Hypocrisy Behind the Russian-Election Frenzy

Exclusive: The madness sweeping Official Washington and the mainstream media about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election is pervaded by breathtaking hypocrisy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As Democrats, the Obama administration and some neocon Republicans slide deeper into conspiracy theories about how Russia somehow handed the presidency to Donald Trump, they are behaving as they accused Trump of planning to behave if he had lost, questioning the legitimacy of the electoral process and sowing doubts about American democracy.

The thinking then was that if Trump had lost, he would have cited suspicions of voter fraud – possibly claiming that illegal Mexican immigrants had snuck into the polls to tip the election to Hillary Clinton – and Trump was widely condemned for even discussing the possibility of challenging the election’s outcome.

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency’s headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

His refusal to commit to accepting the results was front-page news for days with leading editorialists declaring that his failure to announce that he would abide by the outcome disqualified him from the presidency.

But now the defeated Democrats and some anti-Trump neoconservatives in the Republican Party are jumping up and down about how Russia supposedly tainted the election by revealing information about the Democrats and the Clinton campaign.

Though there appears to be no hard evidence that the Russians did any such thing, the Obama administration’s CIA has thrown its weight behind the suspicions, basing its conclusions on “circumstantial evidence,” according to a report in The New York Times.

The Times reported: “The C.I.A.’s conclusion does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election, several American officials, including some who had read the agency’s briefing, said on Sunday. Rather, it was an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence — evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments — that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome.”

In other words, the CIA apparently lacks direct reporting from a source inside the Kremlin or an electronic intercept in which Russian President Vladimir Putin or another senior official orders Russian operatives to tilt the U.S. election in favor of Trump.

More ‘Group Thinking’?

The absence of such hard evidence opens the door to what is called “confirmation bias” or analytical “group think” in which the CIA’s institutional animosity toward Russia and Trump could influence how analysts read otherwise innocent developments.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

For instance, Russian news agencies RT or Sputnik reported critically at times about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a complaint that has been raised repeatedly in U.S. press accounts arguing that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. But that charge assumes two things: that Clinton did not deserve critical coverage and that Americans – in any significant numbers – watch Russian networks.

Similarly, the yet-unproven charge that Russia organized the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails and the private email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta assumes that the Russian government was responsible and that it then selectively leaked the material to WikiLeaks while withholding damaging information from hacked Republican accounts.

Here the suspicions also seem to extend far beyond what the CIA actually knows. First, the Republican National Committee denies that its email accounts were hacked, and even if they were hacked, there’s no evidence that they contained any information that was particularly newsworthy. Nor is there any evidence that – if the GOP accounts were hacked – they were hacked by the same group that hacked the Democratic Party emails, i.e., that the two hacks were part of the same operation.

That suspicion assumes a tightly controlled operation at the highest levels of the Russian government, but the CIA – with its intensive electronic surveillance of the Russian government and human sources inside the Kremlin – appears to lack any evidence of such a top-down operation.

Second, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange directly denies that he received the Democratic leaked emails from the Russian government and one of his associates, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, told the U.K. Guardian that he knows who “leaked” the Democratic emails and that there never was a “hack,” i.e. an outside electronic penetration of an email account.

Murray said, “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.”

‘Real News’

But even if Assange did get the data from the Russians, it’s important to remember that nothing in the material has been identified as false. It all appears to be truthful and none of it represented an egregious violation of privacy with some salacious or sensational angle.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking to one of his large crowds of supporters. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking to one of his large crowds of supporters. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

The only reason the emails were newsworthy at all was that the documents revealed information that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were trying to keep secret from the American voters.

For instance, some emails confirmed Sen. Bernie Sanders’s suspicions that the DNC was improperly tilting the nomination race in favor of Clinton. The DNC was lying when it denied having an institutional thumb on the scales for Clinton. Thus, even if the Russians did uncover this evidence and did leak it to WikiLeaks, they would only have been informing the American people about the DNC’s abuse of the democratic process, something Democratic voters in particular had a right to know.

And, regarding Podesta’s emails, their most important revelation related to the partial transcripts of Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street banks, the contents of which Clinton had chosen to hide from the American people. So, again, if the Russians were involved in the leak, they would only have been giving to the voters information that Clinton should have released on her own. In other words, these disclosures are clearly not “fake news” – the other hysteria now sweeping Official Washington.

In the mainstream news media, there has been a clumsy effort to conflate these parallel frenzies, the leak of “real news” and the invention of “fake news.” But investigations of so-called “fake news” have revealed that these operations were run mostly by young entrepreneurs in places like Macedonia or Georgia who realized they could make advertising dollars by creating outlandish “click bait” stories that Trump partisans were particularly eager to read.

According to a New York Times investigation into one of the “fake news” sites, a college student in Tbilisi, Georgia, first tried to create a pro-Clinton “click bait” Web site but found that a pro-Trump operation was vastly more lucrative. This and other investigations did not trace the “fake news” sites back to Russia or any other government.

So, what’s perhaps most telling about the information that the CIA has accused Russia of sharing with the American people is that it was all “real news” about newsworthy topics.

What Threat to Democracy?

So, how does giving the American people truthful and relevant information undermine American democracy, which is the claim that is reverberating throughout the mainstream media and across Official Washington?

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit: donaldjtrump.com)

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit: donaldjtrump.com)

Presumably, the thinking is that it would have been better for the American people to have been kept in the dark about these secret maneuverings by the DNC and the Clinton campaign and, by keeping the public ignorant, that would have ensured Clinton’s election, the preferred outcome of the major U.S. news media.

There’s another double standard here. For instance, when a hack of — or a leak from — a Panamanian law firm exposed the personal finances of thousands of clients, including political figures in Iceland, Ukraine, Russia and other nations, there was widespread applause across the Western media for this example of journalism at its best.

The applause was deafening despite the fact that at least one of the principal “news agencies” involved was partly funded by the U.S. government. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a USAID-backed non-governmental organization, also was earlier involved in efforts to destabilize and delegitimize the elected Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Corruption” allegations against Yanukovych – pushed by OCCRP – were integral to the U.S.-supported effort to organize a violent putsch that drove Yanukovych from office on Feb. 22, 2014, touching off the Ukrainian civil war and – on a global scale – the New Cold War with Russia.

Yet, in the case of the “Panama Papers” or other leaks about “corruption” in governments targeted by U.S. officials for “regime change,” there are no frenzied investigations into where the information originated. Regarding the “Panama Papers,” there was simply back-slapping for the organizations that invested time and money in analyzing the volumes of material. And there were cheers when implicated officials were punished or forced to step down.

So, why are some leaks “good” and others “bad”? Why do we hail the “Panama Papers” or OCCRP’s “corruption evidence” that damaged Yanukovych – and ask no questions about where the material came from and how it was selectively used – yet we condemn the Democratic email leaks and undertake investigations into the source of the information?

In both the “Panama Papers” case and the “Democratic Party leaks,” the material appeared to be real. There was no evidence of disinformation or “black propaganda.” But, apparently, it’s okay to disrupt the politics of Iceland, Ukraine, Russia and other countries, but it is called a potential “act of war” – by neocon Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona – to reveal evidence of wrongdoing or excessive secrecy on the part of the Democratic Party in the United States.

Shoe on the Other Foot

Russian President Putin, while denying any Russian government attempt to tilt the election to Trump, recently commented on the American hypocrisy about interfering in other nations’ elections while complaining about alleged interference in its own or those of its allies. He described a conversation with an unnamed Western “colleague.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

Putin said, “I recently had a conversation with one of my colleagues. We touched upon our [Russian] alleged influence on some political processes abroad. I told him: ‘And what are you doing? You have been constantly interfering in our political life.’ And he replied: ‘It’s not us, it’s the NGOs’. I said: ‘Oh? But you pay them and write instructions for them.’ He said: ‘What kind of instructions?’ I said: ‘I have been reading them.’”

