From Consortium News
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
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The Clinton machine -- running on fumes after Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid -- is pulling out all remaining stops to block Donald Trump's inauguration, even sinking into a new McCarthyism.
In joining a recount effort with slim hopes of reversing the election results, Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias cited a scurrilous Washington Post article that relied on a shadowy anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that issued a "black list" against 200 or so Internet sites, including some of the most respected sources of independent journalism, claiming they are part of some Russian propaganda network.
In classic McCarthyistic fashion, no evidence was supplied, simply an anonymous smear. But The Washington Post, which itself has devolved into a neoconservative propaganda conveyor belt, published the attack apparently without contacting any of the targeted groups.
Despite the obvious journalistic problems with this article, the desperate Clinton campaign treated it like a lifeline to its drowning hopes for reversing the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.
Announcing that the Clinton campaign would join the recount started by Green presidential nominee Jill Stein aimed at three key Trump states -- Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- Clinton's campaign counsel Elias mentioned the Post story as one of the reasons.
"The Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the 'fake news' propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election," Elias wrote.
Pro-Clinton media outlets piled on. Daily Kos wrote that "Even if they never touched a voting machine, there's absolutely no doubt: Russia hacked the election."
Besides the three recounts, the Clinton campaign's last-ditch scheme to blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's failure also involves lobbying the electors to the Electoral College to flip their votes from Trump to Clinton. The argument is that Trump must be part of some grand Russian conspiracy along with those 200 Web sites.
As bizarre as this conspiracy mongering has become, it is quickly emerging as a new Washington "group think." All the "smart people" at the major networks and newspapers -- as well as many Democratic insiders -- are just sure that it's all true.
They have conflated the hysteria over some "fake news" sites -- apparently run by some entrepreneurs who realized that pro-Trump "news" got lots of clicks whether the stories were real or not -- with the reality that some independent news sites have questioned the U.S. government's extreme anti-Russian propaganda.
Plus, there was the claim by James Clapper, the Obama administration's Director of National Intelligence, that the U.S. intelligence community believes that Russian hackers were responsible for giving Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. There, too, however, Clapper has provided no evidence to support his claim, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied receiving the leaked emails from the Russian government.
The Russians Did It!
Nevertheless, the Russians have become the latest scapegoats for why Hillary Clinton lost. It wasn't that she had severe problems as a candidate, carrying heavy baggage from a long line of controversies and recording extremely high negatives from voters. It couldn't have been that lots of Americans didn't like or trust her or that she offered no inspirational message or coherent narrative of how she would govern.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Secretary of State John Kerry before meetings at the Kremlin on Dec. 15, 2015.
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