More to ignore, Book 95....

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Trump demands that DOJ prove documents stamped TOP SECRET were really classified

Mark Sumner

Until Tuesday, Donald Trump had been making a lot of public claims about having declassified documents, but he had never made that claim in court. In fact, as recently as Monday evening, Trump’s attorney in the “special master” proceeding argued that this wasn’t something that needed to be discussed. That’s no longer true.

Because in a filing that arrived at the last possible moment on Tuesday, another Trump attorney responded to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals with a series of extraordinary claims. First, there’s an insistence that, no matter what it may say on the cover sheet, these documents belong to Trump: “President Trump has a cognizable interest in his own Presidential records—irrespective of alleged classification markings.” The filing also claims that if Trump made notes on a classified document, those notes could “certainly contain privileged information” that privileges the entire document, which is a patently ridiculous idea for a number of reasons.

But the most amazing statement—and the one likely to be at the heart of every motion going forward—is this: “The government has not proven the documents are classified. The Government again presupposes that the documents it claims are classified are, in fact, classified and their segregation is inviolable. However, the government has not yet proven this critical fact. The President has broad authority governing classification of, and access to, classified documents.”
.........
The first two claims made in this document—that Trump has an ownership interest in the documents, and that anything he touched may have gained some form of privilege—are exactly the issues dealt with by the Presidential Records Act. They’re why even non-classified documents related to Trump’s actions in office are subject to collection by the National Archives. What the attorney is hitting here is just the issue that Act addresses.

But those seem like footnotes (in fact, the privilege through scribbled notes claim is made in a footnote) to the big deal: Trump’s attorney is claiming that the documents—including highly compartmentalized information that threatens human intelligence sources—aren’t actually proven to be classified just because they are stamped as classified, attached to cover sheets identifying them as classified, and nested inside folders indicating that they are classified. However, he doesn’t seem to allege that someone forged all these components and slipped them into the boxes of documents Trump hauled away to Mar-a-Lago. Instead, he cites the president’s “broad authority governing classification of, and access to, classified documents” (and references, rather inexplicably, a case about whether or not the Merit Systems Protection Board is allowed to intervene when someone’s security clearance is pulled, which is several degrees removed from this situation).

It’s absolutely true that the president has broad discretion over who is allowed to access classified documents, but there are two big things wrong with that part of the argument. First, Trump is not the president. He holds no office, and has absolutely no say over who can or cannot view classified information. Second, this has nothing to do with the claim being made here, which is that the government hasn’t proven the documents are classified.

That argument is such a pathetic reach that it should be smacked down with a sledgehammer. What Trump’s attorney is trying to do here is argue that the Department of Justice has to prove that the documents are still classified, rather than Trump providing any evidence that they are not classified. He might as well have said the government has to prove the sky is blue. It’s that bad.

In the whole document, Trump’s attorney—Christopher Kise, in this case—is making the argument that Trump can argue classification against the executive branch. Which, unless Kise is prepared to go the next Q-step and simply claim Donald Trump has been Secret President all along, should be an absolute non-starter.

Just know that Trump is trying to have his cake (documents may not be classified) and eat it too (I never actually said I declassified them). There’s pounding the facts, pounding the law, and pounding the table. But this is just pounding sand. It’s a meaningless attempt to erect a roadblock that ought to be over in one second.

But then, over half the judges on the 11th Circuit were appointed by Trump. Maybe they’re inclined to hold Trump’s tiny hand and give him multiple tries, as Aileen Cannon did at the district level. Maybe they’ll make the DOJ explain the origins of the word “classified” and the origins of the Phoenician alphabet. It’s hard to know at this point.

Because this point is already ridiculous.
 
Last edited:

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Trump got the special master he wanted, but he's finding that Judge Dearie isn't what he expected

Mark Sumner

Now that he has the “special master” he requested to deal with the documents he hoarded at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump is already finding reasons to object to the process. Specifically, Trump’s legal team is refusing to talk about whether, or how, Trump actually tried to declassify any of the documents by claiming it would harm their “defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.”

In other words, they’re saying that if they reveal that Trump didn’t declassify any documents, that could subject him to legal action for stealing and holding highly classified information. Which he did. And if Trump claims he did declassify documents, then he’ll have to prove that in court, and also be subject to possible charges over failure to follow the law regarding declassification. Plus, there’s the whole perjury issue—and the issue of Trump obstructing an investigation—that comes with lying about the whole thing.

