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This is how the US lied to and conned Russia in the 1990s

Washington promised not to expand NATO, but newly leaked documents show it was planned from the start

Eric Zuesse

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(Strategic Culture Foundation) – Due to a historic data-dump on December 10th, the biggest swindle that occurred in the 20th Century (or perhaps ever) is now proven as a historical fact; and this swindle was done by the US Government, against the Government and people of Russia, and it continues today and keeps getting worse under every US President. It was secretly started by US President George Herbert Walker Bush on the night of 24 February 1990; and, unless it becomes publicly recognized and repudiated so that it can stop, a nuclear war between the US and all of NATO on one side, versus Russia on the other, is inevitable unless Russia capitulates before then, which would be vastly less likely than such a world-ending nuclear war now is.

This swindle has finally been displayed beyond question, by this, the first-ever complete release of the evidence. It demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt (as you’ll verify yourself from the evidence here), that US President G.H.W. Bush (and his team) lied through their teeth to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (and his team) to end the Cold War on Russia’s side, when the US team were secretly determined never to end it on the US-and-NATO side until Russia itself is conquered. And this swindle continues today, and keeps getting worse and worse for Russians.

Until now, apologists for the US-Government side have been able to get away with various lies about these lies, such as that there weren’t any, and that Gorbachev didn’t really think that the NATO issue was terribly important for Russia’s future national security anyway, and that the only limitation upon NATO’s future expansion that was discussed during the negotiations to end the Cold War concerned NATO not expanding itself eastward (i.e., closer to Russia) within Germany, not going beyond the then-existing dividing-line between West and East Germany — that no restriction against other east-bloc (Soviet-allied) nations ever being admitted into NATO was discussed, at all. The now-standard US excuse that the deal concerned only Germany and not all of Europe is now conclusively disproven by the biggest single data-dump ever released about those negotiations.

The release on December 10th, by the National Security Archives, of a treasure-trove of all the existing documentation — 33 key documents — that’s been made available to them from numerous archives around the world, and brought together finally for the very first time complete and in chronological order, makes crystal clear that the American apologists’ lies about the lies WERE lies, not accurate accounts of the history, at all.

The assemblers at the National Security Archives assume that the numerous and repeated false promises that were made by Bush’s team were mistakes, instead of as what they so clearly were (but you’ll judge it here for yourself): strategic lies that were essential to Bush’s goal of America ultimately conquering a future isolated Russia that would then have little-to-no foreign allies, and all of whose then-existing-as-Soviet allied nations within the Soviet Union itself, and beyond, including all of its former Warsaw Pact allies, would have become ultimately swallowed up by the US-NATO bloc, which then would be able to dictate, to a finally alone nation of Russia, terms of Russia’s ultimate surrender to the US That view (which the National Security Archives documents to be clearly true, even as it denies it and says that only Bill Clinton and subsequent Presidents were to blame) is now exposed irrefutably to have been the US plan ever since GHW Bush’s Presidency.

In other words: This release of documents about the turning-point, provides capstone evidence that the US never really had been in the Cold War against communism; the US was instead aiming ultimately to be the imperial nation, controlling the entire planet. For America’s Deep State, or what President Eisenhower famously warned about as the “military-industrial complex,” the Cold War was actually about empire, and about conquest, not really about ideology at all. This also had been shown, for example, by America’s having assisted so many ‘former’ Nazis to escape and come to America and to be paid now by the US Government. After World War II, the top level of the US power-structure became increasingly taken over by the military-industrial complex, America’s Deep State, so that increasingly the US Government is in a condition of “perpetual war for perpetual peace” — a warfare state and economy: fascism.

Here, then, are highlights from this historic data-dump, presented in chronological order, just as in the release itself, and with a minimum of added commentary from myself [placed in brackets], but all stripping away here the dross of accompanying inconsequentials, and leaving only the golden steady core of stunningly successful American deceit of Russia. These are those highlights, from the data-dump, which the National Security Archives headlined “NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard” and sub-headed “Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner,” so that the swindlers (or as the National Security Archive view them as having instead been blunderers) can become immediately recognized and known.

All of these documents pertain to negotiations that occurred throughout the month of February 1990, and a few relate also to the immediate aftermath. That’s the crucial period, when the geostrategic reality of today (which all the world now know to be a continuation of the Cold War, but this time against only Russia, and not against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact) was actually created.

At the negotiations’ start, West Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s agent, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, stated publicly to the whole world, West Germany’s initial offer to the Soviet Union’s President Mikhail Gorbachev, and this offer did not include a simultaneous termination of both military alliances — the Soviets’ Warsaw Pact and America’s NATO — but instead only a promise that NATO would never absorb any additional territory, especially to the east of West Germany (and this publicly made promise was never kept). So: right from the get-go, there was no actual termination of the Cold War that was being proposed by the US group, but only an arrangement that wouldn’t threaten Russia more than the then-existing split Germany did (and yet even that promise turned out to have been a lie):

Document 01

US Embassy Bonn Confidential Cable to Secretary of State on the speech of the German Foreign Minister: Genscher Outlines His Vision of a New European Architecture.

1990-02-01

Source: US Department of State. FOIA Reading Room. Case F-2015 10829

“This US Embassy Bonn cable reporting back to Washington details both of Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s proposals – that NATO would not expand to the east, and that the former territory of the GDR in a unified Germany would be treated differently from other NATO territory.”

Document 02

Mr. Hurd to Sir C. Mallaby (Bonn). Telegraphic N. 85: Secretary of State’s Call on Herr Genscher: German Unification.

1990-02-06

Source: Documents on British Policy Overseas, series III, volume VII: German Unification, 1989-1990.

“The US State Department’s subsequent view of the German unification negotiations, expressed in a 1996 cable sent to all posts, mistakenly asserts that the entire negotiation over the future of Germany limited its discussion of the future of NATO to the specific arrangements over the territory of the former GDR.” [The National Security Archives’ calling that Bill-Clinton-era State Department cable ‘mistaken’ is unsupported by, and even contradicted by, the evidence they actually present from the February 1990 negotiations.]

Document 03

Memorandum from Paul H. Nitze to George H.W. Bush about “Forum for Germany” meeting in Berlin.

1990-02-06

Source: George H. W. Bush Presidential Library

“This concise note to President Bush from one of the Cold War’s architects, Paul Nitze (based at his namesake Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies), captures the debate over the future of NATO in early 1990. Nitze relates that Central and Eastern European leaders attending the ‘Forum for Germany’ conference in Berlin were advocating the dissolution of both the superpower blocs, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, until he (and a few western Europeans) turned around that view and instead emphasized the importance of NATO as the basis of stability and US presence in Europe.”

Document 04

Memorandum of Conversation between James Baker and Eduard Shevardnadze in Moscow.

1990-02-09

Source: US Department of State, FOIA 199504567 (National Security Archive Flashpoints Collection, Box 38)

“Baker tells the Soviet foreign minister, ‘A neutral Germany would undoubtedly acquire its own independent nuclear capability. However, a Germany that is firmly anchored in a changed NATO, by that I mean a NATO that is far less of [a] military organization, much more of a political one, would have no need for independent capability. There would, of course, have to be iron-clad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward.’”

Document 05

Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow.

1990-02-09

Source: US Department of State, FOIA 199504567 (National Security Archive Flashpoints Collection, Box 38)

“Even with (unjustified) redactions by US classification officers, this American transcript of perhaps the most famous US assurance to the Soviets on NATO expansion confirms the Soviet transcript of the same conversation. Repeating what Bush said at the Malta summit in December 1989, Baker tells Gorbachev: ‘The President and I have made clear that we seek no unilateral advantage in this process’ of inevitable German unification. Baker goes on to say, ‘We understand the need for assurances to the countries in the East. If we maintain a presence in a Germany that is a part of NATO, there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east.’”

Document 06

Record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow. (Excerpts)

1990-02-09

Source: Gorbachev Foundation Archive, Fond 1, Opis 1.

“The key exchange takes place when Baker asks whether Gorbachev would prefer ‘a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping its connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO’s jurisdiction or troops will not spread east of the present boundary.’ … Turning to German unification, Baker assures Gorbachev that ‘neither the president nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place,’ and that the Americans understand the importance for the USSR and Europe of guarantees that ‘not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.’”

Document 07

Memorandum of conversation between Robert Gates and Vladimir Kryuchkov in Moscow.

1990-02-09

Source: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, NSC Scowcroft Files, Box 91128, Folder “Gorbachev (Dobrynin) Sensitive.”

“This conversation is especially important because subsequent researchers have speculated that Secretary Baker may have been speaking beyond his brief in his ‘not one inch eastward’ conversation with Gorbachev. Robert Gates, the former top CIA intelligence analyst and a specialist on the USSR, here tells his kind-of-counterpart, the head of the KGB, in his office at the Lubyanka KGB headquarters, exactly what Baker told Gorbachev that day at the Kremlin: not one inch eastward. At that point, Gates was the top deputy to the president’s national security adviser, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, so this document speaks to a coordinated approach by the US government to Gorbachev.”

 

Document 08

Letter from James Baker to Helmut Kohl

1990-02-10

Source: Deutsche Enheit Sonderedition und den Akten des Budeskanzleramtes 1989/90

“Baker especially remarks on Gorbachev’s noncommittal response to the question about a neutral Germany versus a NATO Germany with pledges against eastward expansion.”

