Friday 14th of June 2024

Leg Cramps at Night?...

Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States!  How unprecedented!  How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!

In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.”  (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”

But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections of other countries?

Our friends in South America might have insights here — hundreds of cases of economic and military blackmail, election fraud, assassination, and the violent overthrow of democratically elected leaders.  So too in Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Georgia, Ukraine, etc.), east Asia (Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, etc.), north Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco), and dozens of other countries on five of the six inhabited continents. (Joshua Keating, “Election Meddling Is Surprisingly Common,”, 4 Jan., 2017; Tim Weiner, CIA:  Legacy of Ashes, 2008; Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1992, 2006.)

[Gus would add here that even Australia, "the sixth continent", might have been interfered with by the CIA with the downfall of Gough Whitlam]

In the welter of red-faced indignation, the torrents of denunciations from Senate hearings and press conferences, talk shows and podcasts, one might have expected someone to pose the rather obvious question whether American agencies have ever meddled in Russian presidential elections.  And yet (surprise surprise!) America’s corporate-owned press of record, an institution that constantly flaunts its “objectivity,” has failed to raise that straightforward question.

So, let us raise it here:  Has the USA engaged in this sort of meddling?  And if so, what effect has it had on Russia?

The answer to the first question, of course, is a resounding Yes.  Even as you read these words, you can bet that one or more of seventeen Federal agencies of the United States are busy hacking Russia.  (It is a safe bet that other countries are engaged in cyber espionage against Russia and the United States, too, including China and Israel.)

Let us limit our discussion to one single case.  Readers will recall that in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election in Russia, opinion polls put the pro-western incumbent, Boris Yeltsin, in fifth place among the presidential candidates, with only 8% support. The same polls showed that the most popular candidate in Russia by a wide margin was the Communist Party’s Gennady Zyuganov. Moved to desperation by the numbers, well-connected Russian oligarchs suggested just cancelling the election and supporting a military takeover, rather than facing a defeat at the polls.  Neocons in the West embraced the idea–all in the name of Democracy [Gus note: the US financed the "revolution" in Ukraine, 2014], of course.  In the end, though, Yeltsin and the oligarchs decided to retain power by staging the election.

In keeping with Russian laws at the time, Zyuganov spent less than three million dollars on his campaign.  Estimates of Yeltsin’s spending, by contrast, range from $700 million to $2.5 billion.   (David M. Kotz, Russia’s Path from Gorbachev to Putin, 2007) This was a clear violation of law, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In February 1996, at the urging of the United States, the International Monetary Fund (which describes itself as “an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation”) supplied a $10.2 billion “emergency infusion” to Russia.The money disappeared as Yeltsin used it to shore up his reputation and to buy votes.  He forced the Central Bank of Russia to provide an additional $1 billion for his campaign, too.  Meanwhile, a handful of Russian oligarchs, notably several big contributors residing in Israel, provided more billions for the Yeltsin campaign.

In the spring of 1996, Yeltsin and his campaign manager, billionaire privatizer Anatoly Chubais, recruited a team of financial and media oligarchs to bankroll the Yeltsin campaign and guarantee favorable media coverage on national television and in leading newspapers.  In return, Chubais allowed well-connected Russian business leaders to acquire majority stakes in some of Russia’s most valuable state-owned assets.

Campaign strategists for the former Republican governor of California Pete Wilson covertly made their way to the President Hotel in Moscow where, behind a guard and locked doors, they served as Yeltsin’s “secret campaign weapon” to save Russia for Democracy.  (Eleanor Randolph, “Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win,” L.A. Times, 9 July 1996)  Yeltsin and his cohorts monopolized all major media outlets, print and electronic, public, and private. They bombarded Russians with an incessant and uncontested barrage of political advertising masquerading as news, phony “documentaries,” rumors, innuendos, and bad faith campaign promises (including disbursement of back pay to workers and pensioners, stopping further NATO expansion, and peaceful settlement of Yeltsin’s brutal war against Chechnya [Gus note: Chechnya's troubles came from US financed "rebels"]. Yeltsin campaigners even floated the threat that he would stage a coup and the country would descend into civil war if Zyuganov were to win the vote.

It is now public record that the Yeltsin campaign conducted extensive “black operations,” including disrupting opposition rallies and press conferences, spreading disinformation among Yeltsin supporters, and denying media access to the opposition.  The dirty tricks included such tactics as announcing false dates for opposition rallies and press conferences, disseminating alarming campaign materials that they deceitfully attributed to the Zyuganov campaign, and cancelling hotel reservations for Zyuganov and his volunteers. Finally, widespread bribery, voter fraud, intimidation, and ballot stuffing assured Yeltsin’s victory in the runoff election.

The day after his victory, Yeltsin disappeared from the scene and did not reappear until months later, drunk. During Yeltsin’s second term, the “non-ideological” IMF provided another infusion of money, this time $40 billion.  Once again, more billions disappeared without a trace, much of it stolen by the President’s chronies, who placed it in foreign banks.  The re-elected President didn’t even pretend to make good on his campaign promises.

Serious observers, including leading Democrats, agree that even if the recent hacking allegations against Russia turn out to be true, the “dirty tricks” did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  By contrast, American meddling and financing of the 1996 presidential election in Russia clearly played a pivotal role in turning Yeltsin from a candidate with single-digit approval at the beginning of the year into a winning candidate with an official (but disputed) 54.4% of votes cast in the second-round runoff later that same year.

Let us consider some of the consequences of Yeltsin’s electoral win:

–In the first years of the Chubais-Yeltsin privatization scheme, the life expectancy of a Russian male fell from 65 years to 57.5 years.  Female life expectancy in Russia dropped from 74.5 years in 1989 to 72.8 years in 1999.

–Throughout Yeltsin’s terms as President, flight of capital away from Russia totaled between $1 and $2 billion every month.

–Each year from 1989 to 2001 there was a fall of approximately 8% in Russia’s productive assets.

–From 1990 to 1999 the percentage increase of people living on less than $1 a day was greater in Russian and the other former socialist countries than anywhere else in the world.

–The number of people living in poverty in the former Soviet Republics rose from 14 million in 1989 to 147 million in 1998. As a result of the 1998 financial collapse and the devaluation of the ruble, the life savings of tens of millons of Russian families disappeared over night.  Since then, the Great Recession and low oil pries have only made matters worse.

–In the period from 1992 to 1998 Russia’s GDP fell by half–something that did not happen even under during the German invasion in the Second World War.

Under Yeltsin’s tenure, the death rate in Russia reached wartime levels.  Accidents, food poisoning, exposure, heart attacks, lack of access to basic healthcare, and an epidemic of suicides—they all played a role.  David Satter, a senior fellow at the anti-communist, Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, writing in the conservative Wall Street Journal, described the consequences of this victory of Democracy:  “Western and Russian demographers now agree that between 1992 and 2000, the number of ‘surplus deaths’ in Russia–deaths that cannot be explained on the basis of previous trends–was between five and six million persons.” (Accessed 8 April 2015.  American sociologist James Petras has given a figure of 15 million surplus deaths since the demise of the Soviet Union.)

NATO continued its expansion east. Yeltsin turned the Chechen city of Grozy into a field of rubble, and he quickly became the most reviled man in Russia.  But as one observer put it at the time, “Yeltsin didn’t seem to notice, which is hardly surprising, since he was drunk for most of his tenure in office.”By the time he left office, the American-approved President of the Russian Federation had an approval rating of 2%.  (CNN, 2002)   But by that time it didn’t matter:  the kleptocrats were safely installed in power, and American-imposed Democracy had achieved its aims in Russia’s “transition.”

Yeltsin died in 2007, celebrated as an anti-communist hero by the neocons in Washington and New York, but hated by the vast majority of Russians.  Four years later, Dmitri Medvedev, then-President of Russia, eulogized Yeltsin for creating “the base of a new Russian statehood, without which none of our future successes would be possible.”  But a Time magazine writer reported that, despite Medvedev’s public praise, the story he told privately was quite different.  On 20 February 2012, he reportedly told attendees at a closed-door meeting:  “Russia’s first President did not actually win re-election in 1996 for a second term.  The second presidential vote in Russia’s history, in other words, was rigged.”  (Simon Shuster, “Rewriting Russian History:  Did Boris Yeltsin Steal the 1996 Presidential Election?” Timeonline, 24 Feb. 2012.)

Some readers, perhaps, do not see the point of reminding ourselves of America’s role in the election of Yeltsin and America’s responsibility for the resulting misery and mass death.  But let us remind ourselves that the recent hacking accusations are just one element of a full-on media assault against Russia, led by Washington.  From supposed Russian war crimes in the fight against the murderous jihadi occupiers of Syria to Russia’s re-annexation of overwhelmingly pro-Russian Crimea and the doping of Olympic athletes, America’s neocons are engaged in a propaganda blitz with high stakes.

Armenia is one of many frontline positions in Washington’s escalating media campaign against Russia.  Yes, the Russian Federation is an imperialist state, in V.I. Lenin’s technical sense of the term.  And yes, Russia wields undo influence in Armenia.  But by now it is clear that greater sovereignty for Armenia is not what is at stake when it comes to the Russophobe opposition.  After all, the Russia haters do not seem to have much problem with the idea of giving up sovereignty to the American imperialists and their regional surrogate, the Republic of Turkey. More importantly, the cause of greater national sovereignty will be harmed if the Russia haters have their way.  They only confirm the pervasivesense of vulnerability, economic isolation, and military encirclement among Russians, a people who have endured three decades of enormous destruction and humiliation, after a century of invasion and wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions of their compatriots.

Let us remind ourselves that the loudest of Yerevan’s Russia haters are the same fanatics who led Armenia to its present state of ruin.  After so much failure and disaster, they continue to hawk the old dangerous fantasy of Uncle Sam as Armenia’s savior. They are unrepentant, and like Yeltsin, they take their marching orders from Washington.

Markar Melkonian is a teacher and an author. His books include Richard Rorty’s Politics:  Liberalism at the End of the American Century (1999), Marxism: A Post-Cold War Primer (Westview Press, 1996), and My Brother’s Road (2005).

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helping yeltsinhelping yeltsin

And let's remind viewers, readers and myself that not a single proof of Russia meddling in the US Presidential elections has been shown... All the this and that "evidence" of Mueller and co are not proof, even if someone "did" business with some "Russian" and swindled a few dollars. Today's paradise papers dump reminds us that the USA is full of "clean and honest Christian" businesses, while the rest of the world, especially Russia, is devious, tax evading and "evil" ... 


And remind me. Who was US President at the time of this US meddling in Russian elections? Ah yes... William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. It looks like it took 20 years for Russia's revenge... But in fact, Russia did not have to, and did not, interfere with the 2016 presidential elections. Rupert Murdoch did. Putin knew that this would be enough. 

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The story of Fancy Bear


the "it's complicated" saudis...

It started off with the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a clearly orchestrated move produced and executed by his paymasters in Riyadh.

Hariri announced on a Saudi-owned channel, from the Saudi capital, that he was resigning his post in protest at foreign intervention in Lebanon's domestic affairs. The irony was lost on him. 

The ostensible reason he gave, as he invoked his late father's name, was that he too is threatened with assassination. 

As the day turned into evening, there were reports of explosions being heard close to the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. It transpired that Houthi rebels (linked to Iran and allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is partially linked to the United Arab Emirates) had fired at least one ballistic missile from Yemen towards Riyadh. It put an exclamation point on the fact that the war in Yemen is far from over - more than two years since Saudi Arabia launched operation "Decisive Storm."

As the clock inched to midnight another bombshell was dropped; this time by the Saudis: A royal decree ordering the arrest of several princes, billionaires, and notable figures, as well as the sacking of senior government officials. Some were the sons of the late King Abdullah. One was the head of the Saudi National Guard. 

All three of these developments will have seismic implications, not just on Saudi Arabia, but on the region and beyond. 

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But do not despair at the pumps:

The market for oil, Saudi Arabia's most lucrative export, is unlikely to be affected by the arrest of dozens of former Saudi state officials and at least 11 Saudi princes in an anti-corruption drive, financial analysts have said.

On Sunday, it was reported that 11 Saudi princes, four incumbent ministers of the Saudi government and dozens of former government ministers had been arrested in an anti-corruption drive. 

Reportedly among those arrested is prominent billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of the Kingdom Holding Company which has large stakes in businesses and property around the world including Citigroup, Twitter and several luxury hotel chains.

The arrests took place just hours after Saudi ruler King Salman decreed the creation of a powerful new anticorruption committee led by his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. King Salman also fired several high-profile ministers.


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Here we must contemplate that should the price of oil go up, the Ruskies would become rich...The USA cannot allow this to happen so they will make sure the price of oil stays more or less put, despite the Saudi clean up. I would suggest that the Saudi King might have to watch his back...

of fake news and ASIO...



It's only the older people who smile and say "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose". This came back to mind when a recent article in The New Daily was drawn to my attention. Its headline made the bold claim that ASIO were the secret police doing enormous damage to our democracy. It asserts that ASIO "was born out of the anti-communist hysteria of the post-war era and has always been closely associated with the conservative side of politics".

The unsuspecting reader might take this to be a statement of fact. It was presumably intended to convey the idea that people right-of-centre like the idea of secret intelligence agencies and whipped themselves into a false frenzy about communists after WWII, hence we have this dastardly agency called ASIO.


What is not said is also what is conveyed: sensible lefties would not have been so sucked in by the hysteria. A quick look into ASIO history tells a different story. It was in fact set up by Labor under Ben Chifley. Under the "five eyes" intelligence sharing, our government knew from material acquired through Operation Venona, run by the United States, that there were Russian operatives active in Australia during and after WWII.

Chifley's famous 1949 speech referring to the "light on the hill" may have drawn inspiration from the parable of salt and light at Matthew 5:14: "You are a light to the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." 

But in setting up ASIO he knew, as our allies knew, there were "reds under the bed". In fact, there was one in Herbert Evatt's office, who was attorney-general at the time.

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Let's remind ourselves that Saddam's WMDs was a CIA concocted fake news.


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Meanwhile in the land of the guns that don't kill people and god:

A gunman walked into a small Baptist church in rural Texas on Sunday and opened fire, killing at least 25 people and turning a tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s most recent mass horror.

Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas confirmed the death toll, which has steadily increased throughout the day after the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Accounts of the number of dead have varied: Paul W. Pfeil, a Wilson County, Tex., commissioner, said that he did not have a total count of those killed but that it was “more than 20.”

Albert Gamez Jr., another Wilson County commissioner, told CNN that he was told by an emergency medical technician that 27 people were dead and 24 others were injured. He said he was told by the police that the gunman was chased into the next county and was killed, but it was not clear whether the police shot him or he killed himself.

Mr. Gamez said the victims were still inside the church. Sutherland Springs is a small community where everyone knows one another, he said.

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(note this story has been referenced in the third panel of the toon at top). Sad.

of fake news at the SMH...


Dr Evan Jones analyses recent MSM "good guys versus bad guys" coverage of politics and world events.

BEING of advanced years, it is imperative that I try to achieve a rough mental and emotional equilibrium. Old age attracts many killers, but one doesn’t want to die prematurely of apoplexy.

The secret appears to be — do not expose oneself to any media, but especially the mainstream media. It’s a perennial struggle because of the thirst for information and the lust for understanding one’s world.

I have put myself on a strict diet, but even the over-breakfast glance at the Sydney Morning Herald has me jumping up with outrage. Outrage and fury. It’s enough to drive one early to drink.

One thinks that it can’t get any worse, but then it does get worse.

The crims are running the shop

Never has elected officialdom been so comprehensively full of cretins, spivs, criminals and flunkeys for power. If these contemptible slimes are so bereft of the concept of the public purpose, how have they germinated, flourished and coagulated into monopolising public office?

And then they all run off and get their paychecks from their paymasters.

Revolving door of #corruption & #Greed destroying our country. Time for CHANGE #auspol#revolution @IndependentAus

— Marcus Champ (@OzMyHomeMAC) November 4, 2017

The Abbott-Turnbull Federal Government and the O’Farrell-Baird-Berejiklian State Government have to be the worst in Australian political history. The hollow Billy McMahon at the Federal level (1971-72) and the corrupt Robert Askin in NSW (1965-75), for example, pale into significance compared to the current regimes under which us NSW people survive.

It’s the events of course. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, mastermind of refugee torture and manslaughter albeit the front for an entrenched system, is sub-human. One could go on — the list is endless.

