Ooobie on Everything

Take a Walk on the Dark Side

Trump finally has caved to incessant pressure and bile from the left and destructive obstructionism from the GOP nabobs and is moving to the dark side for succor. He wants action and the only group in Congress willing to accommodate him are Democrats. For a price. The price apparently is to do everything the Democrats want, while shafting his voting base. His readiness to accede has earned him high praise from the Trump Haters, who want to see more such suicidal acts from the president, and pure fury from his base. The irony is that the Trump Haters will manage to use Trump’s capitulation against him before all is said and done. (“A man without principles!” and who can object?)

Trump’s latest perfidy is the betrayal on immigration. Who wants to send these wonderful people home? he asks us. My answer is I would, Mr. President. At some point the US has to convey vividly that it will enforce its border by saying no to the legalization of those who have come here illegally. Our government doesn’t know the difference between legal and illegal as far as I can tell. Our failure to articulate that difference has given an opening to groups like La Raza to erase the distinction entirely and assert a right for the illegals to live here, work here and even vote here (and vote they do).

Trump’s deal with Nancy and Chuck was a dirty one. It was done not only out of spite against Ryan and McConnell and all the other GOP elitists, but of course, out of conviction as conveyed to him by Ivanka and Jared. In return he took what the Dems offered, vague promises of support for future border security measures, the same old, same old. And Trump cavalierly tells us that the wall thing — it is nothing but patching up holes in whatever useless contrivances we have erected at present. The other wall thing, the one that actually is built and secures our border, that wall is in the future somewhere and apparently still at the mercy of the Democrats.

Trump seems to believe his own hype that we’d forgive him even if he shot a man while walking down Fifth Avenue. Here’s a news flash: I won’t. And for me his imperious action on DACA and his back-door deals are the equivalent of cold-blooded murder.

Instead of trying to relaunch as a fervent DACA supporter, Trump should be calling out the chest-thumping Latino governments for refusing to welcome home and assist these brilliant, good, talented, persecuted and saintly youths. These “kids,” many of them, are now adults, having been shipped out of Mexico wholesale in an earlier immigration inundation with the encouragement of one corrupt Mexican government or another. Today many have the skills or education that will enable them not only to function, but succeed in their home country. They already speak the lingo, they know the culture, and their presence will bolster Mexico’s middle class as a whole. Mexico could do with a good dose of middle class conscience and work ethic. If I were Trump, I’d offer assistance for the relocation of these people in their home countries, whether Mexico or Peru. I applaud the growing number of “Dreamers” who have come to the same conclusion. Trump should be on this, but his governance so far lacks imagination and direction.

What galls most, of course, is the lack of honor Trump is showing. I’m tired of policy decisions based on his mood or his umbrage level and not on practicalities and realities. I say that even knowing that the GOP Congress deserves the treatment it is getting for being obstructionist and unproductive to an extreme, squandering its few remaining moments of “total power” to do nothing at all. But Trump made promises, not a lot but very specific ones, and on the basis of those promises he won his election. Immigration reform and a wall were one promise, and a  new direction in US foreign policy away from interventionism and regime change and toward constructive cooperation was another.

Instead of mending fences with Russia, Trump now thumbs his nose at the country and its leader. Why? Because each new senseless act to insult Russia or “punish it” gets the anti-Trump maniacs briefly, for one instant, off his back. There seems to be little consideration given to the wider implications of his actions and policies; everything is transitory and reactive. In Syria, after calling off CIA assistance to an assorted group of terrorists, Trump has given his blessings to continued meddling. Having failed to stop the Syrian government, with Russian military assistance, from reasserting control over wider and wider areas of the country, now we are seeking to carve off a piece of the country to create a state of Kurdistan that some, and especially the Turks, see as a threat to their own security.

Meanwhile, over at State, Tillerson is being advised by the same nincompoops who advised Obama. The USG expelled Russian diplomats for alleged intervention in US politics. This led to a retaliatory expulsion of many, many more US diplomats from Russia (and don’t you wonder why we have so many there?). The State Department judged Russia’s action “unwarranted” and tore up the Vienna Diplomatic Convention in response. The FBI used Gestapo tactics against Russian diplomats in San Francisco, where the latter were given just 48 hours to vacate their homes so that they could be searched top to bottom. The Consulate was given similar treatment in the wake of its ordered closure, and the smoke from the chimneys indicated the frenzied destruction of protected diplomatic communications to prevent them from becoming FBI toilet paper. Agents also seized Russian-owned properties used as recreation for their diplomats and staff. This is behavior even the KGB didn’t exhibit in the USSR — they at least had the decency to search our apartments when we were gone, without all the drama and terror. And when the US Embassy once suffered a fire during the Cold War years, the US was very concerned about even Soviet firemen entering the building! Where will it all end?

So there stands Donald Trump, angry at everybody in the whole world and determined to get something done, no matter how traitorous or counterproductive or dangerous it is. He is being guided by people who step by step are teaching him that wrong decisions beget a negative response from the Dark State, and right decisions get praised. Most importantly, by not caring what he gets, he can make deals day and night with the Democrats.

 

 


at last

Even as our friends on the left laughed and celebrated and threw their hats in the air, convinced that Trump was headed for impeachment as a traitor who stole the election, convinced he was a madman for impugning the honor of Barack Hussein Obama, a few brave people within the US Civil Service snuck out of the range of fire to report to California Representative Nunes on how in fact Trump was surveilled, or as the President said “wire-tapped.” How sweet it is.

When Trump made his accusation (and wouldn’t you like to know who really tipped him off?), prima donna James Comey flew to the press in a snit of righteousness to say he had asked the DOJ to issue a flat denial of anybody authorizing “wire-tapping” against the then president-elect or even candidate. Of course that was a pure technicality, which is another way of saying “lie.” Then Comey, with that pugnacious jaw thrust out, tried to finish off Trump by announcing that he and his campaign were under investigation for treason, i.e. collusion with the Russians to steal Hillary’s coronation, and had been since mid-2016. But Comey was oh, so coy about the issue of felonious leakers currently lurking within the USG. Seems maybe the FBI gives a damn; and maybe not. His goal was pretty clear, a chance to get even for Trump’s outrageous use of “outreach” to out the FBI.

Now we know that some unstated number of Trump allies and maybe even Trump himself were under surveillance under the Obama regime. Hence the leaks the Dems were hoping the rest of us would buy as “smoking guns” and just cause to remove Trump and install Hillary. Boy, Comey always comes up smelling like horse excrement.

Needless to say, the Democrats and their cronies in the press gasp about Rep. Nunes rushing to tell the Prez that he had been right after all. “You favor the president!” screamed Schiff. What Nunes should have said was, “and how about you? aren’t you actively opposing the president? this brings some balance.” But Nunes didn’t care and he did right. If he hadn’t outed the lie into the public domain, it would have “disappeared” like all those who ran afoul of the CIA in Latin America in the 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and no doubt 90s (then I retired from the State Department).

I’m happy to find that my own judgment was correct, that there had of course been surveillance call it what you will against Trump and his allies. How else would you have had leaks of conversations? It wasn’t  magic, was it? And finally someone did indeed have the courage to buck the trend and end the silence about the massive abuse of Executive Branch powers by the Obama administration.

(Note: I’m listening to that purveyor of lies, Adam Schiff, tell us that Obama partisan Sally Yates is willing, yea frothing at the mouth, to come forward and defame Trump. Okay. Maybe not “defame Trump” literally, but in reality, yes. It’s tough being on defense, Adam.)

So here is the bottom line: the CIA probably planted electronic trace that allegedly led back to Russia to back up the Brennan/Clapper lie it was Russia and NOT Seth Rich of DNC dissidence fame who passed the evidence of DNC corruption to Wikileaks. Take a look at Zero Hedge  on this subject.  At a minimum, they had the capability to do so. (See Wikileaks.) They padded this bit of electronic “evidence” with the kind of scurrilous rumor-mongering that Brit ex-spy Steele was selling. Then their pals in the intel community either turned a blind eye to the lie of collusion and a “false election” (I’d guess Adm. Rogers…) or colluded actively in the lie. This happened as a result of the politicization of the civil service, which is supposed to be a totally neutral body. If not, you’d have people leaking top secret information to deep-six the opposition. Imagine.

I was trying to write about all this for weeks, but I kept discarding my drafts. I felt there was something else coming that would clarify the situation. What Nunes has brought forth, thanks to that heroic “deep throat¨ has indeed clarified the situation. Now others are stepping up to reveal what was going on under Obama to sabotage the Trump Administration. We are in a perilous state of governance in which our decisions are being shaped by false information


America, the Ridiculous

I write while the US of A is in mid-throes of anti-Russian madness. Russia, if the increasingly demented members of the US politocracy are to be believed, is the cause of every ill in the United States and the entire rest of the world that is not friends with VLADIMIR PUTIN (cue: Jaws music). The Russians caused Brexit, which nobody tumbled to until after the Russians got Donald Trump elected to the presidency, when the scales fell from their eyes and they saw pretty  much everywhere the hand of Satan, aka Vlad. The wicked Russian released ill-gotten information snatched (supposedly) straight from the Dems themselves. The stolen goods were rich with evidence of corruption and wrongdoing, ethnic contempt and contempt for Americans — and not one word of it was ever denied. But the culprit isn’t the corrupt nasty folks led by Hillary and Bill Clinton. No, the culprit is, of course, Russia. How dare Russia lift the veil on all that crime? If indeed Russia had anything to do with it, and there is precious little evidence of this claim.

This is the last act from the Theater of Brattiness best exemplified by its icon and champion, a man from nowhere with a lot of sly self-promotion but not a shred of depth or wisdom. He was the ultimate empty suit kept afloat by ego. I imagine he sails off (not too far! Kalorama!) to billions paid into a variety of secret accounts by such as Soros and Buffett. Maybe I’m wrong! Maybe I’m the only one who thinks he was a robot paid for by the elite to push globalization and even more unimaginable wealth for the unimaginably wealthy.

But by the way, even if we all know that the latest bit of buffoonery — the explusion of 35 Russian secret operatives and adding some more Russian institutions to the sanctions list — can be easily reversed by Trump (and should be), it all leaves a very nasty taste in Russian mouths. In particular as the USG once again fails to provide evidence to support very tendentious claims of Russian interference in foreign elections, and US elections at that. The US itself of course has carried out and continues to carry out dirty ops to influence foreign elections, up to and including illegal wars (aka “bombing campaigns”). Just ask a Ukrainian, any Latin American, an Iraqi, maybe a Libyan. So from the Russian point of view, it’s just more US bullshit ordered by the Clown Brigade.

From my point of view, as well. First of all, we have the fact that the indictment against Russia and against Putin himself appears to have sprung full-blown from the forehead of the CIA. This US Temple of Lies has concocted more false stories than all the top tabloids combined. And fantasies concocted not only for distribution abroad, or just to the US public at large. They concoct false stories for their own employees, by funneling lies from the operations side to the analytical side, backed up by “highly credible source” gold stars. Then their own analysts churn out finished analysis coming to exactly the right conclusion for getting policy action from State and other brain-dead agencies, as the CIA would think and speak of them.

So, here is the way it is: with no new information, unless it might be a suddenly discovered CIA asset with the very information they were seeking, the CIA reconsiders earlier conclusions, made when it was assumed the US public was going to hail the Queen. Back then, the intel community concluded that the Russians could not be proven to have been the hackers of the DNC or Podesta. They didn’t even mention Wikileaks. But suddenly the CIA believes it does in fact have the evidence, right there before one’s eyes, abracadabra. Now we know practically the patronymics of the hackers, where they come from, who was behind them, and what that Master of the Game was aiming to do. The CIA issued two photos of guys who look mushroomy enough for the technogeek world, but I’m not sure it convinces me of anything other than that. The false analysis grounded in false facts is shared with all the other agencies, some of them notorious dupes with the analytical skill of gravel, and others much sharper if not always ethical. The latter would include the FBI, which wasn’t buying the CIA story until, I imagine, gobs of pressure came down on them. (Here’s a suspicion: that the polit kommisars at CIA felt justified in a made-up story helpful to the Democrats because in their fevered imagination Comey and arch-enemy FBI were on Trump’s side and cost the Dems the election. Excuse me while I cough up a hair-ball.) Both Wikileaks and the self-identified intermediary between the DNC and Wikileaks deny all such charges, but what do they know? Obviously they are in on it with Vlad and the Reds.

And of course now we have the response to Congressional and public demands for the evidence behind the anti-Russian actions by the US president. What  has been provided is a much condensed version of far denser bull-shit that offers no substantial evidence of Russian hacking, much less a link to Wikileaks. Most damning of all, it is prefaced with a disclaimer that essentially says, nobody in the intelligence community believes a word of this malarkey and we’re not taking the fall for it, so read it at your own peril.

Meanwhile, Vlad the Impaler is having a merry old Christmas and New Year’s. He is so well-seated internationally that he can afford to scoff at the expulsion of Russian diplomats and hold his retaliatory hand pending arrival of a grown-up at the White House. He even invited US diplomatic children to a wonderful Christmas celebration party at the Kremlin. But he knows the USG won’t allow those little kids to attend, it would be a rejection of Obama’s snit. So one day instead of someone saying, “when I was little I went to a Kremlin Christmas party and met the president of Russia!” — they will say “I didn’t go to the Kremlin Christmas party or meet the president of Russia.”

It is good that the days of the Dark Emperor (and I’m imbuing that with a spiritual rather than epidermal significance) are drawing to their sickly close, although he threatens to raise his battalions for future battle. But for the moment, let me give thanks to God, again and again, for destroying the plans these people had for us and giving us a small opening to redeem this country.

Happy New Year to all!

 

 


It’s Official: United States is a Banana Republic!

I am still in shock. That bastard Comey has declared Hillary Clinton NOT a criminal even though she deliberately and for four consecutive years left all the communications from the Secretary of State open to (his opinion) likely hacking by enemies of this country. I would bet my entire pension that Vladimir Putin and the guy in charge of China read Mrs. Clinton’s emails while on the bathroom throne. And then use the record for something else.

Let’s repeat  it for the record: this decision by Comey came on the heels of a meeting between the Attorney General, his boss — the one who wants to hunt down legal US gun owners and anyone who is mean to Islam — and that old El Corrupto, Bill Clinton. It was supposed to be a secret meeting on the tarmac, two private jets belonging to the Power Set, where whispers were exchanged — no photos! no microphones! — but alas, the conspirators were discovered and while those of us sick at what is happening in this country fumed at this meeting, the AG reacted as if it was all a big ho-hum. So, you caught us in another act of blatant corruption, big deal. Who cares? Of course, if only I could do it all over again…

Did Obama ever even say a peep about this tryst on a tarmac? Don’t think so. But I think I discern behind all these egregious actions a giant middle finger, the dark brown of someone half Kenyan and the other half “One Hundred Percent Global,” floating on the horizon. I can’t wait to see the next thing Obama does to offend our country’s good people before his big ass is bounced onto the pavement. He thinks this is a big ha-ha, I guarantee you. In fact, the theme of Obama’s eight years of destroying America is “Who cares?” Who cares about the Constitution, who cares about the law, who cares about opposition, who cares that I am totally bought and sold and corrupt and stupid? — where is that brilliant historian who will write this for us, that biography of Obama called, Who Cares? (co-authored with George Soros).

Back to the total posturer, Jim Comey. In recommending no criminal or other charges against the offending Clinton, he chose to ignore:

— all those thousands of deleted emails — official USG communications being sent on an unauthorized server, an insecure server, known to be such to key officials of the US Department of State — that Mrs Clinton unilaterally decided to withhold from official archivists and then destroy. What was in them? How do they know? Destruction of even one document is grounds for felony charges;

— the fact that even people working for an outside organization, the Clinton Foundation, were allowed access to this insecure email server, which transmitted many highly classified items of information;

— the fact that it is accepted by all hackers that the Clinton private server was hacked, giving all sorts of people access to classified information.

— the fact that the CIA said it was certain she was hacked.

How can Comey say, “but don’t anybody else do this henceforth, or else!” and still absolve her? Isn’t that prima facie evidence of special consideration? Is this Corruption writ large, or what? It is so shameful, that I can really say today, “For the first time in my  life, I am not proud to be an American.”

Can you believe that we bomb countries because they have a corrupt judicial system?

I could go on, but it is making my blood pressure soar. I was under FBI escort and spent about 3 and a half hours in actual interrogation at FBI HQ because of an unfounded (and unproven) rumor spread by a Cuban KGB guy, who actually seems to have been pointing to another woman in the Consulate. Gen. Petraeus told a US military vet (his lover) with a security clearance information she shouldn’t have had and the Obama Administration turned him over (after secretly recording his trysts, no doubt) for public roasting. Jim Comey thought Petraeus, unlike Mrs. Clinton — a serial offender — deserved a sentence.

But Jim Comey didn’t get to be head of the FBI by being a straight arrow. A friend of mine called Comey that weeks ago; something niggled in the back of my head saying “Comey is a political stooge” and I said so. Now my niggling sense was proven right. How sad.

The combination of all these events is like a crown on an administration that has gloried in all the things they have destroyed: marriage (dead); the US military (queerified and beyond); US borders — huh?; US foreign policy — the bombing begins in 5 minutes.  Now, in addition to the EPA and IRS gestapo, we have the usual gestapo, the FBI, but now a truly State Gestapo.

Folks. I frankly think it’s too late to recover any foundation for our country. We are fragmenting into ever smaller pieces while at the same time, our government grows larger.  Our rights are disappearing and the idiots who vote, many many of them, favor that direction. Give us bread. Give us a roof no matter how humble. Open the borders and let love reign supreme. Tell us how to think and live. This is the New America and who better to be that bridge than the Clintons?

My husband is reading this so I have a message for him: maybe not Costa Rica, but where?


Trump Reworking His Approach; Hillary can too say Radical Islam, she told us she can.

How can the GOP ever hope to again win the presidency when it is led by self-righteous mugs like Paul Ryan and unprincipled schmoozers like John Boehner and the desperate, like Kirk in Illinois who thinks he might win his seat again by abandoning his Party’s presidential candidate and acting like a Democrat. To crib from the toad-like Madeleine Albright, any center-right (educated) voter who who puts an “x” by the name of Hillary Clinton (or does not vote for Trump) is a traitor. That isn’t how Ryan feels, of course. Instead of whipping up the Party’s voters, he offers a less-than-tepid endorsement of Trump and then gives his papal blessing for all the rest of the GOP leaders and voters to “vote your conscience.” Since he has already on more than one occasion told us how morally repugnant Trump is, I think the statement was loaded.

Trump has now dumped his faithful campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. It was a good, if belated, move. I guess old Corey did right by Trump in the primaries, but he’s not the man for the big picture. Trump needs a tough guy managing him, not some super-loyal yes-man who runs things the way Trump feels like running them on any given day. I think Paul Manafort can do the job. The “do it or I quit” ploy was perfect for Trump, who thinks the same way.

Everybody is dead sure that Trump isn’t going to be able to rise to the presidential level during this campaign season. A lot of Republicans are sadly gloating over that. I myself predicted this predicament. How does a man who comported himself in an almost vaudevillian way during the primary season, playing it broad for  audience guffaws, “pivot” to a Ronald Reagan? I personally think it can be done, but he has to have that fire in his belly for the presidency or he is likely to ham it up all the way to defeat in November. Manafort knows they are under the gun. I bet if Trump proves unable to respond to direction, Manafort will quit, too. Well, this observer wishes Trump well. At this point, it really all rests with him. Can he articulate what are mostly sensible ideas to address huge problems?

