Thursday, February 02, 2023

Right-Wing Russia Diversion

Last May, Yahoo News reported

The ballooning billions in money and munitions the United States is sending to Ukraine is motivated by a Democrat revenge fantasy aimed at taking out Vladimir Putin – as payback for stealing the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, Tucker Carlson said Monday night.

The Fox News host laid out the case in his opening monologue, peppered with clips of Democratic leaders saying that “total victory” is the only outcome they seek in the bloody conflict. Carlson set out to define what they mean by that, even as the U.S. has already sent around $30 billion to uphold Ukraine’s so-far successful defense....

“That is why they are taking us to war with Russia,” he said. “There are a lot of things going on here, but at some level, the core motivation is just that simple. It’s not about ‘saving democracy,’ please. We know it’s not about protecting the sacred borders of a sovereign country; we know the Biden Administration doesn’t are about those principles because they run our country and we see how they act.”

Of course, this is nonsense. Assisting Ukraine with military hardware without sacrificing the lives of our own citizens. is essential to a democratic nation's effort at staving off conquest from a totalitarian state and helping blunt Vladimir Putin's further designs on eastern Europe.

We know also because if Democratic officials wanted to punish anyone for upending Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in favor of Donald Trump, they wouldn't have to go abroad and spend billions of dollars to do so. They could more cheaply target a party more responsible than Russia for putting Mr. Trump into the White House. In an article ripping The New York Times for its devastatingly misleading coverage late in that campaign, in which the Times inaccurately claimed that Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Will Bunch reminds us

It was arguably the most consequential “October Surprise” in the history of American presidential elections. In the waning days of the 2016 race, with polls showing Hillary Clinton clinging to a lead over Donald Trump, two last-minute stories broke that rekindled on-the-fence voters’ ethical doubts about Democrat Clinton and quashed a budding scandal around her GOP rival.

Except the “October Surprise” was no surprise to one key player: Rudolph Giuliani, the ex-New York City mayor and Trump insider who later became the 45th president’s attorney. Late that month, Giuliani told Fox News that the trailing Republican nominee had “a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises.”

Just two days later, then-FBI director James Comey revealed the bureau had reopened its probe into Clinton’s emails, based on the possible discovery of new communications on a laptop belonging to disgraced New York politico Anthony Weiner. The news jolted the campaign with a particularly strong boost from the New York Times, which devoted two-thirds of its front page to the story — and the notion it was a major blow to Clinton’s prospects.

It was later reported that Comey was motivated to make the unusual announcement about the laptop because he feared leaks from the FBI’s New York field office, which, according to Reuters, had “a faction of investigators based in the office known to be hostile to Hillary Clinton.” Indeed, Giuliani bragged immediately after that he had sources in the FBI, including current agents.

The supposed bombshell — it turned out there was nothing incriminating or particularly new on the laptop — wasn’t the only FBI-related story that boosted Trump in the homestretch of the 2016 campaign. On Oct. 31, citing unnamed “intelligence sources,” the Times reported, “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.” That article defused a budding scandal about the GOP White House hopeful — at least until after Trump’s shock election on Nov. 8, 2016. In the coming days and weeks, the basis of that Times article would melt, but by then the most unlikely POTUS in U.S. history was ensconced in the Oval Office.

There are many reasons for Trump’s victory, but experts have argued the FBI disclosures were decisive. In 2017, polling guru Nate Silver argued that the Comey probe disclosure cost Clinton as many as 3-4 percentage points and at least 1 percentage point, which would have flipped Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin and handed her the Electoral College.

If Democrats wanted to seek and destroy anyone for turning the election around, they probably would have focused on the FBI.  They could have turned on it but instead have consistently supported the bureau- while Republicans have been on the attack- for the past several years.  Bunch adds

This week’s stunning corruption charges against a top FBI spymaster who assumed a key role in the bureau’s New York office just weeks before 2016′s “October surprise” — an agent who by 2018 was known to be working for a Vladimir Putin-tied Russian oligarch — should cause America to rethink everything we think we know about the Trump-Russia scandal and how it really happened that Trump won that election.

The government allegations against the former G-man Charles McGonigal (also accused of taking a large foreign payment while still on the FBI payroll) and the outsized American influence of the sanctioned-and-later-indicted Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska — also tied to U.S. pols from Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell — should make us also look again at what was really up with the FBI in 2016.

Recognizing that The Times should apologize for its role in "this fiasco," Bunch argues that The Times should apologize for its "flawed coverage" in this "fiasco," which can be attributed to "its near certainty that Clinton would win and a desire to show its aggressiveness toward a future president seemed to have skewed its coverage."

There were some individuals, probably Rudy Giuliani and Charles McGonigal among them, who did not harbor that certainty that Hillary Clinton would win the election.  Giuliani, a former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and McGonigal, a high-ranking FBI official in the New York office, had in common one thing- the New York field office of the FBI.

The decision of director James Comey to publicize widely an investigation of Hillary Clinton while hiding one of Donald Trump is the major reason the former Senator and Secretary of State lost the presidential race to a corrupt businessman and accomplished actor.  Besides whitewashing history, the failure of the news media to acknowledge the connection between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the election outcome has given dishonest individuals such as Tucker Carlson license to undermine support given by the USA, and especially the Democratic Party. to the people of Ukraine.



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