How Team Hillary played the press for fools on Russia

Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just pay for the Kremlin-aided smear job on Donald Trump before the election; she continued to use the dirt after the election to frame her humiliating loss as a Russian conspiracy to steal the election.

Bitter to the core, she and her campaign aides hatched a scheme, just 24 hours after conceding the race, to spoon-feed the dirty rumors to an eager liberal media and manufacture the narrative that Russia secretly colluded with her neophyte foe to sabotage her coronation.

But it was Hillary who was trying to kneecap Trump, even after he licked her, fair and square, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other blue states.

Exhibit A is the book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. In light of this week’s revelation that Hillary’s campaign funded the dirty anti-Trump “Steele” dossier, the book takes on a new significance. It reveals:

“Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

The plan, according to the book, was to push journalists to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign,” and it succeeded to a fare-thee-well. After the election, coverage of the Russian “collusion” story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage.

A new Media Research Center study finds that, since the inauguration, major TV news networks have devoted an astonishing 1,000 minutes out of a total 5,015 minutes of Trump administration coverage discussing speculation that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Moscow in hacking Clinton campaign emails, “which means the Russia story alone has comprised almost one-fifth of all Trump news this year.” In contrast, they so far have devoted just 20 seconds to the more substantive scandal of Hillary and her husband possibly trading US uranium rights for Russian cash.

MRC analysts also found that more than a third of the networks’ Russia “scandal” coverage was based on anonymous sources who worked in the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department.

Though some of that coverage has proved erroneous, leading to retracted stories and fired reporters, the damage is done. Trump’s approval ratings have suffered, and the Russia investigation has distracted the administration.

Which was also part of Hillary’s plan.

In March, former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri summed up the post-election strategy in a Washington Post column comparing “Russiagate” to Watergate and encouraging the press and other Democrats to “turn the Russia story against Trump.”

“If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us,” she advised. “Polls show that voters are now concerned about the Russia story and overwhelmingly support an independent investigation.”

In short, Hillary couldn’t beat Trump with the political dirt she secretly purchased during the campaign, so she tried to cripple his presidency with help from an overwhelmingly anti-Trump media. Framing Trump as some sort of modern-day KGB plant was an easy sell, since the pro-Democrat media were also searching for a scapegoat to rationalize the crushing defeat of their shared liberal agenda at the polls.

The irony is, it may have in fact been Hillary who came closer to colluding with the Russians in smearing Trump as a Russian traitor than anything Trump did in trying to beat Hillary. The information in the dossier she bought for millions came from Russian intelligence sources, and her lawyers brokered the deal with a Kremlin-tied lobbyist. When it failed to stop Trump, the Russia paymaster turned into the Russia spinmeister.

Now we really know “What Happened.”

Joe Biden for President 2020

Uncle Joe is back and ready to take a hands-on approach to America’s problems! Joe Biden has a good feel for the American people and can smell what they really want deep down. Joe is ready for a fight and will give a good ol’ fashioned pounding to anybody who gets in his way!

In 1996, Senator Joe Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. This law also prevented states from recognizing same sex marriages.

Senator Joe Biden authored and voted for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which initiated the “3 Strikes and You’re Out” policy which has resulted in many people spending life sentences in jail for minor crimes. He nicknamed it the “Biden Bill.”

In 1982, Senator Joe Biden initially voted for a constitutional amendment which would have allowed states to overturn Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

In the 1970’s Joe Biden stated that “I have become convinced that busing is a bankrupt concept.” He actively worked to oppose busing as a way to desegregate schools. Biden even wrote letters seeking the support of people who thought schools should be segregated by race.

Senator Joe Biden, who at the time was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted for the resolution to authorize military involvement in Iraq. The Iraq war resulted in the death of 4,424 US military members and cost taxpayers $2.4 trillion.

Harsher mandatory minimum sentences for drug use, civil asset forfeiture without a conviction, and imposing death penalty for drug related murders – this is Joe Biden’s legacy. He voted for both the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and its 1988 counterpart and claimed George H. Bush’s war on drugs was “not tough enough, bold enough, or imaginative enough.”

Canada “at war” with Russia, high-level Ottawa conference told

Leading Defence Ministry officials and Canada’s military top brass used a Canadian Defence Association Institute (CDAI) conference in Ottawa last week to press for tens of billions of dollars in additional military spending to prepare for future wars.

Held under the title “How to position Canada in a world of great power plays,” the conference focused on the strategic threat Russia and China represent for Canada’s ruling elite. To counter this purported threat, speaker after speaker called on Ottawa to expand its already vast, global military-strategic partnership with US imperialism, and in particular for the “modernization” of the Canada-US joint North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).

Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, invoked a nightmare scenario in which Canada is forced to deal with attacks launched by Moscow or Beijing with hi-tech weaponry that NORAD’s current radar systems, which were last upgraded during the Cold War, are incapable of coping with. “We’re facing new, more advanced conventional missiles that can be launched from further away, travel faster and are more maneuverable,” said Vance. “More importantly, they have the potential to hold North American decision-making hostage in a period of conflict, let alone threaten our force generation capacity and critical infrastructure. Even a modest attack could hamper or cripple Canadian response to crisis—or harm Canadians or critical infrastructure.”

Vance’s drastic warnings were echoed by almost every other speaker, with general agreement among those present that conflict with Russia has already begun. “This is not an interwar period. The war is on,” asserted Frederick Kagan, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “The principle challenge is our own failure to recognize we are involved in a great scale conflict with Russia.”

The Trudeau government already dramatically intensified Canadian imperialism’s preparation for great-power conflict when it tabled a new National Defence Policy in 2017 that motivated a 73 percent increase in military spending by 2026. In an address to Parliament introducing the new policy, then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, a notorious anti-Russia war hawk, placed great emphasis on Canada’s participation in the two imperialist world wars of the first half of the twentieth century. She proclaimed that this history shows that “hard power,” i.e., the ability to wage war, has always been part of Canada’s foreign policy and must remain so in the future.

The new military spending is being used to purchase a new fleet of fighter jets, upgrade Canada’s submarines, construct a new fleet of warships and obtain other modern weapons systems, including armed drones. This massive rearmament program is supported by the entire political establishment, including the social-democratic New Democrats, which waged an election campaign last fall based on the need to spend tens of billions of additional dollars on the armed forces.

In addition, the Trudeau government has further integrated Canada’s armed forces into US imperialism’s aggressive military operations around the world, from the ongoing war in Syria and Iraq to the huge NATO-led military build-up against Russia in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, and the expansion of naval operations in the Asia-Pacific aimed at encircling and isolating China.

However, the discussions now underway go far beyond what has already been implemented. Speakers at the conference made clear that the modernization of NORAD, which they argued was unavoidable, had not been costed in the 2017 military spending hike and would require tens of billions of dollars in additional investment.

Deputy Minister of Defence Jody Thomas spelt this out most clearly, declaring that the 2017 national defence policy was now obsolete. “The world is changing faster than first projected when we presented our defence policy,” she remarked in her speech to the meeting.

Thomas’ statements were backed up by Lieutenant Gen. Christopher Coates, deputy commander of NORAD. “North America is no longer a sanctuary,” stated Coates. “Russia and others are engaged in an uncontrolled race for dominance across a variety of domains… Russia’s actions and capabilities are a large part of what’s driving that need for change.”

Last week’s conference marks the culmination of a long-running push by top US and Canadian military and defence policy figures for unprecedented financial resources to be made available to the armed forces. At last November’s Halifax International Security Forum, leading US defence policy officials, including Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, bluntly demanded that Canada immediately move towards the NATO target of allocating 2 percent of its GDP for military spending. O’Brien also warned Canada about the consequences of failing to maintain a hard-line stance towards China when he stated that any involvement of China’s tech giant Huawei in Canada’s 5G network would result in a downgrading of intelligence sharing between Washington and Ottawa.

In a conference on the future of NORAD hosted by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute in late January, Commodore Jamie Clarke, the deputy director of strategy for NORAD, underscored that the planning for a war with Russia has reached a very advanced stage. Addressing the specific capabilities of NORAD’s North Warning System, a chain of radar stations located in Canada’s Arctic, Clarke said, “Currently, the North Warning System cannot identify and track Russian long-range bombers prior to their missile-launch points or their overflights of the Arctic region. Yet this system, entering its fourth decade of service, is the system we rely on each and every day.”

Vance also focused on the theme of continental defence in his speech to last week’s CDAI Security and Defence Conference. Stressing the importance of Canada’s role in the Arctic, he said, “What I am increasingly concerned about is the Arctic as an avenue of approach. The Canadian Armed Forces are mandated to deter and defeat threats to North America that would travel through the Arctic waters and airspace in the years to come. We must be able to ensure Arctic security be it a region, a place, or an avenue of approach. This requires strengthening inter-agency and multinational partnerships, increasing surveillance and military capabilities, and improving our ability to base, project, and sustain forces in the North. It requires new approaches to sovereignty assurance that accounts for the very real pan-domain nature of conflict.”

Taken together, the comments of Canada’s leading military personnel and Defence Ministry civil servants amount to a plan for a vast program of rearmament that will make the tens of billions of dollars in new spending unveiled in 2017 look like little more than a modest down payment. This will also entail revisiting Canada’s participation in an upgraded version of the US-led Ballistic Missile Defence shield, an initiative that is aimed at creating conditions to wage a “winnable” nuclear war.

This mad war drive, which puts the lives of billions of people around the world at risk, is being sold as a crusade for human rights. Speakers at the Security and Defence Conference repeatedly referred to Canada’s commitment to “the rule of law,” a euphemism for the US imperialist-dominated world order that emerged from World War II and which Ottawa is determined to uphold with military force.

The ruling elite intends to advance its predatory interests at home and abroad by savaging what remains of workers’ social rights and public services, so as to divert society’s resources into rearmament and further massive tax cuts for big business, the rich and super-rich.

This is why the Trudeau government, citing the need for “national unity”—the same justification used by the bourgeoisie everywhere to demand support for aggressive militarism and war—is aligning itself ever more openly with Canada’s most right-wing provincial governments in decades. Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in Ontario, François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec, Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives in Alberta and Scott Moe’s right-wing government in Saskatchewan have been tasked with saving tens of billions of dollars through austerity measures so the funds spent on education, health care and social services can be redirected to purchasing armed drones, missiles, fighter jets and warships.