A giant manipulation factory

2024-01-23 19:03:00, Opinione Andi Bushati
A giant manipulation factory

The new documents, released from VOA's review of the McGonigal dossier, further reinforce the conviction of a cash-funded scandal from Tirana to destroy the domestic opposition. In the previously unknown revelations, an FBI agent is quoted as expressing doubts to his superiors about the value of investigating this case when the agency does not have the capacity to deal with more important investigations that threaten US national security. So, according to him, this is a hidden and useless file, opened allegedly to investigate the irregularities in the declaration of financing of the American Nik Muzin, from Lulzim Basha, who, according to suspicions, received Russian money.

The thesis that there is something dark behind this machination is supported by two other facts. First, the former agent himself, already sentenced to 30 months in prison, Charles McGonigal, admitted before the court that he influenced to advance this file. Second, as US prosecutors point out, this bubble died once McGonigal retired and the file was closed.

Put this way, the story seems very simple: that of a government using black money to buy off a US official to use for its own purposes. It doesn't matter that this is the most important corrupt FBI agent ever. It doesn't even matter that this is done by the poorest NATO member country. These are quite insignificant compared to the manipulative machinery that this simple purchase subsequently set in motion.

To understand it better, it is worth returning once again, briefly, to the chronicle. She tells us that, in August 2017, McGonigal asked Albanian-American Agron Neza for a loan. He did what he knew best to find the money. He brought the FBI agent to meet with Edi Rama at the Prime Minister's office in September. Shortly thereafter, the former agent received at least 225,000 USD. Already paid, he returned to Albania in November. Immediately after that, the giving of bribes, sourced from the prime minister, for the "Russian money" of Basha and PD began. As he himself claims, McGonigal influenced the opening of the investigation, through the materials served to him by Neza and the prime minister's informal adviser, Dorian Ducka. To top it off, the latter also paid the witnesses who testify for the FBI regarding this event and this was kept secret from the institution. In February 2018, the goal was achieved and the FBI opened an official investigation against Basha's lobbyist. So, until here, we have simply the fable of a former American official corrupted by the government of a partner country.

As heavy and dirty as it sounds, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Because from this banal bazaar a monumental monstrosity was produced, which created a completely false parallel reality.

Not even four or five weeks have passed since the case was opened through McGonigal's pressure, in an American magazine, "Mother Jones", previously unheard of in Albania, the data appeared for an article accusing our opposition of being financed with Russian money. The details of this article were also used by the prestigious New York Times, which took up this topic.

That's how long it took for the newspapers and televisions financed with the money of the incinerators, to turn the danger that was threatening national security, from the Kremlin's funding, into a headline. Politicians in power did not take this refrain out of their mouths, every time they appeared in front of the cameras.

To understand the atmosphere that reigned in the country, it is good to see a statement, as stupid as it is funny, by Elisa Spiropali, from the headquarters of the SP, which Edi Rama also posted on his Facebook (see the video below). In this spiropalizing din, Elisa spoke of a grave, dark situation for the country, where hostile forces were influencing politics and parliament. But the manipulation did not end with words. The prosecutor's office of Tirana came into play, opening the file of Russian financing. The former ambassador Yuri Kim also went further, that during a meeting with closed doors, she used this compensation in an evasive way, to keep alive the fable of an opposition that darkened the reality and harmed the country, as a result of the payments that came to her from Russia.

So as a conclusion, this is not simply the banal story of the purchase of an agent, no matter how important it may have been, but the overview of how this corrupt act, through lobbying, international and national media, local politicians and parties, set in motion the justice local and foreign diplomats.

And all this for what? For one file, which, after being caught red-handed, McGonigal admitted that he had speared it himself and that it was closed when he retired. For a case that, as recent VOA testimony showed, even FBI officials knew had no value.

Therefore, if for the USA, McGonigal's file is serious, as it shows that a corrupt state managed to corrupt the highest agent ever recruited, for Albania it is several times that. For us, it proves not just a cash purchase, but the Orwellian factory of manipulation that makes this country live in a parallel reality./ CNA

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