Demonization of Putin as “Personally” Behind Clinton Hack Is Old Propaganda Technique

Juan Cole writes for Informed Comment:

The leaked allegations supposedly from the CIA that Russian President Vladimir Putin “personally” directed how hacked emails from the Clinton campaign should be treated with a good deal of skepticism.

I have already said that the allegations of effective Russian interference in the US election do not make any sense to me. There is no point at which anything Russia is said to have done can be shown to have determined the election outcome.

The things that appear to have hurt Clinton late in the election were her “deplorables” comment about Trump supporters, and the Comey letter about the new emails the FBI had found on Anthony Weiner’s computer. Neither of these incidents had any Russian connection.

I don’t doubt that Russian intelligence was interested in sowing discord in the US around its election. I am saying that there is no evidence that it succeeded.

Moreover, John Podesta’s emails were not hacked. He fell for a phishing scheme in which he received a phony email asking for his login information, which he answered after a technical assistant incorrectly told him the email was legitimate (he meant to say illegitimate).

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