Alternative Insight

The New York Times Plots the 2016 Election

Similar to the expression, "world's leading sponsor of world terrorism," always following mention of Iran, the expression, "who interfered in the U.S. 2016 presidential election," now follows mention of Russia. Although both expressions may be false, they have become locked into the consciences of the majority of the American public.

By not having facts and logic to support its summarized case for extensive Russian interference in the 2016 national election, a convoluted article in the respected New York Times (NYT). The Plot to Subvert an Election - Unraveling the Russia Story So Far by SCOTT SHANE and MARK MAZZETTI, SEPT. 20, 2018, at clinton.html?action=click&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article&region=Footer demonstrates that the media fits facts to enhance its agenda.

The article starts with

ON AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTION, a huge banner was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge in New York City: Vladimir V. Putin against a Russian-flag background…

The paragraph ends with

In November, shortly after Donald J. Trump eked out a victory that Moscow had worked to assist, an even bigger banner appeared.

Note that before any facts are presented, the reader is confronted with a conclusion "Moscow had worked to assist" in Trump's victory.

Police never identified who had hung the banners, but there were clues. The earliest promoters of the images on Twitter were American-sounding accounts, including @LeroyLovesUSA, later exposed as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters.

Although described "as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters," the banners had nothing to do with the election, and the second banner was unfurled after the election. Why conclude they are Russian fakes? Could not these individuals be operating similar to many persons who have Facebook accounts, hiding their real names when commenting on controversial issues?

These lines are followed by leaps into fantasy.

The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history

How do a few unknown persons, supposedly living in St. Petersburg, suddenly morph into "The Kremlin?" How could, "The banners be intended as visual victory laps?" How is this, "the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history?" A succeeding paragraph proves the article is a bundle of unproven statements. Before presenting any facts, and using conjecture, other conclusions are impressed into the readers' minds.

But to travel back to 2016 and trace the major plotlines of the Russian attack is to underscore what we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign.

What are "the major plotlines," of what "Russian attack," that makes it certain that "The Russians carried out a landmark (ED: Why landmark?) intervention?"
Where has there been any evidence of "Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin?"
How many (ED: two?) "public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics?" (ED: Words underlined by editor to show the drama and exaggerations.)

Scarcity of thought and logic applied to the narrative is exemplified by describing President Putin as actively supporting a Trump candidacy. Nation leaders welcome other leaders who have experience, credentials, are courteous, stable, consistent, and predictable. President Trump has none of these qualities. President Putin may not favor Hillary Clinton but he knows her thoughts and is able to prepare adequate responses to her "no surprise" policies. Erratic Trump is trouble for everyone, BIG TROUBLE; a leader who provides no preparation for contention and can cause havoc. This havoc has occurred - President Trump has levied heavy sanctions against Russia, has armed rebels in Syria that have confronted and killed Russian "Volunteers," has caused Putin grief by combatting North Korea and Iran, two of Russia's friends, and has caused Russia economic damage by sanctions against North Korea and intended sanctions against China. It is bewildering that Putin has not jailed any of those accused of supporting the Trump election.

More conjecture.

And there is a plausible case that Mr. Putin succeeded in delivering the presidency to his admirer, Mr. Trump, though it cannot be proved or disproved. In an election with an extraordinarily close margin, the repeated disruption of the Clinton campaign by emails published on WikiLeaks and the anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have made the difference, a possibility Mr. Trump flatly rejects.

"Plausible case" that "cannot be proved" and "could of" do not gain support to severe charges. These anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions (ED: millions or thousands?) are infinitesimal with the billions of similar messages throughout the campaign, which were shared by 150 million Americans. An article in the October 1, 2018 issue of New Yorker magazine, "How Russia Helped to Swing the Election for Trump," claims that evidence presented to the Senate committee revealed that material generated by the Kremlin had reached a hundred and twenty-six million American Facebook users, leading Senator Dianne Feinstein to call the cyberattack "cataclysmic."

Although these were Intelligence Research Agency ads, the New Yorker refers to them as "Kremlin generated." The figure of 126 million comes from a supposition that others pick up and re-circulate the information. By these criteria, the billions of similar messages by U.S. agencies are converted into trillions of users and the proportion between the two types of ads remains the same.

Missing from the data are the exact number of people who actually looked at the ads, digested them, were influenced by them, and changed their vote due to them. Because the IRA ads were not unique, the end result may be miniscule.

It becomes a well-organized conspiracy of people who may not even know one another.

As Mr. Trump emerged in spring 2016 as the improbable favorite for the Republican nomination, the Russian operation accelerated on three fronts - the hacking and leaking of Democratic documents; massive fraud on Facebook and Twitter; and outreach to Trump campaign associates.

