Russians and Republicans

Dec 2015
13,770
12,646
Arizona
#1
So we're back to RUSSIA again--Vlad's playground. There are so many articles about Russia (and Republicans) this week, it's hard to find the time to read them all. But let's start with Ms. Butina, her very strange relationship with the NRA and the GOP.
From WaPo:
The guilty plea Thursday of a woman accused of infiltrating the National Rifle Association on behalf of the Russian government has thrust the powerful conservative group into an uncomfortable spotlight as the organization appears to be facing declining donations and signs its fearsome political influence may be waning.

Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of Russia, admitting that she worked for more than two years to forge relationships with conservative activists and leading Republicans in the United States.

One of Butina’s main targets was the NRA — a group she identified in a 2015 memo as an organization that “had influence over” the Republican Party, according to court filings. Her relationships with the group, she wrote, could be used as the groundwork for an unofficial channel of communication to the next presidential administration.

Later that year, she helped organize a delegation of top NRA leaders to visit Moscow, arranging for them to meet Russian government officials, and she attended the group’s annual conventions as an honored guest.
**UUHH....Could these U.S. citizens be any more STUPID?? No wonder the GOPPERS were/are so KEEN on Russia. Let's be friends. What harm could there be??
For cryin' outside.

Then there's this:
Meet the Russians ‘Handpicked’ for Trump Event from Bloomberg:
A Moscow real-estate executive. Two former staffers in Vladimir Putin’s administration. A Siberian mayor with dreams of cloning woolly mammoths.
To Maria Butina and her minder back home, these were the right Russians for Donald Trump’s Washington.
Butina, 30, who now admits she worked as an undeclared Kremlin agent, helped arrange for these and five other Russians chosen by a top official to attend the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, which was held just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration, according to U.S. prosecutors.
“People in the list are handpicked” by Butina and the official “and are VERY influential in Russia,” she wrote in a November 2016 email cited by prosecutors. “They are coming to establish a back channel of communication.”
The other Russians, most of whose names haven’t previously been disclosed, are identified in documents reviewed by Bloomberg News.
In an interview last year, Sergei Shakhov (who attended the prayer breakfast) said the Russians felt a natural affinity with U.S. conservatives. “They like us there, they respect us,’’ he said. “They share our views – that a man should be a man and a woman a woman. They’re strongly behind family values.’’
**Are you getting this yet? Russians AND U.S. conservatives at Donald Trump's PRAYER BREAKFAST??? Let me repeat that America's President's PRAYER BREAKFAST.

Moving on.
From the Houston Chronicle: ALL THE LUDICROUS DEFENSES REPUBLICANS OFFER ON THE RUSSIA SCANDAL
Clara says: You might think that it would be a challenge for the GOP to continue to defend DJ Trump and his revolting admiration for all things RUSSIA--but you would be wrong.
The Chronicle says "Fortunately for them, Republicans have always been good at this sort of thing, unencumbered as they are by logic or principle." Truth.
"....the fact that 16 different Trump associates had contact with Russians during the campaign and the transition, and the growing list of indictments, convictions, and guilty pleas?
- Why should we bother investigating this stuff? Can't we just forget about it and move on?"
Clara says: Just vomit now.

There's more. HuffPuff says: THE RUSSIANS MEDDLED IN OUR DEMOCRACY BUT THEY HAD ALL-AMERICAN HELP!
The guilty pleas continue to pile up around the man who sits in the Oval Office. There’s obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations, lying to the FBI, setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump, money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent and using Russian sources to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
And then there’s Maria Butina, an alleged Russian spy who worked closely with the NRA. She is charged with espionage and, it was reported this week, is cooperating with authorities. Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-Utah) Representative Kevin McCarthy and other high-ranking GOP officials simply shrug off the mounting evidence of criminality around their president.
How did the United States of America get to this moment? (I think we all know the answer to that.)

For Repugnants, Russia and Russians are just "no biggie".
 
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Dec 2016
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#3
I don't see anywhere in your article that Maria Butina was kept in solitary confinement before accepting a guilty plea! What does the case against Maria Butina tell us except that Russia also has firearms activists who may be working for financial motivations? And, since it doesn't connect with whatever convoluted and inscrutible Russiagate conspiracy narrative that Mueller is trying to cook up today, she was cut loose after serving as another propaganda point to teach MSM viewers not to trust Russians! Is there anything of substance that Mueller has actually discovered connecting the Russian Government with having control over Donald Trump OR that the Russian Government rigged the 2016 Election in favor of Trump since 2 and a half years ago?

Most of this Russiagate shit is just cooked up to warn any restless potential mobs that they will be similarly tarred as enemies of the state working for a foreign entity, if they protest government policies on a whole range of issues as well as demand that their government work for the people/ instead of the rich! That's why Occupy Wall Street was all shut down in 2011, and every time oligarchs and deep state apparatchiks see unrest in advanced, western allies like France and England, they start shitting their pants and start taking rhetorical actions against any potential activists who might take the streets in America in the near future!
 