Document 09

Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl

1990-02-10

Source: Mikhail Gorbachev i germanskii vopros, edited by Alexander Galkin and Anatoly Chernyaev, (Moscow: Ves Mir, 2006)

“Prepared by Baker’s letter and his own foreign minister’s Tutzing formula, Kohl early in the conversation assures Gorbachev, ‘We believe that NATO should not expand the sphere of its activity. We have to find a reasonable resolution. I correctly understand the security interests of the Soviet Union, and I realize that you, Mr. General Secretary, and the Soviet leadership will have to clearly explain what is happening to the Soviet people.’ Later the two leaders tussle about NATO and the Warsaw Pact, with Gorbachev commenting, ‘They say what is NATO without the FRG. But we could also ask: What is the WTO without the GDR?’ When Kohl disagrees, Gorbachev calls merely for ‘reasonable solutions that do not poison the atmosphere in our relations’ and says this part of the conversation should not be made public.”

Document 10-1

Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze notes from Conference on Open Skies, Ottawa, Canada.

1990-02-12

Source: Hoover Institution Archive, Stepanov-Mamaladze Collection.

“Notes from the first days of the conference are very brief, but they contain one important line that shows that Baker offered the same assurance formula in Ottawa as he did in Moscow: ‘And if U[nited] G[ermany] stays in NATO, we should take care about nonexpansion of its jurisdiction to the East.’”

Document 10-2

Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary, February 12, 1990.

1990-02-12

Source: Hoover Institution Archive, Stepanov-Mamaladze Collection.

“This diary entry is evidence, from a critical perspective, that the United States and West Germany did give Moscow concrete assurances about keeping NATO to its current size and scope. In fact, the diary further indicates that at least in Shevardnadze’s view those assurances amounted to a deal – which Gorbachev accepted.”

Document 10-3

Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary, February 13, 1990.

1990-02-13

Source: Hoover Institution Archive, Stepanov-Mamaladze Collection.

“Stepanov-Mamaladze describes difficult negotiations about the exact wording on the joint statement. … ‘During the day, active games were taking place between all of them. E.A. [Shevardnadze] met with Baker five times, twice with Genscher, talked with Fischer [GDR foreign minister], Dumas [French foreign minister], and the ministers of the ATS countries,’ and finally, the text of the settlement was settled.”

Document 11

US State Department, “Two Plus Four: Advantages, Possible Concerns and Rebuttal Points.”

1990-02-21

Source: State Department FOIA release, National Security Archive Flashpoints Collection, Box 38.

“The American fear was that the West Germans would make their own deal with Moscow for rapid unification, giving up some of the bottom lines for the US, mainly membership in NATO.”

Document 12-1

Memorandum of conversation between Vaclav Havel and George Bush in Washington.

1990-02-20

Source:

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Memcons and Telcons (https://bush41library.tamu.edu/)

“Bush took the opportunity to lecture the Czech leader about the value of NATO and its essential role as the basis for the US presence in Europe.”

Document 12-2

Memorandum of conversation between Vaclav Havel and George Bush in Washington.

1990-02-21

Source:

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Memcons and Telcons (https://bush41library.tamu.edu/)

“Bush’s request to Havel to pass the message to Gorbachev that the Americans support him personally, and that ‘We will not conduct ourselves in the wrong way by saying “we win, you lose.” Emphasizing the point, Bush says, ‘tell Gorbachev that … I asked you to tell Gorbachev that we will not conduct ourselves regarding Czechoslovakia or any other country in a way that would complicate the problems he has so frankly discussed with me.’ The Czechoslovak leader adds his own caution to the Americans about how to proceed with the unification of Germany and address Soviet insecurities. Havel remarks to Bush, ‘It is a question of prestige.’”

[I think that Havel was deceived to believe that “prestige” was the issue here. This is what the US team wanted the Soviet team to think was the US team’s chief motivation for wanting NATO to continue. But subsequent historical events, especially the US team’s proceeding under President Bill Clinton and up through Donald Trump to expand NATO to include, by now, virtually all of the Warsaw Pact and of the Soviet Union itself except for Russia, in NATO, proves that US aggression against Russia has been the US aim from the start, and the US Government has been working assiduously at this plan for ultimate conquest. I think that Havel’s use there of the word “prestige” was very revealing of the total snookering of Gorbachev that Bush achieved. Gorbachev and his team trusted the US side. Russia has paid dearly for that. If the US side continues and NATO isn’t voluntarily terminated by the US Government, then WW III will be the inevitable result. NATO will end either after the ‘conquest’ of Russia or before that WW-III ‘conquest’ (likelier to be actually destruction of the entire world) even happens. The world, today, will decide which. NATO should have ended in 1991, when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact did.]

Document 13

Memorandum of Conversation between Helmut Kohl and George Bush at Camp David.

1990-02-24

Source:

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Memcons and Telcons (https://bush41library.tamu.edu/)

“The Bush administration’s main worry about German unification as the process accelerated in February 1990 was that the West Germans might make their own deal bilaterally with the Soviets (see Document 11) and might be willing to bargain away NATO membership. … The German chancellor arrives at Camp David without [West German Foreign Minister] Genscher because the latter does not entirely share the Bush-Kohl position on full German membership in NATO, and he recently angered both leaders by speaking publicly about the CSCE as the future European security mechanism.[11] … Bush’s priority is to keep the US presence, especially the nuclear umbrella, in Europe: ‘if US nuclear forces are withdrawn from Germany, I don’t see how we can persuade any other ally on the continent to retain these weapons.’ … [Bush wanted Lockheed and other US weapons-makers to continue booming after the Cold War ‘ended’ — not for the nuclear-weapons market to end. Bush continued:] ‘We have weird thinking in our Congress today, ideas like this peace dividend. We can’t do that in these uncertain times.’ [For the US team, ‘perpetual war for perpetual peace’ would be the way forward; a ‘peace dividend’ was the last thing they wanted — ever.] … At one point in the conversation, Bush seems to view his Soviet counterpart not as a partner but as a defeated enemy. Referring to talk in some Soviet quarters against Germany staying in NATO, he says: ‘To hell with that. We prevailed and they didn’t. We cannot let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat.’” [I earlier had placed that crucial secret statement from Bush into historical perspective, under the headline, “How America Double-Crossed Russia and Shamed the West”.]

Document 14

Memorandum of conversation between George Bush and Eduard Shevardnadze in Washington.

1990-04-06

Source:

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Memcons and Telcons (https://bush41library.tamu.edu/)

“Shevardnadze mentions the upcoming CSCE summit and the Soviet expectation that it will discuss the new European security structures. Bush does not contradict this but ties it to the issues of the US presence in Europe and German unification in NATO. He declares that he wants to ‘contribute to stability and to the creation of a Europe whole and free, or as you call it, a common European home. A[n] idea that is very close to our own.’ The Soviets — wrongly — interpret this as a declaration that the US administration shares Gorbachev’s idea.”

Document 15

Sir R. Braithwaite (Moscow). Telegraphic N. 667: “Secretary of State’s Meeting with President Gorbachev.”

1990-04-11

Source: Documents on British Policy Overseas, series III, volume VII: German Unification, 1989-1990. (Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“Ambassador Braithwaite’s telegram summarizes the meeting between Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Hurd and President Gorbachev, noting Gorbachev’s ‘expansive mood.’ Gorbachev asks the secretary to pass his appreciation for Margaret Thatcher’s letter to him after her summit with Kohl, at which, according to Gorbachev, she followed the lines of policy Gorbachev and Thatcher discussed in their recent phone call, on the basis of which the Soviet leader concluded that ‘the British and Soviet positions were very close indeed.’”

Document 16

Valentin Falin Memorandum to Mikhail Gorbachev (Excerpts)

1990-04-18

Source: Mikhail Gorbachev i germanskii vopros, edited by Alexander Galkin and Anatoly Chernyaev, (Moscow: Ves Mir, 2006)

“This memorandum from the Central Committee’s most senior expert on Germany sounds like a wake-up call for Gorbachev. Falin puts it in blunt terms: while Soviet European policy has fallen into inactivity and even ‘depression after the March 18 elections in East Germany, and Gorbachev himself has let Kohl speed up the process of unification, his compromises on Germany in NATO can only lead to the slipping away of his main goal for Europe – the common European home. ‘Summing up the past six months, one has to conclude that the “common European home,” which used to be a concrete task the countries of the continent were starting to implement, is now turning into a mirage.’ While the West is sweet-talking Gorbachev into accepting German unification in NATO, Falin notes (correctly) that ‘the Western states are already violating the consensus principle by making preliminary agreements among themselves’ regarding German unification and the future of Europe that do not include a ‘long phase of constructive development.’ He notes the West’s ‘intensive cultivation of not only NATO but also our Warsaw Pact allies’ with the goal to isolate the USSR. … He also suggests using arms control negotiations in Vienna and Geneva as leverage if the West keeps taking advantage of Soviet flexibility. … The main idea of the memo is to warn Gorbachev not to be naive about the intentions of his American partners: ‘The West is outplaying us, promising to respect the interests of the USSR, but in practice, step by step, separating us from “traditional Europe”.’

Document 17

James A. Baker III, Memorandum for the President, “My meeting with Shevardnadze.”

