[Ed. – Lee Smith has written a number of times about the flawed, even damaging, journalistic practices that have facilitated the perpetuation of Russiagate. He does it again in another great read, showcasing some aspects of the co-dependent journalism dynamic that keeps the collaboration with the “deep state” — including the Mueller probe — chugging along.]
“The backbone of the rapidly yet endlessly developing Trump-Putin story,” Gessen wrote in The New York Review of Books nearly a year ago, “is leaks from intelligence agencies, and this is its most troublesome aspect.”
The specter of an intelligence bureaucracy working in tandem with the press to preserve the prerogatives of a ruling clique is the kind of thing that someone who knows Russia from the inside and actually fears the specter of authoritarian government would naturally find worrying. And not surprisingly, concerns over the role of the intelligence community and its increasingly intrusive methods motivate other Russiagate critics on the left, like Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept, historian Jackson Lears writing at the London Review of Books, and Stephen Cohen at The Nation.
“One of the most bizarre aspects of Russiagate,” writes Lears, “is the magical transformation of intelligence agency heads into paragons of truth-telling—a trick performed not by reactionary apologists for domestic spying, as one would expect, but by people who consider themselves liberals.”