Visit ArabTopics.com

Don't Expect Trump To Help Fix Russian Electoral Meddling

Señor T may be-- is-- distracting everyone with whatever he's babbling about today... yesterday it was the incoherence of a path to citizenship and deporting thousands of El Salvadoreans, many with American-born children. Just as long as no one is talking about Putin-Gate he's chuckling away. Wednesday morning AP reported that Senate Dems issued a warning "of deepening Russian interference throughout Europe and concludes that even as some Western democracies have responded with aggressive countermeasures, President Donald Trump has offered no strategic plan to bolster their efforts or safeguard the U.S. from again falling victim to the Kremlin’s systematic meddling." Why should he, since the meddling is on his own behalf? Republican enablers are ignoring the report entirely.

The report commissioned by the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is the first from Congress to comprehensively detail Russian efforts to undermine democracies since the 2016 presidential election. It wastes no time in calling out Trump personally for what it describes as a failure to respond to Russia’s mounting destabilization activities in the U.S. and worldwide. The report was obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its public release Wednesday.

“Never before has a U.S. president so clearly ignored such a grave and growing threat to U.S. national security,” the report warns.

No Republicans on the committee signed on to the 200-plus page report released by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland. But even without GOP backing, the report’s recounting of Russian operations in 19 European nations foreshadows the still-unpublished Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan inquiry into Russia’s role during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Cardin said in a statement that he commissioned the report so Americans can see the “true scope and scale” of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to undermine democracy.

“While President Trump stands practically idle, Mr. Putin continues to refine his asymmetric arsenal and look for future opportunities to disrupt governance and erode support for the democratic and international institutions that the United States and Europe have built over the last 70 years,” Cardin said.

Cardin’s inquiry lays blame directly on Putin for a “relentless assault to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe and the United States.” Concerned that Trump has failed to identify Russian aggression as a national rallying point, the report urges a “stronger congressional voice” in pro-democracy efforts and funding. The report calls for committee hearings and other bipartisan efforts to aid European nations in countering Russian aggression.

Some policy changes suggested by the report have garnered GOP interest, including the aggressive use of financial sanctions aimed at Russia and pressuring social media companies to be more transparent about Russian political messaging.

The report also pushes for the administration to fully fund and utilize the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which it says is hobbled by “a lack of urgency and self-imposed constraints” under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The center was created in 2016 to blunt terrorist propaganda. It duties have expanded to include countering Russian propaganda under legislation last year from Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) Cardin’s report sketches a bleak portrait of European nations besieged by Russian encroachment. It also cites years of cyberattacks, disinformation, clandestine social media operations, financing of fringe political groups, corruption and in the extreme, assassination attempts and military operations that destabilized fledgling democratic governments in the Ukraine and Georgia. The report leans heavily on open source information as well as staff interviews with European diplomats and government officials.

Labeling Russia’s activities an “asymmetric assault on democracy,” the report notes that even elections in countries such as Britain, France and Germany were reportedly targeted by Moscow-sponsored hacking, internet trolling and financing for extremist political groups. The report also credits those nations and smaller European countries, such as Finland and Estonia, for responding quickly and often with effect.

Facebook officials told Cardin’s investigators that Kremlin-backed trolls that stirred up political tensions on its American pages also “pursued a similar strategy in the lead up to the 2017 French political election, and likely before Germany’s national election” last year.

Similarly, Finnish officials told Cardin’s investigators that Finland has ramped up anti-disinformation efforts after Russian-leaning Twitter accounts “began tweeting misinformation and fringe viewpoints” before that nation’s 2015 parliamentary elections-- foreshadowing the surge in Russian-sourced fake Twitter accounts that proliferated during the U.S. presidential election.

Senate Intelligence Committee officials have questioned efforts of Facebook and Twitter to accurately determine the extent of Russian political messaging during the 2016 U.S. election. Cardin’s team also noted alarming discrepancies between the extent of Russian troll activity found by independent researchers and far lower figures claimed by social media companies in European countries. The report advocates for social media companies to do a better job of auditing their platforms to determine the full extent of Russian disinformation flowing across them.

Cardin’s report urges Trump to set up an interagency “fusion cell” on Russian interference modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center that was created after the 9/11 attacks. The report recommends that the president convene an annual global summit modeled after similar forums on combating the Islamic State group or homegrown extremists. Rapid response teams should be formed to defend ally countries after cyberattacks, with an international treaty governing the use of cyber tools in peace time.

It calls on the government to increase the amount of aid it provides to promote democracy in Europe and publicly to expose any organized crime and corruption links to Putin. It say social media companies should be required to publicize the sources of funding for political advertisements along the same lines as broadcast and print media.

So far, the president personally has shown little interest in addressing Russia’s activities. During a November trip to Asia, where he met with Putin, Trump said “he said he didn’t meddle” and added: “I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

Other administration officials have been more skeptical of Russian behavior. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said the U.S. is prepared to deter Russian aggression in Europe and the U.S. agreed late last year to allow sales of lethal anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation that the CIA is working diligently to prevent Russia or any other U.S. adversary from interfering in future elections. “I continue to be concerned not only about the Russians but about others’ efforts as well,” Pompeo said.

There must be something between letting Russia determine American election results and letting the neocons start a shooting war with them, no?

Source: 
Down With Tyranny

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 12
John Pilger 407
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1378
FEE 2771
Marine Le Pen 208
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 423
Mohamed Omar 216
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 15
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 64
Vetenskapsradion Historia 107
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 167
Les Crises 1634
Richard Falk 100
Ian Sinclair 71
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 5414
Kafila 320
Gail Malone 31
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 86
The Duran 6013
Vanessa Beeley 84
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4226
Paul Craig Roberts 988
News Junkie Post 43
Nomi Prins 21
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 2984
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 58
Liberty Blitzkrieg 765
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2046
21 Century Wire 2721
Burning Blogger 267
Stephen Gowans 66
David D. Friedman 125
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1436
Tom Dispatch 376
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3152
The Barnes Review 458
John Friend 346
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 2829
School Sucks Project 1722
Giza Death Star 1459
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 556
GMWatch 1655
Robert Faurisson 134
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 652
Le 4ème singe 86
Jacob Cohen 189
Agora Vox 9345
Cercle Des Volontaires 411
Panamza 1501
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 676
Spy Culture 325
Conspiracy Archive 57
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 462
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 481
Independent Science News 65
The Anti Media 5029
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 258
The Mind renewed 205
Natural Society 2391
Yanis Varoufakis 765
Tragedy & Hope 121
Dr. Tim Ball 60
Web of Debt 120
Porkins Policy Review 324
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 543
Libyan War Truth 268
DeadLine Live 1895
Kevin Ryan 61
BSNEWS 1941
Aaron Franz 175
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 118
Dr. Bruce Levine 102
Peter B Collins 1281
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9109
Climate Audit 219
Donna Laframboise 321
Judith Curry 1035
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1855
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 9563
Laura Wells Solutions 17
Video Rebel's Blog 404
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17026
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2556
Northerntruthseeker 1954
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4556
AntiWar.com Blog 2555
AntiWar.com Original Content 5859
Corbett Report 2008
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1077
Webster Tarpley Website 873

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public