We Are All Russian Assets

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We Are All Russian Assets

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:24 am

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/p ... ein-901593

OCTOBER 21, 2019 11:02AM ET
Everyone Is a Russian Asset

America laughed at Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Tulsi Gabbard, but her ideas fit perfectly in the intellectual mainstream


By MATT TAIBBI


Hillary Clinton, not long ago the nominee of the Democratic Party, had some choice words about the state of American politics Friday.

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said on a podcast with former Barack Obama aide David Plouffe. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

Clinton appeared to be talking about Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a combat veteran. She wasn’t done, teeing off on former Green Party candidate Jill Stein:

“[Jill Stein’s] also a Russian asset… Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate.”

She went on to talk about Donald Trump:

“I don’t know what Putin has on him, whether it’s both personal and financial … I assume it is.”


Hillary Clinton is nuts. She’s also not far from the Democratic Party mainstream, which has been pushing the same line for years.

Less than a week before Clinton’s outburst, the New York Times — once a symbol of stodgy, hyper-cautious reporting — ran a feature called, “What, Exactly, is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?” The piece speculated about the “suspicious activity” surrounding Gabbard’s campaign, using quotes from the neoconservative think-tank, the Alliance For Securing Democracy, to speculate about Gabbard’s Russian support.

This was the second such article the Times had written. An August piece, “Tulsi Gabbard thinks we’re doomed,“ hit nearly all the same talking points, quoting Clint Watts, an ex-spook from the same think-tank, calling Gabbard “the Kremlin’s preferred Democrat” and a “useful agent of influence.” The Times article echoed earlier pieces by the Daily Beast and NBC.com that said many of the same things.

After Clinton gave the “Russian asset” interview, it seemed for a moment like America’s commentariat might tiptoe away from the topic. Hillary Clinton has been through a lot over the course of a career, and even detractors would say she’s earned latitude to go loonybiscuits every now and then. A few of the Democratic presidential candidates, like Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang, gently chided Clinton for her remarks. But when Gabbard (who’s similarly been through a brutal media ordeal) snapped back and called Hillary “Queen of the warmongers,” and Donald Trump followed by calling Clinton “crazy,” most pundits doubled down on the “asset” idea.

Neoconservative-turned-#Resistance hero David Frum blasted Trump for defending Stein and Gabbard, noting sarcastically, “He was supposed to pretend they were not all on the same team.” Ana Navarro on CNN said, “When both the Russians and Trump support someone, be wary.” An MSNBC panel noted, in apparent seriousness, that Gabbard “never denied being a Russian asset.” CNN media critic Brian Stelter tried to suggest Hillary only seemed wacko thanks to a trick of the red enemy, saying, “It feels like a disinformation situation where the Russians want this kind of disinformation.”

(The “Russians caused us to say that crazy thing about Russians” meme has been a recurring theme. When Luke Harding of The Guardian was criticized for a thinly-sourced report that Julian Assange had met with Trump aide Paul Manafort in the Ecuadorian embassy, an anonymous CIA official penned an editorial in Politico suggesting that if the story was fake, “the most logical explanation” was a Russian disinformation effort to discredit journalists.)

Everyone is foreign scum these days. Democrats spent three years trying to prove Donald Trump is a Russian pawn. Mitch McConnell is “Moscow Mitch.” Third party candidates are a Russian plot. The Bernie Sanders movement is not just a wasteland of racist and misogynist “Bros,” but — according to intelligence agencies and mainstream pundits alike — the beneficiary of an ambitious Russian plot to “stoke the divide” within the Democratic Party. The Joe Rogan independents attracted to the mild antiwar message of Tulsi Gabbard are likewise traitors and dupes for the Kremlin.

If you’re keeping score, that’s pretty much the whole spectrum of American political thought, excepting MSNBC Democrats. What a coincidence!

Democrats now are assuming the role once played by Republicans of the Tom Delay era, who denounced everyone opposed to the War on Terror as “Saddam-lovers.” In the midst of this in 2003, the Washington Post protested the way American journalism was “infected with jingoism and intolerance.” That was after Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post ran a headline, “Don’t aid these Saddam-lovers” about “appeasement-loving celebs” like Laurence Fishburne, Tim Robbins, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and Susan Sarandon.

