Russia Sanctions And The Coming Crackdown On Americans

Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Last week I wrote an article and did an interview explaining that in my reading of the new Russia sanctions bill just signed by President Trump, there is a measure opening the door to a US government crackdown on some of the non-mainstream media. In particular, Section 221 of the "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" would punish "persons" who are "engaging in transactions with the intelligence or defense sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation."

At first one might think this is reading too much into the text, however as a twelve year Capitol Hill veteran bill-reader I can assure you that these bills are never written in a simple, expository manner. There is always a subtext, and in this case we must consider the numerous instances where the Director of Central Intelligence and other senior leadership in the US intelligence community have attempted to establish the idea that foreign news channels such as RT or Sputnik News are not First Amendment protected press, but rather tools of a foreign intelligence organization.

You can see in the current atmosphere, where anti-Russia hysteria has spread like typhoid, how readily-accepted such a notion would be by many. The reds are under our beds and the Russkies have taken over our airwaves.

I don't think the crackdown will stop at Russian government funded news organizations like RT and Sputnik, however. Once the initial strike is made at the lowest hanging fruit, the second wave will target Russia-focused organizations not funded by governments but that challenge the official US government line that Russia is our number one enemy and its government must be overthrown. Popular private alternative websites like The Duran and Russia Insider will likely be next on the list for prosecution.

Sound farfetched? Think of it this way (I can assure you the neocons do): if the Russian government and RT are opposed to sanctions and you operate a website that also takes a line in opposition to Russia sanctions are you not doing the work of Russian intelligence? Are you not seeking to influence your readers in a manner that Russian intelligence would want? Are you not "engaging in transactions" even over the airwaves?

And after this second wave you can be sure there will be a push to move on other alternative media that has nothing to do with Russia but that opposes US interventionist foreign policy: ZeroHedge, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul Institute, ConsortiumNews, etc.

Crazy, you say? Don't forget: this war against us already started last year when the Washington Post ran a front page article accusing all of the above of being Russian agents!

What would be next? Do you read any of these alternative news sites? Do you pass along articles that oppose US sanctions policy toward Russia? You are engaging in transactions. You will be subject to "sanctions" as described in the "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," which is now the law of the land.

This would never happen, you might say. The government would never compile, analyze, and target private news outlets just because they deviate from the official neocon Washington line.

Perhaps not yet. But some US government funded "non-governmental" organizations are already doing just that.

The German Marshall Fund has less to do with Germany these days than it did when founded after WWII as a show of appreciation for the US Marshall Fund. These days it's mostly funded by the US government, allied governments (especially in the Russia-hating Baltics), neocon grant-making foundations, and the military-industrial complex. Through its strangely Soviet-sounding "Alliance for Securing Democracy" project it has launched something called "Hamilton 68: A New Tool to Track Russian Disinformation on Twitter."

This project monitors 600 Twitter accounts that the German Marshall Fund claims are "accounts that are involved in promoting Russian influence and disinformation goals." Which accounts does this monitor? It won't tell us. How does it choose which ones to monitor? It won't tell us. To what end? Frighteningly, it won't tell us.

How ironic that something called the German Marshall Fund is bringing Stasi-like tactics to silence alternative media and opinions in the United States!

So what does the "Hamilton 68" project do? In its own words it firstly "shows tweets from official Russian propaganda outlets in English, and a short post discussing the themes of the day. This is Russia’s overt messaging."

But it goes further than that. It tracks and stores information about others who have no connection to Russia but who "on their own initiative reliably repeat and amplify Russian themes." This is what the German Marshall Fund calls a "network" of second tier disinformation distributors.

What does this "network" of people with no connection to Russia but who amplify Russian "themes" do?

It "reflects Russian messaging priorities, but that does not mean every name or link you see on the dashboard is pro-Russian. The network sometimes amplifies stories that Russia likes, or people with like-minded views but no formal connection to Russia."

So, according to the self-proclaimed alliance for securing democracy you might not even know it when you are pushing Russian state propaganda!

Do you see what they are doing here? They are using US and other government money in an effort to eliminate any news organization or individual who deviates from the official neocon foreign policy line on Russia, Syria, Ukraine, etc. They are trying to eliminate any information that challenges the neocon line. To criminalize it.

In fact they admit that they are seeking to silence alternative viewpoints:

Our objective in providing this dashboard is to help ordinary people, journalists, and other analysts identify Russian messaging themes and detect active disinformation or attack campaigns as soon as they begin. Exposing these messages will make information consumers more resilient and reduce the effectiveness of Russia’s attempts to influence Americans’ thinking, and deter this activity in the future by making it less effective.

The very Soviet-sounding "Alliance for Securing Democracy" project description ends with a suitably authoritarian warning, ripped from the pages of 1984, Darkness at Noon, or Erich Honecker's "how-to" guide:

We are not telling you what to think, but we believe you should know when someone is trying to manipulate you. What you do with that information is up to you.

Chilling, no? And much of it is being done with your money by your government and in your name.

That is why the neocons and their myriad think tanks (government-funded in many cases) would like nothing more than to shut down our upcoming Peace and Prosperity 2017 Conference, to be held right at their front door! They cannot stand an open debate about Washington's hyper-interventionist foreign policy. They don't want to talk about all their failed wars -- and they really don't want to talk about the wars they have planned and are pushing.

We are not the anti-Americans. They are. They hate the First Amendment. They hate debate. They hate us.


yrad Thu, 08/03/2017 - 23:14 Permalink

We have been fucking Russia for a long time. Let's all get real....

We would never have won WWII without them:

They are ruled by a dictator:

There are humanitarian issues:

Are they our biggest boogieman? No.

Trade with all, alliances with none.

yrad . . . _ _ _ . . . Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:11 Permalink

I have a hard time with all the ZH love for Russia. Are they political scapegoats? Most likely. But even the most Libertarian amongst us must agree that the Russian way of life is asemmetric to our own; in totally obvious ways!

I support Trump, and voted for him in Texas. My guess? Trump saw video of the "real" Russia and had a slight change of heart.

We talk about the left being in a "bubble". Let's forget the cooperate interests and the Rothschilds, and realize that sometimes, just sometimes, there are ligetimate threats to us. History is written in chapters of war.

Russia is no cuddly bear and I don't want our gov sharing the same sheets. Trump probably made the right call with these sanctions even with his reservations. The ZH croud can sometimes be a bit anarchist and shortsighted.

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

. . . _ _ _ . . . yrad Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:13 Permalink

yrad, I think that is irrelevant, or at least, less so. The issue should be about fair play, and honesty in government and the media. Trump doesn't run things. US fanaticism is going to bring down your whole country. The world sees you as insane. Are they going to let you control the reserve currency if that's how they feel? That's the issue. Goodbye petro-dollar. 

In reply to by yrad

Luc X. Ifer . . . _ _ _ . . . Fri, 08/04/2017 - 02:27 Permalink

America wants Russia's resources, just pure capitalism and imperialism at work, remember the Avatar's quote 'How do you get to take one's resources? You make him your enemy and attack him'. Pure and simple, I think Trump sincerely wanted to avoid it however, all the rest capitalists of the world need it otherwise their wealth increase would come to a halt and stagnate and that's the death of the capital fueled by a Ponzi scheme and no healthy economics. So, get over it, it is a matter of when not of if and Russia knows it very well. 

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jeff montanye Graph Fri, 08/04/2017 - 05:53 Permalink

russian meddling with u.s. elections?  seymour hersh, a left wing jewish pulitizer prize winner with five george polk journalism awards has this from deep sources within the u.s. government:"It's a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation operation f***ing the f***ing president. And at one point they even started telling the press, they were back-briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press - f***ing c***sucker Rogers3 - was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. I mean all bulls***."… with better sources and credibility, feel free to knock it down.

In reply to by Graph

jeff montanye stacking12321 Fri, 08/04/2017 - 06:15 Permalink

how about being invited by the government of syria to defend it from rebel head choppers ( paid, trained, and armed by the cia with a health care plan out of israel (…).  that's threatening to the neocon deep state.trump himself, by his absence of aipac vetting, stepping from tv land to the whitehouse, also a threat from russia because he said he didn't want a war with them.  direct threat to victoria nuland and her hubby robert kagan.putin notoriously sent jewish oligarchs packing off to israel, even put one in jail.  intolerable threat to zionism's desire for more lucre. (non jewish oligarchs, a minority, were also deposed by putin but that's not so bad from a neocon point of view -- "israel" to quote g.h.w. bush explaining neoconservatism to his less knowledgeable son).one could go on but you get the drift.

In reply to by stacking12321

FoggyWorld yrad Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:28 Permalink

Read some Russian and then Soviet history.  They have NEVER had a cuddly bear at the helm.  Gorby opened the door and whether you realize it or not, Putin is hoping that his country becomes more like most modern western nations but he realizes it will take time.  He isn't a Merkel who just decides overnight to change her nation to line it up with her personal beliefs. Putin does a four hour tv conversation with the Russian people every year and I'm sure they are on youtube and definitely are worth your listening to.   He is trying to move closer to democracy while we have a government that seems to be doing just the opposite.  But you do need to know about the centuries of travail the people of Russia have lived through and to expect them to have a government that mirrors ours at this point is a bit over the top.  Right now, most Russians are proud of their President and all are beyond proud of their country.  We don't seem to be able to say the same thing.   

In reply to by yrad

jeff montanye Manipuflation Fri, 08/04/2017 - 06:45 Permalink

yes.  u.s.a. love it or leave it.  i think i heard that somewhere before, maybe '65 or '68 or '70.  not sure at this point (if you remember you weren't there, etc.).here's why that point of view is in more trouble than usual: it's being directed at the republican base by neo con democrats.  think about that for a while.  president trump is on record as opposing the sanctions (can't even find from that neocon bastion google who in congress also opposed).  the republican base still pretty much supports him (76%…), particularly on the russian front, as it were.  generally speaking these are the families related to those who did the fighting and dying in the wars the neocons started and lost since 9-11.  where casualties were particularly high, trump did particularly well.… do remember the warmongery part of the democratic party is really mostly the corporations (mic) and the neocons.  bernie sanders had everything in the dnc against him and still almost won.  the beck suit won't hurt and neither will tulsi gabbard.  that faction will be back and you can bet less naive than last time.  oh and the dnc might have a few vacancies if imran awan gets a proper stop?  u.s.a. love it and change it (aka maga)

In reply to by Manipuflation

Mementoil yrad Fri, 08/04/2017 - 01:24 Permalink

I'm no fan of Vladimir Putin.But it's ridiculous to think that Russia is a major threat to the US, or that any of their actions justifies economic sactions.There are far worse regimes out there in the world, who murder and enslave their own citizens, and the US doesn't get involved in their affairs.On top of that, the whole conflict with Russia has a surreal, artificial air about it.I remember how happy and relieved the Russians have felt when Trump was elected, because they believed that there is a chance for peace and cooperation with the US. So now the US is fomenting war with a power which is actually interested in peace? Who are the good guys in this story?

In reply to by yrad

jeff montanye Nostradumbass Fri, 08/04/2017 - 08:33 Permalink

until about 2000.  finished it for you.  then putin had a conversation with the oligarchs who had used their insider positions with the communist regime and the yeltsin administration to plunder and gain control of the enormous natural resources of the russian nation.  he backed up the conversation with the jailing of one oligarch.  the rest ran, mostly to israel. now i'll start another for you.  the u.s.a. has been ruled by jews, with an increasingly iron hand, since 1963.whether we can someday add until 2016 remains to be seen.

In reply to by Nostradumbass

NiggaPleeze yrad Fri, 08/04/2017 - 02:23 Permalink

the Russian way of life is asemmetric to our own; in totally obvious ways!

And you know that based on ... the virtual reality created by Globalist/Tribalist (nice contraction, eh? yeah) media?Trump has actually been to Russia.  Have you?  I haven't been but I know many people who have (both to visit or who were visiting abroad).  Russia is very compatible with us.  Certainly much more so than ethnic-cleansing Israel, Sharia-law Saudi Arabia, authoritarian Singapore, Communist China, and a host of other countries which don't receive nearly the negative press.Maybe if you think about it it is because Russia is more like the US used to be, not like the Globalists/Tribalists want us to be (i.e., weak, suicided, divided, amoral, controlled, and utterly confused).

In reply to by yrad

not dead yet yrad Fri, 08/04/2017 - 03:11 Permalink

What totally obvious ways are they different from us. It's obvious you don't know. Two YouTube sites I occasionally peruse are Real Russia and Different Russia with videos about everday Russia presented by ordinary Russian people. I can hear you now it's state sponsored propaganda. Not. One site is a guy and a camera man. The other is a lady who does all her stuff with a small camera or Iphone. Nice insights, quality productions thanks to the software available today. There are also videos posted by Americans living in Russia. One video by a black American guy had the interesting title The Worst Thing About Russia. Now we get to the real skinny on the "oppressive police state dictatorship." Surprise, the guys message was the worst thing about Russia is how it's portrayed in the western, especially the US, media. It's far more different than and better than it's portrayed. Just as many commenters here that have been to Russia have said. They are not that much different than us other than they abhor war while the general American public treats war as some kind of game we always win and keeps us "safe." You are the one who is shortsighted and need to educate yourself instead of parading your ignorance. There is absolutely no valid or intelligent reason to put sanctions on Russia today or when they did it under Obama when Russia invited Crimea back into the fold before the American installed junta in Kiev could deny Russia access to it's naval base there. You, like the vast majority of Americans, have been propagandized since birth, so I guess we should cut you some slack until you treat anything from the mainstream media with skepticism. For the most part the ZH'ers have educated themselves and realize Russia is in the right as the US continues to be the worlds bully. It's not cheerleading but a respect for the truth. Ask the Syrians what they think of the Russians after their towns get liberated from the US sponsored terrorists that Obama has personally admitted the US is supporting. Obama and the press tell you of Russian and Assad attrocities and the people are overjoyed at being liberated and the attrocities were done by the US sponsored "vetted rebels" but never reported in the west. Everything the US has done in Syria from the bombings, setting up bases, supplying "rebels", keeping aid agencies from sending in food and medicine is 100% against international law. Where are the sanctions on the US? Same goes for the Donbass region in Ukraine where the US backed junta is trying to destroy or drive out the inhabitants there because if they are allowed to vote they have the votes to elect a pro Russian government. It's not a war, those people are fighting for their survival. 

In reply to by yrad

jeff montanye not dead yet Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:13 Permalink

 excellent points all.  perhaps the deepest one is this: They are not that much different than us other than they abhor war while the general American public treats war as some kind of game we always win and keeps us "safe."to understand, a little bit, why this is so, ask people two questions: how many total casualties, civilian and military, did the u.s. have in all of world war 2.  answer, 420,000 (  then ask them how many total casualties the soviet union had in the battle of stalingrad alone.  answer 1.1 million (  total ussr killed in ww2?  not sure.  somewhere between 20 and 27 million.and this may account for another somewhat lopsided comparison.  how many people have soviet and russian forces killed outside of their countries since ww2?  how many for u.s. forces?  here's an estimate of 20 million for the u.s. (…).  it's much harder to find estimates for the soviet union and russia.  the worst war is afghanistan with 1 to 2 million "enemy" dead.  however unlike the u.s. army in the post ww2 era (but not say the early 1860's), the ussr and russia had many "civil wars" to deal with, many with brutal fighting like ukraine after ww2 and chechnya more recently.  however famous confrontations like hungary, chzechoslovakia and poland had relatively few deaths, measured in the hundreds if that.  so maybe 3 million tops:  and the comparison of russia since 1990 with the u.s. in the same period is very unflattering to the u.s.  

In reply to by not dead yet

BarkingCat . . . _ _ _ . . . Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:47 Permalink

The Russians have a contract to supply those rockets.From everything I have read,  they take these extremely seriously and never break them.They have never cut off natural gas to Europe. As long as the bills are paid,  they continue to supply it. They did however mention the fact, when Obama was still in office, that once the contract is expired, they might not sign another one.Kind of ironic that they honor such contract while their trading partners are imposing sanctions on them.I am almost certain that if US was able to start up production of their own rocket engines quickly, they would not honor tgat contract themselves. Of course, the Russians need trade and to export, in order to get currency. Honoring the contracts without fail, ensures that their reputation is that of a extremely reliable trading partner. .....unlike the French 

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

NiggaPleeze BarkingCat Fri, 08/04/2017 - 02:32 Permalink

 But Russia holds at least $100 Billion in Treasuries.  Selling all of those quickly would, I have heard argued, hurt Russia a bit.  But actually that's not true, since the Fed would have to intervene to stabilize the market and keep rates low (imagine what an overnight 150-250 bp jump in rates would do to the derivatives market!).So, Russia can at least force the Fed to buy $100B of Treasuries.  That would lessen its exposure to US sanctions (since technically Congress could also void the Treasuries held by Russia) and help the downfall of the US dollar hegemony.  If Russia really wanted to hit back, dollar hegemony is the place to do it.

In reply to by BarkingCat

caconhma moimeme (not verified) Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:40 Permalink

I don't believe that Trump is such an idiot and an ultimate political failure.I have a deep suspicion that Trump is playing a script assigned to him.I don't think that RT represents any danger to US Deep State or to Banking Mafia. Outside of this ZH website very few Americans even know that RT even exists. Furthermore, if one does visits RT's website, it is absolutely useless and is incapable of influencing any Americans.It appears that a "Russian bogyman" has been created to establish a censorship here in the USA since the USA is very rapidly losing its geopolitical status and US$ as a reserve currency will be over in the next 3-5 years. Today, America is not ready to any serious war: with Syria and Libya maybe but with China, without subjugated Russia, no way. Shit, today America cannot handle either Afghanistan or N. Korea. Consequently, our oligarchy and Banking-Mafia are about to impose a totalitarian regime here in America. However, it will not do any good for them but will result is a Venezuela-type bloodbath here in America. Finally this time, America cannot count on any Europiean allies. It will be alone.

In reply to by moimeme (not verified)

webmatex caconhma Fri, 08/04/2017 - 04:49 Permalink

Thanks for expressing points i wished to post CACO.They cannot find "more wars" as they have used up all the easy options.They also know the petro dollar is fading fast.A fascist takeover is their last chance - they have lost the world and will settle for the US as their empire.Just look what is happening with senate and congress - this is not politics its the beginning of total repression and genocide.Hope that 2nd Amendment thing works.

In reply to by caconhma

StephenHopkins caconhma Fri, 08/04/2017 - 05:25 Permalink

It wouldn't surprise me if Xi Putin and trump are working together behind the scenes while whittling away at the revenue streams and infrastructure. It's hopeful and possible. China is making deals all over the planet for when their Silk Road project is ramped up. Russia and China are not going to let 'them' break up Syria. There's no hope for the Petrodollar, we don't produce or manufacture much of anything: we are going to Need to be on board with SROR or be left behind. Russia and China have treasury bills. Much much less than they used to. They replaced that investment in gold. We have no gold. Donald Trump is the best man to play the final hand of the petrodollar. Question is, what happens to the federal reserve, especially the board. Jeff sessions ASSET FORFEITURE.

The political play going on since the bill of 1871/Organic Act, when Johnson created a District of Columbia from Washington City. They were granted the right to form a Constitution. In their constitution they INCORPORATED under the Crown Corporation in the City of London. Another city state. That makes THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA a subsidiary. Like Israel coincidentally.

Ever wonder why 'Congress' is so aligned with Israel? Why 'Congress' passes anti American legislation? Lust for war?

Bush-clinton-bush -obama was
ONE ADMINISTRATION that began under Reagan

In reply to by caconhma

jeff montanye StephenHopkins Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:28 Permalink

"Ever wonder why 'Congress' is so aligned with Israel?"because all races for congress are carefully and fully vetted by aipac and related organizations and have been for generations.  the best book i have seen on this is jeff gates guilt by association… is why president trump is so valuable, possibly, to us and so feared and hated by the neocon media and deep state, national political parties, etc. as he went straight from tv to the whitehouse and was never vetted (compromised and controlled).

In reply to by StephenHopkins

NiggaPleeze DjangoCat Fri, 08/04/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

 The famous liberty quote includes not just the blood of tyrants but also the blood of patriots.  But patriots have to be willing to spill their's, and standing out is a great way to accomplish that.  The Bolshevik/neo-con types murdered tens of millions of Russians who would not "adapt" and discard their "religion" and don't expect the current crop of colonizers/invaders to stop short of that.When the Pale of Settlements fell its former inahbitants quickly enslaved all of Russia.  Under Perestroika, the rats fled the ship their miserable failures caused to sink - and landed not just in ((Palestine)) but also in the US.  They are almost ready for the "New Revolution" - maybe even in a few months, on the centennial anniversay of the October Revolution (which is actually Nov. 7, 2017)?  Maybe starting with an armed uprising against Trump?All I can say is, be ready.  And have no fear.  "Better Dead than Red".

In reply to by DjangoCat

attila404 GUS100CORRINA Thu, 08/03/2017 - 23:33 Permalink

This has nothing to do with anything. It only has to do with the swamp trying to undo the will of the people. If they succeed, bad things are going to happen. However before any of that, Trump has been castrated so no Health Care repeal or Tax reform. The only thing I'm counting on is Trump being his best when he is in trouble. Hope he'll be able to pull this one off. But nothing short of going medieval on them will save him (and us). We'll see.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

StarGate GUS100CORRINA Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:07 Permalink

Dual purpose of Bill:

1) Push Russia to engage in War so US can invade, steal its oil and gold, then break country up into tiny weak nations ruled by the central bank and prevent collapse of US private central bank.

2) Remove US Constitution's power from the Prez to decide foreign matters. (Hence it violates Constitution and major step toward dismantling US govt).

So why did Trump sign it under PROTEST (duress)?
See his written addendum to his signature.
Probably do to threat by deep state, congress, Mueller to imprison his children.
Note: DJT signed it then said I'm leaving for 17 days.

Which means what to the free election choice of the American people?
Back to 13 colonies pre Tea Party.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

NiggaPleeze Oh regional Indian Fri, 08/04/2017 - 03:01 Permalink

 Yes the techniques he describes is exactly what US "intelligence agencies" use.The problem with most people listening to Bezmenov is his focus on "KGB", which is very unfortunate.  "KGB" was merely an instrumentality of the rulers via their foot soldiers.  These foot soldiers colonized the US during Perestroika (and also before, in large part after WW II, and thereafter as well).  Now they are employing these very same techniques, disguised as patriotic "neo-cons" and the like, using the US intelligence/blackop apparati. New ship, same rats.

In reply to by Oh regional Indian