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Be Afraid … Be Very Afraid!

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]larm, fear, panic, hysteria, dread are loose in Washington DC. Here are sample headlines which sum up why our lawmakers have emptied the shelves of smelling salts in the local apothecaries:

COMMISSION: U.S. COULD LOSE WARS WITH RUSSIA, CHINA

U.S. could potentially lose a war against China or Russia

US military edge has eroded, study says

U.S. 'COULD LOSE' ITS NEXT WAR: REPORT SHOWS MILITARY 

WOULD ’STRUGGLE TO WIN' AGAINST RUSSIA AND CHINA

U.S. military might "struggle to win, or perhaps lose"

War with China or Russia, report says

Our “official” defense budget for 2019 is $716 billion — $686 billion earmarked for the Department of Defense. That’s four times the defense budget of China, ten times the defense budget of Russia.

AND WE CAN’T WIN A WAR WITH THESE TWO BACKWARD, UPSTART NATIONS?

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat’s the explanation? We’ve got the best-equipped, most powerful military money can buy. We’ve got the largest navy, the most submarines, the largest air force, the most tanks and artillery. We have over 800 bases around the world. And we can’t win a war against Russia or China?

What’s going on? 

Glad you asked.

It seems that the peddlers of this paranoiac prattle, aka pitchmen for the MIC and all who profit from promoting war, left out two words.

What two words? 

The two words are … (drumroll) … ‘of aggression’.

That’s right we can’t win a war OF AGGRESSION against China or Russia.

What’s left out of the sales pitch for more astronomical increases in our defense spending is some simple straightforward talk, which would undercut the whole argument for more military might.

You see, neither China or Russia can win a war of aggression against the U.S. or Europe either. Somehow that didn’t get mentioned. So the truth is, right now we are at parity with these countries. We can’t win attacking them. They can’t win attacking us. 

I would think this would be a cause for celebration. But that’s just me … and maybe 300 million other sane people in this country.


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he difference is that neither China or Russia are trying to build some colossal offensive war machine. The major thrust of the defense spending for both of those countries is to DEFEND AGAINST a war of aggression. That's where they put their money. And it takes a lot less money to defend a homeland, than to prepare to attack another country. Or to police an empire that stretches across the entire planet. A lot less!

That's not to say that Russia and China don't have offensive weapons. They do. But they deploy those weapons in a defensive posture. There are two ways to defend a country. Either you go head-to-head with an invading force, which would not just include soldiers, tanks, artillery, but also anti-ballistic missile systems, electronic warfare (incapacitating the high-tech weaponry of the attacking force), whatever mechanisms, some very destructive and lethal, are needed to keep the invaders at bay.

The Chinese Navy is not doing "freedom of navigation" exercises in the Caribbean or off the coast of New England or California. Russia and/or China are not conducting huge war games in Canada or Mexico. There are NO Chinese or Russian bases anywhere in our hemisphere.
The other major defensive category is the ability to inflict so much damage on the aggressor nation, its aggression results in "unacceptable losses". That can be personnel, military assets, but it can also be non-military assets. For example, taking down the aggressor nation's power grid, internet, communications, even their satellites, all of which compromise the aggressor nation's capacity to continue waging a war fall into this category.

Creating weaponry for those two purposes, that is, to defeat an invading military force or to discourage an aggressive attack, is predominantly what Russia's and China's military R&D and asset deployment has excelled at. This type of weaponry is much less expensive. Which explains in very simple terms why they can have such effective militaries at a fraction of the cost.

The handwringing, cold sweats, hyperventilation, allegedly caused by our WAR WINNING GAP — remember the missile gap of the 70s and 80s — are symptoms of the insanity which has infected both major political parties, destroyed any perspective and common sense, made completely impossible any rational conversation about the role our military should play in the world, and especially voided any discussion of how much of our nation's resources should be diverted away from constructive social programs — including but not limited to quality universal education, investment in sustainable productive infrastructure, quality universal health care, and getting serious about addressing the climate crisis — to support the grand imperial project of world domination with even more military expansion.

Right now, no one can win a war of aggression. In all probability, considering the dismal record of our military since WWII, no matter how much the U.S. spends, it will NEVER BE ABLE TO WIN A WAR OF AGGRESSION. If we keep pushing for war, as they say, be careful what you wish for. Because neither Russia or China will back down. The risks of a major confrontation with either going nuclear are very high.

Don't forget those two words: 'of aggression'. Because when the lunatics now in power talk about our diminishing military capacity, they are referring to our decreasing ability to mount an armada and take on Russia and China OVER THERE, not HERE — that is, winning a war in "their immediate sphere of influence".

If you have any doubts about what I'm saying, just check any map of foreign deployed military bases and track where the war games are taking place.



The Chinese Navy is not doing "freedom of navigation" exercises in the Caribbean or off the coast of New England or California. Russia and/or China are not conducting huge war games in Canada or Mexico. There are NO Chinese or Russian bases anywhere in our hemisphere. Moreover, while both Russia and China have conducted large-scale war games — important to note these are exercises in defending against large scale attacks from an aggressor — they on held in Russia and in China, not in bordering countries, and certainly not thousands of miles away in "our immediate sphere of influence".

Andrei Belousov, deputy head of the Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, recently made this statement: "Linguistically, this difference is in just one word, both in Russian and in English; Russia is preparing for war, and the US is preparing a war....Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it. We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people — we are preparing for such a war."

Let's hope they never have to fight such a war. We must relentlessly work toward removing the lunatics now in power in the Washington DC bubble — more resembling an insane asylum with each passing day — who apparently are preparing to launch such a war OF AGGRESSION against Russia, and another against China.

In summary, the military analysts are correct in saying, we can't win such a war now. But they can double, triple, quadruple the defense budget, and it will accomplish nothing. No amount of destructive weapons will ever produce a winner in such a conflict. An attack on either Russia or China could very well go nuclear, in which case there will be no winners. There will be no one around period to plant flags or declare victory.

John Rachel
 johnRachel7 Senior Contributing Editor John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter and music producer, a novelist, a left-of-left liberal, and has spent his life trying to resolve the intrinsic clash between the metaphysical purity of Buddhism and the overwhelming appeal of narcissism. John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, and has written eight novels and three political non-fiction books. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, The Greanville Post, and other alternative media outlets. Since leaving the U.S. in 2006, he has lived in and explored 33 countries. He is now somewhat rooted in a traditional, rural Japanese community about an hour from Osaka, where he lives with his wife of five years. Daily he rides his bicycle through the soybean fields and rice paddies which sprawl across the surrounding landscape. As of the date of the release of his most recent book, "The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World", he has a small but promising organic vegetable garden which begs his attention. You can follow his writing and the evolution of his world view at: http://jdrachel.com "Scribo ergo sum."

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Seventeen years after 9/11: From “war on terror” to “great power conflict”

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By Andre Damon, wsws.org

Mike Morell: The media's warm embrace and endorsement of this bloodthirsty CIA ghoul only testifies to their own criminal moral bankruptcy.


[dropcap]S[/dropcap]eventeen years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks—which became the official pretense for the “war on terror” and a series of bloody conflicts that cost the lives of at least one million people—Washington is on the verge of launching a massive new military offensive in Syria in defense of Al Qaeda-linked forces.

On Monday, US National Security Advisor John Bolton, one of the architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, said the US has been actively preparing to launch a military strike against the Syrian government, using the pretext of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government that the Pentagon claims will take place sometime in the imminent future.

“We’ve been in consultation with the British and the French, who joined us in the second strike [against the Syrian government in April], and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response,” Bolton warned.

Washington is making clear that it is responding not to what it claims the Syrian government has done, but what it claims it will do in the future. A chemical weapons “attack” will, in other words, be made to order.

The accusations being cooked up against the Syrian government are more brazen and shameless versions of the US claims of chemical weapons attacks in Khan Shaykhun in 2017 and in Douma earlier this year, which leading investigative journalists have asserted were likely staged by the CIA’s Islamist proxy forces.

The trumped-up pretexts under which Washington has sought to escalate US involvement go unquestioned and unchallenged in the US print and broadcast media, as though the Bush administration’s lies about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq never happened.

The real motivation for the fabricated justifications is clear. The Syrian government, aided by its allies Russia and Iran, is on the verge of a major new offensive to recapture the Syrian province of Idlib, which is expected to succeed, barring US intervention. It would effectively place the whole country under the control of the Syrian government and mark the decisive failure of the seven-year regime-change effort by the United States in alliance with Islamist militias.

This would be a major debacle for US imperialism, and Washington is not prepared to accept such an outcome, even if it means a shooting war with Syria’s Russian and Iranian allies.

On Saturday, a force of 100 Marines was sent to reinforce a US base in Syria after Russian military forces requested permission to attack ISIS positions nearby.

The Pentagon made clear that US forces are fully prepared to engage Russian troops. “The United States does not seek to fight the Russians” a Pentagon spokesman said. “However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition or partner forces.”

Since the beginning of the US regime-change operation in 2011, the CIA and Pentagon have armed and trained Islamist militias linked with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, which it used as its shock troops in an effort to overthrow the Syrian government.

Now, 17 years after September 11, 2001, Washington is preparing a major new war to protect fighters aligned with the very organization charged with carrying out the attack on the World Trade Center.

This seemingly bewildering about-face expresses the real nature of the so-called "war on terror." Leaving aside the unexplained circumstances surrounding the 9/11 attacks themselves, from its outset it was meant to dragoon public opinion behind wars of aggression long planned by Washington.

The day after the 9/11 attacks, the World Socialist Web Site explained that “From the standpoint of the American government, the crusade against terrorism has been far more a campaign of propaganda to justify US military violence around the world than a conscientious effort to protect the American people.”

Subsequent events have thoroughly vindicated this analysis. This “war on terror” was the pretext for a renewal of imperialist neocolonialism on a massive scale, including the launching of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the wars for regime-change in Libya and Syria, and the US clandestine murder and torture operations in dozens of countries throughout the world.

The aim of this offensive was summed up in a secret neoconservative strategy document quoted by journalist Seymour Hersh in his latest book. It stated that the Iraq war “will start making the US the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination.” All those who would oppose American aims in the Middle East would be “fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation.”

The ultimate target of the wars in the Middle East launched in the name of the “war on terror” were the “great powers” of Russia and China, as well as America’s erstwhile “allies” in the European Union. By controlling the heart of Eurasia, with its vital energy and transit links, the United States could regain its geopolitical hegemony by military means, even as its dominance over the global economy waned.