Whatever one thinks of Putin, he is not wrong in describing how various U.S.-funded NGOs, in the name of “democracy promotion,” seek to undermine governments that have ended up on Official Washington’s target list.

And another aspect of the hypocrisy permeating Official Washington’s belligerent rhetoric directed toward Russia: Aren’t the Democrats doing exactly what they accused Trump of planning to do if he had lost the Nov. 8 election, i.e., question the legitimacy of the results and thus undermine the faith of the American people in their democratic system?

For days, Trump’s unwillingness to accept, presumptively, the results of the election earned him front-page denunciations from many of the same mainstream newspapers and TV networks that are now trumpeting the unproven claims by the CIA that the Russians somehow influenced the election’s outcome by presenting some Democratic hidden facts to the American people.

Yet, this anti-Russian accusation not only undermines the American people’s faith in the election’s outcome but also represents a reckless last-ditch gamble to block Trump’s inauguration – or at least discredit him before he takes office – while using belligerent rhetoric that could push Russia and the United States closer to nuclear war.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the CIA to at least have hard evidence before the spy agency precipitated such a crisis?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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92 comments for “Hypocrisy Behind the Russian-Election Frenzy

  1. December 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Outstanding, Robert! Extremely well presented! We should all applaud your effort here. Thank you, thank you!

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      I second that! Great insight Mr Parry!

    • Karen B
      December 13, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I always look forward to Parry’s analysis, as he invariably cuts through the propaganda and hypocrisy and exposes the unvarnished truth. Thank you!

      • Realist
        December 13, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        Mr. Parry usually gets it right because he always applies logic and structured analysis (rather than partisan hysteria) to every issue he discusses. As a professional scientist I can say he could have been one of us had he so chosen. His dissections are a joy to read.

  2. Skip Scott
    December 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Once again Robert Parry nails it. I just wish that he could somehow get his message out to more people. A little logic goes a long way when compared to the BS spouted by the main stream media. This whole episode just shows how entirely corrupt the CIA is, especially after it was purged of analysts who wouldn’t toe the line during the Bush/Cheney regime.

    • Michael Morrissey
      December 14, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Parry and the VIPS are regularly published at OpEdNews.com, which has a larger readership than this site, and other places too.

  3. Ted Tripp
    December 13, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Excellent piece, providing needed clarity. I also wonder to the extent that NED’s efforts involve “fake news”, unlike these ‘leaks’ about the DNC and Hillary.

  4. Knomore
    December 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

    This is just one more tangled up mess that US government policy makers are extremely adept at producing. This is how 9/11 was put on a back burner with the pot constantly boiling but never producing anything substantial. Our government runs on lies and innuendo. It’s reassuring in the extreme to know that Robert Parry is somewhere watching and willing to say what needs to be said.

    I feel distanced today even from most of the alt media because so many of them have jumped on the bandwagon that says Trump is going to be a disaster for America. Why not wait and see? Why go all out to produce through scare tactics and imaginary happenings what you suspect/fear/hope will happen before it happens?

    Our government runs on FEAR produced in any and every way imaginable. A goodly portion of US policy seems to be the handiwork of the fear mongers, necessary to keep the divisions roiling so Americans will never reach a consensus that might determine them to do something to end the flood of nonsense, lies and hypocrisy that flows out of DC today.

    • Skip Scott
      December 13, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Although I am hopeful that Trump won’t be just more of the same, I see his cabinet picks so far as a disaster. I am hopeful that he picks someone more in line with his foreign policy campaign rhetoric for Sec. of State. I think this whole “evil Russians” thing is a CIA ploy because they fear that he may actually seek a meaningful detente and cooperation with Russia. Without a boogeyman, how are they going to keep the money flowing and grow the empire?

  5. Bob Van Noy
    December 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Thank you Robert, you’re invaluable. The link to Craig Murray follows:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/comment-page-1/#comments

  6. Mac
    December 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Thanks to Robert Party for exposing this propaganda ploy. Friends I previously respected are under the spell of MSM’s anti-Russia bias on the so-called hacks and on the conflict in Syria. Even Democracy Now disappoints.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      December 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Excellent overview of the issue by Mr. Parry. Too bad outlets like the New York Times are too fascist to report the truth which appears here, and it is disappointing that even Democracy Now has jumped the shark, favouring terrorist thugs over the civilized element in Syria. I’ve also taken leave of a lot of heretofore decent people who have swallowed official propaganda, and think this will be a major problem in future.

      • Michael Morrissey
        December 14, 2016 at 8:34 am

        And where DemocracyNow goes you can be sure Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges et al. will go if they are not there already.

        • December 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

          I doubt Chris Hedges will buy into this, considering he has a show on Russia Today, which airs every Saturday.

    • Rob Roy
      December 13, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Yes, even Amy Goodman got on the anti-Russia bandwagon. And she’s not done anything to curb the false propaganda against Iran. This is odd since she is usually comprehensive. As for Robert Parry, I’m thankful every day that we have an honest journalist who never misses the mark. Thank you, Mr. Parry.

      • Theo
        December 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

        Democracy Now! is often way off the mark. They bought into the hoax of the Syrian “activists,” “Rebels” “white helmets” etc. all along. On Ukraine Amy Goodman showed more respect towards the fraudster Timothy Snyder then to Ray McGovern.

  7. Joe B
    December 13, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Excellent summary of the points I was about to make if Mr. Parry had missed them. Indeed whoever leaked the DNC emails should be given a substantial award for an invaluable expose of political party corruption.

    If the DNC can be shown to have acted criminally as an agent of foreign powers Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the whistleblower can prove any damages at all, they also should be given triple damages under 18 USC §1964(c) (RICO Act) for exposing racketeering, plus costs of prosecution of the entire DNC, which would include any costs of obtaining the emails.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      December 13, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      It is interesting that everything is focussed on Russian influence, while the proven influence by Israel and the Saudis, via massive payouts to the Clinton foundation, is ignored. It is treason against civilization to support the core of the jihadi element which they represent. It is also disgraceful to see the “mainstream” coverage of the Syrian victory in Aleppo as I saw on CBC last night, which would have done Pravda proud.

      • Joe B
        December 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

        Yes, the Russia accusations are intended to cover up the obvious bribery of the DNC to serve foreign powers. It makes no difference whether a foreign power revealed that corruption.

        It is laborious to read the SecState Clinton emails on WikiLeaks, but it is clear that she listens to absolutely no one but Jewish zionists on middle east affairs. She is a foreign agent and nothing more.

    • Donna
      December 26, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Joe B – That would be fine, as long as, the even greater racketeering and corruption of the Republican party is seriously investigated and prosecuted. I wonder where the Republican whistleblowers are? Purged already?? Well, a good place to start would be a thorough investigation of ALEC and their, now, semi-covert connections to the party. Then move on to the NRA, the fossil fuel industry (BIG Energy), the Education Privatization Industry or EMOs (Education Management Organizations). And the latter then brings us right back to Do(ugh), as in ALEC and payola. That should uncover enough corruption and racketeering to put most of them behind bars and expose the party for what it is: a massive front for the corporate plutocrat/kleptocrat lobby. Oh yeah, that’s right, serious investigations of the Koch’s, the NRA and the “Republicans” are off-limits. Apparently, they are a ‘protected class’. Never mind! Continue massive corruption, as usual, and don’t forget to blame it ALL on the Democrats who can’t manage to mount an effective opposition to this fascist agenda, or win an election, even when their candidate succeeds in winning the popular, majority vote! I am sure these investigations, much less prosecutions, will never happen under a Trump Administration, because extreme representatives of each of the entities/industries mentioned above have already been nominated to top cabinet posts! Hmm, plus ça change…

  8. Robert Shillenn
    December 13, 2016 at 10:48 am

    This article is a refreshing piece of journalism. Over the last several decades, in the U.S. mainstream media, I have notice a slide from seeking out the facts. We have come a long way from the days of “Watergate.” While that whole investigation had some flaws, it was a relentless hunt from the truth. By way of contrast I was shocked that some “talking head” on the PBS News Hour yesterday evening insinuated that Russia disseminated misinformation to tilt the recent U.S. election. My question is: What disinformation?

