The mainstream media’s narrative that the Russian government interfered with the United States election, and that this interference invalidated, or at least tainted, Trump’s election has culminated in President Obama taking a series of measures against Russia, which consist of: imposing sanctions on the GRU and the FSB (the two major Russian intelligence organizations), four officers of the GRU, and two Russian individuals who allegedly used “cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information;” expelling 35 diplomats and intelligence officials; and closing two Russian compounds in Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Long Island, New York. These actions were said to have been taken not only because of Russian interference in the election but for a number of other instances of Russian malfeasance that go back in time and are unrelated to alleged election interference. And there was no evidence provided that showed, or even claimed to show, that the particular individuals and entities covered by these measures had anything to do with the alleged election interference.
Like other common memes—such as anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism—used to silence debate, the exact meaning of Russian interference in the election is unclear—and Obama’s inclusion of a number of extraneous issues in his explanation for taking retaliatory action against Russia muddles the issue even more. The reference to Russian interference in the election includes a composite of alleged Russian misdeeds—“fake news,” computer hacking, and manipulating voting machines  –which are usually lumped together but are actually quite different and should be analyzed separately since the combination approach only serves to obfuscate the issue. Of course—and this probably would not be shocking to most readers of this essay—many of those who promote the idea of Russian culpability are not really concerned about pursuing a Socratic search for truth but instead want to anathematize Putin’s Russia and/or delegitimize Trump’s election victory.
First, let me take care of the most extreme claim—that Russian hackers manipulated election results to make Trump president. This would be a nearly impossible task since voting machines are not attached to the Internet, and it was never pointed out how the Russians could do this on any significant scale. Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton was urged by “a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers” to demand a recount in three states—Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—in which Clinton seemed to be slightly ahead in pre-election polls but which were won by Trump by narrow margins. The group claimed to have statistical evidence that the vote had been altered. The basis of this claim, however, was quite flimsy since it simply rested on an analysis that showed that in Wisconsin counties with electronic voting machines, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes than in counties with paper ballots or optical scanners. It was then assumed that the same thing could have occurred in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
There was a recount in Wisconsin in which Trump increased his victory margin by 131 votes; a total of 2.976 million ballots were cast. The recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein who covered the estimated $3.5 million cost of the endeavor. Similar efforts by Stein to get recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania were blocked in the state courts because of her lack of standing by the laws of those states—not having any chance of winning herself, she could not be considered an “aggrieved party.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign did not make official efforts to get recounts in any states. With Trump’s victory in Wisconsin surviving the recount, he had garnered a majority of the electoral votes, which would make him President unless there were a far higher number of faithless electors than turned out to be the case. Nonetheless, half of Clinton’s voters still think Russia hacked the election day voting.
Now to consider the ramifications of Russia’s hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and the reception and release to the public of this Russian-hacked information by WikiLeaks. While this is assumed to be incontestably true by the mainstream media, neither one of these allegations is rock solid at the moment. The alleged consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies is that there is sufficient evidence that Russia hacked the aforementioned emails, but the evidence for this has not been made available to the public nor is there proof that WikiLeaks relied on emails derived from Russian hacks. Given the fact that America’s intelligence agencies are not noted for being honest with the public, one would think that the mainstream media would give some attention to the critics of the dominant narrative.
Reacting to these allegations, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, claims that his organization did not release any information provided to it by Russia or a Russian proxy. And Assange does have a vested interest in being truthful in order to maintain WikiLeaks’ credibility, which has so far been impeccable. Confirming Assange’s contention is Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Assange, though not an official member of the WikiLeaks staff. Murray stated: “As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks.” He goes on to claim: “Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.” Murray alleges that the two sets of emails—from the DNC and from Podesta–came from American insiders but from different sources.
Obviously, the security agencies should provide the public with detailed evidence and describe the actual sources. As Pat Buchanan suggests: “The CIA director and his deputies should be made to testify under oath, not only as to what they know about Russia’s role in the WikiLeaks email dumps but also about who inside the agency is behind the leaks to The Washington Post designed to put a cloud over the Trump presidency before it begins.”
Now it should be pointed out that the actual content of the emails released by WikiLeaks, which the U.S. claims to have been obtained by Russian hacking, has not been falsified. The information harmful to Hillary Clinton included the DNC’s behind-the-scenes support for her over Bernie Sanders (which included then DNC chair Donna Brazile’s feeding answers to Clinton before the latter’s debate with Bernie Sanders); Clinton’s unpublicized paid speeches—on foreign policy and the economy– to wealthy business executives and bankers revealing views diametrically opposed to her campaign positions; the collusion of mainstream media reporters with the DNC. For example, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank requested and got the DNC to do the research for a negative column he wrote about Trump.
If the WikiLeaks information were completely fallacious, it would not have been derived from hacking or even from leaks, but simply fabricated. Nonetheless, this defense is being made. The logical form of this argument is that hacking took place but that the released emails were doctored to make them damaging. But this is based on the fact that it is possible to doctor emails, rather than any evidence that the WikiLeaks’ emails were altered. The assumption being made was that Russia was capable of doctoring the emails, therefore, the emails must be doctored. For example, Jamie Winterton, director of strategy for Arizona State University’s Global Security Initiative, was quoted as saying: “I would be shocked if the emails weren’t altered,” and went on to say that Russia was well-known to have used this technique in the past.ix Similarly, Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin asserted: “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange, who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton.” He referred to doctored emails that supposedly appeared on websites linked to Russian intelligence as proof that “documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign,” although Caplin did not say that the emails concerning Clinton’s speeches had been faked.x According to James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the spreading of false information by intelligence services “is a technique that goes back to Tsarist times.” Among his examples, he referred to the Soviet-spread rumor that the U.S. government developed the AIDS virus. Needless to say, this, too, had nothing to do with WikiLeaks much less the emails it released on Clinton and the DNC.
MSNBC’s terrorist analyst and a former intelligence officer, Malcolm Nance, tweeted a message, shortly after WikiLeaks’ October release of some of Podesta’s emails, that these emails were “riddled with obvious forgeries,” without ever providing evidence. If any emails released by WikiLeaks were “obvious forgeries,” it would seem quite easy for U.S. intelligence agencies to point this out without using any secret, super-high tech methods, and thus substantiate the case being made.
Interestingly, Nance was also quoted as taking the opposite position: “We have no way of knowing whether this is real or not unless Hillary Clinton goes through everything they’ve said and comes out and says it cross-correlates and this is true.” Here, Nance seems to be saying that WikiLeaks’ could only be considered accurate if Hillary would show this to be the case. Since Hillary is not going to indict herself, this is not going to happen. However, the burden of proof should be on those who claim that the emails were altered to point out the discrepancies between the emails released by WikiLeaks and the DNC’s and Podesta’s actual emails. It would not be necessary to go through the whole tranche but simply focus on the detrimental emails. If this is not done, then claims that the WikiLeaks provides specious information should be dropped. So far, however, there seems to be little effort to show that the damaging information was untrue.
Actually, it seems that much of the hostility to the WikiLeaks’ information has little to do with it being false but rather that the emails were pilfered and made public. Adam Schiff, a Democratic congressman from California, who serves as the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Jane Harman, who is currently the president of the Wilson Center and a former ranking Democratic member of the same House committee state: “Russia’s theft and strategic leaking of emails and documents from the Democratic Party and other officials present a challenge to the U.S. political system unlike anything we’ve experienced.” Note that these writers charge Russia not only with illicitly obtaining the emails but also of “strategic leaking,” which was obviously the work of WikiLeaks, and for which no evidence whatsoever exists that Russia determined when the materials would be leaked.
The New York Times Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes that “[t]he pro-Putin tilt of Mr. Trump and his advisers was obvious months before the election . . . . By midsummer the close relationship between WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence was also obvious, as was the site’s growing alignment with white nationalists.” Krugman goes on to blame the mainstream media for giving attention to WikiLeaks. “Leaked emails, which everyone knew were probably the product of Russian hacking, were breathlessly reported as shocking revelations, even when they mostly revealed nothing more than the fact that Democrats are people.” However, if nothing harmful was revealed, it is hard to maintain that Russian hacking had a significant effect on the election. If harm were done to the Democrats, it was presumably caused by the media, which falsely implied that serious revelations were being made by WikiLeaks.
Referring to Putin and the Russian hackers, Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson contends: “Their hacking — as interpreted by both the CIA and the FBI — qualifies as state-sponsored aggression. It does jeopardize our way of life. It undermines the integrity of our political institutions and popular faith in them. More than this, it warns us that our physical safety and security are at risk. Hostile hackers can hijack power grids, communication networks, transportation systems and much more.” Even criticizing the position of the CIA—an institution American liberals, not too long ago, looked upon as a force for evil–is now considered a threat to American democracy. As establishment liberal E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post pontificates: “That Trump would happily trash our own CIA to get Putin off the hook is disturbing enough . . . . That he would ignore the risks our intelligence agents take on so many fronts to protect us is outrageous.
Michael Daly of the liberal millennials–oriented Daily Beast writes: “Russians went from simply gathering our secrets to then making them public in such a way as to influence American public opinion and therefore the course of our democracy. Putin must marvel at the fervently patriotic, flag-waving Americans who shrug at the near certainty that a foreign power had subverted the electoral process that is at the heart of America’s true greatness.”
It is not apparent how receiving accurate information regarding political issues—which is what WikiLeaks seems to have provided—could really have a negative impact on American democracy; rather it would seem that it would actually improve democracy. The purpose of Voice of America is supposed to be to provide such information to foreign countries and especially to those where the governments prevent the facts from reaching their inhabitants. The idea is that people in foreign countries should know the truth about their own government and about other governments, as well.
The Washington Post was enraged when, in 2015, Russia shut down the U.S. government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), relying on a law that “bans groups from abroad who are deemed a ‘threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, its defense capabilities and its national security.’” The Washington Post wrote: “The charge against the NED is patently ridiculous. The NED’s grantees in Russia last year ran the gamut of civil society. They advocated transparency in public affairs, fought corruption and promoted human rights, freedom of information and freedom of association, among other things. All these activities make for a healthy democracy but are seen as threatening from the Kremlin’s ramparts.” Presumably, such things as “transparency in public affairs,” fighting corruption, and “freedom of information,” are vital for creating a “healthy democracy” in Russia when promoted by a foreign organization but are a grave danger to democracy if a foreign entity should try to do the same thing in the United States.
The mainstream media has acted as if Russian efforts to influence American policy are something novel, that this had never happened to the U.S. before. And “policy” is used here rather than “election” because affecting policy is apparently Putin’s motive, not simply putting Trump in the White House with U.S. policy toward Russian unchanged. It is quite understandable that Putin would view Trump as a better President from the standpoint of Russian interests than Hillary Clinton since Trump advocated improving relations with Russia while Clinton was oriented toward exacerbating them.
While the mainstream media implies that what Russia was allegedly attempting to do had never happened before, foreign countries had actually tried to shape American policies since the George Washington administration  when the ambassador from revolutionary France, popularly known as Citizen Genet, came to the United States in 1793 and sought to generate popular support to get the United States to modify its strict neutrality policy to one that would be helpful to France in its war with Great Britain. Genet even commissioned privateers to attack British shipping. Ultimately, however, President Washington and his Cabinet, angered by Genet’s activities that violated American sovereignty, demanded his recall. Genet simultaneously fell from favor in France as more radical Jacobins led by Robespierre took power and fearing he might face the guillotine if he returned to France, Genet requested and received asylum in the United States.
In 1867-1868, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. resorted to bribing lobbyists, newspapers, and members of Congress in order to make sure that the U.S. Congress would provide the funds for the treaty already signed by Secretary of State Seward (and approved by the Senate) to purchase Alaska.
In World War I both Germany and England were relying heavily on propaganda in the U.S.—the British goal to get the U.S. into the war on its side; the German goal to keep the U.S. out of the war. In 1917, Britain Illicitly intercepted and decoded what became known as the Zimmerman Telegram, which was a message from the German foreign ministry to its ambassador in Mexico instructing him to inform the Mexican government that Germany would, if the United States joined the war against it, support a Mexican effort to regain its former territory taken by the United States (though technically purchased) as a result of the Mexican-American War. After Britain turned the information over to the U.S. government, the publication of the telegram in March 1917 may have played a supporting role in America’s entrance into World War I in April 1917.
In World War II, British intelligence closely cooperated with the Roosevelt administration and the American interventionists—actually setting up pro-interventionist front groups–and engaged in efforts to destroy the non-interventionists. Soviet agents were also trying to shape American foreign policy during World War II and its aftermath in order to advance the interests of Stalinist Russia. And Israel (and the Zionist agency before Israel’s founding) and its American supporters have played a role in shaping America’s policy in the Middle East policy since World War I.
Finally, let us explore the reasons for Obama’s retaliation against the alleged Russian interference in the election, which included activities—mostly, but not only, involving spying—that had been going on for years. An obvious question is: why didn’t Obama take action earlier?
It should be pointed out that it is commonplace for spies to pose as diplomats. And it is likewise commonplace that a host country does nothing to stop the spying unless it goes too far or if the host country wants to send a message that it is concerned about some other matter and does so by expelling officials for spying who were not necessarily involved in the issue of concern. Obama’s expulsion edict fit the second category and was meant to show the U.S. government’s ire regarding the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election. Therefore, Obama’s retaliation against individuals and entities not involved in the matter of concern was not unconventional and if there had not been any alleged interference in the U.S. election, they likely would have been left alone.
Furthermore, it would appear that Obama chose to take action for political reasons: in order to appeal to the Democratic base and the mainstream media, afflicted as those two groups are by Trump Derangement Syndrome, and also to hardline opponents of Russia who loom large in the Republican Party and have become a significant force among the Democratic elite (e.g. Brookings Institution).
In making major foreign policy decisions, Obama’s modus operandi has often been one of reacting to pressure—usually, but not always, from elite opinion—which has caused him to take positions contrary to his own, often more non-interventionist and pacific, inclination. This seems to have been the case regarding Obama’s policy toward Libya, Syria, Israel (his obeisance to the Israel Lobby until the very end of his presidency), and even Russia, where he initially sought a “reset” to achieve friendlier relations.
Although it has been claimed that Obama had entertained issuing punitive measures against Russia before the election, but opted against this to avoid possible Russian retaliation that could affect the voting, it is not apparent that Obama would have taken comparable retaliatory action if Clinton had won a clear-cut electoral victory. While Republican hardliners, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, might have wanted such action, the Democrats would be satisfied with their victory, and Clinton and her foreign policy advisers, even though they might be anti-Putin, would not want their hands tied by such measures. While Obama is not a fan of Hillary Clinton, he did want her to be his successor, since that would have made him look good; there would have been no reason to antagonize her, her supporters, or the Democratic Party elite.
By penalizing Russia, Obama makes it difficult for President Trump to establish a more cordial relationship with Russia. There is extensive support in Congress from both Democrats and Republicans for taking strong action against Russia. As the title of an article in Roll Call, which focuses on the activities of the U.S. Congress , puts it: “Obama’s Russia Sanctions Put Trump, Hill GOP on Collision Course.” The author of this article, John T. Bennett, opines that Trump’s opposition to Obama’s retaliation against Russia “will immediately pit him against the hawkish wing of the Republican party.”
While Trump could overturn Obama’s anti-Russian measures, which are based on an executive order, his doing so would almost certainly be countered by legislation put forth by Democrats and some Republicans—the latter led by McCain and Graham, who have already said that they will introduce Russian sanction legislation. In the past few years, an overwhelming majority in Congress has voted for sanctions legislation against Russia, which makes it likely that there would be a veto-proof majority to stymie Trump on this issue.
To conclude, the Russian interference narrative did not serve to prevent Trump from becoming president but it does seem that it will cause serious problems for his presidency and for American foreign relations as well, as America will drift further into Cold War II, which is something that Trump, if not facing obstruction, could have possibly prevented.
 Robert Parry, “Details Still Lacking on Russian ‘Hack,’” Consortium News, December 29, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/29/details-still-lacking-on-russian-hack/
 Craig Timberg, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” Washington Post, November 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?utm_term=.370a24364c83
 Jennifer Scholtes , “DHS secretary: Ballot counts are largely safe from cyberattack,” Politico, September 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/ballot-counts-cyberattack-jeh-johnson-227891; John Roberts, “5 Reasons Why Hackers Can’t Rig the U.S. Election,” Fortune, August 10, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/08/09/voting-machines-hackers/
 Gabriel Sherman, “Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States,” Daily Intelligencer,
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/activists-urge-hillary-clinton-to-challenge-election-results.html; Bruce Schneier, “By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/27/by-november-russian-hackers-could-target-voting-machines/?utm_term=.7b415d99cbf3
 Matthew DeFour, “Completed Wisconsin recount widens Donald Trump’s lead by 131 votes,” Wisconsin State Journal, December 13, 2016, http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/completed-wisconsin-recount-widens-donald-trump-s-lead-by-votes/article_3f61c6ac-5b18-5c27-bf38-e537146bbcdd.html
 Kathy Frankovic, “Belief in conspiracy theories depends largely on which side of the spectrum you fall on,” Economist/YouGov Poll, December 27, 2016, https://today.yougov.com/news/2016/12/27/belief-conspiracies-largely-depends-political-iden/
 Craig Murray, “The CIA’s Absence of Conviction,” CraigMurray.org, December 11, 2016, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/ Murray was also quoted by the Daily Mail as saying he flew to Washington for a clandestine handoff of a “package” in September.
Alana Goodman, “Exclusive: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails – they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblower,” Daily Mail, December 14, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html; However, in an interview for the Scott Horton Show, Murray says that while he went to Washington in regard to this issue, he did not personally receive the emails. Scott Horton Show, December 13, 2016, https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/121316-craig-murray-dnc-podesta-emails-leaked-americans-not-hacked-russia/
 Pat Buchanan, “The Real Saboteurs of a Trump Foreign Policy,” Unz Review, December 20, 2016, http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/the-real-saboteurs-of-a-trump-foreign-policy/?highlight=Wikileaks
 Linda Qiu and Lauren Carroll, “Were the Clinton Campaign Emails Leaked by WikiLeaks Doctored?,”
Punditfact.com, October 23, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/23/were-the-clinton-campaign-emails-leaked-by-wikileaks-doctored.html
 Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger, “Hacked emails appear to reveal excerpts of speech transcripts Clinton refused to release,” Washington Post, October 7, 2016,
 Tim Starks and Eric Geller, “Russians, lies and WikiLeaks,” Politico, October 12, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/wikileaks-russia-hillary-clinton-campaign-democrats-229707
 Glenn Greenwald. “In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast as Putin Plots,” The Intercept, October 11, 2016, https://theintercept.com/2016/10/11/in-the-democratic-echo-chamber-inconvenient-truths-are-recast-as-putin-plots/
 Tim Starks and Eric Geller, “Russians, lies and WikiLeaks,” Politico, October 12, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/wikileaks-russia-hillary-clinton-campaign-democrats-229707
 See for instance: Mike Masnick, “The Clinton Campaign Should Stop Denying That The WikiLeaks Emails Are Valid; They Are And They’re Real,” Tech Dirt, October 25, 2016, https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161024/22533835878/clinton-campaign-should-stop-denying-that-wikileaks-emails-are-valid-they-are-theyre-real.shtml; Blake Hounshell, “Is this what Hillary Clinton really thinks about the world?,” Politico, October 12, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/hillary-clinton-worldview-leaked-speech-excerpts-229704
 Adam Schiff and Jane Harman, “Russia attacked our democracy. That demands intense review by Congress,” Washington Post, December 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/russia-attacked-our-democracy-that-demands-intense-review-by-congress/2016/12/23/291be72c-c865-11e6-8bee-54e800ef2a63_story.html?utm_term=.708975e1d8f5
 Paul Krugman, “Useful Idiots Galore,” New York Times, December 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/opinion/useful-idiots-galore.html
 Robert J. Samuelson, “Vladimir Putin may have done us a big favor,” Washington Post, December 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/opinions/vladimir-putin-may-have-done-us-a-big-favor/2016/12/25/1d5c2950-c93d-11e6-bf4b-2c064d32a4bf_story.html?outputType=accessibility&nid=menu_nav_accessibilityforscreenreader
 E. J. Dionne, “Why a Trump presidency inspires fear,” Washington Post, December 12, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-a-trump-presidency-inspires-fear/2016/12/11/3b2259f8-bfda-11e6-897f-918837dae0ae_story.html?utm_term=.a0c9fedbf9eb
 Michael Daly, “Russian Spies, Mission Accomplished, Get the Boot From Their Long Island Estate,” Daily Beast, December 31, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/31/russian-spies-mission-accomplished-get-the-boot-from-their-long-island-estate.html
 Editorial Board, “Vladimir Putin is suffocating his own nation,” Washington Post, July 28, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/vladimir-putin-is-suffocating-his-own-nation/2015/07/28/3b27ae8e-3562-11e5-adf6-7227f3b7b338_story.html?utm_term=.c095ffa3b331
 Since the British navy controlled the seas, it would have been virtually impossible for Germany to provide military aid to Mexico. Germany, however, had been thinking along these lines and actually taking some actions in line with this view. See Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981)
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The Conquest of America by Britain,” (A Review of Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939–1944 Brassey’s, Washington, DC, 1998), Unz Review, January 11, 2000, http://www.unz.com/article/the-conquest-of-the-united-states-by-britain/
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The Reality of Red Subversion,” Unz Review, September 1, 2003, http://www.unz.com/article/the-reality-of-red-subversion/
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, “Review: ‘Against Our Better Judgment’–The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, by Alison Weir,” Unz Review, November 14, 2016, http://www.unz.com/article/review-against-our-better-judgment/
 Jeremy Stahl, “Obama Issues Sweeping Sanctions Against Russia Over Election Hacks,” Slate (blog), December 29, 2016, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/29/obama_issues_sweeping_sanctions_against_russia_over_election_hacks.html; David E. Sanger, “Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking,” New York Times, December 29, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/us/politics/russia-election-hacking-sanctions.html
 Trump derangement syndrome–A mental dysfunction causing those detractors with hateful thoughts and feelings about Donald Trump to go unhinged. Urban Dictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Trump%20Derangement%20Syndrome
 William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian, Robert Windrem and Cynthia McFadden, “Why Didn’t Obama Do More About Russian Election Hack?,” NBC News, December 16, 2016, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/why-didnt-obama-do-more-about-russian-election-hack-n696701
 John T. Bennett, “Obama’s Russia Sanctions Put Trump, Hill GOP on Collision Course,” Roll Call, December 29, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/obamas-russia-sanctions-put-trump-hill-gop-collision-course; David Klion, “Obama’s response to Russia is likely to put Trump at odds with the Republican Party,” Business Insider, December 30, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/obamas-response-to-russia-to-put-trump-at-odds-with-gop-2016-12?utm_source=feedburner&%3Butm_medium=referral&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+(Business+Insider); Justin Wright, “Obama’s Russia sanctions put Hill Republicans in a box,” Politico, December 30, 2016, http://www.politico.eu/article/russia-sanctions-hill-republicans-obama-trump/ ; Ben Wolfgang, “Donald Trump faces bipartisan push to establish ‘boundaries’ with Vladimir Putin, Russia,” Washington Times, January 1, 2017, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/1/donald-trump-urged-to-establish-boundaries-with-vl/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS
 Zeeshan Aleem, “Trump can lift some Russia sanctions. But it won’t be easy,” Vox, December 23, 2017, http://www.vox.com/world/2016/12/23/14028546/trump-lift-russia-sanctions
The US intelligence community has released the unclassified findings of its investigation into what it says was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, hours after President-elect Donald Trump received a briefing on the probe.
The ODNI devoted seven pages to RT and its influence on the election “by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.” The report claimed “Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.”
RT’s pro-Trump campaign began in March 2016, according to the ODNI, by “consistently” casting Trump “as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets” that were “subservient to a corrupt political establishment.”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released the report called “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” on Friday afternoon. The intelligence community warned that much of its findings were not included because it is “a declassified version of a highly classified assessment.” Releasing more information would “reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future,” the report explained.
The Russian campaign didn’t just use RT, however. It was “multifaceted” that blended covert intelligence operations, including cyber activity, with official efforts by the government, third-party intermediaries and “paid social media users or ‘trolls.’”
The key judgments made by the US intelligence community came from “a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behavior,” which was based on “the behavior of Kremlin-loyal political figures, state media, and pro-Kremlin social media actors, all of whom the Kremlin either directly uses to convey messages or who are answerable to the Kremlin.” Similar tactics, the ODNI concluded, were also used to drive “consistent, self-reinforcing narratives” about Ukraine and Syria.
The report claimed with “high confidence in these judgments” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.” The goals of the campaign were “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” The Russian government, under Putin, “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
The 25-page report was released ahead of schedule, as James Clapper, the country’s top spy, told a congressional committee on Thursday that the unclassified findings would be made public “early next week.”
The ODNI accused the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) ‒ Russia’s military intelligence agency ‒ of directing the hacks into the personal emails of Democratic Party officials through Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks.com and Wikileaks. The cyber operation began in March 2016, and by May, the GRU had “exfiltrated large volumes of data” from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The material began appearing online in June.
Another cyber intrusion began in early 2014, as Russian intelligence “accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards,” the report said, adding that the systems the Russians compromised “are not involved in vote tallying.”
Russia’s influence effort was the “boldest yet” in the US, but was built on KGB intelligence activities during the Cold War, the report said. Such efforts will become the “new normal,” as “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts in the United States and worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.”
Indeed, Russia began a new “spearphishing campaign” immediately after Election Day, the report said. The efforts target “S Government employees and individuals associated with US think tanks and NGOs in national security, defense, and foreign policy fields.”
“This campaign could provide material for future influence efforts as well as foreign intelligence collection on the incoming administration’s goals and plans,” the ODNI added.
The ODNI accused the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) ‒ Russia’s military intelligence agency ‒ of directing the hacks into the personal emails of Democratic Party officials through Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks.com and Wikileaks. The cyber operation began in March 2016, and by May, the GRU had “exfiltrated large volumes of data” from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report said, contradicting claims by Clinton campaign officials that the documents were tampered with.
Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Election on Scribd
SANTIAGO – A number of pro-Palestinian Chilean MPs are preparing for an international campaign starting from the Chilean capital, Santiago that calls on the United Kingdom to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the establishment of Israel on the land of Palestine in 1948.
Chilean deputies from the parliament affirmed that the vast majority of the political spectrum in Chile advocates the Palestinian cause.
The deputy of the Christian Democratic party, Fuad Shahin, said in an interview with the Quds Press news agency that half of the deputies of the Chilean parliament support the Palestinian issue and back the UN anti-settlement resolution. They also push to stop importing goods form the Israeli settlements, and expedite the approval of the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 territories.
George Sbakh, MP of the Christian Democratic party, told the Quds Press that the supporters of Palestine are not only in the parliament, but also in all Chilean official institutions, and they don’t face major challenges since supporting Palestine is common among Chilean people. Besides, pro-Israel activists in the Chilean parliament and government don’t pose any danger, he added.
A number of pro-Palestinian Chilean MPs received on Thursday a delegate of Palestinian notables in Europe accompanied by Palestinian journalists. Their visit to Chile comes as a part of activities seeking to shed light on the Palestinians of Chile who make up the largest percentage of Palestinian refugees in Latin American countries.
A group of Chilean MPs are preparing to launch a campaign demanding Britain to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration on its centennial anniversary. They are also working to unify the endeavors of the pro-Palestinian parliamentarians in Latin America.
Hacking “had absolutely no effect” on the outcome of the 2016 US presidential elections, President-elect Donald Trump has announced following a meeting with intelligence officials.
Having described his meeting with top representatives of the US intelligence community as “constructive,” Trump said on Friday that no cyber hacking from Russia, China or any other country had affected the vote.
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election,” Trump said in his statement.
“There was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” he added.
The Republican president-elect claimed that there had been “attempts to hack the Republican National Committee (RNC).” However, thanks to the Comittee’s “strong hacking defenses,” they all failed, he said.
Having proclaimed “America’s safety and security” a “number one priority,” Trump announced he would appoint a team to draft plans on how to repel any cyber attacks on the US in the future. However, he added, “the methods, tools and tactics” of enforcing cyber security would not be made public.
“That will benefit those who seek to do us harm,” Trump said.
12 dead, about 40 injured, is the result of the latest terror attack in Berlin, when on 19 December, a truck plouged into a Christmas market at Berlin’s Bretscheideplatz, near the lush Kurfuerstendamm.
