Continuing the discussion from Russian skepticism:
I never did get around to replying to that thread. So, belatedly…
Wander’s current take on Russiagate.
Assessing the evidence:
- The Buff Bernie memes.
These are just transparently absurd; a collection of bad cheesy memes, distributed to an audience of almost nobody, with no clear ideological intent, many of them after the election.
To me, Occam suggests that these had nothing to do with any supposed attempt to influence the election. I think they were just filler or carriers for some spam accounts or somesuch.
- Russian trolls.
Not a major factor.
All sides in the election used paid online trolls; most notably, Clinton’s Correct the Record. Trump, OTOH, is cheap and cheesy, and quite likely hired the services of some dodgy Eastern European troll farms as well as setting up a US operation.
Again, not proof of FSB subversion.
- Assorted financial/lobbying/money laundering links between Trump associates and Russian gangsters.
Trumpeters are crooks, and the crimes of the 0.1% are transnational. No surprise there. Again, not evidence of a coup.
- The Podesta hack.
This is the most significant one, and the only one that had real impact on the election.
However, the only evidence that the hack was Russian is “the FBI/NSA says so”. Not a source that I’m willing to trust blindly.
Even if we assume that the hack was FSB, it still doesn’t imply the massive campaign of election rigging suggested by the Dems. Opportunistically publicising a bit of dirt on a foreign politician known to be militantly hostile is routine self-defence, not a coup.
Motivations of Russiagate:
The Dems aren’t totally stupid; they know their case is thin, which is why they aren’t going to impeach on it. So why chase it so hard?
It provided a very useful distraction from the post-election analysis of their own corruption and incompetence. All of the people who lost 2016 are still in place.
It provided a useful excuse to mute the growing collection of left wing media. The effective banning of Telesur/RT/etc from Facebook and Twitter has done massive damage to the audience reach of left US media.
It allows them to attack Trump without actually having to commit to any policy critique.
It provided the opportunity for establishment Dems to throw accusations of Russian subversion at any and all of their ideological opponents. Neo-McCarthyism.
The New Cold War is going to be immensely profitable for the security state and the arms industry. Troop levels are already being ramped up by NATO on the Russian borders.
Consequences of Russiagate
Is it a good thing, in an age of rising fascism, for the supposedly left party to be:
Calling for treason trials, on evidence far below what would usually be required for such a thing?
Wildly throwing around accusations of foreign subversion?
Declaring all left dissent as the consequence of foreign interference?
Seeking to censor all media to their left?
Arguing in favour of military belligerence?