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Genuine Expert on Fascism Speaks About Rise of Fascism

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David Neiwert, who knows more than perhaps anyone on the rise of fascism on the right in this country over the last two decades, speaks the truth.

Yet again, I find it fascinating that nearly every single ‘progressive’ I’ve seen pooh-poohing the fact that Russia’s intelligence services conducted an all-out cyberattack on America’s election system, with the full intent of undermining our democracy, is a hardcore Hillary Hater who almost certainly voted for Sanders or Stein. It makes crystal clear what I believed well before the election — that these ‘progressives’ are so blinded by their disdain for centrist liberalism that they simply are incapable of comprehending the reality of fascism when it smacks them right in the face.

And yes, people, Russia today is a proto-fascist regime, one that is actively financing and spreading proto-fascist “identitarian” nationalist philosophies throughout Europe and the United States. We know, in fact, that they are actually financing these movements.

These hardcore Hillary Haters, like Glenn Greenwald and his following, are in desperate denial about the enormity of the monstrous regime they have now empowered and enabled. They’re anxious to escape the blame for the unbelievable disaster that is about to befall us all, particularly progressives and people of color. Too fucking late, Glenn.

Indeed.

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  • Three weeks before the Trump regime takes over & Greenwald–who before his political awakening supported George W Bush, and after his political awakening said nice things about Gary Johnson-is praising Breitbart. Because that’s just what Orwell would have done!

    Gotta move fast if you want to be rewarded for speaking power to truth!

    • A few more appearances with Tucker Carlson and all the speaking power to truth will be happening!

      • liberalrob

        Jan. 20th we’ll start seeing power try to speak to truth for real…but truth is notoriously hard of hearing.

        • rm

          We’re all getting a reminder of the subleties of epistemology. Truth is whatever a group of people believes. Reality or facts refers to stuff out there we assume must exist and which is stubborn and hard of hearing, and often bites us in the ass when our truths are too far removed from reality.

          The people taking charge are astoundingly far from reality in their collective truth, and they are going to try to make us all join their delusion.

    • DocAmazing

      I’m pretty sure Greenwald never claimed to be anything but a Libertarian.

      • AMK

        His hobby horse has always been the surveillance state, and nothing else–lots of liberals have just projected liberal politics on him (and Snowden, and Assange). Finding the Obama NSA Deeply Troubling As A Journalist while shilling for Putin is certainly an all-time great example of libertarian thought, right up there with Ayn Rand cashing disability checks and the Kochs bashing corporate subsidies.

        • CP Norris

          Were you more troubled in 2003 by Bush’s policies or Hussein’s? Hussein was a brutal dictator, but I didn’t think that merited much debate. Bush was the elected leader of my own country.

          A lot of this stuff reads like Instapundit in 2003.

          • Brien Jackson

            Except that he’s running interference for Russian espionage in America, with pure propaganda at that.

      • The Great God Pan

        He actually flips the fuck out, at length, when accused of being a Libertarian.

        Eta: for some reason the link wasn’t showing up, so:
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/1/30/1182442/-Glenn-Greenwald-Responds-to-Widespread-Lies-About-Him-on-Cato-Iraq-War-and-more

        • brad

          Is there anything whatsoever he doesn’t do at length?
          Why use 50 words when 5000 will do.

        • In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s vehemently objected to it in these comments.

        • fleekon

          Greenwald, despite constantly praising himself as an “activist journalist” and attacking nearly all other journalists for being–to use his favorite words–“stupid” and “stenographers”–is the unique “activist” who becomes furious whenever any political label is applied to him.

          Though if you dig deeper, he becomes especially furious when he is called “right-wing” or “Rebublican” or “libertarian.” and then does amazing things–I don’t have the links and it’s too painful to go searching but–pointing to his support for Citizens United and the Tea Party (which to this day, despite huge amounts of scholarship and journalism proving it was a Koch-funded insurgency, he insists was a grassroots nonsectarian people’s movement), as proof that he’s not right-wing.

          Greenwald is a highly-paid belligerent liar who does amazing work for Cato. Whether Cato pays him to lie is a different question and I’m not at all sure, but his remarkable belligerence is a clue to something. But a major part of his work is disavowing right-wing identification so that a large number of youngsters think he’s on their side, despite the fact that all he ever does is bash either government or liberals or even progressives (e.g., the time when many of us were furious at him for partnering with ex-KKK member Ron Paul, & he said we were all just interested in “purity”).

          Greenwald wanted Clinton to lose and seems not to know that Trump exists. One of the more amazing documents of the election is this piece (by a strong Clinton supporter who I often but don’t always agree with) showing how Greenwald persistently acted as a–oh, “stenographer”–with regard not to the leaked DNC emails themselves, but to Assange’s provably and obviously false interpretation of the emails, which Greenwald again and again and again replicated nearly verbatim, despite being very clearly incorrect:

          http://electionado.com/canvas/1476366571591

      • cpinva

        “I’m pretty sure Greenwald never claimed to be anything but a Libertarian.”

        and the libertarian “philosophy” only works if you live on a desert island. I would welcome Mr. Greenwald re-locating to one.

        • MAJeff

          Can he take Thiel with him, please?

          • Snarki, child of Loki

            I hear there are plenty of very nice little islands, mere inches above sea level (beach access, yay!) at very reasonable prices.

            Not sure why all the climate change deniers haven’t rushed in to take them, but Greenwald & Thiel are welcome to lead the way.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Thiel will only agree if Greenwald agrees to share his blood.

      • Manny Kant

        He absolutely absolutely denies being a libertarian. He gets angry when people say he’s a libertarian.

        As far as I can tell, he generally kind of claims to be a liberal or a leftist, though he never actually pushes any left positions unless it’s to tack left of Obama and use that to attack him (he definitely took a firebagger position on Obamacare, e.g.)

  • Davis X. Machina

    The struggle against social fascists was never going to be pretty, or without consequences, and you take your allies where you can find them.

    Being fastidious is counter-revolutionary.

    • Barry_D

      “…and you take your allies where you can find them.”

      You forgot the part where Greenwald is an ally.

    • leftwingfox

      Several arguments I’ve had in the past now make horrible, horrible sense after reading that link.

      • Manny Kant

        What’s amazing is how the left today has, independently and on its own, effectively taken up a completely discredited Comintern line from the 30s. At least Ernst Thälmann had the excuse that he was following orders from Moscow.

        • leftwingfox

          The past is never really the past and bad ideas never go away completely, so I’m not surprised it’s still around.

          It’s just REALLY stupid.

          • Manny Kant

            Not surprised it’s still around in some form, but surprised it’s embraced by anyone but the most hopeless Marxist-Leninist splinter group.

  • efgoldman

    is a hardcore Hillary Hater who almost certainly voted for Sanders or Stein

    I hate to correct Dave, but a significant number of them also voted for Mango Mussolini.

    Some of them even comment here fairly regularly.

  • Colette

    I cannot for the life of me figure out why ANYONE pays attention any longer to what Greenwald claims to be, or claims happened, or claims is “the real story,” or claims is about to fall like manna from Moscow.

    Neiwert, in complete contrast, knows of what he speaks. Is there any way to read this particular piece if one is not on Facebook? I googled a bit but came up empty.

    • Dr. Acula

      You’ve read the whole post already. Erik quoted the whole thing.

      • weirdnoise

        Facebook doesn’t exactly lend itself to long-form writing.

        Neiwert blogs here somewhat sporadically, but in far more depth than his Facebook posts.

    • NewishLawyer

      I suspect that it is because there is a lot of people get hooked on Greenwald or Greenwald esque journalists when they are in rebellious teenage and college years. Some people get over this and some people do not.

      That being said, I suspect that the divide between liberals and leftists is much greater than the divide between Country Club conservatives and far-right types. Liberals are basically institutionalists who are willing to work with and reform the status quo but they don’t want to rip everything up and start again.

      I’m a liberal. I believe in the welfare state, working to get rid of income inequality, working on climate change, and reforming the criminal justice system. But I am not a radical leveler. There is good in the profit motive and Adam Smith was more right than wrong including his observations on self-interest. I have very little patience for lefties that don’t understand the law of supply and demand is real. I have even less patience for social media slactivism posts like “Reminder, money is a social construct.” That might be true but it is also irrelevant. Constructs can be very useful and money is one of them.

      What common gaps are there with a far leftist who wants to burn everything down?

      Another observation I’ve had is that some of the biggest radicals I know have had some of the most exclusive and privileged upbringings. Now I suppose it is better that they swung to the left than being a right-wing asshole but they present a weird schizophrenia where they are not willing to give up their privileges but have absolute disdain for middle class liberals who would rather go with Clinton over a Sanders.

      Also the purity thing is real. There are lots of lefties who think politics is about their moral purity and nothing can convince them otherwise.

      • cpinva

        it’s been a long, long time since I was a teenager or college student. even then, I questioned the motives of the “counter” writers. not suggesting they weren’t legitimate in their criticism, but, as the saying goes, “always follow the money”. I was curious to know what benefit they would get out of their “anti” position. I became a cynic at a young age. it suited me, and kept me from involvement in extraordinarily stupid things. I have no heroes or idols, and take people as they are, feet of clay and all.

      • XTPD

        Orwell wrote in his “Inside the Whale” essay that navel-gazing of the sort one could find in the immediately post-WWI literature was only really possible in an environment that was at least solidly middle-class:

        Why always the sense of decadence, the skulls and cactuses, the yearning after lost faith and impossible civilizations? Was it not, after all, because these people were writing in an exceptionally comfortable epoch? It is just in such times that ‘cosmic despair’ can flourish. People with empty bellies never despair of the universe, nor even think about the universe, for that matter. The whole period 1910-30 was a prosperous one, and even the war years were physically tolerable if one happened to be a non-combatant in one of the Allied countries. As for the twenties, they were the golden age of the rentier-intellectual, a period of irresponsibility such as the world had never before seen.…even the best writers of the time can be convicted of a too Olympian attitude, a too great readiness to wash their hands of the immediate practical problem. They see life very comprehensively, much more so than those who come immediately before or after them, but they see it through the wrong end of the telescope.

        A shorter way of saying this would be that

        • XTPD

          ETA: The above should read that: The obvious analogy to the left (most clearly illustrated by the fourth sentence of the above excerpt) is that the hallmarks of the purity-pony mindset – lingering primary bitterness, gleefully engaging in circular firing squads, the voter-as-atomistic-consumer model, an overweening occupation with/vocal detestation of the Democratic Party and its NEOLIBERALISM* – tend to decrease in both strength and incidence the lower you get on the socioeconomic ladder.

          *As in its current sense of being a term of abuse for “center-left politicians,” as opposed to aggressive privatization.

          • DocAmazing

            Yeah, no. I worked with plenty of revolutionary Communists in healthcare reform and anarchists in police oversight, and only a few of them were silver-spoon types. I’ve run into more heirs among Democrats.

            By the by, the circular firing squad is also enthusiastically practiced by more respectable liberal types; that’s about the only way one can describe the rise of the “BernieBro” meme. You want “lingering primary bitterness”, just scan a few of the threads hereabouts for commentary about Sanders & his supporters.

            • XTPD

              “Relitigating the primaries” would be a better way of putting it than “lingering primary bitterness.”* And the negativistic attitudes described above – i.e., that basic civil participation to advance your goals is strictly a privilege – definitely tend to be held by those less likely to be harmed by reactionary policies.

              *And no, I don’t think Bernie had any real effect on Clinton’s loss.

              • Ronan

                “definitely tend to be held by those less likely to be harmed by reactionary policies.”

                You have no evidence for it being true, let alone that it “definitely” is. You, like so many others, are just endlessly rearguing the primary based on a succession of increasingly nonsensical anecdotes, with zero evidence offered that there was any non trivial “purity pony” holdouts.
                By the by , the “lower down the socioeconomic” ladder you go, the less likely someone is to vote, so if your theory isn’t accounting for the fact that the truly disadvantaged are voting , and engaging in mainstream politics, less, then it’s not going to be convincing.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  I have to admit being grateful I’ve (so far) been spared the experience of voting with propellers. It sounds messy

                • Ronan

                  I had that corrected before your comment!(or I would have left it in)

              • XTPD

                @Ronan: OK, so the initial post is an gross oversimplification and at best just spitballing a hypothesis – although I don’t think noting the relative privilege of the most prominent purity ponies is at all unreasonable. And saying that average voters don’t really care about the “big picture” of liberalism is a point Erik’s made at length multiple times. And I do recall information to the effect that voting in relation to socioeconomic status follows a bell curve.

                Nevertheless, saying it’s hippie-punching “relitigating the primaries” to criticize purity cults on the left – especially when I’ve made clear that my beef is with a small subsection of Bernie primary voters – is both a) transparent/whiny projection, and b) impressively idiotic. (And I never said purity ponies were a nontrivial reason for Clinton’s loss; at this point you’re just making shit up).

                • Ronan

                  Deleted . Was more a criticism off one or two others endless harping on about Bernie. Not fair to imply xtpd was doing it.

                  My only point would be even linking this phenomenon to Bernie or Bernie voters is not backed by the evidence and only going to cause
                  Unnecessary arguments

                • XTPD

                  And I guess in the spirit of comity, just pretend I never wrote the last paragraph (which incidentally, was also aimed at other commenters pointlessly harping on HRC/the Dems).

                  The most relevant part in my initial Orwell-citing response to NewishLawyer was that left purity cultures* care far more about the Big Picture, man than the average schmuck (and DAP actually points out it wasn’t the best example to use here); basically, Erik’s point that “no one cares about policy.”

                • Ronan

                  Your final paragraph was fine, all in the spirit of rough and tumble banter (nothing I wouldn’t, and indeed did, say myself )

              • los

                Relitigating the primaries

                Forensic examination of both positive and negative outcomes should be productive. The circular firing squad has no appeal.
                If either Clinton or Sanders (or Biden, O’Malley..) were PEOTUS, few people would reexamine the Democratic primaries.

                Compare to cuckservative (extremely shallow) reexamination of the Republican primaries.
                As many people had predicted[1] before trump won/”won” the general, many ‘establishment’ rethugs have recently dropped their nevertrump pants. Of the few I’ve read… they could be seen as nevertrumpers eating their nevertrump (past sin pants repast) to avoid permanent excommunication.
                When cuckservatives are lined up, the ‘firing squad’ is irresistible. :-)

                __________
                1. The prediction relied on normal human behavior, but begging off past nevertrump is easy since Trump turned out to be a more extreme ‘corporate globalist’ cuckservative[2] than his gop primary cuckservatives, so “duhh, we luv Trump now”.
                2. Trump’s income activities are pure corporate globalism, so “duhh, Trump was always Trump”.

            • Hogan

              I worked with plenty of revolutionary Communists in healthcare reform and anarchists in police oversight, and only a few of them were silver-spoon types.

              Voluntary poverty is a thing.

          • David Allan Poe

            This isn’t really relevant to Orwell’s point in that particular essay, though, which is specifically about Henry Miller and a certain kind of avant-garde aesthetic boundary-pushing. The attitude he’s talking about is much closer to nonpartisan Trump voters, not purity-minded leftists. Orwell goes to great pains not to call Henry Miller a fascist, because he wasn’t, but the thrust of the essay is that his aesthetic apolitical stance was rooted in the circumstances around him and had political consequences he neither realized nor cared about. There’s no talk about political purity, because political purity isn’t what Miller was about. Miller, like the Ramones, didn’t give a shit either way whether the world destroyed itself and was pretty forward about it, and Orwell defended him, despite his political naivety, on aesthetic grounds. You could argue that a lot of people who make leftist purity arguments actually don’t care what happens to the world or use those arguments as cover for some nefarious policy, but that’s a different argument (and one Orwell presented elsewhere).

            Orwell has plenty to say about politics that is relevant to what just happened to us, but this essay isn’t a great example.

            • XTPD

              That passage was mostly tangential to his (accurately-summarized) larger point, yes; I have the essay in an Orwell collection, but don’t remember if a more applicable excerpt appears in there. That particular passage just happened to come to mind most readily in reference to NewishLawyer’s point: Insistence on ideological purity – especially of the take-my-ball-and-go-home/Internet Che persuasion – becomes less of a factor the more likely you are to get screwed by reactionist policies.

      • los

        much greater than the divide between Country Club conservatives and far-right types

        which suggests much about “Country Club conservatives”

    • NewishLawyer

      Here might be an illustrative difference or maybe not.

      I grew up solidly upper-middle class but in a family where lifestyle was based on income. We are largely liberal Democrats but firmly within the mainstream and all strong on HRC. Though LeeEsq voted for Sanders in the primary. My parents were the type that moved to a suburb for the good school district.

      A guy I know grew up super-wealthy and was a die-hard Bernie Bros. He grew up in a city and attended super expensive private schools for the entire lives. He remained anti-HRC even after it was obvious that she had the nomination.

      Another time we were talking about drugs and the guy made a very libertarian statement about how he doesn’t think the government or anyone has any right’s to tell him what he can and cannot put in his body and this is why he does drugs.

      I might agree that the war on drugs is a moral nightmare but I am not sure that I fully agree with the sweeping nature of the statement because not all narcotics are created equal. What also struck me is that even though I disagree with the drug war, I am still very cautious about drugs. I don’t even have a medical marijuana card and I live in California. Even though we legalized recreational weed and I voted for it, I probably am not buying bud anytime soon based on Sessions as AG.

      My calculus is that if I get caught with a narcotic, it could mean losing my bar license and losing my source of income. This guy obviously feels privileged and economically secure enough that such considerations do not come into his head. FWIW he is not a lawyer and I might be hyper-cautious, there are plenty of lawyers that do narcotics or smoke up.

    • Ronan

      neiwart might know what he’s talking about, but going by that post I don’t see the evidence. Neither the Russian regime or European populists are “proto fascist”, unless neiwarts working from his own, non standard definition.

  • liberalrob

    hardcore Hillary Haters

    Lawsuit by HHH pending…

    Glenn Greenwald

    300 comments coming!

    Glenn Greenwald and his following

    I’m surprised he didn’t say “Glenn Greenwald and his ilk.” It’s as though you guys don’t like Glenn Greenwald or something.

    They’re anxious to escape the blame for the unbelievable disaster that is about to befall us all

    Ha! Fat chance of that happening, LGM is on the case! Blame shall be apportioned! Heretics and apostates shall be burned in the flames of commenters!

    The fact that I would put money on 100% of Trump voters never having heard of Glenn Greenwald notwithstanding his appearances on Fox News shows and Tucker f’ing Carlson of course means nothing. He probably told Comey to send that letter! Kill the pig!

    • CrunchyFrog

      About as factually accurate as your post on the football thread.

      • liberalrob

        About as knee-jerkingly misguided as yours.

        I have no problem with him getting MVP if he gets it.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Reading comprehension also an issue I see.

        • Wait, what? Glen Greenwald is somebody’s Most Valuable Player??

          Obviously I need to pay more attention to the *ball threads.

    • veleda_k

      Does Greenwald pay you to cheerlead for him like this? Because that would be the much less embarrassing option.

    • rm

      Certain kinds of stupidity are fractal — the pattern of thinking remains the same whether you look at it on the grandest possible scale or the most petty.

      Grand scale: Clinton campaign does things all normal campaigns do in their attempts to get their messages out; press reports this as if it’s a huge corruption scandal.

      Petty scale: Opinion blog writes well-considered opinions about important political issue; commenter treats this as if it’s the Spanish Inquisition.

      • los

        Clinton campaign does things all normal campaigns do in their attempts to

        …win plurality…
        Also, “politics stinks”, “swim with the sharks”, etc.

        Also, the only Republicans that don’t worse[1] are Republicans who drew 80+% votes in their last election, thus spend very little on current reelection.

        ___________
        1. Also, 80+% Republicans’ campaigns don’t behave/perpetrate worse, but and because all Republicans benefit from state and national GOP continuing to do worse.

    • los

      100% of Trump voters never having heard of Glenn Greenwald

      I saw many Twitter Trumpsters defend Assange (but not by name). As a topic, Snowden came up very rarely. Greenwald didn’t come up as as a topic.
      I hypothesize that if Greenwald’s anti-Clintonism consumed a twitter thread, “100%” of trumptwits would support Greenwald (but not by name).

  • CP

    these ‘progressives’ are so blinded by their disdain for centrist liberalism that they simply are incapable of comprehending the reality of fascism when it smacks them right in the face.

    Yep. To be fair, this kind of blindness is something that affects a huge portion of the electorate, from the self-styled “moderate” elites of the GOP to the professional left still living in the nineties, to the various disengaged and apathetic assholes who stayed home or third-partied under the premise that “not a dime’s worth of difference.” (As much as we mock the MSM for their “shape of earth views differ” worldview, I can’t count the number of times in this election that I heard some random guy on the street say the same thing).

    Which from what I understand is basically the original fascism’s story, too. A ton of assholes obsessed with their own nearsighted political prejudices and completely blind to the fact that the rules had changed and there was a new player in the game.

  • Justaguy

    Greenwald’s attitude towards the allegations of Russian hacking is pretty bizarre. Saying that it is fabricated, or suggesting that Obama is using allegations of Russian hacking for political purposes doesn’t actually close the subject – it raises a lot of questions that are potentially even more disturbing than Russian hacking. Is every intelligence agency actively conspiring to delegitimize the incoming president?

    Greenwald (rightly) demands a high level of evidence for claims of Russian hacking, but doesn’t seem to require a similar level of evidence for suggestions that it is all political. And he doesn’t follow that line of reasoning to it’s logical conclusion, that would be the CIA et al undermining US democracy. And, of course, the motives for them to do so aren’t exactly clear – attacking their notoriously thin skinned incoming boss to help Democrats feel better about loosing the election isn’t the most coherent plan.

    • humanoid.panda

      Greenwald’s attitude towards the allegations of Russian hacking is pretty bizarre. Saying that it is fabricated, or suggesting that Obama is using allegations of Russian hacking for political purposes doesn’t actually close the subject – it raises a lot of questions that are potentially even more disturbing than Russian hacking. Is every intelligence agency actively conspiring to delegitimize the incoming president?

      It’s even more ridicilous when you consider that even when everyone thought that HRC is going to win, it was clear that GOP will control the House, and thus the purse strings for the IC community. Greenwald really thinks that those fellows are going to pick up a fight with the people paying them?

    • cpinva

      “Is every intelligence agency actively conspiring to delegitimize the incoming president?”

      I’m pretty sure Alex Jones has a theory about that. that the collective IQ of his audience is significantly less than 100 notwithstanding.

      • DocAmazing

        Giggle giggle and all, but the FBI definitely put the knife into this election, and taking the CIA’s word for anything without questioning it thoroughly ignores a half-century of very bad history. The Russians are bad actors, no doubt, but out own government agencies have a lot to answer for.

        • Justaguy

          Sure – but why would Comey go from leaking damaging information about Clinton during the election, to trying to delegitimize Trump afterwards? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but if the intelligence agencies, or factions within them, are acting in bad faith there would have to be a coherent motive behind it. What is it?

          • Brien Jackson

            This

          • Just_Dropping_By

            but if the intelligence agencies, or factions within them, are acting in bad faith there would have to be a coherent motive behind it.

            You’re rather boldly assuming here that there could not be rival factions within the intelligence community, each with different motives and agendas leading them to work at cross-purposes. (And this isn’t merely hypothetical either. See Wedge by Mark Riebling for a history of the rivalry between the FBI and CIA.)

            • Justaguy

              I’m not assuming anything, I’m suggesting that if you’re going to seriously propose that there are warring factions within intelligence agencies which is leading some (or all) of them to attack the legitimacy of the incoming president, you should take that seriously as something that raises a lot of troubling issues rather than using it to put the story to bed.

              • DocAmazing

                Don’t put the story to bed–far from it! Congressional hearings, posthaste! If the Republicans can make hay over the events in Benghazi, then the Dems should be able to muster up some outrage about a Russki cyberattack. Evidence needs to be made public, and an investigation pursued.

    • los

      Justaguy says:

      Greenwald (rightly) demands a high level of evidence

      (what is a “high level” of evidence?)

      Realistically, “beyond a reasonable doubt” is unobtanium, and one must make decisions based on what one has.

      • los

        But ignore the realism. Consider the Putin-crush pundits who demand “hard evidence”.

        Justaguy says:

        for claims of Russian hacking, but doesn’t seem to require a similar level of evidence for suggestions that it is all political.

        Yep.

        Look at the punditry:

        I’ve forgotten exact dates, but when the guccifer2/bears dnc hacks came into news, I saw no pundits demand “hard evidence” for the stench of Putin aspects.

        Also, the “hard evidence” demands (“mysteriously”[1] popular) in recent weeks come from the same people who refused to examine the podesta mails applying their own “hard evidence” standards.

        My conclusion is that current “We Need Hard Evidence Of Putin” pundits are themselves motivated by “politics”.

        _______
        1. “Mystery” solved.

    • los

      Justaguy says:

      attacking their notoriously thin skinned incoming boss to help Democrats feel better about loosing the election isn’t the most coherent plan.

      or with objective to gain favor with Trunp administration…

      but ohhh yeahhh, the CIA hates Trump because the CIA expected Clinton to appoint somebody more oppressive than Trump’s Pompeo[1]. Trump’s CIA choice riles civil liberties crowd – POLITICO
      Now it makes sense.
      /s

  • Dilan Esper

    Oh come on.

    Look, the hacking is something that no democracy can leave unresponded to, so sanctions are appropriate.

    But Russia is a gigantic threat? Because they do the same shit every other great power does, mucking around in foreign elections and conducting espionage? Come on.

    No, Putin is not a fascist. He’s not a good person, he’s autocratic and brutal, and he’s a homophobe. But he’s not Hitler. He’s not even Moussolini. He’s basically a Russian nationalist. Guess what. Every Russian leader is going to be one. Yeltsin was very unpopular over there. Russian nationalism is not something the US should be seeking to contain unless Russia seeks world domination. We don’t need to start up another cold war.

    I am fine with hitting them fairly hard on the hacking, but our basic attitude should be to be friendly with Russia. It is a great power. They have nuclear weapons.

    • Murc

      No, Putin is not a fascist.

      Yes, he is. He absolutely is. So is Trump.

      You can be a fascist without being Hitler or Mussonlini. Pinochet wasn’t near as bad as either but he, also, was a fascist. So is Marine le Pen and her shitbag father.

      • humanoid.panda

        I dunno. Pinochet was an evil, authoritarian asshole, but I think he lacked some of the fundamental features of fascism: most importantly, the desire to mobilize the people for some loosely defined project. 4 years ago, I would have said something similar about Putin, but between his foreign adventures, the truly insane propaganda his regime is spouting domestically, and the fact that he had been interfering in elections all over Europe, I can’t say he isn’t one for sure anymore.

        • AMK

          To mobilize people for some loosely-defined project

          The project is never specifically defined; it’s always some variation of return to greatness by sticking it to the Other. In that sense Trumpism is absolutely fascist.

          • The project is never specifically defined

            Oh, I dunno; parts of Hitler’s project were pretty damned specifically defined, if only after he was fully in power.

      • liberalrob

        Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

        I don’t think Putin has actually declared liberal democracy obsolete; I think he just has acted as though it were irrelevant, which to him it seems to be. I also don’t believe he’s called for the complete mobilization of Russia under a one-party state; that’s actually more a characteristic of Stalinism.

        It doesn’t really matter whether he’s a textbook “fascist” or not, though. He’s an authoritarian strongman, and Trump wants to be one. That is inimical to our liberal democratic values. We should oppose such people, not cozy up to them.

        It is a great power. They have nuclear weapons.

        Well, so do we.

        • humanoid.panda

          I don’t think Putin has actually declared liberal democracy obsolete; I think he just has acted as though it were irrelevant, which to him it seems to be.

          In fact, even before the recent Russo-Western escalation, Putin kept talking about “managed democracy” as being superior to the liberal one. Most people presumed this was BS, but his behavior in last few years made me, at least, reconsider it.

          I also don’t believe he’s called for the complete mobilization of Russia under a one-party state; that’s actually more a characteristic of Stalinism.

          Russia has a ruling party, United Russia, which jerryrigs election so that it gest 60-70% of seats in Duma, and all but handful of regional positions. The other parties are all part of the state machinery, serving particular constituencies. Again, until 3 years ago, the purpose of this system was not mobilization but de-mobilization. But both the rhetoric and the actual activities of the regime over the last 3 years show that Putin’s people do want at least a measure of popular mobilization.

          • CP

            I don’t think Putin has actually declared liberal democracy obsolete; I think he just has acted as though it were irrelevant, which to him it seems to be.

            In fact, even before the recent Russo-Western escalation, Putin kept talking about “managed democracy” as being superior to the liberal one. Most people presumed this was BS, but his behavior in last few years made me, at least, reconsider it.

            Consider into your calculations that democracy has become much more widely accepted as the only legitimate form of government than it was in the inter-war era when fascism originally rose, too.

            All the new authoritarians that’re popping up are doing the “managed democracy” thing, not the “out-and-out ideologically justified dictatorship” thing. The guy in the Philippines, Maduro, Erdogan, Viktor Orban… Putin. (Trump).

            • los

              All the new authoritarians

              hey! They are “neoauthoritarians”.
              /s

              “We can’t literally publicly applaud work camps, so we’ll promise ‘More Jobs!’ “

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Yes, he is. He absolutely is. So is Trump.

        Putin is arguably close to being fascist, but it’s ridiculous to claim Trump is, at least if you you’re using “fascist” as a word with actual meaning rather than a synonym for “right-wing authoritarian.” Among the hallmarks of fascism are things like anti-consumerism, promotion of individual sacrifice for the “greater good” of the state, and ideological indoctrination of the population. Trump has evinced very little interest in these concepts.

        Seriously, try to imagine Trump saying with a straight face, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” (Mussolini) or “Learn to sacrifice for your [homeland]! We are all mortal. But [America] must live on.” (Hitler.) Or imagine asking Trump what his vision for the next 1000 years of America would be and how he’s going to accomplish that. Hitler and Mussolini would have answers for that. Trump, who reportedly didn’t even expect to win the election, would most certainly look at you in silence for a prolonged time before weakly burbling a response.

        For that matter, one of the biggest freakouts over Trump’s cabinet nominees points to Trump’s non-fascist (not to say non-authoritarian) nature — the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. People have freaked out about DeVos because she’s an advocate for school vouchers that would facilitate students moving out of traditional public schools and into charter and private schools. But that’s about as anti-fascist a move as you can get because it’s aimed at reducing centralized state control over the educational curriculum. Actual fascists emphasized the importance of central control over the education systems in their countries so as to promote a single ideology and cultivate loyalty to the party and state manifestations of that ideology.

        Furthermore, you get a choice: Trump is either a fascist or he’s going to rubberstamp everything the GOP Congress sends him as the LGM posters typically declare. Because Ryan and McConnell are already on record saying they aren’t going to pass some of Trump’s most fascist-like proposals (e.g., mass deportation of illegal immigrants), while indicating they want to do other things that would be contrary to fascist principles (privatizing social welfare programs, returning federal land to the states, etc.).

    • brewmn

      So, no response to the annexation of Crimea and occupation of eastern Ukraine is the right one? We should ignore their support for rightwing nationalist parties across western Europe? What are we doing that seems so unreasonable to you?

      • DocAmazing

        The majority of Crimeans didn’t want to be part of Ukraine anymore. Make of that what you will.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum%2C_2014

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I’m not sure we can assume that the referendum was “free and fair”.

          Also, I’m not an expert on the Crimea but didn’t Stalin move a lot of Ukranians out and a lot of Russians in? So maybe the answer is the former Russians get to either move back or accept what actual Ukrainians want.

          • DocAmazing

            maybe the answer is the former Russians get to either move back or accept what actual Ukrainians want

            At this point, the Russians are “actual Ukranians”, as they were born there, and so, in all likelihood, were their parents. It’s a bit like suggesting that Protestant Northern Irish either move back to Scotland or accept what the actual Irish want.

            • XTPD

              A better objection: Even granting that the majority of Crimeans may well have preferred to rejoin Russia (which IIRC was the case before the referendum), the final vote tally doesn’t exactly scream credible.

      • Dilan Esper

        Crimea is none of our business.

        And I will sign on to a norm of “no interference with foreign elections” as soon as the US signs onto it, i.e., never. Anything we think is OK for us to do, Russia gets to do too.

        The hacking is an attack on the US, so that’s the only thing we should care about.

        • Manny Kant

          Crimea is none of our business.

          I don’t think Crimea is worth going to war over (neither does Obama) but I do think that standing up for the longstanding international norm that you can’t change international borders by use of force is worth doing in some form, since those international norms have long benefited the United States.

          And I will sign on to a norm of “no interference with foreign elections” as soon as the US signs onto it, i.e., never. Anything we think is OK for us to do, Russia gets to do too.

          And we should take no notice of the fact that Russia is interfering on behalf of horrible, racist right-wing populists?

          The hacking is an attack on the US, so that’s the only thing we should care about.

          I’m happy that you’re not the person who gets to decide what I should care about.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            And we should take no notice of the fact that Russia is interfering on behalf of horrible, racist right-wing populists?

            I’m pretty sure that Russia is interfering on behalf of political parties that are (a) not anti-Russian and (b) look like they could be successful. This simply happens to coincide with them being “horrible, racist right-wing populists,” because what would Putin particularly gain from other countries gaining ruling parties with those attributes?

            • Manny Kant

              I think the pro-Russianness of these parties is a result, not a cause, of their receiving Russian support. I don’t recall Orban being particularly pro-Russian in his previous tenure as PM, for instance. Nothing in the basic platforms of UKIP or FN suggests they’d be especially friendly to Russia. In general, it’s previously been the far left who’s been sympathetic to Russia. Putin’s support for far right wing parties seems to have encouraged them to adopt pro-Russian positions, not vice versa, as far as I’m aware.

              • Just_Dropping_By

                Except I said these parties weren’t “anti-Russian,” not that they were “pro-Russian.” I’m not familiar with the details of Orban’s history, but the UKIP and FN have both been anti-EU, and thus outside the European establishment’s view of foreign policy since before Putin was ever in public office, and I can’t find any evidence at the moment that with of them had any particular hostility toward Russia after the collapse of communism. That they aren’t left-wing ties into my point “(b)” about Putin picking parties that looked like they could be successful. As a high-ranking member of the KGB, Putin almost certainly has to have been aware that the Soviet Union invested considerable resources in supporting left-wing political movements in the West for decades with very little return for its money. I would speculate that Putin accordingly decided that it could be more fruitful to experiment with sponsoring right-wing political parties.

                I would also ask, if you think Putin specifically sought out “horrible, racist right-wing populists” to support first and then only later subverted/influenced their policies on Russia, what would Putin have thought he would gain by supporting such parties? It should be obvious that Russia doesn’t automatically gain anything just because Western powers acquire racist, right-wing populist governing parties.

    • DocAmazing

      While I agree that we need to coexist with Russia, Putin is actually more than just a Russian nationalist, or at least a Russian nationalist who is materially supporting fascist movements in other countries as a means of advancing Russian interests. (If the idea of financing far-right, criminal governments in foreign countries as a means of advancing one’s national interests sounds familiar, you were awake during the Cold War.) Maybe this is just more Great Game maneuvering, but there’s real danger in it, and a pretty nasty provocation.

    • cpinva

      “No, Putin is not a fascist.”

      yes, he is. you don’t need to claim to have “made the trains run on time”, or have a swastika and funny moustache, to be a fascist. fascists come in all shapes/colors/sizes/genders, but they all share a common thread: a dictatorship in “alliance” with big business (for a fee), brooking no dissent. check to see how many journalists have been murdered in Russia, since Putin’s been in power.

      • Solar System Wolf

        I submit that Putin’s model of fascism is actually what fascism looks like in a multipolar world. The days of taking over entire land masses with conventional warfare are gone, so if anyone is waiting for a movement that entirely matches the Nazi party in every respect before calling what Putin does “fascism,” they’re going to be waiting a long time. The new game of fomenting friendly regimes by supporting extreme right wing parties is in. Putin will tear off chunks of adjacent land with force if he can get away with it, and from all appearances he will be allowed to get away with it to a certain extent, but his primary way of leveraging power is by ratfucking the democratic processes of other nations.

        • humanoid.panda

          fascists come in all shapes/colors/sizes/genders, but they all share a common thread: a dictatorship in “alliance” with big business (for a fee), brooking no dissent. check to see how many journalists have been murdered in Russia, since Putin’s been in power.

