WPost’s New ‘Fake News’ on Russian ‘Hack’

Exclusive: The Washington Post’s latest folly – falsely reporting a Russian “hack” into Vermont’s electric grid – reflects the paper’s steep decline from the days of Watergate, reports ex-British intelligence officer Annie Machon.

By Annie Machon

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has been hacked – cue a national American trauma, allegations of dirty tricks, fears that democracy has been subverted, all leading to what the next U.S. president would call “our long national nightmare.”

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

But, no, I am not talking about the current Russo-phobic hysteria currently engulfing the mainstream U.S. media, replete with claims about “fake news,” expelled Russian diplomats, and a lack of skepticism about the evidence-lite hacking allegations.

Instead, I am dipping back into history – the old Watergate scandal – when Richard Nixon’s “plumbers” stole information the old-fashioned way; they broke into the DNC offices, rifled the files and planted listening devices. On June 17, 1972, when police captured five burglars inside the DNC offices at the Watergate building in Washington, the case slowly unfolded over the next two years until President Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, and was replaced by Vice President Gerald Ford who declared “our long national nightmare is over.”

During those two years, The Washington Post became internationally and justifiably famous for breaking the story about Nixon’s role in the Watergate cover-up and – since then – generations of cub reporters have dreamed of being the next Woodward and Bernstein. Besides leading to the downfall of the mendacious and paranoid Nixon, the scandal contributed to the reining in of an out-of-control intelligence establishment culminating in the Church Committee hearings of 1975.

What followed was greater, if unfortunately temporary, control of the U.S. intelligence agencies and at least an apparent respect for the rights of American citizens under the terms of the U.S. Constitution. The work of The Washington Post then was indeed relevant and world-changing.

The movie depiction of the Post’s investigation, “All the President’s Men” celebrated this exposé and confirmed in Western minds that our wonderful free press spoke truth to power. And perhaps, in this case, the press did (although I have to say that I preferred the meltdown scene in the prophetic movie, “The Network,” which envisioned the slide of the news media into ratings-driven madness).

Lost Credibility

But – regarding The Washington Post – how the mighty have fallen. Over the past couple of months, the Post has blown what was left of its journalistic reputation out of the water.

The Washington Post’s Watergate team, including from left to right, publisher Katharine Graham, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Howard Simons, and executive editor Ben Bradlee.

First it unblushingly reported the PropOrNot “blacklist” of “fake news” Internet sites that were allegedly working at the Kremlin’s command to swing the U.S. election to Donald Trump, except that the list encompassed many of the most reputable independent (i.e., not U.S. corporate-owned) English-language international news sites (including Consortiumnews.com). Threatened with angry writs from some of the sites, the paper quickly printed a disclaimer distancing itself from the anonymous people behind PropOrNot, but still not apologizing for the McCarthyistic smear.

Then, last Friday, the newspaper was at it again – breathlessly reporting that the Vermont energy grid was apparently hacked by the scapegoat du jour, Russia. Although there should have been obvious questions asked: Why Vermont? What has that state ever done to Russia? Well, not much as it turns out; nor Russia to Vermont.

Yet again the Post has revised its reporting down to the fact that a laptop, completely unconnected to the grid, according to the energy provider’s statement, had been infected by malware. In other words, there was no Russian hacking into the Vermont power grid.

And yet, because it’s The Washington Post, this fake breaking “news” was taken seriously and metastasized through the body politic of America and beyond. This Russian hacking became a “post-truth” reality, no matter how fact-free the original story. (I hereby propose a #factfreediet for us all on Twitter for January, so we can highlight this phenomenon.)

Explaining Why

But here are the obvious next questions: Why did this non-story appear in The Washington Post and why now? Has The Washington Post suddenly fallen prey to a revamped Operation Mockingbird, its editorial staff stuffed to the gills with CIA agents of influence?

Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

As I have written before, the CIA and its associates within the Deep State appear to be hell bent on undermining the legitimacy of the Trump election result and this hyping of Russian hacking is one of the key weapons in this struggle. So perhaps the Deep State players are (re)activating a few agents of influence in the mainstream American media?

But there may possibly be a more tangential explanation for The Washington Post’s plunge into fiction: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com and one of the wealthiest people in the world. Amazon is not only the favorite purveyor of all goods online, but also suspected (at least in the U.K.) of massive tax avoidance scams as well as abusive employment practices in the same country.

Bezos is also, since 2013, the proud owner of The Washington Post, a purchase that heralded his unexpected business swerve into the old mainstream media. The deal to buy the newspaper was reported in the business press to have cost him $250 million.

Interestingly in the same year Amazon cut a deal to develop a cloud-based service for the CIA – a deal worth a reported $600 million over ten years. It also appears that this service has expanded across all 17 of America’s intelligence agencies, so who can tell what it might be worth to Amazon now and in the future?

It is no doubt just an interesting coincidence that the Bezos-owned Washington Post is the fount of the current stream of CIA assertions that the Russians are hacking key U.S. institutions, starting with the DNC – which then somehow became “hacking the election” – and now the utility grid. Bezos himself has asserted that he exerts no direct control over the editorial decisions of the newspaper, and he has left in place many of the neoconservative editors who preceded his stewardship, so there may not be any need for direct orders.

