Executive Intelligence Review


Media Blackout of Four U.S. Senators’ Call for START Talks

March 12, 2018 (EIRNS)—Four leading U.S. Democratic Senators sent a letter to the State Department March 8, calling for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to begin arms control talks with Russia. They are Ed Markey (MA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Dianne Feinstein (CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). While listing their customary charges against Moscow, they cite the seriousness of President Vladimir Putin’s March 1 speech, in which he detailed the country’s new weaponry. Russian media and officials have taken note of this overture, but U.S. major media have blacked it out.

The U.S. blackout was blasted in ConsortiumNews on March 10, which published the Senators’ letter in full, and further coverage in an article by Ray McGovern, a veteran intelligence analyst, and Gilbert Doctorow, a European-based political analyst. The two called the Senators’ initiative, a “genuine man bites dog” story (an unusual event that the media would leap to report), and the authors highlight that two of the signers—Feinstein and Sanders—had been, until now, “vociferous promoters” of the Russiagate lie and the Mueller probe.

Yet now, “They are openly calling upon the Secretary of State to send U.S. personnel to negotiate with Putin’s minions over our survival on this planet.” McGovern and Doctorow comment,

“Wittingly or not, the Gang of Four (Senators) has just opened a breach in the wall of contempt and loathing for Putin and Russia that has been building in Washington for months, if not years now. The immediate task is for word of this development to go out to the broad public, and for the relics of our once formidable arms negotiations teams to be brought out of mothballs to face Russian counterparts who have been waiting keenly for this moment.”

In Russia, there are various responses to the Senators’ initiative, including in the upper house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. Sen. Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, immediately called the news “encouraging,” according to a translation of his Facebook post by Eurasia Daily news agency.

Senator Kosachev is quoted:

“After months and even years of U.S. congressmen and senators’ severe rhetoric against Russia, including the demands to break off relations, there are signs of a ‘positive’ and not ‘negative’ parliamentary pressure on the U.S. President.”

Kosachev continued,

“I sincerely hope that this adequate understanding of Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly [bicameral legislature] of Russia will be followed by the same adequate and reasonable modification of U.S. policy in the field of strategic stability and collective security. Still, the threats in our world today are common. Eventually, it is not Russia that threatens the United States and not the United States threatens Russia. But the latter will become true only when Washington recognizes the former.”

Federation Council Sen. Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the Information Policy and Mass Media Committee, simply tweeted,

“U.S. Senators have called for discussions with Russia over nuclear weapons for the first time. Sometimes it’s helpful to communicate what weapons you have at your disposal. It sobers [people] up.”