US Tax Dollars and Ukraine’s Finance Minister

Special Report: Though touted as the face of reform inside Ukraine’s post-coup regime, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko enriched herself at the expense of a U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund and USAID now says it’s missing some of the audit records detailing Jaresko’s dealings, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The U.S. government is missing or withholding audit documents about the finances and possible accounting irregularities at a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund when it was run by Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, who has become the face of “reform” for the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev and who now oversees billions of dollars in Western financial aid.

Before taking Ukrainian citizenship and becoming Finance Minister in December 2014, Jaresko was a former U.S. diplomat who served as chief executive officer of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), which was created by Congress in the 1990s with $150 million and placed under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help jumpstart an investment economy in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

After Jaresko’s appointment as Finance Minister — and her resignation from WNISEF — I reviewed WNISEF’s available public records and detected a pattern of insider dealings and enrichment benefiting Jaresko and various colleagues. That prompted me in February to file a Freedom of Information Act request for USAID’s audits of the investment fund.

Though the relevant records were identified by June, USAID dragged its feet on releasing the 34 pages to me until Aug. 28 when the agency claimed nothing was being withheld, saying “all 34 pages are releasable in their entirety.”

However, when I examined the documents, it became clear that a number of pages were missing from the financial records, including a total of three years of “expense analysis” in three-, six- and nine-month gaps since 2007. Perhaps even more significant was a missing paragraph that apparently would have addressed an accounting irregularity found by KPMG auditors.

KPMG’s “Independent Auditors’ Report” for 2013 and 2014 states that “except as discussed in the third paragraph below, we conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America,” accountant-speak that suggests that “the third paragraph below” would reveal some WNISEF activity that did not comply with generally accepted accounting principles (or GAAP).

But three paragraphs below was only white space and there was no next page in what USAID released.

Based on the one page that was released for 2013-14, this most recent audit also lacked the approval language used in previous audits, in which KPMG wrote: “In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Western NIS Enterprise Fund and subsidiaries.” That language was not in the 2013-14 analysis, as released by USAID.

The KPMG report for 2013-14 does note that “The [audit] procedures selected depend on the auditors’ judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.”

That page then ends, “We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.” But the opinion is not there.

After I brought these discrepancies to the attention of USAID on Aug. 31, I was told on Sept. 15 that “we are in the process of locating documents to address your concern. We expect a response from the bureau and/or mission by Monday, September 28, 2015.”

After the Sept. 28 deadline passed, I contacted USAID again and was told on Oct. 2 that officials were “still working with the respective mission to obtain the missing documents.”

Yet, whether USAID’s failure to include the missing documents was just a bureaucratic foul-up or a willful attempt to shield Jaresko from criticism, the curious gaps add to the impression that the management of WNISEF fell short of the highest standards for efficiency and ethics.

A previous effort by Jaresko’s ex-husband Ihor Figlus to blow the whistle on what he considered improper business practices related to WNISEF was met by disinterest inside USAID, according to Figlus, and then led to Jaresko suing him in a Delaware court in 2012, using a confidentiality clause to silence Figlus and getting a court order to redact references to the abuses he was trying to expose.

Feeding at the Taxpayer Trough

Other public documents indicate that Jaresko and fellow WNISEF insiders enriched themselves through their association with the U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund. For instance, though Jaresko was limited to making $150,000 a year at WNISEF under the USAID grant agreement, she managed to earn more than that amount, reporting in 2004 that she was paid $383,259 along with $67,415 in expenses, according to WNISEF’s filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

Among the audit documents that I received under FOIA, the “Expense Analysis” for 2004 shows $1,282,782 being paid out as “Exit-based incentive expense-equity incentive plan” and another $478,195 being paid for “Exit-based incentive expense-financial participation rights.” That would suggest that Jaresko more than doubled her $150,000 salary by claiming bonuses from WNISEF’s investments (bought with U.S. taxpayers’ money) and sold during 2004.

Jaresko’s compensation for her work with WNISEF was removed from public disclosure altogether after she co-founded two related entities in 2006: Horizon Capital Associates (HCA) to manage WNISEF’s investments (and collect around $1 million a year in fees) and Emerging Europe Growth Fund (EEGF), a private entity to collaborate with WNISEF on investment deals.

Jaresko formed HCA and EEGF with two other WNISEF officers, Mark Iwashko and Lenna Koszarny. They also started a third firm, Horizon Capital Advisors, which “serves as a sub-advisor to the Investment Manager, HCA,” according to WNISEF’s IRS filing for 2006.

According to the FOIA-released expense analyses for 2004-06, the taxpayer-financed WNISEF spent $1,049,987 to establish EEGF as a privately owned investment fund for Jaresko and her colleagues. USAID apparently found nothing suspicious about these tangled business relationships despite the potential conflicts of interest involving Jaresko, the other WNISEF officers and their affiliated companies.

For instance, WNISEF’s 2012 annual report devoted two pages to “related party transactions,” including the management fees to Jaresko’s Horizon Capital ($1,037,603 in 2011 and $1,023,689 in 2012) and WNISEF’s co-investments in projects with the EEGF, where Jaresko was founding partner and chief executive officer. Jaresko’s Horizon Capital managed the investments of both WNISEF and EEGF.

From 2007 to 2011, WNISEF co-invested $4.25 million with EEGF in Kerameya LLC, a Ukrainian brick manufacturer, and WNISEF sold EEGF 15.63 percent of Moldova’s Fincombank for $5 million, the report said. It also listed extensive exchanges of personnel and equipment between WNISEF and Horizon Capital. But it’s difficult for an outsider to ascertain the relative merits of these insider deals — and the transactions apparently raised no red flags for USAID officials, nor during that time for KPMG auditors.

Bonuses, Bonuses

Regarding compensation, WNISEF’s 2013 filing with the IRS noted that the fund’s officers collected millions of dollars in more bonuses for closing out some investments at a profit even as the overall fund was losing money. According to the filing, WNISEF’s $150 million nest egg had shrunk by more than one-third to $94.5 million and likely has declined much more during the economic chaos that followed the U.S.-backed coup in February 2014.

But prior to the coup and the resulting civil war, Jaresko’s WNISEF was generously spreading money around to various insiders. For instance, the 2013 IRS filing reported that the taxpayer-financed fund paid out as “expenses” $7.7 million under a bonus program, including $4.6 million to “current officers,” without identifying who received the money although Jaresko was one of the “current officers.”

WNISEF’s filing made the point that the “long-term equity incentive plan” was “not compensation from Government Grant funds but a separately USAID-approved incentive plan funded from investment sales proceeds” although those proceeds presumably would have gone into the depleted WNISEF pool if they had not been paid out as bonuses.

The filing also said the bonuses were paid regardless of whether the overall fund was making money, noting that this “compensation was not contingent on revenues or net earnings, but rather on a profitable exit of a portfolio company that exceeds the baseline value set by the board of directors and approved by USAID” with Jaresko also serving as a director on the board responsible for setting those baseline values.

Another WNISEF director was Jeffrey C. Neal, former chairman of Merrill Lynch’s global investment banking and a co-founder of Horizon Capital, further suggesting how potentially incestuous these relationships may have become.

Though compensation for Jaresko and other officers was shifted outside public view after 2006 as their pay was moved to the affiliated entities the 2006 IRS filing says: “It should be noted that as long as HCA earns a management fee from WNISEF, HCA and HCAD [the two Horizon Capital entities] must ensure that a salary cap of $150,000 is adhered to for the proportion of salary attributable to WNISEF funds managed relative to aggregate funds under management.”

But that language would seem to permit compensation well above $150,000 if it could be tied to other managed funds, including EEGF, or come from the bonus incentive program. Such compensation for Jaresko and the other top officers was not reported on later IRS forms despite a line for earnings from “related organizations.” Apparently, Horizon Capital and EEGF were regarded as “unrelated organizations” for the purposes of reporting compensation.

The KPMG auditors also took a narrow view of compensation only confirming that no “salary” exceeded $150,000, apparently not looking at bonuses and other forms of compensation.

Neither AID officials nor Jaresko responded to specific questions about WNISEF’s possible conflicts of interest, how much money Jaresko made from her involvement with WNISEF and its connected companies, and whether she had fully complied with IRS reporting requirements.

Gagging an Ex-Husband

In 2012, when Jaresko’s ex-husband Figlus began talking about what he saw as improper loans that Jaresko had taken from Horizon Capital Associates to buy and expand her stake in EEGF, the privately held follow-on fund to WNISEF, Jaresko sent her lawyers to court to silence him and, according to his lawyer, bankrupt him.

The filings in Delaware’s Chancery Court are remarkable not only because Jaresko succeeded in getting the Court to gag her ex-husband through enforcement of a non-disclosure agreement but the Court agreed to redact nearly all the business details, even the confidentiality language at the center of the case.

Since Figlus had given some of his information to a Ukrainian journalist, Jaresko’s complaint also had the look of a leak investigation, tracking down Figlus’s contacts with the journalist and then using that evidence to secure the restraining order, which Figlus said not only prevented him from discussing business secrets but even talking about his more general concerns about Jaresko’s insider dealings.

The heavy redactions make it hard to fully understand Figlus’s concerns or to assess the size of Jaresko’s borrowing as she expanded her holdings in EEGF, but Figlus did assert that he saw his role as whistle-blowing about improper actions by Jaresko.

In a Oct. 31, 2012, filing, Figlus’s attorney wrote that “At all relevant times, Defendant [Figlus] acted in good faith and with justification, on matters of public interest, and particularly the inequitable conduct set forth herein where such inequitable conduct adversely affects at least one other limited partner which is REDACTED, and specifically the inequitable conduct included, in addition to the other conduct cited herein, REDACTED.”

The defendant’s filing argued: “The Plaintiffs’ [Jaresko’s and her EEGF partners’] claims are barred, in whole or in part, by public policy, and particularly that a court in equity should not enjoin ‘whistle-blowing’ activities on matters of public interest, and particularly the inequitable conduct set forth herein.” But the details of that conduct were all redacted.

In a defense brief dated Dec. 17, 2012 [see Part One and Part Two], Figlus expanded on his argument that Jaresko’s attempts to have the court gag him amounted to a violation of his constitutional right of free speech:

“The obvious problem with the scope of their Motion is that Plaintiffs are asking the Court to enter an Order that prohibits Defendant Figlus from exercising his freedom of speech without even attempting to provide the Court with any Constitutional support or underpinning for such impairment of Figlus’ rights.

“Plaintiffs cannot do so, because such silencing of speech is Constitutionally impermissible, and would constitute a denial of basic principles of the Bill of Rights in both the United States and Delaware Constitutions. There can be no question that Plaintiffs are seeking a temporary injunction, which constitutes a prior restraint on speech.

“The Court cannot, consistent with the Federal and State Constitutional guarantees of free speech, enjoin speech except in the most exceptional circumstances, and certainly not when Plaintiffs are seeking to prevent speech that is not even covered by the very contractual provision upon which they are relying. Moreover, the Court cannot prevent speech where the matter has at least some public interest REDACTED, except as limited to the very specific and exact language of the speaker’s contractual obligation.”

A Redacted Narrative

Figlus also provided a narrative of events as he saw them as a limited partner in EEGF, saying he initially “believed everything she [Jaresko] was doing, you know, was proper.” Later, however, Figlus “learned that Jaresko began borrowing money from HCA REDACTED, but again relied on his spouse, and did not pay attention to the actual financial transactions

“In early 2010, after Jaresko separated from Figlus, she presented Figlus with, and requested that he execute, a ‘Security Agreement,’ pledging the couple’s partnership interest to the repayment of the loans from HCA. This was Figlus first realization of the amount of loans that Jaresko had taken, and that the partnership interest was being funded through this means. By late 2011, Jaresko had borrowed approximately REDACTED from HCA to both fund the partnership interest REDACTED. The loans were collateralized only by the EEFG partnership interest.

