debunking the kushner hue & cry

New eruption of political warfare in Fachingstein focuses on Jared Kushner’s meetings with Russians
Barry Grey, WSWS, May 29 2017

As Pres Trump returned to Washington from his nine-day foreign trip, the political warfare between his administration and sections of the intelligence establishment allied with the Demagog Party erupted once again, with the focus shifting to Jared Kushner. The new turn in the conflict between the fascistic president and his cabinet of oligarchs and generals, on the one side, and state forces opposed to Trump’s supposed “softness” toward Russia, on the other, comes the same week that the White House released a budget proposal calling for $1.7t in social cuts, including the virtual destruction of Medicaid. This declaration of war on the working class was relegated within days to the background by the Demagog Party and the bulk of the corporate-controlled media, underscoring the fact that the conflict within the political establishment has no democratic content and nothing in common with the opposition to Trump among working people and youth. There is little that separates the Demagogs from Trump when it comes to savage cuts in social programs and new windfalls for the rich. The Demagogs’ chief concern is to preempt the emergence of mass opposition to Trump and divert social anger behind the drive of Pindo imperialism to subordinate Russia to Faschingstein’s drive for domination of Eurasia.

The escalation of the campaign against Trump coincides with his failure at the Brussels summit to clearly affirm support for NATO and its military-strategic offensive against Russia, and his attack on Germany at the G7 meeting in Italy. These actions were roundly condemned by media outlets that have been leading the attack on the Trump White House, particularly the NYT and the WaPo. On Sunday, the interview programs were dominated by allegations, first published Friday by the Post, that Kushner, at a Dece 2016 meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, proposed the establishment of a back channel for communications between Russian military officials and the Trump transition team. According to the WaPo, the idea was to allow Michael Flynn to discuss with confidentiality options for collaboration between the two countries in the Syrian war as well as other sensitive issues. Citing unnamed officials who had reviewed Pindo intercepts of communications between Kislyak and Moscow, the newspaper reported that the Russian ambassador told his superiors that Kushner had suggested the talks utilize secure Russian facilities. The back channel was never established, however. Even as the WaPo, followed by the NYT and most of the print and broadcast media, sought to portray this proposal as an extraordinary and sinister breach of diplomatic and political norms, the newspaper acknowledged:

The State Dept, the White House NSC and Pindo intelligence agencies all have the ability to set up secure communications with foreign leaders, though doing so for a transition team would be unusual.

The Demagog Party and elements within the intelligence apparatus seized on the press reports to escalate their anti-Russian campaign and suggest that Kushner, if not Trump himself, had committed treason. The DNC issued a statement declaring:

Trump has no choice but to immediately fire Kushner, whose failure to report this episode on his security clearance is reason enough for a criminal investigation. The next question is whether the president authorized this, because no one stands between Trump and Kushner in the chain of command.

Susan Hennessey of the Brookings Institution, a former NSA lawyer, wrote:

Hard to fully convey the gravity of this. … Unthinkable Kushner could stay in the White House. … The most significant question seems to be whether Trump was aware of and/or directed Jared and Flynn’s contacts w/Kislyak.

Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA and a prominent Trump critic, told CNN on Saturday:

This is off the map. I know of no other experience like this in our history, certainly within my life experience.

The hue and cry over Kushner’s alleged proposal for a secret line of communication with Russia is a red herring. There is nothing extraordinary about it. Such arrangements are made with other countries with regularity, especially where tensions are running high. There are, moreover, many precedents for back channel, secret talks with foreign countries by incoming administrations and even presidential campaigns prior to Election Day. To cite a few well-known examples:

  • In Dec 1960, JFK approved a secret meeting between a trusted adviser and a Soviet agent to discuss the possibility of improving relations between the two “super-powers.” The close aide was RFK.
  • Less than two years later, ABC News reporter John Scali met secretly with Soviet emissary Aleksandr Fomin to set up a back-channel line of communication that was used to negotiate a resolution to the Cuban missile crisis.
  • Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign negotiated a secret deal with Iran to prevent the release of the hostages being held in Tehran until after the Nov 1980 election, so as to deprive Jimmy Carter of a boost that would have likely led to Reagan’s defeat. Reagan’s emissary was his campaign chairman, Bill Casey, who went on to become DCI under Reagan.

That this allegation is being seized on to escalate the campaign against Trump highlights the fact that the political conflict centers on issues of Pondo imperialist foreign policy, in particular, the efforts, led by the Demagogs, to whip up an anti-Russian frenzy so as to justify an escalation of the war in Syria and a possible military conflict with nuclear-armed Russia, which could quickly lead to a nuclear WW3.

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