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Community Voices (Pyatt): Making Ukraine out to be The Mouse That Roared

From now on, our children will be educated either with the “Fox News” or ”CNN/MSNBC News” history books. I guess each school district will be provided the parents’ voter registration affiliation. But more worrisome, will actual vital CIA and/or NSA generated intelligence — some of which could save many American lives in the future — be believed and acted upon by this administration or even future ones? Or will only favorable news — to the infamous audience of one — be acted upon?

In this regard, Russia and Vladimir Putin are clearly the big winners of our Partisan Divide, and we eventually certainly will pay a huge price whether as a victim of a cyber-war or as a result of further infiltration by Russia or China. But at this stage, Putin wins no matter what the outcome of the 2020 election.

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Peter Sellers starred in a movie “The Mouse That Roared” about a small fictional country (the Duchy of Grand Fenwick) that declares war on the United States, using bows and arrows as weapons. The point was to get world-wide attention. A California wine-maker copied their formula and was on the verge of bankrupting this tiny Duchy. Their expectation was that the American government would feel sorry for them and provide financial aid.

Much as this farce made good comedy during the Cold War, why on earth would a troubled nation such as Ukraine — at war and heavily outgunned with our supposed joint arch enemy Russia — spy on us and try to rig our elections? What would be the purpose? It is entirely consistent, however, with Putin’s persona — he is a former KGB agent — to try to pin the blame on Ukraine if he could find a willing stooge.

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Hopefully, I’m not going too fast. Putin 101 is all about misdirection. It’s just in his DNA.

Then Imagine the FBI and intelligence officials in 2019 being tasked by our uber-partisan attorney general with determining whether Ukraine actually interfered with our elections. It would be like being asked: 1. Did Japan actually attack Pearl Harbor? 2. Did the United States beat Russia to the moon? 3. Did the British once actually own parts of the United States? 4. Was there really a battle at nearby Gettysburg?

I think today’s version of the story should star Rudy Giuliani as the mouse who gnawed his way through Ukranian politics, ate all of the grain along with his high-priced contractors, and became the one who roared when he was caught.

Much of the veracity in the belief that Russia was the chief architect of assisting President Trump in his ultimately upset victory in 2016 — one could argue that it eventually didn’t matter, since Trump likely won legitimately — and Trump’s willingness to participate in this questionable/illegal arrangement assuming he wouldn’t be caught, came from a CIA high-level asset. This can only be reported in general terms to both protect information gained and to protect the asset from execution, but all of the American spymasters believe it to be true. This is 24-karat gold for intelligence officials but not so much for many Trump supporters.

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Neither Putin nor Trump apparently were aware of this asset’s existence and were so confident they were just flabbergasted when it came out as it did just after the 2016 election.

I believe this is the initiation of “fake news” as we know it. I just read “Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow about his investigation of Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein used Israeli former intelligence agents to shadow his sexual victims, discredit them, and eventually intimidate NBC top brass to keep the story from being aired on TV. There was a well developed “security umbrella” ongoing for many years, e.g. decades. Only Farrow’s tenacity — and apparently reprehension against sexual abuse — prevailed in getting the New Yorker to print his account.

The same sources of this Russian “fake news” scam used the National Inquirer — owned by David Pecker — and some of the same methods and people appear to be co-shared by the Weinstein team and the Trump team, which was a long term and expensive operation, and the smaller, but eventually more important because of the Mueller investigation, Trump cover-up of collusion with Putin. We all know what happened to Trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen. The parallels are quite remarkable.

I can understand the enthusiasm and zeal Trump brings to his followers, especially to a younger crowd. A friend asked me to attend a rally in Hagerstown during the 2016 election — we couldn’t get inside — but the outside vendors and other folks reminded me of the tailgating events at a Ravens game.

Hiding in plain sight and coupled with enough vigorous shouting and arm-waving — when recognizing human shortcomings at a high enough level — is a good political strategy. If it walks, quacks, and swims like a duck, it must be an albatross.

Dave Pyatt writes from Mount Airy.

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