The Dezinformatsia Affair - Ep 2
All The President's Lies
First, a taste of Russian Exports. Did you know that...
Ukraine is the port of entry for the drug traffic to Europe and Russia?
Ukraine is trying to provoke war with Russia, napalm chem-bombed Dombass with drones, and are preparing to attack them with biological weapons?
Ukrainian president Poroshenko is a war criminal, a terrorist, is bullying his people, has magical powers and can make people fall asleep on command?
Europe is a concentration camp for migrants and is descending into civil war?
Ukraine is about to declare Nazis national heroes?
European leaders are childless because they don't care about Europe's future?
Sanctions against Russia is causing corruption in Europe?
Crimea and Sevastopol always belonged to Russia?
NATO backed a coup in Ukraine?
EU fighting vehicles were sent to Paris to fight the Yellow Vests?
… and, of course :
The US is behind the Yellow Vests protests in France?
… and that sample was only the dezinformatsia that the Russians put out from December 5 to December 10.
Culled from The Disinformation Review : Subscribe to their newsletter for more incredible content. Literally...
Putin's lies and his professional liars
This was a small sampling Putin's lies in just five days! And his fake news factories are not only situated at 55 Savushkina Street in St Petersburg, they're all over.
As every good liar will tell you, an effective lie has at its center a kernel of truth. That lie up there on the list about EU fighting vehicles? One of the armored vehicles sent to support the police against the demonstrators in Paris did indeed sport a EU flag, but that was because it had just been called back to that emergency from EU maneuvers outside the city and the crew didn't have time to remove it. Those false reports that the European Union was putting down protests in Paris were debunked almost as soon as they came out.
Nevertheless, a certain armored vehicle crew might be peeling potatoes on mess duty for a long time to come...
“Russia has not interfered, does not interfere and doesn’t intend to interfere in any election in any country in the world.”
- Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman
To learn this from a bona fide Kremlin spokesman sort of puts our minds at ease, doesn't it? And there we were thinking that Russians meddled in other country's elections.
Let's ask him if Russia cheated at the Olympics!
You know what? Let's not...
Enter Donald John Trump
“I have seen the enemy, and he is us.”
While most liberals are up in arms about his lying, a lot of people still believe that Trump tells the truth, or “his” truth, or at least they just excuse him as 'just Trump being Trump'.
But when you inject into this the idea that Putin and Trump allegedly conspired to elect the latter as US president and realize the former's agenda, it all begins to make sense. USA Today just told us that Trump really did collude with Russia :
“Trump's team had over 100 contacts with Russian-linked officials, according to think tank analysis” says their headline.
And those mysterious one-on-one meetings he's had with Putin with no witnesses? Immediately after the meetings, reports the Washington Post, Trump allegedly ordered his translators to destroy their notes, or took them away from them.
Trump denied this, saying he couldn't care less. His spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the WaPo report was “outrageously inaccurate”.
Let's ask her if she's lying in support of the President's lies once more!
You know what? Let's not...
And he's sensitive about his image, Trump is. Gail Collins, who is one of this writer’s journalistic heroes and an op-ed writer for the New York Times, was skeptical of his claims of being worth ten billion dollars so she once wrote that he was a “thousandaire”.
In typical Trump fashion, he retaliated by sending her a photocopy of the NYT piece with her photo circled in red with “a dog and a liar with the face of a pig” penned over it. Seemingly devoid of morals, Trump manifestly cannot obtain any kind of moral victory, so he goes for whatever childish insult he can wrap his very limited heart and mind around.
James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. Director whom Trump fired and also insulted by calling him a sleaze, a crooked cop, a liar and a nutjob, responded to Trump's accusations with a quotation attributed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt :
His firing of Comey and other weird actions and statements by Trump, notably his alleged “love story“ with Putin, were enough to prompt the FBI to eventually open a counterintelligence investigation of him, at this very early date in his presidency.
Trump has been fathered by a rich and reportedly Janus-faced real estate developer who hid behind tax shelters and shady practices to become very rich and elevated his son to the rank of kid-millionnaire. In total, according to the New York Times, Donald leeched $413 million dollars in today's currency from him. Of course, Trump said that his dad loaned him only one million, which he said he paid back.
Let's ask him... oh, forget it.
Fortune tells us that "Donald Trump Would Be Richer If He'd Have Invested in Index Funds". He was the mastermind of so many failed scams that one wonders what would have become of him had he been born an ordinary Joe. Is it possible that this ordinary Joe could have become a Trumper? A penniless, very indebted Trumper?
Deniability is central to this whole question. He praised Eric Holder for “protecting” Obama, then asked “Where's my Roy Cohn?”
Enter Roy Cohn
How did Donald Trump get to be the way he is? Many who have studied his past have an opinion on that question. Don’t forget, they say, the imprint left by Roy Cohn.
Melania Trump stated that "when you attack Donald, he will punch back 10 times harder." That most probably is one of the life lessons Trump learned from Roy Cohn. Another was 'plausible deniability.'
As a young man, Trump sat at the knee and was personally mentored by Cohn. And Cohn alledgedly was just about the worse “legal” crook of them all, a lawyer who used to be Joseph McCarthy's legal enabler in his much publicized fake war on communism of the fifties. Some would say that Cohn was evil incarnate, and he and McCarthy ruined many lives and careers until, when they attacked the army for “communist activities”, Joseph N. Welch, their legal counsel, famously asked McCarthy : "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
This simple, direct, fundamental question seemed to take the wind out of the McCarthy / Cohn combo, for this marked the beginning of the end of their disastrous activities. But not before they spread depredation and ruin in many of American lives. True to form, Cohn went on to defend the Genovese crime family.
Better late than never, Roy Cohn was disbarred in 1986 for unethical conduct and went on to meet his whatever five weeks later, dying of AIDS. From Cohn, Trump reportedly learned, among other dirty tricks, how to shield himself from the law by hiding behind a staff of lawyers and assorted minions to exploit any accuser's most easily exploitable courtroom weakness: the burden of proof. This is nothing new. Vasili Blokhin, the Soviet Russian executioner partly responsible for WWII's horrendous Katyn massacre, (he personally killed 7,000 Polish prisoners) used German Walther PPK pistols exclusively to carry out his murderous enterprise because he thought the German guns afforded him, a Russian, the veneer of plausible deniability.
It didn't work for Blokhin. Neither will Trump's lies and machinations in the long run, but until now he's hidden effectively behind his layered lies and plausible deniability. And, let's not forget, the inviolability of the office of the US president.
“Character is destiny” said Heraclitus, a man much wiser than us, and in Trump's case this seem to be amply true.
So? “Truth isn't truth” anymore?
“Facts are, for Trump, fungible things. When they fit his narrative, he is happy to tout them. But they rarely fit his narrative. And when they don't, he has zero concern about creating his own narrative that simply doesn't have any real resemblance to the established truth.”
- Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
And, boy! Does he funge! Trump's the fungiest. So much so that we have arrived at the point where, when Trump once again and for the umpteenth time declares that there was “no collusion”, we are de facto convinced that there indeed was conspiration and possibly even kompromat.
And Russians? Russians say that whatever lie Putin excretes down the pike is 'pravda!' : the truth! But a whole lot of them say this with a wink and a nudge, and do not believe it in the least. It's part of their culture. Maybe one of the best parts, after all.
As of Christmas 2018, Trump had an incredibly high, one could say appalling, approval rating of 41% within the American public. Not bad for someone this writer considers a lowlife, but remember that another lowlife, Richard Nixon himself, won the electoral college with 520 out of 538 votes, winning 49 out of 50 states, and still had an arguably impressive approval rating of 24% in the days before, cornered, he finally had to resign.
“The stupidest thing we could do is try to solve this problem by ignoring our own collective stupidity.”
- Sophia A. McClennen
This writer can only echo Bill Maher in exclaiming : “It's about time!”, and add : “What took them so long?”.
One could theorize that one of Trump's plans to please Putin is to withdraw from Syria, pretexting that ISIS has been eradicated. Unfortunately, that eradicated middle eastern force just killed four Americans in Manbij, Syria, killing a total of twenty two and wounding eighteen more. While officials are picking the pieces of flesh off the street, the very same Kurdish forces that he wanted to leave behind at the mercy of just about everyone in the Middle Eastern neighborhood are guarding the site. Good thing that ISIS has been eradicated, Trump.
