"Biggest Fake News Story of the Year"
(Russia hacking the 2016 Election)
December 31, 2016
Have you ever heard of the International Republican Institute? Probably not.
But your tax dollars fund it and its counterpart, the International Democratic Institute. Money is appropriated by the Congress and given to the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, which then make grants to those two groups.
The stated purpose of these organizations is to help build democratic institutions in countries all over the world. They do so by, among other activities, providing help to political parties during campaigns. That help may include media manipulation and opposition candidate research. Oftentimes the effort opposes the ruling party and has therefore resulted in the expulsion, and even arrest, of Americans working as IRI and IDI operatives.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this "foreign intervention" is not a program that is uniquely American. The Russian and Chinese play in the same elections but do so in a much more practical manner. They build homes and buy cars for their favored candidates. The point is, contrary to President Obama’s recent temper tantrum, political involvement in other nations’ elections is a game played by major powers and it has been going on for decades.
Russian hacking of American business and government operations has also been going on for decades, and has been widely reported. So has the hacking by the Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians, Cubans and others.
It is not news that foreign governments – including American "allies" including Britain, Saudi Arabia and Israel– also fund organizations and publications to influence American public opinion— even in election years…