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Rohrabacher Ridicules Testimony on Russian ‘Threat’ to Estonia

March 10, 2017 (EIRNS)—Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a realist who fights against the demonization of Russia and those who want to work with it, intervened in a March 9 hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on "Russian Disinformation," which had recruited former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2006-2016) to testify on Russia’s aggression toward bordering Estonia. A.J. Vicens of Mother Jones reported on the hearing.

Former President Ilves testified,

"In September 2014, Russian security service agents crossed the border and kidnapped and detained Eston Kohver, an agent with Estonia’s equivalent of the FBI. The Russian government accused Kohver of being a spy and sentenced him to 15 years in prison."

In Rep. Rohrabacher’s turn to question Ilves, he attacked the U.S. establishment’s demonization of Russia and Trump’s alleged dealings with Russia, as "absurd," declaring, "In order to get Russia, we are now destabilizing our own democratic system here with that kind of nonsense."

Rohrabacher asked Ilves to provide examples of Russian military aggression. Ilves referred to a border incident, which Rohrabacher dismissed:

"So you had a situation of corruption at the border—one of your border guards disappeared. I mean, military aggression? Has there been any cross-border, at all, military action on the part of the Russians in Estonia?"

Ilves replied, "Well, we have constant violations of our border by military jets. That’s one thing, and that’s consistent," he said, claiming these incidents have "massively increased in the last four years."

Rohrabacher replied that he had visited the Baltic states after hearing stories of Russian military aggression, and found "not one report of actual military aggression." He added that the United States has sent

"our tanks up there, having B-52 mock raids on Russia, over Estonia, toward the Soviet capital, in the name of stopping Soviet military aggression that never existed. This has got to stop or we’re going to end up in war."

Rohrabacher continued,

"[Russia is] being run by tough guys: sort of like Mayor Daley, in Chicago, is transported to Russia. Daley beat demonstrators up and did not represent anything that America was all about, but he was not some vicious dictator. He had been elected by his people and we would try to unelect him as well."

"Do you remember the Phoenix Program in Vietnam? I remember the Phoenix Program. I supported the Phoenix Program. We murdered hundreds of local officials. How about Allende? How about Diem? How about any number of people during the Cold War that we assassinated? That’s wrong; it’s wrong to do that, but please do not say that Russia is the only country that commits these kinds of crimes."

He added, "What’s happening in Russia, of course, is you have a country watching out for its national interest."