    • Stephen Sivonda
      December 14, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Yes…PBS and NPR have quite a few reporters that really go with the script provided to them. I’m so tired of hearing all the Aleppo stories and the Russians this and the Russians that BS. Never any real detail….just the use of inflammatory adjectives .Several weeks back I stopped watching the PBS – news hour and watch DN which has the same time slot. When the riots were going on in Kiev a couple years back the News Hour had Russian expert Stephen Cohen on twice in several weeks…..but not once more since then (that I know of) and I know why….because he told the truth about that coup and events leading up to it. Well, we can’t be allowed to get the truth…anyhow, he’s not been on that show since.

      • Donna
        December 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

        I agree with you on that, Stephen Sivonda. Stephen Cohen was a rare and refreshing voice of reason, and diplomacy. I was disappointed that he was never invited back on DN. But, yes, we can’t be allowed to get the truth. Webster Tarpley was also saying much the same thing, from the beginning.

  9. tony
    December 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

    We need a peoples party. Which, BTW, we don’t have under the two party system of sold-out Dems and the GOP.
    A peoples party that is not controlled by Israeli interests, big-business, Exon Mobile, Goldman-Sachs, plutocrats, oligarchs, corporate CEO’s, Gilded Age robber barons, etc. Sorry for being redundant, sounds better to use plenty of euphemisms……..

    • rosemerry
      December 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Chomsky remarked once that perhaps the reason the USA has so low a voter turnout compared with other “democracies” is because many of the people who in the UK or European countries would vote for a social democratic or socialist party do not have a Party that represents them so they stay at home.

    • Donna
      December 26, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      You are not kidding! We, the people, need to start building one, now. Or, if not a party, which seem so prone to corruption, perhaps an organized and persistent movement.

  10. Herman
    December 13, 2016 at 11:05 am

    It is hard to be hopeful regarding our political leaders or the media. The idea that media addressing both sides on issues somehow balances out, and the reader or watcher can figure it all out is unrealistic. Few can, and few are even conditioned to try. It is also virtually impossible when one side of the issue is overwhelmingly presented and those protesting the lies and distortions are so few.

    Reporting the truth is not an easy task. The danger is that those who see the lies and distortions that so often comes with those seeking to increase or hold onto power are tempted to fight back with the same weapons The danger is that we become like them if we hope to capture the attention of our readers and viewers.

    In this environment, the hope is that there will be more and more Robert Parry’s with their solid journalism bent and that the public will begin to understand it needs to pay attention.

    We desperately need an insurgence of interest in politics by persons of ability to come to Washington to cleanse of its corruption, particularly the way politicians are controlled by money. Thinking of how your actions will effect your donors rather than the people you represent does great harm and nothing will change until that is changed.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      It is hard to be hopeful regarding our political leaders or the media.

      Now is not the time for hope. It is time for vigilance and resistance.

  11. W. R. Knight
    December 13, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Thanks, Bob. That “the Russian did it” was the lamest argument ever contrived and nothing more than a red herring to divert attention away from the substance of the emails. Whoever leaked those emails was doing a public service and deserves an “attaboy” award.

  12. W. R. Knight
    December 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

    It wasn’t that long ago when the CIA’s official response to any inquiry was “No Comment”. Unfortunately, it has since been turned into the official mouthpiece of policy makers who want to give some lame bullshit excuse (e.g., the Russians made us do it) for making policies that reward themselves and their patrons.

  13. Randal Marlin
    December 13, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Very nicely articulated, Robert. One is left wondering how it is that the MSM are so blind to the parallels between what Putin is alleged to have done and what NED and other government-financed bodies have actually done to influence politics in other countries around the world. Putin would not need to read any special reports. Just recall Victoria Nuland’s reference to $5 billion in Ukraine since the end of the Soviet Union, or read the mission statements of NED available online, particularly on Ukraine. Then think back on CIA activity in Chile prior to Allende’s overthrow where the money spent was in millions, not billions.

    I think the reason for MSM asymmetry comes down to a certain faith. It goes like this: We (the U.S.) are democratic, right and good. If we influence the politics of other countries toward democracy, that will be for their betterment. So it doesn’t matter if we meddle. It’s OK. If Russia selectively reveals certain truths about our society that influences our people politically that must be wrong, because Russia is not democratic, doesn’t have freedom of expression, etc.

    This is the faith, and it’s hard to remove this faith because people tend to believe what they want to believe. People do not want to believe that their own country could be killing innocent civilians, violating human rights, etc. Maintenance of the faith with no self-criticism leads a genuine democracy into the reverse of democracy – in effect a tyranny masked by the verbal trappings of democracy. There needs to be reflection on both the reality and the optics of U.S. interference in the politics of other countries as seen by others and not just upholders of the faith.

    You are fighting an uphill battle, but doing it with commendably great skill!

    • W. R. Knight
      December 13, 2016 at 11:37 am

      MSM isn’t blind. It’s simply doing the bidding of its corporate owners.

      You need to understand, this is disinformation, it is not even propaganda as propaganda can be true. But this is false information intentionally spread to mask the corruption of those in power who, in turn, will reward MSM’s corporate owners. There is no belief or faith involved except for the faith they have in those who will reward them.

  14. W. R. Knight
    December 13, 2016 at 11:25 am

    “Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the CIA to at least have hard evidence before the spy agency precipitated such a crisis?”

    It would be an even better idea if the CIA went back to it’s “no comment” policy and spent more time gathering , verifying and analyzing information instead of spreading bullshit.

  15. Drew Hunkins
    December 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Over at Commondreams I’ve been been called “delusional and hysterical” for flat out disbelieving that the Kremlin actually stole the election for Trump.

    I’m sorry but to believe this baloney is the height of gullibility.

  16. Bill Cash
    December 13, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I often agree with Mr. Parry but not this time and I see far too much group think on here. I suggest reading Thomas Rid’s article on the hacking. It’s very detailed. Here’s a small excerpt:
    “On June 14, less than an hour after The Washington Post reported the breach at the DNC, CrowdStrike posted a report that detailed the methods used by the intruders. The firm also did something unusual: It named the Russian spy agencies it believed responsible for the hack. Fancy Bear, the firm said, worked in a way that suggested affiliation with the GRU. Cozy Bear was linked to the FSB.”
    The problem isn’t whether the information was accurate, I believe it was. The problem was that it was designed to hurt one candidate. Why didn’t they release anything on Trump? The way Assange dripped it out was designed to hurt Clinton.
    I can’t believe anyone takes Assange seriously in saying it didn’t come from the Russians. Assange is a man in need of a great favor from someone in power. Roger Stone has a back channel to Assange. I’d like to know if a deal was struck. We all know Putin likes Trump and detests Clinton.
    I refer again to David Corn’s investigation that revealed the Russians started working Trump 5 years ago. His national security adviser is very close to the Russians. Plus Trump’s son referred once to all the money coming from Russia. There are a lot of threads there.

    • Skip Scott
      December 13, 2016 at 11:57 am

      The fact that it wasn’t the Russians, but an insider leak, is the reason why “they” didn’t release anything on Trump.
      The “crazybear”, “cozybear” BS is probably just that. You think the CIA couldn’t fake all that? Also Trump was his own worst enemy, he didn’t need anyone to leak or hack his secrets. His tax dodging, bankruptcies, misogyny, and fragile ego were out there for the whole world to see. He is a buffoon with a dead squirrel on his head, but the people are so fed up they went for him anyway.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      The problem isn’t whether the information was accurate, I believe it was. The problem was that it was designed {happened} to hurt one candidate.

