'Russiagate' Is Revealing Alarming Truths About America's Political-Media Elites

Authored by Stephen Cohen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Its allegations and practices suggest disdain for American institutions, principles, best interests, and indeed for the American people...

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.)

The nearly two-year-long series of allegations and investigations now known as “Russiagate” were instigated by top American political, media, and (probably) intelligence elites (mostly Democratic or pro-Democratic, but not only). What they have wrought suggests profoundly disturbing characteristics of people who play a very large role in governing this country.

Cohen specifies six such barely concealed truths, which he and Batchelor then discuss.

1. Russiagate promoters evidently have little regard for the current or future institution of the American presidency.

At the center of their many allegations is the claim that the current president, Donald Trump, achieved the office in 2016 because of a conspiracy (“collusion”) with the Kremlin; or as a result of some dark secret the Kremlin uses to control him; or due to “Russian interference” in the election; or to all three. Which means, they say outright or imply daily, that he is some kind of Kremlin agent or “puppet” and thus “treasonous.”

Such allegations are unprecedented in American history. They have already deformed Trump’s presidency, but no consideration is given to how they may affect the institution in the future. Unless actual proof is provided in the specific case of Trump—thus far, there is none—they are likely to leave a stain of suspicion (or similar allegations) on future presidents. If the Kremlin is believed to have made Trump president and corrupted him, even if this is not proven, why not future presidents as well?

That is, Russiagate zealots seek to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, but risk leaving a long-term cloud over the institution itself. And not only the presidency. They now clamor that the Kremlin is targeting the 2018 congressional elections, thereby projecting the same dark cloud over Congress, as some embittered losers are likely to blame Putin’s Kremlin.

2. These same Russiagate promoters clearly also have no regard for America’s national security.

This is revealed in three ways:

  1. By loudly and regularly proclaiming that Russia’s “meddling” in the 2016 US presidential election was “an attack on American democracy” and thus “an act of war,” comparable to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, as recently inventoried by Glenn Greenwald, they are literally practicing the dictionary meaning of “warmongering.” Can this mean anything less than that Washington must respond with “an act of war” against Russia? Tellingly, Russiagaters rarely if ever mention the potentially apocalyptic consequences of war between these two nuclear superpowers.

  2. Still more, by their Russiagate accusations against Trump, whom they characterize as a “mentally unstable president,” they risk prodding or provoking the president to undertake just such a war against Russia in order to demonstrate that he is not the “Kremlin’s puppet.”

  3. Meanwhile, by repeatedly stating they do not trust Trump to negotiate with Russian President Putin, Russiagate zealots severely limit his capacity, possessed by all American presidents since the onset of the atomic age, to resolve potential nuclear crises through diplomatic means rather than by military action, as President John F. Kennedy did in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. (Imagine, Cohen adds, the outcome had Kennedy been so assailed by the allegations being leveled against Trump today.)

In short, as Cohen has argued previously, Russiagate and its elite adherents are now the number-one threat to American national security, not Russia itself.

3. Having found no factual evidence of such a plot, promoters of Russiagate have shifted their focus from the Kremlin’s alleged hacking of e-mails at the Democratic National Committee to Russia’s social-media “attack on our democracy.” In so doing, they reveal something bordering on contempt for American voters, for the American people.

A foundational principle of theories of democratic representative government is that voters make rational and legitimate decisions. But Russiagate advocates strongly imply—even state outright—that American voters are easily duped by “Russian disinformation,” zombie-like awaiting a signal as how to act and vote. The allegation is reminiscent of, for people old enough to remember, the classic Cold War film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” But, Cohen proposes, let the following representatives of America’s elite media speak for themselves:

According to Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, Russia social-media intrusions “manipulated American thought.… The minds of social media users are likely becoming more, not less, malleable.” And this, she goes on, is especially true of “older, nonwhite, less-educated people.” New York Times columnist Charles Blow adds that this was true of “black folks.” Times reporter Scott Shane is entirely straightforward, writing about “Americans duped by the Russian trolls.” And Evan Osnos of The New Yorker spells it out without nuance: “At the heart of the Russian fraud is an essential, embarrassing insight into American life: large numbers of Americans are ill-equipped to assess the credibility of the things they read.”

Cohen emphasizes (though this is hardly necessary) that these are lead writers for some of America’s most elite publications. He adds, their apparent contempt for “ordinary” Americans is not unlike a centuries-old trait of the Russian intelligentsia, which held the Russian narod(people) in similar contempt, while maintaining that it therefore must lead them, and not always in democratic ways.

