Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 03, 2019

When Ukraine's Prosecutor Came After His Son's Sponsor Joe Biden Sprang Into Action

There are some serious questions around the Biden family involvement in the Ukraine that the media have not picked up on.

The first regards the ownership of the company which hired Joe Biden's son Hunter for an exorbitant amount of money while Joe Biden ran the U.S. Ukraine policy.

The second question is about the firing of the Viktor Shokin, the former Prosecutor General of the Ukraine. Trump accuses Joe Biden of having intervened in favor of his son's sponsor to get Shokin fired. The timeline below supports that assertion.


At Naked Capitalism Yves Smith reposted a 2014 piece by Richard Smith who at that time looked into the Hunter Biden appointment to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas producer. Yves writes:

Richard [Smith] did a deep dive into the dodgy appointment of Hunter Biden and then Secretary of State John Kerry’s long-standing bundler, Devon Archer, to the board of Burisma Holdings. Richard quickly got past the noteworthy fact that Biden Jr. was being paid quite a lot for no relevant expertise and no investment in the company…so what was he being paid for, exactly? Oh, and Richard also describes how Hunter’s and his uncle James Biden’s past financial rides were with con artists.

But the real puzzlement is that from everything that can be inferred, Burisma is either tiny or just a shell company. So who is behind these big director payoffs payouts? Richard found some bread crumbs that pointed to Burisma being owned by Privat Group, a conglomerate controlled by the Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Burisma is officially owned by Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Ukrainian Minister for Natural Resources who (illegitimately) issued oil and gas licenses to companies he himself owned. But Richard's trail shows that Burisma was sold or raided with the help of various shell companies and that the real owner is probably the Nazi loving criminal oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.

The German state funded DW notes an additional candidate:

In late 2013, [Zlochevsky] denied that he owned Burisma, and an employee in his office reported that he sold the company - but no evidence of this has come to light yet. Two oligarchs, Ihor Kolomojski and Viktor Pinchuk, have been named as the possible new owners.
...
DW could not reach Kolomojski for comment about Burisma. Pinchuk refused to comment, but is said to have a good relationship with the Democratic Party in the US, and is also believed to have been a long time friend of former Polish President Kwasniewski.

Kwasniewski was, like Hunter Biden and his friend Devon Archer, appointed to the board of Burisma.

Kolomoisky is the sponsor of the current President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

No one seems to know who really owns the company. Whoever does has hidden behind a bunch of shell companies in Cyprus and Britain. DW says that Zlochevsky denied in 2013 that he was the owner but several Bursima press releases name and quote Mykola Zlochevsky as owner and president of the Burisma Group. Is he now just a front man for a bigger oligarch?


Joe Biden himself bragged that he blackmailed the Ukrainian government to get the "corrupt" prosecutor general Viktor Shokin fired:

And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

Several papers claimed that the story Biden told happened in March 2016. That is however not correct:

Biden never traveled to Ukraine that month. The Ukrainian president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, traveled to Washington in March — but only after the prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, had already been dismissed by the Ukrainian parliament.

Why the confusion? Because Biden managed to squeeze months of diplomacy into a few hours when he recounted the story years later at the Council on Foreign Relations.

After the U.S. sponsored Maidan coup in 2014 then Vice President Joe Biden led the Ukraine policy of the Obama administration. His campaign against prosecutor general Shokin started in September 2015:

[The U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey] Pyatt kicked off the effort with a speech on Sept. 24, 2015 in which he blasted Shokin for “openly and aggressively undermining reform” and having “undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases.” In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 8, Nuland declared: “The Prosecutor General’s Office has to be reinvented as an institution that serves the citizens of Ukraine, rather than ripping them off.”

Biden followed up with a visit to Kiev in December. On Dec. 7, he held a news conference with Poroshenko and announced $190 million to “fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector.” He made no public mention of the loan guarantee, but behind the scenes he had explicitly linked the $1 billion loan guarantee to reform efforts, including removing Shokin, according to Colin Kahl, Biden’s national security adviser at the time.

A day after the news conference, he addressed the Ukrainian parliament and decried the “cancer of corruption” in the country. “The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform,” he noted.
...
Biden next met on Jan. 20 with Poroshenko on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he also pressed “the need to continue to move forward on Ukraine’s anti-corruption agenda,” according to a White House statement.

The campaign was rather slow. But in February Biden's efforts to get Shokin fired suddenly went into overdrive:

Feb. 12: Biden spoke to Poroshenko by phone. “The two leaders agreed on the importance of unity among Ukrainian political forces to quickly pass reforms in line with the commitments in its IMF program, including measures focused on rooting out corruption,” the White House said.

Feb. 16: Poroshenko announced he had asked Shokin to resign. [...]

Feb. 18: Another call took place between Biden and Poroshenko. [...]

Feb. 19: Poroshenko announced he has received Shokin’s resignation letter. It still required parliamentary approval, and Shokin did not go away quietly.

That same day, Biden spoke separately to Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. [...]

March 16: Reports emerged that Shokin was back at work after having been on vacation. [...]

March 22: Biden and Poroshenko spoke again by phone [...]

March 29: The Ukrainian parliament, in a 289-to-6 vote, approved Shokin’s dismissal.

On March 31, Poroshenko met with Biden during a trip to Washington, and Biden emphasized that the loan guarantee was contingent on further reform progress beyond Shokin’s removal.

On April 14, Biden and Poroshenko had another call. Biden congratulated the president on his new cabinet and “stressed the urgency of putting in place a new Prosecutor General [...]

May 12: Poroshenko nominated Yuriy Lutsenko as the new prosecutor general.

On May 13, in a phone call, Biden told Poroshenko he welcomed Lutsenko’s appointment [...]

The Biden driven campaign against Shokin started slow but in February 2016 it went into a frenzy. What had happened? Did it have to do with Burisma?

U.S. mainstream reporting denies that. The Washington Post wrote:

Giuliani’s primary allegation — that Joe Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor to quash a probe into the former minister and Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky — is not substantiated and has been widely disputed by former U.S. officials and Ukrainian anti-corruption activists.
...
Even as he overhauled Burisma, Zlochevsky remained in the crosshairs of authorities in Ukraine. By 2015, prosecutors had opened two probes into the former ecology minister — one into claims of unlawful enrichment and the other into alleged abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement, according to documents from the prosecutor general’s office reviewed by the Wall Street Journal at the time. Zlochevsky denied wrongdoing in those cases.
...
Shokin — who has provided information about Biden to Giuliani — told The Post earlier this year that he believes he was ousted in March 2016 because he was investigating Burisma. If he had been allowed to remain in the job, he would have questioned Hunter Biden’s qualifications to be a board member, he said, noting that “this person had no work experience in Ukraine or in the energy sector.”

But at the time, the Zlochevsky case was dormant, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials.

[Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center,] recalled how she and other anti-corruption activists in Ukraine criticized Shokin heavily for not pursuing the investigation and hoped his dismissal would re-energize the case.

The New York Times makes a slightly different claim:

Mr. Zlochevsky’s allies were relieved by the dismissal of Mr. Shokin, the prosecutor whose ouster Mr. Biden had sought, according to people familiar with the situation.

Mr. Shokin was not aggressively pursuing investigations into Mr. Zlochevsky or Burisma. But the oligarch’s allies say Mr. Shokin was using the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes from Mr. Zlochevsky and his team, and that left the oligarch’s team leery of dealing with the prosecutor.

The above accounts are incorrect. Shokin did go after Zlochevsky. He opened two cases against him in 2015. After he did that Biden and his crew started to lobby for his firing. Shokin was aggressively pursuing the case. He did so just before Biden's campaign against him went into a frenzy.

On February 4 2016 Interfax-Ukraine reported:

The movable and immovable property of former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Mykola Zlochevsky in Ukraine has been seized, according to the press service of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO).

"The PGO filed a petition to court to arrest the property of the ex-Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Mykola Zlochevsky, from which arrest was withdrawn, and other property he actually uses, namely housing estate with a total area of 922 square meters, a land plot of 0.24 hectares, a garden house with a total area of 299.8 square meters, a garden house in the territory of Vyshgorod district, a garden house of 2,312 square meters, a land plot of 0.0394 hectares, a Rolls-Royce Phantom car, a Knott 924-5014 trainer," reads the report.

The PGO clarifies that the court satisfied the petition on February 2, 2016.
...
Zlochevsky is suspected of committing a criminal offense under Part 3 of Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illicit enrichment).

On February 2 Shokin confiscated four large houses Zlochevsky owned plus a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a "Knott 924-5014 trainer". (Anyone know what that is?)  Ten days later Biden goes into overdrive to get him fired. Within one week he personally calls Poroshenko three times with only one major aim: to get Shokin fired. 

The Washington Post falsely claimed that the Zlochevsky case was "dormant". The executive director of the U.S. and EU financed Anti-Corruption Action Center falsely claimed that the prosecutor was "not pursuing the investigation". The NYT repeated that false claim and added an obvious false claim from unnamed Zlochevsky "allies". Why did the media claim Shokin did nothing against Zlochevsky when the record shows the opposite?

Zlochevsky had hired Joe Biden's son Hunter for at least $50,000 per month. In 2015 Shokin started to investigate him in two cases. During the fall of 2015 Joe Biden's team begins to lobby against him. On February 2 Shokin seizes Zlochevsky's houses. Shortly afterwards the Biden camp goes berserk with Biden himself making nearly daily phonecalls. Shokin goes on vacation while Poroshenko (falsely) claims that he resigned. When Shokin comes back into office Biden again takes to the phone. A week later Shokin is out.

Biden got the new prosecutor general he wanted. The new guy made a bit of show and then closed the case against Zlochevsky:

Mr. Shokin was replaced by a prosecutor named Yuriy Lutsenko, whom former Vice President Biden later called “someone who was solid at the time.” Mr. Zlochevsky’s representatives were pleased by the choice, concluding they could work with Mr. Lutsenko to resolve the oligarch’s legal issues, according to the people familiar with the situation.

While Mr. Lutsenko initially took a hard line against Burisma, within 10 months after he took office, Burisma announced that Mr. Lutsenko and the courts had “fully closed” all “legal proceedings and pending criminal allegations” against Mr. Zlochevsky and his companies.

The oligarch, who had fled the country amid investigations by previous prosecutors, was removed by a Ukrainian court from “the wanted list,” and returned to the country.

When the political wind from Washington changed the prosecutor general Biden earlier lauded proved to be flexible:

This year, though, Mr. Lutsenko’s office moved to restart scrutiny of Mr. Zlochevsky.

The timeline above seems to support Shokin's claim that he was fired on Joe Biden's order because he went after Zlochevsky who paid Biden's son a very significant monthly sum.

That U.S. main stream media try to obfuscate or even deny that Shokin was serious in his investigation lets one doubt their other claims about the Biden affair and the now evolving impeachment inquiry.

I am not against an impeachment of Trump. But to go after him because he asks serious questions about Biden's shenanigan in the Ukraine is not a productive way do that. Those questions must be asked and answered.

Posted by b on October 3, 2019 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

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HOW BIDEN'S SON HUNTER ALMOST STARTED WORLD WAR 3

For the last 75 years Eastern Europe and much of Western Europe has relied on a constant flow of cheap hydrocarbon fuel from Russia. Russia has made huge efforts to guarantee the reliability of this supply. For most of the time Eastern Europe received this energy practically for free. In Western Europe reliable Russian natural gas supplies have enabled the phasing out of high-CO2 coal and even of nuclear energy. In Ukraine and the rest of the Soviet Union gas replaced firewood. This enabled urbanization and turning most land over to agriculture.

The United States has done everything possible to try to disrupt or stop this energy flow. In the early 1980s sanctions were imposed on West European companies involved in the construction of the Trans-Siberian Pipeline that now passes through Ukraine. Recent achievements include blocking SouthStream and delaying NordStream2. Modern propaganda speaks of "European energy dependence on Russia" and "Gazprom’s gas monopoly". The alternative demanded by the US: build enormously expensive LNG terminals and import bottled LNG from USA. This American surplus gas would be produced by fracking.

The main geopolitical aim of the Maidan coup was to disrupt the gas flow on the trans-Ukrainian pipelines. Simply blowing up the pipelines was not possible, as Ukraine was dependent on Russian gas imports. By making Ukraine self-sufficient on energy, even temporarily, would enable the US to dismantle the gas pipelines. The solution to fast but unstable gas supplies is fracking. Fracked oil and gas wells produce most of their output in the first year and quickly run out, but leave permanent damage to the environment.

Burisma was the gas company chosen for the implementation of the fracking plan. Biden's son Hunter was placed on the board, not as a form of bribery but because of the importance of this geopolitical project. The largest gas reserves in Ukraine for fracking are in the east, in the fully Russian parts of the Ukraine. A central point of the fracking operation was to be Slavyansk on the former Donetsk Oblast.

Fear of fracking played a major part in the opposition to the Maidan coup in Kiev. The armed uprising against the new rulers started in Slavyansk on April 8, 2014. By May 2014 the Donetsk People's Republic had been established in a referendum.

Quotes from three articles:

Before the fear of war, fear of fracking in Ukraine - Al Jazeera, August 10, 2014

A visitor to the Donbass in February or March wouldn’t have heard fear of war but fear of fracking, with residents fearful their land would be destroyed.

“If you asked me last month, I would tell you right away that gas was the real reason for our hate for Kiev and for this war,’’ said Ivan Vailyevich, a pensioner from the building on Bulvarnaya Avenue when recalled how he participated in mass street protests in February and March.

“We’d kill and die but never allow production of shale gas here,” he said. “That would poison our land.” Now he doesn’t know what to say. “After our house was bombed this month, we realized that shale gas was not as scary as shells.”

Oksana, a young shop assistant selling swimsuits at a department store on a corner of Lenin Avenue, said that she and her family became scared of “foreigners coming” to drill for shale gas in Slovyansk after then-President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell in January 2013.

***

Russia’s silent shale gas victory in Ukraine - Euractiv, September 2, 2015

According to Russia’s TASS, the residents of Slavyansk, which is the centre of the Yuzivska deposit, organised several protests against development of the deposit. They even planned to have a referendum on the issue.

Another TASS report even allegedly cited Pavel Gubarev, the self-proclaimed leader of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, admitting in an interview with Russian television Rossiya 24 on 19 May that one of the key reasons for the fighting is Kyiv’s push to “continue development of shale gas on the territory of Ukraine”.

It is hard to miss the massive American interest in Europe’s desire to cut dependency of Russia and simultaneously Ukraine’s promising shale gas prospects. Besides the obvious profit-oriented business interests of American companies in tapping the shale gas of Ukraine, as usually, politics and strategic foreign political interests are also at play in the war for Ukraine’s new gas potential.

In fact, the Biden family was so interested in Ukraine, that his son Hunter was appointed to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings. This has put Ukraine’s shale gas question into a new perspective – at least from the American viewpoint.

Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets basin in the eastern Ukraine and Biden Jr. is not the only American with political ties to have recently joined the company’s board. Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and a college roommate of Kerry’s stepson, signed up with Burisma in April 2014.

***

How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World - Mother Jones, September 2014

Following the Crimea crisis, the Obama administration has also been pressing Eastern European countries to fast-track their fracking initiatives so as to be less dependent on Russia. During an April visit to Ukraine, which has granted concessions to Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the United States would bring in technical experts to speed up its shale gas development. “We stand ready to assist you,” promised Biden, whose son Hunter has since joined the board of a Ukrainian energy company. “Imagine where you’d be today if you were able to tell Russia: ‘Keep your gas.’ It would be a very different world.”


Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 3 2019 17:44 utc | 1

Biden's Ukraine shenanigans is just the tip:
Biden tells Trump You're not going to destroy me

Trump said China should investigate the Bidens.

And the Bidens have been getting a lot of exposure:
The troubling reason why Biden is so soft on China

Last week, Biden raised eyebrows when he shrugged off concerns over the China threat. “Come on, man,” Biden said. “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”

Perhaps Biden’s insouciant attitude toward the Chinese government has to do with the fact that his family does not consider them competitors but business partners.

In 2013, then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two to China. Less than two weeks later, Hunter Biden’s firm inked a $1 billion private equity deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China. The deal was later expanded to $1.5 billion. In short, the Chinese government funded a business that it co-owned along with the son of a sitting vice president.

If it sounds shocking that a vice president would shape US-China policy as his son — who has scant experience in private equity — clinched a coveted billion-dollar deal with an arm of the Chinese government, that’s because it is.

Until the publication of my book, “Secret Empires,” no one knew the deal took place. Indeed, it took me and a team of seasoned investigators nearly two years to unearth and report the facts.[.]

Trump does not know when not to stoke the fire. Stop twittering.

Joe did the destroying all by himself. The paper trail is long recorded and no pre-trial discovery required for the impeachment. Rudy will wipe the floor and play the videos for the kill.

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 3 2019 18:05 utc | 2

Shokin's statement to an Austrian Court.

https://www.scribd.com/document/427618359/Shokin-Statement#

Posted by: SteveK9 | Oct 3 2019 18:14 utc | 3

Seems it's going to come down to why Joe Biden wanted Viktor Shokin fired. Probably to protect his son but where's the proof? Biden will say he was only trying to stamp out corruption in Ukraine.

Posted by: dh | Oct 3 2019 18:14 utc | 4

@3 Thanks for that. I posted my comment # 4 before I saw it. Paragraphs 9-11 look the most relevant. No doubt in Shokin's mind anyway that Biden was protecting Burisma.

Posted by: dh | Oct 3 2019 18:26 utc | 5

@dh 4

where is the proof? the money trail leads you there and the video:


"FLASHBACK, 2018: Joe Biden Brags At CFR Meeting About Withholding Aid To Ukraine To Force Firing Of Prosecutor"
Video In Biden's own words

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 3 2019 18:35 utc | 6

I wonder how much it’s gonna cost to suppress this information. These clowns have hook, line and sinkered themselves. What a shit show. Walked into a trap of their own making. Like shooting fish in a barrel for The Don. Anyone would think putting on a bullseye in the morning would be fashion of the month over at the DNC.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Oct 3 2019 18:40 utc | 7

@6 Well yeah there's Joe bragging about getting Shokin fired. But he'll say he was doing it to clean up Ukraine for everybody's benefit. He probably sees nothing wrong with getting Hunter on the board of Burisma. Heck any dad in his position would have done the same.

Posted by: dh | Oct 3 2019 18:47 utc | 8

A Ukrainian blogger reports that Lutsenko has high-tailed it to London, supposedly to improve his English

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/3921905.html

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 3 2019 19:00 utc | 9

This post, which sums up and rounds out information which is either widely available (@6) or easily deducible (Hunter's sudden elevation, while on vacation in Ukraine, into the $50,000 per month salary bracket)ought to put a QED under the question of whether Biden is corrupt.

It beggars belief that the idiots in the Democratic leadership sense any political gains from associating themselves, to the death, with behaviour that is clearly and incontrovertibly corrupt. A case, in fact, which more or less encapsulates everything that Joe Sixpack of Peoria and his kindred feel is desperately wrong with the US political system and US society.
Impeachment? Good luck with that guys! It would be easier to build an igloo in the corner of Hell reserved for Tammany Hall and its legion acolytes.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 3 2019 19:16 utc | 10

The "Knott 924-5014 trainer" seems to be a translation error - the Russian sources have "прицеп Knott 924-5014", which means Knott trailer (https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Прицеп).

Posted by: Bernd Neuner | Oct 3 2019 19:28 utc | 11

The post has: "After the U.S. sponsored Maidan coup in 2014 then Vice President Joe Biden led the Ukraine policy of the Obama administration. His campaign against prosecutor general Shokin started in September 2015:"

Then the post quote:"[The U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey] Pyatt kicked off the effort with a speech on Sept. 24, 2015 in which he blasted Shokin for 'openly and aggressively undermining reform' and having 'undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases.'”

The problem for the post is that Pyatt never worked for Biden. Including this as proof of what Biden did is incompetent or dishonest. It is in fact evidence that it is silly to take Biden's statements about him personally getting Shokin fired seriously, instead of as bragging or yet another failure of mind. It was a goal of US government diplomacy, not just Joe Biden. Biden was not more under oath than Trump was at Access: Hollywood.

The assumption that Shokin was actually a threat to Hunter Biden remains unconfirmed. Sorry, no, the list of seized property is evidence of a political threat to Zlochevsky but not to Burisma. Going after that instead of seizing Burisma as illegal enrichment is suggestive in fact of protection for Burisma while attacking Zlochevsky personally. Worst of all, if Shokin was actually fighting corruption---which takes a lot of faith in the honesty of the post-Maidan government!---the question is who the opponents of Shokin wanted to protect. I suggest the local oligarchs had a lot more to lose and more influence. The notion that Zlochevsky counted as an "oligarch" is so preposterous it suggests a treacherous source or flagrant stupidity. Akhmetov, Poroshenko, Boholyubov, Kolomoyskiy, Pinchuk, Kosiuk were oligarchs.

Personally I think Trump campaigning during government business is indefensible and I believe violation of campaign laws. But conjuring up a phony need to investigate a non-case is just crawling in the mud with the Trump worshipers.

As for Hunter Biden being selected for Burisma's board? Why, of course, those people selected the boy because of his connections. Board members are generally held to be qualified *because* of their connections. It's not like they do any real work, after all. And of course Biden Hunter took the job. But, to say it again, the real corruption is in what's legal. Hunter Biden discreetly influence peddling is not illegal.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 3 2019 19:29 utc | 12

re: b's lede and Petri Krohn 1

Several years ago while doing my own research on all that has gone on in Ukraine recently I learned that both Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron had signed development agreements with Ukrainian energy interests to develop shale gas fields in eastern and northwestern Ukraine. Those agreements were all backed out of after the Maiden revolt. I also found a map of the eastern shale gas field and it almost exactly overlaps the area under control of the Russian separatists. I think it is quite reasonable to assume that Russia was fomenting the resistance to this development - it would be a perfectly reasonable and expected response, and as someone living in the US sacrifice zone of the heart of the Marcellus and Utica, more power to them.

Of course Russia's interest was not environmental but economic. Most probably know that the former Soviet bloc Ukraine and Russia had been feuding for many years (at least a decade) over the Russian pipelines crossing Ukraine about transit royalty payments, gas allowances, etc. Both sides were intransigent and unreasonable, and I have to wonder know how much on Ukraine's side was being poked and prodded by US spooks and spies.

In 2014 the US DOE produced a study requested by the Obama admin that purported to be a cradle to grave analysis to answer the question "Will exporting LNG produced from fracked US shale gas (Marcellus and Utica in the study)increase global GHG emissions?" The study combined all of the GHG contributing factors all the way up to arrival of the product to Rotterdam in Europe and Shanghai in China. For comparison the study looked at the GHG contributions of the existing European coal and gas fired energy sectors of Europe and China. The conclusion of the study was that it was a wash, but imo the study was flawed because it considered "the grave" - the end point - to be the port arrival and re-gasification, and not the further conveyance and distribution, or even the final consumption inputs. And of course a more helpful question to have asked (of course it wasn't because of the foregone conclusion) "would it REDUCE GHG's? Probably also flawed further because as has been revealed methane escapes from all aspects of this industry are much greater than is claimed or reported.

