As the Quicksand Closes Over WADA’s Head…a Lifeline is Thrown From the Unlikeliest Quarter

Uncle Volodya says,

Uncle Volodya says, “Sports is like a war without the killing.”

On so many evenings in Moscow, when the working day is done and it’s Miller Time, and Vladimir Putin goes home to his disgustingly decadent Italianate palace, he must run up to his bedroom, throw himself upon his giant four-poster (caparisoned in black silk embroidered with the double-headed imperial eagle, £376.00 from Bespoke Bedlinens of London), and laugh until tears come to his eyes at the modern comedy which is human nature.

Oh, I was just kidding about the palace and the fancy bed; I made up the latter, and the former is a perennial fable from circus-clown fatboy and ‘Kremlin insider’ Stas Belkovsky. I personally doubt Mr. Putin needs the trappings of opulence to any significant degree – he rides a high every day of running the world’s biggest country, and diddling the west until it weeps angry tears of frustration.

Consider the classic example of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) recent fall from grace. It went from thumping its chest and promising the McLaren Report would go through Russia like shit through buckwheat, harvesting government ministers as it went, to making excuses for the debacle whereby it had to admit there was not enough evidence contained in the report for individual prosecutions.

What a bitter pill that must have been to swallow. Note, please, the new appearance of terms like ‘alleged’ and ‘implicated’. Because it wasn’t always that way, was it? No, indeed; it wasn’t. Let’s recall WADA Director Sir Craig Reedie’s gloating tone in the agency’s statement which accompanied the release of the McLaren Report:

The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology…The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games…The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service (FSB); the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP); and, both Moscow and Sochi laboratories…Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations

In fact, the McLaren Report does no such thing. It does make a lot of allegations, but it – embarrassingly – relied almost exclusively on ‘disclosures’ from nutball-for-hire Grigory Rodchenkov. Rodchenkov previously spent time in a mental institution, although that was quite possibly a dodge employed to avoid prosecution for involvement in a doping ring, and an investigation which netted his sister Marina.

McLaren claimed to have seen a demonstration of how the tamper-proof sample bottles could be opened, cleaned, refilled and resealed without breaking the cap or leaving any obvious sign of tampering. If he did, it was not to the very best of my knowledge ever repeated for experts in the field. FSB involvement was never substantiated by evidence, and Berlinger (manufacturer of the sample bottles) stood by their product in a statement issued following the release of the McLaren Report. It provided, in part;

In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open.

The people who made the bottles and know them best say their experts and an independent testing entity could not get the sealed bottles open without either breaking the cap – which is designed to happen, verifying the bottle has been opened either by the testing agency, legitimately, or for potentially nefarious tampering with the contents – or showing obvious signs of damage. McLaren has not demonstrated his mystery method which he says convinced him it could be – and was – done, and I’m betting he never will. As so often occurs in sanctimonious western sermonizing on the subject of Russia and its myriad evils, it’s “I just know. Never mind how; just trust me”.

Never mind Richard McLaren being so full of shit he squeaks on the high side of a tight turn. Never mind Richard ‘Dick’ Pound simultaneously holding the chairmanship of the Independent Investigation Commission and a board position at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), to which Russian athletes had to appeal their prohibition from participation in the Rio Olympics. Predictably, none were successful, and I leave it to your imagination what the western reaction would be in similar circumstances, in which a Russian independent investigation team found western sports figures guilty of widespread doping covered up by their governments (an entirely believable scenario, by the way; Sir Bradley Wiggins, Commander of the British Empire, was permitted to ‘retire’ with his knighthood intact although he received a ‘pre-emptive’ intramuscular injection of a powerful steroid on the eve of a major race, ‘just in case’, when he was not even showing any symptoms of the asthma he said plagued him throughout his career although he did not mention it anywhere in his autobiography, My Time), and recommended blanket sanctions against western athletes while the same Russian sports administrator sat on the investigations commission and the court of appeals. You already know all this.

No, what I want to talk about today is the astounding lifeline, thrown to a floundering WADA, by…Vladimir Putin.

According to WADA, Mr. Putin “urged his country to heed the demands of the McLaren Report”. It’s not surprising they would pitch it that way, since Sir Craig Reedie only a week or so ago dangled the possibility of rapid reinstatement for RUSADA – provided there was broad acceptance in Russia of the findings of the McLaren Report. For obvious reasons, WADA wants Russia to admit to systemic cheating in a way that it cannot easily recant, and for equally obvious reasons it is not going to do that.

WADA is resolutely focused on supporting the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to return to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, but it is first important that there is acceptance of the findings of the McLaren Report in Russia.

Sidebar, please, for just a tick: do you really believe for a second that if a western agency had conclusive, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ proof of Russian state-sponsored drug cheating, taking into account the number of medals won by Russian athletes in a competitive environment that only becomes more politically-charged every Olympics, that it would abandon the chance to show its evidence to the world in favour of offering a water-under-the-bridge redemption? Really???

Having bungled the investigation, exaggerated the potential for damage, punished the mostly innocent and lied about the evidence contained in the report, what Gods smiled on WADA that caused Vladimir Putin to cave in to their demands just in time to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Well, he didn’t exactly do that. What he did say, rather than that Russia should accept the demands of the McLaren Report, was that the Russian sports world “should listen to WADA”.  Predictably, you have to go to RT for what he actually said, rather than what WADA would like you to think he said. If you do that, you will note right away that he specifically repudiates the conclusions of the McLaren Report, and while he stipulates that the Russian anti-doping system failed in that it did not catch dopers before they went on to compete internationally – and sometimes win medals – which is no more than the truth, there is nothing astounding or revelatory about that. Every major country has had such cases. Similarly, he specifically reiterates that there was no state-sponsored support for doping, the exposure of which was the entire mandate of the McLaren Report.

The main thing is that despite the shortcomings in the work of [Mclaren’s] independent commission, we should pay attention to what it did, to the results of its work. We must listen to WADA’s demands. Because we have to admit that we have proven cases of doping useThis is absolutely unacceptable and it means that the Russian anti-doping system failed, and it’s our fault – we should spell it out and admit itIn Russia, there has never been and, I hope, will never be a state doping support system; on the contrary, there will only be anti-doping actionI’m counting on the Investigative Committee to see the probe [into the doping cases] through to the end, and to expose everyone guilty.

To expose everyone guilty. Well, that’s a laudable objective, surely? Did the western proceedings surrounding the McLaren Report – to call it ‘flawed’ is like saying “Citizen Kane” might have had a message to it – expose everyone guilty? It certainly did not. What it did in its place was use trumped up potential evidence which never materialized to substantiate imposing collective punishment – anathema in a progressive democracy – on those who had in the great majority of cases done nothing wrong at all.

I’m getting kind of worked up about this all over again, and I don’t want to sidetrack you with it, because none of that is the point, either, although its all important background.

Consider. WADA, the agency that could not say enough bad things, could imagine no insult vile enough to accurately describe Vladimir Putin and his loser nation only a couple of months ago, when it was still confident that momentum would translate to victory…now regards him as wise and credible. Recognition of Russia’s doping problem ‘at the highest political levels’ is now an encouraging sign of serious leadership, from a government that only months ago was a recalcitrant part of the problem, bursting at the seams with liars who were only interested in covering up for cheaters and protecting their doper athletes. Remarkable. And Mr. Putin admitted to nothing in exchange for this collective outpouring of recognition. Russia has doper athletes. Obviously – and regrettably – that is true, although it should be noted that in the case of ‘whistleblower’ Yulya Stepanova, Russia’s approach was to bar her from competition for two years, while WADA’s approach was to pull whatever strings it could to get her to compete at Rio under the Olympic flag.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said investigators had “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping program in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport embodied within the World Anti-Doping Code”.

There was also concern expressed for Yuliya Stepanova, the Russian runner whose evidence helped expose her nation’s doping scandal, but will now not be allowed to compete in Rio under a neutral flag.

Wada has been very vocal in supporting Yuliya’s desire to compete as an independent athlete,” added Niggli.

Never interfere with the enemy while he is in the process of making a mistake. A whole series of them, in fact. Game, set and match.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Government, Politics, Russia, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,994 Responses to As the Quicksand Closes Over WADA’s Head…a Lifeline is Thrown From the Unlikeliest Quarter

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    Well, d’uh! Rockfeller was born under Nicholas II the Bloody, survived Lenin, Stalin, all GenSecs, Perestroika, Rough 90s under Yeltsin the Drunk… and died exactly when Putin the Dark One was in charge! Naturally, there could be only one conclusion! #PutinDidIt.

    P.S. And Russian hackers.

  2. Chinese American says:

    Speaking of corruption and cover-up in sports, the CEO of the US gymnastics fed has just resigned under pressure, as accusations of sexual abuse–hundreds of cases over many years–pile up:

  3. et al says:

    Neuters: IMF delays more aid to Ukraine to assess cost of blockade–business.html

    The International Monetary Fund has postponed a decision to disburse more aid to Ukraine in order to assess the impact of an economic blockade Kiev imposed on separatist-held territory, the IMF and Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday.

    The IMF’s Executive Board was due to meet on Monday to approve more assistance as part of a $17.5 billion bailout program for the war-torn nation, in exchange for the pro-Western government passing reforms and tackling corruption.

