/ Go to the mediabank Omali Yeshitela, the leader of the Uhuru Movement / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaThe Department of Justice announced charges Wednesday against four Americans and three Russians for allegedly conspiring to have US citizens act as illegal agents of a foreign government without approval, with three Americans being additionally charged with acting as agents of a foreign nation without prior approval.The bombastic Wednesday release further accuses the group of actions that are not crimes under any criminal statute, including sowing discord and spreading “pro-Russian propaganda” largely focusing on the conflict in Ukraine.In the release, acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Kurt Ronnow said the case “paints a harrowing picture,” of what the Russian government will do to “sow discord in our nation.”CovertAction Magazine managing editor Jeremy Kuzmarov was a guest on Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Wednesday and spoke about the charges and specifically focused on Omali Yeshitela, one of the charged US citizens who serves as the founder of the African People’s Socialist Party, and is the head of the Uhuru Movement.
While show hosts Michelle Witte and John Kiriakou admitted upfront that it was possible the group neglected to fill out certain forms or disclose their funding sources, they questioned the intention behind the very public arrest and fearmongering press release. Kuzmarov agreed it was concerning, acknowledging it was more than likely done to make an example of Yeshitela.
“His career in activism goes all the way back to the SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] in the 1960s,” Kuzmarov said. “This looks like something out of the Cold War, like COINTELPRO where they are trying to go after an activist group and play up this Russian threat.”
Kuzmarov noted the actions by federal agents amount to “overkill” in light of how officials “sent military tanks on his street and drones were over his house at five in the morning.”
“It is part of this tradition. This group may be small and relatively obscure, they are having some impact and they are empowering people and the government doesn’t want his movement to grow stronger," the managing editor said. "I mean, in the Cold War they went after groups like the Socialist Workers' Party, which had minuscule support among the American public.”
Kuzmarov said that the US government is quickly losing credibility because of the Ukraine conflict, and feel as though they need to make an example out of somebody. “They’re worried. The fact is the government is losing legitimacy, things are not going well in Ukraine. You have even now right-wing speakers in the heartland challenging US foreign policy,” but, Kuzmarov adds, it is not the conservatives the government is primarily worried about, but progressive groups like the African People’s Socialist Party, which is based in an impoverished part of St. Louis, Missouri, and has helped fund Black businesses in the area and build basketball courts for the youth.
“I think they are worried about a rebellion and they are worried that these progressive groups will gain strength and significantly challenge the power structure, so they have to flush that out,” Kuzmarov said. "They want to create a climate of McCarthyism, a climate of the Cold War so they can keep control and to brand any opposition and dissent as Russian inspired and that Russia is sowing discord."
Kuzmarov underscored he anticipates the US government will continue with its current strategy of placing any and all blame on Russia, but that it will quickly lose its credibility.
“As you say it is ridiculous what they are doing and this further erodes their legitimacy. Anyone who is paying attention sees how ridiculous they are behaving, and how outlandish the accusations against Russia have been over the last eight years,” Kuzarov explained.
“They exposed themselves. The Muller report showed that was a whole charade with regards to [former US President Donald] Trump being a Russian agent. They have already been exposed but they keep doing the same thing over and over again and how much longer are people going to put up with it, it is ridiculous.”
AmericasDOJ Arrests Two Men for Running Alleged ‘Secret’ Chinese Police Station in Manhattan18 April, 03:52 GMTThe three concluded their conversation covering the recent arrest of Americans of Chinese descent accused of spying and running a “secret police station” in Manhattan, and the recent Pentagon documents that were leaked on Discord.