“Figlus became increasingly concerned about the partnership and the loans that had been and continued to be given to the insiders to pay for their partnership interests, while excluding other limited partners. Although Figlus was not sophisticated in these matters, he considered that it was inappropriate that HCA was giving loans to insiders to fund their partnership interests, but to no other partners.

“He talked to an individual at U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington D.C., because the agency was effectively involved as a limited partner because of the agency’s funding and supervision over WNISEF, but the agency employee did not appear interested in pursuing the question.”

In the court proceedings, Jaresko’s lawyers mocked Figlus’s claims that he was acting as a whistle-blower, claiming that he was actually motivated by a desire “to harm his ex-wife” and had violated the terms of his non-disclosure agreement, which the lawyers convinced the court to exclude from the public record.

The plaintiffs’ brief [see Part One and Part Two] traced Figlus’s contacts with the Ukrainian reporter whose name is also redacted: “Figlus, having previously received an audit from the General Partner, provided it to REDACTED [the Ukrainian reporter] with full knowledge that the audit was non-public. Also on or about October 2, 2012, REDACTED [the reporter] contacted multiple Limited Partners, informed them that he possessed ‘documented proof’ of alleged impropriety by the General Partner and requested interviews concerning that alleged impropriety.”

The filing noted that on Oct. 3, 2012, the reporter told Figlus that Jaresko “called two REDACTED [his newspaper’s] editors last night crying, not me, for some reason.” (The Ukrainian story was never published.)

After the competing filings, Jaresko’s lawyers successfully secured a restraining order against Figlus from the Delaware Chancery Court and continued to pursue the case against him though his lawyer has asserted that his client would make no further effort to expose these financial dealings and was essentially broke.

On May 14, 2014, Figlus filed a complaint with the court claiming that he was being denied distributions from his joint interest in EEGF and saying he was told that it was because the holding was pledged as security against the loans taken out by Jaresko. But, on the same day, Jaresko’s lawyer, Richard P. Rollo, contradicted that assertion, saying information about Figlus’s distributions was being withheld because EEGF and Horizon Capital “faced significant business interruptions and difficulties given the political crisis in Ukraine.”

The filing suggested that the interlocking investments between EEGF and the U.S.-taxpayer-funded WNISEF were experiencing further trouble from the political instability and civil war sweeping across Ukraine.

A Face of Reform

By December 2014, Jaresko had resigned from her WNISEF-related positions, taken Ukrainian citizenship and started her new job as Ukraine’s Finance Minister. In an article about Jaresko’s appointment, John Helmer, a longtime foreign correspondent in Russia, disclosed the outlines of the court dispute with Figlus and identified the Ukrainian reporter as Mark Rachkevych of the Kyiv Post.

“It hasn’t been rare for American spouses to go into the asset management business in the former Soviet Union, and make profits underwritten by the US Government with information supplied from their US Government positions or contacts,” Helmer wrote. “It is exceptional for them to fall out over the loot.”

When I contacted George Pazuniak, Figlus’s lawyer, about Jaresko’s aggressive enforcement of the non-disclosure agreement, he told me that “at this point, it’s very difficult for me to say very much without having a detrimental effect on my client.” Pazuniak did say, however, that all the redactions were demanded by Jaresko’s lawyers.

I also sent detailed questions to USAID and to Jaresko via several of her associates. Those questions included how much of the $150 million in U.S. taxpayers’ money remained, why Jaresko reported no compensation from “related organizations,” whether she received any of the $4.6 million to WNISEF’s officers in bonuses in 2013, how much money she made in total from her association with WNISEF, what AID officials did in response to Figlus’s whistle-blower complaint, and whether Jaresko’s legal campaign to silence her ex-husband was appropriate given her current position and Ukraine’s history of secretive financial dealings.

USAID press officer Annette Y. Aulton got back to me with a response that was unresponsive to my specific questions. Rather than answering about the performance of WNISEF and Jaresko’s compensation, the response commented on the relative success of 10 “Enterprise Funds” that AID has sponsored in Eastern Europe and added:

“There is a twenty year history of oversight of WNISEF operations. Enterprise funds must undergo an annual independent financial audit, submit annual reports to USAID and the IRS, and USAID staff conduct field visits and semi-annual reviews. At the time Horizon Capital assumed management of WNISEF, USAID received disclosures from Natalie Jaresko regarding the change in management structure and at the time USAID found no impropriety during its review.”

