The Democrats’ Russia-Did-It Dodge

To avoid facing up to why Hillary Clinton’s pro-corporatist candidacy really lost key Rust Belt states, national Democrats are finding it easier to blame Russia, a dangerous and self-defeating game, says Norman Solomon at The Hill.

By Norman Solomon

Two months after the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign — trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump’s neck.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Still more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency to Trump, top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Vladimir Putin than scrutinize how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters.

Meanwhile, the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous. It could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that have thousands of nuclear weapons each.

At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday on foreign cyber threats, ranking member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, denounced “Russia’s rejection of the post-Cold War international order and aggressive actions against its neighbors,” and he condemned “a regime with values and interests so antithetical to our own.” It was the kind of oratory that would have made John Foster Dulles or Barry Goldwater proud.

Like so many other senators on the committee, Reed seemed eager for a new Cold War while accusing Russia of digital aggression. “In addition to stealing information from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign,” he said, “and cherry-picking what information it leaked to the media, the Russian government also created and spread fake news and conspiracies across the vast social media landscape.’’

The Russia-Did-It Conspiracy Theory

The Russian government may have hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and it may have given those emails to WikiLeaks. But that’s hardly a slam dunk.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Over the weekend, after Friday’s release of a much-ballyhooed report from the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the report underwent a cogent critique by former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry. Stripping the 25-page DNI report down to its essence, Parry pointed out that it “contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks.”

Parry added: “The DNI report amounted to a compendium of reasons to suspect that Russia was the source of the information — built largely on the argument that Russia had a motive for doing so because of its disdain for Democratic nominee Clinton and the potential for friendlier relations with Republican nominee Trump. But the case, as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof.”

While stenographic accounts of official claims have dominated coverage of the Jan. 6 report, major flaws are coming to light in mainstream media. For instance, a piece that appeared on Saturday in the New York Times, by Scott Shane, reported in its ninth paragraph: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack.”

The article reported: “Under the circumstances, many in Washington expected the agencies to make a strong public case to erase any uncertainty. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’ There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.”

No Doubts

But Democratic lawmakers aren’t interested in doubts or caveats. They believe the Russian hacking issue is a political winner. Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly a convenient way to evade the sobering lessons that should have been learned from the last election about the Democratic Party’s lack of authenticity in its claims to be fighting for the interests of working people.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

At the same time, enthusiasm for banging the drum against Putin is fast becoming a big part of the Democratic Party’s public identity in 2017. And — insidiously — that’s apt to give the party a long-term political stake in further demonizing the Russian government.

The reality is grim, and potentially catastrophic beyond comprehension. By pushing to further polarize with the Kremlin, congressional Democrats are increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia. By teaming up with the likes of Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to exert bipartisan pressure for escalation, Democrats could help stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions.

This approach is already underway. It is worse than irresponsible. It is madness that could lead to a nuclear holocaust.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group, which has 750,000 members. He is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. [This article originally appeared as a column at The Hill, at ]

32 comments for “The Democrats’ Russia-Did-It Dodge

  1. January 14, 2017 at 13:52

    The US “big media” are a detriment to society; not just useless. Craig Murray, former British ambassador, and close associate of Jullian Assange, told the London Daily Mail, that he, personally, received the podesta emails on the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation, from a disgusted Democrat, via an intermediary, in Washington DC. Julian Assange won’t reveal the “whistleblower’s” name, but, he is very angry about the murder of Seth Conrad Rich, who was shot in the back, but, not robbed. ( The authorities have said, “must have been a robbery gone bad.” —– not, probable; since he was dead, and could, easily, have been robbed.)
    Assange has offered $20,000 to someone with the killer’s identity.
    So, It’s been in black and white how Wikileaks got the emails. This shows how corrupt the Democratic Party is.
    I voted “Green”; because, I couldn’t reward Hillary for her evil foreign policy. Democrats, that’s why you lost.
    Face it!!! Well, actually, the Green Party had the best candidates. I’d like to see the Democratic Party obliterated.

