Today I am feeling vindicated. And that vindication comes from a very strange source – the US attorney general, William P. Barr. Or, more specifically, his letter to the US Senate released to the public today.
His letter reports the principal conclusions of Special Counsel, Robert S. Mueller on what has been dubbed “Russiagate.” That conclusion shows that the narrative we have been fed by the corporate or mainstream media over the last two years has been false. It has been fake news.
Barr points out that the primary consideration of the Mueller investigation was “whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the elections, which would be a federal crime.” He couldn’t be clearer in his conclusions:
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
He quote’s Mueller’s report:
“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr repeats this conclusion several times in his letter – it is not a slip of the tongue.
Smearing “Russiagate” sceptics as Trump supporters part of the big lie
My feeling of vindication has nothing to do with Trump – I do not support that buffoon and have made that clear many times. I feel vindicated because I saw absolutely no evidence for the narrative promoted by the corporate media and an alliance of US politicians and elements of the intelligence community. (If I had seen real evidence I would have supported the claims). No evidence at all.
But I felt like the small child pointing out the Emperor had no clothes. Simply standing up for the obvious need for evidence led to accusations of being a Trump supporter (even a “neo-Nazi” or a “White Supremacist)” and one of Putin’s “useful idiots.”
But now we know who the “useful idiots” were.
A dangerous narrative
Some commenters might say “so what. No one was harmed and truth will out in the end.” But I always saw this as an extremely serious matter. As Caitlin Johnstone says in her excellent article “Russiagate Skeptics Rightly Boast About Being Proven 100% Correct:”
“Russiagate was a pernicious lie advanced by secretive government agencies who’ve been plotting to shove Russia off the world stage since the fall of the Soviet Union, by the Democrats who’ve had a vested interest in avoiding accountability for their failures and malfeasance in the 2016 election, and by the mass media who’ve been reaping extreme profits by peddling the clickbait sensationalist conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.”
That lie was extremely dangerous because it increased international tension, brought relations between the two major nuclear countries to the worst state since the cold war, prevented any progress on nuclear arms control (in fact promoted retreat from arms control), inhibited the fight against terrorism and the solution of regional problems, and enhanced the possibility that regional conflicts could erupt into a full scale nuclear world war.
But the damage was also to our own society. Again, Caitlin Johnstone says it so well:
“These lies have created a highly toxic environment by leeching poison into the natural discourse and halting the progression of our species. Most people who got swept up in the Russiagate fervor were manipulated by their disgust for Trump and their desire to get him out, no matter if it was true or not.”
Demand evidence and question more
Since the US presidential election, I have been amazed at the people who should know better, people I had respected, who have brought this Russiagate narrative – simply and only because of their hatred for Trump. These people turned on anyone questioning the narrative simply because of their own confirmation bias, ignoring the evidence or lack of it.
This experience has taught me something. I should not translate respect for a source based on their evidence-based conclusions in one area to the conclusions in other areas. Every individual or source has feet of clay – we should hold the credibility of evidence well above the status and promoted credibility of sources – especially those of the corporate media.
Caitlin Johnstone again:
“I think the great lesson here is that you can’t out-manipulate the grand manipulators. You have to stick to the truth even when it appears to go against your own self interests because your ego has levers and it can be used to puppet you. If you always value the highest interest over your self interest then you can’t be played. Demand evidence and keep demanding it until you get it. If you do, change your mind, if you don’t, stick to your guns. That’s the only way we’ll get out of here alive.”
There will be no apology
Some elements in the media did sort of apologise when the US presidential election did not go the way they told us it would. They sort of indicated they had learned their lesson and would do better next time.
What a load of rubbish. They immediately fell back into the same old bad habits. The corporate media had got it wrong again and it is the sensible consumer of media output who learned the lesson. The sensible person now uses multiple sources and treats them all critically and intelligently, refusing to accept evidence-free narratives. In this case, it has been elements of the alternative media who got it right – and understandably they are now crowing about it. Caitlin Johnstone supports this crowing:
” It is good that these alternative media figures are puffing their chests and shouting their I-told-you-sos, because you can be absolutely certain that the people who’ve been advancing the Russiagate narrative will never go out of their way to acknowledge the undeniable fact that they have been proven wrong while there were voices standing to their left getting it right. The mainstream narrative will do its very best to pace mainstream attention away from the inconvenient fact that there was abundant evidence contradicting a narrative which monopolized public energy for more than two years while manufacturing support for dangerous cold war escalations and sucking all oxygen out of the room for discussion of progressive reforms, so it is absolutely necessary for those voices who have been vindicated to make noise about it themselves.”
That screeching sound you hear comes from corporate media and the stenographers they employ reacting to the Mueller report by shifting the goal posts in a desperate attempt to avoid public recognition of their culpability in promoting the fake narrative, and to keep that narrative alive in different forms.
I will leave the last word to comedian Jimmy Dore – experience shows he is worth listening to: