Senator Dodd Scandals DC to Hollywood Favors

The 2009 financial crisis included a few other people with brewing scandals that included AIG and Countrywide. Senator Chris Dodd was the most corrupt and is now living the life of glamour and glitz. In Hollywood, the dark favors continue, where Chris Dodd roams and where Hillary Clinton winked often.

From Pro Publica:

As Hollywood Lobbied State Department, It Built Free Home Theaters for U.S. Embassies

Four U.S. Embassies got upgraded screening rooms last year, paid for by the lobbying arm of the big studios. The industry and the government say there were no strings attached.

This story was co-published with The Daily Beast.

Hollywood’s efforts to win political clout have always stretched across the country, from glitzy campaign fundraisers in Beverly Hills to cocktail parties with power brokers in Washington.

Last year, the film industry staked out another zone of influence: U.S. embassies. Its lobbying arm paid to renovate screening rooms in at least four overseas outposts, hoping the new theaters would help ambassadors and their foreign guests “keep U.S. cultural interests top of mind,” according to an internal email.

That was the same year that the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the six biggest studios, reported it was lobbying the State Department on issues including piracy and online content distribution. Hollywood’s interests – including its push for tougher copyright rules in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact – often put the industry at odds with Silicon Valley.

The only public indication of the embassy-theater initiative was a February 2015 press release from American officials in Madrid, titled “U.S. Embassy Launches State-of-the-Art Screening Room.” It credited “a generous donation” from the MPAA.

Asked about its gifts to the State Department, the lobby group declined to say how many embassies got donations or how much they were worth.

“Because film is a great ambassador for U.S. culture around the world, MPAA assisted with the upgrade of some embassy theater facilities,” said spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield. “All gifts complied with the law as well as with State Department ethics guidelines.”

Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokeswoman, said at least three embassies besides Madrid received between $20,000 and $50,000 in entertainment upgrades last year – London, Paris and Rome. The revamped screening rooms, she said, aren’t intended to entertain U.S. officials, but rather to help them host screenings to promote an American industry and sow goodwill.

Thompson said the donations were proper and that all gifts to the department are reviewed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. “The department has explicit authorities to accept gifts made for its benefit or for carrying out any of its functions,” she said.

The State Department routinely accepts gifts from outside groups, Thompson said. She couldn’t provide any other examples of major gifts from groups that simultaneously lobby the agency. Thompson declined to list the items given by the MPAA or their total value, and wouldn’t say whether the group had made similar gifts in the past.

There was at least one precedent. A spokesman for Warner Bros. Entertainment said the studio helped pay for the refurbishment of the screening room at the U.S. ambassador’s home in Paris in 2011. “This donation was coordinated with the State Department and complied with all appropriate rules and regulations,” the spokesman said.

State Department policies posted online specifically permit gifts from individuals, groups or corporations for “embassy refurbishment, ” provided that the donors are vetted to ensure there’s no conflict or possible “embarrassment or harm” to the agency. The posted policies include no caps on the value of donations, nor any requirements for public disclosure of foreign or American donors. The rules also say that the donations can’t come with a promise or expectation of “any advantage or preference from the U.S. Government.”

Obtaining an advantage, albeit a nonspecific one, sounded like the goal when a Sony Pictures Entertainment official wrote to the studio’s chief executive officer, Michael Lynton, to relay a request to fund the screening rooms from Chris Dodd, the former U.S. senator who heads the MPAA. The executive writing the note – Keith Weaver – sought to assure the CEO that such a donation wouldn’t be improper.

“The rationale being that key Ambassadors will keep U.S. cultural interests top of mind, as they screen American movies for high level officials where they are stationed,” reads the message, included in a cache of emails hacked from Sony and which were posted online by the website WikiLeaks.

“The cost implication is estimated to be $165k (aggregate of $$$/in-kind) per embassy/per studio. Apparently, donations of this kind are permissible.”

Besides Sony, the MPAA represents Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The e-mails suggest that Sony executives decided against contributing to the project for budget reasons.

The MPAA has long been a powerful presence in the nation’s capital, spending $1.34 million on federal lobbying last year, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. One of its flashier tools has been to host exclusive gatherings at its Washington screening room, two blocks from the White House, where lawmakers get to watch blockbuster films, rub elbows with celebrities, and up until several years ago, enjoy dinner – a perk scuttled because of stricter rules on congressional lobbying.

Hollywood studios depend on foreign markets for much of their profit but the MPAA’s interests don’t always align with those of other major American constituencies. For example, Hollywood studios have moved some film production to Canada to cut costs. American film workers have tried to get the federal government to stop the outsourcing of jobs, but have been met with resistance from the MPAA.

The trade group has also pushed federal officials to pressure foreign governments into adopting stricter copyright laws. An MPAA-funded study found that in 2005 worldwide piracy cost American studios $6.1 billion in revenue. That number has been disputed by digital rights advocates.

For the TPP trade deal, the MPAA has discouraged the American government from exporting “fair use” protections to other countries. In a hacked message from Dodd to the U.S. Trade Representative, the MPAA chief warned that including such provisions, which in American law allow limited use of copyrighted materials without permission, would be “extremely controversial and divisive.” Digital rights activists have characterized the efforts as overzealous.

“They’re basically encouraging other countries to adopt the most draconian parts of U.S. copyright law and even to reinterpret U.S. copyright law to make it more stringent,” said Mitch Stoltz, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Broadly speaking broadening copyright law harms free speech in many cases by creating a mechanism for censorship.”

The state-of-the-art screening rooms are a relatively minimal investment by Hollywood as it works to strengthen connections abroad.

This spring, the U.S. ambassador to Spain, James Costos, brought a group of foreign officials to Los Angeles for a meeting hosted by the MPAA. Among them were representatives from the Canary Islands, who came prepared to discuss filming opportunities and tax incentives for American studios in the Spanish territory. The State Department touted the trip as an opportunity to “expand bilateral trade and investment, including through ties between the entertainment industries.”

It’s not known whether the path to that particular meeting was eased by the new screening room in Madrid. At the theater’s debut in February, the ambassador’s guests were treated to a dark tale of corruption, lobbying and double-dealing in Washington – the Netflix series “House of Cards.”



Obama Concessions to Iran Began in 2008

When one takes a macro view and goes back in time, the clues were there as proven when the United States sent an envoy to Venezuela for the funeral of Chavez, or when Obama himself received a book from the Venezuelan leader.

Laying the ground work, Obama while on the campaign trail in 2008 reached out to Iran by dispatching an envoy to Tehran. A letter was also passed on from Barack Obama to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  Then in 2009, Obama announced plans to begin talks with Iran and Ahmadinejad without ‘preconditions’.

The communications continued without notice or fanfare even as yet another letter sent to Iran in 2014 from Obama invited talks about the nuclear deal and Islamic State. President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the middle of last month and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, according to people briefed on the correspondence.

The letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.

If one thinks there was or is no strategy, guess again. The strategy began in 2008 and it was to side with Iran and cave to all their requests and interests. Those interests include Syria, Lebanon. Venezuela, Cuba and perhaps even more.

Michael Ledeen, an Iran and Middle East expert recently wrote:

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels:  Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman, and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.

The central theme in Obama’s outreach to Iran is his conviction that the United States has historically played a wicked role in the Middle East, and that the best things he can do for that part of the world is to limit and withdraw American military might and empower our self-declared enemies, whose hostility to traditional American policies he largely shares.

Iran has a long history with Cuba and Venezuela, so reaching renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba and opening mutual embassies should be no surprise when once pays attention to details. It is not unreasonable to question Iran’s early demands of terms of talks and relations where Cuba and Venezuela were part of the conditions. Further, the matter of the Syrian red-line threat made by Obama cannot be dismissed either. Iran has been a deep loyal supporter of Bashir al Assad and Syria, where terror incubates daily.

As noted by Vanessa Lopez: Cuba’s relationships with Iran and Syria have proven to be politically lucrative for the island. Syria has shown itself to be a loyal ally and has increased its political relationship with Cuba over the past five years. Cuba is making great efforts to transform this political relationship into an economically beneficial one; Syria has recently indicated it is willing to engage Cuba more significantly, but it remains to be seen if these statements and memorandums between the two countries will translate into dollars for the Cuban regime. On the other hand, Iran has been completely willing to aid Cuba despite suffering economic losses.

These countries serve to prop up Cuba in the international arena and Iran provides much-needed economic life support. These relationships should be of the utmost concern to the United States, since they place two countries that have been delineated as part of the “axis of evil” closely allied with an anti-American regime only 90 miles off U.S. shores. Cuba’s expertise in espionage and biotechnology can be a significant threat in the hands of these two countries. In its efforts to make Syria an economic supporter, Cuba could be willing to assist it in these areas. Let us not forget also that Cuba was one of the few countries to advocate for the Soviets to use nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Its ties with a potentially nuclear capable Iran and a resurgent Syria can lead to an unstable situation by our shores – or perhaps more immediately, in Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

Click here for a few headlines between Iran and Cuba since 2013.

