Friday, May 28, 2021

Strategic and delicate issues

"Is the Biden-Putin Summit Doomed?" (McGovern):

"Russian leaders have shown that they welcome the opportunity to meet US presidents face to face and that is a mutual benefit. At this point, barring some kind of miracle, the summit is not likely to yield much in the way of progress in mutual relations.

Indeed, there is risk that the talks could devolve into Anchorage-type acrimony – most likely in private. For example, Putin knows – and may confront Biden – about his promised role (via Sullivan and Nuland) in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Kiev, which catalyzed the sharp downturn in US-Russia relations, just five months after Putin wrote (in a New York Times oped) of the growing trust he enjoyed with Obama as the two cooperated to prevent wider war in Syria.

Here’s an excerpt from an intercepted conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland [promoted to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under Biden] and US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt published by YouTube on Feb. 4, 2014

Nuland: So on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [US vice-president’s national security adviser Jake] Sullivan’s come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need [US Vice-President Joe] Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden’s willing.

If Putin chooses to play tough, he can also be expected to raise a number of strategic and delicate issues:

  • Your intelligence people no doubt have key telemetry on our test launch of missiles that fly at Mach 8, like the hypersonic cruise missile Zircon, but we can show you the tape if you wish. So, is your ABM industry merely a “jobs program”, as former Ambassador Matlock once suggested? Don’t you have better ways to spend your money? As I pointed out at the time, what a terrible waste!
  • When you and Obama, on Jan. 5, 2017m authorized FBI Director James Comey to do a J-Edgar-Hoover number on Trump the next day, did you not know that the “Steele dossier” was – and is now proven to be – a complete fraud?
  • We know, because we Russians pay close attention to what’s in your media (including alternative media) that the highly-touted-but-fraudulent Jan. 6, 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment” was not produced by “all 17 US Intel agencies”, nor by just three (CIA, FBI, NSA); nor by “handpicked” analysts from those three. A House Intelligence Committee investigator who has looked closely into this reports that it was produced by John Brennan with the help of “4 or 5 analysts”. CIA Director Gina Haspel would not release that report and – this is key – Trump did not have the courage to force its release. Assuming you know all this, why do you still charge me with “hacking” the DNC emails to help Trump win, as the Assessment argued?
  • You could take a step forward and encourage the media to report on the testimony of CrowdStrike head Sean Henry, made public more than a year ago, showing there is no technical evidence the DNC emails were hacked … by Russia or by anyone. Sean Henry’s sworn testimony was taken on Dec. 5, 2017; it was not released to the public until May 7, 2020. On what basis do you continue to charge that we hacked into the DNC and gave the emails to WikiLeaks?"
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