      Bulldozing open a mass grave to uncover all the buried skeletons isn’t something that gets “designed”. And in my opinion, the “problem” with fingering the guilty party arises only in the heads of those on the side of that perpetrator. Or in this case, the corrupt and warmongering puppet of the neoconservatives and neoliberals and Big Bankers who happens to be named Hillary Clinton.

    • RitaL
      December 14, 2016 at 12:14 am

      I agree with the points raised by Bill Cash. While Mr. Parry’s article is thoughtful, unfortunately, it is surprisingly porous … and one-sided …. to the point where I found myself wondering what propaganda apparatus was at play.

      • Daniel Foley
        December 15, 2016 at 9:07 am

        I have to agree with you the article is too one-sided. There are two sides to every story. Mr. Parry I hope you aren’t catering to the “Lock her up Crowd.”

  17. George McGlynn
    December 13, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Robert:

    Thanks for bringing sanity to the situation.

  18. John Puma
    December 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    The only issue begging for investigation is how many CIA assets does Ms Clinton control.

  19. lynne gillooly
    December 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I am far more concerned with the GOP operatives finding ways to supress voters here. Should read Greg Palast’s 2 yr investigation regarding this. Crosschecking is something no one brings up, but has taken millions of legitimate voters off the list. Also, why do we still use ballot machines with NO paper print outs or machines that have proprietary software? We can’t even do a recount properly with this mess. As an American citizen, I find this appalling.
    I don’t think Russia tipped the scale, but James Comey’s letter 11 days before the election definitely did.

    • W. R. Knight
      December 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      And don’t forget gerrymandering. That’s another way to disenfranchise voters.

    • Donna
      December 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      lynne, I agree with you. Voter suppression is the real untold story of this election. Kudos to Greg Palast. His book and documentary (available on DVD) are examples of top-notch investigative research and reporting. He lays it all out. The sinister Interstate Crosscheck, headed by Kris Kobach, Kansas Sec. of State. As noted in a Palast article in Rolling Stone, Kobach is a “Yale-educated former law professor. After 9/11, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft tasked Kobach with creating a system to track foreign travelers. (It was later shut down over concerns about racial profiling.) He is best known as the author of Arizona’s “Driving While Brown Law,” which allowed cops to pull over drivers and ask for proof of their legal status. He co-wrote the ultraconservative 2016 RNC party platform, working in a recommendation that Crosscheck be adopted by every state in the Union.” Why is this not being discussed or reported on in the corporate media? Well, that question sort of answers itself, I suppose. It is, indeed, appalling. And, yes, Comey’s behavior and letter 11 days before the election was profoundly disturbing, and inexcusable. And, yet, he is still there, too…no consequences.

  20. jimbo
    December 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hypocritical or not, tagging Trump with a Russia taint is obviously a hail Mary move to try to keep the tiny fingered moron from entering the Oval Office. Have you seen Keith Olbermann’s videos? I’ll read Parry’s and other CN articles on the matter and then watch Olbermann, whom I like, and the difference between his frantically ranted opinions and CN’s reporting are like day and night. But Keith isn’t stupid. He probably knows the truth but it seems to me he’s taken on a burden, assumed a role and has become the voice of desperation who will say anything to keep Tump away from the White House. It’s a diversion. But damn the truth – – for now. Short of poisoning the moron’s taco bowl, maybe lying about his connection to Russia will do the trick. Disagree? In case you haven’t heard this yet, Trump is a fucking moron!

    • Michael Rohde
      December 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      How about it being a misdirection play by the powers that fueled hillary’s campaign to take attention away from the fact that hillary had sold out to the bankers on Wall Street and adopted an Israel first foreign and domestic policy while hijacking the party with Wasserman and Shumer? Her platform was a Wall Street dream and her foreign policy machine was a neo-cons’ wet dream. All purchased with Wall Street banker money managed by Shumer and Wasserman. And when the emails came out per Assange and blew their cover, they had to blame somebody. The Russians were the perfect target. Not communists anymore, but we could brand them as supporting “terrorists”, our new menace since the communists were brought down by Gorby. Shumer’s promotion of a Black U.S. House Rep who is also a practicing Muslim was the fastest 180 in political history. From AIPAC to OPEC in one move shows amazing range. And Lieberman like desperation to hold on to waining influence. The Democratic Party was destroyed as an effective organization and led to Trump’s win. It wasn’t because of our Comrades in Russia. Different foreign power, different agenda. And it got us Trump. Thanks Bibi.

    • Michael Morrissey
      December 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I wonder how posts like this are allowed to stand, when I have had several deleted for even mentioning a certain subject.

  21. Joel Kabakov
    December 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Julian Assange is the great figure who is actually accelerating the demise of the de facto empire and who hopefully, with us, will live to see true democracy restored around the world. So now we see the Obama/DNC using foreign conspiracy as retaliation for Wikileaks and the Bernie campaign exposing the corruption of the DNC and Clintons resulting in the “unintended victory” of Trump. The stage had been perfectly set to power Hillary past Bernie and his tsunami of popular support for real change. But alas, the Clinton scandals surpassed even the Trump scandals. Putin is the new Saddam, the new Kaddafi, the new Assad du jure. This puts him in the line up of contrived evil sluggers who are the “real enemies” we need to deal with. Good luck on the big lie.

  22. December 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    “Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the CIA to at least have hard evidence before the spy agency precipitated such a crisis?”

    In answer to your question, Mr Parry:

    Yes, it would be a very good idea, were it not for the fact that the CIA is an entity that believes it owes allegiance to nobody but itself.That’s in spite being funded by taxpayer dollars, and whatever it makes on the side. The CIA is the Deep State.

    • Eric McKenzie
      December 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      You could not be more accurate in your statement about the CIA being the Deep State. I speak from having had 30 years of experience trying to deal with CIA reports that could not be used in intelligence documents without getting “permission” from the agency to quote their writing. The process of obtaining such permission often ran into months by which time the efficacy of the intelligence report I or others in my agency wrote could have been reduced or been overcome by events. Out of an abundance of caution,I refrain from referring to the agency for which I worked. Suffice it to say that it was connected with a specific branch of the U.S. military.

  23. Michael Rohde
    December 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    What is interesting is the main stream media’s obsession with “Russia is coming” and Putin. Since when was the media offended or interested in a foreign country influencing American elections? Ask former Republican Representative Paul Findlay, Illinois, or former Republican Senator Charles Percy, also from Illinois. I don’t recall any problems with Israel directing the electoral defeat of both of these incumbents back in the 80’s I think. Because they both had the courage to stand up to Israel publicly and question our support of the increasingly brutal occupation of Palestine with our billions of dollars of cash and weapons. Because of our unconditional support of Israel, we had already endured an oil boycott in the 70’s which quadrupled the price of a barrel of oil and made OPEC a major force in geo-politics, while throwing our economy into stagflation and ultimately, Ronald Raygun for our president. He beat Carter, curiously enough with the help of Israel once again being the deciding factor in a closely run race. No problem with that, at least not in our American media complex. Not a whisper about foreign influence in American elections. Now that the media’s darling was defeated, it had to be because of the communists. Oh ya, they’re gone. Then obviously it is the Russians that made trump win. Not Hillary’s getting caught hijacking the party for her and Bill’s personal gain with Wall Street investment banker donations. It had to be a foreign power, not getting caught red handed and having your chief political operator resign in national disgrace from the head of the Democratic Party. And how about Shumer? No sooner did this blow up in his and Wasserman’s face then he proposes a Black, practicing Muslim Congressman from Minnesota to run the Democratic Party. That is quite a transition, right from AIPAC to OPEC in one fell swoop. Pretty fancy foot work Senator. Not trying to throw anyone off the trail are ya?