The long and the short of it is (imo,)Ukraine was all about the US shale gas industry. The US shale gas boom could only happen AS a boom in our completely capitalistic monetized system, and booms always create gluts. The US can't consume what we already have on hand and to break even or make a profit it has to be sold everywhere, as much and as quickly as possible. It was always known and anticipated by the industry that this would be the end game. All the BS about "100 years of energy security" was just BS propaganda to get us proles on board.

Where does Trump fit in to all of this? Remember when he travelled to Europe several summers ago that he berated Angela Merkel for being "Russia's puppet" for participating in the development of Nordstream II. He has no choice but to promote the US shale gas industry; to do otherwise would be political suicide. And this relates also to our great ally KSA who in 2015 flooded the global market with cheap oil, collapsing the market and crippling all competitors (in their desire to punish Iran for their victory of the JCPOA,) including the US and Russia. As the US shale gas industry and all of its investor speculators scramble to limit their losses, interests in US gas holdings are being bought up by foreign investors, mostly from Asia.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we attempt to deceive.

My first time posting a comment here at MoA. A great site (been reading here for several weeks regularly)and the format of the forum is very conducive to in-depth discussion.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 3 2019 19:40 utc | 13

James Risen at The Intercept:
"I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down."
https://theintercept.com/2019/09/25/i-wrote-about-the-bidens-and-ukraine-years-ago-then-the-right-wing-spin-machine-turned-the-story-upside-down/

Posted by: Keith McClary | Oct 3 2019 20:11 utc | 14

Thank you, b, in particular for establishing the time line for these events. That was a point that Giuliani made in his Fox interview, that he had done his investigation on behalf of Trump back before this latest development with the call to the new Ukranian president. Your post on that call is borne out.

I should not have said it was not about Biden; I should have said it was not currently electorally motivated, which is the impeachment claim, but had been simmering since before the last election. Thank you for clearing that up.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 3 2019 20:13 utc | 15

Pinchuk is also a member of the Ukrainian Atlantic Council,
the sponsor of Bellingcat and Eliot Higgins, who promulgated
the fake photos and videos in the MH17 case. With the
whistleblower BS grabbing all the headlines, I keep hearing
of all the missing billions from the aid and IMF loans to Ukraine.
What portion of those billions was siphoned off as payment for the
MH17 false flag atrocity, the massive Information Operation that
supported it and the hit team that executed it? The information
Operation was gargantuan, spanning media across the globe.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 3 2019 20:21 utc | 16

@ SteveK9 3
Shokin's statement to an Austrian Court.

Besides Giuliani’s notes from his January 2019 interview with Shokin, we have a lengthy affadavit here dated Sep 4, 2019 with Shokin saying:

The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings ("Burisma"), a natural gas firm active in Ukraine, and Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors. I assume Burisma, which was connected with gas extraction, had the support of the US Vice-President Joe Biden because his son was on the board of Directors.
. . . Therefore I was forced to leave office, under direct and intense pressure from Joe Biden and the US administration. In my conversation with Poroshenko at the time, he was emphatic that I should cease my investigations regarding Burisma. When I did not, he said that the US (via Biden) were refusing to release USD$ 1 billion promised to Ukraine. He said that b he had no choice, therefore, but to ask me to resign.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2019 20:25 utc | 17

This issue remind me the old Monty Python.

Meanwhile in ImpeachmentVille....."Nobody expects the Democratic Inquisition":

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsefeg

"Our chief weapons are: surprise, fear and a fanatical devotion to money...."

Posted by: DFC | Oct 3 2019 20:27 utc | 18

This whole affair is a nothing-burger that only serves to bolster Biden.

Note: I previously thought the nothing-burger was a distraction from imminent war with Iran, but it's apparent that the nothing-burger relates more to US politics than war.

As I predicted, Biden is now using Trump's scorn as a political asset:

"He did it because, like every bully in history — he’s afraid," said Biden on Wednesday. "He’s afraid of just how badly I would beat him next November."

None of the allegations against Trump or Biden are likely to have legal repercussions. They can't be proven. It all hinges on intent.

What this brouhaha really does is take all media attention away from other Democratic Party candidates.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Trump already helped Pelosi to become the Speaker of the House.

In December 2017, he invited her, along with Schumer, to the White House Oval Office to discuss "the Wall" DAYS BEFORE the vote for Speaker of the House.

This gave her credibility and public exposure at a time that many detractors were saying that she was her work with the Bush Administration made her unsuitable.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Biden is a Deep-Stater. He's viewed as 'safe hands'.

Tulsi took out Biden's first main opponent (Kamala) at the debates. Now Warren leads the Democratic race (and must be stopped).

I'm still expecting a Biden-Tulsi ticket (which loses to Trump).

<> <> <> <> <> <>

99% of Democratic voters will not care that Biden's son got money from Ukraine and China.

12 paragraphs to explain how the Bidens are corrupt is 11 paragraphs too much.

Hillary did very well in 2016 despite being suspected of violating national security, colluding with DNC against Sanders, and giving a $750,000 speech to Goldman Sachs.

Democratic stooges and Democratic asshat media willingly ignore US support for Israeli apartheid and Saudi genocidal warfare, and a power-grab in Venezuela. Democratic voters are a captured and captivated audience.

If the devil himself were running against Trump the Democrats would laud his equal treatment of the condemned and denounce the holier than thou 'religious right' that can't see that *Trump* is the greater evil.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 3 2019 20:33 utc | 19

Of course, it can hardly be proven that protecting his son Hunter was the goal of Biden demanding that Ukraine immediately fires Shokin, using threats of withholding money. There may have been different reasons.

But whether this is the reason is not everything that counts.

First, Biden's uncivilized behavior towards Ukraine (and his bragging about it) is obviously completely unacceptable. In some ways, it may remind people of some outrageous actions of Trump, but in any case, it does not support Biden's claim that he represents a style that is very different from Trump. Of course, in a way, it was just honest to treat Ukraine openly as a kind of US colony after the US supported coup and this is the real problem, not that Biden was so open about it.

Second, the fact that Hunter Biden received such a lucrative position in Ukraine at the time when Joe Biden was Obama's main representative in Ukraine and traveled there all the time, even though Hunter Biden had no relevant experience and qualifications and had just been fired from the Navy because of drug use is just obviously unethical. This was a way for Ukrainian oligarchs to buy Joe Biden's support, and with his behavior, Joe Biden clearly showed that he was the one they had to please. I find it hilarious that there are people who defend this corruption scheme and pretend it was normal that an unqualified relative of an influential government person is hired for a lucrative position ("for his connections"). The only thing such statements reveal is the people who make them have very low ethical standards.

It is a fact that some people have very low ethical standards. But when Democrats now want to criminalize any talk about the Biden family corruption, they certainly go too far.

I also find it absurd that the Democrats willingly put themselves in the position of mainly being the party for the defense of corruption. In a way, of course, this is nothing new. They also pretended it is completely normal that Bill Clinton raked in huge sums from foreign governments both personally for speeches and for the Clinton Foundation at the same time as his wife dealt with these governments as Secretary of State. Any criticism of this was allegedly a "right-wing conspiracy theory".

I used to think that Democrats are the lesser evil compared to Republicans, and in areas such as healthcare or taxes they probably are (from my rather left-wing point of view according to which the Democrats are slightly less right-wing in economic matters, though still very far to the right). But when Democrats are now mainly the party for giving the secret services more and more power and defending corruption, I am not so sure whether they have not become the greater evil by now.

One may think it is a dumb action by Democrats to give the topic of Hunter Biden and Burisma so much prominence. But this may be besides the point. After all, media that support the Democrats had made a completely evidence-free conspiracy theory about Russia the main topic for year, and many people in the radicalized pro-CIA base of corporate Democrats still believe this conspiracy theory. So, they can probably put forward anything, and among their radicalized base hardly anyone will look at it critically. Whether they can convince a majority of voters is, of course, a different question. But that is probably difficult, anyway - soon more information about the beginnings of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and how Democrats and secret services set it up will come out, and after that, it will be difficult, anyway, for Democrats to find support outside their radicalized base that does not care about facts and evidence.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Oct 3 2019 20:41 utc | 20

Considering how old Biden is, his pick for vice-president would be of massive importance. I can't see him picking Tulsi Gabbard - unless she's actually a very skilled deep-state goon, there's no way the establishment would allow it, the risk would be too high.

As for the Dems, of course they won't give a fuck what the Bidens did or do, just like GOPers don't give a damn if Trump shot a man in the street. On the other hand, the centre, the indie voters, might be slightly annoyed to have an openly corrupt candidate - which would, obviously, apply both to Biden and Trump.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 3 2019 20:43 utc | 21

One thing for sure, western media does not published all the facts.

Thanks for this post. I hadn’t realized western corporations’ fracking push was prior to the Maidan Coup. Even I know that Russian history is replete with the importance of the borderlands to Russia's national security. Barbarossa would have succeeded except for Greece and starting at the Romanian border not Kiev. Vladimir Putin would never let the Russian naval base since 1783 in Crimea be seized by the West. Clearly he also had an economic reason to hinder Ukraine's competition to Russia's natural gas sales. It is unthinkable that the Russian Federation would not have supported the uprising in Donbass after neo-Nazis shot up polling places starting the rebellion.

The West was absolutely incompetent in not recognizing that they were restarting the Cold War; risking mankind's extinction. Joe Biden was the point man. He is greedy, incompetent, corrupt, and ancient. Hunter Biden earned $50,000 a month for nothing; except that he is Joe Biden's son.

Adam Schiff's failure to acknowledge this, indicates that America is a house divided once again.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Oct 3 2019 21:02 utc | 22

Thanks b. Looks to me that the Trump team is shaking down Zelensky. Easy way out is for Kolomoisky to purchase Kuschner's 666 Park Avenue building. I am sure that in those circles you could sell the same building twice with no complaint from the previous buyer.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 3 2019 21:09 utc | 23

Ihor Kolomoisky's possible ownership of Burisma was reported even before the 2014 coup.

Burisma's official owners had an address in Cyprus in the same building as a company called Ukrnaftoburinnya which was associated with Kolomoisky. That company's former CEO said that its immediate owner was Privat Group (Kolomoisky's bank), as reported in 2012:

"90% of Ukrnaftoburinnya is owned by a Cypriot company, Deripon Commercial Ltd. (...) This company has often been involved in various financial schemes of the Privat Group and especially with Ihor Kolomoisky. The owners of Ukrnaftoburinnya, Pari, and Esko-Pivnich were finally confirmed through first-hand sources. Oleh Kanivets worked as CEO of Ukrnaftoburinnya for two years. He confirmed who actually controlled the above-mentioned companies to “Slidstvo.Info”.
' – The Privat Group is the immediate owner. This company was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky some time ago, but he later sold his shares to the Privat Group.' "
https://antac.org.ua/2012/08/26/kings-of-ukrainian-gas/

The official documents say that Zlochevsky remained as owner of the companies that controlled Burisma, but Kolomoisky's role in the company has never been clarified.

Posted by: Brendan | Oct 3 2019 21:10 utc | 24

There must be a lot more to the replacement (Prosecutor General) Lutsenko story than we are being told. No idea if he's a good guy or not, but it seems to me that the MSM is bending over backwards to spin everything relating to him in a decidedly negative light, i.e., he's corrupt and 'anti-DNC' or 'pro-Trump'. My immediate inclination, therefore, is to assume the exact opposite: he found some kind of DNC/State Department shenanigans linked with Ukraine corruption and (like his predecessor) is outraged enough to investigate it. Naturally, the MSM has to pillory him to discredit anything he says about... well, everything.

Yonatan@9 - Thanks for the link, but the Yandex translation is difficult to understand. Is he no longer Prosecutor General? Did he go to London to live there? What would he be 'running' from?

