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Beginning of the end for Mueller? Paul Manafort’s civil suit

Manafort’s application for Judicial Review pinpoints how Mueller’s probe is running amok

Alexander Mercouris




There has been some confusion and no little ridicule of the civil suit which Paul Manafort has brought against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In my opinion the ridicule is misplaced because Manafort’s suit has homed in on what is beyond question the single greatest weakness of Robert Mueller’s Russiagate inquiry.

This is that as the evidence of collusion during the 2016 election between the Trump campaign and Russia which Mueller is supposed to be investigating stubbornly refuses to appear – because it doesn’t exist – Mueller is increasingly going off on tangents investigating other wholly unrelated matters.

The propriety of that is questionable, and now it is its legality which Manafort is challenging.

Manafort’s suit runs to 17 pages of closely reasoned legal argument.  However it is in essence very simple.

Manafort makes the point that none of the matters for which Mueller has investigated and indicted him have any connection to the Trump campaign, the Russians, or the 2016 election, which are supposed to be the subjects of Mueller’s inquiry.

Instead all the matters for which Mueller has investigated and indicted Manafort predate Manafort’s involvement in the Trump campaign and concern (1) his various business dealings extending all the way back to 2005; and (2) his publicly disclosed work for the pre-Maidan government of Ukraine, which is a matter of public knowledge, and which Manafort says he repeatedly discussed at the time when he was doing this work with the US’s ambassador to Ukraine.

Manafort moreover says that all of the allegations for which Mueller has investigated and indicted him were previously investigated by the FBI, which in 2014  – ie. before Donald Trump launched his Presidential campaign and two years before the 2016 Presidential election – fully cleared him and closed down the case against him.

Manafort also says that contrary to what some reports are saying Mueller has indicted him on no fresh evidence but wholly on the basis of the same evidence which was disclosed to the FBI before 2014 and upon which they cleared him and closed down the case.  Manafort moreover says that most of this evidence was disclosed to the FBI by himself.

Manafort says the case which has been brought against him is wrong because it is brought beyond Mueller’s power to bring ie. it is what lawyers call ultra vires.

As concerns the Justice Department Manafort argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s Appointment Order appointing Mueller Special Counsel was improperly drafted because it purports to give Mueller in advance carte blanche to investigate any matter even if it is wholly unrelated to the collusion allegations which are supposed to be the subject of Mueller’s inquiry, this being contrary to the Justice Department’s own Code for appointing Special Counsel and to the will of Congress, which in 1999 specifically limited the remit of Special Counsel’s investigations precisely because of concerns about the way they had been abused previously.

As for Mueller, Manafort argues that even if his challenge against Rosenstein’s Appointment Order is wrong, Mueller’s actions in bringing a case against him based on his private business dealings before he joined the Trump campaign and before the 2016 election is so far removed from the supposed purpose of Mueller’s inquiry – which is to investigate the allegations of collusion during the election between the Trump campaign and the Russians – that Mueller’s inquiry has become “completely unmoored from the Special Counsel’s original jurisdiction” and has so far exceeded its limits that its amounts to an abuse of process.

To my knowledge four main arguments have been made against Manafort’s suit. These are

(1) that the Justice Department’s Code expressly forbids individuals affected by breaches of the Code from suing because they have suffered from these breaches;

(2) that if Mueller really is acting outside his powers then the problem is easily solved because the Code permits Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to expand Mueller’s powers of investigation following a request from Mueller; and

(3) that Manafort’s claim stands no prospect of success because it would require the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse the decision it took in Morrison v. Olson 487 U.S. 654 (1988);

(4) that Manafort is wrong in claiming that he is entitled to the civil Court’s relief since he has the right to apply to the criminal court for the case against him to be struck out, and his claim is really simply a device to prevent a criminal case being brought against him.

I am not an expert in US administrative law, but I have to say that none of these arguments looks to me especially convincing.

The first argument looks to me to be based upon a misunderstanding of the nature of the case Manafort is seeking to bring.

Manafort is not suing Rosenstein and Mueller, which is what the Justice Department’s Code appears to prohibit.  What he is doing is applying for a Judicial Review by the Court of Rosenstein’s and Mueller’s exercise of their powers, which is something completely different thing.

It is a fundamental legal principle that the Court has the power to review actions of the executive branch to determine whether or not they are lawful.  This is a fundamental power possessed by the Court in all states which are or which pretend to be governed by law.

In this case Manafort is saying that Rosenstein and Mueller – both officials of the executive branch – are acting unlawfully because they are acting beyond their powers.  If he is right then I have no doubt the Court can review it and take whatever action it deems necessary in response to it.

It is to my mind all but inconceivable that the Justice Department’s Code deprives the Court of its entire right to exercise its inherent power to determine whether or not actions of officials of the Justice Department – the branch of the executive to which Rosenstein and Mueller belong – are acting unlawfully, and I cannot imagine that Manafort’s suit will fail for that reason.

As for the second argument, it is partially answered by these words in Manafort’s claim

On September 12, 2017, undersigned Counsel for Mr. Manafort sent a letter to Mr. Rosenstein requesting that he confirm or deny that, prior to July 26, 2017, he granted Mr. Mueller additional jurisdiction to investigate Mr. Manafort for potential tax crimes and other white-collar criminal offences dating back to January 1st, 2006, and that prior to August 3, 2017, he authorized Mr. Mueller to prosecute Mr. Manafort for tax crimes related to the 2010 tax year.  Mr. Rosenstein has not responded, and nor has anyone else from his office.

I would add that even if a discussion did take place between Rosenstein and Mueller over the course of which Rosenstein did authorise Mueller to investigate Manafort for “potential tax crimes and other white-collar criminal offences dating back to January 1st, 2006”, I would expect that for a Court to decide that such an authorisation was valid it would have to be set out in writing probably as an amendment to Mueller’s original Appointment Order.

Since no such amendment to Mueller’s Appointment Order has been made or has been made public that is a good reason for doubting that such a grant of further authority has been lawfully made.

As for the suggestion that Rosenstein can simply authorise Mueller’s actions retrospectively, that looks to me like a straightforward case of retrospective law making, which would almost certainly be unlawful.

As for Morrison v. Olson, in that case as I understand it the Supreme Court of the United States was asked to decide whether the Office of the Independent Counsel created by the Independent Counsel Act was or was not constitutional (it decided that it was constitutional).

If so then I cannot see the relevance of Morrison v. Olson to Manafort’s case.  The Office of the Independent Counsel which was the subject of Morrison v. Olson no longer exists, and Manafort is not disputing the legality of Mueller’s appointment or of his office, merely the way Mueller has exercised the powers of his office, which Manafort says Mueller has exercised unlawfully.

Lastly, the argument that Manafort’s correct remedy is not to seek a Judicial Review of Rosenstein’s and Mueller’s actions but to apply to the trial Judge in the criminal court to strike out the case – presumably on the grounds that it is brought in bad faith – and that Manafort’s claim is simply a device to prevent a criminal prosecution from being brought against him looks to me to be confusing completely different issues which each fall separately to be decided respectively by administrative law and by criminal law.

If Rosenstein and Mueller really are acting beyond their powers then that certainly looks to me to be a matter of administrative law to be determined by a civil court in response to an application for Judicial Review.  I cannot see that it has anything to do with the conduct of a criminal case, in which the criminal court’s concern is primarily with the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Certainly a criminal court can strike out a prosecution if it decides that it is brought in bad faith.  However that does not seem to me to be the issue in Manafort’s case.  Rather the issue is whether or not Rosenstein and Mueller as individuals are acting unlawfully and beyond their powers by investigating and then bringing a case against Manafort in a manner which allegedly breaches the Justice Department’s Code and which goes against the will of Congress.

That seems to me a completely different situation from one in which a civil court is asked to meddle in a criminal case brought lawfully by a prosecutor acting within his or her powers, regardless of whether that case is brought in bad faith or not.

If the four objections I have seen to Manafort’s claim look to me unconvincing, does that mean I think Manafort’s claim will succeed?

I am not an expert in US administrative law so I am not in a position to say.  However on the face of it it does look to me as if Manafort is making a compelling case.  It will however be for the federal courts of the United States to decide it.

I would however before ending this discussion of Manafort’s case make a number of further points about it

(1) Manafort’s claim against Rosenstein and Mueller shows just how intense Mueller’s pressure on Manafort has been.

According to Manafort’s claim, not only did Mueller’s people carry out an early morning search of his house – which if one is to believe Manafort came up with nothing – but Mueller has served no few than one hundred (!) subpoenas on Manafort, which seems extraordinary and even oppressive given the short time the investigation of him was underway.

Given what we now know about the importance of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate inquiry and in providing the inquiry with its frame narrative, I suspect that the obsessive concentration on Manafort is the result of the prominent role the Trump Dossier accords him.  If so then that may come out in Court in the case which Manafort is now bringing, which could prove to be highly embarrassing for the Democrats, for the Justice Department, for Mueller, and for the FBI.

(2) Though Manafort’s suit is an application for Judicial Review not a private lawsuit, I have no doubt that if it is successful private law suits will follow.

A few months ago there were reports – never denied – that members of Mueller’s team were taking out private insurance because they were afraid of future law suits brought by those they were investigating.

In light of Manafort’s application for Judicial Review and what his claim tells us about the way in which the case against him has been conducted, I have to say that I now completely understand why this happened.

The fact that some of Mueller’s people have been so concerned about the way in which the case against Manafort has been conducted so as to take out private insurance to protect themselves from possible claims he may one day bring against them is incidentally a further sign that there may be more to Manafort’s application for Judicial Review than some think, and that the ridicule heaped on it is misplaced.

(3) There has been some talk recently that Mueller is considering issuing a “supplemental indictment” against Manafort.

In light of Manafort’s application for Judicial Review – of which Rosenstein and Mueller must have been informed in advance – it seems at least possible that this “supplemental indictment” – if it is indeed really planned – is intended to get round the problem identified in Manafort’s claim that Mueller investigated him for “potential tax crimes and other white-collar criminal offences dating back to January 1st, 2006” without first getting proper authority from Rosenstein.

Presumably the plan is that Rosenstein will now give that authority, and Mueller will then issue his new “supplemental indictment” based upon it.

If that is the plan, then I have to say I have my doubts about whether it can succeed.

Firstly, issuing a “supplemental indictment” for such a reason is all but an admission that Manafort’s decision to apply for Judicial Review is justified on the current facts.

Secondly, given that the basis of Manafort’s application for Judicial Review is Mueller’s investigation of him rather than the issuing of the indictment against him, I cannot see how – since nothing can now change the fact of the existence of the investigation – the plan can work.

(4) Judicial Review is an area of the law which falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Irrespective of what happens at the first instance court which will hear the case apparently in February, I expect that this case will eventually go to the Supreme Court of the United States and will be decided there.

(5) Needless to say, if Manafort is successful then that will be the end of Mueller’s inquiry and of the Russiagate investigation.

I cannot see either Rosenstein or Mueller remaining in their positions if the Court – especially if the court in question is the Supreme Court of the United States – decides that they have acted beyond their powers and quashes Mueller’s indictment.  At that point I would expect them both to resign.

With them gone the credibility of the Russiagate investigation will be shot to pieces, and at that point it will effectively all be over for Russiagate.

What that means is that of all the legal claims which have been issued up to now it is Manafort’s application for Judicial Review – not Mueller’s indictments of Manafort, Gates, Papadopoulos or Flynn – which looks to be the most important.

The stakes could not be higher, and the US’s huge community of constitutional and administrative lawyers – the biggest and most sophisticated on earth – will be following the case closely.

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America’s wars are against American’s interests

War is a racket

Richard Galustian



To advocate wars are good is insane!

For one, Afghanistan is about a ridiculously flawed US government foreign policy. it is not about ‘winning’ a war as Erik Prince describes in his video.

There is no reason for the US to be in Afghanistan.

Something Mr. Prince seems to fail to understand the reader can judge by watching Prince’s presentation promoting war.

That said, what Erik Prince explains about the military industrial complex is correct. Weapons purchases must be curtailed.

However more importantly, what he fails to say is America must stop its ‘’regime change policy’ and avoid future wars, is the real issue.

To provoke war for example with Russia or China is absolute insanity producing eventually only nuclear armageddon, the consequence is the destruction of the planet.

Trillions of dollars should not be spent (and wasted) by the Pentagon but that money should be used to build America’s roads; expand railways; build hospitals and schools, etc.

Especially also to pay much needed disability benefits to disabled vets who wasted their lives in past pointless wars from Korea to Vietnam to Iraq et al. Americans soldiers need to ‘go home’.

Withdrawing its unnecessary US bases worldwide; a left over outdated idea from the end of WW11, such as America’s military presence in Korea, Japan, Germany; the Persian Gulf, even in the UK.

Foreign military interventions are adventures pursued by ‘elites’ interests, ‘using’ NATO in most cases, as its tool, only for their (the elites) profit at the expense of ordinary people.

“War is a Racket” to quote the much decorated hero and patriot, US Marine, Major General Smedley Butler.

We can learn from history to understand America’s current predicament.

Brown Brothers Harriman in New York in the 1930s financed Hitler and Mussolini right up to the day war was declared by Roosevelt following the attack on Pearl Harbour.

A little taught fact in America’s colleges and ivy league universities is that Wall Street bankers (with a degree of assistance from the Bush family by the way) at the time had decided that a fascist dictatorship in the United States would be far better for their business interests than Roosevelt’s “new deal” which threatened massive wealth re-distribution to recapitalize the working and middle class of America and build America’s infrastructure.

So the Wall Street bankers recruited the much respected General Smedley Butler to lead an overthrow of the us government and install a “Secretary of General Affairs” who would be answerable to Wall Street, not the people; who would crush social unrest and shut down all labour unions. however General Smedley Butler only pretended to go along with the scheme, then exposed the plot. The General played the traitors along to gather evidence for congress and the president. When Roosevelt learned of the planned coup, he initially demanded the arrest of the plotters but this never happened because Roosevelt was in effect blackmailed by those same US bankers; another story!

Read the words of Major General Smedley Butler who explains what exactly happened.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to major general. and during that period I spent more of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for wall street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. “I suspected I was just a part of a racket at the time. now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession, I never had an original thought until I left the service. my mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service. Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the national city bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of wall street. the record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that the standard oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals and promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. the best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. I operated on three continents.” —

General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935.

We need peace not wars.

We need infrastructure building in America and Europe……not wars.

Somebody should explain this to Mr. Prince, and perhaps to his sister too…..who happens to be part of President Trump’s administration!

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Theresa May goes to Brussels and comes back with a big fat donut (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 39.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Theresa May’s trip to Brussels to try and win some concessions from EU oligarchs, only to get completely rebuked and ridiculed, leaving EU headquarters with nothing but a four page document essentially telling the UK to get its act together or face a hard Brexit.

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Via Zerohedge

Any confidence boost that might have followed Theresa May’s triumph this week over her party’s implacable Brexiteers has probably already faded. Because if there was anything to be learned from the stunning rebuke delivered to the prime minister by EU leaders on Thursday, it’s that the prime minister is looking more stuck than ever.

This was evidenced by the frosty confrontation between the imperturbable May and her chief Continental antagonist, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, which was caught on film on Friday shortly before the close of a two-day European Council summit that descended into bitter recriminations. After offering token praise of May’s leadership, Brussels’ supreme bureaucrat criticized her negotiating strategy as “disorganized”, provoking a heated response from May.

Earlier, May desperately pleaded with her European colleagues – who had adamantly insisted that the text of the withdrawal agreement would not be altered – to grant her “legally binding assurances” May believes would make the Brexit plan palatable enough to win a slim victory in the Commons.

If there were any lingering doubts about the EU’s position, they were swiftly dispelled by a striking gesture of contempt for May: Demonstrating the Continent’s indifference to her plight, the final text of the summit’s conclusions was altered to remove a suggestion that the EU consider what further assurances can be offered to May, while leaving in a resolution to continue contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit.

Even the Irish, who in the recent past have been sympathetic to their neighbors’ plight (in part due to fears about a resurgence of insurrectionary violence should a hard border re-emerge between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), implied that there patience had reached its breaking point.

Here’s the FT:

But Leo Varadkar, the Irish premier, warned that the EU could not tolerate a treaty approval process where a country “comes back every couple of weeks following discussions with their parliament looking for something extra…you can’t operate international relations on this basis.”

Senior EU officials are resisting further negotiations — and suggestions of a special Brexit summit next month — because they see Britain’s requests as in effect a bid to rewrite the exit treaty.

Mr Varadkar noted that many prime ministers had been called to Brussels “at short notice” for a special Brexit summit “on a Sunday in November,” adding: “I don’t think they would be willing to come to Brussels again unless we really have to.”

In response, May threatened to hold a vote on the Brexit plan before Christmas, which would almost certainly result in its defeat, scrapping the fruits of more than a year of contentious negotiations.

Given that Mrs May aborted a Commons vote on her deal this week because she feared defeat by a “significant margin,” her comments amounted to a threat that she would let MPs kill the withdrawal agreement before Christmas.

Mrs May made the threat to German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Emmanuel Macron and EU presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk as the two day Brussels summit descended into acrimony, according to diplomats.

“At the point where there is no prospect of getting anything more from the EU, that’s when you would have to put the vote,” said one close aide to Mrs May.

If this week has taught May anything, it’s that her plan to pressure the EU into more concessions (her preferred option to help her pass the Brexit plan) was an unmitigated failure. And given that running out the clock and hoping that MPs come around at the last minute (when the options truly have been reduced to ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’) leaves too much room for market-rattling uncertainty, May is left with a few options, two of which were previously ‘off the table’ (though she has distanced herself from those positions in recent weeks).

They are: Calling a second referendum, delaying a Brexit vote, pivoting to a softer ‘Plan B’ Brexit, or accepting a ‘no deal’ Brexit. As the BBC reminds us, May is obliged by law to put her deal to a vote by Jan. 21, or go to Parliament with a Plan B.

If May does decide to run down the clock, she will have two last-minute options:

On the one hand she could somehow cancel, delay, soften or hold another referendum on Brexit and risk alienating the 17.4 million people who voted Leave.

But on the other hand, she could go for a so-called Hard Brexit (where few of the existing ties between the UK and the EU are retained) and risk causing untold damage to the UK’s economy and standing in the world for years to come.

Alternatively, May could accept the fact that convincing the Brexiteers is a lost cause, and try to rally support among Labour MPs for a ‘softer’ Brexit plan, one that would more countenance closer ties with the EU during the transition, and ultimately set the stage for a closer relationship that could see the UK remain part of the customs union and single market. Conservatives are also increasingly pushing for a ‘Plan B’ deal that would effectively set the terms for a Norway- or Canada-style trade deal (and this strategy isn’t without risk, as any deal accepted by Parliament would still require approval from the EU).

But as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank anticipated last week, a second referendum (which supporters have nicknamed a “People’s Vote”) is becoming increasingly popular, even among MPs who supported the ‘Leave’ campaign, according to Bloomberg.

It’s not the only previously unthinkable idea that May has talked about this week. Fighting off a challenge to her leadership from pro-Brexit Conservative members of Parliament, the premier warned that deposing her would mean delaying Britain’s departure from the European Union. That’s not something she admitted was possible last month.

