Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Pathocrats At Play

Even calling it a proxy war is starting to get a little bit precious. In case we needed any more evidence that the United States is simply using Ukrainian bodies and Ukrainian real estate for its war with Russia, no longer bothering to hide the fact that Ukraine is naught but its Cold War 2.0 vassal state, comes news that US Attorney General Merrick Garland personally traveled to Ukraine on Tuesday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russian war crimes.

Apparently, there is no official in Ukraine, either presidential, judicial or parliamentary, who is capable of appointing special prosecutors. The United States is in full charge and in full control of its puppet regimes.

In a buried paragraph of exquisite understatement, the New York Times casually mentions, almost in passing, that

His overseas travel comes at a particularly tense moment in his tenure at the Justice Department, on a day of dramatic congressional testimony about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that prompted many Democrats to renew their call for him to prosecute former President Donald J. Trump and his allies.

When a nation's top cop is being spread this thin, making him the personification of American "policeman of the world" exceptionalism, it kind of makes you suspect anew that the Trump Show Trial is totally just for show. The testimony elicited Tuesday from the various targets of Trump's coup attempt was, you have to admit, rather compelling, with a whole parade of GOP election officials and politicians swearing that they feared for their very lives as they were so terribly torn between appeasing Trump and thwarting him.

 Merrick Garland  certainly picked a good day to skip town and meddle in the war crimes of others. Then again, the congress-critter (Bennie Thompson) in charge of  the Show Trial has already signaled that he would not be forwarding the panel's findings to the Justice Department, which is said to  be conducting its own casual investigation into what they're touting as the biggest, most horrible alleged threat to our "democracy" in the history of American history. All this, while Trump still plays golf with impunity.

Of course, the Ukraine prosecutor whom Garland is taking it upon himself to appoint has the requisite deep ties to the American security state and its NGO cutouts. What the Times doesn't report is that, before becoming the top cop in her own country,  Irina Veneditkova was a faculty advisor at the Pennsylvania-based Leavitt Institute For International Development, which is funded by what it calls "private donations." In other words, it is very possibly a CIA front organization dedicated to regime change and capitalistic plunder.

 Its founder, David Leavitt, is also currently Utah's Republican county attorney.

But just like Garland, Leavitt doesn't let his job fighting malfeasance in The Homeland take away from his ongoing work in Ukraine, to which he personally traveled earlier this year, ostensibly to find American homes for refugees, and otherwise "spreading democracy, ethics and the rule of law" to that country and its Eastern European neighbors. 

He and other beneficiaries of the neoconservative/ liberal interventionist model of war are not spreading themselves too thin at all. They are simply spreading democracy in the form of suctioning up the wealth of nations to line their own bottomless pockets or those of their clients. Or as the glossy Leavitt website more delicately spins it:

Organized in 2005 by David and Chealthlom Leavitt, TLI operates under the premise that seasoned legal professionals can share their experience and knowledge in order to help push democratic reforms.

TLI began with private donations from the Leavitt family and friends and a small handful of volunteers. Today, TLI operates in multiple cities in eastern Europe, teaching and shaping the minds of the next generation of leaders.

As part of its efforts, TLI involves some of the brightest international relations specialists and legal minds throughout the world to teach democratic principles, rule of law, and ethics. TLI teachers are experienced judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and legal counselors from the United States and Canada. They lecture on a variety of subjects and make a lasting impression on the minds of their students.

Among the board of directors of TLI is Natalie Jaresko, an American who has previously worked with the State Department, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Treasury Department - in other words,  the "Blob" -  who was integral in the neoliberalization of the former Soviet Union. In other words, she was a player in the 90s "Harvard Boys" collective, enabling a group of oligarchs to impoverish the Russian people after the Soviet Union collapsed.

As Ukraine's US-installed finance minister, her mammoth task was imposing austerity on regular Ukrainians once the US-manufactured coup in 2014 was a done deal.  Jaresko later brought her economic talents to the US territory of Puerto Rico with her management of the Oversight and Management Board and the subsequent imposition of crushing austerity programs for the regular residents of that particular territory.

It's a big club, as George Carlin used to say. You ain't in it, but Merrick Garland, David Leavitt, Natalie Jaresko and new US-appointed "war crimes prosecutor" Veneditkova certainly are. When you consider that they're all just part of the same big fat blob-club, then it doesn't seem  so weird for Merrick Garland to be calling the legal shots in a foreign country. How could the US possibly be meddling in what is its own conquered territory? They are imperialists, after all, and it behooves them, for democracy appearance's sake, to utilize the requisite number of native experts to do their bidding.

Of course, neither the US nor Russia have signed official international war crimes treaties. The US even has a law on the books requiring it to rescue any of its own club of accused war criminals (think of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Obama, Biden et al) should any of them ever find themselves on trial in The Hague.

So while the Times and other establishment media clutch their pearls over the Trump Show Trial and Garland's absence from The Homeland, they don't even pay lip service to Julian Assange, the imprisoned exposer of American war crimes who is currently under orders by a complicit British official to be extradited to the United States for prosecution under the archaic "espionage act." That law was a fraud right from its World War I start. It was enacted as a means for persecuting antiwar activists and whistleblowers then, and it's being used as such now.

As much as the purveyors and beneficiaries of predatory capitalism choke on their own hypocritical excesses, it will never stop them from gorging themselves till they burst. They're relying on public apathy and the efforts of the courtier establishment press to either maintain it, or to redirect citizen ire against an outside enemy. Think about the scourge of Putinflation, for example.

Maybe the constant exposure of the pathocrats and their foul deeds by what remains of our free press will amount to a forced dietary intervention. As exhausting as this task is, giving up simply doesn't seem like the best option, not even in this, the terminal phase of civilization.


Mark Thomason said...

Ukraine did not want and did not have real prosecutors during the high days of its oligarchic corruption, pre-war. Any prosecutors would have revealed too much, and the US did not want that any more than did the powers in Ukraine.

Now they do? No. Only to bash Russia. Lawfare.

They can't get too independent, or someone might ask why there were no negotiations in the two months before the war, as tensions rose and nobody talked about clearly expressed Russian concerns.

This was was desired, by Ukraine, and by the US. They just desired a different war than they got. They expected more fighting with separatists, bleeding Russia with some behind the lines insurgency they'd been preparing. They had hopes of regaining territory, and actually moved troops and began increased artillery shoots at the separatists to get started on that war they wanted and expected.

But they Putin did what Biden apparently thought was just a bluff. "He wouldn't dare."

This incitement of war was yet another war crime of aggressive war, yet again by the US.

Marcus A. A. said...

Karen. mahalo nui for the Carlin quote, love your style.

voice-in-wilderness said...

I predict that the final report of the House Committee will land with a dull thud and produce no more results than the Mueller Report. Trump has no worries from Mild Merrick's DOJ. Trump can concentrate on DeSantis as his real worry. Set your countdown clock for full Fascism after the November 2024 election.

VLT said...

I think the Trump show trial is just so that Trump himself - who is clearly going off the tracks - doesn't get enough support to run. As has been predicted by the alternative press, we will simply get a "smarter version of Trump." I think Mike Pompeo and Rick DeSantis are going to be the forerunners. Then people will look at Liz Cheney as the "voice of sanity" in the Republican Party.

As for the Leavitt Institute For International Development. When I read, "TLI operates in multiple cities in eastern Europe, teaching and shaping the minds of the next generation of leaders," the infamous School of the Americas came to mind.

I was really unhappy to see that Elizabeth Warren was quoted as saying,“Assange is a bad actor who has harmed U.S. national security — and he should be held accountable,” I can agree that he harmed U.S. national security by pulling back the curtain on the myth that America seeks only to defend the weak with their military - but that he should be held accountable was a bit much. I've been writing to Penny Wong, who is one of the senators from my state, and is the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Albanese government. I quite like her for the most part, but like Warren, she is quite the (Labor) Party loyalist. She hasn't condemned Julian Assange like Warren, but she hasn't indicated that the Labor Party is willing to spend some political capital on getting Assange back to Australia. I find the whole thing discouraging. I don't plan on voting in the mid-terms.

Erik Roth said...

Punished for Exposing War Crimes?
U.K. Approves Assange Extradition to U.S., Faces 175 Years in Prison —
June 17, 2022

Extraditing Assange Would Be a “Legalized” Rendition to US Torture —
June 22, 2022 ~ by Azeezah Kanji, Truthout

Julian Assange Is Enduring Unbearable Persecution for Exposing US War Crimes —
June 21, 2022 ~ by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout

Free Assange? Yes, But That’s Not Nearly Enough —
June 21, 2022 ~ by Thomas Knapp

Erik Roth said...

“Greenspan’s rise is instead a tale of a gerbilish mirror-gazer who flattered and bullshitted his way up the Matterhorn of American power and then, once he got to the top, feverishly jacked himself off to the attentions of Wall Street for twenty consecutive years—in the process laying the intellectual foundation for a generation of orgiastic greed and overconsumption and turning the Federal Reserve into a permanent bailout mechanism for the super-rich.”
~ Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages —
June 22, 2022 ~ by Michael Hudson

Fed chair acknowledges that higher interest rates could cause a recession —
Powell is testifying before the Senate Banking Committee as the Fed ramps up its effort to slash inflation from 40-year highs.
June 22, 2022 ~ by Rachel Siegel

mjb said...

Thank you for another excellent column, Karen. Not only do you provide a lucid and incisive analysis of our dire social/political situation, I find it to be an educational experience. Your knowledge of the subject matter is so impressive and I love your creative writing style. I don't possess a great vocabulary. So, sometimes I need to "google" unfamiliar words, like pathocracy for example. It took me to a "Pathocracy Blog" site, which I thought was interesting. That term does sort of describe our ruling class doesn’t it. I do agree, we need to keep fighting, any way we can.

The Jan. 6th hearing is just a "made for tv" spectacle. It won't change anything. Mainly just a political ad. Nothing gained if the DOJ does not prosecute.