The brouhaha over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney last year is but one more contrived episode in the cooked “scandal” of the Russian Collusion Conspiracy Tale (RCCT).
There is no short supply of considerations that expose the RCCT for the fiction that it is. Here, though, I ask the reader to focus on the very terms, the language, in which this fiction is framed. Attention to this alone suffices to make the case that the RCCT is indeed a tale—and a tall one at that.
“Collusion,” “hacked the election,” and, of course, “the Russians”—these are the three fundamental terms that are essential to the RCCT.
What exactly does “collusion” even mean? Notice, of the gazillion hours that fake journalists, pundits, politicians, and Deep State bureaucrats have expended in pushing the RCCT, not a few minutes have been spent by any of them in explaining what precisely they mean in referencing “collusion” between Trump’s people and “the Russians.”
The reason for this should be clear: The architects of the RCCT do not want specificity. It’s the last thing that they’ve ever wanted. “Collusion” functions in this context in much the same way as “racism” has come to function in contemporary Western politics. The idea is to trade as much as possible in abstractions. As the great 18th century philosopher David Hume remarked: “It is easy for a false hypothesis to maintain some appearance of truth, while it keeps wholly in generals” and “makes use of undefined terms [.]”
Hume added that “ideas, especially abstract ones”—like the idea of “collusion”—“are naturally faint and obscure [.]” As such, “the mind has but a slender hold of them.” Abstract ideas, like “collusion,” are “apt to be confounded with other resembling ideas; and when we have often employed any term, though without a distinct meaning, we are apt to imagine it has a determinate idea annexed to it.”
Moreover, “collusion” has negative connotations associated with it. And when it is used in connection with “the Russians”—another deliberately ambiguous term that, by design, is meant to invoke in the collective American consciousness images from the height of the Cold War era and Russian spy stories—it is expected to have a particularly sinister ring to it.
The employment of “the Russians” is especially telling. Which Russians? Who are these Russians? That the anti-Trumpers have seized upon Jr.’s meeting with a Russian citizen who happens to be a private sector attorney as proof of the RCCT shows just how fraudulent the latter has always been.
If the coverage of Jr.’s meeting accomplished anything, it is to underscore that, in spite of months and months of crying “Collusion with the Russians!” the anti-Trumpers never really had a single Russian in mind that they could positively identify. In other words, had his meeting been with a Russian garbage man or deli owner who offered to provide him with potentially damaging research on Hillary Clinton, the champions of the RCCT still would have promoted this as a smoking gun of “collusion” with…“the Russians.”
As for “hacking,” this too is meant to suggest that Trump’s victory in November wasn’t legitimate, that “the Russians,” upon “colluding” with Trump and/or his campaign staff, fixed the election for Trump. Of course, no one who uses this term will ever dare to admit this aloud. Even they know that once they spell out what they want for Americans to believe—that had it not been for the “hacking” of our election by those pesky “Russians,” their “collusion” with his campaign staff, Trump would not have won 60 percent of the states; almost 2,600 of America’s 3,000 counties; 306 electoral college votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232; and 220 counties that just four years earlier had voted for Obama—the absurdity of the RCCT will become glaring to even the most casual of observers.
Unless “collusion” and “hacking” were talismanic media buzzwords, then one would have expected for them to have been used in the 25 paged Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.” They were not. Instead, the ICA referred to Russia’s “influence campaign.”
Yet even here, within this document, there is disagreement between the CIA, FBI, and NSA regarding their respective degrees of confidence concerning this subject. And all three agencies acknowledge that there is no “proof” of any substantial meddling on the part of Russia.
There is no talk in the ICA of “collusion” and the “hacking” of an American election. In fact, the report expressly states that the Intelligence Community never even explored the possibility that “Russian activities” impacted “the outcome of the 2016 election.” It does, though, state that “the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”
It is strange types of “colluding” and “hacking” indeed that neither “target” nor “compromise” a single vote at the ballot box.
Of course, the ICA is as transparently contrived as the Fake News that is heard nightly on CNN or MSNBC, for nowhere does it specify the identities of these pesky “Russian actors.” That the Deep State is stretching becomes obvious once it is seen that the ICA resorts to citing as evidence for its conclusions the critical coverage of Hillary Clinton supplied by…RT, Russia’s first international news channel.
RT has three 24 hour news channels that broadcast in English, Spanish, and Arabic. RT America is located right in Washington D.C. and includes programs hosted by such Russian spies as Larry King and former MSNBC left-winger, Ed Shultz.
But because some of its hosts have been critical of Hillary Clinton (they were critical of Trump too, but the ICA conveniently neglects to mention this detail), the heads of intelligence agencies regard this as evidence of a “Russian influence campaign” to “impact” an American election.
For as weak as the ICA is, it is invaluable inasmuch as it exposes just how pathetically weak is the case for the RCCT. The ICA examines efforts by Russia to influence our election. This, however, is an object entirely different in nature from that of successful collusion between Russia and Team Trump. On the latter, the ICA utters not a syllable.
If the Intelligence Community had anything, we know that they would have shed more than a few syllables spilling what they knew.