If you're joining late, Part 1 considers whether it is really likely that the expanding web of anti-Trump conspirators would take the extraordinary risks they have taken simply to get Hillary Clinton elected president; or, perhaps, whether their collective panic has another explanation -- a red thread? Part 2 minutely examines Nellie H. Ohr, the Russian-speaking-ham-radio-operator Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson tried in vain to hide from investigators, and finds a tangle of red threads; Part 3 notes that Edward Baumgartner, another Fusion GPS Russia expert, was a Russian history major at Vassar (Class of 1995) when Nellie H. Ohr was a Russian professor at Vassar.
Baumgartner is a nasty piece of work as just one tweet shows:
Especially for a Russia expert, he also has some retro-red ideas about "purging" Republicans.
Then there's this comment, which is of some tantalizing interest:
Given that not even CNN has a single hypersonic missile or neutron bomb, we might set Prager's prattle aside. Baumgartner's response, however, may do more than simply confirm his place on the political Left. As he puts it, Russia is "wonderfully so far from" being a "white supremacist & Christian homeland," which he seems to equate with Western civilization. But might it also be the case that Baumgartner, Fusion's No. 3 Russia expert, is angry because Prager has portrayed Russia, which he totally misunderstands, according to Baumgartner, as being less than dangerous to Baumgartner's conception of "Western civilization"?
That's probably taking a tweet too far. I do wonder, though; if, through Baumgartner's reddish-tinted glasses, Russia is "wonderfully far" from being a "Christian homeland" (and I would have to agree), is he harkening back in some interesting way to Russia's past as godless and ... you know what?
Some threads are just too short.
It is one thing to elucidate the connections and modes of operation among the anti-Trump conspirators. This is the basis of our mechanical understanding of events. But the question remains, what is driving these acts of subversion and corruption at the highest reaches of the federal government and beyond? "The Swamp"? "The Deep State"? "International Banking"? The "NWO"? Such "shadowy groups" are not just a dead end, they are a cop-out. If we never even try to identify an enemy more mortal and more mundane, we are lost.
To that end, the point of this series is to see if it is possible first to elucidate an ideology in common among the anti-Trump conspirators -- an ideology based in Marxism. Why Marxism? To begin with, Marxism is surely the most common driver of coups and revolutions, successful and failed, for over 150 years (and before that it was called something else). It is a fact that throughout the 20th century, Moscow was the main instigator and enabler of these same Marxist movements, and especially so within the United States. Donald Trump, meanwhile, the man who singlehandedly revived "America First," poses the greatest menace for generations to the core principles of international communism, whether he or anyone else knows it.
According to all the experts, however, the Soviet Union "vanished" in 1991, along with all of its nasty communist strategies to destroy the United States and control the world. How marvelous it was, then, that Russia stopped running all of its Soviet-era intelligence armies and terror networks against us -- except, of course, for Aldrich Ames, who was arrested in 1994, three years after the "end" of the USSR and the "end" of the KGB. Then there was Soviet-Russian spymaster Sergei Tretyakov, busily orchestrating old-time subversion against us until his defection in 2000. Oh, and don't forget Robert Hanssen, still dead-dropping away for the Kremlin until his shock-arrest in 2001. And what about Putin-murdered defector Alexander Litvinenko and his 2005 claims that Russian intelligence trained Ayman al-Zawaheri in 1998, before Zawaheri penetrated and eventually became head of Al Qaeda? And what about the Illegals Network, arrested and deported in 2010, so as not to short circuit Obama's Russian "reset"? Good thing that was nearly 20 years after Communist Russia nose-dived into history's dust heap, otherwise ...
Today, there's the stalled scandal of Russian uranium ring -- not to mention the Trump-Russia "dossier" operation, right? Maybe?
What did vanish, without a doubt, was our conception of an "enemy." That was no accident.
"Our major secret weapon is to deprive you of an enemy," Georgi Arbatov stated, quite boldly, in 1988 at a conference of Soviet and Americans scientists at UC Irvine. (Jeff Nyquist has written eloquently on this strategic stroke and its diabolical implications here.)
According the LA Times report, Arbatov, a top Kremlin adviser and American expert, went on:
"It's historical, it's human, you have to have an enemy," he said. "So much was built out of this role of the enemy. Your foreign policy, quite a bit of your economy, even your feelings about your country. To have a really good empire, you have to have a really evil empire."
Thirty years later, we seem unable to recognize the difference.
Maybe just the act of looking for red threads will help. Often, they run on in plain sight. Take Christopher Steele.
Steele, of course, is the former MI6 agent introduced to the public in January 2017 as the "author" of the Fusion GPS Trump-Russia "dossier." His authorship becomes a laughable proposition after reading Joel Gilbert and Jack Cashill's analysis, which points out, in incontrovertible detail, that much of the dossier "[reads] as though written by an individual not fully fluent in English, British or American."
Nonetheless, Steele was the first public face of the dossier, even if, as a retired British intelligence agent, there was not too much that was public about his face or anything else. Still, the Daily Mail has offered some telling recollections from Steele's college days at Cambridge, where he became president of the Cambridge Union debating society in 1986:
Contemporaries recall an ‘avowedly Left-wing student with CND credentials’, while a book on the Union’s history says he was a ‘confirmed socialist’.
No need here to parse a Ph.D. thesis, or track academic trends to get a read on where Steele began on the political spectrum. But note that for a whole year now, media continue to describe Steele generically as merely that "former MI6 agent," even though it is clear he started out in college as a hard Leftist.
Then again, the phrase "CND credentials" may stymie the American reader (and reporter). "CND" stands for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a Marxist-infiltrated organization deemed "communist and subversive" by MI5 for its efforts to disarm Britain, force U.S. cruise missiles off British bases, and decouple Europe generally from the U.S.-led NATO alliance.
