Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, October 11th, 2016.

Unshackled Trump and the Wikileaks Mystery

Bad Hair

The headline could be, “Republicans In Disarray.” The whole party is in meltdown today, and Donald Trump is declaring war on the GOP.

“Desite [sic] winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday morning, adding an hour later that “our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.”

He kept it going, essentially declaring war on the GOP. “With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!” Trump later tweeted, following up that blast, with, “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”

The best part is that he has declared himself unshackled. No more nice.

They don’t make enough popcorn for this. Anyway, on to the Wikileaks Mystery.

Some Clinton emails hacked by Wikileaks surfaced that turned out to have been “doctored.” In the original email, Sidney Blumenthal sent an article from Newsweek to Hillary Clinton. The article, by Kurt Eichenwald, was reporting on accusations about Clinton and Benghazi. The Russian hacker who dealt with this email, possibly confused, attributed quotes from the Eichenwald article to Blumenthal. When put into Blumenthal’s mouth, the quotes appeared to be an admission that Clinton could have done something to stop the attacks and/or save ambassador Chris Stevens.

Kurt Eichenwald saw the Wikileaks version and realized what happened, as he wrote in “Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I Am Not Sidney Blumenthal.”

Eichenwald says that the doctored email appeared briefly on Sputnik, “the Russian online news and radio service established by the government-controlled news agency, Rossiya Segodnya.” And then he says,

Of course, this might be seen as just an opportunity to laugh at the incompetence of the Russian hackers and government press—once they realized their error, Sputnik took the article down. But then things got even more bizarre.

This false story was reported only by the Russian-controlled agency (a reference appeared in a Turkish publication, but it was nothing but a link to the Sputnik article). So how did Donald Trump end up advancing the same falsehood put out by Putin’s mouthpiece?

Yes, Donald Trump. Yesterday at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Trump repeated the allegations from the doctored email. This is from Breitbart:

Trump also referenced an email about Benghazi from Sidney Blumenthal, whom he called, “sleazy Sidney.”

“The attack was almost certainly preventable. Clinton was in charge of the State Department,” Trump stated, reading from his notes on the email. “If the GOP wants to raise that as a talking point against her, it is legitimate.”

Trump claimed she is now admitting they could have done something about Benghazi. The crowd booed in reaction and chanted, “Lock her up!”

Eichenwald wrote,

This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin? (The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

The Russians have been obtaining American emails and now are presenting complete misrepresentations of them—falsifying them—in hopes of setting off a cascade of events that might change the outcome of the presidential election. The big question, of course, is why are the Russians working so hard to damage Clinton and, in the process, aid Donald Trump? That is a topic for another time.

For now, though, Americans should be outraged. This totalitarian regime, engaged in what are arguably war crimes in Syria to protect its government puppet, is working to upend a democracy to the benefit of an American candidate who uttered positive comments just Sunday about the Kremlin’s campaign on behalf of Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s arguments were an incomprehensible explication of the complex Syrian situation, which put him right on the side of the Iranians and Syrians, who are fighting to preserve the government that is the primary conduit of weapons used against Israel.

So no, Mr. Putin, I’m not Sidney Blumenthal. And now that you have been exposed once again, get the hell out of our election. And, Mr. Trump, you have some explaining to do.

Did Putin’s boys forward the email to the Donald before they realized it was screwed up? Maybe, although Josh Marshall provides an alternative scenario.

News from Russian propaganda sources are pervasive in the alt-right/neo-Nazi web. As a secondary matter we know from Adrian Chen’s work that there are a decent number of faux ‘pro-Trump’ accounts on Twitter that are actually run from troll farms operated by Russian intelligence services. By whichever path, Russian propaganda is ubiquitous on the alt-right/racist web – particularly on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan and similar sites.

It happens that we know the Trump world is awash in the alt-right/neo-Nazi web. After all, that’s where all the retweeting of #WhiteGenocide accounts and the like comes from. So anything is possible. Perhaps there’s a more complex explanation. But the simplest one is that it’s organic. Russian propaganda stories from outlets like RT, Sputniknews and other similar sites spread freely on the alt-right/white supremacist web. And that’s where the Trump camp lives. So it’s entirely plausible that that’s why material that appears only on these Russian propaganda sites shows up so frequently in Trump’s speeches.

In other words, don’t worry. The Trump campaign isn’t infiltrated by Russian intelligence (probably). They’re just awash in neo-Nazi and white supremacist propaganda.

In other words, in this scenario some U.S. white supremacist found the doctored email on Sputnik before it was taken down and forwarded it to the Trump campaign.

Either way, after this it cannot be denied that Wikileaks and Julian Assange are working with Putin’s people to manipulate the election. However, many of the besotted die-hards on social media who believe Assange walks on water will continue to deny it, because they’re tools.

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