Russian Campaigns to Destroy Political Opponents

The U.S. media has been active at tying the election of Donald Trump to Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, but that isn’t the greatest danger from the Russians. That hacking would not have had negative effects on the election if the principals in the Hillary Clinton campaign had not sent messages that were politically embarrassing. I know the Democrats are bent on believing they would have won if the Russians hadn’t interfered, but it seems to me the Democrats had a flawed candidate who didn’t connect with Middle America.

Despite that personal belief, there is something important to understand about the skill of the Russians in shaping opinion. The intelligence operations within the Soviet Union were amazingly effective at destroying political opponents, and Russian organizations are being quite effective at carrying that forward. A recent article describes how Russian “kompromat” is used to destroy political opponents with no facts required. The term is used to describe compromising material for blackmail of those who the Russians have determined to be dangerous. The process involves “.  .  .high quality faked documentation.” The documentation includes “.  .  .hints, images, videos, promises of disclosures, perhaps even some high-quality faked documentation. Sex or pornography often figures prominently.”

We can hope the media with a free press will be able to counteract false reports generated by Russian intelligence services. We’ll see who wins; the free press with freedom of speech or the Russians bent on destroying those they deem to be unfriendly. My primary message is that everyone should be skeptical of any negative Russian campaign against anyone.

Benghazi–What Difference Does It Make

I have been astonished at the lack of attention given by several major media outlets to the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including our ambassador to that country. I understand that many in the media did not want anything to distract the voting public from re-electing Mr. Obama. They apparently now do not want anything to get in the way if Hillary Clinton chooses to run in 2016. Perhaps that’s why there was little media criticism when Clinton responded to a question whether the attack was a spontaneous protest or an organized terrorist attack. “Was it a protest or is it because of guys out on a walk one night and they decide they would go kill some Americans?”What difference, at this point, does it make?” The media celebrated the “brilliance” and emotion of her response. I was appalled at her response. Continue reading