  2. Jurgen
    January 11, 2017 at 04:18

    Operation Mockingbird -1:
    Was a campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media in the US and internationally. It was reportedly organized as an independent office by Frank Wisner in 1948. After 1953, when Allen Dulles was appointed as head of the CIA, he took a strong role in overseeing the operation, which already had influence with 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The operation has been documented as operating at least during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

    The unit recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network to help present the CIA’s views. It funded some student and cultural organizations and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities conducted by other operating units of the CIA. The CIA’s use of journalists continued unabated until 1973 …

    In 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. It was the first time the agency was revealed to have interfered with US domestic activities. The United States Congress investigated the allegations and published a report in 1976.

    Other accounts of these activities have also been published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis’s 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and The Washington Post.

    Operation Mockingbird – 2:

    Status: Currently in progress.

    Possibly being implemented by:
    1) CIA Political Action Group (PAG). PAG is one of two groups (SAD/SOG for tactical paramilitary operations and SAD/PAG for covert political action) within CIA Special Activities Division (SAD). PAG is responsible for covert activities related to political influence, psychological operations and economic warfare. The rapid development of technology has added cyberwarfare to their mission. Tactical units within SAD are also capable of carrying out covert political action while deployed in hostile and austere environments. A large covert operation usually has components that involve many, or all, of these categories, as well as paramilitary operations. Political and Influence covert operations are used to support U.S. foreign policy. Often overt support for one element of an insurgency would be counter-productive due to the impression it would have on the local population. In such cases, covert assistance allows the U.S. to assist without damaging these elements in the process. Many of the other activities (such as propaganda, economic and cyber) support the overall political effort. There have been issues in the past with attempts to influence the US media such as in Operation Mockingbird.

    (A current CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (AC 360) had been interning/training at the CIA for 12 months.)

    2) Psychological operations (PSYOP, a.k.a. MISO).

    CNN and NPR interns incident
    In 2000, it came to light that soldiers from the 4th Psychological Operations Group had been interning at the American news networks Cable News Network (CNN) and National Public Radio (NPR) in the late 1990s. The program was an attempt to provide its PSYOP personnel with the expertise developed by the private sector under its “Training with Industry” program. The program caused concern about the influence these soldiers might have on American news and the programs were terminated.

  3. Jurgen
    January 11, 2017 at 03:45
  4. franck rigaud
    January 11, 2017 at 03:18
  5. col from oz
    January 10, 2017 at 22:59

    Just read google’s ‘genuine fake,’ ‘news’ top stories.

    Trump Received Unsubstantiated Report That Russia Had Damaging Information About Him
    New York Times – ?1 hour ago?

    President-elect Donald J. Trump on Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times. WASHINGTON – The chiefs of America’s intelligence agencies last week presented President Obama and President-elect Donald J.
    Donald Trump »
    Seriously, What A Day: 8 Things That Actually Happened On TuesdayNPR
    Intel chiefs briefed Trump, Obama on unverified, salacious allegations concerning Russia and president-electUSA TODAY
    Highly Cited:These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To RussiaBuzzFeed News
    Fact Check:Here’s a guide to the Trumpian spin on the Russian hacking reportWashington Post
    Opinion:U.S. Spies Warn Trump and GOP: Russia Could Get You NextDaily Beast
    Wikipedia:2016 United States election interference by Russia

  6. CitizenOne
    January 10, 2017 at 22:21

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! The main stream media has done it again by redirecting democratic anger over their loss toward Russia. They did it in 2008 when the banks failed. Their ultimate weapon against an angry mob was the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party was an invention of Fox News and was designed to turn public anger at Wall Street toward the government. The win-win strategy was to flood the conservative echo chamber with videos of men dressed up like Ben Franklin spouting quotes from the Boston Tea Party and blaming the government for taxes which is exactly what the ultra rich were aiming to attack. The ultra rich and those in the main stream media successfully channeled public anger away from the big banks which were simultaneously being handed trillion dollar unemployment checks as welfare for bankrupt banks.

    It worked. Millions of common folks joined up to enlist in the Tea Party. The media had a field day broadcasting rallies and whistle stop tours. People wept along with Glen Beck as he decried the lost respect for America, its heroes and its patriots. The ultra rich laughed all the way to the bank.

    Next they created the prince in shining armor and savior of American jobs, the business tycoon Donald Trump. We elected him.

    Now, a new diversion is at hand. The Russian Boogeyman is rigging elections and we need to rally around that or else we are not Americans.

