The political opponents of President Trump have found a new lever for sabotaging his presidency – his alleged embrace of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. He is now being labelled a «sympathizer» of fascists and bringing America’s international image into disrepute. Cue the impeachment proceedings.
Notably, the same power-nexus that opposed Trump from the very outset of his presidency is vociferously condemning his alleged racist leanings. Pro-Democrat media like the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN can’t give enough coverage to Trump «the racist», while the intelligence community and Pentagon have also weighed in to rebuke the president. Former CIA chief John Brennan said Trump’s comments on racial violence were a «national security risk».
This is not meant to minimize the ugliness of the various Neo-Nazi fringe groups that have lately rallied across Southern US states. Trump’s wrongheaded remarks which appeared to lay equal blame on anti-fascist protesters for deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, were deplorable.
However, the concerted, massive media campaign to nail Trump as some kind of new Fuhrer seems way over the top. The media frenzy smacks of Deep State opponents scouring for a handy new pretext for ousting him from office.
The enthusiasm for whipping up the new anti-Trump campaign seems due in large part because the erstwhile Russia-gate story has patently failed to gain any traction. For nearly seven months since Trump’s inauguration, the relentless claims pushed by Democrats, the media and anonymous intelligence sources that his election last November was enabled by Russian interference have shown little impact in terms of discrediting Trump and ultimately forcing him out of the White House. The Russia-gate theme has failed in its soft coup objective.
Back in January, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, the US intelligence agencies claimed that Russia had interfered in the presidential election with the aim of promoting Trump’s victory over Democrat rival Hillary Clinton. But seven months on, no evidence has ever been produced to support that sensational claim.
Despite this absence of «killer evidence» to damage Trump as a Russian stooge, the Congress continues to hold investigations into the vapid allegations. And, separately, a «special prosecutor» – former FBI chief Robert Mueller – continues to expand his investigation, forming a grand jury and this week opening enquiries into White House staff.
Thus the whole Russia-gate affair is in danger of becoming a giant farce from the lack of evidence. With so little to show for their herculean efforts to trap Trump as a «Russian patsy», his political opponents, including prominent media organizations, are at risk of being seen as ridiculous hoaxers.
A telltale sign of how bankrupt the Russia-gate story is was the publication of a lengthy article in Wired earlier this month. The California-based online magazine proclaims to be a cutting-edge technology publication. Wired is published by Condé Nast, a global American company, whose other prestige titles include Vogue, Vanity Fair and New Yorker. With a claimed monthly readership of 30 million, and an editorial staff of over 80, Wired is supposed to be a global leader in new technology and communications.
According to its advertising blurb, «Wired is where tomorrow is realized», adding: «It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation».
Therefore, as a US technology forum, this publication is supposed to be the elite in insider information and «nerdy journalism». With these high claims in mind, we then turn excitedly to its article published on August 8 with the headline: «A guide to Russia’s high tech tool box for subverting US democracy».
On reading it, the entire article is a marathon in hackneyed cliches of Russophobia. It is an appalling demonstration of how threadbare are the claims of Russian hacking into the US election last year. Citing US intelligence sources, the Wired article is a regurgitation of unsubstantiated assertions that Russian state agencies hacked into the Democratic National Committee last July and subsequently used whistleblower site Wikileaks to disseminate damaging information against Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.
«According to US investigators», says Wired, «the hack of the DNC’s servers was apparently the work of two separate Russian teams, one from the GRU [military intelligence] and one from the FSB [state security service], neither of which appears to have known the other was also rooting around in the Democratic Party’s files. From there, the plundered files were laundered through online leak sites like WikiLeaks and DCLeaks… Their impact on the 2016 election was sizable, yielding months of damaging headlines».
Nowhere in the Wired article is any plausible technical detail presented to back up the hacking claims. It relies on US intelligence «assessments» and embellishment with quotes from think tanks and anonymous diplomats whose anti-Russia bias is transparent.
Wired’s so-called Russian «tool box for subverting US democracy» covers much more than the alleged hacking into the DNC. It accuses Russia of using news media, diplomats, criminal underworld networks, blackmail and assassinations as an arsenal of hybrid warfare to undermine Western democracy.
Wired declares: «And they are self-reinforcing, because in Russia the intelligence apparatus, business community, organized crime groups, and media distribution networks blend together, blurring and erasing the line between public and private-sector initiatives and creating one amorphous state-controlled enterprise to advance the personal goals of Vladimir Putin and his allies».
This is an astoundingly sweeping depiction of Russia in the most slanderous, pejorative terms. Basically, Wired is claiming that the entire Russian state is a criminal enterprise. The Russophobia expressed in the article is breathtaking – and this is in a magazine that is supposed to be a leader in technology-intelligence.
Wired tells its readers of Russia having a «Grand Strategy» – to undermine Western democracies, and multilateral alliances from NATO to the European Union.
With foreboding, it warns: «[T]he Putin regime’s systematic effort to undermine and destabilize democracies has become the subject of urgent focus in the West… the biggest challenge to the Western order since the fall of the Berlin Wall».
The salient point here is that despite its grandiose professional claims, Wired provides nothing of substance to support the narrative that Russia hacked into the US election. If a supposed cutting-edge technology magazine can’t deliver on technical details, then that really does demonstrate just how bankrupt the whole Russia-gate story is.
Moreover, another nail in the coffin for the Russia-gate narrative was recently provided by a respected group of former US intelligence officers called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Last month, the group wrote to President Trump with their expert analysis that the DNC incident was not a hack conducted via the internet, but rather that the information came from a DNC insider.
In other words, the information was a leak, not a hack, in which the data was transferred by person out of the DNC offices on a memory disk. In that case, Russian agents or any other internet agents could not have possibly been involved. The key finding in the VIPS analysis is that the information obtained from the DNC computers was so vast in file size, it could not have been downloaded over the internet in the time period indicated by meta-data.
It is relevant that Wikileaks editor Julian Assange has consistently denied US intelligence and media claims that his source was Russian hackers. Also, former British ambassador Craig Murray has confirmed that he knows the identity of the source for Wikileaks and that, as the dissenting veteran US intelligence people have assessed, the information was leaked, not hacked.
In sum, the Russia-gate story that the US Deep State and media have peddled non-stop for seven months is on its knees gasping for lack of credibility.
Even a supposed top technology publication, Wired, is embarrassingly vacant of any details on how alleged Russian hackers are supposed to have interfered in the US election to get Trump into the White House. As if to compensate for its dearth of detail, the Wired publication pads out its «big story» with hackneyed Russophobia worthy of a corny James Bond knock-off.
Not only that, but now technical details and expert analysis are emerging from credible former US intelligence personnel who are verifying that the Russia-gate story is indeed a hoax.
The Deep State and other political/media opponents of Trump are inevitably scrabbling for alternative means of sabotaging his presidency. They are finding that the Russia-gate ploy to get Trump out of the White House is in danger of collapsing from lack of evidence and from the emergence of a plausible explanation for the DNC breach that damaged Clinton’s election campaign. The bottomline is: it wasn’t the Russians, so all the hype about Trump being a Russian stooge is a case of fake news, just as Trump has long maintained.
The imminent death of the Russia-gate «scandal» is giving way to the next orchestrated campaign to oust Trump in the form of allegations that the president is a «Neo-Nazi sympathizer». Trump’s nationalistic America First views may be suspect, even reprehensible in their wider association. That’s not the point. The point is the concerted, orchestrated way that the Deep State will rail-road the new campaign to oust Trump in place of the failing Russia-gate ploy. The contempt for democratic process raises the question of who the more dangerous American fascists are?
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.
The 4th Media
This article was first published by Strategic Culture Foundation