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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

We Do It and It is Good.  Russia?  Not so Much

For John, BLUFI don't buy it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

There is no comparison between Russian efforts to undermine elections and American efforts to strengthen them, a former Obama official writes.

This is from Defense One, by Thomas O Melia, Visiting Professor at Princeton University, originally in The Atlantic, datelined 27 February 2018.

Here is part of the lede plus one:

Conflating things from different categories can lead sometimes to witty wordplay, but also to sloppy analysis and confusion.

So it is when commentators assert that Russian meddling in U.S. elections is ultimately not different from what the U.S. has long been doing abroad.  “As for Russian trolling in our election,” the right-wing isolationist Pat Buchanan wroterecently, “do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike?”  The Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin has more dispassionately compiled a database of 117 known instances between 1946 and 2000 when either Moscow or Washington intervened overtly or covertly to affect the outcome of elections in other countries—and finds that more often in that period it was the Americans who did the meddling.  (Such meddling could take a wide range of forms, from releasing false rumors or fake emails to damage on one side; to public statements of U.S. support for an incumbent or challenger; to the provision of money or technicians to help one side in the campaign.)

Regards  —  Cliff

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