March 7, 2021

AT THIS POINT WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? We aren’t supposed to care anymore about how the FBI ginned up the conspiracy theory about Donald Trump and “Russian collusion.” The damage is done, and there are thousands of people who unthinkingly take as a given that Trump was a Putin puppet. They’re impossible to talk to. I’m reminded of the old saying about never trying to teach a pig to sing. (It wastes your time and annoys the pig).

That said, exclusive reporting by John Solomon shows more than a few troubling dynamics that Congress, the mainstream media, and the FBI have yet to fix. (I suppose it’s not in their interest to do so).

The report by JustTheNews is a well-reported story of how the FBI tried to play reporters, how reporters tried to play the FBI, and how the result was inaccurate stories that helped create an incorrect narrative:

“The bureau had recently terminated its primary informant in the Russia probe Christopher Steele for leaking, and several of its leads about Russia-Trump collusion were falling apart. And inaccurate stories about the two biggest scandals in Washington were cropping up everywhere, even when FBI officials tried to work with reporters.

“Yes, the headline is REALLY misleading,” then-FBI deputy counsel Lisa Page wrote a colleague in a text message concerning a New York Times article that day. The text message didn’t further identify the article but made clear the article was the result of a bureau overture to reporters that backfired.”

Why does any of this matter now? For several reasons: erroneous reporting is now branded “disinformation” and has become a newsroom commodity, with some papers even assigning reporters to a “disinformation” beat. And “disinformation” has become a buzzword that Big Tech uses to squash speech they don’t like.

Moreover and most importantly, is that the current administration (as do most prospective “nanny states”) seems to be using whatever crisis, event, accident or political incident to increase its power. Glenn Greenwald has written recently about how government uses incorrect or just false intelligence (dare I say “disinformation”?) to expand its grip:

Twice in the last six weeks, warnings were issued about imminent, grave threats to public safety posed by the same type of right-wing extremists who rioted at the Capitol on January 6. And both times, these warnings ushered in severe security measures only to prove utterly baseless.

So what difference does it make at this point? Because it’s about the unethical dynamics of a leak-happy FBI choosing to spill information not in the public interest (I’m all for genuine whistleblowers) but instead leaking in the interest of their own political agenda. I’m not particularly offended by reporters “cozying up” to sources: it’s what they do. Where it goes wrong is when those reporters help propel a narrative based on false statements provided by the self-interested leakers.

So at this point it matters because the word “disinformation” is a tool used to suppress civil liberties. IMHO, they violated Carter Page‘s rights, and probably Roger Stone’s and others as well. Even the far-left Brennan Center for Justice has issued papers about how problematic the use (or abuse) of the FISA Court can be. The result?

“Under today’s foreign intelligence surveillance system, the government’s ability to collect information about ordinary Americans’ lives has increased exponentially while judicial oversight has been reduced to near-nothingness. Nothing less than a fundamental overhaul of the type proposed here is needed to restore the system to its constitutional moorings.”

So, at this point, what difference does it make? The difference is you’re next.

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