On top of this, the special master wants this whole thing wrapped up quickly. Trump objects, because that’s the last thing he wants. And finally, the special master wants to know something that’s been bothering everyone: Why is this thing in front of him instead of being dealt with by the court that issued the search warrant in the first place?
........
In response to the ridiculous ruling by Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon, former district court Judge Raymond Dearie has been made “special master” over the documents removed from Mar-a-Lago during an FBI search, including over 11,000 documents that could fall under the regulations of the Presidential Records Act.

Dearie’s job is straightforward enough: He is to determine which, if any, of these documents might be subject to some form of protective privilege. In most special master cases, that privilege is limited to attorney-client privilege. In fact, it’s very difficult to find another special master case that doesn’t involve a search of an attorney’s office and the need to protect clients not involved in the actual crimes being investigated (so difficult that it may be impossible). But Dearie has also been charged with making evaluations related to executive privilege.

On Friday, Dearie issued an order to both the Justice Department and Donald Trump’s legal team instructing them to submit a proposed agenda for a preliminary conference to be held on Tuesday. On Monday morning the government sent in its response, which set out a simple proposal for the meeting. Perhaps the most notable part of the government’s response was a proposal that the documents all be scanned and hosted in a secure server visible to both parties, which would maintain the Department of Justice’s access to the documents—something not specifically provided by Cannon’s order, which would have left the documents completely out of the government’s reach for the duration of this process.

But the other interesting point in the government’s response was that it mentioned Dearie had already proposed an overall plan for dealing with the documents and a timetable for completion. That timetable apparently calls for everything to be wrapped up neatly by Oct. 7, rather than the Nov. 30 (i.e., well after Election Day) deadline that Cannon set in her proceedings.

On Monday evening, Trump’s law firm provided its own response (classily sent on letterhead paper declaring “hands-on counsel, gloves off litigation”). That response more acknowledges that this isn’t the time or place to object to Dearie’s proposed plan … then it objects to everything about Dearie’s proposed plan. The first thing it asks is that all the deadlines be extended, and that everyone take a break for a couple of weeks, just to make sure that new schedule is long enough. Trump’s team wants two weeks just to evaluate 64 documents. Dearie, who has been special master in other cases, knows this is ridiculous. His schedule expects to move through hundreds of documents a day.

Then the subject flips to a complaint that Dearie wants Trump’s team to state whether or not he has actually declassified any documents. They don’t want to do that. Because if they do it means Dearie will have made Trump give up “a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.”

In other words, they don’t want to say whether, or how, Trump declassified any material. Because it leaves him open to charges.

However, no matter how Trump’s team may claim Dearie has no reason to ask this, it’s clearly at the heart of his role as special master. After all, in her stay of the government’s request for continued access to the documents for use in criminal proceedings, Cannon wrote that she was denying the government specifically because the government request was based on two claims: that Trump had classified documents, and that he had no claim of privilege over those documents. Cannon stated that she wasn’t willing to accept the government claims without “further review by a Special Master.”

And that’s exactly what Dearie is now trying to do: determine how Trump could have any plausible claim of privilege to classified documents, including such highly classified documents as nuclear secrets of a foreign nation. It’s natural that the first thing Dearie wants to discuss is Trump’s repeated public declaration that he declassified these documents.

There’s one other section in the letter from Trump’s attorney that is pretty extraordinary, even if it does seem esoteric on the surface.

… While the Plaintiff is, of course, willing to brief anything ordered by the Court under the auspices of the Special Master, we are concerned that the Draft Plan directs the Plaintiff to address whether Rule 41(g) litigation should be litigated under Case No. 9:22-MJ-08332-BER. The Plaintiff respectfully sees no indication the District Court planned to carve out related litigation for a merits determination by the issuing magistrate for the warrant in question.

In other words, Dearie asked Trump’s team to justify why all of this hadn’t been the subject of the court of Judge Bruce Reinhart, who not only signed the search warrant, but already bent over backwards in attempts to address issues about transparency. Why, Dearie wanted to know, are you asking a special master to deal with issues that should have been handled in Reinhart’s court?

It’s a very good question. Trump’s team doesn’t want to answer.

There’s one other big thing to note concerning the reply by Trump’s attorneys: Threats. Almost every paragraph of the reply drops Cannon’s name or makes reference to how Trump’s team doesn’t believe that what Dearie is asking for fits with what Cannon wanted.

