The Strange World of Russian ‘Trolls’

A big part of the Russia-gate hysteria is to accuse Russia of spreading U.S. dissension via Internet “trolling,” but that’s just one more wild exaggeration among many, as William Blum describes at Anti-Empire Report.

By William Blum

Webster’s dictionary: troll – verb: To fish by running a baited line behind a moving boat; noun: A supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore.

Red Square in Moscow with a winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right in December 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Russian Internet trolls are trying to stir up even more controversy over National Football League players crouching on one knee (“taking a “knee”) during the national anthem, said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), warning that the United States should expect such divisive efforts to escalate in the next election.

“We watched even this weekend,” Lankford said, “the Russians and their troll farms, and their Internet folks, start hash-tagging out ‘take a knee’ and also hash-tagging out ‘Boycott NFL’.” The Russians’ goal, he said, was “to try to raise the noise level in America to try to make a big issue, an even bigger issue as they’re trying to just push divisiveness in the country. We’ve continued to be able to see that. We will see that again in our election time.”

Russia “causing divisiveness” is a common theme of American politicians and media. Never explained is WHY? What does Russia have to gain by Americans being divided? Do they think the Russians are so juvenile? Or are the Americans the childish ones?

CNN on Oct. 12 claimed that Russia uses YouTube, Tumblr and the Pokemon Go mobile game “to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans,” while the Washington Post (Oct. 12) reported that “content generated by Russian operatives was not aimed only at influencing the election. Many of the posts and ads intended to divide Americans over hot-button issues such as immigration or race.”

Russia! Russia! Russia!

Imagine … the American public being divided over immigration and race … How could that be possible without Russian trolls?

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

The Post (Oct. 9) reported that the Russian trolling operation resides “in a large gray building north of the St. Petersburg city center … There, young people work 12-hour shifts and make between $800 and $1,000 a month, “an attractive wage for former students and young people. It is impossible to get inside the building, and there are multiple entrances, making it hard to tell who is a troll and who is not.”

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are amongst the many Internet sites that we are told have been overrun by Russian trolls. The last named is a site that specializes in home decor, fashion and recipes. Have the Russians gone mad? Or are the American accusations the kind of stuff that is usually called – dare I say it? – “propaganda”?

“How much the trolls affected the outcome of the U.S. election is unclear,” the Post had to admit. “But their omnipresence is evident on Twitter and in the comments section of publications like the Washington Post, where trolls can be found criticizing news stories, lambasting other posters and accusing one another of being trolls.” Are you starting to chuckle?

At one point the Post reported that Facebook “identified more than 3000 advertisements purchased in a Russian-orchestrated campaign to influence the American public’s views and exploit divisions around contentious issues.” And Congressional investigators said that some of the Facebook ad purchases had “obvious Russian fingerprints, including Russian addresses and payments made in rubles,” and that “accounts traced to a shadowy Russian Internet company had purchased at least $100,000 in ads during the 2016 election season.”

However, at other times the Post told us that Facebook had pointed out that “most of the ads made no explicit reference in favor of Trump or Clinton,” and that some ads were purchased after the election. We’ve been told, moreover, that Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos’s team “had searched extensively for evidence of foreign purchases of political advertising but had come up short.”

In any event, we have to wonder: What political savvy concerning American elections and voters do the Russians have that the Democratic and Republican parties don’t have?

I have read numerous references to these ads but have yet to come across a single one that quotes the exact wording of even one advertisement. Is that not odd?

To add to the oddness, in yet another Washington Post article (Sept. 28) we are informed that “some of the ads promoted African American rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, while others suggested those same groups posed a growing political threat, according to people familiar with the material.”

Politico, a Democratic-Party-leaning journal, reports that Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Democrat Bernie Sanders, and Republican Donald Trump.

Who and what is behind these peculiar goings-on?

More fun and games: the Department of Homeland Security in September notified Virginia and 20 other states about Russian efforts to hack their election systems in 2016.

Earlier this year, U.K. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson declared, apparently without embarrassment: “We have no evidence the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment. We don’t actually have that evidence. But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that.”

At a Sept. 27 Congressional hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray joined this proud chorus, testifying: “One of the things we know is that the Russians and Russian state actors are trying to influence other elections in other countries.” Mr. Wray forgot to name any of the other countries and the assembled Congressmembers forgot to ask him for any names.

Perhaps the main reason for questioning charges of Russian interference in the 2016 US election is that Russian President Putin would have been risking that the expected winner, Hillary Clinton, would have been handed a personal reason to take revenge on him and his country. But that’s just being logical and rational, two qualities Cold War II has no more use for than Cold War I did.

Know Thine Enemy

The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency issued a report in June entitled “Russia: Military Power: Building a military to support great power aspirations.” Here’s an excerpt:

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)

“Moscow seeks to promote a multi-polar world predicated on the principles of respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in other states’ internal affairs, the primacy of the United Nations, and a careful balance of power preventing one state or group of states from dominating the international order. To support these great power ambitions, Moscow has sought to build a robust military able to project power, add credibility to Russian diplomacy, and ensure that Russian interests can no longer be summarily dismissed without consequence. … Russia also has a deep and abiding distrust of U.S. efforts to promote democracy around the world and what it perceives as a U.S. campaign to impose a single set of global values.”

Great power aspirations, indeed. How dare those Russkis promote a multi-polar world, respect for state sovereignty, non-interference, the United Nations, and balance of power? It’s all straight out of Lenin’s playbook, 100th anniversary edition.

As to the U.S. promoting democracy around the world … Oh right, that’s what the Pentagon calls Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the Philippines, Honduras, Turkey, et al.

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report, https://williamblum.org/ .]

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100 comments for “The Strange World of Russian ‘Trolls’

  1. Abe
    October 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    “As to the U.S. promoting democracy around the world … Oh right, that’s what the Pentagon calls Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the Philippines, Honduras, Turkey, et al.”

    Not directly mentioned by William Blum is how vigorously the U.S. promotes the interests of Israel.

    In service to Israeli interests, Hasbara internet trolls try to stir up diversions on independent investigative journalism sites like Consortium News.

    The online Hasbara troll army tries desperately to deceive, distract, divert and disrupt online discussion of the workings of the Israel Lobby and Israeli influence on American foreign policy, Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, Israeli collusion with terrorist forces operating in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and efforts to persuade the U.S. to attack Iran.

    Hasbara troll “comments” manifest in two forms:

    – Conventional (“pro-Zionist / “pro-Israel”) Hasbara propaganda

    – Inverted or “false flag” (“anti-Zionist” / “anti-Israel” / “anti-Jewish or ‘anti-Semitic”) Hasbara propaganda

    In the face of a sustained intellectual critique of Conventional Hasbara false facts and fake news claims of a “new anti-Semitism”, the Inverted Hasbara propaganda activity was developed.

    Inverted Hasbara operates based on false arguments advanced by individuals who masquerade as “harsh” critics of Israel and Zionism, often while spewing “anti-Semitic” epithets and abusive rants about “the Jews”.

    The internet is a playground for both Conventional Hasbara and Inverted Hasbara trolls.

    In addition to articles concerned with Israeli influence on U.S. foreign policy, Hasbara troll “comments” have proliferated in articles about Russia and Ukraine. For a recent and highly educational example, see the CN comments here:

    Blaming Russia for the Internet ‘Sewer’ (October 18, 2017)
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/18/blaming-russia-for-the-internet-sewer/

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 22, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Abe thanks for this information, but you need to read this……

      http://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-victims-must-support-israel-get-relief-texas-city-demands-689407

      • Seer
        October 22, 2017 at 11:03 pm

        I’m speechless!

        It was said that when fascism comes it’ll be draped in a flag. I’d always thought that it was going to be the US flag!

        Can’t get any more blatant than this.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 23, 2017 at 1:40 am

          Our constitutional rights could be subverted by what amounts to being a business contract. Beware of all contracts, pay a lawyer to advise you, but be very, very careful because this sleazy wording is only exploiting the disaster people’s tragic needs. Just like a false flag that sends you off too winless wars, while the real war is won at home taking down civil rights, one by one, and a few dozen at a time if not seen by the blinded public’s eye. I thought that story to the link Seer to be outrageous, and apparently you did to. Joe

        • Dave P.
          October 23, 2017 at 1:52 am

          Yes, it all seems unreal. Twenty States legislating these pro-Israel laws or rules, as the Newsweek article says, and there is not even a murmur of dissent or critique in the academia or the major Newspapers and other Media outlets.

