I spent several hours yesterday and this morning in the disagreeable task of digging through the career of Victoria Nuland after the western media reported on a YouTube video of an intercepted telephone call in which Nuland and American Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey “Geoff” Pyatt are heard discussing their plans for the future of Ukraine’s government. You can read a fairly comprehensive transcript of that phone call here.
Most media reports focus heavily on the fact that Nuland said, at one point, “fuck the E.U.” and their efforts to mediate a solution to the protests that have been going on in that country since the end of November 2013.
Sadly, the Washington Post and most other media sources focused on the epithet and downplayed the significant fact that Nuland and Pyatt had evidently sabotaged Ukrainian President Yanukovich’s offer at the end of January 2014 to both reduce his powers (and increase those of the parliament) and have two leaders of the opposition (Yatsenyuk and Vitaly Klitschko) become the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively. Had the opposition agreed to this plan, a peaceful resolution to this crisis could’ve been accomplished and all sides would’ve had a legal, democratic way forward to sort out the future of their country.
A Russian-speaking anonymous YouTube user from Ukraine was responsible for uploading the intercepted phone call between Nuland and Pyatt (and a second and separate phone call between an EU official named Helga Schmid and EU ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombinski, speaking in German), complete with Russian-language subtitles.
The YouTube video “went viral” in the Russian social media networks and at some point Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin‘s aide Dmitry Loskutov posted a Tweet about it. This led the previously clueless Western media to find out about the YT video.
When the American press questioned the State Department about Nuland and Pyatt cursing the EU and plotting the future of the Ukrainian government, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki blasted the Russian government, blaming them for the leak and saying that the tweet somehow proved that the Russian government was responsible and had thus sunk to an “all-time low” (video here).
I can’t find a single English-language news source reporting this but the Russian media is reporting that Dmitry Rogozin has flatly denied that the Russian government had anything to do with the interceptions and that he only learned about it via social media.
So who then intercepted these two phone calls? Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be a government intelligence agency. I used to intercept mobile phone calls all the time from my apartment in the U.S. and I didn’t even need any spy equipment to do it. Landline (RO: telefon fix) phone calls are a different story but all mobile phones are just fancy radios. If you have a radio scanner which can tune in to these frequencies (which I did), you can easily intercept and listen to anyone’s phone calls.
The “catch” is that you have to be physically close to the mobile phone in question for it to work. I used to sit in my living room and listen to snatches of calls from the drivers that were passing by on the street out front. I never found it very interesting as most people’s phone calls are incredibly tedious and boring (What do you want for dinner? No, what do you want?) but occasionally it was a neat “parlor trick” for my friends.
The hyper-paranoid American government has already admitted that its diplomats don’t use encrypted mobile phones (the only way to defeat a simple radio scanner like I used to have), so anyone wanting to spy on the embassy could just stand nearby and have a listen. The would-be spy might not pick up the specific phone call (or mobile phone user) that they want to but as the trick works via proximity, I’m sure sooner or later you’d be able to successfully listen in on your target’s phone calls.
Either way, whether it was an amateur with a $100 radio scanner or the work of a government espionage unit, someone caught the American government with their pants down and revealed the true nature of their interference in Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. The American government can shout and scream about how unfair all of this is but after a year of Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s activities, frankly (almost) no one cares.
But what is the significance of what Pyatt and Nuland were discussing? Well that’s what I spent most of yesterday researching. Instead of writing all of this out in exhaustive detail, I compiled a rather lengthy (almost 14 minutes) video, which you can see below:
This, however, is a blog about Romania, not the Ukraine, so what’s the connection?
Well, as as I wrote about before, Victoria Nuland came to Romania on January 10, 2014 as part of her mini European tour after she was confirmed as the Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in September 2013. Effectively she is the number two person at the State Department (equivalent to Romania’s MAE) after John Kerry and she is the head boss of over 10,000 State Department employees.
She arrived here in Romania on a Friday and immediately summoned several of Romania’s top politicians (including many from the ruling USL coalition) to the embassy. On Friday evening she met privately with President Traian Basescu. Then on Saturday (January 11) she gave a brief speech to the Romanian press, all of which was covered in my earlier article.
