Tag: Russia

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Another Interesting Idea out of Russia

 

So why am I starting a post with God Save the Tsar, a song not seriously sung in over a century? Because the biggest new idea out of Russia seems to be a revival of the monarchy. Seriously.

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http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20181209/ee4b411a-c979-4977-b31d-41a0f2bee66b To hear recent news from talk radio and read a story like the one above is to encounter 2 vastly different worlds. Talk says that the Mannafort and others’ refusal to accommodate Mueller’s tactics to save themselves from jail leaves nobody except Cohen for Mueller to build a case with. Even CNN seems to […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. One Person can (In)validate the Steele Dossier and No One Seems to Bother

 
Christopher Steele.

Christopher Steele deliberately constructed his Trump dossier to be unverifiable. As long as it remains invalidated, it hangs over the Trump administration, even though the Clinton campaign was identified as its funder and Steele refused to vouch for it under oath. Apparently he did not express such doubts when he was peddling the dossier to a skeptical press.

Steele purports that his “trusted sources” for the dossier are high-level Kremlin officials with intimate knowledge of Putin and his inner circle. I have expressed serious doubts about this claim by asking: Why would someone of such elevated rank disclose the Kremlin’s secrets for a few bucks? In the unlikely case they are what Steele claims, Steele has positioned his sources behind an impenetrable firewall.

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From CNN: India could soon be faced with the threat of US sanctions following a controversial $5 billion weapons deal with Russia… More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, my guest was Rich Higgins. Higgins, an expert in unconventional warfare and combatting terrorism with over 20 years experience at senior levels of the Defense Department, and early supporter of President Trump, served as director for strategic planning in President Trump’s National Security Council (NSC). More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The Russian Orthodox Church, headquartered in Moscow, is facing a challenge to its authority over Ukrainian congregations. My reading, of summary histories, of Russia, and of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), suggests deep roots to such conflict. Church and state politics seem closely intertwined, at least where Moscow is concerned. Although both churches trace […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome another good jobs report and President Trump’s desire to avoid a government shutdown right before the midterm elections. They also wonder why very few people are discussing Russia threatening to use force near U.S. troops in Syria and accusing us of protecting militias hostile to the Assad regime. And as dozens of top Trump administration officials deny writing the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, they discuss the immense damage the Times will do to its own reputation if the author turns our to be a figure few people have heard of.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 35 Years Ago: Russians shoot down KAL 007, all lives lost

 

Thirty-five years ago, on September 1, 1983, Russian jet fighters shot down a Boeing 747 operated by Korean Airlines. KAL flight 007, even the flight number invites conspiracy theories! The facts are that the plane went down in the Sea of Japan with all 269 passengers and crew lost, the aircraft fatally damaged by two short-range air-to-air missiles. This was a dreadful mishap at the height of the Cold War, the civilian aircraft being mistaken for the smaller RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, and it also showed how far Russia would go to defend its territorial integrity from overflights.

RAF operated RC-135; Russians were tracking USAF RC-135s in the area.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Washington Post for assigning “Four Pinocchios” to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s claim that the Russians had already infiltrated his state’s election systems, even though every relevant office in federal and state government had no idea what he was talking about. They also hammer Republican senators for wasting their time in session this month because seven GOP members failed to show up this week, handing Democrats a functional majority while critical votes are supposed to be happening. And they scratch their heads over a new rationale among some Republicans that Democrats winning control of the House in the midterm elections would actually be a very good thing for President Trump’s re-election prospects in 2020.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Russian Georgia War My Experience Ten Years On…

 
Russian Looters in Georgia 2008

It was August and it was hot. I had just got a short-term missions team sent home and so I finally returned to my village in Eastern Georgia. We were getting ready to celebrate my son’s birthday on August 8th. The Olympics were about to be on and we were anxious to watch them. We heard some disturbing rumors even back on August 5th when one of the Georgians with us had his leave canceled and was recalled to his unit. The rumors were about serious threats on the border of South Ossetia and a breakaway region of Georgia, but that happened every summer. We were sorry for our soldier friend but weren’t really worried. The tensions had been growing for days and several members of the Georgian government were gone on vacation and many military personal were on leave and 2,000 of Georgia’s best soldiers were away fighting in Iraq for the United States. I didn’t seem like war was about to break out.

