How Russia’s RT became the target of CIA, FBI and NSA’s anticlimactic ‘Big Reveal’

Published on Global, by Bryan Macdonald, Jan 7, 2017.

The eagerly awaited Director Of National Intelligence’s (DNI) report “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” didn’t need such a long winded title. They could have just called it We Really Don’t Like RT.  

Almost every major western news outlet splashed this story. But it was probably the New York Times’ report which was the most amusing. America’s “paper of record” hailed the DNI’s homework as “damning and surprisingly detailed.” Then a few paragraphs later admitted the analysis contained no actual evidence … //

… Plumbing the depths:

So how bad is this report? You’d have to say on a scale of 1-10, it’d be eleven. The core message appears to be that having a point of view which is out of sync with the liberal popular media is considered a hostile act by US spooks. And it’s specifically the liberal press’ worldview they are defending here. Now, it’s up to you to judge whether this support, from state actors, is justified or not. The DNI’s submission is ostensibly the work of highly qualified intelligence experts, but everything you learn about RT comes from publicly available interviews and Tweets posted by this channel’s own people. Yet, we are supposed to believe how the best Russia brains of three agencies – the CIA, FBI and NSA – laboured to produce this stuff? That said, the latter doesn’t appear to be fully on board, offering “moderate” confidence, in contrast to the other’s “high confidence.” Approximately a third of the document centers on RT. And it appears that we should swallow how RT succeeded where the combined might of CNN, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post and the New York Times and others failed in influencing the US election. Not to mention the reality where 500 US media outlets endorsed Clinton and only 25 President-elect Donald Trump. It’s time to scream: “stop the lights!” Meanwhile, the “background info” on RT offered here appears to have been compiled on the basis of poorly translated decade old articles and long-obsolete stats. As a result, the only current stuff, actually relevant to the 2016 election, comes down to “Russia hacked US election because RT criticized Clinton.” The absurdity of the claim is evidently lost on the authors.

Fragile facts: … //

… The DNI’s report is beyond bad. And it’s scary to think how outgoing President Obama has stirred up a nasty diplomatic battle with Russia based on intelligence so devoid of insight and quality. There is nothing here which suggests the authors have any special savvy or insight. In fact, you could argue how a group of students would’ve assembled something of similar substance by simply reading back issues of The New York Times.

But the biggest takeaway is that it’s clear how the calibre of Russia expertise in America is mediocre, if not spookily sparse. And while this report might be fodder for amusement, the actual policy implications are nothing short of dangerous.

(full text).

(Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist, who is based in Russia).


4Chan claims to have fabricated anti-Trump report as a hoax, on Zero Hedges, by Tyler Durden, Jan 10, 2017;

Globalist Leaders Ensure North American Integration Mechanisms Remain in Place, on Dissident Voice, by Dana Gabriel, January 10, 2017;

What’s New: Treaty Alliance Against TarSands Expansion, as a link on Socialist Project, Jan 10, 2017: the seed of the Treaty was planted on April 10, 2015, when, the day before leading the 25,000 people climate march in Quebec City, a number of Indigenous leaders and Indigenous representatives from across Canada, including a number of leading activists from our thriving Indigenous grassroots movements, met to strategize about the climate change crisis, including the threat of Tar Sands expansion … continue on Treaty Alliance, (with downloads in en and fr);

US Government Tries and Fails to Play Media Critic on RT, on, By Adam Johnson, Jan 10, 2017;

What does it mean to smash the state? This is our great challenge – Leo Panitch, on Left East, Jan 10, 2017;

Monetary Policy Can’t Levitate a Broken Economy, on Institute for New Economic Thinking, by Thomas Ferguson, Jan 9, 2017:  as part of an International Economy symposium, INET Research Director Tom Ferguson assessed the challenge facing central bankers through the lens of the missing virtues of Dorothy’s travel companions in the Wizard of Oz; on en.wikipedia:

American Media Must Do Better in 2017, an open letter to the American media from journalists inside it and out, on, by Concerned Journalists, Jan 9, 2017: … for too long, news outlets have prioritized their bottom line over real stories, at the expense of the American people. Stories about the vast systemic problems in America, from war to staggering income inequality to climate change to the amount of money being spent on our political system, are perpetually eclipsed by a 24-hour circus of infotainment …; /FAIRstore;

Economic updates with Richard D. Wolff, uploaded by Democracy At Work:

Global Capitalism: Trump’s Plans for Jobs, Taxes, Trade [DECEMBER 2016], 91.40 min, uploaded by Democracy At Work, Dec 14, 2016;

Richard D Wolff’s YouTube Channel; /videos; /playlists; /Discussion; /Description (about);

Zwischenbilanz, auf Mein privater Garten, 20. Okt 2005;

… and this:

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