One Jaresko associate, Tanya Bega, Horizon Capital’s investor relations manager, said she forwarded my questions to Jaresko, but Jaresko did not respond.

Despite questions about whether Jaresko improperly enriched herself at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and then used a Delaware court to prevent disclosure of possible abuses, Jaresko has been hailed by the U.S. mainstream media as the face of reform in the U.S.-backed Ukrainian regime that seized power in February 2014 after a violent coup overthrew democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

For instance, last January, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman cited Jaresko as an exemplar of the new Ukrainian leaders who “share our values” and deserve unqualified American support. Friedman uncritically quoted Jaresko’s speech to international financial leaders at Davos, Switzerland, in which she castigated Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“Putin fears a Ukraine that demands to live and wants to live and insists on living on European values, with a robust civil society and freedom of speech and religion [and] with a system of values the Ukrainian people have chosen and laid down their lives for.”

However, from the opaqueness of the WNISEF records and the gagging of her ex-husband, Jaresko has shown little regard for transparency or other democratic values. Similarly, USAID seems more intent on protecting Jaresko and the image of the Kiev regime than in protecting America tax dollars and ensuring that WNISEF’s investments were dedicated to improving the lot of Ukrainian citizens.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

22 comments for “US Tax Dollars and Ukraine’s Finance Minister

    October 4, 2015 at 15:46

    There can be no other conclusion other than KPMG’s Kyiv office issued an Adverse Opinion” in their Independent Auditors’ Report.

    Robert Perry infers that KPMG’s accountant-speak suggests that “the third paragraph below” would reveal some WNISEF activity that did not comply with generally accepted accounting principles (or GAAP).

    My take on KPMG’s “except as discussed in the third paragraph below, we conducted our audits in accordance with {generally accepted} auditing standards” is that KPMG itself could not comply with GAAS, (perhaps having to do a work-around on missing records?).

  2. Abbybwood
    October 4, 2015 at 15:17

    Imagine a new president being inaugurated in the United States then Israel showing up in Congress demanding that the presidents new Secretary of the Treasury must be an Israeli citizen, but no problem. That foreigner will be allowed to come here and “get citizenship”, be sworn in as a citizen then take the mantle of power because, gee whiz, we couldn’t seem to find ONE SINGLE AMERICAN CITIZEN who was qualified to take the job?!

    It would never fly here and it should not have flown there.

    If Jaresko’s appointment as Finance Minister in Ukraine isn’t clear evidence that the United States was behind the coup there, then I don’t know what would be!

    • Bob van Noy
      October 5, 2015 at 08:51

      I was told on this forum that President Obama was given no choice on Hillary; just as Ronnie was given no choice on H.W. Bush…

  3. bfearn
    October 4, 2015 at 13:22

    Thanks for this Robert. Once again it reveals our basic problem. Greed compels many people to fandangle more than their share, even when many have nothing.
    American political leaders often have much more than they need and do very little to create more inequality in the country.
    It is common for military leaders to move out of their cushy jobs and into cushier jobs that push for more military spending.
    Changing this is our most important task. I am not optimistic when so much is done by smart greedy people behind closed doors.

  4. October 4, 2015 at 08:37

    The article is informative and rich on details, but difficult to follow and exhausting to read. I could imagine that quit a few readers didn’t make it to the end. This is not the fault of Robert Parry but the nature of the subject.

    Articles about financial dealings are necessarily complicated because financial dealings themselves are complicated. Complicated purposely to make it impossible to find out who got money from whom for what kind of services or goods, complicated to conceal that US business culture is based on price gouging, theft, and fraud.

    Successful businesses are those who can seduce or beguile customers to buy their overpriced products (Apple’s iWare), press their stuff to work for the most meager wages, and evade taxes.