But it’s also the media. One gets outraged at the parlous state of the world and the forces behind the degradation, but one also gets outraged that we are lied to about who these forces are. It’s all the fault of the bad guys — over there. We’re still being served up world politics as a spaghetti western.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and the good guys versus bad guys scenario

Witness the Sydney Morning Herald editorial (Wednesday 1 October) titled ‘The Russia plot thickens as Trump advisers fall’.

Claims the editorial writer:

'But we already know the Russian meddling, which included the hacking of emails and the use of social media to disseminate phoney stories, was real. That is because a range of official U.S. security agencies – the same ones that now report to Mr Trump, and that he relies upon – have told us so.'

The state of Trumps delusion exceeded only by his voters. The Russia plot thickens as Trump advisers fall via @smh

— Stephen Asprey (@stephenasprey) October 31, 2017

Rather, we know nothing of the sort. There is no evidence of official Russian influence to date. The claims of influence from the "Kremlin" and the evil Putin keep changing, with no-one in the MSM worrying about the changing stories.

There is a very real prospect of finding Trump’s links to Russian-born business spivs who operate outside the law, as has Trump in building his real estate empire, but the American authorities don’t seem to be interested in pursuing these links.

The reason that Trump is in the White House has nothing to do with the supposedly ever malignant Evil Empire but because the corrupt Democratic National Committee bet on the wrong horse. It’s that simple.

The SMH editorial is an embarrassment. And representative of Fairfax’s coverage of international affairs, not least the U.S. In a word — lamentable.

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Please Evan, don't blow an engine cylinder up on the account of the spivs with pens at the SMH... Lamentable but the SMH is not the only stupid media on the planet, unfortunately... And by the way, despite the mediocre media frothing at the mouth, there is far less certainty about Putin's interference in the US Presidential elections than there was "certainty" about Saddam's WMDs... Think about it in front of a glass of red ned....


of fake news at the new york times...

Disregarding President Trump’s insistent claim that the establishment press propagates “fake news” requires a constant effort—especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze—falling for fictitious claims about Saddam’s WMD program or Gaddafi’s genocidal intentions, for example—we all lose.  

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump’s rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title “With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine.” During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair.  Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.  

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, “torn between Western Europe and Russia.” Ukrainians in the country’s western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east “oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned.” In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort’s involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was—shockingly—never about “advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States.” Manafort’s motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a “standoff between democracy and autocracy,” he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort’s efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, “Putin’s man in Kiev.” Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas’s words, “experienced a burst of membership expansion” right up to Russia’s own borders.

In response to Yanukovych’s action, “the Ukrainian people,” that is, the enlightened ones, “took to the streets,” forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia’s Vladimir Putin “instigated a separatist movement” in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering “a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day.”

To accept Farkas’s account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail.

Such was hardly the case, however.  One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile—but arguably defensive—Russian response.  

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a “burst” of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington’s enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin’s expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia’s weakened state. In football, it’s called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.  

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.  

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

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"Gaddafi’s genocidal intentions" were no more than preventing terrorists from Al Qaeda and other groups from taking over the country, under the financing of the Saudis and possibly America. It would have been good for the media to stop the West's view of the situation by exposing the similitude with the "Saddam's WMDs" now being used to destroy Libya... Had the media been awake at the US conspiracy against Gaddafi, Libya would still be a reasonable country in Africa and there would have been half as much refugees in Europe. Remove the US/European intervention to support the "moderate" Al Qaeda/Al Nusra rebels in Syria and there would have been no refugee crisis in Europe

war for ever... and ever... except with russia...


Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.

Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria’s civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin’s Russia. And the “neo-isolationists” who won those arguments served America well.

What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday’s New York Times that read in its entirety:

“Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4”

Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a “Rose Revolution” we backed during George W. Bush’s crusade for global democracy.

During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.

In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili’s troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin’s tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili’s army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.

As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of “Russian aggression” and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

“We are all Georgians!” thundered John McCain.

Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call.

And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

Here is the Times’ Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

“On Tuesday … Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev…

“As … hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine’s leaders … and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him.

“Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who … blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

“With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for ‘peaceful protests’ to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.”

This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the ’60s.

Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.

Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, “We are all Ukrainians now.”

Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East.

This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow’s hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war.

Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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the clintons role...

The role of former US President Bill Clinton and his associates in the economic liberalization of Russia and the post-Soviet space in the 1990s deserves scrupulous investigation, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel has told Sputnik, adding that although decades have passed since then, the issue has not lost its relevance.

Nearly 20 years ago an article by Dr. Janine Wedel "Harvard Boys Do Russia" appeared in The Nation shedding light on the controversial role the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) backed by the Clinton administration played in Russia's 1990s economic reforms. Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel believes that the case still deserves scrutiny.

"Absolutely," Ortel told Sputnik responding to the question whether the HIID's activities in the post-Soviet space and its assistance in the all-out privatization of state-owned assets need to be properly reinvestigated.

The Wall Street analyst underscored that "in theory, 'privatization' sounds like a fine idea — taking an inefficient government controlled organization that may own valuable assets but lacks modern controls and incentives, and transforming it from a drain on a nation's treasury to a source of tax revenues."

"In practice, it is certain that insiders in many nations where privatization happened (not only in the former Soviet Union, but across Central Europe and the rest of the world) likely appropriated many billions of dollars (arguably far more than that) by transferring valuable assets at low prices, and other thefts, often with the support and connivance of many politicians who also were in on the game," Ortel explained.



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biden's bid...

Imagine Vladimir Putin admitted on camera to telling President Nieto of Mexico “fire your state prosecutor or you don’t get the loan we promised you.” Imagine he joked about this overt interference in another sovereign country, imagine he revelled in it as a sign of his country’s power and supremacy. What would the mainstream media headlines be? How many times would the clip be played on CNN, the BBC and Sky News? How many people in the world would not be aware he had said these words? Proof at last that Russia is meddling in the affairs of other nations.

BIDEN: I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t…. I said, nah…we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

You see it wasn’t Vladmir Putin, it was Joe Biden, former vice-President of the United States, at the Council for Foreign Relations, bragging about how he put the squeeze on the Yatseniuk/Poroshenko government – 5,000 miles from his country’s borders.


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US interfering with russian elections?...

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” Putin said on Tuesday, several hours after the report featuring the entire Russian government and scores of prominent Russian business people was issued.

The list of 210 people fails to mention the Russian leader – much to his 'distress'.

“It’s a pity,” Putin said sarcastically in answer to a journalist's question on how he feels about his absence.

However, the move is “certainly unfriendly” as it damages already deteriorating Russian-US relations, Putin added.

“What do they want? They must decide for themselves,” Putin said, referring to Washington’s policy.

Russia is eager to build long-term relations which are “stable and based on international law,” the Russian leader added.

In a tougher comment, Putin slammed Washington for inconsistency and “stupidity.” The Russian president noted that the US equates Moscow with Tehran and Pyongyang, while at the same time calling on Russia to help solve the North Korean crisis and mediate on issues involving Iran.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury published a list featuring the entire Russian government among some 114 other top officials, as well as 96 prominent businessmen. The document claims it is in no way “a sanctions list,” despite being part of a sanctions law that targeted Moscow as well as Tehran and Pyongyang.

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This has to be seen as a US interference with the Russian elections... No?...

Russia could publish a list of all the corrupt officials from the Clinton administration to that of Trump's... But the Russians don't have to. The Western media is doing it daily, quite amusingly, with the help of the Democrats and the Republicans who are eager to shoot themselves in the foot... Corruption in the USA is a long honorable tradition, as long as one does not get caught in bed with a minor.


with putin, russia did not bendtheknees...

by Eric Zuesse

An accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, was employed by a wealthy American investor, William Browder, and died in a Russian prison on 16 November 2006. How did it happen; who was to blame for it? The Russian Government was blamed for it, and this blame produced in 2012 the first set of economic sanctions to squeeze Vladimir Putin out of power.

Magnitsky’s death in prison thus provided the factual basis for the first of the economic-sanctions regimens that were imposed by The West against the Russian Government, the 2012 Magnitsky Act — sanctions that preceded the 2014 sanctions which were imposed on account of Russia’s response to America’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine. However, that [western] account of the Magnitsky incident is full of lies, according to a 2016 documentary investigation into the matter. But publication of this video investigation — at youtube or anywhere — is effectively banned in The West. 

Here’s how Gilbert Doctorow, who is one of the extremely few people in The West who managed to see this totally-suppressed-in-The-West investigative news-documentary that was done (and which he said proved to him that the basis of the Magnitsky Act is lies) expressed his shock, at what he saw and learned from it:

Nekrasov [the investigator] largely allows William Browder to self-destruct under the weight of his own lies.

A film review: Andrei Nekrasov, ‘The Magnitsky Act. Behind the Scenes’

The case against Browder that Nekrasov unintentionally stumbled upon when making the film is clearly so persuasive and so massive that even some leading members of the anti-Putin coalition in Europe feel strongly that the truth must out, whatever the consequences. … [But] lynch law necessarily operates. Human rights watchers everywhere, beware! … Nekrasov has not been a friend, still less a “stooge” of the Putin regime. Indeed, as he explained at the start of his brief speech, before taking the assignment to do a film about Magnitsky. … Nekrasov had friendly relations with Bill Browder [the U.S. oligarch who was behind Magnitsky].

The Empty Seat: William Browder Once Again Takes Charge at the European Parliament

Furthermore, another investigator, Alex Krainer, had his book, which was published on the matter, withdrawn promptly without explanation; so, Krainer put his investigation online, and its findings were entirely consistent with Nekrasov’s findings. The video is embedded above, the transcript can be found here.

And here are my own transcriptions of highlights from the video: 

  • 22:00: “The Magnitsky Act is essentially where the new cold war started” “in 2012, yes? And that’s right before Ukraine.”
  • 25:00: “The bigger agenda is … Basically what happened during the 1990s when Russia went from communism to capitalism, there was a massive massive transfer of wealth from Russia to The West. So, Western financial institutions and government organizations like the United States Treasury and State Department and USAID, the IMF, the World Bank, and so forth, they arranged this massive transfer of ownership over Russian assets to the Western hand, some of it legally, some of it illegally, but they so completely infiltrated the Russian Government.”
  • 26:00:: “Between $200 billion and $600 billion, depending on whom you ask, of Russian assets were moved to Western ownership. And Bill Browder himself, I think, made maybe a hundred million dollars, maybe a few hundred million dollars, for himself. The reason why his ability to frustrate Russian investigations of his tax-fraud and of his theft of Russian asssets that he was involved with [is that] at the same time [he] protect[s] all of the people and organizations like … HSBC, and Bank of New York, and who knows who else, it’s … legal immunity from prosecution, for all of them.”
  • 27:00: “So, it’s not just Browder’s few hundred million, but up to $600 billion of stolen assets, so that when Russia goes to Western courts, they are obstructed.”
  • 29:40: “Bill Browder is in this network where, essentially, laws don’t apply to them.”
  • This is the Krainer book, The Killing of William Browder, which, finally in 2017, he placed free online. This is an excerpt:

    It is clear that shock “therapy” was little more than a relentless, cruel strangulation of Russia’s economy to facilitate looting of her vast industrial and resource wealth. Nonetheless, most Western-published analyses of this episode tended to treat it as [a] failure of good intentions. While lamenting the outcomes and certain questionable practices, most analysts essentially attribute the failure of [the] Russian transition to honest errors, Russia’s endemic corruption, and perhaps inexperience in many of the drama’s protagonists. In New York Review of Books, Robert Cotrell provides a typical example:

    “One cannot really fault the youthful democratic movements for this failure. They were amateurs and innocents with a hazy grasp at best of what they wanted to achieve and no grasp at all of how concretely to achieve it.”

    Goldman Marshall of Harvard and the Council of Foreign Relations, wrote:

    “To be sure, there were unsettling reports of shady dealings during the takeovers, but most observers explained them away as inevitable side effects of such a far-reaching transformation.” 

    Naturally, Marshall fails to detail how or where he polled these “most observers,” but his message to the readers is unmistakable: move along folks, there’s nothing to see here – especially pay no attention to the fact that many of those thousands of westerners who came to Russia “for the best of reasons,” including Bill Browder, Andrei Schleifer and Jonathan Hay, returned from Russia as multi-millionaires. Financial reporter Anne Willamson, who covered Russia for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, [and whose book on the subject has likewise been banned] rightly remarked in her Congressional testimony that, “Americans, who thought their money was helping a stricken land, have been dishonored; and the Russian people who trusted us are now in debt twice what they were in 1991 and rightly feel themselves betrayed.”

    p. 75, The Killing of William Browder

    Anne Williamson’s book on the subject, Contagion: The Betrayal of Liberty, Russia, and the United States in the 1990s, was to have been published by a major publisher in or around 1999. It too was completed, but never published; and she did not place hers online, because she’s still hoping for a publisher. But she has summarized, here, her findings.

    In an interview, Williamson explained why no publisher has published her book on the subject:

    More about Harvard’s involvement in “the rape of Russia” can be found here:

    An excellent article about the ways in which today’s Russian Government is trying to extricate itself from the enormous harms that the rape of Russia perpetrated, can be found here:

    The war between The West and Russia has been restored, on the basis of news-suppression, if not of outright lies. For some reason, anyone who independently investigates the ‘historical’ account of the origin of the Magnitsky Act is effectively blocked from making public their findings. And, for some reason, the findings, in the three independent investigations that have been done, seem to be essentially the same as each other, and they contradict, each in the same ways, the ‘history’ that has been published about the matter, in The West.

    The other main basis for The West’s sanctions against Russia concerns Ukraine (the U.S. coup there in 2014), and that matter produced both the increased sanctions against Russia, and the massing of NATO weapons and troops on and near Russia’s borders — all likewise on the basis of lies.


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    The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on...

    “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” Putin said on Tuesday, several hours after the report featuring the entire Russian government and scores of prominent Russian business people was issued.

    The list of 210 people fails to mention the Russian leader – much to his 'distress'.

    “It’s a pity,” Putin said sarcastically in answer to a journalist's question on how he feels about his absence.

    However, the move is “certainly unfriendly” as it damages already deteriorating Russian-US relations, Putin added.

    “What do they want? They must decide for themselves,” Putin said, referring to Washington’s policy.

    Russia is eager to build long-term relations which are “stable and based on international law,” the Russian leader added.

    In a tougher comment, Putin slammed Washington for inconsistency and “stupidity.” The Russian president noted that the US equates Moscow with Tehran and Pyongyang, while at the same time calling on Russia to help solve the North Korean crisis and mediate on issues involving Iran.


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    dumbdumb's chicken wings...

    All pending international problems are affected by the refusal of the United States – and sometimes their European allies – to admit the growth of other countries. And Washington does not hesitate to use unspeakable methods to postpone the fall of its empire.

    Let’s remember the end of the Soviet Union, in 1991. The colossus fell to ruins, throwing the economy of its populations back several decades, brutally amputating the life expectancy of its inhabitants by more than twenty years, and provoking the domino fall of several of its allies. At that time, the question of knowing what would be the consequences of this cataclysm on the other great empire of the 20th century – the United States and their allies – was already being asked.

    An eminent Russian political scientist like Igor Panarin predicted the disintegration of the United States into five distinct countries, according to the ethnic origins of its inhabitants. Some people believed he was projecting onto Russia’s rival the reasoning that French political scientist, Hélène Carrere d’Encausse, had applied to the USSR – a scenario which did not occur, but which nonetheless governed the future of the ex-Soviet territory.

    Seeking to avoid the implosion of his country, President George H. Bush decided to get rid of his Cold War military apparatus as quickly as possible. He forced international recognition of US leadership during operation « Desert Storm », then demobilised more than a million soldiers, in other words, half of his taskforce. He reoriented his policy, believing that he was entering a period of peace and prosperity. However, he nonetheless provided a doctrine for his country aimed at forestalling the emergence of a new rival. Although no-one at the time imagined that Russia would rise again, either in the medium or the long term, his extreme-left advisor, Paul Wolfowitz, convinced President Bush to keep the European Union in check.

    Fearing the spectre of collapse, the Republican Party took over the House of Representatives in order to promote its Contract with America. In 1995, it forced Democrat President Bill Clinton to rearm the country and integrate the ex-members of the Warsaw Pact into the Atlantic Alliance. And yet there was no longer an enemy, and therefore no reason to arm, nor to perpetuate NATO. Congress rejected the dream of Presidents Bush the father and Clinton of a world where, freed from a serious rival, the United States would become the motor of the world economy. On the contrary, it considered that the Pentagon should profit from the disappearance of the USSR to extend its domination to the whole planet.

    Once rearmament was voted, with the approval but not the commitment of President Clinton, the Pentagon was implicated in the wars in Yugoslavia. This engagement quickly became public and led to the war of NATO against the future Serbia.

    Simultaneously, the members of the Continuity of Government (Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, etc.) launched the Project for a New American Century. Its objectives were: 

    the defense of the homeland; 

    the engagement and victory in several simultaneous major wars (the important point is victory, we shall find a way to justify these conflicts later. Author’s Note); 

    the accomplishment of the usual tasks of the armed forces (mainly the defense of the multinational companies who are exploiting the oil. (Author’s Note); 

    and the transformation of the armed forces in order to exploit the revolution in military affairs.

    Only the initiated knew at the time that the fourth point was taken from the strategy elaborated by one of Rumsfeld’s protégés, the future Pentagon leader of the Office of Force Transformation, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski [3]. This strategy was taught in the different military academies from the end of 2001, then vulgarised in 2004 by Cebrowski’s assistant, Thomas Barnett [4]. We can see this strategy at work since the attacks of 9/11 with the progressive destruction of the States and their societies throughout the whole of the Greater Middle East, under various pretexts which mask its real objective.

    The Rearmament Act of 1995 and the strategy of Pentagon’s new map, which were implemented in the Greater Middle East from 2001, are now on their last legs. While the United States concentrated the greater part of its resources on the destruction of the Muslim world, other countries were developing, including Russia and China. Today, the US armed forces are no longer the strongest armies in the world.

    This is what President Donald Trump and General James Mattis, his Defense Secretary, admitted in the National Security Strategy statement during his speech on 17 January at Johns Hopkins University. Even though they did not explicitly state that they had been overtaken, they posited that it was an absolute priority to « re-establish [their] comparative military advantage », which basically admits the same.

    StateMilitary expenditure in (source SIPRI)United States611 billion dollarsChina215 billion dollarsRussia69 billion dollarsSaudi Arabia63 billion dollarsIndia65 billion dollars

    Of course, the US armed forces have an unparalleled budget which is nine times greater than that of Russia. But its armies are pitifully unproductive. In Syria and Iraq, the Pentagon deployed approximately 10,000 men against Daesh, of whom only a third were soldiers and two thirds « contractors » (mercenaries) from private companies. The budget for this operation was seven times greater than that of Russia, and the military outcome was a miserable failure. Donald Rumsfeld - who had brilliantly reorganised the multinational company Gilead Science, which he managed - not only proved incapable of reforming the Secretariat of Defense, but the more money he threw at it, the less efficient it became.

    US armament is certainly produced in huge quantities, but it is obsolete compared with that of Russia and China. US engineers are no longer able to produce new weapons, as demonstrated by the failure of the F-35programme. At best, they cobble together bits of old machines and present them as new aircraft. As President Trump noted in his National Security Strategy, the problem is due both to the collapse of Research and Development and the omnipresent corruption in Pentagon acquisitions. The armament industries sell their products automatically, while the Secretariat of Defense has no idea of what is really necessary.

    Whichever way we look at the problem, the United States army is a paper tiger and there is no hope of reforming it either in the medium or the long term – and there is even less chance that it will once again eventually overtake its rivals Russia and China.

    The election of Donald Trump to the White House is first of all the consequence of this undeniable collapse. The only solution for maintaining the quality of life for US citizens is in fact to immediately abandon the dream of a global empire and to return to the principles of the United States Republic of 1789, as laid out in the Bill of Rights.

    Over the last sixteen years, the very old problems of US society have developed exponentially. For example, the use of drugs, which until recently concerned mostly the minorities, has become an epidemic for white males. To the point where the struggle against opioids has become a major national cause. Or again, the possession of fire-arms has become an obsession. The cause is not a question of the constitutional right to bear arms in order to protect oneself from eventual abuse by the State, nor the behaviour of cowboys gunning for potential criminals, but the fear of generalised riots. During the most recent Black Friday sales, weapons became the best sellers, overtaking portable phones. 185,000 guns were bought in one day, in 2015 and 2016, and more than 200,000 in 2017. Finally, as soon as they have the financial possibility, US citizens now group themselves in compounds with people of the same cultural origins and the same social class.

    As from now, international relations are dominated by this question – will the United States accept its current position or not. Today, Donald Trump finds himself in the same uncomfortable position that Mikhaïl Gorbatchev once occupied.

    Thierry Meyssan

    Pete Kimberley



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    the US and UK fake news industry...

    It was said of Roman senator and rigorous proponent of Roman virtue, Cato the Elder, that he would end his speeches in the Senate with the mantra, Cathargo delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed).

    For Cato and his supporters, the very existence of the North African seafaring merchant power was a dagger pointed at the heart of a Rome and an impediment to its imperial ambitions. In the end Carthage was destroyed — literally — by the Romans at the end of the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), whereupon its surviving inhabitants were sent into slavery and the city-state was consigned to the proverbial dustbin of history.

    In 2018 there is a concerted effort underway to bounce the West into conflict with Moscow on no foundation other than Russia must be destroyed. The anti-Moscow and anti-Putin invective unleashed in response to the nerve agent attack against former Russian military intelligence colonel and MI6 asset Sergei Skripal is merely the latest instalment of an irrational and by now frightening fever of anti-Russian hysteria, cultivated and promoted by a clutch of Western ideologues and neocons throughout the West and former Soviet bloc states in eastern Europe.

    Russiagate in the US, which at this writing is yet to produce a sliver of concrete or compelling evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, now finds its equal in the UK with lurid accusations of Russian involvement in the 2016 EU referendum, which resulted in Brexit.


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    a mild response? is war next?

    Theresa May had promised a robust response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. But in the end the prime minister’s measures against Russia, unveiled to the House of Commons on Wednesday, were modest – at “the very low end of acceptability”, as one former Foreign Office adviser put it.

    True, the UK is expelling 23 Russian diplomats from London. All of them are professional spies, or “undeclared intelligence officers” as May said. This will deal a temporary setback to the Kremlin’s expansive espionage operation in Britain. But it will not stop Russian spying, or roll up the network of unaccredited “illegals” who exist undercover.

    May said the government would enact new laws allowing it to detain individuals arriving on Britain’s borders suspected of “hostile state activity”. In other words, potential assassins arriving from Moscow. It will also step up checks on private aircrafts and freeze Russian assets that might be used to harm British citizens.

    These measures are logical but they won’t stop future plots. In 2006 a vigilant police constable questioned Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun when they got off a plane. He checked their names against a police database. There were no hits and reluctantly he let them go. Several hours later they tried to poison Alexander Litvinenko, and two weeks after that they finished the job.


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    This article has been written by Luke Harding :

    Luke Harding is a Guardian foreign correspondent who has reported from Delhi, Berlin and Moscow and covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. His book Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House is published by Guardian Faber on 16 November 2017



    This is written and published WITH COMPLETE unashamed BIAS at "fake news" level 4 label code red. THERE IS NO PROOF THAT RUSSIA HELPED TRUMP WIN THE WHITE HOUSE, but there are plenty of proofs that Rupert Murdoch and the evangelicals did.


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    of political donations...

    UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has rejected allegations that anyone could laugh at London's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Britain.

    The British Conservative Party is not going to pay back more than £820,000 ($1.1 million) in donations from Russian businessmen and their associates, according to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

    Speaking to the BBC, he cited "very strict rules" related to donations, which he said were "carefully vetted" and which could only come from British citizens.

    READ MORE: 2018 FIFA World Cup Organizer Says UK Mustn't Politicize Skripal Poisoning Case

    "There are people in this country who are British citizens who are of Russian origin. I don't think we should taint them," Hammond pointed out.

    Also, he made it plain that "nobody is laughing at us" when it comes to the case of the death of Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko in the UK in 2006 and this month's alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal there.

    Hammond's remarks came shortly after Litvinenko's widow Marina urged the Conservative Party to hand back the cash of Russian businessmen and their associates who have reportedly registered their hefty donations to the Tories since the summer of 2016.

    READ MORE: UK Litvinenko Inquiry Damaged Interstate Investigative Cooperation

    In an interview with the Sunday Times, she said that "these donations are not just from the heart and for charitable reasons; they are all calculated."


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    US meddling in vlad's elections...

    A special commission report on foreign meddling in the 2018 presidential election has been unveiled in Russia’s Upper House. The document highlighted the main methods of the elaborate campaign, spearheaded by the US.

    The report, presented on Wednesday in Russia’s Upper House (the Senate), was prepared by the Commission for State Sovereignty Protection in cooperation with leading experts and analysts. The publicly available document was presented by the head of the commission, Senator Andrey Klimov.

    The document pinned the blame for the meddling in Russia’s election directly on Washington, linking the ongoing surge in hostile activities with the domestic political struggle in the US. Attempts to interfere in internal Russian affairs, however, are not new, as they have been going on since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The US has been the “main violator of international law” since the founding of the United Nations, and has “interfered more than 120 times in the affairs of 60 countries on all continents.” Washington’s closest allies – the UK, Germany, France, NATO, and European countries – are also to blame, since they either participate directly or support US activities, according to the document.

    “We tried to show… the areas in which the subversive work took place. We’ve named 10 such areas. We have concrete examples for all of them based on absolutely reliable facts. It’s not someone’s guess, it’s not ‘highly likely,’ it’s something we can prove anywhere, it is backed up by testimonies, documents and it is, by great margin, not disputed by the other side [the US],” Klimov said at a press conference, which followed the hearings in the Upper House.

    The main purpose of the commission’s report, according to Klimov, is to show the public – both Russian, and international – the scale and systematic nature of the efforts to undermine Russia’s “electoral sovereignty.” The ultimate goal of these activities is to force changes of Russia’s political course, destroy its territorial and economic integrity, he said.


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    illegally taking $1.5 billion out of Russia ...

    Russia’s prosecutor general will demand interviews with American congressmen, security services staff, and other high-profile individuals as it seeks to involve the US in its investigation into convicted financier Bill Browder.

    Moscow accuses Browder of illegally taking $1.5 billion out of Russia and fabricating evidence that led to the passing of the sanctions-imposing Magnitsky Act. As part of the investigation, the prosecutor general wants to speak to ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, author of the notorious Trump dossier, and former ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, who campaigned on behalf of Browder.


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    a magnifier on magnitsky...

    On 16 November 2009, tax specialist lawyer Sergey Magnitsky died in Matrosskaya Tishina prison (Moscow). Immediately, the US Press claimed that he had been in possession of information concerning a State scandal, and had been tortured by the « régime ».

    The Magnitsky Act

    The death of Magnitsky shut down the legal procedures that had been launched against him by the Russian Minister of Justice. Billionaire William (“Bill”) Browder declared in Washington that the tax expert possessed proof that Russian Power had stolen 3 billion dollars from him. Despite lobbying by Goldman Sachs, the US Congress believed it had clarified the affair, and in 2012 adopted a law sanctioning the Russian personalities suspected of having murdered the lawyer. Goldman Sachs, which did not believe the information forwarded by the parliamentarians, hired the lobbying firm Duberstein Group in an attempt to block the vote on the law [1].

    On this model, in 2016, the Congress extended the « Magnitsky Act » to the whole world, requesting the President to implement sanctions against all people and all states which violate individual property. Presidents Obama and Trump obeyed, placing about twenty personalities on the list, including the President of the Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

    These two laws were aimed at giving back to the United States the role it had assumed during the Cold War as defender of individual property, even though they had no communist rival.

    The two versions of the « Magnitsky affair »

    As for the Russian State Duma, it responded to its US counterpart by forbidding the adoption of Russian children by US families, and by denouncing the responsibility of US personalities in the legalisation of torture (the Dima Yakovlev Law, from the name of the Russian child adopted in the USA who died as a result of negligence by the parents). President Putin applied this text in 2013, also forbidding ex-US Vice President Dick Cheney access to Russian territory.

    The « Magnitsky affair » could have ended there. It seems to be independent of the « Khodorkovsky affair », exploited by NATO in order to accuse Russia of interference in Western democracies by way of disinformation or « fake news » [2]. However, the Russian Prosecutor General contests the narrative presented by Wiliam Browder to the US Congress.

    According to William Browder, his company Hermitage Capital invested in Russia, particularly in Gazprom. He allegedly discovered signs of irregular practices and attempted to warn the Kremlin. However, his resident’s visa was then cancelled. Then his Russian companies were allegedly robbed by Lieutenant-Colonel Artem Kuznetsov, a civil servant from the Financial Brigade of the Russian Ministry of the Interior. Kuznetsov apparently seized the property documents during a search, then used them to register a new owner. Lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who apparently blew the whistle on the embezzlement, was arrested, tortured and finally died in prison. In the end, Lieutenant-Colonel Artem Kuznetsov and « godfather » Dmitry Klyuev were allegedly able to deposit the 3 billion stolen dollars in a Cypriot bank. This is a classic case of theft by the Russian mafia with the help of the Kremlin [3]. This narrative inspired the seventh season of the Showtime TV series, Homeland.

    On the contrary, according to Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, William Browder illegally acquired 133 million shares in Gazprom on behalf of the Ziff brothers, via various straw men. Not only did Browder avoid paying 150 million dollars in taxes, but the acquisition of part of this crown jewel of the Russian economy is in itself illegal. Furthermore, his financial advisor, Sergey Magnitsky, who had developed another scam for the same Browder, was arrested and died of a heart attack in prison [4].

    It is obviously impossible to tell the truth from the lies in these two versions. However, it is now recognised that Sergey Magnitsky was not a lawyer working freelance, but was employed by William Browder’s companies. He was not investigating embezzlement, but was tasked by Browder with the creation of financial structures which would avoid him having to pay taxes in Russia. For example, the two men imagined remunerating mentally handicapped people as front men in order to benefit from their tax exempt status. Browder had much experience with tax evasion – which is why he lived for ten years in Russia with a simple tourist visa, then abandoned his US citizenship and became a British citizen.

    These last elements prove William Browder wrong, and are compatible with Prosecutor Chaika’s accusations. In these conditions, it seems at the least imprudent for the US Congress to have adopted the Magnitsky Act, unless of course the operation was aimed not at defending individual property, but at hurting Russia [5].

    A leader of the Russian opposition paid by Browder

    Alongside the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Browder abundantly finances the work of a young lawyer, Alexeï Navalny. Thanks to the help of US ambassador Michael McFaul, the young man pursued his studies in the USA at Yale in 2010. He created an Anti-Corruption Foundation in order to promote Browden’s version and accuse Putin’s administration.

    Having become a leader of the political opposition, Navalny and his Foundation directed a first documentary accusing the family of Prosecutor Chaika of corruption. But although the video is convincing at first look, it presents no proof of the facts it relates.

    Simultaneously, Navalny ordered a second documentary from a Russian film director and member of the opposition about the « Magnitsky affair ». But this journalist turned against his employer during the investigation, which was finally broadcast by Russian public television.

    A spook and an ambassador paid by Browder

    Thereafter, William Browder engaged an ex-agent of MI6 in Moscow (1990-93), Christopher Steele, and the ex-US ambassador to Moscow (2012-14), Michael McFaul.

    It so happens that it was Christopher Steele who, in 2006 – while he was with MI6 – accused President Vladimir Putin of having ordered the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with Polonium. In 2016, he also worked – freelance this time – for the US Democratic Party. That was when he wrote the famous dossier accusing candidate Donald Trump of being under the threat of blackmail by the Russian secret services [6] ; an unwarranted charge which has just resurfaced after the bilateral Summit in Helsinki. We find Steele once again, in 2018, involved in the Novitchok poisoning of Sergueï Skripal – as a « consultant » for MI6, he of course accused the inevitable Vladimir Putin.

    The Russian riposte

    During the US Presidential campaign of 2016, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika attempted to influence a member of Congress who was open to Russian thinking, Dana Rohrabacher (Republican, California). He sent her a note concerning his version of the Browder-Magnitsky affair. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met the son and son-in-law of candidate Donald Trump at Trump Tower, in order to inform them that a part of Browder’s dirty money was being used to finance the candidacy of Hillary Clinton [7].

    Thereafter, William Browder became the main source of the enquiry run by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller about possible Russian interference in « US Democracy ». A long time before he became the Director the FBI, Mueller – who officially has no link to the CIA – had been responsible for the enquiry on the Lockerbie attack, which he attributed to Mouammar Kadhafi. Let’s remember that Libya never recognised that it was implicated in this affair, although it accepted to pay a compensation to the victims. Above all, Scottish Justice established the fact that fragments of the detonator found on site were placed there by the CIA in order to accuse Libya. Mueller used the meeting of Trump’s team with Natalia Veselnitskaya as « proof » of the subordination of Donald Trump to the Russian Intelligence services.