Hillary is no longer speaking of an FBI security review of her use of a private and insecure server while Secretary of State (and acts of corruption related to the Clinton Foundation). Seems that security reviews are a non-existent FBI critter. She seems to have accepted that what this is is an actual FBI investigation that, if not thwarted, could lead to a serious prison term. (At last.) On the other hand, Hillary also seems preternaturally calm about the outcome of the FBI criminal investigation. asserting it will come to naught. So I say to myself, the fix is in, isn’t it? When Comey says, here you go Mr. President, we recommend an indictment, Obama is going to say, bury it, right? If that happens, I await with bated breath the one person in the FBI who will stand up and scream bloody murder. I am thirsting to hear some heroism from the FBI and revelations from the Democrats’ version of John Dean. If Hillary Clinton gets off, is cleared of all the crimes she has committed, or if the indictment is held until after the elections, Clinton wins. That means, I am convinced, curtains for the GOP at a national level and for the American political system most of us grew up with. The GOP will fragment into four or five small parties led by weirdos like Gary Johnson, while the president continues the push to the far left of socialism. We will for the first time have all three branches in more or less permanent possession of a single party, and voila! We have the One Party State with the kinds of draconian controls we see in California. I do not doubt that Clinton will do all she can to diminish the US Constitution and individual rights in favor of ever greater State intervention in personal lives. And don’t even think about taxes.

And as an aside — have any of you noticed that there is a nasty spirit of envy and spite loose in this land? It reminds me of Leningrad in the 1980s, where people wrote letters to the editor of state-owned media outlets complaining about others who, having no chance at a cheesy Lada automobile. would deliberately damage the Ladas others had waited years to get. This is the Muse of the left-wing movement in America that senses the chance, having subverted several generations of children, to make the US the USSR. I notice a sort of virus among the State Department retirees, some of whom actually decried the communists of the USSR, who have gleefully catupulted themselves into the avowed socialist camp and have given their allegiance to Clinton. In every society where socialism has triumphed, it is the privileged class who promote the change. Of course, they assume they will be among the elite enjoying all the luxuries that arise from curtailing everybody else’s fundamental liberties. And a high-ranking position or a cushy ambassadorship are nothing to sneeze at. Under any system.

Even if she has now grudgingly conceded that the mobilization of the FBI isn’t merely to double-check State Department security rules, Clinton isn’t using the term “criminal investigation” just as she still isn’t using the term radical Islam. She crossed saying radical Islam off her “to do” list when she told us she was willing to say “radical Islam.” But I don’t think we will hear more of radical Islam from her corner, since she coupled her enunciation of the taboo words with the judgment that it was name-calling. So I expect that the term radical Islam will only escape her lips in phrases intended to portray Donald Trump as “dangerous” because he is a name-caller. There is just so much stuff Clinton has done in the foreign policy field that adds up to either to a big fat zero, or that was wrong and dangerous, that I am amazed she is using foreign policy skills as the standard for judging presidential abilities. And most recently she is attacking Trump’s business morals. Oh, puh-leeze. This woman never made a business transaction in her life that wasn’t dirty. And Crooked. Let’s hope Trumps gives us plenty of details of Clinton’s lack of judgment and moral courage and her use of power to garner money into her own private coffers, The Clinton Foundation. If he throws in all those dirty deals, even better.

Get your ducks in a row, Donald. Hit back hard and with carefully considered words. You will have a real shot at winning if you can maintain that Trump appeal to the New Rebels of today’s America and still make sense to the rest of the country, if you can get a good grasp on the major issues of the day and craft a message that fits the situation. And if you can use every scrap of dirt on Hillary to remind the country just how scummy she is. Unlike Ryan, I’m rooting for you.

 


End of Year Thoughts

First thought: in just one year we will be bidding an adieu, not fond at all, to Obama and his Politburo. It gives me some spiteful pleasure to watch this comical fraud dwindle in significance as his lame duck period marches on and he amuses himself by giving Americans the finger over and over. Because make no mistake, each and every one of his actions in these last days is a finger to America, just as all his “major achievements” were. Thank God for term limits.

I think Obama’s determination to diminish US Second Amendment rights could be a critical moment in US history. There could be a very powerful backlash. He is also fanning the flames of racial hatred, with his incessant race-baiting and conveyance of the message that “whitey’s lives don’t matter.” Americans really hate Americans these days, and I’m speaking personally as well. When I hear someone moaning about discrimination I just tune out. Who cares. I’m so tired of the left and their incompetence and arrogance. Lefty go home!

In San Bernardino, a massacre crying out for the world to recognize it as act of Islamic terrorism, was instead treated gingerly and with great circumspection by Dopey. He told us, knowing how angry we all would be, that it remained to be seen if the act was one of domestic terrorism or just workplace violence (à la Fort Hood). He also sicced his lapdog Loretta Lynch on us with a a warning not to go persecuting the Moslems in America or face persecution.

Maybe Obama hoped to convince us that the rude jibes of the terrorist’s coworkers at a (gasp) Christmas party were the real trigger for the actions of an offended man who just happened to be Moslem. But then the FBI found the gun arsenal the loving couple was pulling together, and the couple’s murderous plans and their allegiance to radical Islam. Things turned south. It became impossible to pretend that Syed Farook and  Tashfeen Malik — when I hear their names I imagine a glittery duo on Dancing With the Stars — were just people driven to the edge by rudeness.

The final blow was FBI Director Comey asserting the murders were obviously terrorism, after which the President had no option but to call Comey a liar or go along with the truth. But I bet he was fuming all the while about that s.o.b. stepping in and spoiling his fun pulling the leg of the American people. The president, who as usual doesn’t change course when shown the error of his ways, is steadfastly ignoring the extreme vulnerability to terrorism of the US — with its open borders and destructive policies abroad. Instead he is regaling us with one boring speech after another that are somehow supposed to calm us down and make us see we are not in any danger or not much. How lame is that? By now I can hardly believe anybody is still tuning in when he makes another inane pronouncement from some venue that somehow is supposed to imbue him with authority and infallibility. The Pentagon. The White House Oval Office. Next it will be from atop Mt. Rushmore (he’d dearly love his ugly mug up on that mountainside).

On to other issues. I was appalled at the foreign policy positions taken by the GOP candidates at the last debate. Christie was the worst and most ignorant of them all. He seems to think he can use the same Jersey boys persona as a president that you can as a governor of…Jersey. He sets the standard for mindless Russophobia and macho posturing. First off, he can hardly set up a no fly zone in Syria, as he suggests, without first facing down Russian jets which already have a no-fly zone under the authority of the Syrian government. The Russians are within full legal rights to shoot down invading US jets (or any other foreign jets) or attack anti-government opposition troops seeded with US troops. What he is looking for and will certainly find is nuclear war. Christie’s pronouncements sound like something out of a comic book for the patriotically ill.

