Part of me had wondered just how long the neocon fanatics and their legion of useful idiots could keep up the whole Russian hacking, Russian aggression, “Russia is trying to undermine our democracy/way of life/economy/fill in the blank with any garbage you like” meme? The whole thing is so wearyingly tiresome, not to mention dangerously stupid, that the optimist in me had hoped that at some point even those who have perpetuated this nonsense for so long would get fed up with it and go off to do some gardening. Or perhaps retire to the Fletcher Memorial Home for overgrown infants.
Alas no. Common sense is not a trait that neocon warlords possess, nor their new best political allies (Democrats) and media stenographers (the Global Pravda Network). No, they won’t stop because they can’t stop. The neocons are ideologically convinced that God has destined them to be the rulers of the world (hint: He hasn’t); the Democrats are still trying to explain to themselves how they came to lose the election last year without looking at the explanation staring them in the face, which is that if you field a sociocorruptopathic candidate, you shouldn’t automatically expect everyone to be cock-a-hoop with the choice; and the Global Pravda Network — well who knows what motivates them, other than their next paycheck.
But despite no evidence for their claims, their lunacy continues, ad nauseum, and probably will until the US either becomes engulfed in civil war or Trumpy attempts to pacify their bloodlust by declaring war on some nation or other. The bookies favourite is currently North Korea at 2-1, followed by Iran at 4-1, with Russia and China both worth a punt at 7-1, although whether you’ll be around to pick up the winnings in either of the last two cases is not wholly certain.
But what of the assertion that there is “no evidence for their claims”? Seriously? You some kind of Putin troll? Only one way to find out. You’ll have to tie me to a chair and dunk me in the river. And if I float then you’ll know…
Actually I’m just an old school conservative. That is, I tend to believe in quaint old concepts like “innocent until proven guilty” and “the burden of proof lying with the prosecution and not the defence”, rather than believing every spurious claim shoved down my throat by people who look like they’d struggle passing a polygraph test. I am therefore extremely keen to see what all the evidence actually is for the claims they have been making over the last few mad, mad months, especially as they relate to a nuclear-armed country and have been described as by some as “acts of war”. But there must be tons of it, mustn’t there? Otherwise we’d have to suspect that we’ve been lied to over and over and over again.
Well, let’s assemble a few of the latest pieces of evidence, shall we? And as we do, please note that these are by and large prosecution, not defence, witnesses:
Exhibit # 1
Our first exhibit is Britain’s Foreign Secretary, a man who had been squawking merrily along with the parrots’ chorus about how Russia is doing this and that, when in a rare moment of honesty, he blurted this out on the current affairs programme, Peston on Sunday:
“We have no evidence the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment. We don’t actually have that evidence. But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that.”
You hear that? No evidence. Oh they could if they wanted to, of course. Like the CIA. Just like there is plenty of evidence that a man who keeps knives in his house is capable of murder, even though there’s no evidence that he has murdered anyone.
Exhibit # 2
At a meeting in Copenhagen on Friday 17th March, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, said of the apparent threat posed by Russia to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that:
“[there is] nothing indicating a conventional military assault against a NATO country, and not even the Baltic countries.”
Really? But I was sure an attack was imminent. That’s what I’ve been hearing from the Global Pravda Network for the past few years. That’s why I thought we were sending troops right up to the border of Russia. You telling me it wasn’t true, Jens? Huh?
Exhibit # 3
Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who last year called on the US to covertly kill Russians, recently had this to say on the question of the supposed connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian Government:
“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”
There are indeed a lot of people looking for it. Like a bunch of jewel hunters convinced that there’s a diamond buried in a 10-ton pile of manure. Yet the harder they look, the more they come away with nothing but a bad smell.
Exhibit # 4
Speaking on Meet the Press on March 5th, presenter Chuck Todd had the following exchange with James Clapper, who was Director of National Intelligence until January 20th this year:
Todd: “Does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials?”
Clapper: “We did not include any evidence in our report — and I say, ‘our,’ that’s NSA, FBI and CIA, with my office, the Director of National Intelligence — that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that.”
Todd: “I understand that. But does it exist?”
Clapper: “Not to my knowledge.”
Not to his knowledge. So nothing there then.
Exhibit # 5
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was asked on Fox News Sunday if he had seen any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian Government. Here’s his response:
“I’ll give you a very simple answer: ‘No’. Up to speed on everything I have up to this morning. No evidence of collusion.”
Are you beginning to spot a bit of a theme?
Exhibit # 6
Last November, reacting to a hack of the Deutsche Telekom, Angela Merkel said in response that “such cyber attacks, or hybrid conflicts as they are known in Russian doctrine, are now part of daily life and we must learn to cope with them.” So it was Russia wot did it, wos it? Well, in February this year, a leaked report by the BND (German equivalent of the CIA) looking into the claims of Russian interference, contained the following nugget:
“An open/direct control or financing through Russian state authorities or Russian intelligence agencies could not be proven in any cases.”
So no evidence there then? Oh and funnily enough, the Deutsche Telekom hack turned out to be … Sergey from Vladivostok? Possibly not, since the only person arrested in connection with it so far is a 29-year-old British guy who was apprehended at Luton airport.
So there you have it. No evidence whatsoever from the people who have been peddling the meme for months if not years. From their own mouths. Zilch. Nada. Diddly squat.
And yet British politicians keep on making their claims of Russian interference in “our democracy”. NATO continues to provoke Russia by sending its cannon fodder to protect the Baltic States against a threat that they admit doesn’t exist. EU nations continue to scare us with talk of Russian interference in elections, despite the intelligence agency of the most geopolitically important EU country telling us they’ve turned up nothing. And the neocons and the Dems and the Global Pravda Network continue their insane insinuations, including one particularly obtuse congresswoman who in her zeal to come up with a scary Putin analogy, likened him to a tarantula spinning its web. Which of course tarantulas don’t do:
How does it feel like to be lied into a potential confrontation with a nuclear-armed country day after day?