I can judge how bad the news IS going to be, by my dreams, and how heavily I sit at the edge of my bed – wondering if it is worth IT – getting up and blogging.
HELP is a two-way street, especially in time of war. Our Founding Father’s understood this, thus, asking for help from our enemy, is the same as – offering to help our enemy.
Trump and his Republican backers sent a Declaration of Alliance, a call to unity, that will be enforced WHEN he becomes President again, and his party takes both houses. How many millions of Republicans want Zelensky – to loose? Do they care about loss of life?
Trump solicits Putin’s help to expose alleged dirt on Hunter Biden
Tue, March 29, 2022, 11:19 AM·3 min read
In what has become a familiar pattern, former President Donald Trump has once again solicited help from a foreign leader in exposing possible dirt to try to wound a political enemy.
Trump, who was impeached in 2019 for his request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he do Trump a “favor” by investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter, told right-wing television host John Solomon in an interview published Tuesday that he wanted Russian President Vladimir Putin to shed light on unverified reports that Biden’s son received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Yelena Baturina, the wife of Moscow’s former mayor.
“She gave him $3.5 million, so now I would think Putin would know the answer to that,” Trump told Solomon. “I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer.”
“How is it that the mayor of Moscow, his wife, gave the Biden family three and a half million dollars?” he continued. “I think Putin now would be willing to probably give that answer. I’m sure he knows.”
In a presidential debate with Biden during the 2020 campaign, Trump seized on that claim, which appears in a U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security report authored by the then-Republican majority but has not been verified.
During the debate, Biden said of the $3.5 million wire-transfer allegation that it is “simply not true.”
While Trump has long sought foreign help in uncovering alleged business wrongdoing committed by Hunter Biden, the president’s son does remain the center of a federal tax investigation. The New York Times reported that although he paid off outstanding tax liabilities related to his business dealings with foreign countries, he is the subject of an ongoing grand jury probe.
After Hunter Biden learned in 2020 that he was under federal investigation, he said in a statement that “a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”
Whether meant seriously or sarcastically, Trump’s outreach to Putin’s government is also not new. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump noted that Russian hackers had broken into a Democratic National Committee server and stolen sensitive material, conflating that event with Hillary Clinton’s deletion of 33,000 personal emails from her private server.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said at a press conference on July 27, 2016.
The FBI declined to bring charges against Clinton in the matter, and though Trump pledged that if he was elected president he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the deleted emails, he never did.
At a Georgia rally over the weekend for candidates in the battleground state he has endorsed in the 2022 midterms, Trump indicated that he is considering mounting another run for president in 2024, saying, “We may just have to do it again.”
Exploiting the conditions wrought by Vladimir Putin’s indiscriminate violence in Ukraine and repression at home, the U.S. is leveraging intelligence to preemptively shape the battlefield, covertly enable partners, pressure cooperation from allies, and mitigate against the cornered Russian leader’s inclination toward further escalation.
Metaphors for influence campaigns abound in this struggle, which rightfully casts Putin and his kleptocratic minions as the villains in this epic David versus Goliath tale. Putin’s scorched-earth tactics provide ample fodder to amplify the good v. evil plot line as his reckless dispatch of poorly supported and badly led troops undermines his image of omnipotent master strategist. And American support to Ukraine’s heroic battlefield defense, overt and covert alike, is being celebrated and encouraged rather than disparaged and condemned.
Just as the war in Ukraine has evolved into a profound conflict between autocracies and liberal democracies, it concurrently has produced a stunning reevaluation in how the Americans view espionage and their intelligence agencies. Intelligence was a field arguably seen by many through jaundiced eyes given past abuses, failures and the perception of its problematic moral compass. At best, espionage was considered a necessary and hardly reliable evil whose workings were a mystery and credibility suspect. Moreover, unable to publicly defend itself, intelligence agencies provided a convenient scapegoat for what were often policy failures, as America’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan demonstrated.
Today, however, intelligence increasingly is seen as an instrument of national power – and possibly even an enterprise for good. The West has seized the narrative in no small part due to its ongoing release of raw intelligence. Declassified, stolen secrets have helped shift worldwide public opinion concerning Russia, NATO and the price of freedom that democratic nations hold dear, but for which many long underinvested. If you doubt it, just ask whether Ukraine would have found such international support had Putin invaded in November 2021, before the American influence campaign had time to develop and earn credibility.
As much as Putin tries to block his public from international media and crush expression dissent, news is getting through. Russians are receiving ground truth concerning the disastrous Ukrainian campaign, as well as warnings sourced to U.S. intelligence of Putin’s nefarious designs, much of which were borne out by events. According to press and social media, fissures are emerging across Russia, offering U.S. intelligence yet more means to covertly pressure the isolated Russian leader.
Up until the onset of Putin’s Ukrainian escapade, Germany long had been Russia’s apologist and advocate for economic co-dependency, likewise lagging behind its NATO partners in defense spending. But Berlin is suddenly prominent among Europe’s champions for sanctions and military preparedness. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline even before Putin’s renewed launch of hostilities and aims to double his country’s military budget over the next two years.
The brandishing of intelligence has been used to warn rivals such as China of the prospective costs in supporting Russia or pursuing its own military solution for Taiwan. Declassified intelligence is facilitating unity among allies by galvanizing worldwide opinion, pressuring once problematic partners such as Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski into cooperation.
While our stand against Russia’s brutal Ukrainian campaign is appropriately about drawing the line to prevent a World War III from which the planet might not survive, the truth is we’re already at war. For the moment, the Ukrainians are shouldering the battle, human suffering, and devastation, while the U.S. and its allies fight by all means short of armed conflict. Critical in that support has been U.S. intelligence and American special operations forces’ work with Ukrainian counterparts that has paid significant dividends on the battlefield. And the well-considered declassification of intelligence continues to undermine Putin’s plans, exposing disinformation and cautioning would-be enablers, while likewise contributing to cohesion among allies.