4. Russiagate was initiated by political actors, but the elite establishment media gave it traction, inflated it, and promoted it to what it is today.

These most “respectable” media include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and, of course, CNN and MSNBC, among others. These media outlets constantly proclaim themselves to be factual, unbiased, balanced, and thus another essential component of American democracy—a “fourth branch of government.”

But that has been far from the case in their reporting and commentary on Russiagate. Their combined loathing for Trump and “Putin’s Russia” has produced one of the worst episodes of media malpractice in the history of American journalism. This requires a special detailed study, though no media critics or journalism schools seem interested. But a somewhat close reader of these mainstream newspapers, and television “news” viewer, will note their selective, disproportionate coverage of some stories to the exclusion of others; the prejudicial language and prosecutorial slant often employed; the systematic violation of journalistic due process and presumption of innocence; the equal exclusion of contrary “sources” and “expert” opinions in their pages and on their televised panels; and other disregard for long-established journalistic standards.

Nor are these elite media outlets above slurring the reputations of people who dissent from their prosecutorial coverage of Russiagate. Very recently, for example, The New York Times traduced a Facebook vice president whose own study suggested that “that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal” of Russian use of Facebook. Even more revealing, a brand name of the liberal-progressive MSNBC, John Heilemann, suggested on air, referring to Congressman Devin Nunes, “that we actually have a Russian agent running the House Intel Committee on the Republican side.” The Democratic senator being interviewed, Chris Murphy, was less than categorical in brushing aside the “question.”

And not to be overlooked, these mainstream media have done little if anything to protest the creeping Big Brother censorship programs now being assiduously promoted by government and private institutions in order to ferret out and ban “Russian disinformation,” something of which any American dissenter from the orthodox Russiagate narrative might be “guilty” entirely on his or her own. Indeed, leading media have abetted and legitimized these undemocratic undertakings by citing them as legitimate sources.

Cohen leaves to others to decide what the Russiagate role of establishment media reveals about the elites who run them.

5. Briefly regarding the obvious role being played by the Democratic Party, or at least by its leading members, in Russiagate...

whatever the serious commissions and omissions of the Republican Party may be: In a word, as it looks ahead to congressional elections in 2018, this essential component of the American (perhaps lamentably) two-party democratic system is now less a vehicle of positive domestic and foreign-policy alternatives than a party promoting conspiracy theories, Cold War, and neo-McCarthyism. (According to conversations with a number of local candidates, these electoral approaches are less their initiatives than cues, or directives, coming from high party levels—that is, from the Democratic elite.) And this leaves aside the Russiagate social-media narrative that blames the Kremlin for “divisions” in America that have pitted American citizens, and Democrats and Republicans, against each other for decades, often in “exacerbated” ways, not merely since 2016.

6. Finally, but no less revealing...

American elites have long professed to be people of civic courage and honor. But Russiagate has produced very few “profiles in courage” - people who use their privileged positions of political or media influence to protest the abuses itemized above.

Hence another revelation, if it is really that: America’s elites are composed overwhelmingly not of “rugged individualists” but of conformists - whether that is due to ambition, fear, or ignorance hardly matters.


DownWithYogaPants Sir Edge Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:24 Permalink

If this shittilly constructed lie called "Muh Russia Meddling" were a house it would be up on top of a hill in the shittiest of shithole favelas in Rio De Janeiro where the houses are made out of old cardboard cartons.  Additionally it would be made with dank stanky cardboard that already sat out in the Brazilian rains for a year.  If you have ever experienced Brazilian rains you know that's a respectable amount of water.

In reply to by Sir Edge

wildbad Richard Chesler Fri, 03/02/2018 - 02:37 Permalink

Russiagaters,  Neo-Liberals or NeoCons...its the same wolf changing its sheep clothes.  These shape shifting jingoists need to be imprisoned, but that would be unconstitutional.

Free speech can be an excellent device for cloaking evil intent but it cannote be abolished.

The primary cause for this irrational drivel is the inability of the average american to make a rational deduction after years of kindergarten and media pablum.

The secondary cause is the consolidation of media opinion into a narrow channel of acceptability which is fostered by CIA talking points, bad legislation and corporate influence.

And now Google, Twatter, Facejob have been given the deep state nod to begin the independent voice pogroms. (sorry for the reference jew haters, probably never happened)

Fight for your own voice to be heard.  Abandon and vilify corporate media.  Have the courage to speak truth.