What do you think of the MSM trying to discredit him? Maybe they're right and he is just another corrupt weasel - I have no idea besides noting the tone of the current MSM narrative. My impression about him so far based on this:

The thread I was following on him was his interactions with the (then) U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. From what I can tell, he was investigating the embezzlement of $4 million in US aid that was suppose to go to his office for anti-corruption efforts. His investigation was focusing on Ukraine anti-corruption 'activists' (?) that had repeatedly visited the US embassy around that time.

There was much made in the press about his statement that he got a 'do not prosecute' list from Ambassador Yovanovitch at that first meeting, then he supposedly 'walked back' that claim. Seems odd - this article seems to explain the situation, but I have no idea about the veracity of source, UNIAN. The details are never mentioned in western MSM aside to suggest he lied about the list - which is a bit disingenuous given UNIAN's article.

link

[bold emphasis mine]

"She was accompanied, so was I. Mrs. Yovanovitch was interested in Vitaliy Kasko's case. The fact was that Mr. Kasko's mother got registered for official housing [in Kyiv], while she had never left Lviv. That had signs of abuse."

Lutsenko recalled Yovanovitch insisted Kasko was an outstanding anti-corruption activist, and "the criminal case discredited those who were fighting against corruption."

"I shared the details and explained that I could not open and close cases on my own. I listed some so-called anti-corruption activists under investigation. She said it was unacceptable, as it would undermine the credibility of anti-corruption activists. I took a piece of paper, put down the listed names and said: 'Give me a do not prosecute list.' She said: "No, you got me wrong.' I said: "No, I didn't get you wrong. Such lists were earlier drawn up on Bankova Street [the presidential administration's address, Lutsenko meant the Yanukovych administration], and now you give new lists on Tankova Street [the former name of Sikorsky Street, where the U.S. Embassy is located]. The meeting ended. I'm afraid the emotions were not very good," Lutsenko gave the details of his meeting with the ambassador.

link

The weirdness of the missing $4 million in technical aid:

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. "At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."

link

Yovanovich was recalled from Ukraine May - highly unusual for someone of her tenure. Supposedly Trump's doing - I have no idea. It's notable that the MSM is silent about the possible embezzlement (theft, misappropriation) of aid intended for the Prosecutor General's office. If the US Embassy did steal this money, divert it from an unfriendly Shokin's office and distributed it to their 'anti-corruption activists' in Ukraine instead, well... that would be kind of bad.

The Biden criminal clown-show is unrelated to whatever happened above other than the overarching actions of the US meddling in Ukrainian matters of state.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 3 2019 21:10 utc | 25

By an apparently amazing coincidence, Kolomoisky had a chance meeting in Amsterdam with Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko who was supposed to be investigating Burisma. The two happened to bump into one another on the street, according to Lutsenko who said he had travelled to Amsterdam for medical treatment.
https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/kolomoisky-lutsenko-meet-amsterdam.html
Lutsenko had taken over the job of Prosecutor General after Joe Biden forced President Poreshenko to fire Shokin.

Posted by: Brendan | Oct 3 2019 21:11 utc | 26

A case, in fact, which more or less encapsulates everything that Joe Sixpack of Peoria and his kindred feel is desperately wrong with the US political system and US society.

@Posted by: bevin | Oct 3 2019 19:16 utc | 10

I wonder whether that "Joe Sixpack of Peoria" is smart enough and has dug so deep so as to know...

The America of Trump’s Father: an Aspirational Fascism Reigned in New York

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 3 2019 21:12 utc | 27

@Keith McClary 14
re: James Risen intercept piece

so in this article the reporter is saying that Biden insisted that Shokin be fired, not for investigating Burisma, but for investigating the wrong people in general, as reckoned from Biden's point of view. Okay then.

Shokin was apparently in a position to block natgas development, which would have profited Burisma. Thus an alignment of interests between official policy and family business. Nothing new under the sun...

Question: the Risen article states that Burisma was one of the "biggest natural gas companies" in Ukr. How does it make money before Maidan? (presumably before the change of govt made it realistic to consider fracking?) The circumstantial evidence as stated on this blog is that it is a vehicle for extracting money from a subsidized market (i.e. aid $ ultimately)? Was Hunter Biden there to smooth over the sale of the company in the immediate aftermath of the regime change? I.e. both the pro and anti Russian oligarch owners were getting something there, the former by getting their money out in spite of attempts to freeze the assets, the latter by some fracking related scam to follow? with Hunter and Joe providing legal concer for the transaction?

Posted by: ptb | Oct 3 2019 21:22 utc | 28

typo above - "legal cover"

Posted by: Ptb | Oct 3 2019 21:23 utc | 29

steven t johnson | Oct 3 2019 19:29 utc <-- Incoherent.

You agree that people with "well known names" are placed on director boards for their influence. But you do not make the next mental step: what does it mean to have an influence.
In USA it may mean that regulations that a company is subjected to are written by a lobbyist hired by the company, or an association of such companies, say, shale gas producers.
And there are some more slippery types of influence that are rarely discussed, e.g. certain Epstein had influence and state attorney treated him very humanely.
But we have no idea how it came to pass.

As I was writing before, hunting corruption in many countries is like hunting terrorists in USA -- a wanted list is compiled, checking it twice, some people who look and walk like terrorists are nice, and some who look OK are actually naughty. Subsequently various nasty or moderately nasty things are done to the people on the list.
The targets of corruption investigations are determined is a similarly mysterious manner. Zlochevsky personally and Burisma by implication were under a danger of being on the naughty list. Zlochevsky hires Hunter Biden as a director. Favor for Biden family. Shukin made moves against Zlochevsky, with under circumstances was a show of disrespect for Biden.

At the very least, this is the picture from public sources, including unreliable tale of Joe Biden himself, and thinking that an internationally coordinated investigation is a good idea is at the very least excusable. But should leaders of executive branch be deeply involved in the prosecution business? Isn't in inherently abusive?

Sure it is inherently abusive, but this is EXACTLY what Biden proudly told about himself. To make a good impression.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 3 2019 21:48 utc | 30

About shale gas in Ukraine and other places in Europe: so far, it did not work anywhere. Perhaps some minuscule quantities were extracted, hard to get data separated from "normal gas".

Either total ineptitude in Europe, or sloppily exaggerated estimates of "potential resources" and geological differences.

Shale gas in Donbass: maps show a region with those "potential resources" that extends from Dnieper river (i.e. due north of Kiev) along the border with Russia.
Slavyansk is on the eastern end, the Donbass rebellion started there, but government offensive "liberated it", so none of it is under the control of Donbass republics.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 3 2019 21:54 utc | 31

[sigh] I should have known better than to spend any time trying to understand Ukrainian politics...

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Inaugural Address
https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/inavguracijna-promova-prezidenta-ukrayini-volodimira-zelensk-55489

...Therefore, I ask that you approve:

1. The law on removing parliamentary immunity.

2. The law establishing criminal liability for illegal enrichment.

3. The long-awaited Electoral Code and open-lists.

Also, please dismiss:

1. Head of the Security Service of Ukraine.

2. Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

3. Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

And it turns out Lutsenko resigned Aug. 29th:

Ukraine chief prosecutor Lutsenko resigns
https://www.intellinews.com/ukraine-chief-prosecutor-lutsenko-resigns-166960/

"...Lutsenko was a close personal ally of former President Petro Poroshenko and much vilified by observers as he was seen as one of the main obstacles to pushing through Ukraine’s anti-corruption campaign, demanded by Ukraine’s donors.

Despite over 1,000 investigations by the newly formed anti-corruption body, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and several indictments of high ranking officials, no one of note was prosecuted or jailed by Lutsenko. His depature will be welcomed by Ukraine’s western allies..."

So I'm getting the idea that this whole thing was a big war between which corrupt oligarch's people got busted in the anti-corruption campaign(s). Looks like the winners of immunity are Ihor Kolomoisky and agents of 'western allies' (neocons, US State Department, Biden/DNC). Only corrupt individuals from other oligarch gangs will actually be prosecuted. Sad, but better than nothing, I guess... Poor Ukraine.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 3 2019 21:58 utc | 32

“Kolomoyskyi was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, to a Jewish family of engineers. He graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1985.”

How do no-name “engineers” become oligarchs owning state assets “privatized” following the breakup of the USSR? This is a common occurrence. Plus the fact that the Oligarchs are overwhelmingly of Jewish origin, a group that was supposedly persecuted under Soviet rule. One would think they would be at a disadvantage in acquiring Soviet assets but apparently not.

Posted by: guest | Oct 3 2019 21:59 utc | 33

Wow. If that is not the most complete and convincing timeline on this complex, i don't know what it.
Hut ab Bernhard!

Only I dont know why you feel the need to appease those who claim you are biased pro Trump with your last sentence. Those who claim that are the ones who are biased against Trump. You just defend the law and constitution. And those are the only things who can save us from the Weimar 2.0 that the western world is increasingly facing.

Again, "Hut ab!" for this strong stance and for not swimming with the stream of hysteric fanatics on both sides.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 3 2019 22:00 utc | 34

Biden is presumably senile, as even a kid knows that the first rule of crime is silence...old people may know this dictum>
“Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.” ― (William S. Burroughs) Poor Biden forgot...eh?

I am minded of Mark Twain's remark>

“There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

Posted by: Walter | Oct 3 2019 22:05 utc | 35

"The problem for the post is that Pyatt never worked for Biden. Including this as proof of
what Biden did is incompetent or dishonest." @12

Pyatt was the US Ambassador. Biden was the Vice President. Did Pyatt work for Biden? I would
say that he did, particularly given Biden's role as a lead in the regime change operation.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 3 2019 22:06 utc | 36

I still think that Biden is just a side issue and the real reason for the whistleblower memo, for the impeachment drive and the all-around panic in the media and among the Democrats is the fact that the Barr-Giuliani investigation is getting close to CrowdStrike. With that in mind I am slightly changing the topic...

THE NEW YORK TIMES QUOTES ME

Thank you Stever @16 for linking to the article in The New York Times by Scott Shane. (archive link) The article goes out of its way to dismiss everything as a conspiracy theory. But unexpectedly, about three fourths way down the page they actually discuss the issue itself. They even went so far as to contact George Eliason via email for a comment.

The CrowdStrike Plot: How a Fringe Theory Took Root in the White House - The New York Times, October 3, 2019

George Eliason, an American journalist who lives in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists fought Ukrainian forces, has written extensively about what he considers to be a “coup attempt” against President Trump involving American and Ukrainian intelligence agencies and CrowdStrike. He said he did not know if his writings for obscure websites might have influenced the president.

“CrowdStrike and Ukrainian Intel are working hand in glove,” he wrote in an email. “Is Ukrainian Intelligence trying to invent a reason for the U.S. to take a hardline stance against Russia? Are they using CrowdStrike to carry this out?”

Mr. Eliason and other purveyors of Ukraine conspiracies often point to the Atlantic Council, a research group in Washington, as the locus of the schemes. The Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk has made donations to the council and serves on its international advisory board; Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder, who was born in Russia and came to the United States as a child, is an Atlantic Council senior fellow.

A bit later in the article they cite an interview I did for Sputnik.

And Russian state news outlets are always ready to cheer on Mr. Trump’s efforts to point the blame for the 2016 hack away from Moscow. On Sept. 25, after the White House released its memo on the Zelensky call, Russia’s Sputnik news website ran a story supporting Mr. Trump’s remarks.

The Sputnik article cited Mr. Eliason’s writings and suggested that CrowdStrike might have framed Russia for the D.N.C. hack — if it occurred at all. It quoted a Twitter account called “The Last Refuge” declaring: “The D.N.C. servers were never hacked.”

The Sputnik article by Ekaterina Blinova is here:

Cyber Expert Explains the Theory of Crowdstrike's Connection to Ukraine, DNC Hacking Controversy

Krohn notes that many of those Russian-speaking hackers actually originate from Ukraine. According to him, they are using hacking tools widely accessible in the web.