Pat Buchanan just wrote a column on that very subject. He assesses that there are actually three sensible GOP candidates regarding Russia and foreign policy: Trump, Paul, and Cruz. Seems Cruz actually spoke in favor of giving up this attempt to unseat Assad and suggests maybe we should work with him to defeat ISIS. That’s encouraging. Perhaps in the end common sense will prevail. Lord help us.

Perhaps Christie won’t get a chance to shoot down Russian jets in Syria. It seems the Russians scored with the recent meetings in Moscow between Kerry, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Putin. What resulted from this humbling petition from Washington for Moscow’s help was a whole series of cooperative steps in the UN and regarding US-Russian coordination (and perhaps cooperation) in Syria militarily. I’m pretty sure the US sought Russia’s blessing for certain anti-terrorist operations near the border with Turkey and it may have gotten it (or maybe not). Kerry had to give up US demands that Assad first go before any cooperation was possible, a critical victory for Putin and one the US hopes to paper over with a newly-passed and unanimous UNSC resolution on a ceasefire and a “roadmap to peace” in Syria. This resolution makes no mention of the ousting of Assad and instead calls for negotiations among all parties other than the terrorists toward a coalition government and holding of new elections. I can’t underscore enough how important this victory is for Russia, which took the bull by the horns and forced the US to correct its feckless and ruinous course in the Middle East.

On the other hand, it was precisely when pro-Russian Ukrainian president Yanukovich had reached an agreement with domestic opponents that would lead to near-term elections that he was overthrown in a violent coup, supported supposedly by nations such as Poland and Lithuania. So just because the US seems to have accepted that Assad must go, and Syrians must decide the fate of Syria, doesn’t mean any of that is true. Events could interfere with that peaceful outlook.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. If somebody else out there is having a religious holiday, may yours be good as well.

 


David and Goliath

snowdenI never thought I would approve of somebody stealing secrets from the USG. I had nothing but contempt for the traitors who scorned our security and carried vital classified information to sworn enemies of our country. And they did it out of hatred for America. The little Manning twerp with his inflamed acne, sexual confusion and marginal intelligence is an example of the kind of vermin I particularly despise, people who do us incalculable damage for the sake of their fifteen minutes of fame.

But that was in the Golden Age of America, when our government was headed by people who respected the Constitution and fundamental individual rights and if there were violations of those rights, it wasn’t an official policy but a crime. It was a time when you might not like an administration’s policies, but the most you wanted to do was vote the bums out, not start a revolution. It was a time when the government thought spying was for foreign enemies rather than for the ordinary Joe talking to his pals on the phone or sending emails about his wife’s operation. It was a time when the IRS, that maleficent organization, was more interested in sucking every penny out of the average American’s pocket than in preventing someone from participating in the country’s political life. It was a time when, if a high official lied blatantly before Congress and the country, they suffered for it and were shamed.

Oh, yes, those were the days, but they be gone, my friends. Today our government is too absorbed in silencing and shutting down its domestic political opponents to have a lot of interest left for our foreign foes, and the sad shape we’re in on the foreign policy and security front testifies to that fact. How can the FBI be expected to follow up on a tip hand-delivered to them from another government about the terrorist inclinations of one of America’s all too numerous asylees when it is all tied up plotting political retribution against our own citizens? Those guys can’t do everything, you know. And the priority for this illegal government — because that is what it has morphed into — is not our domestic security. Hey, a leg or two lost, maybe a little kid blown to smithereens — small potatoes when you consider all the other things our Guardians of the State have to worry about. They hardly have a minute’s rest as they carry out surveillance on nefarious reporters trying to find out what role our highest officials played in leaving Americans to fight alone against a murderous mob in Benghazi, or digging out supposedly private medical records of people trying to get a tax exemption for their organization. The new Enemies of the People are Americans who want to expose the mutation of our government into a monstrosity that combines the very best ideas of both Hitler and Stalin. The danger of being unmasked for who they are is the issue that most absorbs the energies of our elected and unelected officials.

tyrannyAmericans have already lost many of their rights. Apparently freedom of association is out the window; some organizers like the illiterate and felonious ACORN folks, are deemed to be  worthy of approval and US taxpayer money. Other Americans, who lack a proper appreciation of Marxist ideology — people who support the Tea Party or Americans for Prosperity — need to be taught a lesson. Roll out the IRS, the FBI, and the NSA, please. Launch the drones. Certainly freedom of speech has been jettisoned, and if you don’t believe it, try hurling an insult at some protected species of human who is calling you names. How about the Second Amendment? Do you feel safe from USG retaliation if you have a gun, or are you sitting there, with the gun pointed at the door, waiting for an FBI raid?

Constitutional freedoms have suffered erosion over a long period as the State has inched its way farther and farther beyond its limited authorities. The drip has now become a deluge that threatens to swallow our liberty altogether. These days, every time I talk on the phone I have an overwhelming urge to sign off with a very rude greeting to NSA and Big Brother (that would be the sham citizen in the White House and his evil band of elves).

All of this brings me to the most visible victim of the police state, Edward Snowden. Yes, he swore himself to secrecy when he took his job, and in normal circumstances his violation of that oath would be beyond the pale. But how can an honest American go to the job everyday, knowing that his organization and the government in Washington are silently, criminally, insidiously, burrowing their way into all of our most private lives and communications? How can he keep silent knowing that the power ministries (as we sneeringly call the Russian law enforcement bodies) respect no Constitutional limits?

For the first time in my life, I hail the secrets-stealer. Snowden is heading into a life of misery, a permanent exile who will never see home again, but the rest of us have been given the vitally important knowledge that our government has become a criminal entity. If you think the USG is brutal when it comes to getting even with somebody guilty of nothing more than believing in small government, you can imagine the fire-spitting fury it is in over Snowden, who removed the patriotic camouflage from a spying program that was aimed at everybody in the United States — every damned one of us. Even that slob Michael Moore.

