Why is it so difficult for some people to believe that the Russians deliberately influenced the outcome of the US presidential election?
First of all, they have the technology to do it, they have done it in other countries, and they would have every incentive to do it. Whether it is just trying to lessen American power in the world or elect someone who would favor them, of course they would do everything they could to throw a US election.
Even more ironic is the fact that the US has been meddling in the elections of other countries for a long time. That includes orchestrating coups, and even assassinating elected leaders we don’t like. The list is long:
- We ousted the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953 and installed a dictator, the Shah of Iran. We did this to control their oil.
- We toppled and assassinated Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961.
- We removed Chilean President Salvador Allende in a CIA-sponsored military coup led by Augusto Pinochet. This led to years of years of torture, disappearances and targeted assassinations.
- In 1954, we unseated the president of Guatemala and replaced him with a series of dictators in order to benefit a US corporation, the United Fruit company.
- Speaking of Iran, remember Reagan’s Iran-Contra affair, where we funded Nicaraguan rebels (the Contras) in an illegal attempt to topple their elected government?
An scarily familiar example is what we did in Italy:
In 1948, the United States propped up Italy’s centrist Christian Democrats and helped ensure their electoral victory against a leftist coalition, anchored by one of the most powerful communist parties in Europe. CIA operatives gave millions of dollars to their Italian allies and helped orchestrate what was then an unprecedented, clandestine propaganda campaign: This included forging documents to besmirch communist leaders via fabricated sex scandals, starting a mass letter-writing campaign from Italian Americans to their compatriots, and spreading hysteria about a Russian takeover and the undermining of the Catholic Church.
“We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their political expenses, their campaign expenses, for posters, for pamphlets,” recounted F. Mark Wyatt, the CIA officer who handled the mission and later participated in more than 2½ decades of direct support to the Christian Democrats.
We’ve done similar things in Japan, the Philippines, and Lebanon. More recently, we have meddled in the elections of Haiti, Honduras, Venezuela, and the Ukraine.
In the Ukraine, we were directly opposing Russian interests. Why wouldn’t Putin retaliate? Especially against Clinton, who as Secretary of State was one of the people meddling in their affairs.
And we have plenty of evidence that a single event could have been what threw the election to Trump.
Also published on Medium.