FBI traced a 'fake news' disinfo attack on Election Day from Russia, CNN reports

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/04/fbi-tracked-fake-news.html


i’ve long felt that the overwhelming number of anti-hillary ‘bernie’ memes must have been part of this campaign. it really did not make any sense to me. instagram was full of them during the primaries and even into the election.


What I don’t understand about any of this is why the news trickles out so slowly. The FBI had a lot of information about interference in the election as far back as summer 2016, but they chose to keep it secret and dribble it out after inauguration.

Sometimes I think maybe we’re seeing different government agencies exerting pressure on the executive through the release of this information, not unlike the Russians seem to do.


They are detecting a fake president every day.


Trump keeps saying the “Russia thing” is a hoax and a witch hunt and fake news.

But if it’s real then what else is he going to say?

I’m not saying the fact that he denies it is proof, but the fact that every day more evidence comes out linking him or his staff to Russia, and he keeps loudly denying it sure looks like he knows it’s not fake.


It’s because he’s not loudly yelling that this detail or that detail is wrong or off, he’s not clarifying anything, he’s just flat-out saying the whole story is false.

That works for… one story. Maybe two. Fifty or sixty stories later, the blanket “Fake news! Never happened!” bit has worn thin and become meaningless.

He knows no other way, because that would require… intelligence. Strategy. Thinking ahead about multiple outcomes.


You would notice that disinfo is an ongoing reality in many places. I can see that on my Facebook feeds in Brazil and they don’t come from Russia, and some in the US are clearly native.
I almost understand the urge of some countries to simply block Facebook: social media can easily become social disruption, and not in a silicon valley way. I would say the US elections are a negative example.


Not to mention the recurring “But her emails!”

O noes, a politician kept her emails on a server where they were NOT hacked. How awful. argh. argh. the horror.

Meanwhile, there is evidence from all across Europe of Russian electoral meddling, but 45 expects everyone to believe America and America alone was untargeted.


Trump has always believed that reality was negotiable. When he would talk about how rich he is (which he hasn’t been doing lately), most of his worth as he perceives it was based on the value of the Trump brand, and his perception of the value of the Trump brand would fluctuate with his mood. So you could ask him what he’s worth when he’s in a good mood, he might say $2 billion. Ask him 30 minutes later when he’s in a bad mood and he’d say he was broke.

So of course he’s denying this, not only because it’s politically radioactive, but because (even more importantly to him) he’d have to admit that he hadn’t won purely on his own strength as a candidate, and that is not a reality he’s willing to inhabit.


I have fixed that for you :slight_smile:


I wish I’d gotten there first, but yes–that’s exactly right. Better than what I said. It’s why, at least at first, I kind of pitied the man. Though he’s beyond that for me, now.


This was painfully obvious while it was happening. What was extremely disappointing is the response or more accurately lack of a response at the time. I feel like this is still happening right now. Just as Trump hasn’t stopped campaigning and holding rallies.


i suppose the answer is that obama was playing by the ‘old’ rules. he thought that if he or the fbi went public with this stuff it would look like he was using the power of the state to get hillary elected. but as it turns out, nobody seems to care about such egregious things. or rather, trump’s base does not care. it’s possible the bulk of the american people would have cared and it would have ‘backfired’ on obama. given trump’s narrow victory, it may have been the right strategy. in the end it was just a few counties in the upper midwest that pushed him over the finish line.

trump made an enemy of the fbi and cia early on, so i don’t see how this ends well for him. but it does cast doubts in my mind about jfk - i always assumed that was a cia hit… here this guy’s been over the line so long and yet nothing has happened to him. maybe the cia re-read their charter and decided they are out of this business now.


I heard that also from NPR when the same questions came up awhile back. It’s possible that the decision to keep a low profile was reinforced by the general belief that Trump would lose anyway, so…


Every word you used is right on too. He is the whole douchecanoe, but now he is up shit creek, without a patent.

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The CIA may have the motive, but I don’t think they have the operational competence. They’re best at operations where they aimlessly and indefinitely stir the pot.


I suspect that if Obama had done this, suddenly the drumpf’s base would have suddenly cared. They would have been goaded into by Faux News, drumpt’s tweets, etc., etc. – as usual.


“Forget I said cofveve”


I think it’s worth pointing out (since some people seem to be missing it) that there are two things going on, and two strains of criticism, and they often overlap confusingly in this left/progressive space:

  1. Some people insist that Trump is colluding with the Russians and that Putin is attempting to declare war on our democracy, etc.

  2. Other people insist that these first people are red-baiting, attempting to make cover for Hillary Clinton’s failures, and trying to inflate a new Cold War with Russia.

This story to me seems to be mostly interesting for (2)s, as it describes the FBI actually monitoring the news and deciding what they have deemed “fake” because it “came from Russia”.

Let’s recall the Washington Post’s publication of this story soon after the election, smearing a number of progressive news sources (including Naked Capitalism, whose links are frequently cross-posted on BoingBoing) as either “Russian agents” or “unwitting dupes”.

Let’s also recall that all of these stories about “Russian hacking” and “Russian interference in our election” roundly fail to mention the fact that our government funds the premiere organization responsible for criminal hacking in the world (the NSA), whose tools recently led to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, and that the organized efforts of the United States government to hack and disrupt the systems of other countries (and, incidentally, our own software systems) make any Russian efforts look like the work of poorly-funded amateurs.

Let’s also recall that Robert Mueller, who some of you might be cheering for, has a sordid history of his own, supporting torture, spying on Americans, extra-judicial assassination, etc., and is not a hero by any regard.