by Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project:
Anti-Russia and disinformation hysteria has reached new heights, and — after the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S., among other retributions for an ostensibly hacked election — the Washington Post continued its foray into Fake News with an article suggesting Kremlin actors hacked the electrical grid in Vermont.
Perhaps because the outlet got away with citing unnamed officials twice before during this reinvigorated Red Scare, the Post again blared its Russia Did It alarm with an article titled, “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say.”
Interesting that one of the goliaths of journalism — a long-trusted, venerated institution with a prior history of admirable muckraking — would, of late, begin publishing articles based solely on the testimony of unnamed officials offering little more than references to past, equally vapid hysteria about Russia.
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy joined the fervent fear-mongering by issuing a statement asserting,
“This is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides – this is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter. That is a direct threat to Vermont and we do not take it lightly.”
As tiresome routine would have it, corporate media joined in lockstep alarmism, parroting the Post’s article as if The Russians — now that Vermont had been ‘compromised’ — would bring down the power grid of the United States. Peter Shumlin, governor of the state putatively threatened by Russian Operatives, roped the whole country into the act, warning:
“Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life, economy, health, and safety.”
However, Vermont’s russophobia hasn’t a leg to stand on. As The Intercept’s itinerant co-founder Glenn Greenwald imperatively notes,
“There was no ‘penetration of the U.S. electricity grid.’ The truth was undramatic and banal. Burlington Electric, after receiving a Homeland Security notice sent to all U.S. utility companies about the malware code found in the DNC system, searched all their computers and found the code in a single laptop that was not connected to the electric grid.”
All of this comes on the heels of exceedingly dubious claims The Russians somehow hacked either ‘the election’ or the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta — and expose corruption therein — to persuade American voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump.
Why The Russians would so favor Trump has not yet been explained — nor has a single shred of evidence linking the Putin establishment to anything even remotely resembling the hack of any U.S. system.
A joint report from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI purported to evince Russian government fingerprints on the 2016 electoral cycle — but the disclaimer-laden information did not do so. Nonetheless, the lame duck Obama administration proffered the report as part of its evidence to justify expelling Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions — an act vehemently condemned by Russian officials and, at first, believed sufficiently aggressive to turn the new Cold War perilously hot.
Fortunately, Putin coolly laughed off this threadbare assessment — as he has previous anti-Russia delirium — and announced counter-retaliation for Obama’s ‘kitchen’ diplomacy, as he aptly termed it, would not be forthcoming.
Thankfully. Because, despite the valiant efforts of the U.S. government — through its loyal corporate media bullhorn — to paint Russia as the greatest evil Americans now face, the allegations have no basis in fact.
Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.