Obama’s parting shot at Russia
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Dec 10 2016
As one of his final initiatives before handing over the White House to Donald Trump, Obama has ordered Pindo intelligence agencies to conduct a “full review” of alleged attempts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Counter-terrorism advisor Lisa Monaco told reporters Friday:
We may have crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned.
Later, deputy spox E Schultz said:
This is a major priority for the POTUS. He directed his intelligence community and national security officials to take this on. He expects that report to be issued to him before he leaves office.
What “new threshold” has been crossed? Why is this issue a “huge priority,” six weeks before Donald Trump comes to power at the head of the most right-wing government in Pindosi history? The charge that Moscow sought to influence the election was made in October by the government, which has presented absolutely no evidence to back up its claims of Russian hacking. Even if it were true, the “threshold” of interference in foreign elections was passed by Washington itself long ago. Over the last seven decades, the CIA has intervened on countless occasions to rig elections or overthrow elected officials seen as insufficiently loyal to the interests of Pindosi imperialism. Its public arm the NED has continued such operations from Georgia and Ukraine to Venezuela, Honduras and Haiti. Obama has himself boasted that Washington has the greatest cyber war capabilities of any nation on the planet, and it has regularly employed them, while developing plans for disabling attacks against the civilian infrastructure of Russia, China and Iran. Pindostan has hacked the phones and emails of world leaders from Merkel to Rousseff. What precisely is Russia accused of having done? Last month, a White House boxtop issued a statement declaring that the election had been “free and fair from a cyber-security perspective.” In other words, there was no Russian hacking of the vote. He added that the election results “accurately reflect the will of the Pinpo sheeple,” a grotesque lie given that Donald Trump is set to take office after losing the popular vote by a margin of as many as 3 million votes. This statement was made in opposition to efforts initiated by the Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to force a recount in the key industrial states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. What remains of charges of Russian interference are allegations that the government of Putin helped expose secrets the Democrat Party was keeping from its own voters: in particular, the duplicitous efforts of the DNC to sabotage the Sanders campaign and guarantee the presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton. Moscow is further charged with hacking into the Podesta emails so as to make public Clinton’s speeches pledging fealty to Wall Street bankers and the corrupt activities of both the Democrat Party and the Clinton Foundation. As the NYT put it delicately on Friday, speaking of the review ordered by Obama:
It is unclear if the contents of the review will be made public.
The proof will not be presented to the Pindo sheeple because it doesn’t exist. In the end, Moscow is being blamed for revealing inconvenient political truths to the Pindo sheeple that Obama, Clinton and the Democrats wanted to keep from them. That this is a “huge priority” says a great deal about the politics of the Obama administration. In the same speech announcing the probe, the counter-terrorism adviser made it clear that Obama has no intention of taking any action to close down Gitmo, something he promised to do within his first year in office. He will hand over the infamous facility to Trump, who has vowed to fill it up and resume torture. The administration has made it clear that it will not oppose Trump’s nomination of Marine Gen (retd) J Mattis as Sec Def, even though his appointment requires the overriding of a provision meant to keep recently serving uniformed officers out of the post in order to maintain civilian control of the military. Obama has said nothing as Trump packs his cabinet with a collection of right-wing billionaires and semi-fascists bent on carrying out a war against the working class and democratic rights. Instead, the White House press secretary has declared:
Pres-elect Trump should be given wide latitude in assembling his team.
On Friday, deputy spox Shultz again stressed that the administration was not questioning the election result, saying the intelligence probe Obama had ordered was “not an effort to challenge the outcome of the election.” He added:
Pres Obama has actually gone out of his way to make sure that we are providing for a seamless transition of power.
So what is this probe really about? The aim is to poison relations between Faschingstein and Moscow as much as possible between now and inauguration day in order to ensure that Trump continues Pindosi imperialism’s preparations for military confrontation with Russia, which is seen as the principal obstacle to Washington’s drive to assert its hegemony over Eurasia. The Democrat Party and Clinton ran to the right of Trump during the election campaign on the question of Russia and war, portraying Trump as “Putin’s puppet” because of his suggestions that NATO was outmoded and that he could negotiate with Moscow, including on a common policy in regard to Syria. Had she won, Clinton would have claimed a mandate to escalate the Pindosi intervention in Syria and step up NATO’s provocative military buildup on Russia’s borders in Eastern Europe. The NYT which functioned as a de facto campaign organ of Clinton and the Democrats during the election, published a lead editorial in its first Sunday edition following the vote with the headline “The Danger of Going Soft on Russia.” This week, Democrat leaders in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Obama asking him to brief Congress on alleged Russian efforts to influence the election. Top House Democrats have also introduced a bill to create an independent commission to study the hacks. Senate Republicans are launching their own probe into alleged Russian interference in the election. The Republican-controlled House has passed legislation imposing sanctions on any country supporting the Syrian government in its war with US-backed Islamist militias, a measure clearly aimed against Moscow. And the Pentagon budget bill includes millions of dollars in lethal military aid to Ukraine, an open provocation against Russia. Meanwhile, the retired military brass that Trump has brought into his cabinet, Mattis as Sec Def and Kelly as DHS Sec, have both spoken out strongly in support of the Pindo military buildup against Russia. In the end, as the most right-wing government in Pindo history prepares to take office, all sections of Pindostan’s ruling establishment are united in the drive to prepare for world war.