Just in time for the Nevada caucuses, the Washington Post reported on Friday that U.S. officials recently briefed Bernie Sanders about some help he’s been receiving. The Russians, according to those officials, are “attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest.”
That’s just how diabolical the Russians are. Whichever candidates the media and the “establishment” most want to bring down, those are the candidates the Russians unerringly throw their conniving, underhanded support behind.
WaPo goes on: “President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill also have been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator.”
That said, “It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken,” says WaPo. It never is. “U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump.”
That last sentence is meaningless gibberish, stringing together impressionistic clauses to create an effect, but without asserting anything that would stand up to rational analysis, or to any process of empirical verification.
But you knew that. We’ve all known it for years now. It has become increasingly pointless to offer sober analyses of any of this. I essayed an analysis yesterday, and provide a link to it here, if anyone still has an unrequited desire to ponder statements, language, and facts. You can read that treatment, review what is being said now about Sanders, and draw your conclusions from the repeating themes and patterns.
A couple of notes. One, Sanders told CNN that he was given the brief about a month ago.
— MacKenzie (@mackenzieblaire) February 21, 2020
That would be within a couple of days of when Shelby Pierson – the ODNI staffer who briefed members of the House this week – was telling NPR that we didn’t know yet what the Russians were going to do in 2020. (See my post from yesterday.)
So that has a bit of minor fascination to it. At the same time Pierson made that comment, packaged for the American public, Sanders was being briefed that the Russians were trying “to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest.”
The Sanders brief would suggest we had formed some idea of what the Russians were going to do in 2020, back on that interesting date a month ago. It gives you pause about what the public is being told about all this.
The thought does intrude that maybe what we’re being told now isn’t exactly the straight up, no-kidding truth either.
The other note is that even ABC reporter Jake Tapper seems to have grown a bit skeptical about the recurring “Russia!” theme. On Friday he posted a Twitter thread on the House Intelligence briefing about Russia’s supposed support for President Trump, and two things can be said about it. One, it vitiates the substance of the New York Times and WaPo reports about that briefing, both linked in my earlier article.
And two, it vindicates all the points I made in that same article.
A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
The significant thing about point two is that most readers didn’t really need me – or Tapper – to confirm that for them. Everyone knows by now. The “Russia!” theme is an info ops tool, trotted out to deceive, obfuscate, attack, and annoy.
Over on the Left, there are still true believers who think (or at least purport to think) that this is a damaging revelation about Bernie. (Language.)
Bernie Sanders has known for a month that the Kremlin was trying rig the nomination for him. Instead of getting it declassified, he tried to keep it a secret from us. Then he attacked the media when it finally broke the story. Fuck this guy. #BernieKnew https://t.co/Gt1nHuV276
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) February 22, 2020
Bless their hearts. How much longer can the media and the “deep state” theme-weavers continue to flog the dead “Russia!” horse? I guess we’ll find out.