On the timeline, “we provide below an informal ‘grid’ of party obligations under Judge Cannon’s order and possible deadlines” that stretches everything to the last possible date. On asking why Trump’s team went court shopping, “none of the District Court’s Orders have ever indicated that this was even a consideration.” And on asking Trump about declassification, there’s a closing note that Dearie would be getting this “without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order.”

Dearie was Trump’s pick for special master. The reason Trump’s team put Dearie on the list of possible special masters is simply because Dearie was on the FISA court when the warrant for Carter Page was issued, and Trump assumes that Dearie would be as angry as he is about subsequent issues that have surfaced with information leading to those warrants.

In short: Trump picked Dearie because Trump assumed Dearie would also be angry at the FBI and ready for revenge.

Cannon picked Dearie because Trump picked Dearie. But Cannon’s order also made it clear that she could fire Dearie at any point, and without cause, if it turned out he didn’t suit Trump’s purpose.

The Special Master shall be discharged or replaced only upon order of this Court. The Court reserves the right to remove the Special Master.

Trump’s team is making none-too-subtle reference to this line every time they reply to Dearie with a claim that he’s asking for something that “the District Court” didn’t require. They want Dearie to toe the line or know that they’ll ask Cannon for him to be canned.

Based on everything that’s happened so far, there’s a good chance Dearie won’t be there to see this thing to the end. Which will generate more delays. Which is exactly what Trump wants.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

House releases bipartisan election bill, gives Senate GOP chance to put up or shut up on passing fix

Joan McCarter

The House is moving fast on new legislation introduced by Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California to prevent stolen presidential elections. The two unveiled their bill Monday after writing a joint op-ed in The Wall Street Journal announcing the legislation that was informed by their work on the Jan. 6 committee. Their Presidential Election Reform Act is one of a handful of proposals introduced to reform the 135-year-old Electoral Count Act, but the only one that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports. It could get a vote as soon as Wednesday.

Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill are pissed about it. House Republican leadership is going to whip against it—they’re not going to stand in Trump’s way if he tries this again. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is one of the members working a long-delayed bipartisan Senate version of the bill, the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Act. He’s upset that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hasn’t scheduled a vote on their bill, which is set to be considered by the Rules Committee next week. “His delay has now led to a setting where the House is apparently proposing their own bill … and makes it more difficult to actually do something on a bipartisan basis,” he complained Tuesday. “They really should have taken our bill.” How dare the House have the temerity to legislate on their own.

The House bill is stronger than the Senate bill in a few ways, but not in any way that should prevent Senate Republicans, who say they want to fix an old bad law and prevent another Jan. 6, from supporting it.
......
Both bills make clear that the vice president’s role in counting electoral votes is limited, declaring it “ministerial,” or simply ceremonial and with no power to reject votes. That’s already spelled out in the 12th Amendment, but reiterating it in this statute eliminates any question.

As the law now stands, it takes just one House member and one senator to raise an objection to a state’s election results during the joint session certifying the presidential vote, and the objection has to be considered. The Senate bill raises the threshold to one-fifth of the House and the Senate respectively that have to agree to hear the objection. The House bill makes it even stricter, requiring approval from one-third of each chamber to move forward on an objection.

Cheney and Lofgren explain that they also narrow the grounds for any objections to “to the explicit constitutional requirements for candidate and elector eligibility and the 12th Amendment’s explicit requirements for elector balloting.”

The insurrectionist members of Congress planned to object to the results from a number of swing states in the Jan. 6, 2021 joint session. After the violent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters interrupted the proceedings when members had to flee, they came back and still objected to the certification from two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both bills would try to shut that down in the future with these limits.

Both bills also address what comes before that congressional certification, setting deadlines for states’ governors to submit the electoral votes from their states. If the governors fail to meet the deadline, or if they send wrong or falsified votes, the candidate harmed can file suit. The House goes one better than the Senate bill, allowing the candidate to get a federal court order to compel a governor to submit the electors if they miss a deadline. If the governor refuses again, then the court can appoint an alternate state official to do the job.

The House is also more specific in addressing the “failed elections” provision in the old law. It says that states can appoint electors after Election Day if an actual count of votes can’t be completed, if the election has “failed.” Trump supporters tried to use that provision by filing scads of lawsuits, apparently in an attempt to slow down certification timelines in states to force a “failed” election. The Senate legislation strikes out that part of the law because it was undefined, but allows for an election extension in a “genuine catastrophic event.”

The House bill specifies that a “catastrophic event” is defined as a natural disaster and a federal judge must approve of the deadline extension. It also limits the extensions to the immediate geographic area that is affected for as short a duration as possible, setting a limit to the extension to five days after Election Day.

The House also did this, an effort to Trump-proof the nation’s future (and arguably rule out any of the members who the Jan. 6 committee or the Justice Department find helped plan the insurrection, and maybe even the 147 members who still voted to overturn the election after the attack).



“Our proposal is intended to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Lofgren and Cheney wrote in their op-ed. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the House and the Senate toward this goal.”

The Senate is being a little less gracious about it. “I much prefer our bill, which is the product of months of study, input from constitutional and election experts, and is a bill that has garnered widespread bipartisan support,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who was put in charge of dragging this bill out with bipartisan games, told The Washington Post. “I believe that we can work this out, and I hope that we both do so.”

Never mind that the House bill is bipartisan (Cheney is still a Republican) and is the result of hours and hours of examination of what actually happened on Jan. 6 and everything that led up to it. And that in that process, the committee members consulted plenty of constitutional and elections experts, too.

The bills aren’t at odds. The House bill is stronger, but there’s nothing in it any senator—even a Republican—should object to, since they all took that oath office to protect the Constitution. It’s just a little sharper about keeping one specific person from ever gaining the highest office in the land again, which most Republican senators in their heart of hearts would like to do.

The House should pass their bill. The Senate can pass its bill—there’s no reason for them not to go to a conference committee and be reconciled and passed. It can happen in the lame-duck session after this midterm election.

Then they need to tackle the larger problem of our elections: protecting voting rights from a Supreme Court that is hostile to them by restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act (and expanding the court!).

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Fox's Bret Baier begged his network to rescind its accurate Arizona call on election night 2020

Aldous J Pennyfarthing

On the evening of Nov. 3, 2020, Donald Trump was attempting the grift of a lifetime. He wanted to take advantage of the red mirage he’d heard about—and which all election experts predicted—to prematurely claim victory. Presumably having studied the 2000 election—and understanding that George W. Bush seized the inside track to the presidency after his cousin called Florida for the Republican, prompting CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC to quickly follow suit—Trump wanted to establish a presumption of victory.

Of course, all that went out the window when Fox News called Arizona, a traditionally Republican stronghold, for Joe Biden. And that’s when Donald Trump’s rectum prolapsed so suddenly it shattered every window in a 14-block radius.

You could see it in his face and hear it in his voice as he feebly attempted to declare his ersatz triumph: “We were getting ready to win this election; frankly, we did win this election,” he whined. And just like that, the Big Lie was born.

That’s why everyone in the Trump camp was so angry about Fox’s call: They were channeling Pol Pot Pie’s incandescent rage.
..........

Well, now we’re discovering the extent to which the propaganda arm of Fox News, which treats the hard news side like a vestigial twin it’s perpetually on the verge of drowning in a foot bath, was alarmed by its Decision Desk’s ultimately correct call.

According to Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s new book The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, Baier was freaking out about the call because he knew Trump’s pantaloons were in a bunch over it.

According to the book, on the night of the election, Baier wrote a hair-on-fire email to Fox President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace about the Fox Decision Desk call: “The Trump campaign was really pissed,” the email read. “This situation is getting uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. I keep having to defend this on air.”

Meanwhile, in a moment eerily reminiscent of the Helsinki Surrender Summit, Baier decided to give the benefit of the doubt to the biggest liar in the Western Hemisphere instead of trusting his own colleagues.

Business Insider:

The authors wrote that journalists on the Decision Desk thought there was "no serious question about Arizona," but Baier, in his email, accused them of "'holding on for pride,'" the book says.
"’It's hurting us,'" he wrote, according to the book. "'The sooner we pull it — even if it gives us major egg — and we put it back in his column the better we are in my opinion.'"
The authors called the statement "stunning," given that Arizona was never in the Trump column, even if his margin of defeat in the state narrowed just after the election. "The leading news anchor for Fox was pushing not just to say Arizona was too close to call but to pretend that the president had won it," they wrote.

According to Glasser and Baker, Wallace balked at rescinding the Arizona call, but he did later refuse to let the Decision Desk call Nevada for Biden after the other networks had already done so. The reason? He “did not want Fox to be the first to call the election and declare Biden president-elect,” the authors note.

What a difference eight years makes. In 2012, when America’s top intestinal parasite, Karl Rove, freaked out over Fox’s call for Obama in Ohio, he was left alone to froth at the mouth, and mathematics ultimately triumphed. But when Trump tried to run his grift, he apparently had plenty of takers in the newsroom.

Then again, maybe Baier could have spared some spittle if he’d simply read this revealing Axios story from two nights before the election:

President Trump has told confidants he'll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he's "ahead," according to three sources familiar with his private comments. That's even if the Electoral College outcome still hinges on large numbers of uncounted votes in key states like Pennsylvania.
[...]
Behind the scenes:
Trump has privately talked through this scenario in some detail in the last few weeks, describing plans to walk up to a podium on election night and declare he has won.

  • For this to happen, his allies expect he would need to either win or have commanding leads in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia.

Oh, gee. You mean the thing Trump talked about doing for weeks is the thing he actually ended up doing? And we’re still supposed to think the election was stolen from him?

Hey, if you believe that, I’ve got approximately 100 highly classified U.S. government documents to sell you.

 
  • Haha
Reactions: tgar

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1


VOTER.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Ukraine update: As Russia prepares to force 'referendums' in occupied areas, Putin is a no-show

Mark Sumner

It’s been hard to locate any reasonable military response for Russia at this point in its failed invasion of Ukraine. Because there isn’t one. So Moscow is now scrambling for the means to justify even more attacks on civilian infrastructure—and civilians—and it thinks it has that plan in the form of a series of “referendums” to be carried out in occupied areas of Ukraine over the next week.

In the so-called people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as in areas like Mariupol and Kherson, Russia is going to hold a vote. Not a vote on the kind of pseudo-independence that was the formal position of the areas it has occupied since 2014, but a vote that would make these areas “part of Russia.” Russia won’t be doing this in Crimea, because it already did so in the midst of its 2014 invasion, where they found an astounding 97% of the population super enthusiastic about joining Russia. That referendum took place less than three weeks after Russian tanks rolled across the border.

Russia has waited longer this time, but it now seems to be going down the same track. Russian Telegram channels report that in occupied areas of Zaporizhzhia, officials will go door to door “inviting” residents to cast their votes. Which is the kind of practice that might easily result in an overwhelming result of “please don’t kill my family.”

All of this has the obvious goal of allowing Russia to claim that Kherson, much of coastal Ukraine, and large portions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts joined with Russia voluntarily. And then, being part of Russia, can be defended in the same way that the Kremlin would deal with a threat against Moscow or St. Petersburg, including the threatened use of tactical nuclear weapons.

It also opens the possibility of a “mobilization”—a sort of large-scale national draft which, under current Russian law, isn’t allowed unless there is an attack inside Russian territory. The referendums could give Vladimir Putin a checkbox so that the next bullet that landed in Lyman or Lysychansk was an excuse to pull the mobilization lever.

Likewise, the conscript soldiers who are forced to do required military duty in Russia are (supposedly) restricted from serving out of country. Earlier, there were many examples of making these people serve in Ukraine no matter what the law says, often by tricking or forcing them into signing a contract. The referendums could be used to remove that technical restraint from the occupied areas.

..........
On Tuesday morning, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to speak later in the day, and that he might institute some form of mobilization. Putin’s speech was described by Russian sources as “the biggest speech since the beginning of the special operations.”

The threat of mobilization was enough to drive prices of airline tickets from Moscow to anywhere through the roof, and create a spike in Google searches on “how to escape Russia.” Rumors circulating in social media suggested that, as of Tuesday evening in Moscow, men of military age would not be allowed to leave the country.

Mostly what the world did on Tuesday was … wait. Because Putin was over an hour late in beginning his speech, which was especially odd because the speech was supposedly pre-recorded. Perhaps Putin has defenestrated everyone in the AV Club.




As of this writing (3:20 PM ET), it is now after 10 PM in Moscow. Putin has missed his announced time for the speech by over two hours. There have been unconfirmed reports that Putin’s speech has been delayed until Wednesday. Or maybe it was Putin who stood too close to a window. Hard to tell.

That this speech, which was hyped repeatedly on Monday and early Tuesday as “the most important speech since the start of the special military operation,” has now been delayed surely means something. We just have no idea what that something might be. Is Putin getting pushback from inside military circles? Are his own oligarchs in revolt? Is whatever health problem that has caused his face to look like an overinflated balloon acting up?

................
An actual press attaché for the Kremlin is now posting: “The third world war has been moved to tomorrow, you can go to bed. See you tomorrow in the same place.” We assume that’s Russia’s idea of a joke. Maybe.

Putin’s speech appeared to be intrinsically tied to the announcements of the referendums. Have those also been delayed or changed in some way? Is Putin going to use this moment to raise the stakes and once again rattle a nuclear saber?

Chaos. That’s what this is.

Meanwhile, the European Union is considering a new round of sanctions against Russia in response to the referendum plan. After all, this is nothing short of annexation, and halting annexation is one of the principal reasons both the U.N. and E.U. exist.

There’s been a general assumption that Putin means to create some kind of mobilization which would allow Russia to flood Ukraine with new workers who, even without training, can take over the away-from-the-frontline positions, allowing soldiers to advance to the front. That presupposes that the incoming conscripts can do those away-from-the-front jobs, and that those who are moving to the front are capable of fighting. Neither of which is a good bet.

Russians seem to love cheering on Putin’s invasion … from a distance. It’s far from a sure thing to think they’ll peacefully shuffle out of Moscow to die in Kharkiv.

And the guys trying to organize this invasion couldn’t organize a speech.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens in an escalation of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine more than six months after its invasion began.

“In order to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff to conduct partial mobilization in the Russian Federation,” Putin said in a highly anticipated speech to the nation Wednesday.

Efforts to begin partial mobilization will begin on Wednesday and the decree was already signed, Putin said.

The mobilization would mean citizens who are in the reserve and those with military experience would be subject to conscription, he added.

Putin framed the fighting as part of a larger struggle for Russian survival against a West whose goal is it is to “weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country.”

“They are already saying directly that they were able to split the Soviet Union in 1991 and now the time has come for Russia to break up into a multitude of regions and areas which are fatally hostile to each other.”

The announcement comes as Russia is believed to face shortages of manpower and follows amendments to Russia’s law on military service made Tuesday, which raise the penalties for resistance related to military service or coercion to violate an official military order during a period of mobilization or martial law.

Putin’s speech also comes on the heels of announcements from multiple Kremlin-backed authorities in occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine that they will hold referendums on formally joining Russia this week, in a move that threatens to redefine the parameters of the conflict.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

Ukraine update: Putin calls for 'partial mobilization' of up to 300,000 reservists

Mark Sumner

On Wednesday morning, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin finally gave his delayed speech announcing a “partial mobilization” of Russian forces. Putin insisted that this would affect “only military reservists, primarily those who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience” and promised that college students would not be called up — though the new law working its way through the Duma allows for precisely that.

After standing up the nation on Tuesday evening, Putin finally popped up on Moscow TV Wednesday morning to deliver his promised “most important speech since the beginning of the special military operation.” In this speech [warning: link to official Kremlin site], Putin said this mobilization would be immediate, “starting on September 21.”

When Putin failed to show up for his scheduled speech on Tuesday, the initial word was that he intended to speak for over 3 hours on Wednesday morning, with Russian media carving out a big block of time. But in reality, the speech lasted just over ten minutes. Most of that time was devoted to simply lying about the invasion for the hometown crowd, blaming the invasion he initiated on NATO and “international terrorists.” Putin also claimed that Russia had no choice in invading because Ukraine, which notably gave up the hundreds of nuclear weapons that were on its soil when the Soviet Union collapsed, was “publicly seeking” such weapons.

Putin declared that, “The main goal of this operation, which is to liberate the whole of Donbass, remains unaltered.” Demilitarization seems to have vanished from the Kremlin vocabulary, though “Nazi” is still definitely present. In fact, Putin used the term at least once per minute, while blaming the atrocities that have taken place in Ukraine—including those just being discovered in liberated Kharkiv—on “the Neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.”

When it came to the war itself, Putin seemed to acknowledge that progress had been slow. As an excuse, he said that Ukraine had created very difficult defensive lines, backed by western weapons, and that Russian forces were fighting not just “against neo-Nazi units but actually the entire military machine of the collective West.” Because of that, said Putin, Russia’s slow motion movement was a feature, not a bug. According to Putin, “A head-on attack against them would have led to heavy losses...” And he would certainly know.

When it came to the sham referendums, Putin declared that Russia “ will support the choice of future made by the majority of people in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions,” but didn’t specify what form that support would take before sliding back into a finale in which he blamed the West for “encouraging shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” and raising the threat of nuclear weapons. Followed by a threat that Russia would use nuclear weapons.

After Putin’s brief speech, it actually fell to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to fill in all the blanks. According to Shoigu, 300,000 people would be subject to the mobilization. Bizarrely, Shoigu said this while claiming that Russia has lost less than 6,000 soldiers while killing “half the Ukrainian military” or “over 100,000.” In fact, according to Shoigu, the whole Kharkiv counteroffensive has been a great success for Russia, as they have “killed more Ukrainians in the last three weeks” than Russia has lost in the whole war. (Bonus: Shoigu says Russia destroyed 208 Ukrainian tanks and 970 other vehicles during the Kharkiv advance. So big Russian win.)

So … Russia has lost fewer than 6,000. Has killed 100,000. Killed 7,000 Ukrainians in the last three weeks. And is now calling up 300,000 to fight the half of the Ukrainian military that remains? It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s Russia.

.......
Those who are mobilized will be treated as “contract soldiers” rather than conscripts, meaning they can be sent outside of Russia into combat regions. When it comes to contract soldiers, many of whom have contracts only for a few months, all of those contracts have been extended “indefinitely.”

It seems that everyone in the Russian army, and everyone called to the army, is now serving an infinite term. But wait, it gets better. The Duma has recently passed a series of new penalties for desertion, for disobeying an order, and for damaging military equipment. All come with hefty prison sentences. All of which helps to explain why airline tickets from Moscow to anywhere are now sold out. And why the biggest spike in Google searches in Russia is how to break a hand, or arm, or anything that would get someone out of service, at least for a few weeks.

It also fell to Shoigu to make it clear “following the referendum” Russia would consider the areas involved to be part of the “territory of Russia.” It’s amazing that Shoigu apparently knows the outcome of referendums that haven’t been held. However, the reason for making this statement is because Russian law allows for mobilization in case of invasion of Russian territory.

Combined with a portion of Putin’s speech in which he said, “The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be ensured—I emphasize this again—with all the means at our disposal,” this certainly seems to be a threat that attacking any of the referendum areas would be possibly met with a nuclear response. Which is actually
not what Russian law allows. Other than in response to a first strike, Russian law only allows use of nuclear weapons if the existence of the Russian state is under threat.

But again, Putin and Shoigu get to interpret this stuff as they want. That’s the benefit of being a dictator.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink summed up the response of both the U.S. and the world to Putin’s speech and Shoigu’s bluster.



Tankies on Twitter and pro-Russian channels on Telegram are bubbling over with a lot of “oh, boy, you guys are in for it now. Just you wait.” As they are all seemingly convinced that Russia kept all the super soldier back home.

Meanwhile, everyone else points out that Russia’s logistical nightmare won’t be solved by adding more people. Russia’s increasing shortage of modern weapons won’t be solved by Putin waggling his finger at factories and telling them to make more, when they don’t have access to microprocessors and other necessary components. And perhaps most of all, Russia’s top-down, 1950s-era tactics won’t be made better just by throwing in more people.

How long it will take before any of those called up today actually arrive in Ukraine is unclear. But there are reports that military officers are already walking the streets in some towns—though not, of course, in Moscow—with “warrants” for reservists who are being shipped away today.

While we wait for what’s next, here’s a thread of Russian reservists saying they’ll either refuse to fight, or shoot their officers, if sent into Ukraine. Here you go, tankies, these are the guys who are going to save your Russian army.



“I'm not going to fight, f**k you. Not only will I immediately give up, I will show you the way to the Kremlin.”

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
109,004
18,691
1

After weeks of battlefield setbacks in Ukraine, Moscow appears to have buckled under pressure and plowed ahead with a new phase in the war: urgent “referendums” to annex stolen Ukrainian land and harsh prison terms for defiant troops. ✂️

While the move is widely seen as a way for the Kremlin to shore up troops, it was almost immediately met with panicked calls for Russian troops to ditch the war now before it’s too late.

“We call on Russian service members at military bases and on the front to refuse participation in the ‘special operation’ or surrender as soon as possible. This is most likely your last chance—and you need to use it in the next day,” the anti-war movement Vesna wrote in an open letter. A dozen other anti-war groups also are said to have signed on to the appeal......


 

Latest posts