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Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

If this is found to be the case, what is the solution?


By Joe Rothstein

Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 campaign warning us that the result of the presidential election would be rigged. Events of the last few weeks suggest he may have been right and that his presidency is illegitimate.

Here’s what we have learned in those last few weeks:

1. The Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Putin’s government engaged in propaganda and hacking campaigns to influence the outcome of 2016 U.S. election. The use of “hacking” in their assessment is significant for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment.

2. The Russian propaganda campaign mirrored the way the Trump campaign itself used Facebook advertising to target voters, strongly suggesting collusion.

3. The National Security Agency and Equifax, two of the most secure data repositories in the world, reported that they were successfully hacked, undermining claims that state and county voting systems, many built on consumer software, were impenetrable to outside manipulation.

Let’s first consider the propaganda question.

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Remember?

Hillary Clinton to Canadians: Watch Putin in the Arctic as well as in Europe

#WatchThis Space: Arctic Activity

Arctic Activity…. #WatchThisSpace! Keep Watching!

Reminder: Arctic Activity

Update: The Arctic and The Paris Agreement

Now this!

U.S. Treasury Fines Exxon $2M for Violating Russia Sanctions

In other news, this.

Tillerson to Shut Cyber Office in State Department Reorganization

And then this.

Russia says in talks with U.S. to create cyber security working group: RIA

Many parts moving very fast!  Whoa, Nellie! Time out!

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) calls a time-out during a multiple question from an Indian journalist, as India’s Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna smiles during their news conference at the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington June 13, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

#WatchThisSpace

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Here is the report everyone is talking about today. Rarely do I post an article before reading and fully digesting it myself, but this is different. Based on sources deep inside the Russian government, this report validates what we suspected knew all along: that Putin directed these initiatives and that the target, specifically, was Hillary Clinton. So, without having read more than a few paragraphs, I am posting it here to provide immediate circulation. It is long. It is important.

Hacking Democracy

Timeline

(Photo by Alexei Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images; photo illustration by Nick Kirkpatrick/The Washington Post)

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

The White House debated various options to punish Russia, but facing obstacles and potential risks, it ultimately failed to exact a heavy toll on the Kremlin for its election interference.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

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It is also important that we thank the Washington Post team for their dogged pursuit of the truth. We have seen in the past as we see today that persistent investigative reporting is essential to keeping the government on task.  The task is uncovering the truth.

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When I found this article this morning about Venezuelans fleeing to the U.S., I was reminded of a warning I posted not long ago.  The post I was looking for was this one from almost a month ago with an embedded article in which Dr. Vanessa Neumann warned that the next refugee flood would be from Venezuela. Looks like she was right.

What I found in the process, however, was something that had not popped up in my previous searches for archival material documenting Putin’s animus toward Hillary Clinton.

Lo’ and behold this!

With an embedded article from VOA (Voice of America) reporting on the post-parliamentary election demonstrations of December, 2011, this post deserves another look.

Putin: Let Them Wear Tin-Foil Hats!

December 26, 2011

What is striking here is the nature of the demonstrations as described by VOA.

Traditionally, opposition movements march under one banner. They wave similar signs, chant the same slogans and follow a recognized leader. For a ruler, it is easy to negotiate with an organized adversary.

But the key to understanding what happened on Sakharov Avenue Saturday was the proliferation of handmade signs. A myriad of individuals across Moscow dreamed up their own messages, and then fashioned them on kitchen tables, on office computers, or in copy centers.

Putin is not facing an organized opposition movement. He faces something worse: an atomized, but spreading mood of disrespect and rejection.

SNIP

In another Kremlin blooper, the President’s twitter account erroneously released a tweet that described protesters as sheep that provide sex.

In an initial reaction, a large bearded man attended the Dec. 10 protest holding a homemade sign. A big red X was painted over a reasonable depiction of a woolly lamb. The caption: “I am Not a Sheep.”

By Saturday, this theme had evolved into a group of five young women and men holding an even bigger sign, reading: “We are Not Sheep.” They were dressed, head to toe, as rabbits.

SNIP

Other protesters took aim at Mr. Putin’s charge that the protesters were paid by foreign governments and activated by a secret signal from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Signs demanded: “Hillary, Where is My Money?” “Hillary, I am waiting for my money,” “Let’s bankrupt the State Department.”

One man held a sign announcing: “I am Here For Free.”

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Well, wow!  This raises a few questions.

Does any of this seem familiar?  Yes.

  1. The Kremlin was tweeting insults against Putin’s adversaries.
  2. The protestors were creative and made their own signs, some about the tweets and others about the alleged source of the protests.
  3. The protests allegedly originated from Hillary Clinton’s, and therefore U.S. government, interference.
  4. Putin accused her of paying the demonstrators who struck back by asking for their pay or stating they were there demonstrating for free.

This all happened five-and-a-half years ago. Where are we now?

  1. In spite of it all, Putin was elected amid accusations of vote-rigging and followed by opposition protests and counter-demonstrations of support which some reported they were forced by employers to attend. Others claimed they were paid.
  2. The entire Gestalt has the appearance of a playbook.
  3. Somebody gave the playbook to Donald Trump.

There are differences. It does seem that Trump is aware of how Putin played the game.

There are constitutional differences. Putin had previously served two presidential terms ending in 2008. The Russian constitution permitted another run after a hiatus of sorts. Medvedev had stepped in as president for four years while Putin retained leadership of the party. American presidents may not run again after serving two terms. The Russians knew very well whom they were getting in 2012.

While the Russian demonstrations were characterized as “atomized,” implying, to some extent, spontaneous on diverse issues, our marches have been organized around issues by groups with permits. We have, however, like the Russians, been accused of being paid for demonstrating. Some signs in our marches have stipulated that we do this for free in own own free time.

Our next march, the March for Truth, is scheduled for June 3. Again the main march will be in D.C. with large marches in other major cities. From the look of the map on this page, many sister-marches have been organized in every state and also in Europe.  If you cannot get to a major city, you can find one near you or even organize your own in your area.

We are left, finally, with one last question. Will we end up, as Russia did, under the thumb of the guy we protest?

Since the 2011 protests were against parliamentary elections the people perceived as rigged, Putin was working with a legislature sympathetic to him.  We, currently, are in the same boat. We do have the opportunity, with special elections and the mid-terms in 2018, of overturning the majority party in the Senate and the House.

If we do not do everything we can to flip the necessary seats, we can indeed end up with a Congress that will do little if anything to oppose draconian measures the Trump administration proposes.

One of the many issues the Russians protested in 2011 was this, also according to the VOA article.

Others protesters noted that the Kremlin sent condolences to Pyongyang after the death of Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s “Supreme Leader,” but neglected to send condolences to Prague after the death of Vaclav Havel, the anti-Soviet activist and elected President of the Czech Republic.
On Sakharov Avenue, named after the Soviet-era dissident, elderly protesters carried black and white photographss of the late Czech President, with the inscription: “Havel Would Be With us!”

Hillary Clinton, of course, attended Havel’s funeral with former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Hillary wore a headpiece Havel had an artist friend make for her.

As I said at the time of publication:

As far as we know, it does not transmit secret signals.  Neither does the State Department have a budget sufficient to pay off all of Russia.  It is not known whether Putin’s treasury is large enough to provide tin-foil hats for the populace, but given their mood, we doubt they would wear them.  More likely, if that guy with the Picasso display is any barometer,  they would find some artful way to use the tin foil to fire back at Putin.

Right, but they ended up with the dude anyway.

 

 

 

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In chapter 11 of Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton discusses Vladimir Putin blaming her for Russian civil unrest following the December 2011 parliamentary elections. By December of 2016, accounts began appearing in the press attesting to Putin’s interference in our election as a direct response to Hillary’s purported influence over the Russian protestors.

Now, The Hill reports that U.S. intelligence sources heard and transcribed a Russian intel agent bragging about his organization targeting Hillary.

US spies heard Russian intelligence agent vowing to target Clinton: report

US spies heard Russian intelligence agent vowing to target Clinton: report
© Getty

U.S. spies reportedly heard a Russian military intelligence officer bragging about his organization planning to target Hillary Clinton in May 2016.

The officer told a colleague that GRU would cause havoc in America’s presidential election, Time reported Thursday.

The officer reportedly described the intelligence agency’s effort as retribution for what Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Clinton’s influence campaign against him while serving as secretary of State.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials told Time that American spies transcribed the conversation and sent it to headquarters for analysis.

Time reported that an official document based on the raw intelligence was then circulated.“We didn’t really understand the context of it until much later,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

Putin publicly accused Clinton of conducting a major operation against Russia when protests erupted in more than 70 cities in 2011.

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Ten days into the new administration, a Russian military push in the Arctic was the subject of concern and a post here. At the time, both Russian appropriation of Arctic waters for drilling and Russian control of Arctic sea routes as those waters thaw (guess why) were the issues. Days later, on Thursday February 2 came this post: Throwback Thursday: I TOLD You to #WatchThisSpace!!!  The issue there was disclosure of oil company funds going to foreign governments.

Here we are 13 weeks later, and oh what a tangled web we see described by Dr. Vanessa Neumann in The Daily Beast today.  Dr. Neumann, Daily Beast points out, is “a Venezuelan-American and president of the trade integrity and political risk consultancy Asymmetrica.”

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Double Deal

Russia Gave to Citgo, Then Citgo Gave to Trump

Many big oil companies funded Trump’s inauguration. Only one is deeply in debt to the Kremlin.

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

04.27.17

The oil company’s half-million donation to Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee wasn’t illegal. But it certainly wasn’t moral. And the cash may have come from the Kremlin, at least indirectly.

Recently released Federal Election Commission filings show that Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (known as PDVSA) gave Trump more money than Shell or Walmart. The donation is unusual for PDVSA: Citgo had not donated to previous presidential inaugural committees.

Citgo’s donation to the Trump Inaugural Committee and the horrifying images emerging from Venezuela’s weeks of brutally repressed protests (26 killed, 437 injured, and 1,289 arrested—according to Venezuela’s attorney general; Venezuelan prisoner rights NGO Foro Penal says 1,536 have been “detained” as of April 25) are connected: Russian money and influence is behind both of them. Some of those detained are tortured in Venezuela’s equivalent of CIA headquarters, known as “The Tomb,” for its subterranean torture chambers. The Inaugural Committee donation came days after Citgo (a Delaware-incorporated company with operational headquarters in Houston) mortgaged 49.9 percent of its holdings to Rosneft, an oil company controlled by the Kremlin. That enabled Citgo’s parent company PDVSA to make its bond payments. Rosneft is sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. So is its CEO, Igor Sechin, “Russia’s Darth Vader.” One of the most feared men in Russia, Sechin is close to Vladimir Putin and is one of Putin’s key instruments of geopolitical power. Net net: If Venezuela defaults on its bond payments, Rosneft (i.e., Putin & Co.) could own several refineries, nine pipelines, and distribution terminals all across the Eastern U.S., from Texas to Maine, without any government oversight. If the Russians end up owning Citgo, they will be using American consumers to fund their autocracy and Assad’s brutality in Syria.

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Yes, you read that correctly.  No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Holy moly!  Sechin’s name comes up as does, in a very disturbing way, Rosneft.  Where did we see those names before?  Oh, right!  The Christopher Steele memos!  Those documents were highlighted in a second, then seemingly unrelated, post here also on February 2:  Throwback Thursday Part II: The Russians, the Memos, the Sanctions – The Art of the Steal.

Dr. Neumann has pulled the whole cat’s cradle into a coherent web that reaches, now, from the Arctic to the Caribbean to the Middle East and remains about Russia, oil, money, Syria, and elections, and threatens a new refugee crisis.

As we approach the 100th day, remember this from 13 weeks ago?  We still do not know who bought those shares. It’s a good guess that Carter Page knows.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.

10-19-16-z-15

Keep watching this space!  Here’s a pretty picture for #ThrowbackThursday.

 

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Last Thursday, I mentioned the new administration’s tactic of choice, diversion.  This week, thanks to George Lakoff, we have a handy diagram for the analysis of tweets from Trump.

So it comes as no surprise that while Trump lobbed a grenade at Nordstrom’s and while we were all attending to the ninth circuit court of appeals which upheld the stay on the immigration ban and the endless confirmation hearings,  the explosions were happening elsewhere.

Last night and today, massive immigration raids were taking place in at least six states.

U.S. immigration authorities made a series of arrests in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said.

The raids, which appeared to target scores of people, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. Immigration lawyers and advocates said some of the enforcement efforts included traffic stops and checkpoints, though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials disputed those accounts, saying the agency does not use checkpoints while engaging in targeted enforcement operations.

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These followed the very high profile deportation of an Arizona woman who had reported as required of her to a local ICE office.

Typically, while we attend to all of this, we are supposed to be distracted from the Russia story, but that one grew extra legs just this evening. It appears that U.S. investigators have been able to corroborate portions of the dossier we referred to last week as the Christopher Steele Memos.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier

Coupled with that one was this.

 National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

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This story, of course, is the elephant in the room. The Russian connection to the Trump campaign and White House impugns the integrity of the election and the intentions of the administration with regard to Russian sanctions, not only for alleged election hanky-panky but also those imposed over Russian incursions in Ukraine. It lends credence to the idea that Putin’s antipathy to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was based on a lot more than a personality conflict and his idée-fixe that she somehow orchestrated mass demonstrations following the Russian parliamentary elections in 2011.

Deep Throat told Bob Woodward to follow the money. It is not hard to imagine that transactions involving Donald Trump might revolve around money. Alex Mohajer, late of Bros4Hillary, has constructed bulletin board worthy of Carrie Mathison from a series of interlocking documents. It is not complete, but is the best job of connecting the dots so far.

THE ROSNEFT RECEIPTS

Alex Mohajer @alexmohajer This morning

In light of Wash Post’s explosive article revealing Trump’s NSA Flynn contacted Russian officials BEFORE inauguration to discuss lifting sanctions, it’s getting harder to ignore growing evidence that Trump was involved with Russian oil deal.

See the documents >>>>

From this, we can see what entities acquired those mysterious Rosneft shares even if principals behind it remain shrouded.  it’s great detective work!  We can be relatively sure Alex will not let this opus rest here, so we can be reasonably sure that he will elaborate as he finds additional evidence. We look forward to that.

As for Hillary, she has steered clear of the Russian story which she tried to expose at the October 19 presidential debate. She did, however, register a reaction to the court decision on Thursday. Touted as ultimate shade, her tweet was concise.

Feb 9

 3-0

Ha!

09-26-16-z-24

The thing never to ignore is that Trump and the Republicans are working as a team. Wherever the fireworks go off, look elsewhere.  And watch this space.

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