The special counsel investigation may have wrapped up, but its findings might well be extraordinarily incomplete. Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors and investigators focused on Russia’s interference in American electoral politics and alleged links between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian officials or other Russian government-linked persons. Unless there are some very big surprises as yet unseen in the Mueller report, it seems the special counsel completely ignored the greatest black propaganda operation in modern history: the enormously successful enterprise, perpetrated by Russia and played out with the full cooperation, deliberate or unwitting, of America’s Democratic Party and intelligence community.
The term “useful idiot” has been a favorite of the anti-Trump media over the past two years. They used it, of course, to describe the president and his alleged ties to Russia, now officially debunked by Mueller’s final report. The origins of this derogatory label are in dispute, but it has been widely attributed to former Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. No quote from Lenin includes the term, but Lenin did not speak English, so this comes as no surprise. “Useful idiots” were – and are today – those idealistic Westerners who gravitate to communist and socialist ideologies while refusing to acknowledge the brutality and oppression that come with those political systems.
Through their actions and words, useful idiots promote, advocate for, and advance a system that is not in their own interests but which they falsely believe will create a better society. Some of them are well aware of their sedition, while some are ignorant and naïve. The Trump-Russia collusion myth exposed a great number of useful idiots who did all they could to bring down an elected U.S. president, an event that would have enormously boosted Russian interests in Russia’s ongoing struggle to compete with American power and influence on the world stage.
R or D – It’s All the Same to the Russians
Since at least the end of World War II, and almost certainly previous to that time, the foreign policy priority of the Russian government has been the destabilization of the West. That decades-long effort primarily has targeted the United States and the United Kingdom, the two Western countries with the greatest military power and largest global spheres of influence.
When Russia made covert efforts to destabilize and undermine the American political process in 2015 and 2016, the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, were the primary targets. It takes no deductive genius to figure out why: The Russians – along with almost everybody else – assumed Clinton would become the next U.S. president.
Ultimately, however, the Russian government does not have a strong preference for who leads the U.S. government. Russia sees America as a military, economic, and political adversary and assumes this state of affairs will not change regardless of which party controls Congress or which individual occupies the White House. Arguably, it is advantageous to the Russian government to have America as a perpetual adversary, but that is a topic to be explored at another time.
The point is that Russia seeks to destabilize America – both politically and culturally – regardless of which party holds power. Given that fact, it would be childish to imagine that Russia put all its eggs in the “President Clinton” basket. Once Trump won the Republican Party nomination, the Russians were likely still assuming a Clinton victory but saw no harm in putting out compromising stories about Trump.
Steele Dossier – Russia’s Political Weapon
Former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele was well connected in Russia, and it was to him that Fusion GPS turned to gather opposition research on Trump. Fusion GPS is the firm hired by the Clinton campaign to seek that information. Steele put together a collection of reports about Trump’s personal and business activities. Some of those reports came directly from dubious articles Steele found on the internet, but most of the salacious material in the “Steele dossier” originated with Russian intelligence.
Contrary to numerous media reports and even statements from former U.S. intelligence community officials, hardly a single word in the Steele dossier has been corroborated. A careful study of articles claiming that the dossier’s details have been verified shows that those articles merely cite other media articles making the same claims. It is an exercise in circular confirmation bias.
Steele did not care, though, that the reports he compiled were dubious; he despised the Republican nominee and was – as he once told Justice Department official Bruce Ohr – “desperate” to prevent Trump from winning the election.
Steele brought his dossier to Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson, and the two shopped the material around to the U.S. media. Even left-leaning news organizations declined to publish details of the dossier because they were unverified, though Buzzfeed jumped in eagerly. The dossier – more than one version of it, in fact – also found its way to the FBI. The Bureau did not succeed in verifying the information and allegations contained in the dossier; nevertheless, the agency used it as exhibit A in an application for a warrant to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
In addition to the dossier, the FBI threw in some media articles for good measure, even though these articles had been written using information leaked to reporters by the Bureau itself and fed to them by Fusion GPS.
Time to Investigate the Real Culprits
The Russia collusion story took on a life of its own, feeding upon itself and growing into what became an enormously destabilizing and divisive investigation. The Russians must have been chuckling into their borscht. Stupid Americans were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and Russian intelligence had barely lifted a finger.
If the Russians really were intent on sowing distrust and chaos among the American electorate and political class – and they certainly were – they had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They owe that success to Hillary Clinton, Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe. These people were the real useful idiots, along with a host of others: Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and several other FBI and DOJ officials. Scads of left-wing journalists who promoted the Russia collusion story are likewise implicated.
Everyone who was and is involved in continuing the destabilization of the American political system by perpetrating the harassment of a legitimate U.S. president is culpable. Members of Congress, including Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), continue to do Vladimir Putin’s bidding, as did all the others. The only question left to be answered is whether any of these useful idiots – in politics, in the media, and in the intelligence community – did what they did out of incompetence and blind hatred or consciously functioned as Russian assets. Given the monumental efforts to investigate President Trump over fictional cooperation with the Russians, it is not too much to ask that each and every one of these individuals also be investigated.
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