    In the USA, Natalia Veselnitskaya represents the interests of several of Browder’s Russian victims. She also acted in 2014 on behalf of one of the companies that Browder accused of being connected to « godfather » Dmitry Klyuev. She also raised the question about the manner in which an agent of Homeland Security, Todd Hyman, had transmitted a trial document without proceeding with the usual verifications.

    There will be no moment of truth

    During the US-Russia summit in Helsinki, President Vladimir Putin proposed that his US counterpart allow US investigators to question those Russian civil servants suspected of interference in the US Presidential campaign, on the condition that Russian investigators would also be allowed to question suspects in the USA. Donald Trump is reserving his answer.

    However, when the office of Prosecutor Yury Chaika transmitted the list of witnesses to be questioned, Washington panicked. Not only did Chaika ask to question British subjects William Browder and Christopher Steele if they should travel in the United States, but also ambassador Michael McFaul, lawyer Jonathan Winer, researcher David J. Kramer, and finally, agent Todd Hyman.

    Jonathan Winer was in charge of the Lockerbie dossier at the State Department during the 1990’s. He is a personal friend of Christopher Steele, and transmitted his reports to the neo-conservatives for a decade [8].

    During Bush Jr.’s first term, David J. Kramer played an important role in the management of the propaganda system for the State Department as well as looking after the stay-behind agents in Eastern Europe and in Russia. After having worked in various think tanks, he became the president of Freedom House, and campaigned on the « Magnitsky affair ». He is today a researcher at the McCain Institute.

    Although, so far, nothing enables us to tell which of the Browder and Chaika versions is accurate, the truth will soon emerge. It is possible that Russian interference may be no more than fake news, but US interference (by introduction into the crown piece of the Russian economy as well as via Alexeï Navalny) may in fact be a reality.

    In the context of’ Washington’s unanimous anti-Russian stand, President Trump declines Vladimir Putin’s proposition.

    Thierry Meyssan

    Pete Kimberley


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    clinton sent his people to get yeltsin elected...

    Election influence, NATO expansion and Vladimir Putin were just some of the hot button topics discussed twenty years ago by US President Bill Clinton and Russian leader Boris Yeltsin, newly released transcripts reveal.

    Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting dozens of personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas last month.

    Although dating from January 1993 to December 1999, many of the documents touch upon issues that now dominate the news cycle, providing often overlooked historical perspective and context to the current state of US-Russia relations.

    Clinton sends 'his people' to get Yeltsin elected

    Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

    For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader's political allies.

    "What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?" a concerned Clinton asked.


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    putin the smart...


    wanking at the NYT...

    Hacked emails. Social media fraud. Suspected spies and outreach to Trump campaign associates. We unraveled the Russian plot to subvert the 2016 election.

    To many Americans, the intervention seemed to be a surprise attack. For Vladimir V. Putin, however, it was long-overdue payback.

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    six, not five...

    At the top article, the author says:

    Our friends in South America might have insights here — hundreds of cases of economic and military blackmail, election fraud, assassination, and the violent overthrow of democratically elected leaders.  So too in Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Georgia, Ukraine, etc.), east Asia (Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, etc.), north Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco), and dozens of other countries on five of the six inhabited continents. (Joshua Keating, “Election Meddling Is Surprisingly Common,”, 4 Jan., 2017; Tim Weiner, CIA:  Legacy of Ashes, 2008; Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1992, 2006.)

    The USA destroyed governments on six continents of the planet, including Australia...


    Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”.

    Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House … a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.”

    Pine Gap’s top-secret messages were decoded by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the decoders was Christopher Boyce, a young man troubled by the “deception and betrayal of an ally”. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the governor-general of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as “our man Kerr”.

    Kerr was not only the Queen’s man, he had longstanding ties to Anglo-American intelligence. He was an enthusiastic member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, described by Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal in his book, The Crimes of Patriots, as “an elite, invitation-only group … exposed in Congress as being founded, funded and generally run by the CIA”. The CIA “paid for Kerr’s travel, built his prestige … Kerr continued to go to the CIA for money”.

    When Whitlam was re-elected for a second term, in 1974, the White House sent Marshall Green to Canberra as ambassador. Green was an imperious, sinister figure who worked in the shadows of America’s “deep state”. Known as “the coupmaster”, he had played a central role in the 1965 coup against President Sukarno in Indonesia – which cost up to a million lives. One of his first speeches in Australia, to the Australian Institute of Directors, was described by an alarmed member of the audience as “an incitement to the country’s business leaders to rise against the government”.

    The Americans and British worked together. In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain’s MI6 was operating against his government. “The Brits were actually decoding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office,” he said later. One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, “We knew MI6 was bugging cabinet meetings for the Americans.” In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the “Whitlam problem” had been discussed “with urgency” by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: “Kerr did what he was told to do.”

    On 10 November 1975, Whitlam was shown a top-secret telex message sourced to Theodore Shackley, the notorious head of the CIA’s East Asia division, who had helped run the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile two years earlier.

    Shackley’s message was read to Whitlam. It said that the prime minister of Australia was a security risk in his own country. The day before, Kerr had visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s NSA, where he was briefed on the “security crisis”.

    On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.


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    entirely divorced from facts...


    Arguments by the Democratic National Committee in a lawsuit against Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign over the 2016 election were “entirely divorced” from facts, a federal judge in New York said as he threw out the case.

    The DNC sued in April 2018, claiming that the Trump campaign welcomed “help” from Russia and WikiLeaks, who stole and published the party’s emails in an effort to sway the US electorate during the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. On Tuesday, US District Judge John Koeltl disagreed.

    BREAKING: A federal judge DISMISSES the DNC's lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks et al. with prejudice, and DENIES the Trump campaign's sanctions motion.

    Background on the lawsuit, via @CourthouseNews.

    Opinion soon.

    — Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 30, 2019


    The DNC “raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts ... to show that any of the defendants – other than the Russian Federation – participated in the theft of the DNC's information,”Koeltl wrote in the 81-page opinion dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice. 

    There can be no liability for publishing materials of public interest under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, so long as those disseminating it “did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” Koeltl wrote, explaining that the DNC offered no proof that either Trump campaign staff or WikiLeaks did so.

    “The Witch Hunt Ends!” Trump tweeted celebrating the ruling, noting that Koeltl was “a highly respected judge who was appointed by President [Bill] Clinton.” 

    ....vindication & exoneration from the Russian, WikiLeaks and every other form of HOAX perpetrated by the DNC, Radical Democrats and others. This is really big “stuff” especially coming from a highly respected judge who was appointed by President Clinton. The Witch Hunt Ends!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019


    The judge did take for granted that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC servers and obtaining the emails, though this has never actually been proven and remains an assertion based on the claims of DNC contractor CrowdStrike. However, he told the DNC that it could not sue the Russian government in US courts, due to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.


    Moscow has repeatedly rejected allegations that it had somehow interfered in the 2016 or any other US election, saying that such charges were “absurd” and made up to explain Clinton’s loss to Trump. 

    The DNC lawsuit’s dismissal is the latest victory for Trump in the fast-unraveling 'Russiagate' narrative. A two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller concluded in March, failing to find any evidence of Trump’s “collusion” with Russia during the 2016 campaign and trying instead to paint Trump as “obstructing”the probe without actually saying so or leveling charges against the president.



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    a bit of sanity from the comic president?

    Ukraine’s political revolution is now complete. The country just elected as president the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who crushed the incumbent by a nearly three-to-one margin. His party won the first majority in the Rada since the nation was reborn after the Soviet Union. Zelensky, who largely wiped out parties that favored continued confrontation with Russia, should now use his substantial authority to make peace with Moscow.

    The United States and Europe can help seal the deal. In particular, the Trump administration should end the burgeoning cold war between Washington and Moscow. The conflict is unnecessary and is in nether side’s interest.

    Russia’s Vladimir Putin is neither Western liberal nor American friend. He pursues his own agenda, disregarding what Washington wants. Most controversially, he has followed the U.S. example of intervening in other nations’ elections for political advantage, tossing a wrench or two into America’s presidential contest [*].

    As bilateral ties began to fray, Moscow took advantage of opportunities to hinder American policy elsewhere. It helped preserve the Assad regime in Syria against all enemies, sustained Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro despite substantial American pressure, diminished Washington’s economic assault on North Korea, frustrated President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and manipulated European governments. Some of these actions, such as the ones in Syria, reflected long-standing Russian policies; others, such as in Venezuela, were mostly intended to undermine Washington’s position.

    However, Putin is not solely at fault for the collapse of U.S.-Russia relations. Declassified documents make clear that Washington lied to Moscow about its intention to expand NATO. Unconcerned about Russian sensitivities, the Clinton administration moved the border of the Western alliance to within a couple hundred miles of St. Petersburg. The U.S. ignored Russian interests in the Balkans and attempted to cut out Moscow while dismembering the latter’s traditional Slavic partner Serbia. The Clinton administration used money and influence to keep Boris Yeltsin in power even as Russia’s economy was being looted in the name, though not the reality, of a market transition.

    The Bush administration continued to promote NATO expansion, even to Georgia, which started a shooting war with Russia in apparent expectation of U.S. backing, and Ukraine, long part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. In 2014 came Europe’s attempt to pull Kiev westward economically and subsequent support from Brussels and Washington for a street putsch against Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly president, who had won a fair election. In the aftermath, U.S. officials openly spoke of their favored candidates [Nazis] for Ukrainian office.

    None of this justified Moscow essentially waging war on Ukraine and forcibly annexing Crimea. However, Western behavior undermines the claim that Putin is the latest Hitler, out to dominate the world. Russia couldn’t conquer Europe even if it wanted to: the continent has 10 times the economic strength and three times the population of Russia. Despite having rebuilt its military, Moscow is a declining power, focused on ensuring that its security and interests are respected by the West. Switch Mexico for Ukraine and Washington would be most unhappy with Russian “meddling,” per the Monroe Doctrine. Those Washingtonians currently outraged at Moscow’s behavior would be demanding that America make an equivalently aggressive response.

    Today, Washington and Moscow appear to be adversaries trending towards enemies. Outrage is particularly abundant in Congress, whose members seek to punish anyone anywhere who opposes them. Yet sanctions against Moscow have completely failed. The Putin government has not disgorged Crimea, nor has it abandoned separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass, left Syria, dropped support for Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, or otherwise changed its foreign policy. And Moscow is unlikely to do so even if the U.S. turns up the pressure. At the same time, Russia has closed the Nixon-promoted gap between Moscow and Beijing, which now cooperate together against America.


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    [*] so far there is no proof that Putin — or Russia — interfered with the US presidential elections in 2016. But there are plenty of proofs that our (Aussie) Uncle Rupe (Rupert Murdoch) did... 




    Anti-Corruption Fund capers...

    The Russian Ministry of Justice has listed the Alexei Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund in the list of "foreign agents". This nomination assumes that the NGO is funded from abroad.

    On October 9, the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), founded by Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, was classified by the Russian Ministry of Justice as "foreign agent", according to the statement, published on the ministry website.

    The Russian Ministry of Justice has taken this decision without explaining the reasons.

    The Foreign Agent Act was passed in 2012. For a non-profit organization to be classified as an "overseas agent", it must conduct a political activity and it is financed from a foreign country.

    Once appointed as an "overseas agent", NGOs must follow the following rules: non-profit organizations must, twice a year, report on their activities and the composition of governing bodies and every three months , documents on the nature of spending money. "Foreign agents" also have to publish twice a year on the internet or provide a report on their activities vis-à-vis the media. Otherwise, criminal liability or a fine are provided.

    The director of the FBK, Ivan Jdanov, wrote on Twitter that the organization "is only funded by Russian citizens" and that it "never received any foreign funding". He also noted that all FBK activities are transparent and that all reports are systematically submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

    The founder of the Anti-Corruption Fund Alexei Navalny goes even further. According to him, the decision to include his Fund on the list of "foreign agents" was taken by the Ministry of Justice "by direct order" of President Vladimir Putin.

    The Kremlin, through its spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, was quick to respond:

    The Kremlin does not make such decisions. This is the prerogative of the Ministry of Justice

    The Russian Ministry of Justice has started verifying suspicions of money laundering by the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund. On August 3, the Russian Investigation Committee opened an investigation against the FBK Navalny, an organization accused of money laundering of about one billion rubles. On August 8, the bank accounts of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund, as well as those of its regional headquarters, were blocked. According to the survey, from January 2016 to December 2018, the organization's employees, as well as persons related to its activities, received via a third party a large amount of money acquired by supposedly criminal means. The suspects would have deposited the same amount via ATMs on the accounts of several banks, then transferred to the accounts of the Fund, thus financing the organization. Investigators are now looking to establish the identity of all players in this money laundering business. They must also determine the sources of financing involved in this case.



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    the times is owned by uncle rupe... what to expect?...

    Times runs fake Browder story by acolytes Ben Brandon & Alex Bailin

    Lucy Komisar

    Ben Brandon and Alex Bailin are London lawyers who have co-authored a fake story based on fabrications by William Browder about Russia’s legal action against his tax evasion and the death of his accountant, Sergei Magnitsky. The writers of this Times op-ed managed to put eight lies into just five opening lines.

    Co-author Brandon is the lawyer representing the U.S. in its request to extradite war crimes whistleblower Julian Assange. This raises questions about the connection between the U.S. and the U.K. in the promotion of the Browder/Magnitsky hoax and the attack against Assange.

    Here is their story. And my proof of their fabrications.

    The time has come for Britain’s long-overdue Magnitsky law

    The Times, October 24 2019
    By Ben Brandon and Alex Bailin

    We must not lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to holding human rights abusers and corrupt regimes to account.

    Sergei Magnitsky, a young lawyer[1], was hired in 2008 by Bill Browder[2], the chief executive of Hermitage Capital, to investigate a tax fraud[3] on his fund. Having diligently uncovered a large scale embezzlement[4] by influential Russian officials[5], Mr Magnitsky was arrested and mistreated[6] in prison in an attempt to pressure him into withdrawing his testimony[7].

    He refused to retract and was beaten to death.[8]


    Dear Messrs Brandon and Bailin,

    I assume that as lawyers you think it’s a good idea to check out what people claim, since even clients lie. Therefore, please consider the evidence below, not what convicted fraudster William Browder apparently told you.

    [1] Lawyer: Magnitsky was an accountant. Browder acknowledges in his deposition in US federal court 2015 that Magnitsky didn’t have a law degree or go to law school. See him say it in a video clip. In his own interrogations, Magnitsky is identified as an auditor.

    [2] Hired in 2008: Magnitsky worked for the accounting/law firm Firestone Duncan which Browder hired in 1997 to handle his company accounts and tax filings. The Russian court found that Magnitsky in the interests of Browder in 1997-2002 implemented an illegal tax evasion scheme using firms registered in Kalmykia and managed by Hermitage Capital. (See article) Browder claims he hired Magnitsky in 2007, so Brandon and Bailin get even that fabrication wrong.

    [3] To investigate a tax fraud: See above. He was hired in 1997, ten years before the 2007 tax refund fraud. Magnitsky’s 2006 interrogation was about Browder’s company tax evasion. See his testimony and the cited article. And the fraud wasn’t on his fund, it was on the Russian Treasury. Fraudsters scammed the Russian Treasury by obtaining a $230mil tax refund based on fraudulent lawsuits.

    [4] Uncovered embezzlement: The tax fraud, which is not properly described as an embezzlement as it was a fraud on the Russian Treasury, not on a company, was first reported by Rimma Starova in April 2008. The Russian newspaper Vedomosti and the New York Times reported it in July 2008. Magnitsky mentioned in testimony only in his October 2008 interrogation.

    [5] Influential Russian officials: There are no Russian officials accused in any of the reports, by Starova, the newspapers or by Magnitsky. Read the documents.

    [6] Mistreated: He suffered the same poor conditions as other inmates.

    [7] pressure him into withdrawing his testimony: There is no evidence he was pressured to withdraw testimony. Or do you have any?

    [8] Beaten to death: There is no evidence he was beaten to death. Or do you have any?

    The only on-site independent report, by the Moscow Public Oversight Commission, indicates terrible prison conditions and failure to provide needed medical care. The Physicians for Human Rights (Cambridge Mass) report, cites the POC report and is addressed to Browder, who gave PHR 44 documents to back up his claims. It reached the same conclusion.

    Browder’s initial statements about Magnitsky’s death, in 2009 and 2010, mention no beatings.

    Check out his talk at Chatham House, in your home town.


