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15 February 2018

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Valissa

"My guess is that there is already a body of well developed arguments and memes designed to discredit Mueller, defend Trump, and point to a conspiracy against Russia. "

Shepherd... yes, that's what "the political opposition" to Russiagate does and has been doing for some time. That is what the various conservative blogs and news sites are already doing and will continue to do. Conservative Tree House, for example, as they are often referenced here, has been saying just those sorts of things for some time. How will anything the Russians might add on this theme even be noticed in particular.

If Russians are buying ads that promote one party in the US over another, or one policy point over another, how would any person distinguish those from the gazillions of political ads for one thing or another they already see. Or if they are sending paid commenters, that's also means nothing. I first noticed paid commenters in the numerous political blogs I followed during the 2008 election. I would see identical comments sprinkled over numerous blogs in a short period of time clearly attempting to influence readers. Both parties were doing it and I think individual election campaigns as well.

That's one of several reasons I think this whole "Russia influenced the election" meme is full of shit. OK, so Russia did it's normal spying and hacking as all major powers do, and attempted to fuck with the US political system as multiple other countries and orgs have no doubt tried to do. So what that they were buying political ads and also sending paid commenters to try and influence thinking. That's the name of the game and it's already being done to a much greater extant by existing US factions.

Please note, I'm not saying that Russia did not try to influence the US election in any way. What I'm saying is, there's already plenty of polarization and incivility and power games going on regardless of other country's attempts to influence the US. As it is, US political campaigns and their propaganda/public relations companies have a hard enough time figuring out how to influence voters when they scatter their wares around the internet.

The most profound influence the Russians seem to have had is turning the Democratic party into the bigger pro-intelligence/spying and pro-war party. They have very cleverly made the US political system look like it's falling apart and run by the Keystone Cops... oops, it already was doing that. Maybe their goal is to get the US to overspend on our military budget to in the long run weaken US financial power? I can see China liking that plan.

Anna

Russians will "...continue to divide American civil society."
In case you missed this: " During the last 17 years, real average weekly earnings of the core work force --- men 25 years and over---have not increased by a single dime (they're actually down from $407 to $406 per week in constant 1982 dollars). Even as the Fed's balance sheet has soared by 10X and the value of household financial assets has nearly tripled since the year 1997, therefore, worker paychecks have been dead in the water." https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/swan-song-central-bankers-part-3-goldilocks-economy-delusion

Richardstevenhack

1) It's Edward Snowden, not "Eric." - Precision Nazi

2) Putin undoubtedly didn't like Clinton. But that's a far cry from suggesting that he "had to" run some sort of completely hopeless operation to get Trump elected, when absolutely no one except a few rebels in the media had any idea that Trump could actually win.

While Trump announced his candidacy back in 2015, absolutely no one took it seriously. We are to assume that Putin immediately ordered the GRU to hack the DNC - to do what, exactly? Find emails that incriminate the DNC in backing Clinton over Sanders? Before that actually happened?

Which puts the theory into the improbable category.

Not to mention that even if you buy all this, there are three problems:

1) Wikileaks and Assange and Craig Murray, who have no reason to lie about it, have directly refuted the notion that Russia gave Wikileaks the DNC emails. Wikileaks does not care who gives them data as long as its valid data. They have zero reason to not admit they got it from Russia if they did. The only people who care about "Wikileaks colluding with Russia" are Wikileaks' critics.

2) There is ZERO evidence that the DNC emails were exfiltrated from the DNC and given to Russians of any stripe (unless you count "Guccifer 2.0" which has problems of its own.) CrowdStrike never established any exfiltration of emails.

3) Sy Hersh has explicitly fingered murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the leaker (or one of them).

Am I supposed to believe Clapper, Brennan, Morell, et all - a cabal of liars - over the three gentlemen just cited who are not known to be liars?

Also just found two articles (one of which I didn't know I already had) which make for interesting reading on the alleged DNC hack:

Email Dates in the Wikileaks DNC Archive
https://climateaudit.org/2017/09/02/email-dates-in-the-wikileaks-dnc-archive/

Dumbstruck - How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC
by Scott Ritter
https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f

Anna

How would you asses the cognitive level of the authors of the latest indicment? What about the mental state of Mr. Rosenstein? -- "US indicts 13 Russians for 2016 election meddling, but ‘no allegations’ they influenced outcome." https://www.rt.com/news/419044-us-election-meddling-indicts/
"Moscow has repeatedly refuted the claims of alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ridiculed such claims, suggesting that the US was “not a banana republic” to be treated that way." -- Sigh.

Richardstevenhack

Mueller has indicted the Internet Research Agency.

These are the guys the Russians arrested as...wait for it...CIA spies!

A Brief History of the “Kremlin Trolls”
https://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

Quote:

Everything what we know now about the so-called “Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin’s favorite chef,” came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

They were arrested in November 2016 and revealed as the FSB and former FSB officers

End Quote

Read Scott Humor's piece - he goes into some detail about who these people really were: anti-Russian Russians who created fake accounts and posted troll comments.

