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SOTT Talk Radio Show #57 - Vladimir Putin: 'Dictatorial Thug' or Anti-Imperialist Stalwart?

In recent weeks Russian President Vladimir Putin has gone from being a relatively obscure leader of the Russian Federation to a house-hold name around the world. As part of that process, he has been subjected to 'trial by Western media', and the judgement is conclusive: he's a 'thug' determined to reestablish the Soviet Union at the expense of the people of Ukraine who simply want some good old fashioned freedom and democracy.

But is the portrayal of Putin accurate, or even close to accurate?

From his political origins as an agent of Russia's FSB, to his nomination as Prime Minister amid 'Chechen terrorist attacks' on Russian civilians, to his current confrontation with the American Empire over Ukraine, Crimea and much more, this week we'll be delving into the details and asking the question, 'Who is Vladimir Putin?'

Here's the transcript:

Denial of Service attacks on Russian and Crimean authorities' websites coming from America: Has U.S. Cyber Command effectively declared war on Russia?

US Cyber Command launches cyberwar against Russia
The official website of the Crimean referendum is down due to a cyber-attack that originated from the US, Crimean authorities say.

The exact location from which the website's servers were attacked was Illinois University, Crimean minister of information and mass communications Dmitry Polonsky told Itar-Tass news agency.

"This place turned out to be the Illinois University at Urbana-Champaign. A massive scanning of the servers took place from there before the attack," Polonsky said.

The assault started during the night (2300 GMT Saturday). At 1000 GMT Sunday, the referendum2014.ru site still wasn't functioning.

The West supports independence when it suits them: A look at 5 referendums that posed no problems

Independence Day, Kosovo
Kosovo declares independence, Serbia vows to resist
The West has condemned the upcoming referendum in Crimea as "illegitimate" and is preparing sanctions against Russia. However, the West's seemingly random policy on other referendums hints at a double standard in their governments' rhetoric.

Crimea will vote Sunday whether to remain an autonomous region in Ukraine or to join with Russia. Western leaders have claimed the referendum is a farce and that Russian forces have occupied the region. Moscow, however, maintains there has been no such invasion and the referendum represents the Crimeans' right to self-determination.

In the past the West has not batted an eyelid when countries sought to hold referendums and in some cases actively supported them.
Black Magic

Cold war CIA coup tactics continue to be used worldwide: Ukraine, Venezuela and Thailand are the latest victims

bloody cia
The greatest collection of status quo enthusiasts can be found at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. As nations around the world attempt to distance themselves from Washington's financial, military, and political grip, the CIA is reaching into its past playbook to deal with wayward governments.

After helping to foment a political rebellion in Ukraine against the democratically-elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych, Washington's propaganda apparatus, which is centered on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and George Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI), has focused on Venezuela.

Venezuela identified three U.S. embassy officials in Caracas meeting with opposition protesters and helping to plan anti-government riots throughout the country. The three U.S. «consular officers» -- Breann Marie McCusker, Jeffrey Gordon Elsen and Kristopher Lee Clark - were ordered expelled by the Venezuelan government. Last October, Venezuela expelled another three U.S. diplomats - chargé d'affaires Kelly Keiderling, David Moo, and Elizabeth Hoffman -- for involvement in fomenting domestic unrest. The six so-called diplomats were involved in activities often associated with «official cover» CIA agents.

'Mindblowing' Sochi paralympics exceed expectations as International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven heaps praise on 'first class organization'

The Sochi Paralympics have been a "mindblowing" event and exceeded all expectations, International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said Saturday.

With one day to go until the closing ceremony, Russia is dominating the medal table at its first home Paralympics and on Saturday broke the record for most medals won at a single Winter Paralympics.

"The Games have been absolutely mindblowing in terms of their impact, far beyond what the Paralympic movement expected when coming here," Craven said in a statement.

"They have been a spectacular showcase of sport and the power of the human spirit. Not only have the athletic performances been first class, but so has the organization, which has been seamless."

Dmitri Orlov highlights the Crimean "crisis" and the Western bias

US protest against neo-nazis in Ukraine
© Unknown
Here is some detailed background information on the Ukrainian neo-fascists and a good overall write-up on the situation. Eight neo-fascists now hold ministerial posts within the new, US-supported Ukrainian government. The following quote illustrates their ideology:
To create a truly Ukrainian Ukraine in the cities of the East and South, only one lustration will not be enough, we will need to cancel parliamentarism, ban all political parties, nationalize the entire industry, all media, prohibit the importation of any literature to Ukraine from Russia... completely replace the leaders of the civil service, education management, military (especially in the East), physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes... execute all members of the anti-Ukrainian political parties...
It's hard to tell how far they'll get with this ambitious program, but they've already outlawed the use of Russian language and are busy shutting out Russian television. Book-burnings may be next. To understand what this means, consider the following:
The population in the core Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine outnumbers the population in the core Ukrainian-speaking regions by almost two to one. Of the country's ten largest cities, only one, Lviv, is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking. Russian is, by a wide margin, the language of choice in education, commerce, and entertainment. A 2012 study found that over 60% of newspapers, 83% of journals and 87% of books, and 72% of television programs in Ukraine are still in Russian. Even more troubling, from the western Ukrainian perspective, is that the internet has only reinforced this cultural dominance. Russian is by far the preferred language on web sites in Ukraine (80.1%), followed by English (10.1%), then Ukrainian (9.5%), while the Russian version of Wikipedia remains five times more popular in Ukraine than the Ukrainian one. [source]
By banning Russian, Ukraine is effectively lobotomizing itself.

