The Washington Post and other media, owned and operated by the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex), yesterday beat the drums for more sanctions on Russia. (See, for example, this and this.)
The owners and operators of major- and minor-league media are biting their nails down to the cuticle. Could Biden’s immediate extension of the New START Treaty, plus his agreement with Putin on the telephone "to explore strategic stability discussions on a range of arms control and emerging security issues" threaten a thaw in U.S.-Russian relations?
Perish the thought! No thaw; no détente; no rapprochement. Oh, the Things That Go Bump in the Night! – things that could complicate the MICIMATT campaign to exaggerate the national security "threat", in order to justify obscenely high levels of funding for "defense" against an "aggressive" Russia?
Alexey Novichokovich Navalny
So, as we saw yesterday, we can expect the media to exploit to the fullest the imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexey Navalny; and play up the poisoning – my God, poisoning with the dreaded Novichok – of Navalny, and of Skripal before him.
I asked a highly educated, very perceptive Russian friend what he thought of L’Affaire Navalny. Here’s his email reply:
When it comes to Skripal and Navalny poisoning, what makes me suspicious is that, while the FSB folks are not angels, why would they use the substance [Novichok] that directly implicates them? It is like leaving your business card at the crime scene. Besides, how come in both cases the victims miraculously survive from the deadliest weapon?
Not to Forget: Russian Cyber Attacks
At noon yesterday, in a "Breaking News Alert" The Washington Post posted a piece by erstwhile Russia-gate stenographer Ellen Nakishima, saying the "Biden administration is preparing sanctions and other measures to punish Moscow for…malign cyber activity". She added that the administration is casting the "sprawling SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign … as indiscriminate and potentially disruptive", justifying punishment of Russia. Nakishima’s article is front-paged above the fold in today’s Post edition headlined: "U.S. plans to punish Russia for hostile acts".
One must read deep into Nakashima’s article to be reminded that President Biden has ordered the intelligence community to provide an assessment of the cyber breaches, so there soon may be a more refined and definitive answer. But no need to wait for that: the Washington Post already knows it was the Russians, because it talks to folks in the US intelligence establishment "informed on these matters" – folks who never ever lie.
Nakashima notes that the Post "reported in December that [unnamed] intelligence officials think the SVR, Moscow’s foreign intelligence service, carried out the intrusions", but the Trump White House did not want to say so. And, darn it, Biden won’t say so either – not yet. Imagine! He wants an assessment first. Is he not wise to the ways of the Swamp? In major-and-minor-media-speak, that’s putting the cart before the horse.
And so it goes.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).