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The CIA Lies and So Does Putin

2017 November 12
by Ian Welsh
Vladimir Putin Official Portrait

Vladimir Putin

So, Trump said he believed Putin when Putin said he did not meddle in the US election. He was criticized for it, because the American intelligence community says otherwise. He backed down.

Newsflash: The CIA has the track record of a pathological liar. Putin lies as well.

Maybe the best thing to do is disbelieve both, and make up your own mind based on the evidence (which, by the way, is far weaker than the news articles, which assert but do not prove, would suggest.)

The CIA and the rest of the US intelligence establishment are not due benefit of the doubt.

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37 Responses
  1. scruff permalink
    November 12, 2017

    First sentence: I think you mean “believed” and not “belied”.

  2. Bill Hicks permalink
    November 12, 2017

    Watching the vast majority of Democrats and the left turn into huge cheerleaders for the IC is even more depressing than how they conspicuously ignored Obama’s war crimes and Wall Street love. Many liberal websites I used to read regularly back when Bush was president have become as hateful towards the other side and intolerant of inconvenient facts as Breitbart or World News Daily.

  3. different clue permalink
    November 12, 2017

    A pathological liar is someone who will lie reflexively and automatically without self-control even if the truth will serve his interests as well or better. If I am correct about that, then should we consider the CIA and Putin to be pathological liars? Or should we consider them to be strategic-and-tactical liars who lie when it advances their goal or agenda and keep silence or tell truth if that advances their goal or agenda better?

    I remember reading once that in a press conference a reporter asked President Eisenhower whether he would ever lie to the American people. And Eisenhower replied: ” I am just as willing to lie for my country as the next patriotic American, but only if I am confident in being believed.”

  4. practicalanarchist permalink
    November 12, 2017

    Russians probably did meddle, but not in any way that changed the outcome of the election. Neoliberals are clinging onto that fantasy, so they can continue serving their corporate masters. Fuck the Democrats. Let them swing in the wind.

  5. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 12, 2017

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Canada tried to influence the election, along with about 100 other countries.

    If our electoral system were strong, fair, properly run and verifiable, it shouldn’t matter, but it’s not and it can and sometimes does.

    If any of the foreign operations influenced the election enough to change the results, I would be surprised. Regardless of that, however, the entire electoral system is rotten and routinely subject to gross abuses by domestic interests.

    Perhaps it would be better to deal with worsening domestic electoral issues first. Worry about the foreign influences in due time

    As for the lies: Yes? Putin and the CIA are certainly culpable. So is pretty much every politician (including Trump) and almost every government agency and private sector institution. It’s the world we live in.

  6. November 13, 2017

    While there’s nothing there I would argue, Ché, your underlying sense of … malaise, of “oh well there’s nothing we can do about it move along”, of go with the status quo … disturbing. It is, unlike you.

    Fascism can only sneak in the backdoor if we let it.

  7. realitychecker permalink
    November 13, 2017

    No consequences for liars is how we got here.

    How do you think we get out?

  8. Hugh permalink
    November 13, 2017

    I am always amused how one aspect of Russian meddling, the attempt to hack state voting processes, gets the play it does, with no mention of the obvious solution to it. Handmarked paper ballots. These can either be hand counted in public or machine counted with the ability to sample or recount the paper ballots as needed. Instead I hear a bunch of bull about how ballot system is under threat –from those nefarious Russkies. The truth is it is much more under attack by Republican voter suppression efforts.

    As I have said many times here, the Israelis interfere in our elections vastly more than any other country on the planet. AIPAC, anyone?

    The way Trump sucks up to the Russians pretty much plays into the hands of his critics. We should always remember that while his Establishment critics are usually right about him, they are generally wrong about everything else. The whole situation is bizarre. As President, you don’t ask, you tell. Trump should not be asking Putin if meddled in the US elections. He should be telling him that such meddling will not be tolerated and have severe adverse consequences. I agree that Russian meddling occurred in some areas but that it had little effect on the election. On the other hand, it has allowed everyone in the US political Establishment free rein to beat up on everything Russian. If Putin thinks he got anything out of his efforts, he’s nuts. Trump asking Putin about meddling is for me just more normalization of the weird. It’s like Roy Moore defense that he asked the mothers of some of the girls he dated if he could date them. That’s not a defense. If you have to ask their mothers, son, they are too young to date. And this takes me back to Ian’s point. A contest between who do you believe more Putin or the IC isn’t a realistic exercise but it is a weird one.

  9. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 13, 2017

    Fascism already snuck.

    Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “west” has been in a ne0-fascist reverie which has been made explicit any number of times — in the US, from the lawless interference in the 2000 election by the Supreme Court to the numerous wars of aggression that have taken place since. Corporate fascism is ingrained. Look at the increasing levels of punishment imposed on rebellious provinces of Europe, Africa, the Near and Far East for other examples.

    Our Rulers have worked hard to ensure there is little we, the Rabble, can do about it, too.

    Nevertheless, it’s a rotten and fragile system that can be blown over with a virtual feather. The question is which feather and when, and what direction the rotten edifice falls.

    Anyone who’s aware of what’s been happening for decades can’t help but be cynical. Cynical but not hopeless. Chaos may not lead to a better future, but it could. Rather than fret over the lies we’re immersed in, I’d rather seek for truth.

  10. Willy permalink
    November 13, 2017

    We start by being able to put sexual harassers into one pile, instead of an “our team” pile and a “their team” pile, then punishing them properly.

  11. bruce wilder permalink
    November 13, 2017

    It is polite to concede some truth to any foolish nonsense some one is adamant about. I find I do not want to be polite to those buying Russiagate, let alone those selling it.

    It is all such nonsense. I understand the willingness to concede “some” meddling, but “not enough” to have a decisive effect. It is a move like that of a psychotherapist who “joins” her patient’s delusion as a preliminary means of bringing him back to reality. But, do these people want to come back?

    It is shocking in a way to realise that prominent journalists have so little in the way of professional ethics. Or uncorrupted skills. But, equally shocking is the amoral cynicism of those driving this Media phenomenon and the gullibility of the general public.

    I might have hoped for some prophylactic effect from the experience of “WMD”, but I see little (beyond a few bloggers like Ian who keep their own counsel).

    The case of the intelligence agencies is peculiar: in some respects the agencies themselves and their career employees are just tools of elites who like the power-enhancing idea that there is “secret” knowledge available to the governors and not the governed. A few, like the CIA or NSA, have been practically assigned rogue elements by incompetent civilian leadership with ill-considered ideas about what is wise or possible. But, at this point, it is not the agencies I fear as much as a plutocracy drunk on its power, a power enhanced by propaganda of fear pushing people toward authoritarian attitudes and readying them for demagogues.

    The Democratic establishment wants to keep the flow of big donor campaign finance rolling along and avoid scrutiny for their general recklessness. Strangely, few have noted the Clintonistas taking a play from Karl Rove: attacking your enemy for your own sin. Every thing their planted stories suggest “the Russians” might have done on a tiny scale — Twitter bots and Facebook memes and oppo research involving spies and hacking voter registration and so on — the Clinton campaign itself did, sometimes at scale.

    Strangely, I think the Democratic establishment may well win out, preserving their grift with a turn to suburban Republican women voters disgusted by Trump’s style, but unconcerned by his policy cruelty. The Media, wholly owned by giant corporations, will be an insurmountable obstacle to mobilizing a mass of people behind a genuinely popular candidate of integrity. Too many like Rachel Maddow, too few see her as a monster.

  12. nihil obstet permalink
    November 13, 2017

    After WWII, the U.S. actually rather took pride in helping the people in other countries vote the right way (I might note that when they didn’t, we just overthrew the elected government. To be snarky, maybe Putin got the idea of meddling from our sterling work more recently in Ukraine, helping foment the coup there). We had a massive foreign propaganda operation, including serious funding for Voice of America which broadcast to the Soviets, whose government oppressed them by censorship. We claimed this censorship was unlike our government which allowed free speech to all.

    As global communication has become possible, the U.S. government has increasingly tried to distinguish between us, the good guys who get free speech, and all the thems, the bad guys who need to be restrained from misleading our citizens. I was educated with the idea that governments exist to protect humans’ inalienable rights and that’s why we had a revolution. I guess saying “We want special privileges and we think we have the power to get them” wasn’t a convincing moral argument for armed rebellion. Anyway I can’t see why any other entity should not have the right to speak regarding our elections. Is the issue Russian money in the elections? Hey, money’s speech. I know because the Supreme Court told me so. Is it the secrecy? Well, then we shouldn’t have set up secretive means of influencing elections.

