Exclusive: Inside the extramarital affair and cash-fueled double life of Charles McGonigal, the FBI spy-hunter indicted for allegedly taking Russian money https://t.co/6Avjfv1INL
— Insider Politics (@insiderpolitics) January 27, 2023
I swear, a big chunk of the appeal to these double agents is the thrill of imagining themselves as James Bond…
One morning in October 2017, Allison Guerriero noticed something unusual on the floor of her boyfriend’s Park Slope, Brooklyn, apartment: a bag full of cash. There it was, lying next to his shoes, near the futon, the kind of bag that liquor stores give out. Inside were bundles of bills, big denominations bound up with rubber bands. It didn’t seem like something he should be carrying around. After all, her boyfriend, Charles F. McGonigal, held one of the most senior and sensitive positions in the FBI.
“Where the fuck is this from?” she asked.
“Oh, you remember that baseball game?” McGonigal replied, according to Guerriero’s recollection. “I made a bet and won.”
McGonigal had two high-school-age children and a wife — or “ex-wife” as he sometimes referred to her — back at home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He would return there once or twice a month. But McGonigal had led Guerriero to believe that he was either divorced or soon would be. She didn’t question his story, nor did she question the story about the bag full of cash…
Federal prosecutors charged McGonigal with money laundering and making false statements in his mandatory employee disclosures to the FBI. He was also charged with taking money from a representative of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who McGonigal had once himself investigated, in violation of US economic sanctions against Russia; the indictment alleges that Deripaska paid him to investigate a rival oligarch. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
McGonigal was not an ordinary FBI agent. He led the WikiLeaks investigation into Chelsea Manning as well as a search for a Chinese mole inside the CIA. While working at FBI headquarters in Washington, he played a role in opening the investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts that was later dubbed Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
But it was McGonigal’s final FBI job, special agent in charge of the counterintelligence division at the FBI’s New York field office, that was his most important assignment at the bureau. It was his job to find enemy spies and recruit his own.
“New York City is a global center for espionage and counterespionage,” says one senior law-enforcement insider who was closely familiar with the specifics of McGonigal’s role. “You have visits from foreign business elites and politicians. You have the United Nations. You have ethnic populations. Who runs the pitches to recruit spies from all those other countries? The FBI. So the access you get in that job is extraordinary. It’s almost bottomless. So if you’re running FBI counterintelligence in New York, you can get your hands on almost anything you want, and you don’t always have to make excuses for why you’re asking for it.”
The impact of the McGonigal indictments is still rippling out through the law-enforcement world. The charges accuse an official at the heart of the Trump-Russia investigation of secretly selling his own access, accepting bundles of cash in surreptitious meetings with someone who had ties to Albanian intelligence. McGonigal, a top-tier member of the city’s law-enforcement community, a man who had fully integrated himself into a powerful circle of trust where favors get swapped and sensitive intelligence gets circulated, is accused of himself being on the take. If the indictments are correct, McGonigal was leading a dangerous double life, right under the noses of some of the sharpest cops in America.
But what might be most striking about the case against McGonigal is how cheaply he is alleged to have rented out his law-enforcement powers. One indictment suggests that for $225,000, McGonigal’s associates got him to lobby the Albanian prime minister about the awarding of oil-field drilling licenses and then open an FBI investigation connected to a US citizen who had lobbied for one of the prime minister’s political opponents. Arranging a meeting for an executive from a Bosnian pharmaceutical company with a US official at the United Nations was said to be a pricier item — $500,000, one indictment claims. It is unclear whether that money ever materialized…
On Monday, the New York field office of the FBI found itself wearing a sentence that included the phrases, "FBI official," "indicted by," and "Russian oligarch," which is a chain with several balls attached to it. https://t.co/s54i6CHv3f
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) January 24, 2023
Gonna be interesting to find out just how (not, comparatively, I’m guessing) much more TFG held out for:
The New York field office of the FBI has been a problem since it bullyragged James Comey during the 2016 presidential campaign. It has hungered for a Clinton head to hang on its lobby wall for almost two decades…
Deripaska is the Zelig of the Volga Bagmen. Whenever a shady business deal comes to light involving Russian money and American politics, Deripaska seems to be flitting around somewhere in the background. Now we find that he allegedly tied himself into the counterintelligence division in the New York office, which opens a sprawling vista of interesting speculation…
I’ve always thought that the question of who invested in the former president* and his operation, and how much, was deserving of some closer scrutiny.
But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.
The buyers include politically connected businessmen, such as a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities, the founder of a St. Petersburg investment bank and the co-founder of a conglomerate with interests in banking, property and electronics. People from the second and third tiers of Russian power have invested in the Trump buildings as well. One recently posted a photo of himself with the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang that was sanctioned by the United States for its alleged role in Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
They sound nice.
One might assume McGonigal is acquainted with the counterintelligence investigations that were underway in New York before he left the bureau in 2018. Whether or not any of those might prove relevant to the present action, the pleadings and the discovery here should make for fascinating reading.
Charles McGonigal, a former high-ranking FBI official who investigated Russian oligarchs, has been indicted on charges that he secretly worked for one — Oleg Deripaska.
In 2019, the NewsHour asked Deripaska about the sanctions against him. https://t.co/U3HmKDxeBk
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) January 25, 2023
UPDATE: Former senior FBI official Charles McGonigal, now indicted for money laundering and conspiracy to help Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, is now being represented by — wait for it — Rudy Giuliani's old law firm.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) January 24, 2023
Danielle Wallace, Fox News:
… Though not referenced in or related to the indictment, McGonigal, while serving as chief of the cybercrimes section at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., was one of the first bureau officials to learn of allegations that George Papadopoulos, a campaign adviser for former President Donald Trump, boasted that he knew Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, launching the investigation into alleged Russian election interference known as Operation Crossfire Hurricane, Business Insider previously reported. Fox News is told that as a senior counterintelligence official at the time, he likely was briefed on Crossfire Hurricane at the time the investigation was launched.
McGonigal, 54, of New York City, and Shestakov, 69, of Morris, Connecticut, “both previously worked with Deripaska to attempt to have his sanctions removed, and, as public servants, they should have known better,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement. “This Office will continue to prosecute those who violate U.S. sanctions enacted in response to Russian belligerence in Ukraine in order to line their own pockets.”
Both men are charged with one count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), one count of violating the IEEPA, one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, and one count of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Shestakov is also charged with one count of making false statements, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors said…
As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, McGonigal, Shestakov and the agent attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract, and using the same shell companies to send and receive payments from Deripaska, according to the indictment.
In 2019, McGonigal and Shestakov also allegedly worked on behalf of Deripaska in an unsuccessful effort to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted. In November 2021, when FBI agents questioned Shestakov about the nature of his and McGonigal’s relationship with Deripaska’s agent, the interpreter made false statements in a recorded interview, federal prosecutors said…
“When the C.I.A. noticed in late 2010 that its spies were disappearing…as fears of a mole grew, the government set up a secret task force….A veteran F.B.I. counterintelligence agent, Charles McGonigal, was assigned to run it,” reported @nytimes in 2018.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 23, 2023
Did the head honchos set up a Fire Sale — Everything Must Go! table in the lobby?
Director of FBI when McGonigal was named to head counterintelligence task force in 2010 was Robert Mueller.
“Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest on the part of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in his decision to lift sanctions on companies controlled by the Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska,” reported @nytimes in 2019.
Three weeks before his fateful announcement about Hillary Clinton, October 2016, Comey and FBI made this announcement about Charles McGonigal: pic.twitter.com/Edv3gFnfVl
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 24, 2023
Then, on October 31, 2016, @nytimes reported this:
“Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.”
This was 8 days before the Trump-Clinton election.
It was 27 days after Comey named McGonigal to head Counterintelligence for FBI’s New York Field Office.
Now that McGonigal has been arrested, will he testify and tell the American people exactly what was going on during the days before the 2016 election?
And does Comey have anything to say to Americans about McGonigal’s arrest?
Then FBI Director Mueller had the fox guarding the henhouse
Good Lord https://t.co/dQRksq9Ori
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) January 24, 2023
Oh, look — it’s Billy Barr’s name showing up again!
One of the most interesting details about the Charles McGonigal case revealed today: He's represented by Billy Barr's former aide, Seth DuCharme, who had his hands in a whole shit-ton of corrupt Billy Barr stuff. pic.twitter.com/MY3g3AKHa4
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) January 23, 2023
So… the NY FBI office was completely compromised. That’s nice.
Reading about this, I am filled with sadness. So much corruption, everywhere, in the Republican party. No longer the party of Reagan, they are the party of Russia. The party of Putin.
To think I was insufficiently paranoid about this crew at a time I was overly paranoid. Ugh.
@WaterGirl: Here’s where I point out the Party of Reagan was corrupt as all fuck. But they did hate Rooskies (enough to not take Rooskie money?).
And their Gall stays unmitigated…
A modern day Robert Hassan?
I’m pretty sick and tired of hearing from James Comey, but it would be nice if he spoke to this matter. He’s run his mouth about everything else
I would add that I think these payments from the Albanians were not the first and only times McGonigal took foreign money while he was an FBI agent.
So much garbage, I had forgotten about this piece.
@Baud: Robert Hanssen.
@trollhattan: I know. When TFG first announced his Presidential campaign I told people “It’s all a stunt. He’ll never go through with it. He would have to disclose his finances and that will never happen”. Partially right, mostly wrong.
As someone who lived through a big chunk of the Cold War, it amazes me how the Republican party has gone from staunch anti-communists to Russia apologists. WTF?
I think it’s a fair question to ask now: Do we really need the FBI? Should it be completely scrapped and we build a new federal investigatory entity?
@Geminid: No. Comey has said enough. He can keep his yap shut until the end of time, as far as I’m concerned.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
From this to the Barr-Durham story the other day, the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees should be very busy, but… god help us, the Senate.
Also I hope the DoJ IG has opened a couple of files.
Comey didn’t have much to say about the FTFNYT story about Barr and Durham:
Maybe he’ll have another “clever” emoji about McGonigal. But probably not.
@Baud: I hadn’t. I wrote to Dean Baquet to ask whether they were taking Russian money.
@Geminid: Right? Comey:
“Everything I do is foremost to protect the reputation of the Agency.”
“Here is widespread corruption running rampant through the Agency.” [thud of large file, hitting nice table]
“Well, what can you do, really?”
TFG Fox News Melon Huskthe FBI’s NY Field Office, all roads lead to Putin.” – Speaker Pelosi.
@VOR: Because the communists are gone. So it’s okay.
The odds are someone there was.
Nice. “Well, we do sell seven-million copies in Moscow daily, but that’s just subscriber service.”
This is a John LeCarre book come to life. The New York US Attorney’s Office might as well have been working for the Russians, and, thereby, Trump. They pushed the Clinton investigation and their threats to leak stuff about Hillary before the election caused Comey to make his incredibly damaging statements (which violated FBI policies) before the election. They buried stuff about the links between Russian oligarchs and influence operation and the Trump campaign. Now we learn that the head of freaking counterintelligence was actually being paid by Russians. The most important part of the Justice Department was compromised.
You could tell how bad this was by the way some of the MSNBC guys with FBI and Counterintelligence experience dealt with the news the other day when the story broke. They had a hard time forming sentences for a while. We always knew that the US Attorney’s Office was against Clinton. How were we to know they were with the Russians, too?
@Baud: He (or someone who claimed to be him) used to answer me, but would never address that particular point.
@Baud: Maybe “Him too” should be a rotating tag.
@pajaro: Putler really, really didn’t want Hillary Clinton to become president.
@zhena gogolia: She was a meanie to them as SoS so no, Killery as president was right out.
David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
All these FBI guys who hated Bill Clinton because of sex were busy have affairs themselves
@zhena gogolia: I think the FTF NY Fucking Times is taking Russian money.
I do not believe their subscription numbers. Couldn’t that be, in large part, cash from other sources?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch: kinda head-spinning to think while these people were plotting against HRC to get their revenge on those dirty hippies from Yale Law School by way of Arkansas, leftists were demanding her Neo-liberal head for having gotten a check out of Goldman Sachs for telling them to diversify their hiring practices and HR policies
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch: Mais bien sûr
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch: The didn’t like the competition.
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch: case in point: Newt “no penetration” Gingrich and our former ambassador to the Vatican, Callista (aka, Mrs. Newt #3)
well….. I guess you have to hand it to Putin, this was ONE investment that really paid off.
The fact that you have ZERO Republicans asking for THIS to be fully investigated will mean that following the money may really be worrisome to some GOP pols……
@Jeffro: And once the RW realized that Putin hated the Clintons nearly as much as they did, he was viewed as an ally.
Nice Zevon reference. 🙂
I really need to do my essay on how often that happens, and how Conservatives play single-issue people, notionally on our side, to do their bidding.
Everything from the anti-pron Feminists boosting the Meese Report bollicks, to the horrorshow that was how they manipulated/paid off “Jane Roe” to promote forced-birth lies, to the various “paying off the Greens to play spoiler” efforts. I really think we’ve just missed a lot of direct and indirect ratfucking in this arena!
Yup. That’s why all their ranting now isn’t about the threat of China, it’s about the “Chinese Communist Party.” If Russia’s official ideology had been right wing during the Cold War, they probably would have spent the whole time demanding we team up with them.
That would be an interesting essay.
ETA: I think we forget and the pattern repeats itself.
@trollhattan: Yep. I just recently read David Corn’s new book American Psychosis, and he makes it even more crystal clear that the GOP has been fucked the fuck up nine ways to Sunday for a loooooong time.
It’s a terrific read, highly recommend.
David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
Only the best people
I hope they literally put that Dude’s balls in a vise and say “spill it”. All of it.
ETA: A pair of c-clamps would work in a pinch. So to speak.
@MisterDancer: Made me look.
If this piece on Norma McCorvey at the NewYorker (from 2020) is accurate, she seemed to have been pretty pragmatic (and maybe resentful) about being used by people with agendas that she didn’t really care about.
People are complicated, and poor people will do what they need to survive.
Please do finish, and post, your essay. Your posts are always thought-provoking.
I hope they lock him in a dark room and play Hillary’s cackle on a loop until he breaks.
@Baud: You’re a humanitarian. I’m with @Dangerman: leave him with permanent organ damage the fucking traitor.
The presence of Albania in this story is interesting. For 30 years (1949-1979), there were political connections between Albania and the People’s Republic of China.
There’s a (poorly translated, judging by syntax) article on Wikipedia for those who’d like more detail….
ETA: Oddly enough, my introduction to the Albania-China connection was via Mary Stewart’s novel This Rough Magic, where it is somewhat obliquely a plot point.
@Baud: And once he does break, I hope they let Hillary herself in to laugh at him in person.
You know it ain’t easy.
@zhena gogolia: Baquet seemed like a regular guy when Andre Braugher played him in She Said. Which makes me wonder who’s gonna play Baud when that movie gets made.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I just finished the American Psyop podcast and one of the interesting things they allude to is the possibility/probability that there were infiltrators (govt, Russian, military mercenaries, Alt-Right etc.) involved in Occupy Wall Street, Standing Rock and that there are some significant connections to Qanon, anti-vax groups, TYTurks, the “I AM” cult. It’s a pretty wild story. Not sure I believe all of it (it’s pretty hard to condense into any sort of simple theory) but there sure are a lot of weird commonalities and people from Roger Stone, Mike Flynn, Russian/Serbian oligarchs etc., all tied into Wesley Clark Jr’s story. Given what we know of Russian attempts to rat-f*ck the 2016 election, it wouldn’t surprise me if a LOT of the anti-Hillary shit ultimate derived from Russia/GRU.
I’m old enough to remember when the very serious people mocked and disdained us as conspiracy theorists when we expressed the thought the the NY FBI office must be compromised because nothing else could explain their actions.
It’s a whole new level of ACAB.
@Princess: it is kind of strange isn’t it, the right creates and promotes all of this wide ranging pedophelia, HRC crime family crap and whaddaya know?
@zhena gogolia: I think they are or have done. Not the reporters. The people at the top who hire the reporters and decide what stories to run and which to kill or delay or hide on p.6. I can’t explain the NYT any other way.
@different-church-lady: I loved “Word Up!”
Oh, you meant the movie.
Channing Tatum doesn’t really look like me, but he probably best captures my vibe.
I am old enough to remember when we could afford to throw eggs and toilet paper at the houses of people we hated,…………..
@Jay: Those were the days.
There’s a chunk of the social conservative set that admires Russia/Putin for their Christian religiosity and hatred of LGBT people.
They have constructed Putin in their minds as an anti-woke warrior and defender of “Western Judeo-Christian Civilization”.
Nice Warren Zevon reference!
@Redshift: …and you beat me to the punch, I see. :)
Representative Ruben Gallego was the subject of some debate this week. Some of it was heated. Then Mr. Gallego came up on an unrelated thread two nights ago, because of an appearance on Chris Hayes’ show. Some folks were disappointed, even alarmed by his performance.
My data plan makes watching YouTube problematic, and as a Gallego fan I am biased anyway. So I asked my Atlanta friend to watch and give me his opinion, as he is a discerning and objective person, a liberal Democrat whose attention is focused mainly on national and Georgia politics.
For what it’s worth, Warren’s brief appraisal was:
I’m not putting this out to restart an argument. I’ve had my fill already. But it’s some anecdotal contrast to the alarm people expressed here
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Geminid: I watched it later after the person who was alarmed. I still think Gallego needs to tighten up his TV skills, but it wasn’t as bad as initial reports. Hayes threw him a softball about which issues were motivating him to challenge Sinema. I, Certified Dumb Guy On The Internet, thought, this is easy, prescription drug prices! A specific promise she made and backtracked on. He got there eventually, but defaulted to his mini-bio about growing up poor and being so happy when he got to Harvard and only had to share his room with one other person.
He is good at humble-bragging about Harvard– I love the line from his intro video about how his family never laughed at him for wanting to go there.
@Suzanne: Yes. They hated Soviet Russia for being Godless. All Putin had to do was call himself a pious Christian and hate on the gays and they loved him.
@H.E.Wolf: The Albanian connection is kind of of odd, and I really don’t know what to make of it. I think their government has changed in recent years. Maybe some more information about this affair will come from their end.
When the Balloon-Juice movie is made your Atlanta friend can be like the neighbor whose face is never seen (in the old sitcom)…
I remember This Rough Magic — Tempest tie-in, right? My understanding was that Albania was always in the East European camp during the cold war and had deep Russian mob connections after the wall fell.
David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
infiltrating left groups isn’t beyond imagination, that was the standard operating procedure under J. Edgar Hoover and his COINTELLPRO as well as Nixon and his Plumbers unit.
They are still anticommunist and still pro-facist. The Republicans have not changed – – Russia has.
And my question is…is he the ONLY FBI agent on Russian payrolls?
I’ve assumed it ever since Warren warned us about the danger.
@Matt McIrvin: Their view of Russia is really tied up in American culture war nonsense. It’s dumb. The way some of them go on and on about Russia, it’s almost like they think of it like the US in the 50s, when everyone was white and grew up on the same kinds of blocks with suburban tract houses and shamed each other if they didn’t go to church.
To go back to what we were commenting on this morning….I just truly can’t fathom why anybody gives even half of a shit about trans people or drag shows. (If you don’t want to go to one, by all means, do not go.) But that’s not enough for them, they really don’t want to live in a society in which there are a lot of others who don’t share their values. They have sort of envisioned Russia as this place of shared “traditional” values.
Which makes no sense, of course.
@Baud: That made me cackle, and I have some field notes suggesting that Hilary and I could have an entertaining cackle-off.
@different-church-lady: Word up.
Not sure if this tangential tidbit has been noted. It appears that there may be a connection between Crossfire Hurricane documents and Jack Smith’s Special Counsel investigations, to wit, that some of the documents at MAL relate to the Russia investigation. Trump tried to declassify them right before he left office. Interesting?
Tom Verlaine RIP
If I recall correctly, a lot of that began after 9/11. The idea on the right was that our *real* enemy was radical Islam, and we should partner with Russia against that enemy. Almost overnight, Russia went from a big bad to a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
When you do that, don’t forget the people who insist that we have to let Republicans win so that the U.S. will hit rock bottom, the Republican Party will disappear, Democrats will stop voting for “the lesser of two evils,” and we will all experience total nirvana.
Or the related ones who insist that we have to “send a message” to the Democratic Party that we won’t vote for their candidates unless they are 99 and 44/100 percent pure in every way, the ones who insist that the lesser of two evils is still evil and, therefore, we must not vote for them.
The Susan Sarandon types.
@Suzanne: So much of it seems to be psychosexual somehow. Russia is the land where men are MEN and women are WOMEN. The men crush beer cans with their biceps all day long and the women are all super-sexy and feminine.
Back in the post-Cold-War era there was this period when right-wingers all talked about Russia like it was a land of gorgeous fantasy women who would throw themselves at you–all these hot babes were our prize for beating the USSR, not like the hairy-legged feminists we have here*. It also seems to have been the genesis of a lot of scams and honeypot schemes. Now they’ve just added in the hypermacho soldier men ten feet tall.
*It reminded me of the way every horny/misogynist college frat bro used to talk about the superior women at the OTHER college at the other end of the state, not like the horrible ones you get here. The land of fantasy babes was always somewhere else, no matter where you were.
Tangential to the matter of FBI provocateurs in activist circles, one of the most famous photojournalists of the Civil Rights movement turned out to have been an FBI informant for years. It’s not clear that he actually urged any actions that would not otherwise have been taken, but he was well positioned to be a conduit for information. His name was Ernest Withers, and PBS will be running a new documentary about him on Independent Lens this week.
One of Withers’s most iconographic photos
@Anyway: Albania was part of the Soviet block after WW2 led by a guy called Enver Hoxha who made Stalin look like an amateur in the cult of personality stakes. When Stalin popped his clogs Hoxha seems to have felt the Russians were going soft and withdrew from the Warsaw Pact in the 60s and bigged up relations with China. The place was incredibly isolated, it was almost impossible to visit and he outwalled TFG, they built over 160,000 bunkers all along the borders. Some of the rules for visitors were curious, flared trousers and facial hair were verboten. Bit of an odd chap really
@Anyway: Warren’s a strange cat. He had the elements of a good politician himself, but became alienated from that world and was indifferent to politics for most of his adult life, although he always voted Democratic and despised the politics of the Republicans he practiced law with.
Eventually, a long, grueling struggle with adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis ended his law practice. When Warren got well enough, piano, chess and birdwatching became his pastimes. He and his wife Claire also run an informal day care center for their seven grandkids, whose families live close by in Northwest Atlanta.
Then the 2016 election knocked Warren out of his detachment from politics. He was a big Hilary Clinton fan, and Warren’s attitude towards Donald Trump was similar Captain Ahab’s attitude towards Moby Dick.