Today, the New York Post is the paper crying out against the “sad, sick conspiracy theories” about Gabbard (an “Assad-lover” instead of a “Saddam-lover”), but some of the other players are the same. Sarandon is regularly denounced now by Democrats instead of Republicans, this time for having supported Stein in 2016, an act seen as equivalent to having tongue-kissed Putin on live TV. She was also one of a handful of celebrities noted for a “controversial” political donation in the Daily Beast’s red-baiting May article about the suspicious contributors to Gabbard’s campaign.

The #Resistance has come up with all sorts of words for such fifth-columnists and deviationists: they are “false-balancers” or “false equivalencers,” “neo-Naderites,” “purity-testers,” “both-sidesists,” “whataboutists,” “horseshoe theorists,” “Russia skeptics” or “Russia denialists,” and “anti-anti-Trumpers.” Such heretics are all ultimately seen as being on “team Putin.”

This witch-hunting insanity isn’t just dangerous, it’s a massive breach from reality. Trump’s campaign was a clown show. He had almost no institutional backing. His “ground game” was nonexistent: his “campaign” was a TV program based almost wholly around unscripted media appearances. Trump raised just over half the $1.2 billion Hillary pulled in (making him the first presidential candidate dating back to 1976 to win with a funds deficit). He didn’t prepare a victory speech, for the perfectly logical reason that he never expected to win.

Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.

Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”

All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby Grizzly » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:40 am

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hillary-clinton/id1479487160?i=1000453830324

I post this merely for edification... If you can bare it.

The following will get straight to it, without listening to the above:
http://www.noagendashow.com/
No Agenda Episode 1183 - "Infosanement" worth the opening on HRC from above.... The first 31 minutes of this so exposes the group think of PutinRussia DNC talking catapulting the RED scare propagenda
Direct link:
https://mp3s.nashownotes.com/NA-1183-2019-10-20-Final.mp3
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:45 am

I'm interested that moves like this one (by HRC) are still understood through a lens of moral outrage rather than a more complex analysis of what she's trying to accomplish here. I don't think that goal is as simple as actually convincing anyone that Tulsi is a Russky. So what is it? Does she tacitly (via less focus on the sub-clause) solidify that Jill Stein, OTOH, really *is* a Russian asset? Is it an attempt to push Tulsi and Bernie into a conflict if/when he fails to come to her defense? I have no idea but the Clintons like to play this field more than anyone else.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:12 pm

liminalOyster » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:45 am wrote:I'm interested that moves like this one (by HRC) are still understood through a lens of moral outrage rather than a more complex analysis of what she's trying to accomplish here. I don't think that goal is as simple as actually convincing anyone that Tulsi is a Russky. So what is it? Does she tacitly (via less focus on the sub-clause) solidify that Jill Stein, OTOH, really *is* a Russian asset? Is it an attempt to push Tulsi and Bernie into a conflict if/when he fails to come to her defense? I have no idea but the Clintons like to play this field more than anyone else.


You will concede for all her skill and arts of subterfuge Clinton also has a long record of fucking up and not paying very much for it, so that it has become effectively congenital for her to keep fucking up, also to just engage in superfluous subterfuge as SOP (I think the overrated private e-mail servers are a great example of the latter). Do these people really not see the obvious in how they come across? Often, they do not. Grabbing attention is fun. That is a possible explanation.

Stein should absolutely sue, which TG might join, whereas TG should play this as she has been playing it, as the Clinton slayer, as the lone hero they shouldn't have screwed with, the step too far.

I think all of the above that you mention play into it. In a way Clinton's getting as much revival out of this as Gabbard is getting a boost. Tulsi's been chosen as the preferred attack object. Now that Tulsi hit back decisively, unless Clinton hides for a while (because she decides it was a fuck-up), sooner or later she'll be demanding that Sanders make a strong statement, one way or another. (His only right move would be to laugh and classify all this as ancient history and call them all friends, and I suspect TG understands that perfectly.)

I think the biggest thing it does is to serve general narrative purposes: "All Roads Lead to Russia," New Cold War, everyone who isn't on board with full humanitarian interventionism and glorifying the State Dept-CIA-Pentagon efforts of the last 20+ years before Trump is an Assadist-Trumpian-Putinist, we must save our closest long-term ally ever Courageous Ukraine from the Russian Invasion, etc. etc. etc. All of the above. And for the lulz.

