The Pre-emptive Anti-Trump Coup

Washington insiders, trying to use Russia’s alleged hack of Democratic emails to get the Electoral College to reject Donald Trump, are risking making the U.S. look like the world’s largest open-air insane asylum, says John V. Whitbeck.

By John V. Whitbeck

The current hysteria in the United States over allegations that Russia stole the American election to put its man, Donald Trump, in the White House would be hilarious if powerful people in the U.S. government and the mainstream media did not appear to take this scenario seriously.

It has been leaked to the Washington Post by an anonymous source that the CIA has concluded with high confidence that the Kremlin preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. Well, duh! How much intelligence, in any sense, does it take to reach that conclusion? Clinton had publicly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler and promised to step up efforts to provoke, punish and humiliate Russia.

Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Photo credit: Grant Miller/RNC)

Trump had promised to treat Russia and its president with respect and to seek to cooperate with Russia on matters of common interest. Of course, Russia preferred Trump!

Americans are supposed to be shocked, shocked (à la Casablanca) that, in these circumstances and with the relationship between the two major nuclear powers being the most important and dangerous inter-state relationship on the planet, Russia might have dared to try to influence the result of the American election.

Readers of A Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner’s definitive history of the CIA, will be aware that two of the principal activities of the CIA since its creation have been the propagation of fake news stories (officially, only for foreign consumption) and seeking to influence foreign elections, with the former often placed with friendly media so as to further the latter – admittedly, relatively benign activities compared to the CIA’s more recent focus on torture and drone-assassinations.

Where that didn’t work, the CIA organized coups to overthrow democratically elected governments not to America’s liking (Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Ukraine, etc.), and, of course, there have been numerous American regime-change operations involving bombings and invasions. And, meanwhile, the NSA is vacuuming up every electronic communication on the planet …

It requires hypocrisy and historical amnesia on a breathtaking scale to be outraged that Russia might have made available to WikiLeaks some true internal emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign that did not reflect well on Clinton – let alone to characterize such a disclosure, as one member of Congress recently has, as an “act of war”.

Assuming, for the sake of argument (and notwithstanding former British Ambassador Craig Murray’s statement that he has personal knowledge that the leaked emails to WikiLeaks came from a “disgusted” Democratic Party insider), that the Russian government really was responsible for the release of these emails into the public domain, how many American voters actually read these emails, and how many of those would have been so shocked to learn that the Democratic National Committee was not ensuring a level playing field between Clinton and Bernie Sanders (already rather obvious) or that the inner workings and calculations of a political campaign are (like sausage-making) better not viewed up close (also no surprise) that they changed their voting intentions?

A better argument can be made that the late intervention by FBI Director James Comey, suggesting as it did the possible indictment and prosecution of a president-elect, might, even though he backed off a few days before Election Day, have changed the voting intentions of a sufficient number of wavering voters to affect the result. But the DNC and Podesta emails? Russia? Really?

In accordance with the rules of the bizarre and absurd Electoral College system, an archaic structure invented by the Constitution’s Framers in 1787, (and barring a massive defection of “faithless electors” when they vote in state capitols on Monday), Donald Trump has been duly elected as the next president of the United States. America and the world will have to live with it.

The efforts currently underway among some politicians and in the mainstream press to try to convince the American people that Trump is a “Siberian Candidate” in the service of Russia and that his election was – and his presidency will be – illegitimate because his victory was achieved only by the “hacking” and “subversion” of the election by a foreign power (both terms being hurled as fact in Paul Krugman’s latest column in the New York Times, in which he also argues that Trump’s election should not be accorded “any legitimacy beyond the bare legal requirements”) are wildly irresponsible and dangerous.

Russia does not need to trash American democracy. From the start of this extraordinarily ugly campaign season, Americans have been doing an excellent job of that themselves. Their politicians and “opinion leaders” should resist the urge to dig the hole in which the country finds itself even deeper, and Democratic members of Congress should resist the urge to adopt the scorched-earth approach of the Republican Party over the past eight years and devote all their efforts in the coming four years toward ensuring the failure of the country’s president in everything he seeks to accomplish.

Sadly, at the moment, the country of my birth is looking more and more like the world’s largest open-air insane asylum.

John V. Whitbeck is a Paris-based international lawyer.

 

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103 comments for “The Pre-emptive Anti-Trump Coup

  1. delia ruhe
    December 17, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    “The current hysteria in the United States over allegations that Russia stole the American election to put its man, Donald Trump, in the White House would be hilarious if powerful people in the U.S. government and the mainstream media did not appear to take this scenario seriously.”

    Washington may have initiated the crisis, but it should be remembered that Washington also ends up sipping its own Kool-Aid.

    The problem for the US has always been that a great number — perhaps the majority — of Americans are gullible, and have a low panic threshold. Americans come by this trait honestly, having been governed through the politics of fear since at least the beginning of the Cold War (the real one, not the one currently being manufactured). Chomsky even wrote a book about it way back in the sixties called *Manufacturing Consent*. It’s grown even easier since then to generate a consensus by frightening Americans into it. To wit: the rapid shift from 30 percent to almost 70 percent of Americans who supported Dubya’s Iraqi WMD fantasy — even while he and his Secretary of State and his British poodle never convinced even one of his NATO allies to join his “coalition of the bribed and coerced.”

    Russia’s fearsome Soviet past is the easiest ghost to invoke if you want to hold and grow Americans’ terrified attention. Moreover, a far better climate than the “war on terror” for the sale of guns, bombs, and assorted large-and-super-expensive war toys would be a New Cold War — and no doubt Boeing, Rayethon, Grummen, GE and the others who make up the Perpetual War Portfolio are quietly agitating for it. Therefore (so Washington logic leaps), Putin himself must have got on the keyboard and hacked the 2016 election, got his Useful Idiot elected, and all one lacks is the keyboard with his fingerprints on it — but those can probably be manufactured too, if necessary.

    As Robert Parry wrote just a couple days ago, ‘ “perception management” remains the guiding principle of how the U.S. government deals with the American people, scaring us with exaggerated tales of foreign threats and then manipulating our fears and our misperceptions.’ How anybody can come to any hard-and-fast conclusions about the Washington story of Putin’s hacking of the American election is beyond me. To me, it merely says: There goes America again, beyond the tipping point where, within the Washington Department of Propaganda everyone is high-five-ing and offering to pay for the next round of drinks at the Department’s favourite watering hole.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 17, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      The problem for the US has always been that a great number — perhaps the majority — of Americans are gullible, …

      This should come as no surprise. From their formative years through their final years Americans have been lied to and have become accustomed to this debilitating practice. Some, more likely many, are not only willing to be lied to but prefer indulging the delusions that come with these lies.

      • December 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

        i can´t attribute the quote this morning. I think it was Barnum who said it. ” No one ever went broke by overestimating the stupidity of the American People.”

    • dahoit
      December 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Fearsome Soviet past;A figment of capitalist imagination and propaganda.They never invaded any nation outside their commie fiefdom,while America has invaded myriad nations,far far away.
      They won ww2 for US.
      All this is zionist trotskyite revenge on Mother Russia for not liking fifth column zionists,just as Americans hate them.
      Hopefully Trump will jail the whole MSM as traitors for zion.

      • JCDavis
        December 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm

        “They never invaded any nation outside their commie fiefdom,while America has invaded myriad nations,far far away.”

        Exactly. And we even invaded Russia, a hundred years ago.

      • rosemerry
        December 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

        Correct. I remember visiting the USSR in 1966, and it was clear that the Americans in our group (travelling from the UK) were not allowed to admit they had visited, hiding the staple mark holding their visa in their passport before they returned to the Land of the Free.
        Any help the USSR gave to countries wanting freedom from colonial rule was always presented as “communist takeover”.

      • December 19, 2016 at 12:31 pm

        it´s just you.

    • Hamish
      December 23, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      The thing is that the millions who listen to the imbeciles making the statement about hacking and who believe everything they hear are even more imbeciles than those making the statement.

      Hacking is not what you see in movies, bad guys saying “oh look, there is a backdoor, let’s jump in and get what we want, then we will cause it to self destruct” and then the heroes busting them red handed and raiding their secret hiding hole while preventing the theft of information.

      YOU CAN NOT CATCH A HACKER UNLESS THEY ARE ONLINE WHILE YOU COMPLETE YOUR SEARCH WHICH MAY TAKE YEARS. AND UNLESS SOMEONE IS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE HIS OR HER OWN PERSONAL INTERNET CONNECTION TO LOG ON TO REMOTE SERVERS, YOU WILL NOT CATCH A HACKER, MOST TIMES NOT EVEN WHEN THEY USE THEIR OWN ISP LINE. You have to catch someone who has remotely accessed your computers IN THE SAME FACILITY, HAVE VIDEO EVIDENCE AND HARS PROOF suxh as digner prints while logging on to the servers.

      THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING THE LOCATION OF A HACKER IF THE PERSON IS NOT ONLINE, AND EVEN THAT IS NOT GUARANTEED.

      Do people think hackers leave signatures? Leave time stamps with location stamps? Do people really think Russians are so technologically deprived that they use electric typewriters with an abacus attached to it, and that’s how they hack systems?

      Connections follow routes, just like a road. You take a road map and can find the best way to travel from Los Angeles to New York, and you get a map and then follow the roads the map tells you. Internet connections do the same, BUT THEY DON’T LEAVE TRAILS OF WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN AND WHERE YOU STARTED AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

      To get to New York, deive until Texas and when you are in Houston, delete all yoeu tracking info and make it look like you started your trip there instead of Los Angeles, and then stop at every single town on the way, think about going totally in the opposite direction and do a loop with 5 cities in each, and then do that loop a thousand times while you are in ebery one of the citieson the way to New York, then suddenly delete your arrival info to the new town as well as your destination info, and secretly drive cross country and go to Canada, show your tracks again, do a few more thousand loops, and then keep repeating everything over and over, once in a while deleting all your traces for a single area. And then expect someone to start tracing your original path feom New York back to Los Angeles. Nobody will find it, period.

      This is not a road map. You can access anonymizer servers in countries US not only has no jurisdiction in but has also no international presence, places such as Sudan, Libya, Iran, Noeth Korea, Kazakhistan, and so on. You log on, connect to one of those servers. Some od those servers DON’T EVEN LOG INCOMING ADDRESSES since they delete whatever gets in their cache like multiple times a second. For anyone to have access to the exact locations, somebody must be logged on and saving an exact image of every cache dump. You bounce in between a few of those servers in dofferent countries, there will no patterns, no way of finding out what IP adresses you used because they will be different each time. Then you add randomizers that will change your IP address and paths multiple times a second. AND btw, these are possible with ordinary desktops and laptops, governments use quantum computers.

      You then use secure servers that give out no IP data, no tracing, and have 2048 bit ssl encryptions on them. There are slso 4096 and even 8192 bit ssl encryptions available commercially at this time, and who knows what the governments have and are capable of.

      To break a 2048 bit ssl encryption, when using the maximum number of characters allowed in the security pass, an average desktop computer requires approximately 1.5 MILLION years to decipher it. The CIA and FBI aren’t magicians either, snd even with quantum computers, it may take them months, even decades. The FBI actually acquired a SINGLE ALGORITHM from a Tel Aviv university by paying 10 MILLION DOLLARS. It is a simple string, it is one piece of gear in an intricate clockwork to assist breaking code. They are so unhappy with decyphering code nowadays that they look at every possible way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they even try psychics, magicians and witches because the new fad is audio recordings. They tape EVERY SOUND A COMPUTER MAKES WHILE RUNNING DECRYPTION SOFTWARE FROM THE CPU TO THE FAN, THE CACHE ON THE MOTHERBOARD TO THE RAM/ROM, THE NOISE THAT ELECTRICAL CIRCUITRY MAKES ON THE MOTHERBOARD TO THE POWER SUPPLY, and in conjunction with software that runs multiple algorithms of different patterns, they are trying to find a range of procedural steps they can eliminate feom the whole cracking the code process. Say the program runs a billion patterns in a search (more like billions per second but gotta give a number for an example), after using the recorded audio from computer components, the program may tell you that you can rule out 1,000 patterns OFF THIS CURRENT SEARCH, so instead of teying 1 billion ways, you can reduce the time spent on running 1 billion paths by the time it takes to run 1,000 paths. Doesn’t sound much but eventually they add up and instead of waiting say 4 months, you can crack the code in 3 months and 5 days. 25 days can prevent a war, allow you to stick a branch in the wheels of the enemy’s bicycle, or allow you to catch someone before they take off.

      Anyway, you add 20 of those encryptions along the paths you used, not to mention you can lay out traceroute traps that will cause you to follow info through eansomly generates loops of varying sizes (so that they can’t identify a pattern too easily because even randomness generators are NEVER FULLY RANDOM and can be established to fit a pattern even though it may take years or centuries to find them on regular PC’s), and you create thousands of real layers (which are fake in terms of leading the route into the correct direction) but you can cause people to waste years on deadends. You no longer have humans doing anything because we have gone way beyond the range of what the human brain can perceive and execute. It’s all computers and smart people don’t chase other smart people, they try to come up with smart ways for computers to chase those other smart people.

      And then let’s say the program has a fluke and traced the full path of the connection used to hack the servers (approximately having the same probability as random chimpanzees hitting random keys one after the other on the same typewriter, and ending up re-writing War and Peace, word by word, with the correct punctuation as a fully identical copy of the second draft of it Tolstoy wrote in 1864 after he first published the first draft with the title “1805” in 1863 in the Russki Vetnik periodical – meaning the Russian Messenger), and the server that the hacker (can’t tell 1 person or more even if multiple simultaneous connections were made from seemingly the most distant of countries ar the same ecavt time) used WAS IN RUSSIA, and actually in Moscow right in the vicinity of the Kremlin. When you trace an IP, it will not give you the exact identity of who the line was registered to unless the person had a dedicated line or server, with the IP addresses not changing whatsoever, and you also managed to convince the ISP to cooperate with you. Does that prove that the person who owned that line was the hacker? NOPE. First of all anyone could fake your IP into having the recipient of a message think it came from you after they checked the IP address. And even if that line was used, you still need HARD EVIDENCE. What if your neighbour broke in while you were gone, or some total stranger, and what if they used your computer while even leaving evidence in the form of downloaded confidential information on your computerized? And if you can’t have the ISP tell you where the IP addeess and the connection exactly originated from, you would have to hack them yourseld to figure it out if they even kept that data anymore. At one point or another, that data is deleted as well since companies aren’t interested in maintaining hard drive/server/data farms for data no longer relevant for anything, and spend money on drives, servers and maintenance, just they so with medical data not being available after 2, 5 or 7 years or whatever, based on different countries having different rules and laws.

      And again, you have no proof what was sone and by who (the correct form is not “whom” btw).

      Let’s say what if China wanted to obtain information deom the Pentagon and decided they wanted NO EVIDENCE? And let’s again say they hired freelancer Swedish hackers who then went on to hire Israeli hackers who then ended up hiring Portuguese hackers who finally decided to hire English hackers since they obviously spoke and understood English better than them. And then the English hackers decided to pretend as rhey were going on a vacation to Turkey by car, and stopped in Albania where they hacked the Pentagon. They got all that was needed, and eventually once the Chinese got a hold of the information and had its originality confirmed, the Swedish hackers ended up in a boating accident and lost their lives. And finally the American government was able to trace the hackers, and their efforts to trace them pinpointed straight to Albania, and they were quite sure that Albania was the correct location.

      Ans rhen what happens??? NOT A SINGLE THING HAPPENS and that’s when the conspiracy theories start running rampant.

      You suddenly have Obama blaming the Albanians, saying because we did not approve the military aid package hey wanted, they are trying to steal our technology to produce the weapons themselves, and that this is a very serious breech of confidence as well as a breech of internarional laws, and bla bla bla, and so on.

      Then you have Hillary starting to give speeches about how it was Russia who did it all, that PUTIN HAS A BEEF WITH HER. Then she goes on to say that the current person responsible of technology in Albania was part of the Albanian secret service before Enver Hodja died in 1985, ans that he has trained with the KGB and was a good friend od Putin in the 80’s ans 90’s and that he still is. And then she foes on to blame Trump as being partners with Putin as well and that his tax returns would prove everything.

      There are thousands of people who actually believe that last statement and parrot it out loke it was a facr. Why? Because Hillary said so, and the Clinton News Network along with the Washington Toast also has been publishing that in sifferenr articles for 2 months.

      And NOT ONE PERSON EVER ASKS THEMSELVES THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: “if the tax returns do show Trump’s involvement with Putin, doesn’t FBI have the means to verify the tax returns?”

      Governmental agencies share information. Even if they hadn’t, when has that stopped rhe FBI or Homeland Security? If there was any truth to those claims, WOULDN’T OBAMA WHO HIMSELF PERSONALLY BLAMES TRUMP AND THE RUSSIANS, order the FBI and Homeland Security and even the CIA to get the tax returns from the IRS? Wouldn’t he HIMSELF ASK FOE THE IRS TO DISCLOSE TRUMP’S RAX RETURNS?

      He is a disgruntled, unhappy liar, and so is Hillary.

