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FTR #829 Fireside Chat about Eddie the Friendly Spook and the Ukraine Crisis

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by 12/19/2014. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #827 [2].  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012 and con­tained FTR #748 [3].)

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Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [7]  Side 2 [8]

[9]

[10]

Edward Snow­den, unplugged

Intro­duc­tion: Two recent polit­i­cal devel­op­ments serve as book­ends with which to illus­trate our view that the Snowden/Wikileaks “op” and the Ukraine “op” are part of the same gam­bit.

A con­tro­ver­sy ensued when it emerged that House major­i­ty whip Steve Scalise had attend­ed [11] a meet­ing of David Duke’s [12] Euro­pean-Amer­i­can Uni­ty Orga­ni­za­tion.

The new­ly-seat­ed GOP-dom­i­nat­ed con­gress which Scalise will help to guide began attack­ing Social Secu­ri­ty [13] on its very  first day. Specif­i­cal­ly, the GOP began attack­ing [14] the Social Secu­ri­ty dis­abil­i­ty pro­gram.

These devel­op­ments serve as a point of entry into our dis­cus­sion. (Our cov­er­age of “the Adven­tures of Eddie the Friend­ly Spook” is mas­sive and must be accessed to appre­ci­ate and under­stand this admit­ted­ly long and com­pli­cat­ed analy­sis. We sug­gest using the search func­tion on this web­site to con­duct rel­e­vant key­word search­es, in addi­tion to pur­su­ing some of the links includ­ed in this descrip­tion.)

Part of the analy­sis notes that the super­fi­cial appear­ance of the Snowden/WikiLeaks “op” does­n’t make sense, if one takes the time to scru­ti­nize the affair care­ful­ly.

Snow­den is a strong advo­cate [15] of elim­i­nat­ing Social Secu­ri­ty.

The fas­cist OUN/B heirs in Ukraine are pur­su­ing a pro­gram of “Von Clause­witz­ian eco­nom­ics” by elim­i­nat­ing the pen­sions [16] and enti­tle­ments of peo­ple in East­ern Ukraine [17], not unlike what the Repub­li­cans are mov­ing to do to elder­ly, dis­abled in this coun­try.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1a. A con­tro­ver­sy arose from the news that house major­i­ty whip Steve Scalise attend­ed a meet­ing of David Duke’s EURO orga­ni­za­tion.

“White Suprema­cist Ban­ners, Racist Talks at Lat­er Events of Group Steve Scalise Pre­vi­ously Addressed, Civ­il Rights Group Says” by Mark Schleif­stein; The Times-Picayune; 12/30/2014. [11]

Ban­ners pro­claim­ing “White Pow­er” and “White Pride World­wide” plas­tered the walls, and speak­ers gave racist speech­es at lat­er con­fer­ences in Ken­ner of a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise says he had addressed in Metairie in 2002, an inves­ti­ga­tor with the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter civ­il rights group said Tues­day.

The law cen­ter didn’t have an inves­ti­ga­tor at the 2002 con­fer­ence of the Euro­pean-Amer­i­can Uni­ty and Rights Orga­ni­za­tion at which Scalise has acknowl­edged that he spoke. But Hei­di Beirich, direc­tor of the center’s “Intel­li­gence Project,” said EURO events she attend­ed in 2004 and 2005 in Ken­ner left no doubt about the group’s racist agen­da.

“The con­fer­ences were a full day of peo­ple giv­ing speech­es rep­re­sent­ing the worst in racism or anti-Semi­tism,” said Beirich.

For­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke found­ed EURO, a con­nec­tion the law cen­ter said should have made it clear the group’s racist agen­da. The nature of the events EURO put togeth­er left no doutb, Beirich said.

At one of the con­fer­ences she attend­ed in Ken­ner, a fea­tured speak­er “spoke about how evil Mus­lims are,” Beirich said. “He described a Mus­lim woman as a ‘hag in a bag.’”

Oth­er speak­ers at the 2004 and 2005 con­fer­ences gave talks deny­ing that World War II’s Holo­caust — the exter­mi­na­tion by Nazis of mil­lions of Jews and oth­ers in con­cen­tra­tion camps and mas­sacres — actu­ally occurred. Oth­er speak­ers told audi­ences that Jews and non-whites were tak­ing con­trol of the Unit­ed States.

“It was almost held like an aca­d­e­mic con­fer­ence, but the top­ics were so hor­rific that it’s shock­ing,” Beirich said.

Beirich said she did not attend the May 2002 con­fer­ence at which Scalise spoke and has no infor­ma­tion on what talks were giv­en or whether sim­i­lar ban­ners were used.

The Mont­gomery, Ala.-based cen­ter on Tues­day called on Scalise to step down [30]as house major­ity whip because of his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2002 con­fer­ence, and ques­tioned Scalise’s insis­tence that he did not know EURO was a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion.

In a Tues­day state­ment, Scalise said his deci­sion to appear at the con­fer­ence to talk about state tax­a­tion issues was a mis­take.

“One of the many groups that I spoke to regard­ing this crit­i­cal leg­is­la­tion was a group whose views I whole­heart­edly con­demn,” Scalise said in a state­ment. “It was a mis­take I regret, and I emphat­i­cally oppose the divi­sive racial and reli­gious views groups like these hold.”

But offi­cials with the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter argue that it would be dif­fi­cult for Scalise not to know the kind of group [31] he was address­ing, espe­cially since The Gam­bit report­ed ahead of the 2002 con­fer­ence on an announce­ment by the Iowa Cubs minor league base­ball team that they were can­celling their stay at the Metairie hotel where the EURO con­fer­ence was being held. The Gam­bit also report­ed on a state­ment by the hotel, then called the Best West­ern Land­mark, say­ing it did not sup­port the con­fer­ence but was con­trac­tu­ally oblig­ated to host it.

The Gambit’s arti­cle [32]said EURO offi­cials decid­ed to close the con­fer­ence to the pub­lic and require those attend­ing to be EURO mem­bers or local orga­niz­ers and pay a fee after the hotel con­tro­versy sparked rumors that pro­test­ers might show up.

“I think it is sim­ply not cred­i­ble that Steve Scalise, a Louisiana-based politi­cian with nation­al aspi­ra­tions, could not have known at that time who David Duke was and what EURO was,” said Mark Potok [33], a senior fel­low at the law cen­ter and edi­tor of its Intel­li­gence Report inves­tiga­tive jour­nal.

“There was an immense amount of pub­lic­ity, and espe­cially in Louisiana. David Duke then and today was the most noto­ri­ous white suprema­cist in the Unit­ed States of Amer­ica,” he said.

Potok also was crit­i­cal of the Repub­li­can Par­ty for back­ing Scalise to remain as Major­ity Whip when Con­gress re-con­venes on Jan. 6.

“The Repub­li­can Par­ty has made a lot of noise recent­ly about reach­ing out to minori­ties in this coun­try,” he said. “It’s very hard to under­stand how the par­ty is going to do that when it turns out that one of their most impor­tant lead­ers has been giv­ing speech­es to an open­ly white suprema­cist group.”

...

1b. Duke has net­worked with oth­er politi­cians and has threat­ened to “name names.” He might well have named names of the Snow­denista milieu, who are joined at the hip with Duke.

“David Duke Threat­ens to ‘Name Names’ ” by Alexan­dra Jaffe; CNN; 1/3/2015. [12]

Rep. Steve Scalise may have attend­ed a gath­er­ing of a white suprema­cist group, David Duke, the for­mer Klu Klux Klan leader who found­ed the group said on CNN Sat­ur­day.

“I’ve got con­flict­ing reports,” Duke told CNN’s Michael Smer­con­ish. “One per­son said that he was a no-show, that he was sched­uled to come — one per­son said that he did come. I just don’t know what the truth is.”

Duke added that “it seems that Mr. Scalise thinks he may have. That’s why he’s — he’s cov­er­ing him­self.”

Duke was in Rus­sia at the time of the 2002 con­fer­ence of the Euro­pean-Amer­i­can Uni­ty and Rights Orga­ni­za­tion, con­sid­ered by many civ­il rights groups to be a hate group. The event in ques­tion has drawn intense scruti­ny after a local Louisiana polit­i­cal blog­ger uncov­ered com­ments on an online forum sug­gest­ing Scalise spoke there in 2002.

The con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing Scalise’s appear­ance has sparked calls for the Louisiana Repub­li­can to resign from his House Repub­li­can lead­er­ship posi­tion and cre­at­ed unwant­ed headaches for the GOP as they pre­pare to take over full con­trol of Con­gress next week.

While he said he remains murky on the actu­al details of who spoke at the event thir­teen years ago, Duke threat­ened to “name names” of law­mak­ers with whom he’s “had rela­tion­ships” if they con­tin­ue to attack Scalise. . . .

2a. In keep­ing with the views of Eddie the Friend­ly Spook Snow­den, the GOP began attack­ing Social Secu­ri­ty and its dis­abil­i­ty pro­gram.

“New GOP Con­gress Fires Shot At Social Secu­rity On Day One” by Dylan Scott; Talk­ing Points Memo DC; 1/6/2015. [13]

With a lit­tle-noticed pro­posal, Repub­li­cans took aim at Social Secu­rity on the very first day of the 114th Con­gress.

The incom­ing GOP major­ity approved late Tues­day a new rule that experts say could pro­voke an unprece­dented cri­sis that con­ser­v­a­tives could use as lever­age in upcom­ing debates over enti­tle­ment reform.

The large­ly over­looked change puts a new restric­tion on the rou­tine trans­fer of tax rev­enues between the tra­di­tional Social Secu­rity retire­ment trust fund and the Social Secu­rity dis­abil­ity pro­gram. The trans­fers, known as real­lo­ca­tion, had his­tor­i­cally been rou­tine; the lib­eral Cen­ter for Bud­get and Pol­icy Pri­or­i­ties said [34]Tues­day that they had been made 11 times. The CBPP added that the dis­abil­ity insur­ance pro­gram “isn’t bro­ken,” but the pro­gram has been strained by demo­graphic trends that the real­lo­ca­tions are intend­ed to address.

The House GOP’s rule change would still allow for a real­lo­ca­tion from the retire­ment fund to shore up the dis­abil­ity fund — but only if an accom­pa­ny­ing pro­posal “improves the over­all finan­cial health of the com­bined Social Secu­rity Trust Funds,” per the rule, expect­ed to be passed on Tues­day. While that lan­guage is vague, experts say it would like­ly mean any real­lo­ca­tion would have to be bal­anced by new rev­enues or ben­e­fit cuts.

House Democ­rats are sound­ing the alarm. In a memo cir­cu­lated to their allies Tues­day, Demo­c­ra­tic staffers said that that would mean “either new rev­enues or ben­e­fit cuts for cur­rent or future ben­e­fi­cia­ries.” New rev­enues are high­ly unlike­ly to be approved by the deeply tax-averse Repub­li­can-led Con­gress, leav­ing ben­e­fit cuts as the obvi­ous alter­na­tive.

The Social Secu­rity and Medicare Boards of Trustees esti­mated [35] last year that the dis­abil­ity insur­ance pro­gram would run short of mon­ey to pay all ben­e­fits some time in late 2016. With­out a new real­lo­ca­tion, dis­abil­ity insur­ance ben­e­fi­cia­ries could face up to 20 per­cent cuts in their Social Secu­rity pay­ments in late 2016 — a chit that would be of use to Repub­li­cans push­ing for con­ser­v­a­tive enti­tle­ment reforms.

“The rule change would pro­hibit a sim­ple real­lo­ca­tion! It will require more sig­nif­i­cant and com­plex changes to Social Secu­rity,” Social Secu­rity Works, an advo­cacy group, said in a state­ment Tues­day. “In oth­er words, the Repub­li­can rule will allow Social Secu­rity to be held hostage.”

Pol­icy wonks who fol­low Social Secu­rity saw the GOP rule change as a play for lever­age.

“Everybody’s been talk­ing about enti­tle­ment reform. Mr. Boehn­er and Pres­i­dent Oba­ma were pret­ty close to com­ing up with some kind of grand bar­gain, which ulti­mately fell apart,” Tom Hunger­ford, senior econ­o­mist at the lib­eral Eco­nomic Pol­icy Insti­tute, told TPM. “Maybe this could be used as a hostage to try to get back to some­thing like that.”

For their part, con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans were fair­ly trans­par­ent about their think­ing. Rep. Tom Reed (R‑NY), who has been out­spo­ken on the dis­abil­ity pro­gram, co-spon­sored the rule amend­ment. The dis­abil­ity pro­gram has been a favored tar­get for the GOP; mem­bers were warn­ing [36] last month that the pro­gram could be vul­ner­a­ble to fraud.

“My inten­tion by doing this is to force us to look for a long term solu­tion for SSDI rather than raid­ing Social Secu­rity to bail out a fail­ing fed­eral pro­gram,” Reed said [37] in a state­ment. “Retired tax­pay­ers who have paid into the sys­tem for years deserve no less.”

Lib­eral ana­lysts counter, how­ever, that the retire­ment fund, which pays out $672.1 bil­lion in ben­e­fits per year ver­sus $140.1 bil­lion for the dis­abil­ity fund, is more than healthy enough to allow for a real­lo­ca­tion, as has his­tor­i­cally been done. CBPP’s Kathy Ruff­ing wrote [38] that, if a trans­fer was made before the 2016 dead­line, both funds would be sol­vent until 2033.

...

2b. More about the GOP’s assault on Social Secu­ri­ty, a pol­i­cy whole­heart­ed­ly endorsed by Snow­den:

“Inside The GOP’s Long Game To Ignite A New Bat­tle Over Social Secu­ri­ty” by Dylan Scott; TPM DC; 1/9/2015.  [14]

Repub­li­cans are seiz­ing a once-every-20-years oppor­tu­nity to force a cri­sis in the Social Secu­rity dis­abil­ity pro­gram and use it as lever­age to push through reforms, a long game that they have been qui­etly lay­ing ground­work for since tak­ing con­trol of the House in 2010.

In less than two years, the Social Social dis­abil­ity insur­ance pro­gram will start being unable to pay its full ben­e­fits and House Repub­li­cans said [13]this week that they aren’t going to sim­ply give it more rev­enue from the retire­ment side, as has been done his­tor­i­cally. It’s the lat­est episode in a pro­tracted cam­paign over the dis­abil­ity pro­gram — and it rais­es the ques­tion of what exact­ly Repub­li­cans plan to do now.

The last time this hap­pened was 1994, and lib­eral ana­lysts say that anoth­er sim­ple real­lo­ca­tion between the dis­abil­ity and retire­ment funds, as has been done 11 times in the past, would keep both funds sol­vent until 2033. That meant that con­ser­v­a­tives had to act now if they want­ed to squeeze the cri­sis for all it’s worth. For the last few years, they’ve been high­light­ing instances of fraud and oth­er prob­lems with the pro­gram, set­ting the stage for the big move this week.

Democ­rats are sound­ing the alarm, warn­ing that Repub­li­cans have tak­en a “hostage” and will lever­age it to pur­sue broad changes to Social Secu­rity as a whole. With mem­o­ries still fresh of their failed effort to pri­va­tize Social Secu­rity in 2005, con­ser­v­a­tives wonks are less sure that the new GOP Con­gress would have the polit­i­cal will to do that, though they wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily mind if it did.

“I wasn’t sure that they were going to be will­ing to take it up. I’m heart­ened that the rule was put in place. It forces us to start hav­ing a debate on this issue today,” said Jason Ficht­ner, senior research fel­low at George Mason University’s Mer­ca­tus Cen­ter who has been called by House Repub­li­cans to tes­tify on Social Secu­rity. “What I sus­pect is this allows for a con­ver­sa­tion not just on (dis­abil­ity), but the whole sys­tem com­bined. But the hur­dle of dis­abil­ity insur­ance is high enough. You start adding in try­ing to retire­ment reform at the same time, that just makes it a high­er hur­dle. I’m not sure there’s the polit­i­cal will or the pub­lic will to tack­le both sys­tems at the same time right now.”

The hostage in this metaphor is the dis­abil­ity insur­ance pro­gram and a late 2016 dead­line, at which point it won’t be able to pay its full ben­e­fits to its 11 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries. The new Repub­li­can House has approved a rule that says Con­gress can’t just trans­fer tax rev­enue from the Social Secu­rity retire­ment fund, as it has been done rou­tinely in the past, to cov­er the loom­ing short­fall. If noth­ing is done, ben­e­fi­cia­ries would face an esti­mated 20 per­cent cut.

Most mem­bers on both sides pre­sum­ably wouldn’t want to see that hap­pen, espe­cially dur­ing a crit­i­cal elec­tion cycle, giv­ing Repub­li­cans pow­er­ful lever­age to bring Democ­rats to the nego­ti­at­ing table. One of the co-spon­sors of the rule change, Rep. Tom Reed (R‑NY), said [37]that his inten­tion was to “force us to look for a long-term solu­tion” to the dis­abil­ity pro­gram.

But the rule itself says it will allow a rev­enue trans­fer if the “over­all health” of Social Secu­rity, encom­pass­ing both the retire­ment and dis­abil­ity pro­grams, is improved. That’s what Democ­rats are warn­ing about, but some con­ser­v­a­tive ana­lysts who have con­sulted with House staffers are also hop­ing that the GOP uses the threat of ben­e­fits cuts to go big.

“It’s encour­ag­ing that the rule actu­ally says we could do real­lo­ca­tion if it’s accom­pa­nied by improve­ments in over­all Social Secu­rity sol­vency. Our pref­er­ence has always been that the deple­tion of the DI trust fund become the impe­tus for com­pre­hen­sive Social Secu­rity reform,” Ed Loren­zen, senior advi­sor to the Com­mit­tee for a Respon­si­ble Fed­eral Bud­get, told TPM. “For the most part, the prob­lems fac­ing DI are real­ly just a symp­tom of the larg­er prob­lems for Social Secu­rity as a whole.”

Staff for the House’s big play­ers on Social Secu­rity — Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan (R‑WI) and Social Secu­rity Sub­com­mit­tee Chair Sam John­son (R‑TX), who co-spon­sored the new rule with Reed — weren’t ready to reveal their plans for what comes next. But asked if their pro­pos­als would address just the dis­abil­ity insur­ance fund or Social Secu­rity in its entire­ty, an aide to Reed told TPM: “Just DI for the moment.”

Those on the right weren’t sur­prised that the new GOP Con­gress took an aggres­sive stance on Social Security’s dis­abil­ity pro­gram on its very first day. “Over the last year, it start­ed becom­ing clear that there’d be a lot of resis­tance to (a clean real­lo­ca­tion) and a desire to have real­lo­ca­tion tied to some reforms,” Loren­zen said. “We were sort of antic­i­pat­ing that this would hap­pen.”