Of course, all state-level players, including the Russians and certainly the Americans, are going to be probing the basic systems underpinning all our countries for vulnerabilities. That is what intelligence agencies do, and it is also what mercenary spy companies do on behalf of their corporate clients, and what hackers (either of the criminal flavor or the socially-minded hacktivists) do too. The dodgy malware, the code, and the vulnerabilities are all out there, often for sale or squirreled away by the national spy agencies for potential future advantage.

Whatever the truth about the DNC hacking allegations, The Washington Post sadly seems uninterested in properly pursuing it – indeed it seems interested in little beyond pursuing the specific political agenda of fanning a dangerous distrust of Russia and undermining the legitimacy of President-elect Trump.

If such a compliant corporate culture had existed back in 1972 at the time of the first DNC “hack,” the Watergate scandal would surely never have been exposed. And the old media still wonders why it is no longer trusted?

Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 Security Service (the U.S. counterpart is the FBI).

47 comments for “WPost’s New ‘Fake News’ on Russian ‘Hack’

  1. Doktor
    January 4, 2017 at 18:45

    In fact, Vermont story is fake news. They have stated first that russian hackers attacked US grid. False- Then they have said that computer has some malware they think is Russian. But anybody could have used that malware! What a gross stupidity – or fraud_?
    How can you even think of labelling any software Chinese, or Russian, or Martian? It is like finding Ak-47 on the crime scene, and claiming that Russians did it-.
    It came from reliable source? Who is reliable now? . “Far away Vermont” – we are in 19th century, and journalist has to use diligence and horses to get there?
    Now , you wrote that everybody peddles for someone, and many peddle for Putin. How much he is paying? On the other side, people peddling official prop have good jobs, cushy posts, high salaries.. . How Putin can beat this? Offering some good speeches?

    Guys like you don´t know what logic is. First they call Russia third-world country, economy in shambles, etc. Then they complain about very sofisticated Russian agression! (“only Russians could do this”). So, where are we? Russia is a poor cleptocracy, or some very mighty enemy, capable to chose who will be the president of USA?Well, I will explain it for you:
    Russia is economically not something great : once I read that state of California have BNP bigger than Russia. So, no danger from that side.
    It can´t attack 10-12 times bigger “partner”..Russia is not, nor it will ever be, in the same category with USA- But what she can do expertly is to defend itself against agression, they have will and means to do it. Or you think, that THIS TIME, Russia will be beaten?

  2. Michael Kenny
    January 4, 2017 at 12:50

    In fact, the Vermont story isn’t “fake news”. The malware in question was indeed found on one of the power company’s computers but had not, at that stage, infected the power grid. The story has turned out to be partly inaccurate but it is not fake. More interesting is how the malware got onto the computer and how the Post found out about it.The paper wouldn’t have accepted the story unless it came from a reliable source and setting the “action” in far away Vermont would inevitably make it hard to cross-check the source. Indeed, the whole thing looks like a scam to discredit the Post for merely saying out loud what everybody has known for years, namely that most US internet sites peddle propaganda for someone and, at present, many peddle it for Putin. Did authors and editors not realise that the propaganda was so flat-footed and laid on so thick that it couldn’t possibly fool anyone? And do they think that discrediting the Post will change anybody’s opinion of such sites? The “illogic” of the thing seems to go like this: A calls B a liar. B proves A is a liar and that is supposed to prove that B isn’t a liar! Nonsense! Thus, I don’t understand why internet people are making such a fuss.

  3. January 4, 2017 at 03:09

    Now is a good time to take a look at the documentary on the life of Aaron Swartz, one of the founders of Reddit.

    Swartz hanged himself at the age of twenty-six after being hounded by intelligence agencies for attempting to allow the general public access to documents funded by taxpayer revenues. The very public that had funded the research behind the documents were either being denied access, or being made to pay for it.

    It is suspected some of the documents Swartz discovered may have revealed unhealthy contact between government agencies and big business interests. We need more press freedom not less.


    Aaron Swartz’s life should be an inspiration to us all.

  4. CitizenOne
    January 3, 2017 at 21:34

    Here is perhaps the biggest piece of crap I have ever read.

    Why the CIA cannot tell you about evidence of Russian hacks but you just have to believe them.

    Are you kidding me?

    President Obama just kicked like 37 Russians out of the country, is envisioning vast sanctions in his final days in office against the Russians and we have this piece of crap WaPo story about how the CIA really can’t tell you how they know about fake news because if they did someone might find out about how the CIA got the sensitive information and it could compromise their security apparatus etc. Are you kidding me? We are talking about emails and fake news here alleged to have affected millions of voters are we not? Millions of people would have had to have seen all those emails and fake news stories for it all to work right? So how could the CIA’s position possibly be compromised by revealing what millions of people must have already seen and been influenced by?

    This author or whatever is confusing collection of sensitive information and divulging how the CIA got it with what is fake and not fake in a blog spot or even hundreds of them. That is two completely different worlds.

    The stupidity and fake newsiness of this utterly worthless WaPo defense of why the CIA has not revealed a shred of actual evidence of Russian Hacking is pathetic. It makes me angry to read it. It is an instant irritation to even be exposed to such trash like tear gas or being covered in fire ants or having to watch the News.


    • Josh Stern
      January 3, 2017 at 23:47

      It’s true that the CIA makes a big deal about not revealing sources, & that is considered good spy craft. It’s also true that the CIA mostly lies and has used that excuse in the past to cover up terrible atrocities. For example, in the Letelier bombing/assassination in Wash D.C., the CIA claimed that it would reveal sensitive sources to explain what they knew about it. It turned out that the sensitivity was that it was personally ordered by their coup-installed dictator, Pinochet, planned by their colleague assassin, Manuel Contreras, carried out by the network of killers called Condor that they had helped sponsor, and that they were generally supportive of continuing that string of international assassinations, to the point where Sec. State Kissinger had ordered the State Dept. not to warn various embassies about planned hits. See my comment on that here – http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/12/64287.html – for more links and details. So maybe they were protecting the fact that they were getting warning about Pinochet/Condor’s next targets (while cheering in the background), but that is hardly the right kind of excuse.

  5. January 3, 2017 at 18:37

    You are right Annie, and we may begin to ask if our once credible intelligence services have been so politicized since the Iraqi WMD scandal that we the people can now be forgiven for being just a tad skeptical of their objectivity. No doubt there have been and still are dedicated and credible agents.doing sincere and good work that we should be proud of and grateful for. Just as likely, unfortunately, are the political cherry pickers working for the neocon “democracy and free speech projectors” who are spinning everything they can against Russia and that terrible demon “Putin The Terrible.” And the press is cowered by this McCarthyesque display of force, which both TV and Printed media must submit to if they expect edgy interviews and not to be blacklisted. Not to mention the corporate owners you point out bringing press freedom to heel. Not the America I grew up in – Oh wait, I was in high school in the 50’s – only now its worse! Sorry guys! Where is Paul Harvey bring us Page Two??

  6. guest
    January 3, 2017 at 16:12

    “During those two years, The Washington Post became internationally and justifiably famous for breaking the story about Nixon’s role in the Watergate cover-up and – since then – generations of cub reporters have dreamed of being the next Woodward and Bernstein. Besides leading to the downfall of the mendacious and paranoid Nixon, the scandal contributed to the reining in of an out-of-control intelligence establishment culminating in the Church Committee hearings of 1975.

    What followed was greater, if unfortunately temporary, control of the U.S. intelligence agencies and at least an apparent respect for the rights of American citizens under the terms of the U.S. Constitution. The work of The Washington Post then was indeed relevant and world-changing.”

    An inside job then?

    “Philip Graham, Meyer’s successor, had been in military intelligence during the war. When he became the Post’s publisher, he continued to have close contact with his fellow upper-class intelligence veterans–now making policy at the newly formed CIA – and actively promoted the CIA’s goals in his newspaper. The incestuous relationship between the Post and the intelligence community even extended to its hiring practices. Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee also had an intelligence background; and before he became a journalist, reporter Bob Woodward was an officer in Naval Intelligence.

    In a 1977 article in Rolling Stone magazine about CIA influence in American media, Woodward’s partner, Carl Bernstein, quoted this from a CIA official: “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from.” Graham has been identified by some investigators as the main contact in Project Mockingbird, the CIA program to infiltrate domestic American media. In her autobiography, Katharine Graham described how her husband worked overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends from Yale who had organized the ill-fated venture.

    After Graham committed suicide, and his widow Katharine assumed the role of publisher, she continued her husband’s policies of supporting the efforts of the intelligence community in advancing the foreign policy and economic agenda of the nation’s ruling elites. In a retrospective column written after her own death, FAIR analyst Norman Solomon wrote, “Her newspaper mainly functioned as a helpmate to the war-makers in the White House, State Department and Pentagon.” It accomplished this function (and continues to do so) using all the classic propaganda techniques of evasion, confusion, misdirection, targeted emphasis, disinformation, secrecy, omission of important facts, and selective leaks.”


    • Josh Stern
      January 3, 2017 at 18:57

      Thanks for the comment. The Wikipedia bio on Philip Graham has some detail on the demise that led to his “suicide”.


      It seems that he had ended his relationship with Katherine – she of the Eugene Meyer lineage – and had acquired the habit of making provocative comments about inside DC dirt – including mention of the Mary Pinchot Meyer affair (ex-wife of CIA black ops and media control guy Cord Meyer who was murdered under extremely suspicious CIA-linked circumstances after the JFK death and her criticism of the Warren Commission report).

      Phil Graham’s death follows the pattern of having a demise where people go out of their way to very publicly announce the target’s mental unreliability to the public and then, there is a “suicide” to end the tale. This pattern is seen over and over in people that the CIA/FBI want to be rid of. We have no good way to investigate the ultimate truth in historical cases, but the pattern is very strong.

      For example, consider the case of Stephen Ivens, where the FBI seemed to pre-announce the impending “suicide” of their own agent: http://www.eutimes.net/2012/05/fbi-agent-fleeing-massive-manhunt-warns-theyre-all-insane/ Ivens had apparently made the mistake of trying to be a whistleblower on some black op.

      • guest
        January 3, 2017 at 20:21

        Yes, many researchers have found that there is such a phenomena of “suiciding” (intent to make a murder look like a suicide,) as the evidence/circumstances don’t support the official “suicide” explanations. Many are in disagreement over the “suicide” death of Gary Webb, precisely because of the evidence/circumstances surrounding his death, as well as others. Thanks for the reply and the info.

        • Josh Stern
          January 3, 2017 at 21:30

          Yep, Gary Webb was holding a non-automatic .38 and shot twice in the head. If his death was suicide, then he would have had to re-cock the mechanism and fire again with 1 bullet already in his head. CIA documents show that Webb was being targeted.

          James Forrestal (CIA power and funding rival)
          Frank Olson (CIA human experimentation researcher)
          William Pitzer (disputed JFK autopsy)
          David Ferrie (JFK/CIA plot conspirator & witness)
          George de Mohrenschild (CIA plot witness, killed day before HSCA deposition interview scheduled)
          Danny Casolaro (was researching Inslaw & Iran-Contra )

          are some other notable examples.

  7. Zachary Smith
    January 3, 2017 at 15:08

    I just spotted a piece about how the Snopes site hasn’t bothered to remark about the Washington Post’s Fake News story.


    I’ve never had much use for this bunch except in my earliest days on the Internet Tubes when i was a whole lot more gullible than I am today. My impression after wising up was that they cultivated credibility by scrupulous honesty about most issues to facilitate the reader taking the bait about others where the site owners had an agenda.

    These days Snopes is like WIKI – a good starting point and from there i go sniffing out the real story.

  8. Mike Lamb
    January 3, 2017 at 13:04

    I recall a scene from the movie “All The President’s Men” in which Woodward and Bernstein go to Bradley’s home to talk and Bradlely has them talk outside fearing the house has been “bugged.”

    Today with cell phones, everywhere is bugged.

    But as for the paper, it should rename itself to “Izvestia on the Potomac.”

  9. Chris Chuba
    January 3, 2017 at 12:27

    The problem is that even the second version of the story was only slightly less fake, it morphed into ‘the Russians tried to hack the grid but were unsuccessful’.

    Now in version 3.0, the Post had to finally admit that that there is no known connection to the Russian govt. https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fworld%2Fnational-security%2Frussian-government-hackers-do-not-appear-to-have-targeted-vermont-utility-say-people-close-to-investigation%2F2017%2F01%2F02%2F70c25956-d12c-11e6-945a-76f69a399dd5_story.html%3AXPiJnkDytLB9g73fp-0itLKmXb4&cuid=3167535

    Oh well, the foul has been committed, so mission accomplished. A few years from now, hacks from the NYT being interviewed by Fareed Zakaria or on FOX will repeat the original false version of the story, just like they repeat the fake Russian invasion of Georgia.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    January 3, 2017 at 10:36

    Read what Oliver Stone has to say about all of this….


    I would like to add that back over a year ago when many of us made a fuss over Hillary’s having unsecure personal servers in her basement by passing her using secure government severs Hillary supporters were saying no big deal. At the time Hillary supporters were claiming there was nothing to see here. Others like us were saying, yeah but this is a security breach. Never the less, we were beating up on poor Hillary when pointing out how her unsecure server could be hacked by foreign intruders, and how America’s secrets were at risk by being exposed…now all of a sudden Russia is being blamed for hacking Hillary’s emails. This is a logic which morphs into whatever logic it needs to be at the time, to suit the issues wrapped around a need to stay relevant in the moment. Even with all of this, I still don’t hear anyone excusing Hillary of her having committed a security breach of the highest order, considering she once was Secretary of State, Senator of NY, and of course her being a former First Lady…nothing, absolutely nothing except how it’s Putin’s fault.

    • Skip Edwards
      January 3, 2017 at 15:41

      It has been the Clinton modus operendi for years on end; violate the law, escape into the cloud which secures Washington politicians and emerge later with millions more in wealth and a they picked on me attitude. But again, all this talk and all remains the same while the country’s infrastructure dissolves, global climate change and extinctions ever more dire, undeclared wars all the more accepted and wealth discrepancy ever widening with ever less citizen influence attainable — exactly why revolution is in the air.

  11. Brian
    January 3, 2017 at 10:18

    December 28, 2016 OUTRAGEOUS: Election hacks traced back to Obama’s Department of Homeland Security

    In an unbelievable development that ought to outrage every single American, election officials in Georgia are essentially accusing the Obama administration of attempting to hack into the state’s electronic balloting machines in what appears to be a naked political ploy.


  12. incontinent reader
    January 3, 2017 at 09:48

    I think you’ve put your finger on how Bezos could find himself at the mercy of Trump, especially if Trump threatens to terminate for the convenience of the government the CIA’s contract with WAPO, with that source of funding Bezos is counting on to cover his debt thereby evaporating. In any case, with Trump as the CIA’s new overlord, I’m guessing that WAPO, and every other major newspaper will at some point begin reporting Trump’s version of reality instead of Obama’s or Brennan’s.