1990-05-04

Source: George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, NSC Scowcroft Files, Box 91126, Folder “Gorbachev (Dobrynin) Sensitive 1989 – June 1990 [3]”

“Baker reports, ‘I also used your speech and our recognition of the need to adapt NATO, politically and militarily, and to develop CSCE to reassure Shevardnadze that the process would not yield winners and losers. Instead, it would produce a new legitimate European structure – one that would be inclusive, not exclusive.’”

Document 18

Record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow.

1990-05-18

Source: Gorbachev Foundation Archive, Fond 1

“When Gorbachev mentions the need to build new security structures to replace the blocs, Baker lets slip a personal reaction that reveals much about the real US position on the subject: ‘It’s nice to talk about pan-European security structures, the role of the CSCE. It is a wonderful dream, but just a dream. In the meantime, NATO exists. …’ Gorbachev suggests that if the US side insists on Germany in NATO, then he would ‘announce publicly that we want to join NATO too.’ Shevardnadze goes further, offering a prophetic observation: ‘if united Germany becomes a member of NATO, it will blow up perestroika. Our people will not forgive us. People will say that we ended up the losers, not the winners.’”

Document 19

Record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Francois Mitterrand (excerpts).

1990-05-25

Source: Mikhail Gorbachev i germanskii vopros

[Miterrand] implies that NATO is not the key issue now and could be drowned out in further negotiations; rather, the important thing is to ensure Soviet participation in new European security system. He repeats that he is ‘personally in favor of gradually dismantling the military blocs.’ Gorbachev expresses his wariness and suspicion about US effort to ‘perpetuate NATO’.” [This was extraordinary documentation that the US team had deceived Gorbachev to think that they were trying to suggest to him that both military alliances — NATO and Warsaw Pact — would be ended, but that Gorbachev was “wary” and “suspicious” that maybe they didn’t really mean it. Stunning.]

Document 20

Letter from Francois Mitterrand to George Bush

1990-05-25

Source: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, NSC Scowcroft Files

True to his word, Mitterrand writes a letter to George Bush describing Gorbachev’s predicament on the issue of German unification in NATO, calling it genuine, not ‘fake or tactical.’ He warns the American president against doing it as a fait accompli without Gorbachev’s consent implying that Gorbachev might retaliate on arms control (exactly what Mitterrand himself – and Falin earlier – suggested in his conversation). Mitterrand argues in favor of a formal ‘peace settlement in International law,’ and informs Bush that in his conversation with Gorbachev he “‘indicated that, on the Western side, we would certainly not refuse to detail the guarantees that he would have a right to expect for his country’s security.’

Document 21

Record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush. White House, Washington D.C.

1990-05-31

Source: Gorbachev Foundation Archive, Moscow, Fond 1, opis 1.[12]

“Baker repeats the nine assurances made previously by the administration, including that the United States now agrees to support the pan-European process and transformation of NATO in order to remove the Soviet perception of threat. Gorbachev’s preferred position is Germany with one foot in both NATO and the Warsaw Pact — the ‘two anchors’ — creating a kind of associated membership. Baker intervenes, saying that ‘the simultaneous obligations of one and the same country toward the WTO and NATO smack of schizophrenia.’ After the US president frames the issue in the context of the Helsinki agreement, Gorbachev proposes that the German people have the right to choose their alliance — which he in essence already affirmed to Kohl during their meeting in February 1990. Here, Gorbachev significantly exceeds his brief, and incurs the ire of other members of his delegation, especially the official with the German portfolio, Valentin Falin, and Marshal Sergey Akhromeyev. Gorbachev issues a key warning about the future: ‘If the Soviet people get an impression that we are disregarded in the German question, then all the positive processes in Europe, including the negotiations in Vienna [over conventional forces], would be in serious danger. This is not just bluffing. It is simply that the people will force us to stop and to look around.’ It is a remarkable admission about domestic political pressures from the last Soviet leader.”

Document 22

Letter from Mr. Powell (N. 10) to Mr. Wall: Thatcher-Gorbachev memorandum of conversation.

1990-06-08

Source: Documents on British Policy Overseas, series III, volume VII: German Unification, 1989-1990. (Foreign and Commonwealth Office

“Gorbachev says he wants to ‘be completely frank with the Prime Minister’ that if the processes were to become one-sided, ‘there could be a very difficult situation [and the] Soviet Union would feel its security in jeopardy.’ Thatcher responds firmly that it was in nobody’s interest to put Soviet security in jeopardy: ‘we must find ways to give the Soviet Union confidence that its security would be assured.’”

Document 23

Record of Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl, Moscow (Excerpts).

1990-07-15

Source: Mikhail Gorbachev i germanskii vopros

“This key conversation between Chancellor Kohl and President Gorbachev sets the final parameters for German unification. Kohl talks repeatedly about the new era of relations between a united Germany and the Soviet Union, and how this relationship would contribute to European stability and security. Gorbachev demands assurances on non-expansion of NATO: ‘We must talk about the nonproliferation of NATO military structures to the territory of the GDR, and maintaining Soviet troops there for a certain transition period.’ The Soviet leader notes earlier in the conversation that NATO has already begun transforming itself. For him, the pledge of NATO non-expansion to the territory of the GDR in spirit means that NATO would not take advantage of the Soviet willingness to compromise on Germany.”

[Of course, Gorbachev never knew that Bush had instructed his agents, on the night of 24 February 1990, “To hell with that. We prevailed and they didn’t. We cannot let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat,” indicating that for the US aristocracy, conquest of an isolated Russia was the actual ultimate aim — there would be no actual end of the Cold War until the US would conquer Russia itself — grab the whole thing. Gorbachev was, it is now absolutely undeniable, conned.]

Document 24

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush

1990-07-17

Source: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Memcons and Telcons ((https://bush41library.tamu.edu/)

“In this phone call, Bush expands on Kohl’s security assurances and reinforces the message from the London Declaration: ‘So what we tried to do was to take account of your concerns expressed to me and others, and we did it in the following ways: by our joint declaration on non-aggression; in our invitation to you to come to NATO; in our agreement to open NATO to regular diplomatic contact with your government and those of the Eastern European countries; and our offer on assurances on the future size of the armed forces of a united Germany – an issue I know you discussed with Helmut Kohl. We also fundamentally changed our military approach on conventional and nuclear forces. We conveyed the idea of an expanded, stronger CSCE with new institutions in which the USSR can share and be part of the new Europe.’”

Document 25

September 12 Two-Plus-Four Ministerial in Moscow: Detailed account [includes text of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany and Agreed Minute to the Treaty on the special military status of the GDR after unification]

1990-11-02

Source: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, NSC Condoleezza Rice Files

“the agreed text of the final treaty on German unification. The treaty codified what Bush had earlier offered to Gorbachev – ‘special military status’ for the former GDR territory. At the last minute, British and American concerns that the language would restrict emergency NATO troop movements there forced the inclusion of a ‘minute’ that left it up to the newly unified and sovereign Germany what the meaning of the word ‘deployed’ should be. Kohl had committed to Gorbachev that only German NATO troops would be allowed on that territory after the Soviets left, and Germany stuck to that commitment, even though the ‘minute’ was meant to allow other NATO troops to traverse or exercise there at least temporarily. Subsequently, Gorbachev aides such as Pavel Palazhshenko would point to the treaty language to argue that NATO expansion violated the ‘spirit’ of this Final Settlement treaty.”

[Obviously, now, it was no “Final Settlement” at all.]

Document 26

US Department of State, European Bureau: Revised NATO Strategy Paper for Discussion at Sub-Ungroup Meeting

1990-10-22

Source: George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, NSC Heather Wilson Files,

“Joint Chiefs and other agencies, posits that ‘[a] potential Soviet threat remains and constitutes one basic justification for the continuance of NATO.’ At the same time, in the discussion of potential East European membership in NATO, the review suggests that ‘In the current environment, it is not in the best interest of NATO or of the US that these states be granted full NATO membership and its security guarantees.’ The United States does not ‘wish to organize an anti-Soviet coalition whose frontier is the Soviet border’ – not least because of the negative impact this might have on reforms in the USSR. NATO liaison offices would do for the present time, the group concluded, but the relationship will develop in the future. In the absence of the Cold War confrontation, NATO ‘out of area’ functions will have to be redefined.” [Clearly, they wanted the revolving door to land them in high-paid positions supported by US weapons-making corporations, not just in retirements with only military pensions. Or else, they just loved war and, like Bush, didn’t want there to be any “peace dividend.”]

Document 27

James F. Dobbins, State Department European Bureau, Memorandum to National Security Council: NATO Strategy Review Paper for October 29 Discussion.

1990-10-25

Source: George H. W. Bush Presidential Library: NSC Philip Zelikow Files

“This concise memorandum comes from the State Department’s European Bureau as a cover note for briefing papers for a scheduled October 29, 1990 meeting on the issues of NATO expansion and European defense cooperation with NATO. Most important is the document’s summary of the internal debate within the Bush administration, primarily between the Defense Department (specifically the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney) and the State Department. On the issue of NATO expansion, OSD ‘wishes to leave the door ajar’ while State ‘prefers simply to note that discussion of expanding membership is not on the agenda….’ The Bush administration effectively adopts State’s view in its public statements, yet the Defense view would prevail in the next administration.”

