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Paul Schmehl @PaulSchmehl
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I’m working on something that is so huge that I don’t know if I can present it to you in a palatable form. It’s going to require at least two threads, and both will be super long. It’s all about Russia and how we got to where we are today. It involves massive corruption on a
breathtaking scale and it involves many of the same figures we’ve come to know and love as dirty to the core. I wanted to warn you, because these will be long threads and may span several days. The information is important so you can understand better how we got to muh Russia.
I’m not quite ready, but I wanted you to have a heads up. This first thread will go into some history to prepare you for what I will call the Browder story. Stay tuned. I’ll be back in a little while.
So, we begin this story in the 1980’s, when Reagan became President. (Yes, I’m going to pierce some sacred cows.) The CIA, led by a fervent anti-communist, set upon a plan to bring the Soviet Union down. As you know, that plan was successful, and Reagan is given credit.
However, there is a dark side to this story that has only been told in drips and drabs. The US decided to support Boris Yeltsin, a reformer who wanted to change Russia to a democracy. But Yeltsin also saw an opportunity to enrich himself and others in the process.
What Yeltsin didn’t see was the vultures buzzing overhead, waiting to feast on the carcass of mother Russia. Once Yeltsin came to power, he implemented changes know as the “shock therapy”. Rather than bring Russia into a capitalist economy gradually, US economic advisors,
particularly from Harvard, generously funded by your tax dollars, recommended a drastic and sudden change. Russia would divest herself of her state-owned assets by privatizing them. While there is no question that SOME advisors were altruistic, it is a certainty that some entered
Russia with ulterior motives. They saw an opportunity to get rich with almost no downside, and they couldn’t resist. So, the “experts” with their intellectual ideas of how to transform a country overnight, descended upon Moscow. The result was astounding.
Russia sunk into a deep depression from which it would not emerge for almost ten years while its assets were simultaneously plundered by both Russian oligarchs and foreign “investors” who knew an opportunity when they saw one. The “experts” devised a plan.
The assets of Russia (remember, under communism, the state owned everything) would be calculated and then turned into vouchers. These vouchers would be given to every Russian citizen in equal measure. Voila! Every Russian would own a part of their country’s assets.
When the plan was implemented, not all the vouchers went to Russian citizens. Some were held back in various ways with the remainder being distributed without any instructions regarding what they were or what to do with them. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what
happened next. The economy was collapsing, inflation was soaring, people weren’t being paid regularly and food was scarce. “Agents” went throughout the country purchasing the vouchers for about 30 cents on the dollar. People were grateful to get some money for food and get rid
of what they considered to be a worthless piece of paper. Those agents then sold those accumulated vouchers, for a profit, to bundlers, who then went to Moscow and sold those bundles, at face value, to wealthy investors. One of those investors was Willam Browder, who I will
write about in a separate thread. Then, auctions were setup to sell the state assets to the highest bidder, and the vouchers were used to buy the assets. How well did this work? A corrupt Russian named Khodorkovsky bought Yukos, the largest oil company in Russia, for $310 million
Yukos was worth $5 BILLION at the time. Another Russian, Boris Berezovsky, bought Sibneft, another oil company, for $100 million, when it was worth $3 billion. But corrupt Russians weren’t the only ones to take advantage of the windfall brought about by the “experts” plans.
Investors from all over the world descended in what could only be described as a feeding frenzy, to snap up every asset they could at bargain prices. One of those investors was William Browder, about who a separate thread will come later.
Browder managed to turn $25 million into $125 million in four months, making him a star on Wall Street. As you can see, the field was ripe for plunder, and the plunderers were there in force. Over the course of ten years, 60% of the wealth of Russia was stolen by crooks.
During this time, Russia tried repeatedly to get financial help from the western nations and from the IMF but failed to do so. Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs estimated that Russia would need $15 billion annually for at least 10 years to stabilize the economy. Over that same ten
IMF managed to loan less than half that amount. Sachs later wrote, “I was stunned by the obtuseness of the response, from the IMF, and OECD visiting mission, and later from very senior U.S. officials, including Larry Summers.” Perhaps now, with the hindsight we have, and the
knowledge of the endemic corruption in our own government, and indeed worldwide, this behavior is less surprising. It is not less disturbing, though. The idea that our tax dollars would be used to fund corruption on a massive scale and enrich the privileged “experts” is
anathema to any red-blooded American. It’s bad enough that we kill thousands in wars all over the world, but to literally rape a country on this scale is criminal in the extreme. You can read all about this in a book titled “The Killing of William Browder”. No, he’s not dead.