  13. Josh Stern
    January 3, 2017 at 08:47

    I love the story of All the President’s Men, but it doesn’t do much to inform the public about why a group of experienced CIA black ops guys with extensive undercover connections on the DC Police force got swept up in a routine nighttime burglary or why FBI No. 2 Mark Felt had to bring the allegations to light in this particular, hokey, “Deep Throat” way that only resulted in convictions for non-Security State political hacks involved in the cover up, after Nixon tried to fire various high ranking DOJ personnel, and miraculously resulted in longtime FBI/Hoover informant Gerald Ford becoming President.

    It doesn’t seem like that legendary WaPo digging resulted in the entire story there.

  14. Knomore
    January 2, 2017 at 23:52

    I live in Hawaii and suffer the same temptations with Amazon and the same remorse for continuing to support this shyster and his business. And my Democratic Senator has been sending me requests for support based upon Obama’s phony finger-pointing. Here is one thing I’d like to point out about the so-called vote hacking that supposedly took place in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, places like that:

    A far more sensible conclusion is drawn when you consider the very high number of educated Americans who were probably just madder than hell (like me) when they stopped to consider how bowled over and mowed down they were by Obama and his phony campaign and phonier campaign promises. Change? Where? When?

    I clearly recall on each and every donation I made to this quick-change artist’s campaign that he added some kind of statement about not being supported by large corporate interests. I came face to face with Reality a mere few weeks after the election while staring at Larry Summers and Tim Geitner flanking BO on either side. From that moment he became BO.

    Remember what GWB said when he left the White House: “You’re going to miss me!”?? Never, I thought. Well…

    Hillary was no good. But she was tied at the hip to someone who is equally no good. It’s easier for our mendacious President to blame the Russians than to look in the mirror and say to himself (and to us): “I’m responsible. I lied and took advantage of the American voting public everywhere and as often as I could. Guess they’re not as dumbed-down as the CIA and their other handlers believe…”

    The Trump vote may turn out to be a disaster but we escaped a bigger disaster by giving Hillary (and BO) the shaft. Just wish it had happened sooner.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      January 4, 2017 at 03:10

      This is it entirely. Those who still voted for her, including the 2-1 majority in California, many of whom were well aware of her record as a war criminal and agent of corruption, are tainted by that fact. The Russia thing is the final scene of shark jumping by the erstwhile progressive elements. I ended up voting against the majority in California because I could see the harpy as a threat to survival. Trump will probably do a lot of damage, but he won’t fight a war with Russia defending jihadi thugs who would be called towelheads or worse if they weren’t on the yankee payroll. Seeing the ACLU succumb to having guys like islamofascist Khizr Khan write editorials favorable to the Iraq war as a defense of constitutional rule in the US and seeing Democracy Now now put out jihadi propaganda on behalf of yankee imperialism shows the extent to which shark-jumping has become endemic in what was once the yankee left.

      • rosemerry
        January 4, 2017 at 15:19

        So many people comment on Hillary’s “popular vote” win, which was mostly in California and she, of all people (and certainly Trump) knows about the electoral College. I assume also she knew about voter suppression of minorities and the poor in Republican-run States (14 more of them in the Obama years) as I did, and I live on the other side of the world. Appealing to those who have already decided to hold their noses and support you is hardly a technique likely to draw more votes to a warlike, unlikeable candidate.

  15. Jim Ward
    January 2, 2017 at 23:42

    Still falling for the Watergate cover story? Nixon’s corruption was ignored by the establishment — until he started working on detente. Bob Woodward was a Naval Intelligence Officer who briefed Al Haig at the White House and was brought to the Post with little to no journalism experience. Bradley was also connected to military intelligence and the Post, as noted, had a long connection to the National Security establishment. They took down Nixon, ushered in Cheney and Rumsfeld and moved US foriegn policy to the right.

    This is not about the Cold War Commies! Russia is now an authoritarian Kleptocracy. FBI director James Comey was a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer. Lockheed Martin has a multi-billion dollar partnership with ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil is partnered with the Russian Oligarchs to drill in the Arctic. Halliburton services the oil rigs. The Obama/Clinton sanctions got in the way of their profits. The Left got played by the Police State/Kleptocracy, split the Center/Left coalition that Bernie pleaded for, and helped usher in Trump and the Republicans.

    • Brad Benson
      January 3, 2017 at 09:10

      I don’t discount what you say in your second paragraph. That being said, Hillary Clinton is a WAR CRIMINAL. She was not going to get my vote under any circumstances. Like many other lefties, I made this clear from the beginning, but was ignored. As for Bernie, he could have accepted the offer from the Greens and run at the top of their party, but instead decided to maintain his minimal power base in the Senate and accept a few bones casually tossed in his direction by the Clinton Machine. He’s a loser.

      I voted for Trump precisely because of his position on Russia. He’ll make the deal and, after that, all else will be gravy. I will continue to support Trump until he commits his first war crime.

    • Skip Scott
      January 3, 2017 at 10:29

      Russia’s Putin has an 80+% approval rating inside Russia. The Kleptocrats were ushered in by Yeltzin, who was our guy. No doubt there are dirty business dealings afoot with Trump, but the Clinton Foundation is another horror story of pay-to-play dirty dealings with loathsome folks like the Saudis. Jim, you cherry pick your “facts” to suit your narrative. The people got abandoned by Bernie when he caved to the oligarchs. The only path to real change was to continue the fight, either as a democrat or a green party candidate.