...

The hostage in this metaphor is the dis­abil­ity insur­ance pro­gram and a late 2016 dead­line, at which point it won’t be able to pay its full ben­e­fits to its 11 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries. The new Repub­li­can House has approved a rule that says Con­gress can’t just trans­fer tax rev­enue from the Social Secu­rity retire­ment fund, as it has been done rou­tinely in the past, to cov­er the loom­ing short­fall. If noth­ing is done, ben­e­fi­cia­ries would face an esti­mated 20 per­cent cut.

Most mem­bers on both sides pre­sum­ably wouldn’t want to see that hap­pen, espe­cially dur­ing a crit­i­cal elec­tion cycle, giv­ing Repub­li­cans pow­er­ful lever­age to bring Democ­rats to the nego­ti­at­ing table. One of the co-spon­sors of the rule change, Rep. Tom Reed (R‑NY), said [37]that his inten­tion was to “force us to look for a long-term solu­tion” to the dis­abil­ity pro­gram.
...

3a. The fas­cist Swe­den Democ­rats have become the third largest par­ty in Swe­den. Financed, in part, by Carl Lund­strom, the Swe­den Dem­crats are dri­ving the nation­al agen­da in impor­tant respects. Despite their offi­cial procla­ma­tion to the effect that the par­ty had aban­doned fas­cism, it retains its polit­i­cal char­ac­ter, tout­ing the “anti-immi­grant” sen­ti­ment as the main plank in its polit­i­cal plat­form.

Lund­strom is also the pri­ma­ry finan­cial backer of the Pirate Bay site, through which Wik­iLeaks oper­at­ed. The Snow­den “op” is an exten­sion of Wik­iLeaks.

As dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 725 [39], 732 [40], Lund­strom financed a Scan­di­na­vian speak­ing tour for David Duke.

“Rightwing Pop­ulists in Europe Make Mis­chief” [Edi­to­r­i­al]; The Finan­cial Times; 12/08/2014; p. 10.

. . . . How­eve the pri­or­i­ty now must be to expose the Swe­den Democ­rats as a par­ty with a reck­less approach and an array of intol­er­ant, social­ly divi­sive poli­cies whol­ly out of keep­ing with Swedish polit­i­cal cul­ture. . . .

. . . The Swe­den Democ­rats aban­doned [superficially–D.E.] their neo-Nazi doc­trines more than 10 years ago, mak­ing it inac­cu­rate to label them a far-right par­ty , but most Swedes cor­rect­ly regard the par­ty’s aggres­sive line on immi­gra­tion as unpalat­able. . . .

3b. Pirate Bay sug­ar dad­dy Lund­strom has dis­cussed his polit­i­cal sym­pa­thies. [The excerpt below is from Google trans­la­tions. The Swedish sen­tence is fol­lowed by the Eng­lish trans­la­tion.]

“The Goal: Take over all Pira­cy” by Peter Karls­son; realtid.se; 3/10/2006. [18]

. . . Lund­ström har inte gjort någon hem­lighet av sina sym­pa­ti­er för främ­lings­fientli­ga grup­per, och för­ra året fanns hans namn med på kun­dreg­istret hos det nazis­tiska bok­för­laget Nordiska För­laget. Lund­strom has made no secret of his sym­pa­thy for the xeno­pho­bic groups, and last year was his name with the cus­tomer code of the Nazi pub­lish­ing house Nordic Pub­lish­ers.

– Jag stöder dem genom att köpa böck­er och musik. - I sup­port them by buy­ing books and music. Ni i media vill bara spri­da mis­sak­t­ning om oli­ka per­son­er. You in the media just want to spread con­tempt for dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Ni i media är fyll­da av hat till Pirate Bay, avs­lu­tar en myck­et upprörd Carl Lund­ström. You in the media is full of hatred to the Pirate Bay, fin­ish­ing a very upset Carl Lund­ström.

Nordiska För­laget säl­jer vit makt musik och böck­er som hyl­lar rasis­tiska våld­shan­dlin­gar. Nordic pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny sells white pow­er music and books that cel­e­brates the racist vio­lence. För­laget stöder nazis­ter­nas demon­stra­tion i Salem och bjöd in Ku Klux Klan ledaren till en före­drag­turné i Sverige. Pub­lish­er sup­ports the Nazi demon­stra­tion in Salem and invit­ed the Ku Klux Klan leader [David Duke–D.E.] for a lec­ture tour in Swe­den. . . .

4. In that same con­text, it is worth not­ing that the qua­si-pop­ulist ide­o­log­i­cal rhetoric sur­round­ing Pirate Bay dove­tails nice­ly with the sort of “fas­cist pop­ulism” mar­ket­ed by the polit­i­cal par­ties financed by Lund­strom.

Again, Lund­strom is part and par­cel to the Snowden/WikiLeaks “op.”

“The Pirate Bay tri­al Is the Col­li­sion of ‘Can I?’ and ‘Should I?’ Cul­tures” by Andrew Brown; The Guardian; 2/26/2009. [41]

. . . The mon­ey man, Carl Lund­ström, on whose servers The Pirate Bay [and WikiLeaks–D.E.] was housed, is straight out of the crime nov­els of Stieg Lars­son. He inher­it­ed a for­tune built on crisp­bread, and has a long his­to­ry of involve­ment with extreme rightwing pol­i­tics. In the 1980s, he was a mem­ber of “Keep Swe­den Swedish”, an anti-immi­grant fringe group; he has finan­cial­ly backed the Swe­den Democ­rats, a would-be pop­ulist and anti-immi­grant par­ty; and only this month the man­ag­ing direc­tor of one of his com­pa­nies was charged with a rob­bery in a small west-coast town, part of a feud with­in a neo-Nazi group. Lund­ström told the Metro news­paper (http://bit.ly/metro) after he sacked the man that he had known he was a par­ty mem­ber, but not that he had gone to col­lect anoth­er mem­ber’s com­put­er with a sub­ma­chine gun.

Got­tfrid Svartholm Varg and Fred­erik Neij, the nerds who run The Pirate Bay itself, have also been accused by the pros­e­cu­tor of tax eva­sion, but deny that they were mak­ing any mon­ey from their busi­ness. Their atti­tude of sneer­ing enti­tle­ment towards the gov­ern­ment is all of a piece with their atti­tude towards the big con­tent com­pa­nies. . . .

. . . I know that a lit­tle bit of the rhetoric around The Pirate Bay sounds left­wing – the idea that it is wrong for “inter­na­tion­al cap­i­tal” to push Swe­den around – but that’s just pop­ulist, and could be found in the rhetoric of the kind of par­ties that Carl Lund­ström has sup­port­ed too.

The over­whelm­ing impres­sion is of a clash between two rightwing views, one that says it is all right to steal from the state, and one which says it is sin­ful to steal from cor­po­ra­tions. . . .

5. More about Lund­strom’s financ­ing of the Swe­den Democ­rats. We will dis­cuss the anti-Mus­lim/an­ti-immi­grant ral­ly­ing cry of the Swe­den Democ­rats and oth­er neo-fas­cist par­ties such as the French Nation­al Front when we dis­cuss the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the recent car­nage in France.

“Pirate Bay’s neo-Nazi Sug­ar Dad­dy” by Andrew Orlos­ki; The Reg­is­ter [UK]; 2/26/2009. [42]

 . . . . Lund­ström was linked to a gang of skin­heads that attacked Latin Amer­i­can tourists in Stock­holm in the mid-1980s. [Expo.se report (Swe) — 2005 [43]]. Over the years, Lund­ström has switched his sup­port from Keep Swe­den Swedish to the far-right head­bangers par­ty New Democ­ra­cy — but was thrown out for being too right wing. He’s cur­rent­ly bankrolling 100 can­di­dates for the Swedish equiv­a­lent of the BNP.  [The par­ty is the Swe­den Democrats–D.E.]. . .

6a. Young peo­ple seem to have been par­tic­u­lar­ly affect­ed by Snow­den’s actions. Snow­den being regard­ed as a hero is tru­ly grotesque, though under­stand­able, giv­en the insuf­fi­cient nature of the media cov­er­age.

It is a safe bet that the result­ing alien­ation of the young, ide­al­is­tic vot­ers who ral­lied to Oba­ma in 2008 con­tributed to the low vot­er turnout in the 2014 off-year elec­tions. That low vot­er turnout, in turn, con­tributed to the elec­tion of the pro-Duke, anti-Social Secu­ri­ty GOP. They are part and par­cel to the polit­i­cal forces to which Eddie the Friend­ly Spook belongs.

“Snow­den among Nom­i­nees for a Euro­pean Human Rights Prize” by Dan Bilef­sky; The New York Times; 9/18/2013. [24]

. . . . In an online New York Times opin­ion arti­cle  [44]on Sun­day, Peter Lud­low, a pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, wrote that Mr. Snow­den had exposed a gap between mem­bers of the younger “Wik­iLeaks gen­er­a­tion,” who regard him as a role mod­el, and old­er com­men­ta­tors in the tra­di­tion­al news media, who believe he needs to be brought to jus­tice. Mr. Lud­low cit­ed a recent poll show­ing that 70 per­cent of Amer­i­cans ages 18 to 34 believed that Mr. Snow­den “did a good thing.” . . . . .

6b. Snow­den’s “dis­clo­sures” [45] are not new, nor is the vac­u­um-clean­ing of elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions by NSA/GCHQ unusu­al in the world of glob­al elec­tron­ic espi­onage.

 “World Brief­ing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy Sys­tem” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001. [25]

[Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The Unit­ed States-led spy­ing sys­tem known as Ech­e­lon can mon­i­tor vir­tu­al­ly every com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world — by e‑mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satel­lite, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was told. But in report­ing on a year­long study of the sys­tem that was prompt­ed by con­cern that Amer­i­can com­pa­nies were using data from the sys­tem to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, Ger­hard Schmid, a Ger­man mem­ber of the Par­lia­ment, said that many Euro­pean coun­tries had sim­i­lar abil­i­ties . . .

7. Exem­pli­fy­ing the mar­row-deep hypocrisy of Cit­i­zen Green­wald, we exam­ine his defense of of Nazi mur­der­er Matthew Hale. Notice that Green­wald did­n’t give a fly­ing F* about the inter­net pri­va­cy of Judge Lefkow and her fam­i­ly.
THIS is the real Glenn Green­wald, whom we strong­ly sus­pect is a BND oper­a­tive.
  • Con­vict­ed of solic­i­ta­tion of the mur­der of Judge Joan Lefkow, whose hus­band and moth­er were mur­dered in her home a few weeks after Cobb exer­cised what Green­wald would char­ac­ter­ize of his right of free speech on the inter­net, Green­wald’s client Hale char­ac­ter­ized his orga­ni­za­tion as being at war [46] with Judge Lefkow. (See text excerpt in linked post.)
  • Cobb post­ed Lefkow’s name and address on the inter­net. Her moth­er and hus­band were mur­dered a few weeks lat­er. Cobb was overt­ly, explic­it­ly pleased by that fact [47]” . . . What was I feel­ing? Emo­tions are not yet ille­gal. I was just fine with it. I think it was well done.”[1] (See text excerpt in linked post.)
  • Cob­b’s actions epit­o­mize the “lead­er­less resis­tance strat­e­gy,” for which Green­wald ran legal inter­fer­ence in his law prac­tice.
  • Green­wald’s client Hale was taped by an under­cov­er FBI infor­mant [48] who pro­vid­ed; ”  . . . . an email from Hale solic­it­ing Lefkow’s home address, and a tape record­ing of a dis­cus­sion between the two about Lefkow’s mur­der. On the tape, Evola said, “We going to exter­mi­nate the rat?” Hale replied, “Well, what­ev­er you want to do basi­cal­ly.” Evola said, “The Jew rat.” Hale then said: “You know, my posi­tion has always been that I, you know, I’m going to fight with­in the law… but that infor­ma­tion has been pro­vid­ed. [by Cobb]… If you wish to do any­thing your­self, you can.” Evola replied, “Con­sid­er it done,” and Hale respond­ed, “Good.” . . . . (See text excerpt in linked post.)
  • Green­wald’s com­ments [46] on the case are very, very reveal­ing. “. . . . . Attor­ney Glenn Green­wald, rep­re­sent­ing Hale, says he believes the charge against Hale stems from what he calls a mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Hale’s state­ment that “we are in a state of war with Judge Lefkow.” Green­wald says: “They are prob­a­bly try­ing to take things he said along the lines of polit­i­cal advo­ca­cy and turn it into a crime. The FBI may have inter­pret­ed this pro­tect­ed speech as a threat against a fed­er­al judge, but it’s prob­a­bly noth­ing more than some heat­ed rhetoric.” Dur­ing Hale’s incar­cer­a­tion, spe­cial admin­is­tra­tive mea­sures will be imposed to reduce his abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate with his fol­low­ers. . . .” (See text excerpt in linked post.)

8. Pierre Omid­yar [49]–Glenn Greenwald’s finan­cial angel–helped finance the Ukrain­ian coup [21], along with AID. The lat­ter is a fre­quent cov­er for U.S. intel­li­gence activ­i­ties.We note that Oleh Rybachukthe recip­i­ent of Omidyar’s funds, was the right-hand man for Vik­tor Yuschenko in the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion [50].

“Pierre Omid­yar Co-fund­ed Ukraine Rev­o­lu­tion Groups with US gov­ern­ment, Doc­u­ments Show” by Mark Ames; Pan­do Dai­ly; 2/28/2014. [21]

On Feb­ru­ary 28, 2014 Just hours after last weekend’s ouster [51] of Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych, one of Pierre Omidyar’s newest hires at nation­al secu­rity blog “The Inter­cept [52],” was already dig­ging for the truth. Mar­cy Wheel­er, who is the new site’s “senior pol­icy ana­lyst,” spec­u­lated [53] that the Ukraine rev­o­lu­tion was like­ly a “coup” engi­neered by “deep forces” on behalf of “Pax Amer­i­cana” [54]:

“There’s quite a bit of evi­dence of coup-ness. Q is how many lev­els deep inter­fer­ence from both sides is.”

These are seri­ous claims. So seri­ous that I decid­ed to inves­ti­gate them. And what I found was shock­ing. Wheel­er is part­ly cor­rect. Pan­do has con­firmed that the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment – in the form of the US Agency for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID) – played a major role in fund­ing oppo­si­tion groups pri­or to the rev­o­lu­tion. More­over, a large per­cent­age of the rest of the fund­ing to those same groups came from a US bil­lion­aire who has pre­vi­ously worked close­ly with US gov­ern­ment agen­cies to fur­ther his own busi­ness inter­ests. This was by no means a US-backed “coup,” but clear evi­dence shows that US invest­ment was a force mul­ti­plier for many of the groups involved in over­throw­ing Yanukovych. But that’s not the shock­ing part. What’s shock­ing is the name of the bil­lion­aire who co-invest­ed with the US gov­ern­ment (or as Wheel­er put it: the “dark force” act­ing on behalf of “Pax Amer­i­cana”). Step out of the shad­ows…. Wheeler’s boss, Pierre Omid­yar. Yes, in the annals of inde­pen­dent media, this might be the strangest twist ever: Accord­ing to finan­cial dis­clo­sures and reports seen by Pan­do, the founder and pub­lisher of Glenn Greenwald’s gov­ern­ment-bash­ing blog,“The Inter­cept,” co-invest­ed with the US gov­ern­ment to help fund regime change in Ukraine. * * * * When the rev­o­lu­tion came to Ukraine, neo-fas­cists [55] played a front-cen­ter role in over­throw­ing the country’s pres­i­dent. But the real polit­i­cal pow­er rests with Ukraine’s pro-west­ern neolib­er­als. Polit­i­cal fig­ures like Oleh Rybachuk, long a favorite of the State Depart­ment [56]DC neo­cons [57]EU [58], and NATO [59]—and the right-hand man [60] to Orange Rev­o­lu­tion leader Vik­tor Yushchenko. Last Decem­ber, the Finan­cial Times [61] wrote that Rybachuk’s “New Cit­i­zen” NGO cam­paign “played a big role in get­ting the protest up and run­ning.” New Cit­i­zen [62], along with the rest of Rybachuk’s inter­lock­ing net­work of west­ern-backed [63] NGOs and cam­paigns— “Cen­ter UA” [64] (also spelled “Cen­tre UA”), “Ches­no,” [65] and “Stop Cen­sor­ship” to name a few — grew their pow­er by tar­get­ing pro-Yanukovych politi­cians with a well-coor­di­nat­ed anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign that built its strength in Ukraine’s regions, before mass­ing in Kiev last autumn. The efforts of the NGOs were so suc­cess­ful that the Ukraine gov­ern­ment was accused of employ­ing dirty tricks to shut them down. In ear­ly Feb­ru­ary, the groups were the sub­ject of a mas­sive mon­ey laun­der­ing inves­ti­ga­tion [66] by the eco­nom­ics divi­sion of Ukraine’s Inte­rior Min­istry in what many denounced as a polit­i­cally moti­vated move. For­tu­nately the groups had the strength – which is to say, mon­ey – to sur­vive those attacks and con­tinue push­ing for regime change in Ukraine. The source of that mon­ey? Accord­ing to the Kyiv Post [67], Pier­rie Omidyar’s Omid­yar Net­work (part of the Omid­yar Group which owns First Look Media and the Inter­cept) pro­vided 36% of “Cen­ter UA”’s $500,000 bud­get in 2012— near­ly $200,000. USAID pro­vided 54% of “Cen­ter UA”’s bud­get for 2012. Oth­er fun­ders includ­ed the US gov­ern­ment-backed Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­racy. In 2011, Omid­yar Net­work gave $335,000 [68] to “New Cit­i­zen,” one of the anti-Yanukovych “projects” man­aged through the Rybachuk-chaired NGO “Cen­ter UA.” At the time, Omid­yar Net­work boast­ed that its invest­ment in “New Cit­i­zen” would help “shape pub­lic pol­icy” in Ukraine:

“Using tech­nol­ogy and media, New Cit­i­zen coor­di­nates the efforts of con­cerned mem­bers of soci­ety, rein­forc­ing their abil­ity to shape pub­lic pol­icy. “… With sup­port from Omid­yar Net­work, New Cit­i­zen will strength­en its advo­cacy efforts in order to dri­ve greater trans­parency and engage cit­i­zens on issues of impor­tance to them.”

