Worse Than a Crime, a Stupidity and Embarassing Joke for the USA
The Russian Analyst remarked in a text to London Paul, that old Cold Warriors like Harry Truman or Richard Nixon would have been embarrassed to present an argument to the world that Americans are so gullible that 13 now indicted Russians, operating on a shoestring budget compared to the billions spent by Americans on federal campaigns, could actually press their fingers on the scale for Donald Trump's historic victory. According to the indictment, the Internet Research Center spent something like $1.25 million per month on Facebook and other web ads in the months leading up to the 2016 election. But the indictment doesn't specify how much of that money actually went toward U.S. ads and how much may have been spent in Russia. This omission is important for reasons outlined by Germany-based blogger b from Moon of Alabama, in his post excerpted below.
Notwithstanding the leaks to The Washington Post from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) affirming that American spooks were closely monitoring the Internet Research Center's denizens' online activities, the Russians working there joked that the FBI might be after them -- not exactly the mindset of professionals trained in code words for espionage. Whatever was happening at the now notorious address of 55 Savushkina Street, if the goal was to impact the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump as the January 2017 intelligence community assessment insists...it seems odd that Facebook is admitting to over half the Internet Research Center-linked ads on their platform having been purchased AFTER the election.
Does the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Center, Like Its Putative Sponsor Yevgeny Prigozhin's Alleged Private Military Contractor Firm 'Wagner', Actually Exist?
One of the interesting 'coincidences' about this indictment is that it names Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, aka 'Putin's chef', as the mastermind behind the Internet Research Center, barely a week after scores of Russian private military contractors attached to the Russian Blackwater 'Wagner' were killed by American artillery and air strikes in Syria. Mr. Prigozhin, a businessman who came to prominence as 'Putin's chef' after serving the Russian President and then French President Jacques Chirac at one of his restaurants, was already under sanctions before the latest Mueller indictment. The American sanctions alleged that 'Wagner' personnel fought, with the full support of the Russian Defense Ministry, against the Ukrainian Army in Donbass. After the air strikes of February 7 in the countryside of Deir Ez Zor, the alleged death toll among Wagner mercenaries has continuously climbed in lurid press accounts, from the five non-servicemen acknowledged dead in the incident by the Russian Foreign Ministry, to the hundreds reported as credibly KIA/WIA'd by Bloomberg and Reuters.
Naturally, when the Russian Analyst saw the wildly inflated numbers as well as the fakes circulating online surrounding what is said to have been the first direct clashes between Russians and Americans since Soviet servicemen were shooting down U.S. aircraft and interrogating (and according to some rumors, repatriating a few to Siberia) captured pilots during the Vietnam War, we dismissed the whole thing as #FakeNews. After viewing a video clip sent to him by London Paul allegedly depicting the gruesome aftermath of the strikes, we believe the actual death toll among Russian citizens may have been in the teens, rather than in the hundreds. Moscow's muted reaction to the incident and Gen. Mattis efforts to downplay it strongly suggest that both sides do not want to see tit for tat escalation with American PMCs known to operate alongside U.S. forces in the Middle East getting bombed by the Russian Air Force in retaliation. However, the Russian Analyst believes that if retaliation against the Americans does come, Moscow will avenge its non-servicemen combatants through operations carried out by Iranian proxies such as Shi'a Iraqi militias or Hezbollah.
The FSB Exposed CIA Shaltay Boltai (Russian Humpty Dumpty) Connection
The question of how a businessman who got his post-Soviet start running hot dog stands in St. Petersburg became the alleged Erik Prince of Russia is beyond the scope of this article. But the prominence of Prigozhin's name in both the 'Wagner' and Internet Research Center stories, suggests a well crafted, low down dirty psyop to 'link' Russian mercenaries and Internet trolls in the minds of reporters, if not the broad public. A psyop run out of the same Anglo-American CIA/MI6 spinoff shop and farmed out to the Ukrainians the fake BUK videos and photos planted online to pin the false flag MH17 shoot down on Moscow and its Donbass proxies rather than Kiev (a more recent spin off project involved the Security Service of Ukraine's 'discovering' Paul Manafort's handwritten notes that had been stashed in a safe owned by a Yanukovych crony, concerning corrupt Ukrainian transactions shortly after he became Donald Trump's campaign manager).
According to The Saker's editor 'Scott', neither the Internet Research Center subject to the most recent Mueller indictments nor 'Wagner' actually exist, at least not as information and physical warfare tentacles of the Russian state. Instead, according to 'Scott', the Internet Research Center was an elaborate hoax from the start, created by FSB employees later arrested and charged with treason for serving the CIA, in cooperation with NGOs funded by 'the usual suspects' -- former imprisoned oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros:
While we cannot independently confirm Scott's entire thesis outlined in the 2017 post linked above, we do note Anonymous International 'hackers' published emails, publicized at Sholtai Boltai's social media accounts, sent from then Russia Insider publisher Charles Bausman, an American expat living in Moscow at the time, to representatives of businessman and Russian Orthodox Christian TV channel Tsargrad patron Konstantin Malofeyev. The Russian Analyst recalls that the NATO G-NGO Atlantic Council funded propagandists of Bellingcat (better known on Twitter by the derogatory hashtag #Bellingcrap) promoted the Shaltay Boltay emails dump after Russia Insider's traffic exploded in 2014-15. At that time, Bellingcat editor Aric Toler downplayed the strong possibility that the emails 'hacked' by anti-Kremlin Russian activists actually came from the 5Eyes NSA/GCHQ (Scott believes it was CIA), and that Shaltay Boltay were simply Anglo-American deep state 'Russian' sock puppets:
The FSB's late 2016 arrests of multiple activists from the group who turned out to be employees of Kaspersky Lab, one of Russia's most recognized corporate brands that has since been accused of back-dooring U.S. and other Western government systems for Russian intelligence, connects certain dots. It suggests even if the Russian state has chosen not to fully substantiate in public, a strong likelihood that at least some 'Russian hacking' activities linked to the Kremlin could be false flag operations, employing Russian VPNs and IP addresses to leave false traces. Considering that Wikileaks has exposed via its Vault 7 dumps that Langley has hacking tools from 'the wild' of the dark web associated with Russian hackers it can use to create false attribution, any actual evidence cyber security firms like Crowdstrike finally cough up related to the Democratic National Committee 'hack' of 2016 must be viewed in this light.
Lowdown Dirty Psyops:
Some 'Kremlin Trolls' Are Sitting in Kiev or Tel Aviv
So., if the Internet Research Center doesn't actually exist, or is something very different from what the supposed whistleblowers, many of whom cannot present authenticated documents proving they ever worked there, say it is...what's really been happening at 55 Savushkina Street for several years? The answer, according to disparate sources 'Scott' at Vineyard of the Saker, who exposed at least some Hasbarah trolls gloating about 'Wagner' deaths after slamming President Vladimir Putin for failing to instantly avenge the phantom hundreds of phantom CENTCOM-incinerated mercenaries, is a false attribution operation. That is, in old school WW1-WW2 terms, black propaganda, where Russian speaking Ukrainians and Israelis acting on behalf of CIA and MI6 are creating content to be blamed on Russians. It happened prior and immediately after MH17, when the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) created fake audio from 'separatist leaders' in the Donbass republics from spliced conversations, likely picked up off eastern Ukrainian cell towers with NSA/GCHQ assistance.
This psyops game of Western fake news created specifically to demoralize or distract Russian audiences kicked into overdrive since the Maidan 'Revolution of Dignity' in March 2014, when the stunning Russian move to secure Crimea for an independence referendum from Ukraine was swiftly followed by an online hash tagging campaign on Twitter and VKontakte (Russian Facebook partially owned by FB) urging Putin to send the Russian Army into the rest of the country, in order to secure the Russian Spring uprising in Donbass. An uprising that as it turned out, had both its very sincere participants and agent provocateurs (like Col. Igor 'Strelkov' Girkin), possibly working for western intelligence agencies. This is the phenomenon as Alexander Dugin calls it, beyond a pro-British fifth column in Russian government and especially business. Dugin calls it the 'Sixth Column' -- people claiming to be ultra-nationalists attacking Putin from the Right for being weak in the face of Western provocations. The provocations, including the more or less in your face gloating about killing hundreds of Russian contractors with impunity (which Moscow dismisses because the numbers bear little relation with reality) are quite real. The sense of panic that Russia must have to which there can only be military responses, whether to Turkey shooting down a SU24 bomber in November 2015 or to Russian civil airliners frequently and mysteriously plunging to Earth, including the painful loss of the Alexandrov Red Army choir; but attempts to manipulate Russians into the Kremlin abandoning the long game is something else.
