The mainstream U.S. media’s gullible acceptance of unproven CIA claims about Russian interference in the U.S. elections is another reason to doubt the media and fear for the future of American democracy, Joe Lauria wrote on Dec. 19, 2016.
As Russia continues to be accused of hacking United States government computer networks, the charge that it hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 was refuted by Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm the DNC hired to examine its servers.
On Dec. 5, 2017, Henry testified under oath to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that there was no technical evidence that the emails had been “exfiltrated”; that is, hacked from the DNC.
In this piece first published exactly four years ago today and before Shawn’s testimony, Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria took a skeptical view of the tale of hacking and criticized the corporate media for its lack of such skepticism.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
President Obama admitted in his press conference on Friday that his government hasn’t released any evidence yet of Russian interference in the election, but he said some would be coming.
That’s proof that an uncritical press has already printed stories as if true without any evidence just on the say-so of the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization long dedicated to deception, disinformation and meddling in other countries’ elections, not to mention arranging coups to overthrow elected governments.
Forty years ago, the established press would have been skeptical to buy anything the CIA was selling after a series of Congressional committees exposed a raft of criminal acts and abuses of power by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Today’s journalists work for newspapers that fraudulently still bear the names New York Times and Washington Post, but they are no longer the same papers.
The vast U.S. news media also is not the same. The working journalist today is living off the reputation for skepticism and determination to get beyond government pronouncements that was established by their papers decades ago. Rather than add to that reputation, the credibility of the biggest newspapers continues to erode.
Both the Times and the Post should today be stained by their credulous reporting of official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Instead of showing professional skepticism, the big papers became cheerleaders for an illegal invasion that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left behind a disaster that still reverberates today. Neither the Times nor the Post suffered any consequences and have picked up where they left off, still uncritically reporting anonymous U.S. officials without demanding proof.
On the contrary, any reporter who did demand evidence was in danger of career consequences. An editor for a newspaper chain that I was reporting for called me to chew me out because he said my stories were not in support of the Iraq war effort. He told me his son was a Marine. I told him I was sure he was proud but that my job was to report the news based on the evidence. On the very day when the invasion began, I was fired.
Of course, the television networks, including CNN, were most egregious for selling the war. I was shocked when I heard reporter Kyra Philips from aboard a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf gleefully announce: “Welcome to Shock and Awe!” just after a cruise missile was shown being fired. The people it killed on the receiving end were almost never mentioned.
CNN, which has accepted Russian interference in the U.S. election as a given, is also living off its reputation of a once very serious news organization. On its very first broadcast on June 1, 1980, Cable News Network aired as its second story a lengthy investigative report on faulty fuel gauges in commercial airliners. It broadcast an in-depth live report from the Middle East, and veteran newsman Daniel Schorr interviewed and challenged President Jimmy Carter.
But 1980 was when the period of skeptical, professional journalism that demanded proof from its own government started to decline as Ronald Reagan was elected. He worked to stamp out the skepticism bred from Watergate, Vietnam and the Congressional intelligence hearings. Reagan did this, in part, by resurrecting the most obvious and adolescent myths about America. And he worked with the CIA to manage America’s perceptions away from the critical thinking of the 1970s, as journalist Robert Parry has extensively reported.
There have been a few periods in American journalism when demanding proof from government was expected. The muckraking period led by Lincoln Steffens of the Progressive Era was one. The 1970s was another. But mostly it has been a business filled with careerists who live vicariously through the powerful people they cover, disregarding the even greater power the press has to cut the powerful down to size.
The reporting on the supposed Russian hack of the elections is one of the most egregious examples of unprofessional journalism since 2003, particularly because of the stakes involved.
There have now been a slew of stories, each of which seems to offer a new promise of evidence, such as one under the ludicrous New York Times headline, “C.I.A. Judgment on Russia Built on Swell of Evidence.” But when you read the piece, its only sources are still unnamed intelligence officials. A later 8,000-word Times article was the same, as though the length by itself was supposed to lend it more credibility.
If there were any doubts, Obama wiped them away with his admission that no evidence had been released. Worse still, perhaps, is that counter-evidence has been suppressed, another consistent feature of today’s journalism.
The former British diplomat Craig Murray, has written and told at least two radio interviewers that the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails were not obtained by WikiLeaks through hacks, but instead from leaks by American insiders.
This story was totally ignored by established media until the Daily Mail in London reported it online, but incorrectly said Murray had himself received the leak. In the U.S., only The Washington Times reported the story, quoting the Mail. But that story took a swipe at Murray’s reputation, merely saying he was “removed from his diplomatic post amid allegations of misconduct.” In fact, Murray was let go for blowing the whistle on U.K. use of evidence extracted by torture by the corrupt Karimov administration in Uzbekistan. The rest of the Washington Times story just repeats what every other reporter has written about Russian interference.
Even if it were proven that Russian government operatives hacked these emails as part of their intelligence gathering, there remains the additional evidentiary hurdle that they then supplied the data to WikiLeaks, when the recipients, including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, say the source or sources weren’t Russians.
It’s also noteworthy that none of the information in the emails has been shown to be false. The leaks provided real insights into how the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders and revealed some shady practices of the Clinton Foundation as well as the contents of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street bankers that she had tried to hide. In other words, the leaks gave voters more information about Hillary Clinton, confirming what many voters already believed: that she was beholden to the financial sector and benefited from her insider connections. But none of that was particularly news.
It is important to note, too, that Obama himself in his press conference said there is zero evidence Russia tried to hack into the electronic voting systems. In fact it now emerges from dogged reporting by a local Atlanta TV station that the Department of Homeland Security appears to have been behind earlier attempted hacks of voting systems in several states.
