Exclusive: If the U.S. government and mainstream media are really concerned about foreign influence in American politics, they might look at Israel and other nations with much more clout than Russia, notes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The core absurdity of the Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality. Indeed, the hysteria is reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy warning that “one communist in the faculty of one university is one communist too many” or Donald Trump’s highlighting a few “bad hombres” raping white American women.
It’s not that there were no Americans who espoused communist views at universities and elsewhere or that there are no “bad hombre” rapists; it’s that these rare exceptions were used to generate a dangerous overreaction in service of a propagandistic agenda. Historically, we have seen this technique used often when demagogues seize on an isolated event and exploit it emotionally to mislead populations to war.
Today, we have The New York Times and The Washington Post repeatedly publishing front-page articles about allegations that some Russians with “links” to the Kremlin bought $100,000 in Facebook ads to promote some issues deemed hurtful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign although some of the ads ran after the election.
Initially, Facebook could find no evidence of even that small effort but was pressured in May by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. The Washington Post reported that Warner, who is spearheading the Russia-gate investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee, flew to Silicon Valley and urged Facebook executives to take another look at possible ad buys.
Facebook responded to this congressional pressure by scouring its billions of monthly users and announced that it had located 470 suspect accounts associated with ads totaling $100,000 – out of Facebook’s $27 billion in annual revenue.
Here is how the Times described those findings: “Facebook officials disclosed that they had shut down several hundred accounts…