The ‘Truther’ Temptation: The ‘Russiagate’ Skeptics & the Mueller Report – Part 1

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3 Responses

  1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    This is a pretty good piece. A lot of people on the principled left found themselves forced to stan for Trump because Hillary and her faction were and are a hive of neocons. However the neocons have switched sides multiple times and probably just represent a permanent war faction that uses academia as a pseudo intellectual ‘expertise’ cover.
    FWIW, people have taken Mr Mate to task for unthinkingly applying pyschological war techniques such as ‘throwing around the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ as an epithet.

    • Will.B says:

      Not an unreasonable observation. A lot of the commentary about whether or not Trump was part of anti-Clinton conspiracy hatched by the Russians or, alternately, the victim of a Deep State conspiracy, has been decided along party political and ideological lines. For GOP stalwarts, whether they truly believed it or not, there was a party political requirement that they adhere to Trump’s view he was the Deep State victim, that all claims of Russian interference were bunkum, and it was all plot to remove him by Clinton and her Deep State cronies; for many Democrats, the RussiaGate scenario was seen as more likely because Hillary had to have been robbed of her victory. For some leftists, though, there was that combination of factional objections to Hillary’s neo-con sympathies, sympathizers, advisers and acolytes, and the seeming non-interventionism of Trump’s “America First”. Others, such as Mr Mate, also had a broader geopolitical ideological agenda of opposing US imperialism whilst whitewashing, if not utterly erasing, Russian excesses and other activities because the times demanded it. Much of the Mate-Greenwald approach to Russiagate borrows heavily from the methodology employed by Noam Chomsky and the late Edward S. Herman when they sought to cast doubt on Khmer Rouge atrocities, an action they undertook for ideological reasons: the existence of KR atrocities had to be denied, downplayed or disputed or it would undermine their ideological project of opposing US intervention in SE Asia. Having decided that Trump was not as bad as Clinton, they had to couch Russiagate story as a plot against him. This has lead to an implicit and now explicit merger of people and ideas between the GOP Trumpers and selected anti-US imperialist progressives.

      What I have been trying to illustrate in this series of essay – Part 3 is nearly finished! – is the hypocrisy where Deep State coup theorists denigrate RussiaGaters as conspiracists, as though it is the latter group who has rejected Mueller’s findings, when the opposite is largely true. It’s also an interesting clash between two “official” conspiracy theories if you like – and I take some inspiration from David Ray Griffin’s conception in his foray into 9/11 trutherism of there being an “official” (9/11 Commission Report – AQ did it) and “unofficial” (LIHOP & MIHOP) set of conspiracy theories about that day – in this case we have one from the Trump White House (Deep State coup) and the other from the Special Counsel (clear evidence of Russian interference to help Trump, not enough evidence of Trump-Russia conspiracy, but not none), both completely at odds with each other on basic facts.

  1. July 28, 2021

    […] The ‘Truther’ Temptation: The ‘Russiagate’ Skeptics & the Mueller Report – Part 1 Collusion or Coup? The ‘Russiagate Skeptics’ & the Mueller Report – Part 2 […]

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