But as the United States came increasingly to rely on Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias, first in Libya, then in Syria, the veneer of the “war on terror” wore increasingly thin. The pretense was effectively discarded in this year’s Pentagon National Defense Strategy document, which stated that “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security.”

Echoing this theme, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell commemorated yesterday’s anniversary of 9/11 with a Washington Postcolumn titled, “We responded with urgency to 9/11. Now we need to respond as urgently to China.”

Morell argues that the US must prevent China from “seeking to become the most powerful and influential country in the world.” Throughout the article, Morell never explains what, if anything, the September 11, 2001 terror attacks have to do with China.

The column makes sense only if one sees the entire “war on terror” as a pretext for a series of neocolonial wars of aggression in the Middle East that have placed the US on a collision course with China and Russia.

Beijing and Moscow, for their part, see the American threats as deadly serious. Russia, which has worked to rapidly expand its nuclear arsenal, is in the midst of staging its largest military exercises in 37 years, involving some 300,000 troops, for the first time with substantial Chinese participation.

The efforts of the US to shore up its global position by military means through a series of ever-expanding wars have led to one bloody catastrophe after another. But Washington, the cockpit of global imperialism, has responded to every disaster by upping the ante. If this course brings it to the brink of war with a nuclear-armed power, Washington has made clear it is prepared to accept the consequences.

This eruption of American militarism is driven in large measure by domestic considerations. Amid the growth of working class struggles and a growing audience for socialism among workers and young people, the US ruling elite sees in war a means of enforcing “national unity” through internet censorship, attacks on the press and other dictatorial methods. As Morell notes, “National unity is essential as the United States responds to myriad threats, including Russia’s attempts to weaken us at home and abroad.”

The crisis-ridden Trump administration, for its part, sees war as a means of placating its domestic critics in the Democratic Party and the intelligence agencies, whose bitter faction fight with the administration revolves around demands that Trump take a more aggressive stance against Russia in Syria.

As the United States stands on the precipice of an offensive that could lead to a shooting war with a nuclear-armed power, the entire US political establishment has lined up in favor of military escalation. This includes the middle-class “left” periphery of the Democratic Party, such as the International Socialist Organization, which has consistently demanded a more aggressive US pursuit of regime-change in Syria.

No movement against war will come from any faction of this decrepit and reactionary political establishment. Rather, it must and will come from the working class. Throughout the United States and the world, workers are engaged in a series of bitter class battles, from teachers in Washington state to UPS workers nationwide, to airline workers in Europe. As they mobilize in struggle, workers must take up the fight against war as a central component of the struggle for a socialist future.

—Andre Damon

Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author is a senior editorial member of wsws.org, a Marxian publication.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Washington and Tel Aviv lurching toward a war with Iran

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BY BILL VAN AUKEN, WSWS.ORG


Trump and  Netanyahu wave at the Israel museum in Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. What these two can concoct, with the help of their semi-deranged establishments is something humanity should fear.  (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner).

Events of the past few days have made it clear that US imperialism—working in close tandem with its main ally in the Middle East, Israel—is set on a course of direct military confrontation with Iran.

Barely a week and a half before the May 12 deadline for President Donald Trump to announce his decision on whether or not his administration will renew a waiver of unilateral US sanctions that were shelved as part of the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a theatrical presentation claiming to have “proof” that “Iran lied” about its nuclear program. He went on to express confidence that Trump would “do the right thing,” i.e., scuttle the nuclear accord—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—that was reached between Iran and five major powers: the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

Trump hailed Netanyahu’s theatrical presentation as confirmation that he had been “100 percent right” in his denunciations of the nuclear accord as a “horrible deal.”

In reality, international nuclear experts, European representatives and even ex-Israeli intelligence officials all dismissed Netanyahu’s performance as a farce. The Israeli government, which claimed to have stolen hundreds of thousands of files from Iran, produced not a single shred of evidence that Iran has engaged in any form of nuclear weapons program for the past 15 years, much less that it has violated the terms of the JCPOA. Repeated reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including one as recent as February, have established that Tehran is abiding by the stringent restrictions on uranium enrichment and intrusive inspections regime imposed under the agreement.

Netanyahu’s performance recalled nothing so much as Colin Powell’s 2003 presentation of what he described as “evidence, not conjecture” of Iraq’s nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” used to justify the US war of aggression against Iraq a month later. Powell at least told lies that purported to substantiate American false claims of Iraqi malfeasance; Netanyahu presented nothing.


Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, an uber Zionist, adds pressure for Trump to get involved in ever more reckless moves to please the Neocons and the Israeli lobby (almost congruent).

The Israeli presentation—delivered in English—was stage-managed in direct consultation with Trump, with whom Netanyahu spoke shortly before going on the air, and the new US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who had met with him and other officials in Tel Aviv the day before.

Behind all of the chaos and scandals of the Trump administration, what has clearly emerged in Washington is a war cabinet, with the elevation of John Bolton to the post of National Security adviser and Pompeo’s confirmation by the Senate, with the indispensable support of the Democrats, as secretary of state. Both are fervent advocates of war against Iran.

Bolton has described the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a “massive strategic blunder,” insisting that US policy should be one of “ending Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution before its fortieth anniversary,” next February. Regime change in Tehran, according to the new national security adviser, should be promoted through direct military action. “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” was the headline of an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times shortly before the agreement was reached on the JCPOA.

The US-Israeli war against Iran has already begun. Strikes carried out by US-supplied Israeli F-15 fighter jets on Syrian military bases on Sunday night killed as many as two dozen Iranians. It marked the fifth round of such Israeli attacks on Syria since September. All of them have been aimed at the assets of Iran. Along with Russia, Tehran is the main ally of the Assad government, which Washington and its allies have sought to topple in a seven-year-old war for regime change.

Reports from Israel have also indicated a major redeployment of tanks, troops and armored personnel carriers to the country’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon.

“On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now,” a senior US official told NBC News Tuesday.

The intimate collaboration between Washington and Tel Aviv in preparing such a war has been made evident by the extraordinary flurry of meetings between top-level US and Israeli military and security officials flying in and out of both countries’ capitals. This has been supplemented by the dispatch of Pompeo, before he even set foot in the State Department, to the Middle East, where he not only consulted with Netanyahu and other officials, but also met with Saudi and Jordanian officials in an attempt to solidify a bloc of reactionary monarchical Arab regimes behind the US-Israeli war drive.

Behind this drive to war lies not any supposed concern about an Iranian nuclear threat—Tehran has no bomb and never initiated any real program to produce one, while Israel’s own arsenal includes an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads. Rather, what are at play are naked imperialist interests.

As a regional power, Iran stands as an impediment to the drive by US imperialism to assert its hegemony over the oil-rich and strategically vital Middle East.

The European powers are increasingly at odds with Washington. After the visits of France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel apparently failed, despite their obsequiousness, to persuade the Trump administration not to blow up the Iranian nuclear accord, discussions between them and British Prime Minister May over the weekend apparently centered on whether or not there was any prospect of salvaging the agreement without the US. There are both the fear of a major regional war spilling over into Europe in the form of violence, political crisis and a renewed flow of refugees, as well as definite profit interests at stake.

While US banks and corporations have been largely locked out of the Iranian market by continuing nonnuclear-related US economic sanctions, European interests, including the French oil conglomerate Total, have signed lucrative agreements. Most of them have produced little thus far because of fears that Washington will upend the nuclear accord and begin sanctioning foreign firms doing business in Iran.

Filling this vacuum, China has forged significant economic ties with Iran, including a recent $10 billion line of credit from the Beijing government for Chinese firms to launch infrastructure projects, including power facilities, dams and transportation hubs. Beijing sees Iran as a key segment of its “Belt and Road” mega-project, linking China to Europe, and is anxious to shift a growing share of its oil imports from regional producers like Saudi Arabia that are aligned with Washington. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced plans to increase bilateral trade to $600 billion over the next decade.

In Iran, as elsewhere, US imperialism seeks to counter the decline of its economic domination through a turn to military aggression. While the European capitalist powers have joined in US military actions, particularly with the participation of the UK and France in the April 14 missile attack on Syria, their hopes of reaping a share of the booty from imperialist intervention can never be realized by serving as the tail of the American dog. Inevitably, they must turn to their own rearmament for a struggle of each against all for the redivision of the world. This process is already well under way.

To the extent that Washington has sought to placate Europe with the postponement of the implementation of trade war tariffs and that it has ratcheted down, temporarily, tensions on the Korean peninsula, it is to better concentrate war preparations in the Middle East.

The drive toward a war between Israel and Iran, beginning in Syria, is unfolding in tandem with the continuing US military intervention in that country, which is evolving into a confrontation with pro-government forces backed by Iran and Russia.

Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis Monday indicated that the more than 2,000 US troops presently deployed inside Syria would not be going anywhere anytime soon. “We do not want to pull out before the diplomats have won the peace,” he said. “You win the fight—and then you win the peace.”

The reality is that the US military force, augmented by proxy ground forces based upon the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, is staying in place to secure an American zone of influence consisting of approximately a third of Syria’s territory on its northeastern borders with Turkey and Iraq. The area also contains the country’s oil and gas reserves. From their supposed mission of fighting ISIS, this US force is now turning to confronting attempts by the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to regain control of this territory and its resources.

With Russia also in discussions with Damascus on providing advanced air defense systems to Syria, the prospect for a clash between Russian forces and those of the US and Israel are steadily growing.

The developments in Syria and the threats of confrontation with Iran constitute a grave warning to working people in the US and throughout the world. Driven by the crisis of its system, world capitalism, with America’s ruling class and its military in the lead, is preparing for a world war that would be fought with nuclear weapons.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Bill Van Auken is a senior editor with wsws.org, a Marxian publication.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report

Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.




Private Investigations Find America’s Magnitsky Act to Be Based on Frauds


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William Browder and Magnitsky (right).

We are now getting closer and closer to what, quite possibly, could turn out to be a war between U.S. and Russia — a world-ending World War III — and, therefore, I, as an investigative historian, am trying to understand, as accurately as I can, the historical origins of this potentially world-ending conflict, the ‘new Cold War’. In this regard, I am examining the event, the 2012 Magnitsky Act, in the United States (and then copied in the EU), which imposed the first set of economic sanctions against Russia, and thus may reasonably be said to have sparked ‘the new Cold War’.

