It turns out the Russians aren’t the only ones who know how to employ the Internet for political dirty tricks. As The New York Times reported in a front-page story on December 20, Russian bots were part of what the newspaper called a “secret experiment” in Alabama during the special Senate election won by Democrat Doug Jones in December 2017.
The tale involves a cyber-security firm that has played a role in hyping the claim that foreign intervention “influenced” the 2016 presidential election. It sought to duplicate the scheme in order to help Jones defeat Roy Moore. Although the Times dismisses the effort as “too small to have a significant impact on the race,” it acknowledged that the scheme, which involved fake Facebook and Twitter accounts, was patterned after the Russian meddling in American elections the year before.
The “false flag” accounts were intended to portray Republicans who were disgusted with Moore’s candidacy after the conservative gadfly was accused of inappropriately pursuing underage girls when he was a prosecutor in his 30s. The goal was to energize Democrats and depress GOP turnout.
Democrats Mimic Russian Tactics
What is most interesting about this “experiment” is that among its architects was the head of a firm that “wrote a scathing account of Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.” The Times obtained a report on the effort led by Jonathon Morgan of the New Knowledge cyber security firm. It detailed their efforts to mislead Alabama voters and thus aid Jones.
Both the Times and supporters of Jones are correct when they assert that this plot didn’t influence the outcome of the Alabama election even though the Democrat wound up winning by less than 22,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million votes cast. But there are two significant conclusions that can be drawn from the newspaper’s exhaustive account of the Democrats’ attempt to mimic Russian tactics.
First, the attempt to minimize the Alabama experiment’s effects while claiming that the larger-scale version of the plot was a major factor in allowing President Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton simply falls flat.
The other is that the narrative being spread by the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, about Republicans being uniquely hostile to democracy and engaged in a consistent pattern of behavior involving elections cheating of one sort or another, is false. What happened in Alabama demonstrates that both parties are equally willing to do anything to unfairly hobble their opponents.
Clinton Was Her Own Worst Enemy, Not Russian Bots
The problem with many assumptions about 2016 is that there is no evidence significant numbers of voters were persuaded to think ill of Hillary Clinton only because of obscure posts by Russian bot accounts. Those false flag efforts were merely seconding the message voters got from many other sources that highlighted Clinton’s shortcomings, misleading statements about her emails, and other issues, including in many instances the mainstream media.
In an election where the outcome turned out to be close, one can always point to any issue or factor as decisive. But to believe that the leaking of Democratic National Committee Chair John Podesta’s emails — which had little or nothing that was damaging to Clinton’s reputation — obscured stories about the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump was heard boasting of what amounted to sexual assault is ludicrous.
Just as absurd is the notion that Russian bots persuaded voters to think ill of Clinton or, as another Times report published earlier in the week, persuaded African-American voters to stay home rather than turn out and vote for Democrats in the numbers they mustered in 2008 and 2012 when Barack Obama was on the ballot. It is interesting that the meddlers thought the black vote could be influenced in this manner.
But the Russians could have spent every dime they expended on their illegal efforts on a campaign focused on increasing black turnout for Clinton — a cause on which Democrats did spend vast sums — and it wouldn’t have re-created the excitement and pride Obama generated among African-Americans, or caused them to think it worth the effort to turn out simply because the former secretary of state was entitled to their votes.
Republicans Didn’t Need Twitter to Think Badly of Moore
The same point can be made about what happened in Alabama. Mainstream Republicans didn’t need fake Facebook or Twitter accounts to make them think ill of Moore, whom the party had always considered something of an embarrassment. The embrace of his candidacy by Breitbart.com helped him pull off an upset in the Republican primary over the lackluster GOP placeholder Luther Strange.
Commie see, commie do. ONCE AGAIN, to know what the Democrats are doing, look at what they accuse others of doing.
Alabama attorney general looking into disinformation campaign targeting Roy Moore
What information is concerning?
Yep. It’s significant that they’re exploring. They’re hot on its trail.
Ah. They’re exploring the possibility that they might need to explore further. Got it.
@Greg: Democrats acting like Russians. Russians acting like Democrats. Who can tell the difference?
Con Ed in queens went boom sky turns blue https://twitter.com/kjones4215/status/1078479690942332928/video/1
Trump’s entire presidential campaign was an extended exercise in character assassination, disinformation, and outright lies, seemingly coordinated with an ambitious effort by a foreign power to subvert the nation’s democratic election process. Maybe if the right were to show the least bit of outrage about that, I’d be able to take their complaints about the tactics allegedly used against Roy Moore halfway seriously.
