Much as Frederic Bastiat details economics as the study of the seen and the unseen, news in America can be described as the study of the told and the untold. While authoritarian states like North Korea will make outright lies to its people, such as “Our space shuttle program is progressing well” and “Dear Leader Kim Jong Un is so pure he never defecates,” the main tool of propaganda in the west is to report limited truths while hiding important facts.
Did Russia Hack The U.S. Election?
Let’s look at the supposed Russian hacking of American government official’s computers. In late December 2016, President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats (a highly belligerent move—typically diplomats are expelled only immediately prior to war, and this likely violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations), claiming that Russians spoiled the US Presidential election by releasing Democratic Party emails to the independent whistleblowing site and information clearinghouse Wikileaks.
If one didn’t follow the story closely, examining the actual facts and official statements reported, one would think that there was evidence that Russians sabotaged the American presidential election of 2016. But the US government itself doesn’t even claim this.
The official Joint Statement from the Dept of Homeland Security and Office of Director of National Intelligence states merely that the hacks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”
They go on to make several non-sequiturs such as “Russians have used similar tactics in Europe” and “We believe Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” but the above is the most damning statement issued.
That the hacks used similar methods as Russian hackers use, and that they appear to be motivated by similar reasons as Russians have been motivated.
Lies Of Innuendo And Association
What does that mean? Well, Russians did indeed support sabotage and disruptive tactics against Americans in the Cold War before I was born. But such a misleading statement would be as truthful as spreading fear and hatred of Gingers after the Boston Marathon bombing because it was “consistent with the methods and motivations of the IRA,” so the logical response is to cut diplomatic ties with Ireland.
Indeed, the IRA had considerable expertise (methods) in making bombs, and motivations (attacking a strong concentration of Irish people living under a different government), and it could honestly be said that “the IRA used similar tactics in Europe and we believe IRA senior officials could have authorized these activities.”
In other words, a statement that may be loosely based on fact but is utterly meaningless and misleading, and has no connection to the truth.
And this is the main vehicle by which the American state lies. By presenting half-truths and innuendo, and withholding facts.
The Truth Is The Truth Regardless Of Who Speaks It
Regardless of who is responsible for the hacking, or whether anything was hacked at all, the emails merely revealed the private discussions of public political figures. While I wouldn’t advocate all public officials completely surrender their privacy when they enter government, the revelation of crimes, wrongdoings, or misdeeds by public officials is worthy of discussion; the source of these illicit conversations far less so. To quote Hillary Clinton “What difference does it make anyway, at this point?”
Of course, if the feds want to convict you of a crime, they are able to use confidential informants, warrantless wiretapping, and secret “national security letters” that compel others to snoop on you, without the possibility of you ever knowing by whom or even that the spying was done. Because when the tables are turned, it matters not who is making the accusations or what the sources are.
But when the government itself is breaking the fundamental rules laid out in its very founding document – the US Constitution, suddenly the source of the accusation is all that matters, not the actual crime.
Essentially this is the same tactic used in deflecting the outcry against massive illegal activity revealed by Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks dump: Ignore the truth and focus on the messenger. Only in this case they aren’t even attacking the right messenger, as Julian Assange has repeatedly stated that while he will protect the confidentiality of his source, Russia was not it.
What is the implication? It’s a twofold attack: On the one hand protecting the establishment military industrial complex position that Christian, neomasculine Russia must be an enemy that the American government spends hundreds of billions of dollars fighting, and secondly that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president, sewing seeds of doubt that can be used to weaken the president elect before he even takes office.
Always remember the biggest lies in the west are lies of omission, and be very doubtful of any statements by the government or media. Even if they are not outright lies, they may not be truthful.