    We have set up elections with a wide-open invitation for corruption. And we’re having a corrupt conversation when we work on “How can we keep our elections corruptible and still accuse our enemies of corrupting them?”

  13. Peter permalink
    November 13, 2017

    Hugh brought us something we sorely needed today, a little comedy. Paper Ballots are the answer to restoring faith in our elections not because of Russian meddling but because the crafty cyberpunk republicans have gamed the modern digital system along with denying the vote to millions of good little snowflakes.

    To make progress we must return to the manual paper system that the democrats used so effectively for ballot box stuffing and zombie voting to enable the true voice of the people to be heard. We wou;d probably have to import more immigrants to fill the counting houses but that would be useful for the Clintonites who could register these workers to vote for the Party.

  14. S Brennan permalink
    November 13, 2017

    I find myself in agreement with B Wilder when he says:

    “I find I do not want to be polite to those buying Russiagate, let alone those selling it. It is all such nonsense.”

    Nor do I believe Putin to be one shade more evil than any of the west’s august leaders. Indeed Putin seems to sustain power with far less violence and cruelty than any western leader. And one needs to add, that it is the west itself who funds/trains/arms various homicidal terrorists groups to go after Russia’s interests…were roles reversed the blood would flow…from sea to shining sea. Putin is playing the cards dealt Russia by Bill Clinton’s neocolonialist vision of a Russian vassal state spanning Asia and he is playing them well.

    Let me add, 95% of Americans have no interest in the disenfranchisement of Russia. Putin’s forceful rejoinder of the attempted subjection Russia is what any potential slaver in search of quarry might reasonably expect. As an American, I find it offensive that we condemn the same anti-colonial behavior in Putin we lauded in the founding fathers of this country.

  15. realitychecker permalink
    November 13, 2017

    “Corporations are persons” + “money is speech” = a prime example of two lies adding up to more than the sum of their parts.

    They add up to reliably predictable corporate control of everything.


  16. Troy permalink
    November 13, 2017

    There are bloggers who I respected giving this… propaganda legitimacy. It’s broken my heart, really, to see people whom I thought had more analytical and critical minds basically losing theirs over what are absolute fabrications.

    The more I read about who’s originating this propaganda, the less I want to do with it. It’s an awful intermarriage between neo-cons escaping from the Tea Party influenced Republican party trying to rehabilitate their image, and Clintononian security apparatus neo-libs tightening their hold over the Democrat party.

    It’s Iraq Yellow Cake, all over again.

  17. wendy davis permalink
    November 13, 2017

    i’m agnostic on whether or not putin ever lies (likely, yes), but in this little kerfuffle w/ trump, i’d go with putin’s version, partially due to the brevity of their exchange in the hallway. yep, he’s an oligarch, but he and lavrov sure have been weighted on the side of diplomacy many times.

    russiagate (at least the putin derangement syndrome) is at least a four-for-the-price of one. it proves that trump’s presidency is illegitimate, the clinton was robbed! (how does mz. brazile’s information affect that now?)…and that putin was the cause of brexit, cataloinan secession, the siberian volcano that caused one of the early extinction events on the planet, etc. too ‘destroy the EU, a long time goal of his! (wtf?) but of course it’s fed right into the greater russophobia altogether, and that NATO was right to repurpose itself after the cold war didn’t really end.

    so this week in brussels all of the nato puppets signed on to create two new commands to ‘stop russian aggression’, EU nations are being urged by Jens to have the private sector ‘invest’ in beefing up roads, bridges, ports, rail lines to carry all the troops and heavy equipment for a land war, as well as air, i guess. and the puppets are glad to comply, seemingly, because: safety.

    it’s no accident that in the constructed political economy there’s so much idiotic news and accusations about russia and putin, including in the proxy wars, from george soroos’s ‘open society european values (protecting feedom!)’ declarations: ‘Prague Declaration on seven urgent steps proposed by Western security experts “How the democratic West should stop Putin”, to the ‘first draft coalition’ of truth tellers, and other brave and fearless think tanks.

    ray mcgovern’s ‘Mocking Trump Doesn’t Prove Russia’s Guilt’ consortium news,
    November 13, 2017 has a roundup of a lot of the nonsense, most noteworthy for this subject being the ‘Seeking Real Answers section’ re: veteran intelligence professionals for sanity. and yep, when binney showed mike pompeo some of their research, he was mocked to the high heavens as a conspiracy theorist cuz he’d appearerd on RT, maybe sputnik. i guess the vaunted ‘intercept did a hit on him, and while i didn’t care to give pierre’s stable a hit, found coverage of their hit, much like this:

    “The Intercept was first to report on this meeting, with respected reporter James Risen co-authoring a biased report, starting with its headline “CIA Director Met Advocate of Disputed DNC Hack Theory–at Trump’s request. The details of the meeting were interspersed with attacks on Binney, and descriptions of his theorem that undermine it without citing any evidence.” ooops, i was wrong, it was maddow, who did the RT accusations.

    dunno how many different agitprop/warmongering ‘deep states’ there are, but…the fix is in re: russia and putin. the rest of the targets of the mueller investigations…are causing breathless hyperbole everywhere, as are the headlines concerning ‘the paradsie papers’: putin and his cronies come first. and on manafort, the alleged gulen kidnapper,, how many smoking guns for impeachment have been announced so far? ‘if they lead to herr T, that is’. what a system.

    but the bern’s people’s revolution folks via nick brana, will form a viable third party, and norman solomon and roots nation will make sure to reform the democrat party. riiiiight. sorry for any typos, my eyes are tired.

  18. Hugh permalink
    November 13, 2017

    Reality, unreality. Who was it who said we create our own reality, Cheney? It seems like the prevalent way so many view, well, everything. It is the sickness that eats away at our society. It infects the whole political spectrum. We end up with nothing but wingnut conservatives, a self-serving Establishment, and deluded progressives.

    Of course, the Russians meddled in the election. Putin is not some whiz kid or statesman. He is just a moderately clever thug. He saw an opportunity for a little mischief and took it, without any thought for the blowback. Did the Russians do everything they are accused of? Of course not. But what gets lost in all the mixing of reality and unreality is that their efforts were just a blip on the screen, barely noticeable and in no way should be used as cover for the facts that the Democratic party could have easily won the last election if its leaders stood for anything and if they had not rigged their selection process to choose a shameless grifter and one of the most disliked characters on the American political scene –which is really saying something. At the same time, the toxic interference of Israel in our electoral process which is both much greater and much more effective than anything the Russians came up with is given a complete pass, as in not even mentioned.

    Beyond all this, there is the destructive ownership of our political process by two wildly unrepresentative parties. And all the lying and cheating that goes on between them. There is the gerrymandering of the House, the electoral college of the Presidency, and a Senate in which the majority of the US population is represented by just 18 Senators. Despite Peter’s lies, voter fraud is negligible in US elections, but voter suppression is widespread. The result is one in which only the interests of a few are served, and my guess is for anyone reading this, those interests are not yours. But you still play the game.

    From a progressive perspective Mueller is no prize, but he is Establishment to the core. His investigations will be run by Establishment rules and this will cause endless problems for Trump. And there will be Russian connections to a lot of them. Trump, Trump’s family, and Trump cronies have plenty of dubious connections to Russian oligarchs and their money, and there was probably a lot of money laundering going on. To some extent, but again not in any significant way, these shady business connections overlapped with parts of the Trump campaign. Then there are the laughably bad memories of people like Sessions and Kushner concerning their meetings with Russians and about Russia, that just make them look both stupid and guilty as hell. All this just sets the stage though, because as some of us have been saying from the beginning, it is not the crime but the coverup. Some of those around Trump, like Manafort and Flynn, are crooks, and they probably will get convicted of some crime or other. Kushner too, possibly, but what will get Trump is his own stupidity and obstruction of justice.

    And however this really bad political opera plays out, we ordinary Americans will still be screwed. That’s reality. Try it. You might like it.

  19. Peter permalink
    November 13, 2017

    I guess Hugh can’t see how funny he is when he parrots fake news snowflake talking points about no voter fraud and massive voter suppression and then claims that I’m lying. I’ve waited for years for actual lists of the multitudes of qualified people who have been denied the vote for any reason. The no-ID activists can always produce a handful of confused or lazy citizens who didn’t vote but that isn’t a significant demographic.

    The refusal by some states to supply public voter registration records to an offical government investigation is a red flag that something is being hidden that is already known. A thorough comparison of who actually voted with who is acrtually qualified to vote using INS and other information would end this debate one way or another. Only citizens are qualified to vote and some of them have lost that right.

  20. November 13, 2017

    Only in wingnut heads can Hillary Clinton simultaneously be smart enough to mastermind a conspiracy to add millions of manufactured votes to her total, and dumb enough to do it all in deep blue states where it would have no effect on the election result.

  21. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 14, 2017

    At some point even the greatest deniers of Russian influence in the election will concede — in the darkness of night and in the privacy of their rooms, that yes, there might have been some hokey-pokey from the Ruskis, and the Kremlin may have had a hand in it. But now is not the time for such a concession, because the HillBeast is promoting the shit out of it as the reason why she lost. So long as The Hag endures, so long must Russia be held harmless.

    It’s a tribal/political thing more than anything else, and once you’ve chosen your tribe, that’s it.

    As Hugh and others point out, there’s a much greater issue over elections in this country, and Peter Pangloss inadvertently highlights it: the voting franchise is being denied to more and more Americans dismissed as “unworthy” and our duopoly is actively complicit. Voter suppression is a real thing — always has been in this country — the point being to restrict the vote to the reliable supporters of ones own tribe and prevent or fail to count the vote of any one else.

    Paper ballots hand counted in public have their own problems, but when a sufficient number of citizens are denied the franchise altogether, and/or a sufficient number of ballots are “lost” or not counted for other reasons, even the fairest counting system on earth will still produce the desired results of whichever faction of the Overclass wields the greatest power.

    The results of the 2016 presidential election weren’t supposed to happen. Many analysts gave Hillary a 90+% chance of winning, and if only the popular vote mattered, even with all the suppression and hokey-pokey going on, she would be sitting in the Oval Office now. But that’s not what happened.

    It wasn’t Russia’s fault. Their efforts may have amplified some of the already well known criticisms of the HellBitch, but so what? At the same time, elements of the Security State were going balls to the wall against Trump — or seemed to be. The fact that the election was being “monitored” by these same elementssuggest that these elements could easily have jiggered the results for their own desired outcome. Did they? Who knows? That’s not something that could be determined from the unverifiable results of the three states that mattered in the end.

    There is no way to verify the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — true of many other states as well — so we don’t know and we can’t know whether the outcome correctly reflected the vote or not. But Russia had nothing to do with that.

    The cries of Russia! Russia! Russia! obscure all of this and more, and the tribal rancour over it merely darkens the glass further. To whose advantage? Cui bono?

    Well, it isn’t us. That’s for double dang sure.

  22. StewartM permalink
    November 14, 2017


    But now is not the time for such a concession, because the HillBeast is promoting the shit out of it as the reason why she lost. So long as The Hag endures, so long must Russia be held harmless.

    You see that rabidly promoted on DKos. They are going nuts over Russia!! Wikileaks!! (even Snowden now is now a villain to some). Russia probably did “interfere” in our election, but by doing nothing more than what partisan hacks of both parties have long been doing (including buying ads to spread misleading or even false information). Yeah, sure, big money being able to spread misinformation is a bad thing, but foreign actors play only a small part on this; domestic actors are the main culprits. Once again, if you really want to stop this, you can contribute mightily the influence of big money on US politics by tax policy; if our rich don’t have the cash to buy media mouthpieces this problem will be greatly attenuated.

    And also, a news media more interesting in being “fair” to the point of treating outright falsehoods as merely a different perspective worthy of “debate” is culpable.

    But I look at DKos, and I shake my head in disgust; so many right-wing memes in play. This is not what the progressives of my youth were for.

  23. Peter permalink
    November 14, 2017


    I don’t think I have ever said that the RQ or Clintonites were smart but they are clever, opportunistic, cultish and driven. They thrive on repetition of bogus themes such as mass voter suppression and Russian meddling because they have a captured media to repeat it and not much else to offer.

    The Left Coast may produce useful information on non-citizen voter registration but the problem is national. The responses to the simple request for public information have been telling from flat refusal to immigration activists boldly stating that their non-citizens should have the right to vote.

  24. Sid Finster permalink
    November 14, 2017

    It is laughable that a country that has Citizens United, SuperPACs and Superdelegates, to name a few, thinks that $100K worth of FB ads (that may or may not be Russian sourced) ruined their democracy.

    Nobody really believes it either. Why? Because if anyone really believed that “Russia” was able to hijack a presidential election with over $1,000,000,000 in ad spend for less cash outlay than it takes to run a contested city council election in a mid-sized flyover city, then every advertiser and politician in the land would be shipping off freighters full of cash and begging this “Russia” to run their ad campaign.

    To do anything else would be the equivalent of bringing a butterknife to fight an opponent armed with a Gatling gun.

    Of course, it beggars belief that “Russia” is so otherworldly clever, has such a granular knowledge of the US political system and local outcomes as to humiliate professional politicians and strategists, but at the same time it never occurred to them to use their superhuman powers to elect a new Congress.

  25. wendy davis permalink
    November 14, 2017

    @ Peter: aside from the gerrymandering of house districts as hugh’s mentioned, my take is that the new jim crow laws against the poor, minorities, and elderly (who generally vote for the D team) are the ones in which the burgeoning no. of states require photo id for voting. this fellah joshua douglas at (srsly) calls the burgeoning movement to pass strict photo voter ID as a solution to an almost non-existent problem. he cites these numbers w/ hotlinks:

    “But in-person voter impersonation — the only kind of election fraud a voter ID would prevent — is virtually nonexistent. One researcher found that there were, at most, 31 possible instances of voter impersonation out of 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014. In last November’s elections there were only a handful of documented cases of voter fraud.”

    yep, that’s bullshit, but the new mcCarthyism blocking free speech may be a more long-lasting evil. elf sessions’ DoJ demanded that RT register as a foregin agent, but no, not aipac, j street, Netanyahoo, they’ve done so now, given the major punishments looming, and now note that ‘: ‘Social media companies then began blocking its adverts on such networks as Google, YouTube, and Twitter. They did that ahead of testimony in Congress, despite having no problem with RT before that.’

    as an exercise in utter unHoly hypocrisy, the anti-BDS israel vote is gaining cosponsors galore. atlanta black star notes (with a couple of my additions):

    “The bipartisan-sponsored bill, (ben cardin’s d-MD) S.720, also known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, would prohibit support for boycotts by international governmental organizations against Israel, with punishment for violators ranging from a penalty between $250,000 and $1 million, and/or up to 20 years in prison. In the Senate, the bill attracted 46 supporters [50 by today], 31 Republican and 15 Democratic, while the House version has 234 supporters from both sides of the aisle. Lobbying for the bill is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)— the pro-Israel group that helped write the legislation and reportedly has made its passage a top priority this year. AIPAC has faced criticism for promoting the right-wing policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, and competition from younger, progressive Jewish groups such as J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and IfNotNow, who oppose the occupation.”

    (as well as creepy-bo-peepy ’pastor’ john hagee’s Xians united for israel (CUFI). the bill actually includes individuals, not just ‘international organizations; i checked.)

  26. Peter permalink
    November 14, 2017


    Enough people either believe or just want to use this Trump/Putin fake conspiracy meme to keep grabbing the news cycle and feed their Trump Derangement Syndrome. This feeds their denial of the reality of their loser status which must be projected away from them using victimhood. These are cult like responses so trying to engage them in rational discussion is a fool’s errand.

    Some of these snowflakes still believe they can ressurect their dead dreams and return the humiliated Red Queen to power. Others don’t seem to care what happens just that they get satisfaction from bringing down Trump. Whenever any news comes out in anyway related to this meme they resume their frenzied connecting of dots and projecting certain victory.

  27. realitychecker permalink
    November 14, 2017

    @ StewartM

    “This is not what the progressives of my youth were for.”

    LMAO. Or even ten years ago . . .?

  28. Blissex permalink
    November 14, 2017

    «I wouldn’t be surprised if Canada tried to influence the election, along with about 100 other countries.»

    The biggest buyers of USA elections are the likudniks, the japanese, the chinese; they own quite a few congressmen and senators (especially the likudniks). Actually of course the biggest buyers of USA elections are corporations, regardless of where they are registered.
    The russians don’t have the sophistication and numbers to significantly influence USA elections., but russian oligarchs, usually anti-Putin ones, own a small chunk of the political systems of the UK and smaller countries like Cyprus.

  29. Blissex permalink
    November 14, 2017

    «mastermind a conspiracy to add millions of manufactured votes to her total, and dumb enough to do it all in deep blue states where it would have no effect on the election result.»

    That is though exactly what has happened, whether H Clinton masterminded it or not: the game is very simple, many Republicans want to prevent poor USA citizens who have the right to vote from voting, and many Democrats want to give poor immigrants who don’t have the right to vote the ability to vote regardless.
    Since election rules and enforcement are controlled by state and local governments, areas where Republicans are in a majority work hard to reduce the Democrat vote, and areas where the Democrats are a majority work also hard to increase the democrat vote.

    That is indeed largely pointless, because both parties manipulate eligbility to vote in the areas where they usually already win, but “every little helps”, especially in a state with marginal areas, and anyhow a party machine operator who delivers a bigger majority usually still gets kudos.

  30. bruce wilder permalink
    November 14, 2017

    The most serious and factual accusations against Russian meddling suppose that Russia acted to spread true information.

    The back-and-forth on voter fraud, vote suppression, and electoral integrity depends crucially on an increasingly low-involvement, low-information electorate, who do not expect much substantive benefit from politics. Both sides can synthesize a modicum of outrage without any effort to improve the electoral process.

    If the Democratic establishment cared about winning elections, they would invest in a 50-state strategy of increasing voter turnout and they would deliver on policy that benefits large numbers of people. They care about servicing their big donors, and that often requires being electoral losers, who cannot deliver for their voters. I am not saying Clinton expected to lose, but she worked hard to prevent the Party from winning. So, like Obama after 2010, no one expected anything. Conservative Democrats and their operatives are politically amoral beings who have found a successful strategy in marrying big donors and a tribally motivated electoral base to a politics of policy complexity and failure.

    The political morons on a site like DailyKos do not want to admit their powerlessness. It would rob politics of its entertainment value.

  31. Hugh permalink
    November 14, 2017

    many Democrats want to give poor immigrants who don’t have the right to vote the ability to vote regardless.

    Totally untrue. While Republicans have pushed for voter suppression laws to prevent non-existent voter fraud, the Democrats have done nothing similar. No is there any evidence that they have or that voter fraud, which is what this would be, is even a minor problem. And this from someone who has no use for Democrats. The truth is the Democrats have gone whole hog on wooing suburban Republicans. This is the failed Clinton strategy resurrected post-Trump. The other thing that undercuts this allegation is that Democratic get out the vote campaigns which such a “get poor illegals to vote” would require are virtually nonexistent.

  32. November 14, 2017


    I’m sure that in your head, it was just a “simple request for public information.” However, the reality is that when the Trump administration wanted states to provide personal information for millions of voters, which would then have been posted online for anyone to see, the states–including many run by Republicans–rightfully told them to go fuck themselves.

    This says nothing about voter fraud and everything about how stupid the administration’s request was.

  33. November 14, 2017

    And how stupid anyone who would see it otherwise is.

  34. Peter permalink
    November 14, 2017


    These lame excuses for not producing public records that are produced regularly for local politiciams, interested groups and even private vendors are little more than Trump Derangement Syndrome. Some republicans also suffer from the TDS malady.

    The claim that this data would be posted online is BS fake news. The only possible but not probable way it could be releases is through a FOIA demand which would be refused.

  35. Willy permalink
    November 15, 2017

    Did somebody actually use the phrase “Trump Derangement Syndrome” in a serious context?

    Did Tillerson’s state department just hire a Russian firm with KGB ties to guard the US embassy in Moscow?

    I think the correct term should be “American Derangement Syndrome”. God help us all.

  36. November 15, 2017

    It’s Peter Parrot, Willy. Expect to see more of it.

  37. Peter permalink
    November 15, 2017


    I think you know that gerrymanding is illegal and redistricting to benefit the party in power is not. There are limits and the courts usually throw out any redistricting plans that even appear to jerrymand.

    If there was any significant number of people actually identified as being blocked from voting by ID requirements you might have a real case but they don’t exist. Everyone is included in the ID requirment even though everyone knows the democrats are prone to voting corruption as was seen just last year in the democrat primary.

    Conservatives use the ID requirement to assure their base they are keeping an eye on the corrupt dems and everyone else and the Clintonites use it just as they use the gerrymanding BS as a crutch to try and excuse their loses.

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