In our hyper-partisan political environment in America, do our intelligence agencies fathom the full scope of the Russians’ information war?
Politicians on the left want to focus solely on Russian interference in the 2016 election that promoted Trump and disparaged Hillary, but the Russian activities are much broader, also targeting fringe political extremists, various demographics, and the political left. It has also been reported that they even identify soldiers, veterans and their families with messaging meant to undermine morale and confidence in the U.S. government and the military.
The Daily Beast, a leftist site, has a report today: Exclusive: Russia Activated Twitter Sleeper Cells for Election Day Blitz. Their investigation examined election day tweets from Russian trolls in St. Petersburg, all geared toward promoting Trump and spewing doubt about the election process. The most interesting thing they reported is that many of these Twitter accounts go as far back as 2009, which should raise alarm bells among our intelligence agents analyzing the Russian messaging operations.
I believe the Russians were actively cultivating online messaging opportunities since the late 90s. The very same gang-up tactics and the swarming with their messaging, to dominate and crush opposing opinions in online forums, was present on the Excite message boards during the Clinton impeachment. In 2015, I experienced that same tactic when posting comments on some conservative news sites, which used Disqus for their comment sections. Just like the all-American sounding names used by Russian Twitter trolls, reported in this Daily Beast article, the gang-up hit squads on Disqus, used similar names. I am sure the Russians have online troll armies working the left-leaning sites and various sites geared toward minorities too. Cultivating fear and discontent in American black communities has been a Kremlin focus since 1919. In the 70s, the Saudis reportedly began pouring money into black colleges and black communities, to promote Wahhabism. The Chinese fixated on buying American real estate and American companies, to try to “own” us.
With the complete cluelessness expressed by so many of our government leaders about the Russians’ information war against America and the West, you’d think most of these people slept through the Cold War. Time to wake up and realize you just might be seeing Russia through your “Windows”…