David Stockman Exposes The Ukrainian Influence-Peddling Rings, Part 1

Authored by David Stockman via AntiWar.com,

Last night we heard some knucklehead on the War Channel (CNN) braying about Ukraine as a vitally important "ally and strategic partner". The implication, of course, was that the Donald’s attempted squeeze play on its new President was dangerously undermining national security.

What unadulterated tommyrot!

The safety and security of the American homeland has absolutely nothing to do with it. That’s because Ukraine is a no count, strategically irrelevant patch of earth that was long ago ruined by the old Soviet Union, and thereafter turned into an economic trainwreck by its own corrupt oligarchs – along with plenty of help from Washington interventionists.

The latter spent the post-Soviet years fomenting "color revolutions" and attempting to steer its politics toward the west and NATO membership. But when the Ukrainian people elected a pro-Russian president in 2010 and all efforts to bribe and bully him westward failed, Washington instigated, funded and instantaneously recognized an illegal putsch on the streets of Kiev in February 2014.

That blatant, unprovoked assault on a sovereign nation, in turn, set in motion a destructive civil war internally; a dangerous and utterly unnecessary politico-military confrontation with Russia on its own doorstep; and, now, a hysterical campaign by the House Dems and their Deep State allies to impeach a duly-elected American president for the sin of wading into the very cesspool of corruption that the Washington establishment itself foisted upon this hapless, $150 billion sliver of a failed state and crippled economy.

The latest dispatch from the Wall Street Journal on the stench wafting westward from Kiev reveals more about the rotten foundation of UkraineGate than its authors probably understood.

Burisma Holdings’ campaign to clean up its image in the West reached beyond the 2014 hiring of Hunter Biden, son of the then-U.S. vice president, to include other well-connected operatives in Washington, according to officials in both countries and government records.

The Ukrainian company, owned by tycoon Mykola Zlochevsky, also hired a lobbyist with close ties to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as a consulting group founded by top officials in the Clinton administration that specialized in preparing former Soviet-bloc countries to join NATO (Blue Star Strategies).

Soon the efforts bore fruit. With the help of a New York-based lawyer, Mr. Zlochevsky’s U.S. consultants argued to Ukrainian prosecutors that criminal cases against the company should be closed because no laws had been broken.

Burisma later became a sponsor of a Washington think tank, the Atlantic Council, whose experts are often cited on energy and security policy in the former Soviet Union.

Simple translation: Zlochevsky was an ally, officeholder (minister of ecology and natural resources) and inner-circle thief in the ousted government of Viktor Yanukovych. He therefore needed to powder the pig fast and thoroughly in order to hold onto his ill-gotten billions.

Mykola Zlochevsky, former employer of Hunter Biden and current partner of the Atlantic Council

So he hired the best Washington influence peddlers that money could buy under the circumstances. First up was Hunter Biden, because his old man was running point on what amounted to the puppet government Washington had installed in Kiev, and Devon Archer, because he was a former bundler for former Senator (and then Secretary of State) John Kerry.

But so as to leave no stone unturned, Zlochevsky also had Burisma hire another Washington influence peddler just one month after Biden the Younger joined the board in April 2014. Again, according to the WSJ, the additional lobbyist firepower came from one,

David Leiter of Washington lobbying firm M.L. Strategies….. Mr. Leiter was John Kerry’s chief of staff when Mr. Kerry was a U.S. senator from Massachusetts….According to disclosure records, Mr. Leiter, who also had worked for the Energy Department, lobbied on behalf of Burisma on “promoting transparency and good corporate governances” at both chambers of Congress, the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Energy Department, and US AID.

Needless to say, only in Imperial Washington would all the above named arms of the US government care a whit about "transparency and good governance" at a two-bit gas producer in Ukraine. During 2018, for example, the company produced the trivial sum of 1.3 BCF of natural gas and booked revenues of just $400 million – a rounding error in just about any energy market that matters.

But as it happened, Washington was calling the shots in Kiev, and Burisma needed its government licenses and gas concessions. So the lobbying happened on the banks of the Potomac where the real power was actually exercised.

Finally, the Clinton wing of the Washington racketeering system had to be covered, too – hence the above mentioned Blue Star Strategies. And the bolded sentence from the WSJ story quoted below tells you all you need to know about its business, which was to "….help former Soviet countries prepare for NATO consideration".

That’s right. With the Soviet Union gone, its 50,000 tanks on the central front melted-down for scrap and the Warsaw Pact disbanded, the rational order of the day was to declare "mission accomplished" for NATO and effect its own disbandment.

The great parachuter and then US president, George Bush the Elder, could have actually made a jump right into the giant Ramstein Air Base in Germany to effect its closure. At that point there was no justification for NATO’s continued existence whatsoever.

But the Clinton Administration, under the baleful influence of Washington busybodies like Strobe Talbot and Madeleine Albright, went in just the opposite direction. In pursuit of Washington’s post-1991 quest for global hegemony as the world’s only superpower and putative keeper of the peace, they prepared the way for the entirety of the old Warsaw Pact to join NATO.

So doing, however, they also laid the planking for a revival of the cold war with the Kremlin. As the father of containment and NATO during the late 1940s, Ambassador George Kennan, observed at the time, the Clinton Administration’s policy of expanding NATO to the very doorstep of Russia was a colossal mistake.

It not only violated Bush the Elder’s pledge to Gorbachev at the time of German reunification that NATO would not be expanded "by a single inch to the east", but also set Washington on a confrontation path with the rump state of Russia that posed no threat whatsoever to America’s homeland security.

Moreover, in the case of Ukraine specifically, it had not simply been a Warsaw Pact "captive nation" like Poland or the Czech Republic. It had actually been an integral component of the old Soviet Union, and before that a vassal and sometimes province of Czarist Russia.

As the 1897 map below indicates, what is today Ukraine barely even existed as an independent state (dark yellow area) during the final centuries of the Russian Empire; and the Russian-speaking regions in what is today eastern Ukraine (yellow area on the map) had actually been known as "New Russia" owing to the Czarist policy of settling Russians there to provide a bulwark against encroachments by the Ottoman Turks.

Indeed, Crimea (orange area) had been actually purchased from them by Catherine the Great in 1783 to complete the Russification of the region north of the Black Sea. It had never been even remotely a part of Ukraine until its mainly Russian-speaking population was transferred to the Soviet Socialist Republic of the Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954 as a reward to his Ukrainian compatriots for their support during the post-Stalin struggle for power in Moscow.

Moreover, the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, which had been largely incorporated by Moscow in 1923, had a modern bloody history that was always a civil war waiting to happen.

To wit, western Ukraine had sided with the Nazi and Hitler’s Wehrmacht as it brutally made its way through Ukraine to the siege of Stalingrad during WWII, while eastern Ukraine had lined up with the Red Army during its equally bloody campaign of destruction and revenge as it chased the defeated Nazi army back to Berlin after 1943.

So the very idea that Ukraine should be induced to join NATO was beyond the pale – and most especially after Washington had recruited modern-day political descendants of the WWII pro-Nazi brigades to replace the Yanukovych government in March 2014. Washington’s obtuseness to this history reflected pure imperial arrogance.

What is worse, of course, is that no count apparatchiks from the Clinton machine – Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano – had cashed in on this madness by setting up a practice in helping Washington to meddle in places where not an iota of homeland security was at stake.

Image result for 19th century map of the Ukraine as part of czarist Russia

As the Wall Street Journal noted, Blue Star Strategies had no compunction about using its Clinton and Biden connections in behalf of Burisma – notwithstanding the odor of oligarchical corruption which surrounded it,

Blue Star Strategies, which has been lauded in the West for its work to help former Soviet countries prepare for NATO consideration. Its founders: Sally Painter, a senior adviser to the Commerce Department in the Clinton administration, and Karen Tramontano, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House.

At about the time of Mr. Shokin’s dismissal, Blue Star helped Burisma hire lawyer John D. Buretta, who argued before prosecutors in Ukraine that cases against Burisma should be closed, according to one Ukrainian official and others familiar with the matter.