    Do you feel used yet? Do you feel like a puppet on a string?

    There is a common theme. The main stream media and the 1% continuously try to find some scapegoat that will ultimately serve its purpose. They then launch a one sided campaign in the news to prop up their puppet and with saturation coverage of “the new movement” they win our hearts and we are off on another misdirected adventure to unwittingly do their bidding.

    The Tea Party served its purpose to refocus anger at Wall Street for the financial collapse in 2008 away from the financial institutions which were suddenly insolvent toward a view that it was unfair government tariffs on the colonies oppressed by the “British Brutes” of our government.

    The conclusion is evident in the facts. Nobody went to jail and the republicans won. The corporations won. The rich won.

    They must be having a grand old time dreaming up fantasies that they can place in front of us all designed to misdirect public anger at fictional beasts which ultimately turn public sentiment against the fictional beasts and then they clean up as the dragon is slayed, the valiant king returns and order is restored.

    Given this success of the main stream media to be able to create mythical beasts that the main stream media dreamed up to turn a national economic collapse into a huge tax break for the wealthy, I cannot imagine why they would not now take a deep breath and dream up a Russian villain cloaked in secrecy stealing elections.

    What fun for the puppet masters!

    But the public anger they aim to create against a nuclear armed Russia is not a thing to be played with.

    I agree with Norman Solomon. We take this new trip into misdirection and somebody’s profit at our peril.

    This is a dangerous game.

  7. Realist
    January 10, 2017 at 20:52

    Unbelievable! Have these lying warmongers no shame? Right now Tweety Bird on MSNBC is ranting on the latest load of BS from the American “intelligence” service which is supposed to be extremely provocative breaking news that again damns the Russians (what else?). According to them, they are apprising Trump that the Russians have been spying on him and hold compromising information. The obvious “ergo” is that he should nix any normalization of relations with Putin, continue all the sanctions and prep for thermonuclear war. These angry sore losers will simply not give it up. This is just one more effort to stampede the American public into turning on Trump and demanding that the Russians be endlessly “punished” as uncivilized beats who violate all social norms.

    Big surprise, every sovereign nation collects intelligence on every other country, including its head of state. Guess what, all “17” of those American intelligence agencies spy continuously on Russia and Putin… with extreme prejudice. We justify it by saying we need to know what nefarious activities they are up to. Well, based on public actions (most importantly of a military nature) around the globe, the United States is certainly the most dangerous polity on the planet and deserve as much spying upon as the world can muster. Trump must know this, as he is supposedly very intelligent. About time for him to deliver the, “at long last, sir, have you no shame” to Barack Obama, James Clapper or whoever is the ultimate author of these cheap smears in an attempt to disrupt any semblance of world peace. I can hardly believe the chutzpah of these shameless liars. Meanwhile, Obama supposedly spins one last wild yarn in his “goodbye” speech tonight. Good riddance to him, as he was nothing but a cancer on this country and the world. Sheesh!!!

    • Gregory Herr
      January 10, 2017 at 22:02

      Let us hope that Obama gets his comeuppance. I’m not counting on it, but can envision a scenario whereby Syria achieves stabilization and more actual journalists are able to go to Syria and report from the Syrians themselves the basic truth of these past six years. In conjunction with Trump being apprised of Obama’s complicity in supporting terrorist factions, this could possibly lead to some forthrightness on Trump’s part. He’s not too shy about talking. Obama and the spooks could be exposed for what they’ve done.

  8. F. G. Sanford
    January 10, 2017 at 20:36
    Jeepers Creepers!

    I don’t care what Jim Clapper says,
    When the CIA blames the Russians-
    But there could be some re-percussions-
    I’m certain it’s just fake news.
    I don’t care what the NSA thinks
    Cause it’s mainstream propaganda.
    It’s a classified memoranda,
    And the Democrats hate to lose.

    Rootin’ Tootin’ –
    They’re blaming it on Putin.
    Meryl Streeper,
    Teardrops in her eyes.
    Chucky Schumer,
    What a Wall Street sleeper.
    Mainstream rumors-
    All they tell is lies!

    Golly gee!
    When you the TV on,
    Woe is me-
    All you hear is hope is gone!
    Jeepers Creepers,
    Meryl and her peepers.
    Oh those weepers,
    How they hyp-mo-tize,
    Where’d she get those lies?
    Where’d she get those lies!

