Mel Goodman interviewed by Matt Taibbi on Rollingstone.com, July 21, 2017

“For journalists like me who have backgrounds either working or living in Russia, the new Red Scare has been an ongoing freakout. A lot of veteran Russia reporters who may have disagreed with each other over other issues in the past now find themselves in like-minded bewilderment over the increasingly aggressive rhetoric. . . . When asked about the roots of the current Russian-American divide, former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, the author of excellent books like Whistleblower at the CIA and Failure of Intelligence, points to a 1990 deal struck between Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze. The two men brokered a quid pro quo: The Soviets wouldn’t oppose a re-united Germany, if the Americans promised not to leapfrog East Germany into the Russians’ former sphere of influence. Goodman later interviewed both men, who confirmed the key details. ‘They both used the word leapfrog,’ he says. ‘The Russians think we broke that deal.’ Russia believes the U.S. reneged on the leapfrog deal by seeking to add the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Georgia and even Ukraine to the NATO alliance. To Russia, American denunciations of Russian adventurism in Crimea and eastern Ukraine seem absurd, when all they see is NATO leapfrogging its way ever-closer to their borders.”
—Matt Taibbi

 

 

Taibbi: What Does Russiagate Look Like to Russians?

Last Wednesday, former adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton Paul Begala stepped out of his usual milquetoast centrist costume and made a chest-thumping pronouncement on CNN. “We were and are under attack by a hostile foreign power,” he said. “We should be debating how many sanctions we should place on Russia, or whether we should blow up the KGB.”