In a tirade against Russia based news outlets RT and Sputnik, Donald Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo blasted Russia for interfering not only in the 2016 US Presidential election but “the one before that and the one before that”. This would imply that Russia helped install Barack Obama in the White House even after his severely anti-Russian foreign policy became well known.
These statements are blasted by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the following way,
“If (Pompeo’s) statements mean that we interfered in the elections in 2008 and 2012 that means that President Obama owes us his victories. I’ll refrain from comment. In my opinion, this crosses the lines of what is reasonable”.
Pompeo’s assertion came after a tirade in which he said that Russia’s current Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov helped develop a ‘propaganda’ strategy which underlies RT and Sputnik’s alleged purpose. Pompeo further asserted that Gerasimov did this in the early 1970s. According to Pompeo,
“His (Gerasimov’s) idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot, with firing a very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic. And that’s what happened
What changes is the cost to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, the news outlets and through other soft means has just really been lowered. It used to be expensive to run an ad on a television station. Now you simply go online and propagate your message, so they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems and into our culture to achieve the outcome they are looking for”.
The ludicrousness of this claim can be easily debunked when one learns that General Gerasimov was born in 1955. If one can conservatively say that 1973 was the ‘early 1970s’, this means that Gerasimov developed a communications strategy that relied on the internet being up to 2017 standards when he was 18 years of age. There is simply no logic in Pompeo’s assertions.
This is the same Mike Pompeo who has told some rather strange tall-tales about Wikileak’s founder Julian Assange while simultaneously calming that RT is part of Wikileaks.
In April of 2017, Pompeo stated,
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks”.
He then stated,
“No, I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history”.
So to recap, the following are Mike Pompeo’s most ludicrous conspiracy theories
1. Russia’s current Chief of the General Staff invented the concept of RT and Sputnik, one which relies on the power of the internet in 2017, in the early 1970s when he was in his late teens and still in the equivalent of high school.
2. Russia interfered in the US elections in 2008, 2012 and 2016, meaning that Russia supported Barack Obama who was the most anti-Russian US President in modern memory, but no one noticed this Russian interference at the time.
3. RT collaborates with Wikileaks which is a hostile intelligence agency rather than an on-line publisher.
4. Julian Assange, a self-styled free speech advocate and anti-war activist would have supported Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s.
5. RT and Sputnik are supported by Russia because they are cheaper than going to war. This is ostensibly a bad thing in Pompeo’s view.
Mike Pompeo seems like less of an intelligence chief than a simplistic conspiracy theorist.