The Twisted Genius

sheperd,

Reference your comment at #70

You work in the field of media influence and understand what is going on. I appreciate that understanding. It is clearly a hard thing to explain concisely. As you know, I was thinking about writing a post on that a while back. Trying to summarize it clearly is beyond me. I'm having enough trouble trying to understand the whole process myself. I've found the work of Jonathan Albright to be helpful. He's a professor and researcher of journalism and news who has published a lot of his research at medium.com. There is no one article that summarizes the entire phenomenon, but reading the full body of his work lays it out pretty well. Here's a blurb from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism where he's based.

"Jonathan Albright is the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Previously an assistant professor of media analytics in the school of communication at Elon University, Dr. Albright’s work focuses on the analysis of socially-mediated news events, misinformation/propaganda, and trending topics, applying a mixed-methods, investigative data-driven storytelling approach."

When Vance Packard's "The Hidden Persuaders" came out, there was a mighty popular uproar against the idea that peoples behavior could be unwittingly modified through the techniques of advertising. I feel the present use of modern media technology and techniques is just a logical development of Packard's ideas. Most people are clueless about this.

https://medium.com/@d1gi

shepherd

Anna, (your comment at 77)

The real number of years the average wage of the core work force has not risen is 40, not 17. It's more than a generation. I'm deeply concerned about this. A more troubling statistic to my mind is that while the median household income in the US is around 60K, if you take the bottom 60%, the median household income is only 33K. The latest tax cut will only reinforce this. I think this makes us much more vulnerable to Russian influence rather than otherwise.

Eric Newhill

Murali,
Whatever marker they set on my final resting place must read, "He was a "Here lies a die hard primitive.Proudly deplorable unto his last breath"

james

well, it can just as easily be witnessed in the reverse, like this -

"My guess is that there is already a body of well developed arguments and memes designed to discredit Trump, defend Mueller, and point to a conspiracy against the intel agencies."

see how easy it is to flip it?? you really think it only goes in one direction?
when a nation is beholden to propaganda, whether it be thru it's own media, or trying to peddle it off as real news - you get things like the war in iraq... start there and work your way forward... too much water has gone under the bridge to think in one direction only...

at one point in time there was john wayne and good guys and bad guys... that world is long gone, in spite of what hollywood, or the mainstream media will have you believe about your own gov't...

Anna

Judging from the most recent indictment of the alleged 13 Russian trolls, the Mueller's investigations are only able to produce legalistic diarrhea: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/indictment-just-start-mueller-probe-continue-months

GeneO

Anna -

It is!

TTG never claimed any such thing. Please reread his post.

Dr.puck

And this escaped Mueller?

Luckily it is so first order that it will no doubt lead to a revision of the indictment. Maybe Mueller should interview Mr. Humor.

NancyK

Who are we to believe Mueller or Hannity on Fox news or Breitbart. I fear many Americans believe the latter. A sad day when some Americans feel Putin has more credibility than the FBI.

turcopolier

NancyK

government should be trusted? The framers of the constitution did not think so. pl

Account Deleted

Come on TTG, shooting someone dead in the middle of Fifth Avenue is one thing, dealing with Russians - in the New McCarthy Era - is quite another.

Account Deleted

David Habakkuk

Re the 'twerp' formerly of GCHQ (Matt Tait): I did a little digging and found his BEng final year project from Imperial College, if you are interested. His was the only one listed among the 'Distinguished Projects' not to have a link (GCHQ protocol to scrub it perhaps?) but fortunately the URL pattern is initial.surname and it is still on the server. Whatever else he is, he isn't stupid. With 'low-level' coding knowledge like this I can see why GCHQ was interested. A guy with these talents contributing to Lawfare and running a course at Texas Law seem less than obvious career moves, to say the least.

http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/teaching/distinguished-projects/2009/m.tait.pdf

Babak Makkinejad

Very solid work, amazing that is the work of a single person.

Anna

"...while the median household income in the US is around 60K, if you take the bottom 60%, the median household income is only 33K. The latest tax cut will only reinforce this. I think this makes us much more vulnerable to Russian influence rather than otherwise."
Do you seriously believe that the electorate in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania has been mighty influenced by "Russian meddling" on Facebook and by BlackLivesMatter marches in NYC and not by the unfairness of the wealth distribution in the US? Or you think that Mrs. Clinton's many charms would have certainly prevailed over the (supposedly) anti-war Trump if not the "Russian meddling?" It is not hard to imagine that the US healthcare system scandal, the triumph of Wall Street, and the disfigured soldiers coming back home to their "deplorable" parents from the never-heard places thousands miles away could be the reason for the votes against Clinton. There are two major problems that the US faces today: The lack of mechanisms for influencing the government (see https://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/is-america-an-oligarchy) and the related problem of politicized national security apparatus, which is unconstitutional (by the way, James Comey and Robert Mueller have ran the FBI for the past 16 years). Moreover, what has been a level of trust in the US Congress BEFORE the last elections that were supposedly screwed by "Russian meddling?" Here are the data: http://www.people-press.org/2017/05/03/public-trust-in-government-remains-near-historic-lows-as-partisan-attitudes-shift/

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