          Sorry to be a pedant, but that defines any non-Communist dictatorship in modern history. There has got to be more to the term fascism, otherwise why use it?

          • Ithaqua

            +1.

          • Manny Kant

            Yes, this is a bad definition of fascism.

        • MAJeff

          The new game of fomenting friendly regimes by supporting extreme right wing parties is in.

          Stalin had his comintern, Putin has his fascintern.

          • Redwood Rhiadra

            And Trump has his unpaidinterns.

        • DocAmazing

          The new game of fomenting friendly regimes by supporting extreme right wing parties is in.

          That game’s not new, and you might want to be more specific in your application. The US backed extreme right-wing parties throughout Latin America for decades, and may still be doing so; the US backed extreme right-wing parties in Europe whenever they saw Communists; and we need not mention Indonesia by now. None of this is to excuse Putin, but let’s not act as though we’ve never seen this movie.

          • (((Malaclypse)))

            I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.

    • wengler

      No, Putin is not a fascist.

      He’s not a Nazi, but he meets most of the requirements to be a fascist. The xenophobia, the jingoism, the auxiliary cadre of paramilitaries that he has used in Ukraine. Ideologically, United Russia is a nationalist party but it wouldn’t take much for Putin to go full blown fascist.

    • Barry_D

      “But Russia is a gigantic threat? Because they do the same shit every other great power does, mucking around in foreign elections and conducting espionage? Come on.”

      Yes. They attacked us, and we need to hit back. We also need to realize and act on the fact that those who benefited from Russian attacks are tools and friends of a hostile foreign power.

      But please do go on illustrating Niewert’s point.

      • Dilan Esper

        There will always be tools of great powers. That’s how great powers operate.

        You are defining any great power (other than the US, I guess) as fascist.

    • tsam

      Well, he quells dissent with murder and exile, singular totalitarian rule, nutbag jingoism and fearmongering…in the business we call that close enough.

    • Gwen

      He’s not just “some guy we disagree with.”

      He’s a kleptocrat who sees vanishingly-little difference between corporate interests and national interests.

      He throws his political enemies in jail or worse.

      He uses terrorism to justify a police state.

      He uses subterfuge and military force to bully his neighbors.

      All of these things indicate that Putin is a fascist.

      I am sure there are meaningful ways in which Putin is different than Hitler.

      But let’s think about defining fascism the way the DSM defines depression. You don’t have to manifest ALL the symptoms just a certain number of them.

      • LWA

        I don’t know why there is this vehement resistance to calling someone a fascist. Maybe its like the word “terrorism”, where the invocation of the word compels us to actions we might not wanted to take otherwise.

        Maybe people think that if we call someone that, it suddenly forces us to either capitulate or go to full scale war.

        • Ronan

          Because it’s a technical term which (afaik) most experts say doesnt explain the euro populist right, putinism, or (probably) trumpism.

    • random

      But Russia is a gigantic threat?

      Followed by :

      It is a great power. They have nuclear weapons.

      Even without that, just the fact that they can help put these guys in charge makes them one of the worse things.

  • Murc

    My explanation for this sort of thing is founded on the belief that people hate traitors more than they hate enemies.

    This isn’t a left/right thing, I don’t think. It’s just a people thing. Intra-group fighting always seems so much more intense and bitter than the fighting directed at your actual out-group foes because people expect perfidy and dishonor from their foes, but to encounter it (accurately or not) within your own tribe really gets the blood up, makes you angry as fuck.

    • humanoid.panda

      It’s also that an ideological fight is one thing. What Greenwald is doing looks, at this point, as simply throwing sand in people’s faces for no other reason that he a)hates NEOLIBERALS and b) decided that insult to Assange is insult to himself.

      • Manny Kant

        How does Gary Johnson and Ron Paul curious Glenn Greenwald hate NEOLIBERALS in any meaningful way?

  • petesh

    My only quibble with Neiwert’s conclusion is that I’d replace “progressives” with “women” — women and people of color are in the most danger, followed by low-income unemployed and workers, followed by near-seniors. Your basic upwardly striving progressives are safe as houses unless they start acting in support of the disadvantaged, as of course they damn well should.

    • CrunchyFrog

      If you made that comment on his blog I’m sure he’d give it careful thought. It’s who he is.

      http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

      Regarding people of color, if you peruse his web site you’ll see he’s devoted a considerable portion of his journalistic career to wrongs done to people of color. Japanese interment, sundown towns, the whole gamut.

      • weirdnoise

        In fact he wrote a book on the Japanese-American internment and has long focused on the dangers that fundamentalist and white-power groups pose to women and minorities.

        • MAJeff

          I’ve used Strawberry Days in classes before. It’s quite good.

      • petesh

        He had “progressives and people of color” — I suggested “women and people of color” as a friendly amendment.

  • efgoldman

    It is a great power. They have nuclear weapons.

    Those things are not the same. They cannot project that “great power.” Their Navy is shit, their economy is always on the verge of going in the crapper, by every measurement they are closer to being a giant, frozen third world nation.

    • XTPD

      More like “giant, frozen second-world nation,” but yes.

    • DocAmazing

      “Upper Volta with missiles” is the old line, I believe.

      • XTPD

        The new line, per native Sergey Brin, is the mostly-accurate “Nigeria with snow.”

      • heckblazer

        That’d be Burkina Faso with missiles now I guess.

        • DocAmazing

          Ouagadoudou on the Moskva.

          • Warren Terra

            Maybe Timbuktu instead in honor of the glorious past and its tattered legacy

            • XTPD

              Being overly uncharitable: Harare, Luanda or Addis Ababa. Overly charitable: Accra.

    • Dilan Esper

      Ask Syria or the Ukraine or Georgia whether they can project power. Or ask the DNC’s IT people.

      Insulting Russia’s power is stupid.

      • Matt_L

        Russia has spent most of its modern history teeter-tottering between regional Eurasian Power and European Great Power. Right now they are a regional power. They can fuck with Ukraine and step on Georgia’s toes all they want. Putin can mess about on the cheap with Syria, because the US and the French and the UK have thrown up their hands with the whole mess. Otherwise their power ends at threatening the countries they share a border with. They can spread some money around to influence politicians in the current Hungarian government, but that arrangement can fall apart quickly. The same thing goes with the Neo-nazis and far right across Europe. Putin is giving people money to do the things they would be doing anyway. Thats a pretty weak source of soft power.

      • Gwen

        Russia has roughly the same power that California would have if it were an an independent country.

        I am not sure if this is an indictment of Russian weakness or if we should all be secretly terrified of California.

        • Dave Empey

          As a Californian, all I have to say about that is “Muuhuuhahahahahahhaha!”

          *gleefully rubs hands together*

  • UncleEbeneezer

    Yet again, I find it fascinating that nearly every single ‘progressive’ I’ve seen pooh-poohing the fact that Russia’s intelligence services conducted an all-out cyberattack on America’s election system, with the full intent of undermining our democracy,…

    It’s ironic how many of these people were screaming about the attack on Democracy that was the DNC/DWS and the obviously rigged Primary!!

    Russia interferes with the General Election….meh…

    • efgoldman

      It’s ironic how many of these people were screaming about the attack on Democracy that was the DNC/DWS and the obviously rigged Primary!!

      They’re obviously much more comfortable in cirular firng squad mode.
      Plus they don’t know jack shit (and don’t want to know – it’s beneath them) about politics or elections.

    • Gwen

      What is sad is that the Russia hack is actually in part a symptom of HRC/DWS incompetence.

      Part of the reason that the DNC got hacked was poor IT practices. Not to mention John “What Am I Doing On The Internets” Podesta falling for an obvious phishing attack. Not to mention that the “juicy” bits were emails showing that the DNC and HRC campaign were just as bitchy and basic as we imagined them to be.

      Part of the reason these things happened is that the DNC is too busy chasing that cash money, and getting embroiled in petty politics, rather than taking care of its business.

      What we really need is new management, not just a new Chair but a clean sweep of various party functionaries and hangers-on.

      America needs a strong DNC. Unfortunately the leftist-than-this don’t seem to recognize this and would rather tilt at windmills. And the establishment is too busy deflecting blame and avoiding accountability.

      I myself was of course more shocked by Russian interference than the DNCs dirty laundry… As noted I was fairly sure that the DC establishment were terrible people so that wasn’t a surprise. And I still voted for and donated money to HRC. The whole scheme seemed to be to infuriate low-information knuckleheads and to give dyed-in-the-wool haters something to crow about.

      • nemdam

        Wait, are you saying the DNC had poor cyber security and had the hacks coming because they were too busy fundraising and being petty? Am I following this correctly?

      • Brien Jackson

        Speaking from personal experience, the level of bitchiness in the DNC emails was REAAAAAAAAAALLLLLY tame.

        • nemdam

          I’m sure during the heat of a campaign when emotions are running highest, the DNC is alone in bitching about one of the candidates and the media in private. Especially when that candidate has spent weeks of a dead end campaign claiming that your organization is corrupt after you let him run in your party’s primary even though he isn’t a member. Every other campaign in the history of this country has never said one nasty word or insult about anyone in their party even in the strictest confidence.

  • NewishLawyer

    We are discussing Trump’s XMAS and New Years tweets on another thread including how he calls people enemies instead of opponents and how this isn’t normal.

    So far Democratic types have gotten off easy because Trump was never going to appoint them to any positions. Look at what he did to Republicans who used to be against him but wanted a plum policy position, he made them beg and beg and then screwed them anyway. I don’t know whether Christie or Romney was humiliated worse.

    Maybe the left will always get it easier because Trump knows or expects them to disagree. Maybe there is not much he can do but we need to wait until Trump loses in court because something he did was found to be unconstitutional.

    • XTPD

      Didn’t he also knife Conte Orlok?

      • NewishLawyer

        I couldn’t figure out what would have caused that to happen because the Count was always a loyal lackey. I think. Maybe to instill fear into other lackeys?

        • FMguru

          My suspicion is a combination of:

          1) Giuliani got himself on TV a little too much for Trump’s liking (rule number one when dealing with a clinical narcissist – never even look like you might outshine them). This is also why Newt is currently jobless.

          2) Giuliani snubbed or crossed or slighted Trump at some point during his run as DA/AG/Mayor of NY, and Trump has been nursing a grudge ever since.

          • One of the (probably baseless, but fun) rumors was that Giuliani fell asleep while Trump was talking once.

        • weirdnoise

          Rudy is just too much of an attention whore for El Donaldo. He doesn’t like the competition.

    • Phil Perspective

      We are discussing Trump’s XMAS and New Years tweets on another thread including how he calls people enemies instead of opponents and how this isn’t normal.

      Do you forget C- Augustus already?

    • lizzie

      I was hoping to read some commentary about those tweets here but I missed that thread. Would you mind pointing me in their direction?

  • JasonGWB

    2016 has been awful (surprising news I know) for many reason but watching the left of the left, and let’s face the not left at all but willing to pretend to divide us even further, categorically being unable to admit there is a larger world out there and Democratic neoliberals aren’t the end all be all forever enemy that must be defeated at the cost of pretending nothing else exists has been the thing that has been consistently soul crushing.

    Hillary Clinton wasn’t my ideal candidate which is why I voted Bernie who was also not my ideal candidate but that’s neither here nor there at this point and it makes me sad there are those that are still fighting the now irrelevant Democratic primary at this point but it is what it is.

    • Murc

      still fighting the now irrelevant Democratic primary

      Here’s the thing: it isn’t irrelevant.

      The narrative that becomes the commonly-accepted wisdom surrounding the now-passed primary and general election will have genuine influence going forward. If the narrative is “$hillary had her DNC cronies rig the primary and then blew it against Trump with all her identity politics and her illegal emails, we can’t let such a thing happen again” that will influence actions and decision-making one way. If the narrative is “That entryist Sanders and his horde of brocialists crippled the most noble and flawless candidate there ever was, we can’t let such a thing happen again” that will influence actions and decision-making another way.

      Those are not, of course, the only two options. There’s a ton of them, some more accurate, some less accurate.

      It is important that the accurate narratives take hold and that the inaccurate ones be murdered in their cradles. There will be fierce disagreement over which narratives are which, which necessitates an ideological slap-fight. But that doesn’t make the slap-fight unimportant or mean it has no point.

      • JasonGWB

        All I can say is the Democratic primary will have literally nothing to do with 2016…It will be a referendum on Trump and Democratic primary voters will be voting as such. Full Stop. I.E. who can defeat this Organed skinned grifter rapist piece of shit…nothing else will matter. Again Full Stop. The 2016 are irrelevant as of yesterday never matter four years from now.

        • Murc

          I.E. who can defeat this Organed skinned grifter rapist piece of shit…nothing else will matter.

          And the rubric people use to make that evaluation will include, among other things, what they think went wrong in 2016 and how to avoid that happening again.

          And that’s important. Many of the decisions we made in the 2004 primary were driven by why we thought Gore lost in 2000, and many of the decisions made in the 2008 primary were driven by why we thought Kerry lost in 2004.

      • Gwen

        Thank you. HRC and DWS did not “rig” the election in any meaningful sense. Which isn’t to say they were innocents. But I am really annoyed that a lot of people can’t do nuance. You can dislike your opponents without assuming they are criminals or thieves.

        • nemdam

          Conceding that DWS and HRC didn’t “rig” the primaries, what else did they do that was so bad? Usually those who think they did other bad stuff also think they rigged the primaries, so I’m curious what the accusations are.

    • fleekon

      yes, this.

      in fact, there has always been a stark internal divide between the anti-fascist left, and what I can best call the “pro-communist” left. the latter says its only goal is to advance its positive vision of political revolution (which I used to be 100% behind, but now having studied too many revolutions I’m a lot more interested in reform), and yet so many of them spend a huge amount of their time attacking liberals on the one hand, and the anti-fascist left on the other, in both cases for failing to get on board with the positive vision they claim to have. and this circular fighting squad self-hating mentality is part of why I don’t trust revolutionaries much anymore–there is so much hate.

      I don’t hate the Russians and I don’t think they are some kind of giant existential enemy. I see the Putin regime as essentially a very large capitalist enterprise with virtually no legal oversight or accountability, and a larger military than GE or ExxonMobil could possibly muster, and I am afraid of all such very large capitalist enterprises, and the less oversight and accountability they have to face, the more they scare me.

      Facebook screwed with this election. So did data brokers and analytic firms, especially Cambridge Analtyica. So did WikiLeaks and Russia (which may or may not be the same thing). So did extensive gerrymandering by the GOP over a period of decades. All of them are causes for real concern, and Russia is by far the most powerful and least accountable of all these actors.

      • humanoid.panda

        I don’t hate the Russians and I don’t think they are some kind of giant existential enemy. I see the Putin regime as essentially a very large capitalist enterprise with virtually no legal oversight or accountability, and a larger military than GE or ExxonMobil could possibly muster, and I am afraid of all such very large capitalist enterprises, and the less oversight and accountability they have to face, the more they scare me.

        That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what Putin’s regime is. There is no economic logic to it being in Syria, let alone turning the already depressed economy of Eastern Ukraine into a pile of rubble and pinning a Russian flag over it. One of the greatest mistakes liberals/leftists make is to presume their opponents are greedy hacks.

        • Dilan Esper

          The fundamental misunderstanding of Putin comes from the Winston Churchill wannabes in this thread.

          There’s a reason tons of Democrats supported Dick Cheney’s Iraq War and LBJ’s Vietnam War. Many liberals are big time imperialists who believe all the bullshit about US power just like the neocons.

          • Gwen

            What if I told you that you can have a “Churchillian” view of the world without falling for every dumb neocon scam?

            • DocAmazing

              I’d point out that Churchill starved people in India, gassed people in Mesopotamia, and generally comported himself rather badly on the global stage.

          • Ronan

            You’re the only one here consistently making the case for imperialism, just you’re doing it in favour of Russian imperialism. You have explicitly, consistently made a positive case for Russian behaviour regionally. You’ve removed all agency from the Russians, arguing their behaviour is simply a reaction to western “expansion” not behaviour that is in itself worthy of criticism. You continually ignore the positives that have come from eu and NATO expansion into the east, and the preferences of the majority of the populations in these countries. You have absolutely zero intention to argue any of this in good faith, and you show next to zero non trivial knowledge of the context or politics involved.
            It’s very easy to hold two opinions (1)that Russian behaviour is difficult to excuse and primarily (if not solely) a result of domestic politics in Russia, and (2)that it isn’t worth a war by challenging Russia too strongly over it’s regional behaviour. You can’t even do this without reverting to a lot of boilerplate about spheres of influence, or handwaving about “US policy” and NATO expansion where you don’t say anything specific enough to suggest you have a clue what you’re talking about.

            • CP Norris

              This reminds me a lot of when Instapundit used to say “They’re not anti-war, they’re just on the other side.”

  • randomvariable

    I don’t disagree with the conclusions about Russia’s subversion of democracy, but I would urge some caution before falling into some traps which are being laid for the left.

    Some of the stuff is clearly getting out of hand – e.g. saying “V. Putin” is a Russian linguistic trait as evidence of Trump having been turned 30 years ago based on an article published in a LaRoche outlet by an author who also claimed Prince Phillip was planning to balkanise the United States as some final payback for the revolution.

    Greenwald has also been obviously correct on The Guardian’s misrepresentation of the latest interview with Assange, and I say that as someone who can’t stand Assange.

    Meanwhile, InfoSec specialists (including ex-GCHQ staff) have poured cold water on the government’s latest report on hacking saying that it’s of very poor quality (as a PowerShell developer, I’m offended that “PowerShell Backdoor” is apparently the name of a Russian state hacker group. Please.)

    And then you had PropOrNot linking a huge number of left wing blogs into some FSB plot with basically no evidence in something that stank like a sub-Dershowitz neo-McCarthyite blacklist.

    But saying these things makes you an apologist for Putin somehow (not saying any LGM author is doing that, but it’s definitely happening on Twitter).

    The danger is people getting played by those who want to use legitimate anger towards Russia for the purposes of actually furthering right-wing illiberalism, and it also undermines the real evidence that’s there – which further erodes trust in the media.

    This thread by Adam Elkus is also relevant: https://twitter.com/Aelkus/status/815737740805410816

    • fleekon

      Greenwald has also been obviously correct on The Guardian’s misrepresentation of the latest interview with Assange, and I say that as someone who can’t stand Assange.

      disagree. especially the part where he talks about Assange’s account of why Russia doesn’t need a WikiLeaks–it’s actually dishonest. He bolds part of the quote that (sort of) serves his argument, yet the earlier part of the quote refutes it, where Assange overtly says that Russia has such a vibrant oppositional press that WikiLeaks would be superfluous, which is exactly the claim the Guardian piece made.

      Meanwhile, InfoSec specialists (including ex-GCHQ staff) have poured cold water on the government’s latest report on hacking saying that it’s of very poor quality (as a PowerShell developer, I’m offended that “PowerShell Backdoor” is apparently the name of a Russian state hacker group. Please.)

      No. The “InfoSec specialists” who assign to themselves the role of second-guessing every statement by the intelligence community is a huge part of the problem.

      The “InfoSec specialists” have no credible alternative explanation for all of this: they want you to believe that the hundreds of US government employees–NOT at all like the small group who manufactured Iraq war “evidence” at the orders of Cheney–are manufacuting evidence they know to be false for what reason? and Obama is acting based on this evidence why? Who did hack into the DNC and why is FBI/DIA/CIA etc etc all saying something false? This is conspiracy theory and at the very least a plausible alteratnvie is needed. There is none.

      CIA is not and should not release evidence at the level where “InfoSec specialists” can evaluate it for themselves–that is hardcore, properly-classified sources and methods.

      Two more points: 1) these same “InfoSec specialists” have routinely derided the attribution of all hacks in the past–check the record. if you read them carefully enough, they almost seem to be saying no hacks happened. Really? is that any more credible than the “official” story they always dismiss?

      2) there are just as many “InfoSec specialists” who have published long, detailed accounts of why they believe the hacks did come from Russia. They have to be dismissed as “collaborators” or something for this story to work.

      And then you had PropOrNot linking a huge number of left wing blogs into some FSB plot with basically no evidence in something that stank like a sub-Dershowitz neo-McCarthyite blacklist.

      Not a “huge number.” A few. And it’s worth looking at the evidence they present, because it is nowhere near as clear as Greenwald & his pals want you to believe. I don’t think, for example, that CounterPunch is being paid by the Russians, but why do they prominently feature Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-semitic conspiracy theorist just this far to the left of David Icke, and buddies with him? and who is part of the reason that the PropOrNot people see connections, as Roberts himself frequently writes stuff that looks just like what appears on obvious Russian outlets.

      • humanoid.panda

        Not a “huge number.” A few. And it’s worth looking at the evidence they present, because it is nowhere near as clear as Greenwald & his pals want you to believe. I don’t think, for example, that CounterPunch is being paid by the Russians, but why do they prominently feature Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-semitic conspiracy theorist just this far to the left of David Icke, and buddies with him? and who is part of the reason that the PropOrNot people see connections, as Roberts himself frequently writes stuff that looks just like what appears on obvious Russian outlets.

        It’s complicated though: it is quite plausible is that it’s not that people on the far right or far left make reproduce the Russian line, it’s that the Russians shaped their propaganda to appeal to far-right and far-left people.

        • ExpatJK

          Yeah, I think your explanation is a very plausible one.

          I don’t think, for example, that CounterPunch is being paid by the Russians, but why do they prominently feature Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-semitic conspiracy theorist just this far to the left of David Icke, and buddies with him?

          Well, once explanation could be that there is an audience for conspiracy theories on the left (just as there is on the right), and there are numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, so there would be fertile ground for this. So it would make sense for propaganda to be targeted to the audience, as humanoid.panda says.

      • Dilan Esper

        I think it’s perfectly clear the Russians hacked the election, and I think that is obvious based on publicly available information.

        But given Trump’s position, I suspect the CIA will inevitably have to burn some sources and find a way to put out more technical proof.

        • humanoid.panda

          This is really on Obama, as he has the declassification authority.

      • Ronan

        “where Assange overtly says that Russia has such a vibrant oppositional press that WikiLeaks would be superfluous, which is exactly the claim the Guardian piece made.”

        No , he doesn’t say it makes it superfluous. He says(to the suggestion there was no domestic opposition in Russia) that there is a set of actors domestically that provides criticism (within boundaries) of the regime. He then says this (along with cultural and language differences, and that wikis sources tend to be western)makes it difficult for wikileaks to build up a following in Russia.
        By all means argue against this claim, but there’s no need to put words in his mouth.

        • Hogan

          “That market niche is already filled” sounds to me a lot like “superfluous.”

          • Ronan

            But he’s not saying it’s full, he’s explaining the difficulties breaking in.

      • randomvariable

        Your entire comment proves how poisoned discourse has become.
        InfoSec specialists don’t provide an alternative explanation because this is not a binary choice between Russia hacked the DNC or they didn’t.

        Thomas Rid’s write up is still the best on what we actually know based on interviews with thd same InfoSec people you’re dismissing, and the headline is “How Russia Pulled Off the Biggest Election Hack in U.S. History”

        http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49791/russian-dnc-emails-hacked/

        But fine, we’re all Putinists for not believing every bullshit story.

        • randomvariable

          For the avoidance of doubt, because I used to think LGM commenters were above deliberate misreading

          Thomas Rid also condones the following from Robert Lee:
          “Did Russia hack the DNC? Yes. Is the DHS/FBI report good? No. Does either have anything to do with the electric utility in Vermont? Nope.”

          You’re gonna have to expand the “we’re all idiots helping Trumputin” line to encompass the entire War Studies department at King’s College. And that includes Elliot Higgins, aka Bellingcat, which you might know the Russian government is deliberately trying to destroy for his work on Syria and Ukraine.

    • humanoid.panda

      For the record, here is the Assange interview, post-correction

      The la Repubblica interviewer noted that most of Wikileaks biggest revelations concerned what she described as “US human rights abuses”. Asked why human rights abuses in China and Russia had not produced similar leaks, and what could be done to “democratise information in those countries”, Assange said there was already a “vibrant” Russian media which included critics of the Kremlin.

      He said: “In Russia, there are many vibrant publications, online blogs, and Kremlin critics such as [Alexey] Navalny are part of that spectrum. There are also newspapers like “Novaya Gazeta”, in which different parts of society in Moscow are permitted to critique each other and it is tolerated, generally, because it isn’t a big TV channel that might have a mass popular effect, its audience is educated people in Moscow. So my interpretation is that in Russia there are competitors to WikiLeaks.” In addition, he claimed “no WikiLeaks staff speak Russian, so for a strong culture which has its own language, you have to be seen as a local player.”

      I don’t see how that is exculpatory, or how the Guardian twisted his words.

      • ExpatJK

        I think the issue with the Guardian article was two-fold:

        1) the headline of ‘guarded praise’ for Trump, which was not totally accurate.

        2) some statements re Assange and Putin which have since been amended – the article was ultimately corrected, as per the blockquoted text below.

        This article was amended on 29 December 2016 to remove a sentence in which it was asserted that Assange “has long had a close relationship with the Putin regime”. A sentence was also amended which paraphrased the interview, suggesting Assange said “there was no need for Wikileaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there”. It has been amended to more directly describe the question Assange was responding to when he spoke of Russia’s “many vibrant publications”.

        I imagine that the last point (language issues) is probably a key issue – there’s a reason that most WikiLeaks stuff deals with English speaking countries. This doesn’t mean that there’s no affinity for leaders such as Putin, but I could see that as a big structural barrier.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Well, whatever credibility Assange has left – and I personally think it is already zero – will soon be gone. He’s set up an interview with Sean Hannity in person.

          It is funny how quickly he went from Hitler-of-the-week to the far right in the US to a hero because he helped take down Clinton.

          • ExpatJK

            I’m not saying he has credibility on this. However, that doesn’t mean people should misquote him or put words in his mouth.

      • Ronan

        Here is the question and answer unedited

        Question “In a famous interview, you declared that at the beginning you thought that your biggest role would be in China and in some of the former Soviet states and North Africa. Quite the opposite, most of WikiLeaks’ biggest revelations concern the US military-industrial complex, its wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq and its serious human rights violations in the war on terror. These abuses have had a heavy impact in an open and democratic society like the United States and produced ‘dissidents’ like Chelsea Manning willing to expose them. Why aren’t human rights abuses producing the same effects in regimes like China or Russia, and what can be done to democratise information in those countries?

        Assange “In Russia, there are many vibrant publications, online blogs, and Kremlin critics such as [Alexey] Navalny are part of that spectrum. There are also newspapers like “Novaya Gazeta”, in which different parts of society in Moscow are permitted to critique each other and it is tolerated, generally, because it isn’t a big TV channel that might have a mass popular effect, its audience is educated people in Moscow. So my interpretation is that in Russia there are competitors to WikiLeaks, and no WikiLeaks staff speak Russian, so for a strong culture which has its own language, you have to be seen as a local player. WikiLeaks is a predominantly English-speaking organisation with a website predominantly in English. We have published more than 800,000 documents about or referencing Russia and president Putin, so we do have quite a bit of coverage, but the majority of our publications come from Western sources, though not always. For example, we have published more than 2 million documents from Syria, including Bashar al-Assad personally. Sometimes we make a publication about a country and they will see WikiLeaks as a player within that country, like with Timor East and Kenya. The real determinant is how distant that culture is from English. Chinese culture is quite far away”.