The next day she went to Kiev (for the third time since becoming Asst. Sec. State) and she and Geoff Pyatt went down to the main square and handed out food and thanked the protestors. You can see it in this video, including the fact that she doesn’t speak one word of Russian (or Ukrainian) to anyone despite the fact that she used to work in Moscow and her fondest memory of Russia (video at the link) was mingling with the crowds in 1991 as they cheered on the drunken dictator Boris Yeltsin.
What I haven’t written about on the blog before was Traian Basescu’s somewhat bizarre speech to the nation (Romanian-language video at link) that he gave a couple days later, in which he greatly amplified Nuland’s previous remarks, stating that she had been “extremely concerned” about Romania. This was far in excess to anything Nuland had said during her visit and many USL politicians and their sympathetic media rightly questioned why, if she truly felt this way, had not said so in public and why Basescu had nominated himself as her “interpreter” after the fact.
Thanks to my research and the leaked phone call (as seen in my video above), we now know that Nuland is a sharp-tongued woman with strong opinions. I now believe it is quite likely that Nuland was cursing at Basescu for his failure to reign in Ponta and the USL. After all, thanks to Manning and the Wikipedia-published State Department cables, we know that Basescu has been America’s willing puppet since 2004 and has done literally everything that Washington has asked of him.
A brief list of some examples of Basescu’s eager willingness to cooperate with America’s wishes:
- From 2004-present, Romanian troops are fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan.
- Romania allows the American military to use an airbase (Kogalniceanu, outside of Constanta) as a staging area for Afghanistan.
- American troops are stationed on Romanian soil.
- America now has a missile base (Deveselu) on Romanian soil.
- When a drunken American marine slaughtered a man in Romania, the Romanian government allowed him to flee the country and has never protested or requested that he be extradited to face trial in Romania.
- The Romanian government allowed the CIA to use a Romanian government facility in Bucharest to torture people.
- The Romanian government also allowed the CIA to land and refuel their planes in Romania which were transporting kidnapped prisoners from around the world.
- The Romanian government has committed itself to buying second-hand but very expensive old American fighter jets that it doesn’t need.
- The Romanian government has also made expensive purchases of other American military hardware, including anti-submarine helicopter-launched torpedos.
- Under Basescu, the Romanian government has become vastly indebted to the IMF, an American-controlled institution.
- Acceding to IMF demands, the Romanian government has raised taxes, slashed services and drastically reduced the pay of many governmental employees.
- With Basescu’s personal and enthusiastic blessing, the FBI operates a field office in Bucharest with dozens of agents.
- Although the American government has repeatedly refused to provide visa waivers for Romanians traveling to the U.S., Basescu has never once protested. Meanwhile, all American citizens can freely travel to Romania with no pre-approved visa necessary.
On the subject of Ukraine, it’s quite clear that John Kerry, John McCain and Victoria Nuland are working diligently to install a compliant leader (Arsenie Yatsunyuk) in power in Ukraine, with the openly-admitted goal of lashing the Ukraine to the IMF and putting that country in debt to western bankers while excluding, as much as possible, all Russian influence in the country. The longer-range plan is to get Ukraine to join NATO and thus both a) exclude the Russian Navy from its port in the Crimea and b) complete NATO (and America’s) encirclement of the Black Sea.
Just so it is perfectly clear, I’m no Putin (or Yanukovich) apologist. What I am is a firm believer in the idea that the people of Ukraine need to sort out their future for themselves, without outside interference from any quarter.
There’s no need for Nuland (and McCain, Kerry, the CIA, et al) to engage in such heavy-handed tactics here in Romania. With Basescu firmly in Washington’s pocket and a populace that is generally Russophobic and this country safely in deep debt to western bankers, all Nuland needed to do during her brief visit to Romania was yell at the president and tell him to get the fractious USL coalition of retards to quit rocking the damned boat.
I’ve personally benefited over the years due to the mystique of the “wonderful Americans coming to save Romania and bring capitalist prosperity” myth during my time here in this country, so I have no complaints in that regard. But I have to ask the Romanian people, with “friends” like the United States government, who really needs enemies?
9 thoughts on “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”
Not a bad analysis for a CIA agent :-).
Or is it a double bluff?
You make a good case for Basescu being a stooge, but he uses or believes he uses the US for Romania’s purposes also. Politics is a double edged thing. He didn’t support the US on Kosovo independence at least.
Speaking of the IMF: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-02/romanians-reject-euro-loans-after-hungary-disaster-mortgages.html .