Someone wanted very badly, after installing a rabidly Russophobic regime in Kiev to provoke Russia to invade and occupy its neighbor, in order to create a kind of Slavic Afghanistan for the Russian Bear. Recall that the cries for 'Putin, give the order!' on the RU-net came only months after Moscow had successfully backed off the American deep state from military action against its client Assad government in Damascus. However the Kremlin by and large with the exceptions of a few border artillery duels and battles, chose to hold the line in Donbass using proxies, rather than its own ground troops. Lurid accounts of 'Cargo 200s' (KIAs) arriving in Russia, killed by the thousands by the invincible 'cyborgs' of the Ukrainian Army, could never be confirmed. At most, reporters could only locate a handful of graves, with few relatives willing to talk about the last known whereabouts of their loved one in western Russia close to the border with Ukraine. Subsequent quiet leaks from the Russian Ministry of Defense's insurance agency for total active duty servicemen deaths from 2014-2016 confirmed that at most a few score 'vacationing' Russian soldiers and advisers perished in the Donbass, while the official toll from Syria combat operations since October 2015 is below 50.
If the Internet Research Center 'Troll Farm' Exists, It's Basically a Clickbait Operation
The Russian Analyst's view of what really happened in St. Petersburg, besides what 'trolling' was created by those linked to intelligence agencies from abroad in order to bolster the Russiagate myth (such post-hoc 'evidence creation' being entirely consistent with the bulk of the 'Internet Research Center' Facebook ad buys being done AFTER Donald Trump won the 2016 election) is similar to b of MOA. We think if Prigozhin was in fact involved, given his domestic track record of paying Internet trolls to fight allegations he sold contaminated school lunches to Russian public schools, that the 55 Savushkina operation was basically a clickbait scheme. Not unlike that run by kids in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who realized generating fake news about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would generate clicks, and that they could pay locals with piss poor English peanuts to produce it and -- profit!
The Upshot: Globalized Politics Equals Globalist Suppression of Free Speech?
As shockingly anti-climactic as it sounds, the gay superhero Bernie Sanders or Jesus arm wrestling Hillary memes we've been shown as damning proof of Russian dastardly-ness not only did not influence a single above room temperature IQ vote in the U.S., but there's no evidence they were intended to do so. If that were the case, why would the either lazy or incompetent managers at 55 Savushkina have bought the majority of their Facebook ads after the vote? If on the other hand, the primary motive was clicks and commercially taking advantage of the furor among liberals and the legacy media created by Trump's election, then a post-election week ad buy makes perfect sense. If we didn't have Congressmen like Rep. Jerrold Nadler comparing clickbait trolling activities whose reach has been vastly inflated for deep state and partisan political reasons to Pearl Harbor (implying the U.S. response should ultimately be the same as that to Imperial Japan, nuking the Russians) the whole thing would be hilarious. Instead it's grimly hilarious like a classic from the last Cold War, Dr. Strangelove.
'b' concludes his blog post by noting that there is one legal threat to free speech emerging out of the Mueller indictment: the never tested in court theory that any foreign comment or criticism online in support or against an American candidate for office could be construed as in kind foreign contributions to candidates, which are illegal under U.S. law. (Campaign finance laws of course, infamously did not stop numerous Chinese and People's Liberation Army linked businessmen and even a Buddhist temple from funneling cash into the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign of 1996). Naturally, while vengeful Hillbots and Establishmentarians imagine that Mueller's novel legal definition will only be applied to Russians posing as Americans to make political comments on the Internet, it's obvious that a precedent would be set that could be used theoretically to prosecute anti-Trump foreigners in the future: