and should have fired instead his son-in-law. Perhaps "they" are blackmailing Trump with photos like here: https://www.pinterest.com/richarddesjarla/creepy/Marshall Lentini , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:28 am GMT
That would explain why Trump is so ineffective at making a reality anything he campaigned for.@melpol Betas in power -- an underappreciated dimension of this morass.propagandist hacker , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 11:29 am GMTor maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:52 am GMTRealist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT
An anti-neocon president appears to have been surrounded by neocons in his own administration.
The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid.@sallyRealist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm GMT
IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.
The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.@propagandist hackerSean , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm GMT
or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?
That is my contention.MICHAEL CARPENTER Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2015 to 2017.9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm GMT
Halfway around the world from Washington's halls of power, Ukraine sits along a civilizational and geopolitical fault line. To Ukraine's west are the liberal democracies of Europe, governed by rule of law and democratic principles. To its east are Russia and its client states in Eurasia, almost all of which are corrupt oligarchies. [ ] In this war on democratic movements and democratic principles, Russia's biggest prize and chief adversary has always been the United States. Until now, however, Russia has always had to contend with bipartisan resolve to counter
No mention of China, and this is the problem with the whole foreign policy establishment not just the neocons. Russia is more of an annoyance than anything, but they are still operating assumptions on what is the Geographical Pivot of History , so they want to talk about Russia. Like an Edwardian sea cadet we are supposed to care about Russia getting (back) a water port in Crimea. Mahan's definition of sea power included a strong commercial fleet. After tearing their own environment apart like a car in a wrecking yard and heating up the planet China has taken time out from deforestation and colonising Tibet, to send huge container vessels full of cheap goods through the melting Arctic round the top of Russia all the better to get to Europe and deindustrialise it.
Western elites have sold out to China, seen as the future, so we hear about Russia rather than the three million Uyghurs in concentration camps complete with constantly smoking crematoria, and harvesting of organs for rich foreigners.
Who poses a greater threat to the West: China or Russia?
By the time the West finds itself in open conflict with Beijing, we will have lost our relative advantage. Brendan Simms and K.C. Lin [ ] The concept of China being a threat is harder to comprehend. In what way? Yes, its hacking and intellectual property theft is a headache. But is it worse than what Russia is up to? And don't we need Chinese investment, so does it really matter if China builds our 5G mobile networks? In London, ministers agonise over these issues -- not knowing whether to pity China (we still send foreign aid there), beg for its money and contracts (with prime ministerial trade trips), or treat it as a potential antagonist.
Aid ! They sent robots to the far side of the Moon
Beijing has been the beneficiary of liberal revulsion at the Trump presidency: if the Donald is against the Chinese, who cannot be for them? As a result, Trump's efforts to address China's unfair trade practices have so far missed the mark with the domestic and international audience. As Trump declares war on free trade, China -- one of the most protectionist economies in the world -- is now celebrated at Davos as the avatar of free trade. Later this month, China's Vice-President is likely to be in attendance at Davos -- and there is even talk of him meeting with Trump. Similarly, the messiness of American politics has made China's one-party state an apparent poster boy of political stability and governability.911endofdays.blogspot.com : "Sackcloth&Ashes – The 16th Trump of Arcana " :JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
"TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ".
Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ?Sick of Orcs , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT
Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad.
The military/intelligence imperial establishment definitely see Israel as a kind of American colony in the Mideast, and they make sure that it's well provided for. That's what the Neocon Wars have been about. Paving over large parts of Israel's noisy neighborhood. And that includes matters like keeping Syria off-balance with occupation in its northeast. And constantly threatening Iran.
Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things.
By the way, the last President who tried seriously to make foreign policy as the elected head of government left half of his head splattered on thec streets of Dallas.@propagandist hacker Or he was fooled, tricked, bribed, coerced by The HoloNose.9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
Don't get me wrong, the Orange Sellout is to blame regardless.@Jon Baptist We have all been brainwashed by the propaganda screened by the massmedia ,whether it be FOX , MSNBC , CBS ,etc.. SeptemberClues.info has a good article entitled "The central role of the news media on 9/11 " :geokat62 , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
"The 9/11 psyop relied foremostly on that weakspot of ours .We all fell for the images we saw on TV at the time we can only wonder why so many never questioned the absurd TV coverage proposed by all the major networks The 9/11 TV imagery of the crucial morning events was just a computer-animated, pre-fabricated movie."
Was "The Harley Guy" a crisis actor ?@National Institute for Study of the ObviousHerald , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT
So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who.
Close. You got 4 of the correct letters, AIPAC. You were just missing the P.
CIA runs your country.
No, Jewish Supremacist oligarchs run America.@follyofwar Pat inhabits a strange Hollywood type world, where the US is always the good guy. He believes that, although the US may make foreign policy mistakes, its aims and ambitions are nevertheless noble and well intentioned.
In Pat's world it's still circa 1955, but even then, his take on US foreign policy would have been hopelessly unrealistic.
Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.comPunch foresaw The Borg
"This was a debate over policy. Trump's critics may not have liked the policy he was pushing. But as former Defense Intelligence Agency official Pat Lang noted on his blog last week, the statute in question applies only to "intelligence activities" but "does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters."
That's what this fight is about, said Lang . Speaker after speaker at the hearings asserted that Trump's views did not comport with official national policy. But the president sets that policy, Lang said, not the diplomats.
"They think they are the people who set national policy and the president is this figurehead who is guided by all these people around him who agree on everything," he said. "The president doesn't need to use the State Department at all to conduct foreign policy." ' Paul Mulshine
Actually, I was too minimal in speaking of "diplomats." Vindman is not a diplomat and there are many other actors in this drama of Borgist angst (foreign policy establishment ) who are not diplomats.
For one thing a large percentage of the Drones at the State Department are civil service employees rather than Foreign Service Officers, and although they do not play well together they agree on the ultimate authority of the Supremacy Clause (non-existent) in the US Constitution that gives the State Department dominion over all the Lord created. A career ambassador's wife once lectured me that the US Army should change the cap badge that officers wear because it looks too much like the Great Seal of the United States which in the State Department can only be displayed by Ambassadors. I told her that she should petition the Secretary of the Army in this matter.
Various departments of government, media, academia, thinktankeries, etc., all have heavy infestations of folks who went to graduate school together in poly sci in all its branches, or who wish to be thought worthy of such attendance. They specialize in group think, conformity, and conformism, even to the solemn dress they affect. The four in hand tie knot is pretty much mandatory for serious consideration for inclusion in the Borg. It indicates a certain preppy insouciance and faux disregard for details of dress.
Trump's casual disregard for all that enrages the Borg who thought they had "won it all" long ago and that they would have a Borgist neocon to deal with in Hillary.
Hell hath no fury like The Borg scorned. pl
Posted at 12:28 PM in As The Borg Turns , Current Affairs , Media , Mulshine | Permalink
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J , 24 November 2019 at 12:56 PMHillary's Foundation has lost millions recently, which has Hillary pursing her lips like she's been using a lemon for her lipstick. I mean, worse than fish-lips, Hillary's pursing expression.Hank H. , 24 November 2019 at 06:44 PM
Too bad that we can't form some cement shoes for the Borg and toss them into the east river AKA the Atlantic, or send them back to hell from where they originated!OT:JMH , 25 November 2019 at 04:22 AM
This afternoon my wife and I turned on the TV to watch football. We were flipping through channels and came upon some local ABC affiliate (WMUR) which had on a documentary which mentioned the Medal of Honor and a Catholic chaplain in Vietnam. Needless to say we stayed on that channel. Long story short, it was one of the most powerful things we've ever watched. We were both in tears by the end (nb: I don't cry easily) and we were changed from having watched it. We immediately went online to purchase copies for family members. It was recently released.The Field Afar: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno
https://www.amazon.com/Field-Afar-Life-Vincent-Capodanno/dp/B081KPTT3R/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=A+field+afar&qid=1574638098&sr=8-1As the Borg like to say "We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own." They have done this with the four in hand tie knot which was previously worn by giants like George Kennon and Chip Bohlen. Yet now, the midgetry prevails.Ghost Ship , 25 November 2019 at 11:34 AMJim Ticehurst , 25 November 2019 at 07:21 PMThe four in hand tie knot is pretty much mandatory for serious consideration for inclusion in the Borg.I'm surprised, given some of the more outlandish claims about the British Royal Family, that the Windsor knot isn't mandatory.Colonel...This is another Reason why I appreciate your levels of Experience and knowledge with SST..Thank you for doing that...I always come away with New Insight..and Understanding of Real Dynamics..what has Progressively Developed inside the State.Department.with its Influence On so Much POLICY...and .is as You say...The BORG..and Their Own Culture.your Article put that all into a Big Picture for Me..(Connecting the Data..) .It.as you aptly Described. is a Universal.Sect..and...At The National Level...They are Cyber Borgs..Shciff Shapers..and that Whole Colony has Been Exposed.,,, Bad Products and All....J , 26 November 2019 at 08:08 PMColonel,
Fiona Hill appears to be part of the Borg, not really sure which part she's affiliated. Some have called her a 'sleeper agent', but a sleeper for whom? British Intelligence agent of influence? Or an Israeli agent of influence, or maybe a Daniel Pipes trained NEOCON agent of influence? Any way one spins it, Fiona Hill has been undermining POTUS Trump while she was part of his NSC and his advisory team. Why her intense hatred of Putin? Does he happen to know through his nation's intelligence exactly who she is and whom she may be working on behalf of? The Skripal incident showed just how much that the British Government and Crown hate Russia. But why the intense British hatred of Russia, why?
Questions, so many questions regarding Ms. Hill and who she really works for.
Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
integer , December 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm
Looks like the Blob and Ds are concerned that their narrative on Ukraine is being undermined by Solomon's reporting.
Responding to Lt. Col. Vindman about my Ukraine columns with the facts John Solomon
Perhaps you could point out any inaccuracies in the comprehensively-sourced article above oh, wait you won't read it lol.
Lambert Strether Post author , December 4, 2019 at 7:13 am
The fraction of RussiaGate/UkraineGate that can be taken seriously is quite small. An enormous amount of it is "it's ok when we do it"-level material. Difficult to sort without presenting a range encompassing all factions.
It's possible I'm too jaded, but "reporters presents material derived from his political faction" isn't all that exciting, since I don't belong to either of the factions engaged in this battle. I remember the Lewinsky Matter, WMDs, and (see today's Links), being smeared by Prop0rNot, and UkraineGate just a little too well.
Nov 03, 2019 | www.greanvillepost.comWASHINGTON, DC : Adam Schiff "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella has been exposed as a John Brennan ally. An ally who actively worked to defame, target, and destroy President Donald Trump during both the Obama and Trump administrations. He was fired from the Trump White House for leaking confidential if not classified information detrimental to the President. ( The Pajama Boy Whistleblower Revealed – Rush Limbaugh )
The 33-year-old Ciaramella, a former Susan Rice protege, currently works for the CIA as an analyst.Eric Ciaramella: The Deep State non-whistleblower
During his time in the Obama White House, NSC Ciaramella worked under both Vice President Joe Biden and CIA director John Brennan. He reported directly to NSC advisor Susan Rice through his immediate boss, Charles Kupchan. Kupchan had extensive ties with Clinton crony Sydney Blumenthal. Large portions of Blumenthal's disinformation from Ukrainian sources in 2016 was used in the nefarious Steele Dossier.
Eric Ciaramella, Schiff's "whistleblower", has ties to Susan Rice and Joe Biden
Ciaramella also worked extensively with DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa. Chalupa led the effort at the DNC to fabricate a link between the Trump Campaign to Vladimir Putin and Russia. According to Politico, Chalupa "met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia."
The DNC paid Chalupa $412,000 between 2004 and 2016.DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa: Ciaramella co-conspirator
Chalupa shared her findings with both the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Politico reporting ( Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire – Politico – 01/11/2017)"Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump's campaign, 'I felt there was a Russia connection.'"
Apparently without any evidence. So she set out to concoct it.
Chalupa (left) also says that the Ukrainian embassy was working directly with reporters digging for Trump-Russia ties. How convenient, and unethical.
Ciaramella invited Chalupa to meetings and events at the Obama White House. She also visits the Obama White House with Ukrainian lobbyists seeking aid from Obama. Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in 2017, "
"Chalupa's actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S voting population but U.S. government officials."The FEC complaint against the DNC and Chalupa
In September 2019 a complaint was filed with the Federal Elections Commission against the DNC naming Alexandra Chalupa. The complaint alleges that Chalupa acted "improperly to gather information on Paul Manafort and Donald Trump in the 2016 election".
Joe Biden's Corruption: Ukraine, bribery, and Burisma Holdings
According to Fox News, the complaint alleges that the DNC specifically "tasked Chalupa with obtaining incriminating or derogatory information about Donald Trump [and] Paul Manfort,"
Fox News reporting, that Chalupa allegedly
"Pushed for Ukrainian officials to publicly mention Manafort's financial and political ties to" Ukraine and "sought to have the Ukrainian government provide her information about Manafort's work in the country."John Solomon and Wikileaks both expose Chalupa as DNC operative
Wikileaks also exposed Chalupa's role in digging up dirt in Ukraine on Manafort and Trump. One email stated that Chalupa was "digging into Manafort". "A lot more coming down the pipe," the email to then DNC Comms Director Luis Miranda states. ( Former Obama official Luis Miranda is latest casualty of DNC email scandal – Fox News – August 3, 2016 )
John Solomon of The Hill reporting:
"Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort's dealings inside the country. Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort's Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign."Ciaramella's connection with John Brennan and Susan Rice
Eric Ciaramella had been working with John Brennan, Susan Rice, the Obama White House, and Alexandra Chalupa to target and destroy Donald Trump well before he was elected. He was initially brought into the NSC and the White House inner circle by John Brennan himself.
Schiff witness Taylor has ties to Burisma think tank, Soros, McCain leaker
Remarkably, despite his clear connections to Rice and Brennan, he was brought back into the inner circle of the Trump NSC by HR McMaster. McMaster appointed him to be his personal aide.
He was fired in June of 2017 after being directly implicated in a series of serious national security leaks from the White House calculated to be damaging to President Trump.Ciaramella and Alexander Vindman: the second "whistleblower"
Ciaramella's title at the White House was NSC Director for Ukraine. That position is now held by the newest Schiff star witness and Trump hater Lt. Col Alexander Vindman. Vindman is apparently the "2nd whistleblower" to leak his concerns about the call between Trump and President Zelensky to Ciaramella.
Vindman also leaked the classified information about the President's call with a foreign head of state to a number of other people. These unauthorized leaks are criminal. Both illegal, unethical and unconscionable.
Violating clear national security guidelines for classified information.
Republicans, on cross-examination of Vindman was asked by Republicans cross-examining him during the closed-door secret police hearings conducted by Adam Schiff, asking who Vindman had contact with. Schiff cut off the questioning, coaching the witness while refusing to let him answer the questions.Schiff coordinated with Ciaramella and Vindman
It is now clear that Ciaramella and Vindman coordinated the entire whistleblower affair with Schiff and his staff in violation of the "whistleblower" statute. That Ciaramella has been coordinating his complaint with Schiff committee staffers Abigail Grace and Sean Misko.
Durham opens criminal probe, IG report due, Brennan, Clapper lawyer up
Ciaramella worked with both Grace and Misko in the NSC at the Obama White House. Misko and Grace joined Schiff's committee in early August of 2019, just in time to coordinate the "whistleblower" complaint.
Both Vindman and Ciaramella do not qualify for "whistleblower" status. They were reporting on a diplomatic conversation, not an intelligence matter. They were not reporting on a member of the Intelligence committee.The suspicious case of IC IG Michael Atkinson
IC IG Michael Atkinson surreptitiously changed the rules for whistleblower complaints to allow second-hand testimony in September of 2019. He then backdated the changes to allow the Ciaramella complaint, initially filed in early August, to be included under the new "interpretive" guidelines.
The level of subterfuge and coordination between Schiff, Ciaramella, Vindman, Abigail Grace, Sean Misko, and IG Atkinson is more than suspicious. It reeks of yet another episode of a Deep State coordinated coup attempt.
Pelosi Star Chamber impeachment farce blows up in Adam Schiff's face
The whole impeachment affair is a brazen sequel to the Russia Hoax involving many of the same key players. Susan Rice, John Brennan, Adam Schiff. Designed to target, destroy, and in this case, fabricate grounds for the impeachment of the President.
The playbook is the same as the Mueller Inquisition and the Russia Hoax, the same as the Kavanaugh smear campaign. With the same co-conspirators of the left-wing mainstream media. Not only carrying water for the coup plotters but being actual participants in the scheme. Paid mouthpieces for the Deep State.Paul Sperry and Real Clear Investigations
The most comprehensive expose on Ciaramella, that has forced even the mainstream media to take notice, was the Real Clear Investigations reporting of Paul Sperry. Only Sperry, the Federalist, and CDN have exposed the whistleblowers' identity. But his name and transparent partisan actions are the worst kept secret in Washington.
As CIA analyst Fred Fleitz has said:
"Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White House knows. Even the president knows who he is."
Sperry's devastating expose makes clear that Ciaramella is another cog in the Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice, Obama conspiracy to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States. As Chuck Schumer said in January of 2017,
"If you take on the intelligence community, they have nines ways to Sunday of getting back at you."The never-ending coup attempt against Trump
The reality is that Trump was targeted by the Obama White House well before he was President. The ongoing coup against him started as soon as he was elected. It morphed into the Mueller Weissman inquisition and the Peter Strzok insurance policy.
Obama WH corruption: Rampant pay to play by Clinton, Kerry, and Biden
When that fizzled into oblivion it was time for plan B, or in this case plan C or D. The Deep State and their paid minions in the left-wing press have been unrelenting in their ongoing anti-constitutional putsch against the President.
The impeachment farce, with its calculated rollout reminiscent of the Kavanaugh smear campaign, is yet another extension of a never-ending East German Stassi coup (sic) attempt against the constitution, the Republic, and the people of the United States.Sperry lays out the trail of evidence against Ciaramella
Paul Sperry's excellent investigative reporting makes clear that Ciaramella "previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan. (He) left his National Security Council posting in the White House's West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media." As Sperry reports, "He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump," said a former NSC official.
Sperry reports that "a handful of former colleagues have compiled a roughly 40-page research dossier on him. A classified version of the document is circulating on Capitol Hill". The dossier documents Ciaramella's bias against Trump. His relationships with Brennan, Rice, the Obama White House, and DNC operative Chalupa. As well as his coordination with Vindman, Schiff and his committee staff.Chuck Schumer: "Eight ways to Sunday of getting back at you"
It questions both Ciaramella's and Vindman's veracity as a legitimate whistleblower. It makes clear that Ciaramella and his co-conspirators are part of a Deep State coup attempt. A calculated, coordinated, illegal, seditious, and illegitimate putsch.
"Whistleblower" Hoax: Ties to Biden, Deep State ICIG, rogue Ambassador
As CIA analyst Fred Fleitz makes clear, " They're hiding him ." Fleitz was emphatic, " They're hiding him because of his political bias."
Ciaramella helped generate the "Putin fired Comey" narrative. Sperry reports, "In the days after Comey's firing, this presidential action was used to further political and media calls for the standup of the special counsel to investigate 'Russia collusion.'"
How IC Inspector General Atkinson found the whistleblower complaint "credible" and "urgent" at the same time he was backdating the change in regulations to allow the complaint to be filed is more than highly suspicious. How the 'whistleblower" coordinated with Schiff, Grace, Misko, and Atkinson to stager the start of impeachment farce is criminal.Adam Schiff: Constantly lying while moving the goalposts
... ... ...
Schiff: Outstanding scoundrel in a cesspit filled to the brim with similar criminals.
Now Eric Ciaramella is apparently backing away from testifying. Schiff says he no longer needs his testimony. But Ciaramella should be subpoenaed and called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He should not be allowed to escape accountability for his role in this calculated charade of a conspiracy.
The Russia Hoax: James Clapper throws Barack Obama under the bus
He would then have to testify to his coordination with Schiff and the committee staff. He would have to expose how Vindmann leaked national security information illegally. How the entire 'whistleblower" farce was a calculated effort to again derail the Trump Presidency.
A lot has come out about Eric Ciaramella, the Adam Schiff 'Whistleblower", in recent days. It is the tip of the iceberg. Any legitimate investigation of the circumstances surrounding the entire Ukraine affair will reveal the extensive criminality of the Obama White House and the coup plotters.Exposing the dark underbelly of the Obama White House
It stretches back to the Steele Dossier and the clear efforts of the DNC and the Deep State to use to a foreign power to interfere in the 2016 election. He exposes the corruption of Vice President Biden to enrich his family at the expense of the American taxpayer. Details the $6 million dollar bribery scheme of Hunter and Joe Biden by Burisma Holdings.
Lays out the corrupt dealings of Ambassador Yovanovich.
It will lay open the devious underbelly of all the so-called hero witnesses of the Schiff impeachment Star Chamber inquisition. Of the criminal actions of the coup plotters. Of Ambassador Yovanovich, Ambassador Taylor, Alexandra Chalupa, and Alexander Vindman.
As well as the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella.Calling the Fourth Estate back
It is the tip of the iceberg that only a truly free and independent press will have to take the reins to fearlessly expose. Like brilliant investigative reporter Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations. Like the Federalist, NOQ Report, and here at CommDigiNews, who broke the Ciaramella story a full two days before Real Clear Investigations.
No one else in the corrupt media establishment seems willing to rise to the challenge.
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international
Trump's ex-Russia adviser received death threats after testifying in impeachment hearings, - The GuardianFiona Hill has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation 16:22, 9 November 2019 Open source
The former top Russia expert at the White House has said she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including death threats, which reached a new peak after she agreed to testify in congressional impeachment hearings, The Guardian reports.
Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right.
In her testimony to Congress, Hill described a climate of fear among administration staff.
The UK-born academic and biographer of Vladimir Putin said that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was the target of a hate campaign, with the aim of driving her from her post in Kyiv, where she was seen as an obstacle to some corrupt business interests.
Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May on Trump's orders. In a 25 July conversation with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and predicted she was "going to go through some things". The former ambassador has testified she felt threatened by the remarks.
Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led calls for Yovanovitch's dismissal, as did two of Giuliani business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. All three are under scrutiny in hearings being held by House committees looking at Trump's use of his office to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.
"There was no basis for her removal," Hill testified. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever. This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros."
"I had had accusations similar to this being made against me as well," Hill testified. "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties."
She added that the former national security adviser, HR McMaster "and many other members of staff were targeted as well, and many people were hounded out of the National Security Council because they became frightened about their own security."
"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbours reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," Hill said, adding that she had also been targeted by obscene phone calls. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."
"When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well."
In Yovanovitch's case, Hill said: "the most obvious explanation [for the smear campaign] seemed to be business dealings of individuals who wanted to improve their investment positions inside of Ukraine itself, and also to deflect away from the findings of not just the Mueller report on Russian interference but what's also been confirmed by your own Senate report, and what I know myself to be true as a former intelligence analyst and somebody who has been working on Russia for more than 30 years."
Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role.
... ... ...
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.internationalRelated: Atlantic Council representative withdrew his statement about Lutsenko and Yovanovitch
Almost all of these people from the list were involved in various sort of scandals during the last five years. Particularly, Oleg Hladkovsky was recently dismissed from his post due to the corruption scandal in the defense sphere. Serhiy Leshchenko became known for the purchase of the flat for $275,253 and the number of information attacks at well-known politicians and businessmen. Serhy Pashynsky was tied to the hostile takeover of a confectionary factory in Zhytomyr.
Earlier, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch passed him a do not prosecute list . Lutsenko's Press Secretary Larysa Sarhan in a commentary for BBC Ukraine specified that this list contained names of the Ukrainian MPs.Related: Anti-Corruption Bureau to open probe against Ukraine's Prosecutor General Lutsenko
In its turn, the U.S. Department of State stated that the words of Lutsenko are not true and aims to tarnish the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch. Thus, there are certain concerns that the actual list might be fake.
Nov 28, 2019 | sputniknews.com
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The House is holding its second public hearing with former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch centring around her ouster which, according to her, is pertinent to the impeachment probe against Trump. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch flatly denied allegations that she circulated a list of potential corruption targets in Ukraine that the United States did not want prosecuted, according to testimony at the opening of hearings in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Friday."I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication", Yovanovitch said. "Mr Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. Instead I advocated the US position that rule of law should prevail."
US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Friday criticised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's performance while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing against him. He defended his decision to replace Yovanovitch - appointed by his predecessor Barak Obama - as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she served from August 2016 until May 2019.
....They call it "serving at the pleasure of the President." The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Nov 28, 2019 | www.theblaze.com
During Friday's Democrat-led impeachment inquiry hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified under oath that she did not give former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko a "do not prosecute list" in 2017. Yovanovitch also doubled-down on left-wing disinformation saying that Lutsenko "acknowledged that the list never existed" in April.Ditch the fake news ==> Click here to get news you can trust sent right to your inbox. It's free!
"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a "Do Not Prosecute" list was a fabrication," Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee . "Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr. Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute."
"That is such a lie," Glenn Beck said on Friday's show. "She should be held for perjury."
During a three-part BlazeTV exposé on the Democrats' corruption in Ukraine, Glenn debunked what he called "the most misleading fabrication I've ever seen by the mainstream media."
Earlier this year, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon reported Lutsenko's claim that then-Ambassador Yovanovitch gave him a list of "people whom we should not prosecute" during a meeting in 2016. Shortly after Solomon's article was released, several news sources, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, reported that Lutsenko retracted his statement.
But Glenn's research revealed that the mainstream media got their erroneous information from a Ukrainian news site called Unian, which misleadingly headlined a story " Ukraine Prosecutor General Lutsenko admits U.S. ambassador didn't give him a do not prosecute list ," based on a misinterpretation of what Lutsenko told another Ukrainian publication, TheBabel .
When Lutsenko said Yovanovitch "gave" him a list, he did not mean she actually handed him anything in writing, but verbally conveyed the names of people he shouldn't prosecute.
"They never mentioned the fact that it was verbally dictated and he wrote the list down himself -- are you kidding me?" Glenn exclaimed. "This is how the media is fact-checking and debunking. They are playing with our republic and Ukraine's republic. They are planting dynamite all around everything that we hold dear. How do they sleep at night? Everyone that reads their stories actually thinks that there was a retraction of one of the most damning parts of this entire case."
Watch the video below to get the details:
You can find Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of the Ukraine scandal series on BlazeTV or YouTube .
If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV . With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see. Read More
Nov 28, 2019 | truthout.org
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV's John Solomon in an interview that aired Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.
"Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute," Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.
"My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime," he continued.
The State Department called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."
"We have seen reports of the allegations," a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. "The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects."
Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.
Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that "the situation was actually rather strange" and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but "never received."
"At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue," he said. " At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."
"Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."
"The portion of the funds namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General's office. But we have never received it," he said.
Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by John Solomon via JohnSolomonReports.com,
There are still wide swaths of documentation kept under wraps inside government agencies like the State Department that could substantially alter the public's understanding of what has happened in the U.S.-Ukraine relationships now at the heart of the impeachment probe.
As House Democrats mull whether to pursue impeachment articles and the GOP-led Senate braces for a possible trial, here are 12 tranches of government documents that could benefit the public if President Trump ordered them released, and the questions these memos might answer.
- Daily intelligence reports from March through August 2019 on Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky and his relationship with oligarchs and other key figures. What was the CIA, FBI and U.S. Treasury Department telling Trump and other agencies about Zelensky's ties to oligarchs like Igor Kolomoisky, the former head of Privatbank, and any concerns the International Monetary Fund might have? Did any of these concerns reach the president's daily brief (PDB) or come up in the debate around resolving Ukraine corruption and U.S. foreign aid? CNBC , Reuters and The Wall Street Journal all have done recent reporting suggesting there might have been intelligence and IMF concerns that have not been fully considered during the impeachment proceedings.
- State Department memos detailing conversations between former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko . He says Yovanovitch raised the names of Ukrainians she did not want to see prosecuted during their first meeting in 2016. She calls Lutsenko's account fiction. But State Department officials admit the U.S. embassy in Kiev did pressure Ukrainian prosecutors not to target certain activists. Are there contemporaneous State Department memos detailing these conversations and might they illuminate the dispute between Lutsenko and Yovanovitch that has become key to the impeachment hearings?
- State Department memos on U.S. funding given to the George Soros-backed group the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. There is documentary evidence that State provided funding to this group, that Ukrainian prosecutor sought to investigate whether that aid was spent properly and that the U.S. embassy pressured Ukraine to stand down on that investigation. How much total did State give to this group? Why was a federal agency giving money to a Soros-backed group? What did taxpayers get for their money and were they any audits to ensure the money was spent properly? Were any of Ukrainian prosecutors' concerns legitimate?
- The transcripts of Joe Biden's phone calls and meetings with Ukraine's president and prime minister from April 2014 to January 2017 when Hunter Biden served on the board of the natural gas company Burisma Holdings. Did Burisma or Hunter Biden ever come up in the calls? What did Biden say when he urged Ukraine to fire the prosecutor overseeing an investigation of Burisma? Did any Ukrainian officials ever comment on Hunter Biden's role at the company? Was any official assessment done by U.S. agencies to justify Biden's threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid if Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin wasn't fired?
- All documents from an Office of Special Counsel whistleblower investigation into unusual energy transactions in Ukraine. The U.S. government's main whistleblower office is investigating allegations from a U.S Energy Department worker of possible wrongdoing in U.S.-supported Ukrainian energy business. Who benefited in the United States and Ukraine from this alleged activity? Did Burisma gain any benefits from the conduct described by the whistleblower? OSC has concluded there is a "substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" involved in these activities.
- All FBI, CIA, Treasury Department and State Department documents concerning possible wrongdoing at Burisma Holdings. What did the U.S. know about allegations of corruption at the Ukrainian gas company and the efforts by the Ukrainian prosecutors to investigate? Did U.S., Latvian, Cypriot or European financial authorities flag any suspicious transactions involving Burisma or Americans during the time that Hunter Biden served on its board? Were any U.S. agencies monitoring, assisting or blocking the various investigations? When Ukraine reopened the Burisma investigations in March 2019, what did U.S. officials do?
- All documents from 2015-16 concerning the decision by the State Department's foreign aid funding arm, USAID, to pursue a joint project with Burisma Holdings. State official George Kent has testified he stopped this joint project because of concerns about Burisma's corruption reputation. Did Hunter Biden or his American business partner Devon Archer have anything to do with seeking the project? What caused its abrupt end? What issues did Kent identify as concerns and who did he alert in the White House, State or other agencies?
- All cables, memos and documents showing State Department's dealings with Burisma Holding representatives in 2015 and 2016. We now know that Ukrainian authorities escalated their investigation of Burisma Holdings in February 2016 by raiding the home of the company's owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Soon after, Burisma's American representatives were pressing the State Department to help end the corruption allegations against the gas firm, specifically invoking Hunter Biden's name. What did State officials do after being pressured by Burisma? Did the U.S. embassy in Kiev assist Burisma's efforts to settle the corruption case against it? Who else in the U.S. government was being kept apprised?
- All contacts that the Energy Department, Justice Department or State Department had with Vice President Joe Biden's office concerning Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden or business associate Devon Archer. We now know that multiple State Department officials believed Hunter Biden's association with Burisma created the appearance of a conflict of interest for the vice president, and at least one official tried to contact Joe Biden's office to raise those concerns. What, if anything, did these Cabinet agencies tell Joe Biden's office about the appearance concerns or the state of the various Ukrainian investigations into Burisma?
- All memos, emails and other documents concerning a possible U.S. embassy's request in spring 2019 to monitor the social media activities and analytics of certain U.S. media personalities considered favorable to President Trump. Did any such monitoring occur? Was it requested by the American embassy in Kiev? Who ordered it? Why did it stop? Were any legal concerns raised?
- All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning efforts by individual Ukrainian government officials to exert influence on the 2016 U.S. election, including an anti-Trump Op-Ed written in August 2016 by Ukraine's ambassador to Washington or efforts to publicize allegations against Paul Manafort. What did U.S. officials know about these efforts in 2016, and how did they react? What were these federal agencies' reactions to a Ukrainian court decision in December 2018 suggesting some Ukrainian officials had improperly meddled in the 2016 election?
- All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning contacts with a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa and her dealings with the Ukrainian embassy in Washington or other Ukrainian figures. Did anyone in these U.S. government agencies interview or have contact with Chalupa during the time the Ukraine embassy in Washington says she was seeking dirt in 2016 on Trump and Manafort?
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
The Illiberal World Order by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/25/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES
Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use "post-truth" to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.
Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along.
They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren't bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn't Kill Himself.
Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who've accepted that we've been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There's no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what's to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.
Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It's the difference between people who've at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.
A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they're essentially just a continuation of Bush/Clinton/Obama. It's the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It's also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.
This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses.
Eugène Ionesco's masterpiece, Rhinoceros, is about a central European town where the citizens turn, one by one, into rhinoceroses. Once changed, they do what rhinoceroses do, which is rampage through the town, destroying everything in their path. People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough. Soon it's just the New Normal. Soon it's just the way things are a good thing, even. Only one man resists the siren call of rhinocerosness, and that choice brings nothing but pain and existential doubt, as he is utterly profoundly alone.
– Ben Hunt, The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach
A political environment where you're pressured to choose between some ridiculous binary of "we must remove Trump at all costs" or go gung-ho MAGA, is a rhinoceros generating machine. The only thing that happens when you channel your inner rhinoceros to defeat rhinoceroses, is you get more rhinoceroses. And that's exactly what's happening.
The truth of the matter is the U.S. is an illiberal democracy in practice, despite various myths to the contrary.
An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.
It's not a new thing by any means, but it's getting worse by the day. Though many of us remain in denial, the American response to various crises throughout the 21st century was completely illiberal. As devastating as they were, the attacks of September 11, 2001 did limited damage compared to the destruction caused by our insane response to them. Similarly, any direct damage caused by the election and policies of Donald Trump pales in comparison to the damage being done by the intelligence agency-led "resistance" to him.
So are we all rhinoceroses now?
We don't have to be. Turning into a rhinoceros happens easily if you're unaware of what's happening and not grounded in principles, but ultimately it is a choice. The decision to discard ethics and embrace dishonesty in order to achieve political ends is always a choice. As such, the most daunting challenge we face now and in the chaotic years ahead is to become better as others become worse. A new world is undoubtably on the horizon, but we don't yet know what sort of world it'll be. It's either going to be a major improvement, or it'll go the other way, but one thing's for certain -- it can't stay the way it is much longer.
If we embrace an ends justifies the means philosophy, it's going to be game over for a generation. The moment you accept this tactic is the moment you stoop down to the level of your adversaries and become just like them. It then becomes a free-for-all for tyrants where everything is suddenly on the table and no deed is beyond the pale. It's happened many times before and it can happen again. It's what happens when everyone turns into rhinoceroses.
* * *
If you enjoyed this, I suggest you check out the following 2017 posts. It's never been more important to stay conscious and maintain a strong ethical framework.
Do Ends Justify the Means?
Nov 22, 2019 | original.antiwar.comPart 1
Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade, and Tuesday's testimony before Adam's Schiff Show by former NSC official Tim Morrison is just such an occasion. In spades!
In his opening statement, this paranoid moron uttered the following lunacy, and it's all you need to know about what is really going on down in the Imperial City.
"I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin's revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don't have to fight Russia here.
Folks, that just plain whacko. The Trump-hating Dems are so feverishly set on a POTUS kill that they have enlisted a veritable posse of Russophobic, right-wing neocon cretins – Morrison, Taylor, Kent, Vindman, among others – to finish off the Donald.
But in so doing they have made official Washington's real beef against Trump crystal clear; and it's not about the rule of law or abuse of presidential power or an impeachable dereliction of duty.
To be sure, foolish politicians like Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and the Clintonista apparatus at the center of the Dem party are so overcome with inconsolable grief and anger about losing the 2016 election to Trump that their sole purpose in life is to drive the Donald from office. But that just makes them "useful idiots" or compliant handmaids of the Deep State, which has a far more encompassing and consequential motivation.
To wit, whether out of naiveté, contrariness or just plain common sense, the Donald has declined to embrace the War Party's Russian bogeyman and demonization of Putin. He thereby threatens the Empire's raison d'être to the very core.
Indeed, that's the real reason for the whole concerted attack on Trump from the Russian Collusion hoax, through the Mueller Investigation farce to the present UkraineGate and impeachment inquisition. The Deep State deeply and profoundly fears that if Trump remains in office – and especially if he is elected with a new mandate in 2020 – he might actually make peace with Russia and Putin.
So in Part 1 we advert to the basics. Without the demonization of Russia, Ukraine would be the no count failed state and cesspool of corruption it actually is, and not a purported "front line" buffer against Russian aggression.
Likewise, it would not have been a recipient of vast US and western military and economic aid – a condition that turned it into a honeypot for the kind of Washington influence peddling which ensnared the Bidens, induced its officials to meddle in the 2016 US election, and, in return, incited Trump's justifiable quest to get to the bottom of the malignancy that has ensued.
So the starting point is to identify Russia for what it actually is: Namely, a kleptocratic state sitting atop an aging, Vodka-chugging population and third-rate economy with virtually zero capacity to project 21st century offensive military power beyond its own borders.
That truth, of course, shatters the whole foundation of the Warfare State. It renders NATO an obsolete relic and eviscerates the case for America's absurd $900 billion defense and national security budget. And with the latter's demise, the fairest part of Washington's imperial self-importance and unseemly national security spending-based prosperity would also crumble.
But in their frenzied pursuit of the Donald's political scalp, the Dems may be inadvertently sabotaging their Deep State masters. That's because the neocon knuckleheads they are dragging out of the NSC and State Department woodwork are such bellicose simpletons – just maybe their utterly preposterous testimony about the Russkie threat and Ukrainian "front line" will wake up the somnolent American public to the absurdity of the entire Cold War 2.0 campaign.
Indeed, you almost have to ask whether the bit about fighting the Russkies in the Donbas rather than on the shores of New Jersey from Morrison's opening statement quoted above was reprinted in the New York Times or The Onion ?
The fact is, the fearsome Russian bogeyman cited by Morrison yesterday – and Ambassador Taylor, George Kent and Lt. Colonel Vindman previously – is a complete chimera; and the notion that the cesspool of corruption in Ukraine is a strategic buffer against Russian aggression is just plain idiocy.
Russia is actually an economic and industrial midget transformed beyond recognition by relentless Warfare State propaganda. It is actually no more threatening to America's homeland security than the Siberian land mass that Sarah Palin once espied from her front porch in Alaska a decade ago.
After all, how could it be? The GDP of the New York City metro area alone is about $1.8 trillion, which is well more than Russia's 2018 GDP of $1.66 trillion. And that, in turn, is just 8% of America's total GDP of $21.5 trillion.
Moreover, Russia' dwarf economy is composed largely of a vast oil and gas patch; a multitude of nickel, copper, bauxite and vanadium mines; and some very large swatches of wheat fields. That's not exactly the kind of high tech industrial platform on which a war machine capable of threatening the good folks in Lincoln NE or Worchester MA is likely to be erected.
And especially not when the Russian economy has been heading sharply south in dollar purchasing terms for several years running.
GDP of Russia In Millions of USD
Indeed, in terms of manufacturing output, the comparison is just as stark. Russia's annual manufacturing value added is currently about $200 billion compared to $2.2 trillion for the US economy.
And that's not the half of it. Not only are Russia's vast hydrocarbon deposits and mines likely to give out in the years ahead, but so are the livers of its Vodka-chugging work force. That's a problem because according to a recent Brookings study, Russia's working age population – even supplemented by substantial in-migration and guest worker programs – is heading south as far into the future as the eye can see.
Even in the Brookings medium case projection shown below, Russia's working age population will be nearly 20% smaller than today by 2050. Yet today's figure of about 85 million is already just a fraction of the US working age population of 255 million.
Russia's Shrinking Work Force
Not surprisingly, Russia's pint-sized economy can not support a military establishment anywhere near to that of Imperial Washington. To wit, its $61 billion of military outlays in 2018 amounted to less than 32 days of Washington's current $750 billion of expenditures for defense.
Indeed, it might well be asked how Russia could remotely threaten homeland security in America short of what would be a suicidal nuclear first strike.
That's because the 1,600 deployed nuclear weapons on each side represent a continuation of mutual deterrence (MAD) – the arrangement by which we we got through 45-years of cold war when the Kremlin was run by a totalitarian oligarchy committed to a hostile ideology; and during which time it had been armed to the teeth via a forced-draft allocation of upwards of 40% of the GDP of the Soviet empire to the military.
By comparison, the Russian defense budget currently amounts to less than 4% of the country's anemic present day economy – one shorn of the vast territories and populations of Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and all the Asian "stans" among others. Yet given those realities we are supposed to believe that the self-evidently calculating and cautious kleptomaniac who runs the Kremlin is going to go mad, defy MAD and trigger a nuclear Armageddon?
Indeed, the idea that Russia presents a national security threat to America is laughable. Not only would Putin never risk nuclear suicide, but even that fantasy is the extent of what he's got. That is, Russia's conventional capacity to project force to the North American continent is nonexistent – or at best, lies somewhere between nichts and nothing.
For example, in today's world you do not invade any foreign continent without massive sea power projection capacity in the form of aircraft carrier strike groups. These units consist of an armada of lethal escort ships, a fleet of aircraft, massive suites of electronics warfare capability and the ability to launch hundreds of cruise missiles and other smart weapons.
Each US aircraft carrier based strike group, in fact, is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, at least one cruiser, a squadron of destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. A carrier strike group also sometimes includes submarines and attached logistics ships.
The US has eleven such carrier strike groups. Russia has zero modern carrier strike groups and one beat-up, smoky old (diesel) aircraft carrier that the Israeli paper, Haaretz, described as follows when it recently entered the Mediterranean:
Russia's only aircraft carrier, a leftover from the days of Soviet power, carries a long history of mishaps, at sea and in port, and diesel engines which were built for Russia's cold waters – as shown by the column of black smoke raising above it. It needs frequent refueling and resupplies and has never been operationally tested.
Indeed, from our 19th floor apartment on the East River in NYC, even we could see this smoke belcher coming up Long Island Sound with an unaided eye – with no help needed at all from the high tech spyware of the nation's $80 billion intelligence apparatus.
Yet Morrison had the audacity to say before a committee of the U.S. House that we are aiding Ukraine so we don't have to fight Russians on the banks of the East River or the Potomac!
For want of doubt, just compare the above image of the Admiral Kuznetsov belching smoke in the Mediterranean with that of the Gerald R. Ford CVN 48 next below.
The latter is the US Navy's new $13 billion aircraft carrier and is the most technologically advanced warship ever built.
The contrast shown below serves as a proxy for the vastly inferior capability of the limited number of ships and planes in Russia's conventional force. What it does have numerical superiority in is tanks – but alas they are not amphibious nor ocean-capable!
Likewise, nobody invades anybody without massive airpower and the ability to project it across thousands of miles of oceans via vast logistics and air-refueling capabilities.
On that score, the US has 6,100 helicopters to Russia's 1,200 and 6,000 fixed wing fighter and attack aircraft versus Russia's 2,100. More importantly, the US has 5,700 transport and airlift aircraft compared to just 1,100 for Russia.
In short, the idea that Russia is a military threat to the US homeland is ludicrous. Russia is essentially a landlocked military shadow of the former Soviet war machine. Indeed, for the world's only globe-spanning imperial power to remonstrate about an aggressive threat from Moscow is a prime facie case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Moreover, the canard that Washington's massive conventional armada is needed to defend Europe is risible nonsense. Europe can and should take care of its own security and relationship with its neighbor on the Eurasian continent.
After all, the GDP of NATO Europe is $18 trillion or 12X greater than that of Russia, and the current military budgets of European NATO members total about $280 billion or 4X more than that of Russia.
More importantly, the European nations and people really do not have any quarrel with Putin's Russia, nor is their security and safety threatened by the latter. All of the tensions that do exist and have come to a head since the illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 were fomented by Imperial Washington and its European subalterns in the NATO machinery.
Then again, the latter is absolutely the most useless, obsolete, wasteful and dangerous multilateral institution in the present world. But like the proverbial clothes-less emperor, NATO doesn't dare risk having the purportedly "uninformed" amateur in the Oval Office pointing out its buck naked behind.
So the NATO subservient think tanks and establishment policy apparatchiks are harrumphing up a storm, but for crying out loud most of Europe's elected politicians are in on the joke. They are fiscally swamped paying for their Welfare States and are not about to squeeze their budgets or taxpayers to fund military muscle against a nonexistent threat.
As the late, great Justin Raimondo aptly noted ,
Finally an American president has woken up to the fact that World War II, not to mention the cold war, is over: there's no need for US troops to occupy Germany. Vladimir Putin isn't going to march into Berlin in a reenactment of the Red Army taking the Fuehrer-bunker – but even if he were so inclined, why won't Germany defend itself?
Exactly. If their history proves anything, Germans are not a nation of pacifists, meekly willing to bend-over in the face of real aggressors. Yet they spent the paltry sum of $43 billion on defense during 2018, or barely 1.1% of Germany's $4.0 trillion GDP, which happens to be roughly three times bigger than Russia's.
In short, the policy action of the German government tells you they don't think Putin is about to invade the Rhineland or retake the Brandenburg Gate.
And this live action testimonial also trumps, as it were, all of the risible alarms that have emanated from the beltway think tanks and the 4,000 NATO bureaucrats talking their own book in behalf of their plush Brussels sinecures.
And as we will outline in Part 2, that's what Washington's Ukraine intervention is all about, and why the Donald's efforts to get to the bottom of that cesspool has brought on the final Deep State assault against his presidency.
In Part 1 we dispatched UkraineGater Tim Morrison's preposterous suggestion that Washington is helping Kiev subdue the Donbas so we won't have Russkies coming up the East River.
Yet his related claim that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression is even more ludicrous. The actual aggression in that godforsaken corner of the planet came from Washington when it instigated, funded, engineered and recognized the putsch on the streets of Kiev during February 2014, which illegally overthrew the duly elected President of Ukraine on the grounds that he was too friendly with Moscow.
Thus, Morrison risibly asserted that,
Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia's military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be.
The fact is, when the Maidan uprising occurred in February that year there were no uninvited Russian troops anywhere in Ukraine. Putin was actually sitting in his box on the viewing stand, presiding over the Winter Olympics in Sochi and basking in the limelight of global attention that they commanded .
It was only weeks later – when the Washington-installed ultra-nationalist government with its neo-Nazi vanguard threatened the Russian-speaking populations of Crimea and the Donbas – that Putin moved to defend Russian interests on his own doorstep. And those interests included Russia's primary national security asset – the naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea which had been the homeport of the Russian Black Sea Fleet for centuries under czars and commissars alike, and on which Russia had a long-term lease.
We untangle the truth of the crucial events which surrounded the Kiev putsch in greater detail below, but suffice it here to note the whole gang of neocon apparatchiks which have been paraded before the Schiff Show have proffered the same Big Lie as did Morrison in the "invasion" quote cited above.
As the ever perspicacious Robert Merry observed regarding the previous testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the Washington rendition of the Maidan coup and its aftermath amounts to a blatant falsehood:
The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor's rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood.
As he had it, Ukraine's turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia's Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to "bribe" Ukraine's president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a "sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles." Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine "to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments." And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.
"It is this security assistance," he said, "that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today."
Taylor's right that this narrative is at the center of UkraineGate, but there is not a shred of truth to it. Nevertheless, defense of this false narrative, and the inappropriate military and economic aid to Ukraine which flowed from it, is the real reason this posse of neocon stooges took exception to the Donald's legitimate interest in investigating the Bidens and the events of 2016.
As Morrison put it Tuesday and Vindman said last week, their interest was in protecting not the constitution and the rule of law, but the bipartisan political consensus on Capitol Hill in favor of their proxy war on Putin and the Ukraine aid package through which it was being prosecuted.
As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington's political climate. My fears have been realized.
Not surprisingly, the entire Washington establishment has been sucked into this scam. For instance, the insufferably sanctimonious Peggy Noonan used her Wall Street Journal platform to idolize these liars.
As she portrayed it, bow-tie bedecked George P. Kent appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And West Pointer Bill Taylor – with a military career going back to (dubious) Vietnam heroism – was redolent of the blunt-spoken American military men who won WW II and the cold war which followed.
As Robert Merry further noted,
She saw them as "the old America reasserting itself." They demonstrated "stature and command of their subject matter." They evinced "capability and integrity."
What they evinced was nothing more than the self-serving groupthink that has turned Ukraine into a beltway goldmine. That is, a cornucopia of funding for all the think tanks, NGOs, foreign policy experts, national security contractors and Warfare State agencies – from DOD through the State Department, AID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Board for International Broadcasting and countless more – which ply their trade in the Imperial City.
But Robert Merry got it right. These cats are not noble public servants and heroes; they're apparatchiks and payrollers aggrandizing their own power and pelf – even as they lead the nation to the brink of disaster:
But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.
Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia's geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia's sphere of influence.
They obviously didn't get it, but we must. So let us summarize the true Ukraine story, starting with the utterly stupid and historically ignorant reason for Washington's February 2014 coup.
Namely, it objected to the decision of Ukraine's prior government in late 2013 to align itself economically and politically with its historic hegemon in Moscow rather than the European Union and NATO. Yet the fairly elected and constitutionally legitimate government of Ukraine then led by Viktor Yanukovych had gone that route mainly because it got a better deal from Moscow than was being demanded by the fiscal torture artists of the IMF.
Needless to say, the ensuing US sponsored putsch arising from the mobs on the street of Kiev reopened deep national wounds. Ukraine's bitter divide between Russian-speakers in the east and Ukrainian nationalists elsewhere dates back to Stalin's brutal rein in Ukraine during the 1930s and Ukrainian collusion with Hitler's Wehrmacht on its way to Stalingrad and back during the 1940s.
It was the memory of the latter nightmare, in fact, which triggered the fear-driven outbreak of Russian separatism in the Donbas and the 96% referendum vote in Crimea in March 2014 to formally re-affiliate with Mother Russia.
In this context, even a passing familiarity with Russian history and geography would remind that Ukraine and Crimea are Moscow's business, not Washington's.
In the first place, there is nothing at stake in the Ukraine that matters. During the last 800 years it has been a meandering set of borders in search of a country.
In fact, the intervals in which the Ukraine existed as an independent nation have been few and far between. Invariably, its rulers, petty potentates and corrupt politicians made deals with or surrendered to every outside power that came along.
These included the Lithuanians, Poles, Ruthenians (eastern Slavs), Tartars, Turks, Muscovites, Austrians and Czars, among manifold others.
At the beginning of the 16th century, for instance, the territory of today's Ukraine was scattered largely among the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia (light brown area), the Kingdom of Poland (dark brown area), Muscovy (bright yellow area) the Crimean Khanate (light yellow area).
The latter was the entity which emerged when some clans of the Golden Horde (Tartars) ceased their nomadic life on the Asian steppes and occupied the light yellow stripped areas of the map north of the Black Sea as their Yurt (homeland).
From that cold start, the tiny Cossack principality of Ukraine (blue area below), which had emerged by 1654, grew significantly over the subsequent three centuries. But as the map also makes clear, this did not reflect the organic congealment of a nation of kindred volk sharing common linguistic and ethnic roots, but the machinations of Czars and Commissars for the administrative convenience of efficiently ruling their conquests and vassals.
Thus, much of modern Ukraine was incorporated by the Russian Czars between 1654 and 1917 per the yellow area of the map and functioned as vassal states. These territories were amalgamated by absolute monarchs who ruled by the mandate of God and the often brutal sword of their own armies.
In particular, much of the purple area was known as "Novo Russia" (Novorossiya) during the 18th and 19th century owing to the Czarist policy of relocating Russian populations to the north of the Black Sea as a bulwark against the Ottomans. But after Lenin seized power in St. Petersburg in November 1917 amidst the wreckage of Czarist Russia, an ensuing civil war between the so-called White Russians and the Red Bolsheviks raged for several years in these territories and elsewhere in the chaotic regions of the former western Russian Empire.
At length, Lenin won the civil war as the French, British, Polish and American contingents vacated the postwar struggle for power in Russia. Accordingly, in 1922 the new Communist rulers proclaimed the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) and incorporated Novo Russia into one of its four constituent units as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) – along with the Russian, Belarus and Transcaucasian SSRs.
Thereafter the border and political status of Ukraine remained unchanged until the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 between the USSR and Nazi Germany. Pursuant thereto the Red Army and Nazi Germany invaded and dismembered Poland, with Stalin getting the blue areas (Volhynia and parts of Galicia) as consolation prizes, which where then incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR.
Finally, when Uncle Joe Stalin died and Nikita Khrushchev won the bloody succession struggle in 1954, he transferred Crimea (red area) to the Ukraine SSR as a reward to his supporters in Kiev. That, of course, was the arbitrary writ of the Soviet Presidium, given that precious few Ukrainians actually lived in what had been a integral part of Czarist Russia after it was purchased by Catherine the Great from the Turks in 1783.
In a word, the borders of modern Ukraine are the handiwork of Czarist emperors and Communist butchers. The so-called international rule of law had absolutely nothing to do with its gestation and upbringing.
It's a pity, therefore, that none of the so-called conservative Republicans attending Adam's Schiff Show saw fit to ask young Tim Morrison the obvious question.
To wit, exactly why is he (and most of the Washington foreign policy establishment) so keen on expending American treasure, weapons and even blood in behalf of the "territorial integrity and sovereignty" of this happenstance amalgamation of people subdued by some of history's most despicable tyrants?
Needless to say, owing to this very history, the linguistic/ethnic composition of today's Ukraine does not reflect the congealment of a "nation" in the historic sense.
To the contrary, central and western Ukraine is populated by ethnic Ukrainians who speak Ukrainian (dark red area), whereas the two parts of the country allegedly the victim of Russian aggression and occupation – Crimea (brown area) and the eastern Donbas region (yellow area with brown strips) – are comprised of ethnic Russians who speak Russian and ethnic Ukrainians who predominately speak-Russian, respectively.
And much of the rest of the territory consists of admixtures and various Romanian, Moldovan, Hungarian and Bulgarian minorities.
Did the Washington neocons – led by Senator McCain and Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland – who triggered the Ukrainian civil war with their coup on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 consider the implications of the map below and its embedded, and often bloody, history?
Quite surely, they did not.
Nor did they consider the rest of the map. That is, the enveloping Russian state all around to which the parts and pieces of Ukraine – especially the Donbas and Crimea – have been intimately connected for centuries. Robert Merry thus further noted,
As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the US Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine "nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation." Gvosdev elaborates: "The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia's population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict." Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia's sphere of influence.
And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation – and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.
Indeed, Ukraine is a tragically divided country and fissured simulacrum of a nation. Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine "a cleft country, with two distinct cultures" causing Robert Merry to rightly observe that,
Contrary to Taylor's false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of "unity with Russia."
In short, in modern times Ukraine largely functioned as an integral part of Mother Russia, serving as its breadbasket and iron and steel crucible under czars and commissars alike. Given this history, the idea that Ukraine should be actively and aggressively induced to join NATO was just plain nuts, as we will amplify further in Part 3 (to come).
David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He's the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed , The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin And How to Bring It Back . He also is founder of David Stockman's Contra Corner and David Stockman's Bubble Finance Trader .
Nov 26, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Graham's conspiracy theory-based investigation is rooted in the baseless allegation that Biden pressured Ukraine to remove a corrupt prosecutor in 2016 as a way to protect Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, against a corruption probe. Biden's son Hunter was previously a board member with Burisma until April this year.
There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly in calling for the prosecutor general in charge of the Burisma probe to be ousted, and both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have said there is no merit to the claim. As many have since noted, the Burisma investigation was in fact dormant when the prosecutor general was forced out on accusations he was slow-walking corruption probes, among other things.
Trump brought up that debunked conspiracy during a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asking the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden as well as a baseless conspiracy involving the Democratic National Committee servers."
"Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas:
(1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth , belief , and justification ,  
(2) various problems of skepticism ,
(3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and
(4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.
Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?" " What does it mean to say that we know something? ", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?"
~ wiki on epistemology
As in the example above from the "American Independent," the MSM and online projects like the American Independent incessantly insist that the simple fact that Hunter Biden and his dear old dad, a "Union Man," solicited money in Ukraine and in China for services not rendered proves nothing, that nothing has been proven against them and that any mention of these occurrences is evidence of harsh partisan rhetoric based on fantasy and equivalent to belief in the Loch Ness Monster.
Well, pilgrims I want to know who and what investigation or investigations cleared the Bidens of anything.
It is obvious that Hunter is qualified for employment as a bag man and not much else. He has a law degree? So what? As in the matter of the qualifications of doctors, not all learn much in medical or law school.
"US Officials" say the Bidens are pure in heart and deed? Hah! Is it not clear that The Borg (foreign policy establishment) hate Donald Trump and will say anything possible to injure him?
"Debunked," "Discredited," "Conspiracy theories?" Trickery in the press is the real truth , trickery intended to protect the only viable candidate in the Democratic Party field.
Posted at 01:13 PM in As The Borg Turns , government , Media , Politics | Permalink
Mark McCarty , 25 November 2019 at 01:44 PMThe article highlighted here, typically, is a lie. As documented in Moon of Alabama's timeline ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/a-timeline-of-joe-bidens-intervention-against-the-prosecutor-general-of-ukraine.html), Shokin was actively investigating Zlochevsky in February 2016, when Shokin seized his luxury car. Barely two weeks later, Biden was on the phone to Poroshenko demanding Shokin's firing. While this doesn't prove that Biden was motivated primarily by a desire to protect his son's employer, it is certainly consistent with that possibility.Keith Harbaugh , 25 November 2019 at 01:48 PMJohn Solomon has been very much in the lead on reporting from Ukraine which furthers what the MSM calls "conspiracy theories". While he earlier reported, or opined, from The Hill, now he evidently has been bumped (my opinion) from that perch, and now has own blog John Solomon Report : https://johnsolomonreports.com/prawnik , 25 November 2019 at 01:57 PM
He has been roundly attacked in the media for opposing the party line on Ukraine, see especially this Paul Farhi (normally a balanced voice, but not in this case) column: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-a-conservative-columnist-helped-push-a-flawed-ukraine-narrative/2019/09/26/1654026e-dee7-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html
In any case, here are some recent columns where Solomon fires back at the MSM and the party line:
This last link is especially worthwhile.
It is tragic, IMO, how the MSM ignores the facts that Solomon documents in his columns.
It is possible that JS is a mouthpiece for corrupt elements in Ukraine,
but I think his points deserve more attention than they have been getting.
There are two sides to this story, not only one as Col. Lang pointed out in his root piece.I recall that the Russiagate conspiracy theory was "proven" factual as well, and by many of the same people who claim that Biden's corruption has been "debunked". Even though it was absurd on its face and had been debunked numerous times, many people in fact continue to insist otherwise.catherine , 25 November 2019 at 02:00 PMSeriously....who would think Biden's son taking a highly paid position with a company in a foreign country that Biden was representing the US in wasn't a conflict of interest? Even the 'appearance' of a conflict of interest should be avoided in such situations.plantman , 25 November 2019 at 02:29 PM
I find Biden and his political 'career', greased by his 'good old Joe act' disgusting in so many ways it would take too long to describe them here.
It should be investigated but I doubt it will.The media really seems to be testing the limits of disinformation. More and more, the media wants to convince people that black is white and up is down. Fortunately, I don't think their plan is working all that well.Seamus Padraig said in reply to plantman... , 25 November 2019 at 07:09 PM
In the case of Hunter Biden, we are told that "There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly".
Okay, that's one way to look at things, but I have found that even among my liberal friends, the fetid smell of corruption emitting from this case, is overpowering. And while most people might have a hard time sinking their teeth into a "quid pro quo", they do have a pretty good grasp of old fashioned influence peddling, which is what we are talking about.
So why has the media chosen to defend the crooked goings-on of public officials who were obviously up to no good? Don't they care about their credibility at all?Quid Pro Joe Biden.JohnH , 25 November 2019 at 02:41 PMWas the American Independent quote lifted from The NY Times? It sure sounds like it!oldman22 , 25 November 2019 at 03:15 PM
For some time I've been wondering how exactly Biden got cleared. Was there any formal investigation? Who conducted it? And how reliable are the facts when they come from a place like Ukraine, where anything, including the 'truth,' can be laundered?
What's become painfully obvious is how eagerly America's major news outlets, including the journals of record, participate in the laundering of truth.
Of course, that should have been obvious from the yellow journalism preceding the war in Iraq.
What's really scary are reports that "intelligence" services get most of their 'facts' from the very same truth laundering sources.too much to summarize, includes original government documents, read all for yourself pleaseFactotum , 25 November 2019 at 04:08 PM
State Department Releases Detailed Accounts Of Biden-Ukraine Corruption
by Tyler Durden
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/state-department-releases-detailed-accounts-biden-ukraine-corruptionI always got the impression the "wild, debunked conspiracy theory pushed by right wing nuts" was always referring to the Crowdstrike DNC computer investigation hoax that Trump tried to re-open.Petrel , 25 November 2019 at 04:17 PM
They would never specifically refer to the Crowdstrike favor Trump specifically asked for in the phone call, instead they would substitute Trump asked about some "debunked, wild right wing conspiracy".
So they never explained how the Crowdstrike investigation hoax was debunked either.
To me this is far more interesting missing debunked conspiracy link - since it shows incredible coordination between the DNC, the "leak" of their DNC computer data, Ukrainian Crowdstrike, and finally the Mueller Report who used the DNC Crowdstrike investigation conclusoin hook line and sinker to reach their own official conclusions which is now "proven" operating dogma. Without ever doing an independent investigation themselves. How often does that happen?
To me the Crowdstrike connection begs further investigation - why would a Russian hating Ukrainian who was running Crowdstrike point the finger at the Russians and claim they "hacked" the DNC computers, but not let anyone else touch those same computers to corroborate that conclusion?
And then parlay this into Trump supporting Russian interference in the 2016 election. All too tidy for me. Feels like dark forces are still at work, and subverting language to achieve their ends.Whatever happened to Joe Biden's taped boast, at the Council on Foreign Relations, that he gave President Poroshenko 6 hours to fire Prosecutor Shokin -- or else lose $1 Billion of US aid ?Factotum said in reply to Petrel... , 25 November 2019 at 07:16 PM
How was this taped confession of QUID-PRO-QUO debunked ?Quid pro quo becomes a fait accompli.Upstate NY'er , 25 November 2019 at 04:34 PMThe media (approx. 99% of them) have been in the tank for Democrats since at least the Vietnam war.b , 25 November 2019 at 05:21 PM
Roger Ailes said why he didn't read the NY Times:
"You cover the bad news about America. You do. But you don't get up in the morning hating your country."The "debunked" is based on the claim the the Ukrainian General Prosecutor Shokin was not investigating Burisma or its owner Mykola Zlochevsky.JohnH said in reply to b ... , 25 November 2019 at 11:25 PM
That claim is evidently false.
On Feb 2 2016 Shokin confiscated the houses (more like palaces) of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.
A news agency reports the seizure two days later (Note: European date format ddmmyy)
Eight days later Joe Biden launched an intense pressure campaign to get rid of Shokin. He personally calls Poroshenko on Feb 12, 18 and 19 to press for firing Shokin.
To think that this is unrelated is not reasonable.
The rest of the timeline shows further Biden influence in the case.
(I should update that timeline as a lot of additional evidence of Burisma lobbying State at that time has since come in.)
There are tons of additional dirt. The U.S. has control over the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and uses it to push all such investigations to its favor. NABU has itself been involved in serious corruption.
There is also a USAID/Soros paid NGO that has a similar function and is equally corrupt.
These organizations are used as weapons to put all Ukrainian assets into the hands of those that the U.S. embassy likes.The debunkers seem to be citing Yuriy Lutsenko, who said that "he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son."Ian56 , 25 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
Lutsenko was the guy who was appointed as Prosecutor General after Biden got the previous one fired. IOW Lutsenko owed his job to Biden.
Lutsenko has had a pretty sketchy career, including charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement among other things. https://heavy.com/news/2019/11/yuriy-lutsenko/ It's telling that Democrats and the mainstream media choose to cite such a character as their primary source for evidence that the Bidens did nothing wrong. Reminds me of Mark Twains old adage: "An honest politician is one who, once he's been bought, stays bought." More recently it seems that his loyalties have shifted, accusing Yovanovitch of giving him a list of people who should be protected.
The only thing I can conclude is that Lutsenko is probably just trying to survive the shifting tides in the Ukrainian swamp and will say or do whatever it takes."American Independent" is David Brock's Clinton / Soros linked Shareblue disinfo and troll brigade rebranded. It will obviously tell every lie going to protect the corrupt Corporate Dem Establishment, the Globalists and the Deep State. https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1198338991814250497Flavius , 25 November 2019 at 09:22 PMIt's not really that complicated an inquiry to decide whether there is a need to go further; two questions: what did Hunter Biden do for the money; and Joe, did you get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired as you bragged you did, and why? Maybe throw in a third if the answer is "I did", what or who made you think that you could do that?
Nov 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
he Wall Street Journal 's Peggy Noonan liked what she saw when U.S. diplomats George Kent and William B. Taylor Jr. went before the House Intelligence Committee to give testimony as part of the ongoing impeachment drama. She saw them as "the old America reasserting itself." They demonstrated "stature and command of their subject matter." They evinced "capability and integrity."
All true. Kent, with his bow tie and his family tradition of public service, appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And Taylor, with his exemplary West Point career, his Vietnam heroism, and his longtime national service, seemed a throwback to the blunt-spoken American military men who gave us our World War II triumph and our rise to global dominance.
But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.
Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia's geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia's sphere of influence.
Both Taylor and Kent declared that America's vital national interest is wrapped up in Ukraine, though neither sought to explain why in any substantive way. Spin out all the potential scenarios of Ukraine's fate and then ask whether any of them would materially affect America's vital interests. Any affirmative answer would require elaborate contortions.
It could be argued, perhaps, that an expansion of Russian influence in Ukraine could affect the vital interests of the rest of Europe, though that would hardly be inevitable. But cannot Europe handle any such threat vis-a-vis Russia, given that the EU has a population of 512 million and a GDP of $18 trillion -- compared to Russia's population of 145 million and GDP of $1.6 trillion?
The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor's rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood. As he had it, Ukraine's turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia's Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to "bribe" Ukraine's president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a "sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles." Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine "to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments." And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.
"It is this security assistance," he said, "that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today."
In contrast to this misleading rendition, here are the facts, with appropriate context.
In 1989 and 1990, the George H. W. Bush administration assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that if he accepted German unification, the West would not seek to exploit the situation through any eastward expansion -- not even by "one inch," as then-secretary of state James Baker assured Gorbachev. But Bill Clinton reneged on that commitment, moving to expand NATO on an eastward path that eventually led right up to the Russian border.
NATO, with just 16 members in 1990, now includes 29 European states, with all of the expansion countries lying east of Germany. As this was unfolding, Russian leaders issued stern warnings about the consequences if America and the West sought to include in NATO either Ukraine or Georgia. Both are considered as fundamental to Russian security.
As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the U.S. Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine "nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation." Gvosdev elaborates: "The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia's population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict." Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia's sphere of influence.
And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation -- and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.
But Ukraine is a tragically divided nation, with many of its people drawn to the West while others feel greater ties to Russia. The late Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine "a cleft country, with two distinct cultures." Contrary to Taylor's false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of "unity with Russia."
True, many in western Ukraine have pushed for greater ties to the West and wanted their elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, to respond favorably to Western financial blandishments. But Yanukovych, tilting toward Russia, eschewed NATO membership for Ukraine, renewed a long-term lease for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, and gave official status to the Russian language. These actions eased tensions between Ukraine and Russia, but they inflamed Ukraine's internal politics. And when Yanukovych abandoned negotiations aimed at an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union in favor of greater economic ties to Russia, pro-Western Ukrainians, including far-right provocateurs, staged street protests that ultimately brought down Yanukovych's government. Victoria Nuland gleefully egged on the protesters. The deposed president fled to Russia.
Nuland then set about determining who would be Ukraine's next prime minister, namely Arseniy Yatsenyuk. "Yats is our guy," she declared to U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. When Pyatt warned that many EU countries were uncomfortable with a Ukrainian coup, she shot back, "Fuck the EU." She then got her man Yats into the prime minister position, demonstrating the influence that enables U.S. meddling in foreign countries.
That's when Putin rushed back to Moscow from the Winter Olympic Games at Sochi to protect the more Russian-oriented areas of Ukraine (the so-called Donbass in the country's east and Crimea in the south) from being swallowed up in this new drama. He orchestrated a plebiscite in Crimea, which revealed strong sentiment for reunification with Russia (hardly the "sham referendum" described by Taylor) and sent significant military support to Donbass Ukrainians who didn't want to be pulled westward.
The West and America have always been, and must remain, wary of Russia. Its position in the center of Eurasia -- the global "heartland," in the view of the famous British geographic scholar Halford Mackinder -- renders it always a potential threat. Its vulnerability to invasion stirs in Russian leaders an inevitable hunger for protective lands. Its national temperament seems to include a natural tendency towards authoritarianism. Any sound American foreign policy must keep these things in mind.
But in the increasingly tense relationship between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia, the Alliance has been the more aggressive player -- aggressive when it pushed for NATO's eastward expansion despite promises to the contrary from the highest levels of the U.S. government; aggressive when it turned that policy into an even more provocative plan for the encirclement of Russia; aggressive when it dangled the prospect of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia; aggressive when it sought to lure Ukraine out of the Russian orbit with economic incentives; aggressive when it helped foster the street coup against a duly elected Ukrainian government; and aggressive in its continued refusal to appreciate or acknowledge Russia's legitimate geopolitical interests in its own neighborhood.
George Kent and William B. Taylor Jr., in their testimony last week, personified this aggressive outlook, designed to squeeze Russia into a geopolitical corner and trample upon its regional interests in the name of Western universalism. If that outlook continues and leads to ever greater tensions with Russia, it can't end well.
Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .
minsredmash • 7 days agoWell written article. American diplomacy (if you can even call it that) is one-dimensional and myopic.John Reece minsredmash • 6 days agoAmerican diplomacy is rather reminiscent of German diplomacy in 1917, in that expanding NATO into Ukraine and the Baltics is as stupidly provocative to Moscow as the Zimmerman Telegram was to the US. Zimmerman's offer was incredibly stupid since it provoked a US declaration of war but Germany had absolutely no way to provide Mexico any material assistance. Neither will NATO be providing any real assistance to Ukraine or the Baltic states if the balloon goes up -- today's Bundeswehr is not your grandfathers Wehrmacht.minsredmash John Reece • a day agoTrue. The stupidity of US policy toward Russia can only be defeated by stupidity of the limitrophus of Eastern Europe, like Poland or the Baltic states. If "balloon goes up" they will be first to evaporate.ebergerud • 7 days agoThumbs up on the article - the valiant Ukraine facing perfidious Russia is a gross oversimplification. And as noted, the US is involved in this mess up to its eyeballs. The first person to speak out publicly was the former diplomat (and godfather of "Containment") George Kennan. In his last public comment, he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times warning against pushing NATO to the East as a policy guaranteed to cause Russian fear and resentment. In the early years of the century, Mikhail Gorbachev - no friend of Putin's - accused the West of trying to treat Russia like a third rate nation. It is sad that the "deep state" maneuvers against Trump (up and running early enough to destroy Paul Manafort) derailed Trump's plans to talk openly with Putin and thus earn him the blind hatred of John Brennan. The rest is history.Affluent_White_Progs_Suck Not Kent • 5 days agoYou need a foreign policy update. Ukraine and Europe are not longer our problems. They have grown ideologically distant and opposed to US interests, which is self interest and transactional foreign policy now. The days of "altruistic" foreign policy are over with. Marshall died long ago.Bjorn Andresen princess kenyetta • 6 days agoThis is totally inaccurate. The current Russian system is not socialist, and it certainly has problems with corruption, but it is opposed to the Western establishment and it is promoting a traditional Christian and nationalist outlook as opposed to the liberal globalism of the Western elites. It is better than the alternative at the moment, and in a sense Putin, especially his foreign policy , is executing the will of the people in Russia. Conservatives opposed Russia up until Trump because both sides are controlled by the same Western establishment, which has been pursuing an anti-Russian agenda for a long time. They do not want any resistance to their liberal world order.par4 Bjorn Andresen • 6 days ago
"Democracy" is a lie and a fraud, Plato knew this 4,000 years ago, and "class consciousness" is only real in the sense that the current situation in the West has an elite that is going against the interests of the people. I don't see how defending Russia is "undermining class conscientious," actually arguing against the anti-Russian warmongering is a good thing. What "Russian state attacks" are you talking about?
"To see US conservatives defending an autocracy reflects they have embraced those fascistic principles."
Do you even know how conservatism and the terms right and left wing originated? Conservatism and the right wing are terms that are from the French Revolution, used to describe supporters of the Catholic French Monarchy of the Bourbons while the liberals or the left were the revolutionaries. Historically Conservatives defended European Christian monarchies while the liberals always wanted to overthrow throne and altar to replace them with secular democratic republics. In fact there is nothing more conservative than autocracy, namely a Church-anointed monarchy. Americanism, or the ideology of the American founding fathers, was inherently liberal. They were in revolt against the monarchy of their time. There is nothing conservative about democracy, it's quite to the contrary. Autocracy is not "fascistic," that term is completely irrelevant in this historical context.
"Seeing similar headlines from opposite political poles exposes a 'horseshoe' phenomenon of left/right ideologies in which the two poles are close together in significant contexts."
Are you really going to be so grug brained as to unironically bring up the horseshoe theory? Looks like we have a big brained intellectual centrist over here. Not even worth giving an in depth analysis on this one.Good comment. The Monarchists sat on the right side of the French assembly and the revolutionaries sat on the left. That is how the modern spectrum morphed into Fascism (corporate state) on the right and Communism (revolutionary) on the left.blimbax Sactoman • 5 days agoI've actually been to Russia, twice in the last year and a half, and I had a chance to meet and to converse with, and to hear from, Russians of all sorts: academics, students, politicians, government employees, businessmen, environmentalists, scientists, and journalists.Bjorn Andresen Sactoman • 5 days ago
Based on what I saw and heard, I categorically reject your statement that Russians "are not all that free to express their opinion."
I heard from people who are well known in Russia who disagree with Putin. I heard criticisms of the government from people who are not well known, or who are just average people. People note that corruption is still a problem, at many levels of society and government, but they did not seem at all reticent to make that point.
No one displayed any fear or reluctance to express his views. At the same time, Russians acknowledge a great deal of improvement since the tragedy of the Yeltsin years.
And while there are people who criticize the government's domestic policies, they tend to be much more in support of what the government under Putin has accomplished in terms of foreign policy. And that seems to me to be a very rational reaction.First off I am Russian myself. Most people are in favour of an authoritarian government, nobody cares about or wants democracy. Monarchist restoration would be ideal but Putin is good enough for now. Free press and elections are a fraud and a lie, as I said.Alex (the one that likes Ike) princess kenyetta • 6 days agoFirst of all, show me one single state on the planet today which is pro working class. Secondly, juxtaposing the concepts of working class and fascism is just a demonstration of how badly you know the history. Suffice it to say that the set of political views deriving from the ideas of Mussolini are called right-wing socialism. Hence, your ignorance of history logically begets that of today's politics. No, Trump and Putin cannot be called truly pro working class. But they're at least are not so blatantly anti working class as neolibs who oppose them.TooTall7 princess kenyetta • 6 days agoPerhaps neither end of the horseshoe is game for negotiating a storm of mushroom clouds as I'm sure you are.Летописец princess kenyetta • 6 days ago • editedRussia is associated with the image of the USSR which developed an alternative model to financial capitalism. Financial capitalism is collapsing for objective and totally unavoidable reasons. The search for an alternative will continue drawing more attention to Russia as a country that is, in principle, capable of offering an alternative development model.Bjorn Andresen Adriana Pena • 6 days ago • editedExcept that isn't what this is about. The disagreement IS over Ukraine policy, not this argument about what Trump may or may not have done. DC is full of corruption of all kinds, including in foreign policy, but no one is ever punished. So we know that is not the issue.Sid Finster Adriana Pena • 6 days ago • edited
But we do know from the testimonies that they oppose Trump BECAUSE he changed Ukraine policy away from the policy of confrontation with Russia, or tried to. They are all against that and against Trump doing that, as they said. The entire establishment has opposed Trump on this since he got elected. So let's not be disingenuous. This charade has gone on long enough. The elites want their proxy war with Russia.1. From my perspective, the article is saying that our Ukraine policy is immoral, not that the impeachment is not founded.former-vet • 6 days ago
2. Further to 1. above, your pizza analogy doesn't hold up. If pizza is bad for you, eating pizza harm nobody but the eater and the eater's insurers.
