Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail