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Tue Jan 23, 2018, 02:53 PM

A Chilling Timeline of Russia's Strategic Attacks on America

On numerous occasions I’ve read of Russia’s expertise in playing the long-game. The explanation often involves the country’s history, geography, tumultuous political experiences and character—a steely, unflinching resolve. This long-game strategy is dramatically underscored by a timeline—a miniature tin-type considering Russia’s long national history—constructed by Shaun Mullen, former newspaper journalist and editor, author and five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. The timeline itself starts in the 1980s and in chilling fashion illustrates the ladder, rung-by-rung, leading us to Trump, the network of dubious characters supporting him and the devastating wreckage we’re witnessing at the moment.

The timeline is a work in progress, as is the Trump/Russia investigation. I read the timeline shortly after reading the New Yorker’s recent profile on Glenn Greenwald. As most of you know, Greenwald has poo-poohed any and all relevance between Russia and 2016 election. Greenwald has repeatedly said (quite similar to the Trumpster) that the Russian probe is merely a device to steer attention away from the Democratic Party’s stunning loss, a distraction by blaming and accusing The Donald of nefarious acts. From the New Yorker piece:

"Greenwald’s been yelling about this, quite heatedly, since before the election. “In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast As Putin Plots,” reads the headline of an Intercept piece published in October 2016. “The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook,” reads another, from February 2017. As Mueller’s investigation widened, no fallen domino — not the guilty plea of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn, not the indictment of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort — chastened Greenwald. When it was recently reported that Steve Bannon had lobbed a “treason” charge in the direction of Donald Trump Jr. — precipitating his break with the president — Greenwald rolled his eyes . . .”

Pretty standard Greenwald dismissal.

But a timeline of events, contacts, machinations, many carried out in broad daylight, others behind the scenes refutes Greenwald’s premise that the on-going investigation is fairytale, made-up, fake news. Mullen drew from public sources, as did Politico with its recent “270 Individuals Tied to the Russian Probe” graphic piece. Mullen’s source list is provided at the end—newspapers, news mags, websites, etc. It’s a list most readers will recognize.

The most shocking reveal for those who have not read the background on The Trumpster’s rise to fame and fortune is the long, sordid history of mob-related real estate dealings, bankrolling and money-laundering schemes that are central to the Trump empire, a virtual House of Cards. In addition to that is the targeted viciousness, the cold-blooded violence and defiant power-grabbing of Putin and his cronies. How do I love, thee? Let me count the bodies.

Which begs the obvious questions: Why didn’t the media reveal this history of criminality to the public before the 2016 election? For instance, The New York Times ran columns about Trump’s questionable business practices and scandals over the decades. Yet the paper failed to tap its own archives and inform the public. How could a major political party willfully run a candidate who was compromised by his own messy, personal past and financially tied to Putin’s mafia state? How could 30-40% of the American electorate support such a creature?

Greenwald would have us believe the vile corruption of our body-politic, the bloated surveillance state is the accountable agent. I tend to think we were asleep at the wheel, allowing CNN Jeff Zucker’s statement/corporate attitudes to slide by too easily:

“Donald Trump may be bad for the country but he’s great TV.”

There’s a point at which unfettered capitalism devours itself. Personally, I think we’ve reached that dismal point.



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