Russian Interference

Regime Change

During a speech he was giving in Warsaw, Poland last week, President Joe Biden improvised and said, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

President Biden was talking about Russian president Vladimir Putin. After he said it, everyone lost their shit because it’s never official U.S. policy to remove foreign leaders…except when it is. The United States has removed a lot of world leaders. Sometimes, the U.S. removes the leader of a nation with an invasion, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other times, it’s more covert and an operation of the CIA, which has engineered the removals of leaders in Africa, South America, and the Middle East. These things tend to come back and bite the United States in the ass. Remember the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis?

Secretary of State Antony Blinkin immediately released a statement saying, “uh-uh, we don’t do that.” The White House scrambled with an official saying, “The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia or regime change.”

In the past, President Biden has called Putin “soulless,” a “butcher,” a “pure thug,” a “murderous dictator,” and most recently, a “war criminal.” But it’s bad policy to publicly call for regime change unless you’re Donald Trump dropping bombs on Iranian generals or George W. Bush dropping bombs on Saddam Hussein’s palaces. During Bush the First’s Desert Storm, they never officially called for the removal or death of Saddam Hussein, but the weren’t trying to renovate his bathrooms either by dropping smart bombs on his palaces.

Now, Vladimir Putin will portray himself as the victim of U.S. aggression attempting to oust him from power…while he attempts to oust the president of Ukraine from power.

President Biden said yesterday that he was not calling for regime change in Russia and his words were nothing more than “personal feelings” stemming from “moral outrage.” He said, “Nobody believes I was talking about taking down Putin.”

While a president shouldn’t call for the ouster of foreign leaders, I understand the desire that evil people don’t control entire nations. Biden shouldn’t have made that statement, but I’m not rushing to condemn it because the man he’s talking about removing tried to remove democracy from our nation.

Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election in an operation called “Project Lakhta” to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and install Donald Trump into the White House. Under the Russian president’s orders, a troll farm was created in St. Petersburg, Russia called the Internet Research Agency. They created thousands of social media accounts pretending to be Americans in radical groups, from hyper leftists to white nationalists racists. They promoted events for Trump and spread misinformation about Hillary Clinton. Hackers from Russia’s military infiltrated the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Campaign, and other Democratic groups. The stolen files and emails were then given to Wikileaks, DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, and the Trump Campaign, which Donald Trump would read aloud at his hate rallies. The Russians even tried to directly give the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, with Don Jr. hosting the Russians in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.

The Russian misinformation campaign is credited for Trump winning Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan by using Facebook ads to target voters leaning toward Jill Stein, which would take votes away from Hillary Clinton, thus giving Trump the state. Trump spent the next four years boasting about winning these states despite losing the popular vote to Clinton. Four years later, President Biden slipped all three of those states away from Trump with much larger margins than Trump had won them in 2016.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation couldn’t prove direct cooperation between Trump and Russia despite numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, but concluded that Russian interference was “sweeping,” “systematic” and “violated U.S. criminal law.” Mueller indicted 26 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations. It also led to indictments and convictions of several Trump goons, several of whom were later pardoned by Trump.

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report that said the Russian government had engaged in an “extensive campaign” to sabotage the election in favor of Trump, which included assistance from some of Trump’s own advisers.

The GOP welcomed this interference and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused a request by President Obama to join him to denounce the attacks. Donald Trump even publicly requested that Russia help his campaign. From after the election to today, Donald Trump has continued to deny any Russian interference occurred or helped him win the White House. He even stood next to Vladimir Putin and took the Russian’s side over American intelligence saying, “My people came to me, (Director of National Intelligence) Dan Coats came to me and some others saying they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

We are still cleaning up from the puppet Putin put in charge of our nation. President Biden is repairing NATO and other relationships with all our allies from the destruction of Putin’s orange-flavored shitweasel. For the next 30-40 years, we will have judges in federal courts who were installed by Vladimir Putin’s election interference. Three members of the Supreme Court would not be there today, and for the rest of their lives, if not for the efforts of Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin attacked our nation in 2016 with an orange shit bomb. He attacked it again in 2018 and in 2020. He’s attacked our democratic allies’ elections. And, he’s going to do it again in 2024. If Putin succeeds with regime change in the next presidential election by installing Trump once again, I believe that’ll be the end of our democracy and the beginning of a fascist state controlled by cult worship.

So, yeah…we shouldn’t be happy with President Biden for saying out loud he wants a regime change in Russia. But the people who really don’t want regime change in Russia are Republicans who accepted Putin’s help with regime change in America.

Music Note: I started rocking out after I lettered and roughed this, and I listened to The Killers, Kings of Leon, a bunch of singles from other artists, and even got some Journey in.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a new report yesterday that Russia probably targeted the election systems in all 50 states in 2016, the federal government didn’t adequately warn the states, and the threat persists heading into the 2020 presidential, Senate, and Congressional campaigns.

The report states they started the meddling as early as 2014 and continued into 2017. U.S. officials believe the Russians probably scanned systems in every state, such as election-related web pages, voter ID information, election system software, and election service companies. Two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security disclosed that the Russian government, including their military, had hackers target 21 states during the 2016 campaign.

During Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony this week, he described how Russia’s meddling was not a “hoax,” that the Trump campaign welcomed their interference, and that Russia was “doing it as we sit here.” Republicans on the Congressional Judiciary and Intelligence committees scoffed and downplayed Russias interference and favoritism toward Donald Trump. Republicans and Trump are more concerned about “liberal” paper straws than Russians attacking us.

The Russians are doing it now “as we sit here” and they’re doing it to help reelect Donald Trump. Trump has spent his entire presidency kowtowing to Russia and Vladimir Putin. He invited Russians into the Oval Office where he gave them classified information that was obtained by a U.S. ally. He has refused to call out or blame Putin for the interference, which is an attack on our country which he took an oath to protect. He stood next to Putin in Helsinki and took his word over that of our National Intelligence. However, he did declare that our national security has been threatened by Canadian cheese.

On the same day the report was issued, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked two election security measures that would help keep our elections free and fair. McConnell argued that the bills would give Democrats a “political benefit.” He’s right in that free and fair elections, without Russian meddling, will help the Democratic Party because more Americans vote Democratic than Republican.

A House bill passed that requires the use of paper ballots and included funding for the Election Assistance Commission. It passed in the House with only one Republican vote. McConnell argued that it was partisan. Since when did protecting the United States of America, protecting our elections, and loyalty to our nation over Russia become partisan?

McConnell and Republicans have put more than party over country. They’ve put worship of a cult leader over their country, over our country.

Another bill blocked by McConnell would have made it a requirement for candidates, campaign officials, and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offered by a foreign government. This sounds like a no-brainer but it would obviously handicap the Trump campaign as Trump has stated recently that he’d welcome foreign assistance in the next election. He didn’t even send it in code. He flat out said it.

We need leaders in the House, Senate, and White House who will protect the nation they swore to defend. We need leaders who don’t go swinging with Putin.

Creative note: I hate to explain this but if you don’t know what Sling TV is, then maybe this cartoon doesn’t work for you. It’s basically another internet service that offers premium cable channels and it can be used on smart TVs. There are commercials where people invited by a creepy couple for “slinging” confuse the term with “swinging.” Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, married in real life, play the creepy couple shouting at neighbors, “You wanna sling tonight?” “Hey, Bruce, bring your mom.” I think they’re hilarious.

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