I know a lot about Russia, and its predecessor, the Soviet Union. I worked for Armand Hammer, an "old friend" of the Soviet regime; I speak a little Russian; as a 19-year-old, I visited Moscow in 1960 and shook a KGB tail to penetrate the Powers U2 spy trial; and I later got unparalleled access to the vault containing the most sacred secrets of the Soviet empire. And when I was a Navy JAG officer in the 1960s, I had a SIOP-ESI clearance, the highest possible, and represented the captain of an American nuclear submarine in an investigation into what was a possible collision with a Russian nuclear submarine in a place where neither vessel should have been.
Russia is not a friend of the United States, and never will be. Putin is cast in the mold of Stalin and the old apparatchiks of the Soviet regime, and is a brutal dictator. So why is Donald Trump so cozy with him? Is he totally compromised by indebtedness to Russian moneylenders? Has he been compromised by a video of him having sex with a busty, blond Russian spy? Does he just want to reset the relationship with Russia and Putin, which under Obama and Clinton has become chilly and outright hostile?
One of the most fascinating of the above contacts with Russia involved an associate who did business in Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He got to know Boris Yeltsin, and when Yeltsin was barricaded inside the Soviet White House by Soviet generals staging a coup in 1993, with all communication with the outside world cut off, his only method of communication was a satellite phone given to him by my friend, who was in an office nearby. As a result of this one thin line of access, Yeltsin was able to learn what was going on around him relating to the coup, and when it was safe to come outside and mount the Russian tank and declare that the coup was over and that he had prevailed.
As a result, when Yeltsin consolidated his power as Russia's President, he owed my friend a lot. He asked "What do you want?', and my friend told him "Access to all of the Soviet Union's top secrets". So Yeltsin, who had no love for the former Soviet Union, opened up the secret vaults and gave unlimited access to them to my friend. He has shared some of what he found with me:
- Stalin's Communist Party card, written in blood;
- Adolf Hitler's skull, and the autopsy of his remains by Russian doctors (he did have only one testicle, and appeared to be circumcised);
- The Politburo minutes regarding the decision to invade Afghanistan in 1979, where many members of the Politburo feared that such an invasion would involve their country in another Vietnam (they were right);
- A transcript of a 1989 tete-a-tete discussion between Soviet President Gorbachev and American President George H. W. Bush, which was supposed to be a private conversation, but which Gorbachev had secretly taped; and
- Evidence from a KGB spy who had penetrated the highest levels of the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) and the Vatican that the two had collaborated to help 30,000 Nazi SS officers and soldiers escape from Europe after the Second World War to North and South America by sending them through Vatican monasteries in Southern Europe disguised as monks to Genoa, Italy, where they were taken in ships to the New World.
Donald Trump's World
The Russians have long tried to entrap Western diplomats by setting them up with beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed Russian or Eastern European women, and Donald Trump was a sitting duck for this kind of entrapment.
The Russians have long tried to entrap Western diplomats by setting them up with beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed Russian or Eastern European women, and Donald Trump was a sitting duck for this kind of entrapment. All three of his wives fit this stereotype and two of them are Eastern European. Trump travels a lot, and probably has been to Russia and Eastern Europe, and his lascivious tastes in women are well documented. Often, he has proven that his small head dictates his big head. Was he videotaped having sex with such a Russian spy? If so, would he be proud of his performance with the woman, and the size of the Presidential organ he displayed, or not? Would he do everything to prevent this videotape from being broadcast to the world, even sell out his country?
Alternatively, one of his sons admitted over a decade ago that The Trump Organization was heavily indebted to Russian money to help keep his companies afloat. Trump refuses to release his tax returns or reveal his financial arrangements, so we do not know if this is currently true or not. If in fact Trump's companies are heavily indebted to Russians tied to Putin, that would explain his love affair with Putin, "the Butcher of Aleppo", as the world is now witnessing in heartbreaking detail.
We will know soon if President Trump will do things in the interests of the country he heads, or if he will be a "useful idiot" for Putin. His nomination of Rex Tillerson of Exxon as Secretary of State is worrisome, as it is in the strong interests of his company to establish warm relations with Russia, and to relax or eliminate the sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama and our allies. Likewise, his National Security Advisor, the rabid Marine General Michael Flynn, was a guest of Putin in Russia, and may have also been compromised.
Many years ago I represented Atlantic Richfield for seven years in a lawsuit brought against the seven largest American oil companies by the Federal Trade Commission. It was a "shared monopoly" case, alleging that the seven acted in concert to monopolize the oil industry, so we were legally entitled to meet jointly to plan our defenses.
During this period, I got to meet regularly with the top legal counsel of Exxon, Mobil, Amoco, Texaco, Gulf, and Chevron. All of the representatives of this group regarded Exxon as the elephant in the room, a huge, unbending company that did what it wanted when it wanted, the rest of the world (and the other six oil companies) be damned.
If you were an Exxon employee, it was for life, and Tillerson appears to be the archetype of this corporate culture: he has only worked for Exxon, for over 40 years. I have little hope that he will abandon his Exxon mindset (brainwash?) if he is confirmed as Secretary of State.
For the first time in American history, many Americans (mostly Democrats) believe that their President-elect is not a loyal American and may even be a traitor. If it turns out that this becomes evident as he wallows along in office, he will be impeached, and Republicans such as Sen. John McCain will lead the way.