Russiagate's Greatest Hits
Now that Mueller has turned in his final report, but without indictments, it's time to acknowledge that Russiagate has now matured into a fully developed konspiracy theory.
This means several things. Primarily it means that Russiagate's already tenuous connection to reality can now be severed. Too many careers depend on Russiagate.
The careers of many previously semi-obscure Democratic members of Congress have been greatly enhanced—if that is the right word—by their aggressive promotion of Russiagate. (Think, for example, of the ubiquitous media coverage and cable-television appearances awarded to Representatives Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Maxine Walters, and to Senators Mark Warner and Richard Blumenthal.) If Mueller fails to report “collusion” of real political substance, these and other Russiagate zealots, as well as their supporters in the media, will need to reinterpret run-of-the-mill (and bipartisan) financial corruption and mundane “contacts with Russia” as somehow treasonous.
Democratic politicians are only a small minority of those careers.
There is late-night comedians and political pundits. Plus those that profit from political tensions, like the intelligence industry, the MIC, defense lobbyists, and of course the grifters at New Knowlege and Hamilton 68.
Let's not forget how incredibly useful Russiagate is for TPTB.
By an extraordinary coincidence, virtually all the “anti-system” movements and candidates that so terrified the political establishment two years ago have since been identified as covert or overt Russian destabilization initiatives, puppeteered from afar by the diabolical anti-Western dictator, Vladimir von Putin-Evil.
Since Trump’s election, we’ve been told Putin was all or partly behind the lot of it: the Catalan independence movement, the Sanders campaign, Brexit, Jill Stein’s Green Party run, Black Lives Matter, the resignations of intra-party Trump critics Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, Sean Hannity’s broadcasts, and, of course, the election of Trump himself.
We’ve jumped straight past debating the efficacy of democracy to just reflexively identifying most anti-establishment sentiment as illegitimate, treasonous, and foreign in nature...RT stories about 100% American protests against fracking, surveillance abuses, and “alleged Wall Street greed,” were part of “Russian strategic messaging” campaigns, the intelligence analysts insisted.
One thing that is so hilarious is how many times the media practically begged leftists to get on-board with Russiagate. A Russiagate without actual leftists always looked dubious. These attempts will now stop.
NYMag: "It is very strange that the self-styled populist wing of the left is so indifferent to this project."
Atlantic: "If Blumenthal and Greenwald are indignant about Kris Kobach’s efforts to limit Americans’ ability to choose their leaders, they should be indignant about Vladimir Putin’s too."
NYTimes: "But as the investigation led by Robert Mueller closes in on more Trump associates like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, it seems clear that the Russia story is only going to get bigger. Rather than downplay or deny it, the left should embrace it."
Week: "But the Russiagate story matters, and the left should be paying attention...But consider Watergate, probably the most relevant comparison (indeed, at this point it seems likely that Russiagate is considerably worse than that scandal)."
Russiagate skeptics point to independent (and anti-Putin) Russian journalists and activists, who have been highly critical of Western reporting on the scandal, finding it overheated, flawed and sometimes laughable. They also point to a media climate that has permitted all manner of errors, so long as accusations and conspiracies involve Russia.
With that in mind, the Intercept has a great Russiagate Top 10 list for all of the best journalistic fails.
— Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017
Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN’s online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017
Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016
— ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016
Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q
— Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018
BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019
Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017
CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019