A flurry of articles has burnished Russia’s image as America’s “evil enemy.” Then quickly followed a piece in the New York Times, which read like an instruction to President-elect Biden for a more hostile line on Russia.
It’s a one-two sequence: set up a problem, then put forward a solution. This week’s US media choreography has the hallmarks of orchestration by the deep-state apparatus, which the New York Times and others willingly oblige.
First came the “blockbuster” reports claiming that Russian hackers had “penetrated” the heart of US government departments and agencies. As usual, no evidence is presented to back up the sensational claims.
A software provider is alleged to have been hacked, various anonymous sources blame it on Russia, news outlets like the NY Times editorialize that it was Kremlin hackers and, before you know it, it snowballs into a “fact” that Russia launched a “sweeping attack” on America.
The purportedly hacked US software, SolarWinds, is used widely across government departments and agencies (how’s that for a security no-no!), and from the above assertion of “fact” that Russia was behind the cyber intrusion, then it follows – but only by implication – that all of the said US departments and agencies have been breached.
On Monday, the NY Times headlined: “Scope of Russia Hack Becomes Clear: Multiple US Agencies Were Hit.”
Well, it’s not at all “clear” because no evidence is provided. And the multiple agencies, which the newspaper implies might be affected, actually declined to give any comment, including the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency and State Department.
“Investigators were struggling to determine the extent to which the military, intelligence community and nuclear laboratories were affected by the highly sophisticated attack,” reported the newspaper.
In other words, the Times is “struggling to determine” evidence to back up its story.
All we have, therefore, is lurid claim, assertion and innuendo, which is pretty-much par for the course of US journalism when it comes to demonizing Russia. In any case, serious journalism abiding by basic reporting standards is not the point.
The point is to achieve perception. Perception of Russia as a very, very, bad, bad country that is out to ruin virtuous America.
Members of Congress were suitably outraged by the alleged Russian cyber assault. Top-ranking Democrat Senator Dick Durbin told CNN: “This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States, and we should take that seriously.” (The last clause suggests the senator is not really convinced by the alleged declaration of war. If it were war, then why would you need to lamely recommend taking it seriously?)
The New York Times was not the only paper to drool over the latest alleged Russia cyber attack at the heart of US government. Joining the media gang-bang was the Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, CNN and others.
Whenever such a collective reflexive response is elicited one can be excused for thinking there might be orchestration going on.
But it was left to the NY Times, the unofficial media organ of the CIA and other deep-state operatives, to follow up with the gaslighting.
The day after “reporting” the “scope of Russia hack,” the Times ran its instruction for President-elect Joe Biden under the guise of a “news analysis” piece. The headline was: “Biden to Face a Confrontational Russia in a World Changed From His Time in Office”.
It went on to say: “The president-elect will have to assure American national security in ways that will require pushing back on the Kremlin at times and, at others, seeking Russian cooperation.”
Forget the appended sop about “Russian cooperation.” The thrust of the article was telling the incoming Biden administration to adopt a more “unified” policy towards Russia, which ends “the era of bifurcation between the West Wing and the American national security establishment.”
That’s just a verbose way of saying the national security apparatus and President Biden will from now on be working in unison towards confronting Russia, unlike during the Trump administration, when the White House was rather ambivalent about antagonizing Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is described as being “nakedly hostile to Western interests” and Biden is reminded of his own strident rhetoric during the election campaign when he vowed to “hold the Putin regime accountable for its crimes.”
Never mind that Putin telegrammed his congratulations to Biden this week and called for great cooperation between the US and Russia. That’s hardly the words and sentiments of someone “nakedly hostile,” as the Times would have us believe.
Instead they focused on the fact Putin didn’t rush the congratulation – like many others did– before Biden was confirmed as president-elect by the Electoral College.
There seems to be ample room for many to speculate over whether this latest US media frenzy in Russia-bashing was triggered by the intelligence agencies, and just in time for Biden’s formal election to the White House by the Electoral College this week.
Not that Sleepy Joe needs any wake-up call on how to be aggressive towards Russia. He has spent his entire career in Congress and previously in the White House as Obama’s vice president being a warmonger, a deep-state asset and Cold War cheerleader.
What is foreboding, however, is the emerging synergy between the anti-Russia agenda that is endemic to the US deep state and the absolute pliability of the new president.
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.
Published by Rt.com
Republished by The 21st Century
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.