National Commentary

Putin’s ‘Manchurian Candidate,’ Part 2

nfbenton-mugI awoke one morning last week thinking that everything was going to be OK, but then I remembered that “The Arrival” was just a movie I’d seen the night before.
Wishing it hadn’t been, nonetheless, it seems we’re on our own on Planet Trump, er, Putin.

As the major powers (the U.S., China and Russia) gear up for satellite wars in space, it may be that the evidence of major Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election last month has marked one of its first serious engagements.

Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed active efforts by the Russians to hack into and interfere in the U.S. election. An array of computer scientists discovered serious anomalies in the pattern of the election returns. For them, solid evidence of such anomalies constitutes the equivalent of self-evident proof in itself.

But in politics, that doesn’t count. Unless actual votes can be shown to have been corrupted, there’s no proof. It’s unclear if such can be found. Still, an inability find interference in recounts, should that happen, doesn’t mean interference didn’t happen.

What are we left with? The ties between Russia and Trump are well established. Trump was recruited in the only terms he’s understood, being roughing up by the Russian Mafia, an arm of the KGB and its successors, operating in Manhattan from Little Odessa since the 1970s. Trump owed his economic survival and success to them and has long been their facile tool.

What is the Russian goal in getting Trump elected? Clearly, it’s to assault constitutional institutions of the U.S. government by assailing the First Amendment – that is, democracy – and unleashing the violent alt-right against civility. Then, it’s to enact insanity at the top and cavalier policies that will trigger a new great depression, rendering the U.S. a secondary power, economically and militarily.

If there is a surprise in all this, it’s the stunning fact of such deep ties between Russian intelligence and the so-called “alt-right,” that is, the white supremacists, in the U.S. This is the big and now obvious nut that America must crack.

It was in the 1970s, during the era of “detente” when the Nixon administration and its Soviet counterparts secretly carved up tasks for defusing the serious civil rights, anti-war and pro-labor social ferment in the U.S., a very stupid move on the U.S.’s part.

The CIA and FBI handled the expansion of the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” counterculture, and the KGB was given license to manipulate the splinter left.

The U.S. saw the KGB plan to turn the left into the right in its interest. Anarcho-hedonists siphoned off political energy with the lure of excessive sexual freedom and religious cults took their share from emotionally weakened youth who’d been cut adrift from their families by their activism.

The KGB and its East German counterpart, the Stasi, zoned in on leftist pro-socialist political groups, including the old Communist Party, U.S.A., an array of Trotskyites and Maoists and remnants of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As a writer for the Berkeley Barb at the time, I had a front seat witnessing a lot of this.

In one minor but not unimportant element that I was particularly familiar with, the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), headed by a former Trostskyite maverick Lyndon LaRouche was structured into a tight cult by an instigated internal crisis in December 1973. In the spring of 1974, it took a paramilitary posture and its members began physically attacking meetings of the CPUSA in New York and Philadelphia.

A confused CPUSA assumed this came from the CIA, and said so. But no, they were the first victims of the KGB-led transformation of its U.S. assets from old school leftists to the off-beat political right, white supremacists with their many bizarre and dangerous cults.

LaRouche, now a 94-year-old darling of the alt-right radio talk show circuit, evolved his tiny organization to assault Obama and Clinton, making no secret of his love for Putin. In a LaRouche publication this week, an author hailed a post-Trump election “New Paradigm of Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, and their friends and collaborators in nations all over the world.”