Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bannon Is STILL Colluding With The Kremlin To Undermine America


On Saturday, Israel's Haaretz reported, with a sense of irony, that Trump National Security chief H.R. McMaster is under intense attack from the Bannon wing of the GOP by being "controlled by rich Jews" and "hostile to Israel." This coordinated attack, Haaretz reports, "is coming from media outlets and writers affiliated with Steve Bannon, President Trump's senior political adviser, who has been accused in the past of making anti-Semitic comments. The campaign against McMaster intensified after he fired a number of mid-level officials from the National Security Council, who were considered loyal to Bannon and to the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn... The driving force behind the campaign has been far-right blogger Mike Cernovich, who started sharing links to a website called, McMaster Leaks, which is devoted to attacks on McMaster, on social media."
The website featured a brazen anti-Semitic caricature depicting McMaster and retired General David Petraeus, who is considered close to a number of senior NSC officials-- as two puppets being controlled by Jewish billionaire George Soros, who himself is being controlled by "the Rothschilds," the famously rich Jewish family of bankers. After the caricature was mocked on social media, the website edited it, replacing the word "Rothschilds" on the top of the pyramid with the word "Saudis," but keeping in Soros depiction in place.
The New York Times' Peter Baker, went a little deeper into the anti-McMaster campaign and seems to have found where Bannon is getting his on-line army for the campaign: the Kremlin. For real.
Conservatives have been dubious about General McMaster since the start, but opened up a concerted assault on him this week after he pushed out Ezra Cohen-Watnick, his senior director for intelligence, the latest of at least four hard-liners to leave the National Security Council staff in recent weeks.

They seized on a conservative website’s report that General McMaster had renewed the security clearance of Mr. Obama’s last national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, amid questions about her handling of intelligence eavesdropping on Russians that overheard Trump associates. And they blamed him when The Washington Post obtained leaked transcripts of phone conversations between Mr. Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

“General McMaster has to be fired because he is the captain of the ship and he has allowed that ship to get out of control and he can no longer be trusted with that responsibility,” Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, an advocacy group, said in an interview.

Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, another group on the conservative right, said on a radio program on Friday that General McMaster was “insubordinate to his commander in chief” on matters including Syria and Islamic radicalism.

The ferocity of the attacks coming from the faction of the party allied with Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, had General McMaster’s associates convinced that it was no coincidence. At one point on Friday, Breitbart News, formerly run by Mr. Bannon, had close to a dozen headlines on its home page about General McMaster, like “McMaster ‘Deeply Hostile to Israel and to Trump.’”

The #FireMcMaster hashtag was tweeted more than 50,000 times since Wednesday. Echoing the drumbeat were social media organs tied to the Russian government. According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan group created to focus attention on Russian interference in the West, the top hashtag among 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations at one point on Thursday was #FireMcMaster.
In an ostensibly unrelated OpEd for the Washington Post, Anne Applebaum tackled the non-response from the U.S. government to the aggressive Russian cyber war being waged against America. She pointed out that "conspiracy theories can be passed along by networks of bots and trolls in seconds... America’s reputation abroad has plunged in many countries. Conspiracy theories have never been easier to create and pass on, both abroad and at home. A part of the U.S. population right now believes that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin is a “Christian” leader fighting against the Islamic State in Syria. In fact his government represses religion and is not particularly interested in the battle against the Islamic State at all."
Yet at the moment, there is no systematic U.S. or Western response to Russian, Chinese or Islamic State disinformation. Attempts to keep track of it are uneven. There is no group or agency inside the U.S. government dedicated solely to this task. And, thanks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, it looks like there won’t be anytime soon.

Despite a congressional decision allocating $80 million for this purpose, Tillerson has refused to spend the money. This is most certainly not, as Tillerson’s aide R.C. Hammond has claimed, because there is no plan to spend the money: Officials at State have told me that discussions on the issue are well advanced. Nor is it because State doesn’t have the capacity to spend it, or because the department has too many bureaucrats. From the beginning, the plan was always to create a small internal group to spend a large chunk of the money outside the department and outside the government, for example supporting Russian-language media, which can debunk myths told in the Russian media far better than outsiders could.

The real reason is because we don’t have a president like Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan or, frankly, even Jimmy Carter in the White House. We don’t have a president, and therefore we don’t have a secretary of state, who wants to stop conspiracy theories, promote democracy, bolster alliances and defend America’s reputation abroad. Instead of a president who identifies foreign disinformation as a problem that needs a solution, we have a president who thinks it serves his interests. If this were the Cold War, in other words, we would be poised to lose.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home