      TO MAKE SUCH ACCUSATIONS, YOU NEED PROOF. AND IF THEY HAD ANY PROOF, THEY WOULD HAVE ENSURED THAT TRUMP WASN’T GOING TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT. BUT THEY HAVE NOBOROOF, ZERO, NADA, ZILCH.

      All they do is to instigate people and are leading the country to the verge of civil war. At this point, they both need to suffer the legal consequences of such lies, period. There are no alternatives. They can either shut the hell up, oe they can provide irrefutable proof. And if they have none, then they should share all of the “not so substantial” proof or whatever else they have that causes them to make these statements. Otherwise they need to be sued by at least Trump for libel and slander, and he should also pursue this in the court of law after officially becoming president in under 4 weeks. I sincerely believe they will try to get rid of him in a very illegal way, and by “them”, I am referring to those who think our country and the world is a chess board for their personal pleasure.

  2. Josh Laudermilk
    December 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Consortium News is getting better all the time, while ‘legacy media’ has never been worse (and I would hope it’s dying off). I love CN (not CNN, mind you the difference). As an American who wants improved relations with Russia, I am so, so very thankful to have found an alternative news source (Consortium) that does not demonize Russia. I find it ironic that after Hillary Clinton colluded with the DNC (the Democratic Party at the national, federal level) to screw over Bernie Sanders, she enlisted his endorsement under the slogan “Stronger Together”. Does America not realize that it is truly “Stronger Together” with Russia as an ally than as an enemy? Wahhabi terrorists the world over would be on the wrong side of history, and the losing side, if America and Russia aligned and joined forces to fight terrorism. Imagine a world where Russia is one of America’s closest allies, not just an ally, but one of the closest ones (such as Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United Kingdom, usually considered America’s closest allies). Imagine a world where, if anyone attacked Russia, it would be considered an act of war against the United States (a relationship the United States has with Japan), and vice versa. I do.

    The United States of America and the Russian Federation are stronger together. It’s time to end antiquated Cold War mentality and fight back against neoconservatism, which has wracked US-Russian relations, which should have solidified into the strongest alliance possible after the dissolution of the CCCP. Instead, neoconservatives didn’t give a shit that the CCCP exists anymore, they believe Russia should be “the Other” no matter what. Which proves that the problem was never Communism, it was Imperialism.

    Several months ago, I was ordering food at a local eatery, their flat screen TV was showing the news. CNN, I believe it was. The CNN analyst referred to Russians as “Soviets”. I was in utter disbelief at what I heard. I asked the clerk (who was checking me out), “Did he really just say Soviets?! Is he not aware that the Cold War ended a quarter century ago?!”.

  3. December 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Mr. Whitbeck

    Your references to CIA activity in other countries is irrelevant to the US election. Regardless, you probably didn’t favor the CIA intervening in the affairs of other countries – so why should you view the Russian intervention as anything other than payback? And your downplaying of the released emails (if they result from hacking by Russia) is somewhat shocking especially because you are a lawyer. It’s still illegal and provocative. The content of the emails is also irrelevant to Russians attempting (and possibly succeeding) to influence an election in the US. They did not do this as a favor to US voters, but because they had a political agenda.

    If the Russians did hack the DNC and the evidence is substantial, they likely worked with Assange who also has a fixation on US policies. Assange and Russia have similar political agendas and similar interests which coincide (for the moment). Both worked against HRC. Of course, Putin is pragmatic and Trump is far better for his future. Assange had his own show on RT and also helped Snowden find his current home in Russia so he is clearly indebted to Putin (and Russia). As Naomi Klein said: Assange has far too much power for one individual. Did he hold on to information about Trump which might have been important enough to hurt his potential to be elected? He may have started out WikiLeaks by supporting the truth, but he has diminished his credentials considerably with his blatantly anti-American/anti-HRC political agenda. His journalism points out the dangers of advocacy journalism.

    Your attempt to downplay this alignment is pathetic. It’s a very important story with the (possible) joint venture between a state and a media outlet to influence an election to their own political ends. This is a very dangerous idea on so many levels if it proves to be true.

    • Dennis Merwood
      December 17, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Mr. Summers,

      You are correct in only one thing….” Assange and Russia have…….similar interests”……….. to tell the truth.

      WikiLeaks’s in its 10-years of existence has never, ever, got it wrong. A credit to their impartiality.

      Your claim that Assange “has diminished his credentials considerably with his blatantly anti-American/anti-HRC political agenda” is a claim that you would find difficult, if not impossible, to prove. Not for this CN reader. In fact, I would say this claim could be classified as “fake news”.

      …”Assange had his own show on RT”….so what? What’s that got to do with Putin?

      • December 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm

        Dennis Merwood

        “……Your claim that Assange “has diminished his credentials considerably with his blatantly anti-American/anti-HRC political agenda” is a claim that you would find difficult, if not impossible, to prove. Not for this CN reader. In fact, I would say this claim could be classified as “fake news”…..”

        Thanks for your reply. Julian Assange has made his priorities public. According to the Independent, 2012 (“Julian Assange launches talk show on Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/julian-assange-launches-talk-show-on-kremlin-backed-broadcaster-russia-today-7654690.html”):

        “…….Asked why he had chosen Russia Today Mr Assange said: “In the case we are in at the moment, where our major confrontation is with the West, although we have published material from many countries, RT is the natural partner.” He added that the relationship might not be so comfortable if WikiLeaks had published large amounts of compromising data on Russia…..”

        A “major confrontation with the west” is telling. In addition, according to Robert Mackey of the Intercept (“What Julian Assange’s war on Hillary Clinton says about WikiLeaks” http://interc.pt/2aBMmMF by @RobertMackey):

        “…….IN RECENT MONTHS, the WikiLeaks Twitter feed has started to look more like the stream of an opposition research firm working mainly to undermine Hillary Clinton than the updates of a non-partisan platform for whistleblowers……”

        Finally according to the New York Times (“How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets” http://nyti.ms/2bCJHb5):

        “…….But a New York Times examination of WikiLeaks’ activities during Mr. Assange’s years in exile found a different pattern: Whether by conviction, convenience or coincidence, WikiLeaks’ document releases, along with many of Mr. Assange’s statements, have often benefited Russia, at the expense of the West…….Mr. Assange said, why focus on Russia, which he described as a “bit player on the world stage,” compared with countries like China and the United States? In any event, he said, Kremlin corruption is an old story. “Every man and his dog is criticizing Russia,” he said. “It’s a bit boring, isn’t it?”……”

        WikiLeaks has become an anti-west, anti-American publication sounding almost identical to the British-based Stop the War coalition with a motto of “stop the west”. It’s interesting that he is in bed with the same Russian government supporting Assad. The Assad regime and Russia have been accused of war crimes like targeting hospitals and civilians in Aleppo. Human rights obviously rank far down the list for Assange.

        • Sam F
          December 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

          You need to look at the issues and not the sources, except for evidence. The coincidence of many honest persons criticizing wrongs in the West does not discredit them.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Your references to CIA activity in other countries is irrelevant to the US election.

      American Exceptionalism!

      We’re so darned good and pure and “special” that the rules we make apply to everybody else aren’t meant for us.

    • Bill Bodden
      December 17, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Your references to CIA activity in other countries is irrelevant to the US election.

      The author’s reference to CIA activity in other countries shows the hypocrisy of the CIA and its accomplices in the media in indulging in this Russia bashing. That is his main point. The connection to the election in this case is only peripheral.

      When it comes to injecting corrupting influences in the election nothing compares with the actions of legions of home-grown political operatives rigging the system with legal bribery in the form of campaign finance, gerrymandering, disenfranchisement, withholding of funds from candidates not favored by party oligarchs, and other dirty tricks, including the Democratic National Committee’s undermining of Bernie Sanders.

      • December 18, 2016 at 9:14 am

        “…….The author’s reference to CIA activity in other countries shows the hypocrisy of the CIA and its accomplices in the media in indulging in this Russia bashing……..”

        The US government is hypocritical, but Russia also has a long history of interference in the affairs of other countries – like Ukraine, for example. The connection to the US election is not peripheral, but central to an attempt by a foreign power to influence an election to their benefit (and it possibly might have worked). Hacking is illegal. While you may disagree with campaign financing (and lobbying), it’s free speech and governed by laws – as is gerrymandering. The system is set up to favor two parties. I agree and hope there is change in the future to encourage more political parties in the system. None of that including the argument – what goes around, comes around – absolves Russia of interfering in the elections in the US. By the way, the evidence (so far) appears to be substantial, but not necessarily courtroom conclusive that Russia actually did hack the DNC.

        Finally, the emails exposed the corruption, lying and rigging of the primaries in favor of HRC. Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned as a result. Do you think that Putin is going to resign now that he has been caught?