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    Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, in turn wholly owned by News Corp... A shit CONservative paper... 

    Lucy Komisar is a top class investigating journalist...

    browder should be in prison...

    By Lucy Komisar

    Two years after I wrote the first exposé of fraudster William Browder and his Magnitsky hoax published in the West, by the investigative website 100Reporters, and after growing social media and some alternative media reports about his fabrications, a major western publication, the German Der Spiegel, has run a story by Benjamin Bidder, a reporter posted to Russia for seven years, who exposes Browder as a fraud and his Magnitsky story as a fake.

    The lead by Bidder says: 

    When the US imposes sanctions for human rights violations, they invoke the case of one prisoner allegedly murdered in Russia. They are based on the reports of the investor Bill Browder. Is the West taken in by a fraudster?”

    Yes, and he proves it.

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    What is extraordinary is that the lawmakers in the US were taken by Bill Browder to pass an act in Congress, the Magnitsky Act, based on a pack of lies. It's most likely there were some "accomplices" in the "intelligence services" in order to help Browder and Congress bash Russia as is the current fashion, by "not investigating" Browder as they should have.


    Browder should be in prison.

    bill browder is a fantasist...


    Accusation from Investor Bill Browder

    Why DER SPIEGEL Stands Behind Its Magnitsky Reporting

    Former investor Bill Browder has accused DER SPIEGEL of having incorrectly represented the circumstances surrounding the death of the Russian Sergei Magnitsky. DER SPIEGEL rejects the criticism for the reasons we have outlined below.


    Magnitsky died in 2009 in a Moscow prison under circumstances that haven't been completely clarified. Browder claims that Magnitsky was murdered because he had uncovered a tax scandal. The report from DER SPIEGEL describes the inconsistencies in Browder's version of events and demonstrates that he is unable to present sufficient proof for his claims.

    Browder has now gone public with his complaints about the DER SPIEGEL story in the form of a letter to the newsmagazine's editor-in-chief in addition to a complaint filed with the German Press Council. In his letter, he accuses DER SPIEGEL of having misrepresented the facts.

    We believe his complaint has no basis and would like to review why we have considerable doubts about Browder's story and why we felt it necessary to present those doubts publicly. The English text of the original story can be found here, and the paywall has been removed from the German version, which can be read here. In addition, you will find links below to some of the sources that we relied on in our reporting.

    The English version of the original story did contain one error that has now been corrected. Due to a translation error, the English story said that the use of a rubber baton was recorded in a 2009 report. In fact, this information was only mentioned in a separate report from 2011. The German version did not contain this error.

    There is no doubt that Magnitsky suffered a terrible death. As was mentioned in the original DER SPIEGEL story, he was "the victim of a terrible injustice." We also believe it is fitting to speak of "merciless negligence," due to the withholding of urgently necessary medical treatment. The "use of a rubber baton" is likewise beyond dispute. Nowhere in the story does DER SPIEGEL seek to exonerate the Russian state for Magnitsky's death. Rather, the story seeks to bring to light the inconsistencies, contradictions and unproven claims in the story that Browder has been telling Western governments for years -- a story that became the basis for Western sanctions against Russian officials.

    Browder's account of the events surrounding Sergei Magnitsky's death is made up of several key elements.

    How it all began: In Moscow in 2007, according to Browder, a tax investigation was launched with a "criminal and political" motivation. He claims it was fabricated and launched solely for the purpose of seizing important documents from some of his letterbox companies. On June 4, 2007, searches took place in Moscow and numerous company files were confiscated.

    Magnitsky becomes a whistleblower: Browder claims he turned to Magnitsky to look into the raids, which had resulted in the seizure of three of his letterbox companies. According to Browder, Magnitsky testified before the State Investigative Committee on June 5 and Oct. 7, 2008, about his findings, explicitly accusing two policemen of wrongdoing: Artyom Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov. Because of this testimony, Browder says, there was a clear motive for the later arrest and murder of Magnitsky.

    Arrest and death: In fall 2008, a case against Magnitsky was opened for accusations of tax evasion. In November 2008, Magnitsky was arrested. On Nov. 16, 2009, he died in Russian custody. Browder has continually described Magnitsky's death as being the result of a targeted conspiracy to commit murder.

    Browder's account of the precise sequence of events has varied. Of particular note are the videos that he has published on YouTube.

    Among the claims made in the videos are the following:

    "After Sergei Magnitsky testified against the same criminal group for an even larger crime, the same officers arrested, tortured and eventually killed Sergei to hide their crime."

    "Instead of supporting Sergei Magnitsky and recognizing him as a hero, the government allowed interior ministry officers, Kuznetsov, Karpov ... to arrest, torture and kill him."

    Each stage of this account includes numerous elements that do not hold up to scrutiny. A London court came to the conclusion that Browder failed to even come close to providing factual basis for his accusations against Karpov. (The full court decision can be read here.)

    It repeatedly becomes clear that Browder's narrative contains mistakes and inconsistencies that distort the overall view of the events leading to Magnitsky's death.

    1. The Tax Investigation

    The investigations began much earlier than claimed by Browder. Though he has claimed on several occasions to first having heard the name of the investigator Artyom Kuznetsov in 2007, the inaccuracy of that claim is well documented. Kuznetsov's name was already included in letters relating to the tax investigation that were sent to Browder's companies in June 2006.

    Read 2006 letter from Russian tax investigators here:

    PDF-DownloadBrief der russischen Steuerfahnung 2006PDF-Größe: 44 kB

    The fact that Browder's team was aware of the investigation is also evident from testimony given by Magnitsky on June 5, 2008. In that testimony, he said that Kuznetsov had requested company and bank documents in late May 2006. These mid-2006 inquiries were also mentioned in complaints sent by Browder's people to Russian authorities in December 2007.

    Read the English translation of Magnitsky's June 5, 2008 testimony here:

    PDF-DownloadEnglische Übersetzung von Magnitskis Aussage am 5. Juni 2008PDF-Größe: 3 MB

    On top of that is the fact that Magnitsky himself had been questioned by Russian authorities as part of a tax investigation in 2006. Inquiries into possible tax evasion were likewise made prior to 2004 with letterbox companies linked to Browder, including the company Saturn Investment, which Magnitsky had a hand in, according to his own testimony.

    Read the English translation of Magnitsky's October 2006 testimony here:

    PDF-DownloadEnglische Übersetzung von Magnitskis Aussage im Oktober 2006PDF-Größe: 531 kB

    Several court rulings were issued against Browder's companies as part of those inquiries, then the case was closed -- only to be restarted in 2008.

    DER SPIEGEL does not uncritically adopt rulings made by the Russian judiciary. A conclusive clarification as to whether the accusations of tax evasion were valid would have to be performed by an independent court in a fair trial. But it is clear that the investigations didn't suddenly start in 2007 as Browder claims, allegedly with no basis. The investigations have a well-documented backstory. In its ruling in the case, the European Court of Human Rights therefore came to the conclusion that Magnitsky's "arrest was not arbitrary." 

    "The Court observes that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskiy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts." (Read the full judgment here .)

    2. Magnitsky's Role as a Key Provider of Evidence

    In Browder's version of events, the testimony Magnitsky provided to investigators is the motive for his arrest and for his later targeted murder. In that narrative, Magnitsky's death was an example of a corrupt cabal getting rid of someone that could prove dangerous to them. That is the core of the story Browder has to tell.

    Browder describes Magnitsky as a crucial whistleblower. But that is a construct that was concocted after the fact. Several people from Browder's team had leveled the same or similar accusations against Russian officials, and some of them did so before Magnitsky:

    • Browder's lawyer Eduard Khairetdinov made an official complaint in early December 2007 (PDF from Browder's website).
    • Paul Wrench on Dec. 10, 2007 (PDF from Browder's website).
    • According to Browder, Magnitsky first testified on the issue on June 5, 2008. In that testimony, he spoke of the raids and the confiscation of files that he believes - he chooses his words carefully - could have been used for the seizure of the companies. He doesn't speak of the vast tax fraud plot. On his website, Browder writes that Magnitsky at that point in time had not yet discovered the fraud.
    • A week previously, though, on May 28, 2008, a different Browder associate named Grant Felgenhauer wrote in a letter to the Russian president's Anti-Corruption Council of the suspicion that the true goal of the assailants was the refund of taxes worth hundreds of millions of dollars (PDF from Browder's website: The passage in question can be found at the top of page 3; Felgenhauer speculates about a total of over $300 million).

    The media also reported on events: The financial newswire Bloomberg, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal all published reports in early April 2008.

    On July 24, 2008, the New York Times also published details of the fraud, valued at over $230 million (read the article here). Magnitsky, though, only first spoke of the case in official testimony given on Oct. 7, 2008.

    This timeline of events is one reason why observers have their doubts as to whether Magnitsky was really murdered so that he would cease making accusations against law enforcement officials. The accusations against Russian officials were already public, independent of Magnitsky's testimony.

    Human rights activist Zoya Svetova has been keeping close tabs on the case from the very beginning and described the situation in an interview with DER SPIEGEL last summer as follows:

    DER SPIEGEL: What do you think about the narrative according to which he was the victim of a targeted killing. Is there proof?

    Svetova: No. There is not proof at all. What sense would it make to murder him? None at all.

    DER SPIEGEL: Because he knew of a $230 million fraud.

    Svetova: Yes, but he wasn't the only one who knew of it, the entire leadership and co-workers knew of it. It had been written about in the newspapers. Magnitsky did not reveal any secret.

    DER SPIEGEL: In your report, though, it is mentioned that he had possibly been pressured in prison.

    Svetova: When he was in prison, officials wanted testimony from him against Bill Browder. But he didn't provide any. And he probably never would have done so. But it still would have made no sense for them to kill him because of that.

    Svetova agreed to that interview, and to its being recorded, in July 2019. But she has argued in the past as well that there is no proof for a targeted murder of Magnitsky. In 2014, for example, she wrote that she couldn't imagine someone having intentionally brought about Magnitsky's death ("Now that five years have passed, I don't think this killing was intentional." -original in Russian.)

    Shortly before DER SPIEGEL published its story in November, she said that those were, in fact, her words, but that she had changed her mind and now believed that a targeted killing was a possibility. Svetova's change of heart is transparently discussed in the DER SPIEGEL article.

    3. The Motive for Magnitsky's Arrest

    Browder claims that Magnitsky was arrested to pressure him to retract his testimony against the police and that that is why he was tortured and murdered. But Magnitsky's lawyer at the time of his arrest told a different story from the very beginning. Dmitry Kharitonov told DER SPIEGEL back in fall 2009 that his client was little more than a hostage and that officials had merely wanted to exert pressure on Bill Browder (read the German-language article here).

    The term "hostage" is one that Kharitonov used frequently. In an interview with the Russian version of the magazine Forbes, Kharitonov said that Magnitsky himself had testified: "Your Honor, I have been taken as a de-facto hostage. Hardly anyone is interested in my person, everyone is interested in the head of Hermitage." (Russian version.)

    The human-rights activist Zoya Svetova presented a similar version in her interview with DER SPIEGEL last summer.

    Svetova: In the person of Magnitsky, the two largest deficits of the Russian judiciary and the Russian investigative system are united. When a case is opened against a company and it isn't possible to arrest its boss, then they take his assistant or his deputy or just an employee as hostage. We have seen that in many cases. It happened with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's company Yukos. (…) They first take a hostage. Magnitsky was a hostage. He himself was of no interest to them. They wanted Browder.

    DER SPIEGEL: But Russian officials had thrown Browder out of the country.

    Svetova: They wanted Magnitsky to tell them all of the terrible things Browder had allegedly done. They wanted (Magnitsky) to discredit him, (to say) that he was a fraud and tax evader. Even though they had stolen his companies from him.

    Svetova related this position on several occasions, such as in comments she made to Radio Liberty in 2014.

    The investigative report from 2009, which Svetova helped write, includes evidence that investigators and prison leadership exerted pressure on Magnitsky. There is also a related quote from Magnitsky in the report, in which he says that the conditions of his imprisonment were made worse in consultation with the investigator in the case against him, a man named Oleg Silchenko. Their goal, Magnitsky said, was to force me "to accept false accusations and to incriminate myself and others." The report mentions nothing that might support Browder's claim that authorities were trying to force Magnitsky to retract his testimony.

    The original Russian version of the report can be found on Browder's website (PDF). Whereas the Russian text does not include the name of the investigator Kuznetsov, the English translation that can likewise be found on Browder's website makes express mention of him (PDF).

    4. Alleged Evidence of a Targeted Murder Plot

    As alleged proof for his theory of a targeted murder, Browder provides photos of haematomas on the hands of the deceased. Some are presumably from handcuffs, while others could be from Magnitsky's desperate punches against a door. The photos do not reveal a fatal injury.

    This does not rule out the possibility that Magnitsky was killed by external force. But it likewise does not provide evidence of a targeted murder through beatings from eight prison guards over a period of one hour and 18 minutes, as Browder has repeatedly claimed.

    The at times contradictory statements from the Russian authorities about the cause of death are disturbing, but this is not sufficient proof of a targeted murder. The use of a rubber truncheon was also mentioned in the DER SPIEGEL article.

    Read Browder's letter to DER SPIEGEL here:

    PDF-DownloadBrowders Brief an den SPIEGELPDF-Größe: 814 kB

    5. Magnitsky's Supposed Testimony against Officers Karpov and Kuznetsov

    Browder accuses DER SPIEGEL of misrepresenting the true substance of Sergei Magnitsky's testimony. In truth, according to Browder, Magnitsky clearly identified the police officers Kuznetsov and Karpov as guilty in testimony he gave prior to his arrest.

    However, Magnitsky does not make any personal accusation directly against Karpov and Kuznetsov in either of the two documents.

    6. The Role of the Police Officer Karpov in the Magnitsky Case

    Browder accuses DER SPIEGEL of spreading police officer Pavel Karpov's claim that he had nothing to do with Magnitsky's death or with the tax fraud. Yet it is a journalist's duty to give people accused of serious offenses the opportunity to comment. This also applies to Karpov.

    Magnitsky's lawyer, Dmitry Kharitonov, has stressed several times (including in this interview with the Russian radio broadcaster Echo of Moscow) that Pavel Karpov had no role in the prosecution of his client. Kharitonov repeated this statement to DER SPIEGEL twice. In the summer of 2019, the human rights activist Zoya Svetova even said: "But there is no evidence that Karpov put pressure on Magnitsky."

    Furthermore, the High Court of Justice in London also found that Browder's allegations against Karpov were not sufficiently substantiated.

    7. The Question of Money

    Browder is critical of the DER SPIEGEL report for not delving deeper into the matter of the $230-million fraud. In doing so, he refers to findings by U.S. investigators in the New York case (see PDF).

    However, the case is less clear-cut than Browder suggests. The responsible U.S. investigator admitted during questioning that his findings were based exclusively on statements and documents from Browder and his team. The trial ended in a settlement. The Russian Katsyv clan, whom Browder accuses of profiting from the tax fraud, has ensured that the settlement statement contains an explicit mention that it had nothing to do with the Magnitsky case.

    Read the Katsyv settlement here:

    PDF-DownloadVergleich zwischen den Kazyws und den USAPDF-Größe: 2 MB

    Browder was questioned during the proceedings. Under oath, he was unable to explain how he and his people managed to track the flow of money. Videos of his statement found their way to YouTube and a transcript is available on, an electronic database for documents from U.S. proceedings.

    Read Browder's testimony here:

    PDF-DownloadProtokoll von Browders Befragung im US-Verfahren (2015)PDF-Größe: 761 kBANZEIGE

    Browder was given a chance to comment extensively on all the points raised by the DER SPIEGEL report, including during two separate two-hour-long interviews last summer.

    In addition, DER SPIEGEL also sent Browder further questions on Nov. 21 concerning facts of the case that went beyond those outlined in the published article. Browder did not respond.


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    when liars are not politically neutral...


    Bill Browder points finger at Bernie Sanders on Magnitsky Act vote, but the real story is his own corruption


    by Danielle Ryan

    UK investor Bill Browder has jumped aboard the anti-Bernie Sanders train, smearing the 2020 frontrunner as a Russian pawn for a 2012 vote on the Magnitsky Act, which he championed. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot more to the story.

    To understand the motivation behind Browder’s finger-pointing at Sanders, one needs to do a little reading into Browder’s own background — beyond the glowing praise that can be found in pages of Western media. 

    The American-born banker who heads the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund (and renounced his US citizenship to avoid paying taxes) made his fortune in 1990’s Russia. When things were going well for him, he was decidedly pro-Putin, praising the Russian president in a 2004 op-ed for “fighting to stop the oligarchs from taking over the country.” 

