In conjunction with the Pentagon’s cyber army, the whole realm of Western accusations against Russia is a mockery of their own guilt-projection.
American publication Newsweek reported this week on revelations of a massive U.S. military effort to control and influence the internet including social media.
The report is based on a lengthy investigation that took two years to complete, according to Newsweek. Its granular detail and multiple interviews with involved personnel certainly give the information credibility which merits further investigation, if not a Congressional inquiry. Tellingly, the report was largely ignored by other American corporate news outlets.
What it found is the existence of a “secret cyber army” within the regular U.S. armed forces numbering 60,000 personnel with an operational budget of $900 million a year. The cyber army operates domestically and overseas. It is not overseen by Congress which is a violation of the U.S. constitution. It is also, on the face of it, as Newsweek notes, in violation of the Geneva Convention which regulates the open conduct of conventional military.
There is every reason to believe that the cyber “special forces” work in conjunction with American military intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. The labyrinthine nature has the sinister aspect of a police state apparatus, the like of which the Americans accuse Russia and China of running.
The report states: “The explosion of Pentagon cyber warfare, moreover, has led to thousands of spies who carry out their day-to-day work in various made-up personas, the very type of nefarious operations the United States decries when [allegedly] Russian and Chinese spies do the same.”
Newsweek goes on: “The newest and fastest-growing group is the clandestine army that never leaves their keyboards. These are the cutting-edge cyber fighters and intelligence collectors who assume false personas online, employing non-attribution and misattribution techniques to hide the who and the where of their online presence [and] even engage in campaigns to influence and manipulate social media.”
The Newsweek report is not the first time it has been revealed that the Americans and other Western military intelligence agencies have developed mechanisms for influencing social media and public discourse through the deployment of false persona known as “bots”. But what is eye-opening is the vast scale of the Pentagon’s cyberwarfare which is conducted against its own population as well as foreign nations.
This makes an absurdity of Washington’s relentless accusations against Russia of malign cyber conduct. Similar accusations are made by the Americans against China, Iran, and other nations. The reality is, however, that the Pentagon has built the largest, illegal undercover force in the world, according to Newsweek. The fact that the Western public doesn’t see this reality is a feat of perception management, or propaganda.
It has become a mantra for American and European politicians and media to accuse Russia of interfering in Western elections through supposed mischievous influence over social media. This mantra has been repeated so often that it has taken on the status of “fact”. It is said to be one of the issues that U.S. President Joe Biden wants to bring up in person with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin if the two leaders meet this summer.
In addition, Russia is alleged to have inflicted last year a massive cyber attack on American government departments and commercial corporations – the so-called SolarWinds Hack.
The ransomware attack on a U.S. oil pipeline earlier this month which hit nearly a dozen states on the east coast was also blamed on a Russian cyber gang with the implication that the Kremlin was partially responsible.
The scale of the Pentagon’s cyber army puts these issues into perspective. For a start, there has never been any verifiable evidence presented by Western governments that could in any court incriminate Russia over the allegations of malign conduct. But secondly what we have instead is voluminous evidence that it is the Americans who have the capability for systematic cyber crimes.
It was the Americans under the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations who developed and deployed the Stuxnet malware virus which crippled Iran’s nuclear industry over a decade ago. No other nation has been caught so red-handed in an act of cyber warfare.
The revelations in 2013 and later by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden documenting in devastating detail a global campaign of illegal surveillance covering the internet and telecommunications by the American National Security Agency is another astounding facet. Snowden provided the Wikileaks whistleblower site archives showing how the CIA and NSA worked with U.S. internet tech companies to illegally infiltrate the private communications of governments and citizens all around the world. Not only that but the CIA has developed techniques for falsely incriminating others with their cybercrimes.
Aiding and abetting the Americans in their illegal global endeavors are the spy agencies of Britain and the other Five Eye allied nations, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, said categorically in an interview this week that Russia has not been involved in cyber hacking or malign influence against the United States or other Western nations. Naryshkin pointed out the absolute lack of evidence, to which the BBC interviewer flustered from having no intelligible answer.
What’s more, the Russian spy chief introduced some reality to the oft-vacuous allegations by citing the revelations made by Edward Snowden that it is the American NSA and CIA who have the known capability for massive malign cyber warfare. It is not unreasonable to speculate that these agencies have sought to incriminate Russia over the SolarWinds Hack and other attacks.
In conjunction with the Pentagon’s cyber army, the whole realm of American and Western accusations against Russia is a mockery of their own guilt-projection.