"Bag a F*g" - A silent US anti-gay epidemic, while Russia is demonised

Anti-gay senators
© Unknown
Media blackout as anti-gay crimes soar 70 percent; officers "pretend to be gay men cruising for sex"; states vote to block same-sex couples from hospitals; vigilantes beating LGBT citizens in broad daylight while authorities "did nothing", and Liz Cheney quits Senate race as she's "not homophobic enough."

Seek truth from facts with Infowars Editor Paul Joseph Watson, Yale Law School Professor William Eskridge, political activist Eric Draitser, and victims of anti-gay attacks.

Comment: In the lead up to this year's Olympics in Russia, there was a massive US anti-Russian campaign. In that campaign Russia was shown to be anti-gay as it was banning gay propaganda to minors and all the Western leaders came out speaking against the perceived anti-gay laws in Russia. What was not mentioned was the fact that homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993, something that is not the case in quite a number of US states. The Truthseeker exposes the hypocrisy.


Government decrees Maidan neo-nazi squads are now Ukraine "National Guard" - fears raised they will be used to crack down on pro-Russian dissidents

maidan neo-nazis
© Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili
Protesters from far-right group "Right Sector"
The creation of Ukraine's National Guard - the custodian of the coup-imposed government - has raised concerns that it may later be deployed to eastern regions of Ukraine to suppress the population increasingly standing up against Kiev.

Ukraine has established a National Guard which will be comprised of former and current Ukrainian troops and volunteers from Maidan self-defense squads. Its declared goal, according to the statement of the country's parliament, is the protection of Ukrainians against external and internal aggression as well as ensuring territorial integrity of the country.

A decree enabling the creation of National Guard has already been signed by the coup-imposed President of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, after it was hastily passed by the parliament on Thursday. A total of 262 members of the Rada voted in favor of establishing the Ukrainian National Guard. According to the law, the National Guard's chief will be appointed by the Rada upon the recommendation of the acting president.

The Guard will be compromised of 60,000 men and women and its official tasks will be to protect and safeguard the lives, rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens, society and the state from criminal and other unlawful acts. In addition, the guard will ensure public order in cooperation with law enforcement authorities, protect state borders, combat terrorism, as well as the suppress the activities of illegal paramilitary or armed organized groups or individuals.

The National Guard will be able to carry out the functions of any law enforcement agency in the post-coup country, as the existing agencies cannot be fully relied upon, considering the questionable legitimacy of the new rulers and the public discontent in eastern regions.

Ukraine previously established the National Guard in 1991 with a similar role, as the remnants of the former Soviet army were then considered unreliable. In 1995, it became the personal praetorian guard of President Leonid Kuchma. It was later disbanded in 2000.

Yet experts are already beginning to question the true motives behind the formation of the new combat force in Ukraine. Historian Vladimir Skachko argues that the Guard will be used to antagonize the Russian speaking population, and he has called the creation of the special force "legalization of neo-Nazi and neo-fascist batons."

Citing historical examples from 20th century European history, Skachko draws a parallel with the SA, or Brownshirts, a paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, which acted as death squads.

This theory appears to hold ground, considering the coming of extreme right-associated politicians to key posts in the coup-installed Ukrainian government.
Eye 1

Patriot Act author Jim Sensenbrenner states CIA spying Is 'Almost Nixonian'

nsa spying
© Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is again demanding answers to his inquiry on how the government spies on Congress.

The author of the post-9/11 law that granted the government much of its modern surveillance authority is again demanding the government explain how and to what extent it spies on members of Congress and their staffers.

"Tapping into computers used by members of Congress and attempts to use the Justice Department to intimidate congressional staff is a gross violation of the constitutional principles of separation of powers," Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wrote in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General James Cole. "It paints an almost-Nixonian picture of an administration that believes it can act with impunity behind a veil of secrecy."

The Wisconsin Republican's new letter arrives on the heels of dramatic accusations leveled this week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that the CIA hacked her intelligence panel's computers during its investigation into the spy agency's Bush-era interrogation programs. The letter asks Cole to respond to an earlier request sent last month by Sensenbrenner, in tandem with Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Darrell Issa, asking for a clarification of recent congressional testimony where he said the government "probably" spies on members of Congress.

"We probably do," Cole said in response to a string of questions from Issa during a House Judiciary hearing in February. "But we're not allowed to look at any of those [phone lines], however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat."

The admission should not have been surprising, but it still incensed a number of lawmakers. The administration has repeatedly argued that while virtually all phone records are subject to its data sweeps - a technique it says is necessary to assemble the whole haystack in order to find the needle - it examines only records determined to be relevant to a terrorism investigation.

Comment: The comparison between Nixon's two-bit phone taps and the monumentally egregious data vacuuming engaged in by the NSA is almost laughable. So is Sensenbrenner's outrage that the Patriot Act would ever be 'misused'. It's working exactly as it was designed to. So, one might wonder what is behind this apparent change of heart?


Canadian prof Chossudovsky: What happened in Ukraine is act of warfare, coup d'etat supported by foreign powers

© RIA Novosti
What's happened in Ukraine is part of a military and intelligence agenda, it is part of a global economic agenda, and is in fact an act of warfare, because it is a coup d'état, which was supported by foreign powers and there ample evidence to that effect, in addition, the US and NATO have been practicing the worst case scenario of the World War III, Michel Chossudovsky, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and an advisor to governments of developing countries, told the Voice of Russia.