It’s Budget Day on the Hill
The question The Pumpkin would like to ask is, to what extent is Russian interest in the US election a continuation of the old Cold War and Putin’s ambitions to destabilise the West – or is it something quite new and excitingly different?
While the media focus is on the Congressional Committee hearing at which FBI Director, James Comey, confirmed with his lovely eyes that the security police are looking into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, hopefully not forgetting the money-laundering, the ‘Enemies of the People’ may be ignoring other, perhaps more disturbing connections between far-right Christian fundamentalist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic groups in Eastern Europe, possibly funded by Russia, to members of the current Trump administration.
Former Methodist minister and convicted criminal, Jim Dowson is a virulent Scottish-born anti-abortion campaigner and extreme Protestant loyalist from Northern Ireland (no jokes about ‘Orange men’ now. Ed.), with connections to Bulgarian and other East European nationalist groups who like dressing up and marching around.
He’s frequently labelled in the press, ‘millionaire Jim Dowson’, although The Pumpkin’s limited researches have been unable to establish any source for that fact. He owns no businesses, seemingly; is CEO of nothing. Wherefore then, apart from having been a fundraiser for nationalist charities (and not apparently well trusted in the role) does he become a millionaire?
Among things we have established is that he is an unpleasant piece of work who delights in publishing the names and addresses of employees of family planning clinics. He has also been videoed dressed in camouflage gear on a ‘hunting expedition’ with armed vigilantes on the Bulgarian-Turkish border – hunting Syrian refugees.
According to Wikipedia, who got the info probably from the anti-fascist group Searchlight:
“Dowson has been observed in eastern European countries with his latest venture, the Knights Templar International (KTI)*, along with former BNP (British National Party) leader Nick Griffin and a Hungarian anti-abortion campaigner, Imre Teglasy.
“Dowson’s last sighting, according to the Daily Mirror, was on the Turkey-Bulgaria border with the KTI supplying equipment to a vigilante paramilitary group, the Shipka Bulgarian National Movement, to hunt down asylum seekers.
“Dowson was subsequently reported as having developed close links with Russian extremist Aleksandr Dugin, with Dugin aiding Dowson in the establishment of a Belgrade office for his internet activity in support of the ‘alt-right’.”
* No immediate relation to the late-medieval religious order that committed unspeakable atrocities against the Muslim population of the Holy Land.
Now, Dugin is a bit different: not your average fascist bully-boy, he is a well-bearded Russian philosopher – the son of a KGB man – respected on the far-right, and spiritual guide to Vladimir Putin. He has said he wants to bring on the ‘end-times’. Thus he fits in almost perfectly symmetrically with Steve Bannon. Described as a modern Rasputin, Dugin in turn is sponsored by “Konstantin Malofeyev, a multimillionaire with ties to the Russian Orthodox Church” (Independent. See below).
Dugin is said to have been instrumental in bringing about a rapprochement between Putin and the increasingly paranoid and authoritarian Turkish president Erdogan in the wake of the shooting down in 2015 of a Russian fighter over the Syrian border: thus, Islamic Turkey is moving out of the ambit of Europe and more towards a pro-Moscow line of pragmatic non-opposition to the war-criminal Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and Turkey being two countries where, it may be noted, President Trump’s sacked National Security Advisor General Mike T Flynn was doing bidness last year. Turkey is, of course, a NATO country.
“…Dugin, whose views on the evils of liberalism have been cited by Bannon and other far-right leaders … also moved Russia a step closer to fulfilling his vision of unwinding the US-led global order, in part by luring Turkey away from NATO and creating a “Russo-Islamic pact” that includes Iran.” (Ibid.)
Dowson is linked too with László Toroczkai, the extreme right-wing mayor of Assotthalom, in Hungary – the village where, the BogPo reported some time ago, Muslim migrants are ‘banned’ from settling, even to the extent that specially designed traffic signs are to be found, excluding people wearing Islamic dress. (BBC report)
And alt-right watchers will have noted the name of Nick Griffin, one-time leader of the British National Party, who is now based in Hungary – not a million miles from Dowson’s Russia-funded Budapest office, one might assume. Clearly, they have patched up their differences following Dowson’s departure from Britain First – a group he founded, but whose attacks on mosques he felt were ‘un-Christian’.
This story is positively trammelled with such weird contradictions: indeed, the KTI website specifically states that attacks on other religions are against the Biblical traditions of Christianity. There seems to be an element of fantasy in Dowson’s crusade for some long-ago, lost age of purity and chivalry. This puts him in the same league as some of Trump’s immediate circle: not racist, but purist, could be Stephen K Bannon’s motto.
But all agree, the coming war will be between Christianity and Islam for the soul of the world.
The founder of an alt-right website called ‘The Patriot News Agency’, Dowson also interferes in other countries’ elections. Again from Wikipedia:
“Dowson described his strategy as spreading “devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and soundbites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”
Yet Dowson has no apparent dog in the US election fight; nor any specific reason to support Trump, other than a generalised desire to cause trouble benefitting the Russian campaign of destabilization.
Among the ‘memes’ he is alleged to have spread is the story of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, operating a worldwide paedophile ring from the basement of a Washington pizza restaurant – a story so preposterous that only forty per cent of Donald Trump’s supporters were inclined to believe it.
And his next ‘project’ is to bring about Scottish independence and the dissolution of the United Kingdom. According to the New York Times:
“The ex-Orange Order member, who along with his family is based in Northern Ireland but spends considerable time running the rightwing agency in eastern Europe, claims his networks have a global reach of 50 million online viewers, 17 million of whom live in Britain.
“A one-time member of the far-right Britain First organisation, which he resigned from three years ago, Dowson said he would be directing the pro-independence online media campaign from his bases in Hungary and Serbia as well as in Britain, including from an office in Stirling.
“(He said) ‘This is a global network that I believed helped elect Donald Trump and backed Brexit to win.'”
For many people prepared to overlook the obvious point that Britain held real powers within the EU and extended its influence into Europe, rather than having genuinely been in the position of surrendering sovereignty to “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels” – a meme so simple and easy to spread among the British Dumbfucks that even Dowson might have thought of it, Brexit was about ridding Britain of foreign influences. For some, like Dowson, the Brexit campaign was a moral crusade to restore the ethnic and religious (i.e. Christian) purity of the British race; although he now sees that it might have to lead to a federal Ireland rather than a hard customs border.
How like Islamic fundamentalists Christian fundamentalists are.
Dr Sebastian L v. Gorka “attended St Benedict’s School in west London, and received a lower second-class honours (2:2) Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Theology from Heythrop College, of the University of London.” (Wikipedia). Heythrop was founded in 1614 in Louvain, Belgium, at the height of the Inquisition, by the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits, to whose stern moral code its website suggests it retains some residual connection.*
Born in Britain to Hungarian refugee parents, nationalists who fled from the Soviet repression of 1956 (we gave refuge to 27,000 Hungarians, rather more than we seem to have managed with the desperate Syrians), Gorka re-migrated to Hungary in 1992, where he ended up in 1998 as an advisor to the authoritarian nationalist premier, Viktor Orban.
In the meantime he had somehow converted that pretty poor degree into a PhD in Political Science from Corvinus University, Budapest, and become an expert on Islamic terrorism. In 1996, he married an American heiress from an old Methodist family in the ironmongery business, Katherine Fairfax Cornell. A trawl of the sources fails to produce an estimate of her worth, or indeed that of the family business, that nowadays makes architectural steel products. All we find on their website is that the company used scab labour to break a strike in 1987 and probably turns over $10 million a year.
Yet what Katy Cornell Gorka’s family has in common with Donald Trump is that girders from the original iron smelting works took “New York’s buildings from four stories in the 1850s to thirty stories by 1899.” (Wikipedia). Even the Statue of Liberty stands on Cornell iron.
“Katharine C. Gorka is the President of the Council on Global Security, a think tank that works to develop, advocate, and build support for policies that will promote freedom of belief and defeat extremist ideologies*. From 2009 to 2014 she served as Executive Director of the Westminster Institute, based in McLean, Virginia. Her company, Threat Knowledge Group, provides counter-terrorism training and expertise to the FBI, Special Operations, local law enforcement and military. She co-edited the volume Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism and appears frequently in the media, including FOX News, Breitbart, EWTN, CBN, and al-Hura. Most recently she co-authored the report ISIS: The Domestic Threat.” (Amazon book page biography)
*The website for this organization is non-responding. A message merely says it is not currently available.
On November 30 2016, The Intercept reported that Gorka had been appointed to be part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s transitional “landing team.” (Wikipedia) Her role, like her husband’s, was to advise der Trumpenführer on the causes and growth of Islamic fundamentalism. (You recall, he ‘knows more about ISIS than many generals, believe me’. Gorka’s input may be why he thinks so.)
Yet there is something quite peculiar about her.
Living in Hungary for 12 years, Katy Gorka is a former director of the National Forum Foundation’s Budapest office – whose URL brings up only ‘Freedom House’, a think tank founded by the Roosevelts in 1941. “The organization’s annual Freedom in the World report, which assesses each country’s degree of political freedoms and civil liberties, is frequently cited by political scientists, journalists, and policymakers. Freedom of the Press and Freedom of the Net, which monitor censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists, and public access to information, are among its other signature reports.” (Wikipedia/Freedom House website)
Political freedom? Civil liberties? Freedom of the press? Almost nothing could be further from the domestic policies of Viktor Orban, to whom in 1998 Katy’s husband Sebastian was an ‘advisor’. But amid all the high-minded talk about monitoring the kind of intimidation against journalists which her Presidential employer is busy practising, she is also a contributor to Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News – an alt-right website pushing a racially pure, Christian agenda; often of false news, and whose former editor warned the press a month ago to ‘shut its mouth’ and think carefully about what they print about the President in future.
And one of Trump’s first executive orders, which none of the media has seen fit to protest about, was the gagging of public access to information in the shape of the normal dissemination of news and scientific papers through the federal Environment and Parks agencies, and NASA’s Earthwatch program. Where did he get that from? He’s not thought to have any ideas of his own. An unusual approach to ‘freedom of belief’.
In 2012, ‘Dr’ Sebastian Gorka applied to become an American citizen.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr. Gorka concealed the material fact of his membership in the Vitézi Rend, a far-right anti-Semitic Hungarian organization, when he applied for U.S. citizenship. As you know, it is unlawful to make a false statement in naturalization proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1015) and procuring naturalization by concealing a material fact or willful misrepresentation is punishable by denaturalization (8 U.S.C. 1425, 8 U.S.C. 1451).”
So wrote three US Congressmen recently upon learning that Gorka is, or may be, an illegal immigrant.
businessinsider.com/sebastian-gorka-vitezi-rend-nazi-trump-2017-3: 3 US Senators calling for inquiry into his immigration declaration
According to some sources, through his father Gorka – who includes in his full name the telltale lowercase letter ‘v’ for Vitez – is a virtually lifelong member of Vitézi Rend, an extreme Hungarian nationalist group with maybe as many as twenty thousand members. His membership has been admitted by its leaders, although he’s denied it. How did anyone know? He appeared on TV wearing a jacket of the type worn ceremonially by members of the society, the Bocskai tunic, and sporting their pin-badge – which he later explained was only a tribute to his late father.
Again, when we look at the origins in the 1920s of this secretive society we find that same element of East European chivalric mysticism and a yearning for racial purity, enshrining the virtues of the knightly warrior caste that had once stood against the advance of Islam, that formed such a strong part of the National Socialist ideology in Germany in the 1930s. Indeed, the Order of Vitez, founded by Admiral Horthy to celebrate the heroism of fallen Hungarian soldiers of the First World War, was encouraged by – and perhaps even assisted – the Nazis during the occupation in 1944 as they hastened to eliminate 800,000 Jews ahead of the advancing Red Army.
Gorka is a naturalized American citizen. He gained his citizenship in 2012 but his acceptance may now be in doubt as it is reported he made no mention on his application form, a compulsory question, of his membership of Vitézi Rend, which is listed in the US as a banned organisation for its associations with the wartime Nazi occupiers in Hungary.
In addition to being cited as a member of and contributor to, a speaker at, numerous academic institutions and think tanks, in January 2017 Gorka assumed the position of Deputy Assistant Security Advisor on Terrorism in the Trump Administration. How did Trump get to know about him? Gorka immediately became a member of an internal White House team known as the Strategic Initiatives Group, which was set up by Trump’s Chief Policy Advisor, Steve Bannon, together with Trump’s annointed, his son-in law Jared Kushner, to act as a counterweight to the normal channels of advice the President might receive on matters such as national security and foreign policy, to prevent him being led astray by outside experts infected with things like knowledge and sanity.
While some academics and military people say he’s pretty sound on Islamic jihad, basically arguing that the West is at war with Islam already, the peer-reviewed journal of terrorism research, Terrorism and Political Violence, has never used him as a reviewer, because according to associate editor Lawrence P Rubin, he “is not considered a terrorism expert by the academic or policy community.” (Wikipedia)
From 2014 to 2016, Gorka was an editor for National Security Affairs for the Breitbart News Network, where he worked for Stephen K. Bannon.
Surprise, fucking surprise.
Everything to do with Trump sooner or later comes back to Bannon, Breitbart and the illegal movement around the globe of vast sums of Russian money: the so-called “Global Laundromat”.
How much of that money is finding its way over to ‘whiter-than-white’ organizations led by agitators, disruptors and misty-eyed, medieval-Christian revivalist ‘millionaires’, we wonder?
*On re-reading, I have just spotted this potential connection with Steve Bannon, who is associated with the conservative leader of the Jesuitical Catholic fringe group, Opus Dei, Cardinal Burke.
Correction: Cardinal Burke is not the ‘leader’ of Opus Dei but merely ‘associated with’ the leadership.
Postscriptum, 1 May
Following a shakeup or ‘palace coup’ instigated by ‘Mr Kushner’ and the new Pentagon hawks installed in key advisory roles – a military takeover – both the Strategic Initiatives Group and ‘Dr’ Gorka are no longer part of White House policy advisory arrangements; Steve Bannon is no longer a permanent member of the Security Council although he retains his role as ‘senior policy advisor’.
Ivanka Trump is now the ‘First Daughter’ – her stepmom remains a prisoner in the penthouse at Trump Tower in New York – and officially in post as ‘advisor’ to Orange Daddy. She continues to advertise Trump businesses, including Trump Tower, Manila – Mr Trump has welcomed the squalid little thug, President Duterte of the Philippines, to visit the White House, in line with his general policy of admiring ‘strong leaders’ who remind him of his father.
There is no end to this conspiracy.
I’m trying to remember what I was doing at the age of 42. It’s a bit hazy. I think I’d just started a small PR business with an ethical charter, supporting small ethical environmental businesses and NGOs by devising joint promotional programs with industrial clients needing to improve their ‘green’ credentials. It folded five years later because none of the bastards would pay their bills on time.
At 42, billionaire investment manager Constantin Malofeyev (see above) is one of the movers and shakers behind a religious revival movement that has captured the White House without a shot being fired. From Vanity Fair:
“As a believer in the Russian empire on a cultural and religious level, Malofeyev’s goals align with those held by some of Europe’s fringe parties. Both would like to see the weakening of the European Union.
“In 2014, Malofeyev attended a Vienna-based conference for Europe’s far-right parties. Also in attendance were Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, who openly supports Putin (she has called for the removal of sanctions) and accepted at least 9 million euros in Russia-backed loans in 2014; and Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Freedom Party, which was recently defeated in national elections.” (Presumably not the outcome General Michael T Flynn was hoping for at Trump Tower in December when he discussed doing a bit of PR for him. Ed.)
The Pumpkin is sort of waiting for the links between the Brexit campaigners and Putin’s Christian-right crusade to become more obvious. A less obvious link might be to Mr Paul Manafort, Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, said to have been the recipient of a $12.7 million fee for ‘campaign advice’ (Oh, come off it! Ed. Really, where do I sign?) to the exiled Ukrainian kleptocrat, Viktor Yanukovitch; and also, of a $10 million a year PR retainer for several years from the Russian government.
The Daily Beast (August 2016) reported:
“The Associated Press has also found that Manafort helped route “at least $2.2 million in payments” from the Party of Regions “to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012” and did so in possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Was either of those firms possibly linked to General Flynn, The Pumpkin asks, idly? Or Mr Tony Podesta?)
“According to a leaked document that was “brought” to Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration, the takeover of Crimea may have been mooted in mid-February 2014, as independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported. Likely prepared in part by “Russian Orthodox businessman” and future separatist-financier Konstantin Malofeyev, the text envisioned a “launching of the process of the ‘pro-Russian drift’ of the Crimea and eastern Ukrainian territories” along with a “PR strategy” in advance of “referendums raising the question of self-determination and further possibilities of annexation to the Russian Federation.” – Daily Beast.
I guess if it can work in Ukraine, and Britain, it can work in Texas or Arkansas.
Remember the Alamo. Remember Dunkirk! Build that wall!
A Game of Leapfrog
Over in France the waters are just as murky.
Already under investigation for allegedly paying his wife half a million Euro out of public coffers to do a few hours’ secretarial duty, with only days to go before the first round of Presidential elections that could see the alt-right ‘Marianne’, Marine le Pen, do well, former Prime Minister François Fillon is now accused of taking money from a Lebanese ‘businessman’ to fix a meeting between the head of global French energy company Total, and… President Putin.
The release of these allegations looks like perfect Russian intel ‘Kompromat’.
An article in the venerable satirical journal Le Canard Enchainé, reports that Fillon’s consultancy company 2F Conseil had earned $50,000 for setting up the 2015 meeting. According to a Guardian report:
“Fillon’s spokesman vigorously denied the allegation, saying Canard Enchaîné’s “insinuations” were “completely without foundation”. The Kremlin dismissed the report (encouragingly) as “fake news”.
“The claims are the latest in a string of accusations levelled at the beleaguered rightwing candidate, who languishes third in the opinion polls for the first round presidential vote in a month. He is also under scrutiny for accepting an undeclared €50,000 loan from a French businessman in 2013 and for the gift of bespoke suits worth up to €48,000 from another wealthy friend.
“Fillon has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing … saying … “I’ve made mistakes. Who hasn’t?”
Quite so. It explains perhaps why The Pumpkin has almost nothing in the bank, having made the mistake of failing to become a highly paid political lobbyist. (Oh, I thought you said ‘hobbyist‘!).
Thanks to social media, the vast amounts of dirty money sloshing around and the power-seeking ambitions of extra-national third-party actors it’s getting too easy for disruptors in the Kremlin and elsewhere to try to affect the outcome of elections, in what is increasingly evident is a deliberately orchestrated campaign to shake up the existing alliances in the West.
Their task is made easier still by the appalling venality of politicians like Fillon and, in Britain, George “eight jobs” Osborne.
As has been widely reported, with no prior journalistic experience the former Chancellor of the Exchequer has accepted an offer presumed to be somewhere in the mid-six figures to become the new editor of the London Evening Standard, formerly a newspaper but now the personal fiefdom and social diary of exiled Russian oligarchs the Lebedevs, père et fils.
That bloody country just won’t lie down.
And while The Pumpkin is conspiracy theorising, Mr Osborne and his friend, Mr Cameron, showed blinding incompetence in their ‘leadership’ of the failed campaign to keep Britain in the EU, focussing on what the Leavers dubbed ‘Project Fear’, an entirely negative assessment of the economic risks which they plugged relentlessly at the expense of any more positive reasons for remaining in Europe.
Is this a reward?
Hey, everyone! Katy Gorka?
‘Hillary for President’ contributions to the 2008 primaries:
- Gorka Enterprises LLC: $750
- ‘Cornell’: $550
Big spenders! But get this… Hillary’s campaign coffers in 2008 also contained $800 electo-bucks donated by… 21st Century Fox TV!
Nothing like hedging your bets. Or mislabelling your post.
Hey, everyone! Rex Tillerson?
A story on today’s Guardian quotes ‘sexy Rexy’, Trump’s normally taciturn Secretary of State, as saying he didn’t want the job. (It shows. Ed.)
He was looking forward to retiring to his ranch in Texas, he says, to enjoy his grandchildren (good luck with that, Rex – most people won’t get to enjoy theirs), his Old Age pension buoyed up by $245 million in free Exxon shares, but after Trump – whom he hadn’t previously known – offered him the post out of the blue at a surprise meeting called to “discuss the world”, and presumably how to end it, his wife told him: “God isn’t through with you yet”.
I’ve always felt I was appointed to high office by God, haven’t you?
I felt, you see, that God wanted me to be the boss of a bloated global corporation that endlessly lies and cheats and gouges the poorest people on earth while raping it of its commons for my own obscene enrichment and that of my billionaire friends at Davos, that tramples God’s Creation into the methane-pluming ground, heedless of warnings of the dire future it’s creating for the very survival of Mankind (we’re making the eye in that old needle as big as we possibly can.) And that He wanted me to be paid $70k-a-day plus £200 million in deferred options* to do His Work, fucking-up Creation.
Sadly, as the Almighty is only a figment of the boundlessly optimistic American imagination, I’m sitting here writing this stuff instead.
Mysterious ways, and so forth.
Next time, eh?
*You see, even that doesn’t make him one of the billionaires in Trump’s cabinet. Plus the fact he’s only 5’10” and you can see why Trump despises and belittles him. Seriously, I’m not sure what it takes to become a billionaire. Obscene as it is, an annual salary package of $25 million plus perks gets you nowhere near. It seems incredible that no criminality would be involved in achieving billionaire status. Most seem to work in positions where you can skim a fat percentage off the top of endless and vast financial transactions on the global money carousel, or where you can parlay a high-subscriber ‘trending’ media opportunity into a $billion takeover target for some huge sucker corporation, and you own all the stock.
Meanwhile, the rest of us run our yachts on $18k a year.