In March 2012, Rybachuk — the oper­a­tor behind the 2004 Orange Rev­o­lu­tion scenes, the Ana­toly Chubais [69] of Ukraine — boast­ed [70] that he was prepar­ing a new Orange Rev­o­lu­tion:

“Peo­ple are not afraid. We now have 150 NGOs in all the major cities in our ‘clean up Par­lia­ment cam­paign’ to elect and find bet­ter parliamentarians….The Orange Rev­o­lu­tion was a mir­a­cle, a mas­sive peace­ful protest that worked. We want to do that again and we think we will.

Detailed finan­cial records [71] reviewed by Pan­do (and embed­ded below) also show Omid­yar Net­work cov­ered costs for the expan­sion of Rybachuk’s anti-Yanukovych cam­paign, “Ches­no” (“Hon­estly”), into region­al cities includ­ing Polta­va, Vin­nyt­sia, Zhy­to­myr, Ternopil, Sumy, and else­where, most­ly in the Ukrain­ian-speak­ing west and cen­ter. * * * * To under­stand what it means for Omid­yar to fund Oleh Rybachuk, some brief his­tory is nec­es­sary. Rybachuk’s back­ground fol­lows a famil­iar pat­tern in post-Sovi­et oppor­tunism: From well-con­nect­ed KGB intel­li­gence ties, to post-Sovi­et neolib­eral net­worker. In the Sovi­et era, Rybachuk stud­ied in a mil­i­tary lan­guages pro­gram half of whose grad­u­ates went on to work for the KGB [72]. Rybachuk’s murky over­seas post­ing in India in the late Sovi­et era fur­ther strength­ens many sus­pi­cions about his Sovi­et intel­li­gence ties; what­ever the case, by Rybachuk’s own account, his close ties [73] to top intel­li­gence fig­ures in the Ukrain­ian SBU [74] served him well dur­ing the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion of 2004, when the SBU passed along secret infor­ma­tion about vote fraud and assas­si­na­tion plots.

In 1992, after the col­lapse of the Sovi­et Union, Rybachuk moved to the new­ly-formed Ukraine Cen­tral Bank, head­ing the for­eign rela­tions depart­ment [75] under Cen­tral Bank chief and future Orange Rev­o­lu­tion leader Vik­tor Yushchenko. In his cen­tral bank post, Rybachuk estab­lished close friend­ly ties with west­ern gov­ern­ment and finan­cial aid insti­tu­tions, as well as pro­to-Omid­yar fig­ures like George Soros [76], who fund­ed [77] many of the NGOs involved in “col­or rev­o­lu­tions” [78] includ­ing small dona­tions to the same Ukraine NGOs that Omid­yar backed. (Like Omid­yar Net­work does today, Soros’ char­ity arms—Open Soci­ety and Renais­sance Foundation—publicly preached trans­parency and good gov­ern­ment in places like Rus­sia dur­ing the Yeltsin years, while Soros’ finan­cial arm spec­u­lated [79] on Russ­ian debt and par­tic­i­pated in scan­dal-plagued auc­tions [80] of state assets.) In ear­ly 2005, Orange Rev­o­lu­tion leader Yushchenko became Ukraine’s pres­i­dent, and he appoint­ed Rybachuk deputy prime min­is­ter [81] in charge of inte­grat­ing Ukraine into the EU, NATO, and oth­er west­ern insti­tu­tions. Rybachuk also pushed for the mass-pri­va­ti­za­tion [82] of Ukraine’s remain­ing state hold­ings. Over the next sev­eral years, Rybachuk was shift­ed around Pres­i­dent Yushchenko’s embat­tled admin­is­tra­tion, torn by inter­nal divi­sions. In 2010, Yushchenko lost the pres­i­dency to recent­ly-over­thrown Vik­tor Yanukovych, and a year lat­er, Rybachuk was on Omidyar’s and USAID’s pay­roll, prepar­ing for the next Orange Rev­o­lu­tion. As Rybachuk told the Finan­cial Times [83] two years ago:

“We want to do [the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion] again and we think we will.”

Some of Omidyar’s funds were specif­i­cally ear­marked for cov­er­ing the costs of set­ting up Rybachuk’s “clean up par­lia­ment” NGOs in Ukraine’s region­al cen­ters. Short­ly after the Euro­maidan demon­stra­tions erupt­ed last Novem­ber, Ukraine’s Inte­rior Min­istry opened up a mon­ey laun­der­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into Rybachuk’s NGOs, drag­ging Omidyar’s name into the high-stakes polit­i­cal strug­gle. Accord­ing to a Kyiv Post [84] arti­cle on Feb­ru­ary 10 titled, “Rybachuk: Democ­ra­cy-pro­mot­ing non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion faces ‘ridicu­lous’ inves­ti­ga­tion”:

“Police are inves­ti­gat­ing Cen­ter UA, a pub­lic-sec­tor watch­dog fund­ed by West­ern donors, on sus­pi­cion of mon­ey laun­der­ing, the group said. The group’s leader, Oleh Rybachuk, said it appears that author­i­ties, with the probe, are try­ing to warn oth­er non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions that seek to pro­mote democ­racy, trans­parency, free speech and human rights in Ukraine. “Accord­ing to Cen­ter UA, the Kyiv eco­nomic crimes unit of the Inte­rior Min­istry start­ed the inves­ti­ga­tion on Dec. 11. Recent­ly, how­ever, inves­ti­ga­tors stepped up their efforts, ques­tion­ing some 200 wit­nesses. “… Cen­ter UA received more than $500,000 in 2012, accord­ing to its annu­al report for that year, 54 per­cent of which came from Pact Inc., a project fund­ed by the U.S. Agency for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment. Near­ly 36 per­cent came from Omid­yar Net­work, a foun­da­tion estab­lished by eBay founder Pierre Omid­yar and his wife. Oth­er donors include the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foun­da­tion, whose key fun­der is bil­lion­aire George Soros, and Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­racy, fund­ed large­ly by the U.S. Con­gress.”

* * * * What all this adds up to is a jour­nal­is­tic con­flict-of-inter­est of the worst kind: Omid­yar work­ing hand-in-glove with US for­eign pol­icy agen­cies to inter­fere in for­eign gov­ern­ments, co-financ­ing regime change with well-known arms of the Amer­i­can empire — while at the same time hir­ing a grow­ing team of soi-dis­ant ”inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists” which vows to inves­ti­gate the behav­ior of the US gov­ern­ment at home and over­seas, and boasts of its unique­ly “adver­sar­ial” [85] rela­tion­ship towards these  gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions. As First Look staffer Jere­my Scahill told the Dai­ly Beast [86]

We had a long dis­cus­sion about this inter­nally; about what our posi­tion would be if the White House asked us to not pub­lish some­thing…. With us, because we want to be adver­sar­ial, they won’t know what bat phone to call. They know who to call at The Times, they know who to call at The Post. With us, who are they going to call? Pierre? Glenn?

Of the many prob­lems that pos­es, none is more seri­ous than the fact that Omid­yar now has the only two peo­ple with exclu­sive access to the com­plete Snow­den NSA cache [87], Glenn Green­wald and Lau­ra Poitras. Some­how, the same bil­lion­aire who co-financed the “coup” in Ukraine with USAID, also has exclu­sive access to the NSA secrets—and very few in the inde­pen­dent media dare voice a skep­ti­cal word about it. In the larg­er sense, this is a prob­lem of 21st cen­tury Amer­i­can inequal­ity, of life in a bil­lion­aire-dom­i­nat­ed era. It is a prob­lem we all have to con­tend with—PandoDaily’s 18-plus investors include a gag­gle of Sil­i­con Val­ley bil­lion­aires like Marc Andreessen (who serves on the board of eBay, chaired by Pierre Omid­yar) and Peter Thiel (whose pol­i­tics I’ve inves­ti­gated, [88] and described as repug­nant.) But what is more imme­di­ately alarm­ing is what makes Omid­yar dif­fer­ent. Unlike oth­er bil­lion­aires, Omid­yar has gar­nered noth­ing but uncrit­i­cal, fawn­ing [89] press cov­er­age, par­tic­u­larly from those he has hired [85]. By acquir­ing a “dream team” of what remains of inde­pen­dent media — Green­wald, Jere­my Scahill, Wheel­er, my for­mer part­ner [90] Matt Taib­bi — not to men­tion press “crit­ics” like Jay Rosen [91] — he buys both silence and fawn­ing press. Both are incred­i­bly use­ful: Silence, an absence of jour­nal­is­tic curios­ity about Omidyar’s activ­i­ties over­seas and at home, has been pur­chased for the price of what­ever his cur­rent all-star indie cast cur­rently costs him. As an added bonus, that same invest­ment buys silence from expo­nen­tially larg­er num­bers of des­per­ately under­paid inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists hop­ing to some­day be on his pay­roll, and the under­funded media watch­dogs [92] that sur­vive on Omid­yar Net­work grants. And it also buys laugh­able fluff from the likes of Scahill who also boast­ed to the Dai­ly Beast [86] of his boss’ close involve­ment in the day to day run­ning of First Look.

“[Omid­yar] strikes me as always sort of polit­i­cal, but I think that the NSA sto­ry and the expand­ing wars put pol­i­tics for him into a much more promi­nent place in his exis­tence. This is not a side project that he is doing. Pierre writes more on our inter­nal mes­sag­ing than any­one else. And he is not micro­manag­ing. This guy has a vision. And his vision is to con­front what he sees as an assault on the pri­vacy of Amer­i­cans.”

