The 37-page indictment issued against 13 Russians and three Russian companies by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week is one of the most shocking, revealing and troubling array of fully-documented revelations about a wholesale assault on the domestic American democratic system ever.
As much attention as it has received in the media, it has still been grossly underplayed for its significance. This has been, and continues to be, nothing less than acts of war against our very way of life. Let me repeat, these intrusions constitute hostile acts of war.
They continue to this day. A Facebook post from yesterday, Feb. 21, attacking a student from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 students were murdered by a lone gunman last week showed it originated in Russia! (Among Facebook’s recent reforms, apparently, has been to post the source of some of its postings). The student, David Hogg, a survivor of that hellish event, was assailed in the post as a stooge for CNN and the FBI. It came from Russia, America’s sworn enemy!
We, the American people, must be indebted to Robert Mueller and his team for their diligence in developing the solid details presented in the indictment. There will be more, including indictments that will hit far closer to home, to the White House, that is. President Trump has been a compromised Russian stooge since the 1970s, when President Nixon under the guise of “detente” opened the door for thousands of Russian thugs to emigrate to the U.S. and set up shop in Brighton Beach to begin operations as the ruthless Russian Mafia.
With the help of J. Edgar Hoover, who saw the move as a way to neutralize the existing Italian and Jewish mafias in the U.S., the import of the Russian Mafia proved to deepen the exercise of blackmail, strong-arming and corruption to a level far beyond what the other mafias performed. When Trump was getting started in his real estate business in Manhattan, he colluded with that Russian Mafia, which doubled as a spy operation for the Soviets in the U.S., and its control over contractors and workers. He’s been in their pocket ever since, interwoven into their corruption, money laundering and other schemes from 50 years ago.
Now, the Mueller indictments does not go into that history, because it is beyond their scope, at least for these first indictments. These indictments go back to around 2013 when the scheme was cooked up in Moscow to unleash a flood of assaults on the U.S. democratic system through deception and deceit, involving plenty of cases of breaking U.S. law.
These indictments pertain only to interventions by what the Russians called “Project Lakhta” in the U.S. by way of the social media, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, involving the establishment of a plethora of fake IDs, fake groups, fake “hashtags” and even fake events. It involved the use of unsuspecting people to aid in their schemes which aimed at sewing dissention and encouraging dropping out of the electoral process. It involved the recruitment of over 100,000 followers on one fake Facebook site, and pro-Trump and anti-Clinton public rallies that were organized through social media and held in Florida, Tennessee, New York and other places.
It is never contended in the indictments that these efforts had no impact on the 2016 presidential election. In fact, reading the indictments, it is hard to imagine how the efforts could have had no effect.
It is noted that the Russians concentrated their efforts on “purple states,” including Colorado, Virginia and Florida and involved creating “political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with the social and economic situation and oppositional social movements.”
“They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” an indictment says, and they “began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. candidate.” One post said, “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it is not a wasted vote.”
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected].