Talk about a strange end to 2016, and a bizarre way to begin 2017! What am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about charred Greek ambassadors to Brazil, Russians expelled by President Obama in retaliation for the alleged Russian hacking of American elections, rumors of GRU speznaz running interference to protect Donald Trump (yes, you read that correctly!), and a Vladimir Putin who refused to expel American diplomats in response to the recent American expulsion of Russian diplomats. Here are those stories, shared by many readers here over the past few days:
First, the Greek ambassador to Brazil. According to the RT article, Mr. Kyriakos Amiridis went missing on the Monday prior to this past weekend, that is to say, on Monday, Dec. 26th, in Brazil. The details are rather grizzly:
Brazilian police believe a body found inside a burned-out car in Rio de Janeiro is that of Greek Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, according to Globo News. The ambassador went missing on Monday evening.
The car's license plates match those of Amiridis' rental vehicle, according to Globo, which showed pictures of the charred car underneath an overpass in the Nova Iguacu neighborhood where Amiridis went missing.
The 59-year-old ambassador was last seen on Monday evening, after leaving the home of his Brazilian wife's friends in the poor and violent Rio suburb, police said on Thursday.
And this, for now, is being "explained" as a simple crime of violence because the discovery was made near a violent district of Rio de Janeiro:
Rio suffers from a high crime rate, and violent crime is not uncommon. Rio state registered 4,572 homicides through the end of November 2016, representing a 19.7 percent increase from 2015, according to the Public Security Institute.
Possible? Certainly, except in a world where Russian ambassadors are being murdered within a mere three days of US warnings about "retaliations" against Russia for its alleged hacking, I tend to think someone is "cleaning house", and that "wet works" are the order of the day. Suspiciously, the RT article points out that Mr. Amiridis was also the Greek ambassador to Libya from 2012-2016, which might have given Mr. Amiridis some sort of unique insight or understanding of the tragic incidents around the Benghazi "what-difference-does-it-make?" attacks:
Iguacu assumed his post in Brasilia earlier this year, having previously served as Greece's consul-general in Rio from 2001 to 2004. He also served as Greece's ambassador to Libya from 2012 to 2016.
Note the term "Iguacu" here, which may be a misprint in the RT article, since a CBS article reporting on the event states that this is a region in Rio de Janeiro (See: Cops: Greece's ambassador to Brazil believed killed near Rio; wife a suspect).
Of course in the CBS version, the ambassador's wife is a suspect because she allegedly was having an affair with a Brazilian police officer, a fact unmentioned in the RT article. However, on the other foot, the CBS article does mention Mr. Amiridis' appointment to Libya, but unlike the RT article, does not mention when Mr. Amiridis was there.
In short, my suspicion meter is registering in the orange-to-red zone on this one due to that Libya connection and its rather obvious set of implications.
Then we have the strange speculations from the Saker regarding GRU speznaz running interference on potential threats to Mr. Trump. This one grabbed my attention simply because the Saker's website is, in my estimation, one of the few websites out there that gets what has been going on in Russia vis-a-vis the post-Soviet struggle between the "Atlanticists" in Russia, i.e., the globaloney crowd, and the more "nationalist" pro-Russian culture and sovereignty faction represented by Mr. Putin and his close advisors. This speculation is so strange it's worth pondering in some detail. According to the speculation in the first speznaz article, we have the following stated in the original interview with the Saker:
Originally the main operational concept of the Special Forces was to execute our missions on the territory of the enemy. Now there are domestic Spetsnaz and all sorts of various Spetsnaz delegations that were not trained for foreign incursions like the original GRU Spetsnaz.
When we were trained all GRU Spetsnaz were educated in one or more several key languages – Farsi, Mandarin, English, Arabic, French. Now they learn a greater variety of languages. For example during the Afghan War our Spetsnaz were fluent in various local dialects and after this experience this practice was expanded.
This leads to the following speculation, based upon an alleged relationship between various private western security firms and the speznaz units:
If these special operators are indeed fluent in English, and can be embedded in any private security companies duly registered in the US, then it wouldn’t be too farfetched indeed if seven security private companies are now reportedly guarding the incoming US president, some if not all of which are compose of 370 elite troops from Russia, among others.
