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03 March 2017

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The Beaver

Sadly the Borgists/media/conspiracy theorists can't see the forest for the trees.Most countries nominate career diplomats ( who may have been trained and coached through their Foreign office /affairs department depending how you qualify them) or politicians on a hiatus ( couldn't get re-elected) as Ambassadors in the major capitals and this is for good reasons.
However, seems that some ambassadors representing the US in key NATO and G20 capitals buy their nomination via election campaign donations. Hence this misunderstanding wrt the functions ans responsibilities of an Ambassador and/or a chargé d'Affaires.
Not being disrespectful to our host ( for giving the appearance of bashing the US), the media and some on the Hill are so used to having the CIA at the diplomatic missions and USAID doing the dirty work that they can't comprehend the relations building done by "non'friendly' countries.
We have experienced this also in Ottawa under PM Harper - he saw the boogeymen within the Iran Embassy and some Muslim/African countries

plantman

It seems to me that the Borgists want to remove the country's chief law enforcement officer so they can appoint an "independent counsel" that will rummage thru Trump's laundry generating suspicion and making it look like he is the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

This isn't about "uncovering the truth". It's a character assassination campaign designed to overturn the results of the election.

William R. Cumming

IMO almost all foreign entities including nation-states have on permanent retainers lobbyists, either registered under FARA or not. The Trump effort to ban all federal officials for life after leaving the federal roles will fail.

These lobbyists of course do not have diplomatic status or immunity from U.S. laws.

DoJ and the AG govern FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act)!

turcopolier

Beaver

Disrespect to moi? What are you talking about? You are Canadian as I recall. I have met a few Canadian ambassadors and they never seemed to me to be of great importance in the countries to which they were accredited. Canadian military attachés were often very good in my experience both as USDEFATT twice and head of the world-wide US military attaché system. In a US embassy there may be or may not be a CIA station labeled as something else. But it is a very rare thing when a CIA Station Chief manages to wrest control of the embassy from an ambassador whether career or political. egos are too large for that. I don't know what you mean by "dirty work." CIA in almost all countries is primarily engaged in liaison with the host country intelligence and police services. If here is a Military attaché in the embassy the main internal obsession of the CIA Station is finding a way to screw the military attaché. Neither the CIA Chief nor the military attaché are subordinates of the ambassador but they are required under the Country Team concept to keep the ambassador informed in detail of what they are doing. I don't know how CIA rates its people but the military attaché is rated by the Director of DIA with a letter input from the ambassador if he wishes to send one in. There are a few rare cases in which the military attaché is also head of thhe US Training and advisory group in the country. In those cases the theater commander rates the military attaché. BTW Chrystia (?) Freeland your FM is a bosom buddy of both Dr. Farkas and Victoria Nuland. pl

notlurking

Any odds out there that Kislyak may all of a sudden drop dead........

dsrcwt

Colonel, I don't know if you've seen this about Ms. Freeland's family history:

http://johnhelmer.net/victim-or-aggressor-chrystia-freelands-family-record-for-nazi-war-profiteering-and-murder-of-the-cracow-jews/

Justin must be so proud.

Clonal Antibody

YOu might find this interesting - Democrat Claire McCaskill Caught Lying About Meeting With Russian Ambassador

he latest example of lying while sucking at technology comes to us from Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who tried her best to pile on the Russophobic Jeff Sessions witch hunt by emphatically tweeting about how she's never had a call or meeting with the Russians. Ever. Unfortunately for Claire, she forgot about the two times she not only did that, but tweeted about it!
Kooshy

Colonel what's your openion in regard to sending campaign donors as US representatives/ ambassadors. IMO it's not professional doing that, not sending an exprinced carier deplomat, after all, IMO they should represent and protect the intrests of the country they represent and not the president.
Thanks

TV

I watched Sessions on TV yesterday.
Once again, living proof that being able to sit through 3 years of boring law classes makes one a lawyer.
Sessions created this mess by stepping on his own dick - a habit that seems to be quite common among Trump appointees and sycophants.

kao_hsien_chih

One thing that ambassadors shouldn't be doing is to agitate publicly among the opponents of the host country's administration and rile them up against the government--which McFaul did rather often, if I recall correctly, when he was the ambassador to Russia. If any ambassador pulled off the kind of stunt that likes of McFaul did in Russia (and presumably elsewhere) in United States, I wonder what the reaction might be.

