We’ll start with some middle ground. Russia probably did attempt to interfere with the U.S. elections in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump. The prospect is not surprising. What’s surprising is that people are surprised by it.
Governments have been interfering with elections in other countries for as long as there have been governments and elections. Any government with the motive and capability to do so, does so. Russia does it all the time. So does the United States.
William Blum’s Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions since World War II is a good primer on the topic in terms of the United State’s track record on meddling in the elections and domestic affairs of other nations. You can read several lengthy excerpts from the book for free at Blum’s official website.
That said, what’s also surprising about this whole debate over the possible role of Russia in potentially swaying our elections is the fact that, somehow, the CIA has suddenly become a reliable source of information.
Think about that for a moment.
The CIA and FBI disagree on whether Russia was trying to influence the election. https://t.co/aZS46E9xcH
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 11, 2016
In the midst of half the nation throwing a tantrum over so-called fake news — whatever that may mean to any given individual at any given moment — many of those very same people are now revering the CIA as an ironclad bastion of truth.
This is one of those situations that goes beyond the realm of irony and hypocrisy and into a dreamlike bizzaro-scape of bewilderment.
It is simply baffling, stunningly difficult to comprehend, that anyone with any knowledge of history would take the CIA at its word on anything. Yet Twitter and social media our full of posts from people who cannot fathom anyone doubting the CIA.
Again, I don’t doubt that Russia tried to tamper with our elections, but when you point to “evidence” provided by the CIA as your “proof” that something went down, you’re basically taking any credibility and authority you have on the subject, balling it up, and shooting it at the garbage can. And missing. That’s right. Your credibility is just a crumpled up little ball of misguidedness sitting there by the garbage can waiting for you to slink over there and pick it up and sadly drop it in.
Let’s be clear, a huge part of the CIA’s job is to fabricate and disseminate disinformation and propaganda, both here and abroad. There are no borders when it comes this game. You can’t tell the truth here while lying to the rest of the world. Word tends to get out.
The CIA has a lengthy, lengthy, history of lying to the American public and their elected officials.
For instance, in 2014, Time reported on how former CIA director Michael Hayden misled Congress during hearings about the CIA’s “interrogation” programs.
Lying to Congress is totally illegal, by the way.
Just a year earlier, news broke that the CIA had lied to Congress about the case of Robert Levinson, a CIA operative being held hostage in Iran, the Guardian reported at the time.
The Time article also included a reminder of how “Clair George, a high-ranking CIA official in the 1980s, was found guilty of lying to Congress about his knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal, though he was later pardoned.”
These are just the first few examples that pop up in a Google search. The list goes on and on.
Democrats, still eager to make sense of their election loss, immediately declared these anonymous claims to be true. https://t.co/enL18VD9KX
— The Intercept (@theintercept) December 10, 2016
The CIA lies, people. That’s their job.
Not only do they lie — all the time — but they often get things just plain wrong, too.
Remember all the weapons of mass destruction the CIA told us were in Iraq? Well, they were dead wrong on that, and that was very big thing to get dead wrong.
Oh, wait, that’s right. They weren’t so much wrong about that as they were intentionally lying about that, too. Former CIA Deputy Director and intelligence briefer to President Bush Michael Morell went on MSNBC and said that they basically made it all up. Most of us figured that out when our entire invading army couldn’t find one single active WMD in the country.
If you think Russia interfered with our elections, that’s perfectly reasonable. But, for your own sake, please don’t act like the CIA is a reliable source. It makes you look uninformed.
And, for the record, it’s perfectly fine to get mad about Russia possibly meddling in our elections or other affairs, just as long as you get equally as mad when we do the same to other countries.
[Featured Image Mark Wilson/Getty Images]