Foreign Policy

By last summer we knew that the Obama administration was aware of Russian hacking, but elected to do little about it. Now a Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, has revealed that the extent of the administration’s knowledge was not only wider than previously reported but also extremely detailed and timely.

“I know what you are doing” “So what, you won’t do anything”

Thanks to a  remarkable piece of espionage by the Dutch intelligence services, the administration knew the State Department had been hacked in November 2014. The AIVD and MIVD had penetrated “Cozy Bear”, a hacking organization based in Moscow that was operating as a front for the Russian foreign intelligence service, SVR. The Dutch were swift to tell their counterparts in American intelligence of Russia’s efforts to rummage around in America’s political institutions.

The Dutch could not only track what the Russian hackers were up to electronically, they could literally see them as they had broken into the cameras in the Cozy Bear offices. In addition, by 2015, the American NSA had hacked into the cell phones of top Russian intelligence officials.

Which raises the question, if the administration was so intimately aware of everything from the State Department hack to the theft of the DNC’s emails, why didn’t Obama speak up?

One theory is that they were so sure Hillary would win that Obama didn’t want to look as if he were ‘fixing’ the election for her. Adding credibility to that postulate is Joe Biden’s claim that Mitch McConnell refused to sign a bipartisan letter acknowledging the hack. Which if true would be yet another example of the Republicans putting party ahead of country. Meaning it’s probably true.

Additionally, the Obama administration never came up with a muscular policy against the Russians. They were aware of a vast amount of Russian propaganda sloshing around on social media, they did little to alert the public or take measures to stem the tide of disinformation. If Obama has a fault it is an excess of caution.

Normally the GOP would be able to make hay over the ex-President’s dithering. However, the Republicans are between a rock and a hard place. They would dearly love to use these revelations of Obama’s cautious response to Russian interference in American politics to denigrate his leadership abilities — you can imagine the headlines “Obama Ignores Cyber Threats to America” — but the more serious they make the charges the more they admit that the Russians interfered in the election.

So they have to downplay the Russian influence.


Jared Kushner and the Money from Israel.

January 8, 2018

Jared Kushner’s companies received a $30 million infusion of cash from an Israeli insurance company, Menora Mivtachim. In most circumstances, this would be unremarkable. But his father-in-law is President of the United States. And not only is Kushner an advisor to Trump, but part of his extensive public portfolio is the charge to broker a peace between Israel and […]

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Trump Proves His Love for Putin is Steady at the G-20.

July 8, 2017

How do you sum up Donald Trump’s G-20 meetings? Let’s just say that in one session Ivanka Trump took his place and it made no difference. It did, however, raise the question: Why her? Didn’t we have a Secretary of State, or some other qualified person, available? Substituting your kid when you need a break […]

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Really? 4.18.17 Trump & Pence Stare at North Korea; Ivanka’s China Coincidence; Huckabee Hates Cable; Alex Jones, Joker.

April 18, 2017

America: One big happy family. On April 6th, Ivanka Trump dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. The same day the Chinese authorities approved her trademarks in the world’s second-largest economy. Trump is making America great again – one kid at a time. Pence’s staring contest. Mike Pence is on a tour of Asia. […]

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Really? 6.7.15. Walker’s War Dreams; Internet Dicks; Cops Gone Wild; Election 2016, A Preview.

June 7, 2015

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated” ― George Bernard Shaw. Like many chickenhawks, Scott Walker’s solution to the Middle East’s troubles may involve a reinvasion of the area. If it is that critical, will Walker’s two military age sons enlist? Or would Walker just throw other people’s children in harms way? I think […]

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Handicapping the GOP Field, Before We Even Know the Final Line Up.

May 3, 2015

“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career” ― George Bernard Shaw. Some candidates are in. Some candidates have promised to be in. And some putative candidates will demur. Regardless let’s handicap the GOP field. (Note: I have broken the field down into various categories. Where the […]

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Obama’s Foreign Policy – Americans don’t die.

April 21, 2015

“Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world” ― Zbigniew Brzeziński The GOP’s 2016 corps of candidates is lambasting the President’s foreign policy. Wherever America intervened, they say we […]

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The Military/Industrial Complex and the Culture of Dependency.

March 30, 2015

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower. Tom Kennedy, Wes Bush, and Greg Hayes are names not familiar to most Americans, but those government […]

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ISIS Is Full of Sound and Fury, Only Given Significance By Paranoid US Politicians.

March 15, 2015

“New political systems and philosophies were imported into the Near East under the general term democracy and grafted artificially into a society which was feudal in nature and theocratic in spirit. The results were not happy…” ― Gerald De Gaury. The majority of Americans now support deploying troops against ISIS.Why? There is nothing that ISIS […]

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