Sunday, February 4, 2018

Who is Carter Page, The Nothing Burger Man Who is Front and Center of Fisa Gate?

The name 'Carter Page' is smoking hot because he apparently is being portrayed as a Russian agent, a Russian spy, a traitor and the man who is alleged to have interjected himself and Russian interests into the Trump campaign.   Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact it's all a big fat nothing burger of a lie perpetrated by the enemies of President Trump.

Background information on Carter Page: Born in 1971, Page was raised in Poughkeepsie, NY.  He graduated from the US Navel Academy in 1993 in the top 10% of his class. He honorably served 5 years in the US Navy, earned a masters degree from Georgetown University in National Security Studies.  He also earned an MBA from NYU and a PHD from the University of London.

His business career kicked off in in 2000 when he began working for Merrill Lynch in London and he specialized in energy.  He was also a VP of a Merrill Lynch Moscow office, as well as Chief Operating Officer of Merrill Lynch's energy and power department in NY. His business career focused exclusively on energy and in that capacity he worked on energy deals with Russia and other nations.  There is nothing unusual about his career path trajectory.  Energy is a big business and all investment banking houses have energy interests and divisions.

Carter Page was an obscure nobody who just happened to work on energy deals, and certainly not a man whose name and work would alarm anybody.  In 2008, he left Merrill Lynch to form his own company, Global Energy Capital, a one man operation that never took off.  Throughout his energy based investment banking career, Page was critical of US foreign policy, and specifically its attitude toward Russia as it relates to very punishing sanctions.  

Enter:  POTUS aspirant Donald Trump who was not an internationally travelled man with serious connections to the rest of the world; in fact, Trump knew very little about how the rest of the world operates.  Therefore, he sought the counsel of folks who had been 'around the block' so to speak and on a variety of issues. Energy is always a top issue and Russia is a major energy player.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner did an excellent analysis of Page and wrote:
There were reasons for the FBI to notice Page. Described as an "energy executive," he lived for a time in Russia, was always trying to drum up business, often in Russia, and his name popped up in a case against three Russians who in 2013 were posing as businessmen and trying to recruit Americans to become Russian agents. The Russians apparently wanted to enlist Page, who in the end was not accused of any wrongdoing and has denied any contacts with the Russians beyond ordinary business communications. For their part, the Russians came to view Page as something less than a prize; one of them was captured on a wiretap calling him an "idiot." 
So Page was no Russian agent, nor did he ever appear to be in danger of becoming a Russian agent. Nevertheless, the case put Page on the FBI's Russia radar screen..... 
Hill investigators have been baffled by the FBI's apparent treatment of the "idiot" Page as a central player in the Trump-Russia affair, instead of an eccentric presence on the periphery with no connection to Trump, or even people close to Trump. 
Or maybe they targeted Page for wiretapping because they could. Page had pre-existing contacts with Russian agents, handily outlined in a fairly recent court case. He was beyond question in Moscow in July. And the dossier said the Russians offered Page a corrupt bargain to end U.S. sanctions in exchange for millions of dollars. (One question not often asked: How was Page, not elected to anything and not even on anyone's staff, supposed to end U.S. sanctions?)" 
York's article: Byron York: As memo fight rages, critics ask: All this over Carter Page?

York's fact filled article goes on to explain and document a lot, including Harry Reid intervening and attempting to a make big case out of this nothing burger, as well as even questioning the basis for the FBI's obsession with Carter Page who is more of an FBI victim than a big player in the energy business.  Morever, despite false allegations that Page was an integral part of the Trump Campaign, it's been documented that Page never even met Trump, here.   He was a low level volunteer and certainly not someone who was valued as knowledgeable contributor to policy and campaign decisions.

The bottom line is that Page was never more than a guy who wanted to do energy deals and viewed sanctions as a powerful deterrent.  Hence, both Page and the Russians wanted sanctions relief.  Also, it should be noted that according to York's article, neither Trump nor his closest associates ever had much of anything to do with Page. He was just a guy who had extensive experience with Russia and energy.

The real smoking gun that the Democrats, FBI and other Trump haters are making is that Page, an incredibly minor play in energy, was so powerful that he would induce Trump to nullify sanctions against Russia IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED.  Like everything else in the DOJ-FBI-Democrat witch hunt against Trump, there is ZERO evidence.  Just because Page and Russia wanted sanctions relief doesn't in any way imply that it will happen. I personally view sanctions as morally reprehensible because they tend to kill innocent civilians.  Madeleine Albright publicly delighted in bragging about the fact that US sanctions against Iraq resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi babies and children. US Cuban sanctions severely hurt the Cuban people and denied them vital medicines.  Sanctions have never beene anything but cruel humanitarian horrors.

Lobbying to achieve sanctions relief is nothing new; in fact it's very common.

Dem Super-Lobbyist Podesta Got $170K To End US Sanctions On Russian Bank Tony and John Podesta were high paid lobbyists and John Podesta was Chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Exxon lobbies US government on Iran sanctions  "According to Bloomberg, the Texas-based oil company has hired a lobbying firm founded by former Republican Senator Don Nickles to press the US government on lifting sanctions against Tehran.  Western companies are eager to work on Iranian fields because they are among the largest and cheapest to develop, it quoted one economist as saying."

Tragedy in South Sudan — and $2.1 million for Washington lobbyists  "In fact, South Sudan was a relatively small player among a boatload of troubled nations that together have inked more than $168 million worth of US lobbying and PR contracts since 2010."

Lobbying is a big business in America and money is used to bribe politicians.  Foreign lobbying is largely regulated by FARA or Foreign Agents Registration Act which is a complicated law requiring lawyers and lots of paperwork. Since the world doesn't operate on free market principles and people and businesses are not free to conduct business because it's controlled by bureaucrats and protectionist laws, businesses are forced to enter the murky world of lobbying just to gain access to government officials if they want to do business.

The lobbying industry operates largely in secret but that's because lobbying laws are complicated and politicians and lobbyists prefer that the public NOT know about how politicians are bought and paid for by special interests and their lobbyists. Pathetically, FARA is a 1938 bill and some in Congress want to rewrite lobbying laws but not in the interest of greater transparency and accountability but to shield and protect Congress Critters.  Congressional bills that focus on sunlight, openness and transparency are practically non existent.  FisaGate, the Mueller Inquisition and Carter Page are indeed bringing the issue to the attention of the public and Congress is considering rewriting laws on foreign lobbying.

House Panel to Consider Stronger Foreign Lobbying Rules, Some lobbyists caution against unintended consequences of bipartisan bill 

Back to Carter Page.  He's just a guy whose lifelong business experience of investment banking and energy managed to get him in the cross hairs of politics, a presidential campaign, the FBI, the DOJ and all the sleaze associated with the fake Christopher Steele dossier that was used to secure a FISA warrant to spy on him, the Trump campaign, Trump associates and the Trump Transition Team.

How bad is Russiaphobia in the US?  It's so dangerously deranged that anybody who has contacts with a Russian may be considered a Russian agent or spy and subject to criminal prosecution.

You Are Forbidden to Talk With Russians!
Paul Manafort chaired Trump’s campaign. The poor guy just did not realize that he couldn’t even exchange pleasantries with anybody Russian. If you are not anti-Russian, then you must be pro-Russian. That’s how the nitwits in the U.S. intelligence agencies think. And if you’re pro-Russian, then you must be in their pockets or a spy or a dupe. You don’t deserve to be making U.S. policy, which must remain anti-Russian until America manages to break up Russia and take it over.

You see, American citizens do not have the freedom to talk with Russians. The people they talk to may be spies, after all.
America is the land of the perpetually paranoid.  This is the kind of thing that happens in police states with secret courts and laws so open to interpretation that everybody is a criminal.

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