Macedonian bot farms sigh relief …

Feds nail Boris & Natasha for trolling the internet.
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Seriously, this is like something out of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

Friday was a very, very bad day for the DOJ / FBI.

First, it was disclosed that they failed to act on a very hard tip that the Florida school killer was literally locked, loaded and intending carnage.

Then, in an apparent attempt to deflect attention away from that egregious miss, the DOJ / Special Investigator held a spur-of-the-moment press conference to announce that a handful of Russian companies and individuals were being indicted for “sowing discord” and “meddling” in the Presidential election.

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Rather than just taking the talking heads at face value, I decided to read the indictment.

Honestly, it brought back memories … of Dudley Do-Right foiling the feeble plots of Boris and Natasha on Rocky & Bullwinkle.

image

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Let’s go through some of the details …

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Again, the overarching accusations are “sowing discord” and “meddling” in U.S. elections.

No doubt, the bad actors were trying to sow discord.

How successful were they?

Or, asked differently, how much less discord would we be enduring these days if the bad actors had stayed away?

My conclusion: they didn’t move the needle one iota.

There’s already so much polarization, identity politics, “resist” and outright hate that a little more just couldn’t have made much of a difference.

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OK, so how about the meddling?

The sanity-check question that I’ve heard posed to a couple former State Department & CIA officials is: “Does the U.S. meddle in other countries elections?”

The high frequency answer: yes – but only if it matters to our national security.

For an eye-opener, Google “U.S. meddling in other countries elections”.  Even the left-leaning HuffPost headlines:

image

Takes some wind out of the sail doesn’t it?

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Related to the meddling

A key point of the indictment is that the Ruskies weren’t so much pro-Trump as much as they were anti-Hillary.

The evidence: they were also promoting the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.

Hmmm …. were they colluding with the Russians?

So, why is it that Putin and his Russian buddies don’t like Hillary?

Left-leaning Politico concludes:

image

Hmmm.

So she meddled and tried to delegitimize another country’s  leaders.

So, Hillary can do it to Putin, but not vice versa.

Even Forrest Grump opined that “what goes around comes around”.

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Let’s dive into a couple of the specifics ….

For openers, the 3 companies that were indicted: the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management & Consulting and Concord Catering.

Concord Catering ????

Tell me that doesn’t make you wonder.  For what? Bad Borscht?

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Among the charges:

1) Entering the country fraudulently and illegally.

Big deal for these 13 Ruskies … but, couldn’t that be said for about 13 million non-Ruskies who are hanging out in the U.S.

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2) Stealing (and using) Social Security numbers.

Ditto the prior point

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3) Operating social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences and address divisive U.S. political and social issues.

Isn’t that what 90% of all web sites do these days?

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4) Buying political advertisements on social media.

The ad buy was less than 1/2 % of Hillary’s ad budget.

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6) Gleaning political intelligence while posing as U.S. citizens.

Among the critical pieces of espionage: “purple” states were likely to have the closest elections.

Now, that’s super-sleuthing

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7) Appropriating hashtags such as #Hillary4Jail

OMG: weaponizing clever hashtags

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8) Hiring people to stage political rallies.

Note: Rallies included ones that were both pro- and anti-Trump.

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9) Hiring women who look like Hillary to dress up in orange prison-like jumpsuits and ride around on flatbed trucks.

This may be my favorite alleged “crime”.

But seriously, is this the best that Team Mueller could do?

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P.S. Keep in mind: Indictments aren’t convictions … and no one expects any of these companies or individuals to ever be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial.

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#HomaFiles

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