Gilbert Doctorow published on 18 June 2016 a terrific review of an independent documentary investigation into this matter, which film I first shall summarize here by excerpts from its transcript.

This Magnitsky documentary is titled “The Magnitsky Act Behind the Scenes”, and, to the extent that it is true (and my own individual investigation regarding its truthfulness and/or lack thereof, will follow after these excerpts from the film, to address this issue), it makes unequivocally clear that the U.S. and EU economic sanctions that are based on Magnitsky are fraudulently based. By the time you will reach the end here, you’ll know the truth about the event that actually sparked ‘the new Cold War’ — and you wll know it not only from this film.

Robert Parry has explained how the target of the film, William Browder, has succeeded in banning its being shown, both in the United States and in UK and EU. So, I arranged with the film’s Production Manager a private viewing of it. I also requested from him a copy of its script, so as to post that along with my review (to be presented here). He didn’t reply to my request for the transcript; so, my review here will instead consist of quotations of what I consider to be the key passages in the film’s script, so as to enable non-viewers of this banned-in-The-West historically crucial documentary, to know what’s being banned — what our ‘democracy’ is preventing us from seeing and hearing, about the start of ’the new Cold War’, which could end the world.

Furthermore, I have previously pointed out that the Magnitsky case was the core of the reason why the Trump campaign had been approached by a private Russian lawyer, Nataliya Veselnitskaya, who then met at Trump Tower on 9 June 2016 with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, which private meeting largely sparked the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate-Trump investigation, and that the “dirt” which she had promised about Hillary Clinton turned out to have been merely a pretext for her to obtain this meeting and present her private client’s case that Trump, if he became President, should terminate the Magnitsky Act.

Furthermore, London’s Daily Mail had reported, on 2 April 2016 (even prior to this meeting), that a hired agent of Bill Browder, a certain woman who also was a “political commentator on several TV and radio channels, including the BBC, in which she has oppposed the current Russian government,” was also the mistress of a former Russian Prime Minister who was planning to run against Vladimir Putin in the 2018 Russian Presidential elections; and, so, Browder’s passion for regime-change in Russia could match this Russian politician’s similar passion not only for that, but for Browder’s hired agent. So: this is juicy history not only about the Magnitsky Act, and about Russiagate, but also about Bill Browder’s obsession to bring down Vladimir Putin, who wants Browder to be prosecuted in Russia, for having stolen $230 million from Russia’s Treasury.


The Magnitsky Act Behind the Scenes

25 June 2016 Documentary, 120 minutes (2 hours), by Andrei Nekrasov
Vimeo fails to show the video when clicked, says "
This video is private", which makes no sense.  See the Appendix for alternative videos which, while not the full original film by Nekrasov, at least provide helpful material.

The first 22 minutes and 40 seconds didn’t contain anything I thought to be usable by a forensic investigator — no allegation that would meet a court’s admissibility requirements as constituting “evidence” — in any other way than to demonstrate that the filmmaker, Nekrasov, was strongly anti-Putin and pro Bill Browder, prior to his having done the research that he subsequently shows himself doing in this film. He starts out filming clearly as an admirer of Browder, and as thinking that this film will show the public how bad and corrupt a person Vladimir Putin must be, whose regime would perpetrate such alleged barbaric treatment of an alleged whistleblower (Magnitsky) as Browder has so tirelessly devoted himself to exposing in the Magnitsky matter. Nekrasov, as a documentary filmmaker, devotes actually the opening 32 minutes of this documentary to a re-enactment of the Magnitsky affair that’s based upon what Browder has presented regarding the matter, and, on the basis of which, the economic sanctions against Russia were enacted into law, both in the U.S. and in the EU. Nekrasov had created this re-enactment on his expectation that after showing this ‘historical’ re-enactment, he would then proceed to show the documentation, proving that these things actually did happen, just like the film’s hero Browder claimed they did.

22:40: Browder says of Magnitsky “he was a lawyer’s lawyer.” Crucially, Browder claims that Magnitsky was his “lawyer,” not his “accountant.”

23:20: Browder says that every one of the hundreds of communications from Magnitsky during his 11-month imprisonment ending in his death, was copied, and that “one went to his lawyer and a copy went to us.” So — Browder, according to his testimony here to Nekrasov, has the documents, but doesn’t supply any of them to the filmmaker Nekrasov, who is evidently so infatuated with Browder, and so incompetent as a documentarian, as not even to request Browder to show him any evidence at all. Seeing this, I was furious to be wasting my time with such a fool as Nekrasov, the filmmaker of what now seems obviously to be a mediocre supposed re-enactment, who isn’t even doing the most elementary things that a good documentarian would be doing, such as questioning, and follow-up questions being asked, testing constantly the honesty of everyone he interviews on-camera. Instead, he’s just a patsy here.

31:15: Nekrasov says “He [Magnitsky] went into prison healthy.” Nekrasov is saying that the health-problems Magnitsky experienced during his 11-month pre-trial detention (ending in his death there) were due to his mistreatment there, not to any bad health. But, also, Nekrasov can’t credibly re-enact the crucial scene, which, according to Browder’s ‘research’, entailed 7 police officers beating to death Magnitsky, in a cell and situation that are so unrealistic that Nekrasov now has to rethink what it is that he’s filming — is his friend Browder maybe lying?

32: “We stopped the camera.” The re-enactment of Nekrasov’s friend Browder’s account is done — the documentarian no longer will accept, without deeper investigation, what Browder is telling him. These two until-now friends are, now and henceforth, very wary of each other. But it’s not yet clear just how wary.

36: Nekrasov has difficulties finishing his re-enactment of the scene of Magnitsky’s death as it had been recounted by Browder. Had he been paying actors to do a ‘re-enactment’ that’s actually false? Had he been wasting his money? Nekrasov is thus in crisis, recognizing that he had paid actors to re-enact a ‘historical’ account that was, at least to some extent, bogus. He had obviously wasted some money. From this moment on, Nekrasov starts to be concerned far more about how and why the Magnitsky Act came to be passed, than about Putin’s alleged perfidies. He’s no longer documenting Browder’s case against, basically, Putin, and Putin’s government. Amazingly, Nekrasov now starts to be an actual investigator, no longer a hero-worshipper (of Browder). Maybe it’s his anger at having been deceived by Browder, which caused this sudden turn, but a turn it clearly seems to be.

38: U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and John McCain are shown as having been instrumental in pushing through the Magnitsky Act, based on Browder’s presentations.

39: In December 2012 Obama signed the Magnitsky Act, which says that Russia’s “Human Rights Council announced the results of its independent investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky,” but Nekrasov finds that the Council had actually lifted wholesale into their report, evidence from the American Browder’s presentation. Instead of Nekrasov’s now proceedng to present the documents in the case, to his viewers, and getting right down to showing actual evidence, Nekrasov incongruously seeks first an interview with a non-witness, Magnistky’s mother, who tells him what she thinks the documents show. Nekrasov seems to take this hearsay as constituting evidence, which it isn’t — it’s merely hearsay. But her testimony is really just questions in her mind, perhaps entirely honestly intended answers to his stupid questions. Clearly, Nekrasov isn’t a good interviewer, and doesn’t yet even know what constitutes evidence and what doesn’t. (Later, at 1:09, he exhibits the realism to admit he’s “not a natural-born detective.” He certainly isn’t, but he seems, thus far in the presentation, at least, to be honest, and he clearly wants to understand what really happened, and this apparent integrity might, if it’s authentic, enable him to achieve marvelous things in this documentary, despite the enormous time-wastes to his viewers who are trying to get to it.)

Then the filmmaker asks Magnitsky’s mother whether mistreatment of Magnitsky was “intentional” — as if she’d even be in a position to answer that. She says she doesn’t know. She never even saw the interrogation. She wasn’t there. By now, I am expecting to see Nekrasov’s investigation to start, and to be incompetently done. His questioning thus far has been largely stupid. But I was mistaken! Nekrasov now suddenly seems to be turning into the ideal type of solicitor — investigating lawyer, as opposed to barristers, the latter of whom, in UK, present cases to juries; but, if Nekrasov possesses any competency, it’s as a solicitor (the presenting lawyer’s researcher). Suddenly, he’s what every barrister dreams of having — a terrific solicitor, a terrific investigator. Nekrasov appears now to be a great forensic analyst — but only of written evidence, the type that he’ll now be examining. (As an interviewer, interrogator, he’s obviously not even competent.) Perhaps it’s no wonder Browder has banned this film! But, luckily for Browder, Nekrasov, as the barrister in this documentary, is incompetent; much of this film, infuriatingly (such as this interview of Magnitsky’s mother), wastes the viewer’s time and should just have been cut out altogether. This could be an extremely important documentary for what it will prove, but certainly not for its being a well-done documentary, nor even one that’s enjoyable to watch — not in any way enjoyable! Watching it is, to the contrary, for me at least, a grueling chore. Many of the key passages go by far too fast for the viewer to absorb. Others are sheer waste and should have been eliminated. I needed frequently to go back a minute or so in order to see again a passage, in order to understand the full meaning of what had just-then whizzed by, before going on. Sometimes I had to re-view a passage several times. I spent around eight hours, simply to go through this two-hour documentary once; and, at the very least, it has a half-hour of sheer waste, and yet is too short by more than a half-hour on what should have been looked further into but was ignored. However, this film does have the advantage of interviewing many of the crucial people. It’s an amateurish documentary, but still an important one.

43: Nekrasov declares himself “perplexed,” because Magnitsky’s mother hasn’t confirmed Browder’s account. Nekrasov isn’t yet anti-Browder, but he now seems to fear that maybe he should have been; he doesn’t yet know whether anything will be salvageable from the re-enactment he has produced.

