The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Hearings are endorsements of established viewpoints
A congressman once admitted to me that he and his colleagues know a lot of things, generally speaking, but their knowledge only “extends about one inch deep.” In other words, the briefings provided by staffers and in committees is intended to touch only on what is important to know to look well informed in front... Read More
Maybe, but gathering intelligence is not the same as full interference
The most recent Russiagate expose comes from The Intercept, which was founded by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. The site has been the source of a number of stories that rely on stolen or leaked government documents, including material from Edward Snowden. It has also produced some exemplary investigative reporting on U.S. government high crimes... Read More
National-security officials may see themselves as patriots, but their methods set a dangerous precedent
Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones—places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to... Read More
The simplest explanation is that Trump doesn’t like him much and doesn’t trust him at all
The firing of FBI Director James Comey may have been a surprise to some, most particularly in the media, but there was a certain inevitability about it given the bureau’s clear inability to navigate the troubled political waters that developed early last summer and have continued ever since. The initial reaction that it may have... Read More
Obama appointees may have hoped Carter Page would be the smoking gun they needed to bring down Trump
Russiagate’s latest celebrity is a former Donald Trump associate named Carter Page. Page, who worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow and speaks Russian, is a banker and investor who early in 2016 was a part of the amorphous group that was advising Trump on foreign policy. There is no evidence to suggest that he was... Read More
Comey’s testimony settles nothing
Call me confused. Last week’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on possible Trump associates’ collusion with the Russian government, which featured FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, provided very little new information even as it confirmed troubling revelations that had already appeared in the media. If the FBI began its investigation of team... Read More
The leak has narrowed Trump's options for dealing with Putin
The story on the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is somewhat like peeling an onion, with each layer revealing something new. To be sure, I am delighted to see Flynn gone, both because of his clearly expressed desire to confront Iran and his inaccurate characterization of Islam. But Flynn’s departure will no doubt... Read More
Fact, fiction, or speculation?
Yesterday, BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier containing allegations that Russian operatives worked to identify and develop compromising personal and financial information about Donald Trump. Allegedly, this is the full document from which a two-page synopsis was drawn and provided to Trump and President Obama as an appendix to a report about Russian interference in the... Read More
Language used in the intelligence community's latest report suggests that they may not possess indisputable evidence
The eagerly awaited report on the alleged Russian influence operation and hack linked to the recent American presidential election finally appeared on Friday. It is quite possible that President Obama, the intelligence community, and Congress now hope that the case has been definitively made to tighten the screws on Russia. If that is so, they... Read More
If something went wrong, Putin must have done it
My wife is English, so every Christmas we include in our celebration holiday crackers. For those unfamiliar with British traditions, the crackers are cardboard tubes wrapped in decorated paper. When you pull on the ends they pop open with a bang, and inside there is a paper crown to commemorate the visit by the three... Read More
Foreign espionage is routine. Careless use of unsecure email shouldn't be
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has concluded that Russia acted to aid Donald Trump in winning the election. The story follows accusations that the Russian government was behind the hack of the private servers used by the Democratic National Committee, as well as the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager,... Read More
It’s time for new voices to have their say in the White House
I would very much like to see the White House revert to a George Marshall type of foreign policy, in which the United States would use its vast power wisely rather than punitively. As Donald Trump knows little of what makes the world go round, senior officials and cabinet secretaries will play a key role... Read More
Voters should wake up to the issue of war versus peace
The relentless drumbeat against Donald Trump continues. The Washington Post on October 14 endorsed Hillary Clinton for president while also including in the print edition nine articles, three op-eds, and three letters blasting the GOP candidate, including pieces in the Style and Metro sections of the paper. On the following day there were five articles,... Read More
There's more hype than evidence in the paper's claims that Moscow orchestrates politics in Europe and America
August 14’s Washington Post print edition featured news articles, op-eds, an editorial, and three letters to the editor all attacking Donald Trump. And the paper’s other bête noire, Vladimir Putin, was featured in the front-page lead story as well as in an op-ed. On the preceding Friday, Putin had been attacked in an editorial for... Read More
Moscow is no longer the capital of an evil empire. Why is Washington stuck in a Cold War mindset?
Whenever the subject of American foreign-policy catastrophes comes up, the word “Iraq” immediately comes to mind. But George W. Bush’s ill-fated invasion of that hapless land in reality did not do irreparable damage to the United States. That is not to trivialize the costs, including trillions of dollars and the deaths of thousands of Americans... Read More
One does not need to love Vladimir Putin to appreciate that Washington shares interests with Moscow
With relations between Washington and Moscow at a low ebb, can simply talking to Russians provide hope that there might still be room for cooperation? I recently returned from spending a few days in Moscow, speaking at a conferencehosted by RT International, Russia’s global television news service. One of the few major countries I have... Read More
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may want to derail the an alliance against ISIS—and thus weaken the Assad regime
The shooting down of a Russian fighter plane by a Turkish F-16 is an extremely disturbing turn of events. Turkey claims that the SU-24 aircraft had violated its airspace and had not responded to repeated warnings before the armed response took place. The Russians for their part claim that they were operating in Syrian airspace... Read More
Washington rushes to court open conflict with Moscow against every rational interest
Back in the good old days of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) would do whatever it could to discredit the Soviet Union. We used to place articles in friendly newspapers exposing Soviet human rights violations, arrange for Russian front companies to buy technology that had been tampered with so that it would... Read More
Activist experts make bad ambassadors, especially when diplomacy is needed
Washington’s unwillingness to use diplomacy to resolve international conflicts has proven remarkably consistent over the past 13 years. Even chalking it up to ineptitude would let the Bush and Obama administrations off the hook for what are apparently more systemic failures. I am referring to an inability to think outside the box, coupled with a... Read More
The last time the Olympic Games were confronted with a serious, capable, and active terrorist movement was at the 1992 Barcelona Games, when the Euskadi ta Akatasuna (ETA) threatened to stage attacks to highlight its demands for an independent Basque homeland. Currently, the Russian Olympic sponsors of the Sochi Games, which open on February 7th,... Read More
The wigs may seem silly, but Moscow's exposure of CIA espionage is serious business.
It is tempting to regard the recent arrest of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Ryan Fogle in Moscow and the subsequent outing of the station chief as symptoms of a decline in the Agency’s capability to run operations in a high-risk, high-security environment. This was by no means the first such success for post-Soviet Russian... Read More
The US media is reporting critically on the conviction yesterday in Moscow of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Khodorovsky had earlier been convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and has been in jail ever since. The conviction prompted commentary from no less than Hillary Clinton who said... Read More
"The Conscience of the Senate" Joe Lieberman is at it again. He is predicting that the Senate will not ratify the new START treaty that Obama negotiated with Russia which will reduce the number of US nuclear warheads to 1,500, which is more than enough to incinerate the entire planet. And it also left open... Read More
Joe Biden is in Kiev. He has again pledged Washington's support for NATO expansion to include the Ukraine. Why adding a nation to an already meaningless alliance that will only serve to anger Russia and increase the risk of war is being pursued at all is a mystery to me. Will the US be forced... Read More
Barack Obama's endorsement of Joe Biden's call for $1 billion in aid to Georgia for reconstruction dodges the question of reconstruction of what and where. As most of the fighting was in South Ossetia, which almost certainly will wind up as part of Russia, it is not likely that the money will go there. And... Read More
Bill Kristol's op ed "Will Russia Get Away With It?" in today's The New York Times is a beauty even by his admittedly low standards. Our corrupt thugs in Tbilisi are apparently being bullied by an "autocratic aggressor" from Moscow and we can't let the bad guys get away with it, particularly as the brave... Read More