    • Donna
      December 26, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Yes, Michael, it’s all very curious, isn’t it? None dare name them.

  24. John Doe II
    December 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    (your basic)-Bait and Switch:

    a sales tactic in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one

    the ploy of offering a person something desirable to gain favor (as political support) then thwarting expectations with something less desirable

    ::

    The Ploy; switch attention from the Vote Fraud that actually occurred to an Anti-Putin prevarication.
    This is political bait&switch.
    It’s Fake News performance and trickery made for TV and social media consumption.

    We’re living in a twilight world.

    • John Doe II
      December 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      GREG PALAST: Officially, Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes. But a record 75,335 votes were never counted. Most of these votes that went missing were in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, majority-black cities. How could this happen? Did the Russians do it? Nyet. You don’t need Russians to help the Michigan GOP.

      How exactly do you disappear 75,000 votes? They call them spoiled votes. How do you spoil votes? Not by leaving them out of the fridge. Most are lost because of the bubbles. Thousands of bubbles couldn’t be read by the optical scanning machines.

      https://www.democracynow.org/2016/12/13/greg_palast_by_rejecting_recount_is

      • Realist
        December 14, 2016 at 1:04 am

        That’s funny, because I just read an article today that claimed that there were more votes cast in Democratic Detroit than there are registered voters, the implication being that Hillary received a huge number of overvotes, not undervotes.

        Ah, yes, here’s the link: http://russia-insider.com/en/michigan-launches-audit-after-massive-voting-irregularities-discovered-clinton-strongholds/ri18177 But that’s a Russian url, so you are immediately thinking “fake news.”

        But they cite their source in a Detroit newspaper, so go to that: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/05/recount-unrecountable/95007392/ unless you assume that any narrative that does not favor Hillary is automatically “fake news.”

        “Moderation?” How charming.

      • Donna
        December 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm

        John Doe II – Exactly. And those 75,000+ votes could have easily been read and COUNTED by humans, but no recounts or audits were allowed to proceed. All shut down by Trump and the Republicans’ lawsuits. What do you think they were trying so hard to hide?

  25. Bill Bodden
    December 13, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Though there appears to be no hard evidence that the Russians did any such thing, the Obama administration’s CIA has thrown its weight behind the suspicions, basing its conclusions on “circumstantial evidence,” according to a report in The New York Times.

    Apparently, the CIA’s case for Russian hacking is not good enough for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence or the FBI: “Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources” By Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Landay – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-intelligence-idUSKBN14204E

    However, I noticed this morning on CNN and MSNBC (aka MS-DNC) and, presumably, Faux News, ABC, CBS and NBC the CIA story is another “slam dunk” and the Russians are guilty.

  26. Ragnar Ragnarsson
    December 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    The chickens have finally come home to roost. Every legally elected foreign leader that has been deposed & destroyed by the CIA/US Gov’t has got to be laughing in their graves right about now.

    As much as I despise John Bolton, he’s the only one calling this what it really is. If this is NOT what factions in the US Gov’t have done in places like Ukraine, Iran, etc, etc being done to Donald Trump right here and now by those same factions, what in the hell is it? Anybody who wants to promote peace, especially with Russia, has got to be destroyed according to these cretins. And what is their next step going to be?

  27. rosemerry
    December 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Not only does Hillary Clinton deserve to be criticised, but she and Obama have constantly demonized Russia (Obama put Pres. Putin’s evil with the ebola virus and ISIS), so why would it be surprising if Putin was not enthusiastic to have a continuation and maybe extension of the conflict Clinton seems to want?
    However, when asked, Putin has been circumspect and avoided getting involved (unlike the US in Ukraine, Crimea etc).
    To accept the CIA’s alleged findings is fake news of the highest order.

    • Realist
      December 14, 2016 at 1:17 am

      Right you are, Rosemerry. It should be clear to all by now that this is just a continuation of an American full spectrum, hybrid war that Obomber declared on Russia to thank them for extricating him from a number of pickles in places like Iran and Syria. He basically hates Putin for having clearly superior executive and diplomatic skills than he does, so he’s going to dig at their hide every chance he gets even in the Paralympic arena.

  28. Pablo Diablo
    December 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    SMOKE and MIRRORS. It is WHAT is in the emails, not WHO leaked them.

  29. William Whitehurst
    December 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    What is wrong with you people? The issue isn’t the tipping of the scales toward Trump but the fact that a foreign power accessed the most secure networks in the world and handed off documents to a third party! For crying out loud wasn’t this what brought Trump followers to their feet shouting “LOCK HER UP” whenever her private email security was described?Here we have unmistakable intrusion into THE SECURE .GOV NETWORK and what is the most important thing to the republicans? The possible challenge to Trump’s victory! WAKE UP FOLKS AND FOCUS ON THE REAL PROBLEM BEFORE THE GRIDS ARE DISABLED AND YOU WILL HAVE TO READ FROM CANDLELIGHT! Coming from the telecommunications industry I can’t help but notice the ease at which Russia accessed out networks AFTER Snowden started his long term vacation there.

    • Skip Scott
      December 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Excuse me, Bill? The DNC’s emails go through the US gov’t secure servers? I doubt it. Hillary’s emails were on a private server in her basement, and I believe the DNC is separate from the federal gov’t secure network. Even still, Assange claims the DNC and Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked by a DNC insider.

      All that said, you are correct that cyber security, especially for things like the grid, is an important issue. But where is your proof that Russia hacked our secure servers?

    • December 13, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      @ William Whitehurst: You might want to consult a mental health professional; they may have some new treatment for extreme gullibility. See https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

    • Realist
      December 13, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      What EVIDENCE has been provided to lead you to believe any of that? They haven’t even bothered to manufacture any yet. And, if you demand it, you’ll be told that it’s classified–can’t give away any secrets, don’t you know. What can you possibly believe was Putin’s motive for taking a dangerous gamble on such a ridiculous long shot that had Hillary pegged as the winner with a 98% probability? That truth was going to sway American opinion? Because he sure didn’t have control of the voting machines. Or, that he looked forward to sparing with an angry President Hillary that he just aggravated? Gimme a break. Try using some common sense.

  30. ranney moss
    December 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful! You sorted it all out and put it together masterfully. I’m forwarding this to all my friends.

  31. Liz Bee
    December 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Not only did Assange categorically deny it was the Russians and Craig Murray state that he knows who did it and it wasn’t the Russians, there was a Youtube video up a few weeks ago by a self-described member of the US intelligence community who claimed credit for the leaks of the Podesta emails.

  32. aquadraht
    December 13, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Does anybody recall the 1996 presidential campaign in the Russian Federation? At the beginning of the campaign, sitting President Yeltsin’s popularity was close to zero, with much of russia starving and dying from cold, with millions of fatalities, and the head of the CPRF, Syuganov, was favorite.

    The USA poured about 500 million $ into the presidential campaign, and, additionally, secured a 10 billion $ credit of the IMF. In the end, Yeltsin won his second term.

    Hm, interfering into elections in a foreign country?

  33. Helge
    December 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Very good article indeed! After the Democrats lost the election with Clinton I had expected a review and a new direction towards tackling on issues which worries me and probably many readers here such as Trump winning the election on a xhenphobic platform and the potential of anti-liberal and reactionary policies under Trump but instead they focussed on the one issue Trump is right: The fact that Russia does not pose a threat to the US. That Samantha Power today almost suffered a nervous breakdown in the UN after the fall of rebel-held Eastern Aleppo is another indicator for furiosity about the election outcome in the Democratic Party. She calls the Russians war criminals although they negotiated with Turkey a free corridor for the rebels of Aleppo to flee to Turkish held territories while she mentions not a word about the human tragedy unfolding on Western Yemen due to the Saudi attacks. That is so disgustingly hipocrate.

  34. December 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    In total relation to any CIA (leaked) “Conclus[ions]” ( http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/10/cia-concludes-russia-meddled-us-election-provides-no-evidence ), a summary:
    Regarding Fake News, the New McCarthyism, Blacklists/Watchlists, long-term barrages of (planted stories regarding) Russian threats, danger, and infiltration, along with desires for fulfillment of Censorship (overall) – including ongoing escalations of worldwide propaganda campaigns (with goals for further Regime Changes), consider whether or not it is truth that all these new WMD-style accusations were premeditated and prefabricated (well beforehand). Then, remember this word, PSYOPS – for their operations know no bounds. Whatever it takes to succeed will be undertaken (mostly from behind shadowed/closed doors), regardless of history, human lives, rights, actual democracies, sovereignties, moralities – or any post-Nuremberg statutes/proclamations. Further, remember Donald Rumsfeld (even though it was virtually erased from the internet) saying “We will lie to you”? (They have. They will. They are. They will continue). In addition, long before 9/11, massive surveillance measures (and related campaigns) were already (covertly) taking place (with controlled missions totally successful – beyond sight). Look up the story (or Keith Olbermann’s video) on Qwest Communications being asked to go along with them for a clearer picture of pre-9/11 operations – which could lead many to an understanding of what we really see and hear (of which has been escalating for decades). The PR pushes are presently rolling out nonstop, since a certain time is Now. And soon, the world will know the deeper meanings relating to an expression from a Karl Rove aide:
    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    Millions upon millions will then (at some present and future points) hold their faces in their hands, while expressing “Oh my God, it’s all a Lie.” Following those points, we (especially the poor) will have to find some way to survive with this new knowledge/truth — in this new ordering of our world.

    (For a further historical-enhancing perspective, watch these two videos:

    1) Rigged USA Elections Exposed
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEzY2tnwExs
    The true picture: Think, at least, 2000, 2004, and possibly 2016. Also, consider it as (most likely) being hacked here (many other times/in many other municipalities, states, cities, etc.) – and that it has absolutely nothing to do with Russia (which is a controlled campaign of actual New McCarthyism and actual Fake (CIA-type) News (Like the CIA “Conclusions” article) – as a means of cover for past and upcoming onslaughts).

    2) Olbermann: the beginning of the end of America
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqxmPjB0WSs
    Prescient. Speaking Truth to Power. Ten Years Later, and. . . .)

    Additional historical references — for insight, for clarity, and for a fuller picture of the Truth:

    1948 to 2013: Smith–Mundt Act
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith%E2%80%93Mundt_Act

    “The shift from wartime to peacetime ‘propaganda operations was not taken lightly by Congress, especially with fresh memories of President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee for Public Information (CPI), President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Office of War Information (OWI), and the Nazi propaganda machine. But there were other, deeper concerns on which Congress focused.” “Congress harbored significant reservations about empowering the State Department. The key issue was not whether US Government information activities should be known to the American public, but whether the State Department could be trusted to create, manage and disseminate these products.”

    2001: Only One Big Telecom CEO Refused To Cave To The NSA
    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-story-of-joseph-nacchio-and-the-nsa-2013-6

    “Nacchio alleged that the government stopped offering the company lucrative contracts after Qwest refused to cooperate with a National Security Agency surveillance program in February 2001.” (Again, “in February 2001″).

    (Update- 2015: U.S. Avoids Trial On Ex-Qwest CEO’s NSA Claims
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2015/05/01/u-s-avoids-trial-on-ex-qwest-ceos-nsa-claims-with-18-million-tax-refund-deal/#77739ece5e75

    “Significantly, with its stipulation, the government has avoided a trial in which the 65-year-old former executive planned to air what he says was his refusal, in 2001, to allow Qwest to participate in a National Security Agency program he believed was illegal. That trial might have attracted some media attention, given revelations over the past two years about the NSA’s illegal collection of metadata on U.S. phone calls and its other once secret programs. . . “)

    2003: Dick Cheney: “9/11 changed everything.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCumv1zKV_w

    (Yes, and as early as February 2001, numerous changes had already been deeply put in place and motion – which meant that there were also wholly related pre-2001 plans and operations).

    2006: No Fake News!
    http://www.prwatch.org/nofakenews

    On April 6, 2006, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a multi-media report titled, “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.” It provides the most extensive account to date of how corporate-funded video news releases (VNRs) — Fake TV news — are routinely aired by newsrooms, without disclosure, as though they were independently-gathered reports. The online report contains footage of three dozen VNRs, plus footage from some of the 98 different TV newscasts that aired them or related satellite media tour “interviews.”

    2010: Obama Confidant’s Spine-chilling Proposal
    http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/

    “In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-‘independent’ advocates to ‘cognitively infiltrate’ online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems ‘false conspiracy theories’ about the Government.” “Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into ‘chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.’ He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called ‘independent’ credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).”

    2011: Revealed: US Spy Operation that Manipulates Social Media
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    Relate all the ongoing (Psyop) Fake News (or new WMD accusation) hysteria ) of 2016):
    “The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using Fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” “The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet.” “Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions.”

    2011: Air Force Seeks Fake Online Social Media Identities
    http://www.darkreading.com/risk-management/air-force-seeks-fake-online-social-media-identities/d/d-id/1096228?

    “The Fake-personal social media contract would allow the government to “friend” real people on Facebook as a way to show support for pro-government messages, according to information revealed during the hack.” “The software could cross-reference all available social media such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other services to collect data on real individuals, and then use this to gain access to users’ social circles, according to the emails.”

    2012: The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public
    http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5

    “The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion. Thornberry said that the current law ‘ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way. . .”

    2013: The Director of National Intelligence Lied to Congress About NSA Surveillance
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2013/06/fire_dni_james_clapper_he_lied_to_congress_about_nsa_surveillance.html

    “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir … not wittingly.” “As we all now know, he was lying.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LKzAsIMUx8

    2013: Edward Snowden: NSA Files Decoded
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/nov/01/snowden-nsa-files-surveillance-revelations-decoded#section/1

    “He succeeded beyond anything the journalists or Snowden himself ever imagined. His disclosures about the NSA resonated with Americans from day one. But they also exploded round the world. For some, like Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, it is a vitally important issue, one of the biggest of our time: nothing less than the defense of democracy in the digital age.” “US internet companies, their co-operation with the NSA exposed by Snowden’s documents, fear a worldwide consumer backlash, and claim they were forced into co-operation by the law.”

    • December 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      2016: Democratic National Committee Email Leak
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Democratic_National_Committee_email_leak

      “This collection included 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the DNC, the governing body of the United States’ Democratic Party.” “On July 18, 2016, Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that the Russian government had no involvement in the DNC hacking incident. Peskov called it ‘paranoid’ and ‘absurd,’ saying: ‘We are again seeing these maniacal attempts to exploit the Russian theme in the US election campaign.’ That position was later reiterated by the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, which called the allegation ‘entirely unrealistic.’”

      NYT Leads With Russia Hack Conspiracy–Despite ‘No Evidence’
      http://fair.org/home/nyt-leads-with-russia-hack-conspiracy-despite-no-evidence-in-next-to-last-paragraph/

      “The New York Times (7/29/16) has published another article peddling the conspiracy that the Russian government is manipulating the US election in order to hurt Hillary Clinton.”

      The Propaganda War With Putin
      http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/08/05/propaganda-war-putin

      “If it had not already been apparent, the net effect of the DNC email hack has been to kick open the door to a deep American antagonism towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. In what has become an old fashioned American pile-on, President Barack Obama, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and what seems the entire political establishment as well as the MSM, have united to undermine Putin as if to prime the American public for war with Russia. War is, after all, more successful when the people have been thoroughly programmed.”

      Taking a Page from Joe McCarthy
      https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/01/taking-a-page-from-joe-mccarthy/

      One trick of the original McCarthyism from the Old Cold War was to take some innocuous or accurate comment from a leader in Moscow — saying something like “poverty is a cruel side of capitalism” or “racism persists in the U.S.” — and to claim that some American reformer who says much the same thing must be a Kremlin tool.

      The CIA’s Absence of Conviction
      http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/12/cias-absence-conviction

      “I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story. . . .” “Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims ‘bullshit,’ adding: ‘They are absolutely making it up.’ “I know who leaked them,’ Murray said. ‘I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.’”

  35. Kronosaurus
    December 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Well this is interesting. We have plenty of smoke here but people who normally are prone to dissent are bending over backward to brush this story under the rug and critique Democrats. The fact is that emails were hacked. They were clearly released to harm Clinton and the Democrats. It clearly benefitted Trump and the Republicans in a close race. So that alone is huge. No one is arguing that the emails were “fake”. That’s not the point. And it is irrelevant that we do the same thing to other countries. If Clinton paid people to hack Trump would we be poo-pooing it because we have a history of meddling in other peoples’ elections? I think not.

    Now to give this story context there is only one word needed here and for the life of me, I don’t know why it is not being spoken – BENGHAZI. We spent countless hours and treasure setting up committees and criticizing Obama and Clinton because he spun the story initially. He didn’t say it was pre-meditated forcefully enough. That was all. It was a nothing story. So in a sense, this is payback time. And remember, Trump jumped on that Benghazi train and rode it hard. So there is a lot of smoke here and we should be investigating this. And included in that investigation should be plenty of subpoenas regarding Trump’s connections with Moscow. Will it come up with conclusive evidence that he was connected to the hacks? Probably not. But then we knew all along that Benghazi was not going to yield squat. But that’s not the point of endlessly calling for investigations is it? The point is to drag as many people in front of tribunals until we can catch someone in a lie. Maybe find out that Trump was using an illegal server or something and then start a new scandal! That’s the game that is being played. So why deny the Democrats the chance to play this game? At least this time we know that something big and factual actually took place. Emails were hacked. Hacked emails tilted the election in Trump’s favor. That’s enough smoke for me.

  36. Abe
    December 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    The CIA’s apparent lack of direct reporting from a source inside the Kremlin or an electronic intercept points to an internal threat to US security.

    The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

    The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

    Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

    US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

    The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally.

    Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

    The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

    US offensive cyber warfare operations work in tandem with aggressive US and NATO propaganda efforts against the governments of Iran, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Russia and China.

    The US perpetually seeks to portray these governments as human rights violators against whom an oppressed population has risen in defiance.

    Despite its clumsiness, a good portion of the Western public has found the US/NATO propaganda persuasive. Western factions critical of Russia will find new complaints about “Russian hacking” credible.

    The recent memorandum by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) concerning the baseless allegations of hacking highlights a critical point:

    “As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena.”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

    Journalists are encouraged to investigate NSA involvement in domestic offensive cyber warfare operations.

    • Abe
      December 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Former intelligence contractor and National Security Agency-whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a great deal about the NSA’s partnership with Israeli intelligence.

      Be sure to check the document links in this article:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/09/snowden-israel-relationship/

    • Abe
      December 14, 2016 at 3:28 am

      Presidential Policy Directive 20 defines Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO)
      https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/ppd/ppd-20.pdf

      The directive’s pro-forma declaration that the “United States Government shall reserve the right to act in accordance with the United States’ inherent right of self defense as recognized in international law” has no effect. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have conducted actions such as the invasion of countries, bombing, missile strikes and assassinations under the rubric of “self defense.”

      The directive discusses possible cyber attacks by the US government against domestic targets inside the country. This raises the prospect that in the event of a political crisis in the US, stemming either from domestic political and social upheaval or mass opposition to war, the US government could shut down the Internet and social media, target specific web sites or carry out other acts of cyber warfare in the name of “national security.”

      While the document claims that only the President can authorize cyber operations inside the United States, it contains a lengthy section, the longest in the entire executive order, spelling out what it calls “Emergency Cyber Action,” which can be taken by the Secretary of Defense or “a department or agency head with appropriate authorities”—in other words, any top official of the military-intelligence apparatus.

      Such actions can be taken if “necessary to mitigate an imminent threat or ongoing attack against US national interests.” This would include preventing “significant damage with enduring national impact on the Primary Mission Essential Functions of the United States Government, U.S. critical infrastructure and key resources, or the mission of U.S. military forces…”

      The language is so broad that it could easily be applied to anything designated as “critical” by the government.

      According to the directive, domestic cyber-warfare actions would be conducted in accordance with the “National Continuity Policy” document of May 9, 2007.

      This is a reference to one of the last versions of the notorious Bush administration planning for “continuity of government,” in which plans were made for transferring all federal power to a small cabal of executive branch officials—lodged in Richard Cheney’s infamous “undisclosed secure location”—and excluding both the legislative and judicial branches of government.

  37. Lee Sterling
    December 13, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Just gave another donation after reading this. Thanks Bob!

  38. jimbo
    December 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Not for a moment do I dispute what Mr. Parry has written here but how pure are the Russians? In this and much else on CN US policy is depicted as awful. But is Russia’s so good? Hey, maybe it is good and that is why they come off as good on these pages but I suspect they aren’t. My Yahoo! news page is loaded with scary Russia stories about this new missile or that step over the Ukraine border. The only critical to Russia bone in the story above is this: “But even if Assange did get the data from the Russians …” I know, for example, via Reuters, that Russia has recently placed missiles on disputed Japanese islands. “Russian media reported on Tuesday that Bastion and Bal anti-ship missile systems were now in operation on the islands, part of an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean over which Russia and Japan have staked rival claims for 70 years.” Not that that is related to the election or hacking but if Parry’s goal is to expose truths which could stop WW3, then readers should know too that Russia is not the innocent actor in international affairs as may be assumed from these pages.http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-japan-islands-missiles-idUSKBN13K09I

  39. Kalen
    December 14, 2016 at 12:47 am

    In fact such a similar campaign of lies, misinformation and slander, accusations of spying and McCarthyism we see in the US today has been already in full swing in Eastern and Western Europe where anyone who presents a balance view of Russia domestic and international policies opposite to NATO propaganda is called a Russian agent also by citing anonymous sites and anonymous intelligence officials as “proofs” of guilt.

    Some European activists for peace and cooperation with Russia are even arrested on trump up charges and held without bail accused of spying for Russia, something that is rarely published in the west even on independent sites.

    Is this a coincidence that this reincarnation of vicious psyop against Russia was first unleashed in Europe in 2014 during and after Maidan “revolution” in Ukraine?

    This association of ProPornOt site [and WaPo that originally supported it ] with Ukrainian fascists is clearly seen in ProPornOt tweeter account where they rant incoherently about obscure defunct Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) that cooperated with German Nazis during WWII against Soviets and was responsible for genocide of Jews, Russians,Poles, Hungarians and that included fellow Ukrainians opposing Nazi ideology.

    It is very plausible that pro fascist Kiev regime could be involved in that operation of misinformation “McCarthy style” as CIA manual teaches its agents and is behind this slander of independent media as well as Trump nonexistent Russian clandestine influence , hidden behind several usual neocon suspects funded by USAid and DOS and dark oligarchic characters like Soros.

    It seem that Democrats and MSM are picking up and proliferating massively false narrative and lies that this is all about Russian influence on the US elections [helping elect Trump] when massive MSM media was unified and became a monolithic propaganda tube for Hillary in a soviet “Pravda” style when Top 100 newspapers in the US endorsed Hillary, some the first time in 100 years endorsed a Democrat over Republican. All on command from the ruling establishment and majority of oligarchs.

    In fact it is not even about that, nothing even close to it.

    And certainly it is not about suppose ulterior motivation driven propaganda of “external” [read Russian] influence on the US political process via network of spies and independent websites, knowing well that American political process for long decades is bought and sold by foreign agents with ties with foreign intelligence agencies [running numerous networks of websites and supported by an army of paid lobbyists] namely Israelis and their extortionist outfit AIPAC, as well as Saudis, EU, Japan even China especially during Bill Clinton years [selling a night in Lincoln bedroom to later convicted Chinese spy] and later and more, buying for pennies on a dollar all American politicians wholesale every elections and by that often pushing US into senseless wars and enormous expenditures and economic losses.

    Let’s not be fooled by such a straw-man arguments.

    It is all about new McCarthyism, new campaign of terror and baseless accusation of spying or foreign agencies, attacks on however rotten and undemocratic but existing political process, alienation of the journalists from their readers under cloud of criminality, spying and FBI investigation against those who do not peddle official narratives who are not buying utter nonsense and who do not draw absurd conclusions based on lies and innuendos without any shred of evidence.

  40. Joe Tedesky
    December 14, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Any investigation into Russian or any other outside interest hacking into Hillary’s emails should be investigated from the basic consequence of what happens when a diplomat bypasses government protocol in favor of personally preferred communication devices. It seems to me that the ‘original sin’ to all of this insanity over foreign hackers started due in large part to Hillary’s ignoring government espionage standards where personal servers are regarded as high security breaches, and strict obeisance to this rule is covered by law. Of course these security rules only apply to anyone other than Hillary Clinton.

    Ask Angela Merkel about ease dropping and outside interference. It is said that Hillary received campaign donations from twenty countries. Hillary didn’t think Russia so bad when she cut a deal with Russia and Uranium One. Besides being the world’s worst human rights abusers, Hillary welcomed the Saudi twenty million she received to run against Trump. The good news is Israel got it’s spy back this year, Jonathan Pollard, and all’s well that ends well with that. While on the subject of Israel, how many Americans still never heard of the USS Liberty. So yes, we should by all means crack down on outside entities invading our American security systems.

    The battle is on. It’s Flynn against Brennan. Michael Morell is calling this Russian hacker story, ‘the worst thing since 911’. Rachel Maddow is seriously saying that Rex Tillerson works against America’s interest. I’m not saying he did or didn’t, but what I am trying to point out, is this battle is on, and it is getting ugly and more brutal by the day. Oh, and now forty Electors wish to receive the briefing on Russia voting interference…isn’t that just swell?

    What bothers me the most, is while these top echelon personalities fight amongst each other, one has to wonder if we citizens will still retain our freedom of speech rights when all is over? Maybe that’s why Morell references 911, since that was to date the biggest civil rights heist ever committed against the American public…I mean Mike would know, wouldn’t he?

    • Drew Hunkins
      December 14, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Right now there’s a serious battle brewing between a couple of factions of the ruling class in the United States. From what I can make of it, in broad brushstrokes, on one side appears to sit Big Oil, the James Baker types, much of the FBI and certain Trump leaning operatives VS much of the establishment press, a good chunk of the CIA and elements of the Zionist power configuration. Again, that’s in rough form from what I can make out in a quick post off the top of my head.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm

        I think you separate the groups well. From what I’am reading from various accounts, the division is between globalist-interventionist vs nationalist-noninterventionist. The nationlist-noninterventionist point to far to much money being spend over a long period of time waging war, with little to nothing to show for it. The globalist-interventionist for a lack of a deeper description basically want more of the same old same old. Both sides are grounded in big business, and how this all works out for the average world citizen is anybody’s guest.

        I do know this, that unless America comes up with a better plan to keep it’s citizenship employed, nothing will get better while spending America’s national treasure on military adventurism. Until productivity is measured by what a worker takes home in their pay, over simply using productivity figures to decorate a ledger sheet, nothing will get better. Lastly America needs to spend it’s money on other things other than war.

  41. Ben
    December 14, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    “Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the CIA to at least have hard evidence before the spy agency precipitated such a crisis?”

    Take a deep breath folks (excitement is not your friend) – to begin with, I’m not sure this rises to the level of a crisis – right now (regardless of the “source) it’s a more like a rumor. Secondly, we don’t really know what the bulk of the purported evidence is, nor is the CIA likely to release a comprehensive list.

    Don’t get too bent – these gub’ment shenanigans have been going on for… like… forever… maybe? It’s political gamesmanship, and we simply don’t know the agenda behind the behavior – we’re only guessing.

    So, let’s not get distracted from the actual crisis: Will the new administration further enable the growing oligarchy, will civil rights be abrogated, and will the environment be exponentially damaged? Watching what Trump does (very closely), and putting forth the effort (however difficult) to hold him (and his minions) accountable should be number one priority.

  42. Mike E
    December 15, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Dang. I thought I remembered Trump publicly asking Russia to hack the Democrats …

  43. sixpack
    December 15, 2016 at 4:20 am

    The Democrats are trying to steal the election from President Trump using the electorates — Please spread this link around:

    This petition is simple. https://wh.gov/it4Nw

    Electors are not some special class of people with special rights or privileges; they are AMERICAN CITIZENS just like the rest of us. They were chosen to represent us on December 19, 2016 by reading our votes into the record.

    Whereas; Forty electors have demanded a special intelligence briefing regarding alleged evidence that the Russians (or anyone else) may have influenced our 2016 elections.

    If these citizens should get any special briefing, THE BRIEFING SHOULD BE SIMULTANEOUSLY OPEN TO THE ENTIRE AMERICAN PUBLIC!

    WE ALL have a right to hear the allegations at the same time.

    WE ALL have a right to examine any evidence that may or may not affect our elections.

    WE DEMAND THE SAME RIGHT TO HEAR THE ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMS OF THE CIA, BEFORE OUR VOTES ARE COUNTED.

    If it is not possible to present evidence and.or information to the entire citizenry, THEN NO CITIZEN has any right to special, closed-door briefings.

  44. michael
    December 15, 2016 at 9:28 am

    There is more to this than domestic politics. One can count on these sorts of accusations not only to discredit Putin but to remove him power. He, and he alone, is keeping elements from gaining a better control in Russia in order to impose their influence in the East as they have in the West.. Russia is their lynch pin for this and global centralization is their aim.

  45. Carroll Price
    December 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Even if Russia was involved in engineering Clinton’s downfall, they provided to the American people an invaluable service the MSM refused to provide, and for which the American people should be forever grateful.

  46. William McKenzie
    December 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Very impressive! Excellent article!

  47. Youri
    December 16, 2016 at 12:06 am

    excellent article, Robert Parry and Consortium News are much needed independent truthtellers and mythbusters especially with the avalanche of propaganda we are getting that Russia hacked the DNC, using that as a distraction of the corruption of the DNC and Clinton’s cronies while trying to push for a war with Russia. dangerous times, i’m no fan of Trump but this is dangerous propaganda.

  48. fuster
    December 16, 2016 at 3:12 am

    hilariously shallow and without worth.

  49. King Harvest
    December 16, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Great item, but yet-another US analysis that fails to address the fact that USG is alleged to be spying on virtually every person and computer in the world. That should be the starting point to any discussion of this sort.

  50. drspock
    December 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Isn’t the long standing US policy of ‘regime change’ by definition meddling in the political affairs of another country?

    And don’t we routinely fund opposition groups through USAID?

    And haven’t we encouraged and at times even engineered coups that have overthrown elected governments that we didn’t like, such as Iran in 1955 and Guatemala, just to name a few?

    So even if Wikileaks got DNC documents from a Russian hacker, this is a minuscule intrusion compared to what the Us does on a regular basis.

    So the talking heads and professional pundits are either totally ignorant about American history or are hypocrites and apologists who will parrot whatever the government says simply to curry favor and retain their lucrative jobs.

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