"It is my belief that 'Fancy Bear' or the hacking group known as Advanced Persistent Threat 28 may be little more that the collection of hacking tools."

To illustrate his point, Krohn refers to his January 2017 research of malicious activity called Gryzzly Steppe, outlined in a joint report by the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in October 2016 and attributed to the so-called "Russian hacker" groups, including 'Fancy Bear' and 'Cozy Bear'. The report described a sample of a malware, also known as the "PAS web shell".

Having analysed the YARA signature file of the malware tool, the cyber-security analyst traced it to the Ukrainian download site Profexer.name and finally to an information technology student at Poltava National Technical University.

In August 2017, The New York Times de facto confirmed Krohn's story, reporting about "a young man from a provincial Ukrainian city" who created the malware described in the DHS/DNI report.

(Actually it was Wordfence that matched the YARA signature to the download site.)

The article only used about a third of the interview. Adam Carter and The Forensicator also need credit. I hope no one is offended if I post the full unpublished interview here.

1. In the transcript of Donald Trump's phone talk with Volodymyr Zelensky, the US president touched upon the issue of Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor that carried out the examination of the alleged "hack" of the committee's server. He asked his Ukrainian counterpart to "do him a favor" and get "to the bottom of this". What did Trump mean? Why does he believe that the American cybersecurity firm has any relation to Ukraine?

Trump is referring to the origins of Russiagate that are widely known outside mainstream media, but regarded as conspiracy theories by the media.

According to this narrative, CrowdStrike fabricated the evidence of a hack in order to hide a real leak and to put blame on Russia. Some independent investigators have suggested that the hack was real but it was done on CrowdStrike’s order by hacker groups tied to the Ukrainian security services.

It is also well established that Russiagate, or as some call it, the Russia collusion hoax, has its origins in Ukrainian Americans working for the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. CrowdStrike, through its Russian-born but pro-Ukrainian co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is closely linked to the Ukrainian-American community.

2. On 25 September, The New York Times denounced the "theory that Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the DNC hacking" an "unfounded conspiracy". What do you make of this theory? What's your opinion about the Dems' narrative of the DNC's server "hack"? Does it seem more plausible than the theory allegedly cited by Trump?

Cyber attribution or using forensic methods to establish the origin of cyber attacks and operations is extremely difficult. Intelligence services have an array of tools to hide their tracks and make it seem like the attack is the work of their opponent.

When Americans speak about “Russian hackers” they do not specifically refer to the Russian Federation and its citizens. Russian hackers are people who communicate in Russian on the Russian language Internet, “Runet” and Russian language dark web. A large part of these “Russians” are actually Ukrainians. Many of the hacking tools used are openly shared by the Russian hacking community. The motive is more often fame, even pseudonymous fame than money. It is my belief that “Fancy Bear” or the hacking group known as Advanced Persistent Threat 28 may be little more that the collection of hacking tools shared by this community.

CrowdStrike, no doubt, is active following, if not participating in this scene. In some cases CrowdStrike and their Ukrainian contacts seem to have exclusive access to the Fancy Bear malware.

There is evidence that directly links “Fancy Bear” and the alleged tools used in the DNC “hack” to Ukraine.

The journalist George Eliason has written extensively on the Ukrainian connection to Russiagate. He believes, based on evidence that “Fancy Bear”, the Ukrainian CyberHunta, and the Russian hacker group Shaltai Boltai are actually one and the same or at least closely collaborating. They again are allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. Leading Shaltai Boltai members have been arrested in Russia, some of them FSB officers, and charged with treason for working for the US.

In January 2017 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security claimed that the DNC was hacked by Russian intelligence services using a Russian malware tool they have named “Grizzly Steppe”. I identified the author of the software using cyber forensics. He was a Ukrainian university student from the Poltava National Technical University. Almost a year later the New York Times confirmed the story. Supposedly he has become a witness for the FBI in the Russiagate case.

The hacking tool was made publicly on the web. Anyone could have used it. Ukraine is at least as likely a suspect as Russia is.

3. VIPS has repeatedly stated that the DNC server had never been hacked. What's your take on their technical report and are there any other independent cyber analysts who came to similar conclusions?

VIPS follows work originally done by Adam Carter and The Forensicator. Their aim was to prove that the Guccifer 2.0 persona is a hoax created intentionally to act as Russian intelligence. The evidence comes from the material leaked by Guccifer 2.0.

The US Intelligence community and special counsel Mueller claim that Guccifer 2.0 is Russian intelligence, more specifically 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted by the US Department of Justice in July 2018. Guccifer 2.0 allegedly hacked the DNC. They also claim that Guccifer 2.0 was the source that leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

What The Forensicator and VIPS has shown is that it would have been impossible for Guccifer 2.0 to hack the DNC. This is done by a forensic analysis of the DNC material released by Guccifer 2.0 independent of Wikileaks. The important evidence is in the multiple layers of timestamps in the emails and the email archives. They show that the files were copied to an USB flash drive by an insider with physical access to the DNC servers.

The VIPS material says nothing about how Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails. Wikileaks says they were passed by an insider. Ray McGovern and Craig Murray say they have first-hand knowledge of how the transfer happened. Some people claim that that the insider was Seth Rich. The VIPS report throws no light on this. What it does is it proves that the Mueller narrative of Guccufer 2.0 hacking the DNC and passing the material on to Wikileaks is a hoax. It also suggests that whoever created Guccifer 2.0 was close to DNC and CrowdStrike.

4. What technical measures should be taken to find out whether the much discussed "hacking" took place and who was behind it? Could the examination of the DNC server help sort this issue now and for all?

Is Trump suggesting that the DNC servers are stored in Ukraine? Not the physical servers, naturally but a copy of their contents or parts of it after the alleged “hack” is claimed to have happened? I do not think a search of the DNC servers this late would reveal anything new. A search of the CrowdStrike servers could be far more revealing.

Adam Carter claims malware on the DNC servers was compiled after CrowdStrike started working at the DNC. How did it get there? Was it inserted by CrowdStrike or their Ukrainian collaborators?

There is one piece of critical evidence that that could solve all this. If Seth Rich truly was the leaker inside DNC then the Federal Government must have some evidence of this. Trump would save himself from a lot of trouble if he was ablate release this evidence.

Off-Guardian has unexpectedly gone offline. My January 2017 article can also be found here:

Did a Ukrainian University Student Create Grizzly Steppe?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 3 2019 22:12 utc | 37

"I wonder whether that "Joe Sixpack of Peoria" is smart enough and has dug so deep so as to know..." (about Trump's father's facistic tendencies. Or for that matter Roy Cohn's.

I doubt it. And I doubt whether it would make any difference if he did. Joe isn't a political theorist
or a student of the history of ideas, he's a guy trying to make end meet in an economy crumbling all around him.
Just like the highway he takes to one of his jobs or the schools that his kids now have to pay to go to.
All he knows is that things get worse for him while politicians and the vast class of those dependent on them
get richer. And richer. And he is no longer ready to believe that it is all his fault

Posted by: bevin | Oct 3 2019 22:16 utc | 38

Keith @14

Thanks for the link to the Risen article in the Intercept. This further confirms what a reactionary rag they are turning out to be. I exempt Glen Greenwald from this charge since editorial control is not in his hands, Obenmyer brought him in to the provide a leftish credibility for his enterprise. If Glen was a little more sophisticated about international politics I doubt he would allow himself to used in this way.

In any case, Risen certainly has come up with one of the better arguments that Hunter and his dad are not corrupt that this whole Burisma case shows them to be. Oh my, unbelievable -- Risen is asking us to feel sorry for poor Hunter because he was a natural loser over-shadowed my his father and more illustrious brother. No disputing the facts except to simply assert that the Republicans are liars and replaces their narrative with Risen's tale of woe.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 3 2019 22:23 utc | 39

b: I am not against an impeachment of Trump. But to go after him because he asks serious questions about Biden's shenanigan in the Ukraine is not a productive way do that.
Yes. . . and
1. "Responsible" people in the media have said that Trump urged, or demanded the Zelensky provide "dirt" on Biden which amounts to foreign election meddling. But he didn't, and it isn't.
2. No Trump crimes have been revealed, so
3. as with Russian collusion they'll subpoena any one they can think of, try to catch them in a false statement and send them off to prison, a fine spectacle.

Regarding Biden, if his conduct with Ukraine was above approach, if he did nothing wrong, why is it wrong to get the details? And since voters want the most information they can get in order to exercise their voting franchise wisely, isn't that contributing to the election, and not meddling in it?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2019 22:25 utc | 40

b ended the article with this:

"But to go after him because he asks serious questions
about Biden's shenanigan in the Ukraine is not a productive
way do that."

So why the heck *did* Demos go with this issue as their means to
take Trump down?

I hesitate to post this as it is such a far out idea.
But take it as food for thought.

Hillary wants to throw her hat back in the ring. Who can doubt that?

How could Hillary's people take out Trump AND Biden with one magic
bullet?

Was this Ukraine issue created so that Biden gets dirtied and Trump gets impeached?
And then Hillary rides in to save the day.

Posted by: librul | Oct 3 2019 22:35 utc | 41

I'll add a 4, Don Bacon:

4) They hastily changed the law on whistleblower evidence to include evidence by hearsay.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 3 2019 22:46 utc | 42

@ 45
Nobody is shocked by US-caused regime change any more, if they ever were. It had an early start, against the Native Americans.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2019 22:52 utc | 43

@ juliania 46
Yes, plus Mr X is not really a whistleblower delivering a complaint based on personal knowledge about a bad situation in his own agency (IC).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2019 22:55 utc | 44

Michael Moore goes there:

Joe Biden Is 'This Year's Hillary'

Joe's fund raising slowed in Q3. He trails Sanders and Buttigieg.
The HILL Reports

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 3 2019 23:00 utc | 45

@ librul 44
Hillary wants to throw her hat back in the ring. Who can doubt that?
Wanting and getting are two different things.
The Dems haven't had an open convention since 1952. Recent conventions have been mostly ceremonial commercials because most of the delegates voting will be pledged to a candidate as a result of the primaries. The 2020 Dem convention in Milwaukee will be no different unless Biden and Sanders drop dead, or something nearly as radical.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 3 2019 23:06 utc | 46

Great piece b! Re: Burisma: "Two oligarchs, Ihor Kolomoisky and Victor Pinchuk have been named as the possible new owners. DW could not reach Kolomojski for comment about Burisma. Pinchuk refuse to comment but is said to have a good relationship with the Democratic Party..."

As does his dinner companion the foreign minister of Canada with whom he goes way back:

https://pinchukfund.org/upload/iblock/c94/ILS_3434.jpg

Posted by: John Gilberts | Oct 3 2019 23:09 utc | 47

@13 vinnieoh
The early resistance in Ukraine was very very much local, not Russian backed, and dependent on local resources and more importantly the level of prepared (nazi) militia aggression. Thus Kharkov rebels failed to take control of its regions simply because of the level of violence offered by the militia. Even though Kharkov is close to the Russian border and could have received plenty of Russian support if it wanted it. Odessa did not rebel because of the arson that lead to many leaders dieing. Mariupol was also one of the first areas to get the militia treatment.
Likewise the military equipment and organisation did not come from Russia but from the Ukrainian army. It takes little imagination to realise that in 2014 most of the better officers in the Ukraine army were immediately sympathetic to the rebels and many left to join them. They also knew where the massive arms dumps were. (Whereas Soviet troops in say Poland took their weapons back with them after their gradual withdrawal in 1990-94, the weapons in Ukraine were left in enormous dumps. Largely sold off now to assist US aims in ME and oligarch needs for cash - hence the massive explosions at the dumps in last few years to cover up for the missing arms).
Russian supplied arms came later, but at first the civil war, rebels and militia, was supplied by local dumps.