So, it would be virtually impossible to prove that the DNC and Podesta emails were the deciding factor in the election. Indeed, before the election, pro-Clinton corporate media downplayed the email-related stories and Podesta said the emails may have been faked (although none of them appears to have been made up).
The emails also revealed numerous instances of reporters colluding with the Clinton campaign before publishing stories, something no hard-boiled editor from an earlier era would have stood for.
By focusing on the alleged Russian role now, Democrats also have diverted attention from other factors that likely were far more consequential to the outcome, such as Clinton largely ignoring the Rust Belt and not going once to Wisconsin or her calling many Trump supporters “deplorables” and “irredeemable.” Further, Clinton was a quintessential Establishment candidate in an anti-Establishment year.
And, there was the fact that in the campaign’s final week, FBI Director James Comey briefly reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State, a move that reminded many Americans why they distrusted Clinton.
Yet, as the mainstream U.S. media now hypes as flat fact the supposed Russian role, there remains the inconvenient truth that the Obama administration’s intelligence community has presented no verifiable evidence that the Russians were the source of the leaks.
Demanding to see the evidence on Russia, the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee called the CIA, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to a closed-door briefing. Though these agencies are obligated to show up in response to requests from their Congressional oversight committees, the three agencies flatly refused. Then, DNI James Clapper refused to brief concerned Electoral College voters whose votes for or against Trump may have been influenced by the news media frenzy about alleged Russian interference. Clapper reportedly is preparing a report on Russia’s “hacking” for Congress.
The Russia fiasco appears to have been part of a political strategy that I first wrote about on Nov. 5 – three days before the election – that a fallback plan, if Trump won a narrow victory, would be to influence the electors to reject Trump when they assemble in state capitals on Dec. 19. Playing the Russian card was designed to appeal to the electors’ patriotism to defend their country against foreign interference.
Assuming that Electoral College long shot failed, there would be one more chance for Clinton to stop Trump: on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to certify the election. The Clinton camp needs one Senator and one Representative to sign an objection to Trump’s certification (no doubt citing Russia) forcing a vote by both chambers.
If Trump loses – and there are a number of anti-Trump Republicans in Congress – the election would be thrown to the House where Clinton or a more conventional Republican could be selected as President.
Given those stakes for the American democracy and the risks inherent in U.S. relations with nuclear-armed Russia, the fact that the most influential establishment media has bought into this extremely flimsy story about Russian hacking should condemn them further in the minds of the public.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at [email protected]s.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
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Remember in Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” when a series of black Democrats came before a Senate chaired by the recently ‘chadded’ democratic candidate, asking for just one Senator to sign a challenge to George Bush’s first term and getting no response from any Senator of either party? The same thing will happen again. Signing such a challenge is political suicide in America.
I quit watching TV some time in the ’70s, mainly out of boredom. I used to listen to SW radio news form a variety of countries. Now, I read a variety of internet sites (Wonkette.com, Antiwar.com, The Guardian, Counterpunch.org . I often listen to http://www.overcomerministry.org , for that all-important Dispensationalist point of view! Critical thinking skills gained from studying history are very useful to me. I am certain of few things, I suspect rather more.
I quit watching TV some time in the ’70s, mainly out of boredom. I used to listen to SW radio news form a variety of countries. Now, I read a variety of internet sites (Wonkette.com, Antiwar.com, The Guardian, Counterpuch.org . I often listen to http://www.overcomerministry.org , for the Dispensationalist point of view! I read and listen as critically as I can. I am certain of relatively few things, I suspect rather more.
Furthermore, allegations of Russian interference in the US electoral process are HIGHLY HYPOCRITICAL! Interference in the electoral processes of other countries (to further or protect “US corporate interests”) has been a MAJOR FEATURE of US foreign policy for at least 100 years already (especially in Latin American countries).
Has anyone tried to contact NY former Mayor Rudy Giuliani? I fear for his life.
Let’s cut through this mess with Occam’s Razor:
The last time I checked the Democratic National Committee is the administrative bureau of the center-right wing, the Democratic Party, of the United States’ single political party. It is not in any way, shape or form or function an agency of the federal government. The contents of the emails were hardly surprising, given the socio-economic class of people who run both major US political parties. Nor did they contain any “classified” material. Any sharp ink-stained ragamuffin could ferret out what the DNC’s upper echelon thought of the unwashed and how they were conducting the presidential primary season merely by casual observation.
Nor do I think, not being a lawyer, that there is any criminal penalty on the federal books or any state’s books for leaking “secret” information of a for-profit or not-for-profit organization to the press.
Therefore, if as claimed by Julian Assange, Craig Murray and the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity that the unsurprising DNC emails are in fact a leak, all Mr Assange and Murray need do is name names. End of story.
Which is just what the anti-democratic forces want, and would solve nothing anyway.
Unless it is the disaffected and murdered Mr. Rich.
Mr Rich’s murder is directly out of the 2012 book, “Mary’s Mosiac” by Peter Janney; it depicts another CIA modus operendi murder. A true story of another, earlier, unsolved, suspected CIA orchestrated murder.
“……..It’s also noteworthy that none of the information in the emails has been shown to be false. The leaks provided real insights into how the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders and revealed some shady practices of the Clinton Foundation as well as the contents of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street bankers that she had tried to hide. In other words, the leaks gave voters more information about Hillary Clinton, confirming what many voters already believed: that she was beholden to the financial sector and benefited from her insider connections……”
That is completely irrelevant to the source of the hacks. If the Russians hacked the DNC, they didn’t do it so we could make a more informed decision (there is no doubt that the DNC is corrupt – and full of liars). The Russians gambled on keeping HRC from becoming the President – and in their minds, for good reason. In fact, with such a small percentage of votes deciding a large amount of electoral votes in the upper Midwest, this could have been a deciding factor in the election.
You also forgot to mention that private cyber-security firm, Crowdstrike, identified Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear as Russian hackers when they examined the DNC computer (based on experience). Two independent cyber-security firms corroborated the results. So it is not just taking the word of the CIA in this case. Furthermore, seventeen US intelligence departments are behind the CIA assessment, yet not one whistleblower has come forward to call out the “lying” US intelligence agencies. Where is Edward Snowden when we need him?
Additionally, Russia had the motives to alter the election. Hillary Clinton was an antagonist to Russian interests in Ukraine and Syria (supporting a no-fly zone). She vocally called into question the Russian elections while she was Secretary of State. The Russian President considers Ukraine to be in his sphere of Influence which he believes was undermined by the US and NATO. NATO has advanced to the doorstep of Russian since the end of the cold war. All of this served as a strong motivation for a Russian interference in the US elections.
Although Craig Murray has served as the rallying cry for alternate theories of the DNC hack, Marcie Wheeler writes why she is not buying the Craig Murray story (“Craig Murray’s Description of WikiLeaks’ Sources” https://www.emptywheel.net/?p=56544). Marcie Wheeler runs the EmptyWheel blog and is a former “Policy Analyst” for First Look Media. She writes in an update at the end of her article (interview of Assange) :
“………“Craig Murray is not authorized to talk on behalf of WikiLeaks,” Assange said sternly……..”
Obviously, Assange is not happy with what Craig is saying publicly. Finally, no one should doubt that Assange was politically motivated to release the emails to harm the Clinton campaign. That’s fairly typical of the radical left which opposed HRC like the plague preferring an “unknown” to the election of the hawkish Clinton. Over all, there is substantial evidence in the public sphere now to suspect very strongly that the Russians were behind the DNC hack.
Shouting ever more loudly, “craigsummers” claims entirely without evidence that there is “evidence” of Russian perfidy.
Over all, there is substantial evidence in the public sphere now to suspect very strongly that “craigsummers” is (t)rolling an empty wheel of trash talk for one of the “professional” purveyors of “regime change” propaganda.
“many of us are still under the illusion that we have a free and independent press. The truth is we don’t. Here’s five reasons why we should be very sceptical of the information we read in the corporate media and why there is hope for the future.
“1) The billionaires that own the press set the agenda […]
“2) Corporate advertising revenue censors the content […]
“3) Privately educated white men dominate the media […]
“4) The political use of supposedly neutral sources […]
“5) The intelligence services manipulate the press […]
“What are the alternatives?
“Our media system is deeply compromised. However there is some hope for the future as ideas not normally in the corporate media are increasingly being distributed through other channels – especially through the internet, alternative media and media co-operatives.”
Five reasons why we don’t have a free and independent press in the UK and what we can do about it
By Ed Jones
The NYTIMES has ALWAYS been a fraud. Why were Middle East correspondents always Jews when the Middle East is 98% Arab/Muslims? Why didn’t we hear about the Nakba and Deir Yassen? Why were Jews hysterical about Palestinian “rockets” that never hit anything, when Israel provoked conflicts then retaliated with helicopter gunships, advanced aircraft, drones, cluster bombs, bunker-busting 1,000 lb bombs, air-conditioned tanks and personnel carriers, and sophisticated computer guided missles –an arsenal supplied for free in acquiescence to an all powerful Jewish Lobby that bribes and intimidates the US government?
How about the Times suppressing the story of the USS LIBERTY which was attacked by Zionists in 1967 killing 36 US sailors and wounding hundreds more?
Because the “newspaper of record” is most valuable as a newspaper of false record, as you suggest.
It seems that none of the intel community bosses wants to come to a news channel to get interviewed regarding “Russian hacks”, and the reasons, imho, could be simple – a) they do realize that to produce some sort of “hard evidence” of the “putin-hacked-podesta-and-the-dnc-servers” story would be somewhat next to impossible (leave alone those infantile attempts aka laughable fakes by crowdstrike’s Alperovich, self-proclaimed “expert” on Chinese hacking techniques) simply because professionally, I mean professionally, executed hack is almost impossible*** to trace and thus to arbitrarily and groundlessly blame that on a party X or on a party Y would look highly unprofessional, which could lead to b) professional reputation loss in the near future which could lead to c) ruined career and a loss of a fat paycheck/pension in case DT decides to shake spook shops up in 2017 in retaliation to this spooks mutiny.
In regards to the alleged DNC hack(s) itself, it looks more like a false flag hack by Chinese or another capable team. Leaving traces in form of Cyrillic characters, words and names (LOL) here and there, please give me a break. Remember the very beginning of the Snowden saga (?) – he arrives to Hong Kong, gets squeezed dry by Chinese spooks, gets loaded on a Moscow-bond flight by same Chinese characters and voila, he is in Moscow hence Russians had to manage the situation and deal with pissed American officials – Chinese got all the juice while Russians had to deal with the aftermath mess – typical to Chinese modus operandi.
*** unless they have a source inside a hackers team who they get info from (happened before btw), but in such a case they would be giving interviews on every major MSM channel/site now
Yes, I have seen attempts to make internet crime look Russian by inserting Russian-sounding fragments like “Tsar” into the names of websites, DNS servers, shell corporations and registrants, etc. Apparently all of that is so obviously fake that they don’t dare use it publicly. They can also put fake addresses in Russia into website registration info because it is never checked.
