Shared but sigh.
TALLINN — The revelation that Russia’s intelligence services hacked the computer systems of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in what appears an attempt to weaken her in the U.S. election against Donald Trump may seem like the stuff of conspiracy.
But the truth is far more alarming. Russia’s activities aren’t part of a conspiracy. They are elements of an openly stated doctrine — a resurrection of Soviet style political warfare, in which intelligence agencies seek to amplify divisions among their enemies, weakening the Western front by sowing discord and dissent whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Well yes and no. The FSB had been in the DNC's servers for like a year from what I've read. Then the GRU stumbled on in and tripped enough alarms that they fucked it up for the FSB. So on the one hand, yeah, classic spy shit. On the other hand, "Watergate break-in."
The political warfare of the Cold War is back — in updated form, with meaner, more modern tools, including a vast state media empire in Western languages, hackers, spies, agents, useful idiots, compatriot groups, and hordes of internet trolls.
Did it ever really leave?
What the Russians have in their sights is nothing less than the democratic fabric of American society and the integrity of the system of Western liberal values.
Russia, as the USSR, had a buffer of client states surrounding it and protecting it from direct Western interface. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, those client states became foreign (the "near abroad" as they evocatively call it). People forget:
That's every ruler of Russia since Czar Nicholas and Andropov and Chernenko were good for 27 months between the two of them. Gorbachev was the first premier that wasn't buddies with Stalin; Putin was a lieutenant colonel in the KGB when the USSR collapsed - he got to see Gorbachev fuck it up and Yeltsin burn it down. AND - strongman that he is, demagogue that he is, certified Bad Dude that he is, Russia is stronger today than it's been since the defeat in Afghanistan - a defeat that was 100% instigated, funded and coordinated by the United States.
"Democratic fabric of American society?"
Russia is effectively using our democracies and our systems of rule of law against us. The method works like a computer virus. They insert a lie, a false accusation, a fabrication, an illegally-obtained private conversation — some form of kompromat — into our media, competing for ratings and ad revenue, and then they let us tear ourselves apart.
Yes, we call that propaganda. It's been around for a while.
On one occasion, some years after the Spanish Armada, Sir Walter Raleigh complained bitterly about the Spanish propaganda (though he didn’t use that name). He was angry about a Spanish report of a sea battle near the Azores between the British ship Revenge and the ships of the Spanish king. He said it was “no marvel that the Spaniard should seek by false and slanderous pamphlets, advisoes, and letters, to cover their own loss and to derogate from others their own honours, especially in this fight being performed far off.” And then he recalled that back at the time of the Spanish Armada, when the Spaniards “purposed the invasion” of England, they published “in sundry languages, in print, great victories in words, which they pleaded to have obtained against this realm; and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and elsewhere.” The truth of course was that the Spanish Armada suffered a colossal disaster in 1588.
The West has been slow to see Putin’s reign for what it is: a KGB takeover of Russia. The security services now operate unrestrained. They are the state.
Know why Condoleeza Rice was Bush's National Security Advisor?
At a 1985 meeting of arms control experts at Stanford, Rice's performance drew the attention of Brent Scowcroft, who had served as National Security Advisor under Gerald Ford. With the election of George H. W. Bush, Scowcroft returned to the White House as National Security Adviser in 1989, and he asked Rice to become his Soviet expert on the United States National Security Council. According to R. Nicholas Burns, President Bush was "captivated" by Rice, and relied heavily on her advice in his dealings with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.
In the early 1980s, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ended the long period of containment, saying he had a simple policy objective toward the USSR: “We win and they lose.”
EXCUSE ME? The guy who fought the Soviets in Nicaragua, Panama and Afghanistan "ended" containment?
He inspired a vision that eventually broke the Soviet Union, liberated Europe, and gave Russians a chance to live in a plural, representative democracy where they had the right to determine their own future. They didn’t choose it.
To say that the kleptocracy that swept Russia under Yeltsin was a "choice" is to argue that ISIS was a "choice."