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Americans Dumbed Down on Russia


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Five years ago today (Dec. 5th), Congress learned from sworn, horse’s-mouth testimony that there is no technical evidence that Russia (or anyone else) hacked the DNC emails showing how the DNC had stacked the deck against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination.

I can almost hear readers new to this website cry out in disbelief: "That cannot be. Official Washington and the media assured us that the Russians hacked those emails in order to help Trump win. And didn’t Obama throw out 35 Russian diplomats in reaction? And what about those 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted for hacking?" Were US officials and media mistaken?

No, not mistaken. They were lying.

"But … but, does this mean Special Counsel Robert Mueller knew there was no concrete evidence of Russian hacking just six months into his 22-month investigation into Trump-Russia collusion?"

Get Him Under Oath

On December 5, 2017, Shawn Henry, head of the cyber security firm CrowdStrike, testified to the House Intelligence Committee that there was no technical evidence that Russia hacked the DNC emails that WikiLeaks published in July 2016. CrowdStrike had been hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign (with the FBI’s blessing) to investigate "Russian hacking".

Shawn Henry is a protégé of former FBI Director Robert Mueller (from 2001 to 2012), for whom Henry served as head of the Bureau’s cyber-crime investigations unit before he went to CrowdStrike. What are the chances that Shawn Henry did not keep his former mentor, the Special Counsel, informed of this critical factoid?

Why are some of you readers just now learning about this – five years after that testimony? Short answer: Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee was able to keep Henry’s unclassified testimony secret from Dec. 5, 2017 until May 7, 2020, when he was forced to release it. Schiff gave the silencer-baton to friends in the corporate media, who have now suppressed Shawn Henry’s testimony for longer than even Schiff could.

In sum, five years (and counting) after Henry’s testimony, the corporate media are still keeping viewers/listeners in the dark. Were we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) not banned from corporate media, those interested in the "hacking" hoax could have learned what was going on by reading our Memorandum "Allegations of Hacking are Baseless", of December 12, 2016 – a year before Shawn Henry, under oath, came clean. Henry’s confession came as no surprise to us. (Updates are available here and here.)

Yet, the New York Times, for example, keeps up the drumbeat. Charlie Savage was careful last week to insert the following, in an article about Julian Assange (don’t miss what the New York Times itself embedded):
His [Assange’s] public image shifted significantly after WikiLeaks published Democratic emails that had been hacked by the Russian government as part of its covert operation to help Donald J. Trump win the 2016 presidential election.
Thus the words of Charlie Savage and the Gray Lady. There is always some clown who does not get the word – but Charlie is no clown. He knows what the narrative still has to be, and adheres to it (and, thus, to his job).

The reasoning behind suppressing Shawn Henry’s testimony appears to have gone something like this: The truth about "Russian hacking" cracks the centerpiece of Russia-gate; it pulls the rug from under what we corporate media have been saying about the evil Putin and what we label Trump’s "bromance" with him. Worse, the truth could deny the MICIMATT the image of the threatening "enemy" it needs to "justify" building and selling weapons. Besides, Americans probably can’t handle the truth. And what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

What Americans Don’t Know

Humorist Will Rogers had it right:

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.”

What Americans "know" is that President Vladimir Putin is evil and that Russia must be stopped in Ukraine. This comes of six straight years of indoctrination/brainwashing. Putin and his colleagues, of course, are aware of this. It must seem to them that people in the US an Europe are being steeled with the propaganda basis for wider war. This gets extremely dangerous. What people don’t know can really hurt them and lead them into another misbegotten war – this one far worse than other recent misadventures.

If the sophomores advising President Joe Biden refuse to acknowledge that Russia has escalation dominance in Ukraine, the likelihood of wider war in the coming months looms large. And despite recent optimistic projections by top intelligence officials, Ukraine and NATO are far more likely to run out of ammunition before Russia does.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.
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