We are so easily distracted by anything that blink's red. Russia is being used as a goat to deflect attention away from our own asses. We don't need help rigging elections, we've been doing just fine on our own for a long time.
(Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept)
"They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl Reiner the other day: “Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump’s election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?”
So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:..."
(The Real News.com)
"AARON MATÉ: Just to explain that, Max is quoting there from a video from the newly-formed Committee to Investigate Russia that brings together Hollywood liberals like Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman with neocons, and Morgan Freeman starred in the advertisement, and Max, to quote Max, Max called it, "Morgan Freeman's worst role since Driving Miss Daisy."
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, and you know, the chaos narrative operates on the premise that American news audiences don't, or social media consumers don't have agency, so they're easily duped. That anything racially related spreads racial division, especially if it promotes black civil rights. It operates on the premise that whatever is left of American democracy is too weak to resist something like 3000 supposedly Russian Facebook ads. It operates on the premise that these ads were actually taken out by Russian operatives from the Kremlin, from the Federal Security Bureau or GRU, the military intelligence network. There's no proof of that.
Before I get to the question of evidence, it's important to go back to the statistics I was citing that Facebook released. According to Facebook, again, 56% of the ads appeared after the election, and 25% of these 3000 ads they provided to the Intelligence Committee were never seen by anyone. At best, we have about 1000 ads that appeared before the election that were supposedly seen by someone. Now, let's stack that up. Oh, and then most of the ads appeared or were directed at social media consumers in non-swing states, so you could take the swing state ads and stack that up against billions of dollars in advertising from both presidential candidates, and the fact that Hillary Clinton didn't even campaign in Wisconsin in the critical days.
CNN just dropped another piece. Dylan Byers was on the byline. It was obviously filtered out by the House or Senate Intelligence Committee, and it said that Russia ran Facebook ads specifically targeting Wisconsin and Michigan. Didn't say when, didn't say what the ads were, and I don't think they could even establish that they were before the election, but by doing that, and it was clearly done by the Democratic side on the Intelligence Committee, they were trying to explain away Hillary Clinton's defeat, and this is the shabbiest, most pathetic attempt. Russian Facebook ads was trending on Twitter last night because the Hillary bots were all latching onto this idea that Facebook ads had swung the election for Trump, and not the fact that Hillary Clinton didn't campaign in these two critical states and ran the worst campaign in history. You actually saw her spokesman Brian Fallon, who is the flak for this historic failure, blaming the Las Vegas massacre, on Twitter, on Russia, because there was a meeting between an NRA official and a Russian official in 2015.
AARON MATÉ: Max, I'll read that tweet. This is Brian Fallon. He was the national spokesperson for the 2016 Clinton campaign, and he tweets out a link to an article about that meeting that Max just mentioned, and he says, "The NRA spent $30 million to elect Trump, standing by him after other GOP groups left him. Why? The answer may be in Moscow." He's suggesting that, as other Republicans were abandoning Trump during the campaign, the NRA stood by him, and that is due possibly to the Kremlin's influence. Again, this is the national spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Max, we'll come back you, but I want to go back to Baynard, who's at that Senate briefing. Baynard, you were there with a lot of journalists. What's your impression of their level of credulity when it comes to this, as Max has just been pointing out, a story with a lot of holes in it. What was your impression of how seriously they're taking this issue?"