Monday, January 16, 2017

7.0 Master of Puppets

PutinMasterOfPuppets.jpgThose of you who are not new to this blog know I’m not a fan of fake news. At best, it offers an unfounded twist on recent events. At worst, these stories are completely fabricated and readily believed by people already primed to believe the worst about the targets of the attacks. These distortions make genuine debate impossible. Most of a conversation is spent trying to disprove the bullshit instead of any attempt to find common ground or build some foundation conducive to any real conversation. Ideas get rejected with insults and bile. Critical thinking is replaced with vile accusations of bias.

Recently, CNN broke a story bringing to light the fact that Obama & Chump both received a two-page addendum to the intelligence report detailing Russian interference in U.S. elections. It reported that there was a dossier circulating throughout the intelligence and political communities that claimed Russia had compromising information on Chump. Later that evening, Buzzfeed released the actual dossier which provided the lurid details: Allegedly, Russia was blackmailing Chump, threatening to release the details of unsanctioned business deals, as well as video evidence of Trump carousing with Russian prostitutes. The Daily Beast went even further, actually reporting some of the more lurid details, including allegations that Chump watched as some of the prostitutes urinated on each other, hence #GoldenShowerGate.

GoldenShower (265x320).jpgNow Chump, along with his propaganda machine, after defending their own stories that were debunked, are trying to file this story as just another in the wave of fake news that was part of the attempt to derail HRC’s presidential campaign. This story has some major differences, however. First of all, the story CNN reported is true. There is no doubt that both Obama and Chump were briefed on the dossier. In printing the dossier, Buzzfeed pointed out that the allegations in the file were unsubstantiated. And even though they printed the gory details, even The Daily Beast admitted there was no evidence that the stories themselves were true, only that they existed.

The stories were already out there. The only question is, how valid are they? The source for the story, a former MI6 agent who now runs his own company conducting opposition research for political candidates, is considered reliable, having had a long relationship with other intelligence agencies. Some media reports have called him the Real James Bond. Of course, just because he uncovered the information does not make it true. According to a recent BBC report, the Real James Bond isn’t the only source with compromising information. Regardless, without any actual evidence, the story amounts to mere rumors. But, based on what we know about the man already, regarding his sexual proclivities, can anyone really claim with any authority that the allegations are patently false?

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Understanding that it’s not so far fetched, let’s imagine for a moment that there is some substance behind the story. Wouldn’t that completely change the narrative of Chump and why he ran, in the first place? If the allegations could be verified, it might also mean the Chump didn’t run by choice. Instead, he only ran at the behest of Vladimir Putin! His highly divisive campaign would make more sense when compared to the techniques that were used to elect pro-Russia candidates in the Ukraine.

It would explain why Putin’s propaganda apparatus, like RT (formerly Russia Times) & Sputnik, were so willing to publish lies and misinformation, why they rebranded Russia & Putin as allies to, not only Chump supporters, but any HRC opponents, in general, as well as Americans already disenchanted with our political system. It wasn’t just important that everyone they targeted voted for Chump. If enough potential voters were disgusted enough to stay home, that in itself could guarantee a Chump victory. I use if, but isn’t that pretty much what happened?

TrumpPupeteer (320x210).jpgI’ve given Chump a lot of credit for his apparent mastery of mass manipulation, his ability to enchant the disenchanted into believing he had all the answers. He was able to substitute raw frankness for truth, feelings for facts. He played large swaths of the public perfectly, his foibles attracting new followers, for the most part. There is little doubt Chump is a bit of a puppet master. What would that make Putin?

We already have evidence of sketchy communications between Chump’s camp and Putin’s. Even if the details of #GoldenShowerGate are dubious, evidence still points to some collusion. Chump may be pulling plenty of strings, but Putin’s involvement would make him the Master of Puppets.

MedvedevPuppet (320x242).jpgThere’s no doubt Putin has, or has had, his hands up the backs of world leaders, including deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, to Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president of Russia for a time so Putin could avoid a constitutional crisis for serving too many consecutive terms. Speaking of Yanukovych, his 2010 campaign was spearheaded by no other than Paul Manafort. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he also served as Chairman of Chump's 2016 campaign, until it came out that, in his work with Yanukovych, Manafort may have received $12.7 million in illegal funds.

Of course, we can all try to chalk this all up as nothing more than mere rumors and coincidence. As I have already said, there is no hard evidence linking Chump to Putin. Yet.

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What there is, however, is enough to warrant awareness. Better yet, we can’t afford to ignore it. Despite a bipartisan effort to investigate all of these claims, who knows what will happen to these investigations once Chump takes office. There’s nothing stopping enough politicians from making a deal: you pass whatever legislation we want, and we’ll ignore chumminess with Putin. In that case, it will be up to us to protect ourselves from Putinism. We need to start by pushing back on the inane idea that a manipulative, homophobic killer like Putin is harmless, and that we want good relations with Russia. Putin doesn’t want good relations. Putin wants control.

If we can snap enough of those who have fallen under Chump’s sway out of it, when we can feel those strings tugging us all, we can grab onto them tightly and pull back. If we can just tug on them hard enough, I have no doubt we can pull the masters down. We need an America with no strings attached.

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