The "Russian Interference" Scandal, In a Nutshell
July 21st, 2018
A few dozen GRU officers spent several thousand dollars to acquire fake U.S. identities and post fake news on U.S. social media, before and after the 2016 election. They hacked into some state and local electoral boards and for some reason (maybe just to see if they could do it) stole information on half a million voters in Illinois and Arizona. (Just like the NSA probably has information on lots of Russian voters.)
The impact of these posts has been exaggerated. They certainly did not shape the election. Those suggesting otherwise are either ignorant or driven by butt-headed Russophobia, or both.
The Russian officers hacked the DNC and (allegedly) gave the files to Wikileaks, which released them, revealing that FACT that the monstrously corrupt Debbie Wasserman Schultz's DNC had rigged the (fake) Democratic primary for Hillary against Bernie.
The latter is really the big sin. How DARE the leaker leak the fact that the U.S. system is so undemocratic. How dare anybody look at the empire's electoral process and say the emperor has no clothes.
Bernie Sanders was much more popular than Hillary Clinton throughout the Democratic primaries. Multiple polls showed him much better poised to defeat the republican candidate than Hillary. But Debbie told her staffers, "Don't be silly, Bernie's not going to win." She made sure her candidate won. But as the Democrats arrived at their nominating convention in July 2016 Wikileaks published her scandalous emails and she and the whole DNC leadership were obliged to resign in shame.
Wasserman Schultz's successor, CNN commentator and overt Hillary shill Donna Brazile has apologized to Sanders for her own inappropriate aid to Clinton (passing along debate questions to her during the campaign) and for the DNC's inappropriate handling of campaign funds to advantage Clinton.
In its fixation on the question of "Russian interference" the media ignores the content of that interference—which was, more significantly than the production of disinformation, the revelation of inconvenient truth. The Democratic Party thwarted the highly promising candidacy of Bernie Sanders, bitterly disappointing (and one would hope, appropriately disillusioning) a generation.
The U.S. electoral system is not sacrosanct. It's a particularly corrupt form of what Marxists call "bourgeois democracy," meaning that it allows the voter a choice of at least two Wall Street-backed candidates for an office. The voter is supposed to appreciate this "right" to vote for one or the other offered. In 2016 this meant the precious right to vote for (1) a buffoon nominated as Republican candidate due to the corporate media's relentless promotion of him through free air time (in Nov. 2015 The Nation reported that Trump was getting 23 times as much free media coverage as Sanders), or (2) a cold, warmongering establishment Democrat whose stolen coronation had been foreordained.
And the Russkies wanted to interfere in this pure democratic process! They wanted to actually EXPOSE the fact that the Americans themselves had rigged their own election! And what tool did the Russians most effectively use? Why (it is alleged), the exposure of the truth, in the form of undoubtedly authentic documents, historical primary sources documenting the corruption of U.S. "democracy."
How DARE the Russians facilitate the U.S. electorate's awareness of DNC antics! That's private, in-house stuff, U.S. dirty laundry. Not Moscow's business! For Moscow to reveal this stuff was total INTERFERENCE! Unforgivable!
And when Rand Paul blandly tells Jake Tapper on CNN that the U.S. has interfered in foreign elections many many times more than Russia in the last 70 years, Tapper bristles in patriotic indignation that Paul would posit "moral equivalency" between his holy country and any other, when it comes to such interference.
A country "exceptional" by definition, depicted as such to its subjects in their education process and ongoing political indoctrination, cannot be the moral equivalent of any other. The U.S. is GOOD, Russia is BAD, this ought to be OBVIOUS and since Trump is obviously a Putin puppet, he too is bad and ought to be impeached.
The alleged GRU intervention had minimal impact on the vote count in November 2016. Its main impact was—if the NSA'a attribution is correct—to facilitate voters' (and non-voters') awareness that the system does not, in fact, work. It does allow people like Bernie Sanders to become president.
Case closed. Not the case of Russia, but the case of the U.S. electoral system. That Russian hackers may (repeat may) have played a role in the exposure of reality, they helped make the case that the system is rotten. If that was "interference" it was surely a good thing.
A Zen priest will tell you: "See things as they really are." Wake up. The reality is the system sucks, and now the system, moribund and in self-defense, lashes out at Russia leaving Trump in an awkward position.
Everybody knows most Russians preferred Trump to Hillary, for good reasons; Hillary had pushed NATO expansion, sought regime change in Russian ally Syria and armed terrorists to topple Assad, led in the destruction of Libya, sought to influence the 2011 Russian elections, compared Putin to Hitler and the annexation of Crimea to Hitler's annexation of the Sudentenland in 1938, and pushed for regime change in Ukraine.
The U.S. media found a "Gotcha!" moment when Putin in Helsinki told reporters that he had hoped for a Trump victory. Now finally we know—yes, he liked Donald more than Hillary!
Well, duh. CNN obviously preferred Hillary. Is it abnormal to express a preference? Did "the Russians" interfere by having an apparent overwhelming preference, for some reason, for the guy saying he wanted good and normal relations with Russia to the known-quality woman who is an obvious, conscious, calculating adversary?
RT (as "all the U.S. intelligence agencies" famously agree, since this is a fixed talking point of cable anchors) favored Trump. So did Fox News. So? Did the U.S. news media treat the last French election, in which Emmanuel Macron ran against Marine Le Pen, even-handedly? How does RT reportage, accessed by very few people in this country, constitute "interference" in this country's affairs?
The real election interference scandal is the scandal of corporate interference. So long as public knowledge and opinion is shaped by media constrained by advertisers' preferences (to avoid certain topics and forms of criticism, and embrace others skewing reportage to serve the system's interests), there can be no real "democracy," no real rule of the people, here or in Russia or anywhere.
address: Dissident Voice
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