14 July 2018

Real News: About That Russian Hacking Indictment And Its Willful Misuse

Quadraro, Death of Justice
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do?  Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?  This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's!  And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?  Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons

Aaron Mate of The Real News interviews Michael Isikoff about the Russian hacking indictment in the video below.

Michael Isikoff's dismissive and almost bullying remarks aside, I think most people will continue to look at this carefully, and will keep an open mind.

Isikoff is not persuasive, except if one is intimidated by veiled references to secret evidence and the invoking of 'authority.'

And clearly Aaron Mate is not. This is what makes him a much better, or one may say genuine, journalist.

I have trouble conceiving that this indictment will ever be tested in court, unless they decide to try the defendants in absentia.   It is a convenient way to make public charges without ever having show the evidence, and test their veracity in a public court of law.  But they do make nice talking points for the prevailing narrative.

It would be as if a prosecutor in Moscow were to indict top officials in the US government for cyber crimes, such as bugging the personal phones of allied heads of state, or interfering in other countries' elections, and expect them to fly over for a trial.

I can only imagine what the reaction here would be to such an obvious ploy.

But I am sure that this indictment will be frequently misused as 'proof' of the case, and widely referenced without critical thought, to try and shame honest skepticism and alternative views on this matter.

Such as in this article in The Intercept by James Risen, for example.

But Risen has shown the weakness in the presentation of his reasoning before, in his debate with Glenn Greenwald,

An indictment is proof of nothing, other than an indictment has been granted to proceed with something known as a 'trial' of the pertinent facts to determine guilt or innocence.   As since 'the evidence' is part of an indictment, it is not subject to open, investigative examination and potential rebuttal.

It is a 'charge' that is as of yet unproven, and we need to be very careful about giving charges such weight in the public discourse.  It can ruin lives and reputations without due process, and cause potentially innocent individuals to much hardship, intimidation, and even confinement.

No matter how many functionaries may have signed off on it.   How many times do we need to have this proven to us both pro and con, from WMD's to allegations of mass government surveillance?  It is presented to the public with such authority and weight—  until the truth rears its ugly head.

And innocence is presumed, or at least it used to be, before the hysterics were engaged after Hillary's stunning loss.

As regular readers know I am no 'fan' of Trump, or Hillary, and especially not of the Russian government,.  If anything  I am concerned that we are falling into the same type of authoritarian oligarchy that prevails there.

But I am not willing to toss aside principles and reason for personal satisfaction or political gain.   If we do, we are no different from those that we pretend to oppose—  we merely serve different ends without regard to means, like competing crime families.

Isikoff and those who speak and write in the mainstream media know this.  But they do not seem to care.  Such is the lack of principles for the sake of partisanship to which our modern media has descended, especially since it has been concentrated into a few powerful hands.

I am afraid that Michael Isikoff's conclusions will obtain such thoughtful scrutiny and analysis from the Sunday morning television pundits, both pro and con.

And therefore one goes to other sources like The Real News to get a more balanced picture.

Do not point the finger at the underwhelming actions of the Russians for the lack of trust and deep partisan divide here.

We have ourselves to blame, our lack of critical thinking and demand for justice with accountability, and acquiescence to the repeated heavy-handed actions of enablers in service of money and power, might over right.

As long as the con jobs sell, and money is being made, no one in the money and power pipeline has an incentive to stop the lying unless it is their conscience. And with this craven and spiritually adulterous generation, good luck with that.