By Philip Giraldi
Is there something wrong here? At the end of February, Congress began debating cutting Medicare and Social Security while more recently a banking sector crisis seems to be developing. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was doing photo-ops in Kiev embracing Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky shortly after handing him the keys to the U.S. economy. She explained how the White House had approved an additional $12 billion in aid to Ukraine during the previous week, including $2 billion for the military and $10 billion to support Zelensky’s government and other infrastructure needs.
The U.S. Treasury is now de facto the source of the Ukrainian government’s entire annual budget. In addition, Yellen described how the Treasury and State departments will implement a new round of sanctions against more than 200 entities and individuals with ties to Russia’s military, high-tech industries, and its metals and mining sectors. The U.S. Department of Commerce is also enforcing export restrictions on materials and technology, including semiconductors, sold by American companies to customers in Russia and China.
In defense of her grand mission, Yellen penned an op-ed for the always compliant New York Times explaining the importance of Ukraine to the United States. She wrote how in Ukraine “Russia’s barbaric attacks continue—but Kiev stands strong and free.”
“Ukraine’s heroic resistance is the direct product of the courage and resilience of Ukraine’s military, leadership and people,” Yellen continued. “But President Zelensky and the Ukrainians would be the first to admit that they can’t do this alone—and that international support is crucial to sustaining their resistance.”
Yellen went on to note that her visit was designed to “reaffirm our unwavering support of the Ukrainian people.”
“Mr. Putin is counting on our global coalition’s resolve to wane, which he thinks will give him the upper hand in the war. But he is wrong,” Yellin argued. “As President Biden said here last week, America will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. Ukrainians are fighting for their lives on the front lines of the free world. Today, and every day, they deserve America’s unyielding support.”
The Yellen op-ed drones on with a lie so large that it is astonishing that The New York Times would even print it: “When confronted with scenes of brutality and oppression, Americans have always been quick to stand up and do the right thing. Our strength as a nation comes from our commitment to our ideals—and our capacity to see in others the same desires that animated our own struggles for freedom and justice.”
But then she tops that with assurances that Zelensky, who heads one of the most corrupt governments in the world, “has pledged to use these funds in the ‘most responsible way.’ We welcome this commitment, as well as his longstanding agenda to strengthen good governance in Ukraine.” Huh?
And here is Yellen’s version of “Why We Fight!”: “Our support is motivated, first and foremost, by a moral duty to come to the aid of a people under attack. We also know that, as President Zelensky has said, our assistance is not charity. It’s an investment in ‘global security and democracy.’ Let’s look at the strategic impact of our support for Ukraine so far. Mr. Putin’s war poses a direct threat to European security, as well as to the laws and values that underpin the rules-based international system.”
So, Americans have a “moral duty” apparently up to and including sending their sons and daughters to die supporting Ukraine. And ah yes, it’s all about the “free” world, democracy, and the notorious rules-based international system!
Meanwhile one suspects Zelensky will be laughing all the way to the bank as Yellen disappears over the horizon to come up with the cash, as that old expression goes, and he probably already has one of his buddies shopping for a new villa on the French Riviera!
But wait! The story became even more exciting the following week, involving another visit to Kiev by America’s nearly invisible Attorney General Merrick Garland, a man who can literally look Zelensky in the eye as they are both very short.
Garland is generally engaged in chasing “white supremacists” and requiring all new FBI hires to learn all about how to identify and pursue anti-Semites, but he has made two trips to Kiev to meet mano-a-mano with the brave olive drab t-shirt clad warrior who is already being beatified as the 21st century’s Winston Churchill.
Garland was in town to do the other thing that engages his sense of law and order, which is to set up a tribunal to arrest, prosecute and punish Russian war criminals after Ukraine emerges triumphant from its conflict with the unimaginably evil Vladimir Putin. It would be modeled on the Nuremberg Tribunals that tried leading Nazis after WWII, and Garland has cited his family’s escape from the so-called Holocaust to explain why he is intent on personally being involved in delivering what he describes as “justice.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman described Garland’s mission to personally “reaffirm America’s commitment to help hold Russia responsible for war crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor.”
Garland had several meetings with Zelensky and foreign law enforcement officials, including Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, while attending what was billed as the “United for Justice Conference.” Zelensky elaborated that the purpose of the conference was to hold Russia’s leadership accountable for the alleged atrocities carried out by its army.
“The main issue of all these meetings is accountability,” he said.
The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly actively engaged in the gathering of evidence to indict the Russians. During Garland’s first visit to Ukraine in June 2022 he announced the appointment of Eli Rosenbaum, an Office of Special Investigations prosecutor best known for going after former Nazis, to direct American efforts to identify and track Russian war criminals.
Garland laid it on thick, as was expected from someone responsible for prosecuting the rest of the world when it steps out of line. He told his hosts that “Just over twelve months ago, invading Russian forces began committing atrocities at the largest scale in any armed conflict since the Second World War. We are here today in Ukraine to speak clearly, and with one voice: the perpetrators of those crimes will not get away with them. In addition to our work in partnership with Ukraine and the international community, the United States has also opened criminal investigations into war crimes in Ukraine that may violate U.S. law.”
He concluded by throwing out the complete nonsense party line much beloved by Biden and his administration that the U.S. “recognizes that what happens here in Ukraine will have a direct impact on the strength of our own democracy.”
Of course, there is more than a little bit of irony in all this, not to mention top level hypocrisy, as the United States has killed more people directly or indirectly while committing more crimes against humanity dished out in various ways over the past twenty years than any other country, except, predictably, Israel, which currently is committing crimes against humanity on a near daily basis.
Curiously, however, the normally tone-deaf White House and Pentagon seem to understand, on a certain level, that opening up Pandora’s box might not be a good idea when it comes to war crimes.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has refused to share U.S. information on alleged Russian crimes with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The Pentagon is blocking the Biden administration from sharing evidence with the ICC collected by American intelligence agencies regarding Russian activities in Ukraine because helping the court investigate Russians might set a precedent that could help pave the way for it to prosecute Americans. Washington does not recognize the ICC, fearing that it might well seek to examine the sorry record of U.S. military crimes in Asia and Africa. Israel similarly refuses to recognize the court for roughly the same reason.
So here we are, two top level officials from the Biden regime sneak into Kiev to give an arch crook money and unlimited moral support, together with a pledge that more cash and military hardware is on the way while war crimes tribunals await those nasty Russians. And guess what? It is all packaged as being good for America!
This sounds like a song that was sung previously in places like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and it was a tissue of lies then just as it is now.
Yellen should have stayed home to tend to the banking system and should be giving the billions of dollars earmarked for Zelensky back to the American people. If Garland wants to investigate anyone it should be the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, and Congress. And don’t forget the Bidens and Clintons! And then there is the destruction of Nord Stream.
Funny how every time one turns over a rock in and around the U.S. government something really smelly surfaces.
Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.