    • WC
      October 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Abe. I’m still waiting for your views on the very important question Joe Tedesky brought up on the “guilt by association” “blowback”.

      Do you care to enter into that snake pit?

      • Abe
        October 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        Desperate for attention, Hasbara propaganda trolls use various rhetorical ploys.

        Trolls typically grumble that they’re “still waiting” to bait a response to their “very important” concern.

        All alone in that “snake pit” of his, lazy Hasbara troll “WC” can’t even concoct a sensible question.

    • Abe
      October 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      The subject of “blowback” from an Israeli-United States attack on Iran was mentioned in an article discussing the 2009 Brookings report titled, ‘Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran”.

      I cited the article in the CN comments here:
      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/21/trump-bows-to-neocons-netanyahu/

      In a separate comment thread, Joe Tedesky mentioned “blowback” in a follow-up remark to his comment referencing the text of the national anthem of Israel. “Tikvatenu” (“Our Hope”) is a nine-stanza poem written in 1878 by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Zolochiv, a city nicknamed “The City of Poets”, then in Austrian Poland, now part of Ukraine.

      In 1882 Imber immigrated to Ottoman-ruled Palestine and read his poem to the pioneers of the early Jewish colonies – Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Gedera and Yesud Hama’ala. The poem was published in Imber’s first book Barkai (The Shining Morning Star) in Jerusalem in 1886.

      The poem was subsequently adopted as an anthem by the Hovevei Zion and later by the Zionist Movement at the First Zionist Congress in 1897. The British government briefly banned public performance and broadcast of the anthem from 1919, in an effort to regulate Zionist political activity then destabilizing Mandatory Palestine.

      When the state of Israel was declared in 1948, “Hatikvah” was unofficially proclaimed the national anthem. It did not officially become the national anthem until November 2004, when an abbreviated and edited version was sanctioned by the Knesset in an amendment to the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Law (now renamed the Flag, Coat-of-Arms, and National Anthem Law).

      In its modern rendering, the official text of the anthem incorporates only the first stanza and refrain of the original poem by Imber.

      • WC
        October 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        Tsk, tsk. So full of insults. :)

        The elephant in the room, that you would like to escape with a history lesson on the national anthem of Israel, should be clear to everyone. What Joe Tedesky meant by “blowback” is not for me to say. I can only respond to what it said to me.

        You and the rest of your cohorts on this site do not really don’t want a discussion. Rather, you want to have an agenda-driven conversation to bang the drum to. A rallying cry, so to speak, for the troops in the war against Zionism. That’s your #1 boogie man isn’t it?

        The psychology behind distancing oneself from what is perceived as the real cause of the problem (particularly if they are Jewish) is easy to understand. This is where the sectarianism comes into play. Zionists are bad and the rest of the Jews are good, as defined by the rules of the perfect world.

        What is being seriously overlooked here is the word – stigma. Dividing into sects and blaming a certain Jewish faction is NOT like blaming some Catholic fundamentalist group, or the orthodox persuasion of any other religion. And even if it was, in the end a Catholic is a Catholic, a Muslim is a Muslim, a Buddhist is a Buddhist, and a Jew is a Jew in the mind of the masses because all of these sects have an overriding identity to justify the label. Given the not-to-be-underscored stigma that has been attached to Jews in particular, trying to draw a line between sects and blaming one in particular for being the scourge of the earth becomes a much more difficult task and the “blowback” of it developing into a cultural conspiracy is not something to be taken lightly. :)

      • Abe
        October 24, 2017 at 8:50 pm

        Pro-Israel Hasbara propagandists really don’t want a discussion of the pro-Israel Lobby, Israeli influence on American politics and foreign policy, and the historical connections of Zionism and terrorist violence.

        The Hasbara rallying cry, so to speak, for the troops in the war to “defend Israel”, is “boogie man” propaganda about a purported “new anti-Semitism”

        The pro-Israel troll in the room, “WC” tries to push the Hasbara propaganda canard that criticism of Israel is “anti-Jewish” or “anti-Semitic”.

        Here’s how the Hasbara propaganda game works online:

        Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” & “anti-Zionist”) propaganda trolls deliberately post “anti-Semitic” racist remarks, promote “anti-Jewish” conspiracy theories, and links to “Holocaust denial” material, all to prop up the deception there’s some vast undercurrent of “Jew hatred” online.

        Conventional Hasbara (overtly or covertly pro-Israel & pro-Zionist) propaganda trolls point to the Inverted Hasbara “anti-Semitic” posts and start shrieking about a “stigma” and “blowback” against Jewish people.

        In fact, it is the indefensible actions of the Israeli state and its enablers, the misdeeds of the pro-Israel Lobby, and the lies of Hasbara propaganda, that present the greatest threats to the security of Jews worldwide.

        Revisionist Zionists have repeatedly demonstrated that they have no problem targeting fellow Jews with verbal or physical terrorist violence.

        • WC
          October 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm

          Notice how he wouldn’t touch the subject with a 10 foot pole. Instead it’s – “LOOK it’s a TROLL! – Right there invading our mutual admiration society! And there’s another one!! There are the inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” & “anti-Zionist”) propaganda trolls! And then there are various other trolls working in boiler rooms all over the Internet! They’re everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

          And if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s where the la-la land comes in. On the one hand, Abe and his merry band of militants tell us the US government is sold out lock, stock & barrel to the Israeli lobby and evil Zionists hiding under every bed, yet their solution to the problem wants this very same sold-out government to institute Israeli sanctions, demand the withdrawal from occupied territory and give up all of their nuclear weapons. Now, am I the only one here that sees a massive hole in this logic?

          The AZJSJW (Anti Zionist Jewish Social Justice Warrior) doesn’t live in this world. He lives in a Neverland of impossible ideals based on The Rules of the Perfect World. This is a ultimate form of elitism that must carry with it an orgasmic level of self-righteousness. Add in the troll conspiracy and self righteousness is elevated to a twisted form of paranoid self-importance, believing eyes are spying at you from every corner. Sorry to disappoint ya there, Abe, but it’s just me and a couple of other nonconformists, and I’d be surprised if 20 people actually read our little exchange. :)

          • Abe
            October 25, 2017 at 12:57 am

            Notice the “nonconformist”
            https://blog.codinghorror.com/content/images/2015/04/obvious-troll-is-obvious.jpg

            Comrade “WC”, thanks for displaying the massive logic hole of the Hasbara “position”.

            Peace and social justice is not an impossible ideal. It is the only available option for long-term human survival.

            We’ll see whether or not the United States gets rick-rolled into a next and probably last war for Israel.

          • Abe
            October 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

            The strange mentality of Jewish supremacist right wing Zionism:

            – “ultimate form of elitism that must carry with it an orgasmic level of self-righteousness”

            – “twisted form of paranoid self-importance believing eyes are spying at you from every corner”

            Sorry to disappoint ya there, Israel.

            But it’s just me and the real world.

    • Abe
      October 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Comrade “WC” offers a glimpse into a real internet “sewer”: the strange world of pro-Israel trolls.

      The Hasbara troll army of “nonconformists” are recruited to intimidate Jews don’t conform to their right wing militant Zionist party line.

      Hasbara “nonconformists” use buzzwords like “Anti Zionist Jewish Social Justice Warrior” to vilify Jewish people who seek social justice for non-Jews in Israel.

      We’ve seen versions of such buzzwords in Hasbara troll army slurs against “liberals” and “New York Jews”.

      Right wing Jewish supremacist militants reject notions of social justice for non-Jews in Israel.

      Zionist ideologues treat progressive Jews with contempt for not marching in lock step with their racist militaristic fantasies of an ethnically pure “Greater Israel”.

      Their imaginary “real world” is an ethnically cleansed “Jews only” state armed to the teeth with nuclear and chemical weapons.

