Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 01, 2017

The "Russian Influence" Stories Promote Russia's Might - Is Putin Paying For Them?

It was probably premature to write The "Russian Influence" Story Falls Apart:

The story about "Russian influence" was made up by the Democrats to explain Clinton's loss of the election and to avoid looking at her personal responsibility for it. It also helps to push the new cold war narrative and to sell weapons. As no evidence was ever found to support the "Russian influence" campaign, Facebook and others come under pressure to deliver the "evidence" the U.S. intelligence services could not produce. The now resulting story of [Russia is] "sowing chaos" is out of la-la-land.

The last nonsense of the "Russia hacked the election" campaign was a recent letter from the Department of Homeland Security which warned 21 states, a year too late, that their election systems were attacked by something "Russia". So far three of the 21 states have debunked the DHS claim. Wisconsin, California and Texas all say that their election systems were not attacked at all and DHS had to concede as much.

These states also pointed out that the only "attacks" DHS found were port-scans of some non-election systems. Port scans are requests from one server to another to check for the availability of certain services - some computer asking another computer if a web-service or mail-service is available on it. Such requests are not attacks but regular behavior of internet systems. Sometimes email-spammers use port scans to find unsecured email-servers they could potentially abuse. These are like small time thieves checking a parking lot for the one unlocked car with the expensive camera on the front seat.

But the need to build Russia up as the new enemy is still there. How else can Europe be kept down? How else can more money be spend for useless weapon systems?

Thus the campaign has changed from "Russia installed Trump" or "Russia influenced the election" to "Russian influence wants to destroy America". The campaign has also grow more lunatic.

Consider the Republican senator James Lankford who's claims of "Russian influence" have been picked up by the Washington Post, Reuters, NPR and others. They want you to believe that Russia is involved in the NFL protests:

"We watched, even this weekend, the Russians and their troll farms, their Internet folks, start hashtagging out 'take a knee' and also hashtagging out 'boycott the NFL,' " Lankford said at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

"They were taking both sides of the argument this past weekend ..."

Surely, taking both sides on an issue which is heavily debated is a trademark of Russian spies. That is at least what the NPR author implies:

That's the very same modus operandi that Senate Intelligence Committee investigators and others have detected in Russian influence-mongers' use of Facebook last year.

No one of course has detected anything like that. Partisans and warmongers simply assert that people discussing a widely discussed issue are part of a "Russian operation". They have not provided one bit of evidence to support their claims.

The Senator's claims about the NFL discussion are obviously nonsense. But dozens of media repeated them with no questions asked. Only Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone took a deeper look:

The Post reported that Lankford's office had cited one of "Boston Antifa's" tweets. But the example offered read suspiciously like a young net-savvy American goofing on antifa stereotypes:...

Matt digs into the "Boston Antifa" twitter account and finds the two funny nerds in Oregon who are behind it. They are known for pranks and had earlier been interviewed about such stunts:

They also did things like make claims that fidget spinners caused PTSD in hurricane victims. In short, two young people goofing on the Internet.

During the 60s and 70s the assertion of then "Communist influence" over one opinion was widely used to disparage and delegitimize it. Right wing groups like the John Birch Society claimed that that whole Civil Rights movement was a Kremlin plot. FBI investigation and suppression followed such assertions. History is now repeating itself.

Everyone should be concerned when the Washington Post, Reuters and CNN all try to tie Black Lives Matters to "Russian influence". "The Russians", you know, bought ads promoting and disparaging that group:

The ads reportedly centered around racial, political, and economic rifts in the U.S., with some promoting groups like Black Lives Matter and others describing the groups as a threat.

Again - "the Russians" are taking both sides. What a wicked concept.

CNN exclusively finds an anonymous facebook and twitter account named Blacktivists that amplifies reports of crimes against black people. CNN tells us that the account looked suspiciously "Russian" because?

The Twitter account, @Blacktivists, provided several clues that in hindsight indicate it was not what it purported to be. In several tweets, it employed awkward phrasing that a native English speaker would be unlikely to use. It also consistently posted using an apostrophe facing the wrong way, i.e. "it`s" instead of "it's."

Using the wrong apostrophe must, of course, mean that Putin personally paid whoever hides behind that account.

"Russian influence" is also responsible for activism against fracking. It pushed for voting for Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders and Trump. It even bought Facebook ads promoting Hillary Clinton.

Dozens if not hundreds of stories about "Russian hacking" and "Russian influence" have been published. Not one provided proof of any nefarious Russian involvement. All hacking claims have been debunked. The "influence" issues are fantasies. But that does not make them less influential. They are part of an orchestrated campaign to construct a new Cold War and to build up a caricature of Russia as the a villain.

Looking from the outside the U.S. media have simply gone nuts. There seems to be no other way to explain the silliness of their "reporting".

Then again: Could they all be under Russian influence? Are Russian secret services paying for such stories?

Consider that all the "Russian hacking" and "Russian influence" stories are amplifying (the illusion of) Russian might.

Isn't that exactly what Putin wants?

Posted by b on October 1, 2017 at 02:52 AM | Permalink

Comments

history repeating itself. again. and again.


....America you don’t really want to go to war.
America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.....

- America, Allen Ginsberg, from Howl and Other Poems, 1956

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 1, 2017 3:27:58 AM | 1

The ridiculous and dangerous games being played aside; this has gotten boring. Not to mention, maliciously childish.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 1, 2017 3:29:23 AM | 2

American democrocy is being attacked b. It is a serious situation. American democracy is the most expensive money can buy. Those sneakey Russians, trying to steal some Amerikan democrocy without paying full price.
what a fuckin scam. Democracy, if ever alive in the US "west" has long since departed.