        • Sam F
          December 18, 2016 at 9:41 am

          What trashy propaganda. Caught, eh? Let’s have the facts, propagandist.

        • Bill Bodden
          December 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

          While you may disagree with campaign financing (and lobbying), it’s free speech and governed by laws

          Laws and justice are not necessarily the same. If laws are to be respected they must be worthy of respect. Many are not. Campaign financing as practiced in the US may be legal but in too many cases it is legal bribery.

          • December 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

            Bill

            “……Campaign financing as practiced in the US may be legal but in too many cases it is legal bribery……”

            The key word in your sentence is “legal”. “Hacking” is not.

        • barf
          December 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

          If ya can’t win people over with your intelligence, win them over with hyperbole !

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 12:22 am

      The NSA intercepts and stores every packet of data that travels anywhere on earth over the internet because all of the cables and the messages they carry–no matter where from or where headed–are purposely routed through the United States. In other words, Uncle Sam hacks big time, like no other power on earth. Why are you not bellyaching about that intrusion, Mr. Summers? I’m sure you also make an “exception” for the documented cases of the United States (Stuxnet anyone?) attacking foreign governments… I’m sure, you believe, with only the very best of intentions. Obama and Biden have now set a new standard of actually threatening overt acts of cyberwarfare against Russia. Civilised countries usually hold back the threats of violence till the end game. If the Russians had made such a flagrant threat, I’m sure that there would immediately be carrier task forces with nuclear-tipped missiles heading into the Black and Baltic Seas, flying the American flag and spouting no end of jingoistic bellicose rhetoric. Your double standards are disgusting and provocative, conveying a threat to the safety of the entire world. Obama has rightly earned his title of warmonger. Sounds like you want in.

      • December 18, 2016 at 9:28 am

        Spare me all of the US did this and the US did that, OK? Where were you during the cold war? Russia has a long history of interference in the affairs of other countries up to the present. They still occupy parts of Georgia from the most recent conflict and they are militarily supporting a conflict in eastern Ukraine. What does international law say about the annexation of Crimea? Russia is operating like they have a sphere of influence which the rest of the world should recognize. Indeed, the Russians are ensuring that one of the worst and most brutal dictators in the world remains in power in Syria.

        If the safety of the entire world is threatened, it’s because the Russians attempted to influence a US election by hacking the DNC and turning the emails over to WikiLeaks. Did Putin actually believe there would be no response?

        • Sam F
          December 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

          Spare us your propaganda. You have zero evidence and you know it. Fun to hack truthful websites with your friends in the dark state, isn’t it?

          • December 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

            Hi Sam

            I read the comment policy – and there didn’t seem to be any required policy to parrot the content of the article. I read it twice just to be sure.

            Thanks.

          • Realist
            December 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

            Yet parroting the same discredited remarks about Russia is EXACTLY what you do, Mr. Summers. Read any of the dozens of replies to the article. Learn. The say something intelligent, unlike the fallacious gibberish you repeat mindlessly.

        • Realist
          December 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

          You are simply an irrational racist, hating a people for what you imagine they’ve done in the past and simply believe what they will do in the future. I was around from the beginning of the first Cold War and it was started by Truman, America and a bunch of militarists bent on world domination, not the Soviets and certainly not the Russians who suffered 25 million dead against Hitler, which you seem to think entitled the United States to lay claim to the world. Spare me the BS about Russia’s purported “sphere of influence” when you seem to think that the entire globe is Washington’s entitled sphere of influence. You, sir, are in fact a warmonger who threatens the entire world. Finally, cut the crap about “hacking the DNC” when you have not a shred of evidence to support such a contention and the CIA has in fact refused to provide any evidence to the congress which requested it. Simply asserting something is true does not make it so. Case in point, everything off of your keyboard.

          • December 18, 2016 at 11:55 am

            Realist

            “……..You are simply an irrational racist……”

            Speak about irrational! Do I really need to read any further?

          • Realist
            December 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm

            I would say so, Summers. It would help you learn a thing or two beyond your kneejerk hatred of Russians which exudes from every sentence you write. Your prejudice is easily recognisable, pal, as you never dispense facts but only bias, stereotype, and partyline propaganda. They call your sickness Russophobia these days, but even though your hatred may be confined to a single ethnic group, it does not differ qualitatively from good old fashioned racism. BTW, I am not Russian. I learned not to hate those people in spite of living for nearly 50 years under the first cold war and all of its propaganda, which your ilk has chosen to re-ignite through the American provocations in Georgia and Ukraine, in addition to secretly supporting the Chechnyans even while pretending to be friends with Yeltsin. You racist Russophobes are a vile lot.

        • barf
          December 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

          During the days when the Cold War was very super hot (in the view or opinion of a number of hotshot American generals), the United States became almost totally insane:
          1) it wanted to nuke several places even though there was not a single valid reason for doing so.
          2) the United States nuked the Marshall Islands archipelago to near smithereens
          3) it bombed tiny Laos until it became over saturated with bombs and mines and
          4) it regularly flew its nuke bombers straight to the borders of the USSR before turning away at the last moment

          If ya can’t win over people with facts, win them over with BS !

        • Dwight
          December 18, 2016 at 4:01 pm

          Craig, readers here have heard your arguments, ad nauseum, and rejected them long ago because readers here are more objective and better informed. I won’t address your arguments other than to say that Ukraine, Georgia, and even Syria are not examples of Russian interference abroad so much as examples of Russian reactions to NATO interference abroad, and thus tend more to weaken your argument. Do you have any other examples from this century?

          • December 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

            Dwight

            “……..Craig, readers here have heard your arguments, ad nauseum, and rejected them long ago because readers here are more objective and better informed……”

            Yea. I can’t remember being more intimidated by the intellectual arguments presented by the commentators at this site.

            Realist

            “……..You are simply an irrational racist……”

            Sam F

            “…….Fun to hack truthful websites with your friends in the dark state, isn’t it?…..”

            Barf

            “……1) it [US] wanted to nuke several places even though there was not a single valid reason for doing so…..” my insert in brackets

            All well thought out, stimulating, thought provoking, brilliant arguments. I’m speechless.

            Thanks.

          • Dwight
            December 18, 2016 at 7:35 pm

            Realist raises a valid point, only one of many he made, that the anti-Russian BS is a form of racism. You raise no valid points and I will not reply again.

        • rosemerry
          December 18, 2016 at 5:21 pm

          Delusion reigns in summers’ brains.

          • December 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

            Delusional about Russian hacking the DNC?
            Delusional about Russia’s history of interference in the affairs of other countries?
            Delusional about Ukraine? Etc?

            You might have to narrow what I am delusional about, OK?

        • December 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

          …you are an uninformed idiot…or a treasonous troll who should be tracked down, charged and convicted for treason…then hanged from a lamp pole…

    • rosemerry
      December 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I completely disagree with your arguments.

    • dhinds
      December 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Craig Summers: No one needs either Assange or Putin to correctly characterize American Foreign Policy under the last three administrations -both Democratic and Republican- as invasive, arrogant and exploitative, with negative results for Americans (and the rest of the world) both at home and abroad.

    • Litchfield
      December 19, 2016 at 1:10 am

      ” As Naomi Klein said: Assange has far too much power for one individual.”

      Naomi Klein is worrying about the power of Julian ASSANGE???”?
      Naomi has gone off her rocker, like so many others on the left.
      Naomi, too, ignores the actual contents of the many emails.
      Naomi ignores the fact that Clinton’s campaign manager is a paid foreign agent.
      Naomi ignores that Hillary’s DNC and other players cheated Sanders of the nomination that was rightfully his—and Democratic party members’.
      All of this, and more, bothers Naomi not a jot. And she is bitching about assange having too much power.
      Yes, Naomi, any power JA has is a result of his exposing the public to the truth.
      I guess for some weird reason you are against that.
      Hillary Clinton has truly corrupted the political process in this country. And the interior of Naomi Klein’s brain. I’ll have a hard time taking her seriously in the future. Is she turning into a Samantha Power type?

    • exiled off mainstreet
      December 19, 2016 at 4:14 am

      Those residing in glass houses are ill-advised to cast stones.

  4. Josh Stern
    December 17, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Good article. I’ll add a link. This Guardian story is one based on the docs that Snowden passed on to them, about Obama directing an offensive hacking war against other rival countries, mostly just for the heck of it, because USA is a big empire and carries a big stick, in cyberspace too.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/07/obama-china-targets-cyber-overseas

  5. msavage
    December 17, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Absolutely! Wonderful piece. Thank you for this! I just left a couple of uncharacteristically angry posts over on RSN, which appears to have morphed from an “independent” news source into a Hillary Clinton propaganda machine. Robert Reich and Michael Moore have sounded increasingly insane in their rantings against Trump as of late. It just infuriates me! These people must have some big payoffs at stake to be willing to look so ridiculous in their rantings. Not to mention–to be willing to make our country look so ridiculous–insane!–to the rest of the world!

  6. cancze
    December 17, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    “Clinton had publicly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler and promised to step up efforts to provoke, punish and humiliate Russia.” Good point; with that kind of ‘civility’, would any leader of any country be stupid enough to not to oppose her?

  7. James O'Neill
    December 17, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you for this dose of common sense. I also commend Dimitri Orlov’s latest piece on http://www.cluborlov.com for a demolition of the absurdity of the claims that Russia hacked the DNC and hence hijacked the election for Trump.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 18, 2016 at 7:06 am

      James – thanks for posting that. Dmitri Orlov is a masterful writer and thinker. His writing is often very funny too.

      • rosemerry
        December 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        There is another article by Orlov, with a video, in Informationclearinghouse on 15 December.

  8. Joe L.
    December 17, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Actually, I saw an article in the Daily Mail from the UK that interviewed a former UK Ambassador (now working for Wikileaks) to Uzbekistan that says that there is no connection to Russia because he flew to the US and got the e-mails from a Washington whistleblower. I wonder if the mainstream media will cover that? Either that or they will try to discredit it if they even speak about it at all.

  9. Barry De Jasu
    December 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Don’t be ridiculous. The Presidential campaign has, in the words of another letter writer, “.. the country of my birth is looking more and more like the world’s largest open-air insane asylum.”
    We must undo and correct the sad plight of so many people across America. A Trump Administration will pilfer from Americans and our planet. The smell of corruption is all the wind coming from Trump. This man thinks he can “rule” this country through deception and bullying.
    He seems to have won the Presidency with the assistance of the Russians. A foreign power actively influencing the results of this election is great cause for concern. In addition to shipping all our jobs overseas, must we now worry that we have sent the Presidency overseas too?

    • Dennis Merwood
      December 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Barry,

      So you think Hillary Clinton, the bought and paid for War Goddess, who gave speeches to Wall Street that she would not reveal to the American people, would have “undo(ne) and correct(ed) the sad plight of so many people across America’? Don’t be ridiculous.

      The smell of corruption may have been the wind coming from Trump, but in Hillary Clinton we had more than a wiff. She really was corrupt.

      Obama my have been Bush II, but Hillary Clinton was surely going to be Bush III on steroids.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 17, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      He seems to have won the Presidency with the assistance of the Russians.

      You don’t seem to be really certain about that.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/12/14/intelligence-officials-refuse-brief-house-panel-russian-hacking/95453412/

      WASHINGTON — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Wednesday blasted as “unacceptable” the refusal of the FBI, CIA and National Intelligence directors to brief his panel on the Russian cyber attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign.

      Nunes had requested that National Intelligence Director James Clapper, with participation from FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan, brief committee members in a closed session on Thursday. That briefing has now been cancelled.

      An important congressman wants testimony from Intelligence Big Brass, and they refuse? I’d say either they don’t have any actual evidence, or the guys who are busy creating that “actual evidence” aren’t done yet.

      Personally, I’m not content with neocon scare-the-kids stories from anonymous leaks published in the notorious rags New York Times and Washington Post. If this was a hack, the NSA knows exactly who did it. There are theories out there that the NSA is the guilty party with the leaks. I wouldn’t know their motives, but they had total access to Hillary’s emails as much as they do yours and mine. Perhaps a pi**ing match with the CIA?

      Afterthought: suppose Hillary had won the 2016 contest. She’d have been much more a puppet for Israel than Trump can ever be for Russia, China, or Uganda. Would that have been O.K.?

    • Bill Bodden
      December 17, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      The smell of corruption is all the wind coming from Trump.

      You are changing the subject which is the hypocrisy, a form of corruption, related to the anti-Russian stories from the CIA and its accomplices in the media.

      Other than trolls who may have posted on this website, I can’t recall any enthusiasm for Trump from the regular authors and commentators unless you conflate anti-Hillary comments as pro-Trump despite many comments about there being no lesser evil when it comes to Clinton and Trump.

      • dahoit
        December 18, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        Trolls are in the eye of the beholder.

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 12:40 am

      “He seems to have won the Presidency with the assistance of the Russians. A foreign power actively influencing the results of this election is great cause for concern.”

      You know, if you or the CIA had one shred of evidence to support that contention we could at least have a rational discussion. Congress actually requested to see some evidence of Russian hacking from the CIA. The CIA said “no.”

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/12/14/rep_peter_king_almost_like_cia_is_carrying_out_a_disinformation_campaign_against_donald_trump.html

      Moreover, Loretta Lynch, Obama’s Attorney General, said she didn’t see any evidence of Russian interference in the election.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/12/15/loretta_lynch_we_didnt_see_any_techincal_interference_from_russia_in_the_election.html

      These bits and snatches of actual fact, as opposed to your irrelevant opinion, have only been supported by about half a dozen articles on this blog alone in the past couple of days, which you somehow must have missed or chosen to ignore. So, just how do you get off making such a provocative but groundless assertion? It helps no one, certainly not the country. I suppose you think you are helping Hillary, but she and Obama just make fools of themselves and America by peddling this hokum for pure selfish reasons.

    • Antidyatel
      December 18, 2016 at 12:45 am

      “A foreign power actively influencing the results of this election is great cause for concern.”
      If it is true, You are just getting the pill Americans prescribed to so many other nations. So it is good that you can finally taste your own medicine. True Orange revolution. ;))

      Although to complete the picture you also deserve a civil war on your soil. It was too long ago when USA had fighting at their home. So you cannot appreciate how it fills for others and too easily accept your monstrously minded politicians to bring havoc to others. Enjoy

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 18, 2016 at 1:46 am

      Barry while your attempts to delegitimize a Trump White House is I’m sure sincere, did you also take note to how you are also in effect helping to delegitimize America? Also this Hillary anti-Putin campaign is only helping to give rise to Russia. There is a world outside of this America, and they are paying attention. Instead help Americans retake their political party system with a ground up strategy which would give value to every single American citizen….quite working for the oligarchs corporatocracy and rejoin humanity…hey you may even be able to help stop Trump on some issues, but stop with the coup.

    • rosemerry
      December 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Stop the nonsense. Did you not read the excellent article? As for foreign influence, Israel exerts it all the time, not to the benefit of the US population.

  10. Zachary Smith
    December 17, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Late yesterday I had a little fun searching for Election Interference, and found more than I’d expected in the few minutes I spent looking. Here are some samples.

    JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

    On Sunday Haitians head to the polls to select their next president in the first round of elections. But now there’s evidence of U.S. interference in the last presidential election back in 2010. Recently-released emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server revealed details of how U.S. officials worked closely with the Haitian private sector as they forced Haitian authorities to change the results of the first round of presidential elections in late 2010. Eventually the U.S. government ended up supporting the current president, Michel Martelly.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Which brings me to the most troubling sentence of Allawi’s speech. Speaking before Congress and the American public, Allawi said that “When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourage more violence.” Now, which political leaders was he talking about? It sounds like this particular comment was directed at Kerry and some of the Senators and public figures that have publicly criticized the war.

    Maybe Dan Senor and Allawi didn’t notice that we are in the midst of a presidential election. Going before Congress to endorse Bush’s policies and denigrate his opponents as defeatists constitutes gross interference in the internal affairs of the United States of America. That just happens to be a no go zone.

    For what it’s worth, the New York Times thought this was wonderful.

    More recently, the intervention of U.S. Ambassador Manuel Rocha, under instructions from Washington, against Evo Morales in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election exemplifies the same dramatic failure. In response to the Ambassador’s warning that Bolivians should vote against Morales because of his leadership of the coca growers’ movement, Morales’ support soared, and he came in a close second on election day.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Ex-PM Barak: Netanyahu’s Interference in U.S. Politics Cost Israel a Better Aid Deal

    Ehud Barak, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, says defense aid package was ‘important contribution,’ but could have been much larger. ‘Nonsense,’ Likud says in response. Standard Rule Of Thumb: if Holy Israel is doing something, it’s O.K.

    Foreign Governments Have Been Tampering With U.S. Elections for Decades They give the 1968 example of South Vietnam throwing the election to Nixon. (Another viewpoint of this one is simple treason on the part of Nixon.)

    Foreign Political Interference . . . Vatican Style. Rome and its local guys have been tinkering with US elections for decades, and with nary a word of protest.

    The list of US interference is a long one. I was surprised to see Canada included with others like India, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, and Venezuela.

