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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/20/20

The Damage Russiagate Has Done

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From Consortium News

An inhabitant of Twitterland named "Willow Inski" took to the keyboard on Oct. 11, asking why anyone still accepts official accounts of the crucial theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta in the spring of 2016.

Excellently observed, Willow. And at just the right moment. At this point we are amid a frenzy of what Hannah Arendt called "defactualization" in a 1971 essay she titled "Lying in Politics." Facts are fragile, Arendt astutely observed, because they can so easily be manipulated to produce a desired image. "It is this fragility," she wrote, "that makes deception so very easy up to a point, and so tempting."

The latest example of this phenom concerns the emails of Hunter Biden, candidate Joe's errant son, which persuasively incriminate both in very profitable influence-peddling schemes when Papa was Barack Obama's veep.

Nobody denies the facts as published last week in The New York Post, not even Biden père et fils, but the facts are once again mutilated with assertions that it is another case of the Rrrrrrussians spreading disinformation.

This is what we get after four years of the Russia collusion b.s., otherwise known as Russiagate. Anything goes if implicating Russia solves a political problem for the Democrats and keeps the war machine going for the Pentagon and the national security state. It defers the moment at some point it will come when the press is exposed for its radically stupid overinvestment in the Russiagate nonsense. The price America has already begun to pay is very high.

Willow's expression of perplexity comes after an especially lively season of revelations as regards what must count as the largest disinformation op in U.S. history. It is now six months since the Russiagate hoax and I am fine with President Donald Trump's term for it began its final crash into a pile of piffle. While it remains to be seen whether more evidence of political chicanery is coming, what evidence we already have is more than sufficient to identify Russiagate as the probable criminal fraud it was from the start.

I am refreshed that Willow Inski, who describes herself as an "attorney, wife, mother, proud American," sees through this extravagant ruse. And yet, as she notes, a lot of people don't. A lot of people are "still taking at face value" all the misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies our newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters have purveyed incessantly for the past four years.

Why is a very large question. All possible answers are disturbing. But here is another big one we get to before that: When we consider together all its many consequences, has Russiagate destroyed what remained of American democracy before illiberal liberals, spooks, law enforcement, and the press colluded to erect the dreadful edifice?

The Damage Done

Your columnist's answer rests on the most scrupulously precise definition of Russiagate one can manage: What we have witnessed these past four years is an attempted palace coup against a sitting president.

Cold comfort it is that the gang that couldn't shoot straight bungled the job. It has also created a Democratic default position: When wrongdoing by Democrats is credibly exposed, automatically blame Russia. Among much else, that has led to unnecessary tension with a nuclear power. This damage will long stay with us.

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Patrick Lawrence is a columnist, author, editor, and educator. He has published five books and currently writes foreign affairs commentary for Consortium News and other publications. He served as a correspondent abroad for many years and is (more...)
 

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