Now that Trump lost, Warren has started to play more chess. He has about a hundred books in his chess library, and really applied himself in earlier years. He played enough US Chess Federation matches to advance to the C Class.
Then a bunch of kids started playing after a hit movie about chess. Between them and an influx of chess-savvy Eastern Europeans to the Atanta area, Warren found himself back in the D Class. As he puts it, “I’ve got the knowledge. I’ve the practice and the desire. I’ve got everything but talent.”
@Sure Lurkalot: It’s good that Smith is/may be looking into this. But the memo directing the declassification was published on TFG’s White House web page, so it’s been available to be known about for a long time. And raises obvious questions – it would be malpractice not to look at it, wouldn’t it?
So, I’m not sure how much of an “exclusive” “bombshell” this is. But it succeeded in getting a click from me! ;-)
Thanks for the pointer.
@David 🌈☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch: Absolutely. We had a guy in our local police reform group that we kicked out for being clueless (white activist who was always trying
And we know that Russia has been running active disinformation and psyop campaigns here in the US for years. As much as I hate conspiracy theories, the American Psyop podcast details a whole bunch of coincidences that sure make it sound like Leftist spaces in the early-aughts and tens, had a lot of shady characters with ties to foreign $/govts.
This statement could sum up basically the entire right- wing viewpoint. ROTATING TAG!
Yeah, I think this is much more of it that they would ever admit. Also, there’s a certain subset of (mostly white) men who objectify Slavic women as being beautiful, simultaneously slutty and submissive, and economically desperate and happy to be tradwives. (This is an aspect of TFG that I think was aspirational for men of this type.)
That picture of Vlad with his shirt off was some really potent imagecraft.
@Matt McIrvin: Ah, the good old days!
@Suzanne: As someone who was married to an Eastern European woman (not a Slav though), I can say that submissive and happy to be a tradwife misses the mark by so, so very much.
@kalakal: Albania has had some crazy ass leaders over the years — before Hoxha was King Zog, one of the few leaders I know of who shot back during an assassination attempt.
Allied himself with Mussolini, though, which didn’t end well.
I had relatives there try to help other relatives get out and it was really hard.
@Omnes Omnibus: I didn’t say it was an accurate perception. It’s an archetype.
Where did you see that some of the documents at MAL relate to the Russia investigation?
I saw that article earlier this week and all I caught was that they had questioned people about Trump having wanted to declassify them.
I didn’t read every word of the article, but all I saw was speculation and no statements that some of the documents that were found were related to the Russia investigation.
Maybe I didn’t read carefully enough?
@Suzanne: the creepy right-wing psychosexual/dominance fixation is so true — a friend who is from Naples tells me of his grandfather’s brothers who were on opposite sides during the 30s, and he said the fascists would grab the communists in the street and forcibly give them enemas. Not sure what the communists did but probably more like just punching.
@MattF: We’ve all suspected it for a decade. Nice to have your suspicions reinforced, I guess. But it’s not a great feeling when a bunch of pikers on some rando blog can spot that something is seriously wrong in an office of the FBI a decade before the federal government can get its shit together enough to do anything about it.
Also, do not diminish the role the NYTimes must have played in that relationship. I don’t think anyone at the NYTimes was dirty, but that doesn’t mean that accountability shouldn’t happen. They were the ones that weaponized all of that dirt, largely uncritically, because it made careers.
In most (but not all) seriousness…. one could probably run a psychological profile on much of the right wing, and it would end up focusing on the sex they are not having.
They always go for the easy/easier money, because actually earning it legitimately is always more effort than bribery.
@Suzanne: Oh yeah. Or castor oil; see section “Punishment”. I first heard of this from schoolmates who were kids of Italian immigrants.
@VOR: they are corrupt fucks. Hating commies meant spending a lot of money on the military industrial complex. When the Soviet union collapsed there was no boogie man and no way to really spend on defense. But then Russians really started to throw money around and so they got a new spigot.