The Russians are attacking our democracy, the Russians are attacking our democracy... fucking retards.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1, 2017 3:39:25 AM | 3

What in heck could the US have that the Russian's would want?

Maybe Russia wants to steal all Western debt, our environmental disasters or those we foisted on the world via Japan or say our world class health care system...and associated costs.

I want to know when the fat lady is scheduled to sing? Or when we can send US Bankers to Vietnam for justice.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 1, 2017 3:54:54 AM | 4

B Said:
"Looking from the outside the U.S. media have simply gone nuts. There seems to be no other way to explain the silliness of their "reporting"

Actually i live in Europe and I dont see any difference really. European media spread the same conspiracy theories, psyops i.e. against Russia. Its dangerous but dare to point this out.

Posted by: Tommy | Oct 1, 2017 4:03:31 AM | 5

FEW dare to Point this out, it should be.

Posted by: Tommy | Oct 1, 2017 4:06:02 AM | 6

b: The reason for pauses in the Russian 'narrative'

To define a new narrative you need a sustained high-intensity blitz of sensational 'information' - information that community leaders of all backgrounds were willing to mobilize around & over which they take legal/economic action. We saw this with the year-long scape-goating of Russia in the media accompanied by the legal/economic actions of sanctions.

After the narrative has been tentatively established it needs to be reinforced. This cannot be done immediately. Too much emphasis leads to suspicion and a kind of media 'weariness', it desensitizes the masses. This is why there was and will be a media pause between instalments - and yes I believe that this narrative (like the sanctions) are here to stay.

The best reinforcement is episodic and random. Initially not more than 6 months apart, and in the longer term never more than a year apart. The reinforcement itself is an intense focus on relatively insignificant things that echo the larger narrative, a focus that seeks to create a 'meme' reflective of one the larger themes in the newly created narrative. The most successful memes become the emotional locus around which society can be mobilized for future acts of aggression.

As an example track the use of the term 'barrel-bomb' in the Syrian war - how often there was a peak of occurrence of the term in the media just prior to and during some planned aggression or sanctions against Syria and its' leadership. As a term 'barrel-bomb' is irrational - all bombs come in a barrel of some shape or form. But the potency of this term is that it carries the feelings of crudeness, excessive & indiscriminate violence (as opposed to civilized westerners who use 'smart weapons'). It was the emotional content of the term which made it useful as a 'meme' to mobilize opinion in the 'west'for aggressive action.

The same is and will continue to be true of current media as arrayed against Russia. It is deliberately creating a narrative and a set of memes. Ironically, the media is not arrayed against China in the same way, it displays far more random critiques with no real attempt to systematize the use of key prejudicial words. This would suggest that while China is a subject of attention and competition, it is not yet a threat on the order of Russia.

As an aside, some terms inadvertently take on a life of their own. The term "smart bombs" has had a profoundly unintended effect on those who suffered under what westerners saw as a morally superior form of war. Traditionally, death in war always had a kind of randomness to it; the fate of those who fell under the thousands of arrows shot up in the air was seen as fate and fate helped ease the eventual negotiation to surrender or peace.

'Smart weapons' however, with their riveting videos of a hillside, a village, a building, a person running for a stairwell, and then the bomb chasing them down the stairwell dissolved the randomness in a massive explosion of dust and debris. In the Middle East(the recipients of such 'smart weapons' for three decades now) ever single death of each woman and each child became a deliberate, intentional, filmed act of "The West". There were no more accidental deaths in the Middle East. There was no collateral damage. Western weapons were 'smart'. Each death was/is intentional - and as such could not be forgiven.

What for westerners was a morally superior form of war, was for those who suffered under it the epitome of reprehensible & irredeemable immorality, a kind of evil to be eradicated at any cost. Perhaps this was the ultimate form of 'blow-back'.

Posted by: les7 | Oct 1, 2017 4:06:08 AM | 7

This is off topic.

Looking at the Twitter feeds of Spanish national police attacking voters in Catalonia and taking away ballot boxes. Is this the old Europe returning with gestapo tactics?

What happened to the right of self-determination?

I don't have a dog in this fight but shouldn't the Catalans have a right to vote to secede like the Scots and the Quebecois had?

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 4:20:15 AM | 8

Link to Twitter feed on the Catalonia referendum.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/1o?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=refgoogle

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 4:22:34 AM | 9

It was probably premature to write The "Russian Influence" Story Falls Apart:
b.

On the other hand, one could argue that it was nearly too late. It's doubtful that there's anyone, anywhere, who is stupid enough to believe every single fact-free MSM Russia beat-up.

But congrats on your timing with this story, b. I've just finished reviewing a 4x 1 hour BBC doco called Putin, Russia and The West. It spans the period between Russia's Afghan intervention and the election of Obama. It covers all the usual BBC Russo-phobia, but ends with "The West has learned to tread carefully where Russia is concerned" - which sums it up quite well.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1, 2017 4:25:51 AM | 10

To Ab initio

The right of self-determination belongs only to Falkland Islanders, Gibraltarians and Kosovans.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Oct 1, 2017 5:13:00 AM | 11

Hoarsewhisperer

"On the other hand, one could argue that it was nearly too late. It's doubtful that there's anyone, anywhere, who is stupid enough to believe every single fact-free MSM Russia beat-up."

Majority of people believe them, that russian "hacked" "Influenced" and "meddled" is no doubt a fact these days for westerners. Most people believe this stuff.

And this hysteria wont end for a long time, will it lead to war? Yes I think so.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 5:41:09 AM | 12

Hi b, this is an almost off topic remark, but port scanners are not used in normal practice, or rather what is used is not called a port scanner. Port scanning is one of the simplest and most elementary steps of "hacking".

Posted by: nyolci | Oct 1, 2017 5:43:12 AM | 13

...
Most people believe this stuff.

And this hysteria wont end for a long time, will it lead to war? Yes I think so.
Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 5:41:09 AM | 12

I've yet to meet anyone (in Oz) who has fallen for this anti-Russia crap hook, line and sinker. Many people think it's a diversion from the affordable Neolib housing crisis, or the Neolib gas-electricity supply crisis here.
It's easy to forget that the MSM doesn't only have a monopoly on the puerile stories; it also has a monopoly on the 'public feedback' which is ALWAYS sparse, anecdotal and biased. It reminds me a bit about the pre-Iraq War feedback - a handful of ppl swearing on the lives of their (imaginary) dead relatives that Saddam was a monster.

When the MSM is posing the scary questions AND supplying the scary answers you know they're yanking our collective chain. Ppl in Oz just chuckle and roll their eyes when the Russia threat is mentioned. That's mostly due to the fact that the politicians flogging the message in Oz are lying Neocon-Neolib cocksuckers with fake personalities - such as PM Turnbull and FM Julie Bishop.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1, 2017 6:34:38 AM | 14

Hoarsewhisperer

People here see it that way but the majority in US and EU? No way.

"The majority of U.S. residents consider Russia an enemy of the U.S. rather than an ally,"
https://www.rbth.com/news/2017/05/26/fox-news-most-americans-view-russia-as-unfriendly-country_770552


Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 6:48:22 AM | 15


"... I've yet to meet anyone (in Oz) who has fallen for this anti-Russia crap hook, line and sinker ..."
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1, 2017 6:34:38 AM | 14

Unfortunately I have and both people prided themselves on being university-educated and well-informed readers / watchers of "quality" news media like the ABC and SBS television channels.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 1, 2017 6:51:59 AM | 16

There is of course method in the madness. The FBI wants rights to control Facebook and Twitter.

So where does that leave our counterintelligence efforts? Short of allowing the FBI to unilaterally access and police social media accounts—which would make us start to look a lot like Russia—we need to think creatively about ways to bridge the legal gaps that now benefit our adversaries. Currently, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have little incentive to help counterintelligence beyond their own goodwill. But Congress could pass legislation that requires social media companies to cooperate with counterintelligence in the same ways they do with law enforcement. For example, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) requires telecommunications companies to design their digital networks in such a way that would permit wiretaps for criminal cases. Similarly, requiring social media platforms to develop ways to vet and authenticate foreign users and proactively report potential bots to the FBI would enable the FBI to identify perception management operations as they are occurring. In addition to monitoring these specific FIS-based accounts, the FBI could publicly expose the source of particular accounts, ads or news, creating the same kind of transparency that FARA originally sought to do with traditional propaganda.

Another option is to borrow from the counterterrorism toolbox and designate entities known to be acting on behalf of foreign intelligence—like Russia’s “troll farm,” the Internet Research Agency—as nonstate intelligence services, the same way we now designate some nonstate actors as foreign terrorist organizations. This would drop some of the First Amendment barriers on counterintelligence operations against the individuals who knowingly assist and facilitate these entities, since they would become “agents of a foreign power” and fair game for traditional counterintelligence techniques like FISA surveillance orders.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 6:58:14 AM | 17

Anyway, they are serious in suggesting that Russia fights information wars by supporting opposite extremes.

Russia might not have hacked American voting machines, but by selectively amplifying targeted disinformation and misinformation on social media—sometimes using materials acquired by hacking—and forging de facto information alliances with certain groups in the United States, it arguably won a significant battle without most Americans realizing it ever took place. The U.S. electoral system is the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy, and now—thanks to Russian actions—we’re locked in a national argument over its legitimacy. We’re at war with ourselves, and the enemy never fired a physical shot. “The information space opens wide asymmetrical possibilities for reducing the fighting potential of the enemy,” Gerasimov writes. (He also writes of using “internal opposition to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state.”)

They forget to mention that the US managed to do all this single handedly by Florida's inability to count. However the "might not have hacked" is ominous. Maybe they did. The US would never admit it.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 7:09:55 AM | 18

V. Arnold says:

this has gotten boring

yeah, i agree. arguments pro and con have metastasized into a cloying overload of echoes, a cacophony of hoots and hollers.

Posted by: john | Oct 1, 2017 7:15:38 AM | 19

19

Sure, so boring that people won't wake up when Facebook and Twitter get controlled.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 7:37:01 AM | 20

20

there you go...being hypothetical again.

Posted by: john | Oct 1, 2017 7:49:10 AM | 21

Unfortunately I have and both people prided themselves on being university-educated and well-informed readers / watchers of "quality" news media like the ABC and SBS television channels.
Posted by: Jen | Oct 1, 2017 6:51:59 AM | 16

Try talking to check-out chicks/chooks, tradies, your mechanic as well.
I only watch The Drum (Spin Tanks R Us) & Media Watch and The Feed for a few minutes per week but FAKE NEWS is a ubiquitous perspective on most News analysis/speculation programs on radio and TV. Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1, 2017 8:33:17 AM | 22

john | Oct 1, 2017 7:15:38 AM | 19

Well, che' surprise; I wasn't expecting any response...thanks.
I find it increasingly difficut to bring myself to post further; the echo chamber reverberates so loudly and persistently...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 1, 2017 8:41:17 AM | 23

I *am* a liberal.

As much as anybody I keep up with the news and the issues.
I go out of my way to read material from both sides of the aisle.

After all these many, many years I have developed a rule of thumb as a starting
point from which to understand why things happen and why people do what they do.

The rule of thumb about Democrats is new for me, this election cycle has
given me an epiphany. As a news story the Russia/Republican collusion nonsense
should not have had any traction even for a day. That people bought into it at
all has really been an eye opener, for it to have continued for weeks and months is
breathtaking.

Rule of Thumb:

Republicans are jerks.

Democrats are crazy.

Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 9:01:09 AM | 24

The US and Russia seem to gang up on Facebook.

Russia tells facebook to localize user data or be blocked

Russia will block access to Facebook next year unless the social network complies with a law that requires websites which store the personal data of Russian citizens to do so on Russian servers, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

DOJ Wants Anti-Trump Facebook Users' Info

What is targeted is people's ability to organize via Facebook.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 9:04:25 AM | 25

25

If the FBI's interest is to control all types of political groups it makes sense to pretend there is a Russian threat supporting opposing groups.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 9:09:45 AM | 26

Well, something is not right with the English language Russian sites such as RT. All of them are forever playing the race lie of the supposed poor, misused American blacks, Soros style. Seems they are after a divide and conquer civil war just as much as Soros, Hillary, etc., forever coddling the much over-coddled blacks to even more criminality.
Another thing: when you give them some real lowdown on what is truly going on in American politics, especially the pedogate stuff, they immediately censor it out. You would think that they would appreciate the actual truth of the Rothschild control of everything important in the country but they bury it.
Not good signs at all. Actual back ups for the "bad Russian" criminality in U.S. politics. What's the motive here? Has the ugly look of CIA agenture.

Posted by: Tony B. | Oct 1, 2017 9:59:09 AM | 27

Tony, Odd you should suggest such a thing since that Russian outrage du'jour over at the Guardian

Guardian: Did Russia fake black activism on Facebook to sow division in the US? The popular ‘Blacktivist’ account claimed to be a force for community organizing. Now it looks to have been part of Russia’s effort to influence politics.

(oh, and just a reminder that the Russian presidential election is next year, 18 March 2018, so chess pieces are being moved into place in advance of that battle ... things will get louder and busier)


Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 1, 2017 10:15:30 AM | 28

Susan Sunflower

+1 on this, very important:

".. Russian presidential election is next year, 18 March 2018, so chess pieces are being moved into place in advance of that battle ... things will get louder and busier)"

Besides, what a pathetic leftist/liberal propaganda force Guardian have become.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 10:29:37 AM | 29

Susan, I don't bother with so-called "social media" so I checked that link out and its just more of the massive hype without any substance whatsoever as proof of anything, unlike the sites I mentioned. I don't like articles built completely on innuendo pretending to be proof even when I agree with their point.
However those sites I mentioned put themselves out as Russian and do promote the lies about American blacks being discriminated against where the fact is that they are discriminated FOR.
Journalism used to require at least some FACT but today it is ALL fake news. Comment should be labeled as comment, not as news reporting.

Posted by: Tony B. | Oct 1, 2017 10:33:05 AM | 30

"The U.S. electoral system is the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy" . . .and again, for at least the third time in a row, Russians(?) influenced over forty percent of the electorate not to vote in a presidential election. It's a little heart disease, I'd say, and probably not caused by Russians, and it doesn't speak well of "powerful democracy."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2017 10:33:27 AM | 31

@24

I do like your concise analysis. Which would you rather deal with?

Posted by: longshot | Oct 1, 2017 10:47:08 AM | 32

Tony, I don't know... I watch RT fairly often and I don't think their coverage is excessively inflammatory or "coddling" of what you seem to think is unworthy minority concerns.

Few are willing to acknowledge the failure of the Black Lives Matter "movement" to effect much of any political change whatsoever, no matter how much "consciousness raising" they have done ... They are an elephant in the living room. Much of the world is alternately confused and aghast at the passivity of Americans in general, and minorities more obviously. The intransigence of the "establishment" to address matters ("you can't get there from here") seems to be only getting worse, and didn't improve even with 8 years of "the first black president" who only marginally tried to do anything. Education, poverty, incarceration rates haven't gone away as issues even if they have disappeared from the MSM. (I anticipate Trump/Sessions will launch a hellacious civil-rights ignoring "war on crime" in response to the opioid epidemic)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 1, 2017 10:54:51 AM | 33

Tony B.

What are you even talking about? Russia isnt behind the BLM!
what lies, show me links where "Russia lies" about "blacks" as you've repeteadly claimed now.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 11:14:20 AM | 34

"What in heck could the US have that the Russian's would want?"

The US wants badly to retain its position as world hegemon -- "having dominant influence or authority over others" -- and that brings with it some "others" who don't obey orders. They are rebels against the world leader. And so they become US enemies, "world outcasts," etc. -- really bad.

These concocted enemies serve a vital purpose by authenticating and validating the US hegemon role, causing various excuses for US/UN sanctions, and contribute to the US world-leading arms sales. Also these enemy countries are selected because they are in key geographical areas.

Current major US enemies:
>Russia, historically a whipping boy, and now that the US knows how to do economic sanctions which hurt not only Russia but also world competitor Europe, it works. Also the Russia selection promotes arms sales to NATO countries and gives the half-million person US Army a reason to exist (which the pivot to Asia seemingly killed).
>Korea, here the US keeps the sixty-year war with North Korea going by retaining combat troops and even having operational control of South Korea's mighty force. Also the "Korea crisis" provides an excuse for US air force bombers and fighters one air-hour from Shanghai and Beijing.
>Iran, in the vital Middle East, a sworn enemy of not only the US but also -- this is serious -- Israel. So the US has military headquarters, ships, and 40,000 military members and dependents around the Persian Gulf. The largest US arms sales are to Gulf countries especially the US favorite despots in Saudi Arabia. Thank you, Iran
>China, historically an enemy, now in danger of pushing the US out of western Asia, and thankfully the renegade China province Taiwan provides a good source for arms sales and US political venting.
>Venezuela, in the western hemisphere, with lots of oil and -- eeks -- socialism, a sworn enemy of all that is right and good about capitalism. Definitely an enemy.

So all these countries, and a few more, have what the US wants -- "enemy-hood." They serve various purposes politically and financially, and one could on with more evidence of this US need which is vital to a dominator (but wouldn't be to a cooperator).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2017 11:14:49 AM | 35

33, Susan -

As for RT, it's sad that the Overton Window has been moved so far rightward that this outlet is considered too leftist. People who would question the truth of such programs as Chris Hedges' should be pitched through that window.

Also, we are getting close to a "First they came for Face Book..." environment. That crook Pai at the FCC will go along with efforts to censor the internet.

Posted by: Bart in VA | Oct 1, 2017 12:23:56 PM | 36

i also agree with v. arnold and john... reminds me of "made for and in the usa stories".. they must think americans are really stupid..

Posted by: james | Oct 1, 2017 12:42:47 PM | 37

>>>> Susan Sunflower | Oct 1, 2017 10:15:30 AM | 28

From that Guardian article you linked to.

If the Blacktivist account is linked to Moscow,..

So, all those claims and no evidence it's even linked to Moscow. Why did they bother writing and printing that article?

Posted by: Ghostship | Oct 1, 2017 12:52:56 PM | 38

I've been wondering what is left for them to "seize" wrt to Facebook ... Arab Spring demonstrated freedom and privacy could (and would) be compromised with readily available existent software. I don't think "we" should surrender demands and/or fulfillment of their obligations/promises in the End-User-Agreement (expectations which I think I read are considered unenforceable) ... still.

Yes, in many ways RT is not "leftist" at all ... as Russia and Putin are not "leftist"... but, critical analysis and discussion of issues, I guess, has seemingly now largely become "leftist" or is stuffed away in stodgy journals I can't afford and have neither the time or desire to read ... another "Fukuyama effect" ... once they "won" there was pretty much nothing to discuss (joke). (There's a ton published in academic and government/thinktank journals, but I suspect most of it only read by interested and partisan parties). It really is nuts. I think RT has almost given up on Trump, although I keep hearing tone that suggests not. Crazy, I watch RT because it has international news, see also BBC ... they are both biased and have their hobbyhorses. that's not a betrayal or dangerous "propagandizing" appreciably different from the other networks (that brought us Trump and the Gulf Wars, etc.)

The Guardian article rather fascinated me because THEY (or the US) appear to be deliberately sowing distrust (even paranoia) into the (already paranoid imho) black activist community ... watch out for those evil doers!!! but don't look behind the curtain. Hackers gonna hack and monkey-wrenchers are going to monkey-wrench ... show me the money! ... and the "beef" ... evidence would be nice. (AFAICT, plenty of pre-existing anticommunism sentiments there already -- yes, I know the USSR fell in 1990 and Putin's considered an anti-communist -- valley-girl sigh)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 1, 2017 12:59:23 PM | 39

Should RT and Sputnik leave Americka I'm not out of luck since I watches and listens to both networks 7/24. However, my main concert will the regime block my Internet? I dun give a shit if they spy on me. This is real democracy and freedom of the press? Fuck the republicans and especially the democrats!

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1, 2017 1:04:43 PM | 40

Dangerous territory

Controlled media.

Made up enemies.

Forced participation in patriotic displays.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1, 2017 1:09:26 PM | 41

38
Nobody knows.

The pro and contra technique seems to be state of the art. In pre election Austria a scandal has just blown up involving Israeli consultant Tal Silberstein and fake facebook accounts claiming to be pro or contra the conservative candidate with all kinds of outrageous statements
Link in German only - international media have not noticed yet.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 1:14:11 PM | 42

Yes, the democrats are the ones at the front of this parade ... it will also intertwine with the "opioid epidemic/crisis" because "dark web" ... oh well ... with all the surveillance power of the NSA both pornography and drug traffic on the internet are apparently pretty much business-as-usual (with acknowledged risks) ...

Is the Bitcoin scandal/controversy (about which I known nothing) just another "proxy" war/stalking horse to control the internets? Ugh, I "should" spend some time on this -- I know -- but MEGO....

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 1, 2017 1:19:37 PM | 43

Under Russian influence?
To usually be 99% correct start with the MSM under CIA and Wall Street influence.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 1, 2017 1:23:27 PM | 44

OJS

Will they not just move to another place? It will still be internet, so censorship wont work for these fascist thugs trying to silence media now.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2017 1:23:31 PM | 45

It's still Putin and Xi faults. They should had confronted the regimes especially Americka. Still puzzle why Putin willing to continue the international space station. Furthermore, engage with Americka on moon space station and explorations. Putin got screwed and will continue getting screws. He deserve it!

"First space station on the moon to be a US-Russia joint venture"

http://zeenews.india.com/science-environment/russia-us-shoot-for-the-moon-with-joint-lunar-station-project-2046052.html

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1, 2017 1:23:49 PM | 46

Being an independent no party nor god damn shits affiliation thinker....

In Syria's war front, the regimes Kurdish militia recently receive 'truckloads' of US arms and ammo (not counting thousand trucks and airlifts) and moderate freedom fighters for eventually civil wars after IS defeated, against the democratically elected Syrian government. SDF continues gaining more territories especially Syria's richest oil and gas fields. SAA is bog down along the Euphrates river with only one Russia's pontoon bridge crossing might be two now.

Soon there will be a new Israel's Kurdish state with larger and richer (oil and gas) combines conquered territories - Iraq and Syria and Israeli annex territory Golan height. One more food for thought to doubters? How many generals, Russian’s civilians and military including ministers lives sacrificed and how much Russia spends to keep Dr. Assad in power and other Putin’s interest. Please, I'm not against Dr. Assad but still an admire his stands against the regime-change and bullying.

So you think Putin is smart Proof I wrong?

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1, 2017 2:21:59 PM | 47

The Pell Center has just published what it describes as "a Conference Report on Russian Influence Operations", which claims a massive Russian program to undermine western democracy as a flat fact, requiring drastic mobilization for a new Cold War:

"Vladimir Putin’s Russia is engaged in a well-financed and determined campaign to undermine democratic political and social institutions as well as international alliances, and to remove resistance to Russia’s foreign policy objectives…

Russia’s motives are clear. Putin resents the collapse of the Soviet Union and seeks to restore Russia’s lost empire in order to give the Russian government a freer hand at home and abroad. Russia’s intervention in the American election was part of a broader effort to undermine con dence in Western democracies and the credibility of Western institutions; weaken trans-Atlantic relationships, including NATO; diminish the international appeal of the United States as well as reduce American power abroad; reassert Russian power; and, ultimately, protect Putin’s regime from the threat of people power…

Congress must create an independent, bipartisan commission to establish a widely-accepted understanding of Russian actions, means, and objectives in the 2016 election…

Social media platforms must be regulated so that political ads and sponsored content are clearly identified as such and there is transparency about who is paying for that content.

Public and private resources must be brought to bear to fund the scholars, journalists, and investigators who will educate the American public and policymakers about a threat that has not waned.

Prepare the executive branch for a new cold war. Organizations from the White House to the intelligence community need to be reviewed for their efficacy in meeting the propaganda challenge to the West…The administration also must provide the diplomatic leadership required for an international response to the common challenge posed by Russian intervention in the democratic processes of the West."

http://pellcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Shatter-the-House-of-Mirrors-FINAL-WEB.pdf

Posted by: jayc | Oct 1, 2017 3:29:00 PM | 48

Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 9:01:09 AM | 24
For me, this last election was when the last of my belief in the Democratic Party fell away. The horror I felt in HC being a candidate, the revulsion in realizing she would not be going to jail and the gagging hypocrisy of Bernie's sell out of his own base left me breathless.
I knew the Republican Party was soulless, Bush and Chaney taught me that, but now there is nothing left, Stein is just a pawn, not sure what to make of the libertarians, so America has no political parties; it is all a farce.
And I am not the only one or even one of a few that now knows this. 40 percent didn't vote last time, I think they will see 60 percent in 2018. My view of the Russia!Russia! nonsense is they realize that they, the dual party system, have been found out and they need to shut down all access to all alternative media sources before the next election or god forbid, they might see another Trump with more political acumen. I think we are doomed quite frankly although if you look at the French candidate and election fiasco, perhaps we still have a way to go.

Posted by: frances | Oct 1, 2017 4:48:00 PM | 49

@49

Man, you mirror my sentiments almost exactly. I feel like Cassandra crying ¨look!¨

Where is Mdm DuFarge when we need her?

Posted by: joeymac | Oct 1, 2017 5:45:35 PM | 50

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1, 2017 2:21:59 PM | 47

Russia's Kurdish Pipeline Gamble

Rarely does one see such a multi-faceted move as Rosneft declaring it will build a $1 billion pipeline bringing gas from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey.

The 30 BCm/year pipeline would not only allow the ever-expanding Rosneft to fortify its position in Kurdistan and nip into the Turkish gas market, but it could also challenge the export monopolist Gazprom, as the heavy lobbying effort to liberalize access to gas exports failed on the domestic market, it seems it might work out in Turkey.

Rosneft-Kurdistan relations intensify by the minute. In February, the sides concluded an oil supply agreement. In July they signed a framework agreement. And in mid-September they formalized their commitment to build the Kurdistan-Turkey gas pipeline.

Kurdistan independence vote and Turkey's reaction pushed oil prices up. Russia is going to win either way.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1, 2017 5:57:20 PM | 51

Where is Mdm DuFarge when we need her?
Posted by: joeymac | Oct 1, 2017 5:45:35 PM | 50

I was kind of hoping for Huey Long myself:)

Posted by: frances | Oct 1, 2017 6:54:36 PM | 52

I would pee in my pants laughing if the person(s) behind 'Blacktivist' stepped forward to identify themselves and we found out that they had no connection to Russia. The problem is that they were 'anonymous' for good reason, they feared retribution either in their personal or professional lives. BTW this is one reason why I always post under my own name, for better or for worse, I want to consciously own what I say.

In any case, why doesn't the govt publish a list of these diabolical Russian trolls? If they are so certain that they really are trolls then what do they fear. Perhaps they don't want the embarrassment of someone coming forward and identifying themself publicly. The fact that they limit their search to anonymous accounts (apparently) makes this less likely.

We have entered very dark territory. The accusations being made now are extremely nebulous and impossible to disprove and the MSM is perfectly content to take the govt's word for it. We have an MSM that is appropriate if we were in the middle of WW2 but we aren't actually at war with anyone. What happens if we actually do go to war? I shudder.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 1, 2017 8:52:36 PM | 53

james | Oct 1, 2017 12:42:47 PM | 37

Americans are not necessarily stupid; just ignorant.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 1, 2017 9:24:52 PM | 54

@32

You asked:

"I do like your concise analysis. Which would you rather deal with?"

Posted by: longshot | Oct 1, 2017 10:47:08 AM | 32

Last night my wife and I discussed the video found in this article:

www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-30/they-wont-know-what-hit-them-shocking-undercover-footages-exposes-antifas-premeditat

It contains undercover footage of Antifa planning extreme violence.

The bottom line conclusion and agreement from our discussion is that
the country is in a period of temporary (hopefully) insanity and we should both not discuss politics in a public setting **with anyone** (Republican or Democrat or Green or anyone else).

So, I hope I answered your question about which I "would rather deal with":
**None of the above**


Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 9:44:07 PM | 55

Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 9:44:07 PM | 55

So, now it's come to that? Tragic.
Every day I've been gone confirms that I made the correct decision.
Good luck...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 1, 2017 10:01:33 PM | 56

Great Purge or crackdown on anonymous political speech?

Facebook and Twitter are accusing American activist of being "Russia" and suspending their accounts. I have done some investigating, see my comment on the previous post.

What seems to be happening is a crackdown on anonymous political speech. If you cannot or will not state who you are, they will claim that you are "Russia" and ban you.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 1, 2017 10:02:39 PM | 57

Yup, the Chicago Tribune put Lankford right where he belongs, in Sports:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/ct-james-lankford-russian-trolls-nfl-national-anthem-20170927-story.html

Contrast with Russian Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Relations --

http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/-/asset_publisher/D2wHaWMCU6Od/content/id/2879203#14

In summary, I would like to say that Russia complies with all international regulations and laws regarding the freedom of speech, which it has proven many times. When fights without rules begin, the law is distorted and used as a tool for ruining a television company, every step against Russian media will have a proportionate response. Washington should figure out carefully who the target of this response might be. The clock is ticking.

Posted by: Stumpy | Oct 1, 2017 10:06:38 PM | 58

Good luck...
Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 1, 2017 10:01:33 PM | 56

Thanks.

If I had the cash I would move tomorrow to....?....New Zealand?

Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 10:13:17 PM | 59

This story didn't seem to get enough coverage:

Peter Levashov sings for the Spanish Court

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1, 2017 10:38:11 PM | 60

The three most shameful/disturbing finds for me are:

1)The MSM either never retracting one of these ridiculous claims, or burying it. And even when they do the least effort to do so (such as 17 agencies), the same publications or networks will still insinuate a non-face (they'll say "intelligence community consensus" when instead they should say "a handpicked few from a few intelligence agencies, which is not standard practice for an objective assessment")

2)The MSM completely abrogating its duty of truthful and competent reporting, even after their culpability in the Iraq War. Even by some of the same writers.

Of course, both of those can also be chalked up to many reporters/journalists valuing clicks, bylines, in-crowd partisan pals, and $$$ much more than they do honesty. It's difficult to believe (or maybe even most) of these ridiculous non-factual, bad journalism articles are made because the makers are ignorant of ethics or journalistic practices. So that leaves a lot of these people with shady motives.

3)The most shameful--the tribalists (mostly libs at this point, or maybe better described as Dems) who have also forgotten the Iraq War, the Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin, and dozens of other instances of the US government and intelligence agencies lying in order to go to war. And in many cases too, that when that happened the media was largely either silent or actively spreading the lies, with only a very few reporters daring to look further. And such citizens don't have the excuse that journalists may have--of valuing profit or fame or such. Unlike the MSM people, I think most Americans are truly ignorant. That doesn't mean stupid--it just means they're uninformed of our history. And I don't blame them too much--to learn such reality means the ability and openmindedness to question the MSM and US government's propaganda efforts (starting from childhood) and research things for yourself, on sites such as this. That's a big ask for someone already inculcated, and an even bigger ask if they're working 60 hours a week, or had a terrible education, or came out of the prison industrial complex, etc.

Posted by: Soft Asylum | Oct 1, 2017 10:50:13 PM | 61

It's rather "telling" that although there have been multiple articles assering that the Obama white house was warned about ongoing aggressive Russian "interference" back in 2014, somehow all this "mischief" went undetected and that 2014 report is so rarely mentioned -- and -- they keep coming up with some many of these easily debunked "conspiracies" --
It's like some Rumsfeld Koan about known unknowns

Here's a politico article in case anyone's interested in what was "allegedly" asserted back then ... with note that back in 2014 they doubted the Russians "had the capacity" THEN ... which doesn't explain lack of interception until -- how'd that go again -- the cat was out of the bag and Guccifer 2.0 fraudulently claimed responsibility ???

no, the US government warned the DNC about the hack months before

The DNC brought in consultants from the private security firm CrowdStrike in April. And by the time suspected Russian hackers were kicked out of the DNC network in June, the hackers had been inside for about a year. A person briefed on the DNC's response says the warning from the FBI and other agencies wasn't specific, and that the extent of the problem wasn't clear when the initial warnings came. DNC officials hired outside help after additional indications surfaced that their systems were compromised.

cnn July 2016.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/14/obama-russia-election-interference-241547

It's one of those "oh never mind" things because there have been so many retractions and changes to stories ... it is very difficult to timeline any of this ... It would be fun if someone would leak the 2014 "warning" ... The government says they warned the DNC (months earlier) and the DNC says that warning was "vague" ... so their IT guys blame the Russians, claim to have proof which is then disputed by real expert ... they don't seem to be very good at "cybersecurity" y'know? See also Equifax

How the Equifax data breach happened: What we know now - Sep. 16 ... Sep 16, 2017 - Equifax first learned about the vulnerability two months before hackers began to exploit ...
money.cnn.com/2017/09/16/technology/equifax-breach-security-hole/index.html

Apparently forewarned is only forearmed sometimes and a stitch in time is too much trouble.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 2, 2017 12:48:15 AM | 62

All this goes to show is how odious Americans are. A grim, overindulged, spoiled bunch of immature children posing as a strong, ethical monolith. These people are truly a hateful crowd. I can't believe the rest of the world has to share space with them.

UGH!

Posted by: Richard | Oct 2, 2017 6:34:45 AM | 63

Thank you b, you really made my day! It seems to me that the US establishment is waging an unrelenting war on the minds of its gullible citizens and some gullible Europeans. Indeed with this sickness going on in the West Russia's profile just continues to rise in the world. So indeed I think the people promoting this Russia things should be investigated. Well, by whom?

Posted by: Steve | Oct 2, 2017 7:48:34 AM | 64

Richard | Oct 2, 2017 6:34:45 AM | 63
These people are truly a hateful crowd.
I can't believe the rest of the world has to share space with them.

Indeed, that is my question as well; and I'm an American (self exiled in 2003).
Little by little, the rest of the world is waking up to the reality of horror that is the U.S..
Look for the U.S. to get even more aggresive as its loss of influence on the world's stage becomes increasingly evident to its deep state fascists.
A wounded beast is most dangerous...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 2, 2017 7:52:54 AM | 65

@Petri Krohn, you are phrasing more succinctly than I am. The U.S. Intelligence Agencies are creating an irrefutable argument. Russians are using fake accounts that are so clever that the content is indistinguishable from real accounts. A competent MSM would say WTF are you talking about, what's the evidence.
So you are a Russian troll just by being anonymous regardless of the content. Still, I only see an account here and there being listed, I don't see a full list. We are just supposed to take their word for it.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 2, 2017 8:05:55 AM | 66

A note for future reference:

The response:

Posted by: librul | Oct 1, 2017 9:44:07 PM | 55

was posted 2 hours and 24 minutes before the Las Vegas shooting began.

Posted by: librul | Oct 2, 2017 8:07:27 AM | 67

57
Yep. I am not sure I oppose this move as Facebook fake accounts are used for all kinds of political mischief.

Voters in Germany handed a small victory to the nation’s alt-right movement on Sunday, after a contentious election season that saw the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, economic populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) enlist an Austin-based advertising agency to create a divisive social media campaign .... Similar to the “Fake News” epidemic in the U.S., many of AfD’s online ads contain blatant lies and rely on fake “bot” social media profiles to spread the ads, according to the Post. One ad recently shared by a regional AfD chapter used a doctored image, and recalled the mass sexual assaults in Germany on New Year’s Eve in 2015, urging people to vote. Though the doctored image’s origins were eventually linked to a white-supremacist and anti-Semitic site, the ad had still spread across AfD-related accounts, with the help of fake bot accounts, according to the Post. A few days after the election, Facebook announced that it had removed “tens of thousands” of fake accounts in Germany in the month leading up to the election, according to CNN.

Austrian case has not been translated yet - basically fake facebook accounts by the SPÖ campaign/Tal Silberstein pretended to be in favor and against the political opponent, "in favor" being disreputable and "against" sliming.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 2, 2017 8:17:09 AM | 68

Petri Krohn

Wasnt it in FInland there was a girl who accused alot of people of being troll some year ago or so? What was the evidence? Was there any at all?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 2, 2017 8:55:55 AM | 69

re: "The MSM either never retracting one of these ridiculous claims"

Ridiculous claims are the staple of the MSM, deriving from their masters in government. The US sustains itself with daily blather about many ideas which have no basis in fact. Iran's nuclear ambitions, Russian aggression, Russian election hacking, China's empire-seeking, Iraq's WMDs, Syria's barrel bombs and chemical attacks -- they are a part of the US political discourse and appear as facts not only in the daily news but also in right-wing blogs, in the Congress, from the presidents, etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 2, 2017 10:13:26 AM | 70

@les7 Yah, the whole Russian conspiracy is very much a managed propaganda campaign. One only has to look back and see how information was leaked on a regular schedule to keep the issue on the front pages of the mass media and on democratic party affiliated sites.

Posted by: Erelis | Oct 2, 2017 10:04:53 PM | 71

So here we go again, propaganda meme about Facebook/Russia falling apart:

RT @ Half of ‘Russian ads’ on Facebook shown after US vote, 25% ‘never seen’ at all

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 3, 2017 9:03:33 AM | 72

Talk about real influence Donors of Anti-Trump 'Resistance' Group Revealed

We should consider it a partial list of enemies.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 6, 2017 4:53:36 AM | 73

And one more thing

Russiagate hysteria continues: Google cuts RT from premium ad service without prior notice

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 6, 2017 5:09:18 AM | 74

This is highly relevant

The Occupation of the American Mind: Documentary exposes how Israel interferes in American politics (VIDEO)

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 6, 2017 5:11:43 AM | 75

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