Is it not both symbolic and prophetic that on his way to Helsinki to accept Donald Trump's unconditional surrender and full personally administered manicure and pedicure, Vladimir Putin's personal/official aircraft, Krasnaya Burya Odna ("Red Storm One" - well, that's what it should be called....) violated NATO airspace over Estonia without clearance or authorization? America's new ruler behind the green curtain is a master Chekist, and therefore of subtlety, but he can flaunt his intentions when he sees no more reason to keep them close to the vest.
Oh, but I'm sure it was "just a navigational error," right?
Remember the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," the bureacratish title for Barack Obama's outrageous sellout to the Iranian mullagarchy that gifted the Islamic Empire America's blessing on their illicit nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, unfroze billions of dollars of their assets heretofore held in American hands, and committed the United States to militarily defending Iranian nuclear installations, even against Israel - and from which Trump, after over a year of foot-dragging, finally withdrew the U.S. in May? Do you also recall that the JCPOA also contained a number of secret side "deals" the details of which The One refused to reveal to Congress, even behind closed doors? You know, because they were intended to be kept secret from the rest of the American government, not avowed enemies like the mullahs in Tehran. Since Discount Lucifer never intended (and never did) submit the JCPOA to the Senate for ratification as the treaty it obviously was anyway, why bother disclosing all the quisling quid pro quos buried within it, yes?
As Bill Cosby once said, "I told you that story to tell you this one".
Because, you see, after Trump's spot-on impression of a cocker spaniel at the Westminster Dog Show in the Finnish capital on Monday, which followed a two-hour private one-on-one meeting in which nobody but Vlad, and whatever parts of the conversation The Donald can remember, know what was discussed, offered, and accepted, the president was remarkably reticent (for him) to reveal anything that went on in said super-secret meeting. Almost as if there were secret side "deals" made with his main man from Moscow about which he didn't want anybody, most especially the rest of the American government, to know. Not even designated official regurgitators like Sarah Colonel Sanders, who was left to drone on for whole verbal paragraphs to essentially say, "Heck if I know."
You know who did know, though? The Russian government. And their ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, began illuminating those details - from the "devil's" perspective, of course:
Russia's ambassador to the United States on Wednesday said President Trump made "important verbal agreements" with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their private conversation in Helsinki on Monday.
Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov listed cooperation in Syria and arms control as two issues the world leaders had agreed on, according to the Washington Post.
That is to say, abandoning Syria to Russian and Iranian control, putting the latter right on israel's border, making another general war in the Middle East all but inevitable, and further unilateral American nuclear disarmament, since Vlad can't stop boasting about all of his fancy new strategic weapons, doubtless reverse-engineered from all the U.S. tech they've cyber-stolen over the past decade for which his poodle at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will never hold him to account.
But the Post reported that the highest-level Trump administration officials still do not know what Trump promised Putin during their one-on-one meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
Why isn't this alarming to way more Americans than it actually is? Did President Nixon ever cloister himself in a room one-on-one with Leonid Brezhnev or Mao Tse-Tung and make secret deals he wouldn't even divulge to his closest advisers? Or Carter and Brezhnev? I lived through those times, studied them after the fact, and I can't remember any such illicit, clandestine "deal"-making. Even King Hussein himself - Barack Obama, not the deceased Jordanian monarch - didn't hold a summit with Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and disappear into a room along with the Persian jihadist to do Allah knows what and then conceal the results even from his top flunkies. It's as if the simplest answer to this insanity - that Trump is compromised, whether from owing a lot of Vlad's friends a boatload of money for propping up his business empire over the past thirty years or the long-rumored existence of, shall we say, blackmail material, or Trump being an outright Russian "asset", both of which would explain why Putin's spies attempted to tip the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor - is being "hidden" right out in the open for everybody to see, knowing that few if any will believe it, whether out of misguided partisan tribalist loyalty or the understandable disinclination to accept that such a scenario, heretofore the stuff of fictional thriller novels, could ever happen in real life.
I don't want to believe any of it, either. I really, truly don't. But the fact that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marina Zakharova said on Wednesday that the Kremlin is "already working to implement agreements from the summit" - which, again, nobody but Putin and Trump know anything about - is especially ominous.
Then there was this quid pro quo, obviously in reaction to Robert Mueller's indictment of twelve Russian spies a week ago:
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump will discuss allowing Russian investigators to come to the United States to question U.S. citizens, including a former American ambassador to Russia.
Sanders said during a White House press briefing that Trump is “gonna meet with his team” to talk about the potential for Russian officials to question U.S. citizens like Michael McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February 2014....
Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that Russia wanted to question McFaul and Christopher Steele, author of the so-called Steele dossier, and others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder. Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia.
Think about this. An American president volunteering to turn fellow American citizens, including a former diplomat, over to a hostile foreign power for presumably hostile interrogation on charges for which the ruler of that hostile foreign power presents no evidence and is almost certainly making up out of proverbial whole cloth because those Americans crossed that hostile foreign ruler. And that doesn't include how those fellow American citizens would be delivered to that hostile foreign power. What if McFaul, Steele, Browder, and the others declined to be "questioned" by Putin's "investigators"? Would Trump have them all rounded up and "taken into custody"? Extradited to Russia? Prosecuted on "trumped"-up surrogate charges here? On what possible or conceivable legal grounds? And yet the president himself in Helsinki called this "an incredible idea".
Oddly enough, no other American did:
Current and former American diplomats are expressing disgust and horror over the White House’s willingness to entertain permitting Russian officials to question a prominent former U.S. ambassador.
One serving diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was “at a....loss” over comments that can be expected to chill American diplomacy in hostile or authoritarian countries – a comment echoed by former State Department officials as well.
“It’s beyond disgraceful. It’s fundamentally ignorant with regard to how we conduct diplomacy or what that means. It really puts in jeopardy the professional independence of diplomats anywhere in the world, if the consequence of their actions is going to be potentially being turned over to a foreign government,” the U.S. diplomat told the Daily Beast....
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called the Russian request for McFaul “absolutely absurd” — which was closer in line with how former U.S. diplomats viewed Putin’s gambit.
The U.S. Senate shot it down unanimously. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's hot take was, "Yeah, that isn't going to happen". Not with McFaul, or Steele, or Browder, or any of Vlad's other American targets.
Why? Because there is a treaty prohibiting it, that's why. Of which the president of the United States, naturally, was completely ignorant and even less heedful.
How sulfurically toxic was this openness to serving as an adjunct of Putin's secret police? Even Trump's own White House had to half-heartedly walk it back. Though he'll no doubt walk back the walk-back on social media, like he always does.
The anonymous U.S. diplomat summed up this week of infamy with delightful bluntness:
“The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government’s. That’s very clear over the past week and a half, between [blasting] our NATO allies and kissing Putin’s [zhopa],” the diplomat said. “He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it.”
The diplomat continued: “Either he’s compromised by Putin or he’s a [p-word], in which case he should grab himself.”
Hard to top that. It pretty much says it all.
So what's Donald Trump's next "incredible idea" after grovelingly prostrating himself before two of the planet's most murderous, Ameriphobic despots in as many months? Invite Czar Vlad to Washington, D.C. for the sequel, just as he did with Little Rocketman:
Unbowed by swirling criticism of his summit encounter with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump swiftly invited the Russian leader to the White House this fall for a second get-together....
A White House meeting would be a dramatic extension of legitimacy to the Russian leader, who has long been isolated by the West for activities in Ukraine, Syria and beyond and is believed to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election that sent Trump to the presidency. No Russian leader has visited the White House in nearly a decade.
Trump asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin, and “those discussions are already underway,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday. Trump earlier had tweeted that he looked forward to “our second meeting” as he defended his performance at Monday’s summit...
There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin to the invitation.
To tweak a quote from Master Yoda, "Oh, there will be. There will be." Like Putin would turn down a chance to personally inspect his newly gifted domain.
Here's the punchline you all knew was coming:
News of the invite appeared to catch even the president’s top intelligence official by surprise.
“Say that again,” National Intelligence Director Dan Coats responded, when informed of the invitation during an appearance at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
“OK,” he continued, pausing for a deep breath. “That’s going to be special.”
You know Dan Coats - the guy that Trump hurled under Putin's bus in Helsinki and then backed over several times. It's a pity he won't do any more than offer up a bad Dana Carvey "church lady" impression.
Why there isn't a mass exodus of resignations in protest from this administration is a question of ever-increasing relevance. Not over how Trumplings are regularly treated like garbage and endlessly blindsided and undermined and left twisting in the wind and left holding the bag on an interminably endless basis - though that would be grounds enough - but because their boss is betraying everything they're allegedly attempting to do and the very country itself by clandestinely "going into business for himself" with foreign dictators who are not our friends.
It's also a rhetorical question. And we all know why: Making Russia Great Again is just too gosh darn important. Just ask Donald Ivanovich. I can't wait to not be told what additional secret "deals" he hatches this fall when his boss comes to town for his next performance review.