This is the url. The book is free. dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/upl…
But, there’s an interesting twist to this story. Guess who swooped in a saved Russia by throwing the corrupt oligarchs in jail and enforcing the law? One Vladimir Putin. Yes, you heard that right. The hated Putin, the corrupt Russian thug, was and is an actual reformer.
Mind you, Putin has done much to deserve condemnation. His invasion and takeover of the Crimea is exhibit one. But a little known aspect of Putin’s tenure is that he has brought stability to Russia and battled corruption. But that is something the deep state cannot abide.
Thus enters William Browder. The savior of the deep state plan and the architect of the hate Russia movement that led directly to the muh Russia investigation of Donald Trump. No, I’m not kidding. But, before we get to Bill, we have to fill in some more details.
As the rape of Russia was ongoing, and chaos reigned across the nation, our CIA decided it was time for the coup de grace. Enter the Chechnya islamic militants, funded by our tax dollars. Aren’t you proud of America now?
‘Deputy Director of CIA’s National Council on Intelligence, Graham E. Fuller explicitly stated that their objective was to use Islamist extremists to “destabilize what remains of Russian power.”’ This casts an entirely different light on Russia interfering in our elections.
In fact, it explains their disinformation campaigns completely. Since we participated in the rape of their country and even funded terrorists that killed their children, can you really blame the Russians for being more than a little peeved? Maybe even for retaliating?
By this point, you may be thinking I’m a Russia lover. I am not. I’m a child of the post-WWII baby boomer generation. I HATE communism with a burning fire. But, Russia was no longer communist when the vultures swooped in. And we aided, abetted and paid for that. As a freedom
loving American patriot, I cannot forgive that. Worst of all, we have now turned on the man who tried to fix Russia into a pariah, with the help of William Browder. (Trust me, you’ll understand when I get to his thread.) As the Islamic militants began to gain ground, Yeltsin made
a fateful decision. He decided to remove his Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin with an unknown government bureaucrat, Vladimir Vladmirovich Putin. Putin took over management of the terrorist crisis and quickly turned it around, driving them back into Chechnya, eventually
defeating them. Less than four months later, Yeltsin stepped down and appointed Putin his successor. This was not what the CIA had planned for. William Fuller said, “ The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked
marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power.” Considering our dismal history in Afghanistan of late, perhaps Mr. Fuller should rethink his enthusiams about using Islamic militants to
harass our adversaries. How much blood and treasure has it cost us now? You must know, I hate writing about this. I hate thinking that my country, the country that I love, has been used in such an evil way. But the truth is more important than my feelings and history more
important than lies. So, once Putin came to power and stopped the bleeding, it became an article of faith that he had to be denigrated. After all, he had stopped the money train and exploded the CIA plans to collapse the Russian empire. The media jumped in with enthusiams.
In 2014, the well-respected British publication, The Economist, wrote, “Vladimir Putin’s disastrous contribution to Russia’s history has been to set his country on a different path.” These types of descriptions have become commonplace, to the point that saying something nice
Now, let’s think for a moment what The Economist is saying. Putin put Russia on a different path, and that’s a bad thing. So, the rape of Russia’s resources and the impoverishment of its people was better? This is the kind of Orwellian thinking that we see daily in our own media.
about Putin will get you scorned in “polite” society. But what has Putin done for Russia? No less than Mikhail Gorbachev said of Putin that he “saved Russia from the beginning of
a collapse. A lot of the regions did not recognize our constitution. ”
In 2000 Russia was one of the most corrupt nations on the planet. By 2016 Ernst & Young assessed that Russia suffered from the same level of corruption as the United States. An astute observer might posit that the US is much worse today than Russia. And we have only begun to
uncover the layers of the corrupt onion that is our current government. Putin, has even arrested members of his own government that were corrupt, something our government has yet to do. (But we hope and pray will soon do.) The World Bank conducts an annual survey of governments.
One of the questions in the survey is “was a gift or informal payment expected or requested during a meeting with tax officials?” In 2005 in Russia, the answer was that 59.3% had. By 2009 the number had dropped to 17.4%. By 2012, it was 7.3%. By that measure, something good was
happening in Russia. Have you read or heard about that in the media or from our talking heads? As measured by the World Bank, Russia rose from 124th in world economies in 2012 to 40th in 2017. Are these bad things? Are they the things that a corrupt, autocratic thug does?
This is how remarkable Russia’s progress has been.
Now that you have this background the remarkable story of how one man managed to turn the entire world against Putin, and by extension, Russia will have the proper context. And all of this research is a direct result of my reading of Natalia Veselnitskaya’s Senate testimony.
You can read Veselnitskaya’s testimony here: judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/… Next, a thread on William Browder, architect of the Magnitsky Act.
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