Now Wheel­er has her answer — that, yes, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary groups were part-fund­ed by Uncle Sam, but also by her boss — one assumes awk­ward fol­low up ques­tions will be asked on that First Look inter­nal mes­sag­ing sys­tem. Whether Wheel­er, Scahill and their col­leagues go on to share their con­cerns pub­licly will speak vol­umes about First Look’s much-trum­pet­ed inde­pen­dence, both from Omidyar’s oth­er busi­ness inter­ests and from Omidyar’s co-investors in Ukraine: the US gov­ern­ment.

9. It turns out one of the key fig­ures in the Poroshenko admin­is­tra­tion, who was also heav­ily backed by Pierre Omidyar’s pro-Maid­an out­fits, was the per­son in charge of push­ing the lus­tra­tion laws [22]. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that Svit­lana Zalis­chuk, the recip­i­ent of Omid­yar’s fund­ing, was a key play­er in coor­di­nat­ing the activ­i­ties of the so-called “respectable,” “mod­er­ate” pro-EU polit­i­cal cadre with the overt­ly fas­cist par­ties such as Svo­bo­da and the Rad­i­cal Par­ty.

“Omid­yar-Fund­ed Can­di­date Takes Seat in New Ukraine Par­lia­ment” by Mark AmesPan­do Dai­ly; 10/30/2014. [22]

Ukraine just held its first post-rev­o­lu­tion par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, and amid all of the oli­garchs [93], EU enthu­si­asts, neo-Nazis [94]nepo­tism babies [95], and death squad com­man­ders [96], there is one new­ly-elect­ed parliamentarian’s name that stands out for her con­nec­tion to Sil­i­con Val­ley: Svit­lana Zal­ishchuk [97], from the bil­lion­aire president’s Poroshenko Bloc [98] par­ty.

Zal­ishchuk was giv­en a choice spot on the president’s par­ty list, at num­ber 18 [99], ensur­ing her a seat in the new Rada. And she owes her rise to pow­er to anoth­er oli­garch besides Ukraine’s pres­i­dent — Pierre Omid­yar [100], whose fund­ing [21] with USAID helped top­ple the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. Zalishchuk’s pro-Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion out­fits were direct­ly fund­ed by Omid­yar.

Ear­lier this year, Pan­do exposed [21] how eBay bil­lion­aire and Inter­cept pub­lisher Pierre Omid­yar co-fund­ed with USAID Zalishchuk’s web of non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions — New Cit­i­zen [100]Ches­no [65]Cen­ter UA [101]Accord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, New Cit­i­zen, which received hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars from Omid­yar, “played a big role in get­ting the [Maid­an] protest up and run­ning” in Novem­ber 2013. Omid­yar Network’s web­site fea­tures Zalishchuk’s pho­to­graph [100] on its page describ­ing its invest­ment in New Cit­i­zen. Zal­ishchuk was brought into the NGOs by her long­time men­tor, Oleh Rybachuk [60], a for­mer deputy prime min­ster who led the last failed effort to inte­grate [81] Ukraine into the EU and NATO [59].

Zalishchuk’s pho­tos also grace [102] the Poroshenko Bloc’s web­site [97] and twit­ter feed [103], as she emerged as one of the pres­i­den­tial party’s lead­ing spokesper­sons. The Poroshenko Bloc is named after Ukraine’s pro-West­ern pres­i­dent, Petro Poroshenko, a bil­lion­aire with a lock on Ukraine’s con­fec­tionary indus­try [104], as well as own­ing a nation­al TV sta­tion and oth­er prized assets. He came to pow­er this year thanks to the rev­o­lu­tion orig­i­nally orga­nized by Zalishchuk’s Omid­yar-fund­ed NGOs, and has reward­ed her with a seat in the Rada.

The president’s par­ty tasked Zalushchik with pub­licly sell­ing [97] the high­ly con­tro­ver­sial new “lus­tra­tion law” — essen­tially a legal­ized witch-hunt law first pro­posed by the neo-fas­cist Svo­boda Par­ty ear­lier this year, and sub­se­quently denounced by Ukraine’s pros­e­cu­tor gen­eral [105] and by Human Rights Watch [106], which described a draft of the law as “arbi­trary and over­ly broad and fail(s) to respect human rights prin­ci­ples,” warn­ing it “may set the stage for unlaw­ful mass arbi­trary polit­i­cal exclu­sion.”

The lus­tra­tion law [107] was passed under a wave of neo-Nazi vio­lence [107], in which mem­bers of par­lia­ment and oth­ers set to be tar­geted for purges were forcibly thrown into trash dumps.

Zal­ishchuk, how­ever, praised the lus­tra­tion law, claim­ing that the legal­ized purges would “give Ukraine a chance at a new life.”

Short­ly before the elec­tions, on Octo­ber 17, Zal­ishchuk used her Omid­yar-fund­ed out­fit, “Ches­no,” [71]to orga­nize a round­table with lead­ers of pro-EU and neo-fas­cist par­ties. It was called “Par­lia­ment for Reform” [108]and it brought togeth­er lead­ers from eight par­ties,includ­ing Zalishchuk’s “Poroshenko Bloc” (she served as both NGO orga­nizer and as pro-Poroshenko par­ty can­di­date), the prime minister’s “People’s Par­ty” and lead­ers from two unabashed­ly neo-Nazi par­ties: Svo­boda [109], and the Rad­i­cal Par­ty of Oleh Lyashko [110], who was denounced by Amnesty Inter­na­tional [111] for post­ing YouTube videos of him­self inter­ro­gat­ing [111] naked and hood­ed pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratist pris­on­ers. Lyashko’s cam­paign posters fea­tured him impal­ing [112] a car­i­ca­tured Jew­ish oli­garch on a Ukrain­ian tri­dent.

Mean­while, Zalishchuk’s boss, Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, has led a bloody war against pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in the east of the coun­try that left at least 3700 dead in a half year of fight­ing. Human Rights Watch recent­ly accused [113] Poroshenko’s forces of “indis­crim­i­nate” use of clus­ter bombs in heav­ily pop­u­lated areas, that “may amount to war crimes.” Poroshenko’s forces include neo-Nazi death squads like the noto­ri­ous Azov bat­tal­ion.

Last month, Poroshenko fur­ther cement­ed [114] his ties to the extreme right [55] by hail­ing Ukraine’s wartime Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors [115], the vio­lently anti-Semit­ic [116] UPA, as “heroes [117].” The fas­cist UPA par­tic­i­pated in the Holo­caust [118], and were respon­si­ble for killing tens of thou­sands [119] of Jews and eth­nic Poles in their bid to cre­ate an eth­ni­cally pure Ukraine. Many UPA mem­bers filled the ranks of the Nazi SS “Gali­cia” Divi­sion [120]. The neo-Nazi Right Sek­tor, which spear­headed the vio­lent lat­er stages of the Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion, sees itself as the UPA’s con­tem­po­rary suc­ces­sors; Right Sektor’s leader, Dmit­ry Yarosh, believes [121] that any “eth­nic minor­ity that pre­vents us from being mas­ters in our own land” is an “ene­my.” [121] Yarosh was just elect­ed [122] to the new par­lia­ment.

This week, Omid­yar Network’s “invest­ment lead” for Ukraine, Stephen King, accept­ed an award [123] for Omid­yar Network’s role in a major new USAID-backed [124] project, Glob­al Impact Invest­ing Net­work. . . .

10. Lew Rockwell–the edi­tor of Ron Paul’s racist newslet­ters, and deeply involved with the Lud­wig von Mis­es Insti­tute, man­i­fest an unqual­i­fied admi­ra­tion for the Hab­surg dynasty. Otto von Hab­s­burg, eulo­gized by Rock­well, worked close­ly [125] with Yaroslav Stet­sko in the gen­e­sis [27] of the Euro­pean Free­dom Coun­cil.

Stet­sko, of course, was Stephan Ban­der­a’s admin­is­tra­tor of the Nazi satel­lite state in Ukraine dur­ing World War II, and the over­seer of the Nazi-style exter­mi­na­tion pro­grams there.

“Otto von Hab­s­burg, RIP” by Llewellyn H. Rockwell,Jr.; LewRockwell.com; 7/4/2011. [26]

The clas­si­cal lib­er­al schol­ar, who should have been emper­or of Aus­tria-Hun­gary, has died at 98. . . . It was an hon­or for the Lud­wig von Mis­es Insti­tute, though con­tro­ver­sial in the Belt­way, to wel­come him to Auburn in 1999 as the first recip­i­ent of the Schlar­baum Prize. . . .

11a. Excerpt­ing some of Snowden’s 2009 online musings–crafted dur­ing the same time peri­od in which he decid­ed to leak NSA documents–gives us insight into his true nature. We’ve men­tioned Snowden’s embrace of the gold stan­dard, belief that we should elim­i­nate Social Secu­rity and deep affin­ity for Ron Paul. Per­haps exam­in­ing his actu­al pro­nounce­ments will prove edu­ca­tion­al.

EXAMPLE:  . . . Snow­den wrote that the elder­ly ‘wouldn’t be fuck­ing help­less if you weren’t send­ing them fuck­ing checks to sit on their ass and lay in hos­pi­tals all day.’ Yeah, if ONLY those 75 and 80-year-olds lying in hos­pi­tal beds would get up and find jobs like every­body else, right Eddie? Snow­den is a nasty lit­tle fas­cist and peo­ple should care­fully con­sider the rest of his behav­ior in the con­text of his ide­o­log­i­cal pro­nounce­ments.

“Would You Feel Dif­fer­ently About Snow­den, Green­wald, and Assange If You Knew What They Real­ly Thought?” by Sean Wilentz; The New Repub­lic; 1/19/2014. [15]

[Snow­den is post­ing under the moniker “The True­HOOHA”] At the time the stim­u­lus bill was being debat­ed, Snow­den also con­demned Obama’s eco­nomic poli­cies as part of a delib­er­ate scheme “to deval­ue the cur­rency absolute­ly as fast as the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble.” (He favored Ron Paul’s call for the Unit­ed States to return to the gold stan­dard.) The social dis­lo­ca­tions of the finan­cial col­lapse both­ered him not at all. “Almost every­one was self-employed pri­or to 1900,” he assert­ed. “Why is 12% employ­ment [sic] so ter­ri­fy­ing?”In anoth­er chat-room exchange, Snow­den debat­ed the mer­its of Social Secu­ri­ty:

<TheTrue­HOOHA> save mon­ey? cut this social secu­rity bull­shit

<User 11> haha­hayes

<User 18> Yeah! Fuck old peo­ple!

<User 11> social secu­rity is bull­shit

<User 11> let’s just toss old peo­ple out in the street

<User 18> Old peo­ple could move in with [User11].

<User 11> NOOO

<User 11> they smell fun­ny

<TheTrue­HOOHA> Some­how, our soci­ety man­aged to make it hun­dreds of years with­out social secu­rity just fine . . . .

<TheTrue­HOOHA> Mag­i­cally the world changed after the new deal, and old peo­ple became made of glass.

Lat­er in the same ses­sion, Snow­den wrote that the elder­ly “wouldn’t be fuck­ing help­less if you weren’t send­ing them fuck­ing checks to sit on their ass and lay in hos­pi­tals all day.”

11b. Over a month ago, Kiev began imple­ment­ing a new strat­egy in the civ­il war: cut off East Ukraine’s pen­sions and social ser­vices entire­ly:

“Cash Cut to Ukraine Rebel Areas in Risky Strat­egy” by Peter Leonard and Balint Szlanko [16]; AP Big Sto­ry; 11/25/2014. [16]

For hours, small crowds in Donet­sk hud­dle hope­fully in the cold around cash machines that nev­er get filled, as artillery rum­bles in the dis­tance.

Mon­ey is run­ning short in the rebel heart­land since the gov­ern­ment announced this month that it will sus­pend bank­ing ser­vices as it piles on the pres­sure. Almost all ATMs have stopped work­ing and the remain­der are expect­ed to stop oper­at­ing over the next two weeks.

The move is part of Ukraine’s plan to suf­fo­cate its sep­a­ratist foe, now that its cost­ly mil­i­tary cam­paign has foundered. Author­i­ties say they are also with­draw­ing all state ser­vices from rebel areas, although hos­pi­tal and school work­ers in the rebel strong­hold of Donet­sk say it has been a while since they last saw fund­ing any­how.

Yet if the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko hopes to turn peo­ple in east­ern Ukraine against the sep­a­ratist lead­er­ship, evi­dence on the ground sug­gests the strat­egy may only be hard­en­ing their resolve.

“What Poroshenko is say­ing to us is: ‘You are no longer Ukraini­ans. You won’t get pen­sions, you won’t get social pay­ments. When you croak, then we’ll stop this war against you,’” said Donet­sk retiree Geor­gy Sharov. “But I don’t want to go to Ukraine and beg for their mer­cy.”

The lines have typ­i­cally formed in front of cash machines belong­ing to state sav­ings bank Oshchad­bank, which han­dles pen­sions and social sup­port pay­ments.

“Even they don’t always have mon­ey,” said Donet­sk res­i­dent Sergei Smo­tovsky, stand­ing out­side a branch of the bank. “The worst thing is that not only can you not get social pay­ments. You can’t even with­draw mon­ey that you earned, your salary.”

Even though cash machines don’t work, account-hold­ers wait from ear­ly morn­ing until lunchtime in the hope that bank work­ers will top them up, but the doors to the banks often remain firm­ly shut.

Despite the unremit­ting fight­ing tak­ing place across Donet­sk and Luhan­sk, the two regions affect­ed by the armed sep­a­ratist con­flict, large super­mar­kets are still rea­son­ably stocked.

Sup­plies come from oth­er parts of Ukraine and cus­tomers often use bank cards to pay for shop­ping. Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment is now about to block bank cards, cut­ting off anoth­er means of sus­te­nance.

Hard-pressed recip­i­ents of state ben­e­fits have for months turned expec­tantly to the rebel gov­ern­ment for cash. Crowds of pen­sion­ers and sin­gle moth­ers assem­ble dai­ly before the sep­a­ratist head­quar­ters. When any­body in the crowd becomes espe­cially vocal, one of the gun­men guard­ing the build­ing rush­es to bun­dle them away, accus­ing them of being “provo­ca­teurs.”

The brunt of the rage, how­ever, is still direct­ed at the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment.

“Ukraine says Donet­sk is Ukrain­ian ter­ri­tory, and yet they came here with tanks and weapons instead of pay­ing pen­sions prop­erly,” said Donet­sk retiree Ana­toly Vis­ly. “I am a dis­abled vet­eran and I haven’t received my pen­sion for three months.”

Many pen­sion­ers have re-reg­is­tered in towns out­side rebel zones, mean­ing pay­ments have still accrued to their accounts. The chal­lenge for those peo­ple will now become mak­ing the month­ly trip to banks in gov­ern­ment-con­trolled areas, which can be cost­ly and dif­fi­cult, espe­cially for the most infirm.

Prospects for the rebels to set up a wel­fare sys­tem any time soon are bleak.

Anna Kharzhevskaya, an offi­cial with the rebel social affairs and labor min­istry, said sep­a­ratist author­i­ties have only a crude notion of how many peo­ple are eli­gi­ble for social pay­ments.

Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment has been block­ing access to state records and is try­ing to spir­it away hard copies of data­bases still in rebel-held areas, Kharzhevskaya said.

Sep­a­ratist author­i­ties say mili­ti­a­men are under instruc­tions to stop any unsanc­tioned removals of gov­ern­ment records by Ukrain­ian author­i­ties.

With­out a prop­erly func­tion­ing tax sys­tem in place, there is no imme­di­ately obvi­ous and trans­par­ent way for mon­ey to be raised. As a result, Kharzhevskaya said she could not esti­mate when her depart­ment would begin pay­ing reg­u­lar pen­sions.

...

11c. Note that, accord­ing to the arti­cle below, the cut off pen­sioner accounts are report­edly still accru­ing val­ue. Pen­sion­ers just won’t be able to access those accounts unless they can leave the rebel-con­trolled regions or the war ends.

“Retirees Starve in Rebel-Held East­ern Ukraine” by Tatyana Gory­a­chova and Hal Fos­ter; USA Today; 12/25/2014. [17]

Retirees in Donet­sk, the largest city in east­ern Ukraine held by pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists, are dying of hunger because their pen­sions have been cut off by the nation­al gov­ern­ment, rebel offi­cials and res­i­dents say.

Though Ukraine has not pub­licly dis­cussed star­va­tion deaths, it acknowl­edges there is a human­i­tar­ian cri­sis in the east­ern region because of the con­flict and blames the sep­a­ratists and Rus­sia for sup­port­ing the rebels.

The gov­ern­ment cut off pen­sions this month to peo­ple in all areas of east­ern Ukraine con­trolled by sep­a­ratists to under­cut sup­port for pro-Russ­ian rebels.

The num­ber of star­va­tion deaths in Donet­sk is hard to pin down, large­ly because the con­flict between Ukraine and sep­a­ratist forces has crip­pled gov­ern­ment func­tions in the east, includ­ing med­ical and coro­ners’ offices that record caus­es of deaths.

The siege of the city that began in August has led to 40% of the city’s 1 mil­lion peo­ple flee­ing.

Dmit­ry Pono­marenko, pas­tor of the City of Light Protes­tant church, said he believes the star­va­tion toll is in the hun­dreds, per­haps thou­sands. His assess­ment is based large­ly on accounts from parish­ioners and 300 seniors who come to his church dai­ly for a free meal. In one month, they report­ed more than 100 star­va­tion deaths of pen­sion­ers in Donet­sk, he said.

The Ukrain­ian Inde­pen­dent Infor­ma­tion Agency, cit­ing aid work­ers, report­ed that 22 seniors in Donet­sk, most­ly sin­gle men, died of hunger in Sep­tem­ber.

...

The aver­age Ukrain­ian pen­sion is mea­ger — $107 a month — but it can be the dif­fer­ence between life and death for many.

A num­ber of aid groups are fight­ing hunger in Donet­sk and oth­er cities in the war zone, includ­ing the Unit­ed Nations Food Pro­gram and the char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion of Rinat Akhme­tov, Ukraine’s rich­est man, who fled to Kiev when sep­a­ratists threat­ened to kill him. These efforts are spo­radic and lim­ited to a few thou­sand peo­ple at a time. They don’t come any­where near replac­ing the pen­sions.

The sep­a­ratists and Rus­sia have decried the pen­sion cut­off as inhu­mane. Kiev says rebels and crim­i­nals have tak­en much of the mon­ey it sends to the east­ern region.

The cut­off, announced Nov. 5, means pay­ments will no longer “be stolen by pro-Russ­ian ban­dits,” Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk said.

...