    Jeepers Creepers,
    News without the bleepers
    Jeepers Creepers,
    What a big surprise!
    Gosh all git up-
    The DNC told lies,
    Gosh all git up-
    They’re blamin’ Putin’s spies!

    Golly gee!
    Meryl turned her peepers on,
    Had her campaign cheaters on.
    Jeepers Creepers,
    Trump made all them weepers.
    Wall Street sleepers-
    How they patronize,
    Where’d they get those lies?
    They’re thanking Putin’s spies
    The news is full of lies!

    • Abe
      January 11, 2017 at 12:03

      She’s jeering at the shadows
      Sneering behind a smile
      Lunge and thrust to pout and pucker
      Into the face of the beguiled

      Peek-a-Boo, Peek-a-Boo

      Golly jeepers
      Where’d you get those peepers?
      Peepshow, creepshow
      Where did you get those eyes?

      Siouxsie And The Banshees – “Peek-a-Boo” from Peepshow (1988)

  9. jaycee
    January 10, 2017 at 20:02

    “… ranking member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, denounced “Russia’s rejection of the post-Cold War international order…”

    Russian “rejection” of an “international order” – usually described as “rules-based” and said to be located post WWII or in this case post Cold War – has become a common trope for the past year or two. In the WW2 version, Russia’s rejection is said to be directed at the sovereignity of United Nations countries as described in the UN charter. Nevermind that, since the end of the Cold War, the most articulate and passionate defence of a rules-based international order based on the UN Charter was made by Putin himself, to the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

    Note that Rep Jack Reed dropped “rules-based” from his formula, and moved the start date of the “international order” from the end of WWII to the end of the Cold War. This moment of course represents the beginning of an international order based on US hegemony and, truth be told, rejection or support of the UN Charter as determined by situational hegemonic interests.

    The phrase “rules-based international order”, and its variants, serves as a sort of free-floating signifier, meaning one thing to the powerful US representatives who most often articulate the phrase, and another to the western publics who are the recipients. Reed likely misspoke and inadvertently clarified the phrase, which won’t happen too often again.

  10. Peter Loeb
    January 10, 2017 at 17:18


    Comments in the past on various aspects have been made
    by this commenter. There is no point in continuing to go over and over.

    I think that’s what “ad nauseum” means or something close to it. Our
    latin teacher in high school was a horror.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Jeremy
      January 10, 2017 at 19:53

      Well before you start hurling your smug insults why not understand my point? Or are you just another conditioned subject with ADD that hasn’t even noticed that your feelings of disgust about the content of the revelations of Wikileaks have now been replaced by the enticing arguement about whether or not it was Russia behind them? My point is (in the grand scheme of things)…what does it matter! As a faithful reader to consortium, I think there is alot of reactionary articles disputing the latest silliness on the front page of NYT, which I appreciate. However, I want more original follow up on the content of the emails. Don’t you? Or are you content with alternative news that only reacts to the current narrative in corporate media?

  11. Jeremy
    January 10, 2017 at 15:44

    Call me idealistic, but to me the most demoralizing reality about the current Russian distraction is feeling that the national discourse will never be redirected to the actual interference in our election, namely by the DNC in the primaries. I don’t think I need to remind anyone here of all the examples of election fraud the DNC committed to get Hillary to be the nominee, but California, Nevada, and New York are the first to come to mind. Actually I fear that all the discussion about the lack of evidense that Russia hacked this information, could end up back firing. For all we know the smoking gun could turn up tomorrow. The response from progressives should be that we are not concerned with the motives of those who made the information public. What matters is the information itself serves a public interest and should be examined thoroughly and if election law was broken people should be prosecuted. I for one would not be so shocked and appalled to find that Putin did everything in his power to influence our election in favor of a ally in Trump rather than an existential threat in Clinton. Nobody is disputing the authenticity of the information revealed, so we should focus on what we do know. For example as reported on this website, from Podesta’s emails (stretching back to when he worked on Obama’s transition team after his win in ’08), there is clear indication that Citigroup chose many of Obama’s Wall Street cabinet friendly selections, which clearly reveals the plutocracy at work. And how Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal that government officials of our ally Saudi Arabia (not rogue princes as has always been the claim) are actively funding ISIS. Then when we think about the pay to play that was revealed in relation to The Clinton Foundation this relationship becomes even more significant. In otherwords, I feel the stance to take for progressives should not be overly concerned on whether it was Russia behind these revelations, but rather the content of the revelations themselves. About which this website has reported extensively, but in recent weeks this focus has given way to the lack of evidense against Russia. I just think we should not let the corporate media focus shift attention from what is the ultimate revelation. We have clear evidense of our elected politicians working against the American people and for the interest of the global elite. This to me is the story of the century. Let’s keep the focus where it belongs.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 10, 2017 at 17:33

      Jeremy – you are so correct. Good points. Yes, it’s easy to lose sight of the “content” of the emails.

      “…Citigroup chose many of Obama’s Wall Street cabinet friendly selections, which clearly reveals the plutocracy at work.”

      Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out that it’s difficult to choose people other than insiders, otherwise you don’t get them past the confirmation process. They disallow your nominees. It’s wrong, but this is reality. The bought-and-paid-for politicians are going to do what their benefactors tell them to do. This is where Trump’s big mouth and Twitter account might come in very handy for him. I hope he lets the American people know loud and clear what’s happening – that only the “chosen insiders” are allowed. Maybe things can change for the good.

  12. Abe
    January 10, 2017 at 15:08

    For more than a month, Norman Solomon has dodged fair and accurate criticism of his unequivocal promotion of anti-Russian propaganda writer Adrian Chen.

    In his 5 December 2016 article for Consortium News (“WPost Won’t Retract McCarthyistic Smear”), Solomon lauded a 1 December 2016 article for The New Yorker by Chen (“The Propaganda About Russian Propaganda”).

    Solomon described Chen’s piece on the Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio as “devastating”.

    However, Chen’s December 2016 piece for The New Yorker unequivocally promoted Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, a leading purveyor of anti-Russian fake news.

    In addition, Chen’s June 2015 piece for the New York Times Magazine (“The Agency”) dramatically claimed that the “Russian Internet is awash in trolls”.

    Chen’s NYT Magazine article on alleged “trolls” became a staple of anti-Russian propaganda, widely cited by mainstream media “regime change” propaganda organs like the New York Times and Washington Post, and “regime change” organizations like the Atlantic Council.

    Chen in The New Yorker somehow neglected to mention that his own “troll farm” article from the previous year was prominently featured in the PropOrNot list of “Related Articles”.

    In fact, Chen’s “troll” piece was a rewrite of a rewrite of a rewrite of a November 2014 propaganda report by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of The Interpreter Mag, also highlighted in the PropOrNot list of “Related Articles”.

    On 6 January 2017, when the evidence-free report from the Office of the US Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” was released to the public, Chen Tweeted with elation that his propaganda claims are “now DNI Approved!”

    Since the first week of December, Solomon has written article after article about the “blame Russia” antics of mainstream media and the U.S. government.

    However, Solomon has completely ignored repeated Consortium News comments regarding his uncritical applause for leading “blame Russia” propagandist Adrian Chen.

    We are still waiting.

    • Abe
      January 10, 2017 at 15:38

      PropOrNot “Reference Articles”

      Note Adrian Chen’s “The Agency” piece and nine articles written by Peter Pomerantsev.

      Despite all the brouhaha and gasping about the “New McCarthyism”, not a single “progressive” media outlet has gone to the trouble of conducting an in-depth investigation and analysis of the PropOrNot site and all its “Reference Articles” and “Related Projects”.

      Simply calling PropOrNot “shady” seems to be sufficient analysis for “the Left”.

      “Progressive” media stories about the Washington Post / ProporNot imbroglio have ended up disseminating far more “fake news” than they exposed.

      Unmentioned by Chen, and ignored by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton of the Intercept, is fact that Eliot Higgins is a nonresident senior fellow for Digital Forensic Research Lab with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Program.

      ProporNot listed several “Related Projects” including Bellingcat, Stopfake, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.

      Bellingcat and StopFake are First Draft Coalition “partners” along with the Washington Post and New York Times. All these “news organizations” collaborate in promoting “regime change” propaganda and publishing “fake news”.

      The Ukrainian propaganda website Stopfake belongs to the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of the many all-too-eager Ukrainian recipients of cash from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since the March 2014 western-backed coup d’etat in Kiev.

      Allied with Bellingcat, Stopfake uses the same faux fact-check disinformation strategy that Higgins employs.

      Bellingcat, Stop Fake and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab all collaborate with major media like the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Newsweek to advance numerous “regime change” agendas. There is absolutely nothing “independent” about any of these propaganda organs.

      Solomon insists that “The New Yorker has been the largest media outlet to directly confront the Post’s egregious story.”

      But Chen of the New Yorker has simply added another layer of propaganda by positioning Higgins as some sort of authority on “fake news”.

      The Intercept article by uncritical journalists Greenwald and Norton reinforced the positioning of Higgins as a “professional” journalist.

      Solomon further claims that “Cogent assessments can also be found at The Intercept, Consortium News, Common Dreams, AlterNet, Rolling Stone, Fortune, CounterPunch, The Nation and numerous other sites.”

      None of these “cogent assessments” have reported in detail on the role of Higgins and Bellingcat as propaganda launderers and leading purveyors of “fake news”.

      At least Max Bumenthal at Alternet bothered to mention “Bellingcat, the crowdsourced military analysis blog run by Elliot Higgins through the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the U.S. State Department, various Gulf monarchies and the weapons industry. (Bellingcat is directly funded by Google, according to Higgins.)”

      However, like Chen, Greenwald and Norton, Blumenthal merely reports Higgins Twitter claim that Bellingcat did not give “permission” to PropOrNot. Apparently no further discussion or analysis of Higgins’ claim was deemed necessary.

    • rosemerry
      January 10, 2017 at 15:47

      I did not know this, but “The Russian government may have hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and it may have given those emails to WikiLeaks. But that’s hardly a slam dunk.” was completely unjustified and unnecessary.

      Chris Floyd Empire Burlesque has a great post including all these features and more on his site-really worth going to and reading including its links.

    • Dogtowner
      January 10, 2017 at 15:50

      Your comment reminds me of Diana Johnstone’s analysis of basing “news” on other “news” stories, none of which are properly referenced or sourced.

      I am disappointed in what you write about Solomon but I have totally given up on FAIR, an organization that offers up such fare as an interview with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. For good information on SRLP, see GenderTrender. If you’re a pedophile/rapist/murderer and want sympathy, put on a dress, claim to be a woman, and SRLP will advocate for your release.

      Liberals (such as FAIR) are as detached from reality and truth as are right-wingers. I loathe Donald Trump, but some of the stuff slithering out of Democrats since his election helps one to comprehend there is no hope for this nation.

  13. January 10, 2017 at 13:48

    “Blame It” On Putin

    There is endless wars and devastation around the world
    Western war criminals have their war banners unfurled
    Millions dead and many millions uprooted
    And the financial system is corrupted and looted
    “Blame it” on Putin

    The war criminals are free and spreading bloody terror
    And their dirty propaganda says Putin is an “aggressor”
    These evil plotters of death and destruction
    Should be in jail for their abominable actions
    But, “Blame it” on Putin.

    The American election is won by Donald Trump
    Hillary Clinton loses and gets politically dumped
    The media is frenzied and foaming at their mouths
    They are crying and lying, these corporate louts
    They “Blame it” on Putin

    Hollywood, too, is getting in on the act
    The B.S. merchants are able to twist facts
    In their fantasy world of channel changers
    They do not approve of a political stranger
    They “Blame it” on Putin

    The spymasters and their grovelling politicians
    All agree that “their democracy” is “lost in transmission”
    Their comfortable and controlled system is now in danger
    And these powerful parasites are filled with anger
    They “Blame it” on Putin

    One loose canon talks and babbles of “an act of war”
    Could nuclear hell be started by a warmongering whore?
    If the madmen of the establishment get their way
    Could we all be liquidated in the nuclear fray?
    “Blame it” on Putin

    There is no doubt that the ruling class
    Are all worried about saving their ass
    Could there be huge changes and still more coming?
    Is the sick and depraved society finally crumbling?
    Hey, “Blame it” on Putin

    Stephen J. Gray
    January 10, 2017.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 10, 2017 at 14:02

      Stephen – good poem. Captures nicely what’s going on.

      • January 10, 2017 at 14:06

        Thanks, very much.