    But Ukraine and the IMF must first assess the fallout from a decision last week by President Petro Poroshenko to suspend all cargo traffic with rebel-held territory, the finance ministry and central bank said…

    …Updated macroeconomic forecasts are to be provided to the IMF,” the central bank said in a statement on Sunday.

    “Dialogue and technical consultations with the IMF are continuing,” it said, adding that the bank would hold an unscheduled monetary policy meeting on Monday.

    The IMF said in an email its board meeting was delayed “to allow staff time to assess the implications of recent developments for the program. Staff expect to announce a new date soon.”…

    Bets anyone? before the end of the week or the month?

  4. et al says:

    EU Observer: MEPs reject ban on Arctic oil drilling

    MEPs have rejected a proposal saying that the EU should work for a total ban on oil drilling in the Arctic.

    The proposal was part of the European Parliament’s report on an integrated EU policy for the Arctic, which was voted on Thursday (16 March).

    MEPs voted to remove parts of the report that called for a future total ban on oil drilling and extraction of Arctic oil and gas, and that the EU should pressure international partners to put an end to offshore drilling in Arctic waters.

    They let through, however, a paragraph supporting a ban on oil drilling in the icy Arctic waters of the EU and the EEA, a proposal without larger effect as Norway already bans drilling of icy waters…

    Hang on a sec! I thought it was only the eeevil Russians who supported Arctic oil drillilng?

    No breakdown of the vote yet.

  5. et Al says:

    Euractiv: Think tank slams Mogherini for not taking Russian disinformation seriously

    A Czech think tank has slammed EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini for spending two years avoiding taking the Russian disinformation threat seriously. The appeal has been signed by high-profile personalities such as Russia’s Gary Kasparov and a former president of Estonia.

    In its open letter to Mogherini, the European Values think tank describes “the aggressive actions of the Kremlin” as “unprecedented in the modern era”.

    “Invasion of neighbouring countries, massive bombings and killings of civilians, and the first annexation of a foreign land by force since World War II, constant violations of other states’ borders, kidnapping foreign citizens, harassment of foreign diplomats, or massive cyber attacks are all in Russia’s current regime toolkit,” the think tanks writes.

    It further says that all these offensive actions are “accompanied by a massive, persistent, ongoing, brutally aggressive disinformation campaign”…

    I’m not sure how any think tank with that fruit cake Gary Kasparov can be taken seriously. has a ‘Kremlin watch’. European Values Think-Tank is legally a civic association.

    Anyways… Euractiv also carries this: Challenges facing the EU media sector


    It’s not too bad except for the claim by one person that ‘the narrative on the EU is shaped too much by the Anglo-Saxon press’, which it total bullshit.

    • Jeremn says:

      That think tank is behind Kremlin Watch, a hub of anti-Russian disinformation. Looking at their annual report for 2014 I see they have Open Society, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of the UK and something called the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (which looks like it has NATO connections) as funders.

      The usual suspects.

      • et Al says:

        Something funny happened to my comment where I also highlighted what you picked up Jeremn. You can see it has been around for a few years (2008) and is a bit of a shoe string operation even on its first page that list 2012 as its last annual report all in czech (and all uploaded on 21 October 2013) but 2015 is actually available – how is it that even the most squealing of anti-Russian groups still refuse to spend any money? A bit like NATOs piddling tank force in the Balts. Put your money where your mouth is, no?

        The second piece by Euractiv I posted though looks like a fairly reasonable look at the failure of traditional media, noting that the 2008 financial crisis was bad for a lot of media and concentrated what was left in even few hands that are solidly pro-establishment.

        • Jeremn says:

          What’s odd for me is that an entity funded by the European Commission puts out selective criticism on a functionary of the European Commission. Would have made a good play by Gogol.

          • et Al says:

            It’s not ‘odd’ at all for Brussels. After all, EU is like a camel – a horse created by a committee. Well, by committees

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    Helmer on Hill, about whom there was an earlier discourse here:


    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Fiona Hill, resident in the USA, not to be confused with her namesake in Whitehall:

      UK national; a Harvard PhD, then an academic, and between 2006 and 2009 “the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council” —see link within link above.

      This Hill, however, has publicly stated that she considers herself to be an historian.

      As discussed in an earlier thread above, whilst chasing her academic qualifications on both sides of the Pond, the Washington Fiona Hill has spent very little time in the Empire of Evil.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    No cheese in Mordor?

    Danilovsky market near Tulskaya metro station, not so far from my town house.

    From the Istrian Dairy, a private enterprise set up by some enterprising chaps:

    Don’t stop those sanctions!


  8. Jeremn says:

    Amazing work by Helmer, this time an investigation into what the Australian officials are saying behind the scenes whilst Blame-Russia-for-MH17 rumbles on in public:

    “According to the new disclosures, the Australian Government believed in 2014 — and Brandis and Turnbull believe still — that in the daylight hours before MH17 was shot down, Ukrainian Government military forces were using the overflight of civilian airlines in eastern Ukraine as shadow and shield for attacks against ground targets in the belief the separatist forces would not return fire for fear of hitting the civilian airliners.”

    [the key evidence is that there could have been Ukrainian fighters in the air at the time, but that they were probably armed with air-to-surface missiles and so “there was no other aircraft flying in the vicinity of flight MH17 that could have shot it down” — which is not the same as saying that there were no aircraft there. These jets were hiding under the civilian airliners and also, and most likely, being used by Ukrainian BUKs for training purposes.]

    • et Al says:

      A long time back, before she wast Motorola’s missus, Elena Kolenkina. said on youtube that that was what the Ukrainian airforce were doing.

      Militia Soldier – Elena, from Sloviansk – 6/18/14

      See from 1:10

      For example an incident that happened recently. A passenger plane was flying by. And Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped his bombs on residential sector Semenkova town. Then he regained altitude and hid behind the passenger plane again. Than he left.They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would be a global catastrophe. Civilians would have died. Then they would say that terrorists here did it.

      Save a copy peeps.

      • Jeremn says:

        Maybe a good idea to send the link to Helmer. And Helmer’s article and the link to Pieter Omtzigt, the only official to show any enthusiasm for finding out what happened.

      • davidt says:

        In general I don’t find Helmer to be a clear writer, and sometimes he is mistaken. For example, some time ago he was confused and published a photograph of the wrong model Buk- I got into an argument with Mark because of this. Further, I don’t think he properly understands the principles of a doppler radar. There is little doubt that the Ukrainian Sukhois have hidden behind civilian planes when they were low, for example, as they were landing. However, I don’t see how you hide a Su-25 under a Boeing that is flying at 33,000 feet. In my opinion the most damning evidence that the JIT report is “mistaken” is the Russian radar evidence, which states that there was no launch of any Buk from Snizhne.

        • marknesop says:

          It would not have to be an SU-25, and it does not have to be hiding directly behind the airliner. It only needs to be in its ‘radar shadow’, which is to say the envelope inside which a missile acquisition radar is likely to acquire the airliner rather than the military aircraft, which is much smaller.

          The object is not to be invisible – the originator of the question seems to be hung up on the idea that two blips would be seen on the radar. Very likely, unless the fighter was very close to the airliner. But this is not necessary. He just needs to be close enough that anyone trying to shoot him down will likely have his acquisition signal captured by the larger, fatter target. To do that, the fighter only needs to fly close enough that he and the airliner are simultaneously in the search radar’s field of view. In this example, the Ukrainian fighter is accused of deliberately putting the airliner at risk, causing any potential defenders to hold their fire for fear of hitting the wrong target.

          • davidt says:

            If the Boeing was shot down by a Buk, as I guess it is most likely, then it would be nice to know from whence it was fired, for then it is likely that we would know who fired the missile. The Russians seem to have produced strong technical evidence that it wasn’t from Snizhoe. Unless this evidence is shown to be dishonest or technically faulty I am strongly inclined to believe it. In any case, if a Buk was fired I find it difficult to believe that there is no (recorded radar) evidence of it anywhere. There are “witnesses” who claim to have seen a Mig-29, whilst others say they saw a Su-27. I remain skeptical that it was either for various reasons- both planes, especially the Su-27, have dominant twin vertical tail fins, and the Su-27 seems to be too large to fit the Russian radar evidence. (From the train, coming out of Irkutsk, I caught a glimpse of what I assume was a Su-30 and the twin fins were “huge”.) The “best” eye-witnesses seem to be silent on what sort of plane it was… I don’t understand why- probably because the jet was small and quite high. If I were forced to guess, I would say that the Boeing was shot down by a Ukrainian Buk- possibly by mistake, and that a Su-25 pilot climbed through the broken cloud cover to investigate what was already a stricken Boeing. (Russian radar then picked the Sukhoi up.) But who knows, so much is being hidden. I should say that I respect Helmer very much- he is unique, and I listen to him whenever I have the opportunity. Very occasionally he is interviewed on Australian radio. I am not surprised by the machinations of our politicians but…

            • marknesop says:

              For me, the oddest note is the Ukrainian determination that it be a BUK system which was responsible, and its emphatic rejection of every other possibility. That tends to make it appear they are using it as cover for something else. Substantiating that view was their announcement that they had ‘found’ a large piece of a ‘BUK missile’ (the SA-11) in the wreckage, where it would be practically impossible for it to be. The missile explodes near the target by proximity fusing, and no part of the missile itself should be in the wreckage except its fragmented payload. The pieces of the missile body should have fallen to earth where it exploded, which was nowhere near the site the plane came down as it flew on for miles.

              • Jen says:

                It would not be the first time that the Ukrainians use a second despicable act (firing an SA-11 missile from a BUK missile delivery system to explode over MH17) to cover up a first act (puncturing the cockpit of the jet, killing the flight crew and creating a decompression emergency). Recall that a couple of months earlier, participants at a rally for Ukrainian federalisation in Odessa were driven by “soccer hooligans” into the Trade Union Building there to be beaten up, tortured and killed by thugs waiting for them. Then the building was set on fire to cover up the beatings and murders.

                Incidentally here’s a PDF of the State Coroner of Victoria’s inquest findings – on page 7, he states that the Dutch Safety Board found no “pre-formed fragments” (that is, missile shrapnel) in the bodies of the passengers or the rest of the Malaysia Airlines staff on board.

          • Jen says:

            Could it have been a MiG-29 hiding in the Boeing’s radar shadow at 30,000 feet (10,000 metres)? I have heard that a MiG-29 can be mistaken for an Su-25 on radar and recall reading somewhere that Polish pilots know Ukrainian airspace well and that a Polish pilot could have been shadowing MH17 before it was shot down.

            • marknesop says:

              It’s possible; although its ideal role is not ground attack, most everything with wings on the Ukrainian side was pressed into service to that end. And it has the altitude, although it would not be necessary to be right beside or below the aircraft to use it as a shield. Not practically possible, in fact, owing to buffeting and turbulence from its passage.

    • marknesop says:

      Helmer is a simply remarkable researcher; his mind seems to work on a completely different level and I don’t know how he finds out some of the stuff he does, or how he reasons where to look (since it all seems to be in the public domain somewhere).

      As I have mentioned more than once before, this clip of Donbass fighter Elena, from Slavyansk (her what wed the late Motorola a bit later on) foreshadowed the death of MH-17. Recorded almost exactly a month before that tragedy, she describes how a Ukrainian ground-attack aircraft ran a bombing attack on the village of Semenovka…using a civilian airliner for cover. He approached in close proximity to the airliner, dropped and carried out his attack run, and then ascended to take up his station on the airliner again. Anyone attempting to shoot a missile at him would most likely have hit the airliner instead, as there was virtually no altitude separation (as she describes it) and the airliner obviously would make a much bigger, non-maneuvering target.

      • shargash says:

        I don’t doubt that the Ukrainians would do that. What confuses me, however, is why they would. MANPADS don’t have the range to hit an airliner at MH17’s height, and the rebels had no BUKs (or anything else that I’m aware of) that could have hit MH17. Hence, there would be no reason to worry about shooting at the Ukie fighter.

        Am I missing something?

        • marknesop says:

          I don’t think they were too sure what the rebels actually had. Remember, there was constant alarmist rhetoric that Russia had supplied the rebels with advanced air defense systems, along with thousands of tanks and I don’t know what-all. It was almost completely bullshit, of course, but they had to act like they believed it, and they probably did not let the military in on the secret.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            No less an authority than Eliot Higgins says that the Russian-backed terrorists had BUKs suplied by Russia. He even says that he knows the names of the Russian artillerymen who operated the systems for the dumb terrorists.

            Who can argue with Eliot?

        • Jen says:

          It would make sense for Ukrainian fighter jets to fly close to civilian airliners to take advantage of the radar shadows the airliners offer if the Ukrainians believed that the rebels were receiving help from the Russian army and the Russian were using radar to locate the fighter jets. Recall that earlier in June 2014, a Ukrainian fighter jet flew over Lugansk and shot missiles into the city, destroying (or partly destroying) the town hall building and killing at least two women. The Ukrainians probably thought they would not be that lucky again and that next time they flew fighter jets over Lugansk or Donetsk oblasts, the rebels would be ready for them. That the rebels were actually on their own, getting at most humanitarian aid from the Russian side, and had no offensive military equipment, isn’t the issue; it’s what the Ukrainians believed at the time that matters.

          The other possibility is that the Malaysia Airlines jet had been deliberately singled out for attack and the BUK missile delivery system was part of a plan to cover up that attack and make it look as if the rebels did it or as if it was an accident. There were at least three other civilian passenger jets flying over the same area within 30 minutes of MH17’s flight and two of these jets (both Singapore Airlines) were flying from Paris and Copenhagen respectively to Singapore. The third jet (Air India) – whose flight crew were asked by Ukrainian air traffic controllers to make contact with MH17, that was how close it was to the doomed jet – was flying from Delhi to Birmingham.

          Any one of these three jets could have been shot down as well by accident by rebels or the Ukrainian army. But the possibility that Malaysia Airlines was a deliberate target – given that the airline had already suffered the loss of another passenger jet earlier in the year and Malaysia already had a reputation as an insubordinate nation for having successfully ridden out the 1998 Asian financial meltdown by not following IMF or World Bank advice and for having hosted a war crimes tribunal for the past few years prior to 2014 that embarrassed the US, the UK and Israel (and Israel started an all-out genocide drive against Gaza on 17 July 2014) – always exists.

  9. et Al says:

    The Register: Terror intel sparks America’s laptop, tablet airplane cabin ban: Who, what, where, why, when

    …Now senior US Homeland Security officials, who asked not to be named, have told The Register the rules follow evaluated intelligence that suggests terrorists are targeting flights with electronic devices. Specific details about any possible threats were not provided…

    …The 10 airports affected by the US-levied ban are: Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan; Cairo International Airport in Egypt; Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey; King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia; King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait; Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco; Hamad International Airport in Qatar; Dubai International Airport, in the United Arab Emirates; and Abu Dhabi International Airport, in the United Arab Emirates. Contrary to previous reports, the crackdown affects only travelers flying to the US from these airports.

    Airlines that must obey the new rules, because they run flights from the above airports to America, include: Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways…

    Remember kids, Gulf States are not have nothing to do with terrorism ISIL/ISIS/IS/DAESH/Whatever and they certainly do not fund Sunni jihadis and take advantage of other moslem countries to spread their poison. ALLIES! $$$!

    Follow up:

  10. et Al says:

    Balkan Insight: Montenegro Probes Controversial Saudi Arms Sales

    The special prosecution for organised crime is investigating the country’s main arms exporter over suspicions that arms it sold to Saudi Arabia have ended up elsewhere.

    It’s not just Montenegro though.Several Balkans states (Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria etc. – not to mention Ukraine) are being used by the West and partners to circumvent UN sanctions to send weapons to their favorites abroad. Making SA the end use gives those exporting states a fig leaf of cover as SA is ultimately responsible for what happens to the arms, but the final ‘t’ is crossed as SA is fully backed by the US, UK & France and faces absolutely no threat of sanctions. The UN is mostly silent too. It’s been going on for a loooong time.

  11. et Al says:

    RT via Google News: White House still insists wiretapping happened, blames Obama admin for leaks


    Check out the video too. It’s pretty funny!

  12. et Al says:

    Defense One via US and Russian Military Leaders Are Meeting Again, Breaking a Long and Dangerous Drought

    …Long projected, but politically and geographically difficult to finalize, the Feb. 16 meeting was a personal first for Gen. Joseph Dunford and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, respectively the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Russia’s chief of the General Staff. They met in Baku, Azerbaijan, and frankly but cordially discussed the overall diminished state of U.S. and Russian military relations, the need for better communications between key leaders, and ways to deconflict military activities that could inadvertently put both countries at risk.

    Then, — remarkably, considering the overall difficult state of U.S. and Russian relations — Dunford and Gerasimov met again on March 7. This time, their two days of talks were hosted by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, in scenic Antalya. Serious discussions ensued in a conducive environment where the three senior generals also shared meals together…

    More at the link. Warning! Lots of opinionated bs within.

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall!

  13. et Al says:

    More jolly larks in an interview with our favorite apolitical EU energy analyst, Srijben De Bong!

    Euractiv: Energy analyst: Nord Stream 2 should be decided by European Court of Justice

    Sijbren de Jong is a strategic analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and a lecturer in geo-economics at Leiden University.

    De Jong spoke with’s Senior Editor, Pavol Szalai

    All at the link.

    P.S. He threw a tantrum over at at being criticized by Sebastien Sass and advisor to the Nord Stream consortium* for his ‘anal-ysis’ over NordStream:

    EU Observer: Nordstream 2: Alternative pipeline facts

    …Personally, I am not the least bit interested in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, nor am I in any way politically affiliated, nor do I stand to gain should the project fail.

    What I care about is that the rules and regulations underpinning the rule of law in the EU are complied with in the interest of our common energy security and that we base our choices for our future energy supply on solid reasoning instead of alternative pipeline facts.

    So, it is not political at all when the EU has tried to impose its rules retroactively – sic South Stream – and impose others such as the Energy Charter to which Russia has withdrawn quite a while ago, as long as it is in the EU’s interests? Very funny. The EU (inc. the Commission) does willfully reinterpret its own rules and laws in its own favor when and where necessary.


