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US Democrats’ Accusations Against Russia Distract Public From Real Problem

Sputnik – 26.01.2018

US Democrats have asked Facebook and Twitter for evidence of Russia’s involvement in an online campaign to release a politically charged memo.

The move comes as Congressional Republicans have been calling for the public release of a four-page classified memo they claim reveals reported abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Obama administration, which approved surveillance against Trump’s team on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

Dr. Jeanne Zaino, American political analyst and professor of Political Science at Iona College told Radio Sputnik in an interview that by asking for an investigation into allegations that Russian bots are behind #releasethememo, US Democrats are drawing the public’s attention away from the real question. That question is whether the memo actually exposes severe surveillance abuses, Zaino said, noting that Republicans claim the explosive content of the memo could upend special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and collusion with the Trump campaign.

“They are saying that this push to release the memo is being conducted by Russian bots. Whether that is the case or whether it is not the case… it is almost beside the point, because the real question — particularly in a democracy where we value transparency — should be what does the memo contain,” Zaino told Radio Sputnik.

She pointed out that while the FBI and the Justice Department have been blocking the memo’s release saying it would violate national security, whether that is actually the case should be decided in a court of law.

“They simply cannot keep information and materials top secret just because they think it might embarrass them or embarrass the administration, embarrass Congress or whoever this memo might embarrass,” the analyst said. “I really think that the Democrats are trying to have us look left when in fact we should be looking right and saying what in fact does the memo contain and is it really something that we need to protect for national security reasons.”

​Zaino stressed that she doesn’t know whether the memo “shows abuse of the government surveillance program by the Obama administration”, as is being claimed, but if the question is raised, the memo should be released if it is not protecting national security.

“You cannot just classify [the memo] that way. We have an overclassification problem in this country where almost everything is classified as top secret,” Zaino said. “The Democrats are asking us to focus on the bots, that’s fascinating and interesting, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the question which is what does this memo show and did we see an abuse of the government surveillance programs under the Obama administration.”

January 26, 2018 - Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , ,

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