By Glen Ford
October 11, 2017
The alleged “war” against U.S. “democracy” turns out to have been a cheap click-bait hustle.
The attempt to pin Donald Trump’s election on the Russians is collapsing into utter absurdity. One of the most dangerous lies ever told has come totally undone, lost in the endless pages of Facebook.
Russiagate is the conspiracy that never was, a tale spun by Democrats and corporate media manipulators who did everything they could to make Trump a viable candidate for president, only to be defeated by him in the Electoral College.
Trump’s unpredictability, his occasional questioning of U.S. permanent war policies, unnerved the military and intelligence operatives of the empire. The spooks said they were “confident” that it was the Russians, not Wikileaks, who hacked into the bowels of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The spooks admitted they had no proof, and nearly a year after the election, it is clear that no evidence of Russian culpability in the affair exists. Russiagate is, in the words of the media mercenary Van Jones, a “nothing-burger.” And yet, it is a lie that was endlessly amplified and expanded upon because it serves those with an interest in permanent global conflict.
So, to promote war without end we got lies without end, all orbiting around the black, empty hole called Russiagate. Based on no facts and no evidence, a non-existent electronic break-in grew into a massive Russian campaign to disrupt U.S. elections in 2016. But, the Russiagate mob has discovered that it’s hard to feed an infinitely expanding lie. Inevitably, they have had to scale back their inquisition.
Way back. Having failed to make the case for “collusion” between Vladimir Putin and Trump, and with no evidence that Russians or any other foreigners tampered with U.S. voting machinery, the Russiagate inquisition shifted their attention to social media, and especially Facebook. Under intense pressure from Democrats in Congress, Facebook declared that it had discovered advertising purchases by people in Russia thought to have ties to the Kremlin.
But, it turns out, the ads cost only about $100,000 over two years — a budget unworthy of any state actor, even from the smallest and poorest of nations. It turns out, most of the ads are click-bait hustles , whose messages are designed to attract eyeballs and earn payouts, not shape the destiny of nations.
It’s a hit-and-miss business. Twenty-five percent of the ads weren’t seen by anybody. More than half the ads were shown after the 2016 election, and couldn’t have changed anybody’s mind about who to support. Half the ads cost the buyer $3 or less. The supposedly “Russian” ads dealt with a wide spectrum of issues, from hobbies to politics to puppies. For those ads that discussed politics, the message was as likely to be left-leaning as right-leaning — anything that might get clicks.
So much for the “war” that Uncle Morgan Freeman says Russia is waging against the U.S. Since there is no political pattern to the ads, the Russiagate mob now claims that the Kremlin is deliberately pushing contradictory messages through its click-bait ads in order to create chaos in American society. All for less than $50,000 a year. The great threat to U.S. “democracy” has dissolved into nothingness, from whence it came.
Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.