The Trump administration has started employing Chekist-style tactics to protect itself from KremlinGate
We’re officially losing the propaganda war with Russia. This isn’t entirely news. Two years ago, I explained how the Obama administration, facing a deluge of Kremlin lies aimed at the West, refused to fight back. This shirking of battle in the propaganda war which Vladimir Putin is waging against America and our allies may be the most consequential what-if of our 2016 election.
Hillary Clinton’s backers have pointed questions about why a Democratic administration proved so timid about resisting the Kremlin’s weaponized lie machine – as well they should. Recently, more troubling questions have emerged about why the Trump White House is even more derelict than its predecessor about this important national security matter.
In response to Russian clandestine interference in our 2016 election – a spy campaign in which disinformation and Active Measures, to use proper Chekist terminology, played a pivotal role in harming the Democrats and helping Donald Trump – late last year Congress passed and the Obama White House signed a bill giving the State Department $80 million to resist Russian lies aimed at the West.
This, therefore, was the law of the land when President Trump took his oath of office a few weeks later but, as I recently explained, in the more than half a year since, absolutely nothing has been done to follow the law. The State Department has hired nobody, it has created no new programs or organizations, while not spending a dollar of the $80 million Congress gave it for this new and important mission. All this while our Western allies actually are doing something in the fight against the Kremlin’s lie machine.
Despite repeated inquiries from Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his department have refused to take action and follow the law. Why this is happening has been answered by a new piece in Politico which explains that the reason is more sinister than bureaucratic inertia or lethargy at Foggy Bottom. Some had wondered if this failure was caused by the unprecedented State Department chaos which Tillerson has engendered, which includes not filling key jobs, disregarding advice from in-house experts, and seeming to despise his own department, which he apparently wants to all but disband, on White House orders.
Read the rest at The Observer …