FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

What is the Obama Regime Up To?

Obama has announced new sanctions on Russia based on unsubstantiated charges by the CIA that the Russian government influenced the outcome of the US presidential election with “malicious cyber-enabled activities.”

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a report “related to the declaration of 35 Russian officials persona non grata for malicious cyber activity and harassment.”

The report is a description of “tools and infrastructure used by Russian intelligence services to compromise and exploit networks and infrastructure associated with the recent U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. government, political and private sector entities.”

The report does not provide any evidence that the tools and infrastructure were used to influence the outcome of the US presidential election.  The report is simply a description of what is said to be Russian capabilities.

Moreover, the report begins with this disclaimer:  “DISCLAIMER: This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

In other words, the report not only provides no evidence of the use of the Russian tools and infrastructure in order to influence the US presidential election, the report will not even warrant the correctness of its description of Russian capabilities.

Thus the DHS report makes it completely clear that the Obama regime has no evidential basis for its allegations on the basis of which it has imposed more sanctions on Russia.

What is going on here?

First there is the question of the legality of the sanctions even if there were evidence. I am not certain, but I think that sanctions require the action of a body, such as the UN Security Council, and cannot legally be imposed unilaterally by one country. Additionally, it is unclear why Obama is calling the expulsion of Russian diplomats “sanctions.” No other country has to do likewise.  During the Cold War when diplomats were expelled for spying, it was not called “sanctions.”  Sanctions imply more than unilateral or bilateral expulsions of diplomats.

Second, it is clear that Obama, the CIA, and the New York Times are fully aware that the allegation is false.  It is also clear that if the CIA actually believes the allegation, the intelligence agency is totally incompetent and cannot be believed on any subject.

Third, President Trump can rescind the sanctions in 21 days, a third reason that the sanctions are ridiculous.

So why are President Obama, the CIA, and the New York Times making charges that they know are false and for which they have not produced a shred of evidence?

One obvious answer is that the neoconized Obama regime is desperate to ruin US-Russian relations past the point that Trump can repair them. As the New York Times puts it, “Mr. Obama’s actions clearly create a problem for Mr. Trump.”  The question the New York Times says, is whether Trump “stands with his democratic allies on Capitol Hill or his authoritarian friend in the Kremlin.”

Can Trump’s foreign policy be controlled by false allegations? According to the New York Times, Trump has relented and agreed to being briefed by the CIA about the Russian hacking now that Republicans such as Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham have lined up with Obama and the CIA in accepting charges for which no evidence has been presented. However, a briefing without evidence would seem simply to further discredit the CIA in Trump’s eyes.

Facts no longer have a role in the United States and its empire. Allegations alone suffice, whether in court cases, interrogation centers, foreign and domestic policies, or classrooms.

The US even bases its military invasions on false allegations—“weapons of mass destruction.” Indeed, the entirely of US foreign policy since the Clinton regime has been based on nothing but false allegations.

The Russian government should have learned by now, but perhaps Moscow still thinks that facts matter in Washington’s decisions.

Possibly we should consider that more is going on than meets the eye.  Perhaps the propaganda about the Russian cyber threat to democracy is being used to prepare American and/or European populations for an incident. The CIA has morphed into a “deep state” that uses disinformation and propaganda to align decisions of Congress, the executive branch, and foreign governments  with secret behind-the-scenes agendas.  Many books, such as Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers and Douglas Valentine’s CIA As Organized Crime have described some of these secret agendas.

In order to deter Trump from restoring normal relations with Russia, an incident would have to be severe and irreversible.  Rather than accept defeat for their agenda of US world hegemony, the neoconservatives are prepared to take high risks.  The willingness to take risks is demonstrated by the public effort of the CIA Director to discredit the president-elect.

As expected, Putin’s response to the latest provocation is low key as the “sanctions” appear to be meaningless on the surface.  However, in the event that something dangerous is below the surface, the Russian government might want to consider putting its military forces on alert.

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

August 13, 2020
David Correia, Justin Bendell, and Ernesto Longa
Nine Mile Ride: Why Police Reform Always Results in More Police Violence, Not Less
Vijay Prashad
Why a Growing Force in Brazil Is Charging That President Jair Bolsonaro Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity
Brett Wilkins
Teaching Torture: The Death and Legacy of Dan Mitrione
Joseph Scalia III
Yellowstone Imperiled by Compromise
Binoy Kampmark
Don’t Stigmatise the Nuke! Opponents of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
Margot Rathke
The Stimulus Deal Should Include Free College
CounterPunch News Service
Critic of Wildlife Department Removed Day Before Scheduled Meetings on Revisions to Wolf-killing Protocols
Thomas Knapp
America Doesn’t Have Real Presidential Debates, But It Should
George Ochenski
Time to Face – and Plan for – Our Very Different Future
Ted Rall
Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick is … ZZZZZ
Purusottam Thakur
‘If We Don’t Work, Who’ll Produce the Harvest?’
Robert Dreyfuss
October Surprise: Will War with Iran Be Trump’s Election Eve Shocker?
Gary Leupp
The RCP, Fascism, and Chairman Bob’s Endorsement of Biden for President
James Haught
The Pandemic Disproves God
Robert Koehler
Election Theft and the Reluctant Democracy
August 12, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War On Arms Control and Disarmament
P. Sainath
“We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem
Riva Enteen
Kamala Harris? Really? Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Kenneth Surin
The Decrepit UK Political System
Robert Hunziker
Freakish Arctic Fires Alarmingly Intensify
Ramzy Baroud
The Likud Conspiracy: Israel in the Throes of a Major Political Crisis
Sam Pizzigati
Within Health Care USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter
John Perry
The US Contracts Out Its Regime Change Operation in Nicaragua
Binoy Kampmark
Selective Maritime Rules: The United States, Diego Garcia and International Law
Manuel García, Jr.
The Improbability of CO2 Removal From the Atmosphere
Khury Petersen-Smith
The Road to Portland: The Two Decades of ‘Homeland Security’
Raouf Halaby
Teaching Palestinian Children to Love Beethoven, Bizet, and Mozart is a Threat to a Depraved Israeli Society
Jeff Mackler
Which Way for Today’s Mass Radicalization? Capitalism’s Impending Catastrophe…or a Socialist Future
Tom Engelhardt
It Could Have Been Different
Stephen Cooper
Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim
August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail