Where the Anti-Russian Moral Panic is Leading Us, by Justin Raimondo

Are you now or have you ever been an advocate of better relations with Russia? This time it will be Democrats and neoconservative Republicans leading the McCarthyite witch hunts. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

They said the election of Donald Trump would usher in an era of political repression in which the First Amendment would come under attack – and they were right, although not in the way they meant it:

“Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories – some fictional – that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.

“Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.”

Aside from sites run by the Russian government, like Russia Today and Sputnik, the targets of the investigation are Breitbart.com, the pro-Trump web site formerly managed by Steve Bannon – now an advisor to the President – and Infowars.com, the “conspiracy” site made famous by entertainer Alex Jones, although the purview of the witch hunt “investigation” is bound to broaden.

Those “bots” – automated programs that broadcast links, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. – were supposedly launched at key times during the presidential campaign, and were disproportionately anti-Clinton — are supposedly the key link in a Vast Russian Conspiracy. The FBI leakers tell McClatchy News that “investigators examining the bot attacks are exploring whether the far-right news operations took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives. Their participation, however, wasn’t necessary for the bots to amplify their news through Twitter and Facebook.”

So this is how the smear campaign scores points: you don’t have to be on the Russian payroll – you can be a “useful idiot” just because of your political views, which condemn you as an “unwitting” agent, as former CIA director Mike Morell described Trump. This is how the parameters of “respectable” opinion are policed: this is how the War Party criminalizes those who think that the cold war is over and shouldn’t be revived.

To continue reading: Where the Anti-Russian Moral Panic is Leading Us

 

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