    Finally, a link to a story which says “if all the Russians did was to tell the truth about a psychopathic warmonger, who cares?”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/08/who-leaked-the-damning-dnc-emails-what-difference-does-it-make/

    • Abbybwood
      December 19, 2016 at 4:49 am

      And let’s not forget The Queen of Chaos in 2006 suggesting that the Palestinian election should be RIGGED:

      “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

      http://observer.com/2016/10/2006-audio-emerges-of-hillary-clinton-proposing-rigging-palestine-election/

      I REALLY can’t wait for Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband, her daughter, her “aide” Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner and the entire Clinton entourage to just shut the hell up and GO AWAY!!!!!

  11. Bill Bodden
    December 17, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Readers of A Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner’s definitive history of the CIA, will be aware that two of the principal activities of the CIA since its creation have been the propagation of fake news stories (officially, only for foreign consumption) and seeking to influence foreign elections, …

    The talking heads on television and the hacks in the print media either haven’t read Tim Weiner’s book or have elected to ignore its contents.

  12. Lois Gagnon
    December 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    You know we’ve entered the Twilight Zone when a majority of the supposedly anti-war left starts believing the CIA.

    • Wm. Boyce
      December 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      HA, good one.

  13. Zachary Smith
    December 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve made three previous posts on this thread, and only one remains. The first showed normally for a few minutes, then the message “Your comment is awaiting moderation” appeared. The third immediately came up with the same “moderation” message.

    WTH is going on?

    • Bill Bodden
      December 17, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Zachary: Did you have two or more links in one comment? That usually gets a hold.

      • Zachary Smith
        December 18, 2016 at 12:00 am

        No, I’ve been avoiding 2 actual links for quite a long time. But each “moderated” post does have one link. Is it possible they’re starting to “moderate” one-link posts?

        • Realist
          December 18, 2016 at 12:51 am

          Well that’s great. I just posted a comment, in response to a fellow still insisting without merit that Russia threw the election to Trump through hacking, which contained links confirming i) that the CIA has denied hard evidence of “Russian hacking” as requested by the congress and ii) that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, denies any evidence of “technical interference in the election by Russia.” And, yes, the “your comment is awaiting moderation” immediately came up along with the post. Does that mean no one else can see it? Both quotes are on the real clear politics dot com site, should you wish to search for them.

  14. Junior
    December 17, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    The parties are toast. The Liberal/Conservative paradigm is done. Trump is symptomatic of it.

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee are dying!

    https://therulingclassobserver.com/2016/11/12/twilight-of-tweedledum-and-tweedledee/

  15. Joe Tedesky
    December 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

    As for me, after our family campaigned hard for Bernie Sanders, and especially upon learning how DWS and Hillary colluded against Sanders, it was very revealing to read how this all went down against Bernie. Whether Putin helped Assange is one thing, but a big thank you is in order to whomever it is we must thank, for allowing us to see just how conniving Queen Hillary really is. Russian interference, or no Russian interference, the uncovering of Hillary is, and what should be the most important take away from Assange’s postings.

    When a Democratic Party Chairperson sneaks upcoming debate questions to Hillary, as Donna Brazile did, why would it matter to how we found this out? Why is this, along with the DNC sabotaging of the Sanders primary campaign not a bigger deal than where this news came from? Talk about shooting the messenger.

    America wake up, and see this Russian Hacking story for what it is. In a normal world where everyone is thinking straight Hillary would be in a pickle trying to explain herself, but instead she is making glorious speeches claiming how Putin has it in for her…it’s personal!

    One could argue how Assange could have, or should have, reported dirt on Trump. My guest is either Assange didn’t have much dirt on the Donald, or Assange felt Hillary was the more dangerous of the two, and this may have been why he reported only on Hillary. This is a question that only Julian Assange can answer, and any other speculative analysts of Assange’s reporting would be just that, speculative.

    As far as Vladimir Putin goes, if he did have a hand in any of this, why would it be unreasonable for him to not aid in trying to derail Hillary….just listen to Hillary’s rhetoric against Russia, and her rhetoric used especially against Vladimir Putin. If a leader of a foreign nation were to shake they’re fist and call our president Hitler I would only hope our president would do everything within they’re power to help unseat this nasty talking foreign leader. Think of how terrifying it is to have the country with the largest global military making angry remarks against your country, and your country’s leader. If I were Russian I would believe it my leaders duty to shut this foreign menace down. Come on America think this through!

    I don’t think Russia wants anything more than their own sovereignty. If you don’t believe me then read some of Putin’s speeches. Putin even after criticizing American foreign policies always interjects into his speeches how America and Russia together could do some pretty darn fantastic things if united…why not?

    • Bill Bodden
      December 18, 2016 at 12:41 am

      My guest is either Assange didn’t have much dirt on the Donald, …

      Most people would probably agree Trump did a thorough job of smearing himself so that Assange probably had more important priorities to consider.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2016 at 1:12 am

        Bill after I wrote that I got to thinking about Trump and the media during the primary. Back during the primary the media loved showing footage of Trump supporters punching Bernie supporters who were attending Trump rallies. I know some people who became more inspired to back Trump from just the way the MSM was portraying his primary campaign, and these same people I know found even more inspiration when they watched people like them slapping around these liberal asses who dared protest at a Trump rally. The MSM negative was a positive, and this was how the media not only promoted Trump, but aided Trump at getting support from the most deplorable of the voting public. Psychology is not my business, but watching it materialize right in front of your eyes is hard to ignore, it’s not a Putin conspiracy at work here.

        We are all being had, all the time, and for a very long time at that. This isn’t rocket science when you watch the news, and then study people’s reactions. The one thing that reined supreme this election cycle was that John Q citizens wanted to throw the bums out. Running Hillary was the stupidest move the Democrate’s could have made. This isn’t Putin’s fault, this was more choices adding up to running an establishment candidate in a non-establishment year…plain and simple. The second stupid thing the Hillary people did, was by their not paying better attention towards achieving the most Electoral Votes first….Trump did this. I wouldn’t be surprised that Trump knew his only chance was by first gaining the most Electoral Votes anyway. So what was Hillary’s problem….hubris, and too much of it.

        Now the mission statement is; delegitimize, protest, create coup. If Trump makes it past the Electoral College on Monday he better hold on for a bumpy and dangerous ride. That’s just a hunch, but one worth adhering to. Maybe that’s why he’s seeing all the people there is to see, because he wants to have them all in front of him….good luck with that.

        Sorry I just dont see the good in any of this.

      • John
        December 18, 2016 at 1:53 am

        If I recall correctly, Wikileaks did offer a reward for anyone who could get Drumpf’s tax returns for them.

        Of course, they’ve also offered a reward for information on the murder of Seth Rich, who they have hinted is the source of the leaks…

        • Joe Tedesky
          December 18, 2016 at 2:48 am

          There should be more talk about the Seth Rich murder.

    • Josh Stern
      December 18, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Correct point that DNC rigging of their own primary should be a much bigger story than undocumented claims-by-authority from typically dishonest authorities that Russian state-sponsored hacking played a role in revealing that important info.

      Harder to measure, but seemingly more important than *that DNC story* is the lock-step behavior of the media shown in paying no attention to that story for months and then suddenly starting to trumpet incoherent accusations of Russia rigging elections from pillar to post last week, all in lockstep, as if they all take orders from the same propaganda masters. Even if it turns out that the CIA has some hidden proof of the claim, it is, as you say, a less significant story than what the DNC did, and also something the media cannot know about at this time. Yet they treat it as a certainty and a cause for incoherent outrage. Would we be seeing the same outrage if Russia had instead, treated us with a public showing of Trump’s tax evasion or some such?

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2016 at 1:32 am

        If the MSM were good reporters they would never report the so called outside interference coup from Russia without mentioning of what was uncovered in the Assange releases. Read a Robert Parry article, where he goes every time into explaining historical relevant details to aid your focus of what’s going on with a topic in total…that’s reporting. Our lovable MSM just announces how Putin was directly involved in the interference with our American democracy, supplying no references to this knowledge, they just say it….these one percenters are relying on a prescription drugged up nation to buy into anything they feel we are ready to absorb into our over medicated Americans brain cells.

        The only thing I can say to my fellow Americans about the Putin interference, if he had interfered, is for my fellow citizens to start reading….I said reading the news. For them to read from another reporting perspective other than what the lame stream media is reporting…and then tell me if they were Russian what they would want their leader to do when confronting American threats. What our MSM describes as Putin evil, a Russian would see a Patriotic Leader to retain in office. So give him a break, he’s only doing his job.

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 1:02 am

      The way Obama keeps doubling down with the rest of the neocons is disturbing. Now he is making threats of retribution against Russia for alleged offenses that he or his CIA cannot corroborate. These would be acts of war against a sovereign nuclear power. Honestly, I have been concerned about the man’s mental health ever since he started talking trash and endlessly insulting Putin and Russia after Nuland, McCain & Pyatt instigated the coup in Ukraine. And the Dems have the audacity to complain about Trump’s use of insults! Pot meet kettle.

      (Now WHAT is provocative about this? Why is it being “moderated”?)

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm

        I’m not sure about Obama’s mental health, but I do believe that what we are watching is the implosion of the exceptional bubble.

  16. Kalen
    December 18, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Let’s examine the very concept of undue influence on voters (supposedly by Russia) in itself.

    First judging effectiveness of undue influence by the “results” of voting is a circular argument and oxymoron since it explicitly assumes knowledge of true intention of voter to vote otherwise that one did.

    Where is proof of that, did they disected brains of voters to find the truth and original intent?
    Nonsense.

    Second it assumes some preconceived notion of due influence vs undue influence.

    While they are trying to tell us that the problem is with suppose fake news that skew people worldview and judgment about candidates it assumes that they are existing absolutely real news based on hard facts and only those can influence decision of for whom to vote.

    Well so what about if someone motivation to vote for a candidate is religion, or witchcraft or belief in aliens, or subjective judgment about the look likability or cuteness or subjectively perceived unverified affinity like he likes to
    fish as I do. Are those facts, rational verifiable facts. Of course not. Hence denying that the candidate is cute by some pundits in TV or fact checking website is what tmust be done to change his/her vote to right candidate that is “objectively” cute. ANOTHER nonsense..

    Are those who were undue influenced by some fact free notions and fake reality altered election outcome and hence their votes must be delegitimized?.

    In fact outside of Orwellian world and ministry of truth there is no objective criteria of undue influence since in fact all the propaganda and influence peddling of MSM could be considered undue influence of the elections by prioratizing and chose what and when to proliferate among population even if they were all true but they were not.

    He only way to understand the hysteria is the establishment charge that people make decision against better judgement that they themselves are arbiters of and by that annulling whole electoral process and its precepts of sovereign right of a citizen to be right to be wrong to be stupid with no ministry of wisdom telling them otherwise.

    Those who do not agree with that surely do not believe in any form democracy but believe in subjective meritocracy.

    We know better than them attitude. A First step on a path to despotism.

    No, they do not know better, we collectively do.

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 5:47 am

      Abso-freakin-lootley! At first, Hillary said the emails posted on Wikileaks were counterfeit. Bogus. Phony baloney made up by Putin. Alright, then show us the real emails, Hillary. Let’s see how badly you were supposedly smeared.

      Then she stopped talking that line and basically declared that this was information to which the public was not entitled, that it was poisoned fruit and inadmissible regardless of its verity, employing the standards of a criminal trial rather than an election. Well, that sounds to me like you are not proud of what’s in those communications, Hillary. I would say you should be held to the same standards as regular folk whom you say should not mind being constantly spied upon by the NSA if we’ve got nothing to hide.

      So, if those emails are legitimate, and they contain nothing you feel ashamed of or that would disqualify you from the presidency, then why not examine and discuss them, Hillary? If people, in fact, did examine them (and I think very few actually did), irrespective of who provided them, and found cause to vote against you, then they provided a useful service to the country if not you, did they not? How do you know that a plurality of email examiners did not, in fact, find good reason to vote FOR you, if they were accurate and admirable? It almost seems like you are assuming that we should think the less of you for things you’ve done and said on the record. Is that because you really are not proud, maybe ashamed, of some things you’ve said and done?

      If on a matter of strict principle you are against the leaking of information from a candidate’s past, whether it is genuine or “fake,” whether it is damaging or innocuous, why did you not take issue with the leaked “pussygate” tapes and the basketful of women who suddenly charged Mr. Trump with sexual assault for the first time in his life (conflating him with Bill Cosby if the Putin’s puppet angle wasn’t going to work), together which seemed to torpedo his candidacy? I didn’t see you standing up for some general principle of “fair play” at that time.

      They say those who live by the sword die by the sword and you took vicious head shots at Mr. Trump throughout the campaign. Forgive me for suspecting that this “Russia stole the election” hullabaloo is just a continued attempt to use your earlier “Trump is Putin’s puppet” campaign ploy, this time not to win an election, but to overturn one in what would be a coup. I’m sure you would have some very shrill, though not too logically coherent, words for me if we were actually standing face-to-face, Hillary. I am not amused that it takes so little in the way of substance from a couple of sore losers like you and Obama to throw the entire country into such turmoil. That I blame on the people for allowing themselves to be so easily manipulated by the likes of you. I hope the country comes to its senses soon.

      • Kalen
        December 19, 2016 at 11:17 am

        I wish you read carefully what I wrote because I am clearly against any further interference in the process since Trump won under current rules and any investigation of alleged by CIA Russian influence, not only due to the facts you listed but as a matter of logic and reason that I was writing about.

  17. Gary Hare
    December 18, 2016 at 1:28 am

    By far the best comedy in the world right now is being played out by the US political class and the MSM. It is hilarious!
    The people on Russia Today (RT) can’t stop laughing. The fact that Obama has not only joined the cast, but is becoming the star, will surely place him at the top of Presidential comedians.
    You know when a nation is on the skids – the rest of the world is treating it as a joke.

  18. Josh Laudermilk
    December 18, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I would like to direct people to this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74JGdmGzBeQ

    This guy gives, in video form, my own assessment of the situation. I also want to share with all of you, some stray comments that I’ve found. Yes, they are Youtube comments, but they are also funny and enjoyable to share.

    “The next step and thing that will happen?
    Russia will blame Russia for Russian interference for hacking their vans into exploding.”

    “Putin manipulated the Brexit vote, then he manipulated the US election. The guy is a fucking genius. Oh, and CIA, if he actually did do what you claimed he did, what the fuck were you guys doing while all this was going on? Why should US citizens pay even a dime more for you useless fuckers if you let things like this happen? Not that it did. Even the people who are claiming all this bullshit don’t believe it themselves.?”

    “Putin came riding into my Town with no shirt on riding a Bear. He made us put up signs and vote for Trump.?”

    “They’re some god tier hackers for manipulating the paper ballot vote in the UK.?”

    I hope you get a kick out of these stray comments. More than that, I hope you, ALL of you, don’t buy into this new wave of Anti-Russian propaganda.

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 18, 2016 at 1:59 am

      “Putin made me do it!”

      I like it, it’s catchy.

      RIP Flip Wilson.

  19. December 18, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Even sadder the FBI Comey has just come out publicly and is backing the latest CIA secret report that the Russians did it. Gee it seems I am living the cuban missile crisis in reverse. The Washington consensus has been caught with their hands in the cookie jar THE SYRIAN IMBROGLIO’ Special forces assets from USA, UK, Turkey Isreal and France have been cuaght in the last remaining territort of occupied Aleppo hence viola out comes the FBI to back the deception. Obama has publicly stated that he has warned Putin already that he will retaliate to the so called Russian hacking .
    P.S Different day same lies. The establishment wants war at all cost. Only way they can zero all the debt that is around all over the west.

  20. Doug Hacker
    December 18, 2016 at 2:14 am

    An excellent article, although I have an inclination to hold the most recent inputs tightly to my breast.

  21. backwardsevolution
    December 18, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I’d never watched Tucker Carlson prior to a few days ago, but saw two of his short videos, one interviewing Congressman Adam Schiff, a Harvard-educated lawyer, and another an interview with some professor. Watch and laugh, as I did. Over-the-top insanity! With zero evidence, nada, the Russians did it!

    Here’s Adam Schiff:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDtvYHOY_Uc

    Here’s the professor:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmshoGr0dTw

    During the second video, Carlson starts off with a quote from Keith Olbermann: “We are at war with Russia or, perhaps more correctly, we have lost a war with Russia without a battle. We are no longer a sovereign nation, we are no longer a democracy, we are no longer a free people. We are the victims of a bloodless coup…..”

    These people are the definition of insane. At least I had a good laugh. I’m open to new information, but I think we’re going to find that the emails were leaked from U.S. insiders, not hacked by Russia, and that Seth Rich had something to do with the leaks.

    “The source gave it to him.

    There was no hacking. There was instead a disgruntled Democrat operative who had access to the data, dumped it, and turned it over.

    This is a guy who (1) claims to have met the actual source, (2) received the actual data and (3) got the data because the person who took it was*****ed off that the Democrats stole the nomination from Sanders.

    The “Russian” claim just went up in smoke.”

