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Exceptional Interference?

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.



  1. Michael wrote:

    Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that Aleppo has just fallen (to Russian-backed Syrian forces) as we speak?

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    “Why is it so difficult for some people to believe that the Russians deliberately influenced the outcome of the US presidential election?”

    Because I was repeatedly told by Obama, Hillary, democrats, mainstream republicans to never doubt US election system, and Trump will be sore loser if he claimed that election was rigged.

    (I believe US elections are always rigged, with people given perception of choice, not necessarily by fake votes or bad voting machines only, but by design to make sure only elite/establishment approved candidates reach to final. In this election Russia and Trump carefully crafted how to beat that design, and they did it)

    But first all people who were bragging about US elections being awesome before, need to see “irony” of claims of rigging because they ended up losing.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    Michael, I knew Russia will do something drastic, and will do more than that, because he knows Obama has no balls and no time to do anything, and next guy will pretend to adjust and take time, and then before you know whole Ukraine will be part of Russia.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    hassan: “but by design to make sure only elite/establishment approved candidates reach to final”

    apparently you weren’t around this country in 2008. No one had heard of Barack Obama. I’d ask my tax clients about him: “who?” I’d ask people on the street. “Oh, he could never win.” Both sides of the aisle in Congress wanted him to run because he had no baggage what so ever. He lived in Chicago and wasn’t part of the corruption. Nothing “elite” or “establishment” about him. In fact, People said he didn’t have enough experience in Government.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  5. Mountain Man wrote:

    To say nothing of the entire Vietnam War which we got involved in in order to stop the free elections that were scheduled by the UN in 1956. Ho Chi Minh was clearly going to take the win so we jumped in with both feet to stop the feared “domino effect” in which all of Southeast Asia would go Communist like China did. Turned out to be a big, ugly, and costly mistake all the way around and did nothing to halt the inevitable in the long run – for better or worse – we’re now big trading partners with “Communist” Vietnam and China.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  6. Hassan wrote:

    EBDOUG, I been here since Jan 2000, I heard of him well before 2008 election, he was carefully being groomed to run to become “outsider” with “hope and change”, and establishment knew some of his idealist ideas will be shattered once he takes charge.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  7. Hassan wrote:

    BTW can someone highlight how has Russia interfered with elections (I shared mine above, I will reiterate here as last point):

    1. Millions of illegal voters who voted for Trump?
    2. Hacked voting machines in selected states (WI, MI, PA)?
    3. Hacked DNC and related emails to show how Clinton got questions in advance in primaries, and to ask specific questions to Republicans running by CNN and show how DNC and Debbie (DNC chair) made sure Hillary wins against Bernie?
    4. Told Anthony Wiener to sext more, so FBI can see Hillary’s email in his machine and send letter to congress?
    5. Taught Trump how to play media and get rid of opponents one after another (mine)

    Is there any other possibility? Is there proof to any?

    (PS I hate Russia, and I know Trump is in Russia’s pocket and so all of his picks)

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  8. Quidam wrote:

    “the Shaw of Iran.” should be “the Shah of Iran.”

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    oops, fixed. What I get for pulling a Trump and posting in the middle of the night.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
  10. redjon wrote:

    Another irony may be that it is Russia’s right to defend herself against the U.S., just as it is the right of the U.S. to defend herself against Russia. Meanwhile, while we maintain a trade deficit with Russia, that deficit is less than 3% of our trade deficit with China… AND our exports to China in 2016 were more than 18x our exports to Russia.

    Useless trivia, I know…

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  11. Jonah wrote:

    I’m in the camp that thinks that wikileaks changed the mind of enough voters to make it a “landslide” victory for Trump.MI, WI and PA are 46 votes and HRC would have won if a small number of votes in each state had swung her way. The total number of votes separating her and trump in those three states was less than 100000 votes. So think about it. All that needed to be done was to change the minds of 100000 votes or about 0.05% of the total voting eligible population in the states. I don’t find it far fetched that a larger than 0.5% of the population were swayed enough by wikileaks and FBI to either not vote for HRC or to vote for Trump and therefore swung the election.

    That said if the russkies main aim was to delegitimize the election they seem to succeeded either way. First through the leaks, as harmless as some were, Trump was able to convince disgruntled votes that the election was rigged. Now that the election is over the tables have turned and anyone anti-trump believes the election was rigged.

    I think the best way forward is to accept that for better or worse trump is president. He does have some proposals that would help such as lower taxes for offshore cash and infrastructure improvements. He should not have carte-blanche to do everything and hopefully there will be opposition to any adverse moves regarding the climate. Dems should focus on getting a good 2020 candidate. I don’t like any of the 3 favorites biden, sanders nor warren. I would prefer someone like Cuban essentially business minded with a social and environmental conscience.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 3:16 am | Permalink

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