Russia, the US, No Innocence
13 Russian nationals and 3 different Russian owned/operated organizations were indicted Friday by special council Mueller for allegedly, “violating US criminal laws in order to interfere with US elections and political processes.” This series of indictments were focused mostly on a group known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA) located in St. Petersburg. The IRA’s apparent aim is to distribute online media with the intent of creating political discord using various methods and social-media platforms. The actual indictment can be found here… https://www.scribd.com/document/371674518/Mueller-Internet-Research-Agency-Indictment#from_embed
Each of the respective defendants have been charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the US. This charge is directed at these individuals for disguising their identity and trolling Americans on social media. Interestingly, this was a tactic also used and funded extensively by the Clinton campaign says Disobedient Media’s Elizabeth Lea Vos. If this charge is successfully used in a court of law, it will open any person within reach of the American legal system to be targeted and prosecuted for internet trolling. While this may seem far fetched and extreme, but is a possibility to consider.
The rest of the charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud against the IRA and two defendants; and aggravated identity theft against the IRA and four defendants. One noted defendant, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin a Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch, is accused of using Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, to fund the IRA.
According to the indictment, the IRA “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.” It’s important to remember that at the time, Mrs. Clinton and a number of other candidates were considered strong opponents of Russia, especially with regards to the subjects of both Syria and Ukraine. Further, the two candidates chosen were at the time considered to be the underdogs.
There is no indication that the groups and individuals being indicted were working with or for either candidate. It is believed however, that the evidence is strong enough to show that despite President Trump’s many assertions, they did work to further both the Trump and the Sanders campaigns’.
Despite the alleged attacks however, there is currently no evidence that the attempts of these individuals were effective in providing substantial influence over the results of the 2016 election.
While the investigation of the IRA was being conducted, Facebook made a separate announcement stating that fake accounts, “most likely operating out of Russia had purchased $100,000 worth of political ads between 2015 and 2016.” These and other ads are believed to have reached as many as ten million users, especially in both Wisconsin and Michigan.
Nearly $100,000 or approximately 3,000 ads were purchased between June 2015 and May 2017, and have been connected to about 500 fake accounts. Chief security officer Alex Stamos wrote on the Facebook company blog, “Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia.” While much of this may lead some to believe that there was a targeted effort in this action to support one specific candidate or the other, the Facebook representative has stated that, “The vast majority” of the pages and ads involved were not targeted at political candidates. Instead, the focus was intended at, “amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum.”
Despite the amount spent however; the effectiveness of the “Russian” social media accounts can be shown more in the lack of attendance to most of the events, rallies and protests organized through their efforts, “some of which galvanized dozens of people.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/russians-appear-to-use-facebook-to-push-pro-trump-flash-mobs-in-florida
As Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said during a Fox News interview, “This makes it clear and concise for the American people and proves the President correct. No collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia,” Gidley further stated, “I think this is important too, it did not affect the outcome the election whatsoever.”
Secretary Gidley continued in the interview stating that, “What the Russians were trying to do as outlined by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein was create chaos in the American election system. And I’ll just say this: There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians, and that’s the Democrats and the mainstream media, who continue to push this lie on the American people for more than a year.” This was a continuation of a statement made on twitter earlier by President Trump, who has used each Mueller announcement as proof of his innocence and lack of collusion evidence. http://Http://video.foxnews.com/v/5735656645001/?#sp=show-clips
“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams,” and, “They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”
Russia responded to the indictments, through diplomat Dmitry Peskov saying, “First, as before, we do not see any significant evidence that someone interferes in the internal affairs of the U.S. Second, we are talking about Russian citizens, but we heard from Washington accusations about the involvement of the Russian state, the Kremlin, and the Russian government. There are no indications that the Russian state could have any involvement in this — and there can’t be.”
As the investigation continues, a disturbing trend has developed as many in both the US government and the media at large, are attacking Trump for what they perceive is a lack of action against the foreign state of Russia, for its’ “meddling” in the election process. With these attacks come calls for an escalation against Russia.
“Special Counsel Mueller’s indictments are further proof that Vladimir Putin directed a campaign to interfere with our elections, with the goal of tipping the outcome,” tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Given these indictments, @realDonaldTrump should implement the sanctions that Congress passed immediately.”
During an interview, Steven Schmidt, MSNBC analyst and former strategist for George W. Bush and John McCain, targeted the word “meddling” saying that it was not a “sufficiently inflammatory word,” because “What Russia did is ATTACK the United States. Trump and the Corrupted GOP majority refuse to defend the sovereignty of the country from this outside THREAT from a hostile state actor.” The attacks on the President seem to have come from both sides of the aisle with, Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders, popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh along with many others demanding actionable an escalation of the ever rising tensions with Russia. in the pile-on, along with many, many others, all demanding that the president do more to escalate tensions with Russia.
What none of these great and patriotic Americans mention however, are the actions already taken by the President Trump and his administration. Most recently there was the attack in Syria that resulted in the death of a number Russians,
The expansion of viable reasons to initiate nuclear attacks to include cyber attacks,
Sending weapons to Ukraine, something even former President Obama feared to do,
Establishing a permanent base in Syria, with the intention of overthrowing the Assad regime,
Forcing RT and Sputnik News to register as foreign agents,
The recent expulsion of more Russian diplomats,
The left, the media, and the establishment want more…
The problem with all of this righteous fury on all sides comes from the fact that this is all still an active investigation and the lack of innocence on the part of the US government when it comes to “meddling” in foreign elections. Many contend that there is a difference between trying to push forward supposedly pro democracy candidates, and seeking to simply destabilize another government for fun and profit as Russia is accused of doing… except, whether sanctioned or not the US has done that too.
In the last nine years the United States has been involved in foreign elections at least five times.
In 2015, the US government supported various opposition groups to the re-election of PM Netanyahu.
At the time the state department provided $350,000 to a group called the One Voice Movement (OVM), to support, “peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.” OVM contracted out a group called “V15,” which in turned hired five campaign experts from the U.S., including Obama’s field director from his last presidential campaign. As the Weekly Standard’s Jim Swift wrote, “once the infrastructure was built, it was used in an attempt to topple the government of one of America’s closest allies.”
Judicial Watch obtained government documents showing that the U.S. government has spent millions of dollars to destabilize the democratically elected government in Macedonia. These efforts, according to the findings, were made through funneling money to philanthropist George Soros.
Victor Gaetan, in a series of exposés in The American Spectator confirmed that Soros, in conjunction with the Obama administration, “financed a left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power.” USAID selected Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) to manage $2.5 million in taxpayers’ dollars to use for ‘democracy building.’ This was later increased to $4.8 million.
USAID continues, according to Mr. Gaetan, to fund this and other political organizations in and around the Balkans that support ‘socialist policies’ despite the election of President Trump.
Two words, Arab Spring. In 2011 the United States created a series of policies that aided in the removal of Muammar Gaddafi from power. While Gaddafi was by no means an ally, he had been working with the US to eliminate Islamic extremists and had turned over all of the countries WMDs.
As the Washington Times reported the, “CIA was providing covert assistance to elements of the Transitional National Council,” a group dominated by radical jihadists. The US spent at least $1 billion to fund a military operation to topple Gaddafi, with American soldiers actually fighting alongside jihadist-dominated rebel groups.
Just as in Libya, the US aided in the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. The State Department then further intervened by providing political training to the Muslim Brotherhood in order to help elect Mohammed Morsi. As reported in The Los Angeles Times, “The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned islamist organization…” Egypt then forcefully removed Morsi and installed a moderate named Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president.
Honduran president Manual Zelaya attempted to illegally amend the Honduran Constitution so as to allow himself to serve as President longer than one term. Incredibly, Zelaya and a mob broke into a military installation where blank ballots were stored and tried to hold a constitutional referendum without the support of the election authorities. As a result, on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court, he was forcefully removed from office as Honduran law calls for.
The US attacked this decision to remove Zelaya, calling the arrest a “coup d’état.” The US then attempted to pressure the Honduran Government to reinstate Ex-President Zelaya by freezing all non-humanitarian aid. Does this action sound familiar? That’s because it is the same tactic that the media has attacked President Trump for threatening to use.
In fact none of this is really new, the US meddling in other countries does not begin or end with the previous administration, nor does the short or selective memory of individuals on both side of the political spectrum. Regardless of what President Trump may wish to believe, foreign actors most likely helped to ensure his victory in some way, and to some extent. By all accounts however, no Drumph is not a secret Russian Manchurian candidate, and there seems to be no evidence of collusion. There is evidence that certain individuals either lied or “misremembered” events and calls that took place either during or after the election. Everyone is wrong and everyone is right.. From a certain point of view.