Democratic panic about Russian disinformation neglects to mention that it was the White House that refused to stop it
The liberal conniption about alleged Russian “hacking” of our election has reached a boiling point. A politically dangerous Democratic narrative is emerging which posits that it was aggressive Kremlin propaganda that undermined Hillary Clinton’s presidential run—not that she ran a terrible campaign which alienated the white working class to Donald Trump’s benefit.
Like so many half-truths, this narrative contains its fair share of accurate claims. I know, because I was warning the public about Kremlin espionage and disinformation long before Democrats suddenly became passionately interested in the subject because it was hurting their candidate. After Vladimir Putin seized Crimea in early 2014 and began a war of aggression against Ukraine, Russian propaganda efforts aimed at the West went into overdrive.
To anybody acquainted with well-honed Moscow agitprop techniques, this was no more than old-style KGB Active Measures sped up for the Internet age. That said, the threat posed by this online disinformation offensive is real, as I and other experts counseled years ago (in my case, beginning with the defection of Edward Snowden to Moscow in June 2013). However, it was frankly difficult to get the mainstream media interested in this rising problem—at least until the Kremlin’s disinformation machine went after Hillary, as it did in 2016 with gusto.
The Washington Post reported this week that Kremlin-backed websites pushed “fake news” regularly portraying Hillary and the Democrats in a negative light. There’s really nothing new here for anybody who’s followed Russian propaganda for any length of time. Kremlin agitprop aimed at the West—properly termed disinformation—contains an amalgam of fact and fiction, plus lots of gray information somewhere in between which can be difficult and time-consuming to refute.
Read the rest at The Observer …