Iran Cuba

Cuban envoy calls for broadening ties with Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Havana’s Ambassador to Tehran Vladimir Gonzalez called for the further expansion of Iran-Cuba bilateral relations.

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday, the Cuban ambassador pointed to the close relations between Tehran and Havana, and said, “There are extensive grounds for the expansion of the relations between Tehran and Havana.”

Anymore questions on what Barack Obama is really doing?


To Stop the Unraveling, Executive Privilege Declared

The obstruction of transparency begins in earnest once again. The State Department released the first court ordered drop of Hillary Clinton’s email from her private server and accounts. It is fascinating reading but a lot of it. At the very beginning of Hillary’s term as Secretary of State, she used Sidney Blumenthal as her ghost front person, the emails define this in undisputed terms.

Speaker Boehner and the Gowdy commission are beyond angry as noted here:

“The Hillary Clinton private emails controversy has new legs and the Democratic frontrunner has only herself to blame,” CNN’s John King reported Sunday. “After the House Select Benghazi Committee released new emails this past week, the Obama State Department was forced to admit it was not in possession of some Clinton emails that clearly discussed department business. … Secretary Clinton can’t definitely prove there aren’t additional things that should have been turned over to the government that were not. She can’t prove that because she erased her private email server without any independent supervision.” Pointing out that Hillary Clinton’s statement that she had turned over all of her work-related emails “is not true,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell piled on. “If you care at all about the Freedom of Information Act, which is what liberals should care about here, that was an absolutely unacceptable choice from the start, that she used an email system in that way, and then that she deleted it,” he said Tuesday. “That was to contradict the Freedom of Information Act, Americans’ freedom, the press freedom, to be able to request these kinds of documents.” But it was exactly this accountability and transparency that Hillary Clinton tried so hard to avoid as she performed her taxpayer-funded duties as Secretary of State. That includes periods of time when the Benghazi terrorist attack was front and center, and Sidney Blumenthal was sending her unvetted, unsubstantiated intelligence on Libya. The Obama administration confirmed last week that she deleted specific parts of at least six emails before turning them over to the State Department. What other emails are still missing? More details here.

Here comes the privilege:

In part from the Washington Examiner,

The State Department has informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that it is withholding “a small number” of documents from investigators on the basis of “important executive branch institutional interests.” The statement, made in a letter from Assistant Secretary of State Julia Frifield to committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, amounts to a de facto claim of executive privilege.

‘Frifield made the claim in a letter turning over 3,600 pages of Benghazi-related documents from three current and former administration officials: Susan Rice, Jake Sullivan, and Cheryl Mills. Rice, a former United Nations ambassador, is now national security adviser, while Sullivan and Mills are close aides to Hillary Clinton who worked at the department when she was secretary of state’. Many more details here. 

The top emails of interest are noted below.

From Politico:

On Tuesday evening the State Department released approximately 3,000 pages of emails sent by and to Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, primarily in 2009.

Most of the messages are mundane, featuring anodyne remarks about scheduling or clipped news releases. But a choice few reveal idiosyncrasies and quirks from America’s highest-ranking diplomats, Washington strategists, and politicos — including the presumptive Democratic 2016 presidential front-runner herself.

Here are some highlights:

Colin Powell Jokes About Richard Holbrooke

After Clinton tripped and fractured her elbow in June 2009, one of her predecessors at the State Department sent her an email wishing her well. “Hillary, Is it true that Holbrooke tripped you?” Colin Powell wrote to Clinton, referring to Richard Holbrooke who at the time was serving as President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. “Just kidding. Get better fast, we need you running around.”

John Podesta Rips Off Colin Powell’s Joke

Unwilling to leave the retired four-star general with the last laugh, John Podesta made the same joke in an email only two days later. After wishing the Secretary of State well following her elbow injury, Podesta wrote “PS No matter what anybody says, we refuse to believe that Holbrooke tripped you.”

Grandmother Knows Best

After failing to schedule a late-night phone call with Podesta and rescheduling for the following morning, Hillary Clinton offered the longtime ally a piece of advice before going to bed: “Please wear socks to bed to keep your feet warm.”

Hillary Clinton vs. the Fax Machine

The Secretary of State had an epic battle with the office technology in December 2009. Clinton struggled in an email exchange with aide Huma Abedin to figure out how to establish the fax line. “I thought it was supposed to be off hook to work?” Clinton puzzled.