So I can only feel contempt when I hear the pundits screeching about the terrible Edward Snowden. I feel particular contempt listening to the NSA’s Gen. Alexander, who owes FBI ex-chief Robert Mueller a beer for lying on his behalf. I confess, the General’s somber assessment that the damage Snowden did was irremediable left me cold and unconvinced. Watching his sneaky, lying face all I could think is that the traitor isn’t Edward Snowden — it’s Gen. Alexander and all the others just like him drawing a USG salary. And as for irremediable — back in the 1950’s two of the NSA’s cryptographers pranced off into the Red Sunset of Moscow carrying all our secret codes. Somehow we survived. The hysteria our officials are ginning up is intended to deflect attention from the crimes being committed. I don’t think Snowden is bringing the US to its knees, but I fervently wish the information he gave us would bring our government to its knees.

david and goliathDavid and Goliath. In Amerika, there is only one Goliath and it is the State broken free of its restraints. The rest of us, including Edward Snowden, are the Davids. What are we going to do with the information Snowden gave us at the cost of his own freedom? Is there anything short of mass rebellion that can stop this remaking of America? If we let this pass without making it the greatest rallying cause in over 200 years, then we will have squandered the sacrifice of Edward Snowden.Because living in a place like Cuba or China is not freedom. It’s only a different kind of prison.

God bless Edward Snowden.

 


Narratives, Lies and Home Truths

boston marathonThis administration has become famous for its various narratives, which in plain English, formerly the language of the United States, is called propaganda. There is the “rich  people hate poor people” story line, and the “rich people don’t pay enough taxes” groaner, and the “you can keep the doctor of your choice” lie, and the “illegal aliens are neither illegal nor aliens” hoo-ha, and the “Obama is a man of the people” fib, and then the “we have destroyed Al Qaeda and its affiliates” fairy tale.

The last of those narratives is very important both to Obama and his erstwhile foe and aspiring presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. For Obama it shows that, even if he is a communist sympathizer and despises America, he can keep the country safe. For Clinton, it shows that she knows what she is doing. Wrong and wrong.

Benghazi blew the last story line out of the water, because both of the above-named persons were sound asleep at the helm. Actually, Obama was not asleep, just too busy fund-raising to give a damn what happened to a bunch of white US government employees in Libya. Hillary was…somewhere, we’re not sure where or doing what. Then she had a stroke and has no doubt forgotten anything she ever knew about events there. What we know is that before the bloody and predictable debacle on the anniversary of 9/11, she didn’t want a bunch of weaponized Embassy guards strutting around the diplomatic premises in Benghazi. That would have spoiled the big whopper that the Libyans adore us and her in particular for pressing for the bombing of Libya and gloating at the murder of its one-time leader, Moammar Qaddafi. So instead of high security at a tremendously vulnerable outpost, we had a questionable bunch of doofuses (at best, doofuses) who were supposed to frighten away evil-doers with admonitions like, “hey, don’t do that!” They didn’t even have rubber pellets to bruise the attacking throngs, which are only authorized for use at Guantanamo.

Mrs. Clinton claimed to Congress that she knew not a thing about any request for better security from her dear, dear, dear friend, the late murdered Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. (I’m sure nobody made her swear she was telling the truth, as Senators from both parties were too busy lauding her to the skies.) According to Clinton, it was underlings who made all those reckless political decisions that left Americans defenseless in the face of a terror assault, including the order to “stand down” made to Americans frantically seeking assistance. If you bear in mind that the one thing that had to be defended above all else was not life and limb or diplomatic premises, but the Democrat fable that terrorism was a thing of the past, you can really begin to understand the chain of otherwise unintelligible actions and events.

Now we have the making of a new remodeled, rewritten truth, that based on the bombing of the Boston Marathon participants. Within moments of sharing notes with near-death survivor and Chechen terrorist Djokhar Tsarnayev, the authorities announced their view that there was no foreign connection to the bombings, nor were the brothers members of a terror cell. One of the terrorists said so.

kreskinGee, now we don’t even need investigations. All our officials have to do is put on their Great Kreskin turban and they can immediately pierce through the fog of controversy. All they need to do is put a simple question to a terrorist and take the answer for truth revealed. It is much cheaper than digging into the matter and in these times of sequester, every penny counts.

Real facts are coming out very slowly — those that weren’t witnessed by millions of people — since they have to be pulled out like bad teeth. What has been revealed so far is that the Russians tipped off US intelligence well before Boston that a certain Chechnyan resident of America was up to no good in Dagestan (Russian Federation) and hanging out with Islamic radicals. US Senators were told by American intelligence briefers that Russia warned the US not once, but multiple times, including once since 2011. According to a report in RT  (Russia Today), Moscow specifically filed a request with the FBI advising that the elder Tsarnayev was a follower of radical Islamism and was preparing to leave the US for a particular region to join “unspecified underground groups.”

Then we had the claim that US intelligence had no idea that Tsarnayev had left the US headed to Russia subsequent to the Russian warning, the reason being that somebody misspelled his name. Cripes, if our national security hangs on literacy, we are seriously in deep kimshee. Now the testosterone-laden Janet Napolitano tells us that in fact there was a “ping” when Tsarnayev left the country. Where the ping sounded is unknown, but she said that the investigation into Tsarnayev was closed before he ever came back. Great. That makes me feel safe as houses, as the Brits say. US Homeland Insecurity gets a ping, has no idea where, beyond or within Russia, Tsarnayev was headed, with whom he was hanging out, or what he had in mind for the future, and still our officials closed the case. Apparently they found so little to be concerned about that they didn’t even bother getting back to their Russian source, either.

Let’s cut to the chase. So far, our security officials look like buffoons and clowns. Russia all but wrote the US a treatise on terrorism and painted a picture of one aspiring mass murderer, and we still couldn’t get it right. The lying and cover up is in full swing and don’t expect to ever learn what really happened or who screwed up so badly. It will just be a slow drip, drip of damning details, that are soon forgotten and never publicized by the State media on the left. Remember, as with Benghazi, the important thing, the one thing, that has to be defended at all costs is the myth that the brilliant foreign policy leadership of our resident Marxists has destroyed the threat from Al Qaeda and its offshoots. You can go to bed at night knowing America is safe, as long as you don’t require two legs, or even one, or even your own life.

terroristsI wonder what is in store for us down the line. The hunger strike in Guantanamo is picking up steam, and will soon become a cause like Palestine for jihadists and their admiring throngs in America and abroad. Obama may yet find a reason to shut down Guantanamo and set free those boys, perhaps citing international opinion. We are also trying like crazy to get Russia to go along with NATO bombing of Syria, have doubled our assistance to Assad opponents, and are hearing the calls from those same tribal interests to unleash NATO and win a war for them. Russia won’t go along, but NATO doesn’t really care and will pick its moment. And when it does, then all hell really will break loose. The blood may run in Syria, but it is going to spill over into our own streets.


Thoughts on the Unknowable

Just some musings on various topics today, after long days of watching obsessive coverage of the Boston bombings, their victims, and their perpetrators.

I’ve been shaking my head about the fact that Russian intelligence tried to warn Americans about the Jokers six months ago, but the FBI couldn’t find a thing on these guys. Apparently, there was so little reason for concern that they did not maintain surveillance, either. Or keep up with their social media antics. It wasn’t rocket science, it was simple due diligence.

