By Wayne Madsen | Strategic Culture
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) director Admiral Mike Rogers joined the chorus of other U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials who are using Russia to leverage their own agencies into having a wider role in U.S. elections. In a statement to the committee on May 9, Rogers positioned NSA to oversee a wider role in conducting surveillance over elections, not only in the United States, but in other countries, including France and Britain.
After accusing Russia of conducting «election hacking» of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, while offering no proof to back up his allegations, Rogers proceeded to tell the committee and its reflexively anti-Russian chairman, John McCain, that NSA also warned France, Britain, and Germany of Russian election penetration and offered up the assistance of the American spy agency to the targeted countries. Of course, there was no mention that NSA, thanks to the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has thoroughly penetrated the communications systems of France, Britain, and Germany and their political leadership.
Rogers stated, «We [NSA] had talked to our French counterparts prior to the public announcements of the events publicly attributed this past weekend and gave them a heads up. ‘Look, we’re watching the Russians. We’re seeing them penetrate some of your infrastructure’». Rogers added, «We’re doing similar things with our German counterparts, with our British counterparts, they have an upcoming election sequence». The NSA’s «Tailored Access Operations» branch is strongly believed to have a sub-group that specializes in foreign election tampering, not from a defensive position but as an offensive tactic in conducting clandestine «regime change» operations.
The neoconservative think tank-media consortium in Washington, DC has tried to make Russia the villain in election engineering, although there is no actual evidence to prove it. If Russia, indeed, has the capabilities to influence elections abroad, the world would have witnessed entirely different outcomes since the British people voted in the Brexit referendum to depart the European Union (EU). Domestic British politics, including the sellout to corporations of British workers by the Labor Party, the influx of unskilled workers into the United Kingdom from poorer EU member states, and disgust with decisions made by «Eurocrats» in Brussels, lie at the heart of the Brexit vote, not some nefarious plot cooked up in Moscow.
Neocon circles have attempted to link several elections since the Brexit referendum to Russian interference. When one examines the record, there is not one iota of evidence suggesting any Russian involvement. Two days following the «yes» vote in the Brexit referendum, another NATO nation conducted an election for president. Iceland elected Guthni Johannesson as president. Johanneson’s biggest issue since taking office has not been to take a stand against NATO’s decision to restart operations at its old Keflavik airbase, but by calling on a ban on pineapple as a pizza topping. If Russia wanted a president who would have been beneficial to its interests, it would have actively backed Asthor Magnusson, Iceland’s perennial peace candidate. Magnusson called for the transformation of the NATO military base in Keflavik into the headquarters of a United Nations peacekeeping force. Alas, Mr. Magnusson received 615 votes to Johanneson’s 71,356. It is doubtful that Russia even noticed this election in a strategic NATO member state, let alone interfered in it.
The day following the Icelandic election, Spain, a NATO member, held a parliamentary election. Had Russia possessed the election tampering capabilities claimed by NSA, it is doubtful that the pro-NATO and pro-EU conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would have one. That victory should have gone to the leftist coalition under the «Unidos Podemos» flag. But «Unidos Podemos» won only 71 seats to the conservatives’ 137. The pro-EU/NATO Socialist Party garnered 90 seats. There is not one bit of evidence of Russian involvement in the Spanish election.
The July 2 parliamentary election in America’s ally Australia also saw no provable Russian involvement. The governing Liberal/National coalition of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won 76 seats to the Labor Party’s 69. Both parties are unrestrained sycophants of U.S. foreign policy. The only party that, in any way, might be beneficial to Russian interests, the Greens, won a single seat.
On September 11, 2016, NATO member Croatia held a parliamentary election. This was one election that was very close. However, the right-wing and pro-NATO Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) edged out the equally pro-NATO/EU Social Democratic Party by three seats, 59 to 56. Although there is little difference between the two main parties on NATO and the EU, the Social Democrats would have been better for Russian interests, inasmuch as the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, a former NATO official, is a member of the HDZ and not popular with the Social Democrats.
On October 2, 2016, the Colombian peace referendum with the leftist armed opposition, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), failed in a razor-thin 50.22 to 49.78 percent vote. The agreement was backed by all of Russia’s Latin American friends, including Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. If any country played a part in engineering the referendum to arrive at a «no» vote, it would have been the United States, which never liked the idea of the FARC playing a legal role in Colombian politics. After all, the CIA and NSA sank billions of dollars into «Plan Colombia», which was designed militarily defeat the FARC.
The same day as the Colombian referendum, Hungary, a NATO nation, held one on whether to reject the EU’s mandatory quotas for relocating mainly Muslim migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere. The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is friendly to Russia, backed a «no» vote. Although the «Yes» side went down to defeat, garnering only 1.64 percent to an overwhelming 98.36 percent «No» to the EU quotas, only 44 percent of the eligible electorate voted, nullifying the referendum’s decision. If Russia had the capabilities it is accused by the Western intelligence agencies of possessing, clearly it could have engineered an increase in the total number of voters in the Hungarian referendum, ensuring a success for Orban and a bitter defeat for the EU.
On October 16, the Montenegro election resulted in a victory for the pro-NATO membership Social Democrats. The Social Democrats won 36 seats to 18 seats for the opposition Democratic Front, which consists mainly of Serbs and Communists. Not content with its victory, the Social Democrats later claimed that Russia tried to engineer a coup against their pro-NATO Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović. There were practically no substantiated allegations of Russian interference in the October 16 election, so the Sorosites and neocons had to come up with another fake conspiracy to be blamed on Russia.
The October 23 elections in Lithuania resulted in a win for the Farmers and Greens Union, which votes with the generally anti-NATO Green bloc in the European Parliament. However, there were no allegations from the George Soros-controlled media and Western intelligence services that Russia hacked the Lithuanian election. Is that because Soros money constantly flows into the coffers of the Greens in Europe?
After the November 8 upset of Trump over Hillary Clinton, there were two presidential elections in NATO member Bulgaria and non-member Moldova. The victors of both elections were friendly to Russia, resulting in unsubstantiated charges of Russian interference. The second round of the Austrian election on December 4 went to anti-Russian Green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, a native of Estonia, and not to his Euroskeptic opponent Norbert Hofer. There were no charges that Russia interfered in the 53.8 to 46.2 win by Van der Bellen. Those charges only arise when politicians friendly to Russia and opposed to NATO and the EU are victors. That is the Soros-neocon electoral math.
In 2017, the Dutch parliamentary and French presidential elections, as well as the Italian constitutional referendum, were predicted to be hacked by Russians. The anti-EU right lost in the Netherlands and France. The Italian government reform referendum was defeated with spurious charges of Russian involvement.
With nothing else left in their propaganda bags, people like Admiral Rogers of the NSA are now advancing the goal posts to the British and German elections to accuse Russia of nefarious plans. The record speaks for itself, however. If Russia had such capabilities, why did it not use them in Austria, France, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Iceland, Hungary, Colombia, and Spain where its interests were clearly at stake? The answer is that Russia’s «cyber-election heist» capabilities exist merely in the minds of such Cold War «nervous Nellies» as Admiral Rogers, John McCain and his partner Senator Lindsey Graham, and the recently-fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.