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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:28 pm

JackRiddler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:12 pm wrote:
liminalOyster » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:45 am wrote:I'm interested that moves like this one (by HRC) are still understood through a lens of moral outrage rather than a more complex analysis of what she's trying to accomplish here. I don't think that goal is as simple as actually convincing anyone that Tulsi is a Russky. So what is it? Does she tacitly (via less focus on the sub-clause) solidify that Jill Stein, OTOH, really *is* a Russian asset? Is it an attempt to push Tulsi and Bernie into a conflict if/when he fails to come to her defense? I have no idea but the Clintons like to play this field more than anyone else.


You will concede for all her skill and arts of subterfuge Clinton also has a long record of fucking up and not paying very much for it, so that it has become effectively congenital for her to keep fucking up, also to just engage in superfluous subterfuge as SOP (I think the overrated private e-mail servers are a great example of the latter). Do these people really not see the obvious in how they come across? Often, they do not. Grabbing attention is fun. That is a possible explanation.

Stein should absolutely sue, which TG might join, whereas TG should play this as she has been playing it, as the Clinton slayer, as the lone hero they shouldn't have screwed with, the step too far.

I think all of the above that you mention play into it. In a way Clinton's getting as much revival out of this as Gabbard is getting a boost. Tulsi's been chosen as the preferred attack object. Now that Tulsi hit back decisively, unless Clinton hides for a while (because she decides it was a fuck-up), sooner or later she'll be demanding that Sanders make a strong statement, one way or another. (His only right move would be to laugh and classify all this as ancient history and call them all friends, and I suspect TG understands that perfectly.)

I think the biggest thing it does is to serve general narrative purposes: "All Roads Lead to Russia," New Cold War, everyone who isn't on board with full humanitarian interventionism and glorifying the State Dept-CIA-Pentagon efforts of the last 20+ years before Trump is an Assadist-Trumpian-Putinist, we must save our closest long-term ally ever Courageous Ukraine from the Russian Invasion, etc. etc. etc. All of the above. And for the lulz.

.


I buy that Clinton is feckless but I do think she's paid numerous enough times for this kind of bullshit that I'd expect some degree of care. She's actually really bad at it. Both the "Bobby Kennedy got shot in June" and the I dunno if Barack's really Christian.... backfired. I suppose there's also the very obvious - set a little fire hoping the media will feed it nicely to prevent a Bernie et al bump after the rally and endorsements. But then I'm an "anti-imperialist" too so .....
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby Grizzly » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:43 pm

In a way Clinton's getting as much revival out of this as Gabbard is getting a boost.


I had this same thought while listening to NA (No Agenda) above. Do give it a listen, it so worth the time...
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:03 pm

some degree of care


Dunno. Could all be very short-term stuff. They're just bipedal mammals, you know? You know she's got a book out with her daughter. It needs sales now. She's not as subtle as I suggested. Kitchen sink and hyperbole are, in fact, very usual schtick for her. You think she's one of the 10 best-known assholes on the planet but it's hard to be heard, man! It's LOUD OUT THERE. They are probably prepping Chelsea for a Congressional run in Westchester. If nothing else, this kind of to-do helps mobilize activists of their "base" -- as funny as that term is, in this context. It could all be a lot more trivial than you think. Look at this ENTIRE fucking class. Do you imagine Hunter and Joe thought about appearances? 50K a month is peanuts, until it's not. Why not take it? It's not like five years from now anyone will care and this will come back to bite you. How come the Trumplets don't think about appearances, when they murder large mammals in the wild? When did you see Bolsonaro, or Erdogan, or Macron or Johnson, caring about appearances? I suspect Putin and Merkel are among the few, by personality, who still care a little bit about how they look, who still have some of that old-fashioned amour propre to offend. But for them too, not caring about appearances is a big part of why do it at all. What has Clinton done here other than to once again claim, "What I say is what is true, what is true is what I say!" It's a projection of power, whether or not it works. They all feel they have the immunity. Clinton's actually been hit with tons of outrageous bullshit defamations continuously for decades -- for a sampling, see some of FourthBase's output on this very board. So what does she care if loads of the bad things said about her are completely true? Do you think she remembers any better than Trump does? Imagine that for these people, dirty deals are like houses sold to some top-tier real estate agent. Does the latter remember every goddamn house? More recently, even Trump was hit with asteroids worth of bullshit in the form of #Russiagate, as if that was necessary for going after him. At their level, in their class, getting blamed for stuff you didn't even do, alongside the stuff you did do, functions to secure privilege. Confusionism. It's a further form of protection alongside the quasi-legal immunity they have any way.In their bizarro world, being accused of shit gives meaning, you haven't gotten anywhere if you don't have a good long list. Just don't be Assange. He's on the wrong side of the subtle and flexible but ultimately all-determining class line. Then it matters.