    Things took a serious turn for the worse a few years later, when after fleeing Russia, Browder accused officials of murdering his “lawyer” Sergey Magnitsky (who was actually a tax expert) in prison after he allegedly ‘uncovered’ a massive tax fraud scheme supposedly run by two Moscow police officers. Yet, Browder was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for running his own tax evasion scheme and was later found guilty of embezzlement. Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention accused of complicity in the scheme.

    A report by the independent Moscow Public Monitoring Commissions (PMC) slammed the harsh prison conditions in which Magnitsky was kept and accused Russian authorities of failing in their duty to protect his life — but Browder's story of deliberate murder was altogether more dramatic.

    Browder used his side of the story to push for the blacklisting of Russian officials and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow over the case, resulting ultimately in the passing of the Magnitsky Act in the US — the act which he now (disingenuously) complains Sanders did not support.

    “In the seven years since that vote, I’ve never heard an explanation why [Sanders] voted against. Not that there is one,”Browder wrote on Twitter, setting off a new round of accusations that the Vermont senator is secretly pro-Kremlin.

    Browder’s tweet came as anti-Sanders journalists amplify baseless accusations that Russia is ‘interfering’ in the 2020 election on behalf of the anti-establishment senator. 

    What Browder does not mention, however, is that Sanders voted for a beefed up version of the Magnitsky Act in 2015. Nor, in this effort to imply that Sanders is a Russian patsy, does Browder mention that Sanders called Putin an “autocratic thug” just last week or that he has regularly criticized the Russian leader and Russian foreign policy.

    Browder has built his entire public image on being Putin’s “enemy no. 1” over the Magnitsky affair — an effort which has involved publicly smearing anyone who questions him or his narrative of events regarding Magnitsky’s death. In doing so, he has achieved almost demigod status in the Western media. 

    But who really has more to answer for when it comes to the infamous Magnitsky Act? Sanders, or Browder himself?

    A 2016 documentary produced by Russian filmmaker (and staunch Putin critic) Andrei Nekrasov presented a competing narrative which contradicts Browder’s version of events and accuses him of pulling a massive con on the US and the EU in an effort to avoid extradition to Russia.

    With the help of his lawyers, Browder launched a massive censorship campaign against the movie, forcing the cancellation of its screening at the European Parliament and even had it removed from the Vimeo platform. He then accused Nekrasov of being “pro-Kremlin” despite a catalog of work which proves him to be the opposite. 

    In 2019, an investigation by German magazine Der Spiegel delved into the “inconsistencies” in Browder’s Magnitsky story and suggested that the businessman may have “used a noble cause” (highlighting abuses in Russia’s prison system) “to manipulate Western governments.” The article also noted Browder’s tendency to “attack politicians who disagree with him.” His recent attack on Sanders seems to fit the trend of attacking politicians, though ironically, there is little evidence that Sanders disagrees with him at all.

    After a four-hour-long interview with Browder himself in London, Der Spiegel concluded that the dozens of documents he presented to supposedly corroborate his story did not all stand up to scrutiny. When Browder complained to the German Press Council, Der Spiegel stood by its investigation, saying his complaint had “no basis” and reiterated its “considerable doubts” about his version of events, which included “inconsistencies, contradictions and unproven claims.”

    An article on the case in the New Republic in 2015 noted that while Browder has always been eager to share his story with the media, he has been less inclined to share it under oath, asking if Browder really was the victim of persecution in Russia, “why is he so reluctant to offer his sworn testimony in an American courtroom?” One of Browder's attempts to dodge a subpoena was captured on camera in 2015.

    Even before all that, when Pavel Karpov, one of the policemen Browder accused of being behind Magnitsky's arrest and killing took him to court in London for defamation in 2012, the judge ruled that British courts had no jurisdiction in the case — but he also called Browder a “story-teller” who did “not come close to pleading facts which, if proved, would justify the sting of the libel.”

    Fast-forward to 2020 and Browder is suddenly pointing the finger at Sanders over his vote in 2012, while ignoring his vote in 2015 — all while serious questions remain about how the act even came to be in the first place. 

    The question is: Is Browder truly worried that Sanders is a Russian stooge, or has his sudden urge to hint at this baseless suggestion got more to do with his own political preferences as Super Tuesday looms?



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    bill browder is a fantasist...




    browder should be in prison...

    loony tunes in kanbra

    Human rights barrister Amal Clooney has told Australian MPs they have a role to play in ensuring authoritarian governments and individuals do not use the cover of the coronavirus crisis to permanently erode civil liberties and conceal abuses.

    The parliament is considering the introduction of a Magnitsky Act, which would allow for the use of targeted sanctions against human rights violators around the world.

    Similar laws in the US and UK are named for Sergei Magnitsky, who in 2008 uncovered a $230m fraud committed by Russian government officials. Magnitsky testified against the officials and was arrested, tortured and died in jail. He was then put on trial posthumously.

    Clooney is a strong advocate for such laws, which she says are among the most effective tools in curbing global abuses of human rights. She says Australia would be among the most effective jurisdictions to use such laws, given its position of influence in the Asia-Pacific region.


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    The Magnitsky act is a fraud. A FRAUD. Australia should not pass this FRAUD in its laws. There should be a major discussion exposing how Bill Browder, the pill pusher for the Magnitsky law, and how he should be in prison for tax evasion and telling porkies.  

    Amal Clooney go home!


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    when liars are not politically neutral...

    economic loonies...

    Heroes are outsized personalities who are not always easy to appreciate. Yeltsin stormed into our conference room in the White House in Moscow. He was like a bull, beaming with self-confidence, energy and happiness, outright manic. One of his advisers told me that they came from the ministry of defence. He had given a speech to the Soviet general command and convinced them to join Russia.




    Even more impressively, Yeltsin brought democracy to Russia, where it had never existed before. He did so by winning big against the communist establishment in the first partially democratic parliamentary elections in 1989 and 1990 and in the first Russian presidential elections in June 1991. His rival Gorbachev never dared to stand in any democratic election, which sealed his fate. After having gained power, Yeltsin stood in a free and reasonably fair election in 1996, which he won in a hard competition. Democracy in Russia would not have arrived without Yeltsin.


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    This was written by Anders Åslund — a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C. and who was an economic adviser to the Yeltsin government, 1991-94.

    Ah... is Anders Åslund writing about the same guy who ordered the shelling of the Russian parliament peacefully? And the fellow who was pissed more often than me? Nuts...

    the cold war never stopped...


    From Eric ZUESSE


    This will be the first-ever credible, or “historical,” but brief, account of how the Cold War actually began, and of why it started, and of why it continues today (even though it started on the basis of lies which have long-since become exposed but — for reasons which will become obvious — the exposing of which lies remains hidden from the public, so that ‘history’ can be preserved, and the public thus remains deceived).


    To understand today’s world, an introduction is needed first that summarizes what World War II (the Cold War’s predecessor) was actually all about, in geostrategic terms:

    The key decision-makers who coordinated together, in order to defeat the three fascist powers of Germany, Japan, and Italy, in WWII, were America’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), Britain’s Winston Churchill, and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin. If any one of those three would abandon the Allied side, or as FDR anticipatorily named it the “United Nations,” then the Axis would win the war, and then a war between the three Axis leaders — Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini — would follow afterward, in which Hitler was generally considered to be the likeliest to achieve his “Thousand Year Reich”: global control. If so, the result would have been a Nazi-controlled planet. But each of the three Allied leaders had different political views and priorities.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an intense anti-imperialist: he believed that the Second World War had been started by the fascist, or “Axis,” powers because each one of them wanted to increase the percentage of the planet’s surface that it controlled.

    Winston Churchill was an intense imperialist: he believed, exactly as did the founder of modern British imperialism, Cecil Rhodes, starting in 1877, that the larger the percentage of this planet’s surface that is controlled by the English “race,” the better. The only difference between Rhodesist imperialism and prior British imperialism is that Rhodes’s plan was based upon the geostrategic belief that the only way in which Britain could continue and expand its empire would be by retaking the United States via subversion (as he planned), in which the leaders of America would be deceived to believe that, in the U.S.-and-UK “Special Relationship”which Rhodes had in mind, Britain would be following America’s lead, when actually those American leaders would be following Britain’s lead and not be aware of that subterranean UK supremacy. (Rhodes championed subversive aristocratic rule. Subversion is basic to his plan.)

    Joseph Stalin was an intense anti-imperialist like FDR was, especially because Stalin’s chief competitor for leadership of the Soviet Union was Leon Trotsky, the most passionate supporter of a Soviet imperialism, “Trotskyism.” Wikipedia contains an accurate thumbnail description of this:

    Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by the Russianrevolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky identified as an orthodox Marxist and BolshevikLeninist. He supported founding a vanguard party of the proletariatproletarian internationalism and a dictatorship of the proletariat based on working class self-emancipation and mass democracy. Trotskyists are critical of Stalinism as they oppose Joseph Stalin‘s theory of socialism in one country in favor of Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists also criticize the bureaucracy that developed in the Soviet Union under Stalin.

    In order for Stalin to support Soviet imperialism, he would have had to accept Trotskyism, which he refused to do. At Yalta (February 1945), FDR and Stalin agreed together that though every major power has a right to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations in its “neighborhood” insofar as is necessary in order to block such nearby nation’s alliance with any hostile major power (an example is the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when Kennedy had a right to block Cuba from receiving Soviet missiles), no such right to intervene in a foreign country’s purely internal or domestic affairs exists: i.e., the right to intervene exists ONLY to protect that given major power’s own national security, but not to intervene into that nearby nation’s internal affairs for any other reason than this. This was FDR’s view and Stalin’s view. They both agreed to disagree together against Churchill’s view that a major power should be allowed to intervene outside of its own neighborhood or to “have an empire.” (In the billionaires’ updated and far more hypocritical version of the pro-imperialistic argument, such as George Soros’s argument, the case for imperialism is “R2P” or “the rulers of a sovereign state have a responsibility to protect [‘R2P’] the state’s citizens. When they fail to do so, the responsibility is transferred to the international community,” which is then allowed to invade. This is the ‘democratic’ argument to invade foreign countries that one wants to conquer and turn into a vassal-nation. The world’s billionaires started pushing for this argument internationally in 1994because the ‘anti-communist’ excuse for invading had just recently ended, in 1991. Soros stated the argument this way in 2009, after George W. Bush’s having done, to such disastrous effect, such an invasion against Iraq in 2003. But Bush’s lies to ‘justify’ invading had been mainly of the ‘national security’ variety. He was conservative, not liberal; so, his lies were different.)

    FDR rejected dictatorship as an internal-policy matter and therefore he disapproved of communism (because it is internally dictatorial), but he had no trouble negotiating with Stalin, because that relationship concerned only international and never domestic-policy matters (since Stalin was not a Trotskyist).

    Consequently, amongst the Allies, only Churchill — the British imperialist who, in accord with Cecil Rhodes’s scheme, was seeking America’s help so as to conquer other imperialisms in order to ‘preserve’ The British Empire — endorsed imperialism. His actual aim was ultimately to extend that Empire and to use American might so as to assist this, as being U.S. rule or “hegemony” over the entire planet, which would be controlled behind the scenes by Britain’s aristocracy. When Churchill came to power within the United Kingdom, the change in leadership represented a supreme victory of Rhodes’s branch of the British Conservative Party, pushing aside the pre-Rhodes Tories (such as Neville Chamberlain). Under Labour Party leader Tony Blair starting on 2 May 1997, both of Britain’s major Parties were Rhodesist, and (after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat) they still are in Rhodes’s mold.

    There was a severe split within Britain’s aristocracy over whether to ally with Hitler or instead with FDR and Stalin. (FDR himself wasn’t able to avoid having lots of pro-Nazis even in his own Administration: for example, the U.S. intelligence official Allen Dulles secretly said in late 1942, “We’re fighting the wrong enemy,” and General George Patton said exactly the same thing at war’s-end, May 1945. America’s billionaires have profited enormously from invasions and therefore sponsor the careers of many high policy officials, and did so even when FDR was in power.) Churchill’s immediate predecessor, Neville Chamberlain, represented England’s pro-Hitler aristocrats. They were not followers of Rhodes’s plan. They were instead pure anti-socialists. (They were more concerned to protect the aristocracy than to extend their empire.) There were actually two varieties of socialism: one, dictatorial, which was Marxism, the other democratic, which was the main type and the one that prevailed in much of Europe. By contrast, there was only a dictatorial form of fascism, because fascism was (and is) dictatorial capitalism, and any form of democratic capitalism was called simply “democracy.” Thus, there was “social democracy” versus “democracy” versus “fascism” versus “communism.” The Axis powers all were fascist. (Hitler labelled his German fascism Nazism as “National Socialism” in order to be able to win support from workers, but his “Volkisch” ’socialism’ was actually very different: pro-racist, instead of anti-classist or anti-aristocratic like almost all of the actually “socialist” parties in Europe were.)

    These facts (including the internal ideological conflicts within the United Kingdom, and also within the Soviet Union) are basic, in order to be able to understand recent world history, and current events.

    Now we get to the Cold War:

    FDR died on 12 April 1945, and his naive V.P., Harry Truman, became President. Promptly, Truman was surrounded by Rhodesists and he didn’t understand what was going on. Churchill advised him against accepting the Soviet Union. However, the key person who also did was U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower, who seems to have clinched the case on 26 July 1945 by confirming Churchill’s view and telling the President that either the U.S. would conquer the Soviet Union or else the Soviet Union would conquer the U.S. (In other words: Ike was telling Truman that Stalin was a Trotskyist, and Truman believed it even if he had no idea of what Stalinism versus Trotskyism were — Truman was tragically naive.) Though Truman had been advised by the scientists not to A-bomb Japan, which was about to fall anyway, Ike’s advice clinched the case in Truman’s mind, to A-bomb it in order to prevent the Soviet Union from conquering Japan, as the Soviets were on the verge of doing. (Under FDR’s plan, not only would the UN have been much stronger, but Stalin would have taken Japan, whereas all of the Western Hemisphere plus central and western Europe would have been within the U.S. sphere, and there would have been negotiations at the UN internationalizing nuclear weapons and the control over other strategic issues between the East and the West, so as to prevent, by clear international laws backed up by the UN’s diplomatic mechanisms and control over all strategic forces, any imperialism or military conflicts, between the U.S. and USSR. Both the U.S. and USSR would have, within a context of effective international law, been allowed some sway over international relations within its own respective sphere of influence. This would have been a bipolar world within a single federal global government, the UN, but a very different UN than Truman participated in. Hegemony, or global empire, would have been outlawed, and the UN would have had the military forces to back up its authority in that regard. The current international gangland would not exist. International law would have been established and enforced instead of having become the hypocritical farce that it is. It would be FDR’s world, if western democracy would have outproduced communism, which — given Marxism’s crippling labor theory of value — seems likely. Marxist economics was a crippler, but abandoning it means abandoning Marxism.)

    Here, providing a favorable (pro-Rhodesist-regime, anti-Soviet-regime) slant upon the same ugly reality that has just been documented about Rhodesism, is from the CIA’s own retired Miles Copeland’s 1969 book, The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics, the opening of Chapter 2:

    On a cold and rainy February afternoon in 1947 [21 February 1947], one year before the Games Center was established, First Secretary H. M. Sichel of the British Embassy in Washington telephoned Loy Henderson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and African Affairs. He had two messages from the Foreign Office which were “rather important.” They were of a sort that normally should be delivered by the British Ambassador direct to the Secretary of State, George Marshall, but since General Marshall had already left the office for the weekend perhaps, Sichel suggested he could drop off the notes, have a “brief” chat about them, and allow Mr. Henderson a weekend of reflection on them before briefing the Secretary prior to meeting the British Ambassador on Monday morning. 

    Sichel arrived as State Department employees, after a comparatively dull week, were donning their raincoats and galoshes to take off for an indoor weekend. Loy Henderson, who habitually worked until eight or nine o’clock even on Fridays, had sent off all his secretaries and was alone in the office. The scene was the one of utter calm that skillful dramatists often establish to provide the psychological setting for a shattering announcement. 

    The announcement, which Mr. Sichel delivered in the course of his “brief chat,” was certainly shattering. The two messages were official notification that the Pax Britannica, which had kept order in much of the world for over a century, was at an end. Specifically, His Majesty’s Government could no longer afford the $50,000,000 or so that was required to support the resistance of the Greek and Turkish Governments to Communist aggression either, as in the first case, by guerrilla warfare or, in the second, by direct military action of the Soviet Union. Either the United States Government would fill the gap, or it would go unfilled — or it would be left to the Russians. Mr. Henderson, whose considerable diplomatic experience included assignments in Moscow and other capitals in the Soviet orbit, didn’t need a weekend of reflection to realize that more than Greece and Turkey was at stake. The vacuum of which these two countries were a part extended throughout all of southern Europe that was not already behind the Iron Curtain, and through North Africa and the Middle East. With the British announcement, delivered so calmly by Mr. Sichel, the United States was given the choice of becoming an active world power — an “on-the-ground” world power, as a lecturer at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute was later to put it — or seeing the Soviets become a more menacing feature of world politics than Nazi Germany could ever have been.

    THEN P. 38:

    there was the necessary discrepancy between the publicly stated attitude of our Government toward world questions and the attitudes held in the inner sanctums of the State Department and the Pentagon. Early in 1946, George Kennan, during the last few weeks in his assignment as deputy chief of mission in Moscow, wrote a letter to the State Department which correctly outlined the shape of the oncoming Cold War and which was immediately accepted as the definitive analysis of Soviet intentions, outlook and behavior. At the same time, Mr. Kennan argued convincingly that if Europe was to be divided the blame should be placed on the Russians and not on ourselves. Winston Churchill, in a speech delivered at Fulton, Missouri, referred to the “Iron Curtain,” and the presence of President Truman at his side implied official U.S. Government endorsement of such an attitude. Apart from this one lapse, however, official policy was still to pretend that the “spirit of Yalta” guided our actions.

    1. 42:

    Our aboveboard response to the British diplomatic notes of February 21, 1947, was the Truman Doctrine, which was announced, after three weeks of hectic State Department and White House staff work, on March 12. Announcement of the Marshall Plan followed shortly; in July and from then on a flood of editorial, semiofficial and official comment (the latter mainly in the form of college commencement addresses delivered by top government officials) began to deal openly with the Cold War and our policy of “containing” Soviet expansion.

    And here is about the Marshall Plan, which was an extremely effective Cold War tactic.

    And, then, there was the American double-crossing of Mikhail Gorbachev when he ended communism in 1991 and the U.S. secretly continued the Cold War nonetheless, and of post-1991 U.S. coups such as against neutralist Ukraine on Russia’s border in February 2014.

    A typical coup under Truman was the Miles-Copeland-engineered coup against Syria in 1949, which he discussed here. Between the lines he described it as a Deep State operation which carried out what was being kept secret from the President but which was tacitly approved by the State Department. He, of course, never revealed who actually controlled the CIA and the State Department. But he probably knew.

    And, as they say: “The rest is history.” And this is the “history” that we’ve actually been living through and are still experiencing — not the myth that the ‘news’-media merely presume.

    For further information, click on the links in this article. By means of those links (and what’s linked to in those online sources), this article is at least one full book, and it’s all right here, and without any paper. No paper or broadcast medium (TV or otherwise) can do that. Only this type of medium — online text that includes links — can. That’s a crucial advantage of this medium, which you’re now reading.


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    a better stylistic intellectual wheel... in of civilisation and CHAOS...

    sloppy slappings...

    London Slaps Sanctions on Russians, Saudis, North Koreans Over Alleged 'Human Rights Abuses'

    The new restrictions are based on 2018 legislation known as the 'Magnitsky amendment', giving the government the ability to sanction individuals for alleged gross violations of human rights.

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled new sanctions against 49 persons and groups accused of violating 'Magnitsky amendment' legislation from countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Myanmar on Monday.

    "This government is committed to the UK being an ever stronger force for good in the world," Raab said in an address to parliament. "We will hold to account the perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses," he promised.

    "Those with blood on their hands won't be waltz into this country, to buy up property on the Kings Road, do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge, or siphon dirty money through British banks," the foreign secretary added.

    The designations come in the wake of media reports over the weekend promising government action against alleged human rights violators from other countries. The new sanctions are the first of their kind since the UK's exit from the European Union in February.

    The UK's 'Magnitsky sanctions' are based on legislation previously adopted by the US in 2013, and named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who died in a Russian jail in 2019 while being held on suspicion of operating a tax fraud scheme. Western officials and media quickly designated Magnitsky as a whistleblower who uncovered a state corruption scheme. Like the UK's version of the sanctions legislation, the US's Magnitsky Act targeted Russian officials accused of involvement in the man's death by prohibiting them from visiting the US or using the American banking system.


    Russia maintains that there was no malicious intent or criminal negligence involved in Magnitsky's death. In a 2013 interview, President Vladimir Putin stressed that "there was no torture, as has been said, there was nothing else that would require the prosecution of officials. The case is closed."

    Russia Will Respond

    Monday's sanctions include restrictions against 25 Russian officials accused by the UK of involvement in Magnitsky's death, as well as 20 Saudi officials said to be behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate in Turkey in 2018. The sanctions also target 2 generals accused of mass violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, plus two entities for their alleged role in the operation of North Korean prisons.

    The sanctions reportedly included Russian Investigative Committee Chief Alexander Bastrykin. Commenting on the sanctions, the Russian Embassy in the UK said the inclusion of Bastrykin in the sanctions list was especially "outrageous," and warned that Moscow has the right to respond in kind.


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    magnitskical UK hypocrisy...

    Britain unveiled its version of the so-called Magnitsky laws, preaching human rights and justice, but then took all the shine off by resuming arms sales for Saudi Arabia’s illegal war on Yemen.

    If there ever was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, Britain’s shameful and shambolic 24-hours are it. To great fanfare, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab proclaimed to the world that the UK is launching its first ever global sanctions regime.

    There were individuals from Russia, North Korea, and Myanmar on the roll call of dishonor.

    There was also a block of 20 Saudi Arabian nationals who, according to the Foreign Office, are responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

    Not only was he lured on false pretenses and then murdered in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, it’s widely thought that he was then butchered and removed piece by piece in suitcases.

    That fits well Raab’s description of “those with blood on their hands, the thugs of despots, the henchmen of dictators” who will not be able to “buy up property on the King’s Road, to do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge or frankly to siphon dirty money through British banks.”

    Along with the Khashoggi assassination, which has been traced back to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by security services, bin Salman has imprisoned women, including his own cousin, for protesting for their human rights, and at regular intervals detains anyone regarded as a threat to his power. Currently, former Saudi intelligence agent Saad Aljabri is in exile in Canada attempting to free his wife and two kids back in the Kingdom – they were taken hostage in a bid to weaken him, after he fell out of favor with MBS. And these are just things on the surface.

    So it was a jaw-dropping move with the ink barely dry on the sanctions regime when the UK government announced it was going to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia. They had been forced to stop because of the Kingdom’s engagement in neighboring Yemen, another of MBS’ pet projects. He’s trying to ensure the leadership is pro-Saudi and aligns with his agenda.

    The optics became so awful the UK had to halt sales, as according to the UN, 60 percent of the 7,700 civilian deaths were caused by the Saudi-led coalition. Monitoring groups such as Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project put that figure even higher, at 12,000 civilians.

    In the same time period since 2015, Britain has sold £5.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. They only stopped when the Court of Appeal ruled last year that the UK’s decision-making in doing so was unlawful.

    In a nutshell, Yemen has been devastated by the military conflict, which was really a proxy war for other nations. It’s a poor country where the war has created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet right now, with millions of children facing starvation. Images of skeletal kids with swollen stomachs say more than any UN report or newspaper article could ever do.

    Still, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss confirmed she was agreeing to begin selling weapons to the Saudis again because, “In the light of all that information and analysis, I have concluded that... Saudi Arabia has a genuine intent and the capacity to comply with international humanitarian law.” 

    Capacity? Maybe. Intent? Highly unlikely according to their track record. The British pandering to MBS so he’ll sign over more of his petrodollars in orders is embarrassing.

    Not only that, it makes a mockery of the sanctions list.

    Draw a line in the sand – and pick a side. But Britain hasn’t done that, proving under this government, it’s morally bankrupt.

    Arming a warmonger like MBS while sanctioning his sidekicks is lunacy. As a nation, we should be ashamed.


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    the russiian mafia...


    Gus has no way to verify this information but here it is anyway:

    The "backbone" bookmakers turned out to be mafiosi from the 90s  16.05.2020 00:13 
    Business  » Companies 

     After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.

    After a series of investigations, the authors of the Telegram channels and Journalists found out whose company it was, how the business was organized, how it was connected with the Belousov family, and who protected it. But no real beneficiaries were found. The main questions remained unanswered: where did hundreds of millions of dollars go, and how did the money associated with the Russian mafia turn into respectable trust funds in the United States. We will answer these questions.


    Anatoly Machulsky

    Founder of Fonbet

    So, F.O.N. LLC, which is known to everyone under the Fonbet brand, was founded in 1994 by Anatole Machulsky, who died in London on February 17, 2017, at the age of 61. But the company began to bring billions only in the two thousandth - after the ban on legal casinos. And only in 2015, the company showed official white profits. In 2019, revenue has already reached ₽24 billion, and net profit - ₽9 billion.


    Sergey Lalakin

    Nicknamed the Luchok

    Almost all journalistic investigations lead to the fact that Fonbet was closely associated with the Russian Mafia and Sergei Lalakin, nicknamed Luchok. In 1995, the newspaper Kommersant. described in detail the arrest of the leader of the Podolsk group Luchka Lalakin and gave examples of his heroic path, the article is still available to readers and law enforcement agencies of all countries.

    Gambling is exactly where Luchok started. "Since the end of the 80s, Luchok, along with his friends, has taken up" business ": he earned money from thimbles and" dolls ", Kommersant reported in 1995. And Fontanka wrote that in the 1990s Sergey Lalakin participated in the work of the Marathon bookmaker, created by Anatoly Machulsky, the founder of the Chess Shop, the founder of Fonbet. Some journalists wrote about the business connections of Luchka Jr. and a woman whose last name, first name and patronymic match the name of the wife of Andrei Removich Belousov, one of the leading advocates of bookmakers.


    Tatyana Nesterenko

    Deputy Minister of Finance

    In 2020, Novaya Gazeta in its investigation pointed to a possible connection between the Lalakin family and the family of the main curator of the gaming business in the government - Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko. "The Moscow apartment in which the daughter of Nesterenko Marina and her husband, the owner of the Bingo Boom bookmaker, Mikhail Danilov, used to belong to the full namesake of Maxim Sergeyevich Lalakin. In addition, Lalakin owned a house in a cottage village in the Istra district of the Moscow region - next to the house of Tatyana Nesterenko, "the newspaper wrote.


    Stanislav Magomedov

    One of the shareholders of Fonbet

    But these are all indirect connections. There are much more direct ones. One of the shareholders of Fonbet is Stanislav Magomedov, who owns 8% of the company. And he is a partner of Maxim Lalakin in his business. Magomedov owns 40% of the Usadba 150 company, which manages the property of the bath complex in the village of Borki on Rublevka. Co-owner of the bath complex - Lalakin Jr.

    These baths are famous for being not very safe there. Rumor has it that management uses illegal methods of wiretapping and other surveillance there to blackmail unlucky couple lovers and negotiate in an informal setting. Maxim Lalakin Partner of Stanislav Magomedov One can get an idea of ​​the difficult specifics of Magomedov's work by watching this plot, in which the interlocutors at the "negotiation table" take out weapons and start shooting.

    They write that Magomedov could be an active participant in this conversation, which went into firing. After the shootout, the restaurant was of course closed. And now the Fonbet flagship office is located there.

    Stanislav Magomedov share in LLC "F.O.N." departed after the death of Machulsky. In the same 2017, Fonbet was restructured: 35% of the company remained in Russia and was distributed among such organizers as Magomedov, and the remaining 65% hid behind a number of Cyprus offshore companies with a nominee director. Here is what The Bell writes about the owners: "The beneficiary of 65% of Fonbet is hiding behind the Cypriot companies, their main ultimate owner is the nominee Cypriot director. The name of the real owner of this package is unknown to the vast majority of top managers of betting companies and people familiar with this business who have been interviewed by The Bell. The only one who said that he knew the beneficiary of Fonbet refused to give that name".

    The physical protection of the leadership of Fonbet was provided by Jafar Abuev (Jeff), who at that time was an adviser to the chairman of the government of Dagestan (now a deputy from United Russia in the parliament of Dagestan). Despite a high state post, Jafar Abuev is a typical "entrepreneur" of the 90s who, by force, gained actual control over the North Caucasus Railway.

    However, after Fonbet was nevertheless excluded from the list of backbone enterprises, the company began mass reductions of employees, even despite multibillion-dollar profit. People thrown into the street began to call names. But we managed to learn more.

    The heiress of the Russian business of Anatoly Machulsky (Gemma Lux LLC) was his daughter Vasilisa.

    Ownership structure of Gema Lux LLC 

    The next point of the investigation is the chic private club "Freemont Hills" near Los Angeles, of which the whole Machulsky family became members, including Vasilisa and her second daughter, Sophia. The club's regular booklet contains congratulations on their membership.

    Sophia Machulskaya is a citizen of Russia and Israel, and it is easy to trace ties with the business of her father from the time of chess youth. There is information in open sources that she owns the Bulgarian company of her father. 

    Owners of Pux Property

    Around the same time, in 2017, that is, after Machulsky's death, Magomedov appeared in the co-owners of Fonbet, and Sofia Machulskaya began to take an active part in the business life of the United States and Great Britain.

    Sophia Machulskaya owns part of the American hedge fund

    Sophia Machulskaya is engaged in the construction of commercial real estate in California

    Sophia Machulskaya is a participant in millions of dollars of litigation

    Sophia Machulskaya is a co-owner of a company that controls elite real estate in the UK

    She also has companies in Luxembourg and Panama. How law enforcement agencies in the USA and Europe look at its ties with Luchok's partners is not yet known to us. But let's move on to the other beneficiaries of Fonbet.

    Machulsky himself would not have been a grandmaster if he had not looked after a friend, partner and guide in business for the heirs. Such a person was Alexei Vsevolodovich Khobot, who in 2003 was the CEO of Fonbet. Then he worked in software and bought it from world leaders for the site And in 2007-2010, the media presented him as the chief analyst of Fonbet.

    The son of Alexei Khobot owned another bookmaker with a small turnover of 100 million rubles. Market sources believe that it is Alexey Khobot who now represents the Machulsky family: he and the grandmaster's daughters own 65% of the shares that are hidden in Cyprus. They say that Khobot was the ideologist of the scheme of Fonbet's presence in two persons (legal and illegal) and actively lobbied for the preservation of such a structure despite the laws, preferring to "resolve issues" outside the legal field, attracting people associated with government agencies and the mafia. Only the official net profit of Khobot and Machulsky's daughters per year can reach 6 billion rubles. That is, the profit from the game that is played on official resources registered in Russia. His income obtained in this way, Hobot invests in the Cyprus village of Coral Bay.

    They say that the Trunk renounced Russian citizenship in favor of Cyprus and Israel in 2016 in order to more securely hide behind the nominal beneficiary of the Greek Antonis Zertalis. But behind it is not only the white part of Fonbet, which brings official income and taxes in Russia. The fact is that Fonbet evades paying taxes on profits earned from about half of the players. Here is how the Fontanka newspaper described the situation in 2018: "market players explain that the betting market now actually exists in two Internet zones: the" ru "zone and the" com "zone. Everything that passes through the "ru" zone is officially registered and is reported. The "com" zone is actively blocked by Roskomnadzor. The representative of the betting world answered the questions that had arisen: "Neither Roskomnadzor nor the tax can prove anything, and it is unlikely that Fontanka will succeed. And the head of the First Self-Regulatory Organization of Bookmakers, Yuri Krasovsky, reported that about 490 billion rubles came from the illegal sector, that is, the "com" zone.

    The illegal is owned by a Panamanian company. But the director in it is our good familiar face value Antonis Zertalis.

    The relationship of Antonis Zertalis and Anita Sondore 

    The sites of the legal and illegal "Fonbet" are almost identical, and to prove that these sites are managed by the same people would not be difficult at all. Here you can read in detail about the nominal differences between illegal and legal sites:

    A lot in common in the structure of corporate governance. The secretary and president of banned in Russia is jewelry designer Anita Sondore, who is also the director of LEONUM LIMITED, which owned sites banned in Russia.

    Corporate Relations Anita Sondore

    LEONUM LIMITED, in turn, owns mirrors and proxies of the prohibited

    25% of LEONUM LIMITED belonged to Kaplan, through which the money of an illegal casino went. Such a direct legal connection (the same people in the leadership of the legal and illegal Fonbet) always created serious risks for the main "white" Fonbet, but these risks are offset by active GR-work. In 2013, it was an illegal business that caused a serious hit on the company.