There is an underlying problem here that I feel ought to be mentioned. It is called hubris. The Americans far more than the Europeans are contemptuous of Russia in all manner of ways, perhaps because the Europeans, from Sweden to Germany to Poland to France, have been tussling with the Russians in one West European-concocted war or another for centuries and they have yet to win one. We Americans especially suffer from arrogance in the military realm. We have shiny new lethal weapons of every variety and the latest design, and Russia is still burdened with an old-time Army and Navy, unable to invest the gazillions of dollars necessary both to modernize their economy and show off their weaponry in Kremlin parades. At least I guess that is the reason behind our sneering attitudes when it comes to things military and security. But Russia’s intelligence services are still excellent and given the neighborhood they live in, they have to be. As far as the military hardware, it’s true that Russia doesn’t have the money to turn out all kinds of new models of all kinds of new weapons, but it knows how to upgrade what they have and come up with new generation critical weaponry. It still knows how to focus its first-rate scientific community on such projects. Most significantly, they are not talking about unilateral nuclear disarmament, although they’d love to encourage the USA and its destructive president to go right ahead with such a project.

America, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has ignored Russia’s warnings on various foreign policy conundrums. We have been condescending and all-knowing, playing Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel, or Moe to Curly and Shemp. We have ignored Russia’s warnings about the folly of intervening in the Middle East and in North African countries for no clear reason other than to showcase our big bombers, leaving behind unstable governments and huge pools of actual and potential jihadists that nobody can keep under control. That was a luxury the US could once, briefly, afford — the terrorists were concentrating on Russia and Israel, not America. Not anymore.

Maybe you’re not aware of the fact that long before 9/11, when Al Qaeda was a destructive whirlwind in the second bloody Chechen war and the terrorism that ensued all around Russia, the Russians tried to warn the Americans about the group. But we Americans always know better. Thanks for the information, we’ll get back to you. Al Qaeda wasn’t a big problem for us. And then there came 9/11, and suddenly we were Al Qaeda experts. Now we send drones after the jihadists around the globe and are on to their every move, unless they are up to no good in the United States, in which case we are close to stupidly ignorant.

And so it was with the Tsarnayev brothers, who had minimal experience with Russia or Chechnya, their father having raised his family in somewhat safer climes such as Dagestan (also a Russian Moslem region, but one not convulsed by civil war) or the former Soviet republic of Kirgizstan (ethnic Asians most) or in the United States. Yet six months ago, when the older brother decided to head back for a visit to Russia, a place where Chechens are far from welcome, the Americans had not a glimmer of suspicion. When Russian intelligence shared with us the elder Tsarnayev’s highly suspicious activities in radical Moslem circles there and his disappearance before he could be detained, the Americans were not totally dismissive, they passed it along the chain. But hey, the guy’s an American. Not only that, but a damned lucky guy to be an American — given all the best we had to offer the world’s refugees (although why a guy with residency in Kirgizstan was a refugee beats me). Why would such a lucky guy bite the hand that feeds him? And he’s a boxer! What more proof of healthy American attitudes do you need?

The FBI did a no doubt cursory examination, gave the man and his family a clean bill of health, and forgot about him. Because our FBI is light years better than those stone-age Russians, right? And if we couldn’t find something right there biting us on the nose when we began our inquiries, it couldn’t possibly be there. Until it bit us in the ass. It was probably the sequester that convinced the FBI not to bother following up, and I’m hoping against hope that the guy in the White House will try that one out on the American public.

And so on Patriots Day, while all the world watched, the Tsarnayev brothers blew up a couple hundred people, killing three and wounding grievously many others. And now our intelligence agents are Johnny on the Spot, digging the way they should have been digging some time ago, before a bunch of people were maimed for life. Or lost their lives.

One final word on the subject: when the police finally found the remaining brother, the relief of the Bostonians must have been enormous. But instead of breaking into chants of “USA, USA!” it would have made a far better and deeper impression if everybody had bowed their heads in a prayer of thanks for an end to their fear, or even sung “God Bless America.” But everything today seems to be judged as if it were a game, and our movies and our television and our video games reinforce that idea. And frankly, if it’s a game, we aren’t doing too well.

So much for national security.

Then there is that endless source of amusement, the Republican Party and the buffoons who are running it. The latest shot to the foot comes in South Carolina, bastion of conservatism, where disgraced and shameful and shameless former Governor Mark Sanford, no doubt egged on by the lovely Señora, decided that his bizarre and irresponsible behavior in the waning days of his stewardship of the state was no reason not to go for national office. Heck no. He’s even in tune with the Latino-loving ambiance of our times, can speak a few words of terrible Spanish and probably knows how to samba. Okay, it’s true, people today don’t actually condone feelings of shame or responsibility, so he can be forgiven for trying to cash in on the feel-good society we have become. But when the primary was underway and it looked like the voters (and how many were Democrats, do we know the answer to that?) were going to choose Dumbo, did the Republican Party apparat jump in to gin up the Republican voters, put forward a good alternative candidate, back the Sanford opponent? If so, it certainly escaped my attention.

And now that Sanford won the primary (and again I ask, with how many Democrat votes?), the National Republican Congressional Committee has hiked up its pants, rolled up its sleeves, and announced it will not give a penny to Sanford’s candidacy.

Forget the fact that it probably has hardly a penny to give to anyone due to its past brilliant leadership, just bear in mind that the Marxist Party of America, aka the Democrats, are running the sister of TV and left-wing celebrity Steven Colbert. That will mean big bucks coming into her coffers, free entertainment from the faux conservative, and well-deserved endless mockery of the former Governor.

Even the Republican Party admits this means the seat goes to…the Far Left. No hay problemo, as they have said in so many words. We’ll get it next time around.

I’m just wondering where they are digging up these utterly brainless Party operatives. And who are these operatives operating on behalf of? And why on earth do they still think they are going to have a next time?

With enemies like these, the Democrats don’t need any friends.

 

 


Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer

armand hammerI am re-printing below the entire text of an excellent review of the book Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. It will give you a little insight into the sordid activities of those who feed on the oppression that is the speciality of the left while feathering their own nests to a degree that makes the head spin. Many thanks to the blog sites Hard News and Free Republic, the sources for this information, and special thanks to Edward Jay Epstein for writing this book.

Armand Hammer was one of the odder, more odious characters of American business and politics, “famous” chiefly because he was rich enough to promote his mammoth ego. He has met his match in investigative writer Edward Jay Epstein, who performs the ultimate unmasking of a man who deceived, even betrayed, his country, his family and the hired toadies who posed as his friends.

