The Russiagate Hoax illustrates the Power the National Security Police State

How the CIA, DNI, FBI, and NSA Interfered in a Presidential Election and How Progressives Bought the Lie

The US rulers and their national security state foisted two major campaigns of lies on us to win our support for their planned wars. The first that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. This bogus story was rejected by the progressive and anti-war movements. The second that Trump colluded with Putin to steal the 2016 election; this, progressives fell for. It remains a shocking example of manipulation of supposedly well-educated progressive people – many of whom do not hesitate to ridicule MAGA people for their bigotry and ignorance.

Russiagate, packaged as a tale of Putin and Trump collusion, was a plot against the government elected by the people. Russiagate, first leaked to the media in mid-2016 by CIA Director Brennan, sought to sabotage a presidential campaign and then delegitimize the Trump presidency. It was an essential tool for legitimizing the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, costing hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.

Yet, no evidence was ever presented that Trump colluded with Putin. No evidence was presented that the Russians hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers. No evidence was presented that any votes in 2016 were switched.

Origin of anti-Russian campaign and the Russiagate Story

In 2014 Washington instigated an anti-Russian coup in Ukraine. Then when Russia aided Syria in the US-provoked “civil war,” Russia bashing intensified. As General Wesley Clark revealed, the US had targeted Syria for overthrow at least since 2001 and was in a favorable position to accomplish this goal until Moscow began significant military aid to Damascus in 2015.

CIA’s Brennan aimed to manipulate the public to prepare for a showdown with Russia. Mike Whitney wrote, “After Putin blocked Brennan’s operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia.” Meanwhile, Trump was gaining ground in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries when he called for US troops to get out Syria and the Middle East and said the “deep state” lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Whitney adds, “It provided him [Brennan] the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time.”

In Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate, Paul Craig Roberts elaborated:

Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached.

Russian expert Stephen Cohen concurred, reporting that Brennan was collecting material for the collusion story in late 2015 or early 2016 and instigated the FBI investigation into the Trump-Putin hoax. “Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter.” Cohen, in “Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence,” said the story was based on two documents: an “Intelligence Community Assessment” and the Steele dossier, compiled by a retired UK intelligence officer. The core narrative of both claimed Putin intervened in the 2016 presidential campaign to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy to help Trump. Journalist Aaron Mate further detailed CIA Director Brennan’s role as “a prime mover of Russiagate.”

Steele Dossier

“The Dossier” asserted Trump colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton, claiming that Russia hacked the DNC computer servers. Mike Whitney and others point out the Steele Dossier was paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. While the Dossier is now discredited, the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia was launched based on “information” gathered from this paid-for report. Steele “was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don’t even know if Steele’s alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not.”

The “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA)

CIA boss Brennan, along with the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Clapper, finally released the ICA report in January 2017, which concluded that Putin “ordered” a campaign aimed at influencing the election. The Assessment claimed:

“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order… We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency…We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump…Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards…. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

The Assessment contained no evidence of Russia’s role but asserted Russia’s actions included hacking into the email accounts of the DNC along with intermediaries such as WikiLeaks to release the hacked information.

Stephen Cohen adds, “Clapper subsequently admitted he had personally selected for the ICA analysts from the three agencies, but we still do not know who. No doubt these were analysts who would conform to the ‘core narrative’ of Kremlin-Trump collusion…. the ICA provided almost no facts for its ‘assessment.’”

National Security State Directors Perpetuate their Trump-Putin collusion hoax

CIA’s Brennan deceived Congress and the public by claiming sufficient evidence existed to investigate Trump’s campaign. The BBC 2017 article Ex-CIA chief Brennan says Trump-Russia inquiry ‘well-founded’ stated Brennan “told the House Intelligence Committee he was aware of intelligence showing contact between Russian officials and ‘US persons involved in the Trump campaign’.” Brennan said the Russians ‘brazenly interfered’ in the 2016 US elections and were ‘very aggressive.’”

21st Century Wire reported that Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), had “leaked information on the ‘Trump dossier’ to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied about it to Congress, and then was hired by CNN just a few months later.” Clapper later asserted that Putin “knows how to handle an asset and that’s what he’s doing with the President”.

The third national security state boss, FBI Director Comey, proclaimed in Congressional hearings that Putin:

hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much. They engaged in a multifaceted campaign to undermine our democracy. They were unusually loud in their intervention. It’s almost as if they didn’t care that we knew, that they wanted us to see what they were doing. Their number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy enterprise of this nation. They’ll be back. They’ll be back, in 2020. They may be back in 2018.

Mike Whitney remarked, “So among his other talents, Comey also knows how to read minds. He knows that Putin hates Hillary and favors Trump. He knows the Russians ‘engaged in a multifaceted campaign to undermine our democracy’, even though he hasn’t produced a lick of proof to verify his claims.”

Whitney adds later, “The FBI made a “concerted effort to conceal information from the court” in order to get a warrant to spy on a member of a rival political campaign. The FBI failed to mention that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC.”

The fourth national police state boss, NSA Director Michael Rogers, when asked on November 15, 2016, about the WikiLeaks release of DNC emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, declared, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state [Russia] to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” He added, “This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance.”

Thus, the Trump-Putin collusion and Russia hacking story was propagated by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and DNI, the backbone of the national security police state.

