The Bidens, Burisma and the Atlantic Council The Tangled Web

In the past I have posted musings on the Atlantic Council, one of Washington's most influential think tanks and a group that is often thought of as the braintrust behind NATO.  With the recent business links between Burisma, a Ukraine-based gas producing company and former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, it is interesting to note that there is yet another twist to this saga that has led to the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Let's look at some background about the Atlantic Council to help put the group into a broader perspective.  The Atlantic Council has the following mantra:

"The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we generate, and the communities we build, the Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world."

Here's a very short video which provides a bit of background on this "nonpartisan group of foreign policy change-makers":

The Atlantic Council was formed in 1961 by former U.S. Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter and other "distinguished Americans" who recommended the consolidation of U.S. citizen's groups that supported the Atlantic Alliance  (i.e. NATO).  Throughout the turbulent 1960s, the Council produced reports on the state of public opinion towards Alliance member nations and aimed to educate the public about the need for engagement in international affairs through television commercials starring Bob Hope.

Here is a list of current directors of the Atlantic Council:

It certainly appears to be a who's who list of the American Deep State, doesn't it?  We find James Baker III, Ashton Carter, General Wesley Clarke, Henry Kissinger, David Petraeus, Condoleeza Rice, George Schultz, Brent Scowcroft and Dov Zhakeim among its illustrious board members.  You may also recognize these two individuals who have been awarded by the Atlantic Council for their "leadership":

The Atlantic Council is also home to the relatively newly formed Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) which is described as follows: 

"The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is a start-up housed at the Atlantic Council that aims to create a world where disinformation is analyzed and repudiated rapidly and effectively by accurate, publicly sourced reports, thereby enabling citizens and policy makers to make informed decisions.

Since its launch in 2016, the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation to expose false narratives and fake news, document human rights abuses, and build digital resilience worldwide. DFRLab continually tracks global disinformation campaigns, fake news stories, covert military developments, and subversive attempts against democracy while teaching the public skills to identify and expose attempts to pollute the information space."

DFRLab was founded in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton's defeat in the 2016 presidential election with the goal of preventing Russian electoral interference, being hired by Facebook to ensure that the war for your mind remains pristine as you can read here and see here:

The DFRLab's strong anti-Russia, anti-Putin spin is quite clearly shown in this article about Crimea and Russia:

…and this article about how American, Ukrainian and pro-Kremlin media outlets have covered the impeachment proceedings in the United States:

Here's a quote from that article showing the Atlantic Council's take on narratives pushed by Kremlin-owned television channels in Russia:

"In the Russian information space, the DFRLab analyzed talk show programs aired by the top three pro-Kremlin TV channels — Rossiya 1, Perviy Kanal, and NTV — and identified three narratives regarding broader Ukrainian-U.S. relations. Television represents the main news source for 57 percent of Russian citizens, of which these three outlets dominate the market, comprising 42 percent of the total audience share.

Narrative: Ukraine is interfering in the U.S. presidential election; both Ukraine and the United States are corrupt.

Pro-Kremlin TV channels intensively pushed a narrative about Ukraine’s interference in the U.S. elections, conflating Trump’s demand to investigate former Vice President Biden with supposed Ukrainian interference in the affairs of the United States and characterizing the U.S. President’s demand as a prime example of double standards in U.S. politics.

Perviy Kanal claimed that, when opponents accused Donald Trump of having backchannel communications with Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign, the entire political establishment treated this accusation as objective fact. Additionally, the author claimed that, when Trump allegedly demanded an investigation of Ukrainian interference — again, a conflation with Trump’s actual request regarding the supposed corruption around Biden — into the affairs of the United States, he was accused of violating the U.S. Constitution.

Rossiya 1 talk show co-host Yevgeny Popov claimed that Zelensky turned out to be the one interfering in the U.S. elections, not Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also insinuated that the U.S. political establishment does not care about the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine at all and “money was allocated to Ukraine for only one reason: to convince Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son’s business in Ukraine,” which the Ukrainian President agreed to do. The show’s other co-host, Olga Skabeeva, added that Trump had asked Zelensky a reported eight times to commence the investigation in exchange for military aid money that the U.S. President had put on hold and that, in acquiescing, Zelensky “sold himself to the Americans.”

NTV also claimed that Biden’s ongoing presidential campaign is funded with Ukrainian money and asserted that Trump had fired his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, because the latter had failed to compel President Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden.

Narrative: Biden’s family was involved in a corruption scheme in Ukraine.

Echoing both fringe and mainstream U.S. outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, pro-Kremlin TV channels claimed that the Biden family was undoubtedly involved in a corruption scheme in Ukraine, but none of the stories provided evidence to support the allegation.

NTV aired a video that claimed that, in 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden had pushed the Ukrainian government to boost extraction and production of natural gas; his son Hunter Biden was then made a board member of the Ukrainian gas production company Burisma. While Hunter Biden was not involved in the management of the company or in regular board proceedings, he earned millions of dollars from his formal membership on the board. Thus, Biden’s family had direct financial interests in Ukraine and TV anchor concludes that this case is worth investigating in order to expose how Joe Biden tried to cover up corrupt schemes in which his son was allegedly involved. space."

Part way through the article, we find this disclaimer:

"Burisma contributes funding to the Atlantic Council, though not in direct support of the DFRLab. Both the DFRLab and, more broadly, the Atlantic Council maintain strict intellectual independence from the company, as with all donors from any sector."

I'm sure.

Let's look more deeply at this aspect of the Burisma – Biden – Atlantic Council story.  In the 2019 Annual Report for the Atlantic Council, we find this "Honor Roll of Contributors" which, once again, has that distinct Deep State look to it:

Notice that Burisma, the Ukrainian company involved in the current controversy swirling around Washington, is a significant contributor to the Atlantic Council, right up there with military-industrial complex members General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies and American taxpayers through the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Department of Defense.

And, just in case you didn't think that was enough to confuse the issue, here is a video from the 2011 Atlantic Council Awards ceremony featuring none other than Joe Biden:

Given the current kerfuffle in Washington, it is interesting to see the ties between one of Washington's most influential think tanks and the company behind the Biden soap opera.  With the Atlantic Council driving much of Washington's anti-Russia narrative and its views on the global geopolitical landscape and the company affiliated with Joe Biden's son being a significant contributor to the think tank, one can see how there is a very, very tangled web that makes ascertaining the truth of the matter nearly impossible for Americans.  The truth IS out there somewhere; good luck finding it with this cast of characters.

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