Keeping the Axe at Bay

After receiving an email from her aide Cheryl Mills with the subject line “axelrod wants your email – remind me to discuss with you if i forget,” Clinton did not respond enthusiastically to the prospect of one of Obama’s top advisers receiving her contact info. “Can you send to him or do you want me to?” Clinton wrote. “Does he know I can’t look at it all day so he needs to contact me thru you or Huma or Lauren during work hours.”

Who Would Criticize Gen. James Jones?

The New York Times’ Mark Landler published an article in May 2009, only a few months into Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, referring to tension between President Obama’s National Security Adviser, retired Gen. James Jones, and the secretary of state. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines wrote an email to Cheryl Mills, which was forwarded to Clinton, saying that no one in the secretary’s circle could have possibly been Landler’s source. “Someone in her circle is someone like you, or a Jake, or me. And none of us would ever say anything like that,” Reines wrote. “Mark conceded that point and let me know he will be changing the sourcing…It’s a small consolation, but I think a very important one.”

George Packer’s Profile of Richard Holbrooke

In September 2009, as George Packer was deep into his profile of Richard Holbrooke for The New Yorker, Clinton aides emailed back and forth assuring that they were providing the journalist with all of the key facts — and no information that could be damaging to the Secretary of State. “Obviously Richard strayed shall we say from discussion of our strategy,” then-Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley wrote. “It ends up being a semi-profile on Richard. I’ll alert the WH. I don’t see anything here that is problematic for the Secretary, but I don’t know that every detail here is correct.”

Clinton responded cryptically, “I know more about this if you wish to discuss.”

Hillary Needs to be Alerted About Bill’s Plans

In 2009 former President Bill Clinton was selected by the United Nations to serve as a special envoy to Haiti. According to emails, Hillary Clinton didn’t find out until it leaked out of the UN. “Wjc said he was going to call hrc but hasn’t had time,” wrote Doug Band, a longtime Clinton aide. “You need to walk this to HRC if she is not gone,” responded Cheryl Mills.

Sid Blumenthal Points Out Denis McDonough’s ‘Trashing Biden

In an email to Clinton, Sid Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton ally, attaches a piece by Jim Hoagland in the Washington Post that he says “nails McDonough for trashing Biden.” At the time Denis McDonough was working on strategic communications for the National Security Council, but he has since been promoted to Obama’s Chief of Staff. Hoagland wrote, “Denis McDonough, my strategic communications man, sold Biden-as-dove brilliantly. Wasn’t somebody just saying I should promote Denis? Maybe it was Denis?”

Clinton’s Late Night Blumenthal Chat

In October 2009, Hillary Clinton sent an email to Sid Blumenthal at 10:35 p.m. asking in the subject line “Are you still awake?” The body of the email read “I will call if you are.” No response from Blumenthal was included.

Clinton Frets about Canceled Meetings with White House

In a June 2009 email with the subject line “No WH mtg,” Hillary Clinton wrote “I arrived for the 10:15 mtg and was told there was no mtg. Matt said they had ‘released’ the time. This is the second time this has happened. What’s up???”

Financing Clinton’s Debt

In an email to longtime Clinton ally Paul Begala, Capricia Marshall, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign wrote that an email contest had raised $500,000, followed by two exclamation points. The money, presumably, went to finance Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign’s debt. “You all are amazing – the world adores you! You put a serious hole in hrc debt! A million thanks!”

If you have the time and inclination, you can read the full first set of released emails here.



The Most Corrupt U.S. Govt Bank Goes Dark

This is a small win for conservatives, but more it stops epic abuse and pay to play operations. The Exim Bank is for small business to be able to get global access. Would you consider Boeing or General Electric to be small?


( – Three corporations together received 44 percent of the Export-Import Bank’s $32.7 billion in assistance in 2011 – a total of $13.5 billion in federal financial aid. The three were Boeing, General Electric and international engineering firm Black and Veatch International.

Boeing alone received 38 percent of the bank’s financial assistance, or $12.4 billion ($11.7 billion for the mother company and another $700 million for its Boeing Satellite Systems subsidiary.)

General Electric received $1.2 billion while Black and Veatch received $805 million, according to the bank’s 2011 annual report.

The Export-Import Bank, whose authorization runs out in seven weeks’ time, is opposed by some conservatives who argue that it provides corporate welfare and below-market financing.

***  “The global economy is more integrated than ever … If we’re going to grow, it’s going to be because of exports. We’re on track to double our exports – a goal that I set when I came into office. Part of the reason for that is the terrific work that’s being done by our Export-Import Bank.”
President Barack Obama
November 12, 2011

It should be noted that the White House and the State Department had their hands all over this loan give-away agency. Note this is a State Department website link proving collusion and pay to play.

From the Washington Examiner:

Export-Import Bank enters ‘liquidation’ tomorrow night at midnight

Tuesday night at midnight, the 2014 reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank expires. The agency, under law, doesn’t evaporate immediately. Instead, per the law, Ex-Im enters “liquidation,” which is basically Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Specifically, Ex-Im’s authorization allows it to continue to exist for one purpose: “exercising any of its functions subsequent to such date for purposes of orderly liquidation….”

Liquidation is Chapter 7 bankruptcy — which is exit, extinction. It is not Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is what companies enter temporarily in order to reorganize and then come back. Ex-Im workers, when they return Wednesday morning, are supposed to be in the business of dismantling Ex-Im.

As I read it, that means Ex-Im is supposed to sell off the loans and guarantees on which it is currently sitting — not in a fire sale, but in an orderly fashion.

This isn’t a “lapse.” This is liquidation. I know many Ex-Im employees simply see this as a temporary lapse in lending authority, but that view is contrary to the law.

It will be interesting to see how Ex-Im officials follow the law.

Here is the full text of the relevant section of the law:

Export-Import Bank of the United States shall continue to exercise its functions in connection with and in furtherance of its objects and purposes until the close of business on September 30, 2014, but the provisions of this section shall not be construed as preventing the bank from acquiring obligations prior to such date which mature subsequent to such date or from assuming prior to such date liability as guarantor, endorser, or acceptor of obligations which mature subsequent to such date or from issuing, either prior or subsequent to such date, for purchase by the Secretary of the Treasury or any other purchasers, its notes, debentures, bonds, or other obligations which mature subsequent to such date or from continuing as a corporate agency of the United States and exercising any of its functions subsequent to such date for purposes of orderly liquidation, including the administration of its assets and the collection of any obligations held by the bank.



Bio-weapons, History: Russia, Syria and Beyond

As it has been proven by countless authorities, chemical weapons used in Syria still continues today with future conditions ripe for more death events by chemical weapons.

Bashir al Assad is a desperate man today and nothing is beyond desperate decisions including more chemical weapons or attempting to kill his Vice President.

In part from the WSJ:

Assad Chemical Threat Rises
U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds if Islamist fighters and other rebels try to overrun them, U.S. officials said.

Analysts and policy makers have been poring over all available intelligence hoping to determine what types of chemical weapons the regime might be able to deploy and what event or events might trigger their use, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Last year, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad let international inspectors oversee the removal of what President Barack Obama called the regime’s most deadly chemical weapons. The deal averted U.S. airstrikes that would have come in retaliation for an Aug. 21, 2013, sarin-gas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.


Since then, the U.S. officials said, the Assad regime has developed and deployed a new type of chemical bomb filled with chlorine, which Mr. Assad could now decide to use on a larger scale in key areas. U.S. officials also suspect the regime may have squirreled away at least a small reserve of the chemical precursors needed to make nerve agents sarin or VX. Use of those chemicals would raise greater international concerns because they are more deadly than chlorine and were supposed to have been eliminated. Read more here.

*** Obama defers the chemical weapons operation in Syria to Russia. Obama announced his red-line of use of chemical weapons in Syria as a shallow and empty threat. This decision is best described as giving a known terrorist ICBM’s. How so?

In part from Congressional documents: When Yeltsin took office in January 1992, the US forced his public admission that there had been an offensive Soviet BW program and that it had continued until March 1992. Yeltsin promised the US president and the British prime minister to abolish the program, which he apparently presumed to think would be possible by decree, and to dismiss the military officials who had run the program for the preceding decades. However, he did not do any of these things. These same military officials who advised Yeltsin in January 1992 to continue the BW program remained in their positions. Following additional defections from the program, the US and UK stated that the BW program continued as of September 1992, and they forced Russian agreement to the Trilateral Statement, signed in Moscow in September 1992. Russia committed itself in the document to allow access to the biological weapon facilities of the Russian Ministry of Defense. However Russian negotiating teams ran these negotiations into the ground between 1993 and 1996, at which point they were discontinued. An unconcerned and essentially oblivious Yeltsin had long before this point simply washed his hands of the issue despite repeated appeals by President Clinton and his senior officials.