In reply to by Richard Chesler

DownWithYogaPants wildbad Fri, 03/02/2018 - 07:07 Permalink

My IQ is in the top 0.5% of the population and I did vote for Trump.

.......and it was the best deal ever. For the price I've gotten the best lesson in how the government really works and how utterly profound and corrupt it is.

I am pretty sure Trump would score gifted level if he took an IQ test.  More to the point his handling of politics really has been genius in its educational qualities.  I'm also grateful he is not yet another CIA member as Bush Sr / Clinton / Bush Jr / Obama were.

In reply to by wildbad

gdpetti DownWithYogaPants Fri, 03/02/2018 - 13:40 Permalink

His ego might rate that high, but not much else, but that doesn't mean he isn't the perfect actor for this part of 'outing' the OWO and allowing 'all the kings men' to attack and belittle each other, from DC to London, From pew to preacher, student to professor, scientist to scam artist... or banster...

This is the gameplan, and Trumpy doesn't need to know... puppets work best that way. This is why he is so unconcerned about all the swamp problems he oversees... appointing so many of them into his cabinet... The NWO doesn't need the OWO 'going forward', so suicide is its last play in this game. That's what we are watching in our cheap seats... the system breakdown.. not just the markets, the Fed et al... but in every vector of society.. from the cops/soldiers to scientists/entertainers... all of it is the OWO... all of it is coming down... all of it.

THe question is whether WW3 goes nuc? And how much of this script plays out before Mother Nature swings on it to clean house?

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

Mike Masr Pandelis Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

In 2014 Victoria Nuland testified before Congress that the US had spent $100 million dollars to influence the 2012 Russian Presidential Election. And these morons are talking about 100K spent by Russians in St. Petersburg to buy really stupid Facebook ads. Ads that nobody even paid attention to. Remember the massive street riots in Moscow 2012? All bought and paid for by US taxpayers.

In reply to by Pandelis

Jim in MN stizazz Fri, 03/02/2018 - 00:38 Permalink

Mumblegate is nothing, an excuse to keep Her Fury and her enablers (including Obama, Biden and Kerry) out of the gallows for a few precious months.

You can already smell their sweat.  This (us, the populist revolt) wasn't supposed to happen.

They in their arrogance and hubris left SO MUCH EVIDENCE of the botched coup attempt.

It's inevitable.

We're coming for them.  The blue Zip code dullards that think they're so smart will have to watch as their heroes are taken away, shown to be nothing but thuggish, Nixonian klepto-sociopaths.

Not to mention LOSERS of the first order.

Just remember Mr. President:  USA OUT OF EURASIA.  There are no longer any vital national interests there.  We are on the cusp or world peace and doubled economic growth....if we keep the Deep State neolibcon traitors OFF the levers of power.  Have faith Sir.  It will all work out.  Shopkeepers and schoolteachers just need to be left alone, not bombed to shit.  Thank you.

May God bless our fair Republic.

In reply to by stizazz

lew1024 Jim in MN Fri, 03/02/2018 - 01:08 Permalink

We all agree with you, but here we are, a full year and a month after Trump's inauguration and there is not the first charge lodged against a single one of the Deep Black Swamp, in fact the major public faces of the latest coverup, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein and Meuller are investigating the President, continuing the charade of RussiaGate.  The attempt to impeach Trump has not stopped.

There is evidence of Deep Black Swamp crime everywhere, dozens of books, dozens of dozens of investigations that were blocked in some way, recently open-source investigations. The DBS is the only existential threat to this country. It has not been inconvenienced in any way during Trump's administration. In this, the anti-Trump people are right.

The Clinton Foundations are fraudulent, Charles Ortel shows that a simple evaluation of their paperwork shows crime, major felonies. Those charges could have been brought day 1, the amount of time it would take a junior prosecutor to take the evidence through a grand jury.

Time marches on. Statues of limitations continue to expire.

Were are the charges? Where are the arrests? Where are the investigations?

Come 6 November, I vote a straight democratic ticket if Trump has not brought charges against the Clintons and many special prosecutors are not pursuing the DBS's major crimes. Yes, they will impeach Trump. Yes, they will over-reach and cause a revolution.

OK, but the Republicans have failed to reform the government, have not taken the opportunity we gave them. Operationally indistinguishable from the DBS, in fact.

