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Caitlin Johnstone

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Russiagate Explained

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Michael Flynn is in the news again. Russiagaters are gushing with excitement at the revelation that Flynn’s lawyers are no longer sharing information with the president’s legal team now that Robert Mueller’s investigation is looking more closely at the former National Security Advisor’s involvement in the production of a film about an exiled cleric from Turkey. The story goes that this separation means that Flynn has struck a deal with Mueller, which Mueller wouldn’t permit him to do if he didn’t have damning information on Trump.

Of course this excitement is dependent on the false belief that Mueller’s job is to get the president impeached, and that he would only cut deals toward that ultimate end. It is also dependent on the false belief that there is any evidence to be found that Trump illegally colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election. And, like the rest of the Russiagate enthusiasm around Flynn, it is also somewhat dependent on compartmentalizing away from the fact the Turkey and Russia are two completely different countries.

This is all par for course in the interminable dance of soaring excitement followed by thinly veiled disappointment that Russiagaters have been engaged in for over a year. I’ve been receiving some complaints that I don’t recap enough on the specific details of why I reject the establishment Russia narrative so aggressively, so if you’re just tuning in, what follows is a quick synopsis of how this weird thing has been going so far.

At the beginning of 2015 Hillary Clinton was already scaring people with her intensely hawkish positions on Russia, long before she went all-in on her horrifying support for a no-fly zone in a region where Russian military planes were conducting operations. Coincidentally this same nation Clinton wanted to fight happens to be the nation everyone in her political party is supporting new cold war escalations with today.
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Twitter Rescues American Democracy By Banning Ads From RT And Sputnik

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Twitter has announced today that it will no longer be accepting advertisements from Russian outlets RT and Sputnik, thereby protecting Americans from consuming advertisements by propaganda outlets other than CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, theWashington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Daily BeastThe Hill, NPR, the LA Times,USA TodayNewsweek, AP, Reuters, the Guardian, and any corporate media outlet used to manufacture public support for a corporatist system of government.

“Early this year,” Twitter’s explanation reads, “the U.S. intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter. This decision is restricted to these two entities based our internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI report.”

The findings of the January DNI report are something every American should be aware of. I strongly encourage you to click here and take a look at the allegations leveled at these outlets in this report for yourself if you haven’t already. They are either unintentionally hilarious or profoundly disturbing, depending on the spirit in which you read them. Here are the evil, heinous, unforgivable offenses that the DNI report says RT is guilty of in its report...
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Hillary Clinton Just Told Five Blatant Lies About WikiLeaks

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As part of her ongoing “Thank God You Didn’t Elect Me” tour, Hillary Clinton made her debut on Australian television last night in an interview with the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson. Though she didn’t repeat her infamous “17 intelligence agencies” lie, which she’d continued to regurgitate long after that claim had been conclusively debunked, there were still plenty of whoppers to be heard.

From her ridiculous claim that the aggressively protested DNC convention was “very positive” to her completely baseless assertion that Bernie Sanders “couldn’t explain his programs” during the primaries, Clinton did a fine job of reminding us all why the average American finds her about as trustworthy as a hungry crocodile. But while she has blamed her loss on James Comey and Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders and self-hating women and the media and uninformed voters and voter suppression and her campaign staff and the DNC and campaign finance laws and Jill Stein and the Electoral College and Anthony Weiner and sexism and Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton reserved the lion’s share of her deceit for the organization she hates most of all: WikiLeaks.

Here are five lies that Clinton told about the outlet during her ABC interview:

Lie 1: Claims WikiLeaks never publishes anything about Russia

“And if he’s such a, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?” Clinton asks of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, mere weeks after WikiLeaks published a massive leak drop on Russian domestic surveillance. Prior to that WikiLeaks had published hundreds of thousands of critical documents pertaining to Russia. She lied, and there’s no way she didn’t know she was lying.


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The Push To 'Fight Foreign Propaganda' Is The Same As Government Book Burning

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As with all the over-hyped and under-substantiated claims that have been shown to the public over the last year about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, the latest forced effort by America’s unelected power establishment to show Russian meddling via Facebook ads has been getting ripped to shreds by critical thinkers everywhere.

These arguments and essays have been very effective in further exposing how utterly fact-free the neoconservative establishment’s campaign to manufacture support for escalating tensions with Russia has been, but in my opinion there’s one extremely important and intensely creepy aspect of this whole thing that needs a bit more attention.

Is it not disturbing, in and of itself, that your government is concerning itself with attempting to “fight foreign propaganda” on your behalf? Even if all their allegations were true about Russian Facebook ads and Twitter bots targeting key US demographics to try and manipulate voter turnout in Donald Trump’s favor, is not the underlying assumption in those allegations the notion that there are some ideas that the American people should not have been exposed to? That Americans are too stupid to show up to the polls and vote in their best interest unless they’re kept isolated from the narratives being promulgated by other governments?

How creepy is that?? How creepy is it that the US government kept sending Facebook back again and again to search for evidence of Russian meddling via propagandistic advertisements and then used the non-evidence they finally returned with to support their argument that more needs to be done to fight foreign propaganda on behalf of the public? How creepy is it that the US Senate is trying to label WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” to expand the US government’s authority to stamp out the outlet’s ability to share authentic, factual documents with the world?


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