  14. Bill Bodden
    January 10, 2017 at 13:40

    Democrats could help stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions.

    There are many negatives that can be attached to Trump, but being dumb enough to be stampeded by these abysmal Democrats is not one of them.

    • Ragnar Ragnarsson
      January 10, 2017 at 20:02

      Couldn’t agree more! Well said.

    • Gregory Herr
      January 10, 2017 at 20:17

      Thanks for the belly-laugh!

  15. Mark Thomason
    January 10, 2017 at 13:06

    They tried to blame various targets, Bernie, the FBI, deplorable voters. They settled on the Russians as the best to demonize, without defenders, without a domestic political price.

    The blame is just to allow Hillary supporters to hang onto power inside the Democratic Party. It is an intramural fight between the Hillary losers and the coming Movement that was ridden by Bernie against her.

    The first priority for Democrats must be to flush away all the Hillary people. All of them. End the betrayals and triangulation. Become Democrats again.

    • John M Henni
      January 15, 2017 at 16:50

      Couldn’t agree more! In the meantime our “free press” is helping Clinton Dems hold onto their power with 24/7 coverage of ” Russian hacks”.

  16. Exiled off mainstreet
    January 10, 2017 at 12:13

    The Democrats, with this new dodge, have degenerated into a post-fascist party. Their policies since the Clinton hostile takeover was achieved had become as bad as the republicans, and perhaps more cynical and effective. This Russian gambit exposes them as war mongering fascists dangerous to survival, and eventually eliminates their legitimacy to the thinking people they relied upon, based on the historical record of the party, to support it. In the end, the party must be seized from its fascist element, or if that is not possible, be replaced. The media-entertainment-deep state structure making up the party is inimical to decency and our survival. As for Meryl Streep, in particular, echoing, but amplifying Trump she is an overrated has-been who has become a useful idiot to an odious system.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 10, 2017 at 13:58

      Meryl Streep is an unbelievably good actress, few rival her, but she ought to leave it there because she runs the risk of people no longer wanting to watch her. After watching her recent speech, where she talks about immigrants, the disabled, and Trump’s rude behavior, where she tugs at the nation’s heartstrings and implores everyone to have empathy, she does touch on some good points. But it’s what she doesn’t touch on that highlights what so many on the left exhibit: an ignorance and naivety of what’s truly going on in the world.

      Her next part will probably be as a reporter following the brave White Helmets. We’ll see her among the “moderate” rebels as they dodge the bloodthirsty Syrian Army. Democracy and freedom will be the themes of the movie, and in the end the brutal dictator, Assad, will go down to defeat. The women and children will be liberated. Yay! Run credits.

      It’s as if she can’t learn unless someone has written a script for her, and unfortunately most of the scripts are written from a U.S.-perspective. A very, very, shallow and narrow view of the world. We don’t hear these people speaking of the atrocities that are being committed on a daily basis in country after country.

      I am sure Streep idolizes Obama. I can’t imagine she’d do otherwise. Does she realize that for the last eight years, day in and day out, his government has been bombing children the world over? Where is her empathy for Gaddafi, who died while being sodomized with a knife?

      And she talked about the press, how important it was that we have a strong and free press. Well, she lost me there, and she became in my mind just another useful idiot who doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 10, 2017 at 15:50

        Streep said:

        “We need a principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re going to need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”

        She probably reads the New York Times and the Washington Post every day, believing them to be the truth. A “principled press” would be a press who tells the truth. If she actually knew what was going on, her speech would have been much different, but then she’d probably have been booed off the stage.

      • Lois Gagnon
        January 10, 2017 at 20:51

        What Meryl Streep and the rest of the faux liberal elite class display is what I call the morality of convenience. They are happy to ignore whatever atrocities are committed by their darling Democrats, but as soon as they feel their own precious lives possibly threatened by a fascist ideologue the right wing Democrats helped into power, they get all touchy feely about their supposed liberal values. Too little too late. They are terminally clueless.

    • Abe
      January 10, 2017 at 19:56

      Streep was playing Clinton

      Dutifully reading her script, Streep tried to make Clinton “happy with the result”.

      Note Streep’s Golden Globes nod to Ryan “Hey Girl” Gosling: propaganda with “a woman’s touch”.

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