Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Another Russiagate Postmortem

I think Trump is a lifelong real estate and casino owner crook (of the kind that do well in this country) and digging into his inner workings is definitely going to yield dirt, lots of dirt. Reminds me of vice president Johnson, in the sense of lurking scandal. Saved by the bell.

The Dems were diligently doing that digging, paying Steele, and enlisting the support of FBI operatives in going after Flynn, whom they feared might be a loose cannon (Obama considered him a nutcase).

Trump's assertion he could get along with the Russians was indeed alarming. Presidents don't get to say whatever comes into their heads like that, not when it comes to national security. Trump was a rank outsider with no District experience. "Spy upon him we must" was the sense around the FBI, according to testimony as recently as today's. The McCabe Cabal was getting grilled again, for abusing FISA.

As for the two main aspects of the Russiagate story:

(1) Russians have as much right to troll farms as anyone and Facebook users are not intrinsically protected against the PR / propaganda efforts of paying users. 

Lots of trolls use Facebook to influence public opinion, including Brit and Israeli IDF, so to single out Russians is just bigotry and part of that old timey "how we make money in the District is scare people about commies" (even if Russians aren't commies anymore -- doesn't matter that much, people aren't paying that much attention to begin with) and ...

(2) it wouldn't take a large crew to write the technical parts of the CrowdStrike report, wherein the GRU are depicted as hearing Trump publicly call for digging into Hillary's emails, and deciding to hop to and stay late, beginning phishing operations right then and there, eventually snagging Podesta perhaps.

It reads like a screenplay, complete with comical swear words, the cursing of Crowdstrike by Guccifer 2. I wonder how many government documents of such gravitas contain such silliness.

A few people with an intimidating level of internet jargon (plus omniscient author viewpoint, self conferred) will have no problem crafting a narrative that presumes to reenact what the perpetrators were up to. Really close readers will "discover for themselves" this date/time coincidence and draw their own conclusions (that Trump is secretly signaling the GRU in his speech, cue CNN).

It's like one of those Qanon puzzles: if the light goes on in the reader's head in a way that makes them feel like Sherlock Holmes, then you've scored. 

I put Russiagate on the same moral and intellectual level as Qanon, i.e. in the supermarket checkout tabloid lane, same place where Hillary has an ET love child.

I know the Russiagaters consider themselves intellectual overloads, obedient to Science, and oh so superior to those superstitious Trumpers, but I find this self perception largely unearned. 

This naive "do you really think intelligence services would lie to me?" (big eyes, quivering lip) after decades of being lied to (Vietnam, Central America, Iraq), just seems pathetic.