Dec 2018
659
395
Wisconsin
#4
One of the key take aways from the filing yesterday was Maria Butina's boyfriend Paul Ericson, who is also suspected of being an agent of the Russian government, set up back-channel communication lines between the Kremlin and "key officials in the republican party."

1. This is with officials of the republican party, not necessarily the Trump campaign
2. It does not name who those officials are.

This leads me to a question I've pondered literally for years now. The intelligence agencies concluded the Kremlin hacked both the DNC and RNC, but damaging information was released regarding the DNC... so what, if any, information does Russia have on the Republican party? Does this have anything to do with the fact that no Republican in Washington will stand up to Trump despite continued praise of Russia?
 
Likes: Clara007
Dec 2015
13,770
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#8
I don't see anywhere in your article that Maria Butina was kept in solitary confinement before accepting a guilty plea! What does the case against Maria Butina tell us except that Russia also has firearms activists who may be working for financial motivations? And, since it doesn't connect with whatever convoluted and inscrutible Russiagate conspiracy narrative that Mueller is trying to cook up today, she was cut loose after serving as another propaganda point to teach MSM viewers not to trust Russians! Is there anything of substance that Mueller has actually discovered connecting the Russian Government with having control over Donald Trump OR that the Russian Government rigged the 2016 Election in favor of Trump since 2 and a half years ago?

Most of this Russiagate shit is just cooked up to warn any restless potential mobs that they will be similarly tarred as enemies of the state working for a foreign entity, if they protest government policies on a whole range of issues as well as demand that their government work for the people/ instead of the rich! That's why Occupy Wall Street was all shut down in 2011, and every time oligarchs and deep state apparatchiks see unrest in advanced, western allies like France and England, they start shitting their pants and start taking rhetorical actions against any potential activists who might take the streets in America in the near future!

You are right. There is NOTHING in my post that indicates that Butina was kept in solitary confinement--before, during or after her guilty plea. AND you know why?? Because I don't care and neither does anyone else except her Russian counterparts. Now ask me if I care what her friends in or out of Russia have to say.
Did Butina break the law? Did she? She was charged with espionage and she pled guilty to espionage. Bring in the judge and jury.
 
Dec 2016
4,125
2,130
Canada
#9
You are right. There is NOTHING in my post that indicates that Butina was kept in solitary confinement--before, during or after her guilty plea. AND you know why?? Because I don't care and neither does anyone else except her Russian counterparts. Now ask me if I care what her friends in or out of Russia have to say.
Did Butina break the law? Did she? She was charged with espionage and she pled guilty to espionage. Bring in the judge and jury.
Then you care nothing about how US police forces are using coercive methods to obtain guilty pleas, since you don't care if these same tactics are used against foreign nationals! You try spending a night....even one fucking night in a jail cell some time, and tell me how you feel about it afterwards! Because THE LAW has become so expansive and criminalized so many seemingly minor offenses...including stuff that was previously not part of the criminal code, AND can apply extreme sentences (by international standards) that added together, can effectively become Execution by Incarceration for the accused. And then add to the pile of shit that the defendant may run out of money to pay attorneys for her defense, that she is stuck with a public defender who has no interest in going long or working against the fucking government institutions to defend a foreign national.....and yes, I'm talking about Maria Butina in this case! But, there is nothing in Butina's case that can't be applied to US citizens....as happens every damn day of the week now...especially under the permanent war of War ON Terror.

Even worse, the new normal has allowed criminals to prosecute those who try to expose their crimes! Wikileaks, it's founder - Julian Assange, Ed Snowden, are a few examples of people who would be sentenced to long prison sentences if they were caught by US forces or delivered to the US by surrogates.

On that note, I'll start with former CIA agent/turned whistleblower - John Kiriakou, since he does a daily radio show with co-host - Brian Becker, and he's told his personal story more than a few times already. In brief, Kiriakou was the main source of information that the US Government was using illegal...even by US standards of the time...torture methods against suspects held in Guantanamo and secret prisons and detention facilities around the world. For his crime of stepping forward and alerting the public about this ongoing abuse, he was charged for violation of the Espionage Act (which carries a death sentence) and reams full of lesser offenses all intended along with bankrupting him with $100,000 worth of legal costs to enter a guilty plea to receive the comparatively mild 2.5 year jail sentence!. This matches the sentences handed out to other CIA and other whistleblowers accused (even if vacuously) of revealing 'state secrets.' Jeffrey Sterling...a higher ranking CIA official and Bradley Manning, at the time a low-ranking (Private) US serviceman with access to classified information, made the mistake of sending the video of an attack on unidentified civilians in Baghdad (even after a pilot declared seeing children) that's been called Collateral Murder ever since, along with an unorganized collection of secret files off to Wikileaks. Again, nobody connected with the commission of actual crimes has been prosecuted! Back to John Kirakou....from 2012:

