(Institute of World Politics news release) Professor J. Michael Waller was Bill O’Reilly’s guest on “The O’Reilly Factor” show February 24, discussing the conduct of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava. The program is on the Fox News Channel.
Citing the Russian leader’s murky KGB career, which involved allegedly corrupt dealings with the Russian mafiya, Waller explained why Putin is not the democrat he proclaimed himself to be at the summit, and should not be considered a trustworthy partner with the U.S.
Waller wrote a then-controversial biographical sketch of Putin, Portrait of Putin’s Past, in early 2000. In it, he concluded:
One should expect a degree of economic reform under a Putin regime; few dispute the need if Russia is to recover. One should also expect some aggressive prosecutions of high-profile figures on corruption charges. They will, in all likelihood, be more political moves than honest corruption-fighting, just as the Cheka used the corruption epithet to smash its “class enemies,” or as Andropov employed the KGB selectively to expose corruption to undermine his Brezhnevite rivals. Any other way simply is not part of Putin’s chekist genetic code.