Debunking Russiagate, Part 3

The homophobia is gross, too.

This is the third of a three-part series of arguments from the crowdsourced journalism project, The Big Fat Compendium of Russiagate Debunkery, which I have now divided into segments for ease of loading and viewability.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

18. The US power establishment has an extensive history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture support for immoral acts of military aggression.

From the Vietnam War to the Gulf War to the Iraq invasion, the corporatist power structures who run the US government have been deceiving the American people into consenting to military responses to non-existent threats. With Vietnam it was the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident. With the Gulf War it was the false Nayirah testimony which convinced Americans that Iraqi soldiers were killing hundreds of premature babies in a Kuwait hospital by removing them from their incubators. With the Iraq invasion it was the weapons of mass destruction lie and the deliberate psy-op by the corporate media to marry the ideas of “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” in the minds of their viewers, which was so successful that six months after the invasion 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam was responsible for the September 11th attacks.

Do you now truly believe that this same power establishment would not lie to you in order to manufacture support for a power grab in Russia and the Middle East, or to pressure a sitting president into playing along with that power grab, or to distract from incriminating emails released by WikiLeaks? Do you truly believe that they would never do such a thing?

19. This epic Twitter rant by the dude with the accurate username deserves its own entry.

20. Even stalwart establishment Democrats are openly acknowledging that there is no proof of Trump-Russia collusion.

Hi there. Still with me? Medium’s read-time estimator says you’ve probably been chewing on this article for about 25 minutes now, if you’ve been reading straight through and haven’t stopped to enjoy any of the awesome videos I’ve included. You may have noticed that throughout those 25 minutes you’ve scarcely read a word about the Trump-Russia collusion allegation itself, which is the alleged scandal that gives Russiagate it’s “-gate” suffix. I covered all those other points first because they address the foundations of everything the Trump-Russia collusion allegation is premised on.

What that means for you is that in order for Russiagate to be true, I have to have been dead wrong about everything you’ve been reading for the last 25 minutes. If Russia didn’t hack the Democratic party and pass the emails on to WikiLeaks, there is no collusion between Trump and Russia to win the 2016 election, since the hacking is what Russia’s half of the bargain is alleged to have looked like. If the pundits and politicians are lying about Putin, then there’s no reason to believe them about Russiagate. If this is all a ploy to manufacture support for escalations with Russia and Syria for the benefit of a few US oligarchs, Russiagate should be aggressively rejected.

And it’s possible that I am wrong about everything I’ve written over the course of the last 6,413 words. But can you at least acknowledge in your heart of hearts that there is reasonable cause to take the official narrative with a grain of salt? Are you 100 percent certain that collaborating with the dangerous escalation of tensions with a nuclear superpower is worthwhile? Are you 100 percent certain that the Democratic party’s singular fixation on this one issue is worthwhile? Are you 100 percent certain that all the stress, tension, McCarthyism and xenophobia are worthwhile?

You shouldn’t be. There is no reason for you to trust those known liars and manipulators. You should disbelieve the things they are telling you until you see a full mountain of rock-solid proof, and thus far what you have seen is pretty much the exact opposite.

These people are openly stating that there is no evidence of collusion, and then citing the absence of evidence as a reason to go digging for evidence in the hope that they find something. That’s not how criminal investigations work; you’re supposed to find a dead body with bullets in it, then gather evidence to find who put the bullets in the body. With Russiagate, there is no body, and there are no bullets, there’s just a bunch of people looking at the president saying “You seem kinda weird, I bet you’ve done something wrong. We need to investigate you and see if we can find evidence of your having committed some sort of crime.”

If this were being done to anyone else, this would never be stood for. A police department singling out a civilian and actively digging for evidence that they’ve committed some sort of crime would be seen as unconstitutional and there would be immense public outcry. But because establishment Democrats hate Trump so much and they’re so upset that he won, they’re willing to take a fascist approach to investigations just this one time.

21. The Trump-Russia collusion narrative makes no sense.

Another reason I saved the Trump collusion stuff for last is because I just plain do not like the man, and it annoys me that my desire to be true to the truth gets me stuck in positions where I need to come across as defending him. So I’ve been happy to put this part off, but really, as gross as he is the idea that Trump colluded with Putin to win the 2016 election makes no sense if you think about it.

This argument is hard to address because so few people are even willing to express a clear model of how this alleged collusion is supposed to have happened (see debunkery #27). Hillary Clinton presented a concrete theory as we saw in debunkery #9 of this article, but as we discussed it’s based on the absolutely ridiculous notion that the leaked emails weren’t intrinsically incriminating, and therefore required a sophisticated system of fake news and bots to make them seem inflammatory enough to go viral.

In March we saw a popular story going around that anonymous officials had told CNN the collusion consisted of the Trump campaign giving the Russians a “thumbs up” when it was time to release the allegedly hacked documents to WikiLeaks, which makes no sense whatsoever because Russian hackers wouldn’t need the go-ahead from an American political candidate to share their documents with the goal of swaying voters, they’d just do it.

Then there’s the infamous Christopher Steele dossier which alleges that the collusion takes the form of blackmail, namely that Russians videotaped Trump engaging in vengeful erotic activities with a group of well-hydrated prostitutes and are using that video to blackmail him into a stance on Russia that is identical to Obama’s. The dossier is a joke; its allegations sound made-up, it is full of significant errors, and due to its uncorroborated and highly suspicious nature the only outlet willing to publish it was the “Which One Direction Member Are You?” website Buzzfeed. Oh yeah, and Steele has since acknowledged that parts of his dossier are unverified and that it was never meant to be published.

Other speculative theories I’ve heard in my conversations about this thing are that the collusion was more of an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” nature, but it’s hard to say what that would even look like. There’s been some speculation that it involved “softening” the GOP’s stance on Ukraine, but the revised Republican party platform is arguably more hawkish than the original draft, as was revealed when the original draft finally came to light.

Trump was consistent in his advocacy of non-interventionist foreign policy for years prior to taking office. Clinton Democrats, because they are literally neocons, are unable to conceive of a reality in which someone could think having an amicable relationship with Russia or wanting to stay out of Syria might be a good thing, but Trump’s base largely elected him because of that very platform, which was why so many of them were outraged when Trump launched a missile strike on a Syrian airbase two months ago.

Which come to think of it kind of kills that collusion theory, doesn’t it? If Putin had his hackers steal Democratic emails in exchange for Trump espousing a more pro-Russia stance than the one he already had, one would expect him to become more pro-Russia, not less. Certainly not striking a Syrian airbase, giving the okay to arrest Julian Assange of “Russian WikiLeaks” fame, amassing troops in Syria, repeatedly attacking pro-Assad forces, or saying relations with Russia were at an “all-time low” while maintaining all the dangerous provocations along Russia’s border.

Robert Parry makes some more convincing arguments in an article titled “The Missing Logic of Russia-gate”, pointing out some major plot holes in the establishment’s Michael Flynn narrative, the bizarre amount of emphasis being placed on RT’s programming, and the absurd arguments being made about it. Parry also points out the ridiculousness of the collusion narrative which asserts that Putin was able to magically foretell that Trump could become president back when everyone else scoffed at the possibility, which enabled him to begin grooming Trump as a Kremlin puppet years in advance, yet Putin also lacked the ability to foretell all the trouble Russiagate would cause him.

Parry also points out how it would make no sense for Putin to want to upset the projected winner of the election Hillary Clinton by publishing embarrassing emails about her, writing,

Those “assessments” also assume that Putin’s motives were to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, boost Trump and — as FBI Director Comey added on Monday — turn Americans against their democracy.
But there is a counter-argument to that thinking: Assuming that Putin read the polls like everyone else, would he risk infuriating the likely next President of the United States — Hillary Clinton — by embarrassing her with an email leak that would amount to a pinprick? Clinton herself blamed her surprise defeat on FBI Director Comey’s decision to briefly reopen the investigation into whether she endangered national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State.
Unless one assumes that Putin’s Ouija board also predicted Comey’s actions or perhaps that Comey is another Russian mole, wouldn’t it be a huge risk for Putin to anger Clinton without ensuring her defeat? There’s the old saying that “if you strike a king, you must kill him,” which would seem to apply equally to a queen. But logical thinking no longer applies to what’s going on in Official Washington.

But for me the biggest plot hole in the collusion theory (which again can only be real if the hacking allegations are true and this isn’t a geopolitical power grab by America’s unelected power establishment) is the lack of proof. There’s nothing any investigation could possibly find that the US intelligence community’s vast, sprawling surveillance networks wouldn’t have found and leaked to the Washington Post in November if it existed to be found. No investigative team is going to find something that the combined efforts of the CIA and the NSA could not. Simple as that.

22. Russiagate can be used to leverage Trump into acting in alignment with establishment interests.

Trump is now unable to make any move that looks even remotely pro-Russian or even not-sufficiently-anti-Russian, no matter how sane that move is, without severe political repercussions. The mass media whips America’s establishment loyalists into a frenzy whenever he looks like he might be resisting the oligarchic agenda a little too much (which is why I secretly relax a bit whenever they’re in full-blown alarmist mode), but shower him with bipartisan praise when he attacks Syria like a good boy.

However…

23. Russiagate can get us all killed.

This carrot-and-stick game mentioned in debunkery #22 can be used to leverage Trump into relatively pro-establishment behavior until they can get him out of office, but it is also extremely dangerous. Russia is (as I’ll never tire of repeating) a nuclear superpower, and as Stephen Cohen recently said,

“You know it’s easy to joke about this, except that we’re at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever. And the reason is that we’re in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia’s border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen.”

The fact-free Russia hysteria is being used to pressure Trump into maintaining these omnicidal tensions in the Baltic region, Ukraine and Syria which could blow up any second and lead to a chain of events which see a nuclear warhead being deployed by either side accidentally, on purpose, or a mixture of the two in the chaos of armed conflict, and once one goes off, they all do. As Cohen rightly pointed out in an interview last month with Democracy NOW, imagine how much more dangerous the Cuban Missile Crisis would have been if Kennedy had had to deal with such a situation while also juggling insane pressures to never back down in any area from his own government?

A 2014 report published in the journal Earth’s Future found that it would only take the detonation of 100 nuclear warheads to throw 5 teragrams of black soot into the earth’s stratosphere for decades, blocking out the sun and making the photosynthesis of plants impossible, starving every terrestrial organism to death that didn’t die of radiation or climate chaos first. The United States and Russia currently have about 7,000 nuclear warheads apiece that we know of.

24. The xenophobia is getting scary.

Lyrics by Bob Dylan

25. The McCarthyism is disgusting.

The reason I prefaced this article with the disclaimer that I am not a Russian shill or propagandist is because I get accused of being one multiple times every single day for pointing out the plot holes in the Russiagate narrative. A madness has seized American political discourse where people can’t just disagree and argue about this subject like normal people arguing about normal political opinions; if you question Russiagate in a public forum, you will be accused of being a paid Kremlin operative trying use deception to harm the American people and undermine the United States government. Not just by one person usually, but by a whole gaggle of people agreeing with each other and validating one another.

This is McCarthyism. This is insanity. Dismissing people who argue with you on the grounds that they are conducting psychological operations on behalf of a hostile government is not a legitimate thing for a human being to do. I may not be American, but that doesn’t make me a Kremlin operative, and the horrifying witch hunt environment that has engulfed the United States makes me glad my American husband and I are here in Australia and not up there.

I am not a shill. I am not a propagandist. I criticize Russiagate because it is stupid, crazy, dangerous, and lacking in any evidence whatsoever. Stop attacking journalists and anyone who speaks out. Stop trying to bully people into shutting up about this thing with your disgusting McCarthyist tactics. It is vile.

26. Hillary has plenty of Russian ties herself.

Pretty much all the frenzied accusations being made about Trump can also be looked at as normal things that have lots and lots of precedent. Jared Kushner sought a “back channel” to Moscow? Kissinger did that for Nixon. Flynn spoke to Russian officials during the transition period? Former ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock says that’s actually standard practice.

People make ties. Powerful people make powerful ties. Trump may be corrupt, but so is virtually everyone else in Washington, and corruption is a far, far cry from treasonous collusion. Until we are shown hard, testable proof that Russia hacked the Democratic party, gave the documents to WikiLeaks with the intention of manipulating the election, and colluded with the Trump campaign to win the 2016 election, there is no reason to pay Russiagate any mind, because his ties to Russia actually look more harmless than Hillary’s.

27. This video of Russiagaters demonstrating with their own words that their schtick arises not from facts or logic, but from a cultish, faith-based belief system.

This is something anyone with any interest in Russiagate of any kind needs to watch. Michael Tracey interviews Russiagaters who cannot clearly articulate their own position and admit that they’re getting their information from known liars like Louise Mensch and the Palmer Report, and Tracey shows how their arguments are premised on a pure, religion-like faith in something that has yet to be established as fact. These people don’t believe what they believe because of facts or evidence, they believe what they believe because they really want to believe it.

And that is it, brothers and sisters! I think I did an okay job of encapsulating the spirit of the bulk of the arguments I was given by my readers in the time I had available, but I’ll probably update this baby periodically and share it around whenever I do. Thank you for reading, thank you to everyone who contributed your brainpower to this effort, thank you to my patrons, and thank you to the hunger for truth which burns in the human heart.

Peace.

Click here for the Index of Russiagate Debunkery.

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