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By John Helmer in Moscow

On June 16, 1858, in Springfield, Illinois, the young Abraham Lincoln launched his campaign for a seat in the US Senate for Illinois, with a speech that became famous for these words: “In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln was defeated in the election by the incumbent, Stephen Douglas.

According to anonymous government sources reported by the Wall Street Journal, in August and again in early October of this year, the Obama Administration has decided to allow Oleg Deripaska, the controlling shareholder of United Company Rusal and Russia’s most indebted man, to enter the US, without an approved visa and without public disclosure – at least until now. The US State Department appears from the newspaper report either to have been unaware of, or to have opposed, Deripaska’s entry, which has been barred twice; most recently since 2006. The following US organs reportedly favoured giving Deripaska what the newspaper calls a “limited-entry permit” – the FBI, the US Department of Homeland Security, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and General Motors.

This reported lineup may be a ruse to give the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, political cover for cutting a private deal with Deripaska’s Washington lobbying firm, Endeavor Group, with whom Clinton has long-established links. As already reported here, Endeavor was engaged by Deripaska in May, at $40,000 per month, to pursue a permit for him to enter the US, and to promote his business interests with GM: http://johnhelmer.net/?p=1454

Special or limited (and secret) government waivers of visa restrictions on Deripaska are not new. A high-ranking Australian diplomat has explained that Deripaska has been granted waivers of visa bans to enter Australia, after a determination by the Australian government that national economic interests would be served by the business relationship Deripaska’s Rusal maintains as a 20% stakeholder in the Queensland Alumina Ltd., and a major buyer of Australian bauxite and alumina exports. Deripaska has also met with Australian government officials in the past in a bid to sell them the An-140, a small aircraft produced at Aviacor, one of the plants of the Deripaska holding, Basic Element.

The Australian official has claimed that similar waivers have been granted by the UK Government. He has reported that by agreement between the intelligence services of the US, Australia, and the UK, if one government blackballs an individual seeking entry, the others are notified, and should follow suit, unless they issue national-interest waivers. Officially, the three governments won’t comment on the visa status of individuals, or the existence of the blackball and backdoor system.

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