48: Nekrasov interviews Pavel Karpov, the alleged 8th police-officer who was involved in Magnitsky’s alleged murder but who wasn’t present on the actual occasion. Karpov had tried to sue Browder for libel in a London court, but wasn’t able to. Karpov offers Nekrasov documents that Browder’s case was built on but which are actually fundamentally different from the way Browder had described them.Nekrasov asks stupid follow-up questions (starting with “Why is Browder so bent on attacking you personally?”), rather than immediately to look at, and examine, the offered documents, and to discuss them with Karpov, to get his crucial feedback on key passages in it. (But Nekrasov will get around to talking about those documents after Karpov is gone. Nekrasov simply missed here his opportunity to discuss the documents with Karpov, and doesn’t seem even to care about having missed it.) Karpov, during his conversation with Nekrasov, answers this personal question from Nekrasov by saying he had pursued Browder in 2004 for tax-evasion, and that that’s his personal hypothesis as to why Browder smears Karpov. (51:32: Karpov says, “Having made billions here, Browder forgot to tell how he did it. So it suits him to pose as a victim. He is wanted here, but Interpol is not looking for him.”) Nekrasov then, after Karpov is gone, looks at the documents Karpov has handed him; Nekrasov sees that Browder’s account had been lies, if these documents from Karpov were authentic. The documentation which Nekrasov now had was very detailed. All of it was easily checkable. Nekrasov then starts checking, and he finds that the actual Russian-language documents, the originals that Karpov handed him copies of, present conflicts with the historical re-enactment that Nekrasov had been presenting for the first 32 minutes of this documentary. (54:45) “That impression didn’t fit the story I was filming, and I somehow ignored it.” But, now, “I looked up Magnitsky’s testimony again.” Here we get to the filmmaker’s area of investigative strength.

(What Nekrasov represents as being Browder’s English-language purported translations of the documents are shown here: http://russian-untouchables.com/eng/testimonies/ That’s Browder’s case. After writing this summary, I was shocked to see Russian-language originals there, no translations at all. More on that later.)

Nekrasov claims to be especially struck that the basis of Browder’s case — that Magnitsky had been killed by the police because he had accused two police officials, Karpov and Kuznetsov — is a lie because Magnitsky hadn’t accused anyone.

Nekrasov says that the originals do not comport with the translations from Browder, and do not even mention by name any of the officers that are named in the translations. (What translations? Even that’s not clear; but, supposedly, they are Browder’s case — and they don’t match the Russian-language originals.) “Why did Bill Browder insist Magnitsky had accused Karpov?” Nekrasov asks.

(55:40) “I tried to reach Bill, first on the mobile, …” Nothing was responded to.

Nekrasov then interviews the top EU Parliamentarian who had spearheaded Browder’s anti-Russian effort at the EU, and interviewed her with her Russian aide who was her source on everything (since that Parliamentarian couldn’t read Russian). She said that Magnitsky had been killed because he had accused his interrogators and the police officials.

1:00: Nekrasov: “The problem is, he [Magnitsky] made no accusations. In that testimony, its record contains no accusations. … Mr. Magnitsky did not actually testify against the two officers [Karpov and Kuznetsov].” The Parliamentarian responds “I can’t relate to this.” He then shows the Russian-language transcript to her aide. She reads it, and asks “Have you talked to Andi [Andreas] Gross?” Nekrasov says, “I’ve emailed him.” She replies, “He is the author of the PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe] report on Magnitsky. Have you read it?” “Yes.” “And how does he deal with this?” “That’s precisely the problem” because it contradicts the transcript, he responds. 

1:03: Nekrasov then interviews Gross, who starts by saying that when the U.S. had passed the Magnitsky Act, there had been far less documentation than the EU had in the PACE report. Nekrasov presents the original Russian of the transcript.

1:04: Gross says: “We always have to trust the translation of the provider [presumably, Browder, but Nekrasov fails to make this clear].” Gross can’t read Russian. Nekrasov: “But they don’t accuse them.” “Gross: “They don’t accuse them?” “Nekrasov: “No.” Gross: “These kind of documents, they all come from Browder’s sources.” (Gross makes clear what Nekrasov didn’t and failed even to ask about: the EU action was based entirely upon Browder’s translations, pictures, ‘evidence’.) Gross now backs off Browder’s claim that Magnitsky was “murdered”: simply “They didn’t take care enough.” Now: It’s negligence; that’s Gross’s take on things now. Nekrasov fails to ask whether Gross regrets having presented Browder’s case which alleges that it was intentional homicide. Nekrasov misses more opportunities than he takes advantage of. He doesn’t recognize what’s important and what’s irrelevant. Even Gross has now admitted that the EU action was at least to some extent ungrounded.

1:07:27: Nekrasov is at the book-signing ceremony and reception in Moscow for the publication of Browder’s book about the Magnitsky matter. (At 1:35 is revealed that this event was filmed in London; it would have been on 3 February 2015, but this sloppy documentary fails to say anthing about the when and where of this event.) Nekrasov is on close affectionate terms with Browder’s friends there, who now no longer include Nekrasov himself. He’s now a highly disillusioned onlooker. Nekrasov asks attendees what Sergei Magnitsky had been like. They describe him as having been a cultured man, “brilliant,” but an accountant and no lawyer: “He wasn’t a lawyer. He was an accountant.” Browder evidently lies even about the type of professional service that Magnitsky had been providing to him.

1:10: Nekrasov now shows the film’s viewers the Russian-language documents, and Russian-language news-reports prior to Magnitsky’s having been brought in for questioning. There were news-reports about the discovery and reporting to police of the theft, “And Magnitsky doesn’t discover anything. That’s what I found. He’s supposed to discover this. But other people did. The press. Look at this: 7 October 2008. ‘Magnitsky was questioned on a $232 million fraud.’ And look here in this from the newspaper, on 23 September 2008, two weeks before Magnitsky’s police questioning, (1:12:14:) ’the theft of USD 232 million from the state treasury’, and the police probe into it.” The investigation had started “on April 9, 2008.” A certain (1:12:43) Rimma Mikhailovna Starova reported the theft to the police on that date. Then Nekrasov shows the viewer this document:

http://web.archive.org/web/20081016164839/http://www.hermitagefund.com:80/

it says:

September 16, 2008

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS HIGH COURT ISSUES MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL RULING TO PROTECT HSBC AND THE HERMITAGE FUND FROM RUSSIAN FRAUD

HCML. The High Court of Justice of the British Virgins Islands (the “Court”) has issued a multi-jurisdictional injunction against Boily Systems Limited (“Boily”), a BVI company that acquired three Russian investment vehicles that had been stolen from HSBC and the Hermitage Fund and that were used by an organized criminal group to defraud the Russian Government of US$230 million. The ruling made in response to court filings by HSBC, acting as Trustee of the Hermitage Fund, on 11 July 2008, will be used in Russian arbitration hearings scheduled for later this week in Moscow regional court.

September 16, 2008

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS HIGH COURT ISSUES MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL RULING TO PROTECT HSBC AND THE HERMITAGE FUND FROM RUSSIAN FRAUD

HCML. The High Court of Justice of the British Virgins Islands (the “Court”) has issued a multi-jurisdictional injunction against Boily Systems Limited (“Boily”), a BVI company that acquired three Russian investment vehicles that had been stolen from HSBC and the Hermitage Fund and that were used by an organized criminal group to defraud the Russian Government of US$230 million. The ruling made in response to court filings by HSBC, acting as Trustee of the Hermitage Fund, on 11 July 2008, will be used in Russian arbitration hearings scheduled for later this week in Moscow regional court.

April 07, 2008

Hijacking the Hermitage Fund

BusinessWeek. Hermitage Capital Management alleges that a massive fraud attempt in Russia, which even included the police, nearly made off with hundreds of millions.

So: on 7 April 2008, the accusations, including against “the police,” were already published, at Browder’s own website, and Magnitsky wasn’t brought in for questioning until 7 October 2008 — and he didn’t accuse anyone — and he hadn’t been the person who reported the matter to the police; it was Rimma Mikhailovna Starova who had already done that.

And he shows this press release:

http://web.archive.org/web/20090130125854/http://hermitagefund.com:80/index.pl/news/article.html?id=899

which says:

8 February 2008: The three stolen vehicles [“three Russian investment vehicles that had been stolen from HSBC and the Hermitage Fund and that were used by an organized criminal group to defraud the Russian Government of US$230 million”] are purchased by Boily from Pluton for US$750. Ms Rimma Starova, a 70 year-old resident of Novocherkassk, Russia, is appointed the General Director of each of the three stolen vehicles.

24 March 2008: Mr Smetanin issues a decision to liquidate the three stolen vehicles.

24 March 2008: Mr Smetanin, acting as Boily’s authorized representative, appoints the liquidator for the three stolen vehicles, Mr. Shcherbakov.

April 2008: Ms. Starova files a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan falsely accusing representatives of HSBC’s companies of the theft of state funds.

July 2008: In response to HSBC filings, the Moscow regional court issues order prohibiting the liquidation of the three stolen vehicles.

30 July 2008: The liquidator Mr Shcherbakov files to initiate the bankruptcy of the three stolen vehicles with the Moscow Regional Court.

19 August 2008: Lawyers acting for Kroll, the Receiver of Boily, appealed to the Moscow Regional Court to stop the bankruptcy proceedings.

For further information, please contact:

Hermitage Capital Management

Phone: +44 207 440 1777

Email: info@hermitagefund.com

So: Hermitage, Browder’s firm, had already made public on its website, that in “April 2008: Ms. Starova files a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan falsely accusing representatives of HSBC’s companies of the theft of state funds.” Browder’s firm claimed Starova was “falsely accusing” people “of the theft of state funds” amounting to $232 million. Browder’s firm is saying that these charges against it (against those “HSBC’s companiess” — they are actually Browder’s own Hermitage) are “falsely accusing” Browder’s firm. The Hermitage propaganda was as vague as possible there, so as not to make clear to readers that Browder’s own company, Hermitage itself, was being accused of having stolen $230 million from the Russian Government.) Then, on 7 October 2008, Magnitsky was brought in for questioning, and he didn’t accuse anybody. And Magnitsky was Browder’s accountant — not (as Browder constantly claims) his “lawyer.”

1:13:32: “Mr. Browder’s companies were part of this financial empire HSBC [Nekrasov finally gets around to mentioning that], Europe’s biggest bank. … Rimma Starova became a figurehead director of Browder’s companies after they were used to return [to the Russian Government] $232 million in the tax-rebate fraud. … Starova broke the rules of the game for some reason and reported the scam to the police. She accused these people. This obscure agent reported the crime. … Hermitage at first kept the report of the tax-rebate fraud as a false accusation against them[selves].” (I had to replay that passage several times in order to understand fully and accurately what Nekrasov was saying.)