The logical assumption that "dossier" creator/co-creator Steele, even as a young man, was a proponent of the nuclear freeze movement as supported by CND (and Moscow) in the 1980s becomes a possibly significant point of inquiry when compared to Donald Trump's hawkish views on expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal, among a wider US arms build-up. As Candidate Trump said on April 27, 2016, echoing the toughest anti-Communists and Cold Warriors of earlier eras: "Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately."
Might Trump's call to nuclear arms have helped activate Steele? Are we perhaps looking at a classic if underlying anti-Communist/Communist divide? Unless Steele has undergone a drastic and unheralded ideological transformation, this remains an intriguing possibility -- another potential ideological driver in the anti-Trump web. It's worth noting that Steele, with his special Soviet/Russian expertise, came on board Fusion GPS for the anti-Trump project in May or June of 2016, after Trump's America First foreign policy agenda was unveiled.
According to the Daily Mail account, "confirmed socialist" Steele went straight from Cambridge into MI6, where he remained until his retirement in 2009. And why not? MI6 has had such fabulous luck with "confirmed socialists" in the past (Philby, Blunt, McLean ...) -- at least, depending on your point of view.
The CIA, by the way, is similarly inclined, as, for example, we see in its hiring of a young CPUSA-voting John Brennan. Such doings may shock a healthy (i.e., middle) American mind, but that's because the extent to which our national security organizations have been subverted from within remains largely unknown. "Avowedly Left-wing" and even "CND credentials" are just the thing with these international elites. It's who they are. Consider the career trajectory of CND former treasurer, Cathy Ashton, who became the first foreign secretary of the EU in 2009, serving until 2014. (Her appointment triggered a letter of protest over Ashton's appointment, signed by Vladimir Bukovsky and Gerard Batten a UKIP Member of European Parliament, stemming in part from their belief that CND most likely received funding from the Soviet Union in the 1980s -- another red thread ignored.)
Perhaps leaving his "CND credentials" behind (perhaps not), Steele went to Moscow for MI6 in 1990. There, he lived with his first wife until 1993. Somewhere in the mid-2000s, Steele would become head of the Russia desk for MI6. The Daily Mail reports also that Steele is a friend and contemporary of the current head of MI6, Alex Younger, while, former MI6 head (1999-2004), Sir Richard Dearlove, popped up in December 2017 for his first UK interview ever to tell the BBC that while he "won't confirm or deny that I knew Christopher ... I think that there is probably some credibility to the [dossier] content.. I wouldn't put it any more forcefully than that."
Too bad the interviewer didn't ask Dearlove why it sounds as if the dossier's creator spoke English as a second (or third) language -- or, perhaps, is it case that all intelligence reports on Russia submitted to MI6 sound like that?
Besides the requisite manueuvering skills required to rise inside the Cambridge Union and then MI6, the reporting on Steele conveys an impression of a person who is intensely political. One college friend says Steele was "pretty amiable," but recalls that "he did try to stitch me up in a student political battle 30 years ago. Student politics could be vicious at that time." Another story recalls Steele calling another student a racist for visiting the South African Embassy during apartheid. This is all decades ago, of course. As recently as 2009, however, following the death of his first wife, the Daily Mail reports on Steele's eulogy in political terms only: Steele "described his late wife as ‘a liberal in every sense of the word and always on the progressive side of the argument."
Barring new evidence, we might expect to find Steele there, too. Of course, that would place him right alongside his "opposite number," former CIA analyst, ham radio operator, former Vassar professor and Soviet "revisionist" Nellie H. Ohr.
I've been thinking about Ohr, the subject of Part 2, and how best to describe her without a cloud of obscuring words. As an academic, she does not herself use language like a bold red flag, as in the style, say, of the notorious 20th century writer Lillian Hellman, whose name became synonomous with Stalinism for a fealty to the communist dictator that allowed her to deny/overlook/accept the crimes of collectivization. famine, purges, alliance with Hitler and the rest. Nonetheless, these are the exact same apologetics associated with the "revisionist" school of "social historians," which Ohr follows (as demonstrated in Part 2).
Evident in this "revisionist" movement, which coalesced in the 1970s around Marxists and New Leftists, there is a Hellman-like urge to downplay, rationalize, dismiss, and, perhaps, worst of all, understand the carnage, pain, misery, dislocation, and waste of communism, even while bemoaning it (which Hellman probably never did). Remember when Nellie H. Ohr writes of "the terror and excitement" of the Stalin era; or "the agonizing paradoxes of the Stalinist state." It is almost satirical to read on about these "paradoxes," which, for her, include: "building a legal structure" while "[executing] innocents." Love is blind.
As I suspected (based upon her other writings), Ohr pursues this same "revisionist" agenda in her Ph.D. thesis, a copy of which Dr. Andrew Bostom kindly provided me. It's all there in academic-speak: the revisionist mentors -- J. Arch Getty, Roberta Manning, Gabor Rittersporn, Sheila Fitzpatrick -- the revisionist themes, which, Ohr claims in her introductory pages, her thesis will "corroborate." These include (1) attacking the "totalitarian model" (2) minimizing Stalin's guilt (3) de-kulakization, purges as practically populist movements, and (4) purges as a response to "center-periphery conflict," if not also a part of "state-building."
From Nellie H. Ohr's Ph.D. thesis, p. 9.
The turn of mind that dispense with murdered millions as "excesses," or "desperate measures" is not unfamiliar to us. We've seen it many times before. It's a red thread of thought that runs long and deep.
How could we have forgotten about it so completely?
To be cont'd.