Eric Newhill

plantman,
Agreed. Lefty chatter is all about how an independent counsel will be an Obama appointee and how he will dig up enough dirt on Trump that Trump can be impeached. Some are going so far as to say that Trump is a traitor allied with Russia.

They don't care about the facts or about what ambassadors do or any of that; only that Trump be removed from power. Sessions should have never recused himself under these circumstances, though I agree that it was, technically, the right thing to do because he was involved in Trump's campaign.

Trump had better take out some Rep. rats, like McCain, right away or he might just find himself in hot water. His enemies will make mountains out of mole hills

dmr

"The Israeli ambassador is accredited to Canada" ? Really? You're sure about this, Col. Lang? In fact there's an embassy and an ambassador in Ottawa operating independently of his counterpart in the USA, and has been for umpteen years. We're hardly a banana republic, nor is Israel so short-staffed in diplomatic personnel as to require their man in Washington to wear two hats.

Valissa

Claire McCaskill says she never met with Russian ambassador, past tweets say otherwise http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/mar/02/claire-mccaskill/claire-mccaskill-says-she-never-met-russian-ambass/

Democrat Claire McCaskill Caught Lying About Meeting With Russian Ambassador http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-02/democrat-claire-mccaskill-caught-lying-about-meeting-russian-ambassador
[Sean Davis tweet] NYT repeated as truth Claire McCaskill's lie that she never met or spoke to Russia's ambassador, then stealth deleted it w/o any note.
-----------

McCaskill's stupidity not as bad as the New York Times altering history to make her look truthful.

Kooshy

Would that make you worried on safety of our diplomats in Russia and elsewhere?

Cortes

Even in the direst of straits, Ambassadors have been known to have a sense of humour:

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/we-all-feel-like-that-now-and-then.html

Linda

Beaver
I guess I don't see anything new in most ambassadors being career foreign service and the rest being political appointees. And, yes, that is often because they have given all sorts of money to the election campaign. All of the presidents that I remember have operated this way.

Stumpy

Notably, our SOS has been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship. The US, also, awards Saudi prince with the George Tenet award. The ISS is manned by Russian Cosmonauts who graciously fly our Astronauts up and back.

The persecution of Russian "sympathizers" by the opposition media grows more schizophrenic with each passing day.

Speaking of US diplomacy, McDonald's has over 600 restaurants in Russia.

robt willmann

Who "met" the Russian ambassador to the U.S. is now quite a spectacle. A photo of senator Charles Schumer and Putin turns up. Then, the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, had to declare a version of, "what I really meant to say was", after a photo appeared of her across the table from Dmitry Medvedev, Sergei Lavrov, and the jolly Kislyak--

http://ibankcoin.com/flyblog/2017/03/03/remember-pelosi-said-didnt-meet-russian-ambassador-lied/

Wanting to get into the act, Democratic senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri) also apparently trapped herself--

http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/03/02/democrat-claire-mccaskill-caught-lying-about-meeting-with-russian-ambassador-when-will-she-resign/

With the distraction of all this jabbering and babbling about meeting an ambassador ... Beware the Ides of March.

On 15 March 2017, the "temporary" extension of the federal public debt limit ends, as was set up in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74, signed by Obama on 2 November 2015, which let the "representatives" of the people kick the can down the road until after the 2016 elections--

https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ74/PLAW-114publ74.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1314/text?overview=closed&r=1

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1314/all-info?r=1

Sections 901 and 902--

"Title IX—Temporary Extension of Public Debt Limit

Sec. 901. Temporary Extension of Public Debt Limit.

(a) In General.—Section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall not apply for the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on March 15, 2017.

