Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan - 9

The resting place of corruption fighters
Today's post shares some information about an Oiligarch of Oil-Qaeda.

An Oiligarch who is being courted by a member of The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan known as "the Leader of the Laundromat."

It begins with the written statement, and expert testimony (see video below, long but worth it) that was quite recently given under oath to the Senate Judicial Committee (for some reason it is not reported on sufficiently in the media yet).

It is testimony (hopefully the good witness lives long!) that finally trumps some of the mystery contained in current media reporting.

That mystery is "why would The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan lie so much to everybody when there is no 'there' there ?"

Well, as it turns out, there is more there there than previously "imagined":
"Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today on the Russian government’s attempts to repeal the Magnitsky Act in Washington in 2016, and the enablers who conducted this campaign in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, by not disclosing their roles as agents for foreign interests.

Before I get into the actions of the agents who conducted the anti-Magnitsky campaign in Washington for the benefit of the Russian state, let me share a bit of background about Sergei Magnitsky and myself."
(The Atlantic, emphasis added). So, this person knows about the Magnitsky Act and that it has nothing to do with adopting Russian children (Russia fumes as U.S. Senate passes measure aimed at human rights).

Well then, let's shock jock ourselves with these tidbits:
"Russia has a well-known reputation for corruption; unfortunately, I discovered that it was far worse than many had thought. While working in Moscow I learned that Russian oligarchs stole from shareholders, which included the fund I advised. Consequently, I had an interest in fighting this endemic corruption, so my firm started doing detailed research on exactly how the oligarchs stole the vast amounts of money that they did. When we were finished with our research we would share it with the domestic and international media.

For a time, this naming and shaming campaign worked remarkably well and led to less corruption and increased share prices in the companies we invested in. Why? Because President Vladimir Putin and I shared the same set of enemies. When Putin was first elected in 2000, he found that the oligarchs had misappropriated much of the president’s power as well. They stole power from him while stealing money from my investors. In Russia, your enemy’s enemy is your friend, and even though I’ve never met Putin, he would often step into my battles with the oligarchs and crack down on them.

That all changed in July 2003, when Putin arrested Russia’s biggest oligarch and richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Putin grabbed Khodorkovsky off his private jet, took him back to Moscow, put him on trial, and allowed television cameras to film Khodorkovsky sitting in a cage right in the middle of the courtroom. That image was extremely powerful, because none of the other oligarchs wanted to be in the same position. After Khodorkovsky’s conviction, the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky. From what followed, it appeared that Putin’s answer was, “Fifty percent.” He wasn’t saying 50 percent for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50 percent for Vladimir Putin personally. From that moment on, Putin became the biggest oligarch in Russia and the richest man in the world, and my anti-corruption activities would no longer be tolerated."
(ibid, The Atlantic, emphasis added). So, the act was about seizing billions of dollars hidden in banks in "the West," rather than Putin's concern for children.

The richest man in the world would likely reward anyone who could lift the sanctions that now have his money on ice:
"For two reasons. First, since 2012 it’s emerged that Vladimir Putin was a beneficiary of the stolen $230 million that Sergei Magnitsky exposed. Recent revelations from the Panama Papers have shown that Putin’s closest childhood friend, Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist, received $2 billion of funds from Russian oligarchs and the Russian state. It’s commonly understood that Mr. Roldugin received this money as an agent of Vladimir Putin. Information from the Panama Papers also links some money from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky discovered and exposed to Sergei Roldugin. Based on the language of the Magnitsky Act, this would make Putin personally subject to Magnitsky sanctions.

This is particularly worrying for Putin, because he is one of the richest men in the world. I estimate that he has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains from these types of operations over his 17 years in power. He keeps his money in the West and all of his money in the West is potentially exposed to asset freezes and confiscation. Therefore, he has a significant and very personal interest in finding a way to get rid of the Magnitsky sanctions."
(ibid). Wow, that is a few billion reasons for helping Putin get his money back, eh?

"A little" shape shifting, "a little" bullshitting, and ... viola ... back in the black for The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan.

Is the deadly game going to go all bullshit on steroids and perhaps bigly violent, now that The Don has blown his cover and the U.S. Congress is adding even more sanctions?

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Ode to the sycophants (R-RU) in our midst:

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