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The Multiple Facets of the Russia Problem


The Multiple Facets of the Russia Problem

Paul Pillar

Two different issues—Russian interference in the U.S. election of 2016 and overall U.S. policy toward Russia—too often have been conflated. Donald Trump’s questioning of the interference and his submission to Russian President Vladimir Putin have tainted what in other circumstances would be seen as reasonable and justified engagement with Moscow. Conversely, some observers firmly opposed to Cold-War-type confrontation with Russia are so affected by the first type of conflation that they deny the reality of the interference.


‘“It is especially plausible to assume that the interests motivating Trump were the interests of Donald Trump more than the interests of the United States.”’

No, it is a fucking axiom that Trump is all about Trump, to whom the US is simply an entity to be exploited in the cause. If one needs an analogy, think CANCER, stage 4 at that. It is past time for chemo-, surgical, and radiation “therapies”. Devil, begone!


Surely a veteran analyst at CIA—and a visiting professor of security studies to boot!—must understand why some of us might be skeptical toward ANY assertions put forward by that paragon of truth, transparency and strict non-partisanship.

Starting with its collusion with Nazis even before WW2 ended, when it was still the OSS; moving on to crushing left parties in Italy and Greece; to coups in Guatemala, Iran and Chile, to name just a few: the CIA has compiled a record of interference in the affairs of sovereign states that is unmatched in scope and duration. For CIA to now, like Claude Rains, claim to be be shocked! at alleged similar attempts being made against the US, is deeply disingenuous.

And putting irony quotes around the phrase “deep state,” as if there were not a number of unelected and unaccountable individuals whose wealth and family connections confer upon them a grossly disproportionate amount of political power, and whose purposes are not necessarily ours, is patronizing in the extreme.

Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that HRC’s loss was simply due to (1) the Electoral College vote, (2) the billions of dollars of free air time given to her opponent, and (3) her being a crappy candidate?


has anyone else noticed that we “adopt sanctions on a country” and donald jr and the lawyer were talking about “adoption”. just a thought


Russia has been extremely clever in furthering its own goals although its military is far inferior to that of the US and its economy is nowhere near the US economy. Putin with KGB training has used that training to control many people by compromising them and looking for weaknesses in people that can be exploited. Even though Trump seems to be committing treason or close to it he maintains very strong support because of the backlash against the a Democratic black president and the civil rights legislation in general and the backlash against same sex marriage and various LGBT rights that have been achieved. His supporters want a society dominated by whites and marriage means only marriage between a man and a woman, no exceptions. Any president like Trump who doesn’t care about human rights is going to get strong support in the US, particularly, the south and the plains states.


Paul, you think it’s a done deal that Putin interfered in the last election? Let’s assume he did.

What should the US do? Maybe get Clinton and her replacements to use the requisite security protocol for a secretary of state and former wife of a president? Maybe get paper ballots?

Or the alternative, punish the entire country of Russia for the influence that a few of their leaders seem to wield?


The Deep State & their accomplices in the MSM pushed Russia-gate back into the limelight to make Americans forget that ICE is putting people into concentration camps and separating children from their parents.

Russia-gate promotes the myth of that the insane National Security State is trying to protect us from foreign boogie-men.

But the realty is that the fascist ICE, like the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security, etc., is the natural, inevitable product of the National Security State.

And this is the uncomfortable truth that Democrats & Republicans, MSNBC & Fox, want you to forget.


Ah yes. More ex-CIA wisdom and analysis from the U.S. “left” media.

And was Pillar one of the vast majority of brilliant CIA analysts who somehow failed to see the quite obvious internal disintegration of the Soviet Union? And was he around for Bush’s WMD hallucination? Or Obama’s invasions of Africa via Africa? Or Clinton’s starving of Iraq via sanctions - or his bombings of the Balkans?

Not to worry. Pillar is well-set in his lucrative retirement teaching at Georgetown U. – one of the original training camps for National Security State agents, operatives and analysts.

And CD publishes this crap. To quote the great Joseph Welch who defended the U.S. Army against the not-so-great Joe McCarthy:



It all must be Russia’s fault. Have you ever seen the insanity more on display then over this whole Russia fiasco. People have lost their minds and I can see exactly why Republican idiots have just as much disdain for the liberals as the liberals have for them. They are both right.


Always interested in what Mr. Pillar has to offer, and usually agree. Also this time, I agree with his assessment of the four ‘problems’. However, I am surprised by his conclusion and apparent gullibility regarding the question of Russia’s undermining of the last election.

I was under the impression that most of the progressive left was in agreement that there was a cabal, or ‘deep state’ of corporate criminals which had gained control of our government. The politicians were not the players in charge, merely their bought-and-paid-for lackeys, regardless of their party affiliation. The monied elite controlled the outcome of legislation for their own interests, controlled foreign policy (including overthrowing governments or starting wars) to serve their corporate agendas, and controlled the two party system as a circus for the servile masses. They have been in power for several decades, growing more and more entrenched with time. This criminal corporate enterprise has thrived and prospered at the expense of the public, and the corporate model has expanded worldwide through the workings of the IMF and global finance, with the goal of enslaving the entire global population to serfdom. This was sold to the American public as promoting ‘democracy and freedom’ across the globe.

The arrival of Trump and his crude and blatant crew of thugs has brought unwanted scrutiny to their existing criminal operation. He has given Kleptocracy and Oligarchy a bad name, so he must be gotten rid of before he exposes them all. While it is hard not to enjoy the predicament Trump finds himself in, most of it of his own making, we must not forget that those who are trying the hardest to get rid of the SOB are actually far more evil and practiced in the deceit and corruption that has created this Oligarchy of the past several decades.


Russia-gate is CIA war mongering propaganda lies. The Koch Brothers and other U.S. oligarchs installed and own Trump. Russia-gate is as false as the War On Terror with its War in Afghanistan & the Iraq War and everywhere else imaginable, North Korean nuclear continuation, Venezuelan CIA coups, Argentine CIA coup, Gulf of Tonkin lies, ad infinitim…


Correction: Africa via Africom. The auto spell-check got me again.


You got it!


I would have to assume that anybody who doubts that Russia interfered with the US election has not bothered to read the details of what is know publicly or refuses to do so. It has been laid out in such detail that it is hard to believe anybody can raise serious doubts. One of the best sources that I have found is a book titled “Messing with Enemy. Surviving in Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News” by Clint Watts a guy with intelligence and counterintelligence experience who actually spent time tracking what the Russians were up to on this own time in what could be called a hobby. Chapter 6 Putin’s Plan goes into extreme detail about Russia’s efforts. Pillar is correct about people on the left who remain deniers. However, given how the climate deniers have held the line despite overwhelming scientific evidence that they are wrong I expect the left-wingers to hold the line also against what is now a vast trove of evidence showing Russian interference. It is all political.


I can’t believe (wholly) that Pillar believes what he’s written. My mind says if some scapegoating trip gets X amount proponderant…then you cannot go against it. WMDs in Iraq for example. The story I think is pretty clear from William Binney and IIRC Thomas Drake too. These agencies cast too big a net. Now it’s a people watching thing, not a terrorist watching thing. This was a BIG mistake.

Someone can correct me–> Before Vault 7’s release wasn’t there something out there like the stuff in Vault 7? Couldn’t anybody and her/his brother…all of’em…have made themselves look like Guccifer?

No vote numbers changed. No one (by these entities) taken off registries. Some phishing links went out in some emails. If there was more to it when The Intercept broke the R Winner story…I never made time for it. I sort of felt like the thing might have been left floating around so as TO BE leaked, and that it was all poppycock…I mean the who was who aspect all poppycock. Not cause I want Russia to be innocent, but because anyone can look like anyone. Tell you the truth, though, I never felt totally convinced by my own theory. Somebody needs to make the whole thing clearer. The investigation knew about that doc from the beginning, but why didn’t it rest its argument on it way back there? In all this time why hasn’t anyone explained the thing to average people with, say, a flow chart of some kind?

But I can theorize in the other direction too. Suppose voter numbers were altered; are we sure they’d tell us? Imagine if people were told, and then imagine how lost they’d feel if they got hip enough to cogitate something like it didn’t have to be Russians.

With all this hooplah I almost wish they were right and it was the Russians. But the case is conspicuously not being made…I mean for average proles, so it’s clear. Out there in netland anyone can come off as anyone else, so how do we know the Nuland types on our side of the planet didn’t plant the thing(s)? Simple critique. I doubt that they care but if they wanted to convince the doubters, they’d need the equivalent of a whole bunch of fireside chats…a whole bunch. The only guy doing that is Stephen Cohen, and he doesn’t believe it! But, heck, you’d also need a slew of chats/breakdowns…just to demonstrate for sure the simple critique is a valid critique.

Students study geometry proofs…why can’t we have Attribution Proofs 101?? Why isn’t it out there???


Hi Lxr,
I have been looking everywhere for proof. and so far I haven’t read anything but accusations-------and this all seems just as silly as Teresa May and the Novichok stuff…and then we have part 2 novichok and is the first group dead?. No, but where are they? And then -----oh it was on the doorknob ------ the novichok is on a door knob ---- but the hamsters are dead, and how did they reach the doorknob?..Anyway it all seems so silly.

I saw a video with a Bill Benny and as an ex NSA person, he was speaking of how the DNC information did not come from overseas , but from a thumb drive and that the time dates were a dead giveaway that this was not a hack and not from Russia. SINCE the NSA captures everything that crosses the connection of America and the world, if there was something there , they .would have caught it THEN! If they saw it and did nothing then WHY? It was a local job from a pretend Grucffier number 2
. The Binny information was the first thing I saw that had facts and connecting reasons--------and that made sense to me BUT the US already F***ed over Russia and it was the American handlers that put Yeltsin in as president… even TIME has that story----unless , of course, it’s gone down the Memory Hole already : )


WMDs in Iraq was totally different. There was no thorough investigation. The Bush admin wanted war with Iraq so they cited an uncreadable source as definite proof.


And this needs to be part of the national dialog , we should be hearing a lot more on this hypocrisy , what would the world look like without all this CIA interference these past decades -----I will never understand why people want to defend Russia--------we live in a nation state system and the US and Russia have been bad actors. I like a lot of the shows on RT yet these people seem clueless that Russia’s goal is to create discord -upheaval in the US. Yes Russia is doing to the US what the US has been doing to countless countries around the world. And I have yet to see any “news” people bring up these contradictions—US foreign policy needs to be based on INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM—it does not need to change from one administration to the next-----its core principle should be INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM----of course this doesn’t exist in the US so this might be a problem???SUPPORT THE COMMONS.


People in power will do crazy things to keep their empire from crumbling down and being charged with murder.


So the Russia election interference story is totally different because this time they have credible evidence?