In other words the territory of the rebels has little to do with Russian intervention, but everything to do with happenstance and Ukrainian planning. All those violent men owned by oligarchs didn't arise by chance, anymore than the Maidan snipers.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Oct 3 2019 23:10 utc | 48

Paveway IV @ 27, 34:

The current Ukrainian Prosecutor General (equivalent to Attorney General in other countries) is Ruslan Riaboshapka.

To understand Ukrainian politics, best try to understand it as parallel to warlord politics in Afghanistan or Libya, or Mafia politics in Italy: different organisations and their hangers-on revolving around a leader or a hardcore leadership but all equally up to their eyeballs in corruption, criminal activities and willingness to use torture and violence to get their way.

With Volodymyr Zelensky as President, and Ihor Kolomoisky having sponsored the president's previous TV career and comedy series, the likelihood is that Ze may be under some pressure to get Riaboshapka to go after previous President Petro Poroshenko (who did not entirely divest himself of all his businesses while President, despite being required to do so under Ukrainian law, and continued to hold some under trusts managed by a Rothschilds-owned company) and former Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko for her role in signing a deal with Gazprom and claiming she had Verkhovna Rada parliamentary approval (which she did not) to do so.

What's not likely to happen is President Ze asking Riaboshapka to investigate why his patron needs to hold three passports (Ukrainian, Cypriot, Israeli) in violation of Ukrainian law that Ukrainian citizens cannot be citizens of another country or countries, or his patron's own links to Burisma Holdings.

I'll do a Scooter Libby / Karl Rove here: a current Board Director at Burisma Holdings is ex-CIA official Joseph Cofer Black.

US influence peddling goes on.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 3 2019 23:16 utc | 49

Adrian E @ 22

I found your comment so helpful I am repeating it in a format that is
a bit more readable:


Of course, it can hardly be proven that protecting his son Hunter
was the goal of Biden demanding that Ukraine immediately fires Shokin,
using threats of withholding money. There may have been different reasons.

But whether this is the reason is not everything that counts.

First, Biden's uncivilized behavior towards Ukraine (and his bragging about it)
is obviously completely unacceptable. In some ways, it may remind people
of some outrageous actions of Trump, but in any case, it does not support Biden's
claim that he represents a style that is very different from Trump. Of course,
in a way, it was just honest to treat Ukraine openly as a kind of US colony
after the US supported coup and this is the real problem, not that Biden was
so open about it.

Second, the fact that Hunter Biden received such a lucrative position in Ukraine
at the time when Joe Biden was Obama's main representative in Ukraine and traveled
there all the time, even though Hunter Biden had no relevant experience and
qualifications and had just been fired from the Navy because of drug use is just
obviously unethical. This was a way for Ukrainian oligarchs to buy Joe Biden's support,
and with his behavior, Joe Biden clearly showed that he was the one they had to please.
I find it hilarious that there are people who defend this corruption scheme and pretend
it was normal that an unqualified relative of an influential government person is hired
for a lucrative position ("for his connections"). The only thing such statements reveal
is the people who make them have very low ethical standards.

It is a fact that some people have very low ethical standards. But when Democrats now
want to criminalize any talk about the Biden family corruption, they certainly go too far.

I also find it absurd that the Democrats willingly put themselves in the position
of mainly being the party for the defense of corruption. In a way, of course,
this is nothing new. They also pretended it is completely normal that Bill Clinton
raked in huge sums from foreign governments both personally for speeches and for
the Clinton Foundation at the same time as his wife dealt with these governments
as Secretary of State. Any criticism of this was allegedly a "right-wing conspiracy theory".

I used to think that Democrats are the lesser evil compared to Republicans,
and in areas such as healthcare or taxes they probably are (from my rather
left-wing point of view according to which the Democrats are slightly less
right-wing in economic matters, though still very far to the right). But when Democrats
are now mainly the party for giving the secret services more and more power
and defending corruption, I am not so sure whether they have not become the greater evil by now.

One may think it is a dumb action by Democrats to give the topic of Hunter Biden
and Burisma so much prominence. But this may be besides the point. After all, media
that support the Democrats had made a completely evidence-free conspiracy theory about Russia
the main topic for year, and many people in the radicalized pro-CIA base of corporate Democrats
still believe this conspiracy theory. So, they can probably put forward anything,
and among their radicalized base hardly anyone will look at it critically. Whether they can
convince a majority of voters is, of course, a different question. But that is probably
difficult, anyway - soon more information about the beginnings of the Russiagate conspiracy
theory and how Democrats and secret services set it up will come out, and after that,
it will be difficult, anyway, for Democrats to find support outside their radicalized base
that does not care about facts and evidence.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Oct 3 2019 20:41 utc | 22

Thank you for your insights.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 3 2019 23:19 utc | 50

Below is a link about Joe Biden that speaks to his character and connection to the monied world....he is from Delaware that is where most US corporations are formed because profit

Joe Biden Backed Bills To Make It Harder For Americans To Reduce Their Student Debt

The student debt problem has been discussed recently on other links at MoA and is a sad commentary about the financialization of America and how used to control the populace....ex-students in debt are not going to challenge the status quo while they are struggling to keep their heads above water financially

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 4 2019 0:04 utc | 51

I came across a curious thing in here https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-china-biden-ukraine-volker-1.5307076
"Trump supporters have accused Joe Biden of leading a U.S. effort to remove a Ukraine prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in a bid to end investigations at Burisma, an energy company in which his son held a board seat.


But Ukraine officials have gone on record stating that any inquiries into potential corruption at Burma were focused on the 2011-2012 period, two years before the younger Biden joined the board. Shaken was removed by then-president Petro Poroshenko in early 2016 after just over a year in the role.
"

I am wondering about the bold part. I frequently cite MOA in abc.ca/news comments and I got shot down by the above. Is the bold part correct?

Posted by: rtfan | Oct 4 2019 0:32 utc | 52

The sooner Joe Biden departs politics, the better. He is definitely this seasons HRC. Both, bought and paid for, by the party of big global money.

That Biden helped his unqualified son to a position that paid big money, is not news. Don't most parents of wealth and influence do the same?

Including DJT..

Posted by: ben | Oct 4 2019 0:49 utc | 53

Did Biden ask for the resignation of any other Prosecutor Generals when he was VP? Have other VPs sought the resignation of a foreign prosecutor?

Posted by: Qualtrough | Oct 4 2019 1:10 utc | 54

@ 61; Who knows? Bottom line, Biden's a scum bag. Case closed for me...

Posted by: ben | Oct 4 2019 1:15 utc | 55

Biden is simply the current face of the Clinton russiagate corrupt mess that is the democratic party.

This from politico
"Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham on Wednesday asked several foreign leaders to continue to assist Attorney General William Barr with his investigation into the 2016 election.

In a letter to the prime ministers of Australia, Italy and Britain, the South Carolina Republican requested their “continued cooperation with Attorney General Barr as the Department of Justice continues to investigate the origins and extent of foreign influence in the 2016 election.”
At President Donald Trump’s urging, Barr is examining how the FBI investigation into connections between Russia and the Trump campaign began.
Graham stated in the letter that during the 2016 election, the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities used a “deeply flawed dossier filled with hearsay and written by a biased, former United Kingdom intelligence officer” — a reference to the so-called Steele dossier — as part of its investigation."
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/02/lindsey-graham-barr-foreign-leaders-022594

The good thing about the US infighting is that it slows down their destruction of, and loosens their grip on other countries. Hanging their Ukraine dirty laundry out in public, backing separate sides in Saudi Arabia ect.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 4 2019 1:33 utc | 56

The NYT is calling all of this a "fringe theory":

How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House

Posted by: vk | Oct 4 2019 1:38 utc | 57

Peter AU1 said @ 63; "The good thing about the US infighting is that it slows down their destruction of, and loosens their grip on other countries. Hanging their Ukraine dirty laundry out in public, backing separate sides in Saudi Arabia ect."

Yep, guess there's always a silver lining.

I'm thoroughly enjoying Two totally corrupt political parties going at it. That's my silver lining..

Posted by: ben | Oct 4 2019 1:42 utc | 58

Now what's a fine fellow like Cofer Black doing on the Board of Burisma?
Former CIA Director joins Burisma

Posted by: HossCara | Oct 4 2019 2:52 utc | 59

I remember after the maiden coup in which Biden played a prominent part that the newly appointed finance minister spoke only English. A number of Ukrainian officials could not speak the countries language but could only speak English. Those legitimate protests and future coup was hijacked by US interests and that should be enough of a clue for everyone where the fate of the Ukraine was headed in the medium term.


Biden was in place to capitalize on the new direction for the Ukraine and its new business interests with the West. Small wonder why his son would be involved in the process riding Air force two to cut business deals that support western interests. This may not be illegal but it lays at the heart of how the Empires' business is conducted and it is something they will never be taken to task for in the mainstream.


Trumps fishing around all the deep interests of these business deals may be his downfall. He should know better as his son in law is probably doing exactly the same thing.


So it lays there flopping around like a fish out of water until it gives up the ghost or does him in. My guess is that many want this whole thing to go away once they extract enough damage to both sides out of this. Trump is on his way out and overplaying their hand on this is the worst thing they can accomplish. Even Fox News is turning against him.


You can be assured once Trump is gone any talk of peace with North Korea, pulling out of Afghanistan, and backing away for the many conflicts he has talked about will be long gone. Love him or hate him he has attempted to steer the bureaucracy away from using the MIC while massively funding the MIC.


The peace deal shaping up with Zelinsky, the Eastern regions, and his backer could tear the country apart some more with its western regions moving closer to the west. My guess is that the lines are being drawn for a future conflict with Russia. NATO has lost hope of bases in Crimea and now Russia appears to be gaining a buffer between them and the west. More blow back from Western policies interfering in other peoples business for cash and prizes.


Russia also must comply with US Western business interests or else. There appears to be some slight backing away for this policy in France and Germany.

Excellent links and posts, it will take some time for anyone who wants to get a deeper handle on the story.

Posted by: dltravers | Oct 4 2019 3:08 utc | 60

Aziz | Oct 3 2019 22:14 utc: Joe Biden and Ukraine: A Corrupt, Dim-Witting Agent of British Intelligence?

Ha ha! Imagine Joe Biden as an honest and brilliant agent of British intelligence. Kind of James Bond in his latter years (note the same initials, coincidence? I do not think so.)

More seriously, many followers of Bandera and veterans of SS Galizien fled westward escaping Soviet wrath and were recruited by American and British intelligence, with many settling in Canada that already had notable Ukrainian communities. They were active in propaganda and presumably had links to those who were fighting guerrilla war against Soviets for roughly 5 years after 1945. So since 1945 there were plans to "liberate" Ukraine with those guys being in the vanguard.

Similar links to fascist epigones, misnamed Neo-Nazi (followers of the original creeds! no Neo-) were cultivated for Baltics and Croatians and all were activated when Soviet Union was ending. Naturally, all of them got warm bipartisan support in USA, fighters for freedom with CIA recommendations. Congress sports Ukrainian Causus with 40+ members and Senate counterpart has 15 members. All dead set on liberation of Crimea from dreadful occupation etc. It is a bit of mystery why Ukrainian caucus is so small, while Baltic Caucus has 70+ members.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2019 4:38 utc | 61

It seems to me like this whole thing was brewed up by the CIA/Brennan not to get rid of Trump, because that will never occur with the Senate, but to shut down any attempts to investigate CrowdStrike and the 2016 Crossfire Hurricane operation. Trump's team has investigated Australia and Ukraine for a reason, and spooks probably panicked about findings are trying to make any accountability seem like a criminal operation.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Oct 4 2019 5:12 utc | 62

Piotr Berman

Very much a five-eyes thing, not just US or Canada.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/croatia-summons-australian-ambassador-over-mp-s-speech
Liberal MP Craig Kelly is alleged to have conveyed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's best wishes at an event commemorating April 10, or the foundation date of a pro-Nazi Croatian government in the 1940s.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 4 2019 5:17 utc | 63

@David Park #20

As much as I would like to read this material, the extra-wide lines are just to inconvenient.

b has now removed the offending comment, but the problem will inevitably occur again. Use Firefox browser (breaks long strings, such as URLs, at "/" characters) or, if using Safari, apply this fix (will break any long string, e.g. the infamous ~~~~ string that led to a squabble which was the last straw that made karlof1 leave the site).

Posted by: S | Oct 4 2019 6:08 utc | 64

Sorry, B, with the greatest respect, if u r looking to allege corruption over Biden n his son, u will have to look somewhere else.

1)In my part of the world, it is normal, common n part of Company Law and normal business practice to appoint independent directors to the boards of big companies even if they have no experience or skill wrt the company's business. They r appointed to strengthen anti-corruption oversight of the board, to bring in contacts or business and so on.

There is absolutely nothing legally wrong or uncommon with the Biden son appointment. Thus said, for Trump to allege corruption simply because Hunter was appointed is silly and foolish. It's the norm in the business world, even if it does not seem right. I have seen hundreds of appointments like this.

Also, didn't Trump want to have his daughter Ivanka appointed as IMF head? Any difference from Hunter Biden and Burisma? Yet because of this, Trump is calling Biden "stone-cold corrupt".

Give us a break. If Trump wants to allege corruption with Biden, he should try elsewhere. He's already gotten into an
impeachment situation with his foolishness and seems to be making it worse by day.

Posted by: Watcher | Oct 4 2019 7:31 utc | 65

S | Oct 4 2019 6:08 utc | 64
...e.g. the infamous ~~~~ string that led to a squabble which was the last straw that made karlof1 leave the site).

That is not a wholly accurate statement.
Karlof1 left because Hoarsewhisperer all but called Karlof1 a liar over the broken paragraph.
Just to be clear...

Posted by: V | Oct 4 2019 7:50 utc | 66

Thanks b and all the posters. I thought (naïvely now) that the Ukraine had a decent shot of success after the breakup of the USSR. Little did I realise the depth of corruption that existed and was able to persist because of outside pressures. Only years later when I a co-worker who had emigrated from the Ukraine described to me the depth of corruption that existed there did I get a better picture. The country was ransacked. It would take a strong and confident leader to clean up this mess. Ukraine is too much of an artificial construct to be able to do that, and that made it easy prey for those who sought to tear it apart for a geopolitical gain. It will fall apart to its neighbours and will be no more.

Thanks to those who raised the fracking of Ukrainian gas, a very important point I think.

Trump's popularity has risen since the DNC stepped on the Ukrainian rake. Trumps supporters dont really need to understand all the intricacies of Ukrainegate. All they need to do is look at the daily antics of the Democrats and the media hysteria that back this farce. They can see this is Russian collusion BS all over again. Trump Derangement Symptom is alive and well, tearing the country apart for their inability to accept Hillary lost. Democrats are stuck at the first two stages of grief, denial and anger. They will never reach the final stage at the rate they are going. TDS, I live with one who is affected and I live in Canada, and no I'm not a dual citizen like a certain person running for the Conservative party in Canada! Your prayers are gratefully accepted. (No, I'm not a MAGA fan)

Posted by: Tom | Oct 4 2019 7:51 utc | 67

Thanky Petri Krohn #37, your mention of Guccifer 2 prompted me to recall his predecessor, Guccifer (Marcel Lazăr Lehel of Romania). Last I heard he was a prisoner of the USA doing time for hacking Bush the dill and Powell the clown.

He had already served time in Romania for the crime but the USA fascists under Obummer's regime attempted to extradite him for more brutality USA style. Is he now a free man or still in Romanian prison? He insists that Guccifer 2 is an invention of the USA government.

Do you know of his fate as we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2019 7:54 utc | 68

dhtravers @60

"Those legitimate protests and future coup was hijacked by US interests..."

No, it was all illegitimate, the maiden was all neo-Nazi and provoked by US/west from the very start. It was all predicated on exploiting the differences between eastern-Ukraine (ethnic Galician) and western-Ukraine (ethnic Russian). It was all US/western instigated and planned from the start and it was all murderous from the start. The protests weren't hijacked; they were instigated.

-----

To reveal the whole truth about Ukraine would mean revealing that the shooting down of MH-17 and the murder of 298 people was carried out by the US/West with the assistance of it's Ukrainian vassals. This cannot be allowed, therefore it must follow that nothing will really happen with regard to Biden's corruption or Trump's impeachment beyond a comical Mexican stand-off.

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 4 2019 8:25 utc | 69

Meanwhile back in the messy state of affairs known as reality, the Guardian reports on electronic comnunications between Trump administration diplomats clearly indicating a quid pro quo arrangement linking US aid to Ukraine to an investigation of Trump's political rival and requiring Zelenskiy's public statements announcing same.

Now we begin to see from where Trump's recent erratic public behaviour (even by his standards) stems.

Trump is in deep shit here. There clearly is active participation by many working as government employees within the the Trump administration to dig for Biden dirt on the taxpayer's dime and this community at the very least should acknowledge that fact by looking at reality uhm from a realistic standpoint.

Im no Greenwald fan primarily because of his Citizens United advocacy but the Intercept is credibly chasing the actual story here not spinning webs of convoluted "besides the points" and conspiratard nonsense to distract and spin away from the actual story like GOP party hacks so many commenters wish to emulate.

For some strangely fascistic reasons which make no sense on any level of leftism.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 4 2019 8:32 utc | 70

OMFG dltravers has been exhumed #60!

Peter AU 1 #56 citing Politico:
"Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham on Wednesday asked several foreign leaders to continue to assist Attorney General William Barr with his investigation into the 2016 election.

In a letter to the prime ministers of Australia, Italy and Britain, the South Carolina Republican requested their “continued cooperation with Attorney General Barr as the Department of Justice continues to investigate the origins and extent of foreign influence in the 2016 election.”

Hint to Lindsay Graham (if he is serious) why not ask the Australian Government if the Clinton Foundation fully acquitted the $30Million taxpayers donation via their Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. That is the same Alexander Downer that tried to trick Papadopulos AND is now a member of Citizens=Network. I dare Lindsay to ask for all details but I guess he is too chickenshit stupid.

Good research by Kit Klarenberg see Sputnik: https://tinyurl.com/yxearfzh

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2019 9:05 utc | 71

V #65

Karlof1 left because Hoarsewhisperer all but called Karlof1 a liar over the broken paragraph.
Just to be clear...

sad - I trust Karlof1 has only taken a sabbatical. If he returns i will gladly burn my chabad fedora and scatter the ashes on the bunya nut tree :)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2019 9:20 utc | 72

uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2019 9:20 utc | 71

I would gladly join you in said ceremony of scattering the ashes on the bunya nut tree.
;-)

Posted by: V | Oct 4 2019 10:02 utc | 73

Blooming barricade @62: That's my take on it too, allowing that there are lots of other people who want to impeach Trump, the main purpose of cranking up the impeachment hysteria now is to distract from all the things that SHOULD be investigated done by non-Trump persons working in and around the cloud of parasites hovering over Washington, of which there are many. Many many. But in particular the Ukrainian/DNC meddling in our 2016 election and Biden's feeding at the Ukrainian public trough.

I mean I could see impeaching him too, if not for Pence. Perhaps something could be done about Pence, have him pull an Agnew or something (but for Christian reasons of course).

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 4 2019 10:25 utc | 74

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 3 2019 21:48 utc | 30

It seems to be common political practice in the case of banana republics. Ukraine is a banana republic.

"Anti"-Corruption has become part of global lawfare and economic warfare. Maidan started with the arrest of Dimitri Firtash in Austria on behalf of the United States, he has been fighting extradition ever since. Firtash seems to be on the good side of the US government now.

It is a "market"

“Rudy kept running around talking to everyone, but he couldn’t get to first base on the Ukraine-Biden info,” says a sometime Ukraine player who says he has direct knowledge of the market for Biden dirt. Finally, say two sources, Trump grew frustrated with his personal attorney and took a more direct approach—one that now may earn him a place in history as one of four presidents ever to face impeachment.....A Russian diplomatic source says that the chatter among high-powered Ukrainians for months has been that the Bidens were dirty, and it was only a matter of time before Joe Biden would be forced to leave the race. It was an epic political fantasy, the ultimate score—if only Giuliani could close the deal. (Giuliani did not return a call from Vanity Fair.) .... “People started running around, saying, ‘I represent the U.S. president. What do you have for me?’ And people were like, ‘What do you mean, What do I have? Where’s the money?’” says the source. It's the Treasure of Sierra Madre, Kiev edition. (Parnas says he has no knowledge of any payments for information, and claims that Americans will soon be surprised by the documents uncovered in Ukraine.)

There is a Russian Ukrainian proxy war raging in Washington. Pass the chips, please.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 4 2019 10:42 utc | 75

When Joe says it, we should believe him...…

In January 2013, the Vice President joked about his son's decision to join the military later in life. "We have a lot of bad judgment in my family," Biden said.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 4 2019 11:00 utc | 76

"Knott 924-5014 trainer". (Anyone know what that is?)" & @11
@11 is right. Knott is a specialist in Regenstauf, Bavaria, producing brake components for trailers and special trailers. Anyway, you can use it for training th pushing back with a trailer ;-)

Posted by: Kassandra | Oct 4 2019 11:47 utc | 77

AFP news agency

#BREAKING Ukraine reviews cases into firm linked to Biden's son: prosecutor

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1180041232770318336

Posted by: Carl | Oct 4 2019 12:03 utc | 78

Dozens of Kremlin-linked mercenaries are believed to have died in an airstrike in Libya as Russia seeks to establish a foothold in the war-torn country.

They were fighting alongside forces loyal to the self-styled Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a Gaddafi-era general backed by Moscow. They are thought to have been employed by the Wagner Group, a shadowy private military contractor linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy Russian businessman known as “Putin’s chef” because of his Kremlin catering contracts.

Posted by: Fake? | Oct 4 2019 12:07 utc | 79

DHTravers @ 60:

That's right, the Minister for Finance in Petro Poroshenko's government when it first formed was Natalie Jaresko, a US citizen who didn't last very long. She was granted Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko when she was made Minister for Finance. For some reason she did not give up US citizenship even though Ukrainian Law forbids government officials from having dual citizenship.

Jaresko was originally a hedge fund manager and in this respect the most remarkable thing about her is that her ex-husband reported her to US authorities for corrupt practices in dealing with a US government-funded investment company way back in 2010.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 4 2019 12:10 utc | 80

somebody @75

Such an ignorant post. Nobody could be so misinformed, so your post can only be intended to manipulate readers that you suppose are stupid.

Ukraine has never been a "banana republic". Ukraine is a modern developed state. It has industries and standards comparable to most western countries; in fact, Ukraine would be indistinguishable from most western countries. Ukraine even has a long-standing and still functioning Space Agency.

Ukrainians are relatively well-educated and sophisticated.

Ukraine's misfortunate was to allow itself to be taken over by the US/west which has exploited it, ravaged its industries and stolen its resources, disrupted its existing essential economic relations (without providing viable alternatives), abused and misdirected Ukrainian policy and military and diplomatic postures. It is the US/West that has (up to now) insisted that Ukraine continue shelling the breakaway regions in order to prevent the implementation of the Minsk agreement.

You intend your reader to mislead themselves into believing that the Maidan is all about Firtash when the whole maidan project was about a US/western takeover of Ukraine with the aim of placing western military right on Russia's borders and stealing Crimea (and the Sevastopol Naval Base) away from Russia.

The truth is that what happened to Ukraine could happen to any developed/Western country if that is what the US decided to inflict.

You allow your reader to assume that it is all Ukraine's fault while you "pass the chips" as if it has nothing to do with the US/west and affect to appear oblivious to the unpleasant truth that those "chips" are washed down with a hell of a lot of blood that was split at the US/west's express wishes.

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 4 2019 12:36 utc | 81

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 4 2019 12:36 utc | 84

Ok. I take the "banana republic" back. Ukraine does not only export coal, iron, wheat and corn but also - still - a few weapons. My guess is that all state of the art industry has transferred to Russia . or China.
This is not political but simply necessary as their production is different from Western industry standards.

But you are posing an interesting question on the direction corruption takes. Was "Maidan" a US project they bribed Ukrainians for or did Ukrainians bribe US politicians to intervene in an Ukrainian civil war.

I suggest it is bidirectional.

In any case normal people like you and me and people in Ukraine do not have a say in it, the only choice is between robber barons.

Ukrainian oligarchs get their money as and if they are in control of one of the main routes of Russian gas to Europe.

So yes, the US have a strategic interest (if the strategy is "to contain Russia") in controlling Ukraine, stop North Stream 2 and sell their own fracked gas.

And Ukraining oligarchs have an interest of US protection against Russia and their Ukrainian competitors.

Somehow this works in a way that Ukrainian oligarchs feel they have to bribe US politicians and involve themselves in US elections.

Maybe because in reality US strategic interest would be to partner with Russia and contain China? Remember the "reset?" Obama and Clinton started out with? That was in 2009. Also in 2009 during the Honduran coup, Obama stated

"We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there."[41] He stated: "It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition, rather than democratic elections."[41] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, equivocated, saying that "We do think that this has evolved into a coup" and noting that under U.S. law, officially declaring a coup would oblige the U.S. to cut off most foreign aid to Honduras."

So Obama caved to Clinton. Why?


Posted by: somebody | Oct 4 2019 13:44 utc | 82

You know what I think? I think our own country--the United States of America--is rapidly turning into Ukraine. We now have Trump and Biden going at each other like two Ukrainian oligarchs; our country is ever more bitterly divided by region and identity ... I suspect some day soon it'll be the Ukes knocking over our government in 'color revolution' coup!

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Oct 4 2019 14:13 utc | 83

Anyway, you can use it for training th pushing back with a trailer ;-)

Posted by: Kassandra | Oct 4 2019 11:47 utc | 77

Search for "Knott trainer" also returns a number of personal trainers with the family name Knott.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2019 14:33 utc | 84

The goal, Jaresko noted, is to reduce Puerto Rico's debt to a level that it could feasibly control.

Posted by: Aziz | Oct 4 2019 12:36 utc | 85

So now Boris and Natasha (Natalie) loot Puerto Rico, having done yeoman job in Ukraine? I am not sure about Boris, but is it OK to give such important positions to foreign citizens (Natasha)?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2019 14:38 utc | 85

"Im no Greenwald fan primarily because of his Citizens United advocacy but the Intercept is credibly chasing the actual story here ..." donkeytale@69
In the unlikely event that anyone should be tempted top follow the above advice: be warned, it is nonsense. The Intercept, whose proprietor is up to his ears in collusion with the Maidan fascists, has been engaged in a full court press, involving every lackey in the brothel, to deny the obvious and transparent reality that Biden's position is indefensible.
As to Trump's breach of protocol: the US has imposed its demands on foreign satellite leaders for decades. (Julian Assange in Belmarsh attests to that.) In this case Trump's call on Ukraine to assist in his investigation of Biden's actions obviously led to to resistance on the part of Zelensky, who blanches at the insistence that he cooperates in an investigation of his own sponsors' crimes.
The Ukraine is but one of many states in eastern Europe, Russia included, which has learned that the "Freedom" that Voice of America talks about is Hobbesian criminality, in which the people and their wealth are devoured by criminals who cream off their ill gotten gains and deposit them in London, Wall St and Bay Street, Toronto. In this noble enterprise they are assisted by the third generation of Neo Nazis-take a bow Chrystia Freeland- preserved in exile for just such an occasion.
Those who talk of democracy in Ukraine (or Haiti) must always bear in mind that voters are not giving the choice of voting for the Communist Party or Aristide. If they could they would and the outflow of funds to the west would come to an end.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 4 2019 14:47 utc | 86

@ somebody 86
So Obama caved to Clinton. Why?
Because Obama was basically a man with a weak character, compensating by being a warmonger who upon reaching office foolishly sent 70,000 troops to Afghanistan, and who also had a weakness for Hillary's hawkishness, reference Libya, Syria and then Ukraine.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 4 2019 14:50 utc | 87

"...that the media have not picked up on?..."

Confused. Still think you're watching 'news' and not 'opinion pieces' meant to guide their sheep?

Posted by: Occams | Oct 4 2019 14:52 utc | 88

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 3 2019 20:43 utc | 21. Biden with Gabbard as a running mate?

One can see some obstacles, like laws against groping of minors, but the concept has a promise. Especially if MDs will officially, before the election, provide a diagnosis that Biden will not be able to function as a president.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2019 15:16 utc | 89

@48 Michael Droy

Thanks for the information. I see the US as being the instigator and culprit of the coup in Ukraine, and wasn't trying to advance some thinly veiled accusations of Russian machinations. Tried to qualify my comments, perhaps ineffectively. I stated that it was all about the US shale gas industry, but of course there's much more to it than that. I hope the perspective that you relayed is accurate. Since the coup I've tried to understand the truth of developments there, but have been struggling to determine which sources to trust. Not talking about the official narrative of US "news" (which I reject just about automatically) but about Ukrainian, European, and Russian sources. Everyone seems to have an agenda, and many have real grievances.

The US made a power play. It perceived a weakness of its "enemy" and exploited it. Perhaps as an ultimate objective or maybe as just a huge bonus, depriving Russia of Sevastopol was an aim. Once the coup succeeded and the US (and cronies) recognized that as legitimate, Russia was wrong-footed into protecting an asset critical to its survival. Though the Russians didn't lose Sevastopol they lost that round of the information war to the western dominated narrative. Painted as an aggressor and occupier. That's exceedingly rich sauce, coming from the likes of the US. Rank hypocrisy. If China were to have an "either us or them" moment and Japan gravitated there, can you imagine the US giving up Okinawa? (Acknowledging that Sevastopol as to Russia is not equivalent to Okinawa as to the US.)

Thanks and be well; just trying to understand, here in Ohio, and only because I want to know what's coming before it rolls over me.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 4 2019 15:22 utc | 90


The environmental damage caused by fracking is debatable in my view. The first major large area fracked was from Dallas/Ft Worth
and southwest from there. It began in the early to mid 2000's and
was done before the term fracking was even popularized. I drive this area often and have for 25 years, and now 15 years after it was done one is hard pressed to see any damage, still largely ranch country and the winter capital of the Rodeo industry. The
best arguments against fracking are economic it is a big time money loser.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Oct 4 2019 15:35 utc | 91

Thanks to Petri Kohn @ 37 for an insightful addition to b's analysis of early events. I will support what you say by repeating b's penultimate comment:

"...That U.S. main stream media try to obfuscate or even deny that Shokin was serious in his investigation lets one doubt their other claims about the Biden affair and the now evolving impeachment inquiry..."

b has laid the groundwork for further discovery. And one point your remarks about Ukrainians masquerading as Russians that hasn't been investigated here so far is their immediate anti-Russian-language law, that required the Ukranian language to be the sole language used after the coup. This effort to distinguish 'true' Ukrainians from Russians was surely meant to solidify the Russian-ness of the nasties doing all the infiltrating.

My investigation of karlof1's absence came up with his last post last night on the Valdai conference and a Russia/Africa one to be held in Sochi. I agree that is bound to be extremely interesting. There is more going on in the world than just the Ukraingate proceedings, important as they are to us here in the US, but I am grateful to b for putting the topic here for sober consideration, if that's possible in a bar room!

Posted by: juliania | Oct 4 2019 15:51 utc | 92

Meant to say, "...and one point further to your remarks...", sorry.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 4 2019 15:54 utc | 93

I reported extensively about this at The Saker on September 28th and at my blog:
https://washingtonsblog.com/2019/09/here-is-the-dirt-trump-wanted-from-zelensky-about-the-bidens-and-why-zelensky-doesnt-want-to-give-it-to-him-hidden-by-rampant-falsehoods-in-the-press.html

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Oct 4 2019 16:00 utc | 94

steven t johnson
Joe Biden broke the law. He violated conflict of interest laws. If you have ever worked internationally the training specially mentions recusing yourself in such cases involving family members. His stated "intentions" whether honorable or not don't matter.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Oct 4 2019 16:20 utc | 95

I am not against an impeachment of Trump.

YES YOU ARE.

If, during all this time you went after Trump like you just did here with Biden, maybe I could respect and trust the effort you made here.

Trump has dirt and skeletons pilled up to the rafters of Mar-a-Lago, up to the penthouse roof of Trump Tower and a mile high and wide, but you just won't touch that cause there's Russian crap rolled in there.

If you put even the amount of effort you put into Biden unearthing Trump shet you'd have put Robert Mueller out of business, but instead every step of the way you protected the bastard Trump and made no effort to expose Trump's dirt.

In your eagerness to trash Biden and undermine every effort to expose the shet Trump is mired in YOU DAMAGE MORE YOUR OWN CREDIBILITY AND INTEGRITY than anything else.

You pretend to be concerned with the tuth, but are you really when you only go after the convenient truth and not the one that sullies your agenda? You are not as innocent and well-intentioned as you pretend and you are definitely, definietly not on the side of GOOD. Yours is not even a case of the bad means justifying a good end!

You're clever but not that much. I really wish someone would uncover the motive behind this lopsided truth.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 4 2019 16:26 utc | 96

Piotre Berman @ 61:

"...Ha ha! Imagine Joe Biden as an honest and brilliant agent of British intelligence. Kind of James Bond in his latter years (note the same initials, coincidence? I do not think so.)"

Maybe not an agent of British intelligence; there was a CIA man in those Ian Fleming novels too. One who often saved the day. But I think you have joked about an important aspect of Biden's character. He does think of himself as a player, I believe. Actually very like Trump in that respect, and when he was younger he was a charmer indeed.

I was wondering why it was that he wasn't the candidate of choice after Obama, but Clinton instead. Probably because of the somewhat suppressed style of his VP terms. One interview I remember well was after a trip to Davos, Switzerland for the big meetings there. It was on Charlie Rose, and clearly he had enjoyed himself.

Very much James Bond territory.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 4 2019 16:31 utc | 97

People SAY that they're skeptical of the USA political duopoly. People SAY that USA is ruled as an oligarchy via money politics. They SAY that individuals with long connections to the Deep State should not be trusted. But they prove otherwise when they take the bait and invest themselves in a divisive nothing-burger.

It would be funny, if it were not so sad.

You are being played as you wax on about Ukrainian minutiae and how the OTHER SIDE is corrupt. Our political conversation is ALL about Biden and Trump now. And it will be that way for weeks to come. The Democratic primary race is over. The Deep State wins (once again).

For more, see my comment @19.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 4 2019 16:35 utc | 98

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Oct 4 2019 14:13 utc | 87

I agree. It is called blowback. Usually, when this happens the politicians of a country look for an enemy most people can agree on.

Any suggestions?

Posted by: somebody | Oct 4 2019 16:44 utc | 99

Biden, Trump and Putin.

Does it really matter which bitch Zionists prefer on Monday, Wednesday or Friday?

Posted by: Circe | Oct 4 2019 16:46 utc | 100

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