Nothing more sickening and offensive than the hypocrisy of a nation claiming to be the pinnacle of democracy and freedom while moving inexorably towards a state that embraces authoritarianism. And no, I do not mean that Donald Trump is the culprit. He is not. He is a weak man masquerading as a strong man while the BORG aka the Deep State pushes onward with its agenda to quash the spirit of liberty that once infused this great country. He is more a victim than an instigator.
The latest outrage comes in the person of a 29 year old Russian woman, Maria Butina, who was arrested last week:
A 29-year-old Russian woman living in Washington has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian government while developing ties with American citizens and infiltrating political groups, the US Justice Department said on Monday.
Maria Butina, a student at American University and a founder of the pro-gun rights Russian advocacy organization Right to Bear Arms, is accused of working at the direction of a high-level official who worked for the Russian Central Bank and was recently sanctioned by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The court records do not name the official.
However, she is pictured in numerous photographs on her Facebook page with Alexander Torshin, the deputy head of Russia's Central Bank, and a person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that she worked for him.
Important to note that Torshin is not some intelligence chief and Maria Butina was not acting as a spy nor as an intelligence officer. She was not spying. She was not trying to recruit Americans to act covertly on behalf of Russia. She was sending emails. She was networking.
Let's do a mind experiment. Imagine that the woman was names Vicky Hershowitz. Let's image that she is a citizen of Israel. We've never had Israelis moving around Washington trying to buy influence and recruit powerful people to support Israel. Have we?
If this shameful, criminal act against Butina is allowed to stand, that sets a precedent for what can be done to any citizen of a foreign country who happens to come to the United States and does anything remotely considered to be political. But it also puts Americans daring to travel to Russia in danger. We are throwing the first punch in the new Cold War that could make it impossible for any American business man or woman to enter Russia and socialize with Russians.
Here is one of the documents trying to portray Butina as a "secret agent." It is filled with innuendo and guilt by association tricks. But a careful reading of the material reveals that she was not, as a good case officer or trained espionage officer would do, taking steps to conceal her relationships with people who had status as official Russians nor was she engaged with the covert communication methods that is the hallmark of genuine spies.
But forget that. This is like the bad old days when the Soviets would arrest and/or beat up anyone they suspected, fairly or not, of being a counter revolutionary. Such suspicions made one an enemy of the state and you would be thrown into prison with little in the way of due process. Well, guess what? We are doing the same disgraceful thing to Ms. Butina.
Want to know something else? I will probably be put on a list for just suggesting such a thing.
And where is Donald Trump in this? Hog tied. He is so damn afraid of being perceived as colluding that he hides from the Department of Justice as it violates the very core of the Constitution that Trump pledged to defend and protect.
I do not know who dreamed up the prosecution of Maria Butina, but this is a nightmare.