Is it not a ‘déjà-vu’ of not even half a year ago, when in Nice, France, on 14th July a truck mowed down hordes of people celebrating Bastille Day?
In Berlin, the first ‘culprit’ was a Pakistani who apparently ‘escaped’. When later he turned up and explained with proof his innocence, they had to let him go. In the cabin of the truck they also found a dead man of Polish origin. He couldn’t be accused, since he was dead.
Then the chase was stalled, until miraculously, about a day later, they found in the truck identity papers of a Mr. Anis Amri (24) of Tunisian citizenship beneath the driver’s seat. As is usual with these terrorists, they like to leave their ID cards behind. It seems to be part of their strategy to be caught and killed.
Then, once more there was a ‘suspect’, who could be chased, throughout Europe.
At three in the morning of December 23, again miraculously, Anis Amri turned up on a plaza in Milan, got allegedly into a confrontation with two policemen, who claimed he pulled a gun, when one of them shot and killed him. No witness, no proof.
Two Italian policemen killed a young man, whom – they say – they didn’t even have a clue who he might be. They became heroes, literally overnight. Italy’s new PM, Paolo Gentiloni, thanked and congratulated them; and so did Mme. Merkel and her Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière.
The same pattern all over again.
DEAD MAN CAN’T TALK. It’s Paris (Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan); Nice; Brussels; Munich; Orlando, Florida; San Bernardino, California …… all over again- and again – and again.
The ‘plowing-through-a-celebrating-crowd’ is in many regards “a carbon copy” of the 14th July massacre in Nice (see image below). At the end, the designated ‘Muslim’ terrorist was killed. No witness. No testimony.
Don’t believe one minute that your respective governments didn’t and don’t know what’s going on.
Who are the real perpetrators?
The real perpetrators are not Muslims. They are your own spineless puppet governments, all of which (covertly) support the ISIS and al Qaeda. They obey orders to demonize the Muslim faith and society.
That’s what the west knows best – denigrating and discriminating, accusing the innocent, to serve their purpose, sanctions for those who do not submit.
In reality, no change for the last 800-some years, colonizing, exploiting, murdering the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Today’s ‘leaders’ are the descendants of the colonial era killers of times past. They form the core of our “western killer civilization”.
These western ‘leaders’ are mere puppets, because they have been put in ‘power’ by the the elusive elite, also called the “Deep State” – the Deep State gone global.
Democracy is dead. It’s become a useless defunct slogan. No so-called election over the past decade or so, in the western world has been democratic. They were all scams and manipulations of peoples’ minds and wills.
And if they didn’t conform to what the Washington masters and their supreme masters needed, Plan B of ‘regime change’ kicked in.
They have become experts of semi-clandestine ‘regime change’ through parliamentary coups – i.e. Paraguay, Ukraine, Brazil, Greece, Portugal, Spain and many others.
If these eventually ‘elected’ western leaders (sic-sic), from Obama, to Merkel, Hollande, May, Gentiloni – and the entire EU / OECD clan, don’t behave, they are ‘cooked’, the target of political destabilizaion. That’s the extent of impunity which drives this hegemonic and criminal process towards the New World Order, or the One World Order, led by the global finance and war industry.
The finance clan, the lords of money, the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, et al, the FED, BIS (Bank for International Settlements, the secretive central bank of all central banks) and Goldman Sachs, have to act fast; otherwise they might lose the key instrument of their power – the sham dollar pyramid economy – may fall apart, before they have actually reached their goal – a world under constant chaos, never-ending conflicts and wars.
A world under which a small elite, enslaves the 99.99% of ‘Us, the People’ — under ever worsening life conditions, unemployment, misery, disease, privatized social services, all contributing to a steady decline in life expectancy.
Among their instruments is permanent chaos. Economic dislocation and social crises.
Open borders forced by trade lobbies and WTO (World Trade Organization) will wipe out small farmers and manufacturers in developing countries, thus eventually handing monopolies to large, mostly US corporations, to the detriment of already impoverished nations, whose vulnerability will be further abused to extract their natural resources for a pittance, so they may repay their IMF / World Bank imposed and leveraged debt.
Floods of refugees from war zones to industrialized wealthy countries, currently happening from the war-torn Middle East to Europe, will disrupt the labor market, push down wages, create massive unemployment. These are all tools towards enslavement of populations. People who have to fend and fight for daily food and often for sheer survival, have no energy or time to take to the streets and protest. That’s the plan; already being enacted. Just look at Greece.
What does all that have to do with the Berlin massacre? – Everything. Berlin, like Paris, Brussels, Munich, Orlando… is just a cog in the wheel of the monster’s drive towards full world hegemony.
Unexpected, haphazard carnage and terror acts are spreading misery, poverty and fear.
People who are afraid will call for more police and military protection.
They will voluntarily give up their human and civil rights for what they hope will be more ‘protection’, being totally oblivious to the fact that the very governments from whom they are seeking more protection are those that commit these acts of treason and terror, those who are behind the killings. The Anglo-american controlled presstitute mainstream media is in permanent brainwashing mode. Unless you search the news and information for yourself on alternative media, they will never tell you the truth, but their lies, after lies, after more of the same lies will fabricate the public truth.
Peoples’ fear and absence of civil rights are easy steps towards increased militarization of the west, already happening – look at France – President (sic) Hollande was just able to extend the State of Emergency through July 2017. [The Paris November 2015 terror attacks played a key role in justifying the State of Emergency.]
The goal is to include it into the French Constitution, basically putting the French people under permanent actual or threat of Martial Law. Others might follow – Germany, Italy – all those whose constituents are ever warier of the EU and their ‘monopoly money’, the euro, and who may seek EUREXIT. This would break the camel’s back, so to speak, or at least put a wrench in the boundless onslaught of the hegemon.
Peoples’ fear may also re-strengthen the faltering justification of NATO. The fall of NATO must be halted. NATO is the Deep State’s warrior flagship, the military fear- and war monger vis-à-vis Russia and eventually China – the last vestiges to be conquered by the self-styled almighty empire, the invisible elite that pretends to rule the globe. Fortunately, they cannot stand up to the Russia-China chess duo which is gradually outsmarting the west’s ostentatious killer exploits.
Imagine, your own spineless governments, following orders of the globalized Deep State – in Berlin, Munich, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and an almost endless list of false flags.
How can we respect our so-called leaders? They have zero esteem for us, who are their bread-earners. They kill us, no hesitation, if it pleases them and serves their purpose – and their greed.
In the case of Berlin, is the German government complicit? Blaming Muslims, finding a pre-identified victim, Mr. Anis Amri, who most likely had no clue that he was framed.
In Italy, the police catch him (or somebody who has been given the pre-identified Tunisian victim’s name), they kill him – and, bingo – case closed. Another fear-inflicting false flag was born and concluded, advancing the bulldozer of empire’s destruction a notch closer to Full Spectrum Dominance.
The MSM will do the rest – until the next fake exploit. Be prepared. But this can happen only if we let our governments get away with it, if we close our eyes to reality; if we keep believing the presstitute media.
People wake up! – Boycott the MSM. Take the time to seek the truth elsewhere, for example, on RT, TeleSur, Global Research, ICH, New Eastern Outlook (NEO), CounterPunch, The Saker, Voltairenet — and many more. The Deep State cannot win without your participation.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, TruePublica, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
Copyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2016
From the post: Who Benefits from War with Russia?
The rising hysteria about Russia is best understood as fulfilling two needs for Official Washington: the Military Industrial Complex’s transitioning from the “war on terror” to a more lucrative “new cold war” – and blunting the threat that a President Trump poses to the neoconservative/liberal-interventionist foreign-policy establishment.
By hyping the Russian “threat,” the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, who include much of the mainstream U.S. news media, can guarantee bigger military budgets from Congress. The hype also sets in motion a blocking maneuver to impinge on any significant change in direction for U.S. foreign policy under Trump.
After spending some time watching the recently concluded intelligence briefing to the U.S. Senate, I’ve concluded it to be one of the most disturbing and ominous things I can remember. I have several takeaways from what I saw, and none of them are good. […]
One of the main reasons I opposed Hillary Clinton so vehemently, was I felt she embodied the neocon, neoliberal, military-intelligence-indsutrial complex’s burning desire for a global confrontation with Russia, as well as continued disastrous imperial adventures all over the world. Many of us hoped that with her loss, cooler heads would prevail and the American public might receive a much needed respite from never-ending war. This has not happened.
If anything, those in the Hillary camp have become even more aggressive and unhinged in their bloodlust, and appear willing to do “whatever it takes” to start a fight that will result in unimaginable devastation for the American public. This has become such an overwhelming concern to me, I felt the need to discuss what those of us who wish to avoid this outcome must do.
First, we need to understand the motivation of those driving us in this disastrous direction. Their primary motivation is pretty simple, a desire to retain power and status. They can see the writing on the wall when it comes to the disintegration of status quo authority and credibility, and they fundamentally understand the need to focus on an outside enemy in order to distract attention away from internal failures. Second, we need to understand where we are in the war-creating process. We must acknowledge that very powerful interests have already decided they want this war. To them, this isn’t about weighing facts and being reasonable, they’ve already made up their minds. As such, we are currently in the sales process.
Right at this very moment, we are being sold on this war by the media, politicians, intelligence agencies, as well as various other vested interests who benefit from imperial dominance abroad (unlike the vast majority of us who are severely harmed by it). When you understand that this is simply a huge sales pitch to herd the American public like sheep into a conflict that is not in their best interests, then everything you see and hear around you starts to make sense.
Just in case you doubt my theory that certain people have already decided they want this war, watch the following diatribe by neocon chickenhawk Lindsey “I never saw a war I didn’t like” Graham.
The only thing more disturbing than Graham’s endless rock-throwing lust, is what Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said at the end of it: “I find myself in complete agreement with what he just said, and I appreciate it.” The lunatics are indeed running the asylum.
This is very important. James Clapper admits he wants to throw rocks at Russia. Why? Because in his opinion, Russia provided genuine information to Wikileaks which was embarrassing to the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton lost an election. Let’s just assume for a second that U.S. intelligence does have proof that Putin ran the operation and sent it to Wikileaks for the expressed purpose of helping Trump. If that can be proven, I absolutely think it is meaningful information, and I think the American people should be aware of it. However, would I be willing to get into a war with Russia over it? Certainly not. Would most Americans? I doubt it. To summarize, the American people don’t want war, but many D.C. politicians and special interests do. This divergence makes the situation all the more dangerous.
We need to understand that those who want this war will be absolutely relentless. The sales pitch will not end until they get exactly what they want. This is where all of us critical thinkers need to play a key role. We must be prepared to diligently analyze all unsubstantiated official claims, and push back against the war-mongers, because we know for certain the oligarch-owned corporate media won’t. We must be prepared to inform our fellow citizens about what’s happening so that we don’t fall victim to a cheap sales pitch with devastating consequences. Unfortunately, we must also be prepared for a possible deep state false flag if the current sales tactic falls on deaf ears. … Full article
By Greg Bacon | Aletho News | January 6, 2017
Yesterday, January 5, the US House put on a shameful display of groveling to Israel, a display even more noxious than their usual butt-kissing of the world’s #1 terror state, Israel, voting to pass HR 11.
The House measure, which is non-binding, calls for the UN resolution “to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that… it is no longer one-sided and anti-Israel” and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiation.
It also demands that the United States ensures that no action be taken at the Paris Conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict scheduled for January 15, that would impose an agreement on the two sides.
One after another House poodle scurried to the podium and swore their love and allegiance to Israel. The ass-kissing was on an industrial scale, all due to the UN asking Israel to stop stealing Palestinian land. One, Dana Rohrabacher from California, was so incensed that the UN dare to ask Israel to obey international law and some treaties that he must of went to the ER afterwards, to get his lips set into a cast.
It was the House’s first full official day of business. You’d think they might talk about our collapsing infrastructure or the vet suicide problem, created largely from fighting endless wars for Israel, or address the flagging economy, but no, the House did its Master’s bidding.
The Insane Circus Now Going On In Washington – A Sad Parody Of Joseph McCarthy Waving Fistfuls Of Blank Paper, Insisting They Were Russian Spies
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | January 6, 2017
The single most important point to keep in mind about the “Russians did it” three-ring circus underway in Washington – after the essential fact that still no proof has been provided to support accusations coming from the highest level – is that there is no issue around the contrived notion of interfering in an American election or endangering American security. None.
What essentially happened in this leak of private information – yes, I think it was leak, not a case of hacking – was that personal conversations of a highly embarrassing nature were released to the public.
That is not a crime against the state. That is not a matter of national security. And that is not interference in a country’s election. Those are all stupidly false issues even to raise here.
This is the sort of information that gossip columnists or investigative reporters or authors of tell-all books have always been ready to provide the public.
No such reporter or writer is regarded as a spy. None of them is viewed as an agent of a foreign power. But, of course, they are very much resented by the people hurt or embarrassed by the information they provide.
So, we have a double fraud here being perpetrated, right before our eyes, at the highest level in America.
The first fraud is the deliberately dishonest notion that the release of private gossip in any way represented interference in an election.
The second fraud is the unproven assertion that Russia was somehow responsible for obtaining the information.
My mind is not closed to any possible truth here, I do not pre-judge and assert that we are being showered with falsehoods by Obama and his servants, although I do believe that is what is close to certain.
And I believe that it is close to certain because my instincts tell me strongly that when someone makes strong accusations and provides no believable proof, the accusations are almost certainly false, and, as a matter of principle, they should be regarded as false.
This goes double when the accusations are dressed up in strikingly dishonest language – the kind of language beloved by a lowlife politician like John McCain or a demonstrated reckless-tongued and prejudiced anti-Russian bureaucrat such as James Clapper – language, delivered with theatrically somber tones and faces, about interfering in America’s democracy. Incidentally, Clapper’s disgraceful characterization of Assange as a pedophile exactly mimics the empty accusations of sexual perversion old Joseph McCarthy used to level at some of his targets.
Gossip is not interfering in democracy. It is just information people may weigh when they vote, just as valid or not as any other information available. Indeed, its information value to each voter is privately weighed against empty campaign slogans and an avalanche of truly false news provided by an utterly-biased corporate press in the last election. Voters were arguably better informed than in a long time.
What a tiresome circus Washington has become with this matter. All these well-paid officials asserting this or that, carrying on with speeches and committees, and concocting completely unconvincing proof. Meanwhile the nation is absolutely jammed with serious problems receiving no attention. That fact alone tells you more than you may want to know about America’s political establishment.
And all of the circus is because the insanely ambitious Hillary Clinton cannot accept that she is not widely liked and was defeated for that simple reason.
And all because the Democratic Party, married tightly and corruptly to the Clintons as its biggest source of money for years, cannot accept that it ran the wrong candidate.
And all because the Chairman of Hillary’s disastrous campaign, John Podesta, cannot face the embarrassingly stupid fact of his own utter carelessness, his computer password having been “password.”
As Julian Assange has said, a 14-year old could have hacked Podesta’s computer easily. And may we not ask, if what the password guarded was indeed so precious, why wouldn’t this man be considered the chief guilty party for his negligence?
And also, finally, because one of the most disappointing presidents in American history, a man who has failed at most of what he has attempted except at mass killing and displaying extreme arrogance, Obama, viscerally dislikes Vladimir Putin for besting him in Ukraine and in Syria.
He is also miffed and embarrassed that his ridiculous crisscrossing of the country in Air Force One, at public expense for a private purpose, failed to elect Hillary.
He is even further resentful at the lost prospect of being appointed to the Supreme Court by Hillary, something there is every reason to believe she promised him.
As for pretentious appointed hacks like James Clapper, well, the entire history of what I like to call Big Intelligence is littered with their fraudulent claims and failed projects.
There hasn’t been a significant American war in which Big Intelligence didn’t play a role of first concocting “evidence,” the kind of stuff that would be thrown out of any court of law but which serves just fine to assist politicians in temporarily bamboozling the public.
Readers may be interested in the fact of Obama’s unusually cozy relationship with the Pentagon – yes, the Obama of the Peace Prize and people’s 2008 hopes and the big smile and the baritone voice, but also the Obama of all the killing and arrogance and abject failure:
He is their man.
Imperialist demagogues, as well as religious fanatics, are known to live in their grotesque realities. They erect huge sand castles, invent mascots, and bombard the public relentlessly with self-promoting messages.
Those who refuse to listen and believe, those who dare to doubt and resist, are sidelined, starved to death, humiliated or simply liquidated.
Western religions and European/North American brutal colonialist practices are intertwined culturally. Hand in hand, for centuries, they have been destroying our Planet, from corner to corner, on all continents and even on the high seas.
All conquests, all genocides, all plunders have been eternally rationalized, painstakingly justified. Grand bogus concepts of charity, of ‘altruism’ have been erected. Subjugated nations have always been ruined in the name of some higher principles, in order to save them from themselves. For centuries, the West has portrayed itself as a sacrificial lamb, as a hand chosen by some divine power, as the greatest civilization that is continuously and altruistically liberating the world.
In the West, scribblers and ‘scholars’ have been paid to soften every barbarity committed by the rulers, soldiers and even common citizens.
The cults of formal learning, of facts and information have been erected. Holed in innumerable officially recognized institutions, the scholars, certified demagogues, researchers and media people have been ‘studying’ each other, recycling and quoting each other, filling millions of books with essentially the same narrative.
‘New’ and ‘revolutionary’ academic discoveries mostly lead to the same old conclusions, to stale intellectual and moral passivity, cowardice and spinelessness.
Endless libraries have been filled with useless volumes, first arriving in print, then later in electronic form. Tens of millions of young and not too young men and women are busy wasting their lives, chasing diplomas, those colorful pieces of paper with the seal of approval, certifying people as fit to serve the Empire and the victorious civilization.
At some point, all major philosophical and existential topics ceased to be discussed, in official academia, in mainstream media, in the film houses, libraries and best selling books.
No one paid any attention. The world simply ‘moved forward’.
The ‘issues’ did not disappear. Genocides are still administered by the West in order to plunder the world, the world of the ‘un-people’.
Western colonialism was never really stopped or defeated.
Great ideologies based on humanism were successfully smeared, even erased from the sub-consciousness of the people. Gutless masses, but especially cowardly intellectuals, got convinced that it would be the best ‘not to take stances’, and not to wear ‘old labels’ and gather under ‘old flags’. Passivity combined with the extreme selfishness eventually mutated into collaboration with the regime.
The environment has been getting ruined, progressively and irreversibly.
The press, mass media, gained mastery in saying nothing, addressing nothing, criticizing nothing related to the plunder of the world, and to the suppression of new and truly revolutionary ideas.
Enormous hordes of teachers, lawyers, scientists, and bureaucrats got converted into fundamental idiots, but armed with their licenses, bar exams, patents, contracts and other ‘feel-good’ sheets of colorful papers.
Tens of millions of lawyers failed to form even one single powerful international organization fighting for justice, against the terror of the Empire.
This make-believe world has by now managed to expel Reality and become ‘real’ itself in the minds and brains of billions of men, women and children.
True Reality went underground. She had to become a fugitive, a refugee, paperless and disrespected, belonging nowhere.
She is roaming our Planet, searching for scattered allies, for those few human beings who are still not fully indoctrinated, or fully sold.
Whenever she is caught, she is beaten, stripped naked, and humiliated. A piece of paper saying ‘A Lie’ is hanged around her neck.
Those who are still standing tall, defending great ideals, fateful to the ‘old labels’, are being ridiculed. Old flags, under which millions used to march forward, often victoriously, are now being dirtied, defecated on.
Whatever contradicts the Empire is gradually labeled as Fake News.
In the West, no one seems to be noticing. There are no mass demonstrations, no clashes with police, as laws and regulations are being changed and entire Constitutions violated.
It is because an overwhelming majority is actually collaborating with the regime.
It is because it is suddenly so frightening, or at least impractical, to think outside the box.
It is because there are very few examples of intellectual courage left in this world.
Fake News, fake history, fake emotions, and fake ideals… Everything that is not supporting the official narrative is slowly but seemingly irreversibly becoming ‘fake’.
The only way forward, and the only way for our humanity to survive, would be for at least one group of extremely bright people to fully break from that straightjacket put on the world by the Empire, to reject official perceptions and ‘knowledge’, and to completely cast off all major tools of analyses of Christian and Western supremacy ideologies which are still functioning as the main ‘intellectual’ pillars of the Empire and its collaborators in the colonies.
One’s thought, in order to be original and revolutionary, would have to be almost completely cleansed, even isolated, from the official propaganda of the Empire, from its movies and music, from its schools on all levels, from its professionally manipulative narratives.
Diplomas and licenses supplied by the indoctrination institutions should be used as a toilet paper for extremely severe cases of intellectual food poisoning, and flushed immediately, together with all that toxic shit that consists of so called ‘facts’ and ‘news’.
While the ‘Real News’ package is being disseminated all over the world by the Imperial propaganda machine, hundreds of millions of ‘un-people’ are continuing to die annually, aimlessly.
Many are actually vanishing while still fully believing in every word of what they had been fed by the news channels and newspapers. Would they be told the truth (now also known in the West as ‘Fake News’), they’d most likely refuse to die, even opting to fight for their survival.
Fight against whom, against the Empire? That would be unacceptable. Therefore, alternative sources of information must be immediately suppressed – exactly what the Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Obama has been aiming at during the last months of this year, before stepping down from his throne.
The Empire is in panic, because resistance in the form of alternative thoughts and concepts is now coming from various parts of the world, especially from those places not yet infested with the English-language (as well as French or German) standardized storyline. It comes from such places as China’s Academy of Social Sciences, from several Russian institutions and many fiction and non-fiction writers, as well as from numerous new and not so new media outlets in Latin America.
It is now easy to imagine that the Empire might soon introduce some fascist institution like a “Department of Truth”. Its employees could start demanding that each essay and book is ‘well researched’, insisting on ‘facts’.
Writing and philosophy could be reduced to the level of present-day academia: only recycled thoughts would be acceptable. It would not be enough to say that last week it was raining four days a week. A suitable alternative would be: “Last week it was raining four times a week, according to Professor Sigmund Brown.” Or even better: “Both Professors Brown and Green agreed that last week it was raining four times a week”. Then, footnotes would have to be supplied, as well as other information.
Otherwise – it could be defined as Fake News.
The Fake News clause could be invoked if someone wrote, for instance “the true and the most brutal terrorist in modern history is the West.” Or “Several hundreds of millions of people were slaughtered by European empires, and then by the US Empire, in the last several centuries. This holocaust took place in Africa, Asia, what is now known as Latin America, in the Middle East and Oceania, basically everywhere. No alternative system including those of the Soviet Union or China ever came close to the barbarity committed by the West.”
Anyone spreading such blasphemy, such sacrilege, could be caught, charged, tried, punished, and ‘neutralized’.
Just imagine, someone writing this: “All basic narratives on which Western propaganda is based, are either false, or at least have been heavily twisted and manipulated. This includes all storylines related to the Soviet Union, China, colonialism and the anti-colonialist struggle, Cambodia, Cuba, and even Rwanda. The list is long. Ignorance of the Western public is almost complete.”
How could this not be identified as ‘Fake News’? No Professor Blue would utter such judgment, and no Professor Pink would confirm it. You can spend your time digging your snout into millions of books in official libraries, but only a handful of them would mention it.
Therefore, it is all fake, all fabricated. It does not exist, and should be forbidden, censored.
You can of course hear all this in Havana, Caracas, Beijing, Moscow or Johannesburg. In Beijing, in a normal big state-run bookstore there is much greater variety of political opinion than on the entire island of Manhattan. Even many common folks in non-Western places know things and pronounce them freely. However, ‘unapproved’ people cannot be trusted, can they? Especially when it concerns such explosive pieces of material! Also, foreigners speaking their strange twisted tongues cannot be trusted.
Actually, nothing and nobody can be trusted!
Fake News is everywhere, creeping, ambushing us behind each corner. If the Empire is not vigilant, Western supremacy may one day collapse. Which would be against God’s will… Oh, sorry, that was a slip! The correct way to put it: It would be against all reason, against all logic and all facts.
President Obama cares, he understands.
And now we will be defended with even greater fervor: now comes Donald Trump!
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper briefed the Senate on Russian involvement in the US election and the Clinton leaks but provided no fresh evidence and failed to say anything new.
The Senate hearings into the Russian hacking scandal that took place on Thursday 5th January 2017 came across to me as something of a damp squib.
Director James Clapper provided no actual evidence to support the allegation that Russia was responsible for the Clinton leaks, and refused to go along with Senator McCain’s wildly over-the-top claim that Russia’s alleged interference in the election was an “act of war”.
As to that, all I would say is that if foreign interference in a country’s election is an “act of war”, then the US, which has interfered in the internal affairs of other countries on numberless occasions, has committed such “acts of war” countless times. One Republican Senator, Thom Tillis, actually pointed out that a Carnegie Mellon University study has found the US interfered in 81 foreign elections since World War II, whilst the USSR or Russia has interfered in 36.
Clapper did engage in some mild criticism of Donald Trump, implying that Trump’s comments about the intelligence claims went beyond “skepticism” and amounted to outright “disparagement”, and not surprisingly he and his subordinates in the US intelligence community made clear their low opinion of Julian Assange. However Clapper admitted that there is no evidence Russia actually decided the election outcome
They did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort. We have no way of gauging any impact it had on the choices the electorate made.
The single thing that struck me most about what Clapper had to say was that much of his case of Russian interference in the US election revolves around the work of the Russian media especially RT.
RT was very active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights, etc. Whatever crack, fissure they could find in our tapestry, they would exploit it.
This amounts to saying that the Russian media should not report on or comment about a US election, which is a frankly astonishing demand to make.
Certainly it is not a demand the US applies to itself. The US media, including those parts of the US media that receive public funding, regularly report on and broadcast their opinions about elections in other countries, those which happen in Russia being a case in point.
I have to say that Clapper’s decision to bring up the issue of the Russian media looks to me like an attempt to strengthen the claim of Russian interference in the election whilst relying less on the Clinton leaks. If so then it inevitably strengthens the growing suspicion that the US intelligence community’s case of Russian involvement in the DNC and Podesta hacks is very weak. That suspicion has already been greatly strengthened by the debacle of Grizzly Steppe, the FBI/Homeland Security non-report into the Russian hacking allegations of a few days ago, which has been universally derided by the experts.
I would add that the typically anonymous claims of US intelligence officials that Trump’s briefing on the hacking scandal was not postponed until Friday 6th January 2017 is simply not reconcilable with the public record.
Trump made clear all last week that he expected to be briefed by US intelligence on either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. If that was wrong then there was ample time to correct him. Besides if the information already exists – as Clapper says – then why is it taking so long for Trump to be briefed on it?
Clapper reassured the Senate committee on Thursday that the US intelligence community will provide a more detailed report next week. This report looks increasingly like the US intelligence community’s last opportunity to avoid a fiasco.
Donald Trump criticized leaks to several media outlets detailing contents of a classified report on alleged Russian hacking of the presidential election. The leaks came before Trump’s own briefing on those details by the intelligence community.
The 50-page report was delivered to US President Barack Obama on Thursday, and is to be delivered to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday by top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, the Washington Post reports, one of several outlets that were given priority over the president-elect in learning the details of the document.
“How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!” Trump said in a tweet.
According to the reports, US spies cited as evidence of Russian interference intercepted communications between Russian officials who called Trump’s victory a geopolitical success for Russia. The report also said that US intelligence identified the ‘go-betweens’ who allegedly handed over stolen Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. The US media did not name those individuals or explain how they were linked to the Russian government.
Many Russian officials made no secret of their preference for a Trump presidency after his surprise win in November. The Russian parliament even stood and applauded at the news. The president-elect is perceived by many as capable of restarting relations with Russia with a clean slate, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was blamed for policies which in part have led to numerous conflicts between Russia and the US.
Both Russia and WikiLeaks deny allegations that the website had received sensitive emails from the Russian government. A WikiLeaks insider claimed that the DNC emails were not stolen, but rather leaked by a Democratic Party member who was disgruntled with the leadership’s bid to undermine the candidacy of Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton.
Earlier, the FBI and DHS released a joint 13-page report on the alleged Russian interference with the US election. Dubbed ‘Grizzly Steppe’ by the American intelligence community, the operation was found to have involved, among other things, outdated Ukrainian malware and IP addresses that any cybercriminal could use in a hacking operation.
On Thursday, Clapper broadened the scope of what he described as a Russian effort to undermine US democracy to include RT’s reporting on the election campaign, unspecified ‘fake news,’ and communication through social media.