  14. Jeremn says:

    Adam Schiff, that terrier for truth getting to the heart of Russian influence in US politics. Turns out he gets funding through Ukrainian oligarchs. Hmmm

  15. Warren says:

    Published on 21 Mar 2017
    GOP and Democratic Party leaders and media pundits like Rachel Maddow are raising their anti-Russian rhetoric to cold-war levels. Jeffrey Taylor, contributing editor to The Atlantic, says they are ignoring the history of broken American promises, NATO expansion and attempts to develop American first strike nuclear capability.

    • Northern Star says:

      I recall when the dyke c was canonized as some kind of ubermensch genius…becus she was a dyke with Ph.D….
      Who cares what this moron c thinks…??

      • Shotz says:

        Luckily, MSNBC (MSDNC) doesn’t have great ratings. Unluckily, the Dems still have considerable influence. Of recent note, Maddow’s show has supposedly had a bump in ratings. If true, that would further encourage her insufferable BS.

  16. Northern Star says:

    wunderkind jew boy edging us closer and closer to the nuclear holocaust abyss

    “The tone was set by the lengthy opening statement of the ranking Democrat on the intelligence panel, Adam Schiff of California, who elaborated the Democratic Party “theory” of the 2016 elections, in which “a foreign adversarial power intervened in an effort to weaken our democracy and to influence the outcome for one candidate and against the other.” He declared that the most important issue was “whether the Russians had the help of US citizens, including people associated with the Trump campaign.”

  17. Northern Star says:

    “Investigators found emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. In a second letter dated November 5, Comey said the new material did not change the FBI’s decision to not recommend charges against Clinton — but Democrats believe that re-airing the scandal days before most voters went to the polling booths hurt their candidate.”

    A deviant POS and his slut wifey….part of TEAM Killary….and SOMEHOW some people wonder why the POC lost the election…!!!!!

  18. Cortes says:

    Gilbert Doctorow is usually a good read. He considers the potential for a re-set in RF/US relations and concludes a new Yalta may be the answer, eventually:

    • James lake says:

      This writer really tries to be optimistic about a reset in Russia- US relations.
      I just get the feeling that this won’t happen – look at the awful anti Russian climate that has been whipped up.
      Russia had been designated the enemy and that’s what she will remain.

      • marknesop says:

        I hope it doesn’t happen, because history shows that Washington is always maneuvering for advantage, while keeping up a barrage of rhetoric about how free and open and guileless it is. Countries with which it engages are expected as a a matter of course to effect to believe this, at least in public, and to make unending displays of good faith.

  19. karl1haushofer says:

    Magnitsky’s lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov is in intensive care aften being beaten up in Moscow.

  20. Drutten says:

    And here’s a phone video from the scene:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      But we all know that he did not fall: he was pushed, wasn’t he?

      And we all knew on whose orders he was pushed, don’t we?

      Now what I should like to know is what purpose would it serve and whom would it benefit to have “lawyer” Magnitsky’s advocate fall from four floors on high with a view, I presume, that he die or at least be so severely injured that he would be incapable of acting on behalf of his client?

      Putin’s advantage of course and that of his mafia state.

      It is so perfectly obvious!

      At least, it is to the Finnish troll who announced this event post haste.

      However, the troll really feels for Russia.

      He really does.

      He really does not like commenting on things that may be perceived as casting Russia and its government and most particularly the Russian president in a bad light: perish the very thought!

      But “falling” from the fourth floor whilst installing a jacuzzi?

      As the troll would write: LOL!

      The man who “fell” was beaten up, said the troll.

      Who in his right mind could doubt otherwise?

      After all, we’re talking about Russia here, and Putin — aren’t we?

  21. et Al says:

    Someone on this blog (I don’t remember) recently posted a comment on Snowden vis his ’11 missing days’ in Hong Kong which Edward Jay Epstein recently wrote a book about and is the most central issue of the conspiracist theories This just popped up, so I’m posting it for reference.

    The Intercept via Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden’s Accusers Is a Fraud

    Glenn Greenwald

    For almost four years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.

    In lieu of evidence, the propagators of this accusation have relied upon the defining tactic of tawdry conspiracists everywhere: relentless repetition of rumor and innuendo based on alleged inconsistencies until it spreads far enough through the media ecosystem to take on the appearance of being credible. In this case, there was one particular fiction — about where Snowden spent his first 11 days after arriving in Hong Kong — which took on particular significance for this group….

    The rest, including images of booking and receipt, at the link.

  22. karl1haushofer says:

    Ukraine has banned Yulia Samoilova en entry to Ukraine so she cannot take part of the Eurovision contest:

    A petty move, but then again nobody in the West will care (so Russia will be left out of sympathy points) and most will silently agree with this move anyway.

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, she could probably take part via videolink without having to enter the country. But I frankly could care less about Eurovision as I think it is a silly display which rarely ever results in any really good music. Those who want to think Ukraine scored big propaganda points are free to think so, although I also disagree with the suggestion ‘most will silently agree with this move anyway’. Ukraine taking out its malice on a cripple is hardly inspirational or uplifting, and I think most will silently notice not one of Ukraine’s actions actually reflects the ‘European values’ they all love to brag about.

      But if you mean Russia will not make a big fuss about it, of course you are right. It never does. I suppose it reasons if you want to behave like an insufferable jackass in public, knock yourself out.

  23. et Al says:

    You lot seen this?

    IBTimes via Google News: Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort secretly influenced US politics to benefit Vladimir Putin

    President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has secretly received millions of dollars to influence US politics, business and news coverage in favour of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    In 2006 Manafort signed a $10m (£8m) annual contract with Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally. The Associated Press has obtained documents showing international wire transfers and strategy memos drawn up by Manafort. The two continued doing business until at least 2009….

    Context daaarlings! It seems like they’ve forgotten that Putin wasn’t the West’s enemy back in 2006 & neither the Ukraine. I don’t doubt that oligarchs like to pay via shell companies and massage the books, but I am extremely suspicious of any documents that come from Ukrainian hands as they have the habit of falsifying or modifying them accordingly. If only they would put the same effort in to investigating Hillary Clinton’s links to Russia oligarchs, but we cannot of course expect as much! Right! I’m off to make smoke without fire too….

    • Cortes says:

      Just saw and copied this (unsure of accuracy):

      “An eye witness, Radoslaw Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Centre for European Studies, posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

      He wrote: “A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.””

      The Guardian is reporting that the British anti terrorism Minister has been shown covered in blood from the dead police officer.

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    In the cess pit of Svidomite blogs they are almost all singing the same tune, harping on about the cynical and callous way a cripple was purposely chosen as the Russian entrant for that abysmal spectacle to be held in Kiev, the evil Moskali knowing full well that their singer would be barred entry to the Ukraine, thereby gaining sympathy points for the Evil Regime.

    But the stupid sub-human deracinated Slavs of the East cannot escape the fact that the law is sacrosanct, whether one likes it or not, and by Ukrainian law it is illegal for a Russian citizen to enter the Ukraine after his having visited occupied Crimea.

    Rules are rules!

    Like not singing songs of a political nature in the Eurovision contest.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s comical to watch people shouting that they see a trap, and then falling into it anyway. The clever way to cheat the dirty Moskali of a victory would have been to welcome Samoilova to the competition and may the best entrant win; then the Russians would be caught on the back foot with nothing to bitch about. But Kiev had to go for the asshole move. As usual.

  25. James Lake says:

    RE: Eurovision
    Sad but predictable decision by Ukraine and that the EBU organisers would back them and condone the further politicisation of this spectacle; I won’t call it a contest.

    Russia really should not bother with it anyway. Take your large audience and your money that you pay to participate and focus on something else.

    One of the attractions for me when I used to watch it years and years ago was hearing songs sung in different languages that reflected the different European countries cultural music.

    Then this changed and we have all the songs in English and they follow the euro pop formula.

  26. PaulR says:

    Gazprom is an oil company, Rosneft a gas company, Rinat Akmetov a Putin ally, and other gems of wisdom from the Congressional hearings in the USA:

    • PaulR says:

      Note also that the head of the FBI, while claiming to have all sorts of knowledge about Russia and its intentions, admits he doesn’t even know what Gazprom is. Whether that is better than Speier thinking it’s an oil company (to be fair, it has a minor interest in oil) I don’t know:

      … Schiff referred to Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, as a “gas giant.”.

      … Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Ca): Do you know anything about Gazprom, Director?

      FBI Director James Comey: I don’t.

      Speier: Well, it’s a — it’s an oil company”

      • Jen says:

        When you consider that at least some if not most of these Congress reps receive money and probably heaps more besides like brochures, free invitations and sample bags from oil and gas companies during election time, you’d have to conclude that the only way these people cannot tell the difference between oil and gas is that they take the money and invitations and bin everything else they get.

      • shargash says:

        OMG, it is so embarrassing to be an American.

        “I think of a spider web, with a tarantula in the middle.” Tarantulas aren’t web spinners, you putz. Is there anything these morons know anything about. I mean besides how to fellate their donors.

        BTW, Paul, I enjoyed your post at

    • Moscow Exile says:

      … we Russians deserve the toxicity conferred on us by Putin’s policies” — Bershidsky, speaking for each and every Russian.

      “Even those of us who never supported him [Putin] have failed to stop him from representing Russia the way he does” — Bershidsky, speaking about himself, because he fucked off to Germany: he just couldn’t take it any more.

      Bershidsky now lives in Berlin, a place where he and his kinfolk certainly would not be able to live were it not for the efforts of those wicked Russians and other citizens and soldiers of the former Soviet republics of the USSR.

      “Please come back to Russia, Leonid! Rid us of this evil tyrant and remove the vile stigma that so burdens us!” — Moscowexile, an Englishman permanently resident in Russia, speaking for himself and all Russians.


      • marknesop says:

        This is an important piece, though, because it serves to show that it is still possible for Washington, in its arrogance and mendacity, to lose its kreakl supporters, the intelligentsia. The beltway has gotten itself so worked up over this Russian thing, and has the bit so firmly in its teeth that it has forgotten it is still possible to offend and alarm even those whose habit is to cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and grovel at the feet of the enemy.

        I have no idea who Leonid considers would be a leader whose policies would be embraced by both Russians and Americans. But perhaps the answer is that he really only cares what the Americans think and like, because there can be no doubt the standard of living of Russians improved more dramatically under Putin than under any other recent Russian leader. Again, if the Americans are pissing off such a loyal fan as Bershidsky, they had better look out. Because they will find themselves without a single friendly face in Russia they can turn to.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The last straw for Bershidsky, that which finally made him leave the land of his birth, was the “annexation” of the Crimea by Russia.

          Bershidsky’s farewell speech, as it were, appeared in the Moscow Times, one of several rags in which he has voiced his anti-Russia opinions.

          See: No Illusions Left, I’m Leaving Russia

          In that article, Bershinsky writes:

          I have no desire to stay in Russia and pay a single kopek for Crimea. Stolen goods are stolen goods.

          … I will keep my Russian citizenship. Maybe I will return as an old man, walk to my neighborhood polling station, dust off my beloved red passport and vote for Russia’s candidate to the European Parliament.

          Yes, people and ideas die, but dreams never do.

          Keep dreaming, twat!

          I for one do not consider Bershidsky a Russian.

          I am not Russian, but I am sure there are millions of Russians citizens who are of as like mind as I am as regards Bershidsky and his nationality, regardless of his being in possession of a “beloved red” Russian passport.

          • kirill says:

            Yeltsin’s stupid Constitution needs to be changed to remove the parts preventing revocation of Russian citizenship. The best punishment for the 5th column is to be sent packing to their masters. They have no business being in Russia in the first place on account of their open hate for the Russian people.

  27. Northern Star says:

    According to Limbaugh this afternoon,House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes has announced that he is in possession of legally obtained documents that more or less irrefutably confirm that TEAM Trump-including Trump himself-WERE being surveilled by elements of the the USA Intel communty between the election and the inauguration..Since all these guys are part of the EXecutive Branch…YouKnowWho must have known about it.!!!!!

    Nunes does however qualify his comments with a bit of mumbo jumbo about how the surveiling of Trump et al was in the context of “normal foreign surveillance” and Nunes said that the information was collected in “incidental surveillance” that was conducted as part of a routine investigation.

  28. Northern Star says:

    “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. Europe will be damaged by this. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy,” he said.”

    I wonder if Erdogan grasps that THAT door -not being safe on the streets-can swing both ways…
    …for the Turk diaspora in Europe.-which as I recall appears to be overwhelmingly populated by Europeans…and Turks on the streets of Ankara…

  29. Northern Star says:

    The next time Schiff opens his pencil neck trap…this ought to be shoved down his throat.

    “Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.
    The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.”

    Hmmm…I think this issue needs to be thoroughly revisited…with all options left on the indictments…after carefully consulting the CFR and the USC for stuff on Statutes of limitations and criminal prosecutions as opposed to civil liability.

    • marknesop says:

      I’d be willing to bet the Times got that ‘Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin’ chestnut from one William ‘Bill’ Browder. Renaissance Capital was a rival of Browder’s Hermitage Capital Management, and was in exactly the same business as Browder was. It benefited significantly from Browder’s crash-and-burn wipeout in Russia, and he has never gotten over it.

  30. PaulR says:

    Article by Lithuanian journalist Liepa Želnienė for CNN:

    ‘A few days ago I was talking to my daughter about World War II. She couldn’t believe that the US had helped Russia win a war against Germany.

    “Now Trump is acting the same. He is supporting Russia!” she said, with panic in her voice.
    This is precisely the issue that much of central and eastern Europe is thinking about, as it looks with concern at the news coming from Washington.’

  31. et Al says:

    On the homepage, it proudly proclaims ‘Celebrating Diversity‘.

    Here’s the EBU cop-out statement vis the Ukraine’s banning of the severly disabled Russian singer:

    Statement from the EBU regarding Russia’s participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest

    Geneva, Switzerland

    Earlier today several news outlets reported that the Russian participant in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, has been banned from travelling to Ukraine. Julia was chosen to represent Russia with the song Flame is Burning. More details are expected soon.
    Statement from the EBU regarding Russia’s participant in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest:

    It has been confirmed to the EBU that the Ukrainian authorities have issued a travel ban on the Russian artist chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, as she has been judged to have contravened Ukrainian law by entering Crimea in order to perform.

    We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.

    We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.


    The EBU is a total f/king joke. Last year’s judgement that Jamala’s song was ‘not political’ already showed they are full of European shit, so such a limp-wristed statement was to be expected and its fairly likely that Kiev sounded out key EBU members before banning Samoylova.

    Hey, I’ve just had a thought. Maybe the EBU could have a special duet with Jamala & Christina Freeland, considering that both their grandfathers were full-on Nazi collaborators! It wouldn’t be political either.

    The funny thing is that the EBU is only the latest of a long list of western institutions built up over decades (IMF/WB etc.) used as proof as Western superiority and a model that the rest of the world should copy, and have all been undermined by the West itself since by continually finding exceptions that favor themselves whenever it is convenient.

    Either way, Russia has won. If they went to Eurovision, being there in the face of Ukrainian nazism would have been a victory, being banned shows that Ukraine punishes the disabled publicly and so is also a victory for Russia, and finally if per chance Kiev reverse course and allows Samoylova to perform, it would be a double victory for Russia. It is all exceedingly retarded.

  32. ucgsblog says:

    Russia is up to something in Syria, but fear not, Reuters is on the case! It turns out that Putin dared to under report Russian deaths in Syria. And the War in Syria has been costly to Russia. Extremely costly! Russia lost not 5, but 18, all of 18 servicemen! Russia is losing a serviceman every five days! This is front page news! Putin under reported, allegedly, eleven deaths, or “three times as high” as Reuters so aptly puts it. To watch Reuters attempt to make a mountain out of something that’s not even resembling a molehill, go here:

    “Russia’s force in Syria has suffered losses since late January more than three times higher than the official toll, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, a tally that shows the fight in Syria is tougher and more costly than the Kremlin has disclosed.”

    Sometimes I wonder, is there just a standard form that they have for reporting news when it comes to Russia?

    “Eighteen Russian citizens fighting alongside Moscow’s allies, the Syrian government forces, have been killed since Jan. 29 — a period that coincided with intense fighting to recapture the city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group. The Russian defence ministry has publicly reported only five servicemen’s deaths in Syria over the same period, and its officials’ statements have not mentioned any large-scale Russian ground operations in the fight for Palmyra. Military casualties abroad are not as politically sensitive in Russia as in some other countries but send a negative message ahead of a presidential election next year which is expected to give President Vladimir Putin a fourth term.”

    Wait, what? Military casualties in Russia aren’t as sensitive as in other countries, like the US, but send a negative message? “Putin not elected over 11 deaths in Syria!”

    “The toll was revealed in interviews with relatives and friends of the dead men, cemetery workers, local media reports of funerals and evidence collected by a group of investigative bloggers, Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). In each case, Reuters has independently verified information about the death by speaking to someone who knows the dead man.”

    I’m not an English major, but shouldn’t it be “knew the dead man” – or are we talking about the Sixth Sense here?

    “The casualties since the end of January represent one of the highest tolls for the Russian contingent in Syria since the start of Moscow’s military intervention 18 months ago. An official with the Russian foreign ministry referred questions about them to the defence ministry. The Russian defence ministry did not respond to Reuters questions about the casualties and about military operations in Syria. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Most of the dead were not regular Russian soldiers but Russian civilians working as private military contractors under the orders of Russian commanders. Moscow has not officially acknowledged the presence of the contractors in Syria.”

    Wait – what? So the report that 5 Russian Soldiers died was accurate, since these are military contractors? Forget the molehill, I cannot even find an tiny bump. What’s the fuss about? Is Reuters this desperate for bad news about the Russians in Syria? If that doesn’t tell you that the Russians are winning, I don’t know what else to say.

    In case anyone’s wondering, in the Iraq War, the coalition lost over 4,800 soldiers and had over 51,000 total casualties. But Russia lost 11 private contractors over the time span of two months! Front page news!

    • et Al says:

      Let’s give the reporter Maria Tsvetkova the credit for going along with this. CIT is just another one of a series of ‘independent groups of professionals’ like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Bellingcat, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (with their most corrupt person of the year PR stunt and all) and others that are used to launder intelligence service material (real, false, manipulated) in to the mainstream media as part of the West’s Hybrid Warfare against Russia and others. Some of their work is of course kosher, but that is part of the camoflage.

      If you work backwards from the conclusion by noting what these groups main targets are, i.e. Russia & its neighborhood, then its pretty easy to see. Remember that all roads lead to Rome.

      The groups funded by the EU & other high-vis ‘counter-propaganda’ groups are just faces that don’t do much, which is why they have very poor funding – something that has been criticized by more active groups like the one I posted earlier ( based in Prague who had a letter published in Euractiv attaching Mogherini for doing sweet f/a).

      The real story in Syria right now is not Russian casualties, but you can see why it has been picked because it is one of number of identified ‘themes’ that are used to try and chip away at Putin’s credibility at home, but the US airlifting Kurdish fighters aka the SDF/whatever behind the lines to Raqqah. It’s a fair chance the US will get them all killed, but they’re US soldiers so it doesn’t matter and Kurdish commanders won’t be too fussed either.

      • et Al says:

        Apparently US Marines have been dropped with the Kurds behind enemy lines. Oooh!

      • yalensis says:

        Yep. Westies have long funded various Russian NGO’s whose job it is to try to stir people up about Russian casualties. Chechnya was a prime example, with the so-called “Mothers of Soldiers” groups and the like.
        The purpose there was to try to get Russia to back off from fighting against the Saudi-funded Chechen jihadis. If I remember correctly, Anna Politkovskaya was in thick with those people, in addition to being a shill for the terrorists themselves.

        Now it seems similar organizations are trying to scare Russia out of Syria with these reports of “massive” casualties.
        But since the Russian government has decided that ISIS is an existential threat to Russia, then I reckon they will go on fighting, even if the casualties did mount to something out of the single digits.

  33. Warren says:

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Kiev owes pensioners in the DPR more than one billion dollars
    20:56 22.03.2017

    DONETSK, March 22 — RIA Novosti. The Ukrainian authorities owes pensioners living in the self-proclaimed Donetsk National Republic more than $1 billion in pension payments, said the head of DNR, Alexander Zakharchenko…

    He stressed that this data may differ from that of the Kiev side.

    Of course it will. The Ukraine owes Russia and its sponsored terrorists nothing.

    • karl1haushofer says:

      Even if I am against the current Ukrainian regime/junta it makes no sense to demand that they pay pensions for people that are not under their governance (and hopefully never will be).

      • marknesop says:

        It also makes no sense for them to claim those people belong to Ukraine. The two realities cannot co-exist.

      • Fern says:

        Pensions, in most places, are not gifted by the current government but earned via contributions paid over a long period by the individuals concerned. If the pensioners living in Donetsk have contributed towards their own pensions, then it’s tantamount to theft for Kiev to refuse to honour the arrangement.

        Also, as Mark points out, refusing to pay pensions is very short-term thinking, if Kiev ever wants the breakaway regions to return to Ukraine. Putin, I think, made a very similar point comparing Ukraine’s attitude to these regions with Russia’s towards Chechyna where Russia decided to continue with pension and other social payments because it was thought they were important tools to win over to retain the loyalty of the greater part of the population.

        • karl1haushofer says:

          The problem is that after the nationalization of Ukrainian companies in DPR and LPR (which I agree was the right thing to do) the Kiev junta cannot collect taxes from these breakaway republics.

          Since they cannot collect taxes from these regions it is unreasonable to expect them to pay any social expenditures, including pensions, in these regions.

          DPR and LPR should create their own pension funds and start paying pensions for their own citizens and not expect Ukraine to do it.

          • yalensis says:

            Your reasoning is faulty and illogical, Karl.
            As Fern pointed out, pensions are not a gift but an earned benefit.

            Most countries in the world continue to pay pensions out to former citizens who might have moved or come under a different jurisdiction. For example, Russia continued to pay earned pensions to ex-citizens who may have come under, say, Gruzian or Ukrainian citizenship, due to changing borders.

            Perform this thought experiment:
            If you have a real job in Finland (highly dubious, but this IS a thought experiment), then you must be paying into a pension fund.
            Once you are vested, then, if you retire, you should still be entitled to whatever money you are vested in, even if you had emigrated to a different country.

            • Northern Star says:

              Many American retirement plans..pensions….401k…in both the public and private sectors are in trouble and are not sufficiently capitalized to meet future commitments
     (I doubt things have improved much snice 2003)

              My point is that in all likelihood pension funn managers have been ‘borrowing’ from the funds for decades for any number of schemes NOT related to paying pensioners…BUT as long as these creative accountants could stay one step ahead of grand juries and federal prosecutors by using **current** cash flow intake to service **curren**t pension obligations…the day of reckoning was pushed back another few years…

              However if *current* revenue intake streams cease…THEN that’s when the shit hits the fan…what Ukraine should do morally and legally may be very different from what she
              can afford to come up with given the loss of tax revenue.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Northern Star: Those are good points in general, but are not relevant to Karl’s argument. Karl isn’t saying that maybe Kiev can’t afford the pensions any more, which would be a different matter. He is saying that a government is not obligated to pay pensions to people who broke away from the authority of that government.
                That’s a completely different argument, and also a bogus one!
                It speaks to Karl’s linear and simplistic way of viewing reality.

              • Jen says:

                The money that people invest in government pension funds is treated differently from taxation revenue. Pension funds are a form of investment; the main difference from other investments like bank savings accounts or unit trusts is that investors can’t touch the proceeds or the capital until they reach retirement age. Taxation revenue goes into other government expenditure and is not used to pay pensions to retired people.

                In a normal country not carrying trillions in government debt, a pension fund that robs its investors would be probably be nationalised and the government would pay the investors the capital they have invested into the pension fund at the very least. This would be the same as the government bailing out shareholders in a bank that had lost everything it owes to the shareholders. The managers who steal from the investors in the bank or the pension fund would be obliged to cough up compensation. Of course the US has not been a normal country for a long time and while the right thing to do would be to nationalise those 401K plans that have been looted by bad managers, I doubt that such an idea will pass muster with Congress as it is currently constituted (with Republicans dominating the Senate and the House of Representatives) or the Trump government.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I get a state pension from the UK and a pension from the Miners’ Pension Fund and have done so for the past 7 years. British coal mines, when I worked down them, were state owned.

              I last worked in the UK and, therefore, paid income tax on my earnings, in 1984. I paid a lot of income tax in the UK because when I lived and worked in Merry England, I was a single man.

              For almost 25 years I have lived permanently in Russia, which is not a former British colony, dependency or dominion.

              I still get UK pensions paid into my bank account every month, despite the fact that I am a known supporter of a vile regime whose goals are often held to be inimical to those of the United Kingdom and the free world.

              Strange, don’t you think?

              Oh yeah, and when I toss tail over, Mrs. Exile, who is not a British citizen, will be entitled to a miner’s widow’s pension.

              I’m chuffed to death over that!

              It’s a little win for one of the “enemy within”.


            • marknesop says:

              My in-laws still draw their Russian pensions although they are Permanent Residents in Canada, and only go to Russia to visit. One of my mother-in-law’s favourite jokes is that I will send her back to Russia for some piece of misbehaviour on her part. I always counter that that is not a punishment, and that instead I will send her to the USA.

          • Jen says:

            Karl, the Kiev regime could collect taxes from Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts if it had respected the social / economic contract it inherited from previous governments with the people of those oblasts. The way you say that Ukraine “cannot” collect taxes implies it is somehow Donetsk and Lugansk’s fault that Kiev can’t do this when in fact it was Kiev’s own actions that alienated the people in those oblasts and forced them to take matters into their own hands.

            If Kiev wants Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts to remain part of Ukraine, the very least it can do is to pay the pensions of the people living in those areas because as Fern, Yalensis and others have pointed out, those people have already contributed towards their pensions through taxes they paid in the past and their own pension contributions during their working lives.

            If Donetsk and Lugansk establish pension funds or even a state superannuation scheme then, depending on how those funds or schemes are structured and managed, the monies that go into them would largely or even wholly belong to people who are working right now, from the taxes they pay or from any pension contributions they make, and any money those funds or schemes make belong to those people. Pension funds are essentially another form of investment that happen to be managed by governments rather than by yourself, your bank or your investment fund managers. Current pensioners in Donetsk and Lugansk have no access to that money because it is not theirs.

            The nationalisation of Ukrainian companies by Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts is also another separate issue. If Lugansk and Donetsk become independent, Ukraine is still obliged to pay the pensions of retired people living in this state just as Moscow Exile still receives a pension from the UK for the years he worked there.

            Even if as separate political entities Lugansk and Donetsk decided at some later stage to pay a universal living allowance, and retired people were entitled to this allowance, these people should still receive pensions from Ukraine.

  35. shargash says:

    Entire Ukrainian city being evacuated as munitions depot catches fire, explodes

    “Sabotage” is considered a preliminary cause of the fire, the prosecutor said. An investigation has been launched.

    Sabotage? Or Ukrainian incompetence?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Smoking on the job whilst pissed out of shape is a likely cause of the conflagration.

    • karl1haushofer says:

      Hopefully it was a sabotage. It would give the junta more headaches.

    • Jen says:

      Is there a possibility that some of the munitions have been kept in a poor state, with inflammable chemicals kept together (when they should be stored separately) and ignited as a result? In this case, claiming sabotage would excuse incompetence.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      More likely version is that it was a cover-up attempt to hide the fact that PERHAPS a lot of munitions were already sold to parties unkown (in Syria or Iraq?). This is an old scheme, immortalized in the old Soviet comedy film “Operation Ы”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The munitions depot at Balakleya, the scene of fire as reported above.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Balakleya ammunition storage depot- photos 2013

        I am sure nothing has changed there … corruption and the general state of our army, has generally remained at the Soviet level…

        A fire is the most likely cause of the detonation at such facilities – fire caused by dry grass catching fire, old boxes or some shit. It happens quite often, but does not always end in fireworks.

        Europe’s largest ammunition storage base is guarded by only 90 men!

        Being a giant amongst such institutions, the Balakleya depot has become a carrier of enthusiastic epithets and all sorts of fabulous stories…

        “On this base is situated 20 to 30 percent of all the munitions of the Ukrainian army!”

        “So as to move out all the ammo you would need to use 100 wagons for a whole year!”

        Unfortunately, given the photographic material shown below, Ukrainians will have no confidence in their own armed forces…

        [See linked article for more photographs.]

        What utter tosh!

        Porky himself has said that the Yukie armed forces are amongst the best in Europe and the only ones that not only have experience in combatting the modern Russian army, but also in successfully detering it from making further incursions into Europe.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    Do you see this, “Grand Duchess” Maria and your son George?

    You too, Miss Poklonskaya?

    Россияне против монархии

    Russian citizens against a monarchy
    The majority of citizens consider a republic to be the most appropriate form of government, according to a survey by VTsIOM [Russian Public Opinion Research Centre]

    The vast majority of citizens are not ready to restore the monarchy in Russia. According to a survey of “VTsIOM-Sputnik” (at the disposal of “Izvestia”), 68% of Russians strongly voted against autocracy as a form of government. Six per-cent of the population recognizes someone who might become a new Russian monarch. Another 22% of respondents are “not opposed to a monarchy”, but do not see a suitable candidate. The most suitable form of government for Russia is a republic, citizens said, according to 88% of respondents polled by “VTsIOM-Satellite”.

    VTsIOM is, of course, Kremlin-controlled.


    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Russian citizens against a monarchy
      The majority of citizens consider a republic to be the most appropriate form of government, according to a survey by VTsIOM “

      “Do you see this, “Grand Duchess” Maria and your son George?

      You too, Miss Poklonskaya?”

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha!
        Even with a moustached and beard she is still adorably cute!
        (I am referring to Poklonskaya, it goes without saying. Not to the female hippopotamus.)

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Those in the Russian blogosphere who ridicule “Grand Duchess” Maria Romanova’s pretence at her being a Romanov grand duchess and her claim that her son is the tsar to be call her Maria Hohenzollern. Her spouse, whom she divorced after only 9 years of marital bliss, is a German businessman who calls himself Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia: he is Kaiser Bill’s grandson.

          Franz Wilhelm is also Georgy Porgy’s papa. So George, whose mama tells him he is really the Tsar of all the Russias, is a German prince and a Hohenzollern to boot.

          The “Grand Duchess” is of mostly Polish-Georgian stock — cattle stock by the looks of her.

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the “working assumption” was that the attack was linked to “Islamic terrorism in some form”.

    He paid tribute to Pc Palmer, a 48-year-old father and husband, and an unarmed member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Squad who had served for 15 years.

    Pc Palmer stopped the attacker getting into Parliament and “gave his life for the democracy we all cherish”, he told BBC BreakfastWestminster Controlled BBC

    Please don’t get me wrong!

    I really do feel sorry for that policeman’s family and the dead police officer bravely died doing his job, namely trying to apprehending a dangerous, armed criminal who was trying to enter the parliament buildings.

    But did the poor man really “give his life for democracy” or was the pompous Fallon simply talking his usual cliché ridden shite as usual?

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Should be: bravely died doing his job, namely trying to apprehend a dangerous, armed criminal.

    • Fern says:

      Yesterday’s attack on Westminster Bridge has prompted an almost hysterical response from both the government and the media. Which is odd because quite a lot of those in both camps seem very entusiastic jihadi terrorist supporters most of the time. I guess they’re less keen when it comes to a post code near them. The police officer died valiantly, doing his job as you say. It does illustrate that sole officers are vulnerable and hopefully that will be one of the lessons learned. As for the others who died – very difficult to protect people against this sort of attack particulalry since assailants can take advantage of bad road design. Traffic has long been prioritised over pedestrains in London and, consequently, very few roads have physical barriers between people and vehicles. Had there been concrete bollards on the bridge the probably 47-virgin-seeking-driver couldn’t have mown down those unfortunate to be walking across.

  38. karl1haushofer says:

    Denis Voronenkov assassinated in Kiev:

    No doubt Ukraine will blame Russia for this since Voronenkov left Russia and moved to Ukraine last year while blaming FSB for harassing him.

    • cartman says:

      He was also just a propaganda tool. His death serves the same purpose.

      • kirill says:

        A fact that only a vanishing number of people in NATzO even perceive. As with MH-17 Putin is Satan’s spawn who gets off on murder. But for some reason aside from MH-17 there has been no similar incident since Putin arrived on the scene in 1999. That is 28 years of mass murder starvation. Meanwhile, Ukraine shot down a civilian airliner because of criminal negligence of its SAM operators. Putin did MH-17 “because” is all that the 3 year-old level IQs in NATzO can spout. Actual evidence is not needed, just hate-based faith.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        For supporting the annexation of the Crimea a Banderite fatwah was issued against him.

        He only stopped pretending to be a patriotic duma delegate when the Investigatory Committee wised up to his fraudulent shenanigans, so he suddenly became a Ukrainian wannabe and started calling Russians not fit to burn when he debunked with his opera-singer wife and also former duma deputy to Banderastan.

        But he never kidded the stalwart Banderites. They know a Moskal never changes his spots and made sure he will no longer be able to jump up and down with them when they call out: “Anyone who can’t jump up and down is a Moskal”.

      • Fern says:

        Indeed. Being an enemy of Empire and its satellites can be dangerous but being a friend is lethal. I wonder how secure Navalny really feels with his western buddies?

  39. Lyttenburgh says:

    Ukraine officially have become the downgraded version of the Russia in the 90s – it’s distorted, insane crack-heroine version turned up to 11.

    In the center of Kiev, a former member of the Russian State Duma was shot.
    Fugitive politician Denis Voronenkov was killed in broad daylight in front of the hotel

    “In Kiev, near the hotel Premier Palace, at the intersection of Shevchenko Boulevard and Pushkinskaya Street, there was an impudent murder. In broad daylight, the unknown shot and killed two men.

    One of them is the runaway deputy of the State Duma of Russia Denis Voronenkov, who recently received Ukrainian citizenship. The police of Ukraine confirmed to the correspondent of “Vesti”, who is on the scene, that the victim is Voronenkov. The opera refused to disclose information, who according to preliminary data is suspected of murder and where the killers were waiting for their victim.

    As the correspondent of “Vesti” reports, shots began to be heard when Voronenkov left the hotel with the guard. There was a firefight between the guard and the expectant shooter. As a result, both the guard and the attacker were injured – they were both hospitalized.

    The chief of police of Kiev Andrey Krishchenko has informed, that, probably, this contract murder.

    Information “Vesti” confirms Vadim Rabinovich.

    People’s deputy from the BCP Denis Belotserkovets also reported that the deceased – Voronenkov.

    We remind you that the former State Duma deputy from the Communist Party Denis Voronenkov, along with his wife – ex-MP from United Russia and opera singer Maria Maksakova moved to Ukraine and changed her citizenship. Voronenkov is one of two Russian deputies who testified in the Yanukovych case.”

    Another turncoat and professional dissident – Ilya Ponomaryov – weighted in immediately:

    Tl;dr – they had an appointment in 11:25 (Kiev time) in said Premier Palas hotel. A security guard managed to wound an assassin (who is still at large). Monsieur Ponomaryov is deeply convinced, that Russian siloviks were behind the hit.

    This is, if you forgot, in the capital of the “European country” (well, for some people Kosovo is also a country, so…). This is the place for the future Gayrovision. SUGS!



    I know that Russia and Putin will be accused of this without any proof whatsoever. Tell you what? Go ahead. Yeah, we, Russians, are Evil. Now – think about it. If we are so evil, do you feel safer right now?

    Sweet nightmares, Russophobes!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Want to see the best detective in the entire world conducting express-investigation of a crime?

      Tah-daaaaaaam! Poroshenko already called the hit a “Russian terroristic act”, adding “this was a trademark style of Russian special services, already seen in various European capitols”. You know – when Russian VChK/OGP(u)/MGB organized the terror attacks in Paris, Berlin, Brussels and London? D’uh!

