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Taibbi writes: "In an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country."

President Obama with Vladimir Putin. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
President Obama with Vladimir Putin. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)


Something About This Russia Story Stinks

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

31 December 16

 

Nearly a decade and a half after the Iraq-WMD faceplant, the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment

n an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails.

"These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote.

Russia at first pledged, darkly, to retaliate, then backed off. The Russian press today is even reporting that Vladimir Putin is inviting "the children of American diplomats" to "visit the Christmas tree in the Kremlin," as characteristically loathsome/menacing/sarcastic a Putin response as you'll find.

This dramatic story puts the news media in a jackpot. Absent independent verification, reporters will have to rely upon the secret assessments of intelligence agencies to cover the story at all.

Many reporters I know are quietly freaking out about having to go through that again. We all remember the WMD fiasco.

"It's déjà vu all over again" is how one friend put it.

You can see awkwardness reflected in the headlines that flew around the Internet Thursday. Some news agencies seemed split on whether to unequivocally declare that Russian hacking took place, or whether to hedge bets and put it all on the government to make that declaration, using "Obama says" formulations.

The New York Times was more aggressive, writing flatly, "Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking." It backed up its story with a link to a joint FBI/Homeland Security report that details how Russian civilian and military intelligence services (termed "RIS" in the report) twice breached the defenses of "a U.S. political party," presumably the Democrats.

This report is long on jargon but short on specifics. More than half of it is just a list of suggestions for preventive measures.

At one point we learn that the code name the U.S. intelligence community has given to Russian cyber shenanigans is GRIZZLY STEPPE, a sexy enough detail.

But we don't learn much at all about what led our government to determine a) that these hacks were directed by the Russian government, or b) they were undertaken with the aim of influencing the election, and in particular to help elect Donald Trump.

The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now.

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted the "small price" Russia paid for its "brazen attack." The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, said Thursday that taken alone, the Obama response is "insufficient" as a response to "attacks on the United States by a foreign power."

The "small price" is an eyebrow-raiser. Also, like the WMD story, there's an element of salesmanship the government is using to push the hacking narrative that should make reporters nervous. Take this line in Obama's statement about mistreatment of American diplomats in Moscow:

"Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year."

This appears to refer to an incident this summer in which an American diplomat was beaten outside the diplomatic compound in Moscow. That followed a 2013 case in which a U.S. diplomat named Ryan Fogle was arrested in similar fashion.

Fogle was unequivocally described as a CIA agent in many Russian reports. Photos of Fogle's shpionsky rekvisit, or spy kit – including wigs and a city map that were allegedly on his person – became the source of many jokes in the Russian press and social media. Similar to this hacking story here in the states, ordinary Russians seemed split on what to believe.

If the Russians messed with an election, that's enough on its own to warrant a massive response – miles worse than heavy-handed responses to ordinary spying episodes. Obama mentioning these humdrum tradecraft skirmishes feels like he's throwing something in to bolster an otherwise thin case.

Adding to the problem is that in the last months of the campaign, and also in the time since the election, we've seen an epidemic of factually loose, clearly politically motivated reporting about Russia. Democrat-leaning pundits have been unnervingly quick to use phrases like "Russia hacked the election."

This has led to widespread confusion among news audiences over whether the Russians hacked the DNC emails (a story that has at least been backed by some evidence, even if it hasn't always been great evidence), or whether Russians hacked vote tallies in critical states (a far more outlandish tale backed by no credible evidence).

As noted in The Intercept and other outlets, an Economist/YouGov poll conducted this month shows that 50 percent of all Clinton voters believe the Russians hacked vote tallies.

This number is nearly as disturbing as the 62 percent of Trump voters who believe the preposterous, un-sourced Trump/Alex Jones contention that "millions" of undocumented immigrants voted in the election.

Then there was the episode in which the Washington Post ran that breathless story about Russians aiding the spread of "fake news." That irresponsible story turned out to have been largely based on one highly dubious source called "PropOrNot" that identified 200 different American alternative media organizations as "useful idiots" of the Russian state.

The Post eventually distanced itself from the story, saying it "does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's findings." This was a very strange thing to say in a statement that isn't an outright retraction. The idea that it's OK to publish an allegation when you yourself are not confident in what your source is saying is a major departure from what was previously thought to be the norm in a paper like the Post.

There have been other excesses. An interview with Julian Assange by an Italian newspaper has been bastardized in Western re-writes, with papers like The Guardian crediting Assange with "praise" of Trump and seemingly flattering comments about Russia that are not supported by the actual text. (The Guardian has now "amended" a number of the passages in the report in question).

And reports by some Democrat-friendly reporters – like Kurt Eichenwald, who has birthed some real head-scratchers this year, including what he admitted was a baseless claim that Trump spent time in an institution in 1990 – have attempted to argue that Trump surrogates may have been liaising with the Russians because they either visited Russia or appeared on the RT network. Similar reporting about Russian scheming has been based entirely on unnamed security sources.

Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration.

Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind. Plowing ahead with credulous accounts is problematic because so many different feasible scenarios are in play.

On one end of the spectrum, America could have just been the victim of a virtual coup d'etat engineered by a combination of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, which would be among the most serious things to ever happen to our democracy.

But this could also just be a cynical ass-covering campaign, by a Democratic Party that has seemed keen to deflect attention from its own electoral failures.

The outgoing Democrats could just be using an over-interpreted intelligence "assessment" to delegitimize the incoming Trump administration and force Trump into an embarrassing political situation: Does he ease up on Russia and look like a patsy, or escalate even further with a nuclear-armed power?

It could also be something in between. Perhaps the FSB didn't commission the hack, but merely enabled it somehow. Or maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here.

We just don't know, which is the problem.

We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across.

I have no problem believing that Vladimir Putin tried to influence the American election. He's gangster-spook-scum of the lowest order and capable of anything. And Donald Trump, too, was swine enough during the campaign to publicly hope the Russians would disclose Hillary Clinton's emails. So a lot of this is very believable.

But we've been burned before in stories like this, to disastrous effect. Which makes it surprising we're not trying harder to avoid getting fooled again.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+62 # jdd 2016-12-31 10:39
Yes of course it stinks. There was no "hack" but a leak by someone in the DNC who could not stomach the way the Sanders campaign was undermined and sabotaged. This is the expert view of the VIPS, who have made their analysis public and challenged Obama to prove his allegations. These sanctions are the desperate attempt of a political corpse to screw things up before leaving office. But President Putin is far too smart and far too mature to fall for Obama's attempt to provoke retaliation. Not only did Putin refuse to respond in kind, but actually invited American guests to a Christmas Party, which Taibbi incredibly views as " as characteristica lly loathsome/menac ing/ sarcastic a Putin response as you'll find." Right, sure.
A win for Russia. President Putin is not fussing over this "kitchen politics," as he is now putting together a peace plan for Syria involving Russia, Iran and Turkey without Obama which can bring an end the terrible wars of the past two administrations .
 
 
-2 # Doubledee 2016-12-31 11:17
Speaking of wildly speculative stories, yours is chief among them. Regardless of what ones opinion of Obama's presidency might be the fact that he invoked sanctions and measures against Russia might indicate to those with perspective, especially in light of the presidents history of circumspection these last eight years, that there is enough evidence of Russian hacks to merit that response.
 
 
+47 # REDPILLED 2016-12-31 11:32
Obama and his neocon cronies want to accelerate Cold War 2.0 against Russia. This "hack" story fits right in with the demonization of Putin and Russia, along with the lies about Ukraine and Syria.

Neocons foolishly and dangerously believe that Russia can be isolated and its government overthrown, leading to a puppet such as Boris Yeltsen was, enabling the U.S. corporate state to plunder Russia's immense energy resources.

This is why NATO has moved to Russia's borders in violation of the promise President George H.W. Bush had made to Mikhail Gorbachev, why the U.S. and NATO have been stationing troops and weapons on Russia's western borders, why Obama has started a one trillion dollar "modernization" of the U.S. nuclear arsenal so that "more usable" (smaller, more accurate) nukes will be stationed in Europe, and why the always-complian t corporate media has been pushing this "evil Putin/Russia" propaganda.

See this alarming article: America's Secret Planned Conquest of Russia
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/12/americas-secret-planned-conquest-russia.html
 
 
+6 # mashiguo 2016-12-31 11:39
Putin is smarter than the whole of America.
The rotting corpse of the deep state/DNC does indeed stink.
But he is not buying it.
 
 
+16 # jdd 2016-12-31 16:53
A grown up dealing with a child's tantrum.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2017-01-02 01:21
To me, the DNC doesn't seem deep enough to be part of a true "deep state".

However, if the "deep state" is just a "rotting corpse", perhaps we no longer need be concerned with it or its various entities.
 
 
+2 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 12:09
Quoting Caliban:
However, if the "deep state" is just a "rotting corpse", perhaps we no longer need be concerned with it or its various entities.
Rotting corpses harbor virulent strains of bacteria spreading plagues and pestilence. That’s why it is important to clean things up and remove them.
 
 
+1 # AshamedAmerican 2017-01-02 03:18
The DNC is a tool that will probably continue to function. There is no way that the deep state is dead. And its death would be loud enough for all to hear.
 
 
+6 # lsd 2016-12-31 12:26
Double, your boy Paul Ryan agrees with you.
 
 
+28 # jdd 2016-12-31 13:37
Putting you on the same side as those truth tellers James ("there is no widespread surveillance of American citizens") Clapper, John McCain, and Lindsay Graham.
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2016-12-31 14:29
I think you misread lsd's point.
 
 
-6 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2016-12-31 13:09
Agree, Doubledee. During the comparative WMD debacle, the UN and Hans Blix gave us credible countervailing assessments. Now we have the Obama admin, the NSA, the CIA and the FBI's assessments versus Matt Taibbi and the cranks on this column who would NEVER accept ANYTHING from any of these agencies as credible evidence.

I have no love for ex-KGB Putin-the-Poiso ner, and the fact that the Republicans' approval of him has doubled since Trump started smooching his ass tells me everything I need to know. Eff Putin! He's no hero and the cranks on this column are just as much Kool-Aid slurpers as Trump voters. They're in the same bag of nutjobs as the rubes who insisted Obama was born in Kenya, and they all share one outstanding commonality: they all think they are effing geniuses — just ask them.
 
 
+8 # ReconFire 2016-12-31 20:54
There was no hack. Former British ambassador Craig Murray, who works with Wikileaks was given this info from a DNC insider with access to the data.

Wordfence, an IT security co. has said about the hack, nothing there.

William Binney, an ex NSA Tech. Director and whistleblower has said the info does not match what NSA would have if a hack had occurred.
 
 
+5 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2017-01-01 12:59
Wordfence did not say there's nothing there; it said there WAS hacking, but the hacking trail did not lead directly to Russia. But as others have opined, isn't that exactly what we'd expect of world-class hacking?
 
 
+36 # dquandle 2016-12-31 13:58
Like his thoroughly circumspect murder of American citizens by drone, and his equally measured and circumspect start of the heinous war in Libya, as well as his and his State Department's cool and level support for the appalling murderous neo-nazi coup in Ukraine with his attendant buildup of weapons and NATO forces right on the border of Russia, and his dignified support for Saudi Arabia bombing the living hell out of wildly impoverished Yemen, after he himself had softened it up by gentle drone attacks on wedding parties...
 
 
+26 # Ralph 2016-12-31 17:14
"the appalling murderous neo-nazi coup"

Ahem. These weren't neo-nazis. They were genuine Nazis dating back to WWII along with their devil spawn Nazi children.
 
 
+22 # librarian1984 2016-12-31 14:15
Sure! Because our government would NEVER lie!
 
 
+8 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2017-01-01 13:03
It's foolish to assume the government never lies, but it's equally as foolish to assume the government ALWAYS lies.
 
 
+1 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 12:37
Quoting Reductio Ad Absurdum:
It's foolish to assume the government never lies, but it's equally as foolish to assume the government ALWAYS lies.
You are right, Red. They get most of the weather right, do a great job recording earthquakes (but only because the USGS doesn't need a lot of funding), and a few other minor things. But name a few really important decisions they've made in the last 50 years where they got it right so they didn't have to lie and lie and lie to cover their asses.
 
 
+28 # wrknight 2016-12-31 14:15
Quoting Doubledee:
Speaking of wildly speculative stories, yours is chief among them. Regardless of what ones opinion of Obama's presidency might be the fact that he invoked sanctions and measures against Russia might indicate to those with perspective, especially in light of the presidents history of circumspection these last eight years, that there is enough evidence of Russian hacks to merit that response.
That must explain why we started a war with Iraq. Those damned WMD's. We just haven't found them yet but everyone knows they're there somewhere. After all, Bush not only invoked sanctions, he outright invaded, killed hundreds of thousands of people and occupied the country for years. So that obviously proves Hussein had WMDs.
 
 
+36 # Radscal 2016-12-31 14:28
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

~ Said by William Casey, (CIA Director 1981-1987) in a 1981 meeting with President Reagan

He said this in relation to the Reagan Administration propaganda plan to overthrow Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi.

Well, the Libyan "regime change" had to wait for your "circumspect" President Obama, but Deep State and the masters it serves are nothing if not patient and expert at playing the long game.
 
 
+14 # RLF 2016-12-31 17:54
Casey...who surprisingly "died" right before he was supposed to go to court for Iran/contra? Probably still playing golf somewhere...wit h Idi Amin! LOL...I know he's "dead" too!
 
 
+12 # pro54 2016-12-31 18:09
JDD's speculation actually corresponds to mine. Obama's action with regard to Russia are designed to force Trumps hand in continuing on an enmity basis with Russia as Hillary was planning to and which was the reason Hillary lost the voters she needed to win the election. People were worried about her seeming plan for a head on confrontation with Russia when she becomes president. I am now happy she lost that election seeing all this Russia hoopla. Immediately after the election I was not sure what to think, but seeing all this coup attempt against the president elect and the alternate plan of forcing him into conflict with Russia if the coup fails, has convinced me to be happy that Hillary lost. We dodged a nuclear bullet.
 
 
+17 # Ted 2016-12-31 19:21
Quoting Doubledee:
Speaking of wildly speculative stories, yours is chief among them. Regardless of what ones opinion of Obama's presidency might be the fact that he invoked sanctions and measures against Russia might indicate to those with perspective, especially in light of the presidents history of circumspection these last eight years, that there is enough evidence of Russian hacks to merit that response.


If there is "enough evidence of Russian hacks to merit that response" concerning our 2016 election, shouldn't that be enough evidence to rightfully determine the election results invalid?
 
 
+1 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-01-02 16:04
@DoubleD: Sanctions do not lend credence to the US administration' s behavior toward Russia. Example of your logic: a brute's wife deserved yesterday's beating because he had to beat her six times last year.

FOLLOW THE MONEY
Massive natural gas and oil reserves, as well as routes of major pipelines, are at stake. US sanctions against Russia are based on false history. I surmise that the goal is to get Russia out of the way of future profits.

THE FABLES TOLD US
Crimea has been part of Russia for centuries. This explains why at least 60% of Crimeans are Russian and voted to join Russia.

There is also historical fact. In 1954, Crimea was transferred by the USSR to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic administrative region. Our claim that Crimea was part of Ukraine is only true under extinct Soviet law.

The story that the Russians invaded Crimea is completely false. There were tens of thousands of Russian troops already in Crimea because they had long been there.

The idea that the Russians fomented trouble in Ukraine is obscene. Ukraine was largely loyal to Nazi Germany during WWII. The Soviets DID mercilessly punish Ukrainians for helping the Nazis. As the Soviets were our allies against the Nazis, US news sources did not report that then. After Ukraine independence, Ukrainians started cleansing Ukraine of ethnic Russians. Those ethnic Russians fought to keep their homes. Russians from Russia tried to help. How much support Russian government gave is unclear.
 
 
-18 # mmc 2016-12-31 11:38
The "thumbs" are not working again. I hit the red one, and the count went from -1 to +3.
 
 
+15 # lsd 2016-12-31 12:00
Quoting mmc:
The "thumbs" are not working again. I hit the red one, and the count went from -1 to +3.

Might I suggest the Homer Simpson Dialing Wand.
 
 
+10 # Ted 2016-12-31 19:23
(no wonder Americans can't figure out why electronic voting machines are a dumb idea.)
 
 
+10 # lfeuille 2016-12-31 20:02
Other people outvoted you. You do not have sole control over the thumbs.
 
 
+17 # djnova50 2016-12-31 13:17
mmc, it has been explained numerous times about how the thumbs up/thumbs down system works. But, for your sake, I will explain it here:

If you disagree with a statement made by another poster, and nobody has given that poster a thumbs up or thumbs down, you will see a zero. If you give your thumbs down and you immediately see a +3, that means that 4 other readers have given that same comment thumbs up. When =4 is added to -1, you will get +3. If you wanted to do it, you could refresh your page before agreeing or disagreeing with the comment.

So, the "thumbs" are working exactly how they should.
 
 
+15 # JPS07 2016-12-31 14:09
I gave you a thumbs up for that!
 
 
+67 # grandlakeguy 2016-12-31 11:50
This Russian nonsense is nothing more than a distraction to fool the American people.
Our elections have merely been for show as the results are predetermined to an enormous extent by those on the inside.

This year the re-"election" rate for incumbents was 98%.

The computerized voting machines and optical scanners are controlled by Republicans.

They allowed Hillary to cheat Bernie in the primaries since they dared not run against Bernie.
They then made sure that Trump "won:.

What a pathetic charade our elections have become!
 
 
+30 # wrknight 2016-12-31 14:08
Quoting grandlakeguy:
This Russian nonsense is nothing more than a distraction to fool the American people.
Our elections have merely been for show as the results are predetermined to an enormous extent by those on the inside.

This year the re-"election" rate for incumbents was 98%.

The computerized voting machines and optical scanners are controlled by Republicans...


This is certainly true in most states as most election boards are not independent and are subordinate to the states' governors of which 33 are Republican.

But I don't suspect the voting machines and scanners so much as the tallying process that goes on in the central election board offices and the manipulation of what gets counted and what doesn't get counted at the end of the day.

Remember, the Michigan final re-count was stopped early before the Detroit count was included. Also remember the Florida re-count was stopped early in 2000. The locations where they do the final counting are the places that are the most vulnerable to tampering.

It's not easy to validate all the vote tallies from all precincts in any state and it would be very easy to say that all precincts reported but not add their tallies or even fudge the numbers in the database. Whoever heads up the office of elections can also make up excuses for discrediting some of the votes. Who will challenge that?

There are a lot of ways to screw up an election.
 
 
+19 # tedcloak 2016-12-31 12:37
'Not only did Putin refuse to respond in kind, but actually invited American guests to a Christmas Party, which Taibbi incredibly views as "as characteristica lly loathsome/menac ing/sarcastic a Putin response as you'll find." Right, sure.'
Surely Taibbi was himself being sarcastic, here.
 
 
+6 # goodsensecynic 2016-12-31 13:22
Of course!

And, with respect, I didn't need you to tell me so.

Is RSN becoming a humor-free zone?
 
 
+7 # Tigre1 2016-12-31 13:30
Sarcastic or no, he's good at what he does.
I favor the theory that only a pretty good judo practitioner can understand Putin. Meaning: he's a great contact grappler...anyt hing of yours that touches HIM is HIS, also anytime he touches YOU he owns that, too; arm, leg, Ukraine, whatever. He doesn't mind taking a thump to give one. Look out...
 
 
+1 # JJS 2017-01-02 19:11
My experience with Russians is they love, love, LOVE to wrestle.
 
 
0 # jdd 2016-12-31 13:41
Perhaps, but I looked at the overall tone of the article and especially the last paragraph.
 
 
+41 # Radscal 2016-12-31 14:36
Taibbi abhors Putin, and has said so quite consistently.

But even so, he manages to look past his bias and see this anti-Russian propaganda as flawed, if not completely duplicitous.

One can ask no more of a journalist.
 
 
+5 # pro54 2016-12-31 18:22
"Taibbi abhors Putin,"
All western reporters do not like Putin because he changed the story about Russia, instead of a directionless nation, waiting for it's resources to be devoured by the vultures from the west following the break up of the Soviet Union, he transformed it into a country taking care of it's citizens and acting in the international field to help maintain some kind of international law.
 
 
+22 # Radscal 2016-12-31 20:50
Yep, Russia was "just fine" when the AAZ Empire's Yeltsin was President, and the "Chicago Boys" were strip-mining the Soviet Union's vast resources for pennies on the dollar.

But once Russia got leadership that put its own people ahead of Goldman Sachs, et al, they became an enemy again.
 
 
+12 # Greg Scott 2017-01-01 04:47
Hey Rad...happy new year!

While I don't trust our government all that much, that does not mean that I should trust Putin. And if Putin charges more for Russian resources, that doesn't automatically make him a man of the people.

It's very hard to pick a good side between the US and Russia...and very hard to know what to believe. Didn't Russia just very brutally intervene in Syria on the side of Assad?

Foreign policy since the Bushes invasions in the Middle East has very few clearly 'good' choices. And all our hands are nowhere near clean until we stop needing the fossil fuel resources.

Still, I tend to trust Matt more than either government.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2017-01-01 20:13
Hi, Greg. And a Happy New Year and best wishes to you and yours.

I'd say you're right to not trust Putin, except to be pretty darned certain that he really does have the best interests of Russia and its people in mind. And he has pulled the US back from the brink on a few occasions.

Yes, Russia was invited by the legitimate government of Syria to help them defend themselves from the Jihadist nut jobs and foreign mercenaries who invaded their country, and turned much of it into bloody, brutal hellholes.

And yes, fighting brutes who are armed by NATO and funded by such deep pockets as Saudi Arabia and Qatar does require brutality. I hate war. I hate violence.

But I am a strong proponent of defense of self and others from aggression.

Did you know that East Aleppo was just able to celebrate Christmas for the first time in five years?

Please spend 7minutes looking at a different take on "the fall of Aleppo" than the Western Corporate Media is feeding us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vNBLdVjb3c

Did you know that the Russian-negotia ted nationwide cease fire is almost entirely successful, and that the UN Security Council just voted to support it? Four years of Russia trying to negotiate a cease fire with the US and nothing but more blood and terror. 2 days of Russia bypassing the US to negotiate directly with the rebels, and the guns and bombs in Syria have largely gone silent.

A Happy New Year, indeed!
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2017-01-01 20:18
ps. I am not a Christian, but I recognize that Syria has been the home of some of the most ancient Christian communities. Saul became Paul on the road to Damascus (on his way to persecute Christians), after all.

Our "moderate rebel" head-choppers have been murdering entire Christian communities for 5 years, so having one enclave of them able to come out into the open to celebrate their most holy holiday is truly moving to me.
 
 
+3 # Greg Scott 2017-01-01 21:02
Rad...my only question would be about the legitimate government of Syria.

Both we and the Russians have very dirty hands when it comes to the Middle East. The proxy wars of the US vs. the Soviet Union have long dark shadows. And I don't think the Soviet Unions interest in the Middle East was really about the welfare of the people there...probabl y more about countering Western influence.

I have no problem at all with socialism with an elected government...as a matter of fact we need more New Deal/Bernie socialism here in this country. But soviet style socialism was harsh and repressive and who could know if it was representative.

I was in Cuba in 2000 with friends who had relatives there one of whom had been to the USSR as a Cuban soldier. He felt strongly that the Russians go socialism all wrong, he felt that the Russian character was just to dark for that much power. I should do a diary sometime about Cuba in 2000. I've never seen a country that just lived on music like Cuba...I didn't want to leave.

Speaking of music...the funk/r&b band that joined in 1975, Breakwater, is back together, writing new music and sounding amazing. We have enough fans left over in the U.K. From our 2 records in 1979 and 1980 to support a trip to London this weekend. 11 people flying over for 2 gigs on Friday and Saturday. Our new single has been at number 1 on the weekly U.K. Soul chart for the past 2 weeks.

Just having way too much fun in my old age...
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2017-01-02 01:24
How very cool that you got the band back together. That's such a rare phenomena that it's become a joke. Do you have any of your stuff online?

Back to Syria. Only the people of Syria have the right to determine what sort of government they have, and who is in it.

When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the government fell within days.

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, the government fell within a couple weeks.

When the US provided the air support for our head-chopping "freedom fighters" in Libya, the government had so much support that it lasted for months. BTW: the emails between HRC and Sid Blumenthal shows she knew her "rebels" were hunting down and murdering every black African they could find, and she continued to support them

But Syria has stood for almost 6 years after we began waging "regime change" on them. Clearly, Assad has the support of the greatest majority of Syrians.

Did you watch that video? Here's another. Tens to hundreds of thousands of Syrians literally dancing in the streets to celebrate the liberation of East Aleppo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLylpRn9uXQ

And yes, it's a slick work of propaganda. But so is everything we get in our corporate media. Watch film of what's really happening and decide which adheres most closely to reality.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2017-01-02 01:28
All governments have domestic opposition, and Assad's was no exception. However, the country was fairly prosperous (lower poverty rate than Israel), secular and quite modern.

The US State Department admitted that they'd funded and fomented the "protests" in March, 2011. Most of the protesters were no doubt sincere and peaceful.

However, there were also snipers who murdered both protesters and police. Police, by the way, who were unarmed. By early 2012, the Pentagon estimated that 80% of the "rebels" were foreigners and that they planned to destroy the secular democracy and install an Islamic State. This was 2 years before there even was an organization of that name.

The brutality in Syria is the result of yet another US/NATO "regime change" policy.

And I never wrote that Putin is helping Syria for strictly humanitarian reasons. Syria is their ally. But people close to Putin say that when he saw what our head-choppers did to Gaddafi, he realized he could no longer stand back and watch us destroy prosperous, secular countries.

And yes, he knows his head is on our block, too.
 
 
+38 # wrknight 2016-12-31 12:53
The fundamental problem is that neither the government nor MSM have credibility. Both destroyed their credibility with the WMD debacle.

Once destroyed, credibility is extremely hard to restore, and Obama has done nothing to repair the credibility that Bush destroyed.

Similarly, MSM has done nothing to repair its credibility since it has become the mouthpiece for the neocons.

Given the total loss of government and MSM credibility, anything they say or print is suspect.

PS Thanks, Matt. And have a Happy New Year.
 
