By Ron Paul, MD
January 31, 2023
Thanks to the latest release of the "Twitter Files," we now know without a doubt that the entire "Russia disinformation" racket was a massive disinformation campaign to undermine US elections and perhaps even push "regime change" inside the United States after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
Here is some background. In November, 2016, just after the election, the Washington Post published an article titled, "Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say." The purpose of the article was to delegitimize the Trump presidency as a product of a Russian "disinformation" campaign.
"There is no way to know whether the Russian campaign proved decisive in electing Trump, but researchers portray it as part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in US democracy and its leaders," wrote Craig Timberg. The implication was clear: a Russian operation elected Donald Trump, not the American people.
Among the "experts" it cited were an anonymous organization called "Prop Or Not," which in its own words claimed to identify "more than 200 websites as peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans."
The organization's report was so preposterous that the Washington Post was later forced to issue a clarification, even though the Post provided a link to the report which falsely accused independent news outlets like Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, and even my Ron Paul Institute as "Russian disinformation."
The 2016 Washington Post article also featured "expert" Clint Watts, a former FBI counterintelligence officer who went on to found another outfit claiming to be hunting "Russian disinformation" in the US, the "Hamilton 68" project. That project was launched by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a very well-funded organization containing a who's who of top neocons like William Kristol, John Podesta, Michael McFaul, and many more.
Thanks to the latest release of the "Twitter Files," Matt Taibbi reveals that the Hamilton 68 project, which claimed to monitor 600 "Russian disinformation" Twitter accounts, was a total hoax. While they refused to reveal which accounts they monitored and would not reveal their methodology, Twitter was able to use reverse-engineering to determine the 600-odd "Russian-connected" accounts. Twitter found that despite Hamilton's claims, the vast majority of these "Russian" accounts were English-speaking. Of the Russian registered accounts - numbering just 36 out of 644 - most were employees of the Russian news outlet RT.
It was all a lie and the latest Twitter Files release confirms that even the "woke" pre-Musk Twitter employees could smell a rat. But the hoax served an important purpose. Hiding behind anonymity, this neocon organization was able to generate hundreds of media stories slandering and libeling perfectly legitimate organizations and individuals as "Russian agents." It provided a very convenient way to demonize anyone who did not go along with the approved neocon narrative.
Twitter's new owner, who has given us a look behind the curtain, put it best in a Tweet over the weekend: "An American group made false claims about Russian election interference to interfere with American elections."
The whole "Russia disinformation" hoax was a shocking return to the McCarthyism of the 1950s and in some ways even worse. Making lists of American individuals and non-profits to be targeted and "cancelled" as being in the pay of foreigners is despicable. Such fraudulent actions have caused real-life damages that need to be addressed.