  16. Zachary Smith
    January 2, 2017 at 22:59

    Interestingly in the same year Amazon cut a deal to develop a cloud-based service for the CIA – a deal worth a reported $600 million over ten years. It also appears that this service has expanded across all 17 of America’s intelligence agencies, so who can tell what it might be worth to Amazon now and in the future?

    And I’d been thinking this was a pure Bullhorn For Israel deal! Either Bezos is in the black with the Post operations or his losses amount to the small change he loses in the sofa at any one of his houses.

    I’m ashamed to admit I shop at Amazon, but with the disintegration of my part of Indiana i have no choice at all. It’s either make Bezos a little bit richer, or make myself a lot poorer by driving long distances through central indiana to pay monopoly prices to a smug retailer who knows he has no competition. But I do believe a brand new Resolution for 2017 is that there are no circumstances whatever I’ll purchase Amazon Prime.

    • John
      January 5, 2017 at 18:33

      FYI, amazon’s chief competitor is AliBaba, which seems to actually be more popular in the resy of the world, so there is an alternative.

  17. Gregory Kruse
    January 2, 2017 at 22:54

    The losers are using the Russia theme in their propaganda because they know how powerful and convincing it is. It is so powerful that I have been tempted to believe it several times. But like Jesus in the desert, I refuse to go along with the devil, because I know how painful it would be when the truth finally comes out. I know this because I have believed the propaganda in the past. Finding out the truth is hard work, but it’s even harder if you start out by entertaining the lies.

  18. Fred
    January 2, 2017 at 22:33

    Now Bozo owns the Washington Post, a paper without any morality or ethical standards?
    No wonder the WaPo is going down the drain.

  19. January 2, 2017 at 22:21

    All this sturm und drang about the Russian hacking fails to mention what that hacking uncovered. Trump was right when he said the election was rigged. Because it was rigged during the Democratic Primary. Trump says, forget about the Russian hacking and doesn’t even mention how the corporate Democrats rigged it long before Bernie thought of running. No one could have beaten Hillary because of the indentured superdelegates. Search for Pied Piper Memo. It details how rigged for Hillary in two ways. One was primary vote manipulation and another was directing attention to the most horrible of Republican candidates thinking none of them could win. I wondered why HRC spent 90% of her general election breath on the awfulness of DT. HRC was complicit at minimum.

    • Sekhmetnakt
      January 2, 2017 at 22:44

      But those are facts. Pesky, unwanted facts, who needs those nowadays? Remember the Washington propaganda party line, repeat after me, the DNC election tampering in the primarys wasn’t the “real” election tampering, that was Russia exposing the DNC election tampering, that was the “real” election tampering? And you don’t need any proof, the CIA never lies (what’s a Operation Mockingbird?). Don’t listen to those pesky facts from the retired intelligence experts from Intelligence Veterans For Sanity, they don’t know what they’re talking about, it all has to stay a big secret or our magic crystal balls won’t work anymore and the evil Russians will hack all our PS4s!

    • Jim Ward
      January 3, 2017 at 00:21

      When the Republicans broke into the DNC at the Watergate, they tapped the phone of the executive director of the Association of State Chairs. The state chairs were involved in trying to nominate somebody other than McGovern, who went on to lose in a landslide. Nobody at the time confused the corruption — the break-in — with the content — Party sausage-making.

      The superdelegates, of course, are elected by the voters. That they or some staff at the DNC preferred the candidate who worked for decades to build the Party, over the guy who became a Democrat five minutes before running for President, should have surprised no one — and is far from anything illegal or corrupt.

      The primaries were not “rigged” and Clinton earned nearly 4 million more votes than Sanders. African Americans voted for Clinton 76% to Sanders’ 23%. Clinton won seniors 72% to Sanders’ 26%. Clinton won Democrats 64% to Sanders’ 36%.

      The only group Sanders had any sort of lead with was young people. And who didn’t show up to vote in the general as they did in prior years? Who can blame them after the Bernie or Busters criminalized policy differences, told them that there was no difference between the two parties, no difference between the two candidates and that a no- vote or a protest vote wouldn’t impact our future?

      Anybody who paid attention to Vermont politics over the last three decades saw this coming. The Vermont Progressive Party helped elect more than one Republican governor over the years. They learned the lesson and this year won their highest office yet by running a hybrid Progressive/Democratice candidate for Lt. Governor. After the primaries, Bernie pleaded for the center/left coalition necessary to defeat Trump and the Republicans. He was booed and called a corrupt sellout by his own supporters.

      We need that center/left coalition going forward.

      • evelync
        January 3, 2017 at 03:21

        I have a somewhat different take on this election, Mr. Ward. I believe that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump.
        Because he was trusted as an honest broker by conservative Republicans, Independents and Democrats.
        I’m 72 – no youngster! – and a retired Democratic precinct chair and election judge. Hillary Clinton’s dangerous regime change aggression was unacceptable for me.
        I continue to meet and learn about people who were lifelong Republicans who would have supported Bernie, had he won the primary. The DNC and MSM failed to understand why their chosen candidate was not well trusted. I think that California gave Mrs. Clinton the win of the popular vote. Working people in the states where bad trade deals and a huge shift of wealth away from working people to Wall Street had lost faith in the Clinton candidacy.
        Noam Chomsky said Bernie Sanders may have referred to himself as a socialist but he was really a “decent, honest, NEW DEAL democrat”.

