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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars
in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American
Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016
"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F
"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."
Russiagate is McCarthyism-style witch hunt that strives to achieve three main goals:
While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade) in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere. Marina Butina case is a textbook example here
This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug.
This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug.
When they start pretending that the growing level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is an important sign of decadence/degeneration of the US elite as well as profound weakness of neoliberal ideology. The latter was discredited in 2008 and since then neoliberalism became a zombie. Bloodthirsty, but still zombie. Latest counterrevolutions in Argentina and Brazil which brought back neoliberals into power should not hide the fact that the time for Triumph March of neoliberalism over the globe is over. It is in retreat and is endangered in some countries. Like Soviet Empire in 70th the US global neoliberal empire experience stress and might soon start to crumble (if oil prices go up above $100 then sooner, rather then later). Trump "might makes right" foreign policy just speed up the inevitable process, at the base of which are "secular stagnation" in the USA due to high oil prices and excesses of financialization, which weakened the country manufacturing base, while the competitors such as Germany, Japan, and China now completely recovered from the post WWII destruction and now represent a real threat to the USA manufacturing having a more modern and more efficient manufacturing base.
Looking at the Integrity Initiative it's clear that UK was the key player in Russiagate, promoting information warfare with Russia at all levels - academia, the media, on down to the subsidized web sites and the individuals who are paid to insert comments on social media. The latter is now regarded in England as an integral part of Intelligence work. Britain strived to stem Russian influence in Europe and block any possibility of the alliance of Germany and Russia or France and Russia for centuries. So, in a way, nothing changed.
That's why British intelligence services (working with the US intelligence services, which promote the US MIC interests that include creating anti-Russian hysteria) played important role in several recent false flag operations. Such as Steele dossier, Papadopoulos entrapment, Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. All of those false flags were designed to poison the US-Russia and EU-Russia relationships and block the possibilities of any detente. And only as a side effect to entrap Trump. I suspect Trump was never the primary goal as Mueller was appointed in May 2017, while Trump completely folded in April 2017. So creating the atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria was probably the primary goal and instigation of Trump only secondary goal
They fully accomplished this goal. The level of anti-Russian hysteria in the USA now reached such height that merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you "an unregistered foreign agent" of Russia bent on implementing Putin's evil plans.
At the same time Mueller investigation exposed the MI6 and UK government attempts to manipulate the result of the 2016 US Presidential elections (the fact the Mueller tried to conceal in his disingenuous report).
The pillars of the USA "Deep State" such as CIA, FBI and the Department of State are interested in enlargement of the military budget. And that requires elevated level of anti-Russian hysteria. Nothing personal, only business. That's why they tried to entrap Trump associates such as Papadopoulos implicating them with ties to Russia. Simply because the détente with Russia contradicts their interests, which they are ready to defend tooth and nail. So any change in the USA foreign policy that threaten their budgets and influence is naturally defined as a treason, which we saw in the rhetoric of Brennan and Clapper (who more intellectually limited, but overambitious and ruthless representatives of the upper echelons of the US intelligence community) That's why on Russiagate all neoliberal MSM sing in unison, using intelligence agencies talking points. The result is almost complete brainwashing which was can observe even among academic blogs such as Angry Bear. Relations with Russia are probably now spoiled for a generation or more.
The supporting factor is that ordinary people in the USA (who are busy with their lives and most of which struggle just to survive economically) have no time to decipher all those complex games. Most buy neoliberal MSM coverage uncritically. While neoliberal MSM lie and deceive the US public as if there is a war with Russia. Using all tried and true principles of war propaganda (10 principles of war propaganda):
The situation with complete brainwashing of the US public by neo-McCarthyism campaign unleashed after Trump victory in 2016 elections was brilliantly caught in the following satire Russians halt search for intelligent life in Washington OffGuardian :
Russian research team which claimed to have detected signs of intelligent life in Washington has now discovered the life there not to be quite so intelligent after all.
A Russian spokesman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told our Moscow science correspondent —who also wishes to remain anonymous— that the Washington atmosphere has been poisoned by huge clouds of putrid hot air belching from the corporate media. He explained that such a hostile environment makes it almost impossible for intelligent life to survive, let alone evolve a sustainable culture. The Russian team believes there may still be small pockets of intelligent life elsewhere on the North American continent but without the necessary conditions they need to thrive they are destined to disappear without trace.
Speaking off the record, the Russian spokesman, who asked us not to disclose his identity, added that hopes of finding intelligent life in London, Paris, Berlin and other Western European locations, where it might be expected to flourish, are fading fast. Though it is believed intelligent life once existed in Western Europe, an atmosphere suitable for the maintenance of such life has all but evaporated.
On both the North American and West European continents bodies spewing vast amounts highly toxic material are believed to be responsible for a huge decline in mental faculties.
As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:
This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.
More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.
To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.
While this is a favorite policy of the current US neoliberal elite (and first of all "Lords of secrecy" -- the top brass of the intelligence agencies) it might well be a symptom of the USA society getting a dangerous political auto-immune disease which is much more widespread and is as difficult if not more difficult to cure (an auto-immune disease is abnormal immune response to a normal body substance; ~24 million of people are affected in the USA; examples include psoriasis, diabetes mellitus type 1, and rheumatoid arthritis ).
Russiagate might well be a symptom of the USA society getting a dangerous political auto-immune disease.
In other words this is the sign that the US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US internal problems caused by neoliberalism, and first of all drop of the standard of living of both lower middle class and blue collar workers. So they start to suppress any criticism framing opponents or even people whom they view not suitable stewards of the USA-led global neoliberal empire (Trump) as Russian agents or stooges.
All that really stands between the discredited after 2008 neoliberal elite and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'legitimacy' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies ;-), and that's really not enough anymore.
Hillary was defeated despite being the establishment candidate supported by intelligence agencies (which suppressed Emailgate scandal) and that put the USA neoliberal elite into the state of paranoia. Fueling Neo-McCarthyism on the base of DNC leak (which was converted into the false flag implicating Russians by Crowdstrike; Gussifer 2.0 person was most probably a fake created specifically to legitimize this version of events) hacking was a defensive move after Hillary fiasco, which allowed neoliberal elite to shift the focus of discontent on the "external enemy" (aka scapegoat) and rally the nation under the flag.
|Fueling Neo-McCarthyism was a defensive move after Hillary fiasco, which allowed neoliberal elite to shift the focus of discontent on the "external enemy" (aka scapegoat) and rally the nation under the flag. It also serve geopolitical goals of weakening and isolating Russia, including imposition of additional sanctions.|
That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became the main "theme" within the neoliberal MSM and the American political establishment. This witch hunt was encouraged by foreign governments, especially British government and intelligence agencies, who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Great Britain were Russophobia runs in generations of the elite, Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian governments comes to mind).
|Samuel Johnson saying "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of Washington neocon scoundrels"|
The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace. As Reds are gone this is sold as ethnic menace which represents politically correct version of Anti-Semitism. As ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put it ( Clapper’s Unhinged Russia-Bashing – Consortiumnews ): The Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever”
There’s great irony in that comment by Clapper, with his own record of perjury implicates the entire nation. It impliedly states that the entire ethnicity can’t be trusted. And, of course, there were zero outrage followed this blatantly xenophobic comment in CIA controlled neoliberal MSM. Imagine what would happen if this scoundrel would say "Jews are typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever"
The Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever” ~James Clapper
This process of demonizing the enemy was previously used only during wars and it has its own logic and rules. It include morel indignation as a component. The proper sociological term is "moral panic":
A moral panic is a feeling of fear spread among a large number of people that some evil threatens the well-being of society. A Dictionary of Sociology defines a moral panic as "the process of arousing social concern over an issue – usually the work of moral entrepreneurs and the mass media".
In recent centuries the mass media have become important players in the dissemination of moral indignation, even when they do not appear to be consciously engaged in sensationalism or in muckraking. Simply reporting the facts can be enough to generate concern, anxiety, or panic. Stanley Cohen states that moral panic happens when "a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests".
Examples of moral panic include the belief in widespread abduction of children by predatory pedophiles, belief in ritual abuse of women and children by satanic cults, the War on Drugs, and other public-health issues. issue can be fake such as in witch hunts.
... ... ...
According to Stanley Cohen, who seems to have borrowed the term from Marshall McLuhan (see above), there are five key stages in the construction of a moral panic:
- Someone, something or a group are defined as a threat to social norms or community interests
- The threat is then depicted in a simple and recognizable symbol/form by the media
- The portrayal of this symbol rouses public concern
- There is a response from authorities and policy makers
- The moral panic over the issue results in social changes within the community
Currently, "witch-hunt" is used instead of the term of "moral panic" in case the issue is fake. It means an investigation usually conducted with much publicity, supposedly to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty and so on, but in reality designed to weaken political opposition. McCarthyism is a less widespread and more narrow term which means the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
|Currently, "witch-hunt" is used instead of the term of "moral panic" in case the issue is fake. It means an investigation usually conducted with much publicity, supposedly to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty and so on, but in reality designed to weaken political opposition. McCarthyism is a less widespread and more narrow term which means the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.|
Red Scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA oligarchy in 50th, as it helped to weaken trade union movement. Also it was clear that the threat was fake as after WWII Bolshevism as a social model did not represented a real threat to capitalism (it degenerated into an extreme variant of state capitalism; in other word Bolshevism represented threat mainly to their own people). It was clear even to Soviet people that socialism can't provide higher standard of living to common people then capitalism. At this point Soviet people became susceptible to propaganda from BBC, Voice of America and like. They understood that this was a propaganda designed to weaken the USSR, but they needed alternative source of information for propaganda of Soviet official press. We have somewhat similar situation now -- the interest in RT, Moon of Alabama, Consortium News, similar outlets partially can be explained by the fact that people no longer trust neoliberal MSM.
|The interest in RT, Moon of Alabama, Consortium News, similar outlets partially can be explained by the fact that people no longer trust neoliberal MSM|
It is important to understand that the fear of the USSR prevented looting of the USA middle class till 1980th. In other words, the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. In this sense the USSR was co-author of the "golden age" of the USA (approx 1945-1970; until hippies culture took over), where the stereotypical "American Dream" was brought to life
|The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class till 1980th. In other words, the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century (1917-1970).|
That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general. Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR. Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.
The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt is very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting group of politicians opposing neoliberal globalization as Russian stooges there was a distinct effort to suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag.
There is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump in Russiagate. There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his administration the Special Prosecutor.
Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems. That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation.
Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached from the reality. And the assumption the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence. Trump is definitely a marionette as appointment of Bolton and Pompeo (and before them Haley) proved once and forever.
Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and India as possible members). And like in in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".
The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a strong men in the eyes of their mistresses.
Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Their approach is simplistic and wrong "Russia is an autocratic state" they declare without of any evidence (any state with powerful intelligence agencies is autocratic by definition; any veneer of democracy is such a state is fake) ; so "Carnage should be destroyed."
And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive. Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites.", the caste of 'Praetorian guards' which consists of officials in intelligencia agencies and State Department, most of which are neocons hell bent of "Full spectrum dominance" mantra, the wellbeing of common people in the USA be damned. This caste is deeply interested in keeping the heat of Russiagate as it brings them money (as in Pentagon almost trillion dollars budget), influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in 17 intelligence agencies, State Department. So this tiny section of the USA elite essentially had taken the USA hostage. And they control all major US papers, TV channels and websites (see US and British media are servants of security apparatus) All at the expense of security of the USA as a country, all for the sake of maintaining an overbloated defense budget.
The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them. And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel MadCow or "analysts" like Max Boot who as Tucker Carlson suggested "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".
And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated by European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold). They are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. This group of ruthless careerists actually enjoy their "confirmation bias" toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" regurgitate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed country and as such much more dangerous. Generally Russiagate remind more dangerous variant of Iraq WMD with Brennan with Steele dossier instead of Secretary Colin Powell in UN presenting "irrefutable" proof. And with Rachel Maddow instead of Judith Miller
In case of Iraq it was and still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with. Those guys know how to fight. But they are briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases. Also they have information from fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate)
Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a "clear and present danger" since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump. And then what ?
I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms. Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.
The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China and Russia represents geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first.
Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."
The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war.
The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result: over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and pretty talented and reserved politician who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating. This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well)
The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom server and then it reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)
The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.
They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites". This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain. In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."
Since around late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony before House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).
The central role in the creation of the new "Red peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this game. The fueling of this hysteria usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):
MarkThomason 3 Dec 2014 18:41Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.
Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.
However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.
Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.
This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)
In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.
The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed).
Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):
The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.
The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.
If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation. As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):
norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMTThe unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT
It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT
We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.
If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.
[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […]
Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ).
Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends. If involved a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):
Yellowcake forgery allegationsMain article: Niger uranium forgeries
According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:
- "The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
- ... ... ...
- He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
- One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
- That's our mission in the war against terror.
This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States. If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?
Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA under Yeltsin.)
We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives), but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch. The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them.
During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.
Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available. thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter in Pentagon.
In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure. In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):
In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.
That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.
They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA. They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" -- contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences, as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same).
The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously, had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).
The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population. the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo. May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal). After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexit, election of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics. This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.
There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.
All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).
Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange, as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).
Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA.
Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence professionals for sanity. The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.
The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines) infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.
And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.
And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.
Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government. The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.
But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells. I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease. In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one, is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda.
Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda. Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society. They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-). Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity). Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally.
All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.
Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR. Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966). Here is the TOC:
1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I
- Distortion in Serial Transmission 3
- Rumor as a Collective Transaction 9
- The Social Control of Communication 17
- The Situational Approach to Rumor 23
2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31
- Rumors of Environmental Changes 32
- Crisis Situations and the News 37
- Rumors in Sustained Collective Tension 46
- Conditions of Rumor Construction 56
3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63
- Evolving Preoccupations of the Public 64
- Rumor Construction through Discussion 70
- Rumors as Plausible Extrapolations 76
- Wish-Fulfillment in Rumor Content 86
4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95
- Intensification of Collective Tension 96
- The Successive Alteration of Standards 108
- Personal Equation in the Rumor Process 121
- Consequences of Rumor-Consciousness 125
5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS
- Termination of the Rumor Process 130
- The Development of Consensus 140
- Reality Testing as a Social Process 148
- Legendary Accounts and Historiography 155
6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR
- Some Generalizations about Rumor 164
- Society as a Communicative Process 166
- Crisis and Collective Adjustment 172
- Development through Natural Selection 176
7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR
- Informational Strategy in Politics 186
- The Deliberate Propagation of Rumors 191
- The Suppression of Inconvenient Rumors 200
- Limitations of Institutional Control 208
Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)
Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.
Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:
I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate"). Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.
Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.
In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.
The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM. And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play "Russians are coming" smoke screen.
With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC.
Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question: "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed) foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"
|Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination|
While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer. He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination. Many positions in the Russian government are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.
Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see Two Party System as Polyarchy ) Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation, probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):
likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PMParadoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.
As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.
JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."
Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.
But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did [in Russian Presidential elections] in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)
The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.
Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.
Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.
Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it would be very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.
Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.
In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.
So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.
In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.
A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.
But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.
And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.
In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.
As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.
Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.
Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).
I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.
This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy? Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States. What is the basis for that assumption?
- Russian support for the Russian ethnic minority in eastern Ukraine? How does that threaten the United States?
- Russian annexation of the Crimea? Khrushchev arbitrarily transferred that part of Russia to Ukraine during his time as head of the USSR. Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. Russia never accepted the arbitrary transfer of a territory that had been theirs since the 18th Century. How does this annexation threaten the United States?
- Russia does not want to see Syria crushed by the jihadis and acts accordingly? How does that threaten the United States?
- Russia threatens the NATO states in eastern Europe? Tell me how they actually do that. Is it by stationing their forces on their side of the border with these countries? Have the Russians made threatening statements about the NATO states?
- Russia has made threatening and hostile statements directed at the United States? When and where was that?
- Russia does not accept the principle of state sovereignty? Really? The United States is on shaky ground citing that principle. Remember Iraq?
- Russian intelligence may have intercepted and collected the DNC's communications (hacked) as well as HC's stash of illegal e-mails? Possibly true but every country on earth that has the capability does the same kind of thing every single day. That would include the United States.
The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.
We should all sober up.
The anti-Russian theme has been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian
hysteria after her defeat is not surprising.
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:
Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.
Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum
Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."
It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate
The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.
Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme "The Russians are Coming". And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism. Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):
MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?
MC: Yes! Are you serious?
Putin: I’m quite serious.
MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?
Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics. These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?
MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word. What do you mean by that?
Putin: You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?
MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?
Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent. It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear. It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC. That was diversion one right out of the gate.
As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations
that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of
MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to
look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.
Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.
Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?
One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html
Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.
Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.
Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:
While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.
As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.
The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not
pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure
for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on
Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.
And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.
And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.
DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc. See DNC emails leak
Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.
BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).
When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Not very difficult, but impossible.
To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).
Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware. And technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook. And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):
However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :
Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).
For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.
In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.
If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.
Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.
So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!
Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.
That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)
I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.
The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!
JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!
Update Addition by Yves:
Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):
There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.
Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.
Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:
Thomas Rid wrote:
One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.
This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.
Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."
Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.
 More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"
 This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.
Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 ampretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am
For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:
Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.
–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr
Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.
Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am
and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.
"… all these could be spoofed by another party."
Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?
Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.
But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.
Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.
Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail. And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.
Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.
“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.
“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”
In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”
Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.
In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian
I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.
Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.
Chanze Jennings -> atopic
The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?
BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post:
ABC and CNN during this Presidential compaisn were essentially the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage. Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.
They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash scandal, etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):
Kintbury -> Mr. Fusion • 21 hours agoKnow Mei > deanbob
You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie."Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.Alti -> ADLives • 2 days ago
I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard. see more
William Carr > Know Mei •
“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”
In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now suppressed.
What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act” which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)
That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation) that should address this issue:
2d Session S. 3274
To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.
SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.
(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;
(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and
(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.
(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:
(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.
(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.
(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.
(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.
(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.
(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.
(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.
(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).
(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.
(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—
(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .
(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.
(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.
(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—
(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.
(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.
(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.
(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.
(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.
(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.
(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.
SEC. 3. Information access funds.
(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.
(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.
(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.
(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.
(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.
SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.
SEC. 5. Reports.
(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.
(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.
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The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D
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Last modified: May 09, 2019