1:15: “In March 2009, Starova’s report disappeared from Hermitage’s website. … This is the same time that Magnitsky started to be treated as an analyst … who discovered the $232 million fraud. Thus the Magnitsky-the-whistleblower story was born, nine months after” the matter had been reported to the police. Nekrasov says that the Browder version is: “Yes, the crime [$232 million fraud against the public treasury but, according to Browder, actually against Browder’s firm] took place, but somebody else did it — the police did it.” Nekrasov adds: “And it is true that Mr. Karpov confiscated the [original incorporating documents] and he has those originals within his possession” to answer whether any police were involved. But Nekrasov still doesn’t ask Karpov to present those documents. Nekrasov is no interrogator, shockingly poor at doing that. He’s just a documents-investigator — and that’s an important and rare skill to have.

1:18-1:24: Somehow, somewhere, out of nowhere in the structure of this disjointed documentary’s storyline, Nekrasov interviews Browder yet again, who turns out to be now an insulting interviewee. He insists that Magnitsky had accused the police both in June and in October of 2008 and refuses to accept Nekrasov’s statement that Magnitsky did not accuse them. Browder says he doesn’t know who reported the crime first, and, “We’d have to go back through our records.” “It could have been Sergei Magnitsky, it could have been any of our other lawyers.” Nekrasov mentions Rimma Starova, and Browder says “she’s some kind of low-paid, some kind of pensioner,” so he doesn’t call her a “lawyer.” Browder now threatens Nekrasov: “Anybody who says that Sergei Magnitsky didn’t expose the crime before he was arrested is just trying to whitewash the Russian Government. … Are you trying to say that Pavel Karpov is innocent? I’d really be careful about your going out and saying that Magnitsky wasn’t a whistleblower. That’s not going to do well for your credibility … like ‘we don’t have any men in Crimea’.” Browder walks off in a huff.

1:26: Nekrasov now goes back to look more closely into documents he had not previously carefully examined. He finds: In 4 October 2004, Browder was formally accused in one case, of “forgery of a document issued by the minister of investment policies.” The document in Russian is shown. “I myself overdramatized the raid in my film,” Nekrasov admits on-camera. (Presumably, he’s angry against Browder now, for having deceived him so, but his comportment exhibits no anger, maybe because Nekrasov still actually remains fond of Browder.)

1:27:40: A photo of an alleged employee of Browder’s law firm, Firestone Duncan, who is shown in Browder’s publications as being named “Victor Poryugin” and as having facial wounds from allegedly having been beaten by police, turned out to be showing a person who never was with Browder’s firm, but instead to have been picturing “an American human rights campaigner beaten up during a street protest in 1961.” It was Jim Zwerg, civil-rights demonstrator, during the 1960s, in the American South.

For me, that point in the documentary (I hadn’t yet seen for myself all the evidence I’d need to see) practically ended the entire case, right there. To switch photos like that is unacceptable practice in any document from a person (such as Browder) who possesses power; acceptance of such practice in any but a blatant dictatorship (such as, maybe, Western governments are?), is unimaginable. Video was shown there, of “Jim Zwerg, Freedom Rider” and from the online video, “FR Project — Jim Zwerg in Hospital.”  For me, that seemed to end the matter. Still, I had lots more investigation to do; so, I stuck with this incompetently-made documentary.

“But Browder’s biggest falsehood was the aim of the search. … And so we looked for information about the actual way Browder’s companies had changed owners. The investigators questioned Magnitsky because he was the accountant for Browder’s companies.” The way that ownership changed was “Powers of attorney. Something Browder never mentioned.” A document is shown: “Purchase agreement … Based on this power of attorney, Gasanov represents Glendora Holdings Ltd.”  Nekrasov: “Defending himself and the Browder team, Magnitsky claimed that Gasanov’s powers of attorney were not legitimate.” Then follows a long and complex discussion of the way that billions of dollars were ordinarily siphoned out of Russia after the fall of communism and start of capitalism there. (1:34) “Gasanov, the middleman who had the power of attorney connecting the new nominees to the real beneficiaries, could not be asked who was giving them orders, as he mysteriously died. … No one proved that it was murder, but if that death was a coincidence, it wasn’t the only one. A figurehead director of one of Browder’s companies … died within months. … From contracts, signed by Gasanov, I knew of another figurehead involved in the scam, who survived, perhaps because he was arrested. Having served a term, he went into hiding. His name was Viktor Markelov.” “[Markelov’s] Crimes: Imprisoned for manslaughter 2001. Arrested for extortion & kidnapping 2006. Convicted in a closed trial for the theft of $230 million taxes by Hermitage, 2009.”

1:35: “Questioned by the police, Markelov named Browder’s associates Khairetdinov and Kleiner as people involved in the company’s re-registration. I saw the gentlemen at Browder’s London book-launch party. … Magnitsky was questioned about his acquaintance with Gasanov. … Magnitsky refused to answer. … So there was evidence that Magnitsky and Browder’s other lieutenants were involved in his re-registration they later called theft.” Nekrasov is saying that Browder’s team had set things up to look as if outsiders — not Browder’s team — had transferred the assets.

1:36: “According to Browder, Magnitsky was a brilliant young lawyer, and he had been hired specifically in order to investigate this theft of his company — both not true as it turned out. Magnitsky was not a lawyer, and he had been an accountant for Browder’s company since the nineties.”

1:36:20: “The document [not clear which one] was signed by Browder’s real lawyer, E.M. Khareitdinov. I caught up with Mr. K. and wanted to interview him, but he declined.” (There’s no deposition from him on the matter? Really? Nekrasov doesnt’t probe to find out.) Then documents are shown signed by K. with altered dates. “But the complaint that K. had filed alleging that theft had occurred from Browder’s company made no mention of any $232 million theft but “an attempt to steal more than nine billion rubles!” ($400 million) “Yet Mr. Browder had told me those companies had no assets at the time.” (1:40) Filmclip of Browder telling him “At that time, we didn’t have any assets left in Russia.” Browder’s lawyers “forgot, by the way, to add the standard clause about admitting responsibility for false accusations here. Bill Browder’s words and his documents didn’t match.”

What follows till the film’s end include U.S. court depositions of Browder (15 April 2015), and of the case’s person who ‘investigated’ the matter (who, what matter, not clear), showing that Browder said he didn’t know anything even about crucial documents, and that the U.S. federal ‘investigator’ (presumably on the basis of which Congress has passed and Obama had signed the Magnitsky Act — but Nekrasov doesn’t say) admitted that his investigation had been merely pefunctory and that all of Browder’s presentation was accepted by the U.S. Government without question. More follows regarding the incoherence and sometimes impossibility of the allegations that U.S. investigators came up with about the matter. (1:53: 45): Nekrasov: “And at a closer look, the figures simply didn’t add up.”


Those are the highlights I was able to glean from this tedious, but, if entirely honest, then historically extremely important documentary.

After watching it, I sought to find online the false translations into English that Nekrasov claims Browder to have presented. Nekrasov conspicuously failed to provide any evidence backing up his key claim, that Browder’s case is based on fraudulent translations from the Russian evidence.So, I asked Nekrasov for this evidence. He replied:

Here’s a brief recap of my view on the issue.

Any unbiased scrutiny of the texts of the “testimonies” (police questioning transcripts) AND the summaries should, IMHO, lead to the conclusion that Browder twists the facts badly. 

The facts are that Magnitsky was questioned by police investigating frauds he appears to have known of, or had participated in. 

Browder told me (and many others) that Magnitsky had accused police officers (Karpov and Kuznetsov) of taking part in the fraud, on Oct 7 2008. And consequently, a month later, was arrested by the people he had accused.

After I questioned this version, and pointed out that there aren’t even officers names in the Oct 7 transcript, Browder started focusing on the fact that in the June 2008 transcript Magnitsky “names the officers”. 

That is disingenuous. “Naming” doesn’t mean a substantiated accusation. (He names all kinds of other people). And there is no mention of the theft of 230 million dollars in the June “testimony”. 

There is absolutely no evidence of Magnitsky having investigated the fraud, and possessing any proof of the police’s involvement. Even if he had some, Browder would have had to explain how in the totally lawless and corrupt country he says Russia is, the omnipotent police  was so afraid of one accountant as to bother organising such a protracted and elaborate persecution against him. But Magnitsky did not have any evidence, and revealed nothing that hadn’t been revealed and published by others, in much more detail, in the Russian media, inter alia.

In short: he didn’t reply — he diverted, he evaded.

As I had said, “(What Nekrasov represents as being Browder’s English-language purported translations of the documents are shown here: http://russian-untouchables.com/eng/testimonies/ That’s Browder’s case. After writing this summary, I was shocked to see Russian-language originals there, no translations at all. More on that later.)” Now is that “later”: According to Nekrasov’s interview of Andreas (‘Andi’) Gross, who had prepared the PACE report, which report was the basis for the EU’s decision to pass into law its own Magnitsky sanctions against Russia, Gross had written this PACE report without having seen the Russian-language originals of Magnitsky’s depositions to the police. Gross made clear that he couldn’t read Russian. So, I decided to find out whether Gross had read false translations, done by Browder’s people, of these Magnitsky-depositions, into a language Gross knew, and, on that basis, had been deceived, by those false Browder translations, to write this report. In any event, here is the core section of the PACE report, Gross’s report — you might not want to read all of this section of it, but at least the presentation of it here gives you a chance to skim that core part of it:

On the Council of Europe’s website, I found this “Appendix 1 – Update in light of new information received”:


Open Society Justice Initiative sent me copy of an addendum to the Forensic Report by “Physicians for Human Rights” with numerous attachments (excerpts, in translation, from witness testimony and other Russian documents from court proceedings), and I accessed documentation which became public following a court hearing on 24 July 2013 in London, concerning the libel suit by Mr Karpov against Mr Browder. In August 2013, I also received a file from Mr Karpov’s lawyers.

2. Evaluation of the additional information received

2.1. Information received from the Russian authorities

1. In view of the discussion at the committee meeting on 26 June and the letter I subsequently addressed to the Russian delegation specifying the additional information I required, I am rather disappointed with the information received, which does not include any new elements of proof or explanations beyond the material on the basis of which I produced the draft report.

2.1.1. The letters from the Prosecutor General’s Office and from the Investigative Committee

1. Regarding the need for providing additional elements to the committee, the letters from the Prosecutor General’s Office and from the Investigative Committee apparently contradict each other. The former claims that:

“Mr Gross himself has no knowledge of the documents of the criminal case at point and, despite the offer from the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, has no wish to familiarise himself with them”.

2. By contrast, the Investigative Committee refused to provide any further evidence as they

“believe that a satisfactory amount of necessary documentation and information on the findings of the investigation in this criminal case was submitted at working meetings with Andreas Gross. Given the stance of the PACE committee delegation in this matter, we do not think that it serves any purpose to submit any further documentary information”.