@Greg: You have 0 proof of a foreign power assisting Trump nothing after over 2 years of investigations and spying ZIP.
Hillary got over 100 million in contributions to her foundation, Trump got 0.
Hillary got a dirty unverified dossier of Russian lies, Trump got nothing.
You are brainwashed by CIA driven propaganda. Brennen signed off on the passports of 911 attackers, Barry rewarded him with an appointment.
No it wasn’t.
All the collusion with Russia was committed by Obama, Hillary and the DNC. This has been PROVEN. Obama promised Putin to be more submissive and then he blocked efforts to counteract Russian interference when it was detected. Hillary and the DNC worked with Steele and the Russians to create false accusations against Trump and spread them to the FBI and media. Now we have Mueller supporting that effort by destroying evidence and obstructing justice.
@Deplorable Me, #7:
I think January 2019 might be the beginning of a very interesting year.
@Greg: Well, you just keep on thinking. One day it might just catch on with you.
Maybe I need some miraculous brain booster.
Trump Battles the FDA Over Carson’s Breakthrough Discovery! Says “This WILL NOT Be Banned, The American People Have A Right To Have Access To This”
Reality TV is not reality. The internet is not reality. That’s what my own thinking tells me. (The above redirect spam ad impersonates articles on various legitimate websites.)
@Greg: Why did the FBI destroy evidence? Wiping phones (like with a cloth) then giving them to the IG?
Mueller team cant help but leak crumbs for the libs to turn into a feast, no crumbs on this no reliable sources ZIP you got ZIP.
4500 bucks spent by Russians 20 million investigating a non crime, to attempt to tie Trump to Russian activity, you know it was the liberal media giving Trump millions in air time that got him elected, they couldnt get any coverage of Hillary unless it was loading her stinky-skanky ass in a van after getting to drunk to walk.
I’m presently content to wait and see what happens with the Mueller investigation. I think Mueller knows plenty at this point. Mueller hasn’t allowed it to trickle out for political exploitation. They’ll release it all, at the proper time, in the proper context. Democratic control of the House will prevent it from being deep-sixed by the GOP.
Hatred of and conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton won’t be enough to cover over the truth about Donald Trump.
Some people, of course, will continue to insist that Clinton sold 20 percent of America’s uranium to Russia, and that the moon landing was faked.
@Greg: No, you are desperate for an outcome other than what is obvious; that there is no Trump/Russian collusion, there never was and all this was constructed to cost Trump and the Republicans votes and to cover the corruption of Obama and Hillary. But, alas… the facts are what they are. No basis for the “investigation” and the only collusion was committed by Obama, Hillary and the DNC.
Was a $100,000 to carry out Russian-style interference an illegal campaign contribution? Should those Democrats be prosecuted?
Have at it. More likely, though, republicans just want to talk about it, without ever being required to prove anything. This is where the situation with Mueller differs. Mueller isn’t talking. He’s busy collecting evidence. When he’s done, he’s going to lay it out for examination.
@Deplorable Me: He wants to deny the torrent of leaks from the probe lol. He also hasnt followed that every leak when looked at leads back to a DNC crime Mueller refuses to investigate.
But ol Greg does provide comic relief, almost as much as the Podesta emails. To bad about Seth.
@kitt: I can only assume that liberals, grasping at straws and fully aware of their own ideology’s utter failure, have a limitless endurance for convincing themselves that Trump is going to be cuffed and frog-walked tomorrow only to find out they’ve, again, been lied to and made a fool.
@Deplorable Me: I find it amusing that the liberal media gave him millions in free air time, we were seeing a guy that finally was fighting back and began to pay attention, these same fools who promoted the only guy they thought couldnt beat stinky, he is still hanging on their every word and believing the conspiracy theories on the rock hard unnamed sources and those familiar with the case evidence.
@kitt: They gave him all the air time he wanted because they thought he was digging his own grave. Since the media is all liberal and liberals believe their own lies, they had no idea how utterly disgusted the majority of American people are with the far left agenda. So, instead of destroying Trump, the MSM was PROMOTING Trump and his America First agenda. Liberals don’t understand that America First means AMERICANS first and that is what true Americans want. Globalists don’t.
Notice how little interest Greg has in seeing campaign finance laws upheld if a liberal operative is caught violating it. Laws don’t apply to liberals, apparently.