Background to the War

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are baffled by the lack of media coverage about a New Mexico compound where starving children were reportedly being trained to carry out school shootings, and they find, once again, that the FBI responded slowly to compelling tips. They also continue to find entertainment in socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is now claiming that medicare-for-all would eliminate funeral expenses. And they wonder why Florida Sen. Bill Nelson had made claims about Russian interference in the election when no state official has heard anything about it.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. There’s More Than One Kind Of Corruption

 

When people think of corruption in high places, they tend to think of elites feathering their own nests. Bill and Hillary Clinton monetized political power into a personal fortune of hundreds of millions, and played the system better than any couple since Napoleon and Josephine. Paul Manafort is alleged to have sold his services to sketchy foreign powers (including a Putin puppet in Ukraine), pocketed multiple millions, evaded American taxes, and according to evidence presented in his trial, spent up to a million dollars on cashmere suits and ostrich jackets (being rich doesn’t mean having taste).

President Trump is defending his former campaign chairman: “Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion – a Hoax!” The president might answer a few questions too. Why didn’t he do any background investigation of Manafort? His career representing tainted foreign leaders like Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi was public knowledge. Allegations that he received off-the-books payments from overseas interests were also only a click away. In 2016, Manafort flatly denied the allegations: “The simplest answer is the truth: I am a campaign professional. . . .I have never received a single ‘off-the-books cash payment’ as falsely ‘reported’ by The New York Times, nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia.” That didn’t age well.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America are glad Facebook has uncovered and eliminated coordinated activity involving fake accounts that promote fringe political movements on both the far right and far left, thus debunking the idea that Russia wants to elect Republicans. They also fail to see why President Donald Trump keeps sticking his neck out for Paul Manafort, since the charges are separate from the Russia collusion investigation. And they discuss former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’ potential partnership with former John McCain presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt to mount a 2020 presidential run.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin Speaks Code. Does Trump Understand?

 

Back when word first leaked that Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump, Jr., had met with a Russian lawyer and others offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, President Trump seemed to think he was supplying an exculpatory cover story. Flying home from Germany on Air Force One, Trump reportedly instructed Don Jr. to claim that he and the Kremlin-linked lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” There is apparently some debate about whether that misleading statement places the president in any legal jeopardy, but there is another aspect to the story that has received less attention. It came up again during the Helsinki debacle – Putin, the world’s richest man and most successful thief, is obsessed with the Magnitsky Act.

In fact, the very mention of Russian adoptions was a tipoff that Ms. Veselnitskaya was probably representing Vladimir Putin. Whether Trump knew this at the time is unclear. After all, he could not say what the nuclear triad was and endorsed “Article XII” of the U.S. Constitution. Maybe he thought mentioning that they discussed Russian adoptions was the most anodyne-sounding explanation for the meeting.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America learn from the late National Review founder William F. Buckley that the left drew a moral equivalence between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War, and they warn President Trump not to make the same mistake. They also compliment Chris Wallace of Fox News for asking pointed questions about election meddling to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they fear the interview and Putin’s weak answers will soon be forgotten. And they fret that the left has taken fair criticism of the Trump-Putin summit to preposterous extremes by labeling it as morally equivalent with 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kristallnacht.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Understanding Why the Russians Don’t Smile (and We Do)

 

“So, my dear, I am guessing that you are American?”

I was surprised by the question, even though I had seen this serious older woman every morning for over a week behind the pastry counter in the market next to my hotel in St. Petersburg. I responded in my customary overly-effusive manner, and bubbled, “Why yes. How did you know?” “That,” she replied, pointing at my lower face. “Only Americans smile at everything.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Why did Senate Majority Leader McConnell allow three Republican Senators to showboat in Moscow, Russia, instead of going home to their states for Independence Day? And why did he authorize them to peddle the insinuation that President Trump was not legitimately elected — that the election was actually influenced by Putin in favor of President Trump? That […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America tackle four big stories today. First, they welcome the resignation of disgraced GOP Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. After another Twitter slam against his attorney general, they wonder why President Trump doesn’t just fire Jeff Sessions if he hates him so much. They also discuss the massive shift in opinion on free speech on both the left and right after ABC cancels “Roseanne” after Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet. And they marvel at the fake assassination of a reporter in Ukraine to smoke out the people really trying to kill him.

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