Eta Holy Shit ! #99!!!
It might help you if you were a few years/decades older. An example, I grew up in a time when being left handed was supposedly bad, left handed kids supposedly had to learn to write with their off hand. That’s just one thing but it shows how conservatives think, you doing/thinking different, having a different religion, wanting life to be more open, why that’s just wrong, wrong – – WRONG.
And I lived grew up in California. It really has changed over the last 60-70 yrs. Other places are getting there but many haven’t gone very far.
in the late 70s i listened to a lot of shortwave. i often paused to listen to Radio Tirana, because they were so different and extreme.
i recall an Albanian slogan from back then: “Together, we and the Chinese are six hundred million strong.”
@Ruckus: There are still a few people forcing their left-handed kids to be right-handed TODAY. Sometimes justified by that study from some years back purporting to show that left-handed people had a horrifically shorter life expectancy.
(That study is now famous as an example of statistical sampling bias: they looked at obituaries and recorded age at death, then tried to ascertain handedness from interviews and biographical records. If you do that, you’ll find a shorter life expectancy for left-handed people simply because people born further in the past were more likely to be forced to become right-handed as children.)
David ⛄ 🎅The Establishment🎄 🦌 🕎 Koch
@Matt McIrvin: Warren Spahn lived to 82 and Steve Carlton is 79 and still going strong.
James E Powell
@David ⛄ 🎅The Establishment🎄 🦌 🕎 Koch:
Not a southpaw, but I want to mention that there is a pretty good Nolan Ryan documentary on Netflix, for those who might be interested.
Cathie from Canada
There are all sorts of ramifications to this story, questions about how compromised were the people in Trump’s administration, issues about how extensively these ties to Russia have been reported over the years, and so forth. One would expect that all of the New York and Washington reporters would be ON IT! Well, not so much.
New York Times – one story updated Tuesday for page A20 of the print edition.
Washington Post – one story Monday, and an online note Tuesday which only said the indictments “could undercut efforts to ramp up economic sanctions on wealthy Russians after the invasion of Ukraine.”
I’m glad to see the Business Insider and Esquire pieces today — I have been afraid this story will just get turned into “something something Ukraine sanctions” and everybody knows how dull that is.
David ⛄ 🎅The Establishment🎄 🦌 🕎 Koch
@Cathie from Canada: actions speak louder than words. One can only conclude the Times is burying the story because he was their source.
J R in WV
Anyone deluded enough to imagine that the Russian Kleptocracy has any tinge of Christian religiosity is sincerely insane — Christo-Fascists here and abroad. Monsters wrapping themselves in a cloak of religion to hide the monstrosity. Republicans also too. Hatred is not Christ’s teaching.
Getting ready to visit Turkiye in ’96 my main reference was the
LoonyPlanItLonely Planet guidebook, whose Yank author reported that Istanbul slang for prostitute was “Natasha”. IIUC significant numbers of women from the former CCCP had fled to Turkiye during the collapse and ended up supporting themselves via the oldest profession. (It was unclear how many of them had fallen afoul of bad actors when the prospect of freedom landed them instead as prisoners of a prostitution ring.)
(ETA: FWIW, in ~40 visits to Europe since 1980, I have only been approached by a “lady of the evening” twice – in Tallinn, on successive nights just before 9/11. Both women were fluent in English, and both were Russian.)
@Anyway: The local angle. Albania’s leading propagandist was a New Zealander, June Taylor, who moved there at 16 when her father, a dentist and member of the NZCP, decided that Enver Hoxha was the best hope for mankind. Taylor’s maudlin announcement of Hoxha’s death – “His heart… ceased to beat” – is For the Ages. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVEPShwW-2E&t=117s
David ⛄ 🎅The Establishment🎄 🦌 🕎 Koch
@Uncle Cosmo: 40 visits to europe? How long have you been in The Company?