      “WC” and his “nonconformist” comrades in the Hasbara propaganda chorus all rise to the same anthem
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

      Here’s the massive logic hole, the “snake pit” of Hasbara propaganda:

      If Israel is so all-powerful and fearless in its “lock, stock & barrel” control of American politics and public opinion…

      Then why does Israel need an online army of Hasbara propaganda troll “nonconformists” ready to carpet bomb any online discussion that dares whisper criticism of Israel?

      “Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see”

      • WC
        October 25, 2017 at 11:03 pm

        Despite having a penchant for plagiarizing my material, gotta like Ol’ Abe for his resolve, intellect and phenomenal ability to draw on his library of knowledge to support his position. :)

        For the record, I agree with him when he says “Peace and social justice is not an impossible ideal. It is the only available option for long-term human survival”, with the exception of a minor point.

        You are at least 100 years too early in the evolution of this species to expect that type of peace and harmony. The sociopaths and psychopaths alone will fuck up your plan, never mind all of the greedy self-centered assholes standing behind them. And that is the real world you are going to have to solve before any fanciful notions of love is all you need. :)

      • Abe
        October 26, 2017 at 1:47 am

        Two thousand years too late, the “real world” of Israeli apartheid is a society of “sociopaths and psychopaths”.

        An eye still gazes toward Zion.

        • WC
          October 26, 2017 at 4:18 am

          You are displaying your prejudice towards sociopaths and psychopaths by limiting them to only one group and one location. If we are to agree they are everywhere, brings us to a social condition that needs serious repair.

          Which brings us back to the progressive’s no-plan plan for their vision of the perfect world. If we want to have a meeting of minds on a real world level, with all of the shit and concentrated wealth and power taken into consideration, how much of this is just wishful thinking and what are the realistic odds of it materializing? This is the blue pill red pill moment. You can either stay in Wonderland or come to terms with an alternate reality. :)

        • Abe
          October 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          I wanted to see how Hasbara propaganda would ‘splain’ the violence and apartheid of Israel.

          And you didn’t disappoint.

  2. Zachary Smith
    October 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    I spent a little time on this fellow, for it was quite a sensation to find a Republican who was worse than my own Representatives.

    He’s a global warming denier.
    Though not a wealthy man himself, he consistently votes for tax cuts for the super-rich.
    “–he wants to take away citizenship from children born in the U.S. of undocumented parents (although this violates the 14th amendment)” (piss on the Constitution!)
    “Assad must go” – this as recently as 8 weeks ago.
    “–he wants to privatize, thus weaken, and likely destroy Social Security”
    He is totally in bed with the NRA.
    Israel – possibly Ted Cruz loves Israel more. Possibly.

    What makes this guy worse than my knuckledragging Republicans is that he is a honest to god holier-than-thou PREACHER.

    Yes, worse than even my Indiana Republicans.

    • Abe
      October 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      The strange world of James Lankford, whose website reads like a Hasbara propaganda press release:

      http://jameslankford.com/israel

      Lankford is a regular speaker at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

      In March 2015, after speaking at AIPAC, Lankford released a statement reiterating “unwavering support” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his address before a joint-session of Congress, and declaring “America has no closer friend in the world than Israel […] we must work with and hear from our ally, Israel. Washington must strengthen our friendship with Israel”.

    • dfc
      October 22, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Zach It is not like these Lankford people just appear out of nowhere. it is a rational process. They get led or mis-led by stuff like this.

      h**p://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-how-government-twists-climate-statistics/80027CBC-2C36-4930-AB0B-9C3344B6E199.html

      h**ps://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/05/in-their-own-words-climate-alarmists-debunk-their-science/#293f39d68a37

      Some people will discount this stuff and others feel that it needs explanation.

    • Seer
      October 22, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      End-of-times folks are unequivocally subjecting all of humanity to their twisted beliefs, all leading to the end of humanity. THAT is the script that is being read from, THAT is what drives all of their “thinking.”

      And may God have pity on their souls, for if there are any people worthy of burning in hell it is they.

      Their “god,” can be said to say anything, but the final authority is nature, and nature bats last.

      • Brad Owen
        October 23, 2017 at 5:04 am

        And Pence is a Dominionist. One more reason to keep Trump in place. Block Pence from gaining the Presidency, or we WILL have WWIII to “bring back King Jesus”. Clever move to put Pence as backup: “you don’t like me? Wait’ll you get a load of the next guy that comes in, after I’m ejected”.

        • TS
          October 25, 2017 at 11:29 am

          > Clever move to put Pence as backup: “you don’t like me?
          > Wait’ll you get a load of the next guy that comes in, after I’m ejected”.

          And nothing new about it: at least since the days of Spiro Agnew, it has been obvious to those who want to see that an important criterion in choosing a VP is usually their function as a life-insurance policy…

  3. Martin - Swedish citizen
    October 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Americans and British are daft.
    The eternal hunt to find evidence for Russian interference in the elections reminds of Peter Sellers’ Clouseau.
    BORIS Johnson?!
    The Russians always have and always will outsmart the Americans.
    In that light, of course, America’s persecution mania, is easy to explain.

    • Nancy
      October 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      They’re really not daft–they just have no shame. They know that by repeating this BS over and over and over, it becomes the “truth” to many ignorant people who have no interest in digging any deeper than the corporate controlled media.

      • JGarbo
        October 22, 2017 at 9:19 pm

        It is even more insidious. A proven (Nazi) propaganda technique was to endlessly repeat a lie, mixed with a fraction of truth – See that rich Jew who has more than you even though you work harder! – to numb the public into acquiescence, then agreement, and finally support. That’s how a usually reasonable public becomes blind and deaf to reason and howl like rabid wolves for their leaders. Ominous. Totalitarianism is re-awakening.

  4. Realist
    October 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    The Russians are trying to subvert democracy? With what, free speech? I thought democracy was grounded in that.

    Of course, there is no evidence for the existence of Russian “troll factories” in St. Petersburg. There was an expose in a recent publication debunking the entire narrative, though I can’t remember the source (so I must be a troll, right?). They actually visited the site and ascertained who really worked there: lots of people for many different firms in a variety of occupations, none of which were internet trolls.

    Assuming the ludicrous, i.e., that the Russians are absolute maestros of controlling American public opinion with miniscule input, the American MSM and political parties ought to be hiring Putin’s minions as consultants. After all, they have been attempting to do the same thing through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the employment of millions of workers. Yet a handful of Russians working on a shoestring are able to thwart this monolithic effort.

    If what the MSM and the Dems say is true about “Russia-Gate,” the forums attached to political internet blogs should look like carbon copies of Consortium News, i.e., the notion should be universally laughed off the stage. It should be recognised for what it is: an attempt by the losers to absolve themselves for so haplessly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of “the Devil made me do it,” or “the dog ate my homework,” a similar line for this moment in history has become, “those evil Russkies interfered in our democracy and stole the election!” Is this, in fact, what we see when we sample the spectrum of American political blogs on the internet?

    So, is everyone laughing off the lame attempt by the sore losers to excuse themselves, discredit Trump and perhaps overturn the election? Is the whole thing perceived as the biggest ruse yet of the 21st century? Not hardly. Without collecting data and doing a statistical analysis, I’d say that a solid majority of the American public, both left and right, remains fooled by the narrative fed to them by the establishment insiders who had been working on the assumption that Trump was not meant to win, that he was just basically a straw man set up so Hillary could waltz to victory. In other words, the election was meant to be fixed, but someone queered the deal and Putin was the most expedient fall guy they could finger on short notice. Most Americans, being herd animals and assuming that the narratives fed to them by the media, especially when endlessly repeated and constantly embellished upon, represent some semblance of physical reality, not only believe most of the nonsense but are quite willing to keep all the bogus wars against Islam going strong and even expand them to Russia, Korea and god knows where else.

    • Nancy
      October 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      You nailed it!

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Very well none as usual Realist. I suggest we Americans who would like to see change in Washington hire these Putin trollls to help us win an election, and turn our country around. I mean the efficiency of these Russians is beyond belief. Imagine winning an election with a 100k investment up against 4.9 billion dollar free media coverage Trump was given by the same MSM who is now accusing Russia of stealing this past presidential election. Why this 100k even went up against not only the MSM’s free media coverage give away, but it defeated Hillary’s over 1.2 billion campaign war chest. Did I say efficient? Change that to insanely efficient, if a 100k ad blitz of puppies can fix an American presidential election….who would have ever thunk it. Joe

      Ps Congress should hold hearings, having all the media CEO’s appear, and get to the bottom of why the MSM gave Trump 4.9 billion dollars worth of free commercial free media time….and then apologize to the Russians.

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 23, 2017 at 9:20 am

        Very well done Realist.

      • dahoit
        October 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        You are driven insane by MSM commercial free media when all the coverage was negative.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 23, 2017 at 4:44 pm

          I see your point dahoit, but like the old politician once said, ‘say about me what you will, let your pen write about me the good and the bad I don’t care, but one thing I do insist upon, is that you spell my name right’.

          Trump is very smart at how bad news sells even better than good news. I mean people who hate him will tune in longer than the ones who love Trump. Besides that, Trump knows that for every so called liberal news anchor who trashes him in the media that there are ten times more people out there listening who don’t like the libtard news anchor, and plus these Trump voters have been waiting for far too long to hear someone speak like Trump does.

          So I get it that Trump received 4.9 billion dollars in what was mostly negative media coverage, but 4.9 billion dollars worth of a lot of free media name recognition…priceless.

          Hope I explained myself dahoit. Joe

    • Seer
      October 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Yet another example of why I come here. I with this could be printed on a hard board and I could use it smack the crap out of people with it!

    • Dave P.
      October 23, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Realist –

      Your comments: “Most Americans, being herd animals and assuming that the narratives fed to them by the media, especially when endlessly repeated and constantly embellished upon, represent some semblance of physical reality, not only believe most of the nonsense but are quite willing to keep all the bogus wars against Islam going strong and even expand them to Russia, Korea and god knows where else.”

      That is the whole problem. This endless propaganda on TV and the national anthem, flag waving. U.S.A., U.S.A. . . at all the sports games, Football, Hockey . . . , and other venues is fed to public day and night. And on TV, the talk show hosts and Newscasters, Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, Judy Woodruff and the likes spitting out these lies from their mouths that that Putin is a rabid Russian Nationalist who wants to invade Europe and elsewhere. They tell the herd that it is the way Russians had been their entire History.

      My wife – married forty seven years – believes most of this nonsense, and she has a college degree too in English. How one can rationalize it! She had been brainwashed for a very very long time now, and it is happening 24/7 now.

      Actually opposite of this is what is true now. Reading or watching his speeches, Vladimir Putin seems to me is the only Leader besides Xi of the big countries who is rational, thoughtful, and calm – far from being a Nationalist. Actually, watching on Youtube and reading Putin’s speeches or press conferences for almost a year now, I have come to respect him for his leadership with the hope that he will keep this World safe, in these very unstable, and dangerous times in World History.

      Do we have the same feeling or respect for the political leadership in Washington? They are acting like rabid dogs.

      • Virginia
        October 24, 2017 at 12:16 am

        Dave P.

        Me, too — I’ve listened to some of Putin’s speeches and have a very good opinion of what he has to say, how he leads, his respect for other countries, his self-restraint in the face of much provocation; and I find it remarkable how he’s brought Russia through some very bad times. Other leaders whom I have heard in speeches or interviews and find impressive are Assad, Assad’s wife, Gadhafi’s son (sorry, can’t remember their names right off), to name a few who are obviously very well educated, are respectful and have good manners, and seem also to “have a heart.” It pays to go outside of MSM to see and listen to what leaders themselves are saying. No need for the “tone” of a Judy Woodruff or a Rachel Maddow to do the interpreting for us!

        • Dave P.
          October 24, 2017 at 3:56 am

          Virginia –

          Yes, I have watched speeches and interviews of Asma Assad – Bashar Assad’s wife – on Youtube. She comes across as a very intelligent , articulate and compassionate person. She had been doing lot of work behind the scenes in civic organizations and education. She is a Sunni. But they are both U.K. educated and secular. It is The West who is trying to play the divide and conquer game by fomenting the Sunni, Shia, religious issues in Syria.

    • MEJanssen
      October 23, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      I, too, noticed that the “Russian ads” supported different people at different times, depending on the accuser and the accuser’s phobia. How convenient for those who want to make partisan arguments. If we didn’t have the “Russian trolls” handy, we would have to invent them (perhaps we did). They are such a great tool for keeping all of us sheeple distracted and alarmed. Easy to stampede us that way.

  5. John
    October 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I just retired. Anybody know a Russian Troll website where I could apply for a part-time gig? You know, to kill some time, spread subversiveness, get a little extra cash …

    Thanks in advance…

    • Bart in VA
      October 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      John, aren’t you supposed to say, “asking for a friend”?

      • Seer
        October 22, 2017 at 11:15 pm

        That’s funny!

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      John be careful your comment could end up being in the spotlight if Rachel or Joy Anne get ahold of this comment of yours. On the other hand if enough of us retirees do something like of what you just mentioned here, do you think the U.S. government will increase the Social Security cola cap? After all, it may be cheaper than sending us all to jail for our being Russian trolls. Better yet become a pool shark, and hustle the lucky shot amateurs. Joe

    • David G
      October 23, 2017 at 5:29 am

      Good idea, John, but just don’t expect to make much bank on it. It seems the whole Kremlin budget for destabilizing the U.S. is in the low six figures.

    • Anon
      October 23, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Sign me up, too! Better than selling crap on eBay! 12K a year will buy a lot of beer…

  6. October 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    When talking about “Russia-gate” or so-called interference in the 2016 election, what seems the most plausible explanation is the entire charade is a massive disinformation, psychological warfare operation using highest level propaganda, engineered to divert public attention away from U.S. covert support for ISIS and other mercenary terrorist groups.

    Why resort to such an extreme propaganda effort? Because if the truth came out (and it did, on WikiLeaks – Saudi/Qatari ISIS financing) about ISIS and the “War on Terror” big lie, well, just imagine what other big lies would come crashing down, starting with the 16 years since 9/11 (2001-2017), including the 9/11 false flag itself, and numerous, deadly covert operations going backward in time across decades.

    The whole ugly mess is not only morally wrong on the largest scale humanly possible, but equally dangerous, This really needs to end – and now.

    • Seer
      October 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Herry, it WILL end. All empires collapse. And then there’s nature: as I note, and often, nature bats last.

      There will be a lot of pain and suffering. Not sure if hell could compare to what’s coming. Worse, however, is the thought that we will have learned nothing by all of this.

  7. Adrian Engler
    October 22, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    What strikes me most about these discussions about alleged “Russian trolls” (apart from Consortiumnews and a few more places) is the almost complete lack of critical thinking and rationality.

    Many people seem to accept readily the idea that the Russian state supports both sides of conflicts within the US in order to “sow discord”.

    There are at least two main problems with this:

    1. Supporting both sides of existing deep conflicts is hardly an effective means of “raising the noise level”. It cancels itself out to a significant degree. I heard about interesting thought experiments that opposing sides (e.g. activists for and against abortion) might make a treaty that both sides reduce advertisements for their cause and agree to donate what they save that way to a cause they both value. That will hardly work in practice, but I think this illustrates that it is generally accepted that activism for two opposing sides (e.g. for and against BLM) cancels itself out to a significant degree. Yes, certainly, it does not cancel itself out completely, and the general level of conflict increases somehow, but only slightly. For existing conflicts like those that have to do with race and police violence about which millions of people are passionate, it would take enormous amounts of effort and resources to make a significant difference, otherwise it would be more like pouring a few kettles into a lake. This is different when large and rich countries meddle in small poor ones, and this is certainly done in some smaller countries in strategically important locations, but the United States is too large and too affluent to be affected easily.

    2. As the article points out, it is mysterious what the advantage of deepening internal divisions, “sowing discord” and “raising the noise level” within the United States should be for Russia. Certainly, there quite a number of areas in international politics where there are conflicts between the two countries, but is it likely that the United States is more ready to take the Russian perspective into account and make compromises when it is more internally divided? That does not seem plausible, actually, the opposite seems more likely. Probably, for most of the xenophobic Russiagate conspiracy theorists, it is easy – Russia is just an evil country, “raising the noise” level is something “evil”, evil countries do evil things, so there is no point in asking why this should be in Russia’s interest (and anyone who questions the idea is probably evil to in their view). But some people still want a somewhat less irrational approach. The original conspiracy theory about Trump being a Manchurian candidate controlled by Russia at least was not completely irrational – of course, it is highly implausible, Trump’s foreign policy (even in the areas where he diverges from most of the establishment) is has very little in common with Russian foreign policy goals, and there is certainly no evidence for this, but in contrast to these newest idea, it is at least a story that, even if it almost certainly is false, is not completely absurd, and one can easily imagine an alternative reality where something like that would be true. But these new ideas about Russia wanting to “raise the noise level” in the United States simply do not make sense (of course, some Russians are certainly eager to point at problems in the United States in order to question the idea of many Americans that they are so perfect and exceptional that they should be the ones who interfere everywhere and tell other countries what to do, but they can do so openly, there is nothing sinister about this, and the problems do not have to be increased artificially in order to do so). It seems that these new ideas somehow grew out of the old conspiracy theory that Russians colluded with Trump to get him elected (and the idea in that alternative reality is probably that he would then introduce pro-Russian policies, in our reality, the United States under Trump has much worse relations with Russia than most of the rest of the world). Some people probably connect this by saying that somehow “raising the noise level” would make it more likely that Trump gets elected. But is this the case? There could also be the opposite effect – if people perceive more conflicts, they might be more wary about someone without much political experience and more ready to support the establishment. Probably, increased internal tensions in the United States would have led to favor Trump less and Clinton more, others would have led in Trump’s directions and most would not have been pushed in either direction for the vote. Even if we assume that on balance, increased tensions would have favored Trump (which is far from clear, in my view), compared to the effort for increasing the tensions, the effect on the vote would have been very small. If we take that together with the first point, that adding some messages and ads for both sides existing conflicts about which millions of people in the United States are passionate is probably a very ineffective way of “raising the noise level”, especially in a large and relatively rich country, on the whole, the alleged Russian strategy looks like something maximally ineffective. By supporting both sides of existing conflicts, it would have taken an enormous effort to raise the general level of conflict just a bit, and since it is far from clear whether raising the level of conflict benefited Clinton or Trump more, the overall effect on the elections compared to the effort would be minute.

    Of course, it might be that Russian intelligence agents are so stupid that they put a lot of effort in something that is obviously extremely ineffective. But if people are rational, they should certainly consider alternative explanation. On what basis are ads and social media accounts called “Russian-linked”? As far as I know, it is things like Russian credit card payments, Russian language settings, and Russian IP addresses. Not only are these signs that could probably be easily be avoided by Russian secret agents, but in today’s world it is normal that many people have connections with more than one country, and Russia is a large country – after all, we talk here about a minute fraction of Facebook ads, and Twitter and Youtube accounts. There could be Russians living in the US, Americans living in Russians, US social media companies with backoffices in Russia – probably we won’t find out because that will hardly be investigated in detail.

    Probably, instead of Russia, any other country could be taken. Even with small countries, in today’s globalized world, traces would probably be found everywhere. For example, I suppose, some Facebook ads were paid for in Swiss francs, social media posts – even about US politics – are made by people with Swiss language settings and Swiss IP addresses etc.. It would probably work with almost any country. Currently, the US media are not so interested in the small fraction of Swiss, Norwegian, Austrian, or Czech traces and are only excited about a very small portion of ads being paid in rubles and some other Russian traces, but probably, traces from almost every country could be found.

    I suppose neither Russia nor Switzerland (where I live) are particularly significant in that respect. But when we think about the fact that Sheldon Adelson is one of the main Trump donors and is also tightly connected with right-wing Israeli politics and at the same time one of the most important mega-donors for the Clinton campaign is Haim Saban who says “I’m a single issue guy and my issue is Israel” (it is rather striking that people in one country who can make such donations legally because they are citizens of that country openly state that their only interest is another country), that is obviously a completely different level – the same can be said about the Wahhabi autocrats and their massive spending on think tanks in the US and for the Clinton foundation.

  8. October 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Realist, fantastic post! Absolutely, the $2bn (mis)spent by Hillary Clinton and the DNC could have been better spent hiring Russians!

    What a bunch of nonstop nonsense that shows the sorry lack of critical thinking in the US, and the “presstitutes” have no shame; they lie with no hesitation. Americans just can’t conceive of Russians as real, normal people, and they speak such a mysterious language!

    • dfc
      October 22, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Jessica… good point. The Democrats stole / hacked the election from Bernie and then the Russians came by and stole / hacked the election from Hillary. The Democrats plan was fool-proof domestically, but they forgot about “globalization” and the off shore forces at work, so they got blind sided by Putin. And why would Trump hire American hackers when he can get Russian hackers at pennies on the dollar? It just makes good business sense in the border-less world we all aspire to live in.

    • tina
      October 22, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Have you ever heard of the Dulles family? Eleanor , the sister, John Foster and , Allen? Are you willfully ignorant? Get yourself educated, And I do have historical credentials. The Dulles brothers, along with Mr. Koch Sr,, devised a way to demonize the Eastern European front, yet they made so much money from this division. Look it up sister . It is not that Russians are evil, rather, that narrative fit the capitalists.

    • tina
      October 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Hey, Jessica,

      Using a derogative term for members of the press is not a good look. Is Robert Parry a presstitute? Has he no shame? Please read my comment s below about the Dulles Brothers. Maybe if you knew your USA History ,the USA involvement in so many country’s elections and affairs perhaps you might be so smug. ,

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 22, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        Now tina cut it out, Jessica is probably without a doubt the most rational person who comments here on consortiumnews. And I’ll bet if you are nice to her, and some others, you will discover that like Jessica you may find more to agree with, than to disagree with when reading their comments. Take it easy. Joe

        • tina
          October 22, 2017 at 11:33 pm

          Hi Joe , truth is always a good thing,. We need more history lessons, less internet . I did not mean to offend Jessica, , hope to come some kind of understanding.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm

            Your okay tina, I just thought you should tone it down a little bit, especially with Jessica. Although tina I can only urge you to continue to be tina, and be who you are. I look forward to reading your comments. Joe

      • Seer
        October 22, 2017 at 11:36 pm

        Smug about what?

        You’re edgy as hell and it’s not clear why. It would help if you’d actually step up and lay out YOUR cards.

        I saw nothing wrong, non-factual, about what Jessica wrote. It was, I thought, slightly tongue-in-cheek.

        Your lashings almost always seem to come after someone kicks dirt in the direction of Hillary. This almost makes it appear that you’re a Hillary supporter (I’d like to say that this is incorrect, but that’s how it appears).

        The martial art of Aikido is, basically, based on using your opponent’s power/aggression against him. The MSM and politicians want to talk about interference in US elections/affairs, well, let’s open it up the general idea rather than just some individual country. Rather than trying to defend the rediculous Ruskies story, let’s talk about all possible foreign government interference. That means, of course, we can pull Israel’s face from behind the curtains. It’s really too bad that the Russians didn’t have such dirt. I suppose they’re not as ugly as the US and Israel is. And, of course, channeling it through Wikileaks would be a disaster, with Wikileaks already being painted as agents of Russia. The can of worms won’t, however, be opened since questions would ultimately lead to exposing that the US is the greatest interferer in elections around the entire globe (and I do believe that it was more than just the DNC that was involved in subverting Sanders’ campaign- I’ve expounded on this theory elsewhere- anyone wanting me to repeat it let me know and I will). And on this last point, it is you, tina, that is trumpeting- absolutely correct! (but if we try and challenge this directly it’ll be the same results as challenging the Russia story; only by a general discussion would we be able to truly shed light on the entire ugly mess)

  9. Joe Tedesky
    October 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    While I’m trying to figure out this Russia bashing madness which has overtaken our corporate news media I came across and interesting article by Phil Butler, “Globalist Counterpunch: Going for the Media Knockout” posted on the New Eastern Outlook website. Here’s a excerpt;

    “From the PR perspective, releasing one anti-Russia story after another helps cement a narrative far better than an all-at-once approach to controlling the news cycle. The public is now getting maximum effect from what I believe is a singular and cohesive effort to lay the groundwork for global legislation to eradicate any dissent and particular dissent that is pro-Russia or pro-Putin. The way the news cycle works, a campaign is best leveled across two weeks, a month, or more, so that the desired audience is thoroughly indoctrinated with an idea or a product. In this case, the product is an Orwellian eradication of freedom of speech across the swath of the world’s most used social media platforms. This is a direct result of traditional media and the deep state having failed to defeat independents across these platforms. People unwilling to bow to the CNN, BBC and the controlled media message, more or less beat the globalist scheme online. So, the only choice and chance for the anti-Russia message to succeed is with the complete takeover of ALL channels. As further proof of a collective effort, listen to this Bloomberg interview the other day with Microsoft CEO Brad Smith on the same “legislation” issues. Smith’s rhetoric, syntax, and the flow of his narrative mirror almost precisely the other social CEOs, the US legislators, and especially the UK Government dialogue. All these technocrats feign concern over privacy protection and free speech/free press issues, but their real agenda is the main story.”

    So am I too believe that this attack of Russian interference in American politics is not only a way of placing an American Boot on Putin’s neck, but more so this Russia-Gate nonsense is a ploy to take about our free press. I kind of think the latter is more important, if not just important, as the mighty ‘Powers to Be’ are upset for the way the Internet gained so much readership up against the traditional corporate news centers during this past presidential election, and because of this bothersome internet interference the big guns aren’t having it.

    What’s more perplexing, is all the while America goes from one bogged down winless war after another a chipping away of our personal freedoms has been a huge success. I don’t know why, the established system feels they need to do this, but all and the same it’s being done.

    Here is a quote that may send chills down your spine;

    “In order to bring a nation to support the burdens of maintaining great military establishments, it is necessary to create an emotional state akin to war psychology. There must be the portrayal of external menace.” – John Foster Dulles secretary of state in the Eisenhower administration.

    • Realist
      October 22, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Can you imagine what a crazy world this would be if the Russians actually had any influence over American foreign policy? Why, we’d probably be winding down our wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, we’d be looking for peaceful solutions in Iran and Korea, and we’d be expanding not dropping nuclear missile treaties. We’d probably be encouraging Russia to integrate economically with Europe rather than isolating them through sanctions. And, we might also be joining China’s IBOR and Eurasian trade bank initiatives of which Russia is a founding member. I mean who wants win-win propositions like that when we can push for the TPP and TTIP “free” trade agreements whose main purpose was to shut out China and Russia from international commerce. If those damned Russkies got their way stinking peace would be breaking out across the globe. We can’t conquer the world through peace, only wars will do, whether shooting wars or trade wars, thank you very much.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        October 23, 2017 at 1:38 am

        Well said!

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

        Now your talking Realist. Isn’t it odd that Putin thru his trolls can fix an American presidential election, while at the same time Putin is billions powerless over the U.S. imposed sanctions. Matter of fact, this Russian interfering being so successful with a 100k investment belongs in ‘Ripley’s Believe It it Not’. Truly amazing, just fantastically truly amazing. Joe

      • Dave P.
        October 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        Beautifully said, Realist. It is like a character talking in one of those great novels of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.

  10. October 22, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Empire of Chaos v Reason and Logic(Rest of the non western world)
    Promote democracy around the world? Where do I begin
    1:Nato bombing Yugoslavia without UN mandate in 1998? Well look at the Balkans today and during their aerial assault on the FDRY their were well documented war crimes committed by those Nato those democratic promoters of the world. That conveniently got whitewashed like most crimes and corruption in our wonderful democratic western civilization.
    2: Iraq x 2 Humanitarianism on steroids. No Un mandate on their second go. Bombed and occupied and still doing it on those WMD’s .that no one can find. and an estimated 2 million dead since Bubba Clinton. > Yes you got luv those democratic values.
    3: Libya 2011. Under Qadaffi that vile creature socialist dictator had the highest standard of living in all of Africa and also better than Greece and most post soviet eastern European countries and I might throw in Turkey. Voila and today what a bastion of African/western democracy it is today all because of our Nobel Peace prize POTUS.
    But hell those Ruskies and those yellow people in Asia like China and The DPRK they r such a threat to our monopoly and Ponzi scheme that hell lets bomb them away.

  11. Arif
    October 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I think some of this “Russian troll” madness is spread by an impostor named Joel Harding. He claims to be a former Brig General or “senior military intelligence” officer or something. He has a dodgy team of outrageous impostors who are suspected to be in porn business of the seedier type Robert D. Steele (ex-CIA) had threatened to expose late last year.

  12. Arif
    October 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Furthermore, I am told that Joel Harding was a prime actor behind the creation of the ProporNot fake news machinery. He lives in Lorton, VA, on a site reclaimed from a garbage dump. He wants his 2 minutes of fame and will do anything to get it.

  13. Susan Sunflower
    October 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    People need to be reminded at the role of INTERNATIONAL OUTRAGE in response to the water cannons and mounted police with billy clubs beating civil rights demonstrators … and they need to be reminded of the power to the BDS movement wrt to cracking the South African Apartheid and the aspirations of the current BDS movement wrt getting Israel to the negotiating table …

    I saw Maddow “suggest” broadly that Americans should not be getting their information from foreign source … gee, can you spell xenophobia?: paranoid much? yeah, I knew

  14. "
    October 23, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Thinking about my comments on CN and other places, I must be a troll. I think what we are seeing is the explosion of criticism of our policies and actions against both our government and the compliant giant media. The trolling accusation is an attempt to both explain and dismiss critics. Trolling does exist, it appears, it’s simply that the media and government name the parties on the wrong side of the fence.

    The quote, noted partially here is a real gem. From the DIA:

    ““Moscow seeks to promote a multi-polar world predicated on the principles of respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in other states’ internal affairs, the primacy of the United Nations, and a careful balance of power preventing one state or group of states from dominating the international order,”

    I wonder if those responsible for the report are still working for the DIA?

    • David G
      October 23, 2017 at 5:59 am

      That DIA quote is a peach. It almost makes me wonder whether some career analyst with a conscience and a brain is – pardon the expression – *trolling* her political bosses. I mean, are we supposed to read that and say, “Those evil Russian bastards”?

  15. October 23, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Tina, of course my comment was tongue-in-cheek, just as were those good comments of many others here, too numerous to mention! And of course we’ve heard of the Dulles brothers, we who follow Consortium News. “Presstitutes”, I believe, is a term coined by Paul Craig Roberts for the sorry state of journalism today, and we know why Robert Parry started Consortium News after years as a respected journalist who realized the limitations of MSM.

    Now we’ll see how much truth really comes out about the JFK assassination if these CIA documents are released this week, but “I’m not holding my breath” given the record for truth and justice we know from this government.

  16. David G
    October 23, 2017 at 6:10 am

    “The Russians’ goal, [Sen. Lankford] said, was ‘to try to raise the noise level in America to try to make a big issue, an even bigger issue as they’re trying to just push divisiveness in the country.…'”

    Little known fact: slaves in the U.S. were happy and contented until Russian printing-press trolls infiltrating from Alaska started planting stories to cause divisiveness. The result: civil war and the end of a noble institution. Don’t let them do it again!

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

      In all seriousness, funny comment by the way, the Russians were Lincoln’s only international supporter. The Russian Navy protected New York Harbor.

      • David G
        October 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

        Except don’t forget the King of Siam, who offered to send the Union war elephants!

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 23, 2017 at 9:22 am

          Well David I just learned something new today, thank you. Joe

  17. October 23, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Scary news this AM at Zero Hedge, that the US Air Force is recalling pilots and preparing bombers ready-to-go on the tarmac in Lorton, VA. From the drip-drip-drip of “evil Russkies” we have come to this, full circle back to the Cold War? China, however, is well set to overtake the US number one status economically, and Russia is close in cooperation with China and no longer “on its knees”. Seer said it well another time, “The Empire in full panic mode”.

  18. David G
    October 23, 2017 at 6:32 am

    “In any event, we have to wonder: What political savvy concerning American elections and voters do the Russians have that the Democratic and Republican parties don’t have?”

    This gets to a bit of irrationality in the MSM narrative that I have yet to see anybody point out:

    I’ve seen the MSNBC hosts very specifically argue that the Russkies could *not* be expected to have had the local knowledge to turn a tiny on-line ad buy into victory in a presidential election. Therefore, they must have had help from U.S. political experts, and thus Rachel & Co. see further proof of the fabled “collusion”.

    But even if we manage to keep a straight face, and agree with that much, the story collapses on its own: if the Russians didn’t provide the expertise, then what *did* they supposedly provide that was so crucial and malign? The $100,000?

    By MSNBC’s own logic, the Trump campaign had the skill, motivation, and resources to make and place these allegedly decisive Facebook super-ads. So what was left for the Russians to do?

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Yes David you got it. What is even more stupendous is to how subliminally the Russians did it, like we didn’t even know it. Who would have ever thought that puppy adbuys could overturn America’s political system from coast to coast, and including Hawaii and Alaska? At the rate we are going the Russians will be suspected of fixing the results on America’s beloved tv show ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Nothing is sacred anymore. Joe

  19. Chim
    October 23, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Unfortunately I can’t find the links right now, but I looked into this “Russian trollhouse” and the guy running it, according to the UK Guardian and a Finnish NGO, is/was a Russian journalist who wrote numerous articles critical of the Kremlin, and who was shot with a rubber bullet while attending an LGBT rights march.

    Why such a figure ends up running Putin’s supposed premier foreign influence operation is unclear.

    The whole thing makes no sense. Especially the “Russian linked” qualifier. By this wide definition Kissinger is Russian linked by virtue of being good friends with Putin. As is George W Bush who had Putin on his yacht. Same goes for Nathaniel Rotschild who cavorts with Putin’s oligarch friends. It is laughable.

  20. Susan Sunflower
    October 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

    They really do keep edging closer to declaring that failing to get Hillary elected was Un-American (treasonous?) and likely a matter of foreign “brainwashing” … Still staggers me.

  21. Skip Scott
    October 23, 2017 at 8:38 am

    This article and comment thread has been a great read. Many thanks to everyone. I especially enjoyed the last section of the article “Know Thine Enemy”. How dare Moscow seek to promote a multi-polar world!!! Don’t they know it’s all OURS?

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 23, 2017 at 9:35 am

      In this article William Blum asks:

      “What political savvy concerning American elections and voters do the Russians have that the Democratic and Republican parties don’t have?”

      Having just read an article in OffGuardian this morning, I would answer, “none” but what the information the American voters have presented by both parties is disinformation propaganda and the purpose is well addressed in a prescient article that I will link us to, by Mike Whitney.
      The article interestingly, has been published at least three times, by Mike at Information Clearinghouse, by Counterpunch, and yesterday morning by OffGuardian. I think that the presentation of the article is best done, inclusive of its video link by OffGuardian but I would encourage CN readers to view all three because it’s an important piece and “presentation matters”.

      In the article Mr. Whitney describes theUS reaction to Russia’s intervention in Syria leading up to the current Russia bashing and makes very good sense doing it. Here is the link: https://off-guardian.org/2017/10/22/john-brennans-police-state-usa/

      • Bob Van Noy
        October 23, 2017 at 10:54 am

        Sorry Skip, my reply was a general one to the article and not specifically to your comment.

        • Skip Scott
          October 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

          Hi Bob-

          No problem, and thanks for the link. Brennan is a real scumbag. I wish we could actually hear recordings of the threats being made to “senior russian officials”. Without them it devolves to hearsay.

      • October 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        Bob V,…thanks for the link. Both the article and video were very revealing and tend to prove that Brennan’s tenure as NSA advisor was a serious blot on Obama’s administration. The video shows that Brennan’s threat to inflict pain on the Russians(for Hillary’s defeat) was real and the article confirms his complicity in enlisting jihadist factions to overthrow Assad in Syria. The OffGuardian has proven to be a reliable source of information.

        • Bob Van Noy
          October 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

          Thank you Skip Scott and BobH. Bob, I agree, and it shows me the nexus of the organized Russia hate as well as State Department duplicity. I intend to use the information as a basis for the begining of this Russia bashing. Good to hear form you BobH, fire and all…

          • October 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm

            Thanks for thinking of me Bob V…I believe you too are somewhere in California, hopefully in a safe place. We evacuated to a friend’s house in S.F. with family dog for 5days. I learned to use the internet on my I-phone which I had been avoiding since I got it. The MSM was noticeably bad in covering the wildfires as they kept repeating the same heart-rending stories for 3 days while people were looking for updates on the fast moving wildfires. You would think they could forego commercials or at least have a dedicated emergency channel under the circumstances but anyway we discovered nextdoor.com which is a very valuable website for such situations, as it allowed us to connect to locals that elected to stay in the area, including our younger son. We were fortunate that our house was spared(it would have been our 2nd fire)but we know several people that weren’t so lucky. Although the news focused on the wineries and the monster homes consumed by the fire, Sonoma Valley is still largely populated by oldtimers that retired on modest incomes. The fatalities were mostly in the surrounding hills that are difficult to access. Like South Florida and Texas the recovery will be slow for survivors but the most egregious natural disaster remains P.R. which has been treated like a stepchild by the administration.

  22. mike k
    October 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

    All this Russia bashing would simply be hilarious and dismissable, except for the fact that evil people have no sense of humor. Those putting this crap out are deadly serious, and simply measuring the expected impact of their lies on the gullible American public.

  23. exiled off mainstreet
    October 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

    The evidence is clear that the yankee deep state is projecting its own troll programs on to the Russians, who waste a lot less money on such activities.

  24. October 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    These days thinking critically and expressing such thoughts results in being labelled “Russian troll”, and gets one in the spotlight of McCarthyism: paranoia and fear.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/

  25. GMC
    October 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Now look – the Russians don’t want a war , own the internet or the US media or the Washington Gov. or corporations, but the Zionist/Bolsheviks and/or the other fat cats do. The Bolsheviks couldn’t get a reservation for their 100th class reunion in Moscow so they chose Washington DC and the States. You folks are in really big trouble – just look at what the Trotskyites did to Russia with the help from the same type folks that are now running the US Gov. Vegas was just a preliminary set-up , as was the other FF. As the Rssians say – oo dah chee Amerikanskys.

  26. Susan Sunflower
    October 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Funny (well, not really) but I just had a memory jog … wrt to the post 2008 election “purge” of any and all Obama doubters … remembering the “editorial policy” on HuffPo and Common Dreams that deleted not only Obama-haters, but simply doubters and skeptics, those who suspected he was a con-job, an establishment candidate “with a human face” or worse, a trojan horse (as it turned out he was).

    Common Dreams (a small but vibrant site previously) has never fully recovered and HuffPo’s status-quo conservatism has been the new norm for most of a decade …

    Having succeeded in getting Obama installed in the White House, there appeared to be a great deal of pressure (possibly threat of being denounced or boycotted, defunded by “the usual” deep pockets?) that sites like Salon “manage” their comments sections as well, of course, their content. This surged AFTER his victory.

    Scientology and “The New Atheists” became evergreen whipping boys far to exceed any actual influence or power … and the old standby “identity politics” was resurrected to fill the the daily quota of cheap first-person (written by anyone) think-pieces as “new content” … as we’ve seen in the last weeks wrt “sexual harassment” … as they gear up to make “Niger is Trump’s Benghazi” happen — when, of course, they’ve claimed for years, that Benghazi was a nothing-burger fabricated out of malice and that “vast right wing conspiracy” … (Avoiding the devastated chaos of post-intervention Libya or gun running to Syria).

    Internationally, the United States has done an amazing “job” on the concept of “democracy” to the point that it is mocked as a “zionist conspiracy” and fraud and deception … they seem to have brought their “techniques” for undermining democracy home … as many have said (without quite looking in the mirror), democracy requires the populations trust that the system is, in fact, fundamentally trust-worthy … this Democratic rampage wrt Russia-gate seems intent on going beyond creating doubt and uneasiness wrt to some vague “foreign intervention” (ignoring, of course, long-standing gerrymandersing, Citizens United and Voting Rights/disenfranchisement issues that have plagued our democracy through Republican and Democratic administrations for decades.)

    For folks who “liked” Obama in 2008, this censorship and culling (many critics were outright banned), this censorship was welcome, attributed even then to some “right wing noise machine”… My point: This is not only a continuation of the 2016 presidential campaign but a campaign that seemingly began with a consolidation of the “blue” media going back the 2008. campaign cycle. (I didn’t trust Obama, but I hoped I was wrong … I wasn’t)

    • October 23, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      This actually started way back when they tried to undermine Carter s re -election and if u recall they invented the term Reagan Democrats to further divide and obfuscate reality . Reagan was made Emperor for the simple act . He introduced finacialization of the US economy. Here was the beginning of the theft of the oligarchs on western economies. Remember Reagan was the highest taxing President in History. He raised taxes more than most previous administrations. Furthermore like I have mentioned he took on the new economic paradigm of the Chicago school and started the wholesale rape of western economies. It began with Thatcher in England which morphed into the Reagan regime. Carter started introducing white papers that favoured labour unions health and safety and universal healthcare. This got the masters of the universe to set things in motion. ME> the Shah was becoming a bet noire for them calling out the Jewish lobby out for what it was (promoting zionist policy in the ME) .Who do you think funded and maintained the Ayatolla Khomeini. The Zionist in France. They created the instability in Iran and this in turn created the embassy crisis and and Carter became a one term presidency. Does anyone recall the Iran -contra affair. Cocaine running in Central America and giving arms to Khomeini’s Iran. The sad fact is that with 24 cycle news and trash journalism we never remember our recent past historical events and the msm media is full of historical revisionist whom lie about historical events. Afghanistan is perfect example. These wild beast of the ME which is causing havoc in the ME and now in Asia were all invented and unleashed by whom . Cui Bono (Podesta).So ask yourself a simple question who benefits and why. Dying existing paradigm needs smoke and mirrors and a divided society to survive hence this events have been well organised and planned for way back by the likes of Chatham House the Atlantic Council. the CFR and docius in fundem last but not least the Bilderbergers. History repeats itself and the masters of the universe want it that way ,how else can they create the biggest economic gap in history since the Gilded age.

  27. Hank
    October 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Only brain dead non thinking ignorant people could ever believe this Russian hacking/trolling meme. Unfortunately there appears to be millions who fit this description. It explains a Lot of things.

    • Susan Sunflower
      October 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      The powers that be have become remarkably adept at rewriting history … during the 2016 cycle, I mentioned the role of Ted Kennedy’s Anyone but Clinton campaign in propelling Obama to the White House (and that many of those 2008 Democrats never fully came-on-board with Clinton in 2016) — weak denials that this had ever happened, that Democratic anti-Hillary sentiment was — in large part — what allowed Obama to succeed (not his radiant smile, beautiful wife and daughter or amazing oratorical skilz — it certainly wasn’t his record or resume).

      Part of this “russia-gate” story is an attempt to erase Clinton’s problem with being a deeply unpopular candidate and public figure (even as she won “most admired” polls based on her longevity and resiliency.

  28. James
    October 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Define “Platitude”. (in as few words as possible). BS

  29. Susan Sunflower
    October 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Anyone else read yesterday’s Guardian article on how Black Lives Matter activists and others are being treated as “fellow travelers” for having enjoyed the donations and support of covert “russian front organizations” … Apparently some bastardized form of mea culpa is required … as if grassroots organizations have the resources to stringently vet the source of their donations and the C.V. of every volunteers, as if such a “vetting” would not constitute yet another “black list” (and financially impossible burden).

    The evil Rooskies (like the evil commies before them) are “using” their struggle for their own aims …. “‘Our pain for their gain’: the American activists manipulated by Russian trolls” … someone remind these people of the Scottsboro Boys

    https__ :// __ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/21/russia-social-media-activism-blacktivist

    “I don’t understand: why would Russia even waste their time?” said Diane Butler, the mother of Tyrone West, who died in police custody after he was pulled over for a traffic stop. Butler gave a tearful speech at the 2016 rally organized by Blacktivist, recently revealed to be a Russia-backed account in a CNN report. “It makes no sense. We are still in so much pain. How dare someone try to take advantage of my pain?”

    The exact role of Blacktivist in organizing these kinds of events is unclear. In some cases, it appears that genuine activists ultimately became involved in the rallies, and other times, the Russian group may have been advertising events that were primarily planned by real protesters. Regardless, the Russian accounts had a wide reach – 360,000 followed Blacktivist on Facebook – and sizable crowds showed up to the events they promoted.

    exact role “unclear” … exact links — idiological and financial — appear undefined/unclear as well … yeah, everyone on the bus might be a fellow-traveller. … lips that touch borscht will never touch mine …

    (people seem to think that the McCarthy era black list was (a) limited to the motion picture industry and that (2) was another “the system won” because of the Hollywood 10’s defiance at the hearings and McCarthy was denounced. Neither are true … oh, also omitted is the fact that it was never against any law to be a communist …

  30. October 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Bob Van Noy, thanks for the link to Mike Whitney’s article in OffGuardian, originally in Counterpunch, on threats to Russia in 2015 if they obstructed the US in Syria, very important to understand the genesis of the Russophobic insanity propagated by John Brennan. Everyone here should read it.

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 24, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Thank you too, Jessica K. It’s a cooperative effort…

  31. Zman
    October 23, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I find the whole ‘Russian Troll’ scheme to be just more of the same ‘accuse your enemy of your crimes’ tactic the US gov regularly employs. Much like the accusations that the Russians are killing civilians, when we are in fact slaughtering them to no end and the MSM seem to have no knowledge these events. As far as the trolling is concerned, the day before the Vegas shootings, I witnessed at least 4 new Israeli/US trolls on one web site alone. These same trolls were also seen on other sites…always spouting the same things…the Kurds deserve a homeland, Israel is only attacking Iranian proxies, Israel has the right to defend herself, the Iranians have no business in Syria, Syria is in bed with ISIS, Putin is taking Assad for a ride, Putin and Erdogan are going to cut Syria up. Really stupid crap that no one in their right mind would believe. On the plus side…they were seen for what they are and told so. They are fooling no one, only wasting their masters money and bandwidth…and showing the world how truly worried they are.

    • October 23, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Zman,
      Excellent points. If men and women decide on battling hasbara and other ill-willed operatives in comments sections, they must have the determination to practice both poise and tenaciousness … In other words the willingness to never give up. Those malevolent online operators are trained in spreading disinformation and negatively manipulating comments sections, from “pushing buttons” with ad hominem attacks meant to anger and frustrate to using every dirty debate trick imaginable.

  32. Anna
    October 24, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Could NYT publish this?-
    “The Podesta Group which was founded by brothers Tony and John Podesta (although John Podesta hasn’t worked for the company in several years) was paid $40,000 by Uranium One to lobby the State Department, the Senate, the National Park Service and the National Security Council for “international mining projects”.. Podesta’s firm continued to make money lobbying for Uranium One in 2015, after Hillary Clinton already left the State Department. John Podesta previously served as then-President Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff and was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman during the 2016 election.
    As previously reported, prior to the Obama administration approving the very controversial deal in 2010 giving Russia 20% of America’s Uranium, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in order to benefit Vladimir Putin, says a report by The Hill.
    The Clintons took the cash from Uranium One officials before the deal was approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The Clintons hid the donations which is a clear violation of the Memorandum of Understanding Hillary Clinton signed with the Obama administration wherein she promised and agreed to publicly disclose all donations during her tenure as Secreatary of State. The FBI informant working on the case was threatened by the Obama administration after he witnessed the bribery, extortion and money laundering as money exchanged through briefcases and yellow envelopes.
    The FBI informant needs an NDA lifted in order for him to testify to Congress. According to a recent report, Jeff Sessions’ DOJ refuses to lift the NDA.”
    http://theduran.com/wikileaks-leaked-email-proves-hillary-clinton-knew-uranium-one-was-a-huge-scandal/
    Guess, the Kagans et al at AIPAC do not approve the FACTS and thus the small shivering Session is afraid to continue the investigation into Clinton’ scandals. Including the murder of Seth Rich.

  33. em sos
    October 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Always incisive!
    How positively aerating, cleansing and refreshing rational logic can be; even while constantly being pulled under and floundering in this roiling, eddying swamp of delusion, that we, contaminated with the global leadership ideology of elitist exceptionalism, call American culture.

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