Election Influencers, Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about the DNI report which was released over the weekend which declared that the Russians had influenced the 2016 election by hacking into the DNC and John Podesta, among others, as well as putting forth pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ on their state backed television networks.

I described how the charge as presented by the intelligence community is absurd; in short the fact that RT or Sputnik put forth a pro-Trump opinion, to mostly a Russian audience, speaking in Russian is hardly the most effective means to affect the US election. With respect to the leaked documents, those documents and emails were legitimate, as confirmed by the report, and thus merely exposed the bad actions that the DNC and the Clinton campaign engaged in. The net effect of ‘Russian involvement’ was more transparency and a more informed electorate, something which the US press and its lawmakers claims they are forever working to achieve.

The response by the media, and most lawmakers has been quite different. The prevailing attitude can be summed up by former CIA acting director Michael Morell, who said last month that the Russian intervention (whatever it actually was, if anything) was an ‘existential threat to our way of life’ which was ‘the political equivalent of 9/11.’

Such heightened language has become par for the course for analyzing this topic for purely political reasons. This politicization tabled by Brian Stelter in this interview with Glenn Greenwald:

After declaring that it is a possibility that there was Russian involvement, Greenwald had this to say about having blind trust in the intelligence community:

…but there’s a lesson, a really critical lesson that I thought we had learned back in August 1964, when the US Senate stood up and authorized Lyndon Johnson to escalate the war in Vietnam with two dissenting votes, based on the intelligence communities’ claims about what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin which turned out to be total false, and the same lesson in 2002 when a group of bipartisan senators assured the nation that the intelligence community convinced them that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was in an alliance with al-Qaeda, and the same lesson we learned in 2013, when just months before the Snowden reporting, James Clapper, President Obama’s top security official, lied to the faces of the country when he said he wants to assure the country that the NSA doesn’t collect data  on millions of Americans.

And that lesson is, we don’t just blindly and uncritically accept the claims of the intelligence community, especially provocative claims about a foreign adversary without seeing convincing evidence presented by them that those claims are true, and we absolutely have not seen that in this case.

Greenwald is absolutely right here, yet on this issue the narrative has been established that one has to blindly and uncritically accept whatever the intelligence community says or else there will be big problems. Here’s Morell, speaking on Face the Nation yesterday:

If the men and women of CIA don’t believe the President is listening to what they have to say, to the facts the put on the table, and the fact based analysis they put on the table, their interest in working there will go way down.

[…]

The other practical effect it has is that we tell people who are spying for us, who are actually putting their life on the line to spy for us, that their information is going to the highest levels of our government, and is being used to make the world a better place. If we can’t tell spies that, if they see that on TV, they’re not going to spy for us. So I think there are significant effects if the disparagement continues.

With respect to this particular instance, the ‘fact based analysis’ put forth by the intelligence community, that revealing the truth about the rigged game the DNC was playing constitutes foreign meddling in our electoral process, to the point that we face an existential threat to our way of life, is hard to take seriously. Morell’s interpretation that having such a reasonable second guessing of the intelligence analysis could lead to a sort of mutiny in the ranks of the CIA can only stem from a political bias.

Greenwald makes this point in later his interview with Stelter, noting the fact that Republicans put forth the idea that not agreeing with the intelligence community when they advocated war in 2002 was unpatriotic. Recall George W. Bush’s repeated utterances of the phrase ‘you’re either with us or against us’ in making his case. Democrats at the time were highly skeptical of intelligence, in their general stance against war.

It seems as though the roles have reversed today, with Democrats beating the drum for retaliation against Russia for meddling in the election. However, the political fault line causing the divide is not necessarily Republican versus Democrat. It is anti-establishment nationalists versus establishment globalists. This explains why the likes of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and pundits such as David Brooks are all on the same side as Adam Schiff, Hillary Clinton, President Obama and the entirety of the mainstream US press.

Trump’s victory was a tremendous blow to this globalist set, and they have sought to strike back by in delegitimizing Trump’s presidency. They are in opposition to Russia, for varying reasons, which I’ve outlined before. The media, which is the mouthpiece for that establishment globalist view, has worked overdrive in recent weeks to heighten magnitude of what may or may not have happened with respect to the election, playing on patriotic feelings of the electorate to undermine President-elect Trump.

By creating this cloud of doubt around Russian involvement, the globalist defeat can be mitigated. The goal is to grind Trump down to a point where he ‘acknowledges’ that Russians may have played a role in the election. The second he does that, the intellectually dishonest narrative will be spun furiously. You can almost see the New York Times headline should Trump ever give in to some of these claims:

‘TRUMP HAS ADMITTED VLADAMIR PUTIN PERSONALLY INSTALLED HIM AS PRESIDENT’

It would be a box that would forever constrain his presidency, as anything he would hope to accomplish would be dogged by concerns about ‘Russian handlers,’ and the like. The globalists would have achieved their goal of a neutered Trump presidency. Trump is right to resist the intelligence conclusions to this point.

As for the media and lawmakers, their naked politicization of this issue will continue to harm their credibility. A facet of the intelligence report was focused on RT, the state-owned media outlet which was accused of disseminating pro-Trump ‘propaganda.’ This continues in the line of ‘fake news,’ which was a concept established after the election as an excuse as to why Hillary Clinton did not win.

‘Fake news’ is better described as ‘opinions the establishment media disagrees with,’ as evidenced by the outrageous treatment of Beppe Grillo, the outspoken Italian politician. Last week, he had the temerity to put forth his opinion that the mainstream media was the biggest purveyors of fake news themselves.

His views were met with massive backlash from globalist politicians, one of whom declared that the idea that random members of the public should decide what is and isn’t fake news ‘is called Fascism, and those who play to down are accomplices.’ His opinions and solutions were hailed as Mussolini-like. This shows you the state of mind of the globalist set. They put forth a set of options: agree with their consensus opinion, or be declared a fascist dealing in fake news.

Meanwhile, one of the organizations deemed to be ‘real’ news, the Washington Post, has just been caught publishing the most fake of fake news stories, accusing the Russians of hacking into the electric grid. Virtually every word of that article is false, yet the Post went with it enthusiastically, as it is in line with their globalist view.

The inflammatory nature of that claim that the Russians were tampering with the electric grid is orders of magnitude greater than anything that the Russians may have done in terms of hacking. It is potentially an offense warranting a military response. Yet the globalists have no qualms in falsely fanning these flames because it is in their interest.

In this vein, consider the following video from Chuck Schumer last week, in regards to the ongoing row between Trump and the intelligence community:

Shockingly, Schumer all but threatens Trump that his stance against the intelligence community would provoke retaliation by the intelligence community against Trump. It truly is a stunning thing to say, that the American intelligence community would literally strike back against the American President, as though they are mortal adversaries, all over a mere difference in opinion.

However, once you introduce the political aspect, and beyond this the ideological difference between the globalists and nationalists that trumps everything, such claims make a bit more sense.  Globalists such as Schumer, McCain and the mainstream media care more about preserving their power and the propagation of the globalist ideology than what is best for the American people. To them, saber rattling for World War 3 with nuclear-capable Russia is superior to allowing the nationalist bent of Trump and Putin to run unchecked, despite the latter having the potential to achieve real peace and prosperity for the respective peoples of the United States and Russia.

As more and more people on the ground understand these concepts, the credibility of the media and the globalist politicians they shill for decreases and decreases.