30 January 2018   Leave a comment

Minutes before midnight yesterday, the US Treasury Department released a list of “senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation, as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth”.  It was required to do so by the US Congress which passed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA).  The law was passed to punish these individuals for their support of a government that interfered in the US Presidential election in 2016.  Bizarrely, the list is “not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report, its appendices, or its annex does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities”.  We are left, therefore, to interpret what this list actually is since it apparently has nothing to do with sanctions.

The Russian response was pretty straightforward.  Russian President Putin said simply: “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on”.  He also noted that he was “offended” that his name was not on the list.

The report is a triumph of what George Orwell called “doublespeak”.   The message of the Trump Administration is clear:  Russia will not be punished even though the evidence is incontrovertible that it endeavored to manipulate the most precious right of democracy–the right to vote.   I call this treason.

 

Posted January 30, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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