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A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11
Should the U.S. Response Be Similar?
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In the wake of last week’s indictments alleging that 13 Russian nationals and entities created fake social media accounts and sponsored political events to sow political discord in the U.S., something of a consensus has arisen in the political and media class (with some notable exceptions) that these actions not only constitute an “act of war” against the U.S., but one so grave that it is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Indeed, that Russia’s alleged “meddling” is comparable to the two most devastating attacks in U.S. history has, overnight, become a virtual cliché.

The claim that Russian meddling in the election is “an act of war” comparable to these events isn’t brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” Hillary Clinton, while promoting her book last October, described Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inbox as a “cyber 9/11.” And last February, the always war-hungry Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on “Morning Joe” that Russian hacking “was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”

But the last few days have ushered in an explosion of this rhetoric from politicians and journalists alike. On Friday night’s Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, two separate guests — Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler and longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines — posited Pearl Harbor as the “equivalent” of Russian meddling, provoking a shocked reaction from Hayes:

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, complaining about President Donald Trump’s inaction, asked readers to “imagine how history would have judged Franklin D. Roosevelt in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, if he had taken to the radio airwaves to declare that Tokyo was ‘laughing their asses off.’ Or if George W. Bush had stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn and launched a name-calling tirade against the Democrats.”

David “Axis of Evil” Frum went back a century earlier to write that Trump’s inaction amounts to “a dereliction of duty as grave as any since President Buchanan looked the other way as Southern state governments pillaged federal arsenals on the eve of the Civil War.” Podesta — who served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, as well as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair — called Trump a “draft dodger” for failing to engage what he called this “war” with Russia.

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  1. physician, heal thyself:
    maybe glenny boy should do an investigation on how the intercept quickly became just another tool of Empire…
    (hint: follow the mo-naaaaaaayyyyyy…)
    his credibility is cratering like bitcoin as he remains with that little propaganda vehicle…

    • Replies: @CalDre
  2. You gotta love how Mueller has basically criminalized foreign criticism of the Democratic party. Open season on the GOP 24/7/365, but one peep about the Dems, and it’s special prosecutors and multi-count indictments.

  3. This is a consensus among a dozen or so raving lunatics, all of whom should be in prison or in a psych ward somewhere. Nadler and McCain, though, deserve special treatment, like being hanged.

  4. El Dato says:

    Many “empty talking heads” should be dragged out of newsrooms and culled on camera like Ghaddafi. The problem is that it would be impossible to justify that act.

    Or if George W. Bush had stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn and launched a name-calling tirade against the Democrats.

    As usual, the Anthrax, a born-in-USA engineered attack that really got the movie rolling, has been completely memory-holed.

  5. I’d like to think the jumped the shark with this one, but they keep jumping sharks and, like the proverbial Energizer Bunny, they still keep on going. Are their ratings so good, or are we being held hostage, so to say, a la The Truman Show?

    • Replies: @Forbes
  6. JR says:

    The fence is to keep outsiders from invading according to consensus of the inmates of an asylum.

  7. lavoisier says: • Website

    Quite amazing that the psychopaths want to go to war with Russia on the basis of a disinformation campaign on the part of a handful of Russian nationals who may or may not have any ties to the Kremlin.

    I pray every night that the cancer rids our world of that monster McCain.

    Are the American sheeple waking up to this madness??

    Pick a fight with a nuclear superpower who can blow us all to hell because a rag tag bunch of Russians posted something on Facebook?

    Where is the adult supervision in our government??

    Seriously. We need, now more than ever, a leader to stand up and say very clearly this evil empire of ours has no clothes–or sanity.

  8. CalDre says:
    @art guerrilla

    That’s not fair for a lot of reasons, but in particular, the entire article at the Intercept is critical of the mindset summarized in the lead-in paragraphs. This site just prints some excerpts from the article to avoid copyright infringement. As it turns out Greenwald used the first few paragraphs to summarize the hysteria.

  9. We should retaliate by trying to get a Russian Trump elected.

    “When Chechynia sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you.”

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You can’t believe anything the press puts out. This is by design. It’s a compelling show.

    The sheep – at least the ones that are mildly concious – have been given two simple (fake) choices about how to process information from the Intercept based on a recent article (or earlier articles that you may no longer remember) that criticize Assange and Wikileaks:

    Either the Intercept is worthless because of the inaccurate article on Julian Assange or the Intercept is of some value because Julian Assange really is a loose cannon, pervert, or endangers something or someone. Maybe these choices are part of the show.

    Greenwald has sounded like Hillary Clinton but he’s also supported Chelsea (Bradley) Manning’s rights. Confused? Good, you should be.

    Here’s Assange from 2014 over the deep state’s Twitter system letting us know what he thinks about Greenwald:

    @ggreenwald When has true published information harmed innocents? You are painting future publications into a corner with this Pentagon line
    08:39 PM – 19 May 2014

  11. MEH 0910 says:

    Ron Unz, the next Forum piece, White Nationalist Is Latest to Sue Over Social Media Ban, isn’t showing up:

    We’re sorry. That page could not be found.

  12. Forbes says:
    @The Alarmist

    Are their ratings so good, or …

    CNN has no programs among the top-20 cable news programs. So no…

  13. From Wiki: Consensus is a group discussion where everyone’s opinions are heard and understood, and a solution is created that respects those opinions. Consensus is not what everyone agrees to, nor is it the preference of the majority. Consensus results in the best solution that the group can achieve at the time.

    This headline should read: A Consensus Emerges among propagandists.

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