Tuesday, March 21, 2017

TOP STORY >> FBI bares spying by Russians

Leader Executive editor

FBI director James Comey’s announcement at a House intelligence committee hearing Monday that the bureau is investigating allegations of Russian interference and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign in last year’s presidential election comes as no surprise.

It turns out the FBI has been looking into Russian meddling at least since last July, when we reported that several key aides in the Trump campaign had strong financial links to Russia and its brutal secret services, which directed as many as 1,000 hackers, many of them Russian gangsters, tasked with breaking into Democratic headquarters and their confidential emails. They were handed over to Wikileaks, which promptly released them.

Caught in the FBI dragnet are former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who reportedly received more than $10 million from Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian dictator; disgraced former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who accepted as much as $100,000 from the Kremlin but failed to register as a foreign agent while he was national security adviser to the Trump campaign; shadowy financier Carter Page, who made millions of dollars worth of deals in Russia and may also have failed to register as a foreign agent, and Roger Stone, the former Nixon dirty trickster who communicated with Guccifer 2, who directed the email hacks into Democratic headquarters.

Comey also confirmed Monday that there’s no evidence the Obama administration or British intelligence spied on Trump Towers, despite the president’s claims. Even Fox News has dismissed the accusation and has benched former Judge Andrew Napolitano, who picked up the false story from Russian intelligence and aired the allegations on “Fox and Friends.”

Those spurious claims are still being regurgitated on web sites with ties to the Kremlin. Comey seems to be pointing to a worldwide conspiracy orchestrated by Russian dictator Vladmir Putin, who sees himself as the spiritual heir to Nicholas II, the czar who was overthrown during the Russian Revolution 100 years ago. Putin came up the ranks through the Stalinist KGB, which he directed until the fall of communism.

As leader of his failed state, Putin wants to return Russia to the glory days of communism and subvert western democracies while the Russian people are denied their freedoms.

The tiny tyrant has stolen tens of billions of dollars from his own people and cut their social services. Who outside Russia would take money from this tinfoil dictator and accept his endorsement?

“The Kremlin hillbilly is our preoccupation,” wrote the poet Osip Mandelstam about the tyrant Stalin, who had Mandelstam arrested and murdered in Siberia.

“Round him a mob of thin-necked henchmen,” Mandelstam wrote in his Stalin epigram. “He forges decree after decree, like horseshoes – in groins, foreheads, in eyes, and eyebrows.”

The FBI should use Mandelstam’s poem as an epigram for its much-awaited report that will point out the traitors among us.