(b) Special Rule Relating To Obligations Issued During Extension Period.—Effective March 16, 2017, the limitation in effect under section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall be increased to the extent that—

(1) the face amount of obligations issued under chapter 31 of such title and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) outstanding on March 16, 2017, exceeds

(2) the face amount of such obligations outstanding on the date of the enactment of this Act.

Sec. 902. Restoring Congressional Authority Over The National Debt.

(a) Extension Limited To Necessary Obligations.—An obligation shall not be taken into account under section 901(b)(1) unless the issuance of such obligation was necessary to fund a commitment incurred pursuant to law by the Federal Government that required payment before March 16, 2017.

(b) Prohibition On Creation Of Cash Reserve During Extension Period.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall not issue obligations during the period specified in section 901(a) for the purpose of increasing the cash balance above normal operating balances in anticipation of the expiration of such period."

Title 31, United States Code, section 3101(b), that "shall not apply" until 15 March, is here, under the amusing caption, "Public debt limit"--

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/3101

David Stockman, former budget director during the first Ronald Reagan administration, gives an opinion here--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xgNncFHAng

Rocketrepreneur

Pat,
I'm sort of conflicted on this. I'm definitely not a Russophobe (Romney's Coldwar-esque rhetoric was a big part of why I didn't vote for him in spite of being Mormon), and I agree that a lot of the Borg hates Trump for not being sufficiently Russophobic like they are. But on the other hand, I do wonder about a lot of this. It's not that meeting with a diplomat is wrong, because it's not. But the fact that so many of Trump's aides have both met with Russian representatives *and* tried to hide it that makes me wonder what's up. Why try to hide something that's perfectly legal? There's a chance that all of them independently accidentally forgot communicating with the Russians during the campaign, but that seems more and more unlikely the more cases we see.

I don't want a return to the US-Russian relations we had under Obama with Clinton at the State Department. But I also am a bit concerned when people are acting like they have something they need to cover up. Plus, while I would like to see good relations with Russia, I'd like to keep them short of blowing Putin big wet sloppy kisses. He's an authoritarian who does a lot that isn't up to the standards I'd like to hold the US to. There ought to be some more sane middle ground than the extremes staked out by Trump on one hand and the Clinton on the other hand.

That's my $0.02,

~Jon

Fred

dsrcwt,

"Freeland’s maternal grandfather...."

So children inherit the sins of grandfathers now? Perpetual guilt is a trip the left has been pushing for some time now.

LeaNder

Come on, this is ridiculous. But which side do you have in mind?

One has to wonder if the heightened activities by the Obama admin at the 12th hour were meant to set up a trap.

Should I start to consider, if I listen to the US ambassador over here no matter at what event, even in a political talk show, I may already be in danger of becoming a victim of PSYOP? What do you think? No danger, as long as I do not chat with him shortly after in private?

Admittedly I feel quite a bit of sympathy with the "diatribe" of Maria Zakharova:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IaoAj1RSXU

******
Besides, what does Ms Farkas mean by starting "by establishing a baseline of facts"? She gives the impression that all that needs to be known is already...

Judging from the comments rated to the top on the NYT b/Bernhard linked to yesterday "the huge outside political pressure" is already in place.

http://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/16/14630856/evelyn-farkas-trump-russia-flynn

turcopolier

rocketpreneur

It is not true that where there is smoke there will be fire. It is a fine art in Washington to create mistrust by spreading falsehoods. pl

turcopolier

dmr

OK. I'll take your word for it. The Israeli DEFATT in DC used to also be accredited in Ottawa. Not a "banana republic?" How about a maple syrup republic? pl

LeaNder

I am basically with you. But I have also mixed feelings about reducing Putin to purely an authoritarian. ...

More recently some "specialist" on matters over here, has shifted the argument slightly:

No there would probably be no definitive IT proof about Russian interference, precisely, because if the Russians were behind the DNC hack/leaks they wouldn't leave traces.

Now where does that argument leave us?

LondonBob

From afar it feels like this is really beginning to backfire for the Democrats. They could be in real trouble. Trump's recent tweets I like, mocking and turning attention where it should be, on Obama's actions.

Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, is due to visit Russia, five years since the last official visit. Bojo has never been entirely in line with the official Borg position on Russia.

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