"Accelerated" from what? Was it not from zero?
The Russian intelligence agents had no previous knowledge of what they would find and therefore had no prepared method of how to use the information.
Hacking is an intelligence operation and not an election interfering operation.
Leaking was only a result of what to do with the intelligence information and not a prepared operation.
"Massive fraud on Facebook?"
According to, about 3,000 ads were purchased at a cost of around $100,000. Compare this to a Facebook audience in the United States of 214 million users, and more than 1.8 billion monthly active users, millions of electioneering twitter accounts, hundreds of mass demonstrations in the United States, spending for the 2016 elections (presidential and congressional) estimated at $6.5 billion by campaign finance watchdog, and Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch statement, during his Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing, that Clinton and Trump together spent $81 million on pre-election day Facebook ads. It is obvious that the efforts could not compete for eyeballs of the American electorate. I ask any sound and objective person, does this operation seem accelerated, and is it MASSIVE FRAUD?

USA Today, referenced at, concluded that the most significant charge against the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) was "More than half of the Facebook ads created by the Kremlin-backed IRA to influence Americans during and after the last presidential election made references to race."
Where is there evidence that the IRA was "Kremlin-backed?" Can an operation with scarce funding, which devotes one-half of the funding to a social issue, expect to influence an election, and, in a nation of already severe racial tension for centuries, could the IRA succeed in "increasing racial tension" more than the tensions that already existed?

If it is rational to be disturbed about a few ads on Facebook by a Russian public relations agency, why the silence to those using constant messaging on Facebook to influence the U.S. public to support a foreign government? At

A pro-Israel advocacy organization, The Israel Project (TIP), was identified last week as operating a series of Facebook groups as part of an under-the-radar effort to spread pro-Israel messaging without identifying the source of the content. Its media strategy, however, was much bigger than that.

Not talked about, and deserving investigation, is the appearance of 200,000 to 1,000,000 Israeli expatriates now living in the U.S. ( Could it be that many of these "expatriates," who have dual citizenship or acquire U.S. citizenship, are sent to live in New York, California and Florida, their principal residences, to vote and directly influence the U.S. elections. Just a conspiracy theory, but worth more attention than this supposed indirect "Russian interference."

More unexplained inferences

On March 24, one of the members of the Trump foreign policy team, George Papadopoulos, sat in the cafe of an upscale London hotel with a Russian woman who introduced herself as Mr. Putin's niece and offered to help set up a meeting between the Russian president and Mr. Trump.

Not mentioned is that this "Russian woman" was a fraud and had no relation to Putin. Papadopoulos, who looked for means to gain importance, could never contact one person who knew anybody in the Russian government. He has been indicted for lying and not for any election maneuvering.

More exaggerations and dubious statements,

Russians or suspected Russian agents - including oligarchs, diplomats, former military officers and shadowy intermediaries - had dozens of contacts during the campaign with Mr. Trump's associates. They reached out through email, Facebook and Twitter. They sought introductions through trusted business connections of Mr. Trump's, obscure academic institutions, veterans groups and the National Rifle Association. They met Trump campaign aides in Moscow, London, New York and Louisville, Ky. One claimed the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton; another Russian, the Trump campaign was told, would deliver it. In May and June alone, the Trump campaign fielded at least four invitations to meet with Russian intermediaries or officials.

Note the adjectives in expressions - suspected Russian agents, former military officers, shadowy intermediaries, trusted business connections. Note, by specifying several cities, the attempt to infer a worldwide conspiracy. The bottom line is that no "dirt" on Hillary Clinton was ever delivered and, as of October 1, 2018, no contacts with Trump campaign officials and any Russian intermediaries or officials have amounted to anything,

Again, not telling all.

Whether Mr. Trump or any of his associates conspired with the Russians is a central question of the investigation by Mr. Mueller, who has already charged 26 Russians and won convictions or guilty pleas from the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn; the former campaign chairman, Paul J. Manafort, and his deputy, Rick Gates; and from Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, has pleaded guilty in a separate case.

Charging 26 Russians sounds like much, but these are people from only two organizations. The other charges have nothing to do with election interference and some have nothing to do with the campaign.

Much being revealed and much to relate from this article.
(1) Those who treat the New York Times (NYT) as gospel and question information from independent investigators, should know that the latter, in this investigation, obtained information from the same sources as the NYT reporters - press services, government documents, and internet files. Important is how careful the information is read and interpreted, and how much thought and logic complement the information.
(2) The NYT, in its approach to this issue, interpreted information in accord with its agenda and obedience to the attitudes of its readers. Thought and logic have been absent from their investigation of the Russian government role in the 2016 presidential election.
(3) Readers must also question their interpretations. Have they accepted the NYT version verbatim, without examination, and then served to repeat it?

The New York Times article demonstrates that the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 election should be reported, but not with specious information and faulty reasoning that continually influence the American public into mistaken beliefs and mindsets. Deception in reporting leads to deception in policy formulation. What else is new in WMD America?

alternative insight
october 1, 2018