I do deny it. There has been no “torrent of leaks from the probe.” There has been a torrent of rumor, which is pretty much all anyone outside of the investigation has heard, other than what has been publicly revealed in indictments.
Well… yeah. Since the entire “investigation” and all the accusations are based solely ON rumor, then all the leaks of the “findings” are going to be rumor as well. Otherwise known as “lies”.
Evidence collected during an ongoing criminal investigations generally isn’t publicly released until the investigation phase has ended. It is, in fact, unlawful to disclose such information without authorization to do so. Refer to the DOJ’s Confidentiality and Media Contacts policy, 1-7.100 – General Need for Confidentiality
Mueller’s investigation itself is no rumor. Nor have the indictments, guilty pleas, and guilty verdicts that have thus far resulted been based on rumor. People are entirely free to pretend nothing more is coming, and that Trump and his inner circle are completely untouchable by the law. That won’t alter the course of events in in the least. Mueller will complete his investigation. His findings will be revealed. The nation and the Trump administration will then have to deal with them, whether they want to or not.
Well, not when they are legitimate investigations. But when they are politically motivated witch hunts then leaking falsely incriminating details is practically the whole point of the “investigation”. And, of course, that is exactly what this Mueller joke is.
@Deplorable Me, #22:
Why do Trump supporters feel a compulsion to repeatedly state what they cannot possibly know to be true? You don’t have a clue what Mueller knows or what evidence he will present, nor does anyone else who isn’t directly involved in the investigation.
One thing at least that should be obvious is that the Mueller investigation is no “witch hunt”. There are people who were deeply involved with the Trump campaign and part of the Trump administration who are going to go to prison; they weren’t guilty of imaginary crimes. The nation’s intelligence community didn’t fabricate Russian election meddling; numerous criminal acts were actually part of it.
@Greg: Thats right now here is your huggyme coat time for you sleepy “vitamins” now.
Because the facts are clear. Hillary lied about the classified information on her unsecured, secret server ON VIDEO before Congress. No investigation. She took millions of dollars from Russians as Secretary of State. No investigation. She approved the sale of US uranium JUST AS her husband received a $500,000 payday from Russians. No investigation. Obama conducted illegal surveillance of private citizens to support the Democrat campaign. No investigation. Hillary paid Russians for dirt on Trump. No investigation. Obama stopped efforts to block Russian interference in the 2016 election. No investigation. Comey exonerated Hillary before any interviews were ever conducted. No investigation.
Trump had business interests in Russia, along with numerous other countries around the world; massive investigation into collusion and treason.
Mueller stocked his team with venomous, rabid Trump hating Hillary supporters. Mueller averts his eyes from any clear signs of collusion that does not or can not lead to Trump. But, not a witch hunt… right?
Now, unless for political purposes, why is all that suspicious activity by Democrats ignored and the standard, not-suspicious, everyday business the Trump organization carried out before he became a candidate attract so much attention? Only an idiot can ignore the obvious. Are you an idiot, Greg?
@Deplorable Me, #25:
One fact that’s clear is that you just leaped directly from the observation that Mueller’s investigation has already resulted in a series of indictments, guilty pleas, and guilty verdicts, and is far from over, to the right’s Uranium One conspiracy nonsense.
Maybe you should stop worrying about Hillary Clinton and start worrying about Elizabeth Warren. You’re going to need new material. It probably won’t be enough to keep attacking her for claiming to have a Native American ancestor six generations back.
And how many showing any collusion between anyone besides Democrats and Russia? It’s a great big NOTHING and the only reason the Uranium One scandal hasn’t resulted in indictments is that the leftist deep state keeps the DOJ focused on Trump. All VERY CLEAR.
Yeah, let’s let corruption, damage to national security and perjury go. No big deal. Let’s worry about another wealthy, lying socialist that has exposed her own corruption, bigotry, prejudice and greed. No, Wahoo Warren poses no threat. I’ve been on the NYT pages; even liberal lemmings can’t get themselves excited about her. Of course, they haven’t been TOLD to yet. They’ll have to wait to see who the DNC tells them they want.
Yes Warren she has heap big wampum, https://thenetworthportal.com/wiki-2018-2019-2020-2021/politician/elizabeth-warren-net-wor
from a waitress that could afford to go to a doctor. She has by genetic testing proven herself a liar and fraud. I thought that was a bad thing you rail against continually.