Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

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RVInit
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#526

Post by RVInit » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:24 pm

..."which by all accounts is in total disarray"...connotes that they are "deliberately up to some kind of shenanigans"? Good to know.

No, in no way does that statement imply or meant to imply anything regarding the intentions of anyone at the State Department.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#527

Post by fierceredpanda » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:52 pm

Ok, let's put your remark in context:
RVInit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:21 pm
So, I'm not the only one who is slightly suspicious that this might just have been a convenient solution to the Butina problem. I did find it really odd that the State Dept, which is by all accounts in total disarray just happened to be in touch with the family and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled on our side.
I see one ("...slightly suspicious..."), two ("I did find it really odd..."), three ("...just happened to be in touch with the family"), four ("...and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled") clauses or phrases that, at minimum, insinuate that these totally routine actions by State Department officials are suspicious or indicative of something nefarious. In two sentences.

The overwhelming impression left by those two sentences is that you believe - on no evidence - that the State Department was so thoroughly mismanaged by Rex Tillerson that it sure seems mighty unlikely that career consular staff overseas would be able to do things that are absolutely their most important job unless something was afoot. If that wasn't your intended meaning, you should choose different words.

For your information, the State Department employs 13,000 Foreign Service Officers, plus 11,000 civil servants, and another 45,000 other employees. The idea that such a large institution has been rendered powerless to do its most basic function - the protection of American citizens' legal rights abroad - is pretty farfetched, and you have provided no evidence to support such a notion. So even the more charitable reading you plead for - e.g., that you're shocked at the effectiveness of the State Department given Tillerson's inept bungling and mindless cuts - is more or less unsupportable based on actual facts. Particularly because, as I said earlier, the consular officials most immediately responsible for taking charge of a situation where an American is arrested overseas would be the embassy legal attache, who is always a specially-selected FBI special agent, who would be unaffected by anything Rex Tillerson did.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#528

Post by woodworker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:04 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:25 am
RVInit wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:56 am
Because we Shirley have so many of our fine State Department professionals still in place after Tillerson's purge. :roll:
You told me off a while ago for talking down to you, and I tried to be respectful with my first response to you. But this comment is just ignorant.

TIllerson caused an exodus the Department's executive staff at Foggy Bottom in Washington and quite a few high-level diplomats, which is quite separate and apart from the professional Foreign Service Officers at embassies who handle these kinds of things every single day with no fanfare. Maybe some left because of Tillerson's freezes and cuts, but most of them keep their heads down and do their jobs. You don't need a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in Washington to deal with a situation involving an American getting arrested abroad. You need FSOs and embassy staff (like legal attaches, who are FBI special agents detailed to foreign embassies - has Chris Wray purged the FBI too?) in-country who have dealt with the relevant agencies in the host country's government.

Seriously, you don't know what you're talking about, and people need to cool it with the idea that this is some sort of prearranged conspiracy. It absolutely would not surprise me if Putin grabbed a random American to try to leverage an exchange for Putina. But the fact that competent embassy staff were able to do exactly what they are supposed to do - and carry out daily as a matter of routine - is not evidence of any chicanery.
A gazillion times :yeah: , as to all of that.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#529

Post by woodworker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:13 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:52 pm
Ok, let's put your remark in context:
RVInit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:21 pm
So, I'm not the only one who is slightly suspicious that this might just have been a convenient solution to the Butina problem. I did find it really odd that the State Dept, which is by all accounts in total disarray just happened to be in touch with the family and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled on our side.
I see one ("...slightly suspicious..."), two ("I did find it really odd..."), three ("...just happened to be in touch with the family"), four ("...and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled") clauses or phrases that, at minimum, insinuate that these totally routine actions by State Department officials are suspicious or indicative of something nefarious. In two sentences.

The overwhelming impression left by those two sentences is that you believe - on no evidence - that the State Department was so thoroughly mismanaged by Rex Tillerson that it sure seems mighty unlikely that career consular staff overseas would be able to do things that are absolutely their most important job unless something was afoot. If that wasn't your intended meaning, you should choose different words.

For your information, the State Department employs 13,000 Foreign Service Officers, plus 11,000 civil servants, and another 45,000 other employees. The idea that such a large institution has been rendered powerless to do its most basic function - the protection of American citizens' legal rights abroad - is pretty farfetched, and you have provided no evidence to support such a notion. So even the more charitable reading you plead for - e.g., that you're shocked at the effectiveness of the State Department given Tillerson's inept bungling and mindless cuts - is more or less unsupportable based on actual facts. Particularly because, as I said earlier, the consular officials most immediately responsible for taking charge of a situation where an American is arrested overseas would be the embassy legal attache, who is always a specially-selected FBI special agent, who would be unaffected by anything Rex Tillerson did.
And that also, too (I am aware of all Internet protocols). Trump and his fellow thugs have done their best to destroy our government, our political system and our ideals, on both a state and federal level. Despite that there are literally hundreds of thousand civil servants, again both state and federal, who do their jobs damn well on a daily basis. They deserve our recognition, our praise and generally better pay and they don't deserve to be tarnished with unsupported accusations that they are only doing their job as part of some conspiracy or other nefarious reason. Yes, there is waste and corruption, but I suspect that once you get below the political appointee level, the amount of waste and corruption is on a par with, or less than, that in the private sector.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#530

Post by Sam the Centipede » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:34 pm

To echo Woody's Woodworker's point: it's also important to bear in mind that in large organizations (and the US government is definitely large!), a layer or two of effective middle management can often insulate operational or administrative staff from almost all the shenanigans of top management, except perhaps very severe budget cuts. This can cut both ways as both good and bad practices can be resistant to change.

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#531

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:01 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:52 pm
Ok, let's put your remark in context:
RVInit wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:21 pm
So, I'm not the only one who is slightly suspicious that this might just have been a convenient solution to the Butina problem. I did find it really odd that the State Dept, which is by all accounts in total disarray just happened to be in touch with the family and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled on our side.
I see one ("...slightly suspicious..."), two ("I did find it really odd..."), three ("...just happened to be in touch with the family"), four ("...and the family is singing the praises of how it's being handled") clauses or phrases that, at minimum, insinuate that these totally routine actions by State Department officials are suspicious or indicative of something nefarious. In two sentences.

The overwhelming impression left by those two sentences is that you believe - on no evidence - that the State Department was so thoroughly mismanaged by Rex Tillerson that it sure seems mighty unlikely that career consular staff overseas would be able to do things that are absolutely their most important job unless something was afoot.
Yeah, that’s how it sounded to me. What concerns me about this sort of thing is that this is the kind of stuff the RWNJ’s used to say whenever anyone in the Obama administration did anything. Good or bad, there was always some nefarious purpose. Just because Trump got elected, doesn’t mean that every single thing that the government does was done at his personal behest, or as part of some grand conspiracy.
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#532

Post by Kendra » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:04 pm


.@EvelynNFarkas says on @MSNBC that it’s unusual for such a high-level official to make this kind of visit.
And more at the link.

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#533

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:34 pm

Kendra wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:04 pm

.@EvelynNFarkas says on @MSNBC that it’s unusual for such a high-level official to make this kind of visit.
And more at the link.
Well, that does change things a bit for me, sort of. It was the US Ambassador to Russia, rather than a consular official, who visited. That doesn't make me think there's a conspiracy in the works, but it does make me think there might be a trade.
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#534

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:36 pm

What do we have here?

https:// twitter.com/arapaho415/status/1080574207539347456
Arapaho415 @arapaho415

(2/3) "Since retiring from the Marines, Mr Whelan has continued to visit Russia as a tourist as well as for his job as director for global security at Borg Warner, a Michigan-based automotive services firm...


US man facing Russia spy charges is former marine, says family


Arapaho415 @arapaho415
(3/3) ...A Borg Warner subsidiary is a partner of Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz." And this: "Whelan spent 14 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. According to the military, he was discharged in 2008 for bad conduct related to larceny."https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-whela ... w-details/

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#535

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:19 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:36 pm
What do we have here?

https:// twitter.com/arapaho415/status/1080574207539347456
Arapaho415 @arapaho415

(2/3) "Since retiring from the Marines, Mr Whelan has continued to visit Russia as a tourist as well as for his job as director for global security at Borg Warner, a Michigan-based automotive services firm...


US man facing Russia spy charges is former marine, says family


Arapaho415 @arapaho415
(3/3) ...A Borg Warner subsidiary is a partner of Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz." And this: "Whelan spent 14 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. According to the military, he was discharged in 2008 for bad conduct related to larceny."https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-whela ... w-details/
When I saw that I thought there must be some record of that, since all bad conduct discharges result in an automatic appeal, but I couldn't find anything on Lexis or the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals websites. The likely explanation is that the convening authority disapproved the BCD (or possibly the findings), which would have had the effect of stopping the automatic appeal.
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#536

Post by fierceredpanda » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:26 pm

Being a cynic, I've always figured that the title "Head of Corporate Security" at mega-corporations like, say, Borg-Warner was a euphemism for "Head of Corporate Espionage." If the guy was booted from the Marines for being a thief, it wouldn't really shock me if he was involved in stealing trade secrets or intellectual property in some way. Of course, it would still be a gross overreaction by the Russians to charge him with espionage, but they probably feel the same way about Butina.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#537