      Also – the suspect is, allegedly, already arrested and is not in the hospital. Any bets that the following will be foind in his belongings?

      • kirill says:

        Pathetic smear job by the Banderatard regime designed to divert attention from amongst other things their recent ban of a crippled Eurovision contestant (celebrity news reaches the masses). What is more pathetic is that so many saps will think that Putin did just “because”.

        Perhaps all these 5th column opportunists should ponder the implications for their lifespan since to anyone with a clue it is obvious that their deaths are valuable propaganda “assets” for their new masters.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, the corrupt former duma deputy Voronenkov was clearly of immense political danger to Putin and his government and had, therefore, to be liquidated in broad daylight on the street in Kiev.

        A typically Russian way of liquidating enemies of the state.

    • Nat says:

      Video showing the scene right after the shooting. The police seems quite clueless. They don’t even notice that one man is still alive until bystanders repeatedly point it out. Is one of the injured men the attacker? Why do you say “assassin still at large” (above in the article it’s mentioned that “As a result, both the guard and the attacker were injured – they were both hospitalized”)?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      The suspect conveniently died in the hospital. Glory to the Ukraine – glory to decommunization of the Soviet built Helthcare!

      What was on his person? Any clues to highlight the reason for this hit? Did he had:
      – passport of the Russian Federation?
      – murderer license?
      – ID-papers of the the warrant officer of the FSB?
      – Putin’s order for the liquidation of Voronenkov?
      – a ГТО and KomSoMol badges?

      Nope. According the alcoholic Attorney General Lutskenko – just Ukrainian passport. What a zrada!

  40. et Al says:

    Neuters: Exclusive: Westinghouse’s clients gear up for bankruptcy fight – sources

    The U.S. utilities that are clients of Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) nuclear power plant construction subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, have hired advisers to prepare for its potential bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The move comes as Toshiba sees Westinghouse’s bankruptcy as increasingly likely. The Japanese conglomerate has hired restructuring consulting firm Berkeley Research Group LLC and law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to help defend it against bankruptcy claims, the people said on Wednesday. ..

    I’m sure I read the other day the boast that ‘Ukraine is the only country fully implementing the EU’s energy diverstity plan’ by using nuclear fuel rods produced by Westinghouse for its Russian built reactors. Whither now, Chicken Kiev?

    Cлабка Україна!

    • marknesop says:

      Ooohhh!! Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, what a delicious coincidence. That is not only the firm contracted by the Ukrainian government (back in the old days, when it actually had an elected government) to parse the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko with the aim of satisfying western critics that it was not a selective or politically-motivated prosecution, and that she actually broke the law – it is also the firm which employed Paul Manafort’s daughter. During her employment, Ukrainian hackers (who for some reason are impervious to criticism) stole over a quarter-million messages from her in an effort to blackmail her father.

      Juicy. As an aside, it’s funny to note the disapproving tone directed toward Kiev from the days when Yanukovych was in power, contrasted with today when they have torchlight parades in celebration of Nazi collaborators. In the latter period, the west automatically approves of anything Ukraine does, and vetoed a proposed bill introduced by Russia which forbade the glorification of Naziism solely because of the probability it would be used to censure Ukraine.

  41. et Al says:

    ConstoriumNews via A Breach in the Anti-Putin Groupthink

    The mainstream U.S. media has virtually banned any commentary that doesn’t treat Russian President Putin as the devil, but a surprising breach in the groupthink has occurred in Foreign Affairs magazine, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

    By Gilbert Doctorow

    Realistically, no major change in U.S. foreign and defense policy is possible without substantial support from the U.S. political class, but a problem occurs when only one side of a debate gets a fair hearing and the other side gets ignored or marginalized. That is the current situation regarding U.S. policy toward Russia….

    …When a handful of independent news sites (including tried to report on the other side of the story, they were denounced as “Russian propagandists” and ended up on “blacklists” promoted by The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets.

    An Encouraging Sign

    That is why it is encouraging that Foreign Affairs magazine, the preeminent professional journal of American diplomacy, took the extraordinary step (extraordinary at least in the current environment) of publishing Robert English’s article, entitled “Russia, Trump, and a new Détente,” that challenges the prevailing groupthink and does so with careful scholarship…

    Much more at the link.

  42. et Al says:

    The Daily Caller via Nunes: Other Trump Team Members Were Surveiled And Identified

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed Wednesday other members of the Trump transition team were not only surveilled by the Obama administration but their names were also unmasked.

    “I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked,” Nunes said. “To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

    Nunes later told reporters that communications among Trump associates were recorded and dispersed among the federal government. He also said the intelligence committee still has no answers as to what actually happened to Trump’s former national security advisor General Michael Flynn when he was caught up in a surveillance dragnet.

    “We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn,” Nunes said of how recorded conversations of Flynn’s were leaked to the press. “We just know that his name leaked out but we don’t know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done.”

    “The NSA is being cooperative,” Nunes said, “but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter which is now a couple of weeks old.”

    Nunes also stated that presently, he “cannot rule out” President Obama called for the surveillance.

    Only posted in full as most of it is quotes.

    The best bit is that Senator McCarthy – sorry Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff – is demanding that Nunes not take part in any investigation in to Trump-Russia ties! It’s pure soap opera. Suitable musical accompaniment:

    • et Al says:

      The American Conservative via Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

      Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.
      By Neema Guliani • March 22, 2017

      The controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

      But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

      The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws…

      Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

      Much more at the link. Murky waters.

  43. et Al says:

    The Intercept via War Correspondents Describe Recent U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

    In Iraq, U.S. forces are helping Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers in their months-long battle to drive ISIS out of western Mosul. As many as 600,000 civilians are trapped there, amid widespread hunger and destruction, and more than 1,000 civilians were killed or injured last month in Iraq.

    “There are American special forces on the ground but much more important than that is U.S. airpower, without which the Iraqi forces would not be able to get very far,” explained author and journalist Anand Gopal.

    “And they’ve been hitting pretty much everything in sight and there’s been an extraordinary number of civilian casualties — just kind of gone through the roof in the last couple of months especially coming into Mosul.”…

    Remember the Aleppo! Forget the Mosul. Chalk & Cheese!

  44. et Al says: via Journalist Barrett Brown on Prison, Leakers, and Private Intelligence Agencies

    Brown just got out of prison this past November after four years behind bars for his association with “hacktivists.”

    Barrett Brown was just released from prison last November after four years behind bars for, among other things, posting a series of videos in which he appears to threaten an FBI agent. How things escalated to that point in the first place is a complicated matter involving email hacks, drug addiction, and the murky world of private intelligence contractors.

    Often straddling a line between journalist and participant, Brown’s rise to prominence tracks that of the hacker collective Anonymous, perhaps best remembered for its campaigns against Scientology. Media outlets characterized Brown, not always entirely to his liking, as the spokesman for Anonymous, and it would be his association with hackers that would later put Brown on the FBI’s radar….

    Watch the vid!

    Remember kids, Barrett Brown was emprisioned by uber cool, hip, human right’s luvvin’ smoker, former President Barack Obama. EXCELLENT! Now move on. The traditional American media has.

    • et Al says:

      From about 9:40, BB expalins the USAF contract for ‘Persona Management’ – i.e. one person controlling mulitple online personas in various online fora.

      This is the same stuff that Snowden leaked and is used by the British Army’s Brigade 77 which was officially stood up a year or so ago, but you can be almost certain it has been going on unofficially for much longer.

      The point it, that while the Guardian and other purveyors of tailored information rail and squeal about commenters to their pieces not buying their bs as ‘Russian trolls’, it is in fact the official services that are heavily invested in managing perception, argument and debate in exactly places like the Guardian online, apparently the world’s most widely ‘read’ news source. It’s the old trick of blaming the enemy of what you yourself are doing.

    • marknesop says:

      I guess it isn’t funny, although it kind of is unless you are a direct target of it yourself, to watch government representatives argue that it is unacceptable for members of the public to hack into their private conversations and find out what well-paid elected representatives, whom you own a piece of, are up to, when they claim at the same time that their surveillance of you is both necessary and harmless.

  45. et Al says:

    Deutscher’s Willy via Germany blocks arms sales to Turkey – report

    The German government has refused approval for military exports to NATO partner country Turkey on a growing number of occasions. Ministers are concerned the weapons could be used to oppress the local population.

    How patently ridiculous considering all the other very unpleasant countries Germany does business with. Say, how are those arms sales to the Gulf states going? Even lovely Bahrain is joining the execution squad party these days. Even if Germany does export much less weapons, it does export police related material too…

  46. et Al says:

    Neuters: Russia says Turkey’s action over Russian wheat hindering relations

    Ankara’s action against Russian wheat, maize and sunflower oil suppliers is hindering restoration of ties between the two countries, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek by phone on Wednesday.

    Turkish buyers have put purchases of these products from Russia on hold, despite denials from Ankara that it has effectively banned imports from Moscow, trade and industry sources said on Monday. ..

    Unlike the west, Russia believes actions speak louder than words… not to mention giving minimal oxygen of publicity to InSultin’ Erd’Organ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s