The story that Russia “hacked” DNC-Hillary Clinton computers

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity pointed out that the “NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved…The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRClinton or any other servers were routed through the network.” Given that this hacking was allegedly by a foreign power, which the US considered an enemy, it would make sense to conclude the NSA knew Russia did not do it, but stayed mum.

Instead of asking the NSA or FBI, the DNC hired CrowdStrike to investigate the “hacking” of their computers, despite the claimed significant US national security threat that a foreign power hacked presidential campaign computers to alter the election. CrowdStrike became the only actual source for “information” on the Russian hacking of DNC computers and Russia’s providing the scoop to WikiLeaks. FBI Director Comey never insisted on access to the DNC computers, nor was the FBI given an unredacted report. The only evidence of a hack comes from this company paid by the DNC.

CrowdStrike’s chief technical officer was Dmitri Alperovich, a senior fellow with the Saudi and Rockefeller Foundation funded think tank, the neocon Atlantic Council. It has several former CIA directors on its board and considered to be NATO’s “think tank.”

Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, knew from the head of CrowdStrike, Shawn Henry in December 5, 2017, that CrowdStrike had no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked by Russia or anyone else. However, Schiff kept this from the public until May 7, 2020, two and a half years later.

National  Police State Directors admit they made up the Trump-Putin collusion Story

After the 2016 election, the DNI, CIA, NSA, and FBI bosses admitted they made up the collusion story and that the Intelligence Community Assessment they released to the public contained no evidence. CIA boss Brennan when asked on May 23, 2017 in a Congressional hearing into Russian collusion declared, “I don’t do evidence…I don’t know whether such collusion existed.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted to the House Intelligence Committee on July 17, 2017, “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.” Clapper also owned up, in July 5, 2017 testimony that “17 intelligence agencies” had confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election has been false all along.

For his part, FBI Director Comey, in Congressional testimony on March 20, 2017, “stated there is no evidence to support collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.” In a June 8, 2017 hearing, when asked “Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?” Comey answered, “I’m confident.”

Brennan, Clapper, and Comey, the three chief national security state bosses behind the Russiagate story admitted they made it up, that no evidence substantiates their hoax on the public.

Too many progressives swallow the CIA invented Trump-Putin collusion story

Thus, we have the heads of the national security state police agencies concocting a story to sway a US presidential election and incite anger at Russia. Progressives recognize the NSA, CIA and FBI as enemies of human rights and liberties. Most progressives also view Trump as fascist or “neo-fascist.” But here we have the curiosity of the national police state agencies interfering in a US election to stop a “fascist” from being elected. Progressives might reflect on why they have ended up opposing the same candidate the national security state opposes, how they put themselves in the position of voting for the candidates (Hillary and Biden) that the national security state preferred.

We now have evidence to know the US national security state systematically interfered in a presidential election. They made up a story and convinced most of the US public of it. They even surveilled and wire-tapped members of the presidential campaign they opposed. This testifies to the colossal reach of the national security state over us, their ability to make us believe a falsehood is reality. And get away with it unpunished. It attests to their power over US society that no dared indict them for trying to fix our elections.

That the national police agencies undertook this vast operation against the Republican Party, considered the more reactionary enforcer of the status quo of the two corporate parties, warns us what they have in store when an actual popular revolt against their status quo arises.

Considerable information has existed for some years that the Russiagate hoax was no more true than Saddam Hussein’s WMDs, which few progressives swallowed. The opposite case here. Progressives drank the anti-Trump “Kool-Aid.” A 2018 Gallup poll showed that 90% of Democratic voters bought the Russia interference story compared to 67% of Republican voters. On whether Russia changed the election outcome, 78% of Democratic voters agreed. without evidence ever presented. Ironically, these voters include those who proclaim, “follow the science” and consider the MAGA crowd as uneducated and prejudiced.

Many progressives had just supported Bernie in 2015-16 only to see Hillary Clinton’s dirty tricks snatch the Democratic nomination from him. Yet they welcomed this Clinton/DNC/national security state propagated hoax – the very people they just repudiated; a testimony of how the ruling class can manage consent.

The police state agencies whipped up such a Russiagate hysteria that if you questioned it in a public forum, you were sure to be attacked as being a Putin stooge, disloyal, a MAGA bigot.

This Putin-Trump collusion hoax and consequent hysteria laid the foundation for the later propaganda campaign to provoke the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. And we see in the 2018 poll that Democratic voters were more welcoming of aggressive action. Likewise, a poll revealed ten months into the Ukraine war that, “33% of Republicans agreed with that prolonged support, compared to 61% of Democrats and 46% of independents.” Remarkedly, Democratic voters have become more war-friendly.

In addition, Russiagate gave impetus to the campaign of smearing independent, anti-war media as agents of Russian disinformation. Even articles in progressive media such as Counterpunch propagated this nonsense, labeling those who did not support the US attempts to overthrow the Syrian government or defend the Ukrainian coup regime as “Assadists” and “Putinists.” This shows the continuing threat to the anti-war movement, given that US national security police state disinformation operations still hold considerable sway, permitting them to repress and marginalize voices for peace more easily.

Stansfield Smith,, Stan has been involved in anti-war organizing for 45 years, and has written a number of articles about Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, as well as previous articles related to the subject here. They have appeared in Monthly Review online, Orinoco Tribune, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Popular Resistance, and others. Read other articles by Stansfield.