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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby Sounder » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:06 pm

excellent observations, Jack and LO, this is the RI to know and love.

God forbid that it be allowed to be thought that people sometimes think for themselves and not as a proxy for some larger force.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby RocketMan » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:12 pm

Once you step outside the dominant paradigm, things become "slippery", using the expression of the erstwhile agent Philip Jeffries in his form as some kind of interdimensional steam apparatus in Twin Peaks:The Return.

So it's easy to assign players like the Clintons too much power and evil genius capacity. Sometimes hawking a book is just hawking a book. Some podcast host I listen to recently pointed out that as far as crime families go, the Clintons were elevated into their lofty position by the Mellon-Scaife machine in the 90s, for right wing marketing and mobilizing purposes. The Clintons ain't got nothing on Bushes and the Bushes got nothin' on the Rockefellers and so it goes.

So I'm all for carefully calibrating once perceptions of the powerfulness of individual deep state/parapolitical actors.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:13 pm

.


The entire OP article can be underscored, but this bit in particular is appropriate here in this forum, a microcosm of the macro dynamics relayed by Taibbi and others:



Taibbi:

This witch-hunting insanity isn’t just dangerous, it’s a massive breach from reality. Trump’s campaign was a clown show. He had almost no institutional backing. His “ground game” was nonexistent: his “campaign” was a TV program based almost wholly around unscripted media appearances. Trump raised just over half the $1.2 billion Hillary pulled in (making him the first presidential candidate dating back to 1976 to win with a funds deficit). He didn’t prepare a victory speech, for the perfectly logical reason that he never expected to win.

Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.

Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”

All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?




I'd be interested in the perspective of anyone that's been softly (and/or overtly) advocating the pro-establishment Russia/Ukraine narratives here over the last several years. By all means, state your case, in your own words.



*edit to add underline.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby RocketMan » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:15 pm

House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”


WTF?? Did this really happen? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Reality is now a bad West Wing episode...
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby DrEvil » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:12 pm

Belligerent Savant » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:13 pm wrote:.


The entire OP article can be underscored, but this bit in particular is appropriate here in this forum, a microcosm of the macro dynamics relayed by Taibbi and others:



Taibbi:

This witch-hunting insanity isn’t just dangerous, it’s a massive breach from reality. Trump’s campaign was a clown show. He had almost no institutional backing. His “ground game” was nonexistent: his “campaign” was a TV program based almost wholly around unscripted media appearances. Trump raised just over half the $1.2 billion Hillary pulled in (making him the first presidential candidate dating back to 1976 to win with a funds deficit). He didn’t prepare a victory speech, for the perfectly logical reason that he never expected to win.

Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.

Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”

All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?




I'd be interested in the perspective of anyone that's been softly (and/or overtly) advocating the pro-establishment Russia/Ukraine narratives here over the last several years. By all means, state your case, in your own words.


I'm of the "Russia is bad news" school of thought, but not because of the US election. Putin is a Diet Fascist with ties to organized crime and the Russian intelligence apparatus who came to power on the back of some very obvious false flag bombings of Russian apartment buildings.

As for the election, I think they tried to meddle, because of course they would, just like the US would if some country of strategic interest was having an election with one very hostile and one very friendly candidate, but I don't think they had much impact as the US election circus has such a poor signal-to-noise ratio you would need a tactical nuke to get anyone to notice you over the domestic din.*

I'm pretty sure the US election ended up as it did because of US meddling, not Russian meddling. The anti-Russia hysteria is for the most part just a serious case of cognitive dissonance with a healthy dose of filter bubbles on top (and some intentional baiting by various vested interests who make money off of having a scary enemy). Americans aren't supposed to be dumb enough to elect someone like Trump and all the people I know and talk to online are nice and liberal and would never vote for him, ergo some outside force did it.