By contrast, our Ukraine policy is the support of actual live Nazis and has resulted in the deaths of numerous innocents, not to mention the economic destruction of Ukraine.
This is more like providing one pizza company weapons and support, knowing full well that they will use those weapons and cash to murder rivals and customers who order from those rivals.The good news is that the influence of apparatchiks like Mr. Kent and Mr. Taylor will be at an end within a few years. America thought the blood of hundreds of thousands of foreign children was a "fair price" to pay for the dollar's continued role as a reserve currency (Madeleine Albright's words) and cheaper gas at the pump. The effort was a bust. Endless trillion-dollar-a-year deficits will come to an end quickly. There isn't that much liquidity in the private sphere to sop up at the price the U.S. Gov can afford.Sid Finster bumbershoot • 6 days ago • edited
Americans have forgotten how much money a billion dollars is, much less a trillion: to wit, the Democrats future plans are priced in dozens of trillions of dollars. Is it even possible to count that high (given that no one has any real idea how the economy will react)?
Boomers destroyed the country. It only took one "me" generation to introduce such deep structural instability that there is no recovery. Really, does anyone think a trillion dollars a year of demand can ever be pulled out of the economy? No. Does anyone really think a trillion dollars a year will magically appear for free, from nowhere, for a decade or more? The intelligentsia will reap the fruit of its effort within a few years. And it will be dried cat food for dinner. Bless them!What "actual bloody invasion" of Ukraine and Georgia. Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, and got a bloody nose for their trouble. They didn't lose any territory however, which is odd, if Russia were the attacker.Natalia Karlik kalendjay • 5 days ago
If Russia had actually invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian clown army would be obliterated in days or hours. Note how there are some 500 miles of open border between Donbass and Sumskaya Oblast - but no fighting? Do you think that the Russian military doesn't know the geography of their own border?Ukraine was already devided before it separated from USSR. People from western Ukraine called Russians and eastern Ukrainians moskali. Eastern Ukraine spoke mostly Russian, western Ukraine spoke mostly Ukrainian. I believe tension escalated after Russia was about to loose access to the Black Sea and its navy there. Sorry. That was a big mistake to even think that it would happen easy. Russia annexed Crimea from Ottoman Empire in 18th century. Since then it was part of Russia. Khrushchev transferred it to Ukrainian republic in 1954. You seriously believe that Russia would easy let it go after almost 2 centuries of its presence there? Big chunk of Russian history associated with Black Sea Fleet.Bjorn Andresen bumbershoot • 6 days agoThe invasions were in response to them trying to acquire NATO memberships and NATO egging then on to do this and provoke Russia. If they remain in the Russian sphere than that would not be a problem.Bjorn Andresen kalendjay • 5 days ago
NATO goes where it was warned not to go, provokes the response it knew it would get, and claims that this is "aggression." What a joke.
There was no "Russian meddling", that was debunked. There is no evidence that the DNC was hacked and the so called troll farm had no connection to the Russian government and was merely a business marketing firm selling advertising space on their social media pages.
Russia doesn't poison dissidents in foreign countries, if you are referring to the Skripal case, that narrative has fallen apart, multiple journalists have written lengthy pieces about all of the inconsistencies and contradictions in the UK government's narrative. Not to mention Yulia Skripal said she's still wants to go back to Russia, so clearly she doesn't think Russia poisoned her.We do have evidence to the show the opposite. The only ones who examined the DNC servers are a firm that was caught lying about Russian hacking before and is owned by a Ukrainian millionaire that donated to the Clinton Foundation. Can't get more damning than that.Bjorn Andresen kalendjay • 3 days agoWhat are you even talking about? The DNC refused to allow the server to be examined because they know there was no Russian hacking, and why would Trump privately ask Zelensky to investigate Ukraine's role in all of this if he knew he were guilty? The point is there is no evidence to prove Russian hacking, and the only claims come from a firm that is owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who has been caught lying about Russian hacking before and donated millions to the Clinton Foundation.Begemot bumbershoot • 6 days ago
How much mental gymnastics are you going to use to try to pretend like you don't understand?Zoran Aleksic Sid Finster • 6 days agoWhich is more aggressive, do you think -- invading one's neighbors, or "dangling the prospect of NATO membership" for them?
The US engineered and supported a coup in Ukraine to overthrow the constitutional government. Is this aggression? It seems so to me. It certainly preceded any Russian response. As far as NATO membership for Ukraine, polls of Ukrainian opinion long before the Maidan showed very strong feeling against Ukraine joining NATO.I believe, when all facts fail, that the way through to some would be pointing out the absurdities of what they hear therefore think. It might make them think twice before publicly embarassing themselves.Brady bumbershoot • 6 days agoThe Western actions are more aggressive, because they actually happened... Russia's annexation of the Crimea was bloodless, and doubtless spared it the carnage that the regime in Kiev wrought in Donbass.MPC bumbershoot • 6 days ago • editedAmerica's movements since the end of the Cold War have been consistently offensive in nature, and Russia's consistently defensive in nature. That defense has included counterattacks, feints, and opportunistic thrusts. In every 'attack' it made, Russia was reacting, not taking the initiative.For their part the liberal hegemonists know what they're doing. Good PR is priceless, and they know it's essential for offensive movements to not appear that way.Alex (the one that likes Ike) bumbershoot • 6 days ago • editedProblem is, you liberals are still unable to prove a single allegation of those you uttered in your comment.TooTall7 bumbershoot • 6 days ago • edited
How come the previous Ukrainian government didn't manage to beg one single satellite pic of, say, Russian tanks crossing their border from the CIA or the DIA, given the purported "bloody invasion"? Russian armored vehicles have some cloaking devices or what?
How come the Mueller's so-called "investigation" turned out to be such a pathetic juridical failure, given the purported "direct meddling"?
What a naive poor dear one has to be to believe in poisonings with radioactive substances (as dangerous to the poisoner as to his victim) in a world where poisons causing deaths looking like those from natural causes exist and are available to all secret services (and even to private citizens having talents in chemistry)?
Plus, careful with (ab)using upper case. "Democratical countries" with a capital "D" reads like "countries, whose governments are proxies of the Democratic Party". Blame Freud and his slips.I love people like you. I mean since we were invaded by Germany, Napoleon, Charles the Tenth of Sweden, the Teutonic Knights, the Golden Horde (Ghengis Khan started this), at the cost of countless millions of lives lost, I sense that we- as Americans- have every need to push our frontiers to Russia's doorstep.Alex (the one that likes Ike) FJR Atlanta • 6 days ago
You demonstrate a phenomenal ignorance of Historical perspective: exactly the cannon fodder the establishment's looking for.At least Trump isn't pushing the country into yet another Middle Eastern swamp. Given that, his wordings may be as unclear as he likes.morning_in_america FJR Atlanta • 6 days agoTaylor should not be pushing any foreign policy. He should be executing Trumps policy or retiringkouroi • 6 days agoNice and sober account. One detail that might be significant. Until 1954, Crimea was part of the Russian Federation (the Russian State has wrestled that territory from the Tatars/Mongols and Ottomans more than 200 years before and fought for it against the united Europe in 1850s). And Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, had bestowed Crimea in an unsanctioned administrative decision to the then Ukrainian Socialist Republic in 1954.Sid Finster Affluent_White_Progs_Suck • 5 days ago
Ukraine as a state is pretty much a creation of Russia and instead of being grateful for their extensive statehood, elements in Ukraine would rather bite the hand that made them.Lots of people all over the world get up and go to work. They do it in democracies, autocracies, and countries that are somewhere in between. In fact, the United States is losing its position as global economic hegemon in large part because the Chinese (no democracy there) are harder working than Americans.Disqus10021 • 6 days ago
The United States currency has value for two reasons - inside the United States, it's the only way you can pay taxes. Outside the United States, the gulfie tyrannies only accept dollars for international sales of oil.$5 billion thrown down the Ukraine rat hole. It is too bad that the money wasn't spent providing better care for our wounded veterans. Watch the video "Delay, Deny, Hope They Die". As one of the very few, perhaps only, commentater who has criticized Victoria Nuland's role in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, I have made many of the same points in recent days.Bjorn Andresen Jonathan Marcus • 6 days agoYou know that is dishonest. This has nothing to do with what Trump tried to tell Zelensky, and anyway the US and Ukraine do in fact have a treaty from 1998 that mandates them to cooperate on law enforcement matters. DC is full of corruption but none of it is ever punished, so we know that is not the issue.Ellen K Bjorn Andresen • 6 days ago
This is all about Trump's desire to end the proxy war with Russia. That is all this is about ultimately. Looking at the big picture, that is a large part of the reason why the establishment wants to delegitimization him or remove Trump from office. This phone call scandal is nothing more than the latest tactical move to get there. If you don't see that, and you genuinely think that this is merely about Trump asking Zelensky to investigate something and get caught up in the minutiae of that, you are simply naive and don't understand the true nature of politics. Think about the big picture.A proxy war is nice cover for weapons smuggling. I've postulated for awhile now that Benghazi is the key to Deep State. Ask yourself why the Obama administration allowed Stevens and his cohorts to die when there was ample air and naval power nearby. What did he stumble upon? I think it was a vast smuggling operation designed to support Muslim Bros. and Al Shabbab-both of whom later attacked US assets and who continue to worry the region with their raids of kidnappings, rapes and mass murders that go largely unreported in the US press. There's a reason why so many liberals her and abroad claim to support open borders and it has nothing to do with humanitarian goals and everything to do with an organized global crime group who is using sievelike borders to allow drugs, fake licensed products, fake pharmaceuticals, weapons and even humans to become trade goods. People should really ask why Democrats refuse to stop this. Europeans should ask who is getting rich off of unchecked migration of indigent people.APPPS Jonathan Marcus • 6 days agoThe President sets the policy. These dipsticks implement it or quit. Nobody elected them.Sid Finster • 6 days ago1. The military industrial complex needs a Big Enemy to justify their exorbitant budgets.invention13 Sid Finster • 6 days ago
2. The spooks need a Big Enemy to justify Big Brother and also their increasingly open interference in domestic politics.
3. The people who run things need a distraction, lest the masses start to demand the sorts of reforms that would take money out of rich people's pockets. A Big Enemy does this just fine.
Russia makes a better Big Enemy than does China, for US business is already too intertwined with China and its supply chains reach deeply into that country. Any disruption to those links would cost a lot of money.Another possible reason is that Russia is a relatively weak country with enormous natural resources.Alex (the one that likes Ike) invention13 • 6 days agoWell, comparing to China, its military is much stronger. China is not even in the same league as the US and Russia.Sid Finster invention13 • 5 days agoExcept that Russia has a nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it.SatirevFlesti • 6 days agoTAC has been doing great work covering the Ukraine.Sid Finster • 6 days ago
Even so-called conservatives play along with the mainstream media's and establishment's narrative, with the likes of NRO's warmongering neocons, such as the Jay Nordlinger, constantly banging-on about poor little Ukraine being a "struggling democracy" in need, rather than a deeply divided and failed state that perhaps should never have existed in its present borders as a "sovereign nation." The best solution for the Ukraine would probably be to split it into two, with Eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula perhaps just becoming part of Greater Russia.I believe Stratfor, no friend of Russia and close to the neocon faction in American politics, described the 2014 coup as "the most blatant coup in history".Bjorn Andresen Sid Finster • 6 days ago • editedExactly. This article is very good in detail, but they could also add that the first Minister of Finance in Ukraine's post-Maidan government was a literal US State Department official who was only then granted Ukrainian citizenship. Not surprisingly she also made Ukraine accept IMF loans, getting Ukraine into the IMF predatory lending/austerity scam.EliteCommInc. TheSnark • 6 days agoFYI, the advocates for intervening in the Ukraine are the ones accusing Pres PutinBjorn Andresen • 6 days ago
1. with invading Crimea -- false
2. interfering with US elections -- sabotage an offense that certainly means war -- unfounded
3. that the Russians and the President operated in as collaborators in sabotaging US election also false
this president in response signed a document that the Russians did spy and further implemented the worst sanctions to date against Russia despite the lack of evidence
as it is that Pres. Putin is certainly not being excused -- ;laugh - not even from things he has not been proved to have done
It's like when the police say you did something but can't prove it so they get some others to say you did it because they know you did it
-even there's no evidence you did.
If you don't understand just review the SP Mueller investigation and the subsequent impeachment inquiry -- this is not new game for anyone familiar with prosecutor methods.
If you still don't get read KafkaThis is true, all of this could have easily been avoided if the US stopped meddling and withdrew its troops from the former USSR. People like Taylor and Kent show there is an agenda to start a war with Russia. Hopefully the upcoming Ukraine-Russia peace summit can settle this conflict.Sid Finster • 6 days ago1. The military industrial complex needs a Big Enemy to justify their exorbitant budgets.SatirevFlesti • 6 days ago
2. The spooks need a Big Enemy to justify Big Brother and also their increasingly open interference in domestic politics.
3. The people who run things need a distraction, lest the masses start to demand the sorts of reforms that would take money out of rich people's pockets. A Big Enemy does this just fine.
Russia makes a better Big Enemy than does China, for US business is already too intertwined with China and its supply chains reach deeply into that country. Any disruption to those links would cost a lot of money.TAC has been doing great work covering the Ukraine.EliteCommInc. TheSnark • 6 days ago
Even so-called conservatives play along with the mainstream media's and establishment's narrative, with the likes of NRO's warmongering neocons, such as the Jay Nordlinger, constantly banging-on about poor little Ukraine being a "struggling democracy" in need, rather than a deeply divided and failed state that perhaps should never have existed in its present borders as a "sovereign nation." The best solution for the Ukraine would probably be to split it into two, with Eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula perhaps just becoming part of Greater Russia.FYI, the advocates for intervening in the Ukraine are the ones accusing Pres PutinBjorn Andresen ben benis • 5 days ago
1. with invading Crimea -- false
2. interfering with US elections -- sabotage an offense that certainly means war -- unfounded
3. that the Russians and the President operated in as collaborators in sabotaging US election also false
this president in response signed a document that the Russians did spy and further implemented the worst sanctions to date against Russia despite the lack of evidence
as it is that Pres. Putin is certainly not being excused -- ;laugh - not even from things he has not been proved to have done
It's like when the police say you did something but can't prove it so they get some others to say you did it because they know you did it
-even there's no evidence you did.
If you don't understand just review the SP Mueller investigation and the subsequent impeachment inquiry -- this is not new game for anyone familiar with prosecutor methods.
If you still don't get read KafkaThat's a strawman and there's nothing to refute, the article is correct. Because the US government and CFR globalist thinkers like Zbigniew Brzezinski, George Friedman, and George Soros have talked about the geopolitical importance of Ukraine since the 1990s -- read Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard from 1996, where talks about the need for the US to take control of Ukraine from Russia to prevent Russia from becoming a great power that can challenge US global hegemony, or Soros' admission on a 60 Minutes interview from 1998 that he has invested billions in Ukraine, particularly in the Ukrainian military. As Brzezinski says, the US was quick to recognise the geopolitical importance of an independent Ukrainian state, and became one of Ukraine's strongest backers in the 1990s for this reason. Globalist plans for Ukraine go back many years.alex renk • 6 days ago
Polls before the Maidan show most Ukrainians had a very positive image of Russia as well, and increasingly people in Ukraine are getting tired of the war, which is why they voted massively for Zelensky over Poroshenko.When I look at our foreign policy, before Trump, you have to go back to Reagan to have any semblance of policy based in reality. While Trump is kinda of a bull in a china shop, at least he highlights some of the asinine policies the 'experts' have been pursuing.TISO_AX2 • 6 days agoHat tip to Patrick Buchanan.Lynn • 6 days agoRussia's objection to US and EU interference into Ukrainian politics makes as much sense as US objection. would if Russia were in Mexico attempting to draw them into a confederation with Moscow.Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= • 5 days agoHe may be as immoral as hell. Most of them, R or D, are, in case you haven't noticed. The fact is, there's still no factual evidence he committed any impeachable in this specific case.Harry Taft • 6 days agoSo, if the employees of the government who are involved in international affairs do not agree with the President, the President is accused of an impeachable offense? These two are not patriots in the usual sense. Nor are they public servants. They see themselves as somehow above the Law. Above the Constitution. Applauded by those trying ever since the election to bring down a President. Seditionists.doug masnaghetti • 6 days agoThe last 30 years has been a complete disaster for US foreign diplomacy. We are being led by complete morons! Trump is a big step in the right direction.J House • 6 days agoThe fact is, it was a U.S. sponsored coup by the Obama administration that overthrew a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Here is the Feb 2015 Obama CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria...note that Obama says 'Yanukovich fleeing AFTER we brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine'...incredible. Play HideBjorn Andresen john • 5 days agoWhy is it wrong and improper to know whether or not a presidential candidate's family was involved in corrupt dealings abroad? But that's not even the question, because the issue of what Trump may or may not have done is not the real issue. DC is full of corruption and none of it is ever punished, so we know that's not what they care about. What this is about is Trump's disagreement with the establishment on Russia-Ukraine policy and the greater geopolitical picture. Thinking this is about some minutiae over who said what on a phone call and what he mayor may not have really meant is naive and ignorant of the true nature of politics. These situations are not compartmentalised, these have to be seen from the the big picture of geopolitics.morning_in_america • 6 days agoHe sensible policy would be to Finlandize Ukraine and Byelorus. NATO would not have them as members and Russia would let them pursue economic ties with Europe. This worked for Finland through put the Cold War and kept the region peacefulEllen K • 6 days agoThis is the legacy of careerism within the Foreign Service. People get positions in which they live comfortably, attending all the right parties and getting a sophisticated world view and seldom have any loyalty or accountability to the Commander in Chief. That's a problem.Reggie • 6 days ago
When Vindman claimed he was disturbed by what he heard, instead of following the chain of command, which he invokes almost as often as his rank, he lawyers up. Why? Who is Vindman reporting to if not the President? Too many of these folks act as if the change in administrations is merely a formality to which they can choose to embrace or not. Almost without exception, we have seen testimony from people whose personal history is in the Russian/Ukraine theater and who have family and history there. This is problematic. If anyone ever looked and sounded the part of a mole, it was Vindman today.These maniacs are provoking nuclear war. They fail to understand that, unlike 50 years ago when America had a decentralized industrial economy and banking system, 2 large nukes aimed at NYC and DC would destroy the country.john • 6 days agoThis is the only conservative site worth reading. I do love me some serious and deep analysis from Conservatives in important geopolitical issues. God for a return to the days of Buckley. It would be glorious.Hey now • 6 days agoFantastic analysis of the 3D chess game. But we are talking about Biden and Clinton so we need not overthink this. Obama gave 1 billion of taxpayer money to Ukraine. Ukraine gave Burisma some of that according the government of the UK. And once Burisma was in receipt of our aid funds, millions flow through right back to the very same bad actors like Biden who directly controlled the one billion in foreign aid. I wish this was more complicated. I wish it made Americans seem smarter. But to this old guy it seems like a good old fashioned and very simple run of the mill scam . And in this scam the only person we know for fact cashed the checks is Biden.Disgruntled2012 • 6 days ago
Come on Barr. It's time to do what we all know what needs to be done.Jonathan Galt • 5 days ago"But cannot Europe handle any such threat vis-a-vis Russia, given that the EU has a population of 512 million and a GDP of $18 trillion -- compared to Russia's population of 145 million and GDP of $1.6 trillion?"
An excellent question. The cold war is over. We won. We don't need to keep fighting it. Russia is not that much of a threat to us.Think about it. Our State Department has been in operation for well over 100 years in some form or another. Are we ANY safer? Fire them all. No pension for failure.MPNavrozjee • 5 days ago • editedPierrePendre • 5 days agoFor the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.
Putin is a serious strategist – on the premises of Russian history. Understanding US values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point among US policymakers.
-- Henry A. Kissinger in 2014 at the start of the Ukraine crisis (writing in the Washington Post.)I cannot believe that the State Department was unaware of the intertwined history of Russia and the Ukraine or rather given State's rigid worldview I can believe it. The Russians knew perfectly well that the United States was pulling the strings of the so-called Maidan revolution and that the end would be to plant Nato and the EU right on Russia's doorstep.MFH • 5 days ago
Previous attempts to push Nato into parts of the south of the former Soviet empire had been fought off. Nothing could be more predictable than that the Kremlin would do everything it could to oppose what it saw as hostile interference in the Ukraine on behalf of "reformers". The US plays by the same rules. Cuba and the earlier Monroe doctrine are prize exhibits.
Obama slotted temperamentally into the State Department worldview or maybe it was the other way round. It was a worldview that got the Middle East profoundly wrong at every turn including misundertanding the Arab Spring, support for the deeply anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, the appeasement and promotion of Iran, the abandonment of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, the destruction of Libya as a going concern and how to tackle Syria. If there was an opportunity to get something wrong, Obama and the bow ties managed it. They left behind a trail of wreckage.
Worst of all, Obama, the great opponent of nuclear proliferation, turned out to be its greatest enabler but ensured that he would be long out of office when it happened and the media started asking "who lost Iran?" If Obama achieved one thing, it was finally to kill off nuclear non-proliferation as a viable ambition. A nuclear Iran isn't just a threat to its neighours. It is a direct missile threat to the EU which has happily collaborated in advancing Iranian power.
Unsurprisingiy, Trump rejected all this and it is for this that he is vilified by the foreign police dinosaurs who try to delude the nation into believing that even when what they do ends in manifest disaster, there is no alternative. There is hardly a word leaked by the foreign policy to the willingly ignorant media that is not a lie. The mess is theirs and they hate Trump for wakening Americans up to their self-serving, somnolent incompetence.
The usual response to posts like this is to accuse the writer of being a traitrous Putin lover. On the contrary, know thy enemy. The maxim doesn't mean have a beer with him. It means understand him.Excellent statement of the "Thucydides trap" argument for caution regarding Russia and its traditional sphere of concern. But Merry leaves us with a cliffhanger: what is the sound US Russian policy given his concerns and cautions? Moreover, his rendition is vulnerable to a counterargument, namely, that Putin's Russia has gone far beyond the seizure or control of "protective lands" towards an encirclement or menacing of Europe. This can be seen unfolding in Russia's military presence on Syria's (and potentially Libya's) Mediterranean coast, its sale of weapons to Turkey, its connivance with Iran's Middle Eastern proxy wars, and the potential for petro-blackmail of its energy customers. Add to this the affirmative case for European interest in Poland, whose capital Warsaw is exposed to attack from its eastern and southern flanks just as Moscow is immediately threatened from its western and southern flanks. Perhaps all this just confirms how far down the path to the "Thucydides trap" the principal parties have traveled. Yet, all the same, on what grounds do we rationalize Russian inroads into the Mediterranean? Free navigation of the seas?D Gamboa • 5 days agoI like this article but Russia is no longer a declining power technically. It's GDP is slowly rising again in the last few years. They did take a hit from sanctions and low oil prices but they are staring to recover to some degree.kuddels • 5 days ago
Russians like Putin because their economy is much better now than it was during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The problem this country has with Russia is that they were a declining power and now are back on the rise. China is more of a threat but the imbeciles in the establishment keep focusing on trying to undermine Russian security. They seem to really believe Putin is their enemy without realizing the overwhelming majority of Russians have issues with our stupid foreign policy.
Google Russian GDP, especially through time, and you'll see what I mean.Is it any wonder that the old foreign service establishment "embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous"?Kelly Wright • 5 days ago
The foreign service exam of that era (probably no better today) tested substantially on ones knowledge of fiction: novels and such. Rather like choosing career foreign service officers based on a person's performance in the entertainment trivia night at the local watering hole. It was a test of memory not logic or insightfulness or historical perspective. These folks are not latter-day De Toquevilles or great historians, even if many came from colleges viewed as top drawer.One thing that few appreciate is that US actions in the Ukraine in 2013/14 prompted Russian retaliation in the 2016 election. The Russians had been playing by our rules. (Party of the Regions won a free and fair election in the Ukraine) and then we supported a violent extra-constitutional takeover.The Obama administration wanted to see a repeat of the performance in Kiev, in Moscow with Putin playing the part of Yanukovych. The Russian response was to attack the fault lines in American Society. Their ultimate goal is to see the kind of rioting in the US that we had supported in Kiev in the Winter of 14.Jonathan Gillispie • 5 days agoAmerican diplomacy has become dangerously simplistic and one-dimensional in outlook. Turkey bad, Kurds good. Iran bad, Israel good. Russia bad, Ukraine and NATO good. You try talking with Russia, Iran or Turkey you'll be crucified in domestic politics. Russia on the other hand doesn't have this simplistic view. They wisely recognize that the world is varying shades of gray.Connecticut Farmer • 2 days agoExcellent piece. Bottom line: the Ukraine is within Russia's "sphere of influence", not ours. Not our problem. The last time a major power attempted to insert itself within another country's sphere of influence was in 1962. Anybody remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?James Schumaker • a day ago • editedMr. Merry is entitled to his point of view, but I find his remarks to be out of touch -- sort of like another "Chicken Kiev" speech with the date "2019" slapped on it. Perhaps he would benefit from a couple of tours of duty in Kyiv, like George Kent and Bill Taylor. Then he would appreciate the fact that the United States does have real interests in preserving Ukrainian sovereignty, along with the independence of all the former Soviet states who have split off from Russia. He should also not be so quick to characterize Kent's and Taylor's testimony. They were in Congress not to express a policy position on Russia, but to act as fact witnesses to the potentially impeachable actions of the President and his circle. So, let's not get into conspiracy theories about what "elites" believe. It's one short step from that to muttering darkly about the 'Deep State" and Comet Pizza.
Nov 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
kuddels • 5 days agoIs it any wonder that the old foreign service establishment "embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous"?
The foreign service exam of that era (probably no better today) tested substantially on ones knowledge of fiction: novels and such.
Rather like choosing career foreign service officers based on a person's performance in the entertainment trivia night at the local watering hole. It was a test of memory not logic or insightfulness or historical perspective. These folks are not latter-day De Toquevilles or great historians, even if many came from colleges viewed as top drawer.
Nov 23, 2019 | en.wikipedia.org
On October 14, 2019, responding to a subpoena , Hill testified in a closed-door deposition for ten hours before special committees of the United States Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump .   Testimony to the House Intelligence Committee by Hill and David Holmes, November 21, 2019 , C-SPAN
She testified in public before the same body on November 21, 2019.  While being questioned by Steve Castor , the counsel for the House Intelligence Committee's Republican minority, Hill commented on Gordon Sondland 's involvement in the Ukraine matter: "It struck me when (Wednesday), when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland's emails, and who was on these emails, and he said these are the people who need to know, that he was absolutely right," she said. "Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged."  In response to a question from that committee's chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff , Hill stated: "The Russians' interests are frankly to delegitimize our entire presidency. The goal of the Russians [in 2016] was really to put whoever became the president -- by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale -- under a cloud." [
Hill's books include:
- Hill, Fiona; Gaddy, Clifford G. (2003). The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold . Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 978-0815736455 . LCCN 2003016801 .
- Hill, Fiona (September 2004). Energy Empire: Oil, Gas and Russia's Revival (PDF) . London: Foreign Policy Centre . ISBN 978-1903558386 . OCLC 68266192 . Archived (PDF) from the original on November 19, 2019 – via Brookings Institution .
- Hill, Fiona; Gaddy, Clifford G . (2013). Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin . Brookings Focus Books. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8157-2376-9 . LCCN 2012041470 .
Nov 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
... She seems to live alone, alone with her work. She tried living with her 88 year old mother three years ago but that did not last. What would the old girl have done with herself in Kiev with her daughter working all the time?
So, the maman went home to the States. Marie is still employed as a Career Ambassador (a high rank) in the Foreign Service of of the United States She is currently assigned at Georgetown U.
... ... ...
English Outsider , 16 November 2019 at 03:35 PMEric Newhill said in reply to English Outsider ... , 17 November 2019 at 10:14 AM
That's the first time I've seen "winsome" used with an edge.
I watched her for some time and didn't know what on earth to make of her. She looked to be a most convincing and dignified victim but it was difficult to work out quite what she'd been a victim of.
I think our closest equivalent over here would be Lady Ashton, who headed up the pre-coup European negotiations with the Ukraine. It was Lady Ashton who gave the most famous diplomatic response in modern history, when she was told that the snipers might be provocateurs. "Gosh."
A very safe pair of hands, is what would be said of both and almost certainly often is.
I did know what to make of the histrionics just before the recess. They looked false. That man wasn't really crying. And Chairman Schiff looked as scary as usual. If I could open my eyes that wide I'd make a fortune in horror movies. Which I suppose is more or less what he does.EO,turcopolier , 16 November 2019 at 03:49 PM
Zelensky did not like her and suggested that she was involved with corrupt people and undermining the President. I don't understand how Trump gets all of the blame for her being relieved of her position.English OutsiderPetrel said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 November 2019 at 07:22 AM
Marie IMO was always the second best looking girl in the class but maybe teacher's pet, and has never had anyone take anything away from her before. "Gosh." She doesn't look like someone you could safely make a pass at unless you had an awful lot of rank.Colonel, your description of Ambassador Yovanovitch as "a secular nun" is spot on. Congratulations ! On the other hand, why is a nun continuing a civil war with 1% predatory oligarchs and Bandera thugs on our side, versus 99% of un-armed local nobodies who want a return to normalcy?Factotum said in reply to Petrel... , 17 November 2019 at 03:16 PM
Then again, since when does a Presidential emissary not only criticize him and the President of her host country, but also instruct local law enforcement on which oligarchs he may investigate and which oligarch's (admittedly ours) he may not.
Lastly, note that Representative Stefanik caught Ambassador Marie in a lie about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Marie claimed under oath that she had never encountered the issue pre-arrival in the Ukraine, while she had admitted earlier that Obama staff coached her about Hunter / Burisma responses for her Senate Confirmation Hearings.
To take your cue, Ambassador Marie is a secular nun with very bad ideas, who wandered to a profession she is not at all suited.She has some bad habits, for a secular nun.
Feb 07, 2017 | www.infowars.comSenator Rand Paul has urged President Trump to shut out neoconservative war hawks from the State Department, as it has emerged that Elliott Abrams , a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, could be appointed to serve in the number two spot.
"Elliott Abrams is a neoconservative too long in the tooth to change his spots, and the president should have no reason to trust that he would carry out a Trump agenda rather than a neocon agenda," Paul writes in an opinion piece for the libertarian website Rare .
Abrams was intimately tied in with the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, and was even convicted of withholding information from Congress about covert government activities in Nicaragua and El Salvador. He was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.
"Congress has good reason not to trust him -- he was convicted of lying to Congress in his previous job," Paul notes in his piece.
Abrams is also believed to have been involved in approving the attempted Venezuelan coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002 while serving as Special Assistant to the President and holding office in the National Security Council.
Senator Paul urges Trump not to appoint Abrams, adding that his "neocon agenda trumps his fidelity to the rule of law."
Paul points out that during the election, Abrams publicly spoke out against Trump's intention to withdraw from policing the world.
"He is a loud voice for nation building and when asked about the president's opposition to nation building, Abrams said that Trump was absolutely wrong; and during the election he was unequivocal in his opposition to Donald Trump, going so far as to say, 'the chair in which Washington and Lincoln sat, he is not fit to sit,'" Paul writes.
It is believed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the one pushing for Abrams to join him at the State Department.
Paul, a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, hopes Tillerson "will continue the search for expert assistance from experienced, non-convicted diplomats who understand the mistakes of the past and the challenges ahead."
Nov 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
chris_zzz • 19 hours agoListening to our "world's best diplomats" convinced me that the deep state is real. These people think they, not elected officials, make policy. Plus, they are sneaky and conniving in trying to establish and protect their own little fiefdoms. They have never seen a foreign aid budget that in their humble yet expert opinion shouldn't be increased tenfold. They are political but pretend otherwise. And, their sanctimony is unbearable. Let's just say that I don't think that Foggy Bottom made a good impression with the general public this week.EdMan • 15 hours agoStraight fire out of Peter Van Buren. The State is the "The Blob." They're the ones who want to promote a policy of interventionism and nation-building. The military actually prefers to stay out of wars and don't want to pursue nation-building.cka2nd EdMan • 5 hours agoOh, please. Every time it looks like we might actually pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, the generals pop up on the TV talk shows and in the Op-Ed pages warning of the dire consequences and pleading for more time. The neo-cons used to pull this "OMG, the military is the most competent part of the federal government" stuff back in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, and TAC is not the only publication that has blown up that myth.James Graham • 11 hours ago • editedThis now-retired former private sector ex-pat had several encounters overseas with State employees.
They all came across as arrogant empty suits/dresses who thought their "service" made them automatically superior to us private sector citizens.
BTW "thank you for your service" should be bestowed only on US military personnel. Never on State employees.
Nov 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The State Department, where I worked for 24 years as a Foreign Service officer (FSO) and diplomat, reminds me a lot of my current hometown, New York City. Both places spend an inordinate amount of time telling outsiders how great they are while ignoring the obvious garbage piled up around them. It's almost as if they're trying to convince themselves that everything is okay.
Like New York City telling itself the Broadway lights mean folks won't notice the homeless problem and decaying infrastructure, the State Department fully misunderstands how it appears to others. Across Facebook groups and internal channels, FSOs this week are sending each other little messages tagged #FSProud quoting former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's closing soliloquy from her impeachment testimony.
Yovanovitch's testimony otherwise read like an HR complaint from hell, as if she were auditioning for a Disgruntled Employee poster-child position to cap off her career. She had already been fired by the time the alleged impeachable act took place -- Trump's July 25 phone call -- and was stuck in a placeholder job far removed from Ukrainian policy. She witnessed nothing of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" the House is investigating, and basically used her time to complain she knew more than her boss did so he fired her.
At the end of her testimony , Yovanovitch unfurled a large metaphorical flag and wrapped herself and the entire Foreign Service in it. Her lines had nothing to do with Ukraine: they were recruiting boilerplate about how FSOs are nonpartisan servants of the Constitution, how they all live in harm's way, yada yada. She name-checked diplomats from four decades ago held hostage in Iran, and rolled in a couple of CIA contractors when tallying up the "State" death toll from Benghazi. She omitted the we-don't-talk-about-that-one death of FSO Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan, whose 25-year-old life was destroyed participating in a propaganda photo-op.
This is the false idol image the State Department holds dear of itself, and people inside the organization today proudly christened Ambassador Yovanovitch its queen. Vanity Fair summed it up better than the long-winded FSOs bleating across social media: "A hero is born as Yovanovitch gives voice to widespread rage at State. 'I think people are feeling huge pride in Masha,' says a former ambassador." Yovanovitch uses her Russian nickname, Masha, without media comment, because of course she does.
And that's the good part. Alongside Yovanovitch, bureaucrat-in-a-bow-tie George Kent issued pronouncements against Trump people he never met who ignored his tweedy advice. Ambassador Bill Taylor leaked hoarded personal text messages with Trump political appointees. Taylor's deputy, David Holmes, appeared deus ex machina (Holmes had a photo of Yovanovitch as his Facebook page cover photo until recently!) to claim that back in the summer, he somehow overheard both sides of a phone conversation between Trump and political appointee, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland. Holmes eavesdropped on a presidential call and dumped it in the Democrats' laps, and now he's nonpartisan #FSProud, too.
Interesting that the major political events of the last few years have all crisscrossed the State Department: Clinton emails and Foundation shenanigans, the Steele Dossier and all things Russiagate, and now impeachment and Ukraine. And never mind that two major Democratic presidential candidates-in-waiting, Clinton and Kerry, had a home there. That's an awful lot of partisanship for an organization bragging about being nonpartisan.
Gawd, I need to wash my hands. I am #FSProud that in my 24 years as a diplomat, I never perjured myself, or claimed to or actually did eavesdrop on someone else's phone call, then spoon-fed the info months later to my boss on TV to take down a president mid-campaign, all while accepting cheers that I was nonpartisan and thinking my role as a snitch/bootlicker was going to help people view my organization as honorable.
FSOs see themselves as superheroes who will take down the Bad Orange Man. The organization flirted with the role before: " dissent " by State strayed close to insubordination opposing Trump's so-called Muslim Ban. Everyone remembers the Department's slow-walking the release of Hillary Clinton's emails (after helping hide the existence of her private server). The Department turned a blind eye to Clinton's nepotism in hiring her campaign aides (remember Huma ?) and use of America's oldest cabinet position to create B-roll ahead of her soiled campaign.
Maybe the State Department's overt support for Candidate Clinton did not make clear enough what happens when the organization betrays itself to politics.
While FSOs are gleefully allowing themselves to be used today, they fail to remember that nobody likes a snitch. No matter which side you're on, in the end nobody will trust you, Democrat or Republican, after seeing what you really are. What White House staffer of any party will interact openly with his diplomats knowing they are saving his texts and listening in on his calls, waiting? State considers itself a pit bull when in fact it's betrayed its golden nonpartisan glow. Hey, in your high school, did anyone want to have the kids who lived to be hall monitors and teacher's pets as their lunch buddies?
The real problems go much deeper. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showed more than one fourth of all Foreign Service positions were either unfilled or filled with below-grade employees. At the senior levels, 36 percent of positions were vacant or filled with people of lower rank and experience pressed into service. At the crucial mid-ranks, the number was 26 percent unfilled.
