Russia

Notes on the Twitter Files (15)

Featured image Matt Taibbi has posted the fifteenth installment of the Twitter Files. It is a thread that comes in 42 tweets that can be accessed via the first (below) or read in unrolled form via the Thread Reader app here. 1.THREAD: Twitter Files #15MOVE OVER, JAYSON BLAIR: TWITTER FILES EXPOSE NEXT GREAT MEDIA FRAUD pic.twitter.com/bLRpDpuWql — Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 27, 2023 Taibbi’s thread addresses the Hamilton 68 “dashboard” fronted by »

The McGonigal miasma

Featured image Charles “Charlie” McGonigal helped originate the FBI’s Russia hoax investigation of President Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign. As the New York Post explains, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Jonathan Moffa told Senate Judiciary Committee staffers in 2020 that he got a July 2016 email from McGonigal which “contained essentially that reporting, which then served as the basis for the opening of the [Crossfire Hurricane] case.” After serving as chief of »

Notes on the Twitter Files (11)

Featured image Matt Taibbi posted two more Twitter Files threads yesterday afternoon. They are the eleventh and twelfth such threads posted by the journalists to whom Elon Musk has opened the files of old Twitter. Taibbi has taken the lead in documenting The eleventh thread includes 33 tweets that can be accessed via the first (below). 1.THREAD: The Twitter FilesHow Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In — Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, »

The best deal since…

Featured image The trade of WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout amounts to the best deal of its kind since President Obama traded Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo. As I recall, Obama national security adviser Susan Rice declared that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction” (before he deserted). Susan Rice is back in the White House working for President Biden. It would »

Bloomberg’s apology

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reports that Michael Bloomberg rendered an apology last week at his conference in Singapore: Michael Bloomberg, who leads the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, apologized to attendees of his annual economic forum after former British prime minister Boris Johnson called the Chinese government a “coercive autocracy.” Bloomberg on Thursday said that Johnson’s remarks were “his thoughts and his thoughts alone” and were not cleared with »

The Daily Chart: How Are Those Russia Sanctions Working?

Featured image The “severe” sanctions the West (supposedly) imposed on Russia were supposed to be “crippling” to the Russian economy. Joe Biden promised us, after all. But after an initial swoon, the Russian Ruble has rebounded, and concerning Russian exports, well. . . »

The Dirty 51 revisited

Featured image Miranda Devine’s New York Post column revisits the 51 intelligence officers whose letter bore all the earmarks of a dirty political intelligence operation taking advantage of their former offices. Let us not forget that Politico acted the media arm of the operation. Devine’s column — “It’s been two years since 51 intelligence agents interfered with an election — they still won’t apologize” — confines itself to the Dirty 51. Having »

Armageddon? Just Kidding

Featured image Joe Biden’s dementia took center stage in world diplomatic circles when he went off-script at a fundraiser last night. He was quoted as saying: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [President JFK] Kennedy and the [1962] Cuban missile crisis. “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.” *** Mr Biden said he »

Edward Jay Epstein: Snowden’s choice

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is my favorite investigative journalist and the author of several of my favorite books including, most recently, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. Ed’s memoir Assume Nothing »

Who Blew Up the Pipeline?

Featured image Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines? Your guess is as good as mine. It does seem peculiar to think Russia would have blown up their own pipeline, but it is not inconceivable that a faction of Russia’s military is trying to sabotage Putin as a prelude for ousting him, or that Putin sees it as a kind of “Cortez burning his ships” moment to indicate that he is all-in »

What Disinformation?

Featured image Sweden has established a new Psychological Defence Agency to combat potential Russian disinformation, the London Times reports. The agency hasn’t actually spotted any Russian disinformation yet, the article says, but it knows where to look: Staff at the agency, which has its headquarters in the western city of Karlstad, are working in a nation increasingly plagued by polarisation and mistrust. Next week, parliamentary elections will take place in a climate »

A Footnote on Reagan & Gorbachev

Featured image When Gorbachev became general secretary in 1985, Reagan wrote in his diary that he was “too cynical” to believe reports that Gorbachev was a “different kind” of Soviet leader. Gorbachev thought Reagan was “a dinosaur,” fully slavish to America’s capitalist class. But by degrees they warmed to each other personally, ironically by means of bitter and direct philosophical arguments in their unprecedented five face-to-face meetings over the next three years that »

Who Killed Darya Dugina?

Featured image Darya Dugina was the daughter of Alexander Dugin, one of Vladimir Putin’s close associates, a leading pro-Putin intellectual, and a vigorous supporter of the Ukraine invasion. Dugin is an exponent of “Eurasianism,” arguing that Russia is a unique civilization that has rejected Western liberalism and is the heir to the Russian Empire. Darya herself was a journalist and a supporter of her father’s ideas and Putin’s regime. On Saturday night, »

Guest Post: Emina Melonic on ‘War Chic’

Featured image Emina Melonic is the perfect person to reflect on the meaning of the Vogue cover shot of the Zelenskyys: The war in Ukraine has been odd, to say the least. At the beginning, I was following it closely, especially since I saw the echoes of my own experience, namely in war-torn Bosnia. I saw innocent people dying and displaced out of their homes. But just like most things in this strange, »

Is Russia Reeling?

Featured image A friend sent me a link to this paper, which says that, contrary to much of what we see in the press, Western sanctions are devastating Russia’s economy. The authors are all associated with Yale; subject to that caveat, here it is: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters into its fifth month, a common narrative has emerged that the unity of the world in standing up to Russia has »

BoJo’s no go

Featured image Boris Johnson is both the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the author of a respectful book on Winston Churchill. He holds himself out as a conservative to boot. Yet Walter Russell Mead captures BoJo in an emission of pandering pap that ought to embarrass him. In his weekly Wall Street column today Mead quotes Johnson speaking to German media between the Group of Seven and NATO summits late »

Advantage Putin?

Featured image I missed the news that Western leaders leaders “jok[ed] about” Putin at the G7 summit this week, as the AP puts it in its story today. I think “mocked” would probably be more accurate. They mocked Putin’s public displays of manliness: As they sat down for talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jested that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” amid Russia-West »