    Everything goes, (nearly) everything is allowed to increase profits, and the profits are channeled via a complicated and opaque financial network to the parasitic rentier class, thereby hiding the fact that this rentier class siphons off the wealth without any positive contribution to society in return.

    Natalie Jaresko is not one of the big players, she is not in the same league as Gates, Slim, Buffet, Koch, Walton, Bezos, and all the others in the Forbes list. But she represents the core values of US capitalism as pure and authentic as the Forbes billionaires and to choose her as the Ukrainian finance minister is totally appropriate if the Ukraine wants to follow the US model.

    The deployment of an army of lawyers, who reinterpret and explicate existing laws to persecute whistleblowers and other dissidents, will probably not be necessary in the Ukraine, because the authorities there deal with simmilar issues in a more direct way (Oleh Buzina).

    Btw: John Helmer’s (Dancing with Bears) articles are even longer and more complicated, and yet his MH-17 series is a must read.

  5. John Lamenzo
    October 4, 2015 at 07:59

    The elite accounting firms with clever capitalized letters are all part of the scheme, Robert.
    Their task is to provide cover, period, utilizing the arcane verbiage of GAAP, GASB, FASB principals.
    Thanks for another brilliant insight into what we, the people, already know.

    RedTail Accounting Services, LLC
    Santa Fe, NM

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 4, 2015 at 12:36

      So True, John Lamenzo, and we here in California really know that because The Smartest Guys in The Room taught us that lesson with Cheney leading the way.

  6. Peter Loeb
    October 4, 2015 at 06:26


    So ran an early novelty piece by Ray Charles (more spoken
    than sung!).

    As “incontinent reader” observed, this is a fantastic piece
    of investigative reporting. It is so rare that one is enabled
    to put these pieces together, one can only be awed.

    As in the Ray Charles novelty, I want to claim this work as
    my very own. “It should have been me…” Parry
    must have just stolen it from my notes.

    With respectful thanks,

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  7. Brendan
    October 4, 2015 at 05:46

    A couple of questions:
    – Shouldn’t KPMG have their own copy of their audit (the one where the paragraph and three pages were missing in the copy released by USAID) ? If so, retrieving that missing information should be a simple case of USAID asking KPMG to send them a copy.

    – Is it possible that this is not a case of Jaresko and her associates enriching themselves, but of USAID funneling money into activities that they would like to keep secret?

    That might explain KPMG’s cryptic comment about the paragraph in their audit that turned out to be missing from the copy that USAID released to Robert Parry: “except as discussed in the third paragraph below, we conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America”.

    The apparent overreaction of the US justice system in gagging Jaresko’s ex-husband also seems a lot like its aggressive treatment of whistleblowers who reveal things that the US government would rather keep hidden.

  8. Brendan
    October 4, 2015 at 05:46

    A couple of questions:
    – Shouldn’t KPMG have their own copy of their audit (the one where the paragraph and three pages were missing in the copy released by USAID) ? If so, retrieving that missing information should be a simple case of USAID asking KPMG to send them a copy.

    – Is it possible that this is not a case of Jaresko and her associates enriching themselves, but of USAID funneling money into activities that they would like to keep secret?

    That might explain KPMG’s cryptic comment about the paragraph in their audit that turned out to be missing from the copy that USAID released to Robert Parry: “except as discussed in the third paragraph below, we conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America”.

    The apparent overreaction of the US justice system in gagging Jaresko’s husband also seems a lot like its aggressive treatment of whistleblowers who reveal things that the US government would rather keep hidden.

  9. F. G. Sanford
    October 4, 2015 at 04:10

    If Reagan-Bush could distribute cocaine in American cities, and Bush-Cheney could Violate every Nuremberg principle with impunity, does anybody really expect our justice system to do anything about this? Now, maybe if Natalie Jaresko had stolen a bag of chips at the Circle-K and some redneck cop happened to be there, well…nah, even that wouldn’t have stuck. American laws don’t apply unless you actually work for a living. This is a two-tier society.