I should also mention that many of the website “registrars” or registration services are crooks themselves, and presumably many are run by state secret agencies. They can and do say anything to fake a registration, including anything you will see on the ICANN “WhoIS?” database. Many are non-existent companies or persons listing addresses in Indonesia or Hong Kong or Panama or Cayman Islands or Barbados. ICANN itself never checks or disciplines the registrars even when they accuse them of outright lying.
Many of the registrars offer “privacy services” designed to force victims of internet crime to sue the registrar and subpoena the information, which may require a lawsuit filed under seal, a court order to search and seize servers, sent through diplomatic channels, and a large bond posted against damage etc., and a team of experts to extract information from servers. Unless US secret agencies benefited from that, the US would have forced ICANN to clean up the crooked registrars. So probably they are the worst crooks.
A pretty good read regarding this issue: https://life-through-my-eyes.com/2016/12/19/liberal-finger-pointing-next-up-russia/
oh pleez – that was more than “good”. That was excellent. Thanks for posting it.
Other great articles there if you like that one. life-through-my-eyes.com
Next we’ll be seeing headlines in the Washington Post and New York Times, undoubtedly “confirmed” by a Higgins and Bellingcat “investigation,” that Putin is a murderous satanic pedophile who listens to Barry Manilow.
You’ve been a bit late for the party – it’s already out there: “Putin is a murderous dictator” – flew out of some MSM’s big mouth a couple of days ago.
Electoral College votes in: “A Historic Number of Electors Defected, and Most Were Supposed to Vote for Clinton:
Of 306 electors pledged to vote for Donald J. Trump
304 voted for him
2 (both from Texas) voted for someone else (one for Ron Paul; one for John Kasich)
Of 232 electors pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton
224 voted for her so far
4 (all from Washington) voted for someone else (three for Colin Powell; one for Faith Spotted Eagle)”
2 other electors pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton tried to vote for Bernie Sanders, but were disallowed by their particular State laws.
Both the Times and the Post should today be stained by their credulous reporting of official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Instead of showing professional skepticism, the big papers became cheerleaders for an illegal invasion that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left behind a disaster that still reverberates today. Neither the Times nor the Post suffered any consequences and have picked up where they left off, still uncritically reporting anonymous U.S. officials without demanding proof.
Hey, fellow Americans. Consider this: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over again, build a wall around the nation and call it an insane asylum.”
Not *just* WMD in Iraq is phony. Most of the entire “War on Terror” is phony. The al Qaeda story, the 9/.11 story, the captured mastermind story, the rendition/torture story, the drone/assassination story, the and the Homeland Security story. The reality of *all* these stories is much different than what has been reported to the public, and all of them show substantial lying/propaganda by the US security state towards the effect of increasing it’s own annual budge,. political & legal power.
The misdirection used by the DNC was a centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It sought to move the public to think not what in the emails and other leaks but how the information became public. Who is public enemy number one. No, not Tom Brady or Bill Belichek, but Vladimir Putin. Who better to blame for producing the apparently accurate information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC than public enemy number one. What better way to forget what was the subject matter of the leaks than to blame the messenger even if he got it right.
Its not a new gambit, as old as human relations, but the way it is being used after the election is chilling. And it is serious. Those managing it are out for blood and they may get it.
When the New York Times began railing about Russian meddling after the election, it appeared to be merely the antics of spoiled children, now I am not so sure.
To overturn a presidential election seemed preposterous in the beginning, now I’m not so sure.
For those outraged about what is going on, they need to question their strategy of claiming the lack of evidence. What if incontrovertible truth of Russian behavior is produced, where do you stand then. Do you agree with those who care not about Russian interference but overturning the results of the election. It’s a foolish road to travel, better to focus on the content of the leaks and more importantly the sovereignty of those who elected the president.
The Intelligence community professionals, the men and women who actually sign their names to National Intelligence Estimates, have been conspicuous by their silence. The talking heads have confirmed that CIA confirms the electoral interference by Russia. But no Intelligence professionals that will be there for the next administration. In other words political appointees have been saying these Russian rumors are for real. The actual experts that collect and analyze the data have been quiet. I can only assume it is because there is no such real information available for them to site. What saddens me more than anything is that most of the media is lining up with Hillary’s camp and trying to question the legitimacy of his win. Hillary got caught cheating in the primaries and then hired the chief cheater who had resigned in national disgrace. There is foreign influence. It seems that everything Bibi wants he gets. And I think he got his candidate because trumps’ going to move our embassy to Jerusalem and give them any weapons they ask for, even when he knows they will reverse engineer it and then sell it as their own. Trump didn’t cheat as much as Hillary. I voted for her out of fear of trump. I’m beginning to think I was afraid of the wrong candidate. They are doing to trump what the GOP did to Obama. I don’t find it any more palatable. This election challenging is getting old. It is billionaires fighting over which of their friends get richer. Not what happens to the citizens.
Michael – good points. “I’m beginning to think I was afraid of the wrong candidate.” Yes, Trump is being attacked from all sides: Democrats AND Republicans (some), media, big money, the military/industrial/security complex, Pentagon, CIA, FBI. They are all going after him. Obama faced nothing close to what Trump is facing. This is a very dangerous situation. It is an attempted coup.
For example, George Tenet and Allen Dulles, the Iraq war and the Bay of Pigs.
For further opinion on Israeli influences, read this….
Another reason a worker bee inside the system may hesitate to leak, or go public, is because the system goes apeshit on whistleblowers. Consider all the examples of previous whistle blowers and their fate, and then wonder no more.
All I can say, is after watching how Hillary is driving this no Trump movement to the outer limits I’m now beginning to get warm fussy memories of a 1960 Richard Nixon conceding for the good of the country. Wait, until Hillary finally realizes how popular she has just made Putin to the rest of the world…she won’t believe it, and she will be hard pressed to find someone to blame, but you just know that she will find that special someone to blame in the end, because that’s what Hillary does.
“So, it would be virtually impossible to prove that the DNC and Podesta emails were the deciding factor in the election.”
Yes, indeed, Joe Lauria!
I agree that a closer look by more serious writers show Hillary Clinton’s loss was self inflicted.
After the election, the Clinton campaign flailed wildly trying to blame:
anyone who criticized her vote for the Iraq War, her one time support for the private prison program, her husband’s ruthless neoliberal trade deals, “don’t ask don’t tell”, DOMA, and a whole host of programs that enriched her “class” of people while hurting the working people of this country, including those who serve in our armed forces and were used cavalierly to wage one failed “regime change” after another.
And according to this Forbes article, son in law Jared Kuschner threw himself into the Trump campaign, reaching out to friends in Silicon Valley to learn how to develop a sophisticated, efficient high tech campaign for Trump.
In the waning days of the election, apparently, Trump may have been pushed over the top by Kushner’s campaign strategy, working with IT specialist, Brad Parscale, first hired by Ivanka, who worked with Jared Kuschner to find pockets of undecideds in the so called “rust belt” states where they placed well targeted ads in the last few days of the campaign.
Whereas, as Mr. Lauria pointed out:
“Democrats also have diverted attention from other factors that likely were far more consequential to the outcome, such as Clinton largely ignoring the Rust Belt and not going once to Wisconsin or her calling many Trump supporters “deplorables” and “irredeemable.” “
The Democratic establishment prefers self delusion. First refusing to stand behind their best candidate Bernie Sanders instead of knee capping him and then trying to drag Russia into it.
By all means investigate any possible hacking or interference with the election, domestic or foreign.
But do it honestly with the goal of once and for all bringing the machinery of our election up to world standards with an audit resource paper trail so for example Jimmy Carter would finally agree to be a monitor of the event if asked.
The Democratic establishment prefers self delusion.
And, unfortunately, so do countless Americans.
I’m genuinely shocked at people I know who once claimed to be liberal/progressives that so uncritically accept whatever the mainstream media puts out. Once, these people were skeptical about authority and now they line up like good soldiers and sing the corporate line and seem to have completely lost their critical faculties. What gives? Why this fanatical desire to incorporate authoritarianism (because that is what it is)? It seems that the confusion of our culture is resulting in not more openness but in a strong desire to become tribal and primitive.
Once, these people were skeptical about authority and now they line up like good soldiers and sing the corporate line and seem to have completely lost their critical faculties. What gives?
Very likely their priorities have changed. In some cases they changed from uninhibited free spirits with limited obligations and less experience in the world, then they settled down like the majority of people locked into the dictates of their corporate employers. Having something to lose changes perspectives. As one of the characters in Aldous Huxley’s Point Counterpoint said, “We become possessed by our possessions.”
I feel exactly the same way. It’s simply amazing how fast things have gone downhill for this group of people. I guess I didn’t mind them when W was in office because they were very critical of him and he deserved every bit of it. But once Obama took office it was as if the government could suddenly do no wrong. Endless wars? No problem, bring them on and the Liberals will do everything they can to defend him (While still trying to claim to be anti-war). Then Trump came along and they simply became unhinged. Now they are still crying that they were unable to put in power the Warmongering, Globalist, shill Hillary. Their hatred for Trump has somehow justified their unwavering support for one of the worst human beings on Earth along with the entire structure that backed her up. It’s the team mentality and the polarization that is out of control. When all you care about is your team winning then you don’t seem to care much how rotten your team has become. Trump being the perfect boogieman for them just means that they can justify even worse behavior from their team. And the worse they believe Trump to be the more they justify anything “anti-Trump”, it’s one big downward spiral for them and America in general.
evelync I’m so glad you pointed out the Rust Belt strategy. Trump’s team did themselves well going for the Electoral Votes first. This aspect of the final days of the election is where more focus should be put. Hillary still came away with the most votes, but rules being what they are she lost. Once again evelync, good you pointed this out so well.
Maybe Trump’s IQ is as high as the click-bait websites claim it to be.
“another reason to doubt the media and fear for the future of American democracy”
Another reason is needed and what democracy would that be???
I thought when James Comey came out within days before the election acknowledging Hillary’s investigation was over, that if anything his confirming Hillary’s innocents was a good thing for Hillary. Now, Democrat’s hate the FBI director for his doing that, go figure. Am I missing something here?
For all of the Christian rhetoric that gets thrown around here in America, I guess the ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is somehow overlooked when dealing with the rest of the world. Why wouldn’t Putin and his Russian people want a Trump presidency? God, Hillary called the man Hitler. Her husband when he was president placed missiles in 27 NATO nations, while boozing up Yeltsin for the slaughter. Not to mention Obama placing sanctions on their nation. So, with all of that and more, why wouldn’t the Russians be against a Hillary type taking the throne of the world’s biggest hegemonic superpower be understood? Again America, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Lastly, I never thought I would worry about Donald Trump’s safety, but with all of what is going on now I am. I also wish we could all get pass this fake news illegitimate presidency thing, and start criticizing or applauding what our President elect is doing. Instead it’s like everything is all about Hillary…give me a break!
You make a heap of conspicuously good points that most people, and the entire media, fail to see. Are they stumbling around drunk most of the time or what?
I think the media/elite ignorance is a direct biproduct of the MIC/Wall St/Zio-Neocon/CIA hierarchy that hovers over our nations head.
Funny thing about me stressing the importance of Christion virtue, is that I’m not even that religious. Although I do believe that a person who would follow the truest example of how Jesus lived, would have nothing to do with any of this war and destruction business.
The good news is, 46% of the American public isn’t buying this Russian Hacking story, while 25% don’t have an opinion. The sad news is that 29% do believe it, but then again there is always that one third who are on board when most aren’t.
Watching Hillary in action wasn’t like we here on this site didn’t see something like what is happening with her coming. It just wasn’t her time yeti…somebody, please tell Hillary that, and then let’s move on.
“A Security Guy’s View on ‘Russian’ Hacking:
For what it’s worth “real” hackers actually do try to break into my infrastructure on a nearly-continual basis. Indeed I count over 200 such “probes” in the last 30 minutes; it is utterly normal for there to be thousands of such attempts made daily here and at present the system has nearly 1100 “blackball” table entries that are valid for sources of attempts to break through the security perimeter here via simple brute-force attacks on authentication alone.
PS: None of those attempts have been successful.”
200 probes in 30 minutes, and that’s just on his little site.
Karl Denninger, who used to run his own Internet company, is what many would call a techie nerd. He knows what he’s talking about re the Internet and maintaining secure systems.
“Everyone wants to talk about how Podesta’s email was penetrated, or the rest of the DNC, or that the RNC, allegedly, was not.
All the screamers are (still) out about “Russia” and similar.
Let me restate — while Podesta’s email was apparently broken into via a “spearfishing” email (one with a reset password link embedded in it that didn’t go to the real site, but rather to the person who was trying to steal) and which he was dumb enough to click and then provide his current password, the real issue here isn’t about this sort of attack at all.
The real issue is about the idiocy of such “email” systems or the use of any other sort of cloud provider for anything secure in the first place. […]
So why didn’t the DNC do this?
Because it takes more than 30 seconds of thought to do it and in addition it means not using email providers like Google — you have to do it yourself, in-house, or all these security steps are worthless since your certificates and such have to be where someone else, who is unvetted, can get at them.
In other words they were stupid, and so have been the others. They chose the equivalent of an unlocked front door for their house, and then are surprised when someone walks in and takes all the beer out of the fridge.
Oh, and all the guns and money in the house too, along with the nice widescreen TV!
Just remember folks that these are the very same people who claim to be smart enough to run the country.
PS: All the cloud providers are unlocked houses. Always. They have to be in order for a cloud service to work; it’s not a choice, it’s an inherent part of any public “cloud” architecture. Claims otherwise are like putting a 25 cent TSA lock on your suitcase and calling it “secure.” The reason you have not and will not see this discussed in the media, especially the “business media”, is that the minute this fact reaches the level of general knowledge all of said “cloud providers” have their stock prices collapse.”
I ignored all offers for “cloud” services because I didn’t feel I would have total control of my data and suspected it could be accessed by unauthorized people. Thank you for this information. The cloud seems to be worse than I suspected.
The “cloud” was invented solely to steal customer data. The entire history of computers has been driven by lower memory costs and higher speeds, allowing PCs to keep volumes of images on disk, which would have cost a million apiece to store in the 1960s. Almost all tasks require such local storage, and only a few activities require moving many large images without uploading each time. There is no reason at all for “cloud” storage.
For those who do not know yet, Windows 10 automatically uploads everything on your disks to Microsoft without your permission, specifically compiling your personal information. Aren’t you happy that CIA/NSA and commercial scammers steal everything you have? These crimes are given Orwellian names as “services” that are “provided” to users. To turn these off (to the extent allowed):
1. Go to desktop icon ControlPanel, choose Administration, and the Services tab.
2. Select one of the various bogus spyware and other “services” below and double-click.
3. Select on popup the Enable/Automatic/Manual/Disable choicebox, choose Disable
The list to disable:
1. Windows Update Service
2. Update Orchestrator Service
3. Background Intelligent Transfer Service (sneaks copies of disks to unknown spies)
4. Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider (you heard that right)
5. Data Collection Publishing Service (you got it)
6. Windows Biometric Service (astounding, no?)
7. Remote Access Automatic Connection
8. Remote Access Connection Manager
9. Remote Desktop Configuration
10. Remote Desktop Services
11. Remote Desktop Usermode…
12. Wallet Service
13. Windows Error Reporting
If you are on a metered connection, these Microsoft thefts of data will double or triple your monthly bill (that’s right, they steal your data at your expense). To stop this:
1. Go to Settings/Network/WiFi/ Metered Connection and set to ON
2. Go to Settings/Devices/Connected Devices/Download Over Metered Connections and set this to OFF
Also, cover the video camera itself with opaque tape and turn down the microphone volume all the way.
All of these precautions merely assume that they won’t steal your data anyway, which presumably they continue doing at a lower speed or by other means.
I actually tried to get Windows 10 installed on a small & cheap Win7 laptop just to look it over, but in the end I got a snotty message from Microsoft saying the machine was too primitive for their super new operating system. Now I’m glad that’s the way it worked out, for every time I’m on some relative’s Windows 10 computer trying to do the simplest non-internet task, I’m as stymied as I was by the wretched Windows 8.
Thanks for the tips. I’m saving them for future use when somebody who knows even less about computers than myself starts asking for help. Or for when I’m finally forced to use Windows 10 when this and my two backup Win7 machines croak.
Did not work.
Hard to help with little information. You should be able to “disable” those features as directed; if not, try some variants on the menus.
If the problem is that you are using vastly more metered-connection time after switching to Windows10, it is true that it will use lots more bandwidth even with these features off. If you switch from a costly provider like Verizon 4G LTE ($10/GB) to T-Mobile ($65/14GB) you can contain the expense without cutting back usage much. Otherwise you must turn off the adapter most of the time, stop using high-graphics websites or those that download videos, keep only one browser window open, etc.
Install Linux. Use it instead of winblows.
But if it happens again, I’m going to put Linux on one of the machines here and see how that works out before going to Plan M.
Joe Lauria – good reporting, as usual! Interesting also is the amount of money that is given to the Pentagon for propaganda purposes:
“In 2013, the NDAA passed by Congress negated the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987. Both set legal restrictions on domestic use of propaganda intended for foreign audiences. With the passage of the NDAA, the State Department and Pentagon began to officially use propaganda against the American people.
According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon spends more than $626 million per year on propaganda, more than all over [other] government agencies combined. GAO statistics show that from 2006-2015, the Pentagon was allocated 66 percent of the $1 billion annual federal spending on public relations.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has a history of undermining governments. “In a number of countries, including Venezuela and Bolivia, USAID is acting more as an agency involved in covert action, like the CIA, than as an aid or development agency,” writes Mark Weisbrot.”
The media are acting like arms of the CIA as well. Do you think that maybe major media might be getting a chunk of this $626 million a year? How would we ever know if they were?
“fear for the future of American democracy”
You still believe there is such a thing as “American Democracy”??!! May God Help Us All………….You call the CIRCUS in America Democracy??!! Good Luck……………
“while in decades past it may have been that the ‘CIA tried to subvert foreign elections,’ as the New York Times acknowledges, what isn’t mentioned is that in recent decades foreign election meddling has been transferred to the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. The organization’s first president acknowledged that the NED’s role is to carry out overtly the task of influencing foreign elections that the CIA had once done covertly. The NED has been active in attempts to influence electoral outcomes in Serbia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere. The NED interferes in the elections of countries in which the sitting government has refused to fall in behind the United States as self-appointed leader of the international order, preferring self-determination and sovereignty. So Washington has manoeuvred to install biddable governments in these countries that are more amenable to acquiescing to US leadership, which is to say, submitting to the international dictatorship of the United States.
“None of the foregoing is to suggest that Washington is getting its comeuppance. On the contrary, there’s no evidence that Russia intervened in the US election, much less that the DNC servers were hacked. (A group of former US intelligence officers believe the e-mails were leaked, but like the finding of current serving intelligence analysts that the e-mails were hacked, this is all based on ‘analysis,’ not evidence.
“The incident should remind us that the US government often makes allegations on the basis of nothing more than conjecture, which ‘can always be affected by human biases,’ as the New York Times concedes, or political pressure, as the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq affirms. No less worthy of our attention is the reality that the mass news media have agendas which comport with the interests of their owners, that their owners belong to the economic elite, and that the economic and political elites are intertwined. This explains why the mass media act as conduits of propaganda through which evidence-free intelligence findings are regularly disseminated to the public to manufacture consent for, or least acquiescence to, elite agendas; Iraq’s non-existent WMD are emblematic of a fiction attributed to an intelligence ‘failure’ that was used as a casus belli to rally support for war.”
How an evidence-free CIA finding alleging Russian interference in the US election was turned into an indisputable ‘truth’
By Stephen Gowans
“The NSA is not archiving every bit of digital information it can lay its hands on for no reason. The US seeks global dominance, whether the rest of the globe wants it or not.
“The ‘fake news’ threat
“The corporate media have been lapping up the CIA’s evidence-free allegations as hungrily as an underfed kitten. Not only have they been credulously regurgitating the dubious claims of the same US intelligence agencies that knowingly spread lies about Iraq’s WMD, but they have added their own dangerous spin to them.
“The media have suddenly woken up to the supposed threat to western democracies posed by ‘fake news’. The implication is that it was ‘fake news’ that swept Trump to power. A properly informed electorate, on this view, would never have made such a patently ridiculous choice as Trump. Instead, Clinton would have been rightfully crowned president.
“’Fake news’, of course, does not concern the systematic deceptions promoted by the corporate media. It does not include the demonstrable lies – like those Iraqi WMDs – spread by western governments and intelligence agencies through the corporate media. It does not even refer to the press corps’ habitual reports – demonstrating a seemingly gargantuan gullibility – that take at face value the endless state propaganda against Official Enemies, whether Cuba, Venezuela, Libya or Syria. Or Russia and now Trump.
“No, ‘fake news’ is produced only by bloggers and independent websites, and is promoted on social media. Those peddling ‘fake news’ are writers, journalists and activists whose pay packets do not depend on continuing employment by western state-run media like the BBC, billionaire proprietors like Rupert Murdoch, or global corporations like Times-Warner.
“It is worth noting that the leaked Democratic emails, whether the leaking was done by Russia or not, were certainly not ‘fake news’. They were documented truth. But the leaks are being actively conflated with ‘fake news’.
“Shutting down dissent
“There have always been patently ridiculous stories in marginal, and not so marginal, mainstream media […] That problem has not substantially changed; it has simply moved on to new platforms like social media.
“Much more significantly, the systematic deceptions perpetrated by corporate media for many decades have left swaths of western publics distrustful and cynical. Social media has only added to widespread alienation because it has made it easier to expose to readers these mainstream deceptions. Trump, like Brexit, is a symptom of the growing disorientation and estrangement felt by western electorates.
“But the claim of ‘fake news’ does usefully offer western security agencies, establishment politicians and the corporate media a powerful weapon to silence their critics. After all, these critics have no platform other than independent websites and social media. Shut down the sites and you shut up your opponents.
“The campaign against a Trump presidency will exploit claims of foreign, hostile interference in the US election as a pretext to crack down on homegrown dissent. Putin is not waging a war on US democracy. Rather, US democracy is proving itself increasingly inconvenient to those who expect to dictate electoral outcomes.”
Clinton’s Defeat and the “Fake News” Conspiracy
By Jonathan Cook
What the Clinton campaign is trying to do is a blatant case of rhetorical prestidigitation, concocting “fake news” as an issue and then conflating it with the leaked emails, which they first claimed to be fake before blaming their origin on Russia via hacking, and then making the logical leaps that people were taken in by this added truthful information which they should never have seen even though it allows a more complete assessment of Hillary’s competence and ethics and that in perhaps casting a more informed vote they allowed the Russians to steal the election for long-shot Donald Trump, whom all the smart people in the media refused to give more than a 2% chance of success. If that is not a rhetorical house of cards, I’d like to see a genuine one.
Well that about sums it up. Intelligence on parade. Liked it better when it wasn’t messing around with us but I’m afraid as I predicted eventually the mighty Wurlitzer would be pointed straight at us. Now we are looking down the hall of mirrors. I hate the hall of mirrors. Just turn off the TV. It is bad for you.
I agree that this business of creating fake news may be the new threat and that placing CNN in charge of a panel of judges to decide what is and what is not “fake” news is like placing the perpetrators of the crime as the members of the jury.
When you find yourself in the hall of mirrors, turn off the lights and listen for the footsteps creeping up on you.
I’m fairly sure the person behind me at the ballot box was not a Russian Secret Agent. It is absurdity to think some stolen emails stole the election from Hillary Clinton. Especially without even producing them.
It would be a challenge to surmise what a hacked email would have to provide information on in order to sway an election but it is a useless exercise. We live in a country where innocence is presumed and guilt has to be proven. That is not how the media operates. Factless allegations have become the normative mode in the “news”.
The “real” news has been the fake news for a long time and now it is seeking to divert attention away by scapegoating some foreign enemy. More fake news from the producers of fake news.
Joe B: “I haven’t watched TV since 1983 and do not read newspapers.”
Too bad because the New York Times has the best recipes.
Thanks, I’ll check at the library some time, if they have no cookbooks.
Not just the best recipes but the hardest crossword puzzles! Isn’t it ironic that after all the bad reputation the US threw at Taas during the ’50s Cold War hysteria, the best and most honest TV news available now comes from R! I tune in RT more than CNN, adding to the shame. If you want to know the truth, we have to go to Russia, which our Congress classifies as propaganda. The world is turned upside down.
Yes, I formerly just sampled RT, but they have a valid distinct perspective, more honest on US issues than any US mass media or the UK Guardian. I recommend Consortium, CounterPunch, RT, MoonOfAlabama, and ChrisFloyd. Most of the usual US liberal sites went with Hillary and her fashion issues of the upper middle class, so I dropped them as fake-left scammers for oligarchy. The election exposed the truth tellers. JuanCole’s InformedComment was once excellent for Mideast details but seemed to veer right, after the Turkey coup attempt, and no longer takes comments critical of US mistakes.
I suggest you read some mainstream media in addition to the fringe media; you need both or you really won’t know what’s going on. Your comment: “I haven’t watched TV since 1983 and do not read newspapers” is not strong evidence of being well informed.
Quite the contrary actually. First the mass media are a poor source of information, except on fashion topics. Second, one knows very well what they say from multiple sources reporting on them from different perspectives. Third, your belief that such oligarchy sources are needed to be “well informed” is evidence of being misinformed.
Yes, promoting receipes for disaster.
I have canceled my local newspaper and removed the news channels from my Dish program. I’m done listening. I changed my voting party from Democrat to Independent. I’m done with both parties. I am concerned about Trump in that Global Warming is likely to increase. Otherwise I think he is at risk just like President Kennedy was for going after out CIA. They run their own show and our presidents are their puppets. So goodby our chance at democracy and this great experiment. Look forward to the big crash. Let’s see what the moneyed do then.
Well put. I haven’t watched TV since 1983 and do not read newspapers. Their advocates are extremely naive. We are in for a domestic policy disaster, and a swing back. The deciding factor is whether the public buys yet another fake liberal from the Dems next time, paid for by Israel and Saudi Arabia, or whether a true progressive party emerges. If not the latter, then containment of the murderous US by better nations, with a series of military defeats and market crashes, will be needed to restore democracy, and that cannot come too soon.
I continue to watch the culprits on television and read the local outlet for NYT and WaPo “news” for the same reason people watch the weather channel to be prepared for incoming disasters. So, when writers at this and other reputable sites note lies told by these corporate miscreants I know they are telling the truth. I used to write letters to the editor of the local “paper of record” but gave than up when they cut me off for being too candid.
Yes, Judith–I’m with you. I haven’t paid attention to MSM for years now. And I’ve been an independent voter for at least 8 years, as well. My only hope re global warming is that Ivanka is reportedly concerned. As the Golden Child of her narcissistic father, there’s no one who has more sway with Trump than Ivanka. So there is hope there, I think. I hope the CIA doesn’t take Trump out. Time will tell.