The public persona that Hammer polished, at great expense, was that of a renegade oilman who made billions from Libyan oil, chummed around with politicians up to White House level and adorned acres of galleries with paintings, some priceless, others fake. Hammer’s lawyers bedeviled honest journalists who tried to write otherwise while he was alive, and they mostly succeeded. Steve Weinberg, author of an earlier critical biography, estimated to me that his British publisher spent $2 million defending a libel suit; it died when Hammer did, at age 92, in 1990.

But now that the wretch is dead, let’s get on with the deferred fun. For Mr. Epstein, the story actually began in 1981, when he interviewed Hammer for the New York Times Magazine. Hammer put on the charm, taking Mr. Epstein to dine with the paper’s publisher, Arthur O. “Punch” Sulzberger, and treating him to six months of travel aboard the Oxy One, owned by his Occidental Petroleum.

Unfortunately for Hammer, another of Mr. Epstein’s sources, James Jesus Angleton, head of counter-intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency, whispered a tip about a Soviet agent of influence whom a defector identified as “The Capitalist Prince.” Mr. Angleton would not accuse Hammer directly but suggested that “another side” of his activities could be found in documents in a 1927 raid on Arcos, the Soviet trade mission in London.

Mr. Epstein’s Times article suggested that Hammer’s trade with the Soviet Union helped Soviet interests, including espionage, but he had no direct proof. Now the evidence is at hand, and in damning detail, straight from old Soviet archives. The account is of a man who bribed and cheated his way to great wealth — and started with Soviet gold.

Hammer came to communism legitimately. His father, Julius, a Russian immigrant, linked up with Vladimir Lenin at a socialist conference in Berlin in 1907 and “agreed to become part of the elite underground cadre that Lenin would depend on to change the world.” A physician by training, Julius built a small drug chain into Allied Drug and Chemical, purveyor of skin creams and herbal medicines.

When the Bolsheviks seized Russia in 1919, Julius worked with Ludwig Martens, Lenin’s de facto “ambassador” in the United States. Julius used Allied, of which Martens was the covert half-owner, to launder sales proceeds of smuggled diamonds — money that financed a revolutionary Communist Labor Party (CLP) dedicated to “overthrowing the government, expropriating banks, and establishing a proletarian dictatorship.” Julius held card No. 1. The CLP eventually became the Communist Party USA and part of the Communist International (Comintern).

On another level, Julius used Allied Drug to ship equipment to the Soviet Union for which the U.S. government refused export licenses. Julius certified that the shipments were bound for Latvia; in fact, they continued on to Russia. The Soviets were so pleased with Julius’ services that they offered Allied a trading concession that stood to earn him millions.

Then, disaster. Julius ran a small clinic in which young Armand worked while attending medical school. In 1919, the wife of a czarist-era Russian diplomat went to the clinic for an abortion; she died the next day. Julius would not deny that an abortion had been performed, but he insisted that it had been medically justified. A judge disagreed and sent him off to three and one half to twelve years of hard labor. Years later, Armand Hammer confided to a mistress that the wrong Hammer went to jail, that in fact he had performed the fatal operation. Julius had reasoned that a licensed doctor might beat the charge but that a medical student stood no chance.

With his father in jail, in 1921 Armand took over the import deals and left for Moscow on the first leg of an odyssey that would make him “one of the great con men of the twentieth century,” in Mr. Epstein’s words.

Hammer’s cover story was that he helped feed starving Bolsheviks. This was a lie. The Soviets, from Lenin on down, saw him as the ultimate “useful tool” in breaking the Soviet Union out of economic isolation and in providing a conduit through which Moscow could finance espionage and subversion abroad. Mr. Epstein tells in gripping detail how the Soviets used the willing Hammer as a financial errand boy.

Lenin’s grand scheme was to “advance the image of a non-threatening and potentially profitable Soviet Russia.” Lenin relied on capitalist greed to make U.S. German and British businesses vie for Russian concessions and to force their governments to lift trade restrictions. When one of Lenin’s aides asked where he would obtain the rope with which to hang the capitalists, he replied famously, “They’ll supply us with it.”

Lenin used Hammer as his opening pawn in this economic chess game, offering him an abandoned asbestos mine in return for a promise to bring in wheat. Everyone concerned realized the mine was worthless, but it gave the Soviets a means to transfer money to Comintern agents. Lenin issued orders to” make note of Armand Hammer and in every way help him on my behalf if he applies.” There were admonitions to keep the relationship secret lest there be a “fatal effect” on Hammer.

Expansion was swift. Hammer persuaded automaker Henry Ford to move into the Soviet Union to develop the “Fordson” tractor. There were fur deals, and a Hammer pencil factory was given a Soviet monopoly. The Soviets permitted Hammer sweetheart deals on sales abroad of precious czarist art. (When Hammer depleted his stock of Faberge eggs, no problem: He counterfeited them in New York.)

The most important element was Allied Drug, which acted as the Soviets’ de facto banker in the United States, laundering millions of Soviet dollars through sham transactions. Hammer eventually made millions in such enterprises as liquor, oil refining and art. The constant element, according to Mr. Epstein, was bribery and sharp dealing, including his capstone deal, the acquisition of Libyan oil rights for his Occidental Petroleum Co.

Hammer never deceived the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, who in 1919 began creating a massive file, “61-280 — Armand Hammer, Internal Security — Russia,” scrawling across the front, “a rotten bunch.” Hoover knew that Hammer financed Comintern agents but did not move, knowing that “it is often more profitable not to arrest a detected courier” when there is no assurance that the replacement will be detected.

Hammer recognized the utility of buying politicians, and here Mr. Epstein understates one of his juicier stories: how the impecunious Senator Albert Gore Sr. got the wealth to enable him to live in splendor in Washington’s Fairfax Hotel and to send son, Al Jr., now the vice president, to the pricey St. Albans school.

In 1950, Hammer made Mr. Gore “a partner in a cattle-breeding business, from which the Senator made a substantial profit.” Thereafter, Gore was Hammer’s designated door-opener in official Washington. When Mr. Gore retired, Hammer made him president of Occidental’s coal division, where he “earned more than $500,000 a year.”

Son Al next put the family’s Senate seat at Hammer’s service. At the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, Junior managed for Hammer to be seated in a section reserved for senators. Hammer lurked in the doorway, hoping to glad-hand the president, but Mr. Reagan brushed by him without a glance, and with reason. Years earlier, Alexandre de Marenches, the head of French intelligence, had warned him that Hammer was a Soviet “agent of influence.”

If Hades has a reading room, I hope, for the sake of various souls who are damned to share eternity with this sleazy character, that it stocks Mr. Epstein’s book. A rousing read!