By the Washington Post’s Russiagate correspondent, Russell O’Phobe
(Warning: This piece may contain traces of satire)
For almost a year, Russia’s meddling in last year’s election, along with collusion with the Trump campaign, have dominated the political and media landscape. But an explosive new classified report produced by US intelligence may be about to blow apart the narrative, and reveal an even bigger story that has been missed in all the commentary so far.
The report was set up to try to answer two questions: firstly, why is it that after nearly a year, there still hasn’t been a single piece of hard evidence to prove either the hacking or the collusion? And secondly, given this lack of credible evidence, how is it that the US media and political classes have been talking about nothing else for months and months without any sign of letting it go, to the point of giving the impression of being obsessed with the issue?
The report, which was signed off by all 17 agencies — that’s the DIA, CIA, FBI and NSA — reaches a conclusion which is nothing short of sensational:
“If there hasn’t actually been any hard evidence presented of meddling or collusion, we must ask the question of how and why the entire political and media class have been talking about nothing else for months. One possible explanation would simply be that they have all gone nuts. But since this cannot possibly be the case, this leaves just one other explanation: Russiagate itself is a clever but sinister hoax intended to make it look like our political and media class have lost their marbles, therefore undermining our democracy, our values and our way of life.”
As for who could possibly be behind such an elaborate hoax, the report is quite clear where the blame probably lies:
“Our assessment has concluded that the hoax was ordered by none other than Vladimir Putin himself, since he hates our democracy, our values and our way of life.”
Sensational though these claims are, they are bound to raise a number of questions for those who have been following the whole Russiagate story. Firstly, if Vladimir Putin really didn’t hack our election or collude with the Trump campaign, how did he manage to fool the intelligence community, politicians and the media for nearly a whole year into thinking that he had?
According to an unnamed source who worked closely with the authors of the report, this question has been puzzling the intelligence experts:
“How in the world do you convince us that you’ve been hacking, meddling, and colluding, when you haven’t? And how do you then make us obsess over the issue for months and months, so that we end up looking like we’ve lost the plot? It’s frightening to think that the Russians may have developed the capability to create elaborate hoaxes that turn us into a laughing stock in the eyes of outsiders.”
The second question is what actual evidence is there that Putin really is behind the hoax. According to our source, there is no doubt that this is the case:
“The fact that we were fooled into thinking that Putin’s Russia meddled in our election and colluded with the President, strongly suggests that it was Putin himself who ordered the hoax. He may not have hacked our election or colluded with the Trump team, but he made darn sure that we would all think that he had, and that we would talk about nothing else for most of the last year. It’s a ploy that bears all the hallmarks of Putin.”
The third question is this: if the whole thing really has been a hoax intended to make our entire political and media class look like imbeciles, how should we respond to this unprecedented attack on our democracy, our values and our way of life? The report gives a series of recommendations calling for a tough response:
“It is clear that Putin’s Russiagate hoax, whereby he fooled us into believing he had interfered in our election, and colluded with the Trump campaign, is an attack on our democracy, our values and our way of life. It cannot go unanswered. We suggest that more sanctions should be placed upon the Russian state, and a special investigation set up to look into whether Donald Trump colluded in the hoax.”
Of course by creating new sanctions and opening a new investigation into how Russia interfered in our internal affairs by fooling us that they had interfered in our internal affairs, there is always the risk that the wall to wall coverage and sensational headlines that would follow would once again make the US intelligence community, politicians and media seem to outsiders like they’ve gone nuts. When asked whether this is a possibility, and even whether the Russiagate hoax theory might itself be a Putin hoax, our source said, “Yes, of course that’s all possible. And who knows; Putin’s hoaxes might well be hoaxes within hoaxes within hoaxes — just like those Russian dolls. But since we cannot just let him undermine our democracy, our values and our way of life, we’ll need a strong response including 24/7 coverage, lots of spurious allegations, and accusations of treason against anyone who questions our assessment. This will send the message to him that his hoaxes won’t be tolerated.”
What do you think:
Has Putin’s plan to turn the US media and political classes into imbeciles worked?
Do you think a new investigation and a strong response is needed to send a message to him that we won’t let him interfere with our democracy, our values and our way of life?
Do you think there’s any chance that we’ll ever stop reporting on this issue, or are you fated to live Russiagate Groundhog Day for the rest of your life?