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Demonization of Putin as "Personally" Behind Clinton Hack Is Old Propaganda Technique


Demonization of Putin as "Personally" Behind Clinton Hack Is Old Propaganda Technique

Juan Cole

The leaked allegations supposedly from the CIA that Russian President Vladimir Putin “personally” directed how hacked emails from the Clinton campaign should be used should be treated with a good deal of skepticism.


Ah, this has such a nostalgic ring to those who know much about the remember the McCarthy Era.


A bigger mystery is how the Democrats connect the hacking of Clinton's unsecured email account with Clinton's loss of the election. I'm among those who are surprised that Clinton got as many votes as she did -- the majority of votes cast. While it has been ignored by our liberal bourgeoisie, much of the Dem voting base have deeply and consistently opposed the Clinton wing over the past 20 years.


It looks as if CD is in full fledged pro Putin mode. Article presumes it is "propaganda " what if it is true ?

What if the KGB colonel actually enjoyed overseeing an operation to derail US elections?


Inducing boogeyman fever


I understand that this is an editorial, so it's not really intended to be an accurate "news" piece, but it's still laughably bad regardless. The author provides zero evidence to back up his allegations. His main point seems to be "Oh, it can't be Russia, because the crime originated in a phishing attempt."

??? Apparently the author is unaware that phishing is one of the most common methods used by hackers (if not the most common). Apparently the author is unaware that the US government and military receives a massive number of phishing emails every year, primarily originating from Russia and China. It's so frequent every single year that every government employee, contractor, and military soldier is required to endure a two hour long refresher course and mandatory test that reminds them of this (and all the other ways that hackers attempt to use).

Bottom line: 17 intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia was responsible. The last time 17 intelligence agencies agreed on anything was...? That's right: never. It's no surprise that Putin orchestrated the hack, what is surprising is that anyone is blind enough to believe otherwise.


Remember early in the Obama Administration when the US expelled those Russian spies Putin sent over? Obama still met with Putin at the White House and (after the spy expulsion) said (paraphrased): "look, stuff happens but we're gonna let this one slide and reset/reboot relations. no reason we can't be friends."

Putin immediately denied that the people were spies (while simultaneously the Kremlin was very publicly celebrating them and giving them fancy Moscow apartments free of charge and issued them pensions) and then went right back to vilifying the west. Putin is a dictator. Dictators can only ever stay in power by having an external enemy that they can unite the people against. It's mandatory. They HAVE to have an external enemy; it doesn't matter if the enemy is real or imaginary. Putin can never afford to kiss and make up with the west. Antagonism is the only thing keeping him in power.


What if it were true? There's still no evidence to suggest that it is, but let's consider.

Let us posit just because that someone associated with the Russian government penetrated a firewall on the US side and procured documents that were sent to Wikileaks, right? OK, that's not unbelievable. These servers get penetrated on a daily basis, pretty much, though most penetration is pretty harmless.

And then these were sent to Wikileaks. A little more far-fetched, but I have seen stranger things. Clinton is largely responsible for pushing NATO east, pointing nuclear weapons at Russia, arranging a fascist coup d'etat in Ukraine, savaging Libya and sending refugees across Europe. The larger team is responsible for funding ISIS, destabilizing Syria, very close to Russia's only warm-water port. Well, there are lots of reasons almost anyone would not want Hillary Clinton to become president of the US, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that this might include Vladimir Putin.

But in that scenario, the documents are authentic, no? Of course, we were not really imagining that 30,000 emails had been made up, were we? So that would mean that the Clinton nomination was rigged, the DNC and Clinton guilty of accepting large money from foreign governments in the Middle East, presumably for special favors, on and on. That sure casts these martial-law sorts of calls for prohibition of "false news" in a dangerous light, no?

Now, at the same time, what are Russia's acts of manipulation here, hypothetically? They supplied to a publisher documents demonstrating the corruption of a major candidate. These were published outside of the US, though of course they were and are also very accessible from within the US.

If you had some dirt on Vladimir Putin, and you published in in the US, but it such a way that it might be accessed by Russians, does that mean that you are dangerously interfering in Russian politics?

No. These accusations show no concern for democratic process. They are a concern against Wikileaks' journalism.


This is a long conspiracy based opinion does not talk at all if Putin did it , perhaps indirectly and slightly you excused this brave KGB agent from interfering with US democratic process.


All conspiracy means is that some group made plans in secret for its own benefit. If you would like to try to imagine an interpretation of events in which no one plans in secret or puts private concerns ahead of public, feel free to start explaining at any point.

I am not arguing (again) about whether Putin did this or that because no real argument has been brought forward to suggest that he has and because in this case, it does not matter

If you say that anyone stole DNC emails and published them, you imply that there were DNC emails to steal, and these were what were published. If that is the case as alleged, there was no "democratic process" for Putin to interfere with, since that is a small part of what the documents show.

If the point actually matters, why not bring forth an argument?


Juan Cole, you are demonstrating your cultural myopia.
Try paraphrasing your last paragraph as follows:

"Whenever the Russian intelligence agencies collaborate with their state media to throw up on the screen the face of a foreign leader (Clinton), giving her devil’s horns and making her face red with the flames of hell, we have to take that depiction as a sign that they intend to do something to that country (United States)".

Clinton had the guts to stand up to Russia and the Strongman Dictator got revenge.

Also remember that just because the US has demonized actors in foreign countries does not mean that foreign countries do not do the same to the US actors.

Putin may be a friend of Donald Trump and his friends--but none of them are friends to me. While you may adapt and survive well in an authoritarian regime, I know that I will not.


I seldom agree with Cole as he has become a political hack over the recent years, but I agree with him here. This is CIA regime change ops to stop Trump from getting into the White House. These bad boys brought their game home finally after perfecting it on the planet.


Agreed. This is still the war against Assange and Snowden. What MSM has ignored (and still is) is how corrupt HRC and her tight cabal are and were. All that rigging done to get her into the WH. One face for the moneyed, one for the public. All that money she took from those who bankrupted this country and thousands of citizens. It's a very long list of what she did (and did not do) as senator, then SoS. MSM sure as hell never put that up front and center. They loved Trump when he was making them lots of money, but now not so much since HRC and rabid cabal is making the push to bring him down.

Now it's Russia-did-it 24/7! To hell with the truth. This election has been running for two years and still no end in sight.


NPR had a great interview with the folks from the company hired to analyze the DNC hack. Here it is

Worth reading and/or listening to for sure.


What if it turns out that the harridan was just such a p.o.s. that people actually couldn't bring themselves to vote for that? What if it turns out that far too many of our fellow peons just really aren't too bright and decided to cast their lot with the orange marvel? And finally, what if it turns out that the repdumocrats should have run a couple of halfway decent candidates instead of the filth they actually picked?


There is a great difference between Snowden and Assange.

Snowden acted as an American patriot. Assange has no feelings of patriotism to the U.S. He has revealed himself as a misogynistic-libertariam bully; more of a Donald Trump or a James O'Keefe than an Edward Snowden.

The ascendency of the white, male, christian strongmen is not in my interest-but I am woman who knows that the politics of the ridiculous but dangerous rooster-men is not in my self interest. Your mileage may vary.


"I don’t doubt that Russian intelligence was interested in sowing discord in the US around its election. I am saying that there is no evidence that it succeeded."

Critical sentence. Nobody's arguing against the fact that there are major internet powers of interference coming from Russia and Eastern Europe, among others. The US also has major interfering powers that meddle with the rest of the world . . . fact. Polls have shown that, for a majority of US citizens, antagonism against Russia (or China) is the last thing on their mind. Likewise, Russian and Chinese citizens w/re to the US.

The author is pointing out that propaganda is a well-known, notorious, and time-honored device for changing all that. A red flag par excellence to the people. We can argue until the cows come home about the effectiveness of the hacking, but let's not be tools to enlarge the conflict.

2015-6 has been all about educating the public about propaganda, media manipulation, fake news, and other edifying subjects for Civics 101. We have gotten too trusting. So when we DO begin to doubt, to question, let's be fair about it.


The United States has interfered in many countries in the world. So has England. Lately this includes Iraq, Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Chile, Nicaragua. The U.S. hacks wherever it can and anybody including Kanzler Merkel.
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
The greatest source of terror in the world is the United Sthates. Spare us the sanctimoneousness.


I disagree. That being said, Trump is not going to be doing any favors for me, or us. HRC would not have been better and perhaps far worse for all of us--if that's possible. She is all for regime change in Iran, Syria, and Russia even to the point of using nukes. War has been declared on Trump by the war lovers, those who want to maintain the existing (and destructive) FP. And never peace with Russia. This is regime change by the CIA and the HRC cabal here in the US.


Depends on your definition of base.