‘Red Scare 2′, Russia and the 2016 US election

Published on RT, Nov 6, 2016.

Among the many ways in which the 2016 US presidential election has been out of the ordinary is the invocation of Russia as a looming threat to American democracy, basically putting “Putin on the ballot” in the words of the Washington Post.

Russia was the topic that attracted the most attention during all three presidential debates and the vice-presidential one, easily surpassing every other subject by a wide margin. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was a distant second, while taxes brought up the third place.

(chart: total mentions at the debates)

Consider Hillary Clinton’s spin in the third debate, on October 20, when instead of responding to a question about a particular phrase in one of her paid speeches to Wall Street, she blamed Russia.

“What’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russians have engaged in espionage against Americans,” Clinton said, accusing the “highest levels of the Russian government” and “Putin himself” of the cyberattacks on the US. “They have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet.”

“That was a great pivot,” Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump shot back. “Off the fact that she wants open borders. How did we get on to Putin?”

“He’d rather have a puppet as president,” Clinton said.

“No, you’re the puppet,” Trump responded.

Lost in translation: … //

… DNC hack and the ‘Red Scare’: … //
… Breedlove, Powell and DCLeaks: … //
… Publishing Podesta before WikiLeaks? … //
… Trump’s Putin ‘bromance’: … //

… One of the Podesta emails appears to corroborate this explanation. On December 21, 2015, The Hill columnist Brent Budowski advised Podesta to deflect uncomfortable questions about ISIS by going after Russia.

“Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria,” Budowsky wrote.

The rest is history.

(full text).

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