BREAKING: The Back Story to Kiriakou's Imminent Guilty Plea
Jesselyn Radack


A change of plea hearing is set for today at 11:00 am in the Espionage Act case against Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower John Kiriakou.​
Let's be clear, there is one reason, and one reason only, that John Kiriakou is taking this plea: for the certainty that he'll be out of jail in 2 1/2 years to see his five children grow up.
The government is prepared to drop 80% of its case, including all Espionage Act charges (sound familiar, ahem, Tom Drake?). Kiriakou is expected to plead guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA)--there are no reported cases interpreting it because it's nearly impossible to prove--for "outing" a torturer. "Outing" is in quotes because the charge is not that Kiriakou's actions resulted in a public disclosure of the name, but that through a Kevin Bacon-style chain of causation, GITMO torture victims learned the name of one of their possible torturers. Regardless, how does outing a torturer hurt the national security of the U.S.? It's like arguing that outing a Nazi guarding a concentration camp would hurt the national security of Germany.​
In the last couple of weeks, it became public that:​
. . . The CIA officer listed as "Officer A" in the John Kiriakou complaint has been revealed to be Thomas Donahue Fletcher. Born in 1953. Fletcher is currently a resident of Vienna, VA. Further - source states journalists have known identity of this person prior to August 2008, when Kiriakou allegedly confirmed the identity in an email to Matthew Cole, formerly of ABC News. . . . Thomas Donahue Fletcher was the chief of the Headquarters Based Rendition Group and was personally responsible for the rendition of Abu Zubaydah (as well as other high-value detainees) to the CIA black site in Thailand and witnessed and played a role in Zubaydah's torture.​

An effectively-forced plea from John Kiriakou will be the tragic bookend to the torture narrative: Kiriakou will be going to jail, while Fletcher happily enjoys retirement in Vienna VA, safe with protection from "the most transparent administration in history."
Here's a rogue's gallery of some of the people who got away with torture, in addition to Fletcher:​
Jose Rodriguez, Enrique "Ricky" Prado, Alfreda Bikowsky, all of the lawyers who said it was legal (including my law school contemporary, John Yoo-- enjoying his tenured professorship at a prestigious law school, and now-federal judge Jay Bybee), twisted psychiatrists, including criminal contractors James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, not to mention all of the names we still don't know of the anonymous masked brutes who kidnapped, rendered, beat, waterboarded, and deprived prisoners of the most basic of human dignities.​
The torture cover-up spans both administrations. We learned yesterday that three days after 9/11Bushie Cofer Black was bragging about leaving suspects with "flies walking across their eyeballs" and proposing the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, which resulted in the torture and death of a still unknown number of people. Whether those people committed any crime, much less terrorism, will probably never be fully known. Last Wednesday, the Attorney General rewarded a bunch of lawyers for not prosecuting torture.​
Speaking of rendition, let's not forget, "Officer A" a.k.a. Thomas Fletcher, who Kiriakou is about to plead guilty to "outing," was "chief of the CIA headquarters-based Rendition Group" and personally went on a number of these rendition field trips.​
The only person to be criminally prosecuted, and now likely jailed, as a result of the Bush-era torture regime is John Kiriakou, who refused to participate in torture, helped expose the program, and said on national television that torture was wrong. As Marcy Wheeler so aptly predicted this weekend, the US attorney for the CIA has succeeded in covering-up CIA's torture, again. Another fitting addition to this dark chapter of the U.S. torture program and its cover-up in American history.​
Now, back to the foreign nationals issue, when it comes to the sad sack mainstream media, how many times have you seen a story on Maria Butina titled with: "Accused Russian Spy" Maria Butina? In actual fact, the Justice Dept. charged her with failing to register as an agent for a foreign government. She denied that charge with the argument that she was acting on behalf of a Russian businessman with interests in establishing relations with the NRA and US gun lobby, and was more focused on how to change gun laws...which her mentor considers too oppressive and intrusive in Russia. But, she's a kind of cute redhead...why not dress her up as a modern day Mata Hari? And, according to her statements after being released from a five month stay in solitary confinement in what John Kiriakou calls one of the worst prisons in the US (one that he is personally familiar with) right in the Capital, she claims to have been subjected to routine body cavity searches while interred in a prison cell as well as 'sexual assaults' that we may hear more details about later.
Butina Pleads Guilty After Being ‘Sexually Assaulted’ & ‘Abused’ In DC Jail
 
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Dec 2016
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#10
Part 2
Now because of this 10,000 character horseshit that has no counter!


Now, the US Injustice Department isn't done with Maria Butina yet! She hasn't been sentenced yet, and faces what pundits expect to be a 5 year prison sentence. AND there's more....just like the infomercial talkers say! She is also being held to testify in another case unidentified yet, but which Deep State lapdogs Dailybeast tell us may be connected with pending espionage charges against her American boyfriend - US activist - Paul Erickson.....and the rot continues!
Sealed US Court Files Suggest Butina May Testify in Another Case - Reports
 

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