After examining the FBI, CIA, & NSA’s new report, “Assessing Russian Activity and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” I’ve concluded that US intelligence agencies are either confused about what evidence is or they’re intentionally lying to the public, again. Many journalists had hoped the report on Russia’s alleged “hacking” would contain sort of evidence but the combined intelligence of the FBI, CIA, & NSA was unable to find any. Instead of offering evidence, most of the report is spent describing the content of so-called “Kremlin messaging,” which they claim is a global disinformation campaign to undermine US democracy, led by Vladimir Putin himself [ cue scary music ]. Oblivious to the irony that “intelligence” is defined as “the ability to understand,” US intelligence officials are asking us to accept their claims without a single shred of evidence to support them.
The lack of evidence was disappointing but it wasn’t surprising — what was surprising, however, was what the report revealed about the strange & spooky views our intelligence agencies hold about the world….
The Bizarre World
of US Intelligence
Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”
– “Assessing Russian Activity and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” pg. ii
After a few accusations that Putin directed an elaborate campaign to influence US elections, the report thoroughly explains how the alleged influence-campaign was carried out. Very little is said about hacking or any other illegal cyber activities. Most of the assessment is focused on what they believe is Kremlin propaganda being spread by “fake news” sites, media-outlets with ties to Russia, & “pro-Kremlin” social media personalities. They claim that Russian cyber operations have been going on for years and that, this time, their main goal was “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”
According to the assessment, most of Russia’s cyber-aggression isn’t their alleged illegal activity, like spear-phishing & stealing data. The commies, it seems, have chosen a far more dangerous weapon than US intelligence had feared — journalism.
( Wait, what? )
CIA, FBI, & NSA:
Journalism is Russian Propaganda
The most striking feature of US intel’s screed was how it described Russia’s so-called propaganda. Democracy in the United States isn’t being undermined by forged documents or by stolen data containing sensitive information — our democracy, according to the report, is being undermined by skepticism about US policies, criticism of corporate greed, & the exposure of official corruption.
A full 5 pages — or more than 20% of the report — is devoted to highlighting what they call “the Russian line” or “Kremlin messaging” being reported by the popular news-outlet, RT. With high confidence, US officials assess that — on the orders of Kremlin propagandists — RT’s programming has included “criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties.” Wait! There’s more — as if their insolent criticisms weren’t enough, RT even “portrayed the US electoral process as undemocratic and featured calls by US protesters for the public to rise up and “take this government back.”
US Intel Discovers Putin’s Evil Plan
to Publicly Criticize the United States!
The intelligence report lists other instances where RT has delivered Kremlin propaganda to its viewers, including:
- “Ran numerous reports on alleged US election fraud and voting machine vulnerabilities, contending that US election results cannot be trusted and do not reflect the popular will” (pg 6)
- “In an effort to highlight the alleged ‘lack of democracy’ in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates” (pg 6)
- “Asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham'” (pg 6)
- “Described the current US political system as corrupt and
dominated by corporations“ (pg 7)
- “RT’s reports often characterize the United States as a ‘surveillance state‘” (pg 7) *Note that the NSA just put “surveillance state” in quotes, as if they have no idea what RT’s talking about.
- “Alleged widespread [US] infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use“ (pg 7)
- “Focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt” (pg 7)
- “Runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health” (pg 8)
- “Opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict“ (pg 8)
US intelligence lists each of the above as the components of a so-called disinformation campaign, which is being led by Vladimir Putin “to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order.” The report presents content from RT’s programming from 2011 to 2016, starting with their coverage of Occupy Wall Street, which the report seems to imply was instigated by covert Kremlin messaging. “RT framed the [occupy] movement as a fight against ‘the ruling class,'” says pg. 7 of the assessment, “and described the current US political system as corrupt.”
Now, if the report is saying these views are the intended results of Kremlin messaging — which it is — what do you think the US intelligence community believes about the people’s movements that sprung up over the 2016 election cycle?
Are Millions of US Citizens
Really Just Kremlin Stooges?
During the democratic primaries, I investigated & wrote about the rampant vulnerabilities of the United States’ electronic voting machines. I was under the impression that, as a journalist, I was gathering information about current events for the public — but, if this intel is correct, it would seem that I’d actually been compromised by Russia’s propaganda. Similarly, when I wrote about #ExitPollGate, general corruption in congress, & the impact of fracking on North Dakota reservations, I was under the impression I was reporting on observed statistical anomalies, campaign-finance, & the marginalized views of indigenous communities. But — again, if this intel is correct — it seems I was just giving Putin exactly what he wanted…
In fact, it seems that the corrosive propaganda of the Kremlin has seeped into the minds of millions of US citizens, including the brainwashed hordes who rallied around Bernie Sanders & his call to stand up to Wall Street’s greed & the corrupting influence of corporate money on US elections. Those who believed the media was silencing the dissent of third-parties to reinforce the “sham” two-party system’s stranglehold over an un-democratic electoral system (& journalists who reported it) had fallen into Russia’s trap, designed to sabotage the “US-led liberal democratic order.”
Or, at least, that’s what I’m told by US intelligence…
The US Intelligence Report:
Evidence the United States is Going Insane
To sum it all up, the joint assessment of the US intelligence community has provided the people with no evidence. It has, however, provided us a rare glimpse into the spooky ideology that motivates these shadowy & powerful institutions. Intelligence officials seem to share the contempt of the ruling class toward popular, anti-establishment movements, and — if they do believe the garbage they wrote in this report — they think that criticism of the United States is equal to hostile disinformation campaigns.
In light of the recent approval of funding for an official US propaganda machine & the media-led panic over so-called “fake news,” this revelation of the US intelligence community’s worldview is especially concerning. If major media-corporations, congress, the CIA, the FBI, & the NSA all agree that the “Kremlin messaging” outlined in the report ought to be stopped — what will that mean for the independent press?
Looking on the bright side, however, I s’ppose there may be a few new job opportunities for me, in Moscow…
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