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CIA/FBI/NSA categorizes criticism of US 2-party politics, as part of foreign propaganda plot [US Government]

January 7, 2017

RT America TV, a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties. The rapid expansion of RT’s operations and budget and recent candid statements by RT’s leadership point to the channel’s importance to the Kremlin as a messaging tool and indicate a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest.

[FBI/CIA/NSA “Wiki Leaks” Assessment document, released 2017.01.06 – page 6]

In the context of heavily publicized allegations that Russia “hacked the election”, the above is quite ominous, if not threatening to the future freedom to make any criticisms of the US political system, which I of course love to do.

A portion of today’s “Russia-hacked-the-election” report (i.e., report on the release of the Podesta archives to WikiLeaks) was devoted to the part allegedly played by Russian TV channel RT. The channel provided what I consider a valuable service to viewers by covering in depth subjects shunned by the MSM. These include Occupy Wall Street, third party political candidates such as Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, the anti-war and environmental movement, and more. In other words the promotion of peace, justice, and shared prosperity in the US.

Why would these things be promoted by a Russian state media outlet? The reasoning supplied by today’s FBI/CIA/NSA report is that it was done in retaliation for US promotion of civil society in Russia in 2011-2012, which led to a number of protests against Putin’s government.

This is what you would call “Truthiness” – it contains an element of truth (there is a tit-for-tat going on with the US and Russia each sponsoring civil society in the others’ country, reasoning that a less belligerent opponent would lead to improved security). But it is also really deeply twisted – in exactly the same way as 1970’s saw US government attacks vs then anti-war and other progressive movements as “commie subversion”. By the same agencies as who wrote today’s report, coincidentally.

I find this overtly McCarthyist part of the “report” the most troubling — as it may signal a crackdown on what has generally been a tremendous strength of the US – freedom of expression.

The part about who hacked whom is somewhat less relevant, as I’ve said before. First because it pales in comparison with other regime-change techniques popular in the past and even today, second because the hacks/leaks must stand against the deceit and manipulation revealed by the actual materials of the Podesta archives, and third because despite the mega publicity, the evidence is still woefully thin (essentially, we are being asked to trust the word of the CIA/FBI/NSA despite years of false public statements, in contrast to WikiLeaks, who has been repeatedly accused of telling the truth.)

Now there is an overlap between these agencies, and the parts of the US government which is responsible for a disturbing level of belligerence in the middle east and beyond. And that unfortunately includes Secretary Clinton, since she championed the Libya adventure. So this group, I’m actually literally a bit afraid to say, really should learn to take some criticism. To accept some political consequences, without responding as if national security is being threatened.

To lose an election is a very, very mild price to pay. It’s an unspeakable truth, that the fairly aggressive US foreign policy actions of the past 15 years would put officials from lesser countries in front of international tribunals. We know that’s not going to happen here, but it’s worth remembering to put it into perspective.

Occupy Wall Street was listed as well, so I take that to mean this is now bundled along with everything else as some kind of “threat”. Even though Pres. Obama’s own report to Congress on the US economy (finally) in 2015 or so listed economic inequality as a top issue. If your supposed arch-enemy throws that on their TV network, and it happens to be true, and Secretary Clinton loses the election in part because her legacy was directly opposed to the message of that movement, what does that mean, exactly?

Losing an election is a small price to pay. Nobody is overthrowing the US government. Reviving McCarthyism in protest is not appropriate or productive in any way. A lot of powerful people appear to be losing their minds. It’s not good.

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