“I thought I was meeting someone who was going to help with the investigations, and all he wanted to talk about was why they should be closed,” said one former Ukrainian prosecutor who met with Mr. Buretta.

So that’s how the Imperial City rolls. People make policies which extend the Empire while in office – as did these Clintonistas with the NATO expansion project – and then cash-in afterwards by peddling influence in the corridors of the beltway on behalf of Washington’s newly acquired vassals and supplicants.

In this case, all roads lead to the Atlantic Council, which is the semi-official "think tank" of NATO in Washington and is infested with Russophobes and Clinton/Biden operatives. The latter, of course, make a handsome living peddling anti-Putin propaganda – the better to grease the Washington purse strings for unneeded military spending and foreign aid, security assistance and weapons sales to the "front line" states allegedly in the path of Kremlin aggression.

In fact, so-called think tanks like the Atlantic Council are thinly disguised lobbying arms for both the Empire’s foreign supplicants as well as the U.S. agencies which feed them. Thus, in the racketeering wards of the Imperial City weapons contractors and foreign purchasers make common cause. So do the dispensers and recipients of foreign aid, security assistance and the multitude of Washington propaganda programs run through the State Department, Endowment for Democracy, Board for International Broadcasting and countless more.

In fact, the network of one hand washing the other is so pervasive and massive that it is not surprising that foreign policy and national security have become one giant racket enveloped in a bipartisan consensus in favor in intervention and meddling in the fairest parts of the planet.

The entire Ukraine intervention project, for instance, has been heavily choreographed by the Atlantic Council, which in turn derives its ample funding from virtually all parties – domestic and foreign – to the Empires far flung rackets.

Thus, US government contributors include the Pentagon, the U. S. State Department, the US Air Force, the US Navy, the Air Force Academy, the US Army War College, National Endowment for Democracy and even NATO itself.

Then there is an endless litany of foreign governments and quasi-official institutions including the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and embassies, foundations and sovereign funds representing Denmark, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Romania, Netherlands, Hong Kong and countless more.

Not surprisingly, the roster of military/industrial/intelligence contractors and international energy and financial institutions runs on for pages. It includes Chevron, HSBC Holdings, BP America Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon, United Technologies, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Textron, Statoil, Bank of America, ConocoPhillips, JPMorgan and dozens more.

Also, amply represented in its contributor lists are other foreign policy advocacy and funding institutions including The Wallenberg Foundations, the Soros Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Arabia Foundation, Center for International Strategic Studies, the Starr Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation etc.

Finally, there is an endless list of everyone and their brother who does business in Washington lead by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. The latter is the influence peddling front of Ukraine’s leading billionaire who essentially stole much of its iron and steel industry after the Soviet Union collapsed and has been a leading funder of the Clinton Foundation ($6 million) and various Russophobe think tanks in addition to the Atlantic Council.

But that additional list also includes such odds and sots as Facebook, Inc., Google, Inc., Squire Patton Boggs, Starbucks Coffee Company, Twitter, McKinsey & Company, CNN and dozens more.

So it is not surprising that Burisma quickly put its money where its spotted reputation could be cycled through a refurbishment process at the Atlantic Council. Indeed, in an extensive expose, Max Blumenthal noted exactly hour the Atlantic connection came about:

Even with Hunter Biden on his company’s board, Zlochevsky was still seeking influential allies in Washington. He found them at the Atlantic Council in 2017, literally hours after he was cleared of corruption charges in Ukraine.

On Jan. 19, 2017 – just two days after the investigation of Zlochevsky ended – Burisma announced a major “cooperative agreement” with the Atlantic Council.

The deal was inked by the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia program, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine named John Herbst.

Since then, Burisma helped bankroll Atlantic Council programming, including an energy security conference held this May in Monaco, where Zlochevsky currently lives.

The story actually gets even more convoluted from there as we will essay in Part 2.

As it turns out, virtually the entire caste of whistleblowers and Deep State testifiers now being called before the Impeachment Tribunal were in one way or another organized, financed or sponsored by the Atlantic Council.

*  *  *

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution FailedThe Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.

Tags