3. The Investigative Committee’s letter concludes by stating that

“the other questions mentioned by Mr Gross fall within the remit of the Investigations Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs”.

4. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, in turn, did not respond at all to the call for additional information. To sum up, the Prosecutor General’s Office does not wish to provide me with additional elements from the case file because I have not shown a real interest, whereas the Investigative Committee considers that my interest in additional elements of information goes too far because I already received everything they could give me.

5. On substance, the letter from the Prosecutor General’s Office insists that the posthumous trial  corresponds to the family’s request. This is rather surprising. I listened at length both to Mr Magnitsky’s widow and to his mother, who expressed their strong opposition to the posthumous trial against him, complained about harassment by the judicial authorities summoning them for questioning on Mr Magnitsky’s behalf and showed me copies of several applications sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office to this effect. Ironically, the same senior official who signed the letter to me of 31 July 2013 also signed the decision to reject the family’s appeal against the posthumous reopening of the trial. The argument used in the letter addressed to me that the family’s public affirmation of Mr Magnitsky’s innocence necessarily meant that they wanted the trial to take place is unacceptable as it violates both the presumption of innocence guaranteed also in the Russian Constitution and the right to freedom of speech. This argument is based on a misunderstanding of the judgment of the Russian Constitutional Court of 14 July 2011 to which the letter refers and whose meaning was expertly explained to me by the Constitutional Court’s former Vice-President.

6. Otherwise, the letter merely repeats the position of the Prosecutor General’s Office’s regarding the innocence of various officials and the purported guilt of Mr Magnitsky and Mr Browder, as recognised in part by the judgment of the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow of 11 July 2013. They were found guilty of tax evasion, in line with the accusations already analysed in detail in the draft report (“Kalmykia case”).

7. Regarding the US$230 million tax reimbursement fraud, initially denounced by Mr Magnitsky and Mr Browder and subsequently blamed on them,  the letter reads as follows:

“It is quite clear from the report that Mr Gross is expressing his contempt for the decisions of the Russian courts which have established in particular that it was the representatives of the Hermitage investment fund who had themselves voluntarily re-registered the “Makhaon”, “Parfenion” and “Rilend” companies in the name of other individuals, a fact that Mr Browder is seeking to conceal by shifting the blame, without any foundation, onto the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.”

8. In the draft report, I have described in some detail why it is absurd that Messrs Magnitsky and Browder themselves committed the fraud they had denounced in their detailed criminal complaints made before the fraud actually happened. The judgments recognising the claims against the Hermitage companies effectively annulling the profits for which Hermitage had paid the equivalent of US$230 million in taxes were obtained by lawyers acting on behalf of the criminal conspiracy – on both sides of the court cases in question. They were shown to have travelled frequently with some of the officials accused of being involved in the conspiracy. The court ruling of 30 July 2007 in favour of the convicted criminal Mr Markelov, transferring to “Pluton” (a company owned by Mr Markelov) the three Hermitage companies mentioned in the above quote from the Prosecutor General’s Office, was based on false documents.  Upon the discovery of the fraud, the lawful owners of the Hermitage companies succeed in having the ruling of 30 July 2007 overturned, but then the criminal conspirators came up with another plot: they claimed, in their appeal, that Mr Markelov (“Pluton”) had acquired the Hermitage companies from a Mr Gasanov with whom he had purportedly signed an agreement on the companies’ sale on 31 July 2007. Mr Gasanov died on 1 October 2007 and could no longer be questioned. But why did Mr Markelov feel the need to buy the three companies on 31 July 2007 after he had obtained a court ruling recognising him as the owner the day before, on 30 July 2007? The court of first instance, which had looked into the merits of the case, had confirmed Hermitage as the lawful owners of the three companies in September 2009. The criminal conspirators appealed this decision via an application from Mr Markelov/”Pluton” – at the time when Mr Markelov was serving a five-year prison sentence for his role in the US$230 million fraud! The conspirators succeeded in having the stolen Hermitage companies (Makhaon, Parfenion and Rilend) liquidated by the time the appeal was heard. The appeal court then refused to recognise the rights of Hermitage over the three companies on the ground that they had been liquidated and that there was therefore no reason to consider the merits. This is, in short, the meaning of the court decisions, copies of which the Prosecutor General’s Office handed to me during my second visit to Moscow and which I referred to in the draft report.  They show how the conspirators have succeeded in misusing certain Russian courts for their purposes. It is really for the Prosecutor General’s Office to ask the rather obvious questions following from this state of affairs rather than criticising those who point out the inconsistencies.

2.1.2. The letter from the Ministry of Justice

1. The third and longest letter received on 31 July 2013 is that of the Ministry of Justice, which submits a fairly detailed summary of the stay of Mr Magnitsky in different pretrial detention centres and of the evolution of his state of health and the diagnostics and treatment carried out in detention. Despite its detailed character, the submission skips over a number of salient facts, which are well established in official documents, for example the frequent transfers of Mr Magnitsky between different cells in the same pretrial detention centre and the use of rubber batons against him shortly before his death. The testimony by the civilian emergency doctor, who found Mr Magnitsky dead after having been kept waiting for over an hour in front of the prison, was completely ignored.

2. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Justice deserves credit for accepting the fact that certain employees of the prison administration had not carried out their duties satisfactorily, including Ms Litvinova, a hygiene expert at Butyrska, and several other officials who, according to the letter, were demoted or otherwise sanctioned. This said, the fact remains that the one prison doctor the authorities have recognised as having been guilty of criminal wrongdoings – Ms Litvinova – could not be prosecuted successfully because of the statute of limitation, which obliged the authorities to terminate the proceedings after they had dragged their feet for many months. My impression is that Ms Litvinova, who was allegedly not even qualified to dispense medical treatment, is a convenient scapegoat, whilst others, including Dr Gaus, the Matrosskaya Tishina doctor in charge when Mr Magnitsky suffered a terrible crisis and died without any medical attention, have never been indicted. The letter also fails to explain the U-turn by the prosecution in the case against Mr Kratov, the other Butyrka prison doctor indicted for criminal negligence. Shortly after a public statement by President Putin effectively exonerating all involved officials, the prosecution suddenly reversed course and requested Mr Kratov’s acquittal, which was promptly granted by the court.

3. The letter indicates that a number of other officials were disciplined or demoted due to Mr Magnitsky’s death in detention, including Lieutenant Colonel Telyatnikov, Lieutenant Colonel Komnov and Major General Davydov. But according to my information, Mr Davydov simply retired from his position as the Head of the Federal Prison Administration for Moscow. Mr Telyatnikov, one of Mr Davydov’s collaborators, was made governor of Burtyrka prison, which is arguably a promotion. Only Mr Komnov, who was the governor of Butyrka prison during Mr Magnitsky’s stay, can be seen as having been demoted, as he was made deputy governor of another prison in Moscow.

2.2. Information received from other sources

2.2.1. Additional medical information

1. The lawyers assisting Mr Magnitsky’s mother, Ms Natalya Magnitskaya, with her application to the European Court of Human Rights, have made available a Forensic Report  and a significant volume of materials from the Russian court proceedings against the medical staff prosecuted for negligence (witness testimony, extracts from Mr Magnitsky’s medical file and other documents, including the results of the ultrasound examination, translated into English).

2. This additional information clearly confirms the assessment given in the draft report of the circumstances of the deterioration of Mr Magnitsky’s health while in detention and in particular of the gross mismanagement of the acute crisis just before his death.

3. The diagnosis of severe pancreatitis made following the ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity organs on 1 July 2009 (in particular, length of the pancreatic gland of 31 cm, the normal length being 12-15 cm) and its cause – gallstones (cholelithiasis)  – is very specific:

“… the diagnosis is quite obvious and easy to make. Any practicing clinical physician would have been able to see this from the ultrasound examination and address the problem by surgically removing the gallbladder.”

4. The expert also stresses the dire consequences of this condition for Mr Magnitsky:

“Pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic, typically produces severe, to excruciating, unrelenting abdominal pain and frequent bouts of vomiting.”

5. Treatment would have been straightforward. In the words of the forensic expert:

“Given that the pancreatitis was most likely caused by the gallstones, it would have been a relatively simple surgical operation to remove the gallstones, which would have led to a swift recovery.”

6. But shortly before the scheduled treatment, at Matrosskaya Tishina, where the diagnosis was made, Mr Magnitsky was transferred to Butyrka prison, which was not equipped for surgery, and despite his numerous documented requests for medical assistance, he was not given any adequate treatment. In fact, one of the drugs he was prescribed at Butyrka – Diclofenac – is actually know to worsen or even cause pancreatitis.

7. In the words of the forensic expert, here is what happens when pancreatitis is left untreated:

“Left untreated, acute pancreatitis may continue to worsen or lead to chronic pancreatitis and can lead to infection, including peritonitis (an infection of the abdominal cavity), septic shock (hypotension, which can lead to cardiovascular collapse), and ultimately death.”

8. The following are the symptoms of septic shock, and the urgent treatment it necessitates:

“This medical condition is manifested by changes in behaviour and mental status including agitation, confusion, lethargy, coma and death. Psychiatrists are trained to differentiate between behavioural changes caused by mental illness and behavioural changes caused by an underlying medical condition … The correct treatment for septic shock arising from untreated pancreatitis and/or peritonitis requires immediate, aggressive resuscitation with fluids and electrolytes, especially calcium, antibiotics, if indicated, and intense supportive care, which necessitates treatment in an intensive care unit until the patient can be stabilised. Left untreated, a patient suffering from such symptoms will go into irreversible hypovolemic shock and die.”

9. These are precisely the symptoms Mr Magnitsky showed when he was admitted to Matrosskaya Tishina, where he was transported by ambulance on 16 November 2009 following a critical deterioration of his health at Butyrka. But instead of receiving the urgently needed treatment, Sergei Magnitsky was “tranquillised” by a beating with rubber batons, handcuffed and thrown into a holding cell, alone and without any medical attention. The civilian emergency medical team was kept waiting in front of the prison for over an hour and could only state that death had occurred at least fifteen minutes before they were finally allowed in.

10. The forensic expert’s assessment is very clear:

“Consequently, the decision by the authorities at Matrosskaya Tishina prison to physically restrain Mr Magnitsky, keep him in a cell for two hours, while denying standard medical treatment, resulted in his death.”