US and EU assistance programs for the conversion of the Biopreparat and Ministry of Agriculture facilities led to access to these and assurance that they were subsequently performing legitimate civilian research and commercial activities. Virtually no proliferation apparently took place from the Soviet BW program. Official annual US government declarations continue to question Russian compliance with the BWC, and the three major Ministry of Defense facilities remain closed to this day.

In a somewhat bizarre development in February and March 2012 Putin and then-Russian Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov publicly referred to 28 tasks that Putin established for the RF-MOD in order “to prepare for threats of the future.” Putin wrote that Russia needed to be prepared for “quick and effective responses to new challenges,” and one of the 28 tasks that Putin specified as “The development of weapons based on new physical principles: radiation, geophysical, wave, genetic, psychophysical, etc.”2 “Genetic” weapons would obviously be forbidden by the Biological Weapons Convention, and the remainder are an arms control nightmare that would explicitly contravene another multilateral arms control treaty that was championed by the Brezhnev administration, the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Technologies, signed on May 18, 1977 and entered into force on October 5, 1978.

The three primary issues of current concern regarding Russia and biological weapons are therefore the following:

1) Russia destroyed the Trilateral negotiations that followed from the September 1992 US-UKRussian Trilateral Agreement.

2) As a corollary, the three Russian Ministry of Defense BW laboratories remain closed to international examination. There is no way of knowing whether these institutions continue an offensive BW program, and if so, to what degree.

3) The statement by President Vladimir Putin in February-March 2012 to develop genetic weapons is extremely problematic and troubling. Putin’s remarks were never revoked or clarified to this date.

 Where is Obama and Samantha Power at the UN on this matter?

What real explanation can Barack Obama offer that he turned to Putin to deal with the matter in Syria? How much more genocide will there be and will it be confined just to Syria?

In part: “Ken Alibek was Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy chief of research and production for the Soviet biological-weapons program. He was the top scientist in the program, a sprawling, clandestine enterprise known as Biopreparat, or The System, by the scientists who worked in it. Biopreparat research-and-production facilities were flung all across the Soviet Union. As Dr. Alibekov, Ken Alibek had thirtytwo thousand scientists and staff people working under him. Alibek has a Doctor of Sciences degree in anthrax. It is a kind of superdegree, which he received in 1988, at the age of thirty-seven, for directing the research team that developed the Soviet Union’s most powerful weapons-grade anthrax. He did this research as head of the Stepnagorsk bioweapons facility, in what is now Kazakhstan, which was once the largest biowarfare production facility in the world. The Afibekov anthrax became fitfly operational in 1989. It is an amber-gray powder, finer than bath talc, with smooth, creamy particles that tend to fly apart and vanish in the air, becoming invisible and driffing for miles. The Alibekov anthrax is four times more efficient than the standard product. Ken Alibek is part of a diaspora of biologists who came out of Russia foflowing the breakup of the Soviet Union. Government funding for research decreased dramatically, and scientists who were working in the biowarfare program found themselves without jobs. Some of them went looking abroad. A few have come to the United States or Great Britain, but most went elsewhere. “No one knows where they are,” Alibek says. One can guess-that they’ve ended up in Iraq, Syria, Libya, China, Iran, perhaps Israel, perhaps India–but no one really knows, probably not even the Russian’ government. No doubt some of these biologists have carried the Alibekov formi4a in their heads, if not master seed strains of the anthrax and samples of the finished product in containers. The Alibekov anthrax may be one of the more common bioweapons in the world today. It seems plausible that Iraqi biologists, for instance, know the Alibekov formula by now. One day, Ken Alibek and I were sitting in a conference room near his office taMng about the anthrax he and his research team had developed. “It’s very difficult to say if I felt a sense of excitement over this. It’s very difficult to say what I felt like,” he said. “It woulddt be true to say that I thought I was doing something wrong..l thought I had done something very important. The anthrax was one of my [outstanding] scientific personal result.” I asked him if he’d tell me the formula for his anthrax. “I cadt say this,” he answered. “I won’t publish it. I’m just curious,” I said. “Look, you must understand, this is unbelievably serious. You can’t publish this formula,” he said. When I assured him I wouldn’t, he told me the formula for the Alibekov anthrax. He uttered just one sentence. The Alibekov anthrax is simple, and the formula is somewhat surprisingi not quite what you’d expect. Two unrelated materials are mixed with pure powdered anthrax spores. It took a lot of research and testing to get the trick right, and Afibek must have driven his research group hard and skdmy to arrive at it. “There are many countries that would to know how to do this,” he said.”