Here’s the Truth About Russia’s Interference in US Elections || Conservative Review


By: Craig ShirleyAndrew Shirley | August 03, 2016

Note: Craig Shirley’s Research Assistant, Scott Mauer, aided on this piece. 

During World War II, Hollywood made two of the most ridiculous movies ever conceived by the left-coast leftists. In Song of Russia and Mission to Moscow, the murderous regime was buried, and instead, Russia was portrayed as a workers’ paradise and as our fast and true ally. The Show Trials of the 1930’s were depicted as justice being meted out against German and Japanese spies, when in fact, they were undertaken to rid Joe Stalin of challengers to his power. Millions perished. Joseph Davies, our for-real Ambassador to Russia, was quoted in Mission to Moscow. Stooge-like, he describes Stalin and Russia as “misunderstood.” Uncle Joe? Not likely. Ayn Rand, who had escaped the terrors of the Soviet regime, denounced Song of Russia as an example of how easy it was to manipulate Hollywood with leftist propaganda, something Ronald Reagan later found out as head of the Screen Actors Guild.

It wasn’t the first time Russia got into the heads – or elections – of Americans. When it comes to intrigue, Americans are pikers compared to Russians. They practically invented the phrase “hidden agenda.” Winston Churchill, recognizing the mystery of Moscow, calling the country “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

On a cold March day in Moscow of 1958, an unfathomable 133 million comrades of the Soviet Union turned out to support the Communist party, led by Nikita Khrushchev. As Donovan Hedley pointed out in Life magazine that year, “This figure works out to a fantastic 99.97% of the total electorate, as against 60.4% turnout in the US election of 1956… 99.57% approved the handpicked candidate [Nikita Khrushchev].” The Russian government, then Soviet government, had a habit of getting it’s way and their involvement in US elections over the last 50 years leaves little to suggest a change in this pattern.

The Soviet Union watched every US election with extreme precision. They made a point of noting which candidates would be most likely to oppose them. From time to time, though, this was insufficient for advancing their intentions and a more “assertive presence” was required. There is ample evidence that in the election of 1960, the Soviet Union found the hawkish and military friendly Richard Nixon an offense to their ambition and set about pulling strings to ensure the young and dynamic John F. Kennedy, less beholden to the military brass, won the election. To the everlasting credit of John and Robert Kennedy, though there is evidence to suggest the government attempted to directly contact the family, the principled and patriotic young brothers dismissed any legitimate attempt immediately.

Still, the Soviets would use every tool at their disposal to ensure Nixon did not win. In 1960, they held U-2 pilot Gary Powers after his plane crashed illegally in Russia, and specifically delayed his release until after the presidential elections. They used Powers as a bargaining chip, and, according to Khrushchev himself, it worked. In his memoirs, the Soviet leader stated, “We kept Nixon from being able to claim that he could deal with the Russians; our ploy made a difference of at least half a million votes, which gave Kennedy the edge he needed.”

In 1968, once it was revealed to the Soviets that Nixon would be more than willing to “play nice” with the Soviets, suddenly a Nixon White House became far more palatable. His landslide election in 1972 was welcomed immediately by the Soviets, as written by KGB agent Oleg Kalugin: “Even before sending official congratulations, [Leonid] Brezhnev forwarded a confidential note to Nixon… expressing the hope that Nixon’s election would bring changes in the superpower relationship. For more than a month afterward the Soviet regime and the president-elect communicated.”

Arguably, the most egregious and unambiguous Soviet interference into an American election was openly welcomed by an American. In 1984, Ted Kennedy was terrified of President Ronald Reagan. He had become convinced that the aggressively assertive Reagan would cause World War Three. The Soviets agreed; after all, they tried to popularize the slogan “Reagan Means War!” throughout the Communist world. Lacking the conviction of his brothers, Ted Kennedy had sent a letter to the then-Soviet leader Yuri Andropov. As written by the great historian Paul Kengor, “Mr. Kennedy had two proposals for Andropov, according to [KGB head Viktor] Chebrikov. First, he asked for a meeting later that summer in order ‘to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.’ Second, that ‘Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize… televised interviews with [Andropov] in the USA.’” The letter went on to relay the Senator’s intention to run for office in 1988, so the altruism of Kennedy is called into question here.

According to the Sword and the Shield, a definitive account of the Cold War, the Soviets were absolutely terrified of Ronald Reagan and tracked his whereabouts beginning in the 1960’s – and even before – and set up two propaganda agencies to spread unfavorable stories about Reagan, Service A and The Centre. Service A in particular couldn’t find much dirt on the future president, as Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew reported. Instead, in an attempt to sideline his 1976 campaign, Service A only found “alleged evidence” of his “weak intellectual capabilities,” while simultaneously distributing slanderous pieces in Denmark, France, and India. That the Soviets cracked the Democratic Nation Committee’s computers is in keeping with the behavior and paranoid attitude of the Russian people. Governments may change, but the behavior remains the same.

The 1980 election was no different for the Centre and Service A. However, this time, neither candidate was ideal. Soviet ambassador to the United States since 1962, Anatoly Dobrynin, once wrote that the Centre was “fed up with Carter and uneasy about Reagan.” So, he continued, the agencies “decided to stay on the fence.” This is perhaps the exception to the rule.

While there is no official evidence of Russian collusion in the hacking of the DNC’s computers or secret messages from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump, the suggestion of Russian involvement is not nearly as absurd as it initially sounds. Despite state-sponsored Russian news sites, such as RT (formerly Russia Today), claiming that Russia’s intervention in US politics are for “conspiracy theorists,” recent history tells a different story. Indeed, a recent poll by CNN stated that 48% of Americans believe that Russia is intervening. Is this the start of a Vast Russian Conspiracy? Further, Donald Trump has clearly shown affection for Putin while Hillary Clinton is undoubtedly more than raw towards the Russians after her ill-fated “Russian Reset” and strong support of the European Union. For all the bluster, Trump would be a far more laissez-faire President towards Russia than Clinton, and Moscow knows it. If Russia did hack the DNC, it would be far from anomalous. In fact, they would merely be living up to John Oliver’s apt description of them as “the sequel and prequel to the Soviet Union.”




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