In reply to by Jim in MN

HardAssets lew1024 Fri, 03/02/2018 - 02:26 Permalink

Well said. This is why many of us sometimes wonder if Pres Trump is just another in a long list of politicians who seemingly were put in place to pacify the American people with empty rhetoric. In the meantime, this administration has taken many actions on the foreign affairs & military fronts which are quite dangerous. Why didn't the President go before the American people immediately and explain to them why ratcheting down tensions  with Russia is in everyone's interest ?  Why nothing but tweets, rather addressing the people with reasoned argument ?

Of course, President Trump has experienced nothing but opposition in D.C. Those inside the administration itself seem to be foot dragging (Sessions ?) And press coverage is the worst that many of us can recall.

We don't know what's going on behind the scenes, so I tend to give the President the benefit of the doubt. We have an independent minded billionaire in office with media experience/savvy. In so many ways, philosophically Ron Paul is so much better. But Ron didn't have the necessary combative personality or the resources ( including his own private security team ) that Pres Trump has. If Trump can't drain the Swamp, who can ?

In reply to by lew1024

Justapleb lew1024 Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:09 Permalink

Exactly, and the 3D chess meme is rubbish.   The inspector general report is going to be a whitewash, he has no prosecutorial powers, and nearly the entire congress is compromised. 

For Christ's sake there has been a spy ring operating in Congress with the Awans, right out in the open.   The murder of Seth Rich, who leaked the DNC emails is being studiously ignored by the police.   The FBI has his laptop - why?   If it was a botched robbery the FBI has no business being involved.  But since they are, it is obviously to cover it up and not to investigate.  

If we know this much then Trump either has to know far more or he is a bumbling moron.  Either way, it is bad, bad, bad.   We are told he cannot prosecute blatant felons and seditionists because he might look bad, while he himself is being investigated for nothing.   

It's much worse than we know.

In reply to by lew1024

rtb61 stizazz Fri, 03/02/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

Russiagate is a fabrication to keep those who made it up out of prison, nothing more and nothing less and my oh my, weren't a hole bunch of them involved in all sorts or criminal conspiracies. From politicians, to lobbyists, to corporate executives to main stream media, to government officers of all stripes and colours.

If they were all prosecuted, likely the number would be between say about 2,500 and around 10,000. So, so many involved in corruption and the NSA sitting on a whole pile of problematic evidence, getting it the wrong way taints it but it being exposed by a five eyes partner, sort of somewhat cleans it again, allowed partner spying sort of thing ie we accidentally came across the evidence in relation to another investigation, here you go, do what you will with it (after it splashes across main stream media, simply unstoppable evidence).

In reply to by stizazz

NumbersUsa stizazz Fri, 03/02/2018 - 01:09 Permalink

The whole Russia thing is a total ruse of the jews to keep the goy always chasing their own tails while they maintain their deceitful, usuristic & murderous practices, and pass laws to prevent you from intervening in their goal of total control of all.

The jew supremacist want your free speech, they want your money, they want your kids for their pedophilia, they want your guns, and they want your soul- They will stop at nothing to get it-Period.

In reply to by stizazz

NumbersUsa Jung Fri, 03/02/2018 - 02:13 Permalink

This along with the gun hysteria, Russia hysteria, Iran-N.Korea-Syria hysteria is all jew supremacist driven to condition each and every one of you to accept your jew masters and not find fault with them but find fault with everything in the world that they spin you towards.

They are the masters at spin and war indoctrination. They have killed over 150 million goyim and counting by their warmongering spinning ways.

The media is dominated by the jew supremacists and they provide planned propaganda as news each an every day not for your entertainment but for the control of your souls. 

You live in an jew supremacist edward bernays-ed world and do not comprehend it. They have you by the economic hairs by the use of their 1913 dual created monsters the fed reserve & the irs- they own & manipulate you, lock stock & barrel.

End the jew money trough called the central banking system-Now

Prosecute & Shut Down all jew supremacist foreign agent organizations such as Aipac, Aclu, Adl, Zoa, Splc, Jdl, Jwc, Cfr and a thousand more-NOW !

Remove immediately all dual citizen israeli's from all postions in our Federal, State & Local Governments-Now !

