Every day I avoid reading at least half a dozen articles from both the corporate media and leftist alternative media talking about Russian hackers, election interference, and of course the role that the Trump campaign played in those events. I hate that such a shitty human being has such power and such a vaulted position in our society. So why don’t I read them? Well, when it first came out I read articles looking for journalists to point out that the US government, military, companies, and pro-Israel groups in the US do, and have been doing for years, exactly the same thing.

When I was writing my master’s thesis, I used a couple of not-yet declassified documents from the US military wherein they explained how they use social media, websites, nonprofits, and NGO’s to influence elections, politics, and the spectrum of public debate abroad (read countries where US corporations might not have the “run” of the place). Additionally the FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF, and other agencies have also been on the same bandwagon of propaganda for years. These efforts often attempt a facade of grassroots and groups of “concerned citizens,” in order to obfuscate facts, shame or attack critics, undermine logic and rational discussion, and overall end discussion or criticism.

Let me rephrase that more concisely, the US government, military, and other agencies have been doing the exact same thing that is purported to have occured during the 2016 Predisential election for decades. Back in the day, before social media’s rise in importance, this was done almost exclusively through the propaganda unit called “The Voice of America,” and a handful of NGO’s and nonprofits. It was a similar strategy that the US military utterly failed at using during the Vietnam War and their “Hearts and Minds Campaign.” It also was the goal of “Operation Mockingbird,” which was when the CIA was directly influencing over 400 journalists and their news production, including priming, framing the debate, determining the terms used in in the discussion, and the limits of “acceptable discussion.” Additionally, American corporations have increasingly relied on such tactics through AstroTurf Groups, fake “likes” and followers, false reviews, and press releases by pro-corporate interest groups and think tanks.

Some examples:

I could literally do this, all day every day for the rest of my life, posting the seemingly infinite abuses of corporate media, education, think tanks, academia, nonprofits, and “grassroots” groups. I could do it 40 hours a week and never run out of examples. The point I am trying to make here is that not only is it not a case of “a few bad apples,” but this is a systemic norm that has become a standard operating procedure (SoP) for corporations, government agencies, the military, foreign governments, and interest groups. It isn’t a recent phenomenon, nor a rare event, it is every day, press release after press release, and comes even under the title of “undisclosed sources.” In general when the source won’t identify themselves or don’t want to be you can safely assume it is a vested insider who has ulterior motives for making that statement.

What the Russian hackers were supposed to have done, is something the US actually has done better and for longer, distort reality, undermine democracy, spread propaganda, cause civil unrest, and give false pretenses for government agency policy changes, actions and war.

Honestly, every time the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, etc, have paywalls or ads begging people to subscribe in order to support “legitimate journalism” the irony is so strong I nearly chuck my computer out a window and light off a firework to celebrate.