“The Russia Hacking Fiasco: No Evidence Required,”
commentary by Mike Whitney
first published in COUNTERPUNCH — March 31, 2017 http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/31/the-russia-hacking-fiasco-no-evidence-required/
“So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency – nothing….
Stop to let that thought reverberate for a moment.”
— Paul Wood, BBC News, Washington, March 30, 2017
Here’s what bugs me about the Russia hacking story: Why would the media, whose credibility is already at its lowest point ever, go after Trump when they had no facts to back them up?
Do the media bosses really think that if they set their hair on fire and run around yelling, “The Russians did it, the Russians did it,” the American people will sheepishly nod in agreement?
And what do they think the Russians actually did?
Why they meddled in our elections, the media tells us.
Okay, but how?
Russia hackers stole damaging emails from the Democrats at the DNC, they tell us.
Alright, but how did that effect the elections?
Well– according to a report on the BBC–
“the stories based on this hacked information appear on Twitter and Facebook, posted by thousands of automated “bots”, then on Russia’s English-language outlets, RT and Sputnik, then right-wing US “news” sites such as Infowars and Breitbart, then Fox and the mainstream media.
…Russia downloads the online voter rolls. The voter rolls are said to fit into this because of “microtargeting”. Using email, Facebook and Twitter, political advertising can be tailored very precisely: individual messaging for individual voters.
“You are stealing the stuff and pushing it back into the US body politic,” said the former official, “you know where to target that stuff when you’re pushing it back.”
This would take co-operation with the Trump campaign, it is claimed.” (BBC)
So the Russians stole the election by bashing Hillary on Facebook? Is that what you’re telling me?
And they needed the Trump team’s help to carry out this nefarious operation?
Is that the nuttiest explanation you’ve ever heard? And yet some people believe this baloney.
Did you know that the FBI opened this investigation in July 2016? That’s eight months ago.
And what have they got to show for it?
Nothing. Not a damn thing.
So far, there’s not a shred of evidence that Russia hacked the DNC computer system or that anyone on the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. They have nothing and they know it. But the farce goes on regardless. It’s all politics.
That’s not to say that their weren’t any connections between the 2016 political campaigns and Russia. There sure were, but the connections were all on Hillary’s side. As Robert Parry reports in his latest piece at Consortium News:
“An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp’s contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump’s; it was Hillary Clinton’s….
Indeed, you have the words of Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, in his opening statement at last week’s public hearing on so-called “Russia-gate.”
Schiff’s seamless 15-minute narrative of the Trump campaign’s alleged collaboration with Russia followed the script prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who was hired as an opposition researcher last June to dig up derogatory information on Donald Trump.
Steele, who had worked for Britain’s MI-6 in Russia, said he tapped into ex-colleagues and unnamed sources inside Russia, including leadership figures in the Kremlin, to piece together a series of sensational reports that became the basis of the current congressional and FBI investigations into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow…
Since he was not able to go to Russia himself, Steele based his reports mostly on multiple hearsay from anonymous Russians who claim to have heard some information from their government contacts before passing it on to Steele’s associates who then gave it to Steele who compiled this mix of rumors and alleged inside dope into “raw” intelligence reports….” (“The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate”, Consortium News)
Get the picture? The whole case against Trump is based on a pile of unverified BS from some ex-MI-6 flunkey trying to make a killing off sexed up rumors of imaginary collusion. (BTW, Steele’s “dodgy dossier” also contained the idiotic claims that Trump hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on him in a swanky hotel in Moscow.)
Parry also adds this revealing comment at the end of his article:
“In the last weeks of the Obama administration, I was told that the outgoing intelligence chiefs had found no evidence to verify Steele’s claims but nevertheless believed them to be true….”
Of course they said they believed it, because they know what side their bread is buttered on. What would you expect them to say; that its all an absurd witchhunt based on nothing but sketchy rumors? The Intel chiefs are no different than anyone else. They’re just trying to placate their paymasters like any good employee.
Check out this comment that FBI Director Comey made during the recent Congressional hearings on alleged Russian meddling. It helps to expose what a political animal the man really is:
“He (Putin) hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much.
They engaged in a multifaceted campaign to undermine our democracy.
They were unusually loud in their intervention. It’s almost as if they didn’t care that we knew, that they wanted us to see what they were doing.
Their number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy enterprise of this nation.
They’ll be back. They’ll be back, in 2020. They may be back in 2018.”
So among his other talents, Comey also knows how to read minds. He knows that Putin hates Hillary and favors Trump. He knows the Russians “engaged in a multifaceted campaign to undermine our democracy”, even though he hasn’t produced a lick of proof to verify his claims.
And he knows that the Russians “number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy”, even though– according to a recent survey– the main reason Hillary lost the election was because undecided voters swarmed to Trump en masse after Comey announced he was reopening the investigation of the Clinton Foundation just 11 days before the election.
I guess Comey forgot to mention that part.
The Russia hacking fairytale is the biggest joke in history. I can’t believe we’re even wasting time on it. Unfortunately, gullible liberals have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker. A recent CBS poll shows that 67% of Democrats think Russia interfered in the election to help Trump, while only 13% of Republicans believe the same. (CBS News)
What does it all mean? Are Democrats more prone to believe uncorroborated politically-motivated rubbish than Republicans or are they just so blinded by their hatred for Trump that they’ll accept any dirt the media dishes up?
I can’t answer that, but it’s never wise to let one’s emotions cloud one’s judgment.
BIO: MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at email@example.com.
BIO: PETER MOEN grew up during the 60’s in south San Jose, California. After High School, he went to U.C. Berkeley to become an engineer. He then worked as an engineer, including working at a rocket company. In 2006, he took a drawing class and found out that he could draw. Since that time he has been working on becoming an artist. He loves to incorporate portraits into 2D art using oils or acrylics. He has received an AS degree at San Jose City College in fine arts, and is now in the MFA program at San Jose State University. During his life he has had the opportunity to travel and to do some interesting things: the most interesting was relief work in Beirut Lebanon in 1982 and 1983. Putting his experiences into art is what he enjoys. His favorite artist is Rembrandt, who’s portraits use efficient techniques, yet are realistically expressive. firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.petermoen.com