Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kompromat

By now everyone paying attention to the American gong show is aware of the 35 page document Buzzfeed released of unverified accusations that Trump is far more mixed up with the Kremlin than he will admit and furthermore that they have a compromising video of him.  The latter has provided a great deal merriment on the internet from people recognizing that he is, indeed, a Goldwater Republican.

Whether or not anything in the dossier is true, it is nice to see him get a little of his own back after all the problems he gave Obama and Clinton. And if it can be proven that he and his team conspired with the Russians during the campaign, he joins the ranks of Nixon and Reagan in committing treason in order to win an election.

Not sure that a video of the Golden (Showers) Girls is particularly damning to someone like Trump, compared to, say, three 13 year old girls, but since the video was made a few years back, the FSB would have to take what they could get ie what Trump was interested in. Whether it exists or not, Kompromat (Compromising Material) is certainly how the Russians and the Soviets before them do and did business.

Walter Duranty who infamously said that the Ukrainians were hungry but not starving during the Holodomor privately admitted that up to 10 million had died but he vehemently denied it in the press, writing glowingly of Stalin.  Robert Conquest believed it was because he was being blackmailed over his drug use and sexual behaviour.

Brian Whitmore of The Power Vertical podcasts on RFE/RL posted a link on his daily newsletter The Morning Vertical (which you can subscribe to for free here) describing How State-Sponsored Blackmail Works in Russia. Well worth reading to understand how it is done.

My own experience with the Soviet surveillance system occurred in 1991.  My first overseas trip was as part of a Saskatchewan trade mission to Kazakhstan.  It was still the USSR in those days though as t turned out, not for many months longer.  We flew into Moscow via Helsinki in order to fly to Almaty Kazakhstan.  ALL flights into Russia were through Moscow. The in-flight movie, appropriately enough, was The Russia House with Sean Connery and Michelle Pheiffer. 

We may have stayed at the Intourist Hotel or one of its sisters downtown near the Kremlin. Your room key was held by a floor lady and returned to her if you left your room.  Her job was to know who came and when and when and if there were any visitors and report all this to authorities. We did not lock our suitcases as we knew they would be gone through (they were) and if locked, the locks would be broken.

Between each pair of rooms was a small door opening into, we assumed, a narrow room where maintenance could access plumbing and the KGB could eavesdrop either live or with bugs.  We did not expect our rooms would be bugged in Moscow as we were pretty small potatoes.

Kazakhstan was a different matter.  In Tselinograd (now the capital city of Astana) we again stayed at the Intourist Hotel where we ran into another Saskatchewan businessman.  He was working on establishing a swather manufacturing joint-venture and had been staying at the hotel quite a while.  The manager of the hotel finally told him one day to stop talking to himself in the morning as she had to go to the Police station and report everything he said.  He did not believe her until she quoted word for word his morning conversation while he was shaving.

We did not talk business in our rooms.










6 comments:

  1. You MUST watch Stephen Colbert's monologue on Trump's dossier! It's brilliant!

    https://youtu.be/Bn6hAD_1Xr0

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  2. It doesn't really even matter if it's true or not since so little Trump says is based on facts.

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  3. Replies
    1. That seems like a good motto for 2017 onward, doesn't it?

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