Post by Kendra » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:34 pm



Natasha Bertrand Retweeted Mark Galeotti
Well, she wasn't charged w/violating FARA. She pleaded guilty to a Section 951 violation, which is known as "espionage lite" and "generally involves espionage-like or clandestine behavior or an otherwise provable connection to an intelligence service." https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2016/a1624.pdf


Natasha

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#538

Post by Whip » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:45 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:26 pm
Being a cynic, I've always figured that the title "Head of Corporate Security"
lol. I assume rent-a-cop

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#539

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:04 pm

Whip wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:45 pm
fierceredpanda wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:26 pm
Being a cynic, I've always figured that the title "Head of Corporate Security"
lol. I assume rent-a-cop
I'm guessing an company as large as B-W will be employing more than a rent a cop for their corporate security.

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#540

Post by NMgirl » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:42 pm

More good stuff about that great American hero, Paul Whelan:



If you click through, there's a whole thread of damning information. However, I don't know whether Venture Capital is a reliable source.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#541

Post by tek » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:08 am

Sounds like a good candidate for Trump's Secretary of Defense!
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#542

Post by RVInit » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:24 am

He definitely would fit right in with this maladministration. Likely criminal past, sketchy current life situation, facts that seem to not quite fit, even his own twin brother doesn't know things about him that you'd think a family member would know. Yeah, he'd be a good fit.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#543

Post by Kendra » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:45 pm

:fiesta:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/paul-eric ... -for-fraud
Paul Erickson, the American political operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. attorney for the district of South Dakota is handling the prosecution, which is separate from the case that was lodged against Butina in Washington, D.C.

Erickson, 56, was arrested on Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty at an arraignment, according to the court filings.

The indictment alleges that Erickson ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 using a chain of assisted living homes called Compass Care. Erickson also allegedly defrauded investors through a company called Investing with Dignity that claimed to be “in the business of developing a wheelchair that allowed people to go to the bathroom without being lifted out of the wheelchair.” The indictment says he also ran a fraudulent scheme that claimed to be building homes in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

“Mr. Erickson is anxious to let the criminal justice process play out and believes a story different from the Government’s will emerge,” said Clint Sargent, a lawyer for Erickson.

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#544

Post by Volkonski » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:22 pm

Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#545

Post by NMgirl » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:53 pm

Like so many people under the Big Dome of the Trump Traitor Tent, it's clear that Erickson was a scumbag well before Butina arrived on the scene. The indictment:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... tment.html
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#546

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:18 am

Volkonski wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:22 pm
https:// twitter.com/funder/status/1093318054472224769?s=19
Scott Dworkin @funder
BREAKING: GOP operative Paul Erickson has been arrested for wire fraud & money laundering. The indictment details 22 years of fraudulent behavior. Erickson had direct contact with Trump’s campaign. He’s the boyfriend of Russian spy Maria Butina. More Trump-related corruption.

02:18 - 7 Feb 2019
Did it really take law enforcment two decades to catch up with this guy?

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#547

Post by Kendra » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:26 am

Only the best!

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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#548

Post by Northland10 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:31 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:18 am
Volkonski wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:22 pm
https:// twitter.com/funder/status/1093318054472224769?s=19
Scott Dworkin @funder
BREAKING: GOP operative Paul Erickson has been arrested for wire fraud & money laundering. The indictment details 22 years of fraudulent behavior. Erickson had direct contact with Trump’s campaign. He’s the boyfriend of Russian spy Maria Butina. More Trump-related corruption.

02:18 - 7 Feb 2019
Did it really take law enforcment two decades to catch up with this guy?
I have been noticing that a bunch of the creme of the Trump crap crop have been getting hit for various behaviors that they were doing for a while. Looks like riding Trump coattails to the limelight is not productive in their line of work. If you are going to be involved in fraud and money laundering, it helps to keep a lower profile. There seems to be a growing disruption in the money laundering economic sector.

Thanks Trump.
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#549

Post by Volkonski » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:17 pm

Spencer Hsu

@hsu_spencer
14m14 minutes ago
More
NEW Maria Butina, the Russian gun activist who admitted trying to infiltrate the U.S. conservative movement as an agent for the Kremlin, joins in asking court to postpone Tuesday status hearing for two weeks, to Feb. 26, saying her "cooperation is not yet complete."
Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
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Re: Maria Butina - NRA's Back Door to Russia

#550

Post by fierceredpanda » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:48 pm

Maybe she's not done backing the bus up over Paul Erickson yet. Or I can dream that the NRA is going to be next.
"There's no play here. There's no angle. There's no champagne room. I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor. The math on this is simple; the smaller the mess, the easier it is for me to clean up." -Michael Clayton

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