* Although, hypothetically, they could have done it like this: Create profiles of as many US voters as possible (not very hard), train an AI to find the undecided voters and focus all your efforts on them. You pick one state and you find 100K people there who haven't decided yet. Roughly half of those people get all their news from Facebook, so you create a targeted campaign to sway those people, fine-tuned with the latest psy-ops tools and mountains of historical and demographic data from that state. If you succeed with 10% of your targets that's 5000 votes in your favor and 5000 votes less for the other candidate, more than enough to swing a close election. Rinse and repeat.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby American Dream » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:21 pm

Vladimir Putin is a Spy Chief, just as George Bush was. That doesn't make him any worse but it doesn't make him any better. In addition any and all big parties are intimately tied to the Cryptocracy- that is just how things work. Sure, sometimes elements in those worlds might prefer one candidate over another but the primary contradiction lies in the overall System. This means Russian Power as well as "American". Throwing yourself on the side of the number two or number three imperial power is still throwing yourself on the side of an imperial power.
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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:30 pm

.

Yeah, genius, the question is about the actual extent of Russian state or covert influence in US duopoly election politics, not whether Russia bad. Sure, Russia bad. Boo! Same argument could justify an invasion of Saddam's Iraq, that's about the sophistication of it.

So I'm with DrEvil on most of it. This too:

DrEvil wrote:I'm of the "Russia is bad news" school of thought, but not because of the US election. Putin is a Diet Fascist with ties to organized crime and the Russian intelligence apparatus who came to power on the back of some very obvious false flag bombings of Russian apartment buildings.


True but that is no more a case that he and his state were the culprits in a narrative like #Russiagate than for any other one of the motherfuckers in charge of countries in the world. Especially #Russiagate, with its gobsmackingly clumsy and fake and stupid evidentiary construction. As you then go on to say...

Little wonder the chief exponents of this op never want to see IRA or even the alleged DNC hackers in court, and will prefer Assange dead even to having him in a US supermax.

Little wonder all their fans have got nothing other than calling you a bot whenever you deviate from their religious observance of the day (Tribe tweet or Maddow freakout, whatever).

Whatever the Russians did was, it was a fucking flop for effectiveness. The most effective thing they have done is totally up-front public and legal, which is why the joint intel liars' report spent 2/3 of their pages talking trash about RT.

Meanwhile, Israeli, Saudi, UAE, Turkish and yes Ukrainian and yes Chinese and yes British interference in U.S. politics and elections are manifold and relatively successful by comparison.

And still, going beyond the Israeli lock on policy regarding Israel, it takes a big fucking village of homegrown billionaires and corporations to really buy the whole two-party system, lobby all the legislatures, capture all the agencies, and buy all the ad time that brings such loyalty from the corporate media.

It's almost like a class society, you'd think.

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Re: We Are All Russian Assets

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:33 pm

.

One point of clarification: acknowledging that the 'Russia Meddling' narrative has been an outright smokescreen/disinfo campaign (or at least, that whatever meddling that may have been attempted by Russia was inconsequential to the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election) does NOT = alignment with Russia/Putin objectives.

Based on demonstrable output, NO ONE IN THIS FORUM has flashed a "PRO" Putin card. In other words, to be explicitly clear [and to paraphrase], no one here is "throwing themselves on the side of the number two or number three imperial power" [i.e. Russia].

It's possible [perhaps probable] 'meddling' has been attempted. Russia, China, the U.S., Israel (and any number of other players with the means to do so) have minimally attempted to meddle in foreign elections to various degrees of success. When meddling doesn't work, outright coups/overthrows of sitting govts have been attempted (See: Venezuela for the most recent/current example), also to various degrees of success. Much will depend on the means and available resources a given power may have to influence outcome.

[This is all a rather facile summary of business proceedings by State players, of course; others have provided far more color along these lines]


ON Edit: JRiddler beat me to it, more ably. Also, edits to syntax.
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