‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ for Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
updated 3/5/2014 11:13:53 AM ET
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW March 4, 2014
Guests: Michael McFaul, Shawn Boburg
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
I`m about to do something that`s controversial to cable news. It shouldn`t be controversial but in this business it is. I have to start with this warning. All right. Ready?
I`m about to praise a rival cable news network. I know! Shriek! Horror! Right?
CNN today is not what it used to be. Once upon a time, CNN really was the only cable news network. And they really did have a singular role in keeping people informed about what was going on not only around the country but around the world.
Tabacco: I even have to keep Rachel Maddow ‘totally’ honest, folks; that’s called ‘damning with faint praise’ or at least ‘no longer relevant praise’.
And at that time in CNN`s history, that reputation that they had for keeping the world informed, it spurred one very controversial member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a Democrat, to propose that we as a nation should get rid of the CIA altogether and should replace the CIA with CNN. This was an amazing moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: Speaker, the Senate is about to confirm another director of the CIA, even though America found out about the collapse of the Soviet Union on CNN. America learned the fall of the Berlin Wall on CNN. And America found out about Saddam Hussein`s invasion of Kuwait on CNN.
But after all this, Congress keeps pouring billions of dollars into that big sinkhole called the Central Intelligence Agency. I say with a track record like that, Congress doesn`t need a budget committee, Congress needs a proctologist.
I think the record`s real clear. Congress should fire the CIA and hire CNN. Maybe, we`ll learn what`s happening in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I still don`t know what he meant by the proctologist thing, but that`s kind of just the way he talked.
That was Congressman James Traficant, Democrat of Ohio. He sadly is not even having one of his best hair days in that clip. James Traficant`s toupee, itself, is a thing of legend.
James Traficant was ultimately expelled from congress after convicted of bribery and false tax returns and racketeering and other corruption charges. He ended up serving seven years in prison, some of it without the hairdo. But back in 1997, when he was talking about firing the CIA and hiring CNN, he was still a member in good standing of Congress. And Congress at that time was considering whether or not to confirm as director of the CIA this man, George Tenet, who was first appointed to the position by President Bill Clinton and kept on at the agency when George W. Bush became president.
And although James Traficant was right when he listed all of those things that the CIA missed over time, things they did not see coming that day learned about by watching CNN, just like the rest of us, once those things had already happened, while, James Traficant was right about the CIA not seeing any of that stuff coming. It was George Tenet, whose nomination James Traficant was opposing – it was George Tenet who ultimately personified the CIA`s most famous modern failure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: When George Tenet sat in the Oval Office and the president of the United States to ask him directly, he said, “George, how good is the case against Saddam and weapons of mass destruction?”, the director of the CIA said, “It`s a slam-dunk, Mr. President. It`s a slam-dunk!”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It was not a slam-dunk. It was not a lay-up or free throw or any other kind of shot in basketball that technically results in a scoring of any points. There weren’t any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The Bush administration, including vice president Cheney, wanted the CIA to say that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so the CIA said that; but it was complete bullpucky. They were completely wrong.
On the heels of that failure, the Iraq failure, the slam-dunk failure, an author named Tim Weiner published this seminal book about the history of the CIA. As you can see, it`s titled “Legacy of Ashes”. Just a devastating history because it turns out over time, it was not just the slam-dunk thing in Iraq, it was everything, going back to the beginning.
The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency. What they`re supposed to be is an intelligent service. They`re supposed to be America`s spy agency. As spies, they`re supposed to find out secrets. They`re supposed to find out what other countries are doing in secret so that the United States government has some advance notice about what`s about to happen in the world.
But their track record on being able to do this, about the biggest issues in international affairs is a terrible track record. When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, the CIA really did learn about it on CNN. They had no idea that was coming. They were taken by surprise.
When the Iranian revolution happened in 1979, the CIA again taken totally by surprise. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the CIA, again, taken by surprise.
Go all the way back to 1949, when the Soviet Union exploded their first nuclear bomb, the American intelligence community had no idea that was coming. They were taken by surprise.
Thirty years later when India set off their nuclear bomb, CIA totally blindsided.
They did not foresee Iraq invading Kuwait in 1990.
They did not foresee the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
But, of course, after 9/11 happened, they were not part of getting at the truth about Iraq. They were part of the pretext in Iraq. They were part of the false story. They were part of what was not true about Iraq, not what was actually happening there.
The CIA may be good at a lot of things, but over time, they are an agency that has built up a terrible record of letting American policymakers know what`s really going on in the world and what is likely to happen next.
When Tim Weiner`s book “Legacy of Ashes” came out in 2007, became an instant “New York Times” bestseller, it was a devastating critique of the agency. That book came out in 2007.
The next year, in 2008, the CIA did it again. August 2008, Russian troops rolled into the nation of Georgia to brush back the Western-minded leaders of that state and to support pro-Russian separatists inside the nation of Georgia. Again, in 2008, the CIA completely surprised. Had no idea what was coming.
The National Security Council senior director for Europe at the time told “The Daily Beast” today, that the analysts, quote, “missed it on Georgia”. Quote, “We had plenty of warnings in 2008 Russia would provoke a confrontation with Georgia and end up invading, but we still didn`t think he`d actually do it.”
When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, the CIA and therefore the U.S. government had no idea it was coming.
And now in 2014, the CIA, once again, has done the exact same thing, or rather not done the exact same thing. They`re surprised again! Crimea – huh?
Yes, this is “McClatchy” reporting from today.
Look, “U.S. intelligence officials also denied they made a mistake Thursday, this past Thursday, when they advised Congress in classified briefings that they did not expect Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea, although they acknowledged it was possible. The next day, Russian troops took up positions around key facilities in Crimea.”
One U.S. official told McClatchy, quote, “This was not predicted.”
So, the CIA missed
the fall of the Berlin Wall,
the collapse of the Soviet Union,
the Russians invasion of Afghanistan, 9/11,
the Soviets go nuclear,
the Indians go nuclear,
the Russians invade Georgia,
and now, the Russians invade Crimea.
And there are maybe a couple of different lessons to take from this track record. One is for all the things we are good at as a nation, the United States is not very good at spying. We use what is supposed to be our spy agency for all sorts of things other than stealing secrets about other countries and maybe we`re good at all those other things — you know, killing people with drones and all the rest of it, having a deniable pretend paramilitary organization.
When it comes to intelligence of what`s going on in the world, our record of that is terrible and it`s not getting better over time. So, that`s one lesson!
There`s another lesson here, too, though, which is about the last time the CIA was completely surprised by Russia invading somewhere, when they invaded Georgia in 2008. That`s when George W. Bush was president. You`ll remember John McCain running for president at the time said, “We are all Georgians now.” John McCain is now saying, “We are all Ukrainians now.” It`s kind of his thing. It`s just what he says.
But there was significant international and specifically American upset when Russia invaded Georgia back in 2008. Russia not only sent troops to cross the border into another sovereign country back in 2008, they waged a war. They waged a weeklong war between Russian and Georgia forces. It was a shooting war. This was not just some tense standoff.
There was much international outrage and bluster about that active aggression by Russia in 2008, that projection of force, that illegal incursion into another country that didn`t want them there. But that was 2008!
Now, it is six years later. Six years after Russia did that. And you know what? The Russian troops are still there. They`re still in Georgia. The pro-Russian pseudo-separatist enclaves inside Georgia that Vladimir Putin decided he was going to bolster with Russian troops, those Russian troops are still there.
Yes, John McCain has moved on from saying we`re all Georgians. The world happily decamped to the Russian city of Sochi for the Olympics without protests about those troops that Russia has left inside Georgia.
Countries including our own were outraged when Putin did what he did toward Georgia in 2008, but then, over time we lost interest. And so their world, their motivations, their internal logic of what Russia does, that is foreign enough and unknowable enough to us that we consistently over the decades are completely blindsided by the things that Russia does, even when they do them on a very large scale.
Also, though, that world is different enough to us that it is, I think, hard for us to sometimes stay focused on it. We lose interest. They care about what they do a lot more than we care about what they do.
The Russian logic of invading Georgia was this: They knew they were going to be getting some international opprobrium, right? They knew they were going to upset people by invading Georgia back in 2008. But their calculus was they could bear the international criticism for doing it. That their desire to occupy parts of Georgia was stronger than the level of interest and outrage that the world could maintain about that question.
Is that also the calculation with Russia having invaded part of Ukraine? It worked for them in 2008. Is that the same calculation they`re making now, that we can`t possibly care as much as they care about what they`ve just done? They`ll stick it out and we`ll forget it.
The major European leader who`s thought to be closest to Vladimir Putin, at least the most able to talk to him leader to leader, is Angela Merkel who you see here on your screen. Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany.
And nobody quite knew what to make of it when she reportedly finished a long telephone call with Vladimir Putin a couple days ago and after that call, she picked up the phone again to call President Obama because she wanted to tell President Obama that having spent a whole lot of time on the phone with Vladimir Putin, she wanted President Obama to know that in her opinion, quote, “Vladimir Putin is in another world”. She said he didn`t seem like he was in touch with reality, in another world.
Now, was that just how he seemed to Angela Merkel in that conversation? Was he just being particularly weird or loopy to her for some reason? Was she saying that strategically to try to influence something about how the West was behaving toward Russia in this international crisis? What did that mean for her to say that Putin sounded like a space cadet when she talked to him on the phone about what he was doing in Crimea?
Well, today, those questions were largely settled when Mr. Putin held a long press conference in Moscow in front of the cameras and was a space cadet to everybody. He showed the world the behavior and bizarre logic that frankly freaked out the German chancellor enough that she had to call President Obama to talk about it.
The headline from longtime Russia watcher and reporter Julia Ioffe in “The New Republic” today was very much to the point, quote, “Putin`s press conference proved Merkel right. He has lost his mind.”
“Putin squirmed and rambled. And rankled and rambled! He was a rainbow of emotions. Flustered! Confused! So confused!”
Here she`s quoting or paraphrasing Mr. Putin. She says, “Viktor Yanukovych is still the acting president of Ukraine, but Mr. Putin can`t talk to Ukraine because Ukraine has no president. Ukraine needs elections, but you can`t have elections because there`s already a president. And also, no elections will be valid.” Huh?
He also suggested that the protesters, who have been shot by police snipers in Kiev, had shot themselves. The opposition protesters arranged those shootings, themselves, in order to make the government look bad.
TABACCO: I know that neither America nor those ‘protesters’ Putin refers to are anywhere near perfect, but jeepers – who would believe such BS! Putin is as far from perfection as anyone else you could name! But hell, Americans fell for George W. Bush’s BS about Saddam’s alleged WMDs and his alleged complicity in 9/11/2001, didn’t they! Who knows? Somebody might swallow Putin’s BS too!
He then also suggested that America had orchestrated the whole thing. Quote, “Sometimes I get the feeling these people in America, they`re in their laboratory doing experiments like on rats.”
“The Washington Post” today called this a strange and rambling press conference. They quoted Mr. Putin claiming that no Russian troops have actually invaded Crimea. No Russian troops have crossed the border. He says, quote, “You can go to a store and buy a uniform. Were these Russian soldiers? No, they`re just well trained local self-defense forces.”
President Obama responded to that claim today by saying of President Putin, quote, “I don`t think that he`s fooling anybody.”
But whether or not President Putin is out to lunch, whether or not he really is trying to fool anybody, whether he`s just saying patently, obviously untrue things as kind of a one-finger salute to the rest of the world and the world`s media, his world view, his bizarre explanation of what he says he`s doing, of what he says is going on in Russia`s corner of the world isn`t just a Rorschach test, isn`t just a psychological exercise about how two different ends of the telescope make the world look like two very different places.
These two totally different understandings of what`s going on in the world, one from Vladimir Putin, and one from everybody else in the world, these two different perspectives on what`s happening there are manifesting on the ground in places like the Ukrainian airbase in Belbek.
When we signed off on this show last night, the live version of this show at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, at that moment at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, we were hitting the deadline at which the Russian military had told some of the Ukrainian military that they needed to surrender. They needed to switch sides or else.
As that deadline to surrender approached while we were on the air last night, Russian troops — which of course Vladimir Putin says aren`t Russian troops at all — they entered that airfield in Ukraine and forced the Ukrainian soldiers at that airfield away at gunpoint. So, it`s a Ukrainian base called Belbek. But the Russians are holding it. And they kicked all of the Ukrainians out of their own base.
Hours after that happened, Ukrainians decided they were going to go back. Whereupon this man who you see on your screen here with the gun, this guy there, see him firing into the air there? Pointing his gun at them and firing his gun in the air! That man fired the first shots of this conflict in Crimea.
Those are the first shots fired in this event. He fired them as warning shots into the air as this column of unarmed Ukrainian soldiers approached the Russians to try to get back into their own base.
The Ukrainians’ commander told “The Washington Post” that after they have been forced out of their base, quote, “The men felt very bad. They felt they abandoned their post. We swore an oath to serve.”
When they were forced back into their barracks, the Ukrainian soldiers argued about what to do. Quote, “We decided we would return to work. Any man who did not want to come, he would not be branded a traitor or a coward”, the colonel said, “but every man came.” – If you buy that ‘non-traitor/non-coward’ stuff, stop reading now because you’re wasting your time! Everybody tells lies in politics; you just have to be smart enough and logical enough to edit out the lies from the reasonable. All good liars mix and match truths with lies or else nobody would buy their lies! That is done to confuse the listener or reader. Tabacco even impugns his own witnesses when they stray from exact truth because, if I didn’t, you could not trust my ability to discern the difference.
There is no such thing as ‘ALL GOOD’ or ‘ALL BAD’ – all people, particularly politicians, are a mix of Good & Bad. Only if you know the Lies from both sides, can you make an educated decision on what’s best for all!
And these 200 Ukrainian troops marched up the hill to tell the Russians who had taken over their base that they wanted back in. They wanted to return to their jobs, they wanted to return to service the airplanes and guard the airfield there, which they had been doing before the Russians kicked them out.
Again, the Ukrainian troops here were unarmed. They walked up to the armed Russians in a column holding no weapons whatsoever. The Russians obviously are very much armed. The Russians took up sniper positions around the standoff, around this column of Ukrainian troops.
And ultimately no one was killed or wounded in that standoff at that air base in Crimea yesterday. But this — excuse me, this morning.
But this is the kind of drama that going on there on the ground. This is the kind of physical confrontation on the ground as Russia digs in apparently to stay in this part of Ukraine. And the rest of the world tries to figure out not only how to respond, but what the Russians might do next. And, boy, are we bad at predicting what the Russians might do next.
We`re just a few days into this crisis. The U.S. hasn`t yet lost interest in what`s happening there. Secretary of State, John Kerry, spent an intense day on the ground today in Ukraine. He announced a billion dollars in loan guarantees for the new Ukrainian government, which Vladimir Putin says doesn`t exist. Congress also says it will meet soon to prepare a package of aid for that same contested new Ukrainian government.
At a very, very base level, there`s a real question here as to whether or not our worlds are so different that the Russians are not going to care what we do no matter what we do. There`s this big threat, right, that we`re going to leave the G8 and not show up at the G8. Vladimir Putin said today, I don`t care if they show up at the G8. Let them show up or let them not show up, it doesn`t matter.
Are we in such different worlds there`s nothing we can do they would care about no matter what we do? And are we in such different worlds that we are always doomed to be purely reactive to an occasionally incoherent and often belligerent Russia? If only because we have never understood them? And the only consistency in our relationship with them is our constant surprise at what they do which blindsides us every time?
More ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: There have been generations now of aggressive spy games between the United States and Russia. From the American perspective, all those decades of spying for whatever reason haven`t made us very good at predicting what Russia`s going to do on the world stage. As recently as Thursday of last week, the CIA reportedly told Congress that they didn`t think Russia would invade Ukraine. Russia then invaded Ukraine the following day.
Over the years, the CIA has also missed little things like the Soviets invading Afghanistan, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the last time the Russians invaded another country when they invaded in 2008.
But all that spying failure, all that intelligence failure doesn`t mean the spying has slowed down between our countries.
This is an American named Ryan Fogle. This is his ID badge. He worked at the U.S. embassy in Moscow until this past May when he was arrested on a Moscow street and tackled to the ground while wearing this sort of strangely colored, backwards baseball hat and rather amazing blond wig.
The Russians arrested Mr. Fogle for supposedly being a covert spy, a CIA spy. Russian media released lots of still photos of him as well as this video of his arrest complete with an elaborate perp walk that the FSB made him do while still handcuffed and wearing the horrible wig and hat. – Guilty or just plain stupid? GUILTY! If he were just stupid, he should have stayed in the USA! The Russian case here is as good as JFK’s case in the 1960s when he went on TV to expose Russia’s attempt to install Nuclear Weapons in Cuba!
We eventually get to see him waiting to be questioned about his alleged spying activities. Also photographed all the supposed spy gear they caught him with which included some more bad wigs and a compass and a knife and a walkie-talkie and a map and dark glasses. What, no trench coat?
It was all odd, right? From the spy gear kit of sorts that was laid out on the table, to this very highly choreographed performed for the cameras arrest and the perp walk, right? It was all — it was like rejected scenes from “Covert Affairs” or “Homeland” or something. It was weird to begin with.
If that`s not enough weirdness for you, the visuals they put out to the world, consider also the timing.
Tabacco: Like the US of A never orchestrated anything without considering the ‘timing’!
The guy with a terrible (?) was arrested in Moscow on a Monday night. On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador, the Russian government never seemed too fond of in the first place, the U.S. ambassador was scheduled the next day to do a Twitter Q&A to the public. It was basically a question of ask the U.S. ambassador anything.
He was scheduled to do that public Q&A on Twitter at 2:30 local time on Tuesday. The ambassador kicked off the session by tweeting, “I`m happy to answer your questions.”
So, at 2:30 local time, the exact same time the Q&A was scheduled to start, that is when the Russian government released at that very moment the news that they had arrested this American spy, the guy in the terrible wig, the exact same time. And that is not only the latest in a lifetime worth of bizarre spy stories between Washington and Moscow. It`s also a pretty good granular indicator of what it must be like to try to be the U.S. ambassador in Russia these days under a man named Vladimir Putin.
Joining us now for the interview tonight is Michael McFaul. He left his post as U.S. ambassador to Russia last week. He`s now a professor of political science at Stanford University.
Professor McFaul, thank you very much for being with us.
MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Thanks for having me. You`ve done your homework about me!
MADDOW: Well, I`ve at least tried to. I will not ask you to talk about the Ryan Fogle incident. I know you can`t.
But I do want to ask if it`s fair to characterize the sort of timing and the way the Russian authorities handled that issues vis-à-vis you as indicative of how hard it was to be a diplomat there. How hard it was to deal with and predict the activities of the Russian federation?
MCFAUL: Yes, it was a hard time. Absolutely! It was a very tense time after the demonstrations back in December of 2011 where hundreds of thousands of people went out in the streets to protest falsified elections. And the regime under Mr. Putin, then prime minister, and later President Putin reacted to that by claiming that those demonstrators were controlled by the West, controlled by the Obama administration and controlled by me. Almost every day that accusation was made about me and the state-controlled media.
And therefore the intensity of the attention to myself and to the rest of the people that worked with me at the embassy was profound and, you know, up to allegedly thousands of agents were assigned to us to follow us, to track us, in our day-to-day activities there. So, yes, it was a pretty intense time.
MADDOW: When the Russian president or when other Russian officials blamed the United States for orchestrating anti-Russian events in the world and most recently, of course, they`re blaming the entire situation on Ukraine including their own invasion on some sort of American puppet master operation there. Are they doing that simply for political effect because they know it will play well domestically? Or do you think they believe it?
MCFAUL: You know, I`ve wrestled with that question for a long time. As I left Moscow, we actually had this conversation with many of my colleagues, including the chief of station of the CIA, by the way.
And in the beginning, when Putin was running for president, I always just assumed it was part of the campaign, right? It`s a way to deter people from meeting with the opposition, from engaging with the opposition. And those that none of them actually were allowed to run as candidates. Let`s be clear about that. The opposition was watching that election.
But it was a way for Putin to say, “I`m the defender of Russia against these western imperial powers”. But over time, and I`ve had the opportunity to discuss this with President Putin directly, myself, I actually do think he believes it.
Tabacco: This is one of those guys who can’t shoot straight when assessing Russian motivation and planned actions. If we couldn’t trust his analysis then, why should we trust it now! I implore you to trust me, not CIA types when it comes to Russian analysis! That’s just plain logic! He is an acknowledged failure – Tabacco is not!
I think the CIA problem is they underestimate the Russians and presume incorrectly that Russian politicians don’t plan and scheme just like American politicians (perhaps a little better) – I neither underestimate nor presume inferiority as it relates to the Russians. Maybe the government would be better served, not to seek advice from CNN, but from Tabacco! There, I’ve said it! And you may quote me! I do Analysis very well. PRE (Political Reverse Engineering is my specialty!)
I think he believes that it`s part of American foreign policy to use the CIA, and he focuses a lot on the CIA when he discusses these issues, to undermine regimes that we don`t like. And by the we, it`s the United States — Democrat/Republican, it doesn`t matter.
Tabacco: That’s because Democrats and Republicans serve the SAME MASTERS: Corporatists!
That`s his view of the world. He believes it in Ukraine. He believes it in Egypt. He believes it in Syria. And he believes it in Russia.
Tabacco believes it too!
MADDOW: Do you agree with the assessment that whatever they think of the CIA over there, and whatever we think about the capabilities of our own intelligence community, we have found it difficult over time to predict Russian behavior and particularly to understand President Putin`s worldview and what he`s likely to do.
MCFAUL: Those are two very different things and I`m glad you used both of them because what is Russian behavior?
I`ve never met Mr. Russia. In cables, my colleagues used to write from Moscow, I would not allow them to say “Russia thinks that”, “Russia behaves this way”, because there`s Putin, there`s the Russian government, even the Russian government is not a unitary actor, then there`s the Russian people and societal forces.
So, it depends on which question you want to answer, whether we`re good or bad at predicting Russian behavior. And I think both as an academic who`s written about Russia for a long time, by the way, and political change is what I focused my academic career on, and as a consumer of information produced by the CIA, and other intelligence organizations when I worked for three years at the National Security Council, and then as ambassador, I would say we`re good at some things and we`re bad at other things.
Tabacco: When Jack and Robert Kennedy were dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, they talked in terms of KHRUSCHEV, not in terms of RUSSIA. Despite the Demise of the Russian Communist Party, I don’t think that aspect of Russian Politics has changed appreciably. We don’t have a single personality to focus on when it comes to RED CHINA. But we do and have had for the better part of a century when it comes to dealing with RUSSIA!
The CIA needs to do a Psychohistorical study of Putin today. I have such a book (in paperback), written by an American on Richard M. Nixon decades ago. Have we forgotten how to do that!
After all, Putin is NOT BREAKING NEW GROUND here! He did basically the same thing in Georgia. What’s so difficult to predict!
So, we`re good at kind of big behavioral societal stuff. I think we have pretty good tools for that. We`re not as good as you rightly pointed out in your earlier segment at predicting the individual behavior and decision-making of one actor. That is president Putin.
Now you know why!
We did have conversations, just so you know, when I was still in the government, about the likelihood, probability, concerns of him going into Crimea, into Ukraine. We had those discussions. But to predict that, to say, oh, I know with certainty he`s going to go into Crimea on this date, we`re not good at that. You`re right.
That is an EXCUSE, NOT a REASON! Exact dates are not necessary! But predicting Putin would do it is both necessary and essential so you can prepare your own response before the fact, not after the fact!
We`re not good at that because we don`t have, you know, a lot of connectivity with president Putin personally. He`s a very isolated individual. He meets with only a very small handful of American leaders and the circle around him also, or not, people hanging out with the ambassador drinking vodka talks about what Putin thinks. – You’ve got Putin’s historical precedents, not to mention that illusive ‘psychohistorical’ assessment that should be in the CIA files! If we knew how to do it in the 1970s when Nixon was President, why have we forgotten how to do it in the 2010s! Is Tabacco the only one in America, who remembers anything prior to 9/11/2001!
Remember, all these guys are from the KGB. Let`s be clear about that. President Putin, that`s where he worked. A lot of his senior closest advisers came from that institution and therefore were not as good at understanding his individual decision-making.
MADDOW: It`s fascinating! It`s fascinating, both in terms of understanding what we have understood and what we did or didn`t predict about how we got to where we are, but also in terms of thinking about how we might predict how he`ll respond to any action we tame now and what stimulus he`ll respond to and how. Fascinating stuff!
Tabacco: Rachel cannot afford to ‘Mike Wallace’ her own guests today because nobody would go on her show. But Tabacco has no problem ‘Mike Wallacing’ Rachel’s guests or those of any other TV Talking Head. Reading between the lines!
Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, now professor of political science at Stanford University — you`re absolutely the best person in the world to talk to about these matters tonight short of Vladimir Putin. I appreciate you being here! Thank you very, very much!
MCFAUL: Yes. Thanks for having me.
All right. We`ll be right back.
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People