The New York Times spends 10,000 words in some 199 paragraphs on the alleged ‘Russian subversion’ of the U.S. election here:
“For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and Donald Trump’s claims it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.”
This long piece is a repetition of unproven intelligence claims, spin revolving around a few facts, and lots of innuendo. Few readers will ever digest it in full.
This sentence appears near the top in paragraph 5 of a total of 199 paragraphs:
“Trump’s Twitter outbursts that it is all a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, have taken a toll on public comprehension.”
One-hundred-and-seventy-eight paragraphs later, near the end of the piece, we read the opposite, and learn Trump is indeed correct:
“Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged showing his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.”
The “mountain of evidence” claimed in paragraph 5 turns out to be “no public evidence” in paragraph 183 near the end of the piece. However, 99% of its readers will not walk through the whole hot mess, and the 1% who do, likely will miss the contradiction of its introduction and its conclusion.
Therefore, I suggest you start at the end and read the article backwards. The way we used to play Beatles and Ozzy albums backwards… listen for hidden messages from God and Satan and the Walrus.
As Aaron Maté notes:
“This is a pattern: ample words for Trump <–> Russia innuendo; quiet acknowledgment of no evidence; and 0 words on what has been debunked.”
The ‘Russian subversion’ and ‘collusion’ between Russia and Trump are still what they were two years ago, when the narrative started.
It began with this lie:
Ummm… that ain’t what the intelligence community said.
“The Intelligence Community Assessment was a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community.”
— James Clapper, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017 Congressional Testimony
Anybody notice Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? That’s how she knew this investigation was going on during the election in the first place, yes?
Moreover, she knew from her years heading the State Dept, there is no reason for 17 intelligence agencies to review this election information, much less sign off on its veracity.
Secretary of State looks at intelligence reports every day. She knew from experience, it’s not in their jurisdiction.
It’s not in their domain to speak to the Russian hacking of elections. It’s the NSA’s domain. There’s no plausible deniability here for a Secretary of State to act as if…
The Coast Guard? Really?
Did the Russian spies fall out of a boat on the Potomac River and need rescuing?
Anybody notice the ICA itself contradicts Hillary Clinton’s omniscient “17 Agencies” statement? At the very beginning of the ICA. You don’t even have to read the thing. Just open it.
page i (Scope and Sourcing) reads as follows:
“Information available as of 29 December 2016 was used in the preparation of this product.
This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.
When we use the term “we” it refers to an assessment by all three agencies.”
Want to know when Hillary Clinton retracted her statement alleging all 17 agencies signed off on Trump <–> Putin collusion?
Me too. When?
Want to know when the New York Times got around to retracting her “All 17 agencies” statement? The NY Times put a retraction at the bottom of this article, ironically titled:
“A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election.
The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
Anybody want to guess how many times the assertion “All 17 intelligence community agencies agree, Trump colluded with Putin to rig the election” was used between the time Hillary Clinton made the narrative public (October 19th, 2016), and the time the NY Times decided to actually read the ICA’s first page, learn this statement is false, and print a retraction eight months later (June 29, 2017)?
Carl Sagan says, “Billions and billions.”
I’d guesstimate the majority of Hillary Clinton supporters still believe this statement is true, having never heard of these retractions nor read the ICA for themselves. Instead, they took Hillary’s word for it, and the word of the NY Times. Throw in Rachel Maddow for the trifecta.
Unfortunately, the anti-Russia/ anti-Trump propaganda campaign has serious consequences. Censorship in social media increased drastically and international relations with nuclear power Russia were seriously damaged.
Will the mainstream media ever take responsibility for what they have done here, which is knowingly participate in a fraud?
Magic 8-ball says, “Doubtful.” Because even fact-checking organizations such as Politifact cover the asses of Clinton and the NY Times. Despite hearing Clapper – the man in charge of the DIA – state it was compiled by the joint efforts of (hand-selected agents from) three agencies, Politifact still rates Clinton’s bogus 17 narrative as “true.”
“We stand by our rating!” even though we know the head of the ICA testified before Congress it’s false.
Not saying this is a conspiracy… but if it isn’t, then what the hell is it?
Does The New York Times’ Scott Shane remember writing: “What is missing from the public report is…hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack…. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’”?!?
Aren’t we being pedantic? Semantic? Dramatic?
Why does this matter so much?
Precisely because Americans’ initial perception of this fraud was the entire Intelligence Community signed off on its verity. First impression. Intelligence Community in the Blue corner. Trump in the Red corner. That’s all most people needed to know. Place your bets.
I’m not as smart as the intelligence community, are you? I don’t have access to the information they have, do you? This appeal to authority, firmly implanted in the minds of Clinton supporters, for them, shaped the entire narrative which was to follow. Once the illusory truth effect kicked in after a couple of reps, it was done and un-undoable.
And it is exactly why a good number still haven’t figured out, two years later, with even the NY Times admitting they have no public evidence to see, the assertion of evidence of Trump <–> Putin collusion is now, and was when Clinton made it back in October 2016, a fraud.
How could Scott Shane – author of the nascent Trump <–> Russia 10,000-word feature – forget where all this started?
“He was part of teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2017 for coverage of Russia’s hacking and other projections of power abroad and in 2018 for reporting on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Donald Trump campaign and administration.”
“Late Wednesday night, after speaking with Mr. Trump, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, issued a statement decrying leaks about the matter and saying of Mr. Steele’s dossier that the intelligence agencies have “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”
Mr. Clapper suggested that intelligence officials had nonetheless shared it to give policy makers “the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”
What happened to the initial moment of skepticism, of honesty, of objectivity?
That moment before groupthink kicked in?
As we can see from his reporting below, Scott Shane had it. He had real journalism. He was asking real questions.
Where’d it evaporate to, Shane? Who stole your soul?
“For the three agencies that produced the report — the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency — this is a heart-stopping moment: They have just told their new boss that he was elected with the vigorous, multifaceted help of an adversary, the thuggish autocrat who rules Russia.
“Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” the report says, in unusually blunt and sweeping language.
There is only a whisper of dissent in the report — the eavesdroppers of the NSA believe with only “moderate confidence” that Russia aimed to help Mr. Trump, while their colleagues at the CIA and the FBI have “high confidence.”
While most of Congress and much of the public appears to accept the agencies’ findings, Mr. Trump’s prominent doubts, accompanied at times by scorn for the agencies’ competence, has rallied a diverse array of skeptics on the right and the left. Under the circumstances, many in Washington expected the agencies to make a strong public case to erase any uncertainty.
Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to “trust us.”
There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.
At the top of every page of the report is a disclaimer that acknowledges what is missing:
“This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment, but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.”
It offers an obvious reason for leaving out the details, declaring, including “the precise bases for its assessments” would “reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future.”
The absence of any proof is especially surprising in light of promises on Thursday from the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., he would “push the envelope” to try to make more information public.
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama had directed officials to “make as much of it public as they possibly can.”
We know from past experience Hillary Clinton (HRC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) used their contacts in the press to elevate Donald Trump’s candidacy. The Pied Piper strategy.
Is that what happened with the RussiaGate narrative?
“Tell the press to take seriously far-right candidate, Donald Trump, to elevate his status over others in the Republican primaries.”
“Tell the press to take seriously the Russian collusion of candidate, Donald Trump, to marginalize the legitimacy of the election and his presidency.”
Is this what happened here with the NY Times?
We know the Pied Piper strategy worked beyond anyone’s imagination, as the media gave Trump $5 billion in free coverage.
All the attention added an air of legitimacy to a celebrity TV game show host looking to boost his Q score and buy his own Trump TV cable station.
Why take Trump seriously? Because people are taking him seriously.
Ahem. Yes. It does happen.
Groupthink. Propaganda. Native advertising.
The Kremlin certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on psychological warfare.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Anybody remember 9/11 and the Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Doubling down on the narrative when it was questioned, despite zero public proof: we have seen this movie before.
It’s Mueller Time!
(Header cartoon image: Pregnant Matryoshka Doll by Paul Noth, New Yorker)