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Javelin Catcher: what's the cost of a favor if it's not a quid pro quo

4 min read

Recalling the delaying action of the Bill Barr “summary” of the Mueller report, the White House released a 5-page memo to frame the eventual release of the whistle-blower complaint. In it Ukraine President Zelensky mentions Javelin missiles (page 2), and then Trump immediately asks for a “favor”. In this context, the absence of a specific quid pro quo utterance is irrelevant to the matter of abuse of power. Adam Schiff refers to this as a “shake-down”.


— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 25, 2019

Zelensky, “We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the U.S”  [meaning .. miltary aid]

Trump, “I would like you to do us a favor though…” [asks for Biden dirt]


There are tapes….


— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 25, 2019

The rough transcript includes “the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversations in written form as the conversation takes place,” the unclassified document says.
Voice recognition software was used on the Trump/Zelensky call.

The rough transcript the White House released was developed via the voice software along with aides from the White House national security team who were listening in, per a senior admin official.

Trump, in WH residence on July 25, asked Zelensky for “a favor.”

“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

Explanation from sr admin official on ellipses in WH Trump/Ukraine transcript:

They don’t indicate missing words. They refer to voice trailing off, or pause. Standard practice for aides memorializing head-of-state calls is to represent missing words with brackets or redactions.

At UNGA, Trump asked how it’s not “pressure” when he stated how good US is to Ukraine then asked Zelensky for a favor about Biden.

Trump: “There was no pressure. The way you had that built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call.”

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone walked through Trump-Ukraine call transcript this a.m. with 6 US senators and 6 US House members, per @LauraLitvan.

Trump phoned in 30 minutes in, and argued there's “nothing” in there and news report about him raising Biden 8 times wasn’t true.


— Susan Smails (@bluetexasmoon27) September 25, 2019

Amusing as an unintended quid pro quo are the GOP talking points accidentally sent to the Democrats (what?)


Each Javelin missile costs $80,000.

The U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin is one of the premier portable anti-tank missile systems in the world. It’s also an expensive piece of kit, with each missile typically costing more than the targets it eliminates.

Still, the infrared guided Javelin has proven itself in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria and has reliable shtick that should work on virtually any tank out there—it hits them on the weak top armor. It’s also exposes its crew to less danger than the typical guided missile system. Because it’s such a lightweight system, it may end up being a first responder on the ground to emergencies that could be described as “massive, unexpected tank invasions”—a scenario the U.S. military could have faced during Operation Desert Shield, when it deployed light infantry to defend Saudi Arabia, and currently fears in the Baltics.


Russia is also aware of the Javelin’s capabilities—and their latest tanks feature several countermeasures intended to defeat them. New Relikt and Mechanit ERA systems feature dual layers of radar-triggered ERA plates designed to defeat tandem charge warheads. The Shtora and the newer Afganit Active Protection Systems can also deploy ‘soft kill’ multi-spectral grenades and flares designed to obscure the tank from infrared seekers or divert them to other heat sources.…


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