The most circulated newspaper in Europe killed a major corruption story to please Joe Biden. A new report details how editors at Bild, the outlet in question, canned an extensive investigative piece on Albanian PM Edi Rama because he and the US president are friends and political allies.
Per The Washington Examiner, Albania has become a narco-state over the last decade under Rama, and Bild was getting ready to expose him further.
So, who is Rama? He’s the far-left leader of Albania’s Socialist Party. Accusations against him range from drug trafficking to money laundering, to extortion and vote buying.
A few days ago, I was contacted by a senior reporter with Bild, a major German tabloid. To be clear, Bild does serious reporting, and it’s Europe’s highest-circulation newspaper. Bild has previously reported embarrassing things about Rama, including wiretaps showing the prime minister’s involvement in vote-buying and blackmail.
I was happy to answer Bild’s questions about Albania, based on my Washington Examiner articles and the fact that I was a top Balkan expert for the National Security Agency. I confirmed that Albania, under Rama, has become Europe’s leading narco-state with connections to narcotrafficking interests across the planet.
Albania is Europe’s only declared narco-state because of the extent to which its economy relies on the drug trade. The mafia in the country is also very powerful, and allegations of Rama being in cahoots with them subsist. The narco ties go all the way to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, but while the Biden administration was quick to designate Albania’s former conservative prime minister for corruption despite him being out of office for eight years, the White House has had nothing to say about Rama, and the accusations and evidence against him. Why the double standard?
Back to the article covering Rama’s transgressions, it was slated to be published on Saturday or Sunday. According to the Examiner, though, the entire thing has been scuttled.
However, the Bild reporter informed me, with surprise and dismay, that top editors had killed the story (which included comments from others besides myself, such as top German security experts). When I asked why, the reporter informed me that Bild leadership explained that “Washington stands by Rama,” and therefore, the report cannot run.
In other words, Germany’s highest-circulation newspaper, which enjoys a reputation for muckraking journalism, won’t publish negative reports about Rama and his friends lest they offend Tirana – and, more important, Washington.
Why is the President of the United States allied with a corrupt socialist in a narco-state? To the point of German newspapers killing stories to ensure they don’t offend Biden? One might also ask why the Biden Family keeps popping up in these stories about European corruption. Those are questions that the US press would be asking if they weren’t shamelessly in the tank.
But even if the relationship between Biden and Rama is simply political (i.e. leftwinger protecting another leftwinger), that’s not much of an excuse given the issues that are so apparent in Albania. What is the United States getting out of backing a corrupt socialist leader in a largely uninfluential European nation? What’s the national interest? I could take a few guesses, and none of them are good.