The Dezinformatsiya Affair - Chapter 6
The coming dezinformatsiya war and Mueller...
Dezinformatsiya's heating up in preparation for the coming 2020 elections and, boy, this one is already promising to be a doozer, beginning with this citation from Putin himself : “So, the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.”
Can someone remind him that liberal ideas were what the West was fighting for against fascists during WWII, and then against his very own Russia during the Cold War?
Ronald Tusk, President of the European Council, had this to say about this : “Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete, also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete. For us in Europe, these are and will remain essential and vibrant values. What I find really obsolete are: authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs. Even if sometimes they may seem effective.”
A recent report by the New York Times states that, by reason of “cascading intelligence failure, in which the scope of the Russian effort was underestimated”, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Russians hacked the voting systems in all 50 states in 2016. The report came out “hours after Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, personally stepped forward to block consideration of a package of election security bills.” Mueller “warned that Russia was moving again to interfere 'as we sit here'”, that Russia and "many more countries" were likely to make U.S. voters the targets of their disinformation in 2020. This was backed by many independent researchers, who have seen this coming from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and China.
So. Ready for the lie-scapade? Here we go!
First, it's “Russia the Pure”
Accusations against Russia aim to “demonise” it
Russia has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country
There's a few lies for everyone.
Here, about Russian Intel's favorite bogeyman, George Soros :
George Soros destabilises [British form not ours] states in order to provoke civil wars like Euromaidan in Ukraine
Anti-Russian protests in Georgia provoked by the George Soros' Open Society Foundation
And, of course...
US Intelligence claims Putin is getting ready to invade Georgia
The US is waging a "colour revolution" against Russia
The US is a dictatorship
The US promoted Von der Leyen to weaken the EU [Ursula Von der Leyen is President-elect of the European Commission]
The US and allies supported the coup d’état in Ukraine
Washington uses religious sects for destructive purposes
The US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash
The United States is preparing Ukraine for a new provocation against Russia
The Mueller report did not prove Russian interference in the US elections
If there’s a need to compare FDRlab to its right-wing shadow, on that other, shadowy side there's FOX News. But even that has a competitor now. There’s another American pay-television, right-wing news channel that promotes Trump and his agenda. It publishes unsubstantiated claims, promotes outright false stories about established facts, raises controversies based on conspiracy theories, and employs one of Russia's star news reporters, and not the good kind either. It also employs an alt-right fake news theorist, and this guy even promoted the Satellite Pizzeria “Pizzagate” disaster.
That news channel shall remain unnamed, for obvious reasons.
Trump finally goes full racist
In its daily newsletter, on July 15, 2019, the very influential Columbia Journalism School Review published an article titled “Just Say ‘Racist.’”
Trump launched his career by being a “truther”, claiming that Barack Obama was not American, was born in Kenya, and thus could not become President. Many are those who saw barely disguised racism in this maneuver. And they didn't have to look very far. The New York Times has compiled a very long list of his deplorable attitudes and racist acts.
Putin’s aim is to destabilize the enemy, and where else to start but with this unique festering race problem that the US has? Trump’s goals were, in effect, the same : divide America!
When he didn't need that particular bit of Obama dezinformatsiya anymore, he flatly stated that Obama was an American. End of story.
The next phase of his self-revealing racism (apart from his long history of not renting to Blacks and much more), came when he gave his speech about Charlottetown. As the president, this was only the first really, really egregious example of Trump kowtowing to neo-Nazis as a part of his base. Many of his policies, especially on the southern border, have since pointed to his white supremacist tendencies. But last week, the liar-in-chief, the security-risk-in-chief, went all-out racist. He told those progressive women who opposed him, who range in color from light brown to black, that they should “go back” and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. “You can’t leave fast enough” he added. This was not dezinformatsiya, however; that's how he really feels and that's how he really thinks. If you're not white, you don't belong in “his” country.
Or maybe it was dezinformatsiya, because there is a fundamental problem with his declaration : only Ilhan Omar, the duly elected congresswoman from Minnesota, was born in Somalia and came to the US as a child. All other three “progressive women” whom he said should “go back to the crime infested places from which they came”, they’re from Detroit, New York and Cincinnati. All American born and bred. They were born in the good ol' US of A.
Were Detroit, New York and Cincinnati the “shithole countries” Trump was going on about?
This is where it get funny (read “pathetic”)
When the women he attacked answered his pathetic screed, he reverted to his old “I'm not, but YOU are” schoolyard bully trick.
See what he's trying to do here? All of a sudden, they're the ones who use foul language. They're the ones who are racists. They're the ones who hate. They're the ones who act irresponsibly. They're the ones who are unpopular and they're the ones who are unrepresentative. All in one relatively short sentence. You've got to admire the linguistic economy. He also said that the Washington Post, not “Moscow” Mitch McConnell , was a Russian asset.
On top of all his lies and dezinformatsiya, Trump's strategy can be summed up as the triple Ds :
Distract - Deflect - Divide.
Remember that pedophile he was chummy with and that he then recently, when push came to shove, disavowed? Remember that lawyer who got this pedophile off the hook and has now resigned his Trump-appointed post as Secretary of Labor?
Remember the concentration camps on the southern border?
For a lot of people, that's all yesterday's news, just a distant memory. But that's also exactly why he attacked Ocasio Cortez and her friends. To make you forget about ALL those accusations that could very well rub off on him.
That was the Distraction part.
He attacked the quatuor of women who opposed him, accusing them of all his own, known sins.
That was the Deflection part.
Then he claimed that those women “hated” America. Then, he accused them of antisemitism.
That was the Division part.
Congratulations, y'all! You’ve just been disinformed.
In a classic case of underhanded Trumpian mission creep, NBCNews informs us that active-duty U.S. Personnel are now performing “Wellness checks”, standing on raised dais inside the large rooms where the US government mistreats migrants. A former U.S. defense official said that it was "probably a bridge too far."
No shit, Sherlock!, as the kids are wont to say.
Trump is again skirting the law, in this case the Posse Comitatus Act and applicable law. But hey, what's another law to Trump?
The cat's finally out of the bag
David Chalian, the Director of Political news at CNN, made a rare on-air appearance to say that Trump's comments were way beyond the realm of acceptability and everyday news. Often, the news tries to reflect both sides of the tit for tat of political dialogue, he explained. “I'm not sure that television news can capture this moment.” In this case, “there is not another side”, he said.
“The President leading a racist attack : that is racist, that is un-American, and is wrong.” Note that the Director of Political news at CNN used the term racist. “The President of the United States put out a racist statement that is un-American and it is wrong. There's nothing partisan about it, there are not two sides to it, it just is (...) it is un-American and it is wrong.”
Maybe he read the Columbia Journalism School Review's newsletter lately, but no matter.
Mueller does Mueller best
The title of an excellent article by NBC News said it best : “Mueller left impeachment breadcrumbs, if Democrats choose to follow.”
A lifelong insomniac such as this writer wouldn't have slept a wink at least a whole week before the day he was supposed to get drilled by a bunch of high-priced lawyers, half of them hell-bent on tripping him up in order to accuse him of lying. However, we're sure Mueller got at least a couple hours sleep.
We heard a lot of things during Mueller's long and sometimes confusing, sometimes halting testimony. After all, in video terms, seven hours of testimony is almost as long as a four hundred-odd page printed report. But the Democrats needed the accusations against Trump to come straight from the horse's mouth.
On the light side, some republican complained that Fox News was not cited often enough in the report, and another mistakenly got Mueller to affirm that Trump was prosecutable for his crimes, once out of office.
On the dark side was Trump. Mostly in response to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler's questions, Mueller reiterated and confirmed all the condemnations of the president that floated to the top of his report.
Here are some highlights, again culled from NBC News :
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., asked him point-blank if his investigation had cleared Trump, as the president kept trumpeting over and over.
Mueller explained why he didn't charge Trump criminally, despite evidence that he attempted to obstruct the investigation.
"Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime," Mueller said, referring to the longstanding policy set by the department's Office of Legal Counsel against indicting a sitting president."
Mueller also warned that
"Russia's efforts to disrupt the U.S. democracy have not stopped and that much more needed to be done to confront the challenge Moscow — something Trump has often been reluctant to do [...] 'They're doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.'"
Muller criticized Trump for praising Wikileaks.
"Problematic is an understatement, in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity."
Mueller said it was 'correct' to say that:
" Trump asked former White House Counsel Don McGahn to misrepresent facts he knew to be accurate to defend the president.”
To the question: "So it's fair to say the president tried to protect himself by asking staff to falsify records relevant to an ongoing investigation?"
"I would say that's generally the summary,"
When asked by Nadler if Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice crimes after he leaves office,
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., asked him in the sixth hour of his testimony. "What did you determine about the president's credibility?"
"That, I can't get into."
Breadcrumbs indeed, but extremely useful breadcrumbs for a staff of efficient prosecution attorneys.
Of course, Trump's henchmen would have none of it. One said that the investigation was started based on "baseless gossip." Another said that the report was an attempt to “smear” the president.
Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio said the FBI had "spied" on the Trump campaign.
Republican John Ratcliffe of Texas, the thoroughly unqualified man who Trump would later try to name Director of National Intelligence, argued at his audition for this post that Mueller did not follow the special counsel regulations and that it was improper for Mueller to say the president had not been exonerated. He then slapped a slap of papers onto the desk before him.
Republican Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania accused Mueller of being an unethical prosecutor. He called the Mueller report "un-American."
For comedy relief, the very laughable Louie Gohmert had a cow! He asked a few weird questions, which he then mostly proceeded to answer himself, then screamed a little. This clown used to be a judge. Geez...
Mueller simply did not respond.
Predictably, the White House declared that there had been "No collusion, no obstruction, and the way President Trump has been treated is unprecedented."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders came out of retirement to lie some more and Trump himself fell back onto his old “fake news”, “high crimes”, “treason” “fake witch hunt”, “should never be allowed to happen to a president” grind, and capped it all off with an even nicer lie, saying that Mueller was “pressured” into testifying against him and that the whole shebang was “an Embarrassment to our Country!”, meaning himself.
Don't worry about that last one. It's just that fascists tend to assimilate their person to “the Country” as a whole.
Is House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, really working undercover for the opposition or something? He dragged his feet before requesting the president's federal tax returns, then took his own sweet time before suing the Treasury and the IRS for the documents. He's got all the backing he needs from Nancy Pelosi, but because of all these unexplained moves, he now has another Democrat challenging his legitimacy and his seat, back in his district.
Maybe it’s for the best…
One can fully understand their cautious approach when attacking not only the president, but also some kind of demigod who has all kinds of legal protections ; a man who has hidden behind battalions of lawyers all his life and has even gone so far as to ask, while he was in office : “Where is my Roy Cohn?” Furthermore, the senate is majority republican, and most probably would simply refuse to impeach. But what about the ammo that a simple impeachment inquiry would give Democrats?
The US has in essence a two party system. Where would the Democrats be without the Republicans? In Ayn Rand country? Nobody wants to be in Ayn Rand country…
Is it possible that they're taking too much precautions? The next elections are still in the balance. What's next? An urgent invitation from Neal and Pelosi to one of those patented Democratic circular firing squads?
Let's all hope that all this changes now that the hearing is over. Unless you want to live in a fascist state. Let's never forget that the Western secret services came into their modern form because they were fighting against this very same old enemy, against fascism.
Democratic Circular Firing Squad
On his YouTube channel, David Pakman described the famed Democratic Circular Firing Squad very clearly.
Dems 2020 ANTI-Playbook
Let Trump set the narrative
Keep arguing publicly about impeachment
Debate issues of minor concern to voters
Spend too much time on losing issues
Focus on only one issue
Allow Trump to divide the left
Don't understand how to spend money
Try to change the minds of Trumpists
Ignore voter suppression until November 2020
I shall leave most of the last words of this article to two luminaries who are much better qualified than I to express the momentous gravity of these recent events :
Karine Jean-Pierre, MoveOn.org's Chief Public affairs Officer, just laid it all down at length, but simply and very lucidly, on Lawrence O'Donnel's July 16 show (transcription and punctuation mine) :
As one man put it, the Mueller report was not about the legality of Trump's doings, but about Right and Wrong. Does this change anything?
We just got news that about fifteen thousand people died needlessly in republican states that refused to get the “medicare for all” plan for their constituents.
Que sera sera…
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW
KREMLIN - PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA OFFICIAL PAGE
https://youtu.be/MXHRqiXEhSg?t=2109 (this post has unfortunately since been mostly deleted by YouTube.)