The thing is, that GAO report is from 2012 , and it showed similar results to one written in 2008. The State Department has danced with irrelevancy for a long time, and its efforts to be The Resistance as a cure today feel more like desperation than heroism. State's somnolent response, even during the mighty Clinton and Kerry years, to what should have been a crisis call (speculate on what the response might be to a report saying the military was understaffed by 36 percent) tells the tale.
As the world changes, State still has roughly the same number of Portuguese speakers as it does Russian among its FSOs. No other Western country uses private citizens as ambassadors over career diplomats to anywhere near the extent the United States does, where about a third of the posts are doled out as political patronage mainly because what they do doesn't matter. The secretary of state hands out lapel buttons reading " Swagger "; imagine a new secretary of defense doing the same -- and then being laughed out of office.
FSOs wade in the shallowest waters of the Deep State. Since the 1950s, the heavy lifting of foreign policy -- the stuff that ends up in history books -- mostly moved into the White House and the National Security Council. The increasing role of the military in America's foreign relations further sidelined State. The regional sweep of the AFRICOM and CENTCOM generals, for example, paints State's landlocked ambassadors as weak.
State's sad little attempt to stake out a new role in nation-building failed in Iraq , failed in Afghanistan , and failed in Haiti . The organization's Clinton-Kerry era joblet promoting democracy through social media was a flop. Trade policy has its own bureaucracy outside Foggy Bottom.
What was left for State was reporting, its on-the-ground viewpoint that informs policymakers. Even there the intelligence community has eaten State's sandwiches with the crusts cut off lunch -- why listen to what some FSO thinks the prime minister will do when the NSA can provide the White House with real-time audio of him explaining it in bed to his mistress? The überrevelation from the 2010 Wikileaks documents dump was that most of State's vaunted reporting is of little value. State struggled through the Chelsea Manning trial to convince someone that actual harm was done to national security by the disclosures.
For the understaffed Department of State, that leaves pretty much only the role of concierge abroad, the one Ambassadors Taylor and Yovanovitch, and their lickspittles Kent and Holmes, complained about as their real point during the impeachment hearings. Read their testimony and you learn they had no contact with principals Trump, Giuliani, and Pompeo (which is why they were useless "witnesses," they didn't see anything firsthand) and griped about being cut out of the loop and left off conference calls. They testified instead based on overheard conversations and off-screen voices. Taylor whined that Pompeo ignored his reports.
Meanwhile, America's VIPs need their hands held abroad, their motorcades organized, and their receptions handled, all tasks that fall squarely on the Department of State. That is what was really being said underneath it all at the impeachment hearings. It is old news, but it found a greedy audience repurposed to take a whack at Trump. State thinks this is its moment to shine, but all that is happening is a light is being shined on the organization's partisanship and pettiness in reaction to its own irrelevance.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .
Nov 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com
october71777 , 1 day agoHigh Velocity , 14 hours ago
Why did Rick Perry resign his cabinet position after the Ukrainian Cabal was exposed? Just wondering.jack epperson , 7 hours ago (edited)
Ambassador Taylor do you know anything? -- I'm not sure, I don't recall.Bryochemical Intuition , 1 hour ago
I think Schiff overdosed on his meds. Look at his eyes they tell the story eyes don't lieWesley Kline , 4 hours ago
Nunes is extremely impressive I must admit. He's been handing the democrats their own @$$'$ for 3 yearsSue Osborne , 1 day ago
I love how CBS completely edited out Nunes first part of his speech about all the lowlife activities the left pulled.rek131 , 6 hours ago
Taylor is a Buffoon...who is trying to make something out of nothingAmerican Argonaut , 37 minutes ago
My favorite part was at 25:40 where Castro says "And at the heart of this corruption is this oligarchical system." .... for a second, I thought he was talking about the United States.D Chase , 1 day ago
Schiffs a freaking sociopath!
I have learned to HATE everything the Democrats, their deep state and MSM stand for. It's beyond comprehension that they have hijacked the greatest nation on earth and subverted the constitution for personal power and gain! A government takeover by the citizens is not far off, and the only people who will be safe are a few Republicans in government.
D Chase , 1 day agortrouthouse , 1 day ago
KENT = C.I.A. Pay close attention. These clowns have infiltrated the state department in order to control foreign policy and rob nations!!!!!speedoflite1 , 1 day ago
Now this amounts to the impeachment of The President of the United States, for "shaking the confidence of a close partner for our reliability" Ambassador Taylor. 21:21Larry Smith , 1 day ago
18:40 - 19:50 Turner gives a confused explanation of the "6th Amendment" - right of criminal defendant to “to be confronted with the witnesses against him” versus The Hearsay Rule - which is evidence (statements made outside court setting) that may or may not be admissible at trial. Which, in part, why Judges are present to rule on whether exceptions, exclusions to the Hearsay Rule apply.
He obviously had his script written before this hearing and didn't listen to what was actually said. He referenced things that were never even brought up but were talking points for the Democrats.
Klaus Klaus , 1 day agojlc , 7 hours ago
...What a blinder and hypocrisy in the highest echelons of power. What a little petty thinking....Democrats are clearly communists. Do you Americans know what this mean? Obviously not.Mark Merithew , 2 days ago
Democrat lunacy on parade Taylor was about as clear as mud and so where his he said, they said, or i heard someone say something, are we really taking these people seriously.?sjcthrn5 , 1 day ago
Do these republicans not realize that the Ukrainian President is going to say whatever trump tells him to say so he gets his money and weapons....he’s got a war going on and must have those resources...what else is he going to say?Christine Morris , 1 day ago
If Giuliani seeking information in Ukraine is such an abnormal thing as to cause alarm then please explain DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa and the years she has spent in Ukraine performing opposition research along with maintaining close ties with the NSCand the Obama whitehouse.
There is no evidence against Trump and Taylor was so tongue-tied that he couldn't answer some of those questions. I loved Jordan asking all those questions and putting those two witnesses in place. In the court of law they WILL NOT TAKE HEARSAY because I worked for the courts and lawyers so I know what the Judge would say. this is nothing but a scham and when Trump gets to be President again I hope he puts Schiff in prison!!!!!!!
Nov 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
After House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) took time out of today's impeachment testimony to rebuke President Trump for "witness intimidation," President Trump hit back.
During testimony from former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Trump took aim at her over Twitter, saying " Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad . She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her..."
Following Trump's tweet, Schiff dramatically interrupted questioning from his staff counsel to read Trump's tweet aloud - asking Yovanovitch what effect Trump's tweet might have on future witnesses, to which she replied that it would be "very intimidating.
Trump's tweet was so troubling that former Media Matters employee Paul Waldman wrote in the Washington Post that Trump "talks and acts like a Mafioso" in an article entitled "Yovanovitch hearing confirms that Trump is running a thugocracy ."
Following Schiff's dramatic exchange, Trump was asked whether his words can be intimidating, to which he said "I don't think so at all."
" I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just like other people do ," Trump told White House reporters following remarks on a health care initiative, adding that he's "allowed to speak up" and defend himself.
LEEPERMAX , 17 seconds ago linkOpulence I Has It , 2 minutes ago link
NUNES HIGHLIGHTS THE LINKS BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND UKRAINE VIDEOLEEPERMAX , 8 minutes ago link
It's remarkable how tone deaf the Beltway Bubble has made these bureaucrats and their clingers. The United States elected Donald Trump, to get rid of people like Marie Yovanovitch. If anything, he needs to speed things up.Transmedia001 , 29 minutes ago link
TOM FITTON: HOW DANGEROUS AND CORRUPT IS THIS COUP AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP?peippe , 36 minutes ago link
We are at a turning point in our history. The Dems and their Deep State agents have once again proven that they will go to any lengths to destroy the constitution, upend the rule of law, lie, cheat, steal and twist words to accomplish any goal.
... ... ...LEEPERMAX , 55 minutes ago link
The ambassador also shows her true state between various masks she wears during impeachment interviews, the cameras have an easy time capturing it, it's a smirk, & she seems to show it to the democrats as well. One bad actor.artistant , 1 hour ago link
DAN BONGINO'S INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP LISTEN
Interview begins at 5:00 markI am Groot , 1 hour ago link
So far, Trump...
1. Failed with Iran, Syria, Turkey, and the Middle East Peace Process
2. Failed with Russia & Ukraine
3. Failed with Venezuela
4. Failed with trade war
5. Failed with immigration
6. Kidnapped a Huawei executive
7. Set Hong Kong on fire
8. Stole an Iranian tanker
9. Stole a Venezuelan ship full of foods
10. Stole Jerusalem and the Golan Heights for the FAKE HEBREWS
11. Kept all wars in the Middle East going for APARTHEID Israhell
12. Faked Epstein's death who's now living comfortably in Apartheid Israhell
13. Faked it with N Korea
14. Does nothing but plays golf, tweets, and insults
15. Destroyed American farmers, coal miners, truckers, and manufacturers
16. Failed to hire competent staff
17. Failed to abolish the Fed
18. Failed to drain the Swamp
19. Failed to dismantle the Deep State
20. Failed the US economyStainless Steel Rat , 2 hours ago link
I pretty much stopped having an ounce of sympathy for Trump this week. On day two of his presidency he should have locked up Hillary, and he didn't. He then has the ******* balls to tell us that "they" meaning the Clintons "are good people". Are you ******* kidding me ? ? ?
For more than six months now, EVERYONE on planet Earth has known about the Deep State, Obama, Biden, Pelosy, Brennan, Comey, McCabe Stzrok, Page, Lynch, Rice ,Powers, Misfud, Fusion GPS ,Halper, Neuland, Schiff, Nadler, Wray, Rosenstein, the entire Mainstream Media and three dozen other ******* treasonous assholes tearing this country apart.
And what exactly has Trump done to bring these people to justice for treason and seditious conspiracy ? Jack ******* squat !
Epstein allegedly gets murdered in his cell/disapears, and all Barr does is ******* shrug his shoulders like Schultz and says "I know nothing". Assange is slowly being murdered in his cell while Trump claims " I never heard of Wikileaks". Snowden and Manning are enemies of the state, and nobody seems to care.
Meanwhile the entire country is being overrun up to our eyeballs with illegals, the mentally ill are walking around like a zombie apocalypse and the rule of law is totally dead.
Am I taking crazy pills ? WTF is going on ?
Rant over......Teamtc321 , 2 hours ago link
As that photoshopping suggests, these Democrats live in an altered reality. Fantasy. Insanity? Not sure Joseph Goebbels meant telling oneself lies over and over eventually turns them into truths. But it seems to for these Democrats. And they vote their fantasies...rwe2late , 2 hours ago link
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."- Joseph Goebbelsrwe2late , 2 hours ago link
Was she even actually intimidated? She had already known Trump's opinion of her job performance for some time. She had been reassigned, as was the administration prerogative. There was no threat to take further action against her. Trump merely again stated he was unhappy/disappointed wherever she had been assigned.
B.S. She is/was supposedly a top diplomat/negotiator.
If her skin is that thin, and she is that easily "intimidated",
then she is clearly at a job level well above her competence.
of course, during her testimony, she would not even have known about the tweet, much less been allegedly intimidated by it, nor could her "testimony" been affected in any way by the tweet, except that Adam Schiff showed it to her to elicit a response.
Nov 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
NBC News is not impressed by the first day of the Democrats' impeachment circus. But it fails to note what the conflict is really about:It was substantive, but it wasn't dramatic.
In the reserved manner of veteran diplomats with Harvard degrees, Bill Taylor and George Kent opened the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday by bearing witness to a scheme they described as not only wildly unorthodox but also in direct contravention of U.S. interests.
"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression," Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said in explaining why Trump's decision to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to the most immediate target of Russian expansionism didn't align with U.S. policy.
But at a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical.
"In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine.
But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such?
President Obama was against giving weapons to Ukraine and never transferred any to Ukraine despite pressure from certain circles. Was Obama's decision against U.S. national interest? Where are the Democrats or deep state members accusing him of that?
Which brings us to the really critical point of the whole issue. Who defines what is in the "national interest" with regards to foreign policy? Here is a point where for once I agree with the right-wingers at the National Review where Andrew McCarthy writes :[O]n the critical matter of America's interests in the Russia/Ukraine dynamic, I think the policy community is right, and President Trump is wrong. If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions.
But you see, much like the policy community, I am not president. Donald Trump is.
And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay.
We have made the very same point :
The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."
The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that.
and :The president does not like how the 'American policy' on Russia was built. He rightly believes that he was elected to change it. He had stated his opinion on Russia during his campaign and won the election. It is not 'malign influence' that makes him try to have good relations with Russia. It is his own conviction and legitimized by the voters.
[I]t is the president who sets the policies. The drones around him who serve "at his pleasure" are there to implement them.
There is another point that has to be made about the NBC's assertions. It is not in the interest of Ukraine to be a proxy for U.S. deep state antagonism towards Russia. Robber baron Igor Kolomoisky, who after the Maidan coup had financed the west-Ukrainian fascists who fought against east-Ukraine, says so directly in his recent NYT interview :Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia.
"They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it."
Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets.
Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass.
Mr. Kolomoisky said he was feverishly working out how to end the war, but he refused to divulge details because the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way."
Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes.
Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup:Zelenskiy's decision in early October to accept talks with Russia on the future of eastern Ukraine resulted in an outcry from a relatively small but very vocal minority of Ukrainians opposed to any deal-making with Russia. The protests were relatively short-lived, but prospects for a negotiated end to the war in the eastern Donbas region became more remote in light of this domestic opposition.
The supporters for war with Russia are ex-president Poroshenko and two parliamentary factions, European Solidarity and Voice, whose supporters are predominantly located in western Ukraine. Crucially, however, they can also rely on right-wing paramilitary groups composed of veterans from the hottest phase of the war in Donbas in 2014-5.
Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%.
By pursuing further conflict with Russia the deep state of the United States wants to ignore the wishes not only of the U.S. voters but also those of the Ukrainian electorate. That undemocratic mindset is another point that unites them with the Ukrainian fascists.
Zelensky should ignore the warmongers in the U.S. embassy in Kiev and sue for immediate peace with Russia. (He should also investigate Biden's undue influence .) Reengaging with Russia is also the easiest and most efficient step the Ukraine can take to lift its desolate economy.
It is in the national interest of both, the Ukraine and the United States.
Posted by b on November 14, 2019 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink
pretzelattack , Nov 14 2019 18:28 utc | 1next page " agree with mccarthy about who conducts foreign policy, disagree about who the aggressor is; it's the USA, trying to weaken Russia, which is the aggressor.james , Nov 14 2019 18:48 utc | 2thanks b... typo - immediate piece with Russia - 'peace' is the spelling here...michael lacey , Nov 14 2019 19:00 utc | 3
the comments from Kolomoisky in the recent nyt interview are very telling.. aside from being a first rate kleptomaniac who will willingly play both sides if he can profit from it, he is also speaking a moment of truth..for him Ukraine is available to the highest bidder... he could give a rats ass about Ukraine or the people... but still, it is refreshing that the NYT published his comments in this regard..
the quote "the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way." is very true... it was true before kolomisky picked a side too.. this guy is very shrewd.. i wonder if his own country is able to see thru him?
national interest.... yes, trump gets to decide and he won on the idea of having closer relations with russia, but the cia-msm has been lambasting him and anyone else associated with him since before the election over the clinton e mails... they have painted a scenario that it is all russias fault and have been relentless in this portrayal... hoping trump is going to turn this around is like hoping someone is going to turn the titanic around from hitting a giant iceberg... the usa is too far gone and will be hitting the iceberg.. they are in fact...Good article what the American people miss is good articles instead of the mind numbing BS! They actually receive!Piotr Berman , Nov 14 2019 19:01 utc | 4From NYT about Kolomo???? (spelling in English is highly variable)Bemildred , Nov 14 2019 19:07 utc | 5
George D. Kent, a senior State Department official, said he had told Mr. Zelensky that his willingness to break with Mr. Kolomoisky -- "somebody who had such a bad reputation" -- would be a litmus test for his independence. [If is good to be independent, i.e. to do what we want.]
And William Taylor, the acting ambassador in Kiev, said he had warned Mr. Zelensky: "He, Mr. Kolomoisky, is increasing his influence in your government, which could cause you to fail." [La Paz is a fresh reminder for Kiev?]Well the thing about Zelensky is he's still there, and he is making changes in Donbass.Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:14 utc | 6
Kolomoisky was interested in the fracked gas in Donbass, the completion of NordStream II has made a mess of that idea. It is good that he has seen the light, as it means Zelensky will have support in his attempts to adapt to reality. But Kolomoisky is still a crook no doubt.My immediate reaction was that Kolomoisky realises he has to act - the Ukrainian oligarchs have got too close to America. I agree with James that he is a extremely clever man. Ukraine's traditional business is playing both ends against the middle and sending the proceeds to Switzerland (or the Caribbean in Porosyonok's case). Since 1990 a few of these robber barons have made a very good business winding up the west against Russia, it could go on ever - why spoil it by lifting the rock and seeing all the insects scurrying around in the light?Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:25 utc | 7
Another rock that has been lifted is in Washington, where the khokhol diaspora are desperately trying to get Uncle Sam to right the wrongs of a century ago.I should have written: the "perceived" wrongs" of a century ago.Babyl-on , Nov 14 2019 19:26 utc | 8"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.chet380 , Nov 14 2019 19:28 utc | 9
There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.
There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners oif the world and they run the world they own.... @ b -- "Only some 20% of the Ukrainians favor to continue the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports."psychohistorian , Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 10
The are not 'separatists', but rather Ukrainians who want to stay in a federated Ukraine as 'provinces' with powers to pass their regional laws, similar to those in Canada.The segment of empire in the US that are against Russia act so because it was Russia that stymied them in Syria and continues to be in their way of expanding the control from that part of empire...the US segment.NOBTS , Nov 14 2019 19:37 utc | 11
I still believe that the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyones heads to make it ongoing.
I don't believe that strategy will work but as long as they can be fronted by a MAD player of some sort (Occupied Palestine comes to mind) they can be bully players in international matters.
As the world economies grind to a "halt" there will be lots of pressure everywhere and very little clarity about the key civilization war over public/private finance, IMOFor a military dictatorship, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means. The US has been at war with Russia since the right-wing coup at the Democratic convention of 1944. All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!karlof1 , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 12Wow! The depth of delusion on display is as breathtaking as its complete projection of the intentions and actions of the Evil Outlaw US Empire! Oh so many saying I'm displaying four fingers instead of two. Too bad there isn't a padded cell big enough to contain all the lunatics. I recall the pre- and post-coup discussions from 2014--that Russia was going to make NATO own Ukraine until it was forced to concede it has no business being there; that Russia would teach the would-be leaders of Ukraine a serious lesson in where their national interests lay. NATO is ready to cede and the lesson's been learned.TG , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 13
IMO, two referendums must be held. The first within Russia: Will you accept portions of Ukraine wanting to merge with Russia: Yes/No? Second to be given within Ukraine provided Yes wins in #1: Do you wish to join Russia or remain in Ukraine? IMO, this is a very longstanding unresolved issue of consequence for the people involved. The political leaders of Russia and Ukraine might both be against such a vote, but IMO that merely kicks the can further down the road and opens the door for more mischief making by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Assuming a Yes from Russia and some from Ukraine, a strategic threat to Russia and Europe would be mitigated. Additional questions about those parts of Ukraine not wanting to join Russia could be solved via additional referenda in the Ukraine and neighboring nations that might prove willing to absorb the remnants and their people. Such action would of course negate the Minsk Agreements.
Given the ideological passions of those living in Western and Northern Ukraine, I don't see any hope for the continuation of the Ukrainian state as currently arranged, thus the proposed referenda. However, if Russia says Nyet, then Minsk must be implemented.Ah, well said, but missing the point.jayc , Nov 14 2019 19:41 utc | 14
"Democracy" is not about letting the people as a whole have a say in how the country is governed. That would be fascist, and racist, and populist, and LITERALLY HITLER. Letting the people decide on things like foreign policy, is literally anti-democratic.
No, "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."Breaking off long established economic and cultural ties with a large neighbouring country, virtually overnight, is a rash act, and certain to create dislocation and hardship. The craziness of the idea was only achievable through the traumatizing psy-op of the sniper event, leading directly to the coup and the state of war. The EU and the US were clearly malevolent in orchestrating the Association agreement with its ridiculous terms and the corresponding Maidan pressures.AntiSpin , Nov 14 2019 19:49 utc | 15
The fools in Hong Kong, after protester-sponsored screenings of the World On Fire documentary, were actually quoted as presuming the Maidan protests had "won" and expressed their hopes that they too could "win". Good luck to them.Ukraine TimelineTaffyboy , Nov 14 2019 19:50 utc | 16
for anyone who hasn't had the time to get caught up on the topic, by Ray McGovern
https://www.opednews.com/articles/Ukraine-For-Dummies-by-Ray-McGovern-Crimea_Ignorance_Intelligence_Media-191114-285.htmlKolomoisky and Zelensky know what needs to be done, but they fear the blood that will flow with Nazi-Banderist scum! Zelinski's balls are not that big, and has no options left after compromising his position from day one. Who will make the first move, I fear not him? Russia has time, and patience, which is sorely lacking in the west who feel they have to push the envelope.Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 19:57 utc | 17The Minsk II protocol was agreed to on 12 February 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, It included provisions for a halt in the fighting, the withdrawal of foreign forces, new constitution to allow special status for Donbass, and election in Donbass for local self governance. Control of the present border of Ukraine would be restored to the Ukraine government. Donbass would continue to be in Ukraine with some autonomy here (scroll down).flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 19:59 utc | 18
There are many such autonomous zones in the world, and in Europe, seen here .
The problem in Ukraine is that the neo-Nazi factions promoted by the US don't want to see a resolution, and will fight it with US support.Kolomoysky is obviously a master thief and general scumbag...but he is no fool...Vonu , Nov 14 2019 20:08 utc | 19
I think the writing on the wall became obvious with the Nordstream 2 finalization, where, it is noted, Denmark came in just under the wire in terms of not disrupting the timetable...
Obviously the interests of German business have prevailed...and rightly so in this case...
And what of the famous EU line about 'protecting' Ukraine as a gas transit corridor...?
LOLOLOL...that is in the same category of nothingburger as the EU noises about 'alternate payment' mechanisms for trade with Iran...
As soon as the Denmark story broke, Gazprom and Russian energy analysts talked openly about the tiny volumes that Ukraine could expect to see transiting its territory...as part of a new agreement to replace the one that has expired...
It works out to a small fraction of the several billion dollars in transit fees the Ukraine was getting...
Also considering that the IMF appears to be finally shutting off the tap of loans to this failed gangster state...and that the promises from the EU in 2013 were just so much fairy tales...hard-nosed operators like Kolomoysky are recalculating...
The chaos and national ruin has really cost these gangster capitalists nothing [in fact they have profited wildly]...so it is easy for them to reverse course and come begging back to Russia...
Bryan MacDonald has a good piece about this today in RT...
Ukraine's most powerful oligarch states the obvious: Ukraine has to turn back towards RussiaSo, here we are, almost six years since the first "EuroMaidan" protests in Kiev, and Ukraine's most prominent oligarch has finally voiced the unmentionable: the project has failed.
As for Kolomoysky...like Trump, there is something to like about dirtballs who speak their minds openly...LOLAccording to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GAPJB , Nov 14 2019 20:11 utc | 20Quite a turnaround by Kolomoisky. Wasn't he once caught on a tapped phone call admitting while chuckling about Ukrainian complicity in shooting down MH-17? i.e. NOT Donbas rebels and NOT Russia.james , Nov 14 2019 20:13 utc | 21@12 karlof1... a referendum... as if the usa would agree to that, lol.... look how they processed the one in crimea...Kadath , Nov 14 2019 20:23 utc | 22
@18 flankerbandit... last line is true, but it pales in relation to the ugliness these 2 exhibit 99% of the time, although the 1% when they don't it's refreshing! ukraine will continue to be used as a tool by the west..
forget about any referendum.. that makes too much sense and won't be allowed..Nordstream 2 will come online in less than 2 months and the Ukrainian gas exports at that time will cease (I.e. no oil for the Oligarchs to steal), no matter what the US says they can't replace the Russian oil exports in terms of money & support to Ukraine, so the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pocketsJ Swift , Nov 14 2019 20:31 utc | 23It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot.DannC , Nov 14 2019 20:37 utc | 24
But now the Ukrainian thieves are beginning to realize that the Western thieves are going to steal the very ground from under their feet, so there will be no more Ukraine to steal from. That's not a very good business model. Plus they're no doubt seeing how the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere, and realize they could easily find themselves the next meal for the US beast. Pretty easy to see why the smarter ones are getting nervous.they need to make peace with Russia or they will be left out in the cold, literally. They seemed to have previously bought into some insane lie that they'd be a part of the EU and NATO if theyd do Washington's bidding. The Deep state vastly underestimated Putin's resolve when it became clear to the Russians that Washington may try and turn Crimea into a NATO port one day. The game is over. Ukraine needs to find a way forward now for itself or it will be a failed state in the near future. It's clear Merkel and Europe want no part of this headacheflankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 20:42 utc | 25I don't think Russians want to 'own' any part of Ukraine...at least that is the nearly unanimous opinion of my own contacts and colleagues in Russia...so I don't think any referenda will be on the table...Jackrabbit , Nov 14 2019 20:49 utc | 26
What I do think is possible is what Yanukovich and Russia agreed to in terms of a trade and economic deal...which was a lot more practical [not to mention generous] than the EU 'either or' nonsense...
Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security...
At the time of the Soviet dissolution, Ukraine had the highest living standards and some of the world's prime industry and technology...including for instance the Yuzhnoye design bureau [rocket engines and spacecraft] and many more such cutting edge aerospace concerns...
For years these crucial enterprises were able to keep going due to the Russian market...that all ended in 2014 [and in fact was tapering off even before due to the massive corruption]...
Now the Chinese are looking to scoop up these gems at firesale prices...
It is really quite unbelievable that the nutcases in the Ukraine would be willing to cut off their own arm just to bleed on Russia's shirt...
Why did the Ukraine never recover from the gangster capitalism like Russia did...because no Putin ever came along to reign in the oligarchy...[It could be argued Putin hasn't done nearly enough in this regard].
The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling...Disappointed in b's analysis.uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:50 utc | 27
Kolomoisky is talking his book and helping USA to make the case that Nordstream is a NATO security issue. To pretend that he's serious about a rapproachment with Russia just plays into that effort.
And b ignores my comment on the prior thread that he references (about Trump being Constitutionally charged with foreign policy). Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.
While for practical reasons the Executive Branch of USA government has the power to negotiate treaties and manage foreign relations, Constitutionally he does so for the sovereign (the American people) and his efforts are subject to review and approval of the people's representatives via the power of the purse.
Ignoring how the "Imperial Presidency" has usurped power leads to faulty analysis that supports that power grab.
Ukrainegate IS a farce, but for other reasons. Chief among them being the inherent fakery of 'managed democracy' which manifests as kayfabe.Babyl-on #8uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:58 utc | 28There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.
There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners of the world and they run the world they own.
Nicely put:- that is the reality. Thanks b for your intrepid reports.
Paul Craig Roberts has a deeply aggrieved rant at zero hedge if barflies want a chuckle. What a shitshow.flankerbandit #25jo6pac , Nov 14 2019 21:06 utc | 29
YES to all that and we are all getting the same split and plunder treatment.
Indonesia is the trial ground and has been where the methods were in place the longest as Andre Vitchek reports .
That is our future unless we intervene and throw the USA out of our countries.Long but a good read on the Ukraine by David Stockman.flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 21:16 utc | 30
https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2019/11/12/the-ukrainian-influence-peddling-rings-a-microcosm-of-how-imperial-washington-rolls/Agree with Uncle on Indonesia...yes that Vltchek piece [and much of his previous work on Indonesia] is pretty sobering...this is our future folks...Duncan Idaho , Nov 14 2019 21:21 utc | 31Crimea?bevin , Nov 14 2019 21:47 utc | 32
It has been part of Russia about as long as the USA has been a country.
9 out of 10 residents are of Russian origin, and Russian is the spoken language.
I guess it could be returned to the 10%-- but out of fairness, we must turn the USA over to its original occupants.
If you live in the USA, get your ass ready to leave.One of the problems that the anti-nazis face in Ukraine is that there are occupying armies in the country. Armies which cannot be trusted to obey instructions which are not agreed upon by NATO warmongers.michael , Nov 14 2019 21:56 utc | 33
One such army is Canadian, commanded I believe by a descendant of the Ukrainian SS refugees and reporting to the Foreign Minister in Ottawa, a Russophobe with a family background of nazi collaboration.
The actual political situation is much more delicate than media reports suggest: what are called elections feature, in the Washington approved fashion, the banning of socialist and communist candidates. Bans which are enforced by a combination of fascist commanded police forces and, even less responsible, private nazi militias. Opponents of the Maidan regime are driven into exile, jailed or murdered.
Those who wonder as Jackrabbit, in a rare essay into rationality, does above, about the nature of the US Constitution after decades of the erosion of checks and balances thanks to the Imperial Presidency, will recognise that a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it.
And what this means is that, among other things, the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled: there is no way that the people of Ukraine can decide what they want because the decisions have been taken for them, in weird cult like gatherings of SS worshiping Bandera supporters in Toronto and Chicago. It is no accident that most of the 'Ukrainians' being wheeled out by the Democrats to testify against Trump are actually greedy expatriates who have never really lived in Ukraine.
There was a moment, not long ago, when it looked as if the Minsk accords promised a path to peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately the plain people of Ukraine, the poorest in Europe though living in one of the richest countries, Washington, Ottawa and NATO didn't like the sound of Minsk. Nor did the fascists in the Baltic states and Poland, for whom, for centuries, Ukraine has been a cow to milk, its people slaves to be exploited and its rich resources too tempting to ignore.As Thomas Jefferson explained the President's role in foreign affairs in 1790, and the lack of advisors' policy making decisions: ''as the President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'; that whatever he communicated as such, they had a right and were bound to consider 'as the expression of the nation'; and that no foreign agent could be 'allowed to question it,' or 'to interpose between him and any other branch of government, under the pretext of either's transgressing their functions.' Mr. Jefferson therefore declined to enter into any discussion of the question as to whether it belonged to the President under the Constitution to admit or exclude foreign agents. 'I inform you of the fact,' he said, 'by authority from the President.'Sadness , Nov 14 2019 22:04 utc | 34Might also be worth yesterdays hero's asking if dear Mr Kolomoisky, joint Uki/Israeli national, took a part in authorising the shoot down of MH17 as a news cover for Operation Protective Edge. Heave ho zionist USA ....et al.steven t johnson , Nov 14 2019 22:11 utc | 351.The decisions to with hold and release aid have nothing to do with the President making foreign policy but with his campaign. Saying it was about foreign policy is a damned lie.Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:16 utc | 36
2.Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy. Military aid to Ukraine, yes, except no, except yes, personal handling without asking anybody with experience how to achieve the national goal desired, national agenda kept secret from the people who have to carry it out, abuse of officials, demands for dubiously legal actions without rationale...Saying it was about the president's executive role is a damned lie.
3.Trump has not made even a tweet that questions US support for fascists. That not even a issue for Trump. Saying this is about support for fascism is a damned lie.
4.Kolomoyskiy is a bankroller of fascists. It is not impossible even a billionaire might get frightened by the genie he's let out of the bottle, even if he's Jewish and rich enough to run away. But actually undoing the fascist regime means taming the paramilitaries and this is not even on the horizon. Given the rivalry between Poroshenko and Kolomoyskiy it's not even certain it's a real change of heart or just soothing words for the non-fascist people. Nor is it even clear the Zelensky will follow even the Steinmeier formula. If he does, good, but until something actually happens? Saying it's about the antifascist turn is a damned lie.
The only thing that isn't a lie is that Trump was not committing treasons, "merely" a campaign violation. But then, Clinton never did either. The crybabies who dished it out but can't take it deserve zero respect, and zero time.@ michael 34Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:17 utc | 37
There's a major difference between being a national spokesman and being a national decision-maker.@ stj 36Jen , Nov 14 2019 22:32 utc | 38
Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy.
There's no basis for that in the Constitution.Curious to know how Kolomoisky is working "feverishly" to end the war in the Donbass region. Wonder if he is planning to come clean on what he knows of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 shootdown and crash in an area not far from Slavyansk and near where his Privat Group's subsidiary company Burisma Holdings holds a licence to drill for oil and natural gas. What does he know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested? He had been governor of Dnepropetrovsk region at the time.ben , Nov 14 2019 22:47 utc | 39A quote from b's article;"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression".Paul Damascene , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 40
Spoken by two sycophants for the empire.
It would be in our "national interest" if we could stop our aggression's around the globe.
DJT, IMO, only favors peace with Russia, or any one else,if, it furthers HIS personal, and his families enrichment.
He has a record of shafting people, I just wish people would inform themselves about it, and see what he's done with his life, not what says about it.Somewhere I read it alleged that the actual owner of Burisma was or is Kolomoiski.ben , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 41
Anything to this?
And via John Helmer (via Checkpointasia and dances with bears) comes the perspective that it's not so much Kolomoiski floating trial balloons (though that may also be true) but that K is being given space in the NYT to build his credentials as the new Borg villain, thereby making it still harder for Zelensky to reconcile with Russia.fb @ 25 said;"The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling..."Really?? , Nov 14 2019 23:23 utc | 42
Yup, aided and abetted by our current regime, while pretending not to...@23oldhippie , Nov 14 2019 23:25 utc | 43
"It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot."
This is it in a nutshell. The Russians were fed up with Ukraine stealing gas. Hence, Nord Stream 2. That was always the plan. Whether the Yanks truly grasped the rationale here ---Russia is cutting off gas to Ukraine, simple---has never been clear to me. Although it is a fairly simple plot. The Russians had decades of shenanigans with the Ukes and said Basta. By not overreacting to the Ukrainian-USA freakout and keeping their eyes on the prize (Nord Stream and disengaging, gas-wise, from Uk), they have managed to reach their goal of getting Nord Stream 2 online.Kolomoiski is the bankroller and commander of the Azov Battalion. Has close arrangements with other paramilitaries. And is the current principal of Burisma. And is Privatbank, the only bank left in Ukraine. He gets a cut of all the action.OutOfThinAir , Nov 14 2019 23:45 utc | 44
When Trump queries Zelensky, all that Zelensky is thinking is this guy does not know the score. This guy does not know who's on first. He wants me to investigate the boss? Let him talk to the boss. And who does Z talk to in D.C.? Pointless getting into detail with Trump.
Trump has no team. No one in D.C. is on his side. He's unable to finish anything.1) Say the fantasy happens and the US/Russia become BFFs like US/UK...Zedd , Nov 14 2019 23:50 utc | 45
- Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss?
- Tough to answer, many unknowns- Russia may act different once its on top, actors may derail schemes, Deep State temper tantrum, etc...
In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.Kolomoiski is a U.S. asset. His interview with the NYTimes proves it.Steve , Nov 15 2019 0:03 utc | 46
His threats are meant to mobilize NATO and Russia haters in general; because Trump and most of his cadre care nothing for Ukraine.
Does anyone think Russia will give Kolomoiski 100 million dollars? Why was he given an opportunity to threaten the USA? For no reason? Something else is afoot but Russia still won't take the bait because they are winning.
Russia is quite happy with the status quo. The war in Ukraine keeps the war against Russia on a level which is easy to manipulate and therefore geostrategically beneficial. Kolomoiski will get nothing.Thank you, b, for that snippet from NY Interview with Kolomoisky . I had glanced the headline on RT but didn't read it because of RT's usual clumsy writing.evilempire , Nov 15 2019 0:51 utc | 47Kolomoiski is taunting the empire: investigate my crimes andflankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 0:59 utc | 48
ukraine will seek reconciliation and alliance with russia.
Russia won't fall for it. They want kolomoiski's scalp even
more than the empire. From the statements putin has made, maybe
the only concession russia would accept is the dissolution of
ukraine as a sovereign entity and reintegration with russia, minus galicia.
Putin has remarked that they are not one people but one state. Ukraine
already knows that its domestic industry is only viable in competition
with the eu industrial powerhouses if it is integrated with russia.Jen said...Kiza , Nov 15 2019 1:12 utc | 49What does [Kolomoysky] know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested?
Okay..so an interesting can of worms here...
First is the fact that Kolomoysky was the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at the time...
Now as to the flight and Dnipro Radar [the regional air traffic control facility that controls a very big chunk of airspace over eastern Ukraine]...
First the issue of the airplane cruising altitude...the crew had filed their flight plan to climb from flight level 330 [33,000 ft] to FL350 after passing a certain waypoint in eastern Ukraine...
Now the controllers did instruct the crew to go ahead and climb to their planned altitude, but the crew declined the clearance and opted to stay at FL330...this was done very likely because the atmospheric conditions at that height were better for fuel economy...
[To be even more specific...the Boeing manual gave an optimum flight altitude of 33,800 ft, but flying eastward you only have odd numbered flight levels to choose from, so the crew figured they would be better off staying at 33 than climbing to 35...]
BUT...there are a couple of very curious things here...
First is the fact that Dnipro controllers deviated the airplane from its flight plan just before it went down...ostensibly due to other traffic...
We can see this in the following map, which is what's called a high altitude en route chart, which is used by pilots to plan and execute their flight...
Here we see the route of MH17 superimposed on the chart...
You will note a couple of things here...the airplane is flying on the L980 airway [basically a highway in the sky] when it is turned south by controllers to the RND waypoint, which is in Russian territory...
This is NOT the route filed by the crew...which can be seen here...
They were supposed to continue flying on L980 right to the TAMAK waypoint, which is visible on the previous chart and is right on the border with Russia...
They would have continued on the A87 airway to their next waypoint in Russia which is TIKNA...
Now here is the thing...right after they were turned south, they got shot down...
According to the radio transcripts, the crew acknowledged the course change, but did not object...however, usually these kinds of course changes aren't appreciated on the flight deck because the crew is trying to minimize wasted time and wasted fuel on course deviations...
Most times you will just not bother to complain to controllers...but for sure there will always be chatter between the captain and copilot about being yanked around like that...
No mention is made in the Dutch Safety Board report about such chatter from the cockpit voice recorder, which I find very odd...
Also odd is the fact that Dnipro ATC primary radar was down, and only the so-called 'secondary' was working which uses the transponder signals from the airplane...
This is very busy airspace because a lot of flights from western Europe to South Asia traverse this territory...the plan is always to fly what's called a 'great circle route' which is basically a straight line, if you flattened out the globe...
Plus considering that you have a war going on underneath...it's very unusual to have your PRIMARY radar inoperable...
This is significant also because military aircraft will not be using transponders and so will not be visible to the secondary surveillance...
The Russian primary radar did pick up two other aircraft very nearby MH17...but the Dutch have made some kind of excuse about that data not being in 'raw' form and thus not usable...
So we see some very suspicious anomalies here...
The Ukrainian authorities did have a NOTAM [notice to airmen] in effect up to FL320 [32,000 ft] so commercial traffic could not fly under that height...but clearly they should have closed the airspace over the hot conflict area...
They didn't do that...and Kolomoysky was in charge...
The Deep State's view on the members' God given right to make foreign policy decisions (it must be the God who has give it to them, because the people certainly have not) just reminds the of the general attitude of the Government's bureaucracy. Give any fartbag a position in the government and he/she becomes "a prince/princes over the people", give him or her a monopoly over violence and you got yourself a king/queen. All these police and military kings & queens milling around and lording over us. "Deep State" is such a totally natural consequence of the government bureaucracy corrupted by power that it appropriated. Pillaging taxes from the sheeple (and taking young maidens like Sheriff of Nottingham/Epstein) could have never ever been enough. Did you seriously think that the Deep Staters would constrain themselves to only stealing your money, taking your children for their pleasure and to die in their wars of conquest, and putting you into a totally unsafe airplanes to die for their profit? Constrain themselves when there is a whole globe out there to be lorded over, like Bidens over Ukraine? It is the poor people of Ukraine who just have too much money, thus had to give it through the gas monopoly to the Biden gang, which selflessly brought them "democracy" at $5B in US taxpayers' expense. Therefore, it is the Deep State which has been chosen by God, or someone just like that, to make the decisions about the imperialist/globalist foreign policy and have billions of dollars thrown by the grateful natives into their own pockets, as consulting fees:dh , Nov 15 2019 1:42 utc | 50
So far the only clear-cut globalization is that one of crime, which has become global.What is the US National Interest b asks? Who defines it as such?karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 1:47 utc | 51
Ome magazine that might know is none other than The National Interest. Hopefully I won't get attacked for quoting from what seems like a fairly sane article to me....
"The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to. Ukraine is a debt-ridden state and only five years beyond an extralegal revolution. Should the government collapse again, then American weapons could end up in the possession of any number of dubious paramilitary groups.
It wouldn't be the first time. In the 2000s, CIA operatives were forced to repurchase Stinger missiles that had fallen into the hands of Afghani warlords -- at a markup. Originally offered to the Mujahideen in the 1980s, the Stingers came to threaten American forces in the region. Similarly, many weapons provided with US authorization to Libyan rebels in 2011 ended up in the possession of jihadists."
https://www.yahoo.com/news/dressed-kill-arming-ukraine-could-173200746.htmlIt's difficult to find clean information on happenings within Ukraine and those involving Russia. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has this page dedicated to the "Situation Around Ukraine." Of the three most recent listings, this one --"Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the NATO Council's visit to Ukraine"--from 1 November is quite important as it deals with the reality on the ground versus the circus happening thousands of miles away, although it's clear the delusions in Washington and Brussels are the same and "continue to be guided by the Cold War logic of exaggerating the nonexistent 'threat from the East' rather than the interests of pan-European security."Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:01 utc | 52
In the second most recent listing --"Remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, October 31, 2019"--the following was noted:
"There's more to it. The odious site Myrotvorets continues to function using servers located in the United States. The UN has repeatedly stated that this violates the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. Recently, Deputy Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Benjamin Moreau, reiterated the recommendation to shut down this website. A similar demand was made by other representatives of the international community, including the German government. The problem was brought to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights. The other day, the representative of Ukraine at the ECHR was made aware of the groundlessness of the Ukrainian government's excuses saying that it allegedly 'has no influence' on the above website.
"In closing, recent opinion polls in Ukraine indicate that its residents are expecting the government to do more to bring peace to Donbas. The path to a settlement is well known, that is, the full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, that was approved by the UN Security Council."
Clearly, Zelensky's government is much like Poroschenko's when it comes to listening to those who empowered it, the above citation is one of several from the overall report.
The latest report deals with an ongoing case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague that reveals some of the anti-Russian bias there. It has no bearing on this discussion, although it does provide evidence of the contextual background against which the entire affair, including the circus in Washington, operates.
MoA consensus is Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords they continue to oppose to implement despite their promise to do so. Clearly an excellent example of not being agreement capable that hasn't changed since 2015.
If the Republicans had any brains, they'd turn the Ukrainian aspect of the hearings into an indictment against Obama/Biden for illegally overthrowing Kiev and trying to obtain their piece-of-the-action, but then that would be the logical thing to do and thus isn't an option. The prospect of each day providing similar spectacle is mind numbing as it airs the sordid, unwashed underwear if the Evil Outlaw US Empire.I normally do not reply to trolls, but I make an exception for you. Pedo-dollar? Do you have any more such crap to dilute the valid points discussed here?james , Nov 15 2019 2:36 utc | 53@41 paul damascene... regarding the helmer article - thanks for pointing it out.. IGOR KOLOMOISKY MAKES A MISTAKE, AND THE NEW YORK TIMES DOES WHAT IT ALWAYS DOESUnionHorse , Nov 15 2019 2:40 utc | 54
i liked what @ 32 tod said - "he's just doing the old Jewish threatening/begging dance!
"And you are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it." Wink! Wink!"
stating the obvious is one remedy for any possible confusion here..
@54 karlof1... i don't believe trump is allowed to shine any light on the usas illegal actions as that would be sacrilege to all the americans who see their country in such a great, exceptional-ist light... how would trumps MAGA concept swallow that? it wouldn't, so it won't happen...I just watched Seven Days in May for the first time in a long while. It is worth the time. It resonates loudly today.Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:50 utc | 55@flankerbandit 18Grieved , Nov 15 2019 3:01 utc | 56
You are a bit off on that story. NS2 pipeline will increase the capacity not transitioning via Ukraine and reduce the price banditry by the Ukrainian & US gangs, but it will not make gas transit via Ukraine unnecessary. The planned switch off of the German nuclear and coal power plants will gradually increase the German demand for gas, that is the Russian gas by so much that NS1 and NS2 will not be enough. Primarily, NS2 is a signal to the Ukrainian & US Democrat gangs that if they try excessive transit fees and stealing of gas again, that they will be circumvented within a few years by NS 3,4,5 ...
BTW, the globalized pillaging of the population is clearly not an invention of the DNC crime gang only. For example, the 737Max is a product of primarily Republican activity on deregulating what should have never been deregulated and subjugation to the Wall Street (aka financialization). The pillaging of the World is strictly bipartisan, just differently packaged:
1) R - packaging the deregulation to steal & kill as "freedom" or
2) D - packaging the regime change as responsibility to protect R2P (such regime change and stuffing of own pockets later).karlof1 @54 - "Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords"Kiza , Nov 15 2019 3:09 utc | 57
Yes. As you well know, and as we have well discussed, Minsk was in its very essence the surrender terms dictated to the US by NAF and Russia in return for letting the NATO contractors go free and secretly out of the Debaltsevo cauldron. Either actually or poetically, this was the basis. The US lost against NAF. The only way to prevent Donbass incursion into the rest of Ukraine was to freeze the situation. The US had no choice, and surrendered.
Out of the heat and fog of warfare came a simple document made of words which, even so, illustrated perfectly just how elegantly the Kremlin had the entire situation both war-gamed and peace-gamed. Minsk from that day until forever has locked the Ukraine play into a lost war of attrition for the US sponsors, with zero gain - except for thieves.
To attempt to parse Ukraine in terms of statecraft is to miss the point that Ukraine can only be parsed in terms of thievery. This is not cynicism, simply truth.
Now they sell their land because this is all there is left to sell. Kolomoisky proposes selling the entire country to Russia for $100 billion but not only will Russia not bite, the country isn't worth even a fraction of that - because of Minsk, it can cause zero harm to Russia. But this ploy raises the perceived value (Kolomoisky hopes) in the eyes of the west, and starts the bidding.
In Russia the people see all this very clearly, including on their TV. Yakov Kedmi in this Vesti News clip of Vladimir Soloviev's hugely popular talk show, discusses the situation. He baits Soloviev by saying that the Ukrainian thieves are only doing what the Russian thieves did in the 1990's - and one must filter through this badinage to take out the nuggets he supplies. Here are three:
1. Zelensky has no security apparatus that follows his command, therefore how can he be considered the leader of the country?
2. There is no power in Ukraine, only forces that contend over the scraps of plunder.
3. These forces are creating the only law there is, which is the sacred nature of private property for the rich - the only thing the US holds sacred.
Therefore sell the very soil.
The Minsk agreement is a sheer wall of ice reaching to the sky. No force imaginable can scale it or break it. Against that ultimate, immovable wall the US pounds futilely, with Ukraine caught in the middle, while Russia waits for Ukraine to devolve into whatever it can.
And the Russian people and government regard the people of the Ukraine as brothers and sisters. But until the west has worn itself down, and either gone away or changed the equation through a weakening of its own position in some significant way, nothing can be done by Russia except to wait.What Tod @32 described is spot-on, "the old Jewish threatening/begging dance". It is not that the Russians do not know this about Kolomoyskyi. They will play along not expecting anything from the Zelo-on-a-String and his master. The Russians like to let those scumbags (Erdo comes to mind) huff & puff and embarrass themselves by flips. They know - it could always be worse if those did something intelligent. Kolomoyskyi is vile but he ain't no genius, not any more than Erdo.flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 3:42 utc | 58james , Nov 15 2019 3:47 utc | 59You are a bit off on that story.
Sure Cheeza...everybody's a 'bit off' except you...
Gazprom is talking about 10 bcm a year through Ukraine for the new 10 year deal, as opposed to the 60 bcm [billion cubic meters] that Ukraine is hoping for...
The Vesti report right here...@62 grieved.. nice to see you back.. thanks of the link with yako kedmi talking.. that was fascinating.. i think the guy is bang on..snake , Nov 15 2019 3:58 utc | 60flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 4:01 utc | 61
"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.
There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction/)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government. Babyl-on @ 8
? before I begin , how do you measure the political and economic power of money as opposed to the political and economic power of the intentions and needs of the masses. Does $1 control a 100 people? A million dollars control 100,000,000 people? How do we measure the comparative values between money power and people power? I think the divisions of economics and the binaries of politics established by the nation state system means that the measurement function (political and economic values) varies as a function of the total wealth vs the total population in each nation state. If true, become obvious how it is that: foreign investments displaces the existing homeostatis in any particular nation state, the smaller the poorer the nation state, the more impact foreign wealth can have; in other words outside wealth can completely destroy the homeostatis of an existing nation state. I think it is this fact which makes globalization so attractive to the ruling interest (RI) and so damning to the poorest of the poor.
Change by amendment is impossible There is one and only one Western Empire but there is also an Eastern Empire, a southern empire, and a Northern Empire and I believe the ruling interest (faction) manipulate all nations through these empires. In fact, they can do this in any nation they wish. The world has been divided into containers of humans and propaganda and culture have highly polarized the humans in one container against the humans in other containers. <=divide, polarize, then exploit: its like pry the window, and gain access to the residence, then exploit. It is obvious that the strength of the resistance to ruling class exploitation is a function of common cause among the masses. But money allows to control both the division of power and the polarization of the masses. The persons who have the powers described in Article II of the US Constitution since Lincoln was murdered can be controlled (Epstein, MSM directed propaganda, impeachment, assassination, to accomplish the objects of the ruling interest (faction). Article II of the USA constitution removes foreign activity of the USA from domestic view of the governed at home Americans. Article II makes it possible for the POTUS to use American assets and resources to assist his/her feudal lords in exploiting foreign nations almost at will and there is no way governed Americans can control who the ruling interest place in the Article II position.
A little History Immigration to NYC from Eastern (the poor) and Western (the rich) Europe transitioned NYC and other cities from Irish majority to a Jewish majority; and the wealthy interest used the Jewish majorities in key cities to take control over both Article I and Article II constitutional powers by electing field effect controlled politicians (political puppets are elected that can be reprogrammed while they are in office to suit the ruling interest. The source code is called rule of law, and money buys the programmers who write the code. So the ruling interest can reprogram in field effect fashion, any POTUS they wish. Out of sight use of the resources of America in foreign lands is nothing new, it was established when the constitution was written in Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified in 1788.
Propaganda targeted to the Jewish Immigrants allowed the wealthy interest to control the outcome of the 1912 election. That election allowed to destroy Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4 " No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census of enumeration herein before directed to be taken". and to enact a law which privatized the USA monopoly on money into the hands of private bankers (the federal reserve act of 1913)
What was the grand design Highly competitive, independent too strong economic Germany was interfering with Western hegemony and the oil was in the lands controlled by the Ottomans. It took two wars, but Germany was destroyed, and the Ottoman empire (basically the entire Middle East) became the war gained property of the British (Palestine), the French (Syria) and the USA (Israel). Since then, the ruling interest have used their (field effect devices to align governments so the wealthy could pillage victim societies the world over. Field effect programming allows wealth interest to use the leaders of governments to use such governments to enable pillage in foreign places. The global rich and powerful, and their corporations are the ruling interest.
psychohistorian says it well "..the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyone's heads to make it ongoing..." by psychochistorian @ 10
NOBITs @ 11 says it also "All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!" by: NOBTS @ 11
According to TG @ 13 "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."by: TG @ 13 <= absolutely not.. the constitution isolates governed Americans from the USA, because the USA is a republic and republics are about privatizing power and socializing responsibility; worse, there ain't nothing you can do about it.
Vonu @ 19 says "According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA" by: Vonu @ 19 <=but it is by the authority of Ariicle II that the NSC has the power to run the executive branch?
KAdath @ 22 says "the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets by: Kadath @ 22" <=exactly.. but really its not abandoning the USA, its abandoning the oligarchs local to the pillaged nation..
J Swift @ 23 says "the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere," [poorly] but its not the USA per say, because only one person has the power to deal in foreign places. Its that the POTUS, or those who control the Article II powers vested in the POTUS, have or has been reprogrammed.. J. Switft @23>>
flankerbandit @ 25 says " Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security..." flankerbandit @ 25 <=Not really the wealthy (investor interest) have pushed the pillage at will button.. since there is no resistance remaining, the wealthy will take it all for a song..
Jackrabbit @ 26 says "Trump [is].. Constitutionally charged with foreign policy. Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.by Jackrabbit @ 26 <== Trumps orders military to take 4 million day from Syria in oil?
your observation that the money has circumvented Article I of the COUS explains why the democraps are so upset.. the wealthy democrap interest has been left to rot? Your comment suggest s mafia is in charge?
Tod @ 32 says "As soon as some money goes his way, he'll discover democracy again.
Sorry to burst you bubbles." by: Tod @ 32" <==understatement of the day.. thanks.
Bevin @ 32 says "a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it. this means.. the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled" by bevin @ 33 <= yes but there is really no difference in a republic and its rule of law, and a fascist government and its military police both rule without any influential input from the governed.
michael @ 34 reaffirms "The President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'" michael @ 34 well known to barflies, the design of national constitutions is at the heart of the global problem. Until constitutional powers are placed in control of the governed there will never be a change in how the constitutional powers ( in case of the USA Article II powers) are used and abused.
OutofThinAir @45 says "In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.by: OutOfThinAir @ 45" <+governments are the tools of wealth interest and the governors their hired hands.
by: War is Peace @48 " Trump is a moron, groomed by Jewish parents ( Mother was Jewish, Father buried at biggest Jewish cementary in NYC ) to be a non-Jew worked for the mob under Cohen ( lawyer for 1950's McCarthy ); Became the 'Goyim Fool" real estate developer as a cover for laundering mob money. So that it didn't appear that it was Jewish Mafia Money, so they could work with the Italian Mafia. Trump went on for his greatest role ever to be the "fool in Chief" of the USA for AIPAC. What better way to murder people, than send out a fool, it causes people to drop their guard. by War is Peace @48 <= yes this is my take, What does it mean. com suggest the global wealth interest may be planning to reprogram Trump to better protect the interest of the global wealthy.
Kiza @ 51 the reason for globalization is explained see above=> response to Babyl-on @ 8
dh @ 53 says ""The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to." by dh @53 < the USA cannot consider anything, if its foreign the POTUS (Article II) makes all decisions because Art II gives the POTUS a monopoly on talking to, and dealing with, foreign governments.
Deagel @ 56 says "The American people don't care, they're all drugged out, and shitting on the side-walks all over the USA, and sleeping in their own shit. This is the best time in USA history for the Zionists to do anything they wish." by: Deagel @ 56 <= I think you under estimate the value Americans place on democracy and human rights, until recently governed Americans believed the third party privately produced MSM delivered propaganda that nearly all overseas operations by the USA were to separate the people in those places from their despotic leaders, and to help those displaced people install Democracy.. many Americans have come to understand such is far from the case.. the situation in the Ukraine has been an eye opener for many Americans. thoughts are sizzling, talk is happening, and people are trying to shut google out of their lives. that is why i think Trump is about to be reprogrammed from elected leader to .. God in charge
wealth interest exampleGrieved...thanks for that magnificent analysis...karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 4:55 utc | 62
I watched that Soloviev segment with Kedmi the other day...always interesting to say the least...
Btw...I'm not really up to speed on that whole Debaltsevo cauldron thing...I've heard snippets here and there...[there is a guy, Auslander, who comments on the Saker blog that seems to have excellent first hand info, but I've only caught snippets here and there]...
I hadn't heard this part of the story before about Nato contractors as bargaining chips...if you care to shed a bit more light I will be grateful...flankeerbandit @67--Kiza , Nov 15 2019 5:12 utc | 63
I suggest going to The Saker Blog and enter Debaltsevo Cauldron into the site's search box and click Submit where you'll be greeted with numerous results.
Thanks for your reply and excellent recap. As I recall, Putin wants Donbass to remain in Ukraine and Ukraine to remain a whole state, although I haven't read his thoughts on the matter for quite some months as everything has revolved around implementing Minsk. The items at the Foreign Ministry I linked to are also concerned with Minsk.
The circus act in DC is trying to avoid any mention of Minsk, the coup or anything material to the gross imperial meddling done there to enrich the criminal elite, which includes Biden, Clinton, other DNC members--a whole suite of actors that omits Trump in this case, although they're trying to pin something on him. The issue being studiously ignored is Obama/Biden needed to be busted for their actions at the time, but in time-honored fashion weren't. And the huge rotted sewer of corruption related to that action and ALL that came before is the real problem at issue.@flankerbandit 64dickr , Nov 15 2019 6:49 utc | 64
Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person as evidenced by The New Yorker 737Max article in the previous thread. This good article could only be measured by how much it agrees with your own opinion that MCAS was put in to mimic the pilots' usual fly-stick feel. If anyone does his home work, such as the journalist of this article, then he must agree with you, right? With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense and say that it would be an unimaginably stupid idea to put in ANY AUTOMATED SYSTEM which pushes the plane's nose down during ascent (the most risky phase of a civilian flight, when almost desperately trying to get up and up and up) for any DUMBLY POSSIBLE REASON !? What could ever go wrong with such an absolutely dumbly initiated system relying on one sensor? Maybe it was a similar idea to putting a cigarette lighter right next to the car's gas tank because it lights up cigarettes better when there are gasoline vapors around. Or maybe an idea of testing the self-driving lithium battery (exploding & flammable) cars near kindergartens (of some other people's children)!?
An intelligent person would have said - whatever the reason was to put in MCAS it was a terribly dumb idea, instead of congratulating himself on understanding the "true reason".flankerbandit @18 good analysis thx.Ike , Nov 15 2019 6:55 utc | 65"If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions."Fly , Nov 15 2019 7:14 utc | 66
From what have gleaned from the alternative media available on the internet ,of which MOA is an important part. Putin and Lavrov are the two most moral and diplomatic statesmen on the world stage today Compared to Trump, Johnson, Macron, Merkel, Stoltenberg, Pompeo, Bolton and whoever else blights the international scene these days these two are colossi.
To describe them as like a Mafia family seems to me to be 180 degrees wrong. Maybe Putin overreacted, in his early days in power, to the Chechen conflict but look at the situation today.
Look at how Gorbachev and Yeltsin were played by the west. I appreciate you did not write the words quoted above but you said you agree with them and I find that startling given I am usually very admiring of your insight and knowledge of geopolitical events.
According to the Impeachniks, it is Schiff's staff who decides how Schiff votes and his policies. It would be illegal for Schiff to make decisions. But Schiff's recommendation will make or break the careers of his staff, so elected Schiff has some influence. That's not true for elected Trump, because those in his service already have made careers and/or a host of outsiders looking to place them.dickr , Nov 15 2019 7:32 utc | 67@50 flankerbandit - wow!QuietRebel , Nov 15 2019 8:47 utc | 68Although, he didn't get impeached for it Obama did get criticized for not sending the aid to Ukraine. He was also criticized when he did intervene, but not fast enough for the deep state. Remember "leading from behind" in response to Libya. Obama was much more popular and circumspect than Trump, which protected him from possible impeachment when he went off the deep state's script.Walter , Nov 15 2019 9:12 utc | 69ralphieboy , Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71
Discussion of the USC and the responsibilities assigned therein is probably a foolish and merely moot exercise, as law is, ultimately simply custom over time, and since '45 or so the custom has become dissociated from the documents' provisions, particularly with regard to war-making and the "licensed" import and sale of dangerous drugs, dope. The custom in place is essentially ukase - rule by decree. Many decree are secret.
I do not object, simply pointing to the obvious.
This is a public secret anybody can know. Inter alia see The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (McCoy)
Custom includes also permitted theft, blackmail, trafficking children and so forth.
zerohedge put up some documents tying TGM Hunter B to the money from Ukraine...
I would not worry about the name of the person called president. The real sitrep is more like watching rape and murder from the dirty windows of a runaway train.Upon the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine was left with the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. In exchange for financial assistance in the costs of removing all the nukes, the West guaranteed to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity.Christian J Chuba , Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72
In the meantime, Russia has annexed the Crimea and rebels have taken control of parts of Eastern Ukraine. The West has not provided any direct military assistance to restore those territorial infringements.
Since the West has reneged on its end of the deal, would it not only be fair to return Ukraine's nukes so it can defend itself like the Big Boys do, namely with threat of nuclear annihilation?Ukrainians are dyingSeamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 12:47 utc | 73
I hate this trope. The Russian Fed. is not launching offensive operations to capture Kharkov or Kiev. Western Ukraine is shelling ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. What would U.S. Congressman say if these were Jews? (I would condemn that as well).
The next time someone pontificates, 'Ukrainians are dying because Trump held up aid' ask them how many. The number is ZERO. Javelins are not being used on the front line.Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat.deschutes , Nov 15 2019 13:25 utc | 74Mr. Kolomoisky is spot on, i.e. when he says that the Americans will only use Ukrainians as their little bitches to fight and die for America's gain against Russia. Just like the Americans fucked over the Kurds in Syria, using them as proxy fighters to do USA/Israel's dirty work. Wherever the USA shows up and starts interfering, everything turns into shit: Iraq...Afghanistan...Venezuela...Bolivia...Ukraine...Libya...Yemen...Nicaragua...Ecuador...the list is quite long. It remains to be seen if Mr. Kolomoisky can bring about rapprochement with Russia. He'd better watch his back.William Gruff , Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75"Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat." --Seamus Padraig @73juliania , Nov 15 2019 14:13 utc | 76
Yes, Kolomoisky has moved up a notch in my estimation as well; from the low of "monstrously inhuman spawn of satan" all the way up to "rabid dog" . That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.I am very glad to see you back, Grieved, and your 'wall of ice' metaphor is indeed accurate. To me, the promising signs in Ukraine were even as here in the US when voters fought back against what b calls Deep State, which I am sure in my heart was even more of an overwhelming surge than registered - the best the corrupters of the system could do was make it close enough to be a barely legitimate win for their side, and they didn't succeed. Maybe somewhere along their line of shenanigans a small cog in the wheel got religion and didn't do their 'job'. An unsung hero who will sing when it's safe.Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 14:39 utc | 77
I hope, dearly hope, it gets safe in Ukraine very soon. They are us only further down the line than we are, but we will get there if we can't totally remove the cancer in our midst. That's our job; I wish Ukraine all the best in removing theirs.Jen 70flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 14:47 utc | 78
I believe the Russian presentation on MH17 showed a military aircraft climbing in the vicinity of, or towards MH17.Jen...I should have made clear that the two aircraft picked up by Russian PRIMARY RADAR were unidentified...S , Nov 15 2019 14:53 utc | 79
The two commercial flights you mention were in the area and were known to both Russian and Ukrainian controllers by means of the SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR, which picks up the aircraft transponder signals...
However, secondary WILL NOT pick up military craft that have their transponders off...which is normal operating procedure for military craft...
So the airspace situation was this...you can see this from one of the illustrations I provided from the DSB prelim report...
You had MH17...you had that other flight coming from the opposite direction [flying west]...and you had that airplane that overtook the MH17 from behind [they were in a hurry and were going faster, so when MH17 decided to stay at FL330, they were cleared to climb to FL350 so they could safely overtake with the necessary vertical separation...]
Those three aircraft were all picked up on the Ukrainian SECONDARY [transponder] surveillance...as well as the Russians...on both their PRIMARY AND SECONDARY...
But what the Russians picked up were two craft ONLY ON THEIR PRIMARY...those would have been military aircraft flying with their transponders off [they're allowed to do that and do that most of the time in fact]...
That's why those two DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THE SECONDARY DATA HANDED OVER TO THE INVESTIGATORS BY THE UKRAINIANS...
Only primary radar would pick those up...and, very conveniently, the Dnipro primary was inop at the time...[so the data handed to investigators by the Ukrainians would have no trace of any military aircraft nearby]...
But with the Russian primary radar data, there is in fact evidence that there were military aircraft in the air at the time...just that the Dutch investigators simply decided to exclude the very vital Russian radar data on some stupid technicality...
[Really this is a very poorly done report, both prelim and final, and I've read many over the years...]
The other thing I should have emphasized more clearly is about that course deviation that controllers steered MH17 to, just seconds before it was hit...
The known traffic was those three commercial aircraft, as shown on the chart... here it is again...
Those three commercial flights are clearly labeled...and the big question is... why was MH17 DIVERTED SOUTH...OFF ITS PLANNED ROUTE...?
We can see the deviation track by the dotted red line...
Clearly there was no 'other traffic' that required MH17 to be vectored south by the controllers...
In fact we see that there was a FOURTH commercial flight [another B777] that was flying south exactly to that same waypoint that MH17 was diverted to...we see this airplane is flying west on the M70 airway and is heading to the RND waypoint...
This does not make sense...why would you divert MH17 from going to TAMAK as flight planned...in order to go south toward RND where another airplane is heading...
If nothing else this is very bad controller practice right there...yet again, the DSB [Dutch Safety Board] does not even raise this question...
Like I said, leaving aside any guesswork, these are the simple facts and they raise serious questions...both about the competence of the Dutch report, and the way the controllers handled that flight...Ukrainian think tank Ukrainian Institute of the Future and Ukrainian media outlet Zerkalo Nedeli (both anti-Russian, but slightly more intellectual than typical Ukrainian outlets) have contracted a Kharkov-based pollster to conduct a poll among DNR/LNR residents from October 7 to October 31 (method: face-to-face interviews at the homes of the respondents, sample size: 806 respondents in DNR and 800 respondents in LNR, margin of error: 3.2%) and published its results in an article: Тест на сумісність [Compatibility Test] (in Ukrainian).Really?? , Nov 15 2019 15:12 utc | 80
It's a long and rambling article, interspersed with Ukrainian propagandistic clichés (perhaps to placate Ukrainian nationalists), but the numbers look solid, so I've extracted the numbers I consider important and put them in a table format. Here they are:
8.3% <25 years old
91.7% ≥25 years old
31.5% no vocational training or higher education
45.2% vocational training
23.3% higher education
24% public sector
24% private sector
57% marry and baptize their children in Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
31% believe in God, but do not go to any church
12% other churches, other religions, atheists
3% are members of parties
97% are not members of parties
90% speak Russian at home
10% speak other languages at home
55.4% consider themselves Ukrainians
44.6% do not consider themselves Ukrainians
Opinion about the labor market
24.3% there are almost no jobs
39.3% high unemployment, but it's possible to find a job
15.7% there are jobs, even if temporary
17.1% key enterprises are working, those who want to work can find a job
2.9% there are not enough employees
Personal financial situation
4.9% are saving on food
36.4% enough money to buy food, but have to save money to buy clothing
43.6% enough money to buy food and clothing, but have to save money to buy a suit, a mobile phone, or a vacuum cleaner
12% enough money to buy food, clothing, and other goods, but have to save money to buy expensive goods (e.g. consumer electronics)
2.7% enough money to buy food, clothing, and expensive goods, but have to save money to buy a car or an apartment
0.4% enough money to buy anything
Personal financial situation compared to the previous year
57.3% stayed the same
Personal financial situation expectations for the next year
21% will worsen
58.6% will stay the same
18.7% will improve
Opinion on the Ukraine's (sans DNR/LNR) economic situation compared to the previous year
41.4% stayed the same
Consider themselves citizens of
57.8% the Ukraine
42.9% never thought about obtaining it
15.5% don't want to obtain it
34.2% would like to obtain it
7.4% already obtained it
Considered leaving DNR/LNR for
5.2% the Ukraine
2.9% other country
80.8% never considered leaving
Visits to the Ukraine over the past year
35.1% across the DNR/LNR–Ukraine border (overwhelming majority of them -- 32.2% of all respondents -- are pensioners who visit the Ukraine to receive their pensions)
2.6% across the Russia–Ukraine border
62.3% have not visited the Ukraine
Is the war in Donbass an internal Ukrainian conflict?
35.6% completely agree
40.5% tend to agree
14.1% tend to disagree
9.3% completely disagree
Was the war started by Moscow and pro-Russian groups?
3.1% completely agree
6.4% tend to agree
45.1% tend to disagree
44.9% completely disagree
Who must pay to rebuild DNR/LNR? (multiple answers)
63.6% the Ukraine
29.3% Ukrainian oligarchs
18.5% DNR/LNR themselves
17% the U.S.
16.5% the EU
13% all of the above
Opinion about Zelenskiy
1.9% very positive
29.3% very negative
Has your opinion about Zelenskiy changed over the past months?
2.7% significantly improved
7.9% somewhat improved
44.8% stayed the same
22.9% somewhat worsened
20.5% significantly worsened
Will Zelenskiy be able to improve the Ukraine's economy?
1.4% highly likely
30% highly unlikely
Will Zelenskiy be able to bring peace to the region?
1.7% highly likely
26.5% highly unlikely
Where do you get your information on politics? (multiple answers)
60.6% social networks
50.9% relatives, friends
7.4% newspapers and magazines
What social networks do you use? (multiple answers)
Desired status of DNR/LNR
5.1% part of the Ukraine
13.4% part of the Ukraine with a special status
16.2% independent state
13.4% part of Russia with a special status
50.9% part of Russia
Desired status of entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts
8.4% part of the Ukraine
10.8% part of the Ukraine with a special status
14.4% independent state
13.3% part of Russia with a special status
49.6% part of RussiaJust listening to a bit of the testimony of the ex-ambassador to Ukraine.Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 15:28 utc | 81
It is all BS hearsay!
Also, this lady doesn't seem to grasp that as an employee of the State Department, she answers to Trump. Trump is her boss.
The questioning is full of leading questions that contains allegations and unproved premises built into them. I can't imagine that such questioning would be allowed in a normal court of justice in the USA.
Sure, Trump is a boor. But he is still the boss and he gets to pull out ambassadors if he wants to.
This is total grandstanding.
Also, a lot of emotional stuff like "I was devastated. I was shocked. Color drained from my face as I read the telephone transcript . . . "
This is BS!
I hope it is as obvious to others as to me.
I do@ Posted by: Jen | Nov 15 2019 10:26 utc | 70Don Bacon , Nov 15 2019 15:34 utc | 82
IIRC the Russian radar showed that the two mystery planes in questions were flying in MH17's blindspot . That's way too close to be half an hour away. Also, the fact that the two planes were flying over a war zone with their transponders turned off (which is why they couldn't be conclusively identified) strongly suggests that they were military.
@ Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71
When the US launched a coup in Kiev, wasn't that a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty too?
@ Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72
You know the real reason why they have yet to deliver the javelins to Ukraine? It's because they're afraid that they'll be sold on the black market and end up in the ME somewhere targeting US tanks. That's why.
@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.Well, I did use the qualifier 'somewhat'. ;-)on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States."flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 15:52 utc | 84
She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the kneeCheeza decides to launch a personal attack...also completely off topic...Realist , Nov 15 2019 16:08 utc | 87Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person [sic]...With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense...an intelligent person would have said...blah blah blah...
Look man...I'm not going to take up a lot of space on this thread because it's not about the MAX...
BUT...I need to set the record straight because you are accusing me here of somehow muddying the waters on the MAX issue...
That is a complete inversion of the truth...I have been very explicit in my [professional] comments about the MAX...and it is the exact opposite of what you are trying to tar me with here...
An example of my one of my comments here...
Yes, it is important to understand these things...which is why I have made the effort to explain the issue more clearly for the layman audience...
Your pathetic attack here shows you have no shame, nor self-respect...
Let's rewind the tape here...I said that Gazprom is looking to cut supplies to Ukraine in the new 10 year deal that comes up for negotiation in January...and that they are going to be pumping much less gas through Ukraine because NS2 now allows to bypass Ukraine...
You took a run at this comment, calling it wrong, and putting up a bunch of your own hypothesizing...
I responded by linking to the Russian news report quoting officials saying exactly that...that gas to Ukraine will be greatly reduced...
Instead of responding to that by admitting you were full of shit...you decide to attack me on the MAX issue...everybody here knows my [professional] position on the MAX...and that I have said repeatedly THAT IT CANNOT BE FIXED...[which is also why I have offered detailed technical explanations...]
I'm not going to let you screw with my integrity here...everything you attributed to me on the MAX is completely FALSE and in fact turning the truth on its head...Well done Peter. You totally f'd up the thread width once again.Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 16:32 utc | 91
Thanks a lot, you selfish incompetent c**tRealist 87c1ue , Nov 15 2019 16:33 utc | 92
If you weren't such a dickhead you would see my links dont even reach text margins.@flankerbandit #18flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 17:13 utc | 97
As Kiza #55 noted - Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity. The primary impact is that Ukraine can't hold far Western European customer gas hostage anymore with its gas transit "negotiations" as Nordstream allows Russia to sell directly to Germany.
There can still be Russian gas sold via Ukraine, but this will be mostly to near-Ukraine neighbors: Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Czech as well as Ukraine itself.
Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania can transit from Turk Stream, but there are potential Turk (and Bulgarian) issues.
Poland is already committing to LNG in order to not be dependent on Russian gas transiting Ukraine - a double whammy. The ultimate effect is to remove Ukraine's stranglehold position over Russian gas exports, which in turn severely undercuts Ukraine's ability to both get really cheap Russian gas and additional transit fees - a major blow to their economy.
That part of your analysis is accurate.A fool piped in...Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity.
Look...I'm not going to waste more time on bullshit...where are the FACTS about what you CLAIM here...?
The two Nordstream pipes equal 110 bcm per year...plus there are other pipeline routes that do not go through Ukraine...
Here is a study of the Euro gas imports from Russia from a few months ago...
The Conclusion...page 9Therefore, the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine in volumes greater than the 26 bcm/y suggested above will depend on the European Commission and European gas importers, and their insistence that gas transit via Ukraine continues.
Otherwise, gas transit via Ukraine will be reduced to delivering limited volumes for European storage re-fills in the 'off-peak' summer months...
This prospect will undoubtedly complicate any negotiations between Gazprom and its Ukrainian counterparty over a new contract to govern the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, once the existing contract expires at the end of December 2019.
...Gazprom may be willing to commit to only limited annual transit volumes...
European gas importers don't give a shit about Ukraine...and they have the final word...they care only about getting the gas they need from Russia in a reliable way and at a good price...
The news report I linked to makes it perfectly clear that the Europeans are demanding that the Ukranians get their act together on the gas issue, or they will be dropped altogether...
You know...FOOL...it really makes me wonder how fools like you decide to make statements here with a very authoritative tone...when it is quite clear you are talking out your rear end...
Nobody needs that kind of bullshit here...if you don't know a subject sufficiently well, then maybe you should keep quiet...or when making a statement, phrase it as your own OPINION and nothing more...
Nov 15, 2019 | johnsolomonreports.com
The next big witness for the House Democrats' impeachment hearings is Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled last spring at President Trump's insistence.
It is unclear what firsthand knowledge she will offer about the core allegation of this impeachment: that Trump delayed foreign aid assistance to Ukraine in hopes of getting an investigation of Joe Biden and Democrats started.
Nonetheless, she did deal with the Ukrainians going back to the summer of 2016 and likely will be an important fact witness.
After nearly two years of reporting on Ukraine issues, here are 15 questions I think could be most illuminating to every day Americans if the ambassador answered them.
- Ambassador Yovanovitch, at any time while you served in Ukraine did any officials in Kiev ever express concern to you that President Trump might be withholding foreign aid assistance to get political investigations started? Did President Trump ever ask you as America's top representative in Kiev to pressure Ukrainians to start an investigation about Burisma Holdings or the Bidens?
- What was the Ukrainians' perception of President Trump after he allowed lethal aid to go to Ukraine in 2018?
- In the spring and summer of 2019, did you ever become aware of any U.S. intelligence or U.S. treasury concerns raised about incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his affiliation or proximity to certain oligarchs? Did any of those concerns involve what the IMF might do if a certain oligarch who supported Zelensky returned to power and regained influence over Ukraine's national bank?
- Back in May 2018, then-House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggesting you might have made comments unflattering or unsupportive of the president and should be recalled. Setting aside that Sessions is a Republican and might even have donors interested in Ukraine policy, were you ever questioned about his concerns? At any time have you or your embassy staff made comments that could be viewed as unsupportive or critical of President Trump and his policies?
- John Solomon reported at The Hill and your colleagues have since confirmed in testimony that the State Department helped fund a nonprofit called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre of Ukraine that also was funded by George Soros' main charity. That nonprofit, also known as AnTac, was identified in a 2014 Soros foundation strategy document as critical to reshaping Ukraine to Mr. Soros' vision. Can you explain what role your embassy played in funding this group and why State funds would flow to it? And did any one consider the perception of mingling tax dollars with those donated by Soros, a liberal ideologue who spent millions in 2016 trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump?
- In March 2019, Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko gave an on-the-record, videotaped interview to The Hill alleging that during a 2016 meeting you discussed a list of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups you did not want to see Ukrainian prosecutors target. Your supporters have since suggested he recanted that story. Did you or your staff ever do anything to confirm he had recanted or changed his story, such as talk to him, or did you just rely on press reports?
- Now that both the New York Times and The Hill have confirmed that Lutsenko stands by his account and has not recanted, how do you respond to his concerns? And setting aide the use of the word "list," is it possible that during that 2016 meeting with Mr. Lutsenko you discussed the names of certain Ukrainians you did not want to see prosecuted, investigated or harassed?
- Your colleagues, in particular Mr. George Kent, have confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. embassy in Kiev did, in fact, exert pressure on the Ukrainian prosecutors office not to prosecute certain Ukrainian activists and officials. These efforts included a letter Mr. Kent signed urging Ukrainian prosecutors to back off an investigation of the aforementioned group AnTac as well as engaged in conversations about certain Ukrainians like Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin and NABU director Artem Sytnyk. Why was the US. Embassy involved in exerting such pressure and did any of these actions run afoul of the Geneva Convention's requirement that foreign diplomats avoid becoming involved in the internal affairs of their host country?
- On March 5 of this year, you gave a speech in which you called for the replacement of Ukraine's top anti-corruption prosecutor. That speech occurred in the middle of the Ukrainian presidential election and obviously raised concerns among some Ukrainians of internal interference prohibited by the Geneva Convention. In fact, one of your bosses, Under Secretary David Hale, got questioned about those concerns when he arrived in country a few days later. Why did you think it was appropriate to give advice to Ukrainians on an internal personnel matter and did you consider then or now the potential concerns your comments might raise about meddling in the Ukrainian election or the country's internal affairs?
- If the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States suddenly urged us to fire Attorney General Bill Bar or our FBI director, would you think that was appropriate?
- At any time since December 2015, did you or your embassy ever have any contact with Vice President Joe Biden, his office or his son Hunter Biden concerning Burisma Holdings or an investigation into its owner Mykola Zlochevsky?
- At any time since you were appointed ambassador to Ukraine, did you or your embassy have any contact with the following Burisma figures: Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, lawyer John Buretta, Blue Star strategies representatives Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, or former Ukrainian embassy official Andrii Telizhenko?
- John Solomon obtained documents showing Burisma representatives were pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to help end the corruption allegations against the company and were invoking Hunter Biden's name as part of their effort. Did you ever subsequently learn of these contacts and did any one at State -- including but not limited to Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Novelli, Deputy Secretary Blinken or Assistant Secretary Nuland -- ever raise Burisma with you?
- What was your embassy's assessment of the corruption allegations around Burisma and why the company may have hired Hunter Biden as a board member in 2014?
- In spring 2019 your embassy reportedly began monitoring briefly the social media communications of certain people viewed as supportive of President Trump and gathering analytics about them. Who were those people? Why was this done? Why did it stop? And did anyone in the State Department chain of command ever suggest targeting Americans with State resources might be improper or illegal?
Nov 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
by a state grand jury | Main14 November 2019 Understanding the Foreign Service Officer Nerd Behavior by Larry C Johnson
A group of lions is called a "pride." A group of crows is called a "murder." A group of geese is called a "gaggle." So what do you call a group of Ambassadors? A pomposity (that term was coined by Colonel Lang when the two of us were working on an exercise on Iran and there were three Ambassadors huddled in a corner scheming--brilliant).
There are two types of Ambassadors--political appointees and Foreign Service Officers who have made their way to the top of the Foreign Service mountain. The two fellows testifying at the opening of the House Impeachment inquiry -- Kent and Taylor -- are Foreign Service Officers. They are a strange lot. There are some exceptions who are normal people, such as Ambassador Morris (Buzz) Busby and Ambassador Anthony Quainton. I worked for Buzz and dealt with Ambassador Quainton on a variety of policy issues.
I conducted training for U.S. military Special Ops forces for several years in the aftermath of 9-11. My task was to teach them how to understand the culture of the Foreign Service Officers and offer tips on how to interact. In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, U.S. SpecOps personnel were deployed to U.S. Embassies around the world and were having some trouble interacting with the so-called diplomats.
To become a Foreign Service Officer you must take a written and an oral exam. If you pass these exams then you win the golden ticket granting you entrance into the FSO club. FSOs have convinced themselves that only the smartest, the brightest, the most able can pass this exam. If you have not taken the exam and passed it then you are by definition not a very smart person.
Many FSOs looked down their nose at these knuckle dragging gorillas masquerading as Special Operations forces at U.S. They assumed they were barely literate. Imagine their shock when the FSOs discovered that a member of the elite U.S. Army CT unit or a member of the SEALS could actually speak a foreign language, had read some real literature and held an advanced college degree. Not making this up.
The Foreign Service contains many officers who take arrogance and prickishness to new heights. You make a fatal error if you believe that because they tend to be soft spoken and non-confrontational that they are not dangerous and devious. Au contraire. Many that rise in the Foreign Service have a knack for sticking a knife in the back of a perceived rival.
Let me give you a personal example. A female Ambassador who was a Deputy in the Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism had a blow up when I helped a Navy SEAL Commander, who was detailed to State, revamp a memo she had already approved because an important overseas asset deployed for responding to a international terrorist incident had been inadvertently left out of the memo. When my SEAL buddy went in to brief her on the change she started screaming at him, broke her lamp and threw a bottle of hand lotion at him. If she had been a man my friend would have physically retaliated. Instead, my SEAL buddy walked out of the office and recounted the incident to a Civil Service employee in the office. That employee happened to be the neighbor of Ambassador A. Peter Burleigh, who was in charge of S/CT during that time.
When Ambassador Burleigh learned of her outburst he called her to his office and read her the riot act. What did she do? She assumed I was the one (I was not) who had ratted on her to Ambassador Burleigh. She set out to destroy me. My boss at the time was a retired Marine Corps Colonel, Dominick "Dick" Gannon. What a gentleman. I counted him as a mentor and a second father. Hard as woodpecker lips and a man who lived by a code of honor.
Dick prepared my fitness report and submitted it to his supervisor, the crazy female FSO. She demanded he change it to trash me and he refused. So she waited. Dick went overseas on a diplomatic mission and the female Ambassador snuck upstairs to the 7th floor (i.e., the Secretary of State's suite). She filed a complaint against Dick accusing him of failing to do the evaluation in a timely manner. Fortunately, the admin person she talked to, Joanne Graves, looked it over, saw that Dick had signed and informed the female FSO that the person who had failed to act in a timely manner was her. She was furious but beaten.
Just another day in the life of a Pomposity. From what I have seen of tomorrow's witness, Marie Yovanovitch, an FSO, is the same kind of person I encountered in the Office of Counter Terrorism. Arrogant and aggrieved and convinced that she is so much smarter than the troglodytes who will be asking her questions.
I am not saying that all FSOs are like this. But a large number are. You will be seeing another one of these critters in Friday's testimony.
Posted at 08:47 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink
Factotum , 15 November 2019 at 12:32 AMSounds like Peter Strozk has a perfect new career for himself - FSO.confusedponderer , 15 November 2019 at 03:05 AMAh, troglodytes ... a decade ago I was told that I was one too. Because I can ... count.Diana C said in reply to confusedponderer... , 15 November 2019 at 01:06 PM
As a student I worked in a marketing company that sold US credit cards. My part of the job was more honourable: I was tasked with administering the phone numbers called to do that.
It's like that with these numbers: You call someone and he sais " Never ever call me again, never ever, you a**hole " the number is blocked to be recalled for 6 weeks and was then called again. If the person agrees to appointment with a seller, the number is blocked for a year etc pp.
The point is, the more you call the less numbers you have left. Call in a city for a week, starting with 5000 numbers - after a week you're left with, say, 300 (mostly crap).
To make after that many or any more appointments then is simply impossible or requires a lot of luck or, much worse, to re-use the numbers by nullifying all blockings (= burning resources).
It's that simple: To make fried eggs you need eggs, a stove and a pan (or a really hot engine hood), to make bricks you need clay, if you want to drive from Europe to Vladivostok you need ... a visum, money, time, food, good weather, a warm jacket, to know russian, have a robust car and a lot of fuel etc pp.
One day another employee (nice ties, glued hair and IMO seriously business study damaged) negotiated a new contract with the credit card company with very ambitious goals, without asking whether we had the resources (phone numbers) to achieve that.
And we didn't have what was needed and the bosses decided and chose not to buy more numbers. So I told the unfortunate guy tasked with achieving the demanded sales that, with the numbers left, we simply couldn't do it.
I was then wildly insulted to be a ... troglodyte, wicked, mean, illoyal, evil, that I would lie and some more of that sort. I was fired 15 minutes later, which annoyed as hell but, on the plus side, with luck led me to a three times better paid much better job elsewhere.
The part more entertaining me was that I was absolutely correct, which I learned a few months later from a former colleague:
The company was bankrupt eight weeks later, and the guy who fired me had a burnout or mental breakdown three weeks later. One of the bosses went from having been a millionaire to work as a waiter. The contract partner simply chose another "executor" (who was amusingly employing the same salesmen).
So, I was right, and what did it give me? Not much but a bad experience and, with luck, something much better elsewhere. Alas, and good riddance.Yes, it's not often that someone who is right first gets the credit. It's true in business, educational organizations--well everywhere I ever worked. I just got used to someone else getting credit for things I had put in place first.Turcopolier , 15 November 2019 at 09:16 AM
You get to the point of not caring if you don't get the credit. You just want to be able to do your job better and go home each night.
It's common for females in almost every work situation I held. Pompous men getting the credit for what a whole office of females actually did -- sometimes doing things and making decisions they just didn't ask the boss to "approve."AllTerence Gore , 15 November 2019 at 11:04 AM
I am struck by the fact that a woman mentioned above actually threw a bottle of hand lotion at a SEAL who came to Main State to brief her. Much the same thing happened to me with a male FSO who was DCM in an embassy in which I was DATT.
I had drafted a lengthy report to DIA that described the local armed forces as inept and difficult to train. The embassy had the right to append remarks to my report but not to change it or block it without my agreement. The DCM tried for half an hour to pressure me into changing my report to make it more favorable to the local forces.
When I refused repeatedly to do so he threw the fifteen page message form across the room at me. I got up and left, leaving it where it fell. After talking to the ambassador the man apologized and the embassy sent my message.https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/edding said in reply to Terence Gore ... , 15 November 2019 at 02:04 PMAnd, see also John Solomon's latest directed at Yovanovich at: https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-15-essential-questions-for-marie-yovanovitch-americas-former-ambassador-to-ukraine/akaPatience , 15 November 2019 at 02:04 PM
Someone's ox is getting slowly and methodically gored. Solomon's reporting on Ukraine and the State Department has been spot on and backed up by solid evidence.What??? The EXCELLENT Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is not being permitted to question today's [self-important bureaucrat] witness. Why???
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "
To which Sondland replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."
On Tuesday, Mr. Taylor directly addressed accusations surrounding Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.
He "drew a very direct line in the series of events he described between President Trump's decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma and the so-called 2016 election conspiracy theories," Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. - New York Times
As the Washington Post notes, Taylor said "By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma," the Ukrainian gas firm which employed Hunter Biden, "and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections."
HoserF16 , 24 seconds ago linkJackprong , 3 minutes ago link
He's a Liar. There's no QPQ. We have the transcript of the call. No QPQ. This Frail looking Douche Bag is lying. He's obviously on the Ukrainian-Take like the rest of them. DNC kept Servers in the Ukraine. Why would they do that??? (wink, wink)Largebrneyes1 , 3 minutes ago link
Democrats have called the testimony the most damaging account yet, as Taylor provided an "excruciatingly detailed" opening statement, according to the New York Times .
And they have Zero, Zilch, Nada!south40_dreams , 8 minutes ago link
Taylor was a democratic appointee from the Obama administration...shocker. And he was the only one suggesting this was politically motivated. Sondland corrected him immediately. Nobody else, including the Ukrainians, agree with his "interpretation".slickrick , 9 minutes ago link
JOE BIDEN IN 1998;
"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching..."
He said a dirty wordBobzilla. Do not piss him off , 12 minutes ago link
Schiff's bitch said it like he was told to. Nothing to see folks.The Persistent Vegetable , 21 minutes ago link
Wasn't creepy uncle joe doing a quid pro quo when he said no billion $ unless you fir the prosecutor?? Seems the demonrats have two sets of rules. ******* hypocrites.William Dorritt , 10 minutes ago link
Manaforts in prison
Cohens in prison
Rudy? Soon to be arrested
Whose next in the most transparent administration in history? An administration which only arrests its own and lets the Dems skate?Rest Easy , 25 minutes ago link
Trump forgot to fire 10,000 Obama Political Appointees
when he took office
Trump created this mess
he actually stiff armed conservatives who offered to help him
doubt many would now.
McConnell has systemically undermined Trump
blocking Trump's appointments and
blocking Trump from making recess appointments
KY needs to do the US a favor and retire McConnellTahoeBilly2012 , 22 minutes ago link
Ex ******* scuse me, but didn't obumer and company start a civil war in Ukraine?
Ukraine is right next to ******* Russia. A nuclear power.
People have died here. Whatever else these ******* fuckers were up to, this seems pretty clearly criminally insane.
Let's cut the crap journalists. Start doing your jobs.
Dept. Of whatever Justice. And congress. This is unacceptable. And beyond irresponsible.Son of Loki , 25 minutes ago link
That's right, I followed everything Ukraine in detail in 2013, so did my Mom who is 81. She knows more Ukraine than any of my dirtbag Democrat friends. Hunter Biden corruption old news.estradagold , 34 minutes ago link
I definitely believe the neocon anti-Trumper.
He's so brave to come forward.
He even talked in a little gurl's voice!
#MeToo!joego1 , 36 minutes ago link
Yet the average Ukrainian makes $300 a month and we have zero qualms about robbing their country blind. Some friend we are.
First of all Ukraine had already started to investigate Biden and Burisma in March, second of all the aid was turned over to them already and there is no resolution to the investigation yet. Third, the Ukrainians have gone on the record saying there was no pressure. Last, the president has a responsibility to look into corruption even if it was a Demonrat.
Nov 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comOn Monday, the House committees conducting impeachment inquiries into President Trump released transcripts of testimony from several witnesses, including former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and career diplomat and former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley.
Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in May, testified that President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her as ambassador over unsubstantiated allegations that she badmouthed the president and was seeking to stop Ukraine from opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son. -Axios
Yovanovitch, who left her position in May, testified that she "assumed" Trump's lack of support for her stemmed from a "partnership" between Giuliani and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko .
Last month, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan reportedly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Trump recalled Yovanovitch after Giuliani singled her out for having an anti-Trump agenda.
Read Yovanovitch's testomony below:
McKinley testified to impeachment investigators that he resigned over the State Department's unwillingness to support foreign service officers caught up in the Ukraine scandal and the apparent "utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives." -Axios
Nov 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The ambassadors' testimony:
"Meet the witnesses: Diplomats start off impeachment hearings" [Associated Press]. "Diplomats and career government officials, they're little known outside professional circles, but they're about to become household names testifying in the House impeachment inquiry . The witnesses will tell House investigators -- and Americans tuning into the live public hearings -- what they know about President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine First up will be William Taylor, the charge d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau, both testifying on Wednesday." • You can read the full article for the bios. First, William Taylor:
"Op-Ed in Novoye Vremya by CDA Taylor: Ukraine's Committed Partner" [ U.S. Embassy in Ukraine ]. From November 10, 2019, the penultimate paragraph. I've helpfully underlined the dogwhistles:
But as everyone who promotes democracy knows, strengthening and protecting democratic values is a constant process, requiring persistence and steady work by both officials and ordinary citizens. in Ukraine, and to hold accountable .
It's kind of Taylor to let the Ukrainians know who's really in charge of foreign policy, isn't it? Now, Kent–
"George Kent Opening Statement At Impeachment Hearing: Concerned About "Politically-Motivated Investigations" [ RealClearPolitics ]. From the full text as prepare for delivery:
Ukraine's popular Revolution of Dignity in 2014 forced a corrupt pro-Russian leadership to flee to Moscow.
By analogy, may not have prevailed against British imperial might without help from transatlantic friends after 1776. , Congress has generously appropriated over $1.5 billion over the past five years in desperately needed train and equip security assistance to Ukraine.
Similar to von Steuben training colonials at Valley Forge, U.S. and NATO allied trainers develop the skills of Ukrainian units at Yavoriv near the Polish border, and elsewhere.
Are these people out of their minds? See, e.g., "America's Collusion With Neo-Nazis" [ The Nation ]:
Not even many Americans who follow international news know the following, for example:
That the snipers who killed scores of protestors and policemen on Kiev's Maidan Square in February 2014, thereby triggering a "democratic revolution" that overthrew the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and brought to power a virulent anti-Russian, pro-American regime -- it was neither democratic nor a revolution, but a violent coup unfolding in the streets with high-level support -- were sent not by Yanukovych, as is still widely reported, but instead almost certainly by the neofascist organization Right Sector and its co-conspirators.
§ That the pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa shortly later in 2014 reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War II has been all but deleted from the American mainstream narrative even though it remains a painful and revelatory experience for many Ukrainians.
(To be fair, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis we supported weren't slaveholders, unlike to many of our own Founders. So there's that.)
Off The Street , November 13, 2019 at 2:26 pm
The Hearings should be in a room that lets in sunlight, that universal disinfectant. Make the Front Row Kid Careerists sit by the windows.
Thus far, my main reaction is that the State Department needs to be shaken up to get rid of those entrenched FRK'ing Careerists and to bring in some accountability. Inspector General positions and functions should not be optional at the whim of some SoS or other.
Not change for its own sake, just bringing things out of the shadows. In keeping with my light theme, a Sunset Provision would help, too. That is one step toward eliminating the hearsay, innuendo and nonsense suppression of Due Process as that is anti-Constitutional. The people, including back-row, dropouts and all, deserve better from their government.
Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 05, 2019 at 01:34 PMImpeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Read Excerpts of Sondland's and Volker's Testimonies
House investigators on Tuesday released transcripts from two more closed-door depositions.
Gordon Sondland's Testimony
Kurt Volker's Testimony
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Nov 5 2019 22:32 utc | 13Right on cue Sondland changes gears from drive to reverse:
Sondland Acknowledges 'Quid Pro Quo' In Reversal To Trump-Ukraine TestimonyHouse Democrats on Tuesday released excerpts of closed-door depositions with former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, as well as revised testimony from US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland which was a complete reversal from what he said in text messages revealed last month as well as prior testimony.
In them, Sondland reveals in four new pages of sworn testimony he told a top Ukrainian official that a meeting with President Trump may be contingent upon its new administration committing to investigations Trump wanted, according to the New York Times.
Mr. Sondland provided a more robust description of his own role in alerting the Ukrainians that they needed to go along with investigative requests being demanded by the president's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. -New York Times
Bloomberg reports "Sondland testified that a promise by Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son and the 2016 election was a condition that "would have to be complied with" for the country's leaders to get a meeting with Trump."
"That was my understanding," he said.
SO if that is Sondland's [mis]understanding, let's compare. Read his Sept 9 text message to Taylor.
Pat Buchanan wants to know Where are the high crimes?
The image of Biden and son in link, speaks truth. Take a look.These are the offenses designated in the Constitution for which presidents may be impeached and removed from office.
Which of these did Trump commit?[.]
According to his accusers in this city, his crime is as follows:
The president imperiled our "national security" by delaying, for his own reasons, a transfer of lethal aid and Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- the very weapons President Barack Obama refused to send to Ukraine, lest they widen and lengthen the war in the Donbass.
Now, if Trump imperiled national security by delaying the transfer of the weapons, was not Obama guilty of a greater crime against our national security by denying the weapons to Ukraine altogether?
The essence of Trump's crime, it is said, was that he demanded a quid pro quo. He passed word to incoming President Volodymyr Zelensky that if he did not hold a press conference to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and son Hunter, he, Zelensky, would not get the arms we had promised, nor the Oval Office meeting that Zelensky requested.
Again, where is the body of the crime? [.]
By the way, what was Biden doing approving a $1 billion loan guarantee to Petro Poroshenko's regime, which was so corrupt that it ferociously fought not to fire a prosecutor whose dismissal all of Europe was demanding?
Should Biden be nominated and elected, a special prosecutor would have to be appointed to investigate this smelly deal, as well as the $1 billion Hunter got for his equity fund from the Chinese after his father visited the Middle Kingdom.[.]
Oct 30, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
Ever since the whistleblower complaint from inside the CIA first surfaced against President Donald Trump, a steady stream of national security and State Department officials have testified about their consternation at his dealings with Ukraine. The dominant impression that they have left, however, is that they are blurring the line between what constitutes unsavory behavior when it comes to pressuring Ukraine for information on domestic political opponents, on the one hand, and what are legitimate policy disagreements. Indeed, it appears that they are, more often than not, substituting their own political judgments for the president's when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy-something that should concern Democrats as much as Republicans. A whole caste of government officials seems to believe that for an American president to aim to improve relations with Russia is an illegitimate, even treasonous, aspiration.
Today was no exception. Consider the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft. In her brief opening statement, she declared, "As the Director covering Ukraine, I staffed the President's December 2017 decision to provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missile systems. I also staffed his September 2017 meeting with then-President Petro Poroshenko on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Throughout both, I heard-directly and indirectly-President Trump describe Ukraine as a corrupt country." The implication was that Trump had no business complaining about corruption in Ukraine. But why not? The persistence of corruption, which President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected by an overwhelming majority to combat, is hardly a secret.
Perhaps even more revealing was Croft's declaration to the House Intelligence Committee that in November 2018 the White House refused to approve the release of a statement condemning Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships located close to Crimea. It sounds damning at first glance. But once again, why shouldn't Trump have practiced restraint in this instance if he was intent on improving relations with Russia, a platform that he was elected on? As it happens, the Zelensky campaign depicted the ship incident as a political provocation on the part of the Poroshenko government.
The implicit assumptions that appear to guide these veteran members of the bureaucracy were even more obvious in the case of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. As the media has underscored, he is the first person to testify in the impeachment inquiry who participated in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Initially, Trump's defenders sought to portray him as guilty of "espionage" or dual loyalty because he emigrated to America as a toddler. But this was always preposterous. More telling is that Vindman, no less than Croft, epitomizes a mindset that seems to regard a deviation from the strictures of the foreign policy establishment as by definition unacceptable.
In his opening statement, Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a "frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression." He added, "the U.S. government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity." But what if Trump has a different view of matters than the "U.S. government policy community's view"? After all, Trump was elected in part on his explicit declarations that he would not rely on the experts who had plunged America into Iraq and Libya.
Consider as well the attention that Vindman has lavished upon Trump's phone call with Zelensky. According to Vindman, portions of the call he considered important were not included in the document kept by the government that was released to the last month. This includes President Trump claiming there are recordings of former Vice President Joe Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption, and President Zelensky specifically referring to Biden's son's company, Burisma Holdings. The document released by the administration includes Zelensky talking about "the company" and Trump saying, "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution," which is an interpretation of a video of Joe Biden describing how the Obama administration made firing Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin a prerequisite for receiving foreign aid. Vindman's recollection of the call does not change the substance of what was already understood. However, the changes in language are being portrayed as more analogous to Richard Nixon editing the White House tapes than the routine process that produced a routine document. "Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript," blared the New York Times headline.
For two months, major media outlets have described the document as a "transcript," as a shorthand term. But as the document, and TNI's previous reporting makes clear, it is not a transcript in the strict sense of the term. "This is what's known as a memorandum of conversation: MEMCON. It is a standard tool that is used throughout the government and the procedures can vary from agency to agency, or who your boss is. But generally, they're all done about the same way," explains Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.
"In my own experience in government for 24 years it's a pretty standardized practice. The idea is, for all sorts of reasons, most interactions are not recorded. Instead, they're memorialized through this process of MEMCON. Typically, while there are many people who may be listening in or present at a meeting, someone (or sometimes two people) are designated as official notetakers and they take down the conversation. And they're not trying necessarily to get an exact word-for-word account, but they're certainly trying to get an idea for idea. And in many cases when you're dealing at the White House level, they are getting it pretty much word for word," Van Buren tells TNI.
As a participant on the phone call, Vindman would have been one of the early editors. As the process continued, officials higher than him made changes, just like the editor of a magazine would for a writer. The precise reasons for the changes are open-ended and probably unknowable. There exists no evidence that the changes were nefarious or anything other than mundane word choice. The document released to the public is the official U.S. government record of what happened.
John Marshall Evans, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Ambassador to Armenia, narrows down what should be the focus of this inquiry-and what it's actually becoming. "The issue is indeed not one of policy, which the President can change, but of the purpose that was pursued in the July 25th call: whether it was in the national interest or a private gain," he says. So far, no one has shown that Trump demanded that the Ukrainian government produce a specific result or fabricate evidence about the Bidens.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to hold a House vote on the impeachment inquiry tomorrow, after a barrage of criticism from Republicans for moving forward without one. Whether the open hearings and public testimony will provide any more substance than a parade of national security bureaucrats ventilating their grievances about a president who sought to take a different course in foreign policy is questionable.
Sean.McGivens • 3 days ago ,Terry • 4 days ago ,
Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a "frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.
Complete bull. The truth is that there is no Russian aggression. What we're seeing from Russia is actually pushback against American aggression. The US is trying to turn Ukraine into a NATO member, knowing that doing so would severely undermine Russia's national security. The American goal is to reduce Russia's influence in world affairs, and to be in geostrategic position to relate to Russia coercively. Little wonder, then, that Russia lashed back by taking Crimean and Donbass.
For Vindman to assert that Ukraine is "bulwark against Russian aggression" and a matter vital to the US's national interests only goes to prove that America is under the influence of liars. The American people are being mislead about the truth.
Ukraine's on Russia's front door step. It overlaps with Russia territorially, demographically, and geopolitically. By entering Ukraine for strategic reasons, the US has provoked and threatened Russia. There is no justification for this reckless foreign policy move by the US.Sean.McGivens Terry • 3 days ago ,
First off, 'improving relations with Russia' does NOT mean doing whatever is best for Russia at our expense. Every foreign policy move this president has made has only benefited Russia, not the US! Secondly, I have slowly but surely become convinced Trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Putin Inc. I don't know what Putin has on Trump (but I think money laundering would be a solid guess) or if it's the promise of Putin's blessing for a Trump Tower Moscow, but whatever it is, he has Trump in his back pocket. And lastly, if everyone has not figured out all The Donald cares about is money in his pocket they are fools. Face it, writer, you either have bought that bag of magic beans Trump sold the electorate in the last election or you are being willfully blind to who and what this 'man' is.Terry Sean.McGivens • 3 days ago ,
First off, 'improving relations with Russia' does NOT mean doing whatever is best for Russia at our expense.
That's confusing. How exactly is America doing something for Russia at the expense of the US? If you really believe this, then you've been fooled by American propaganda into thinking that Ukraine is an extension of the continental US. The reality, of course, is that Ukraine is on the other side of the world, and does not in any way matter to America's vital national interests.
In Ukraine, America is overstretching its ambitions, and is behaving like an aggressor.Yuki • 5 days ago ,
Let's start with the sanctions passed by Congress on Russian oligarchs for invading the Ukraine. Somehow, they just weren't imposed until Trump was forced to. Then there is the deliberate sabotage of all of our alliances. Now it's stabbing the kurds in the back so Putin and Erdogan can split that area up between them. The only thing Trump, Turkey and Russia have in common are Trump Tower Istanbul and his desire for Trump Tower Moscow. He is, quite literally selling us out.
P.S. Nice try, Russkie, but it wasn't us who invaded and seized Crimea and western Ukraine. That was you. We may stick our noses into world affairs more than we should, but we have not stolen any land or resources of any country we are in. Get right down to it, if it wasn't for your nukes, we'd put you down like a rabid dog. Don't think we can? Your economy is the size of our state of Georgia and it ain't even close to the top. Just another commie basket case.
The "Trump Foreign Policy" itself is doing splash damage on US Power.
Nov 04, 2019 | hotair.com
As Bette Davis said in All About Eve , "Fasten your seatbelts -- it's going to be a bumpy night."
The ride started last night with Rep. Devin Nunes' appearance on Hannity , escalated with arrests of figures tied to Rudy Giuliani, and will possibly come to a complete halt when former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch meets with three House committees tomorrow -- assuming the State Department allows the testimony to take place at all.
Kicking this off, Kicking this off, Kicking this off, Nunes went on Hannity last night to claim that Yavonovitch may have been spying on Americans -- including journalists.
Sean Hannity expresses his anger over what his own sources are telling him about surveillance of John Solomon among others, although Nunes more cautiously advises patience:
"What I can tell you is that we know what Pete Sessions, congressman from Texas now retired, we know what he had to say. We know that there are people within that were not only Ukrainians but also Americans that worked at the State Department who have raised concerns about this ambassador, that's why she was ultimately removed," Nunes said.
"We also have concerns that possibly they were monitoring press from different journalists and others," he continued. "That we don't know, but, you know, we have people who have given us this information and we're going to ask these questions to the State Department and hopefully they'll get the answers before she comes in on Friday."
Hannity then said three sources have told him there "is evidence that shows government resources were used to monitor communications" of a journalist, The Hill's John Solomon.
"Well, what I have heard, and I want to be clear. I think there is a difference. What I've heard is that there were strange requests, irregular requests to monitor, not just one journalist, but multiple journalists," Nunes said. "Now perhaps that was okay. Perhaps there was some reason for that, that it can be explained away. But that's what we know and that's what we are going to be looking into."
Keep Pete Sessions in mind as our ride progresses to its next sharp turn. Earlier today, two of Rudy Giuliani's clients -- and donors to a PAC funding Giuliani's investigation of the Bidens -- got arrested for criminal campaign finance violations . Among the allegations are that those violations intended to mask foreign influence on US elections:
Two Soviet-born donors to a pro-Trump fundraising committee who helped Rudy Giuliani's efforts to investigate Democrat Joe Biden were arrested late Wednesday on criminal charges of violating campaign finance rules, including funneling Russian money into President Trump's campaign.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Florida businessmen, have been under investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, and are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia later on Thursday, the people said. Both men were born in former Soviet republics.
Mr. Giuliani, President Trump's private lawyer, identified the two men in May as his clients. Both men have donated to Republican campaigns including Mr. Trump's, and in May 2018 gave $325,000 to the primary pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, through an LLC called Global Energy Producers, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The men were charged with four counts, including conspiracy, falsification of records and lying to the FEC about their political donations, according to the indictment that outlines a conspiracy to funnel a Russian donor's money into U.S. elections.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the two have been instrumental in helping Giuliani make contacts in Ukraine. One of them happened to be part of a meeting Giuliani had with the now-unemployed envoy Kurt Volker:
Since late 2018, Mr. Fruman and Mr. Parnas have introduced Mr. Giuliani to several current and former senior Ukrainian prosecutors to discuss the Biden case.
Mr. Parnas in July accompanied Mr. Giuliani to a breakfast meeting with Kurt Volker, then the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations. "We had a long conversation about Ukraine," Mr. Volker wrote in his testimony to House committees last week. During that breakfast, Mr. Giuliani mentioned the investigations he was pursuing into Mr. Biden and 2016 election interference.
The indictment released today has a very telling reference to a former US congressman who involved himself in the effort to oust Yovanovitch:
And now let's go back to the WSJ for some dot-connecting:
In May 2018, Pete Sessions, at the time a GOP congressman from Texas, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for her removal, saying he had been told Ms. Yovanovitch was displaying a bias against the president in private conversations.
The indictment references a congressman, identifiable as Mr. Sessions, whose assistance Mr. Parnas sought in "causing the U.S. government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine." The indictment says those efforts were conducted "at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials." Mr. Sessions didn't respond to a request for comment.
Hoo boy . If nothing else, this certainly looks bad, which makes Nunes' citation of Session suspect on its face. The Department of Justice is essentially accusing Sessions of being bought by foreign influence in going after Yovanovitch, and clearly intends to press that case against Giuliani's associates on that basis.
Bear in mind that this is William Barr's DoJ, too. Barr got read into the case soon after taking over the Attorney General job in February, and apparently found it convincing enough to proceed to indictment. The arrest also made it very convenient for House Democrats to issue subpoenas for testimony from the pair , although it likely complicates how cooperative they're willing to be. At the very least, they'll be easy to find.
Giuliani responded by attacking the DoJ for its "extremely suspect" timing in unsealing the indictment and arresting his associates. He promised Fox News' Catherine Herridge that he would shortly reveal how all of this is connected to his investigation into the Bidens:
What about the "extremely suspect" timing? It turns out that the pair were trying to leave the country , which forced the DoJ to make the arrests now:
The two Giuliani-linked defendants, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were detained at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington on Wednesday and are scheduled to appear in court in Virginia at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.
Meanwhile, Yovanovitch continues to prepare for her own testimony, which is still scheduled to take place tomorrow . The Washington Post reported late last night that she's "on board" for cooperating with the committees, and perhaps now even more so after Nunes' allegations on Hannity last night. The State Department could still bar her from discussing her work with Congress (she remains employed by State), but ABC reports today that Mike Pompeo is already facing a rising level of discontent over Yovanovitch's treatment and Pompeo's lack of a public defense for her:
Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled early from her post this spring, is scheduled for a deposition Friday with three committees in the House of Representatives, but it is unclear whether she will be allowed to show up after the U.S. ambassador to the European Union was blocked by the Trump administration from testifying on Tuesday.
Either way, the manner in which Yovanovitch has been treated by Trump and the silence from Pompeo has already rankled many rank and file at the State Department, according to half a dozen current and former officials, who are also upset by the administration's use of career diplomats in the president's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.
So where does this ride come to a stop? How much of this is true -- all of it, none of it, or only some of it? Trump loyalists will surely consider all of this as more evidence of a Deep State plot that now involves both the State and Justice Departments. Trump haters will see this as another case of foreign influence on the administration and a plot to smear Trump's opponents, both electoral and otherwise. The rest of America might just be hoping that the [expletive deleted] ride would come to an end, period .
At this point, the mess is too complicated to suss out which conclusion reflects the truth. What does appear to true is that we're not going to know for sure what's true for a long, long time -- and it might turn out, ironically, that the DoJ could end up as the most credible player in Ukraine-Gate.
Nov 04, 2019 | www.mediamatters.org
Right-wing media tries to smear former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch
Despite grave Judicial Watch allegations about a "surveillance" campaign from right-wing figures, the facts so far point to mere tracking of a pro-Trump disinformation campaign
Written by Courtney Hagle
Research contributions from Brendan Karet & Andrew Lawrence
Published 10/17/19 10:31 AM EDT
Updated 10/24/19 4:07 PM EDT
Representatives of right-wing group Judicial Watch have been claiming during appearances on conservative media shows that former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was "spying" on media figures close to President Donald Trump by monitoring public statements they made on social media regarding Ukraine.
Judicial Watch is alleging that Yovanovitch -- who recently testified to House impeachment investigators that Trump pressured the State Department to remove her over baseless allegations -- was "basically running a war room" by monitoring public statements regarding Ukraine made by figures in right-wing media like Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump, Jr. The list also includes former Obama ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Judicial Watch also claims that the searches were looking for the following keywords: "Biden," "Giuliani," "Soros," and "Yovanovitch."
That Yovanovich would monitor public statements made by public figures is unsurprising given her recent testimony claiming that Giuliani had been criticizing her in the months before her ousting, and the people she allegedly monitored are connected to the smear campaign Giuliani was waging. He had accused her of privately criticizing the president and trying to protect the interests of Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The smear included accusations that Soros was funding a conspiracy to hurt Trump's presidency and elect Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Yovanovich said she was "incredulous" about her removal and that it was based on "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives" -- claims that have been promoted publicly by conservative media figures.
The Washington Post reported that George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, became concerned around October 2018 that Yovanovitch was the target of a "classic disinformation operation." NBC News indicated that the State Department was concerned over the effort to oust Yovanovich, reporting that the agency "attempted to ring alarm bells" regarding Giuliani's efforts to smear her:The documents also show that Giuliani, through conservative writer John Solomon's columns in The Hill, attempted to tie former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to the liberal donor George Soros as part of a massive conspiracy to take down Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election.Yovanovitch, who has over 30 years of experience in foreign diplomacy, further testified that, as The Washington Post put it, "under Trump's leadership, U.S. foreign policy has been compromised by self-interested actors who have badly demoralized and depleted America's diplomatic corps." The testimony of White House aide Fiona Hill confirmed Yovanovitch's depiction of foreign policy under the Trump administration.
When State Department officials saw the disinformation campaign, they attempted to ring alarm bells and strategized to correct the record, the documents show.
Still, Judicial Watch is attempting to push the narrative that Yovanovitch nefariously spied on Trump allies among right-wing media, appearing on the radio shows of Sebastian Gorka and Sean Hannity and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs' prime-time show to spread the message. Some Fox News figures responded with paranoia regarding their own conversations.
Judicial Watch also shared its report on Twitter, announcing that it is "investigating if prominent conservative figures/journalists & persons [with ties] to @realDonaldTrump were unlawfully monitored by the State Dept in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee." Fox & Friends hosted Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who repeated that his "sourcing tells us that she was asking that folks like Rudy Giuliani, Don Trump Jr., a whole list of your colleagues there at Fox, be monitored on certain phrases." Co-host Steve Doocy invited Fitton to "go ahead and speculate for a second" about Yovanovitch's motives, to which Fitton replied, "It looks an awful lot like an enemy's list to me." Doocy noted that Yovanovitch is "keeping an eye on television, of all things," and he called it "particularly disturbing that, you know, somebody in the federal government would be tracking people on TV."
Nov 04, 2019 | davidharrisjr.com
FOX News contributor John Solomon revealed fired Ukrainian Ambassador Maria Yovanovich's links to a radical Soros group. Yovanovich appeared before Congress on Friday, claiming that she was unjustly fired just because she badmouthed the president, prevented Ukrainian officials from coming to the US to expose Democrat corruption, and giving Ukrainian prosecutor a do not prosecute list. Now, investigative reporter John Solomon reports on her link to a Soros-supported group. Lutsenko told Solomon that in April 2016, Ukrainian prosecutors were investigating an alleged anti-corruption group, AntAC, over $4.4 million that was illegally diverted. AntAc was founded by the Obama administration and George Soros. Trump's Little Surprise Is Making Liberals Cry! Got Yours Yet? Liberty Journalists x Ads by Revcontent Find Out More > 21,994
From The Gateway Pundit
On Friday fired Ambassador Yovanovich testified behind closed doors in front of the Pelosi-Schiff impeachment committee.
Yovanovich believes she was unjustly fired despite the fact that she was an Obama holdover, was speaking out against President Trump and she was colluding with the DNC and Hillary Campaign to undermine the US presidential election.
On Friday John Solomon told Lou Dobbs about the fired ambassador's links to a radical Soros group operating in Ukraine.
On March 20th Solomon published his interview with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko alleging Yovanovitch gave him a "do not prosecute list," back in 2016.
Nov 04, 2019 | larouchepac.com
It will be clear once the transcripts are released, that the crew testifying for Adam Schiff are upset about the President fulfilling his Constitutional responsibility to run foreign policy rather than letting them run it, about his determination to get to the bottom of Ukraine's role in intervening in the 2016 U.S. Election, and the ongoing coup against him, which implicates many of these very same "witnesses." The President, knowing that Ukraine tried to take him out by intervening in the 2016 election, refused to meet with the Poroshenko government. That government jockeyed for favor by revealing its role in the 2016 illegalities and documenting the Biden story for Rudy Guilani and others.
When new President Zelensky was elected, President Trump used an alternate channel to assess him, rather than the State Department and National Security Council operatives who were either involved in the coup against him or refused to stand against it. That appears to have included Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. There is nothing unusual in this but it drove the unelected Mandarins, including John Bolton, crazy, along with the considerable military industrial complex grouping in the Congress who want permanent war with Russia.
Here are the key players so far based on the applause provided by Democrats and the Main Stream Media:William B. Taylor, Jr.
Presented hearsay testimony, based on conversations with NSC John Bolton protégé Tim Morrison, and others that somehow the President presented a quid pro quo in his July 25th phone call with Zelensky, despite the fact that the actual transcript of the call and repeated statements by President Zelensky evidence no quid pro quo. Taylor's career has featured every U.S. imperial disaster possible:
– "Economic development" coordinator for Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, resulting in the economic decimation of those countries and their looting
– Coordinator for U.S. assistance of Afghanistan. Said the U.S. had the right to stay forever until the country was secured to U.S. specifications
– Coordinator for Iraq Reconstruction. Program lost billions and left the country destitute and mired in religious warfare.
– Ambassador to Ukraine in 2006-2009 right after the Orange Revolution, the nation's first color revolution delivered by the British and the State Department.
– Under Obama, Special Coordinator for Mideast "transitions" in the wake of the Arab Spring, the program which set all of Southwest Asia on fire and birthed the present round of Isis terrorism.
– Serves on the U.S./Ukraine Business Council with David J. Kramer as a senior advisor. Kramer leaked the dirty Christopher Steele dossier against Donald Trump to Buzzfeed. The Council coordinates the "investment" of various vulture and "turnaround" funds in Ukraine. According to Breitbart's Aaron Klein, Taylor met with a member of Adam Schiff's staff, Thomas Eager, in Ukraine, prior to his testimony.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from August 18, 2016, until she was recalled, in May of 2019. She claimed she was the victim of a smear campaign by Trump attorney, Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainians who opposed her. But, she was at the helm of the Embassy at the point when the Manafort black ledger smear campaign was at full roar.
Way back in March, 2019, U.S. Embassy employees at the Ukrainian Embassy were leaking that the Ambassador was telling Embassy employees and Ukrainians not to pay any attention to President Donald Trump because he was going to be impeached.
This was before a wave of articles featuring Ukraine's former prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko claiming that Yovanovitch had provided him with a list of "do not prosecute" names, including those Ukrainians most involved in the Ukrainian efforts to target and smear former Trump Campaign Advisor Paul Manafort as a Russian agent.
Judicial Watch has just filed a FOIA request based on State Department sources who claim that during her tenure in Ukraine, Yovanovitch ordered the monitoring of various journalists who published negative stories about her or who generally support President Trump.
Her resume evidences a trail of destruction. Dubbed the "Iron Lady" by colleagues, she replaced the infamous Ambassador Geoffey Pyatt in Ukraine.
In 2002, after serving as one of the key State Department anti-Russian diplomats, Yovanovitch played a central role in the Ukraine regime change operation known as the "Orange Revolution." She promoted the scandal of Ukraine selling 4 Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq in violation of the United Nations sanctions. This led to the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma being replaced by Washington and London's choice, Viktor Yushschenko..
She was Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic at the time the British-U.S. Tulip Color Revolution occurred in that country, led by the State Department and the British.
In 2008-2011 Yovanovitch was U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, where she was heavily involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in neighboring Azerbaijan (a separatist operation as part of a regime-change operation).
Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman
A Ukrainian born Army veteran, Vindman joined the NSC in July of 2018, under John Bolton, as the NSC's "Ukraine expert." He claimed that all of his corrections to the transcript of the Zelensky/Trump call were not accepted although he admitted that his corrections were minor and did not change the call substantively. He testified that he discussed with Ukrainian colleagues how to "handle Trump."
The key to who he is and why he is testifying is contained in his opening statement:
"When I joined the NSC in the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful for U.S. government policy."
There you have it, the "interagency" dictates U.S. foreign policy, not the President as specified in Article II of the Constitution. Vindman also says he authored the Russia strategy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff for managing "competition" with Russia, an undoubtedly very bellicose document.
Amidst the media fanfare claiming that Vindman represents "the ultimate immigrant hero" story, the Republicans finally leaked something substantive about what happened behind closed doors. Asked to cite in the transcript of the call where the President offered a quid pro quo, Vindman apparently testified that the entire call evidenced this, since the President was in a "position of power" over President Zelensky. If true, foreign policy is now being managed on the same terms as the Me Too movement.
Oct 31, 2019 | larouchepac.com20191031-ukrainegate.pdf by Barbara Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org - Be the first to be notified when we release the next parts, text sc20 to (202)609-8371 - text stop to leave at anytime. Part 2 is now available.
A parade of Washington's unelected diplomatic elite has been appearing before the House Intelligence Committee in a tiny room in the House basement, a SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility), walled off from the world by a blanket of electronic security to enforce absolute, total secrecy. There, in a proceeding reminding most of the British Star Chamber, they are making claims against a man they hate, a man whom the voters elected in 2016 to throw them all out of any power whatsoever over the nation -- the President of the United States. Here is how America voted.
Here is a map of US counties, colored red and blue to indicate Republican and Democratic majorities respectively. Source: personal.umich.edu
They are claiming that President Trump withheld necessary military aid for Ukraine in exchange for a promise by the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden and his cocaine-addled son, Hunter. This is the so-called "impeachment inquiry" which follows two previous impeachment campaigns in sequence, launched by the Democrats and the Anglo-American defense and intelligence establishment on the day Donald Trump won the election.
In this brief we will show you that Donald Trump should have withheld military aid from the Ukrainians, but for a reason different than that stated. And, we will demonstrate that Joe Biden should be investigated, for supervising a coup, led by neo-Nazis in Ukraine, which has collapsed that country. Thousands have been killed or fled the country. Many of the foreign policy mandarins now testifying against Trump were Biden's managers of that horrific crime, and other similar crimes, which have created America's "forever" wars.
Joe Biden otherwise played a key role as Obama's Vice President in the 2016-2017 illegalities against candidate and President-elect Donald Trump, actively joining a small group of "principals" (John Brennan, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, James Clapper, Jim Comey) discussing and implementing the intelligence feed for a propaganda campaign intended to defeat Trump by smearing him as a Russian agent. These conversations included Susan Rice, Avril Haines, and Lisa Monaco from the White House side, in addition to Joe Biden. Biden also played a significant role in the attempted coverup of the White House's direct role in the 2016 foreign interference operation against Donald Trump.
After the string of illegalities against Trump, which continued through his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and after the brutal Robert Mueller inquisition , which destroyed many lives but came up empty as to any crimes by the President, we have now entered phase three of the coup against the President. As Congressman Al Green (D-TX) and even Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have admitted: impeachment now is necessary because, without it, Trump will win a second term. The same sentiment was pronounced by the British House of Lords in their 2018 "UK Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order," in an order to their American satrapy: a second Trump term must not happen.
Everyone who has appeared before the House Intelligence Committee so far, is up to their ears in U.S./British regime-change operations, particularly the one conducted by the Obama Administration in 2013-2014 in Ukraine, where Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland engineered regime change on Russia's border, using Neo-Nazis as muscle, and creating a post-coup vassal-state which included the very same Neo-Nazis as government officials. Joe Biden, who served as the Obama Administration's "point man" on Ukraine, and Biden's State Department, National Endowment for Democracy, and Atlantic Council buddies misnamed their atrocity, the "Revolution of Dignity." Victoria Nuland, the case officer with Joe Biden for the coup, says the United States spent $5 billion dollars in creating this fiasco. Her figures do not include substantial funds delivered by the British government and NATO, along with George Soros and other privateers.
Like other regime-change wars, most prominently Iraq, this one installed a government of colonial administrators, and resulted in a perfectly predictable, violent insurgency from those sections of Ukraine that would never agree to an occupation government, particularly after being attacked by the coup's "Right Sector" neo-Nazis. In Ukraine, this insurgency involved the Russian-speaking population of Eastern Ukraine, the Donbass, where, after the coup, the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk declared themselves autonomous Republics. There is plenty of evidence that the insurgency was provoked to facilitate a full-scale ethnic cleansing of this asset-rich area which formerly housed that nation's manufacturing capacity and skilled workforce.
March in Kiev on anniversary of the birthday of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera (depicted on flag), January 2015, Photo: All-Ukrainian Union
The conflict in the Donbass has killed over 13,000 people to date. And the coup resulted in the further disintegration of Ukraine into Europe's poorest country. The operation replaced one set of corrupt oligarchs who stole the country's riches after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but were considered "soft" on Russia, with a different set of oligarchs who have voiced a desire to go to war with Russia, while continuing the stealing.Biden, Ukraine, and Burisma
This is the context for the real Joe Biden corruption story in Ukraine and his son's estimated $3 million dollar haul from one of the largest and most corrupt Ukrainian gas and oil companies: Burisma . This is a story about the obsession of Joe Biden and others who went out to cripple Russia's economy by shutting down the gas transit lines that pass from Russia, through Ukraine, to Europe, while supplying Ukraine through Western oil companies shepherded into the country by Biden, along with a scheme for fracking in the war-torn Donbass. They pursued this while overtly threatening Russia with nuclear war, facilitated by their new vassal state, Ukraine, on Russia's border -- placing the entire world in jeopardy by their madness. To accomplish his gas gambit, Biden had to capture Burisma.
Then Vice President Joe Biden with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador Victoria Nuland, and others in a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on February 7, 2015.
Many of the British and American intelligence operatives who accomplished the Ukraine "regime change" in 2014, turned their attention, in 2016, to destroying the political candidacy of Donald Trump, smearing him as a Manchurian candidate because he publicly stated a desire for better relations with Russia.
When Rudy Giuliani started to investigate Kiev's role in the illegal 2016 attempt to defeat Donald Trump, he touched a "third rail" of British and American intelligence, one that goes all the way back to British and American adoption and support of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) led by Stepan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Bandera was an MI-6 agent, Lebed became CIA. Earlier, during World War II, in collaboration with the Nazis, they slaughtered thousands of Poles and Jews -- all in the name of defeating Russia. The Right Sector groups used by Joe Biden for the coup and subsequently installed in the government, idolize Stepan Bandera.
Now that Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham have, as anticipated, undertaken a full criminal investigation of the U.S., British and other intelligence figures who led the 2016-2017 effort to defeat Donald Trump and subvert his presidency, the Ukrainian aspect of this operation has become a very, very hot potato.
The appearance of the bogus Ukraine-aid "whistleblower" -- himself, we now know, a CIA agent, expert in Ukraine, who previously worked with Joe Biden in the Obama White House -- represents an effort to block this story from serious investigation at all costs. It also aims to delegitimize the entire Barr/Durham criminal investigation, as well as the imminent report of the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Both DOJ investigations center on illegalities in the first stage of the coup against Trump, prior to Mueller's appointment as Special Counsel. And, most important, the bogus impeachment "inquiry" is yet another full-spectrum information-warfare operation, using the media, fed by cascading, 24/7 bogus headlines and leaks from the intelligence community and the Democrats in Congress, to tank the President's standing with the American people and either impeach him or defeat him in 2020.The Present Charade
We now know that the bogus whistleblower worked, covertly, with Congressman Adam Schiff's staff to launder leaks about the President's July 25th phone call with incoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, into a new bogus narrative about the President. This whistleblower is represented by a law firm that has actively sought whistleblowers from the intelligence agencies against the President, posting leaflets and billboard ads outside the agencies and offering to cover any and all expenses.
Paul Sperry, in an October 30th article at Real Clear Investigations , states that everyone in Washington and the national news media "knows" that the bogus whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. If true, it only highlights the scandal embodied in the sham impeachment proceedings being run by the Democrats, it is the equivalent of a hand grenade. Ciaramella worked in the Obama White House with Susan Rice, John Brennan and Joe Biden on Ukraine. He also worked with Alexandra Chalupa, who ran Ukraine's illegal 2016 election interference in the United States on behalf of Hillary Clinton. According to a former NSC official, he got caught leaking to the media as an Obama holdover at the NSC under Trump, where he chaired the Ukraine desk. His leaks framed the totally bogus narrative that Putin caused the firing of James Comey by Trump. Rather than being fired,
Ciaramella returned to the CIA and his close friends, according to Sperry's story, joined Adam Schiff's House Intelligence Committee, a most convenient setup.
The bogus whistleblower was also assisted by a new Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, who dubbed this bogus complaint "credible" and "urgent." Atkinson migrated from the leadership of the National Security Division of the Justice Department -- a central control point in Phases 1 and 2 of the coup -- to the IG post, and promptly rewrote the rules so that whistleblower complaints could be based on total hearsay and gossip, rather than first-hand knowledge. In Atkinson's January 2019 confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-VA) charged him with a mission of protecting whistleblowers first and foremost. This was most strange coming from a committee that has repeatedly acquiesced in the destruction of actual whistleblowers such as Tom Drake, Bill Binney, Jeff Sterling, and Julian Assange. It suggests that a new "insurance policy" was being worked on already by the higher echelons of the intelligence community and the most corrupted committee in the Senate.Surprise: the Transcript
To the surprise of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the coup's strategists, the President released the actual transcript of his July 25th phone conversation with President Zelensky, which, in any reasonable culture, should have ended the entire affair. The bogus whistleblower's gossip was proven demonstrably false by the transcript. Washington, D.C. is not, presently, such a culture.
In the call, President Trump congratulated Zelensky on his victory in the parliamentary elections, and Zelensky promptly announced that he would be reforming his government to clean up its legendary and horrific corruption. The President and Zelensky discussed the fact that the United States is shouldering the burden of support for Ukraine, while Germany and other European countries, which have the most immediate strategic interest, are not contributing enough.
In the portion of the call the Democrats are trying to make an impeachable crime, President Trump said he was concerned about Ukraine's intervention into the 2016 U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton and expressed concern that Zelensky is surrounded by some of the same people who conducted those activities. Trump asked whether the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server examined by CrowdStrike is in the possession of a Ukrainian oligarch. He asks Zelensky to work with Attorney General Barr, who is conducting the investigation into the 2016 presidential election illegalities. He characterizes this request to investigate possible Ukrainian illegalities in the 2016 election, and to speak with Attorney General Barr, as doing him (Trump) a "favor."
The "favor," it is clear, had nothing to do with the 2020 elections or asking Ukraine to "attack" Democrats and Joe Biden, as repeatedly mischaracterized by Democrats and the bogus whistleblower. Instead, it had to do with investigating the ongoing coup in the United States which threatens this nation's very existence .
It is Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer, who has been conducting his own investigation of Ukraine's interference on behalf of Hillary Clinton since January of 2019. The President then says that he had heard that a very good prosecutor in Ukraine was shut down by some very bad people, and that the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was bad news, as were the people she was dealing with. The President then relates that Joe Biden bragged about stopping the prosecution of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the Board. He says that whatever Zelensky can tell Attorney General Barr about this would be great. Zelensky responds that Marie Yovanovitch was a bad ambassador as she admired Petro Poroshenko, the previous President, and refused to accept Zelensky's election.
That's it. There was absolutely nothing illegal or wrong here, despite the hair-on-fire headlines fulminated daily by the news media and Adam Schiff -- the same "walls closing in" nonsense that occurred daily during Russiagate. There is no reference to, "if you do this, I'll do that." In fact, the Ukrainians were not even aware that the lethal military aid they were expecting had been placed on temporary hold.
Unfortunately, the President, after the call, approved the lethal military aid to Ukraine which Congress' war-mongers had ordered up in their continuing destructive madness about "Russia, Russia, Russia." The aid was issued without any requirement whatsoever that Ukraine produce anything to meet President Trump's concerns about 2016 election interference or the corruption surrounding Burisma and/or Joe Biden. The aid was issued without any real guarantees in place to ensure that lethal weaponry would not be put in the hands of the various Neo-Nazis integrated into Ukraine's National Guard and militias, and who are now arrayed against President Zelensky himself, charging that his effort to settle the war in the Donbass is a sell-out to Russia.
Now if the President and his supporters choose to tell the real and whole truth to the American people about what the Ukraine issue is really all about, the impeachers, so desperate to block this from coming to light, will have hoisted themselves on their own petard in true Shakespearian fashion, in the best boomerang imaginable. That story, the real story about Joe Biden, Ukraine corruption, and the Ukrainian role in the effort to fix the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton, is what we will set forth, in summary fashion, in what follows.
Nov 02, 2019 | www.rollcall.com
House Republicans on Thursday said that testimony from the State Department's former envoy to Ukraine, sought by House Democrats with regards to their impeachment inquiry, won't advance the drive to impeach President Donald Trump.
Emerging from the day-long deposition, New York Republican Lee Zeldin said that former U.S. Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker's private Thursday testimony, "blows a hole in the argument" presented by Democrats that Trump asked the president of Ukraine for a quid pro quo.
Volker on Thursday spent hours testifying with congressional investigators who are seeking to discover if he played any role in Trump's efforts to obtain from Ukrainian officials information on Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden Jr.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff briefly addressed reporters during the testimony, charging that Trump encouraging a foreign nation to investigate his political rival was a "fundamental breach of the president's oath of office."
"It endangers our elections, it endangers our national security, it ought to be condemned by every member of this body, Democrats and Republicans alike," Schiff said.
While Volker testified, Ohio Republican Michael R. Turner , an Intelligence Committee member, released a statement saying he does "not believe that Volker's testimony advanced Schiff's impeachment agenda."
Zeldin urged the relevant congressional committees to make public a transcript of Volker's deposition, along with text messages Volker sent to Ukrainian officials, which have become a source of intrigue in the fledgling impeachment push.
About two-and-a-half hours into Volker's deposition, Jim Jordan , an Ohio Republican and founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, emerged and told reporters that Schiff wanted to limit certain members from questioning Volker and that the California Democrat had barred State Department lawyers from participating in the closed briefing.
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"If this is how Mr. Schiff is going to conduct these types of interviews in the future," Jordan said, "that's a concern."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has drawn the ire of congressional Democrats this week for rejecting a subpoena and rebuffing congressional requests to question five current and former State Department officials to testify in the impeachment inquiry.Trump: House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff should "resign from office"
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In defending his actions, Trump has taken aim at Schiff, calling him names and urging that he resign and be investigated himself, potentially for treason .
Jordan praised Volker, calling him "impressive." Turner called Volker "an incredible diplomat," in his statement.
Volker resigned from his position as special envoy less than a week ago after his name appeared in a whistleblower complaint alleging that Volker was coordinating with Ukrainian officials on how to handle requests from Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. That whistleblower report is central in justifying House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
Turner said he doesn't believe Volker would have done anything untoward during his State Department service.
"It is my strong belief that Volker would not have been involved in nor permitted anything inappropriate, let alone illegal, in his service to our country," Turner said. "Today he continued his legacy of integrity under questioning from Schiff's staff."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
President Trump and many other people believe that it would be better for the United States to ally with Russia against an ever growing China than to push Russia and China into an undefeatable alliance against the United States. Trump often alluded to this during his campaign. The voters seem to have liked that view.
The U.S. coup in the Ukraine made that policy more difficult to achieve. But within the big picture the Ukraine is just a bankrupt and corrupt state that has little strategic value and can be ignored.
One can disagree with that view and with other foreign policy priorities Trump set out and pursues. I certainly disagree with most of them. But for those who work "at the pleasure of the President" his views are the guidelines that set the direction of their duties.
The anti-Russian/pro-Ukrainian fanatics in the Borg, to which Lt.Col. Vindman belongs, are trying to prevent Trump from achieving his large picture vision of U.S. strategic interest and from defining U.S. foreign policy goals. They want to implement their own polices independent of what the president thinks or believes.
We have warned that such interference by the Borg, the 'deep state' or 'swamp', is a danger to democracy :If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?
The Democrats are stupid to applaud this and to even further these schemes. They are likely to regain the presidency in 2024. What will they do when all the Civil Service functionaries Trump will have installed by then organize to ruin their policies?
It is unfortunate that the above points have to be repeated again and again. But when powerful media try to sell the lies about the Ukrainian interferences by repeating the same falsehoods over and over again the truth has only a chance to win when it is likewise spread repeatedly.
lysias , Oct 30 2019 19:43 utc | 2
Vindman is a Jew born in Ukraine and brought up in the Little Odessa neighborhood of Brooklyn. I surmise he is reflecting Israeli disquiet with the idea of a peace in Syria that leaves Assad in power.
Trailer Trash , Oct 30 2019 20:08 utc | 6I first heard this idea that Trump is supposed to implement the foreign policy of the "government policy community" just a few days ago on the PBS Snooze Hour. It was startling to hear such a blatant admission of the existence of the "Deep State", and that Trump is supposed to obey it. I wonder who wrote the memo that says its now OK to publicly criticize Trump for not following the orders of the "government policy community".ben , Oct 30 2019 20:59 utc | 15
Everyone was shocked when Trump won the election, especially Trump and the "government policy community". He is the proverbial dog that caught the speeding car. It's quaint that Trump thinks he can make real policy changes. His failures in medical insurance, controlling the FED, etc. underscore the point that being the leader is useless if underlings don't obey. The "government policy community" will never follow Trump and it won't stop until Trump is gone one way or another.
Trump is truly a horrible excuse for a human being, but apparently that is what is required to successfully rip the facade off the Deep State, however one wants to define it. Brain-dead Dummycrats will nod and exclaim that of course Trump is supposed to follow policy established by "knowledgeable experts". But I speculate that this new public attitude of the stink tank talking heads will enrage Trump supporters.
I'm starting to think that things may get really ugly in the "Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free".Our foreign policies have, IMO, long been tailored to the needs and expectations of our major corporations. Notably, the fossil fuel corporations and their allies on Wall street.h , Oct 30 2019 21:01 utc | 16
Our corporate empire wishes to export predatory capitalism around the globe, and pity any nation who stands in our way..Isn't it something, b. Could you imagine ever reading a headline out of Russia or Germany where a subordinate went on record declaring he made attempts to edit Putin or Merkel's classified phone transcript, he then admits to sharing this classified information with a group of peers OUTSIDE classified channels and ended his 15 mins of fame by declaring Putin nor Merkel's policies on Ukraine fit the consensus of a national security bureaucratic group of nobodies. It's simply unimaginable!karlof1 , Oct 30 2019 21:25 utc | 20
Last night I watched a report by Catherine Herrhidge of Fox state that in Vindman's statement he admits to sharing POTUS' classified transcripts and other readouts to a small group of others outside the NSC. In essence he admitted to leaking classified information. When Rep Jim Jordan started to drill down into that line of questioning, Schiff cut him off.
Here's a link for those interested in watching the 1:30 clip - https://twitter.com/i/status/1189331134443917312
This entire shitshow honestly tells any w/an open mind that the D's and their leadership are desperate. Imagine a committee chairman not allowing members to question a witness about who he shared the President's classified information with. That's not the rascally Dem Party I know. It's painfully obvious these radicals will walk on hot coals, climb the Himalayans and swim across the Atlantic to pin anything and I mean anything on Trump. They do not care about downstream impacts, catastrophic as they may turn out to be.
Which tells me they are fighting for something else entirely. Maybe more light will be shed following the release of the IG's FISA report. Then again, maybe they are motivated by fear that their lining their pockets with taxpayers gazillions has finally caught up to them.h @16--Scotch Bingeington , Oct 30 2019 22:18 utc | 25
When Vindman admitted his crime, the Sergeant at Arms should have arrested him immediately after his testimony, but he was allowed to walk--yet another perversion of justice! By cutting off the line of questioning, Schiff was engaging in the obstruction of justice--the very crime he accuses Trump of committing! IMO, the application of the law must be depoliticized and all offenders arrested regardless of their station in life.Great piece, b, many thanks! Really meticulous.S.O. , Oct 30 2019 22:32 utc | 27
A guy like this Vindman character, a walking identity problem first and foremost, given his background, should never have made it through the ranks of the US forces, let alone be given a job at the Security Council. A loyalty issue waiting to get worse. It's just wrong, a ridiculous notion.
If you want to join the British forces e.g. you are required to have parents who were already born in Britain. Kept me from applying to join their navy back when I tried to. I was disappointed then, but it makes sense to handle the nationality question just like that. I can see that now.
And nothing good ever comes from Ukraine. It's a psyched country, or would-be country, just there to give the world trouble.
Regarding Washington, seems like the Beast, aka the Deep State, is finally coming out of its lair. Trump is way too salacious as bait for them to be careful and keep in hiding. Before they realize that trying to snatch Trump will be their own undoing, things will have way too much momentum for them to stop. Just look at Rep. Schiff moving from blunder to blunder. He'd be so much better off just doing nothing for half a year and keeping his mouth shut, but he somehow cannot do that. Neither can the Times.Ghost Ship , Oct 30 2019 22:38 utc | 29> Will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.
Take a look at that statement and realise how diseased it is.Looks like Real Clear Investigations is suggesting a certain Eric Ciaramella is the "whistleblower", which might upset Schiff since the Democrats want he name and political attachments kept a secret. Anyway the article provides some more pieces for the Russiagate/Ukrainegate jigsaw puzzle.Curtis , Oct 30 2019 22:44 utc | 30American citizens lost their voice in foreign policy a long time ago. It's a question I ask when the party politicians meet with lobbyists or attend events like Bilderberg. I am thankful for the alt media. Americans should be disgusted by their politicians and political parties.karlof1 , Oct 30 2019 23:29 utc | 32
How The Obama Administration Set In Motion Democrats' Coup Against TrumpOkay, so just what is the Outlaw US Empire's Foreign/Imperial Policy? I'm glad I asked!Really?? , Oct 30 2019 23:35 utc | 33
The overarching #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire is to establish Full Spectrum Domination over the planet and its people as enunciated publicly in 1996 policy paper Joint Vision 2010 which was modified and republished as Joint Vision 2020 , both of which are essentially military policies, not National Defense as they're espousing 100% offensive doctrines. In tandem is the much older economic policy plot known as the Washington Consensus, which I've referenced many times and is best explained by Dr. Hudson's book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire , and began at the end of WW2 but was greatly expanded/escalated in 1978.
Now it's obvious that Trump's trying to implement his own policies since he's getting so much resistance. On the previous thread having this topic, I noted that Pepe Escobar had written several pieces citing members of the Current Oligarchy who are Trump supporters who provided him with info as to the likely directions of Trump's policies if he became POTUS. In response to a request by Evelyn, I went and looked for those old items and found several. This one IMO is worthy of close scrutiny. Pepe opens:
"And for all the 24/7 scandal time of non-stop groping and kissing and lewd locker room misbehaving, Trump seems to be ready to limp toward the finish line just as he began; an all-out populist/nativist/nationalist fighting open borders (a Clinton mantra, as revealed by the latest WikiLeaks Podesta email dump); 'free' trade; neoliberal globalization; and regime change/bomb them into democracy/'humanitarian' imperialism."
Yes, there's more, but the above's more than enough to show that Trump's 100% against the two major policies of the Outlaw US Empire--and--he's actually done what the above suggests he might do. I remember reading that just a little more than 3 years ago and thought Pepe was fed a line of bull from his sources--he wasn't.S.O. 2karlof1 , Oct 30 2019 23:52 utc | 35
"> Will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.
Take a look at that statement and realise how diseased it is."
I totally agree. It is diseased on multiple levels. "lock in"? he says? What if Ukrainians change their minds??? Say, by electing a Russia-leaning politico?
Oh, right, that's what happened back in 2014. Hence, the Maidan "lock-in." to me this "lock in" comment is an open confession of ongoing meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.
That is quite apart from the sick joke that is reference to "a dream of vibrant democracy and economic development" brought about by the "West-leaning trajectory."
From what I have heard, Ukraine is an unmitigated disaster since "the West" decided to determine and "lock in" its political trajectory. Not to mention thousands dead in the Donbass and Lukansk.32 Cont'd--juliania , Oct 31 2019 0:22 utc | 37
And here's Pepe from 10 Nov 2016 :
"Donald Trump's red wave on Election Day was an unprecedented body blow against neoliberalism. The stupid early-1990s prediction about the 'end of history' turned into a – possible – shock of the new....
"Once again. A body blow, not a death blow. Like the cast of The Walking Dead, the zombie neoliberal elite simply won't quit. For the Powers That Be/Deep State/Wall Street axis, there's only one game in town, and that is to win, at all costs . Failing that, to knock over the whole chessboard, as in hot war...
"The angry, white, blue collar Western uprising is the ultimate backlash against neoliberalism – an instinctive reaction against the rigged economic casino capitalism game and its subservient political arms. That's at the core of Trump winning non-college white voters in Wisconsin by 28 points. Blaming 'whitelash', racism, WikiLeaks or Russia is no more than childish diversionary tactics." [My Emphasis]
No, they didn't quit but immediately put their very improvised "insurance policy" into play based on the lies and contrivances concocted during the campaign and put into play by Obama in the most unprecedented fashion ever as a sitting POTUS had never before sought to undermine/sabotage the incoming POTUS in the manner being devised--essentially in my book, Obama committed treason: again .In his written testimony (from the Stars and Stripes account in Don Bacon's link at 146 in the previous 'Deep State' thread) Lt. Colonel Vindman wrote:"...I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics."oldhippie , Oct 31 2019 0:24 utc | 38
Thanks so much b, for elaborating on that first part - "...sacred duty and honor to advance.."
It does seem the Constitutional duties and limitations got lost in the shuffle back when George Bush (I think it was) joked the Constitution was 'just a piece of paper.' Still, even he too thought foreign policy was his to dictate. I am remembering the 'first strike' doctrine that he propounded and Al Gore gave a speech decrying back in the day.
That "advance" stuck in my craw - thanks for shining the light.Leonid Vindman. With a brother like that how do you get a security clearance at all, much less a desk in the West Wing?ptb , Oct 31 2019 1:05 utc | 44
Helps a lot if you're a pal of Firtash and Kolomoisky.
This is just beginning.@29 Ghost Ship
fascinating... didn't realize how much the Trump Admin's seemingly simple retaliation-for-Russiagate investigation of Biden really struck a nerve among the Obama era CIA/NSC Ukraine team. Wonder what they know.
Oct 30, 2019 | www.breitbart.com
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, who provided key testimony to the Democrats' controversial impeachment inquiry last week, led an election observation delegation in Ukraine earlier this year for a George Soros-funded organization that at the time boasted Hunter Biden on its small chairman's council.
Two months before he came out of retirement to serve as the highest ranking U.S. official in Ukraine, Taylor led an election observer delegation to Ukraine's April 21, 2019 second round presidential election for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) organization.
The delegation's mission, according to NDI literature , was to "accurately and impartially assess various aspects of the election process, and to offer recommendations to support peaceful, credible elections and public confidence in the process."
Taylor led the team along with former Director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) Audrey Glover and former Minister for European Union Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson.
Hunter Biden at the time served on NDI's ten person Chairman's Council, which describes itself as bringing together "leaders from corporate, philanthropic, and academia sectors to provide expertise, counsel and resources to help the Institute meet these evolving challenges."
Biden was engaged in Ukraine in his role as a board member for Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden's involvement in Ukraine policy during the Obama administration while his son was being paid by Burisma.
NDI did not immediately respond to a Breitbart News inquiry about when Hunter Biden was removed from the organization's chairman's council. The WayBack Internet archive shows Biden was listed on NDI's website in that position until at least August 2019, encompassing the period when Taylor led the organization's delegation.
Earlier this month, an attorney for Biden said the former vice president's son had stepped down from the Burisma board and that he planned to step down from the board of BHR, a Chinese company seeking to invest Chinese funds outside China.
The NDI is not Taylor's only seemingly conspicuous link. Last week, Breitbart News reported that Taylor has evidenced a close relationship with the Atlantic Council think tank, writing Ukraine policy pieces with the organization's director and analysis articles published by the Council. The Atlantic Council is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma.
In addition to a direct relationship with the Atlantic Council, Taylor for the last nine years also served as a senior adviser to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), which has co-hosted events with the Atlantic Council and has participated in events co-hosted jointly by the Atlantic Council and Burisma. USUBC events have been financially sponsored by Burisma.
Another senior adviser to the USUBC is David J. Kramer, a long-time adviser to late Senator John McCain. Kramer played a central role in disseminating the anti-Trump dossier to the news media and Obama administration.
Taylor participated in events and initiatives organized by Kramer.
The links may be particularly instructive after Breitbart News reported that itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council for ten Congressional aides reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff's House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with Taylor. The pre-planned trip took place after the so-called whistleblower officially filed his August 12 complaint and reportedly after a Schiff aide was contacted by the so-called whistleblower.
Common funding themes
Meanwhile, NDI, where Taylor led the election observation delegation, lists partners and sponsors who "provide much-needed resources," including Soros's Open Society Foundation, Google Inc., the National Endowment for Democracy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State.
Besides Burisma funding, the Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros's Open Society Foundations, Google, and the U.S. State Department. Another Atlantic Council funder is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc.,
Google, Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund, and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower's complaint alleging Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 presidential race.
The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the so-called whistleblower's document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower's own claims, as Breitbart News documented .
One key section of the so-called whistleblower's document claims that "multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov."
This was allegedly to follow up on Trump's call with Zelensky in order to discuss the "cases" mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower's narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.
Even though the statement was written in first person – "multiple U.S. officials told me" – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
That footnote reads:
In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.
The so-called whistleblower's account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:Write that Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko "also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters." Document that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani "had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani." Bolster the charge that, "I also learned from a U.S. official that 'associates' of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team." The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, "I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above."
The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a "joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine."
BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.
The OCCRP and BuzzFeed "joint investigation" resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump's political rivals.
The so-called whistleblower's document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.
Taylor, Atlantic Council, Kramer
Multiple U.S. media outlets last week obtained Taylor's full opening statement to the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.
In the leaked pre-written full opening statement, Taylor alluded to work he said he did for a "small Ukrainian non- governmental organization" but he omitted the name of the organization.
"In the intervening 10 years, I have stayed engaged with Ukraine, visiting frequently since 2013 as a board member of a small Ukrainian non- governmental organization supporting good governance and reform," he said.
The name of the organization is the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), where Taylor served for nine years as senior advisor. The USUBC has co-hosted or participated in scores of events with the Atlantic Council. Taylor has also authored numerous analysis pieces published by the Atlantic Council itself and has co-authored opeds written together with the Atlantic Council's director.
Burisma is a key financial backer of the Atlantic Council. In 2017, Burisma and the Atlantic Council signed a cooperative agreement to develop transatlantic programs with Burisma's financial support reportedly to focus "on European and international energy security." Burisma specifically finances the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.
Besides funding the Atlantic Council, Burisma also routinely partners with the think tank. Only four months ago, the company co-hosted the Atlantic Council's second Annual Kharkiv Security Conference. Burisma advertises that it committed itself to "15 key principles of rule of law and economic policy in Ukraine developed by the Atlantic Council."
In March, three months before he became Trump's ambassador to Ukraine, the Atlantic Council featured an oped co-authored by Taylor in which the diplomat argued Ukraine "has further to travel toward its self-proclaimed European goal" of reformation.
In 2017, Taylor wrote a piece for the Atlantic Council about a Ukrainian parliament vote on health care reform.
Last year, he participated in an online Atlantic Council Q & A on the Crimea.
In November 2011, the Atlantic Council hosted Taylor as the featured speaker at a discussion event when he was appointed that year as Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions at the State Department.
In March 2014, Taylor co-authored an analysis piece at Foreign Policy magazine written together with John E. Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who serves as director of the Eurasia Center for the Atlantic council – the same Eurasia Center that is specifically funded by Burisma.
That same year, Taylor also co-authored a New York Times op-ed with the Atlantic Council's Herbst on Ukraine. The duo co-authored another Times op-ed one year later on the future of Ukraine. The op-ed was reprinted on the USUBC's website.
The USUBC, where Taylor was a senior adviser for nine years along with Kramer, has hosted Herbst for briefings and other events.
Kramer of the USUBC, infamous for his role in disseminating the anti-Trump dossier, also held a November 2011 event at the Atlantic Council's D.C. offices for a group that he heads called Freedom House. Taylor was one of six featured speakers at Kramer's event.
The Atlantic Council published what it deemed a 24-point plan for ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In conjunction with the plan, Kramer, in his role as director of Freedom House, organized a letter by American and European experts and former officials urging Russia to end its conflict with Ukraine. Signatories of the letter, published on the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council's website, include Taylor, Kramer and the Atlantic Council's Herbst.
As late as this past March, Taylor was listed as one of nine members of the Friends of Ukraine Network Economic Security Task Force. Another member is Kramer.
When he deployed to Ukraine as Trump's ambassador in June, the USUBC authored a piece in the Kyiv Post welcoming him.
In the USUBC piece welcoming Taylor to Ukraine, Kramer himself commented about Taylor's ambassador position. "He's a great choice for now," Kramer gushed.
The USUBC's piece noted that the "USUBC has worked closely with Ambassador Taylor for many years," touting his role as the business group's senior adviser.
On June 26, just nine days after arriving in Ukraine as ambassador, the USUBC already hosted Taylor for a roundtable discussion about his new position.
Vadym Pozharskyi, adviser to the board of directors at Burisma Holdings, was also previously hosted as a USUBC featured speaker.
Geysha Gonzalez is the sponsoring Atlantic Council officer listed on the Congressional disclosure form for the Schiff staffer's trip to Ukraine in August. She is deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.
Gonzalez is also one of eleven members of the rapid response team for the Ukrainian Election Task Force, which says it is working to expose "foreign interference in Ukraine's democracy." Another member of the team is Kramer.
Kramer revealed in testimony that he held a meeting about the anti-Trump dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News, who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer's permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.
BuzzFeed infamously published the Christopher Steele dossier on January 10, 2017, setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.
The Washington Post reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it.
In a deposition taken on December 13, 2017, and posted online earlier this year, Kramer revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier was being taken seriously.
In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander.
In the deposition, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry's State Department.
Taylor testimony and Burisma
In his testimony to the Democrats secretive impeachment inquiry, Taylor said that he "understood" from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations." Taylor was referring to the announcement of an investigation that included Burisma, as well as alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Taylor's testimony was characterized by CNN as "explosive" and was similarly hyped by other news media outlets despite it not being unusual for the U.S. to condition aspects of relations on participation in ongoing American investigations involving the foreign country in question.
Still, Taylor conceded that there was no quid pro quo.
"Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelensky and Mr. Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelensky did not 'clear things up' in public, we could be at a 'stalemate.' I understood 'stalemate to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance," Taylor testified.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.
Oct 23, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
As William Taylor's testimony about Ukraine creates shock waves in Washington, a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.
President Donald Trump campaigned and was elected on a platform of improved relations with Russia. Yet, three years after his election, no real improvement has materialized and, if anything, they have deteriorated. Why?
One reason is that those who seek to repair the damage caused by a thirty-year deterioration in trust and cooperation face an uphill battle against what recently has been given the colloquial name, "the Blob." The term, coined by Obama White House staffer Ben Rhodes, refers to the foreign-policy establishment, mostly located in Washington, DC and constantly focused on the putative decline of American influence abroad. It has been distinguished by its unwillingness, or inability, to reconsider or reprioritize national interests that were first defined after World War II, and then continued, by and large, on auto-pilot after the end of the Cold War. Now Trump is taking a wrecking ball to this world order. But a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.
Another reason is that Trump himself has been largely indifferent to who assumes positions in his administration, calculating that by sheer force of will he, and he alone, can be the decider. In September, Trump referred to his search for a fresh national security adviser in the following terms: "It's great because it's a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump, and it's very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it's easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don't have to work." This insouciant approach has now boomeranged on Trump.
Enter William B. Taylor, Jr. Taylor has been the U.S. Chargé d 'Affaires Ukraine since June of this year (having previously held the position of ambassador 2006–2009), and yesterday he testified behind-closed-doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Taylor, as his testimony made clear, was able to observe first-hand many of the Trump administration's ham-fisted moves to extract, in one form another, concessions from Ukraine. But however clumsy and counterproductive Trump's moves may have been, Taylor offered an overly simplistic survey of events in the region. Indeed, his Manichean introductory and concluding remarks suggested that he views Russia as an inveterate enemy of America and Ukraine as a white knight.
In his opening statement, Taylor emphasized that Ukraine is a strategic partner of the United States that is "important for the security of our country as well as Europe," as well as a country that is "under armed attack from Russia." Well, yes. But this sweeping description occludes more than it reveals. Foreign policy is rarely a morality play and the fairy-tale that Taylor presented was more redolent of a post–Cold War cold warrior who, like too many of his colleagues at the foreign desk, are committed to retrograde thinking, than of an official offering an incisive look at a complex and troubled region. It is not as though Ukraine, where Taylor served as ambassador during the George W. Bush administration, has ever been free from the plague of corruption or murky machinations by local competing factions. Reflexively taking the side of Ukraine does not serve American interests any more than trying to pummel it for political favors. The testimony of Taylor and other State Department witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee is a case in point.
Will anything change n ow that the fight between Trump and the permanent bureaucracy is now in the open? On Tuesday night, Vice President Mike Pence told Laura Ingraham , host of Fox's The Ingraham Angle , "There is no question when President Trump said we were going to drain the swamp, but an awful lot of the swamp has been caught up in the State Department bureaucracy and we're just going to keep fighting it. And we are going to fight it with the truth." For his part, Evans thinks that there is a modicum of hope for improved relations with Moscow. "Taylor will have to resign now," he says. "We might even see a moderation of the uncritical support for Ukraine, as some of the ugly underside starts to emerge, although anti-Russian sentiment is the mother's milk of Congress."
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest .
mal • 2 days ago • edited ,
There was always an element of this in US foreign policy. Teddy Roosevelt took the opportunity of the Navy Sec being out for the weekend to send orders for the Asiatic Fleet to move to position to attack the Philippines. The returning Sec was appalled, but it was too late. For that adventure, he was rewarded by becoming President in due time.
Forty years later, the US oil embargo on Japan happened the same way. The boss away for the weekend, the deputy ordered it, and then left his bosses the options of supporting it or appearing weak and appearing to make a concession by withdrawing it. For that adventure, he was rewarded by becoming Sec of State in due time.
The pattern is not new. Doing it domestically is new. Doing it to remove a President is new. Doing it to reverse a US election is new, though reversing foreign elections that way by the same people was routine.
If we are to fix this, we need to face that it is a problem very deeply embedded. It is not new, and does not have recent nor shallow roots.KungWong • 3 days ago ,"What goes unmentioned is that many of the dead are Eastern Ukrainians with deep language and cultural connections to Russia, who acted upon secessionist impulses only after the emergence of the new regime in Kiev."
This is true. Putin/Lavrov team gets a lot criticism for that in Russia. Maybe, of all those Kalibrs going to Raqqa, Syria, just a few could make a detour to Lvov, Ukraine, for demonstration purposes? While I greatly respect the diplomatic acumen of the Russian leadership, i think support for pro-Russia East Ukrainians has been insufficient. More could and should have been done. Donbass people were allowed to receive Russian passports recently, so hopefully this will change things for the better, and more Russian support will arrive, but we will see. West won't like a more pro-active Russian approach, but since Russia-West relations won't improve in a foreseeable future, Russia can safely discard Western opinion and agree to disagree on this particular matter.Joe Sixpaq Volodimir • 2 days ago ,
According to Deng Xiaoping's maxim, we should "seek truth from facts," and after three years Trump recognizes the fact that it is in U.S. national interest to avoid great power conflict either with China or Russia. If we were to be honest and "seek truth from facts" judging Putin with fairness by his action, we would see that Putin's intellect and character have benefitted the international community at large in every regions across the globe. Sadly, the American mandarin class is like Mao's Chinese Gang of Four who insisted on continuing with outdated Cold War political ideology. Americans would never vote for any chaos president, and Trump realizes that in time for 2020.Volodimir Joe Sixpaq • a day ago ,
Russia has its own fair share of neo-naztis, so what?
Ukrainian neo-nazis (Azov etc.) get paided and armed by the Ukrainian state.On Wednesday, New York Rep. Max Rose, who chairs the
counterterrorism subcommittee, submitted a letter to the State
Department, co-signed by 39 members of Congress . It urged the department
to designate Azov Battalion (a far-right paramilitary regiment in
Ukraine), National Action (a neo-Nazi group based in the U.K.), and
Nordic Resistance Movement (a neo-Nazi network from Scandinavia) as
terrorist organizations .
The world is watching.Joe Sixpaq Volodimir • a day ago ,
The reason they think Azov is neo-nasti organization is because the suspect in Christchurch mosque got military
training in Ukraine.
I think this is typical illustration of the "Post hoc" fallacy.
There are no records of Azov perpetuating anti semitic or anti muslim actions in Ukraine, so it is not clear if there is a relation.
Russia, on the other hand, openly peddling supremacy - Russian civilization, Russian world, Russian character, Russian language - are the best and superior to anything else.
Explan thisCongress bans arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis
By Rebecca Kheel - 03/27/18 01:42 PM EDT
Oct 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
10/25/2019 - 16:12 0 SHARES
Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
It was interesting to watch the Cable News divas go incandescent under the glare of their own gaslight late yesterday when they received the unpleasant news that the Barr & Durham "review" of RussiaGate had been officially upgraded to a "criminal investigation."
Rachel Maddow's trademark pouty-face got a workout as she strained to imagine " what the thing is that Durham might be looking into." Yes, that's a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, all right with a sputtering fuse sticking out of it. Welcome to the Wile E. Coyote Lookalike Club, Rache. You'll have a lot of competition when the Sunday morning news-chat shows rev up.
Minutes later, the answer dawned on her:
"It [ the thing ] follows the wildest conspiracy theories from Fox News!"
You'd think that someone who invested two-plus years of her life in the Mueller report, which blew up in her pouty-face last spring, might have felt a twinge of journalistic curiosity as to the sum-and-substance of the thing. But no, she just hauled on-screen RussiaGate intriguer David Laufman, a former DOJ lawyer who ran the agency's CounterIntel and Export Control desk during the RussiaGate years, and also helped oversee the botched Hillary Clinton private email server probe.
"They have this theory," Rachel said, "that maybe Russia didn't interfere in the election ."
"It's preposterous," said Laufman, all lawyered up and ready to draw a number and take a seat for his own grand jury testimony.
Over in the locked ward of CNN, Andy Cooper and Jeff Toobin attempted to digest the criminal investigation news as if someone had ordered in a platter of shit sandwiches for the green room just before air-time. Toobin pretended to not know exactly who the mysterious Joseph Misfud was, and struggled to even pronounce his name: " Mifsood? Misfood ? You mean the Italian professor?" No Jeff, the guy employed by several "friendly" foreign intelligence agencies, and the CIA, to sandbag Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, and failed. I guess when you're at the beating heart of TV news, you don't have to actually follow any of the stories reported outside your locked ward, and maybe entertain a few angles outside your purview , i.e. your range of thought and experience.
Next Andy hauled onscreen former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now a paid CNN "contributor") to finesse a distinction between the "overall investigation of the Russian interference" or "the counterintelligence investigation that was launched by the FBI." Consider that Mr. Clapper was right in the middle between the CIA and the FBI. Since he is known to be a friend of Mr. Comey's and a not-friend of Mr. Brennan's one can easily see which way Mr. Clapper is tilting. One can also see the circular firing squad that this is a setup for. And, of course, Mr. Clapper himself will be a subject in Mr. Durham's criminal case proceedings. I predict October will be the last month that Mr. Clapper draws a CNN paycheck -- as he hunkers down with his attorneys awaiting the subpoena with his name on it.
The New York Times story on this turn of events Friday morning is a lame attempt to rescue former FBI Director Jim Comey by pinning the blame for RussiaGate on the CIA, shoving CIA John Brennan under the bus. The Times report says: "Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation." There's the next narrative for you. Expect to hear this incessantly well into 2020.
I wonder if there is any way to hold the errand boys-and-girls in the news media accountable for their roles as handmaidens in what will be eventually known as a seditious coup to overthrow a president. We do enjoy freedom of the press in this land, but I can see how these birds merit charges as unindicted co-conspirators in the affair. One wonders if the various boards of directors of the newspaper and cable news outfits might seek to salvage their self-respect by firing the executives who allowed it happen. If anything might be salutary in the outcome of this hot mess, it would be a return to respectability of the news media.
As for impeachment, ringmaster Rep. Adam Schiff is surely steaming straight into his own historic Joe McCarthy moment when somebody of incontestable standing denounces him as a fraud and a scoundrel and the mysterious workings of nonlinear behavior tips the political mob past a criticality threshold, shifting the weight of consensus out of darkness and madness. It has happened before in history. Two centuries before Joe McCarthy, the French national assembly suddenly turned on the Jacobins Robespierre and St. Just after their orgy of beheading 17,000 enemies. The two were quickly dispatched themselves to the awe of their beloved guillotine and the Jacobin faction was not heard of again -- until recently in America, where it first infected the Universities and then sickened the polity at large almost unto death
Oct 23, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com
Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 10/09/2019 at 9:55 amInteresting piece.
Former national security officials fight back as Trump attacks impeachment as 'deep state' conspiracy
"What is happening currently is not normal," said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, who served as a U.S. intelligence officer on Russia and Eurasia before stepping down in 2018. "This represents a deviation from the way that these institutions regularly function. And when the institutions don't work, that is a national security threat."
She was among 90 national security veterans who signed an open letter published Sunday in support of the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint that Trump had acted improperly in asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden in a July phone call.
Trump has attempted to intimidate other government officials into not cooperating by casting those who offered information to the whistleblower as "close to spies." The open letter emphasized that the whistleblower "is protected from certain egregious forms of retaliation."
Oct 22, 2019 | www.buzzfeednews.com
"Second, in May of this year, I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine's departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should."
"Fifth and finally, I strongly supported the provision of U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, to Ukraine throughout my tenure."
...While Volker said Biden did not come up explicitly in his conversations, he made a point of defending the former vice president in his remarks. "I have known former Vice President Biden for 24 years, and the suggestion that he would be influenced in his duties as Vice President by money for his son simply has no credibility to me," he wrote. "I know him as a man of integrity and dedication to our country."
... ... ...Volker also testified that while he was aware that the Trump administration had put a hold on needed military aid to Ukraine at the same time that he was connecting Giuliani with Zelensky's government, "I did not perceive these issues to be linked in any way."
Volker said that "no reason was given" for the holdup, but it concerned him; he "stressed" to staff at the State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council that the aid was vital to Ukraine's security, "deterrence of Russian aggression," and Ukraine's relationship with the US.
"That said, I was not overly concerned about the development because I believed the decision would ultimately be reversed," Volker told Congress, citing the "unanimous position" of Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the NSC in favor of restoring the aid. "I knew it would just be a matter of time."
...On his contacts with Rudy Giuliani, Volker said he became aware early this year about "an emerging, negative narrative about Ukraine in the United States, fueled by accusations made by the then–prosecutor general of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, that some Ukrainian citizens may have sought to influence" the 2016 presidential election in the US, "including by passing information that was detrimental to" Trump, which they hoped would reach Hillary Clinton's campaign.
"I believed that these accusations by Mr. Lutsenko were themselves self-serving, intended to make himself appear valuable to the United States, so that the United States might weigh in against his being removed from office by the new government," Volker said.
...Volker told Congress that he learned in May this year that Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to look into the unsubstantiated allegations that Biden had used his position as vice president to benefit his son Hunter Biden. Volker said he contacted Giuliani to say that Lutsenko was not credible -- Volker said they had a brief phone call, but didn't say how Giuliani responded. Giuliani later canceled his trip. Volker noted that Giuliani claimed at the time that Zelensky was surrounded "by enemies of the United States," a sentiment that Volker said he "fundamentally disagreed" with.
...Giuliani came up repeatedly in Volker's conversations with Zelensky and the Ukrainian president's administration. Volker said he had a private conversation with Zelensky in early July, and told Zelensky that a "negative view" of Ukraine -- one that Giuliani held -- was "likely making its way to" Trump. A week later, Volker met with Yermak, the Zelensky aide, who asked to be connected to Giuliani.
...Volker also testified to Congress that he met with Trump in May and suggested that the president invite Zelensky to the White House, arguing Zelensky could help clean up corruption in Ukraine. But Volker said that Trump was "very skeptical" of Zelensky at the time.
"He said that Ukraine was a corrupt country, full of 'terrible people.' He said they 'tried to take me down.' In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani," Volker said. "It was clear to me that despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new President, President Trump had a deeply rooted negative view on Ukraine rooted in the past. He was clearly receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view."
Oct 22, 2019 | www.buzzfeednews.comMichael McFaul, who served as the US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, called Taylor, who he's known for three decades, "just a consummate public servant."
"I do remember when he was ambassador to Ukraine he saw the bigness of the moment -- this is well before Russia annexed Crimea and went into Donbass -- that fighting for sovereignty for Ukraine and democracy and anti-corruption, he was very committed to that," McFaul said.
Oct 11, 2019 | d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net
The Revolution of Dignity, and the Ukrainian people's demand to end corruption, forced the new Ukrainian government to take measures to fight the rampant corruption that long permeated that country's political and economic systems. We have long understood that strong anti-corruption efforts must form an essential part of our policy in Ukraine; now there was a window of opportunity to do just that.
Why is this important? Put simply: anti-corruption efforts serve Ukraine's interests. They serve ours as well. Corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy, while an honest and accountable Ukrainian leadership makes a U.S.-Ukraine partnership more reliable and more valuable to the U.S. A level playing field in this strategically located country -- one with a European landmass exceeded only by Russia and with one of the largest populations in Europe -- creates an environment in which U.S. business can more easily trade, invest and profit. Corruption is a security issue as well, because corrupt officials are vulnerable to Moscow. In short, it is in our national security interest to help Ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law governs and corruption is held in check.
But change takes time, and the aspiration to instill rule-of-law values has still not been fulfilled. Since 2014, Ukraine has been at war, not just with Russia, but within itself, as political and economic forces compete to determine what kind of country Ukraine will become: the same old, oligarch-dominated Ukraine where corruption is not just prevalent, but is the system? Or the country that Ukrainians demanded in the Revolution of Dignity -- a country where rule of law is the system, corruption is tamed, and people are treated equally and according to the law? During the 2019 presidential elections, the Ukrainian people answered that question once again. Angered by insufficient progress in the fight against corruption, Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly elected a man who said that ending corruption would be his number one priority. The transition, however, created fear among the political elite, setting the stage for some of the issues I expect we will be discussing today.
... ... ...
I arrived in Ukraine on August 22, 2016 and left Ukraine permanently on May 20, 2019. Several of the events with which you may be concerned occurred before I was even in country.
Here are just a few:
Several other events occurred after I was recalled from Ukraine. These include:
- the release of the so-called "Black Ledger" and Mr. Manafort's subsequent resignation from the Trump campaign;
- the Embassy's April 2016 letter to the Prosecutor General's Office about the investigation into the Anti-Corruption Action Center or AntAC ; and
- the departure from office of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin .
- President Trump's July 25 call with President Zelenskiy;
- All of the discussions surrounding that phone call; and
- Any discussions surrounding the reported delay of security assistance to Ukraine in Summer 2019.
During my Tenure in Ukraine
- As for events during my tenure in Ukraine, I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption. As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a "do not prosecute" list is completely false -- a story that Mr. Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.
- Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President's orders "since he was going to be impeached." That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else.
- Next, the Obama administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the Trump campaign, nor would I have taken any such steps if they had.
- I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him. And although I have met former Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government, neither he nor the previous Administration ever, directly or indirectly, raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.
- With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him -- a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. I do not know Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.
Sep 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 28, 2019 at 07:20 PMOutraged, I tell you. Outraged!!likbez -> ilsm... , September 28, 2019 at 07:38 PM
Seems that the opposition press wants us to display mob outrage to make Trump foreign policy for him.
The democrats are painting a picture aimed at handcuffing any attempt to determine if the regime in Kyiv [Saudi ARAMCO, UAE,....]is worth tilting world war over.
A novel approach while Trump at odds with the neocon currents in State, CIA and FBI.
It takes a lot more than some good at grammar NYTimes writer to substantiate claims that allegations against the former VP and his son's cushy Ukraine oligarch job are unsubstantiated. That is work for prosecutors and defense attorneys.
The Biden oligarch links go back to before the Obama neocon [Nuland] coup in 2014 when Biden was VP. Out of context is no reason to make a conclusion.
Why I support impeachment. The evidence will be put out and the solicitors will argue on complete evidentiary lines. It is getting to be anything Trump wants to do they find some phony reason to be outraged.
I did a 20 minute telephone poll today. They called me! You can count on one respondent "strongly opposed" to impeachment for trying to get to the bottom of Biden family corruption.ilsm,ilsm -> likbez... , September 29, 2019 at 05:59 AM
"A novel approach while Trump at odds with the neocon currents in State, CIA and FBI."
No. Nothing new here. This is just Russiagate II. Same actors, same methods.
But it is unclear to me why they even bothered? Trump folded long ago, In April 2017 to be exact. And before impeachment, his chances in 2020 were far from certain. Especially against Warren.
Also Biden should not even be discussed anymore. At this point he is history.
Warren now is the official frontrunner. Which is probably the only good thing emerging out of this CIA-inspired mess.The democrats are in the midst (started when Obama ignored the source of the fallacious dossier which started the FISA spying on a campaign) of a strategic blunder. The polling on Ukrainegate show it is libelously political. Democrat respondents largely see it serious, independents are about 40% and GOP about 30%. This nugatory+, political ambush is not playing well to independents!
No one is asking if this nugatory, political ambush the CIA/democrats are using to run a circus in congress is troubling about Biden. As you say Biden is history, as are the democrats' chances in 2020 for every national office.
+U S Grant used the word nugatory in his memoir.
Sep 30, 2019 | taskandpurpose.com
Ukraine's ethnic problems go back to 1500's.
Ukraine's most recent popularity among cold warriors started when Bill Clinton decided that NATO should surround Russia. Coincidental with breaking and continuity of certain oligarchs' fortunes. up Serbia.
Then the pro West coup in 2014....
Maybe as part of the impeachment the house could go in to what US was doing in Kyiv up to and through the coup.
Note in the article Javelin systems are a foreign military sales case, run by the DoD, "approved" by Depts of Commerce and State.
Javelin, guided anti tank missile system, is not solely a defensive weapon unless you look at U S Grant on Richmond as a defensive campaign...... Reply Monday, September 30, 2019 at 06:50 AM ilsm said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... "Deductive reasoning" within the media message is mob control.
"It ain't what you know... it's what you know that ain't so"#. Keep reading the mainstream media!
Given enough time [and strategy wrt 2020 election] we will get to the bottom of Obama's "criminal influence" on 2016 election.
It takes a lot more to debunk the Biden, Clinton, Nuland, Obama Ukraine drama. To my mind, Ukraine needs to be clean as driven snow* to "earn" javelins to kill Russian speaking rebels.
Why do US from Obama+ fund rebels in Syria (Sunni radicals mainly) and want to send tank killers to suppress rebels where we might get in to the real deal?
# conservatives have been saying that about the 'outrage' started by the MSM for decades.
* not possible given US influenced coup in 2014
+Clinton in Serbia! Reply Monday, September 30, 2019 at 04:59 AM
Jun 19, 2019 | lidblog.com
Originally from: New Report Indicates Case Against Paul Manafort Is Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree - The Lid by Jeff Dunetz
The FBI knew the Steele dossier was nonsense before they used it to get the FISA court to issue the warrant to begin spying on Carter Page leading to the Russia collusion hoax. John Solomon of The Hill found a second document that the FBI knew contained false information, but they used it to get the search warrant against Paul Manafort anyway.
The second document, known as the "black cash ledger," remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump's campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.
Trending: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Introduces Motion To Censure Adam Schiff
In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.
There's just one problem: The FBI's public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn't be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.
When the NY Times reported the news about the ledger, they positioned it as a big scandal as they do with almost everything associated with Donald Trump:
Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych's pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine's newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.
( ) The papers, known in Ukraine as the "black ledger," are a chicken-scratch of Cyrillic covering about 400 pages taken from books once kept in a third-floor room in the former Party of Regions headquarters on Lipskaya Street in Kiev. The room held two safes stuffed with $100 bills, said Taras V. Chornovil, a former party leader who was also a recipient of the money at times. He said in an interview that he had once received $10,000 in a "wad of cash" for a trip to Europe.
Nazar Kholodnytsky, Ukraine's top anti-corruption prosecutor, told John Solomon that he had told his State Dept contacts and FBI agents that his colleagues who found the ledger thought it was bogus around the same time the Times published the story late August 2916.
"It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody," Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents.
This is the second incident of Obama's State Department ignoring Ukraine evidence. Two months ago we learned that senior member of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's International Legal Cooperation Dept. told John Solomon that since last year, he's been blocked from getting visas for himself and a team to go to the U.S. to deliver evidence of Democratic party wrongdoing during the 2016 election to the DOJ. The senior prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk never got an answer, and he says it's because the visas were blocked by the U.S. Ambassador. The Ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch is a career diplomat (since 1986) who served under both Democratic and Republicans and was appointed to her present position in August 2016 by former President Obama.
Solomon gives some more examples of the FBI being told the ledger was as real as a three-dollar bill. But that's when it gets really dicey because according to three of Solomon's sources, Mueller's team of political hitmen and the FBI were given copies of one of the warnings.
Because they knew the ledger was false Mueller and the FBI couldn't use the ledger to establish probable cause to investigate Manafort because it " would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence -- and instead cited media reports about it." Even though the feds assisted on one of those stories as sources
For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort's house, citing it as one of the reasons the FBI resurrected the criminal case against Manafort.
"On August 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia -- including an alleged 'black ledger' of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort -- Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump Campaign," the July 25, 2017, FBI agent's affidavit stated.
Three months later, the FBI went further in arguing probable cause for a search warrant for Manafort's bank records, citing a specific article about the ledger as evidence Manafort was paid to perform U.S. lobbying work for the Ukrainians.
"The April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort's company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the 'black ledger,' " an FBI agent wrote in a footnote to the affidavit.
Guess who helped the AP with their story -- the DOJ's Andrew Weissmann who later moved to the special prosecutor's office and became Mueller's chief hit-man.
So just as they had done in the anti-Trump investigation "the FBI cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document."
Whether or not Paul Manafort deserved to be jailed is irrelevant. Part of the search warrants against him were lies that the prosecutors knew were false. The judgments against him should be tossed out because they contain the fruit of the poisonous tree. Our justice system promises equal justice for all, but the FBI and Special Prosecutor cheated in the case of Manafort.
There is much more to John Solomon's report. I recommend you click here and give it a read.
Sep 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs , September 28, 2019 at 03:22 PMHow a Shadow Foreign Policy in Ukraine PromptedFred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 28, 2019 at 03:33 PM
an Impeachment Inquiry https://nyti.ms/2m0n5aY
NYT - Kenneth P. Vogel, Andrew E. Kramer
and David E. Sanger - September 28
WASHINGTON -- Petro O. Poroshenko was still the president of Ukraine earlier this year when his team sought a lifeline. With the polls showing him in clear danger of losing his re-election campaign, some of his associates, eager to hold on to their own jobs and influence, took steps that could have yielded a signal of public support from a vital ally: President Trump.
Over several weeks in March, the office of Ukraine's top prosecutor moved ahead on two investigations of intense interest to Mr. Trump. One was focused on an oligarch -- previously cleared of wrongdoing by the same prosecutor -- whose company employed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son. The other dealt with the release by a separate Ukrainian law enforcement agency to the media of information that hurt Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign.
The actions by the prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, did not come out of thin air. They were the first visible results of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign to gather and disseminate political dirt from a foreign country, encouraged by Mr. Trump and carried out by his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. In the last week their engagement with Ukraine has prompted a formal impeachment inquiry into whether the president courted foreign interference to hurt a leading political rival.
The story of how Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani operated in Ukraine has emerged gradually in recent months. It was laid out in further detail in the past week in a reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump's phone call this summer with a new Ukrainian president and in a complaint filed by a whistle-blower inside the United States government.
Along with documents and interviews with a wide variety of people in Ukraine and the United States, the latest revelations show that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani ran what amounted to a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that unfolded against the backdrop of three elections -- this year's vote in Ukraine and the 2016 and 2020 presidential races in the United States.
Despite the findings of United States intelligence agencies and the Justice Department that Russia was responsible for interfering in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump was driven to seek proof that the meddling was linked to Ukraine and forces hostile to him, even fixating on a fringe conspiracy theory suggesting that Hillary Clinton's missing emails might be found there.
Backed by Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani, who once aspired to be secretary of state, sought to tar Mr. Biden with unsubstantiated accusations of impropriety, while he and associates working with him in Ukraine on the president's agenda pursued their own personal business interests.
With the political landscape scrambled by Mr. Poroshenko's defeat in April and the arrival of a new cast of Ukrainian officials, the approach pursued by Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump undercut official United States diplomacy.
And the signals sent by Mr. Trump -- long skeptical of the strategic value of backing Ukraine against Russia, its menacing neighbor to the east -- complicated efforts by the new Ukrainian government to fortify itself against Moscow.
The intensifying overlap this summer between Mr. Trump's political agenda in Ukraine and his official foreign policy apparatus is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry that will examine whether the president of the United States directed or encouraged his subordinates to lean on a vulnerable ally for personal political gain.
Among the subjects covered in a subpoena sent Friday by House Democrats to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and demands for depositions from American diplomats was Mr. Trump's decision to freeze a $391 million military aid package to Ukraine this summer not long before his July 25 call with Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated Mr. Poroshenko this spring.
Democrats are also looking into the recall in the spring of the United States ambassador to Kiev, Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer who was seen as insufficiently loyal to Mr. Trump by some of his conservative allies. On Friday evening, the State Department's special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, abruptly resigned, not long after receiving a summons from House Democrats to sit for a deposition in the coming week.
Mr. Trump has dismissed the impeachment investigation as another "witch hunt."
In an interview on Friday, Mr. Giuliani defended his efforts to push the Ukrainians to investigate Mr. Biden, his son, Hunter Biden, and others. He asserted that he was not doing it to try to influence the 2020 presidential election, though Mr. Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to challenge Mr. Trump.
"I was doing it to dig out information that exculpates my client, which is the role of a defense lawyer," he said.
Mixing Business and Politics
In the months before the steps taken in March on the politically explosive investigations sought by Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani had met at least twice with the man who would become a central figure in his efforts and a target of criticism in both countries: Mr. Lutsenko, 54, Ukraine's top prosecutor.
First at a meeting in New York and later in Warsaw, Mr. Giuliani pushed Mr. Lutsenko for information about -- and investigations into -- a pair of cases of keen interest to his client.
They included the Bidens' activities in Ukraine and the release during the 2016 campaign of incriminating records about Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's campaign chairman. Mr. Giuliani said early this year he had become increasingly convinced that the Manafort records were doctored and disseminated by critics of Mr. Trump to sabotage his campaign, and later used to spur the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
No evidence supports this idea and Mr. Manafort's own retroactive filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act corroborated the Ukrainian documents, which also matched financial records in the United States.
Still, it was not long before Mr. Trump, sensitive to any questions about the legitimacy of his 2016 victory, began echoing Mr. Giuliani's language about what they viewed as the Ukrainian origins of the Russia investigation.
But Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani had also taken a growing interest in the role played by Mr. Biden, as vice president, in the dismissal of a previous Ukrainian prosecutor who had oversight of investigations into an oligarch who had served in a previous Ukrainian government and whose company had employed Hunter Biden. No evidence has surfaced that the former vice president intentionally tried to help his son by pressing for the dismissal of that prosecutor, whose ouster was being sought by other Western governments and institutions concerned about corruption in the Ukrainian government.
In their first meeting, in January, Mr. Lutsenko later told people, Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Trump and excitedly briefed him on the discussions. And once Mr. Lutsenko's office took procedural steps to advance investigations involving the Manafort records and the oligarch linked to Hunter Biden, Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump and their allies aggressively promoted stories about the developments to conservative journalists at home, further turning a foreign government's action to the president's advantage.
"As Russia Collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter in March, echoing the headline of one of the first such pieces by a Trump-friendly journalist.
Mr. Giuliani had seemed to slide eagerly into his new role. After his hopes of becoming secretary of state were dashed -- in part, former administration officials said, because of his extensive foreign business ties -- he became a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump when the president came under scrutiny by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Mr. Trump was publicly lobbying his own Justice Department for an investigation of Mrs. Clinton and other Democrats. When he got no satisfaction on that score, Mr. Giuliani volunteered to take on the role of independent investigator, empowered by nothing other than Mr. Trump's blessing.
Mr. Giuliani rejected the suggestion that he was interfering in the execution of American foreign policy, noting that Mr. Volker and the State Department eventually helped connect him with a top aide to Mr. Zelensky.
"If they were concerned, I don't think they would ask me to handle a mission like this that's sensitive," he said. "I feel perfectly comfortable with what we did in Ukraine."
Ukraine was familiar ground to Mr. Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and presidential candidate who had built a thriving consulting and security business.
Mr. Giuliani's activity on behalf of Mr. Trump allowed him to maintain, and increase, his marketability to prospective clients around the world. Hiring him came to be seen as a way to curry favor with the Trump administration. ...(Vaguely related?)Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 28, 2019 at 03:37 PM
Kurt Volker, Trump's Envoy for Ukraine,
NYT - Peter Baker -September 27
WASHINGTON -- Kurt D. Volker, the State Department's special envoy for Ukraine who got caught in the middle of the pressure campaign by President Trump and his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to find damaging information about Democrats, abruptly resigned his post on Friday.
Mr. Volker, who told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that he was stepping down, offered no public explanation, but a person informed about his decision said he concluded that it was impossible to be effective in his assignment given the developments of recent days.
His departure was the first resignation since revelations about Mr. Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats. The disclosures have triggered a full-blown House impeachment inquiry, and House leaders announced on Friday that they planned to interview Mr. Volker in a deposition on Thursday.
Mr. Volker, a widely respected former ambassador to NATO, served in the part-time, unpaid position of special envoy to help Ukraine resolve its armed confrontation with Russia-sponsored separatists. He was among the government officials who found themselves in an awkward position because of the search for dirt on Democrats, reluctant to cross the president or Mr. Giuliani yet wary of getting drawn into politics outside their purview.
The unidentified intelligence official who filed the whistle-blower complaint that brought the president's actions to light identified Mr. Volker as one of the officials trying to "contain the damage" by advising Ukrainians how to navigate Mr. Giuliani's campaign.
Mr. Volker facilitated an entree for Mr. Giuliani with the newly elected government in Ukraine, acting not at the instruction of Mr. Trump or Mr. Pompeo, but at the request of the Ukrainians, who were worried because Mr. Giuliani was seeking information about Mr. Biden and other Democrats and had denounced top Ukrainian officials as "enemies of the president." ...Volker to appear before HouseFred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 28, 2019 at 03:44 PM
Foreign Affairs committee next week
(CNN) -- Former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker plans to appear at his deposition next Thursday in front of the House Foreign Affairs committee, according to a source familiar with his plans.
The source would not say if the White House is seeking to use executive privilege to constrict Volker in terms of what he can say or provide.
Volker's appearance before the committee was announced just hours before the news broke Friday evening that he had resigned.
Volker didn't offer a comment when contacted Saturday by CNN.
The former US special envoy is expected to face tough questioning after finding himself in the middle of the controversy surrounding the intelligence whistleblower who had alleged a coverup by the White House over a call made by President Donald Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That whistleblower also mentioned Volker's name in his complaint when discussing interactions between himself and Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, concerning pushing Ukraine to look into activities of Joe Biden's son, Hunter.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden. ...NYT: ... the United States Embassy in Kiev (Ukraine) is still without an ambassador after the administration yanked home Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who was targeted by the president and Mr. Giuliani for ostensibly being insufficiently loyal, a charge heatedly disputed by her colleagues. ...JohnH -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 28, 2019 at 06:17 PMUkraine is the place where US politicians, like the bear in Winne the Pooh, get their heads caught in the honey jar.
As Andrew Higgins writes today: "Ukraine's allure for American carpetbaggers, political consultants and adventurers has put it at the center of not just one but now two presidential elections in the United States and a host of second-tier scandals...
Caught between the clashing geopolitical ambitions of Russia and the West, Ukraine has for years had to balance competing outside interests and worked hard to cultivate all sides, and also rival groups on the same side -- no matter how incompatible their agendas -- with offers of money, favors and prospects for career advancement."
For Democrats and Republicans alike, Ukraine is a place where dirt on opponents can be fabricated and distributed, free from the prying eyes of fact checkers. Biden swears that any corruption on his part has been firmly debunked by Ukrainians who are part of a regime he brought into existence and whose careers he helps determine. Right!
All we know for certain is, like Mark Twain once said, "An honest politician is somebody who, when he is bought, stays bought." IMO, this is how we need to interpret any story that is sourced from the Ukraine.
Trump is trying to get to the bottom of that story by making it clear that the success of the regime now depends on him. He wants reliable source information to create a narrative about how Democrats tried to delegitimize him. Good Luck!
Meanwhile, Democrats and top figures in the intelligence services are pushing back, trying to preserve their original, Trump-Putin conspiracy narrative, created in part from dubious Ukranian sources.
So now the world is going to be subjected to these dueling narratives, neither of which can ever be verified or confirmed because they originated in the shadowy world of the Ukraine.
Ulimately, it will be up to Congress and the American people to decide which narrative they prefer: Trump's or the one pushed by Biden, Team Pelosi and their allies in the intelligence services.
Personally, I hope they both embarrass themselves to the point where we can finally be rid of both sides.
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