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Thread: Russians Ridicule U.S. Charge That Kremlin Meddled to Help Trump

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Russians Ridicule U.S. Charge That Kremlin Meddled to Help Trump

    Russians Ridicule U.S. Charge That Kremlin Meddled to Help Trump

    By ANDREW HIGGINSJAN. 7, 2017

    Alexey Pushkov, a member of the defense and security committee of the Russian Parliament’s upper house, ridiculed the American report as akin to C.I.A. assertions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Credit Ruben Sprich/Reuters

    MOSCOW — Spies are usually thought of as bystanders who quietly steal secrets in the shadows. But the Russian version, schooled in techniques used during the Cold War against the United States, has a more ambitious goal — shaping, not just snooping on, the politics of a nation that the Soviet-era K.G.B. targeted as the “Main Adversary.”

    That at least is the conclusion of a declassified report released on Friday that outlines what America’s top intelligence agencies view as an elaborate “influence campaign” ordered by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia aimed at skewing the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

    But the absence of any concrete evidence in the report of meddling by the Kremlin was met with a storm of mockery on Saturday by Russian politicians and commentators, who took to social media to ridicule the report as a potpourri of baseless conjecture.

    In a message posted on Twitter, Alexey Pushkov, a member of the defense and security committee of the Russian Parliament’s upper house, ridiculed the American report as akin to C.I.A. assertions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: “Mountain gave birth to a mouse: all accusations against Russia are based on ‘confidence’ and assumptions. US was sure about Hussein possessing WMD in the same way.”

    Margarita Simonyan, the editor in chief of RT, a state-funded television network that broadcasts in English, who is cited repeatedly in the report, posted her own message on Twitter scoffing at the American intelligence community’s accusations.

    “Aaa, the CIA report is out! Laughter of the year! Intro to my show from 6 years ago is the main evidence of Russia’s influence at US elections. This is not a joke!” she wrote.

    Even Russians who have been critical of their government voiced dismay at the United States intelligence agencies’ account of an elaborate Russian conspiracy unsupported by solid evidence.

    Alexey Kovalyov, a Russian journalist who has followed and frequently criticized RT, said he was aghast that the report had given so much attention to the television station. “I do have a beef with RT and their chief,” Mr. Kovalyov wrote in a social media post, “But they are not your nemesis, America. Please chill.”

    The Kremlin, which has in the past repeatedly denied any role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer system, had no immediate response to the declassified report. Mr. Putin instead made a show of business as usual, attending a church service to mark the start of Orthodox Christmas.

    The report provides no new evidence to support assertions that Moscow meddled covertly through hacking and other actions to boost the electoral chances of Donald J. Trump and undermine his rival, Hillary Clinton, but rests instead on what it describes as Moscow’s long record of trying to influence America’s political system.

    “Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on U.S. presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin,” the report said. This campaign, it said, blended covert activities like hacking with public action by “Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries and paid social media users or ‘trolls.’ ”

    The public report did not include evidence on the sources and methods used to collect the information about Mr. Putin and his associates that intelligence officials said was in a classified version.

    Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian intelligence agencies at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, said he was skeptical of the accusation that Mr. Putin had ordered the hacking. All the same, he added, Russian spies, like their Soviet predecessors, “don’t just collect information but try to assert influence.” United States intelligence operatives, he said, have often done the same thing but the Russians, convinced that the United States orchestrated protests in Ukraine in 2014 that toppled the pro-Moscow president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, and other popular uprisings in former Soviet lands, “have a more aggressive approach to meddling in other people’s politics.”

    Particularly since Mr. Yanukovych lost power after protests in Kiev’s Maidan square, Mr. Putin and his circle, Mr. Galeotti said, “have a different sense of how the game is played. They genuinely believe that Maidan was engineered by the West” and because of this “all bets are off” in their view, a shift that has legitimized “the principle of regime change or at least regime disturbance” through mischief making in the United States election.

    That Russia considers it possible to influence United States elections has been evident since at least 1968 when, according to Moscow’s former longtime ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, the Kremlin decided that Richard M. Nixon was “profoundly anti-Soviet” and must be prevented if possible from winning the presidency. Mr. Dobrynin, in his 1995 memoirs “In Confidence,” said he was ordered by Moscow to offer Mr. Nixon’s Democratic rival, Hubert Humphrey, “any conceivable help in his election campaign — including financial aid.”

    Mr. Dobrynin related in his memoirs how he thought this was a bad idea but nonetheless made an oblique offer of help to Mr. Humphrey during a breakfast at the Democratic candidate’s home. “He knew at once what was going on,” Mr. Dobrynin recalled, and made it clear he had no interest in receiving any Soviet assistance.

    To try to bring about change that suited Moscow’s interests, the K.G.B. set up a special department dedicated to “active measures.” This unit went beyond collecting intelligence and embraced measures aimed at changing the course of events around the world. These included disinformation and subversion, often involving various front organizations and Moscow-funded fringe parties that worked to shape the politics of foreign countries.

    While propaganda and disinformation have long been key elements in efforts by both Moscow and Washington to shape events, Moscow, at least during the Cold War, went to extraordinary lengths to try and undermine foreign political figures it viewed as hostile to Soviet interests.

    The K.G.B. fabricated a bogus F.B.I. report that Henry Jackson, a strong critic of the Soviet Union who tried unsuccessfully in the 1970s to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, was a homosexual and attended gay sex clubs with Richard N. Perle, another anti-Communist hawk who was loathed by Moscow. Another target was President Carter’s Polish-born national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    This tradition of maligning Moscow’s foes on the United States political stage continued in the prelude to the November election with state-funded Russian media outlets, particularly the television network RT, which broadcasts in English, giving extensive coverage to negative news and allegations about Mrs. Clinton.

    “What we see now is a modernized version of the old tool kit of the U.S.S.R.,” said Laurant Gyori, an analyst with Political Capital, a research group in Budapest that has studied Russian efforts to shape political events in Europe. He added that Russia’s intelligence services, after a long lull following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, had in recent years again switched from “just getting information to also getting influence.”

    But Mr. Galeotti, the intelligence expert in Prague, cautioned that this mission to influence foreign politics was not a uniquely Russian phenomenon but had also been embraced in the past by the C.I.A., which, in the 1950s, sought to shape and subvert politics in countries like Iran and Guatemala.

    He said the United States intelligence report on Russian meddling in the November election had gone too far in projecting Cold War attitudes onto today’s reality. He said it was a mistake to suppose that Mr. Putin had from the start conducted “a Machiavellian conspiracy” aimed at bringing Mr. Trump to power.

    More likely, he added, was that Mr. Putin was not involved or even informed about initial efforts to hack into the D.N.C. computer system but, informed after the fact about what had been done, “decided to act opportunistically” and make use of the hacker’s harvest of emails to try to tilt the election.

    “I don’t think the Russians believed for a minute that Trump could really be elected,” Mr. Galeotti said in a telephone interview. “They were convinced that U.S. elites would ensure that one of their own would win. They thought they had a chance to do a bit of mischief but I think they were amazed, even aghast, at what happened.”

    Oleg Matsnev and Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from Moscow.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/wo...rump.html?_r=0
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    LOL!! A great article that shows how truly stupid Obama and his political spies really are. The whole world was watching our CIA and DNI show how truly empty our intelligence operations may be and did nothing but leave the US and the Obama Administration the laughing stock of the globe. We can't defend our borders, we can't protect our trade, businesses and jobs, we can't protect our diplomats, we can't bring peace, we can't stop nuclear weapons by terrorists and communist countries, we can't protect our own citizens on the streets, and now the whole world knows we can't even protect our computers. The world sees the US with good reason as chimps in a cage beating on their chests.

    HUMILIATING!!

    On the bright side, competence and common sense, intelligence (the real kind) and unwavering loyalty to the American People and our country is just 2 weeks away. Hold on to your seats because come January 20th, the upside down, rightside out nightmare that's beleaguered our country for decades will grind to a halt. Then we'll be America as we know it and love it once again!!

    It's going to be a blast, the most exciting political adventure of our lifetimes. Enjoy and Appreciate!!
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  3. #3
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    Russian official: Obama undermined US democracy, not Moscow

    By Nikita Vladimirov - 01/07/17 02:00 PM EST

    A Russian official on Friday argued that U.S. democracy was undermined by President Obama's administration and the media, not by Moscow's alleged hacking campaign.

    Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov offered his criticism following the public release of a U.S. intelligence report that accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating an effort to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process."
    "The U.S. democratic process was undermined not by Russia, but by the Obama administration and mass media, which supported [Hillary] Clinton over [President-elect Donald] Trump," Pushkov tweeted.
    "The danger to democracy is within U.S. itself," he added, arguing that Obama is responsible for Republicans' growing trust of Putin.
    Pushkov also criticized the notion that Putin caused a decline in Russo-American relations, calling such a position "complete nonsense."

    "Obama took the course to isolate and undermine Russian positions, and Putin is to blame. Compete nonsense," he tweeted.

    The Russian lawmaker also reiterated his view that U.S. intelligence agencies should not be trusted after their reports on Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

    "[A]ll accusations against Russia are based on 'confidence' and assumptions. U.S. was just as confident in [Iraqi President Saddam] Hussein's possession of WMDs," he tweeted.

    The intelligence report released to the public on Friday detailed the intelligence community's findings, but did not provide sensitive evidence, citing the need to keep the information classified.

    “While the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods,” the report said.

    The intelligence community also expressed confidence that Moscow's hacking campaign was conducted after the Russian government developed a "clear preference" for Trump.

    “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report stated.

    http://thehill.com/policy/internatio...ama-not-moscow
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    First of all, we are a Republic, not a "democracy". Just 2 more weeks and our ship will be righted and things will start happening and being as they should be. This insanity and madness will grind to a halt and reason, business, jobs, and peace will abound.
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