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White House cans intelligence community inspector general who fingered [redacted]: another Friday Night Massacre of career spy agency professionals.

2020-04-04

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(yours truly trying to show shock and disgust at White House actions undermining intelligence community; facial expressions not being my strong suit)

In a typical purge of “disloyal” staff members of the executive branch performed at a moment when “nobody is watching” (distracted by the new virus and on a slow period for news pros), the WH (White House) put the inspector general for the intelligence community on leave.  This is because the law says [redacted] has to give 30 days notice before removing personnel.  There’s little doubt that this poor man was “escorted” (if not “frog-marched”) off the premises and searched for thumb drives with incriminating/embarrassing information stored on them.

This action follows hard upon the dismissal of the captain of an aircraft carrier who complained to his superiors that his crew was being overwhelmed by the spread of COVID-19 onboard.  Sailors are being slowly disembarked from the ship on Guam, an American territory.  Some are being quarantined in a hotel, but that’s only 700 of a crew of about 5,000.  The rest are stacked cheek-by-jowl on a ship that is a perfect petri dish for viral pandemics– almost as good as a cruise ship, of which ten are still out there floating around.

The excuse for dismissing the aircraft carrier commander was that he somehow allowed his letter to his superiors to get “outside of the chain of command” by copying it to 20 additional recipients– all of whom were part of his chain of command.  Nonetheless, the letter was quickly leaked, which he could have foreseen but wasn’t responsible for– since the subject of his complaint was already in the press and common knowledge.  This smacks of “shooting the messenger” in the same way that the inspector general was figuratively shot out of hand (“loss of confidence” was cited as the excuse).

This disgusting behavior by the sociopathic, narcissistic solipsist who claims to be the Leader of the Free World is appalling  but not surprising.  Going back to the “era before coronavirus” (EBC) is difficult for most of us because mentally, the Earth seems to have fallen off a cliff sometime in January, February, or March (depending on when you realized that “life as we know it” was over).

To recap ancient history: last summer, the inspector general for the intelligence community defied WH political operatives who deemed the whistleblower’s complaint “not urgent” and who failed to transmit it to Congress.  The law requires complaints that are urgent and credible to be transmitted to Congress, in secret if necessary.  In this case, the concern was that the president had tried to link military assistance to Ukraine to the announcement of a sham investigation into the presidential candidate for an opposing party.  Specifically, in the “perfect” phone call, the presidential pretender elliptically but clearly asked Ukraine’s new president for “a favor, though” immediately after discussing more of the Javelins (anti-tank missiles) which the US had sent Ukraine for defense against Russian aggression (which was happening during the phone conversation).

The transcript, which itself had been quietly redacted by persons unknown and then stored on a high secret computer server, also showed the person in the president’s chair repeating a bizarre conspiracy theory which claimed that Ukraine had interfered in the election against him.  In fact, the Russian spy agency had spent a million dollars a month on digital operators who pretended to be American citizens and spread hostile disinformation about the candidate who was running against the eventual Commander-in-Cheat.  This conman eventually seized the post by gaining less than 70,000 votes over his rival in three states out of over 120 million votes total across the country (while the other person racked up a record majority of 2.9 million votes AGAINST the Electoral College-declared winner).

The Ukrainian “conspiracy” against our con man president?  A few public editorials in English on left-leaning news web sites.  The main Ukrainian complaint against the candidate?  That he was siding with the Russians against the Ukrainians over the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014.  (Coincidentally, Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev was born on the border of Ukraine and Russia and considered himself Ukrainian.)

Ancient history: Ukraine was a separate, sovereign country before the Russian revolutions of 1917 and the Russian civil war of 1917-1927.  Then the Soviet Union was formed and subsumed several countries on its Western border: Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, et al.  In WW II, the Soviets took over Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, eastern Germany, Hungary, and several other countries (most of whom had been overrun by the Nazis during their Blitzkrieg to the East); following the war, the Soviets withdrew their armies but left puppet governments behind.

When the Soviet Union was dissolved following the Chernobyl disaster (which occurred April 26, 1986) in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian parliament newly elected under perestroika voted to re-declare itself a sovereign nation in 1990.  Crimea has always been part of Ukraine, but the Soviets resettled a number of Eastern peoples there to control rebellious groups, much in the same way that they used Siberia for political prisoners.  Crimea makes an ideal open-air prison as it is a peninsula that pinches off so tightly that it looks like an island.

The Russians seized Crimea apparently in retaliation for the “Maidan revolution” in which a lavishly corrupt, pro-Russian government was over-thrown after popular protests on the Maidan square.  After government gunmen shot a number of demonstrators, the Ukrainian leader fled to Russia in fear for his life.  The politicians who remained behind ceded power to the “revolutionaries” without forcing them to commit to an armed struggle.  Russian propaganda outlets cast this as an “armed coup” which was supervised by Americans; this line was completely false, and the facts on the ground showed that peaceful demonstrators were shot by police and support for the government collapsed as a result.

After Russia overran Crimea with “little green men” (Russian soldiers with the identifying tags removed from their uniforms), they built a very long bridge from the western edge of the continent across the straits to the northeastern corner of Crimea.  This bridge was necessary to facilitate Russian military and civilian traffic to Crimea, making it possible to go there without crossing territory that still nominally belonged to Ukraine.

Not satisfied with Crimea, the Russians invaded Donbas in northeastern Ukraine.  Donbas has long been a vital industrial area of Ukraine, and it produced vast quantities of war materiel for the Soviets during WW II.  The low-level invasion continues to this day, although it has stalled in the face of patriotic resistance supported by European and American materiel.  This is a good exemplar of the new Russian war doctrine: hybrid war using all possible means, including propaganda and “cyber-war”.

The “Ukrainian rebels” (mostly ethnic Russians and mercenaries) were responsible for the accidental shoot-down of a commercial passenger jet that happened to cross over Ukrainian airspace at about 33,000 feet altitude (normal cruising height for such planes) on its way to Asia.  The Russians claimed that the jet was mistaken for a Ukrainian warplane, and there is little reason to dispute that, since the deaths of 300 civilians in a very expensive airplane was a public relations disaster.  The rest of the Russian story about this crash was false, including who was responsible for arming the “rebels” with anti-aircraft missiles capable of taking down targets flying at high altitude.

The spread of Russian disinformation and our con man president’s credulity in the face of their conspiracy theories and blame-shifting for their election interference is shocking, disturbing, and likely to destroy our democracy if it is not stopped.  The conman has removed an essential professional for daring to report a phone conversation that he and his minions tried to keep secret.  For shame.

(To Eric: if you have gotten this far, please fact-check this document and provide feedback.)

 

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