        And the Democrats, including the Clintons over the last 30+ years helped shift the Democratic Party away from the successful New Deal policies that served the backbone of this country, the middle class.
        Neoliberals and Neoconservatives created unsustainable domestic and foreign policies.

        Although the Democratic power structure seems unable to recognize that maybe they and their preferred candidate, not the Russians, cost them the election.

        People, I think were sick of the endless wars that made the world less safe and the deregulation of the financial markets that helped shift massive amount of wealth from working people to the top fraction of 1% and the financial burden inflicted on average working people.

        • Brad Owen
          January 3, 2017 at 05:52

          Thank you so much for this rebuttal Evelync. HRC, after the Clintons spent their career removing all things FDR from the D-party and becoming Wall Street butt-kissing toadies, has absolutely nothing to offer the working class voters but war for our children to fight, and an absolutely insane enmity with Russia that could lead to all of us getting killed, and for WHAT, the portfolios of the big time investors in the MIC?!? It looks to me that the only New Deal policies we’re going to get for “the forgotten ones” is to go with the Green New Deal of the Green Party, so, Bernie-style, I send them money every month, hoping millions of others will do likewise, to accomplish what Bernie tried and failed to do. Trump is a disaster in many ways, but at least he is friends with Putin, and a couple members in his cabinet that are friends with Putin and Xi of China. This holds promise of massive collaboration with them on the many Silk Road/World Land Bridge infrastructure projects, with more jobs and $ for all concerned, including us “deplorable” and forgotten blue collar guys (electrician by training).

        • Skip Scott
          January 3, 2017 at 08:27

          I’m with you evelyn. Jim Ward’s idea of a center/left coalition a bunch of hooey. The democratic party has sold out to the warmongers and wall street. I wish Bernie had taken the fight to the floor of the convention after wikileaks exposed the collusion between Wasserman-Shultz and the Clinton machine.
          Bernie’s message was spot on, and his support was a lot bigger than the numbers Ward provides. The same people who made up those numbers had Clinton winning by a landslide.

          • Hal Sawyer
            January 3, 2017 at 10:31

            Sanders did exactly right. If he had refused to support Clinton and had a fight at the convention, he would have lost, Clinton would still have been nominated, would still have lost the general and the difference would be that now they would be blaming Bernie rather than Russia for Trump’s election. As it is, Bernie can say: “I did my best, I warned you,but you wanted Hillary!” Now he is perfectly positioned to take over the party. Assuming there is any United States of America left, that is.

        • Shirlo
          January 5, 2017 at 18:11

          I am 80 yrs old and I applaud you for saying exactly what I think! We are no dummies, been around long enough to know the consequences of certain actions, and support all those young people who will inherit our country.

      • Adrian Engler
        January 3, 2017 at 07:28

        I think there are two different issues here.

        One is the superdelegates. They are not elected by a broad public, but appointed on the basis of different criteria. Of course, it was known in advance that they have a significant percentage of votes. If none of the superdelegates who said they would back Hillary Clinton had changed their votes, even with somewhat better results for the pledged delegates, Bernie Sanders would hardly have had a change to get an overall majority of delegates at the convention.

        But nominating Hillary Clinton by letting the superdelegates override the pledged delegates who are actually elected would have been very difficult politically. The decisive issue is whether Bernie Sanders could have won a majority of pledged delegates if the DNC had remained neutral.

        If the DNC had remained neutral, if there had been more debates at better times (it was in the interest of the Clinton campaign to have few debates at inconvenient times because Bernie Sanders was less known to the public) and there had not been a media blackout against Bernie Sanders (of course that goes beyond the DNC, but the DNC influenced the media), the result for the pledged delegates would almost certainly have been more narrow and we can hardly exclude that Bernie Sanders would have won more pledged delegates (what would have happened in that case is difficult to predict, either the superdelegates could still have made certain that Hillary Clinton is nominated, which would have been difficult politically, or most of them might have switched).

        Using the fact that Hillary Clinton had more pledged delegates to claim that the primaries were fair is hardly convincing. The question is whether she would also have had more pledged delegates than Bernie Sanders if the DNC had remained neutral.

        Bernie Sanders had majorities among different categories of people – low income voters, independents (who, after all, are often considered particularly important for the general election) and young to medium age voters. Age was, indeed, the decisive factor, but it is misleading to say that only among young Democrats, a majority supported Bernie Sanders. For example in Iowa, the dividing line was around age 45 (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/once-again-hillary-clinton-struggles-among-young-voters/2016/02/02/21dc9a80-c9d6-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html?utm_term=.732a18dc3c53).

