By Finian Cunningham
August 06, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – So the US news media are in uproar over President Trump’s latest admission that a meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer more than two years ago was about “getting dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
With self-righteous probity, Trump’s political and media enemies are declaring him a felon for accepting foreign interference in the US presidential election.
Admittedly, President Trump appears to have been telling lies about the past meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in New York City in the summer of 2016. Or maybe it’s just this American president shooting himself in the foot — again — with his inimical gibberish-style.
However, the burning issue of “foreign interference” is being stoked out of all proportion by Trump’s enemies who want him ousted from the White House.
US constitutional law forbids candidates from receiving help from foreign governments or foreign nationals.
The alleged transgression fits in with the wider narrative of “Russiagate” which posits that Republican candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Kremlin to win the race to the White House against Democrat rivalHillary Clinton.Thus, by appearing to accept a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 — during the presidential campaign — the Trump election team are accused of breaking US law.
Russia has always denied any involvement in the US elections, saying the allegations are preposterous. Moscow also points out that in spite of indictments leveled by American prosecutors, there is no evidence to support claims that Russian hackers meddled in the presidential campaign, or that the Kremlin somehow assisted Trump.
The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with the Trump campaign team in early June 2016 is described in US media as “Kremlin-linked”. But that seems to be just more innuendo in place of facts. Shedenies any such connection. The Kremlin also says it had no relation with the attorney on her business of approaching Team Trump.
In any case, what is being totally missed in the latest brouhaha is the staggering hypocrisy in the US media circus over Trump. Let’s take Trump at his word — not a reliable source admittedly — that his campaign team were trying to “get dirt” on Clinton. That would appear to be a violation of US law.
If Trump is going to be nailed for improper conduct with regard to alleged foreign assistance, then where does that leave Hillary Clinton and US intelligence agencies?
During the presidential campaign, Clinton’s team contracted a British spy, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Trump in the form of the so-called “Russian dossier”. That was the pile of absurd claims alleging that the Kremlin had blackmailing leverage over Donald Trump. It was Steele’s fantasies that largely turned into the whole Russiagate affair which has dominated US media and politics for the past two years.
Not only that, but now it transpires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation also paid the same British spy to act as a source for the FBI’s wiretapping of Trump’s associates, according to declassified documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a US citizens’ rights group.
In other words, the foreign interference that the FBI engaged in under the Barack Obama administration, as well as by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, is on a far greater and more scandalous scale that Trump seems to have clumsily endeavored to do with a Russian lawyer.
The real, shocking interference in US democracy was not by Russia or Trump, but by American secret services working in collusion with the Clinton Democrats to distort the presidential elections. This scandal which Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen has labeled “Intelgate” is far more grievous than the Watergate crisis which resulted in President Richard Nixon’s ignominious resignation back in the mid-1970s.
The Obama administration’s intelligence agencies and the Democrats attempted to sabotage the 2016 presidential election in order to keep Trump out of the White House. They failed. And they have never gotten over that defeat to their illegal scheming.
The Russiagate claims are just a sideshow. As American writer Paul Craig Roberts, among others, hascommented, the media-driven “witch hunt” against Trump and Russia is blown out of all proportion in order to distract from the real scandal which is Intelgate — and how millions of American voters were potentially disenfranchised by the US intelligence apparatus for a political power grab.
Another staggering hypocrisy in the US media kerfuffle over Trump and alleged Russian interference is that all the fastidious hyperbole completely ignores actual foreign interference in American democracy — foreign interference that is on an absolutely colossal scale.
As American critical thinker Noam Chomsky points out, “Israeli intervention in US elections overwhelms anything Russia may have done”.
Israel’s interference includes the multi-million-dollar lobbying by such groups as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its financial sponsorship of hundreds of lawmakers in both houses of Congress. Many critics maintain that the entire Congress is in effect “bought” by AIPAC.
Chomsky referred specifically to the occasion in 2015 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed then President Obama by addressing the US Congress with a speech openly calling for lawmakers to reject the internationally-backed nuclear deal with Iran.
During his election campaign, Donald Trump reportedly received a $20 million donation from the American-Israeli casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has Israeli citizenship. Is that not foreign help, according to definition of US laws?
Trump has since shown himself to do Adelson’s and Israel’s bidding by walking away from the Iran deal and in pushing stridently pro-Israeli interests in the conflict with Palestinians.
Another foreign benefactor in US politics is the so-called Saudi lobby and other oil-rich Gulf Arab states. Millions of dollars are funneled into Congress by these dubious regimes to shape US government foreign policy in the Middle East. For several decades, Saudi oil money is also documented to be a major contributor to the CIA and its off-the-books covert operations around the world.
Foreign interference in US politics — in which often nefarious foreign interests are promoted over those of ordinary American citizens — is conducted on a gargantuan and systematic scale. But this massively illegal interference in flagrant violation of US laws is stupendously ignored by the American media.
Trump is being assailed over an alleged scandal regarding Russia which is, by any objective measure, negligible.
The whole Russiagate narrative is sheer hysteria driven by anti-Trump forces who do not want to accept the result of the 2016 election. It is, in effect, a coup attempt by unelected political forces.
Russiagate is a cover to conceal the really disturbing scandal which was, and continues to be, the attempt to subvert American democracy by US intelligence agencies working in cahoots with the Obama administration and Clinton’s election campaign. To cover up those crimes, Russia is being maligned for “attacking American democracy”.
Such lies are an odious distortion of the truth by America’s real enemies who are its own domestic political and media operators trying to cover up their anti-constitutional crimes. What’s even more despicable is that these people are willing to inflame US-Russia relations to the point of starting a war between two nuclear powers.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.
This article was originally published by “Sputnik“ –