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Stephen Cohen Exposes Intelligence Agencies Making U.S. Russia Policy Behind Trump’s Back

June 20, 2019 (EIRNS)—Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies at New York University, in his June 20 appearance on the John Batchelor Radio Show, took on the New York Times June 15 article in which David Sanger reported, with the approval of some staffers at the National Security Council, the U.S. planting of malware in the Russian electricity grid. Cohen observed that there were two parts of the article, the planting of the malware with the intention of shutting down the electricity grid—the same grid that provides power to hospitals, water supply, air traffic control and nuclear command and control: “take that down and you are assailing the nation,” Cohen said; and secondly, that President Donald Trump was not informed about the operation. In other words, this was an operation run by the intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense, and the Commander in Chief was not told about it.

In the second half of the show, Cohen addressed the implications of the intelligence agencies and the Defense Department deciding on war policies without the President. “Who is making national security policy?” Cohen asked, particularly with regard to Russia. “It’s not Trump,” he said. They are doing things behind his back or they are countermanding the policy Trump is inclined to support. There was a time, Cohen goes on, when the Democratic Party would have protested the intelligence agencies making national security policy, but there’s not a peep out of them now.

As for why the New York Times is publishing this article now, Cohen states that it came just ahead of the June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka, where Trump is supposed to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Did forces want to disrupt the meeting ... to create such a political conflict to spoil the meeting or even cancel it outright?” Cohen asks. He argues that there are precedents for this, citing the 1960 shoot-down of the CIA U-2 spy plane that derailed a planned summit between Eisenhower and Khrushchev; and Putin’s approach to President Barack Obama in 2016 for an alliance against ISIS in Syria as two examples. But Cohen failed to identify the British Empire factor in U.S. policymaking which is pushing the U.S. towards World War III.

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