  • Karen24

    I have never liked Greenwald. He always gave me the impression that he was, first and foremost, a misogynist. I read several quotes from him, none which I can find now, of course, in which he states flatly that women supported Clinton for ‘purely symbolic’ reasons and that wanting a woman president was a waste of time. His contempt for the desire of the marginalized to have people like us in power told me all I ever need to know about him. He’s extremely privileged and has no desire to lose those privileges.

    Also, a prediction: Greenwald will be entangled in a sexual harassment scandal soon. He’s such the perfect type for one.

    • Dilan Esper

      Greenwald is gay, I believe.

      As for the rest, I have never understood the argument that it is unreasonable for women to vote for Hillary, blacks for Obama, Mormons for Romney, etc. Many members of out of power groups want one of their own to succeed. It’s totally natural.

      • Also, a prediction: Greenwald will be entangled in a sexual harassment scandal soon. He’s such the perfect type for one.

        Greenwald is gay, I believe.

        Queerly enough, gay people can—and have occasionally been known to engage in—sexual harassment!

        • mkadel

          Thank you, Lee and Karen, for putting the pieces together. Glenn Greenwald will definitely commit sexual harassment.

          • My remark had nothing to do with Greenwald, and everything to do with Dilan’s first sentence (and its clear presupposition).

            • Just_Dropping_By

              And Dilan’s presupposition was based on Karen’s post which attempted to connect Greenwald’s alleged misogyny to him also being the “perfect type” to get “entangled in a sexual harassment scandal soon,” which pretty clear presumed that Greenwald was heterosexual, unless you think Karen is one of those people who believes gay men are particularly prone to hating women.

        • Gwen

          If Greenwald ever commits sexual harassment would it be too much to ask that Milo Yiannopolous be the victim?

          On a related note, a lot of relatively privileged gay guys I know are sort of dicks toward women.

      • Colin Day

        It was reasonable for women to vote for Clinton because her policies were better for women than Trump’s policies were. But what about women favoring Sarah Palin (or blacks favoring David Clarke) over “normal” Democrats?

      • Greenwald is gay, I believe.

        Really? I’d never heard that!

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Apparently Karen hadn’t.

    • Ronan

      You probably shouldn’t make these sorts of predictions.

  • kped

    You will be shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that Matt Taibi is also thinking there is something suspicious about Obama blaming Russia for this. Only putting some sanctions and expelling some diplomats is too weak a response, so something fishy here, ergo, Russia didn’t do it!

    (I suppose he means that if it really happened, Obama should have declared WWIII? Who knows, these Hillary haters are losing any and all credibility).

    • Gwen

      What really gets me here is the non-sequitur.

      Obama might have (and probably does have) an agenda in broadcasting, amplifying or even exaggerating Russian culpability. But it does not follow that the Russians are innocent or had no involvement.

      • tonycpsu

        This is, I think, the sensible position to take given what we know at this point. I don’t know of anyone who’s following this story any closer than Marcy Wheeler, and this is basically where she’s at — believing that Russian attribution for the DNC hacks is highly likely, but skeptical about the particulars of the Burlington electric story, and frustrated that media outlets are uncritically reporting so much of USG’s claims with so many of the details still being classified.

        Still, for daring to accept that it’s very likely that Russia directed the DNC hack, she’s savaged in the comment section, with people pointing to links at ZeroHedge and Naked Capitalism that PROVE that it wasn’t Russia. There is no proof that would satisfy these folks, because cyber threats don’t come with “MADE IN KREMLIN” labels on them, and even if they did, these people seem so wed to countering the USG’s narrative that they’re indistinguishable from paid astroturfers.

        • kped

          Yes! Well said.

          And I agree with Marcy Wheeler there. It’s the Taibi’s who then go the extra step from “the media is really running with this with so little evidence presented” to “the media is really running with this with so little evidence presented…and I think there is something fishy bout the allegations anyway, and Russia probably didn’t do anything”.

        • Davis X. Machina

          There is no proof that would satisfy these folks, because cyber threats don’t come with “MADE IN KREMLIN” labels on them, and even if they did, these people seem so wed to countering the USG’s narrative that they’re indistinguishable from paid astroturfers.

          The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It’s not really a whole lot more complicated than that.

        • Brien Jackson

          I don’t see the point in even demanding a ton of skepticism of the intelligence claims, honestly. You have a) a clear consensus among the various agencies, b) skeptical conspiracy theories that don’t hold the slightest amount of water when you begin to question them, and c) no leaks from within the intelligence community that point to the Obama administration spinning conclusions or all of the agencies lying about their information. So the assessments could be wrong, in theory, but the idea that everyone is knowingly lying about it is extremely far-fetched, and what I imagine the phrase “authoritarism is built on a gullible and cynical population” refers to.

    • DocAmazing

      Predictably enough, that’s not wnat Taibbi wrote. You might want to go back and re-read; Rolling Stone has no paywall. Pay special attention to his penultimate paragraph:

      I have no problem believing that Vladimir Putin tried to influence the American election. He’s gangster-spook-scum of the lowest order and capable of anything. And Donald Trump, too, was swine enough during the campaign to publicly hope the Russians would disclose Hillary Clinton’s emails. So a lot of this is very believable.

      Taibbi is advising caution in taking the CIA’s word on things too quickly and without checking sources. He points out that getting burned on the WMD story should have taught the media about being a little cautious about running with CIA stories.

      • kped

        Yes, he does advise caution…while also saying that the response is too tame, and if something did happen, it would have been a more severe response.

        I don’t deny that there is a kernel of truth in parts of what he wrote. It’s the “but something is fishy” that turns it though…because that takes it the opposite way (ie, no russian meddling, and it’s Obama that is lying, along with all security agencies). That Taibi tries to have it both ways…let’s just say I’m not shocked.

        • nemdam

          Is there any doubt that if Obama’s response was stronger that Taibbi would be arguing that Obama is recklessly inflaming tensions with Russia? And saying that Obama using the CIA to justify his actions is just like the CIA saying there are WMDs in Iraq?

          IOW, short of saying that Russia had nothing to with the election, Taibbi would find something about Obama to complain about. And if Obama exonerated Russia, he would instead complain about Clinton.

          • Davis X. Machina

            + 2.9M

          • Brien Jackson

            To make it better, they entirely forget how much the ontelligence community downplayed Iraqi WMD programs in 2002.

      • nemdam

        What I don’t understand about this skepticism is that the next step those who believe in Russian hacking want to take isn’t to start WWIII or to take the CIA’s word as gospel, but to do a Congressional investigation. Unless you are completely denying Russian involvement, I don’t know why anyone would be opposed to this. So this skepticism is targeting a straw man.

        • kped

          No one is opposed to a congressional investigation. No one believes this congress will do one.

  • Quite Likely

    That was a twist. How did this end up as a “damn progressives don’t believe us about Russian hacking”? How does expertise on the rise of fascism contribute to that issue?

    • Ronan

      He’s not even “an expert on fascism”, he’s an investigative journalist who concentrates on RW racist groups in the US

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Thank you. Having looked up Niewert’s bio, I was considering pointing this out, but you’ve saved me the time.

    • nemdam

      He’s saying that Trump is a fascist, so we need to do everything we can to stop him which includes pointing out that Russia is his ally and helped him get elected.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        and there were always people standing back and saying “O it isn’t that bad” and indulging in diversions about “proper definitions” instead of getting to the task at hand

        • nemdam

          My favorite dismissal is “Well, we’ve interfered in other countries elections, so this is fair payback.”

          1) How does that make what Russia did OK?
          2) Have we ever interfered in a Russian election?
          3) Does this imply that Russia has never interfered in other countries elections?

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            I’d add a 4) Why doesn’t it seem to matter to the Republicans?

        • Ronan

          If you want to know how to stop something , surely knowing and defining what it is is important ?

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            if that’s where I thought you were coming from, fine. However, I find most of what I’ve read to be saying “Trump isn’t that bad and even if he is you deserve him”

            • Ronan

              You’ve read me as saying “you deserve him”? I’ve explicitly not said that and generally stayed out of most convos for that reason.

  • Parts of the left are trying to claim that “liberals” just lurve the CIA. Jacobin and Greenwald are on that kick now.

    • DocAmazing

      It is alarming and disheartening to see so many liberals coming to the defense of the intelligence community in punishing whistleblowers and in prosecuting the drone wars. That’s a group of people who should have known better, but rallied behind the team.

      • Brien Jackson

        Bwuh? Those are executive policy decisions that don’t have anything to do with the credibility of intelligence assessments.

  • RonC

    Am I confused about this or did the Russian Hack involve giving email to Wikileaks from the DNC and nothing else?

    Second why should I believe the CIA with no evidence? I mean isn’t it their job to lie? Also, didn’t the FBI already lie just about a month or so ago, and not for the first time this election cycle, about emails from the DNC so why should I believe them?

  • los

    Greenwald doesn’t act/write in ways that I’d recommend he should, to resolve differences between (his own apparent):
    ideals
    strategies
    tactics

    tl;dr, “Greenwald is excessively idealistic” (though strictly, that isn’t a rational statement, imo :-) )

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