    In 2014, a number of "gray" bookmakers had serious problems: on February 20, a criminal case was opened under part 2 of art. 171.2 "Illegal organization and conduct of gambling with the extraction of income on an especially large scale". The Investigative Committee did not name specific suspects - only "unidentified employees of F.O.N." LLC were mentioned. According to the investigation, only from June 27 to July 18, 2013 (that is, for three weeks) the income of F.O.N. LLC from the gray website "" amounted to 60.9 million rubles. But the nominee director did not surrender the real beneficiaries - Machulsky and Trunk. But the main complaints from the authorities were precisely to them. And it was they who were originally the goal of the investigation.

    Here is what Vedomosti wrote at the time: "The criminal case against unidentified employees of the Fonbet was led by the Main Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was then led by General Denis Sugrobov. Later, he himself was sentenced to 12 years for organizing a criminal community and provoking bribes. Unidentified employees were accused of having Fonbet branches accepting Internet bets that were prohibited in Russia at that time. The general director of the company Igor Khokhlov received two years probation, and the case was closed".

    We sent our requests to the participants in the case to the prosecutor's office and the police, as well as to Igor Khokhlov. The main question was: "did the investigating authorities know about the legal connection of the legal Fonbet and the forbidden Fonbet?" But still have not received answers.

    Two years conditionally for a nominee director means only one thing in our system: the parties were able to agree. Sources say that it was at this moment that the share of the Machulsky family and the share of Khobot was hidden, and in addition to the reputable founders, the "resolvers" conglomerate came to the company.

    By the time the investigating authorities began conducting business No. 818517, Konstantin Linev, who in 2014 was the executive director of Fonbet, was responsible for building up schemes for organizing shadow bookmaking. And he did not leave the company even after the initiation of a criminal case - now he oversees the legal service of the bookmaker.

    The materials of the criminal case clearly show how the investigation tried to "not see" the general picture. Switchman Igor Khokhlov, for example, used the premises rented by F.O.N. Gemma Lux LLC (recall, this is Machulsky's company) installed three payment terminals in them, interacting with the website, which is associated with Machulsky and Hobot. But these connections did not interest investigators.

    The mention of in the verdict to Khokhlov I. V.

    Probably, the lawyer Lev Zuber, who was running the case, knew some magical tricks that narrowed the eyes of the investigators (which he could talk about today ...) and Igor Khokhlov today is unlikely to be silent. But back to the outcome of the case.

    First, the company was rewritten to one of the largest franchisees "Fonbet" and a native of the Caucasus - Maxim Kiryukhin. He still remained the chairman of the board of directors and the public face of the company, but today his share, according to SPARK, has decreased to 8.67%.

    Maxim Kiryukhin brought to Fonbet new partners - people associated with the famous inventor and manufacturer of "columns" (slot machines) Igor Khodorkovsky. The columns were installed in stores and at bus stops throughout Russia. Here is how the Kommersant newspaper described the "columns": "Former colleagues on the shop complain that the" excessive greed "of him and those like him, ruined the entire industry in Russia.

    In 1990, Khodorkovsky rented automatic machines for rent, however, no longer for children, but with a monetary gain. The profit from their operation allowed him to organize a company KSI, which took up its own production of gambling equipment. Success came from the stolbik machine developed by the company. The cost of such an apparatus was about $ 500, and this money was "beaten off" in a maximum of two weeks, even in the most remote town.

    The Russian Column took small bills and five-ruble coins, and when the number of installed "columns" exceeded one million, the public seriously started talking about rampant "pillar" gambling. " Columns robbed the poorest people in Russia. After all, you could play them in any village store. But how is Igor Khodorkovsky connected with the Fonbet? Another shareholder of F.O.N. LLC Irina Borodina is indicated. She does not have a serious business in Russia, but she is connected with the "resolver" of the international level - Alexander Burtakov. This is indicated on the site (available only from the USA).

    It is reported that Irina Borodina is Burtakov's wife, we could not confirm this information with documents. But the relationship between Irina and Alexander can be traced very close. In Russia, Alexander Burtakov had the company "FLINT KSI", engaged in "activities for the organization and conduct of gambling and betting" with an authorized capital of 715 million rubles.

    Intellectual developments of the company went to a company with the similar name "Flint-K", the founder of which is called the right hand of Burtakov - Vladislav Viktorovich Kiriyanov. Earlier, the owner of the company was Igor Mikhailovich Khodorkovsky, the same inventor of the "columns", and the general director of Flint-K was Kochura Sergey Viktorovich, responsible for finance, treasurer of Burtakov.

    Burtakov's companies also appeared in the "Panama dossier". In the published papers, you can see that his main offshore is called "IRA 9319", and the director is a Norwegian citizen CHRISTIAN BASIL GRODELAND SCOTTON.

    The fixed connection of Irina Borodina and Alexander Burtakov Ownership and Management Structure of IRA 9319 People who met Alexander Burtakov say that he is the proud owner of yachts and aircraft, which he shows to almost all his interlocutors on the iPad screen. There is something to brag about: his yacht Silencio became the winner of a major international regatta.

    Alexander Burtakov owns many companies in Monaco, USA, Panama, Malta and Great Britain. He, like Trunk, renounced Russian citizenship and appears in all the documents we discovered as an Israeli citizen.

    Burtakov Property in Great Britain

    Sources indicate that it was Burtakov who was behind the Kaplan company - a co-owner of LEONUM LIMITED. It listed the sites of the illegal part of Fonbet. Through the royalty system, laundered money was transferred to accounts. As we were told, the servers and the software part belonged to the competence of Fonbet employee Evgeny Dyachenko. For the financial part of the withdrawal of money through QIWI devices, explained Sergey Baldin, a partner of the owner of the Chronopay (conducting electronic payments) who is in prison. For security in the structures was responsible co-owner of the private security company Prikhodko Alexander Leonidovich.

    Many people call Burtakov a fraudster, whose main activity is to find people who have problems. Using the weaknesses found, Burtakov builds combinations of extorting money from "clients", boasting close ties with senior officials of the presidential administration and other high offices, talking about personal acquaintances with the wives of the powerful, and representatives of law enforcement agencies, including the head of Rosguard Zolotov.

    However, with high probability it can be assumed that despite Burtakov's statements about his capabilities, in fact, the problems of entrepreneurs were solved without his participation, and his connections were not confirmed. If the conflict is not resolved, then, as in the case of Burtakov, you can always knock out money for your "services", and then simply "throw" the payer, attributing everything to insurmountable circumstances. They say that this is the way Burtakov entered the Fonbet project, and that Burtakov's GR budget for "solving problems" of the bookmaker exceeded $ 5 million a year.

    At the end of 2017, the rights to the Fonbet trademarks were sold. During the transaction, the address for sending correspondence was indicated at Building 7 in Likhachevsky Lane in Moscow. Previously, KOMPANIYA CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL SOFTWARE was located at this address, owned by the regional public organization Moscow Freestyle Wrestling Federation. This organization was headed by A. Du Sukhanov, a business partner of a reputable athlete Andrei Alexandrovich Slushaev (Elephant). The companies of Igor Mikhailovich Khodorkovsky (KSI Corporation), Evgeny Yurievich Koltsov and Alexander Petrovich Burtakov are also located at this address. And at the beginning of 2020, the rights to the name "Fonbet" were transferred to the company TM & Ipco Ltd, registered in the UK. And the owners of TM & Ipco Ltd are again Maxim Kiryukhin, Stanislav Magomedov and Alexander Petrovich Burtakov.

    The story of Fonbet in Russia did not end. The awkward move on the state support list led to a number of investigators taking up the company. Surely in the USA, Israel, Monaco and France, they will also be interested in how people associated with the mafia were in the center of financial flows coming from the gambling business. But one can almost certainly say that each country will receive a piece of this pie.

    There have already been precedents in the United States when against companies tied to the most unscrupulous schemes in Russia (for example, the Katsyv case), only economic charges were brought. As a result, everything ended with a peaceful agreement between the parties. Most likely, it will be possible to agree with both Israel and Monaco. But in the UK, the rules are more stringent - there they can first seize the assets, and only then make them prove the lack of connections with crime.

    But the main questions may arise here in Russia. "Why did the street carriages and bandits from the highway get an opportunity to influence the state agenda?" - This is the most difficult and important issue that should be raised not only by the media and telegram channels, but also by the whole society.

    And the "resolvers" will no longer help here - the bookmakers' case has received too much publicity. It is possible to agree with officials, but not with all the people.

    By  Новые известия

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    bill browder lied, lies and will lie...

    The law gives the foreign minister the power to punish foreigners without going to court. The accused are given no chance to provide a defence.


    BY Brian Toohey



    Why is Sergei Magnitsky’s name in the title of an Australian law passed on December 2 called the Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and other Thematic Sanctions) Act 2021?

    The answer is that the Morrison government and the Labor opposition were strongly influenced by an American hedge fund manager Bill Browder who had employed Magnitsky’s firm as a tax accountant and auditor in Moscow. Browder had made a lot of money in Russia after public assets were sold cheaply to local and foreign oligarchs after the fall of communism. Browder left Moscow where he had been living amid conflicting claims over tax avoidance and other allegations.

    The second reading speech on the Australian bill said that as a result of Browder’s advocacy, the US Congress in 2012 passed the Magnitsky Act, banning travel and the freezing assets of the Russian officials had [allegedly] been responsible for Magnitsky’s death in custody on November 16, 2009.

    The German magazine Der Spiegel published a detailed article “Questions cloud story behind US sanctions” on November 20, 2019. It challenged some of Browder’s core claims about what happened to Magnitsky. Browder complained to the German Press Council that the article contained “serious inaccuracies” and “journalistic malpractice”. In 2020, the council rejected the complaint, saying it “could not find any violations of journalistic principles.”

    The British High Court also made findings that don’t support some of Browder’s key claims. Browder, for example, accused a police officer investigating financial allegations, Pavel Karpov, of working to have Magnitsky arrested and killed. Karpov filed a defamation suit against Browder that the British High Court heard in 2013. Judge Peregrine Simon ruled that Britain had no jurisdiction over the matter. In his written findings, however, Simon said Karpov had achieved “a measure of vindication from the view I have expressed” that Browder was “not in a position to justify the allegations that Karpov caused, or was party to, the torture and death of Magnitsky or would continue to commit, or be a party to covering up crimes”.

    Defence counsel then argued on Browder’s behalf that it was not alleging Karpov “personally took part in the ill treatment and/or torture or killing of Magnitsky.”  The defendants also “expressly conceded” Karpov was not involved in what’s called the Rengaz fraud. Simon pointed out that his findings will have no impact on the US Congress which listed Karpov for sanctioning under its Magnitsky Act along with 15 other Russians in April 2013.

    The European Court of Human Rights on August 27, 2019, found Magnitsky’s arrest “was not without cause as it was based on a reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence. The evidence against him, including witness testimony, had been enough to satisfy an objective observer that he might have committed the offence in question.” However, the court found that the extension of his detention, culminating in his death after 11 months, was not justified.

    The judges did not say he had being murdered by Karpov or anyone else, as Browder had claimed. But the court did find Russian authorities had deprived Magnitsky of important medical care and failed to comply with their duty to protect his life while detained. It said he suffered injuries that could “arguably” have been caused by his being beaten by prison officers. The court ruled the Russian authorities should pay Magnitsky’s wife and mother 34,000 euros jointly.

    The new Australian law should have no place in a liberal democracy. It gives the foreign minister the power to punish foreigners without going to a court. The minister can impose sanctions that freeze their assets, ban travel and effectively deny them access to financial services. The alleged culprits are given no chance to provide a defence before being found guilty.

    The crimes cover malicious cyber attacks, serious corruption and serious violation of human rights. No other country includes cyber attacks in their sanctioning powers.  Proving who is the real perpetrator of a cyber attack is almost impossible since leaked CIA documents in 2017 showed it can make it look like an attack comes from some other group when it really comes from the CIA. As a result, Clinton Fernandes, a professor of cyber studies at the University of New South Wales, said: “In the absence of a credible international institution that can provide checks and verification all we have is one country blaming another and vice versa.”

    In 2020, the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade recommended that an independent body be established to advise the foreign minister or who should be sanctioned. The government rejected this, without an outcry from opposition politicians. This left the law with an inherent bias after the government stated that it is a “foreign policy tool”.

    This means, for example, sanctions won’t apply to India where corruption is rife but barely exists in China where individuals will almost certainly be sanctioned for other offences. Serious human rights violations occur in both countries as well as Australia. The US will not be targeted, despite a history of torturing suspected terrorists in secret jails for far longer than Magnitsky suffered. This does not diminish the suffering he endured, but a genuinely independent prosecution process would not be confined to countries who are allies.

    Including an individual’s name in an act’s title is a rare occurrence in Australia, even rarer in the case of someone as contentious as Magnitsky. His name should be removed from the act, which should be scrapped unless it is changed to reflect traditional Australian legal rights. Until that happens, the law will retain authoritarian powers that have no place in a liberal democracy.


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    PLEASE NOTE THAT BILL BROWDER's version (fake) of events WAS fully DEBUNKED BY DER SPIEGEL (a German media that does not like Putin): see bill browder is a fantasist... Bill Browder lies...

    browder is liar….

    Russia's elite businessmen seem to have a problem.  They keep dying in more and more suspicious circumstances.

    Key points:
    • Fifteen high-profile Russian businessmen have died in suspicious circumstances
    • A campaigner against human rights violations believes the deaths were ordered by the Kremlin
    • He suspects the deaths demonstrate Vladimir Putin's desperation to fund his war in Ukraine

    The latest was Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, who died late last month after reportedly falling down a flight of stairs.

    A few weeks before him, Ravil Maganov, chairman of major Russian oil company, Lukoil, died after falling out of a hospital window.

    In May, another top Lukoil manager, Alexander Subbotin, was found dead near Moscow after reportedly visiting a shaman.

    In all, 15 high-profile Russian businessmen have died in mysterious ways since the start of the year.

    Most are officially recorded as suicides but those familiar with Russia's business world see it differently.

    "Generally in Russia, if somebody dies in that way, one should view it as suspicious," says businessman and Kremlin-critic Bill Browder.













    bill browder is a fantasist...

    mad dog's poop....

    Retired US Marine General James Mattis was hired in 2015 to advise the United Arab Emirates about the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Mattis did not publicly disclose the gig when he became secretary of defense in 2017.

    The Post looked into Mattis as part of an investigation into the Gulf state hiring retired US military officers and obtained previously undisclosed documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. 

    Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi at the time, had struck up a friendship with Mattis in 2011, when the Marine general was head of the US Central Command. When Saudi Arabia launched its campaign against the Houthis in Yemen, Mohamed reached out to Mattis, who had recently retired from the US military.

    In June 2015, Mattis applied for permission from the State Department and the Marines to advise the UAE on “the operational, tactical, informational and ethical aspects” of the campaign against Yemen. 

    “I will be compensated,” he wrote by hand on the form submitted to the US Marine Corps on June 4, 2015, with the amount to be determined after US government approval. 

    Robert Tyrer, a senior executive at the Cohen Group – which currently employs Mattis – told the Post that Mattis never accepted money from foreign governments, except the standard travel expenses. According to Tyrer, Mattis put in the compensation claim so his paperwork would receive “the most rigorous level of review.”

    Documents reviewed by the Post show that his application was approved by the USMC after just 15 days, while the State Department gave its blessing on August 5. The process that usually takes “several months, and sometimes years,” lasted just two months, the outlet said. By contrast, the US government took two and a half years to disclose the general’s paperwork to the Post.

    In 2017, when Mattis was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to head the Pentagon, he did not publicly reveal his UAE consulting job in his work history and financial disclosure forms. He did not mention it in his 2019 memoir, either. Several Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee told the Post they did not recall the disclosure coming up during his confirmation hearings, though a committee staffer said it was included in a confidential memo.

    In his application, Mattis said he wanted to “bring American military experience in warfighting and campaigning to bear in terms of strengthening UAE’s efforts.” The Saudi-led coalition spent almost eight years trying to beat the Houthis – with intelligence and aerial refueling support from the US – before admitting defeat and suing for peace.

    The Yemeni group is currently barring passage through the Bab-el-Mandeb Straits to any commercial ships linked to Israel, the US or the UK, in protest over the Israeli offensive in Gaza.






    crooked bill.....

    Bill Browder stuns MPs as he exposes Putin’s oil loopholes