[This allegation, by the National Security Archives, fundamentally misrepresents, by its underlying assumption that the Bush Administration’s statements such as that NATO would move “not one inch to the east” weren’t lies but instead reflected Bush’s actual intention. They ignore altogether Bush’s having secretly told his vassals on the crucial night of 24 February 1990, “To hell with that. We prevailed and they didn’t. We cannot let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat.” Gorbachev believed that this was to be a win-win game; but, the US side were now under secret instructions that it’s to be purely more of the win-lose game, and that now a lone Russia would end up being its ultimate loser. The despicable statement by the National Security Archives, “yet the Defense view would prevail in the next administration,” presumes that it didn’t actually already ‘prevail’ in the Bush Administration itself. It prevailed actually in George Herbert Walker Bush himself, and not only in his Defense Department. Bush brilliantly took advantage of Gorbachev’s decency and expectation that Bush, like himself, was decent. Bush lied — and his team and their successors ever since have been carrying out his vicious plan. The National Security Archives downplays to insignificance Bush’s crucial instruction to his people, “To hell with that. We prevailed and they didn’t. We cannot let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat.” That statement, at that crucial moment, is what enables us to understand what was actually going on throughout these negotiations. The Archives’ blaming only Bill Clinton and the other Presidents after Bush is a despicable lie. And it wasn’t just “the Defense view” — Cheney — who prevailed within the Bush Administration there. Cheney, like Baker, were doing what GHW Bush had hired them to do. Baker’s job was to lie. If it weren’t, then he’d have told Gorbachev the next day not to trust what the Bush team were saying, but instead to demand everything to be put in writing in the final document, and to assume the worst regarding anything that the Bush team were refusing to put in writing in the final document. Baker was a lawyer, and a very skilled liar, who was just doing his job for Bush. For some inexplicable reason, the National Security Archives simply assumes otherwise.]

Document 28

Ambassador Rodric Braithwaite diary, 05 March 1991

1991-03-05

Source: Rodric Braithwaite personal diary

“British Ambassador Rodric Braithwaite was present for a number of the assurances given to Soviet leaders in 1990 and 1991 about NATO expansion. Here, Braithwaite in his diary describes a meeting between British Prime Minister John Major and Soviet military officials, led by Minister of Defense Marshal Dmitry Yazov. The meeting took place during Major’s visit to Moscow and right after his one-on-one with President Gorbachev. During the meeting with Major, Gorbachev had raised his concerns about the new NATO dynamics: ‘Against the background of favorable processes in Europe, I suddenly start receiving information that certain circles intend to go on further strengthening NATO as the main security instrument in Europe. Previously they talked about changing the nature of NATO, about transformation of the existing military-political blocs into pan-European structures and security mechanisms. And now suddenly again [they are talking about] a special peace-keeping role of NATO. They are talking again about NATO as the cornerstone. This does not sound complementary to the common European home that we have started to build.’ Major responded: ‘I believe that your thoughts about the role of NATO in the current situation are the result of misunderstanding. We are not talking about strengthening of NATO.’”

Document 29

Paul Wolfowitz Memoranda of Conversation with Vaclav Havel and Lubos Dobrovsky in Prague.

1991-04-27

Source: US Department of Defense, FOIA release 2016

“These memcons from April 1991 provide the bookends for the ‘education of Vaclav Havel’ on NATO (see Documents 12-1 and 12-2 above). US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz included these memcons in his report to the NSC and the State Department about his attendance at a conference in Prague on ‘The Future of European Security,’ on April 24-27, 1991. During the conference Wolfowitz had separate meetings with Havel and Minister of Defense Dobrovsky. In the conversation with Havel, Wolfowitz thanks him for his statements about the importance of NATO and US troops in Europe. … In conversation with Dobrovsky, Wolfowitz remarks that ‘the very existence of NATO was in doubt a year ago.’

Document 30

Memorandum to Boris Yeltsin from Russian Supreme Soviet delegation to NATO HQs

1991-07-01

Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), Fond 10026, Opis 1

“This document is important for describing the clear message in 1991 from the highest levels of NATO – Secretary General Manfred Woerner – that NATO expansion was not happening. The audience was a Russian Supreme Soviet delegation, which in this memo was reporting back to Boris Yeltsin (who in June had been elected president of the Russian republic, largest in the Soviet Union), but no doubt Gorbachev and his aides were hearing the same assurance at that time. The emerging Russian security establishment was already worried about the possibility of NATO expansion, so in June 1991 this delegation visited Brussels to meet NATO’s leadership, hear their views about the future of NATO, and share Russian concerns. Woerner had given a well-regarded speech in Brussels in May 1990 in which he argued: ‘The principal task of the next decade will be to build a new European security structure, to include the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations. The Soviet Union will have an important role to play in the construction of such a system. If you consider the current predicament of the Soviet Union, which has practically no allies left, then you can understand its justified wish not to be forced out of Europe.’ Now in mid-1991, Woerner responds to the Russians by stating that he personally and the NATO Council are both against expansion — ’13 out of 16 NATO members share this point of view’ — and that he will speak against Poland’s and Romania’s membership in NATO to those countries’ leaders as he has already done with leaders of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.”

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Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO are a captive audience.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Regardless of whether one loves or hates President Trump at least we can say that his presidency has a unique flavor and is full of surprises. Bush and Obama were horribly dull by comparison. Trump as a non-politician from the world of big (real estate) business and media has a different take on many issues including NATO.

Many, especially in Russia were hoping that “The Donald’s” campaign criticism of NATO would move towards finally putting an end to this anti-Russian alliance, which, after the fall of Communism really has no purpose, as any real traditional military threats to Europe have faded into history. However, Trump as President of the United States has to engage in the “realpolitik” of 21st century America and try to survive and since Trump seems rather willing to lie to get what he wants, who can really say which promises from his campaign were a shoot and which were a work.

So as it stands now Trump’s recent decision to maintain and build US/NATO bases across the world “and make country X pay for it” could mean anything from him trying to keep his campaign promises in some sort of skewed way, to an utter abandonment of them and submission to the swamp. Perhaps it could simply be his business instincts taking over in the face of “wasteful spending”. Making allies have to pay to have US/NATO forces on their territory is a massive policy shift that one could only predict coming from the unpredictable 45th President.

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO (and other “allies”) are a captive audience, especially Germany, Japan and South Korea, which “coincidentally” are the first set of countries that will have to pay the “cost + 50%” to keep bases and US soldiers on their soil. Japan’s constitution, written primarily by American occupation forces forbids them from having a real military which is convenient for Trump’s plan. South Korea, although a very advanced and wealthy nation has no choice but to hide behind the US might because if it were to disappear overnight, then Gangnam would be filled with pictures of the Kim family within a few weeks.

In the past with regard to these three countries NATO has had to keep up the illusion of wanting to “help” them and work as “partners” for common defense as if nuclear and economic titan America needs countries like them to protect itself. Trump whether consciously or not is changing the dynamic of US/NATO occupation of these territories to be much more honest. His attitude seems to be that the US has the possibility to earn a lot of money from a worldwide mafia-style protection scam. Vassals have no choice but to pay the lord so Trump wants to drop the illusions and make the military industrial complex profitable again and God bless him for it. This level of honesty in politics is refreshing and it reflects the Orange Man’s pro-business and “America will never be a socialist country” attitude. It is blunt and ideologically consistent with his worldview.

On the other hand, one could look at this development as a possible move not to turn NATO into a profitable protection scam but as a means to covertly destroy it. Lies and illusion in politics are very important, people who believe they are free will not rebel even if they have no freedom whatsoever. If people are sure their local leaders are responsible for their nation they will blame them for its failings rather than any foreign influence that may actually be pulling the real strings.

Even if everyone in Germany, Japan and South Korea in their subconscious knows they are basically occupied by US forces it is much harder to take action, than if the “lord” directly demands yearly tribute. The fact that up to this point US maintains its bases on its own dime sure adds to the illusion of help and friendship. This illusion is strong enough for local politicians to just let the status quo slide on further and further into the future. Nothing is burning at their feet to make them act… having to pay cost + 50% could light that fire.

Forcing the locals to pay for these bases changes the dynamic in the subconscious and may force people’s brains to contemplate why after multiple-generations the former Axis nations still have to be occupied. Once occupation becomes expensive and uncomfortable, this drops the illusion of friendship and cooperation making said occupation much harder to maintain.

South Korea knows it needs the US to keep out the North but when being forced to pay for it this may push them towards developing the ability to actually defend themselves. Trump’s intellectual “honesty” in regards to NATO could very well plant the necessary intellectual seeds to not just change public opinion but make public action against US/NATO bases in foreign countries. Japan has had many protests over the years against US bases surging into the tens of thousands. This new open vassal status for the proud Japanese could be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Predicting the future is impossible. But it is clear that, changing the fundamental dynamic by which the US maintains foreign bases in a way that will make locals financially motivated to have them removed, shall significantly affect the operations of US forces outside the borders of the 50 States and make maintaining a global presence even more difficult, but perhaps this is exactly what the Orange Man wants or is just too blind to see.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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President Putin’s anti-fake news law is brilliant, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. This law is brilliant, for it hits the would-be slanderer right where it counts – in the pocketbook.

We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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