The argument for a second referendum advanced by one minister was simple: If nothing can get through Parliament — and it looks like nothing can — the question needs to go back to voters.

While campaigners for a second vote have mostly been those who want to reverse the result of the last one and keep Britain inside the EU, that’s not the reason a lot of new supporters are coming round to the idea.

One Cabinet minister said this week he wanted a second referendum on the table to make clear to Brexit supporters in the Conservative Party that the alternative to May’s deal is no Brexit at all.

Even former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is urging his supporters to be ready for a second referendum:

Speaking at rally in London, Press Association quoted Farage as saying: “My message folks tonight is as much as I don’t want a second referendum it would be wrong of us on a Leave Means Leave platform not to get ready, not to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.”

Putting pressure on Brexiteers is also the reason there’s more talk of delaying the U.K.’s departure. At the moment, many Brexit-backers are talking openly about running down the clock to March so they can get the hard Brexit they want. Extending the process — which is easier than many appreciate — takes that strategy off the table.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has continued to call for May to put her deal to a vote principally because its defeat is a necessary precursor for another referendum (or a no-confidence vote pushed by an alliance between Labour, and some combination of rebel Tories, the SNP and the DUP).

“The last 24 hours have shown that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead in the water,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “She’s failed to deliver any meaningful changes. Rather than ploughing ahead and recklessly running down the clock, she needs to put her deal to a vote next week so Parliament can take back control.”

The upshot is that the Brexit trainwreck, which has been stuck at an impasse for months, could finally see some meaningful movement in the coming weeks. Which means its a good time to bring back this handy chart illustrating the many different outcomes that could arise:

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Ukraine’s President Says “High” Threat Of Russian Invasion, Urges NATO Entry In Next 5 Years

Poroshenko is trying desperately to hold on to power, even if it means provoking Russia.



Via Zerohedge

Perhaps still seeking to justify imposing martial law over broad swathes of his country, and attempting to keep international pressure and media focus on a narrative of “Russian aggression,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced what he called the high “threat of Russian invasion” during a press conference on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Though what some analysts expected would be a rapid flair up of tit-for-tat incidents following the late November Kerch Strait seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crew by the Russian Navy has gone somewhat quiet, with no further major incident to follow, Poroshenko has continued to signal to the West that Russia could invade at any moment.

“The lion’s share of Russian troops remain” along the Russian border with Ukraine, Poroshenko told journalists at a press conference in the capital, Kiev. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent were withdrawn,” he said, and added: “As of now, the threat of Russian troops invading remains. We have to be ready for this, we won’t allow a repeat of 2014.”

Poroshenko, who declared martial law on Nov. 26, citing at the time possible imminent “full-scale war with Russia” and Russian tank and troop build-up, on Sunday noted that he will end martial law on Dec. 26 and the temporarily suspended presidential campaign will kick off should there be no Russian invasion. He also previously banned all Russian males ages 16-60 from entering Ukraine as part of implementation of 30 days of martial law over ten provinces, though it’s unclear if this policy will be rescinded.

During his remarks, the Ukrainian president said his country should push to join NATO and the EU within the next five years, per Bloomberg:

While declining to announce whether he will seek a second term in the office, Poroshenko said that Ukraine should achieve peace, overcome the consequences of its economic crisis and to meet criteria to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during next five years.

But concerning both his retaining power and his ongoing “threat exaggeration” — there’s even widespread domestic acknowledgement that the two are clearly linked.

According to The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously.

As we observed previously, while European officials have urged both sides to exercise restraint, the incident shows just how easily Russia and the West could be drawn into a military conflict over Ukraine.

Certainly Poroshenko’s words appear designed to telegraph just such an outcome, which would keep him in power as a war-time president, hasten more and massive western military support and aid, and quicken his country’s entry into NATO — the latter which is already treating Ukraine as a de facto strategic outpost.

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