Said Russian Special Forces were flown in through the Monarch Air Group by the privately owned security firm, RSB-Group, in coordination with a Delaware registered company.
The detail of this relationship is then provided:
In March 2012 Russian PMS RSB-Group has signed an exclusive dealer agreement with a large corporation ULTRA ELECTRONICS USSI for an exclusive supplying and realization of special acoustic hailing devices of non-lethal action HyperSpike; according to the agreement we can for a dealer network all over former USSR countries and in Sri Lanka. Company ULTRA ELECTRONICS USSI stands as a largest producer of special equipment supplying the goods to the Ministry of Defense of USA, USA coastal guard’s offices, SWAT special task forces, customs and boarder control offices of USA and Royal fleet of Great Britain, and also to the French army.
So the bottom line is, could Russian special forces possibly be running interference and providing security to the President-elect? Answer, yes. Would Mr Trump know about it? Answer, possibly yes, and possibly no. The "no" answer is more likely, since it would give him that all-important "plausible deniability". Would the Russians do such a thing? In my high octane speculative opinion, the answer is not only yes, but it is far more likely they would do that, than attempt to hack American elections (which in any case, as the McAfee article points out, they wouldn't have done in such a clumsy fashion). The reason they would be more likely to do so? Trump, for Russia, represents at worst a question mark, and at best a potential change in policy to Russia from the anti-Russia hysteria and baiting we've seen for the past eight years. His nomination of Tillerson to the State Department is a strong suggestion that Mr. Trump wants to move away from these confrontational policies to a more positive and practical working relationship. After all, Mr. Tillerson is rumored to be, if not a close friend of Mr. Putin, then at least friendly toward him.
Then we have the expulsion of Russian diplomats by Mr. Obama, and Mr. Putin's refusal to do the same. For the record, I have no doubt Russian "diplomats" have been spying. This is par for the course and not unusual. All embassies of everyone everywhere conduct espionage activities. Therefore, in all likelihood the FBI had these people under surveillance for a long time. Mr. Obama simply chose the moment most condign to suit a political agenda, which is to be expected also. What is unusual about all this is Mr. Putin's response: he's not expelling anybody, and that's a signal that that he knows, or at least expects, a rather dramatic change of course in the near future (say, around Jan. 20th this year).
So what does all this add up to? What's my high octane speculation of the day (and perhaps, for the next few years) here? As I pointed out in my last News and Views from the Nefarium of Dec. 29, 2016, I suspect what we're seeing are little signs, perhaps, of a full scale international "mafia war" being waged by the globaloney-neo-con factions within each country, and the more "nationalist multi-polar" factions within each. This is a new kind of covert war, in which formerly "safe" targets - such as ambassadors, and ultimately military and intelligence figures - are now fair game. There are two patterns here, I suspect. One is the pattern of "house-cleaning", of tying up nasty loose ends from the reign of the globaloney crowd - in this case perhaps represented by the unfortunate Mr. Amiridis and his Libya connection - and the other is the warfare between these interests. As I suggested in last week's News and Views, this warfare could eventually see the leaders of these various factions themselves targeted. While speculation in various free and independent news outlets, and even from time to time in the corporate controlled media propaganda organs, have concentrated on the possibilities of assassination attempts against leaders such as Mr. Putin, or the new President-elect; if this high octane speculation and reading of the situation is correct, then other types of leaders are themselves now "fair game," the leaders of foundations with suspicious connections to various intelligence agencies, NGOs (non-government organizations), and with a track record of ideological support for globaloney and all its offshoots, are now also fair game. In short, for now, the new "Mafia War" appears to be confined to sniping at lower levels. But eventually, this will work its way up to the capos themselves.
But I suspect that the new covert war won't be confined to "wet works," and that those will constitute a small portion, not even the most important portion, of this new Mafia War. Cyber-warfare and information releases will continue to constitute a large part of it, but I strongly suspect that this will come in the form of directed attacks against certain institutions representative for each side of the opposing ideology; for example, one might expect to see targeted attacks on various foundations, NGOs, and groups - such as the alleged recent Anonymous attack on the Bilderberger group's website - only with much more teeth.
Time of course, will tell, and this may also be another case of "you tell me."
See you on the flip side...