In a previous article, we've talked about how this campaign of lies could have a 'chilling effect' on trust, faith and the recruitment of desirable prospects for the secret services. Now, because of the longest shutdown in US history, journalists say that this could have a disastrous effect on public service enrollment. Hmmm…
Even worse : Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, uninvited him from giving his state of the union speech at the house, citing security concerns because of his shutdown. Again in typical Trump fashion, the president's only answer was to forbid her from taking military airplanes on her secret scheduled trip to visit the troops, parroting equal security concerns, adding that she was welcome to take commercial flights instead. In broadcasting her trip to the enemy, and making public that she was going to Afghanistan and Egypt, he effectively revealed classified information and put her life in danger. Pair this with his entertaining Russian agents in the oval office and you've got a really interesting image of the US president.
All this could possibly, possibly, possibly be reversed by a few post-Trump actions, if the person who is elected as his successor has lots of brains, a deep knowledge of governmental affairs, credibility and the leadership to make those actions work.
In short, if that person is everything that Trump is not.
Job number 1 :
A strange, as yet ill-understood phenomenon has made its appearance on the American political stage in the last few years. That of voters who collectively come to politics with the juvenile mindset that if they don't get absolutely everything they want, they'll just destroy the whole thing. They're the kind of people who are really great at destroying, but deplorable at building. This reflects most of Trump's followers and his approach, especially visible in his governmental shutdown. Solving this worm-proofing conundrum without isolating a part of the population from the democratic process will be job number one if democracy wants to survive them, and him.
Job number 2 :
Restoring the US's place in international leadership, a.k.a. American governance
Rome had the Pax Romana, which lasted for a bit more than two hundred years, and later collapsed during and after Commodus' reign, taking Rome from a kingdom of gold to a kingdom of rust. The USA has the Pax Americana, which could very well end with Trump's depredations on the home and international stage, his overarching determination to get the USA out of NATO.
This happens to be Putin's most fervent dream and fortunately, at long last, people are starting to notice that Trump is making it come to pass. Which leads us to...
Job number 3 :
No bad deed goes unpunished
Sanctions should be raised against Russia for its involvement in American and other countries' politics, and those other countries should join in. It wants to export its rotten political system, a kind of mix between plutocracy and kleptocracy, the world over. It's too late to stop Brexit, but not too late to rein in Russia's misdeeds.
China will be the subject of a future article.
Job number 4 :
Trump-proof the presidency
Anybody can become president : there is no shortage of shameless, ambitious idiots out there who just feel that their destiny calls upon them to become president of the United States. Trump has showed us that anybody, as the saying goes, can become president of the United States. And, as we saw, that means absolutely anybody.
Custom, tradition, decency, fortitude have no meaning for them. That is why, regrettably, every action and perks of the presidency will next have to be codified into law, subject to censure and impeachment. The emoluments clause of the constitution is not enough. The government needs an emoluments LAW and rock solid officials who are not afraid to apply it. The same should go for making public a candidate’s tax returns and many other ‘shortcuts‘ that Trump shamelessly used.
Putin's useful idiot turned out to be more idiotic than anyone could have ever dreamed. So let us rejoice and be thankful for one thing : Donald John Trump just doesn't make the cut as a bad guy superhero.
“The enormous reality (perhaps dimly perceived by Trump himself) is that the president is an incompetent dolt and all his ideas are stupid beyond belief.”
- Ryan Cooper, The Week
One supposes that the Donald could be insane, and many writers have ventured forth their own tentative attempts at psychoanalysis. After all, England had its George III, France had its Charles VI, and Hungary had its Countess Elizabeth Báthory, who is said to have bathed in the blood of young peasant women. But this writer has met a couple of men like Trump and he'd rather go with the oft-repeated hypothesis that he's a primo example of the extremely rich and entitled, outstandingly narcissistic sociopath. And not a very smart one, at that.
One can only hope that the next president will Make America Smart Again, and that democracy will emerge stronger than ever.
Let's hope that the world's powers-that-be will clearly see the incredible job of housecleaning that lies before them, and do it properly.
Worldwide, twenty nine powerful and functional allied democracies, and so the very ideal of Democracy, depend upon it.
Oh! And make sure to have the White House fumigated as soon as he gets thrown out!