11. There is nothing I could add to this except to recall that none of the “authorities” present at Matrosskaya Tishina when Mr Magnitsky died in excruciating pain because he was denied standard medical treatment has even been indicted.

2.2.2. Documents made public in the libel proceedings in London

1. As mentioned in the report, one of the policemen accused of wrongdoings in the context of the Magnitsky case, Mr Pavel Karpov, has launched libel proceedings against, inter alia, Mr Browder, before the High Court in London. During a preliminary hearing this summer, a set of pleadings by Mr Karpov and a batch of documents filed in their support have entered into the public domain. In August, Mr Karpov’s lawyers handed me in Bern a file on the libel case against Mr Browder. Mr Karpov’s pleadings concern inter alia the source of his and his family’s wealth, and the basis for his luxurious lifestyle which appear to be quite out of proportion with his official salary. According to Mr Karpov’s own submission, his salary in 2011 (the last year before his early retirement) was the equivalent of about €17 000 – per year. Mr Karpov explained that he had supplemented his policeman’s salary by occasional work as an interior decorator in his mother’s business and that the property acquisitions by himself and by his mother were financed by the proceeds of the profitable resale of properties acquired earlier. I received similar explanations from the prosecutorial authorities in Moscow. But the amounts do not add up at all, and I am also not convinced that the difference can be explained by “gifts” from rich friends and ex-girlfriends, as Mr Karpov added. I would just like to highlight two points resulting from the documents submitted by Mr Karpov in London:

2. Firstly, according to the “conclusions of the internal inquiry on the application of D.R. Firestone”  by Interior Ministry Police Colonel E.S. Sibilev of 17 September 2010,

“Karpov has no other sources of income except his salary”.

3. As we have just seen, Mr Karpov explained in his own pleadings before the court in London how he supplemented his police salary. He must have deviated from the truth either in the course of the internal inquiry of law enforcement authorities in Moscow or in his pleadings in the libel case in London.

4. Secondly, in a memorandum dated 18 November 2010, Police Colonel E.S. Sibilev, the author of the above-mentioned “conclusions of the internal inquiry”, reported on a visit he had made on the same day to the Interior Ministry’s Investigations Committee. Mr Sibilev indicates that

“Karpov refused to give additional explanations, saying that earlier during the probe he had given detailed explanations. … According to Karpov’s words, his mother, N.F. Karpova, has refused to appear at DSB of Interior Ministry of Russia to give explanations on the subject matter of the probe, as well as to submit any statements on the subject matter of the application from Firestone”.

5. In other words, both Mr Karpov and his mother refused to co-operate with the officer tasked with carrying out the internal inquiry, and the inquirer just left it at that, for reasons of competence, as stated in the above-mentioned “conclusions of the internal inquiry”:

“Bearing in mind that close relatives of Karpov are not the serving officers of police, ascertaining the state of their income and acquired valuable property is not within the remit of the Department of the Internal Security of the Ministry of Interior of Russia.”

6. This confirms my doubts as to the seriousness of the affirmation made by the representatives of the authorities in Moscow that the allegations of suspicious wealth of Mr Karpov and other officials had been fully investigated and that the assets in question had been acquired lawfully.

3. Conclusions

1. The information received following the committee’s invitation does not put into question the findings of the report, to the contrary. The additional medical details received through the OSJI lawyers provide an impressive illustration of Mr Magnitsky’s horrible suffering at the end of his life and the callous behaviour of those directly responsible, none of whom has yet been held to account. The material published in the course of the libel proceedings in London corroborate my suspicion that the sudden enrichment of Mr Karpov and other officials suspected of involvement in the crime denounced by Mr Magnitsky was never properly investigated.

2. My initial conclusion, namely that we are in the presence of a massive cover-up involving senior officials of the competent ministries, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Investigative Committee and even certain courts finds itself further consolidated. But what are the reasons for this cover-up? This question still remains unanswered.


So: The EU’s ‘investigation’ into the Magnitsky case pitted the Open Society Justice Initiative, which is a program of the Open Society Foundations, which in turn is funded by Browder’s fellow-international-investor George Soros, versus Russia’s Government. The EU’s European Council’s Andreas Gross says that he was thoroughly persuaded by Soros’s outfit’s presentation. So, Gross recommended to the Council sanctions against Russia. And it was done. But then, Karpov tried to sue Browder in London for libel and failed, and Browder’s attempts to launch Russian investigations into Karpov’s finances likewise failed. But all of this distracts from the clear facts that Browder’s Hermitage used a 1961 photo of American tortured Jim Zwerg as showing instead their own (but probably non-existent) recent employee ‘tortured’ “Victor Poryugin,” and that Browder himself constantly makes blatant misrepresentations about Magnitsky’s key depositions to the Moscow police, on both 5 June and 7 October of 2008. Therefore, key parts of the argument that passed into law the Magnitsky sanctions against Russia were based on fraud — intentional lying and fabrication of ‘evidence’.

I looked up “Magnitsky v. Russia” at Open Society Foundations and saw there what looked like Browder’s account, though it wasn’t attributed to him. They had presented this case to the the European Court of Human Rights — allegedy on behalf of Magnitsky’s mother, but actually providing exactly the case that Browder had been peddling, for years. But, then, I clicked there onto “Addendum to PHP/IFP Forensic Report” and saw the Soros-commissioned autopsy of Magnitsky (Soros’s outfit’s investigatory review of what the Russian medical records showed and documented regarding Magnitsky’s cause of death):

“A diagnosis of pancreatitis and gallstones from ultrasound is very specific. Nothing will cause that kind of enlargement except pancreatitis or cancer, which is much less likely. … Pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic, typically produces severe to excruciating, unrelenting abdominal pain and frequently bouts of vomiting. … If this condition is left untreated, death can occur. … Septic shock can result from pancreatitis and/or peritonitis and may be associated with metabolic derangements. … This condition is manifested in changes in behavior and mental status. … The decision by the authorities at Matrosskaya Tishina prison to physically restrain Mr. Magnitsky, keep him in a cell for two hours, while denying standard medical treatment, resulted in his death. … The diagnosis made by the doctors who examined him on 16 November 2009 that he was suffering from active pancreatitis was correct. … It is not clear why the autopsy does not conclude that he had pancreatitis. … This failure to perform simple, post-mortem diagnostic tests may be due to error, prosecutor inexperience or incompetence, or an attempt to ccover up the true cause of death [in this case: untreated pancreatitis].”

“Since the first report, I have received additional photographs of the injuries to Mr. Magnitsky’s wrists taken during the autopsy. They show discrete, patterned injuries on his wrists consistent with the application of handcuffs when Mr. Magnitsky was still alive.”

Nothing is said there indicating anything that’s even suggestive of Magnitsky’s having been tortured. It’s just not there, at all — and this forensic report had been commissioned by George Soros’s Open Societies Foundations, which is just about as anti-Russian an entity as exists anywhere, like Germany’s Nazis were to Jews (and even, sometimes, they are actively promoting such treatment of Russians). It’s shocking that Soros’s operation has thus far allowed such extreme contradictory evidence to be presented on their own site. Was this just a blunder by them?

The case that Soros’s people presented to the European Court of Human Rights, mentioned 4 times, that “torture” had been used against Magnitsky. No evidence was cited for that. Here is how Soros’s people then end their document (after having accused ‘torture’ in it four times):

Object of the Application xxv. Mrs Magnitsky seeks a declaration from the Court that her rights and those of her late son have been violated under Article 2, Article 3, Article 5, Article 6, Article 10, and Article 13 of the Convention, and a finding that there must be an independent and impartial investigation into his death that is capable of bringing about the prosecution and punishment of all the relevant perpetrators. Mrs. Magnitskaya will also seek just satisfaction under Article 50 (pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages together with legal costs and expenses) as well as general measures to ensure that Russia does not treat others in the same way that they treated Sergei Magnitsky.

Nekrasov’s statement that “He [Magnitsky] went into prison healthy” contradicted what the Russian files had actually said. Perhaps Nekrasov asserted this because his friend Browder had been saying it in order to exaggerate Browder’s entirely false claim that Magnitsky had been “tortured” and “beaten to death.” Nekrasov had been, at that time, simply assuming that Magnitsky’s bad physical condition after 11 months in pre-trial detention had somehow caused his death there, no health-problem did; especially no chronic health-probelm did. But, even later in the film, Nekrasov fails to note that when he had said this, earlier in the film, it was said only because he had believed Browder’s lies. The viewer is never told that Magnitsky had a severe chronic health-problem. During the film, Nekrasov never subsequently corrects his earlier statement in it, that Magnitsky’s health had been fine prior to his detention. This film is just such a mess.

Who had actually financed the ‘research’ that formed the basis of the lies that the U.S. and EU used in order to restart the Cold War? Was it really Browder? Or, was it, perhaps, Soros — who, by many of his actions, especially since 2000, seems to be an intense hater of (and threat to) Russians? And, why did Soros’s ‘charity’ spend so much money peddling Browder’s lies? Nekrasov never even wondered. But I very much do.

At the start, I had promised “By the time you reach the end here, you will know the truth about the event that sparked ‘the new Cold War’ — and not only from this film.” This review has gone beyond the film. But, even further beyond the film are several articles that have been published by the great investigative journalist Lucy Komisar (such as here and here — both of which are far superior to Nekrasov’s tedious documentary) and there’s lots more in the banned book by Alex Krainis about the same subject. Komisar’s articles link to a web-page that has both the original Russian version of Magnitsky’s depositions, and also a Western court-verified and approved translation of those crucial documents into English. It is undeniable there that Browder’s case is a total misrepresentation, not only of Magnitsky’s statements, but of just about everything else that’s important in the case. The Cold War was renewed on the basis of Browder’s-Soros’s anti-Russian frauds. Komisar presents the core evidence there.

Here is some information about the U.S. court case that had produced this official U.S. court-authorized English translation of Magnitsky’s depositions — it’s quoted here from an ongoing work by an American independent researcher:

After two years of fleeing, a judge ordered Browder to give a deposition to Prevezon’s lawyers on 15 April 2015.61 [Prevezon is the company that Nataliya Veselnitskaya was representing at Trump Tower on 9 June 2016.] Throughout this deposition, Browder (now under oath) contradicted virtually every aspect of his Magnitsky narrative outlined in Chapter 1 and stated “I don’t recall” when pressed about key portions of his narrative that he had previously repeated unabashedly in his testimonies to Congress and interviews with Western media. Browder “remembered nothing” and could not even deny asking Magnitsky to take responsibility for his (Browder’s) crimes. Please refer to Browder deposition (footnote) for more details. Prevezon settled the lawsuit for $5.9 million in May 2017 — with no admission of guilt. Both sides claimed victory; the competing claims were never adjudicated in a court.

58 Jason Motlagh. Fighting Putin Doesn’t Make You a Saint (The New Republic, 31 December 2015) retrieved from https://newrepublic.com/article/126760/fighting-putin-doesnt-make-saint

59 Samuel Rubenfeld. Browder Escapes Subpoena Attempt After ‘Daily Show’ (The Wall Street Journal, February 2015) Retrieved from https://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2015/02/10/browder-escapes-subpoena-attempt-after-daily-show-interview/

60 Casale Associates. Bill Browder served with subpoena in New York Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryVavTF6hR0

61 Videotaped Deposition of William F Browder (United States District Court, 15 April 2015) retrieved from https://c1.100r.org/media/2017/10/Browder-Deposition-April-15-2015.pdf

All of these independent investigations into the actual evidence find the same truth, but find different parts of it — different parts of what might turn out to be the world-ending period of history (if WW III results). They’re all telling different parts of the same history, the story of Browder’s fraud. The restoration of the Cold War is, very clearly now, based on frauds, which are entirely on the U.S. side against Russia, perpetrated by extremely wealthy Americans, with follow-through by what must be presumed to be extremely corrupt U.S. and EU politicians.


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hough the Magnitsky law has started it, other fraud-based atrocities by the U.S. Government have since intensified it.

The renewed ‘Cold War’ became greatly escalated after the February 2014 “Maidan” brutal U.S. coup d’etat in Ukraine overthrew that country’s democratically elected President and installed there a U.S.-allied regime run by rabidly anti-Russian racist fascists, ideological nazis, as a consequence of which coup, two areas of Ukraine — Crimea and Donbass — which had voted over 75% for the overthrown President, broke away from Ukraine, and the U.S. regime then imposed steeply increased economic sanctions against Russia, for Russia’s entirely legal and defensive responses against that illegal American conquest on Russia’s very doorstep — America’s bloody ‘bringing democracy to Ukraine’, by replacing its democratically elected government, with a nazi U.S.-allied one, right on Russia’s very border. But the Ukraine-based sanctions were built upon the Magnitsky-based ones. Also, the U.S. has invaded and occupies parts of the sovereign nation of Syria, which is an ally of Russia, and Russia is helping (at the Syrian Government’s request) the Syrian Government’s defense against the American invaders/occupiers, who rely upon Al Qaeda in Syria to train and lead America’s proxy boots-on-the-ground to overthrow the Assad-led pro-Russian Government; so, WW III could very quickly become a hot war there, too. Thus, on many fronts now, the U.S. Government is rapidly escalating its provocations against Russia. In this respect, too, the U.S. has taken up the German Nazi mantle. So: even with its many deficiencies, Nekrasov’s documentary investigation, into the source of the Magnitsky Act, and into the resulting sanctions, could turn out to be of enormous historical importance, though there might be only very few years remaining of human history.

Here are the key documents in the Magnitsky case, the Russian-language documents accompanied by the Western court-verified translations into English, of Magnitsky’s depositions. This is what Lucy Komisar’s articles about the case link to. On Bill Browder’s website, only the Russian-language originals are shown of these most-crucial documents, except for the following two English summaries of them, each of which summary baldly contradicts the original document, as is clear from comparison of the court-verified English translation of the complete Russian document, versus the Browder(Soros)-fantasized alleged ‘summary’ of the given document (which you can see at the link Komisar provided, https://c4.100r.org/media/2017/10/Magnitsky-Testimonies-Oct-2006-June-2008-Oct-2008.pdf:

5 June 2008. Sergei Magnitsky’s testimony

Transcript of testimony by Sergei Magnitsky given to investigator Gordievsky of the Russian prosecutor’s office in which Sergei stated that he had discovered evidence of theft of Hermitage Fund companies (Rilend, Makhaon and Parfenion) and violations of the law by officers Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov. Sergei had not discovered the theft from the budget yet.

and,

7 October 2008. Sergei Magnitsky’s testimony 

Transcript of Sergei Magnitsky’s statement to investigator Gordievsky of the Russian General prosecutor’s office in which Sergei confirmed his testimony from 5 June 2008 about his discovery of crime against Hermitage Fund and the involvement in this crime of Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov. In addition, he mentioned the names of other participants of the crime involved in the theft of budget funds. A month after his testimony, Sergei Magnitsky was arrested by Artem Kuznetsov’s subordinates on the basis of fake documents making him a suspect in a case that didn’t concern Sergei and which was illegally reopened by Pavel Karpov and Kuznetsov’s subordinates after the statute of limitations had expired.

Browder (or was it Soros?) had been (and still are) presenting entirely fraudulent English-‘translation’ ‘summaries’ of those Russian-language documents. That’s how bold and clear Browder’s fraud is. And, yet, the world might end as a result of what he (with Soros’s help) so successfully started.

Incidentally, the last 700 words of this 2,700-word article by Israel Shamir, whom some call an “anti-Semite,” provide an alleged summary of Browder’s contacts in the American power-structure; and, if the allegations there are true (which I think should be investigated), then this also provides a picture of some of the key individuals who are working toward provoking WW III. Perhaps those named individuals (and Browder himself, and Soros himself) are major stockholders in (or otherwise placing bets on) manufacturers of nuclear weapons systems, a field of commerce that blossoms in The West when public hatred of Russia does — such as is now the case. An investment scam — involving weapons-manufacturers, newsmedia, and politicians — could be driving this. The relevant questions should be investigated, no longer ignored (as they still are). Though Browder’s frauds are, by now, clear, they could be just details within a much wider picture; and, in any case, the wider picture, within which Browder was able to control both the U.S. Government and the EU on this crucial matter, desperately needs to become truthfully viewed and understood — no longer simply ignored. If a global power is to become overthrown, then doing it by means of exposing truth would be vastly better than doing it by means of escalating until ultimately launching the strategic weapons of the U.S. and Russia against each other.

‘Justice’, in The West (which claims to epitomize it), is a farce, really a travesty, in fact. That’s amply clear. Any longer to call these nations ‘democracies’ is to insult democracy.

 

Appendix



About the author

EricZuesseERIC ZUESSE, Senior Contributing Editor •  Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity. Besides TGP, his reports and historical analyses are published on many leading current events and political sites, including The Saker, Huffpost, Oped News, and others.

 

horiz-long grey
What will it take to bring America to live according to its own self image?


Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.




Novichok Nerve Agent Histrionics

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

“It’s absolutely astonishing that anyone believes this.”

Most national and international news reported in the US is now an extended Red Scare narrative punctuated by stories about Trump’s unparalleled boorishness and recklessness, which can of course be blamed on Russia since Trump never would have been elected if thirteen Russian trolls hadn’t prowled the Internet for potential Trump voters and targeted them with information about Hillary Clinton’s international crimes and the global influence peddling operation known as the Clinton Foundation.

The new bogeymen blamed for electing Trump—Facebook and Cambridge Analytica—are getting some play, but President Obama’s 2008 campaign won prominent advertising awards for integrating social and traditional media, and Carole Davidson, Obama’s 2012 Obama for America Media Director, just stepped up to say that Facebook allowed them to mine data. That doesn’t mean that rationality will win the day, and so far Russian treachery continues to dominate the news.

Just last night my local community radio station—which prides itself on bringing you the news that no one else will because it doesn’t rely on corporate money—reported at least three Russia-did-it or Russia’s-about-to-do-it stories on its hour-long newscast. One was a Feature Story Newswire about Bill Browder, an international investor who gave up his US citizenship to avoid taxes, became the largest foreign investor in Russia, after which he was convicted of tax fraud in Russia, and then testified before the House Intelligence Committee about Russian intervention in the last US presidential election.

The formula for manufacturing Novichok is available in a book for sale on Amazon.”

The sinister warmonger and crook William Browder, rubbing elbows with fellow plutocrats at the WEF.  Ironic this man should be related to the CPUSA's onetime longtime leader, Earl Browder.

Browder now resides in Britain and says he’s likely to be the next target of an international Russian hit squad because he’s been a very vocal public critic of Vladimir Putin. He’s demanding a firm British and international response to Russia’s alleged chemical weapons poisoning of defunct double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in a British cathedral town of 40,000 on March 4. Russia released Skripal from prison and sent him into retirement in Britain in a 2010 spy swap.

The Washington Post speculated at great length about the Russian motive for such an admittedly implausible attack to make it seem less so. Like all the other outlets in control of the American mind, they began with the a priori assumption that “a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned with Novichok, an extremely toxic Russian nerve agent.”

The Post did not appear to have come across Judith Miller’s May 25, 1999 New York Times report that the Pentagon—in cooperation with the government of Uzbekistan, in the former Soviet Union—would take charge of “demilitarization and decontamination" at the Nukus, Uzbekistan chemical weapons plant. The plant, she wrote, had been the Soviets’ major research and testing site for “a new class of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons called ‘Novichok.’”

However, since the formula for manufacturing Novichok is available in a book for sale on Amazon, we shouldn’t rush to conclude that the US or Russia or any other determinate entity used it in a botched attempt to assassinate the Skripals.

Corporate press, US and UK state press, and US and UK officialdom nevertheless univocally repeat that since Russia [the Soviet Union] manufactured Novichok, Russia must have been behind the attack. This text from a March 12 ABC News story is just one of many histrionic examples.

ABC News: And today Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament the weapon was Russian made!!!

Theresa May: It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. It is highly likely that Russia was responsible.

LIONS AND TIGERS AND RUSSIAN BEARS!!! OH MY!!! UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson was all over US and European airwaves snorting that “the Russian denials grow increasingly absurd," and that Vladimir Putin had directly ordered this assassination-by-Novichok on British soil.

Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, writes on his blog that “The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam .” The fifth and last point of his argument is: "The 'Novichok' program was in Uzbekistan, not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.”

Murray continues to post updates on the Novichok scam on his blog, CraigMurry.uk.org . On May 19, he told RT that “it’s absolutely astonishing that anyone believes this.” He also, said, “The idea that we have an investigative or free journalism in this country has been sadly exposed [as false] by this case.”


About the Author
Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in Oakland California. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes Region. She can be reached at @AnnGarrison or ann@kpfa.org .

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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