Donetsk’s may­or in exile, Alexan­der Lukyanchenko, who fled to Kiev in August after receiv­ing sep­a­ratist death threats, has crit­i­cized the gov­ern­ment for the cut­off.

The only way for res­i­dents of neigh­bor­ing Donet­sk and Luhan­sk provinces to get their pen­sions back is to go to a city out­side the war zone to re-reg­is­ter for ben­e­fits. Many retirees lack the health or mon­ey to trav­el so far from their homes, Lukyanchenko said.

Yat­senyuk, the prime min­is­ter, said the pen­sions the gov­ern­ment with­holds are accru­ing for the ben­e­fi­cia­ries and will be paid once the east­ern region is free of sep­a­ratist con­trol.

Pono­marenko, the pas­tor, and oth­ers who help the retirees fear a lot more will suc­cumb to star­va­tion.

“We have only enough mon­ey to help a few pen­sion­ers who are able to walk to our church each day,” he said, adding that’s a small frac­tion of the retirees going hun­gry.

12. Swedish and oth­er neo-Nazis [28] from oth­er parts of Europe are stream­ing into the Ukraine to join with the Swo­boda and Pravy Sek­tor fas­cists. The Swedish fas­cists are part of the same milieu as Carl Lund­strom, the finan­cial angel of the PRQ serv­er on which Wik­iLeaks was host­ed.

 

“Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev” by Michael Moyni­han; Dai­ly Beast; 2/28/2014. [28]

In ear­ly Feb­ru­ary, Fredrik Hag­berg stood at the ros­trum in Kiev’s City Hall, offer­ing fra­ter­nal and com­radely greet­ings from Swe­den to the sweaty, bruised, and exhaust­ed Ukrain­ian insur­rec­tion­ists scat­tered through­out. The place was fes­tooned with flags—some celtic cross­es, a stray Con­fed­er­ate ban­ner, a stan­dard for the polit­i­cal par­ty Svo­boda, whose mem­bers essen­tially con­trolled the building—reflecting the dubi­ous pol­i­tics of its occu­piers.

Rev­o­lu­tion­ary tourists, thrill seek­ers, and para­chute jour­nal­ists suf­fused Kiev. Sen. John McCain, actress Hay­den Panet­tiere, and French intel­lec­tual Bernard Hen­ri-Levy roused mas­sive crowds with paeans to free­dom and nation­al sov­er­eignty, while offer­ing moral sup­port to the oppo­si­tion forces led by for­mer box­ing cham­pion Vitaly Klitschko.

But Hag­berg, a square-jawed and baby-faced mem­ber of the Swedish armed forces, had a dark­er mes­sage.

“I stand before your forces of rev­o­lu­tion to tell you about what your future might be if you fail your glo­ri­ous endeav­our,” he said in flu­id-but-clipped Eng­lish. “I stand here as a Swede. How­ever where I come from is no longer Swe­den.” Hag­berg warned Ukraini­ans that a suc­cess­ful rev­o­lu­tion must chart a path that care­fully avoid­ed the evils of abor­tion and eth­nic mon­gre­liza­tion, one that harsh­ly pun­ished wel­fare abuse and reject­ed the nor­mal­iza­tion of homo­sex­u­al­ity. “Offi­cials in Swe­den like to calls us the most mod­ern coun­try in the world. I say to you, broth­ers, this is what awaits you if you choose to fol­low our exam­ple. You now have the oppor­tu­nity to choose and cre­ate your own future. Do not accept the trap of choos­ing either the West or Rus­sia.”

It’s unclear who, if any­one, invit­ed him, but Hag­berg was speak­ing as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Nordisk Ung­dom (Nordic Youth), a Swedish neo-Nazi group that cel­e­brates “a tra­di­tional ide­al of a bet­ter man, striv­ing for some­thing greater and more noble than his own per­sonal ben­e­fit; an ide­al­is­tic man who fights for Europe’s free­dom.” Vis­i­tors to the group’s Eng­lish-lan­guage web­site are met with with a Bar­bara Kruger-like adver­tise­ment beseech­ing vis­i­tors to “help us to help the rev­o­lu­tion! Sup­port a free Ukraine! Donate Now...” Because Hag­berg is try­ing to pro­voke his fel­low neo-Nazis into trav­el­ling to Kiev to help shape a new, fas­cist-friend­ly Ukraine.

Amongst the fas­cists, ultra-nation­al­ists, and racists in Europe, there has been much grip­ing that the revolt in Ukraine has been over­taken, if not con­trolled from the out­set, by “CIA/ZOG [Zion­ist Occu­pied Government]/Soros-sponsored” forces. The Euroscep­ti­cism of the continent’s far-right move­ments has pro­duced a skep­ti­cism of the uprising’s much-dis­cussed Europhile main­stream.

But Pro-Yanukovych forces and the for­mer president’s Krem­lin allies have heav­ily pro­moted an alter­na­tive narrative—one that Hag­berg and his allies hap­pily embrace—suggesting that the protest move­ment is in fact hon­ey­combed with dan­ger­ous neo-Nazis affil­i­ated with the extrem­ist Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal par­ties Svo­boda and Right Sec­tor. There­fore, West­ern sup­port­ers of the protests, like John Mccain, are agi­tat­ing on behalf of vio­lent Ukrain­ian fas­cism.

It’s a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the Kremlin’s argu­ment against West­ern sup­port for Syr­ian rebel groups, which it says has amount­ed to mate­r­ial sup­port for al-Qae­da-spon­sered ter­ror­ism. And like with Syria—and the Span­ish Civ­il War before it—sympathetic Euro­pean extrem­ists are trav­el­ling to pro­vide sup­port to their ide­o­log­i­cal brethren.

“We just got boots on the ground and are dis­cussing with Svo­boda rep­re­sen­ta­tives and oth­er nation­al­ists what we can assist with,” Mag­nus Söder­man, the neo-Nazi orga­nizer of the Swedish Ukraine Vol­un­teers (Sven­ska Ukrainafriv­il­liga), told me. “Our mes­sage to them is that we will assist with what­ever; clear­ing the streets, secu­rity, mak­ing food.”

On the group’s web­site, stuffed with hack­neyed neo-Nazi pro­pa­ganda, poten­tial vol­un­teers are told that “we do not orga­nize any para­mil­i­tary force because our involve­ment is of a civ­il nature, as aid work­ers. Of course, should vio­lence break out we will make use of our right of self-defense.” (The site advis­es recruits to “improve your phys­i­cal fit­ness” before trav­el­ling to Kiev.) Ukraine, the group says, is fac­ing an exis­ten­tial threat and “we must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and the future of our white chil­dren!”

Accord­ing to the group’s new­ly con­sti­tuted Face­book page, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Swedish Ukraine Vol­un­teers recent­ly “vis­ited the par­lia­ment and estab­lished ??impor­tant con­tacts” amongst local politi­cians, pre­sum­ably those affil­i­ated with ultra-nation­al­ist par­ties Svo­boda and Right Sec­tor. The idea of for­eign vol­un­teers is “a good ini­tia­tive,” said one mem­ber of a fas­cist mes­sage board in Swe­den, “and I give my full sup­port to Mikael Skillt and oth­er par­ty com­rades who are trav­el­ling down to help our broth­ers in the east.”

Mikael Skillt is well-known in Swedish neo-Nazi cir­cles. A spokesman for the vig­i­lante group Stop the Pedophiles and a vet­eran of var­i­ous now-defunct fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, Skillt is cur­rently affil­i­ated with the Par­ty of the Swedes (SvP), a neo-Nazi group found­ed by mem­bers of the less cam­era-friend­ly Nation­al Social­ist Front. Accord­ing to its web­site, SvP “has good con­tact with [Svo­boda] who were guests at our con­fer­ence Vision Europe just under a year ago.”

When I con­tacted Skillt he was in Moscow, on his way to agi­tat­ing in Kiev. So why does Ukraine need a fas­cist inter­na­tional brigade? “We are scan­ning the needs of the Ukraini­ans, but we will be offer­ing [them] our help in what­ever they need,” he told me. “We have mem­bers with expe­ri­ence in most fields, rang­ing from mil­i­tary to truck dri­vers to jour­nal­ists.”

When I asked if he had can­vassed the opin­ions of Russ­ian neo-Nazi groups while in Moscow, Skillt told me, with pre­dictable oblique­ness, that he had “heard some [Russ­ian] nation­al­ists who have spo­ken of a rev­o­lu­tion inspired by Ukraine.”

So how large is the inter­na­tional brigade of ultra-nation­al­ists? A Euro­pean jour­nal­ist who fol­lows the move­ment of Euro­pean jihadists to Syria—and now fas­cists migrat­ing towards Kiev—told me that there was indeed scat­tered evi­dence that neo-Nazi groups out­side Swe­den were mak­ing pil­grim­ages to Ukraine. When I asked Mag­nus Söder­man if there was a net­work of oth­er Nazis on the ground, he told me that “com­rades from oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries are also prepar­ing to assist if it is need­ed.”

...

13. Edward Snow­den is a spy. Those who have been tak­en in by his super­fi­cial per­sona are vic­tims of a rel­a­tive­ly obvi­ous intel­li­gence “op.”

Inside the Mind of Edward Snow­den” by Tra­cy Con­nor [Inter­view with Bri­an Williams];  NBC News; 5/28/2014. [29]

. . . .“I was trained as a spy in sort of the tra­di­tion­al sense of the word, in that I lived and worked under­cov­er over­seas — pre­tend­ing to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snow­den said. . . .