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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

 
"They say, 'He killed reporters.' I said, 'Really? He says he didn't. "

by digby





Remember this?



I recall watching that one in real time and feeling the hair on the back of my neck go up. I knew that we weren't supposed to take him seriously as a candidate but I always did and this sounded like something Mussolini would say. That kind of "joke" from a presidential candidate is designed to intimidate. I don't think that worked particularly well but that man is now president of the United States and those kinds of comments and the authoritarian attitudes are chilling nonetheless. Who knows where this leads?

In Russia, this how it goes down:
A Russian investigative journalist who wrote about the deaths of mercenaries in Syria has died in hospital after falling from his fifth-floor flat.

Maxim Borodin was found badly injured by neighbours in Yekaterinburg and taken to hospital, where he later died.

Local officials said no suicide note was found but the incident was unlikely to be of a criminal nature.

However, a friend revealed Borodin had said his flat had been surrounded by security men a day earlier.

Vyacheslav Bashkov described Borodin as a "principled, honest journalist" and said Borodin had contacted him at five o'clock in the morning on 11 April saying there was "someone with a weapon on his balcony and people in camouflage and masks on the staircase landing".

Borodin had been looking for a lawyer, he explained, although he later called him back saying he was wrong and that the security men had been taking part in some sort of exercise.

After he was found badly injured at the foot of the building on Thursday, regional authorities said the door of his flat had been locked from the inside, indicating that no-one else had either entered or left the flat.

The chief editor of Novy Den, where Borodin worked, said before he died that she could not rule out a crime, adding there was no reason for him to kill himself.

Harlem D├ęsir of the international monitoring organisation OSCE said the death was "of serious concern" and called for a thorough investigation.

What did Borodin write?

In recent weeks, the journalist had written about Russian mercenaries known as the "Wagner Group" who were reportedly killed in Syria on 7 February in a confrontation with US forces.

Last week, the outgoing head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, said that "a couple hundred" Russian mercenaries died in the clash in Deir al-Zour province. The mercenaries were apparently taking part in an attack by pro-Syrian government fighters on the headquarters of a US ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Weeks later Russia admitted that several dozen Russian citizens had been either killed or wounded, but stressed they were not regular soldiers.

Last month, Borodin had written that three of those killed had come from the Sverdlovsk region in the Urals, in which Yekaterinburg is the main city. Two of the men were from the towns of Asbest and one from Kedrovoye, he said.

He had also investigated political scandals, including allegations made by a Belarusian escort known as Nastya Rybka in a video posted by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Maybe it's all bs, I don't know. We are always struggling to see the truth through a thick fog these days.

Trump hasn't taken any action against the press. Maybe if he did there would be such an outcry that he'd be immediately removed from office. But his attitude is normal now. The distance between talking trash about the media and actually doing something to shit them up is shorter than it was before.

Keep in mind that other things, like firing DOJ officials for political reasons, ongoing thievery and incoherent foreign policy under a cloud of suspicion are more than just words. They're actually happening.

.