      • John
        January 5, 2017 at 18:27

        So, handing one candidate the questions before a debate, while not doing so for the other candidate, as Donna Brazile did, is not corrupt?
        Brazenly violating the DNC charter by favoring one primary candidate over the other, is not corrupt? (You seem to be arguing that it is corruption that should be expected of the party, rather than that this is absence of corruption. That you find this level of corruption expected within the party indicates that you are aware that this is corrupt, but are OK with that corruption.)

        Please explain how Mrs. Clinton has built up the party (as opposed to her own career and foundation). Considering it has been shown that she siphoned money away from down-ticket candidates to further her own campaign, you really cannot make such a statement without some evidence.

        Was the party built by pushing NAFTA and TPP? How many working class voters did this attract to the party? How many voters did the destruxtion of welfare gain? How about her support for the crime bill her husband passed, that helped bring those superpredators to heel? Did her outspoken support for the imperialist invasions of Iraq and Libya bring new members to the party that were sick of GWB’s warmongering foreign policy that she supported and continued?

        Maybe it was her stance against mass surveillance, fracking, and banks that “grew the party” – wait, she was more brazenly in favor of those things than many Republicans.

        What destroyed Hillary’s campaign is that she was Hillary. Hillary has a long record, starting politics to support Barry Goldwater’s attempt to resegregate the country, then destroying the Teacher’s unions in Arkansas, sitting on the board of Wal-Mart, and acting as a corporate attorney for Monsanto. She set back the cause of Single Payer health care for 2 generations now. She has supported wars of aggression in Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. She has, by threatening to use nuclear weapons against Iran, qualified herself as a convictable War Criminal. She is married to a serial rapist and has attacked his victims when they courageously came forward. She is a pathological liar, even when the lies are easily disprovable and gain her nothing (i.e. sniper fire in Serbia).
        She considers war criminals like Kissenger and Albright as her mentors, and publically stated that she takes her marching orders from CFR and AIPAC.

        She is the one candidate that could actually make Drumpf look stable, intelligent, and likeable by comparison.

        Even with 90%+ of the mass media violating any shred of integrity in their support of her, she could not even win her home state.

        As long as the DNC and its propagandists blame others for such a lousy candidate losing, they will continue to lose.

        I am also confused as to this center/left alliance you somehow throw in your statement. Hillary was/is right wing, so could not be included in such an alliance. A center/left alliance would look like what could have happened if Bernie (who, as a FDR style Social Democrat, is smack in the center of the left/right divide) has joined the Greens (who, as their platform now rejects Capitalism, are actually a Left party now.) Needless to say, wuth right-wingers like Pelosi and Schumer running the DNC, there is no room in that party for the Left, and really little room for the center.)

    • Skip Edwards
      January 3, 2017 at 14:39

      “Trump was right when he said the election was rigged. Because it was rigged during the Democratic Primary.”

      Thanks for repeating this. One of the few comments I have seen regarding this important point.

    • rosemerry
      January 4, 2017 at 15:06

      Of course, but the Republicans have rigged elections by voter suppression and gerrymandering for so long (as endlessly explained by Greg Palast in films books and articles) without the Dems bothering to try to stop this, as they do not care about ordinary voters, only donors and corporate persons.

  20. Carl Rising-Moore
    January 2, 2017 at 22:01

    In the end, this clumsy Russia bashing has created a global climate that diminishes the credibility of America on the world stage. A MWO, (Multi World Order), is quickly evolving to replace the tired old globilist’s NWO.

    • Brad Benson
      January 3, 2017 at 08:43

      This is true. The whole world, including our allies, now sees through us and each country is taking its own steps to survive as the Empire collapses. The only place in which “fake news” is successful is right here, since it is promulgated on a daily basis by the MSM. Sadly, too many Americans are still ignorant of their ignorance.

  21. W. R. Knight
    January 2, 2017 at 21:47

    Well, it’s a lot cheaper to report rumors than it is to investigate and verify information sources. If the primary goal is to maximize profits, then why bother paying high priced investigative reporters when you can get away with rumor mongering for almost nothing.

    If the public is dumb enough to buy it, let them have it.

    • Brad Benson
      January 3, 2017 at 08:37

      What you say is profoundly true. For that matter, why should anyone be surprised that failing newspapers might adopt such a strategy? After all, the National Enquirer, the Weekly World News and Star have all continued to make money even as traditional newspapers have failed around the country. That being said, it is truly sad to see the paper that I once proudly delivered become a propaganda outlet for the CIA (even more so than it already had become before Bezos).

  22. Pablo Diablo
    January 2, 2017 at 21:42

    People that don’t have passion substitute drama.

  23. JWalters
    January 2, 2017 at 21:38

    Who “owns” Jeff Bezos? Who financed Amazon? What do those financiers want from him? The blanket cover-up of Israeli crimes in America’s media points directly to the war profiteering bankers behind Israel.

    As Robert Parry has pointed out, the neocons (a euphemism for Israeli agents in America) have been fostering the recent conflict between the U.S. and Russia.

    An explosive new book has documented in detail the Zionists’ history of dishonesty, false flags, sabotage, etc.

    • rosemerry
      January 4, 2017 at 15:10

      Thank you so much for the link to the 2014 article by Robert Parry. I had forgotten or never known some of the arguments and facts, and it is very interesting though worse than sad to see how the situation is developing now.

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