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 4, 2015 at 12:28

      Again, F.G. Sanford…Perfect…And I’ve been reading my Kissinger and Brzezinski for future comment. All in all depressing. What do you think Popper would say about their theories?

      Oh, and our justice system will Speak Not, as will our congress…

    • Skip Edwards
      October 4, 2015 at 15:59

      Are Nuremberg’s findings laws or just principles? Are there any factual opinions out there concerning this? I have read two of Robert Parry’s books on the Bushes and am having a bit of a time trying to discover, law or principle. People were executed and imprisoned due to the Nuremberg Trials. They must have been based on law, or at least set some kind of precedent on how nations and their responsible leaders are to be handled internationally when committing aggressive war against other nations. One of our ex-Supreme Court judges was even on the Tribunal which set the sentences and precedence for nations in the future to adhere to. If we continue to allow our leaders to escape the law, as has been ongoing at least since the Reagan-Bush years (maybe even back to the Viet Nam years), we will certainly become another misfit in world history and slaves to a despotic power system from which we cannot escape intact. As readers know, we are very close to that now. It is past time, if legally possible, to use the rule of law to severely punish those who have abused the power of the United States of America in our name around the world and abused that same power against the very citizens they claim to represent, us.

      • F. G. Sanford
        October 4, 2015 at 17:08

        The Nuremberg “principles”, as I understand them, were the consensus interpretation regarding the application of existing “laws” – like the Kellogg-Braind pact, among others. It’s also a grave crime under international law to evade the responsibility to prosecute. The Obama administration is currently in flagrant violation of its responsibility to prosecute Bush era crimes, and has compounded that culpability by continuing the policies which promulgated them. Under such circumstances, as you point out, justice will never be done. We have already descended into a moral abyss from which there is no return.

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 4, 2015 at 19:07

      My thanks to both F.G. Sanford and to you Skip Edwards. This is the very heart of the matter, probably the source of our agony, as American citizens, the lack of accountability by power acting supposedly on our behalf. I say that simply and not out of naïveté, because it is totally important to be able to understand the problem, and agree before one can act. The ability to identify, and understand the source of these various advisory groups is essential. So many thanks to Robert Parry and the writers plus responders here.

  10. William Jacoby
    October 4, 2015 at 00:30

    Why does the phrase “learned helplessness” come to mind?

  11. incontinent reader
    October 3, 2015 at 19:20

    Bob, this is some bit of fantastic investigative journalism- a clinic as to how it should be done-
    one that would make I.F. Stone proud- and if you keep your teeth in this one and don’t let go, let’s hope that one or more of the very few honest ones at the SEC (if there are any), or Congress gets the message and forces an Agency and/or Congressional investigation- though with the composition of Congress as it is, and the pressure one would expect, starting from the Administration- AND VICE president (and Secretary of State and his Department) on the Agency and any Congressional Democrats, as of now, it would seem unlikely…..except that campaign season is upon us, and perhaps someone like Bernie Sanders….or Walter Jones might.

  12. Mortimer
    October 3, 2015 at 18:59
    • Bob Van Noy
      October 4, 2015 at 12:43

      Thanks Mortimer. Reading…

  13. frederike
    October 3, 2015 at 18:26

    Thomas L. Friedman cited Jaresko as an exemplar of the new Ukrainian leaders who “share our values” and deserve unqualified American support.

    She certainly shares “our” values and gets unqualified American support, (deserved or not.)

    • jo6pac
      October 3, 2015 at 21:10

      Love little tommy and his views of the world from his penthouse. Then again as Amerikan that doesn’t pay taxes do to being poor (I’m sure their working on that) I feel good it’s only 150 million but then again this number times how many times it happens and now we’re talking some real #.

      Thanks RP for writing about this but please stop supporting the demodogs as the party of the lesser evil. The change has to start somewhere.

  14. Drew Hunkins
    October 3, 2015 at 17:11

    Hey Jaresko and USAID! How ’bout pay off my student loan with some of that cash?! And while you’re at it, go ahead and payoff the crippling student loans for thousands of other Gen Xers who have inadvertently ruined their lives with exorbitant student loan debt.

Comments are closed.