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=231717

  22. backwardsevolution
    December 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Mr. Whitbeck – great article. Very good writing! Paul Craig Roberts has this to say:

    “So we have a coup against the president-elect based solely on unverified, unsourced, anonymous assertions made by the public knows not who.

    Rep. Davin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which has oversight over the CIA, has said that neither he nor the committee have seen any evidence from the CIA in support of the claims he reads in the media. He has asked the agency to brief the Intelligence Committee on the alleged evidence but has had no response.

    According to the Washington Post, “Nunes said: ‘We have not received any information from Intelligence Community (IC) agencies indicating that they have developed new assessments on this issue. I am alarmed that supposedly new information continues to leak to the media but has not been provided to Congress.’”

    Rep. Nunes statement makes it completely clear that the CIA is using the presstitute media to launch a coup against president-elect Trump.

    CIA director John Brennan’s audacity suggests that he expects the coup to succeed. Otherwise, he is dead meat along with Bezos, The Washington Post and the rest of the presstitute media. […]

    We are at the point that only a countercoup against the CIA and the Hillary forces can save American democracy.

    High treason is alive and well in the United States, and it is operating against American democracy and president-elect Trump.”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/12/17/only-a-counter-coup-can-save-american-democracy-paul-craig-roberts/

    • Bill Bodden
      December 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      CIA director John Brennan’s audacity suggests that he expects the coup to succeed. Otherwise, he is dead meat along with Bezos, The Washington Post and the rest of the presstitute media. […]

      Is that the same John Brennan who lied to the senate intelligence (?) committee about CIA torture?

  23. backwardsevolution
    December 18, 2016 at 8:33 am

    “A CIA-led Coup Against American Democracy Is Unfolding Before Our Eyes” – again by Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/12/17/a-cia-led-coup-against-american-democracy-is-unfolding-before-our-eyes-paul-craig-roberts/

  24. Sam F
    December 18, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Obviously what matters is the content of the emails, not how they were obtained.

    The Dems are the party of wars for Israel and nothing more. Clinton = Kleinberg. They have infested the federal agencies with zionists who are fighting their loss, although many are now happy with the Trump cabinet.

    The Dem dogs have sniffed the posterior of Trump and found the social contract of Do unto others before they can do unto you, virtue=money, deals=productivity, gangsterism=aristocracy, tyranny=justice, democracy=mob rule, good government=subversion, humanitarianism=perversion, us=good, them=bad. That is the core belief of the Dems too: the means to defeat any residue of moral consideration remaining from youth, without wasting time on complex rationales for the most selfish conduct. Dem=Repub. Only the propaganda is different. Dump the Dems.

  25. Linda Doucett
    December 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Brilliant article.

    • John B
      December 18, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Toad Hall Philadelphia 1972?

  26. James lake
    December 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Is there really hysteria?
    The average American is he / she hysterical?

    Or is it just the political elites and the media? Loosing Democrats?

    Journalists need to take the temperature in American and find out what people really think and feel; that would have prepared them for Trump.

    The medias behaviour is over the top and I am sure will alienate people even more

  27. Josh Stern
    December 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Another historical note. One of the most notable violent instances of hacking occurred during Reagan’s time when a CIA led hacking operation succeeded in causing a large gas pipeline explosion with the USSR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNuB0IqF1o8

  28. BRF
    December 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    This all seems to be a fight between two groups of apex elites within the western world. The one group which has held sway and growing power since the Reagan administration has now been handed an electoral defeat by which its continuity of agenda is now threatened by the second group. The first group can be termed ‘Globalists’ for their desire to control the entire planet under their auspices. The second group sees this agenda as ultimately going to fail for any number of reasons and seeks some rapprochement as the way forward. The first group has been operating on many fronts and levels simultaneously, overt, covert and financial war aboard and domestically, restricting democratic rights, militarizing of police, false flag events to conjure consensus of public opinion, NGO and corporate foundation activities, the man made global warming meme and attached model legislation just off the top of my head and all leading to a final goal of a world dominated by themselves. They see a Trump administration as a disruption and as anathema to their operations and agenda and they will not go quietly into the night. How far they will take/make events to retain power is anyone’s guess but know they are not above using any means to those ends as witnessed by their actions in advancing their ‘globalist’ agenda to date. I do not know if the globalists will resort to violence or if they have decided that they must now regroup and reassess their strategies and tactics before resuming their efforts. Time will tell and in the very short run.

    • backwardsevolution
      December 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      BRF – good synopsis.

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      That is very insightful, well organised, articulate analysis. It should be the focus of a more expansive article on this blog.

    • DD
      December 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks BFR, good comment: How far will they go? As Alleppo is liberated, how did ISIL mount an offensive, with tanks and other military vehicles, in Palmyra? Didn’t this force have to come from the east with either aircover or no intervention from the air?

      • backwardsevolution
        December 19, 2016 at 12:15 am

        DD – I also wondered how ISIL got into Palmyra so quickly. I just looked at a map, and it’s not that far from the Iraq or Jordanian borders, about a two-hour drive. Must have been all prepared and have come in during the night. It’s like whack-a-mole. Once they get one city clean of terrorists, they pop up somewhere else. I’m hoping Trump will put an end to this.

  29. Wm. Boyce
    December 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    “Russia does not need to trash American democracy. From the start of this extraordinarily ugly campaign season, Americans have been doing an excellent job of that themselves. Their politicians and “opinion leaders” should resist the urge to dig the hole in which the country finds itself even deeper, and Democratic members of Congress should resist the urge to adopt the scorched-earth approach of the Republican Party over the past eight years and devote all their efforts in the coming four years toward ensuring the failure of the country’s president in everything he seeks to accomplish.

    Sadly, at the moment, the country of my birth is looking more and more like the world’s largest open-air insane asylum.”

    “…ensuring the failure of the country’s president in everything he seeks to accomplish.” (??!!)

    Really? I certainly think better relations with Russia is a good idea, but the plundering of our own country by our newly illegitimately-elected oligarchy? I certainly hope Democrats resist that with all their heart. What does the author think Mr. Trump is and always has been all about? Himself, of course, it’s as if that has been forgotten by people. He has appointed his own class to top positions and extremists and know-nothings to other top positions, this is looking like maybe the most clueless bunch that has ever run the U.S.A, and that’s saying a lot.

    • Realist
      December 18, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      i) The electoral process in place may be undemocractic, but it is not illegitimate as it is what the constitution prescribes regardless of its flaws. Trump did not go outside those parameters to win, hence he is not illegitimate.

      ii) Trump’s plans for governing and his ability to lead are entirely different matters. I can envision his administration ending up a colossal failure–with a lot of instigation from the Democrats, mind you.

      iii) Regardless of which of the two major party candidates won this election, the next administration is guaranteed to be a catastrophe. You rightly point out that the drift towards oligarchy and fascism will probably be accelerated under Trump, but I contend that process would be no slower under Clinton who would also foolishly rush headlong into major military conflicts, based on her rhetoric and executive experience as the secretary of state.

      iv) Considering that four years from now the federal government is likely to be in tatters due to mismanagement exacerbated by unrestrained party warfare, another massive “regime change” is likely to be the result of the next federal election. Ask yourself, which party would you prefer to be dumped unceremoniously on the curb, as it will be the one presently in control (starting in January 2017). After four years of turmoil, the 2020 elections are likely to be a wave election that will cement power for one side or the other for a long time to come. If you are for progressivism, you should not be for Hillary today. If you are a so-called conservative, you should hope that Hillary succeeds in her coup attempt. (This assumes that elections will be permitted in 2020.)

      • Wm. Boyce
        December 19, 2016 at 2:19 am

        ” Trump’s plans for governing and his ability to lead are entirely different matters.”

        You assume there is a plan. Maybe there isn’t.

        “…but I contend that process would be no slower under Clinton who would also foolishly rush headlong into major military conflicts, based on her rhetoric and executive experience as the secretary of state.”

        We won’t have to worry about that.

        One only has to look at the nominees to top cabinet and other positions to know that there is one thing that Mr. Trump rewards, and that is loyalty. So has it always been, but this time it may have disastrous consequences, as in addressing climate change (the Chinese made it up) and domestic policies such as the ACA, Social Security and the Medicare. He has appointed wolves, sheep and ignoramuses. So will we be governed. Enjoy the ride.

  30. N Margaret
    December 18, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for your work.

  31. rosemerry
    December 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks so much for this article- it concisely summarises the main points and clearly lets us know what is a reasonable interpretation of the situation.

  32. Drew Hunkins
    December 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Former CIA director William Colby once openly admitted: “The CIA controls anyone of any significance in the establishment media.”

  33. GM
    December 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I recall accusations of secret Soviet scientific experiments for nearly every instance of inclement weather back in the early 60s.

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