In reply to by Jung

otschelnik Jung Fri, 03/02/2018 - 05:03 Permalink

When he briefed Trump on the ‘salacious and unverified’ yellow shower dossier, Comey was hinting at FBI blackmail  a la J. Edgar Hoover.   When Buzzfeed leaked the dossier few days later the cat was out of the bag the blackmail potential was lost.   When Trump fired Comey and Sessions was already recused, then Comey leaked again hinting at presidential obstruction of justice on the Flynn matter, so his buddy Rosenstein could appoint special prosecutor Mueller (all former colleagues at same FBI) so that the blackmail leaver over outsider Trump would be present possibly for the duration of his presidency.

The  FISA court report (99 page) of April 2017 documents FBI abuses for a long time (that’s Comey, Rosenstein, and Mueller's watch).  You have leaking, giving confidential info to government contractors (like Fusion GPS), perjury, “parallel construction” of domestic cases using info obtained on FISA court warrants.   Now we’ve got “Deep state death match,” with Sessions siding with the ass-covering, criminals at DOJ/FBI.   

In reply to by Jung

Katos Sir Edge Fri, 03/02/2018 - 00:33 Permalink

AS TRUMP HAS clearly shown us, representative government is a DINOSAUR THAT needs to be put to rest! The fact that NONE of these 535 people are actually doing their job, but OUR 4th arm of GOVERNMENT  (the media) , AND said MEDIA have worked HAND IN HAND to terroeizr and to rob the american people, AND make us Think it's FOR our own good?? WITH communications today, we could easily vote EVERY day on rules and ideas for GOVERNMENT! WE sure don't need 535 PARASITES and THIER hangerons, who are costing us trillions!! We are not being served or even considered by those in power over us!

In reply to by Sir Edge

S.W.E.D. Katos Fri, 03/02/2018 - 01:16 Permalink

My husband proposed we make congress like jury duty.  Everyone has to serve their time and then move the fuck on for someone else.  I honestly didn't think it was a bad idea.  Corruption would be short lived since everyone would be out after they served their term.  Would force people to really work together and compromise to get anything done as well.  Just my 2cents.

In reply to by Katos

Fascal Rascal … Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Fuck cohen.

Fuck rusha.

Fuck gate.

Fuck hillskank and crew.

Fuck mueller, any name that has stein or berg in it, and the rest of the pussy hat wearing, antifa blm progressive faggots.

Flip this shit on its fucking head and start from scratch.

exactly how this great United States of America began.

except for that whole American Indian thing...  could have done better there..

ehh Fuck it..

Thom Paine Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:24 Permalink

I no longer care. Trump was a chance to attempt to do something, but he really intends nothing.

I want Trump impeached, I want to see the whole shit show play out, then the repercussions as everything falls apart.


Thom Paine DownWithYogaPants Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:39 Permalink

You are the child, emotionally attached to person that you cannot tolerate criticism of , no matter they rape your daughter.

You are like the idiot that rides a stock down to the bottom.

Trump has backtracked on most things - immigration, wars wars, security, 2nd amendment - and Now Due Process.

Not even Obama would try to dump Due Process - the very foundation of the Republic.


The notion that Trump will actually do anything now is fantasy and he needs to be called out

The best thing is let the Dems have their impeachment, let the whole shit show fall apart.

THE  only way to repair is for the whole thing to fall apart so it can be rebuilt.

Now you can stand back and be a little fan-boy of Trump, be childish and pray to the tooth fairy that Trump is a good boy.

Reminds of all those Obama supporters who would never face the reality over his smooth bullshitting. Thats you.



In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

Jim in MN Thom Paine Fri, 03/02/2018 - 00:30 Permalink

Well you can thank us Independents later for global peace and doubled economic growth.


Not to mention saving you from Orwellian dystopia....for a while.....hope you're ready for what comes next.


(hint: if you see someone in a ZH cap or American flag cap, do what they say unless you ACTUALLY know better....aw heck you may not last long anyway from what you got so far)

In reply to by Thom Paine

LaugherNYC Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

Adam Schiff on Rachel Maddox tonight seemed to just give up the ghost on Mueller. Basically said this isn’t any Watergate, and there isn’t going to be anything criminal on Trump. Maddox looked heartsick, and said well, maybe that means censure. Then she ushered Schiff off with a resigned air, like yeah great get the hell outta here.


You have to see it. Looked like a white flag to me and a buddy.  Could be over soon.

Thom Paine Thu, 03/01/2018 - 23:41 Permalink

Trump needs to come out on camera - drop to his knees and beg forgiveness of so easily wanting to toss away the foundation of the Republic in Due Process, and his abject betrayal on the 2nd Amendment.


But I think he has truly fucked himself this time.