Greg Lance – Watkins
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it has been said by politics watchers over the years that the only reason there has never been a Coup in the USA is that the US do not have an embassy in Washington – a sentiment many Countries around the world and particularly in South America and the Caribean will empathise with!
What America seemingly overlooks however is that Russia does have an embassy in Washington. It has also been said that in America is the most effective intelligence service in the worl and it belongs to Russia.
One would have thought, in the light of these two tongue in cheek approaches to diplomacy and the intrigues of global politics the US might by now have caught onto the fact that Russia sees one very clear way of getting on in the world and increasing their influence and power without use of arms is to destabilise, disadvantage and damage both their enemies and their competitors on the world stage.
One can not castigate, though I can understand annoyance, Russia may thus attract but to castigate them for doing what every Country, corporation or competitive human does in their own way is in Russia’s case done for the benefit of both its peoples and its leadership.
What better way, short of all out nuclear war, can you think of destabilising, disadvantaging and damaging the US, both internally and in terms of influence than to do all you could to get Donald Trump elected POTUS – just look at the mess the US is in after only 150 or so days of divisive navel gazing, weenie waggling and Twitter management of its Russian aided POTUS.
Round one clearly goes to Russia – they have achieved their aim and sit on the sidelines and watch The Hill tear itself appart unable to function whilst the POTUS defends himself with the one hand whilst appointing family and friends to help (themselves), whilst he dimisses Congress, incites The Supreme Court and ignores the Senate whilst issuing fatuous comments with his other hand on Twitter – totally out of control he panders catastrophicly to populism and the vaste masses of indiginous poor whites, though it is more PC to label this army of ‘American dream’ failures the ‘Blue Collar Workers’ though a huge tranche of them would wish to be able to become ‘workers’ whatever collar they wore!
In the land of the FBI, CIA and NSA America has one of the world’s most active and efficient intelligernce services though unwittingly they now find it is managed by the FSB!
One only has to drive through the rural mid west or in suberbia beyond the beltway of any great American city to see the extent of the not so well hidden poverty that grips America – endlessly in fear of the slightest illness against which they have no defence having no viable health service.
Cancer for most in America means every last cent you have gets spent you loose your job first and then your home as your slide out of the American confort zone into poverty, just the other side of the tracks and finally face a destitute death in some fly blown trailer park.
You have to admit President Putin in anointing Donald Trump as POTUS has inflicted the most dangerous of injuries on America.
My fear, naturally, is that Putin’s newfound skill might be used in Britain in support of Corbyn – already Russia by years of funding CND and various extreme parts of the so called Socialist movement have done great damage to Britain.
Do not for a moment think America is being selectively targeted you will Recall Chancellor Schroder of Germany who was rewarded for his damage to EUrope by being appointed, at the end of his term in German/EU politics as a Direrctor of Gasprom the Russian oil and gas giant that immediately instated him as one of the many Russian olygarchs.
There are even signs that the US is waking from its complacency1
The Obama administration had CIA intelligence in early August detailing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect Donald Trump, but struggled for months to confirm the findings and marshal a response.
It took time for other parts of the intelligence community to endorse the CIA’s view. Only in the administration’s final weeks in office did it tell the public, in a declassified report, what a handful of White House officials had learned from CIA Director John Brennan in August — that Putin was working to elect Trump.
Over that five-month interval, the Obama administration secretly debated dozens of options for deterring or punishing Russia, including cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin, and sanctions that officials said could “crater” the Russian economy.
But in the end, in late December, Obama approved a modest package combining measures that had been drawn up to punish Russia for other issues — expulsions of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds — with economic sanctions so narrowly targeted that even those who helped design them describe their impact as largely symbolic.
The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.
Those closest to Obama defend the administration’s response to Russia’s meddling. They believe that a series of warnings — including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September — prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of US voting systems.
Denis McDonough, who served as Obama’s chief of staff, said the administration regarded Russia’s interference as an attack on the “heart of our system.”
“We set out from a first-order principle that required us to defend the integrity of the vote,” McDonough said in an interview. “Importantly, we did that. It’s also important to establish what happened and what they attempted to do so as to ensure that we take the steps necessary to stop it from happening again.”
But other administration officials look back on the Russia period with remorse.
“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
The report brought to the White House was drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the presidential race.
At the time, the outlines of the Russian assault on the US election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year.
In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.
But at the highest levels of government, among those responsible for managing the crisis, the first moment of true foreboding about Russia’s intentions arrived with that CIA intelligence.
The material was so sensitive that Brennan, the CIA director, kept it out of the president’s daily briefing, concerned that even that restricted report’s distribution was too broad.
To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the situation room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid.
In the months since, the post-election period has been dominated by investigations into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia before the election and whether the president sought to obstruct the FBI inquiry afterward. That spectacle has obscured the magnitude of Moscow’s attempt to hijack a precious and now vulnerable-seeming American democratic process.
Beset by allegations of hidden ties between his campaign and Russia, Trump has shown no inclination to revisit the matter and has denied any collusion or obstruction on his part.
As a result, the expulsions and modest sanctions announced by Obama on Dec. 29 continue to stand as the United States’ most forceful response.
“The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the US ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. “Russia violated our sovereignty, meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy — electing our president.’’
“The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack. And US policymakers now — both in the White House and Congress — should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions,” McFaul said.
The Senate this month passed a bill that would impose additional election- and Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow and limit Trump’s ability to lift them. The measure requires House approval, however, and Trump’s signature.
Trump on Friday suggested in a television interview that special counsel Robert Mueller has a close personal relationship with fired FBI director James Comey that could disqualify Mueller from credibly overseeing the Russia investigation.
In the interview with Fox News, Trump claimed Mueller was ‘‘very, very good friends with Comey, which is bothersome.’’
Trump repeatedly refused to say whether he believed Mueller would have to recuse himself from the inquiry. ‘‘We’ll have to see,’’ he said.
Mueller is expected to explore the circumstances of Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9 and whether that dismissal was an attempt to obstruct the Russia investigation.
Trump also repeated in the interview that he never made recordings of his conversations with Comey, but added that when Comey ‘‘found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed.’’
Trump has disputed Comey’s assertion that he asked the FBI director for a pledge of loyalty.
When news of Comey’s statement broke, Trump tweeted that Comey ‘‘better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’’
Asked if he was trying to keep Comey honest, Trump added: ‘‘It wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He was — he did admit that what I said was right.’’
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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