There are a lot of things that chap my hide these days and nearing the top of that list is Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder. Half of America appears to be in love with this guy and if you don’t believe me check out the hashtag BrowderDay. One account I saw using this hashtag enthusiastically announced that they would be naming their next cat after him while another echoed their sentiments with, “Ha!!! I was thinking the exact same thing today!!!” Similar tweets followed: “Thank you, Sir” and “Yes. You will be lauded as one of the people who told the truth to help us out of the insanity. Thanks. For Segei, and US.” I found this one to be particularly amusing mainly because Louise Mensch happily endorsed it:
In fact, you’ll notice that Louise Mensch has used the BrowderDay hashtag more than once (she claims she started it) and that alone should make you stop and think. But it’s not even the whole Mensch thing that makes my skin crawl. It’s the entire charade that’s been put on by Browder, the Western media, and the U.S. government to portray Browder as some sort of anti-Russian hero. In reality, the stories you read or hear about him are half truths being shoveled down your throat in an effort to sell the government’s foreign policy and to create Russian hysteria. They’ll even try to sell you on the idea that Browder is some sort of patriot but I hate to break it to you he’s not even an American citizen. He denounced his citizenship back in 1998 in order to avoid paying taxes on the piles of money he was stealing from Russia. That’s right. He essentially stole from the both the American and Russian people. Boy, what a patriot.
More disturbingly, Browder is a convicted criminal in Russia who has inexplicably, for years, wielded enough power here in the States to direct congressional legislation. I mean, what? And the so-called evidence the U.S. government has used to push Russian sanctions (the Magnitsky Act) or to file federal charges against Russian companies like Prevezon has been based on unverified, unsourced evidence stemming from Browder. Do you understand what I’m saying? What I’m saying is that over the course of the last eight years or so, an American who denounced his citizenship almost twenty years ago has handed over unsourced documents to the U.S. government and unverified testimony to Congress, and both Congress and the Southern District of New York (Preet Bahara to be exact) acted on this so-called evidence. If that’s not insane I don’t what is.
Then there’s the mind-boggling support the liberals are throwing behind this guy. It seems he’s become their new personal Jesus and as much as I’d like to support their little fantasies it appears they’re missing a huge chunk of Browder’s familial history. I mean, Browder has more ties to Russia than Putin’s dog so I have to wonder why liberals aren’t running for their safe space. Take for instance the start of this interview: It’s a perfect example of how Browder usually describes his grandfather, Earl Browder. He tells the same story, almost verbatim, about his grandfather in every interview, speech, and congressional appearance as if it’s scripted. But here’s the part he always leaves out: Thanks to the Venona documents that were released by the U.S. government it appears Earl Browder worked for or at least with the NKVD/KGB under the alias Rulevoj (“Helmsman”). Furthermore, it appears other family members were also involved in Soviet espionage including his brother, William Browder, and sister, Marguerite. Below is a memorandum about Marguerite’s ties to the NKVD written by Earl Browder himself.
Then there was his niece, Helen Lowry a.k.a. Elza Akhmerov and her husband, Iskhak Akhmerov who were also, yup, you guessed it, Russian spies. Akhmerov was actually considered “One of their service’s most successful officers” so kudos to him. All of these family members operated within the United States at one time or another and according to historian Herbert Romerstein, Lowry and Akhmerov’s daughter, Elena, and Akhmerov’s son, Robert, from a previous marriage were also employed in the service of the NKVD. Do you understand now why I think it’s absurd that the liberals support him? Exactly.
And speaking of family members, what about Browder’s father, Felix Browder? I don’t think he was a spy but he was a brilliant mathematician who was born in Moscow, Russia, received his PhD from Princeton University at age 20, and appears to have had ties to the U.S. government. In 1999, Bill Clinton awarded him with the National Medal of Science because as the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Rita Colwell put it, “The contributions of these scientists are so profound, so connected to our everyday lives and so lasting that these medals go only a short way to express the gratitude the nation owes them.”
I’m sure one of the reasons Rita Colwell had nothing but good things to say about Felix Browder included the fact that Browder had played a “critical role” in establishing the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), the same science center that was given $22 million in seed money from the NSF. According to their website, DIMACS is “a multi-institution partnership led by Rutgers University. It includes over 350 members at Rutgers and elsewhere who work together with DIMACS staff to organize and implement DIMACS programs in research, education, and outreach.” When they say partnership that includes:
- AT&T Labs
- Applied Communication Sciences
- NEC Laboratories America
- Nokia Bell Labs
- Princeton University
- Rutgers University
- Avaya Labs
- HP Labs
- IBM Research
- Microsoft Research
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- Yahoo Labs
They also appear to do work for the intelligence community including Homeland Security. This is how DIMACS described one of their projects, “Monitoring Message Streams,”
“This large multi-player research project is sponsored by the intelligence community. It is concerned with developing methods to monitor huge streams of text data for messages and to identify clusters of messages on events of interest.”
They also work on author identification of anonymous documents, bioterrorism, “communication and information privacy,” “biosurveillance data monitoring” and “unmanned aircraft systems.” The bottom line is that Felix Browder was a big man on campus at DIMACS and was assuredly in contact with government agencies. After his death last year, the Director Emeritus of DIMACS, Fred Roberts, stated that Browder had “continued to play an important role as DIMACS grew and developed,” so with all of this said I have to wonder why Bill Browder talks ad nauseum about his KGB grandfather but rarely if ever speaks about his own father’s achievements or links to the U.S. government.
Browder also doesn’t like to talk about the part he played in the economic rape of Russia during the 1990s, his business partners’ criminal backgrounds, his own criminal behavior involving asset skimming, tax evasion, illegal bankruptcy, or his criminal convictions. Instead, he’s a master at spinning tales like someone out of Rumpelfuckingstilson and remember, he never, ever tells you the entire story. He has a flair for the dramatic and you may have noticed how often he likes to tell everyone that he’s Putin’s number one enemy in that annoying, soft spoken tone of his and yet here he is, still very much alive and kicking.
What Browder does like besides rainy days, walks on the beach, and slow jazz is bragging about the corrupt Russian companies he attacked while failing to disclose that his adoption of shareholder activism was merely a corporate tool used to line his and others’ pockets. As for his claims of being a human rights activist, one has to wonder why he never talks about his partner’s suspicious death or the alleged murder of one of his sources. When I started reading his book, Red Notice, a few months back I thought to myself, “I’ll give this guy a chance to come clean, to apologize to Russia for his insatiable greed and to make amends to the American people for dictating U.S. foreign policy for over eight years,” but in the book’s four hundred odd pages those things never came. In fact, after wanting to light my laptop on fire six pages in I have to wonder about those who made it through the entire thing and still believe this guy is some kind of hero.
Perhaps it’s because Americans are just as narcissistic as Browder. Or, maybe it’s because he seems to be an expert at lying through omission and has never come clean about the things he’s done. That’s where I come in. By drawing on Browder’s own writings, court documents, and testimony under oath, I’m going to tell you exactly what Bill Browder has been up to for the last few decades. If Americans want a #BrowderDay they should be careful about what they wish for because I might just give them a #BrowderWeek. Or two.