 
0 # Pops07 2016-12-31 10:50
Obama's throwback diplomacy is so adolescent.
 
 
+3 # RLF 2016-12-31 17:56
Russians play chess!
 
 
+100 # Ralph 2016-12-31 10:56
We've already been fooled again. The DNC was caught red-handed engaging in criminal election fixing against the Sanders campaign. It's basically forgotten through this smoke screen that the DNC has created. It's a red herring. Why would I care if the truth came out through an inside DNC leak, an anonymous hack or a Russian hack?

I have no problem with governments waging a war of truth where criminal and corrupt practices are exposed to the citizenry of any nation. If the CIA is so worried about the Russians, why don't they offer up their own expose of Putin in retaliation? Given the rampant criminality and corruption of global capitalism, this business of waging war with truth bombs is quite appealing. We clearly don't have any transparency in our government today, I'll take whatever I can get. I would imagine most Russians feel the same way.

Lastly, I refuse to conflate this kerfuffle with some sort of endorsement of Trump. I see normally sane posters now espousing bizarre theories that Trump is the enemy of global capitalism. It's truly laughable. Let's be clear about this: Trump is a racist, misogynist dirt bag who will do the bidding of the most extreme elements of global capitalism. He's the biggest threat to the working class that the world has ever encountered. Keep your heads on a swivel folks, 2017 is going to get real ugly.
 
 
+25 # Radscal 2016-12-31 14:41
Quite. And even the story of DNC election theft during the primaries serves to cover up other information that came out of the leaks.

One important tidbit is that HRC knew that Saudi Arabia was funding and arming al Qaeda and ISIL in Syria, and still OK'd record-breaking arms sales to them.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2016-12-31 18:55
I heard that was part of the Iran deal. SA would let it go through in exchange for this weapons deal, among other things.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2016-12-31 20:52
Could be. Although while she was SoS, HRC prevented a deal with Iran. Still, the Deep State follows the script regardless of who sits in what office.
 
 
+59 # norman markowitz 2016-12-31 11:01
This is an issue that those of us who are mobilizing against the Trump administration should avoid

.It is an excellent example of Karl Marx dictum of history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

First, Putin has less to do with the Soviet Union than Trump has with Franklin Roosevelt. His government offers nothing to the people of the world and it is compared to the Soviet Union very weak, with Ukraine and other Soviet Republics aligned against it and a smoke and mirrors capitalist economy hiding poverty and great inequality among its people,

But Russia's role in the election was at best minor, unless you have proof that Comey was a Russian double agent or that the voter suppression used to deny tens of thousands of mostly African American voters to vote in swing states was carried out by Russian agents.

If you believe the last two, then you are really nuts. We must keep,focused on Trump and fight him every step of the way. If we want to learn anything from Russia, let us take the old WWII Red Army slogan, "Not One Step Back, use it to build the anti-Trump resistance
 
 
+22 # Depressionborn 2016-12-31 11:16
Quoting norman markowitz:
This is an issue that those of us who are mobilizing against the Trump administration should avoid

.It is an excellent example of Karl Marx dictum of history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

First, Putin has less to do with the Soviet Union than Trump has with Franklin Roosevelt. His government offers nothing to the people of the world and it is compared to the Soviet Union very weak, with Ukraine and other Soviet Republics aligned against it and a smoke and mirrors capitalist economy hiding poverty and great inequality among its people,

But Russia's role in the election was at best minor, unless you have proof that Comey was a Russian double agent or that the voter suppression used to deny tens of thousands of mostly African American voters to vote in swing states was carried out by Russian agents.

If you believe the last two, then you are really nuts. We must keep,focused on Trump and fight him every step of the way. If we want to learn anything from Russia, let us take the old WWII Red Army slogan, "Not One Step Back, use it to build the anti-Trump resistance

hey norm, we need some good jobs and no war with russia, please
 
 
+5 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:06
Comey learned his double agent "tradecraft" at the knee of that notable Russian mole, J. Edgar Hoover....
 
 
+27 # Radscal 2016-12-31 14:48
Resistance is futile.... unless one first identifies the enemy.

Trump, Clinton, Obama, Bush II, etc. etc. etc. are spokesmodels for the real enemies.

Who do/did all of those spokesmodels serve?

Some hints:

CitiGroup emailed a list of cabinet suggestions for Obama right after the 2008 election. Nearly every one of them was then nominated by Obama.

Goldman Sachs has run our Treasury Department (and arguably our Department of Justice) for decades, and under Trump, will continue.
 
 
+12 # ReconFire 2016-12-31 21:09
True Radscal. Lest we forget the top 3 positions at the CIA(corporate insurance agency), are often filled with Wall St. insiders.
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:31
Bingo! We have a winner!
 
 
+9 # RLF 2016-12-31 17:57
I can't believe Comey isn't out on his ass already!
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2016-12-31 18:56
Maybe he's not really in trouble.
 
 
+7 # lorenbliss 2016-12-31 19:50
@lib: Indeed -- particularly if the One Percent's bait-and-switch was the reverse of the initial suspicion Trump was Hillary's stalking-horse.

If, instead, the One Percenters see Trump as the shortest most direct path to an USian Nazism, Comey's survival is thus assured, as is his greater reward under the Trump regime.

This same sort of deception is evident in Obama's refusal to act against the de facto coup by which the imperial war machine sabotaged the Syrian truce: the lack of courts-martial or command changes suggest the orders came from Obama himself.

All of which is in keeping with the Big Lie governance implicit in "change we can believe in," the most egregious falsehood in presidential history.

Note too the fuck-you brazenness of Obama's 2014 Big Lie his savage cuts in food stamps -- in my case a devastating and potentially deadly 83 percent loss (from $103 per month to $16 per month) -- "will make sure America's children don't go hungry": http://lorenbliss.typepad.com/loren-bliss-outside-agitators-notebook/2014/02/food-stamps-democrats-republicans-join-hands-to-kill-poor-people.html

Obviously the Democratic (sic) Party has operationally embraced a magnitude of operational Evil by which, in comparison, the Republican evil is merely -- pun intended -- Bush League.

That said, and in the gloomy context of this comment almost a non sequitur, here Lib are my very best wishes you have the most fulfilling New Year possible, with many many more to come.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-12-31 20:58
"...the lack of courts-martial or command changes suggest the orders came from Obama himself."

Or that Obama takes orders from the same 0.01%. Even if he really did want to back off on Syria, he didn't say word one when his and Kerry's agreement was shredded.

The very same thing happened regarding the Minsk Agreement over Ukraine. Kerry announced the cease fire and the very next day Victoria Nuland announced there would be no cease fire.

And just like in Syria, there was no cease fire by "our boys" until Russian-assiste d loyalists were kicking some serious butt.
 
 
+38 # DongiC 2016-12-31 11:22
If Obama wants us to believe his charges against Russia, viz that it interfered with our elections, let him submit the evidence for said charge. That shouldn't be so hard to do.
 
 
+24 # Anonymot 2016-12-31 12:19
Unless he has no evidence.
 
 
-1 # lorenbliss 2017-01-01 06:13
Next, in another shift between his two personae (Obama the Orator and Barack the Betrayer), Massa Potus be telling us the Russians hacked it all away...or just made it self-destruct like one of those "Mission Impossible" tapes.
 
 
-32 # mmc 2016-12-31 11:34
It appears the Russians have at least one fool gullible enough to fall for its ultimate goal, that is to have Americans loose faith in their own government institutions. Thinking people will remember that Cheney and his henchmen came up with the idea of WMD, and ordered intelligence to "find" "evidence" to support his fantasy. The supported "evidence" was flimsy, but exaggerated by Cheney. It was members of the intelligence community that spoke up and demonstrated Cheney's lie. Here it was the FBI, hardly a friend of Clinton's, who notified the DNC of the hacking by the Russians, later confirmed by multiple agencies in the intelligence community. The situations are not comparable, but once again slow Taibbi must have had a deadline, and contrived another "story". What crap.
 
 
+34 # tedrey 2016-12-31 11:46
"It was members of the intelligence community that spoke up and demonstrated Cheney's lie."

I believe your statement is not true. The intelligence community was completely complicit or muffled. After all was over, some former members of the intelligence community reported that they had not been allowed to mention the truth at the time. I think that's what thinking people remember.
 
 
+12 # wrknight 2016-12-31 13:42
No, not really. Remember, the intelligence community is a very large community and only a few (politically appointed) people are authorized to speak publicly. There were several intelligence analysts who didn't buy into the official bullshit, but they were not allowed to present their views.

Occasionally, we get insights to those who disagree, but in general all we get to hear are the "official statements" which strictly support official policy.
 
 
+18 # goodsensecynic 2016-12-31 13:27
Quoting mmc:
It appears the Russians have at least one fool gullible enough to fall for its ultimate goal, that is to have Americans loose faith in their own government institutions.


If "the Russians" are indeed hacking and hewing at American confidence, they've come to the project rather late.

Americans have been doing a fine job of undermining their own democracy for some time.

Moreover, just in terms of your most recent presidential election, FBI Director Comey's intervention in the closing days of the campaign surely influenced American voters far more that any alleged Russian hack-and-releas e tactic ever could have done.
 
 
-2 # librarian1984 2017-01-01 10:49
Comey eventually dropped the investigation before the election, so I don't understand why people say this affected much. It came out the same week the Trump-Bush bus tape did. I would think that was more damaging. Both candidates had setbacks.

I don't believe there was much movement really. Once Sanders endorsed HRC everybody settled in for the duration.

The Comey effect was minimal imo. Or do people think it affected turnout?
 
 
-1 # Activista 2016-12-31 20:24
Good thoughtful response - only would substitute Putin for Russians - normal intelligent Russian does not like Putin - like normal intelligent educated American does not like Trump.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:09
LOL.

Putin's approval ratings are always higher than any US President could hope for. At one point, they dropped to "just" 61%, but they've been as high as 89%, and generally are 75% to 85%.

And these are polls by independent and even Western pollsters.

Even the CIA mouthpiece, WaPo admits this (though of course they try to excuse it).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-to-understand-putins-jaw-droppingly-high-approval-ratings/2016/03/05/17f5d8f2-d5ba-11e5-a65b-587e721fb231_story.html?utm_term=.12a1eef07c31

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/06/24/putins-approval-ratings-hit-89-percent-the-highest-theyve-ever-been/?utm_term=.04bdc8f0dbd1

Even the Trump-hating Politifact admitted when "fact checking" Trump's claim about Putin's high poll numbers, "In a first for Trump on the Truth-O-Meter thus far, he is."

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/dec/20/donald-trump/donald-trump-right-about-putins-popularity-russia/

Or are you simply saying that you believe that up to 90% of Russians are not "normal intelligent?"
 
 
+3 # Activista 2016-12-31 21:39
www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/dec/20/donald-trump/donald-trump-right-about-putins-popularity-russia/

President Barack Obama's job approval rating hit 55 percent in a new poll released Thursday, the highest that number has been at any point during his second term in office. The CNN/ORC poll released Thursday marks the seventh consecutive month that Obama's job approval numbers have been above 50 percent.Oct 6, 2016
Obama's approval rating reaches new high - POLITICO
www.politico.com/story/2016/10/obama-approval-229224
NOT "For comparison, President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is currently about 46 percent" as your source claims.
I lived under dictatorships - where the fuhrer would have to have 99% "people" approval - people who disproved were in prison or exile.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:33
You live under a corporate/supra -national bank dictatorship right now.
 
 
0 # Activista 2017-01-02 22:45
Quoting Radscal:
You live under a corporate/supra-national bank dictatorship right now.

but I have choice - Money society is not my lifestyle. I lived under dictatorship (communism) and the choices were very limited - communism or prison.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2016-12-31 22:21
www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/08/the-lesson-of-vladimir-putins-popularity-isnt-the-one-donald-trump-seems-to-be-taking/?utm_term=.6bc159d5e155
Part of the reason that Putin is so popular is precisely that: He has strong control over his country. That control takes many forms, one of which is that he has zero tolerance for dissenting media opinions. ...
And think Trump is/will follow Putin with zero tolerance for dissent.
Or even better to understand communism - look at en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Election s_in_North_Kore a
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:38
Russia has opposition media. Probably more popular than any non-corporate propagandists in the US.

Under Yeltsin, life expectancy dropped by 5 to 10 years. People were literally starving to death in the streets. That was the "success" of your hero and the rest of the neoliberal fascists.

And that explains his popularity. He saved Russia, but more importantly as far as favorability ratings go, he saved Russians.

Putin is an authoritarian. He can clearly be brutal. But compared to Obama or Bush II?

Pussy Riot v. DAPL Water Protectors?
 
 
+3 # RLF 2017-01-01 08:54
This was the first year that life expectancy drop for US men...we're on their heals!
 
 
+1 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 14:23
Quoting Radscal:
Pussy Riot v. DAPL Water Protectors?
Great comparison!
 
 
-5 # Activista 2016-12-31 22:31
Putin's approval ratings are always higher than any US President could hope for. At one point, they dropped to "just" 61%, but they've been as high as 89%, and generally are 75% to 85%...

really?
Bush had 90% - Presidential Approval Ratings -- George W. Bush http://www.gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx

are you saying that 90% of Americans are not "normal intelligent?
 
 
+19 # tr4302@gmail.com 2016-12-31 11:45
Georg W burned us with his WMD rants. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" Proof of this?? What crap.
 
 
+6 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:13
Yeah. Without W, and the suspicion he engendered, the Clinton "Democrats" and their colluders at the NYT and WaPo could have pulled this "hacking" idiocy over the eyes of the American public, with nary a word of critical response. Darn and double darn him. He ruined the efficacy of propaganda for all the regimes to come.
 
 
+13 # Ralph 2016-12-31 11:47
"its ultimate goal, that is to have Americans loose faith in their own government institutions"

That you Rumpelstiltskin ? Where you been the last 40 years? That post was knee slapping funny. Best laugh I've had in ages. Thanks!
 
 
+28 # tedrey 2016-12-31 11:48
I repeat what I wrote three days ago.

Until the public is shown clear proof of Russian intervention, such actions as Obama is suggesting are illicit. Lay out the "evidence," so that Russia can respond to the charges, the whole Congress can fulfil its constitutional duty to investigate, the public can decide whether the planned breaches of international law are something it can approve, and the international community will have a chance to ameliorate the dangers of war.

So far, claims that this is an intentional provocation on the part of US agents who shun transparency and accountabilty are all too plausible an alternative explanation.
 
 
+32 # Kootenay Coyote 2016-12-31 11:49
The two key problems:

1. The USA cannot/will not back up its accusations.
2. USA statements are no more or less to be trusted than Russian statements.
 
 
+5 # wrknight 2016-12-31 13:34
Probably less.
 
 
+26 # gaga1996 2016-12-31 12:02
I'd like to know specifically, what have the Russians done in recent years to justify all the bad press they've received? What have they done that's one iota worse than what the United States has done in countless countries around the world? And how has the US been responsible for the provocation of many of those condemned actions? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? At best!!
 
 
-26 # lnason@umassd.edu 2016-12-31 12:52
Specifically,

1. They invaded and stole the Crimea from its legitimate government (Ukraine) and its legitimate natives (Sufi Muslims). Reportedly they want it for its militarily strategic position but anecdotally, they like to vacation there.

2. They conducted a stealth war in the Donbass and continue to foment separatism and terrorism presumably because the Ukraine considered itself European and wanted to be part of the western world rather than a backwater of the Russian empire.

3. They continue to suppress Chechens and put thugs in charge of the area to murder and imprison any one who doesn't agree.

4. They continue to occupy portions of Georgia and Moldova and keep the rightful governments out of their occupied territories.

5. They recently sponsored an assassination attempt in Montenegro.

6. They shot down a passenger jet killing 297 innocent civilians and refuse to admit to it though the facts have been documented by the Dutch.

7. They routinely violate territorial waters and air space for countries from Japan to the Baltics to Finland and Scandinavia.

Gee, I'm running out of space before I get a chance to talk about their many historical assassinations, thefts of private property including successful companies and private pension plans, election rigging, the ousting of non-Russian charity organizations, the re-writing of history, etc., etc.

Putin's imperialism makes American imperialism look lame.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massahusetts
 
 
+27 # mashiguo 2016-12-31 13:07
don't flush, you'll never be able to climb out.

Crimea is russian.
97% of crimeans wanted to be part of russia.
you have no authority to assign them any government in opposition to their own consent.

etc.
 
 
+4 # ReconFire 2016-12-31 21:16
"don't flush, you'll never be able to climb out". Love it , funny as sh!t.
 
 
0 # Eljefe 2017-01-02 18:08
And that is really funny.
 
 
+24 # goodsensecynic 2016-12-31 13:50
Quote:
Putin's imperialism makes American imperialism look lame.
On Ukraine, the democratically elected president was ousted by a largely neofascist, US-backed coup.

On assassination attempts, the US has regularly overthrown and occasionally succeeded in assassinating democratically elected governments and leaders (for starters: Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; Congo, 1961; Dominican Republic, 1965; Chile, 1973; Haiti 1991 and 2004, and Honduras, 2009).

I agree that Russia has less claim on the Baltic Republics than it did on Crimea and that Lithuanians, Latvian and Estonians would rebuff Russian efforts to take them over ... but all the tensions on Russia's western borders come directly from the US breaking its promise (under George H. W. Bush) to refrain from bringing former Soviet satellites into NATO).

Putin, I hasten to add, is not a nice man and his style of governance is far from democratic (regardless of how free and fair Russian elections may or may not be). So, I trust that no Bristol Palin surrogate will accuse me of being kinder to Putin than your incoming president. As well, I have no Panglossian view of geopolitics. Being vary of Trumputism is a realistic attitude.

It is only reasonable and very realistic to look at both sides dispassionately and conclude that the US has its share of pension thefts, election rigging, re-writing history (Texas wants Jefferson purged and evolution included?), etc. (The CIA tried to kill Castro many times.)
 
 
+23 # goodsensecynic 2016-12-31 13:54
Oh yeah, and I didn't even mention the state of seemingly permanent war from Libya to Pakistan with monster foul-ups in Iraq and Syria at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, plus millions of people displaced (and blamed for being refugees).
 
 
+3 # StuBones1960 2016-12-31 18:04
One detail -- the USA doesn't have sole authority over who joins NATO.
 
 
0 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 14:31
Quoting StuBones1960:
One detail -- the USA doesn't have sole authority over who joins NATO.
And the Deep State doesn't have sole authority over what policies are pursued by Congress and the Executive.

It's not the bastards you can see filching your wallet that truly threaten your financial stability. It's the behind the scenes "legal" thefts that will bankrupt you.
 
 
0 # Tigre1 2016-12-31 13:50
Gaga...parse it a bit finer, please. Ie, your choices of action seem to be, to become a team player(supporte r)of US government; or, whether 'neutral' or active
performing agent of some negative kind...or, "Which side are you on?"
It isn't Whether one side or the other has lied, behaved horribly, or not...it's..."W hich side are you on?"

Don't be naive. We ALL know the stories of evil, anti-social behavior. Some of us have a few personally-expe rienced examples. Ugh. We know what we know. You, I suspect, have second-hand reports.
See ya.
 
 
+16 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:22
They have actually been fighting and making some progress against ISIS. The US, on the other hand, has been supporting ISIS monetarily and with arms and policy for the past couple of years, after having performed as midwife at their inception. It just looks bad when the world's most powerful regime is teaming up with its old "enemy" Al Qaeda, to whom it gave birth, and then immediately birthing a newer more vicious demon baby, and is caught out, using these in its plans for prescribed regime change, the world over. And Putin seems singularly unwilling to accede to the completely reasonable US demand that he open his country up to rape and pillage by US "interests"
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:14
Those close to Putin have said that when he saw what our "moderate rebels" did to Qaddafi, he realized he could no longer sit back and let us (AAZ Empire) do as we wish anywhere we wish.
 
 
-8 # Jaax88 2016-12-31 20:06
When you try to say because America did bad stuff it is okay for Russia to do bad stuff to USA it does not justify Russia's actions.
 
 
0 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 14:37
Quoting Jaax88:
When you try to say because America did bad stuff it is okay for Russia to do bad stuff to USA it does not justify Russia's actions.
How old are you Jaax88? Your reading comprehension is pretty low. Fifth grade?

The points against the USA were made to demonstrate that railing against Russia is just hypocritical when we do the same or worse. My committing a wrong never JUSTIFIES your committing a wrong. Furthermore, if in discourse I bring up that you lied, you are hardly amiss in pointing out that I have lied too.
 
 
+16 # Donna Fritz 2016-12-31 12:26
It could also be retaliation for a failing proxy war with Russia in Syria.

I'm agnostic on this too. I mean it's not as if we haven't been told big lies before.
 
 
+20 # Anonymot 2016-12-31 12:51
The only other time the CIA was defeated in an election since they were founded in 1947 was by Jack Kennedy... Then Bobby merely announced that he was going to run...

They took care of Senator Sanders, but Trump Blind-sided them, gob-smacked them, and made them not only look like fools once again, but left them without control of our so-called foreign policy. Russia has been the CIA target since their puppet Hillary began her anti-Russian belligerence 6 years ago in her training period. They are beyond infuriated that they've lost their leverage.

The most interesting event of 2017 will take place when Trump meets with the"intelligenc e" people next week. I'd love to be the bugged fly on the wall to hear if they can find a menace strong enough to blackmail him into submission. That's no doubt why Trump wants to keep his own private security team.
 
 
+11 # mashiguo 2016-12-31 13:14
wouldn't it be weird if Trump, warts, graft, groin-grabbing, and all turned out to be our salvation from the deep state?

so far is the only chance of that happening in at least half a century.
the much touted 'danger' of Trump is just that: a danger to the CIA, MIC etc.
 
 
+15 # librarian1984 2016-12-31 14:26
He's already defeated the Bushes, Clintons and TPP!

Even if he doesn't mean to he could break DC. Fingers crossed! Go for the CIA first!
 
 
+8 # lfeuille 2016-12-31 20:12
But he is as bad, maybe worse than she is on Israel and Iran which could still lead to conflict with Russia. I don't even know if he realizes this.
 
 
+2 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:32
It will never happen. He will be/already has been enveloped by the deep state...
 
 
+8 # mashiguo 2016-12-31 15:07
Quoting dquandle:
It will never happen. He will be/already has been enveloped by the deep state...


i'm not sure that is true - he is too abstract random for envelopment.

however, if he is going to break them he had better do it quickly and completely otherwise his brains will be splattered all over the pavement.
 
 
-4 # Jaax88 2016-12-31 20:09
That would not be such a bad idea. LOL
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:18
More with the "liberals" being OK with murder if it fits their political goals.

Your LOL does NOT excuse that sort of loose talk.

It was wrong when Republicans did it. It's still wrong.
 
 
-4 # Jaax88 2017-01-01 01:05
I won't give you the soft shoe shuffle "can't you take a joke." It was crude. Sorry it offended you. I just do not think it is loose talk when it is unambiguously a joke. BTW, Paladino was not joking.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2017-01-01 02:19
Did you laugh when Trump referred to "the second amendment people" taking care of an Obama/Clinton Supreme Court appointment?

It's not ambiguous. "Joking" about political murder is not a laughing matter. It actually does get people killed.

Some guy shot to death a UPS driver, believing the poor guy was Donald Trump.

http://ithacavoice.com/2016/12/man-accused-ithaca-homicide-shot-killed-donald-trump-purposely-intentionally-proudly/

Yeah.

My heart goes out to William Schumacher's family, who will never have a fully Merry Christmas again.

I hope you and yours do have a safe and happy new year. And I hope Trump's and Clinton's do, too.
 
 
+12 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:30
Hillary began her anti-Russian belligerence way back when she was a cherubic Goldwater girl, intent on ending life as we know it on this planet, and he was going to be elected to bomb Russia back to the stone age, under the gentle guidance of LeMay et al.
She'a always had a view of herself as a finger in the hand holding the sword of the lord.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-12-31 18:54
I wonder how she sees herself now.
 
 
0 # Activista 2016-12-31 20:37
Tired of this anti-Hillary propaganda aka Fox news - and celebrating Trump ( librarian1984 2016-12-31 14:26
He's already defeated the Bushes, Clintons and TPP!)
people wake up - after Trump is done we will have the same oligarchy (Nazism)/totali tarianism as in Russia.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:24
Trump and your hero, George Soros are business partners.

If Trump does cause great distress in the US, we will just be getting a taste of that "out of chaos, comes order" agitprop that Soros has brought to so many other countries.

And then maybe your goal will finally be reached. Why would it matter if USians are brutalized if it doesn't matter that Ukrainians or Syrians or Egyptians or Libyans, etc. etc. etc. were?
 
 
-3 # Activista 2016-12-31 22:39
Radscal 2016-12-31 21:24
Trump and your hero, George Soros are business partners. ... really?
Soros: Trump is a 'con artist and would-be dictator' - CNBC.com
www.cnbc.com/2016/12/29/soros-trump-is-a-con-artist-and-would-be-dictator.html
3 days ago - Soros wrote that the U.S. will struggle to "protect and promote democracy" globally after the election of Trump.
Soros: Trump is a "Would Be Dictator" Who Threatens the New World ...
www.infowars.com/soros-trump-is-a-would-be-dictator-who-threatens-the-new-world...
3 days ago - Billionaire globalist George Soros has penned a panicked rant in which he decries President-elect Donald Trump as a “would be dictator” who ...
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2017-01-01 02:25
Again, I find it impossible to believe that you could be this gullible and survive the Soviet Union.

I've posted these for you before.

In 2004, Donald Trump and George Soros united to build a Trump Tower in Chicago.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280265_1_donald-trump-soros-fund-management-blackacre-institutional-capital-management

Trump and Soros, were named in RICO lawsuit regarding the 2003 sale of GM building in GM to a group including developer Mortimer Zuckerman, Goldman Sachs Group (GS) Inc., and the governments of Qatar and Kuwait for $2.9 billion — the highest price ever paid for a U.S. office building.


http://www.pionline.com/article/20081009/ONLINE/810099993/developer-sues-soros-fortress-cerberus

Oh, but the propaganda says they hate each other, so don't let reality get in your way.
 
 
+2 # AshamedAmerican 2017-01-02 04:12
Activista: "3 days ago - Soros wrote that the U.S. will struggle to "protect and promote democracy" globally after the election of Trump."

That may be the best thing that could happen to the world- for the US to no longer be able to do what it calls protecting and promoting democracy.
 
 
-2 # Activista 2017-01-02 16:25
George Soros - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
George Soros is a Hungarian-Ameri can business magnate, investor, philanthropist, political .... During this period, Soros developed the theory of reflexivity based on the ideas of Karl Popper. Reflexivity posited that market values are often ...
‎Open Society Foundations · ‎George Soros conspiracy ...
look a this idea of open society - think that trend is to promote Social Democracy - as in Finland, Norway - EU is now better example od democracy than militaristic USA.
 
 
0 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 16:00
]Quoting dquandle:
Hillary began her anti-Russian belligerence way back when she was a cherubic Goldwater girl...
I’m tired of people calling HRC a Goldwater Girl. She was a 16 year old child and a Young Republican because her father was a Republican. Whom did you wear a Presidential button for in 11th grade? Even if you are a 70 year old and would make the same choice today, can you truly say your politics back then were informed enough for you to be held accountable for them now?

On Goldwater - he was more open-minded than neolibs want to acknowledge. He was pro-choice, a gay rights activist, integrated the Arizona Air National Guard, and opposed the religious right and its influence on Republican politics. Not the least of his attributes was he wasn’t going to be silenced on human rights or following the Constitution by anyone, least of all the leadership of the Republican Party. While he would have supported blocking a few appointments here and there, he would have VEHEMENTLY opposed McConnell’s blocking the Garland appointment as unconstitutional.

As to LeMay, the quote from his 1965 autobiography (note the quotation is well after Goldwater’s run for the Presidency) is, “[the North Vietnamese]'ve got to draw in their horns and stop their aggression, or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age. And we would shove them back into the Stone Age with Air power or Naval power—not with ground forces." Not Russia. North Vietnam.
 
 
0 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-03 14:42
Quoting Anonymot:
I'd love to be the bugged fly on the wall to hear if they can find a menace strong enough to blackmail him into submission. That's no doubt why Trump wants to keep his own private security team.
Wow! Good extrapolation!
 
 
+30 # wrknight 2016-12-31 13:09
My suspicion is that the Democrats are using "The Russians Did It" to justify their failure in self examination that might reveal why they were abandoned by the middle class in the election.

The simple answer is that middle class Americans abandoned the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party abandoned middle class Americans. And no amount of "The Russians Did It" can cover it up.
 
 
+27 # wrknight 2016-12-31 13:30
The other problem with this is that all this "The Russians Did It" bullshit deflects attention from the content of the emails which was pure evil. The conspiracy to prevent Sanders from being nominated is every bit as evil as a conspiracy to stop Clinton from being elected.

So what does it matter who hacked or leaked the emails. On the one side, we give attaboys to whistle blowers, but if the whistle blowers are Russian then we call foul?

Come on, folks. See and smell the red herring for what it is. It's merely a cover up for a political party that no longer represents the majority of Americans. Read the emails yourselves instead of listening to the Democratic Party and MSM propaganda.
 
 
+14 # dquandle 2016-12-31 14:36
but reading would involve some form of thinking, and we'd rather lap pablum....

which is why every Department of Education since the Nixon era, most notably and egregiously Obama's and now Trump's, is hell bent on obliterating education
 
 
+5 # NonnyO 2016-12-31 15:46
Quoting wrknight:
The conspiracy to prevent Sanders from being nominated is every bit as evil as a conspiracy to stop Clinton from being elected.


I must respectfully disagree that stopping HRC was "evil." She is a warmongering liar, and threatened nuclear war over what she said was Russian hacking - thus, deflecting attention away from the fact that her campaign, DNC, DWS, DB, Podesta (and likely others) played dirty tricks - even as they participated in voter disenfranchisem ent and election fraud with those horrid e-voting machines that can so easily be pre-programmed and/or hacked into during the primaries which stole the primaries from Bernie Sanders.

It is HRC, the Clinton Foundation and their money-launderin g participants, et alia, who want war with Russia over pipelines that run through Syria. Starting the sensational lie "The Russians hacked our elections!" keeps "journalists" from actually investigating the lie to find out it is as "true" as the "Iraq has WMDs" fiction.

Keeping HRC from being president, by fair means or foul, did us all a favor. While I think Trump is a narcissistic twit who will be an awful president, I think HRC would have been a thousand times worse because of her lying and warmongering - and what would have inevitably been hundreds of distractions while Congress formed investigative committees into her lying and crimes and they would have tried to impeach her.
 
 
-7 # Activista 2016-12-31 20:49
"inevitably been hundreds of distractions while Congress formed investigative committees into her lying and crimes and they would have tried to impeach her"
you are repeating Trump's lies - you deserve the Trump as your president.
 
 
-7 # Activista 2016-12-31 20:46
" deflects attention from the content of the emails which was pure evil" - stolen/hacked from her server? And you are 100% sure that all are authentic. Great example how Trump/Putin propaganda worked on night workers.
can you please give me an example of "pure evil" Clinton e-mail?
I agree with Krugman - there was nothing there.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:50
Here's just ONE email's highlights.

"...the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region..."

And yet, she OK'd record arms sales to Saudi Arabia, knowing that our "enemy" ISIL was getting some of them.

And how did she see the threat of ISIL?

"...With all of its tragic aspects, the advance of ISIL through Iraq gives the U.S. Government an opportunity to change the way it deals with the chaotic security situation in North Africa and the Middle East."

Ah! It's an "OPPORTUNITY."

However, we must "make certain Basher al Assad does not gain an advantage from these operations."

Just like your hero, Soros. Out of chaos, comes (new world) order.

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774
 
 
-1 # Activista 2017-01-01 21:13
Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on."
have couple books on chaos theory - (mathematical theory) - useful and applicable as stated above. It is a good model of disintegration of Soviet Union.
 
 
0 # Radscal 2017-01-02 13:37
Millions of people die. Many die slow, agonizing deaths from hunger or disease that could be treated for literally a couple of bucks. Children are made orphans... and they're the lucky ones, as many other young, dear, sweet children suffer depredations too obscene and disgusting for decent people to even imagine.

And you consider it "a good model."

You are indeed just as psychopathic as Soros and Clinton.
 
 
-3 # Activista 2017-01-02 16:10
It is a good model of disintegration of Soviet Union ... i.e. it applies to comrades empire ...
go and salute to your comrade Trump (talking about somebody being psychopathic).
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2016-12-31 20:14
I think that certainly part of it for the Democrats, but I think the CIA is most interested in the global balance of power which Russia seems to be tipping in their favor recently.
 
 
+27 # JCM 2016-12-31 13:22
Even if the Russians did influence the election it would be an extremely small percentage of what the republicans do bold face with the Interstate Crosschecking System. There are millions on the list and maybe millions purged from the roles. They do this without any or very little news coverage. Demand more coverage from news media including RSN. The country is in denial about this and must be hit hard enough to wake up. Get Angry - Our Democracy is Lost!
 
 
+16 # peartree 2016-12-31 14:12
What this
Presidential election has shown is how deeply irrationally anti-Russian are 99% of Americans. Can one inagine anthing more thuggish than the American destruction of Iraq and libya? Nato wants to put nuclear missiles on Putins doorstep and thats supposed to be "going high". I thought we were supposed to go high when they go low.one rule for America the exceptional nation. We should write a history of thugishness over the past 40 years and see who tajes the prize...Preside ntial assasination lists.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:28
Agreed, except I don't think the percentage of USians who are bought into the current Russophobia is so high.
 
 
+8 # GrittedTeeth 2016-12-31 13:56
PropOrNot - Useful idiots for the American establishment.
 
 
+9 # CTPatriot 2016-12-31 15:01
RSN - Thank you for FINALLY linking to one of the many articles expressing skepticism over the "Russia Did it" red herring being perpetrated on the public in order to distract from the actual content of the DNC/Podesta emails that were leaked (by a DNC insider according to former UK ambassador Craig Murray and not by Russia according to Julian Assange).

Recommended Reading:
FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort by Jeffrey Carr
https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/fbi-dhs-joint-analysis-report-a-fatally-flawed-effort-b6a98fafe2fa#.6s8ecfixe

The Demand For Proof Of Russian Hacking Completely Misses The Point by Caitlin Johnstone
http://www.newslogue.com/debate/244

Exit Obama in a Cloud of Disillusion, Delusion and Deceit by Craig Murray
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/exit-obama-cloud-disillusion-delusion-deceit/
 
 
-3 # Brice 2016-12-31 15:41
Taibii is being kind of a dupish clown here. Yeah, the CIA got it wrong in Iraq ... but they were asked to cook the story by Bush, Colin Powell also folded under pressure to conform to that script. Agree with it or not, there was a reason and a history for that.

In this situation, there is nothing like that - and both the CIA and FBI, neither of which are particularly stocked with Obama "henchmen" are in agreement.

I can understand being uneasy with this "you have to trust us because this is about national security: thing, and we the people have to do something about this because it has more often than not driven us to our biggest mistakes, but that does not mean that sometimes it is not valid.
 
 
+17 # Radscal 2016-12-31 16:34
This morning, I awoke to the horrifying news that Russia had hacked into Vermont's electrical grid, putting the entire Eastern Seaboard into danger of being shut down.

Even diehard Bernie supporters were quoted as saying this Trump/Putin nexus was endangering Western Civilization.

But then it came out that actually a laptop owned by Burlington Electric was found to have some malware that could be traced to Ukrainian hackers. And that laptop was not, and had never been connected to the electric company's network.

Meanwhile, everyone at the DNC has offered to help out a Nigerian Prince. ;-)
 
 
+14 # Ralph 2016-12-31 17:21
I laughed my ass off. Nothing like creating hysteria. Take any computer in the US that is connected to the internet and it is infected with assorted malware, viruses and garbage coming from every corner of the planet. Laughable what the MSM has sunk to.
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2016-12-31 21:31
Exactly. And I don't think it a coincidence that this hyped-up BS was targeted to Bernie's home state. We Sanders supporters seem to be largely unwilling to buy into the "Russia did it" propaganda, so scaring us would be typical CIA-craft.
 
 
+7 # librarian1984 2017-01-01 00:02
I thought the same thing. Somehow they'll use this against Sanders if he crosses them or becomes too influential. They'll say HE'S the Manchurian candidate! And some of the people here will believe it.
 
 
+1 # Ralph 2017-01-01 09:19
Never thought of that. Stumbled on this during my morning reading:

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/31/russia-hysteria-infects-washpost-again-false-story-about-hacking-u-s-electric-grid/

Someone in the comments linked this assessment:

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2017-01-01 20:39
Great stuff, Ralph. Thank you.

The techie article on the evidence DHS presented for "The Russians hacked our election" claim is summed up well here.

"The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

"The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website."

It looks like James Clapper wants to help out that Nigerian Prince, too. ;-)
 
 
+16 # davehaze 2016-12-31 16:36
First off you can not go very wrong by not believing any government statements and any thing written or spoken by the corporate media.

Second, wait patiently for proof. Third, protest whenever possible.
 
 
+8 # davehaze 2016-12-31 16:42
Christ, the Democrats blame Putin because it would look stupid blaming Ralph Nader again.
 
 
+9 # Ralph 2016-12-31 17:24
Note the GOP XMAS dispatch declared the Trumpster as the new king. Mass insanity and stupidity for as far as the eye can see.
 
 
+6 # janie1893 2016-12-31 18:07
I think I am still sane but it is becoming harder to be sure of that with each new days news!
 
 
+4 # Kropotkinesque 2016-12-31 18:28
Not too little (for, Taibbi's piece is fine journalism), but too late. RSN cannot repair its soiled reputation by printing, now, after weeks of yellow-journali stic Russia-did-it tripe, by re-publishing this one sane, critical analysis of whether Russia did any of the hacking that Obama, four disgraced U.S. "intelligence" agencies, Hillary, and the Democrat Establishment allege, falsely, with ZERO evidence.

Actually, Taibbi is a bit over-generous to Obama & the U.S. "intelligence" community & the Democrat establishment & the Mainstream-Pres s stooges of that Establishment & Hillary & Obama.

Rather than take up another somewhat large space here to show the falsehood of the allegations & false news involved in the Russia-did-it frenzy, I shall urge that you read my comments posted at
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/41102-obama-expels-35-russian-diplomats-as-part-of-sanctions-for-us-election-hacking
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-12-31 21:03
Claim that Russia did NOT hack into DNC/Clinton server is as unlikely as that USA did nNOT hack into Russia/Putin servers.
Or that Israel did not hack into Iran or USA or Russia networks.
This is Cyberwarfare - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare
U.S. government security expert Richard A. Clarke, in his book Cyber War (May 2010), defines "cyberwarfare" as "actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption." :6...
In 2013 Cyberwarfare was, for the first time, considered a larger threat than Al Qaeda or terrorism, by many U.S. intelligence officials.[72] Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, for instance, said in late July 2013, that "most Americans" do not realize that the United States is currently in the middle of a "cyber war."
 
 
+6 # Kropotkinesque 2016-12-31 21:56
Activista 2016-12-31 21:03

Word salad.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:53
As usual.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2016-12-31 22:55
News Flash! Everyone who has the ability hacks everyone else.

What's missing is any evidence that Russia provided any documents to Wikileaks.

Further missing is any evidence that anything Wikileaks ever published was fraudulent.

If the truth hurt HRC's election chances, that's her fault, and the fault of those idiots who promoted her to the Democratic Party nomination.
 
 
+3 # OrlandoDFree 2016-12-31 18:55
President Bush had a long history of only listening to voices that told him what he wanted to hear, which is why we heard that the CIA had concluded that Iraq had WMD, when they pretty well knew that he didn't. Comparing that era to what Obama is saying is rather dubious.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2017-01-01 02:30
President Bush had a long history of hearing voices. God told him to invade Iraq after all.
 
 
+4 # tiape 2016-12-31 22:34
This and the previous elections of Obama could be pointing to a long-term strategy goal that the republicans have had in order to gain full control of the house, senate and presidency. Allowing Obama, making him ineffectual through constant blocking, getting rid of Sanders, DNC email leaks and other maneuvers to put in Trump was brilliantly played though I am not for Trump nor his cabinet picks.
 
 
+8 # lorenbliss 2017-01-01 06:24
Despite our ongoing political and economic crises -- obviously fulfillment of that old Chinese curse "may you always live in interesting times" -- HAPPY NEW YEAR and best wishes for many more to all my friends and comrades here on RSN.
 
 
+4 # Ralph 2017-01-01 10:27
Right back at ya Loren. That whole "interesting times" thing is actually a euphemism for saying "we're effed". The British equivalent of "good luck". Effed we are.
 
 
+6 # librarian1984 2017-01-01 10:57
Can you believe we all thought this was going to be a boring PTB election -- Bush v. Clinton?! Seems like a lifetime ago!

Happy New Year, loren! Best wishes to you. Peace, comrade.
 
 
+4 # dusty 2017-01-01 17:10
Any one who takes the time to read the GRIZZLY STEPPE - RUSSIAN MALICIOUS CYBER ACTIVITY paper should laugh out loud except these are not funny times. If there are cyber attacks I would suggest that they are universal among nations. Any why would the Russians interfere with the elections? The Dems picked a loser to lead the party and they lost - wow how did that happen?
 
 
+1 # Ellerman 2017-01-02 12:29
Julian Assange stated that the email "hacks" were actually leaks. And it has been verified that most so-called hacks come through russian sites, but that does not mean they originate in russia.
 
 
+2 # Eljefe 2017-01-02 18:22
Let ne understand--

When we expose political corruption, we're promoting democracy.

When they do it, it's "weaponizing information?"
 
 
0 # JayaVII 2017-01-03 11:37
I'm curious, Mr. Taibbi, why you characterize Mr. Putin's inviting the children of American diplomats to visit the Kremlin Christmas tree as loathsome or menacing ... sarcastic, maybe, but that's a sin all of us have possibly committed once or twice in our lives.

Were the ornaments bugged? Or did he secretly plan to brainwash the kids, using Santa as the trigger for future Manchurian candidates? That sure would be evil! And just like the nasty Russkies.

I'm so glad that it's not just the mainstream media, but also the highly paid hipster pseudo-alternat ive media, that understands the satanically superhuman powers of Vladimir Putin.
 
 
0 # dascher 2017-01-03 15:05
The choice between Putin and Netanyahu as the source of any hacking that caused Hillary Clinton to lose support seems to me to be heavily weighted toward Netanyahu. Neither of them could possibly have thought that Trump was going to win the election. Netanyahu, however, has such a deep, abiding disgust for Obama and his staff (Kerry, Clinton, etc) that he would authorize hacks against Clinton just for the fun of it. He wouldn't have expected to tilt the election, but he wouldn't care as long as it embarrassed Clinton.

Putin, on the other hand, would weigh the costs and benefits... and he would have little or nothing to gain from embarrassing Clinton before she became President.

Putin's hackers and Netanyahu's hackers are skilled enough to leave evidence pointing to anybody they want and, more importantly, not to leave evidence pointing to themselves.

The more likely source of any hacks would be Netanyahu.

It seems to take a lot of gall on the part of the US, which practically invented the cyberwarfare, the hacking of foreign government systems for reasons ranging from influencing elections to causing disruption of Iran's nuclear facilities, to complain about cyberwarfare when conducted against the US.

Militarization of the world wide web along with militarization of space are stupid, short sighted initiatives that presume that nobody else can get or invent the technology and that we "deserve" to have it because we are so "good". Kinda like nukes.
 

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