The ‘Foreign Meddling’ Double-Standard

We’re all supposed to be outraged by alleged Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election, despite the fact that no actual evidence of such interference has been made public. First it was “17 intelligence agencies” supposedly confirmed that Moscow was behind the DNC/Podesta email releases, and then it was down to just three – with the National Security Agency modifying its judgment to “moderate confidence.” But the media continued to make this claim, as did the Democrats (or do I repeat myself?), and the conspiracy theorizing ploughed ahead. Yet the real meddling by foreigners in American politics has been ignored because it doesn’t identify the right targets.

To begin with, there’s the anti-Trump “dossier” that contained salacious details about Donald Trump, a document obtained by Sen. John McCain, delivered to the FBI, and eventually winding up as the subject of a White House “briefing.” This was compiled by one Christopher Steele, a “former” MI6 agent, and commissioned by the opposition research firm known as “Fusion GPS,” with the bill being paid by mysterious “donors.” Steele showed the dossier to a “British security official” before sending it off to McCain, and you can bet that the British intelligence organization knew everything about this dossier, and thoroughly approved, or else it wouldn’t have been put together and shopped around Washington in the first place.

This dossier was the seed from which the “Russia-gate” investigation sprouted – oh, but that kind of foreign meddling is fine with our media and our political class, because it didn’t originate with an “adversary,” i.e. Russia. And speaking of “collusion,” the interplay between the Clinton campaign and the Ukrainian government to discredit Trump advisor Paul Manafort is also fine and dandy, because – again – the Ukrainians are the Good Guys, as opposed to those dastardly Russkies.

Yet this is just the beginning of the story of how foreign governments have acted to intervene in our politics and undermine the Trump administration.

I was interested to read a piece by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept about the latest incarnation of the developing liberal-neoconservative merger, detailing the founding of a new group that calls itself the “Alliance to Secure Democracy.” This hybrid creature is a two-headed monster, with Clinton foreign policy honcho Laura Rosenberger, who served as a key figure in the Obama administration, and Jamie Fly, the neocons’ neocon, formerly with the now defunct Foreign Policy Initiative (the reincarnation of the infamous Project for a New American Century), at the helm.

My readers will not be surprised by the union of neoconservatives and liberal internationalists, which has been documented in this space continuously not only during the recent presidential campaign but also predicted as far back as 1999 (!). So no breaking news there.

While left-leaning commentators like Greenwald are understandably upset that the Democratic party, and its ostensibly “liberal” wing, are canoodling with the neocons, and people like Paul Begala are ranting about how we should “bomb the KGB,” us libertarians – and also students of history – realize that this coming together merely replicates the history of the last cold war. Just Google “cold war liberalism,” Glenn.

While reading Glenn’s piece, I noted a link to the Alliance to Secure Democracy’s web site, and later went back to click on it – and right there on the front page, in the upper left corner, are the initials “GMF.” These also appear under the Alliance’s logo. What the heck is this?, I wondered. I clicked – and wound up on the site of the German Marshall Fund of the US: indeed, the Marshall Fund site hosts the Alliance site. The headline reads: “’Alliance for Securing Democracy’ Launches at GMF.”

Don’t be misled by the “of the US” appellation: the German Marshall Fund is an instrument of the German government, which has subsidized it to the tune of several million dollars since its founding. It has offices in eight countries, including the US. And it’s not just the Germans who are involved. Aside from the German Foreign Office, the donors include:

  • Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($500,000-999,000)
  • Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($250,000-499,999)
  • Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($250, 499,999)
  • Compagnia di San Paolo, a quasi-governmental association of Italian banking interests ($1,000,000-1,999,999)
  • The government of Montenegro ($100,000-249,999)
  • Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($100,000-249,999)
  • The Brussels Capital Region (the municipality of Brussels) ($100,000-249,999)
  • Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affirs ($100,000-249,999)
  • Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($100,000-249,999)
  • United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office ($100,000-249,999)
  • Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($50,000-99,999)
  • Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office ($25,000-49,999)
  • France’s Ministry of Defense ($10,000-24,9999)

And last, but hardly least, the US government contributes between $1 million and $2 million via the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Oh, and there’s one donor listed as “Anonymous,” whose contribution is “$2 million and beyond.” In addition, among the listed donors there are a number of foreign foundations and trade associations with links, including financial links, to their respective governments.

The agenda of the Alliance is clear to anyone with eyes to see: when you go to their web site, the first thing you see under “Our Mission” is:

“Finding out what happened in the United States in 2016 and the impact it had is important. But that is not enough.”

Of course it isn’t: the goal is to get Trump out of the White House, and, in the process, conduct a witch-hunt on American soil that will root out “Russian influence,” i.e. anyone who opposes the new cold war,

A puff piece by Josh Rogin in the Washington Post fails to mention the foreign funding issue, but does give us a clear indication of what the group’s real goals are: “mapping” alleged Russian infiltration of the US. Trump, of course, is at the center of that “map.” Rogin cites former top CIA official Mike Morell – who endorsed Mrs. Clinton and called Trump Putin’s “useful fool” – as saying:

“In a perfect world, we would have a national commission that would be looking into exactly what happened, exactly what did the Russians do and what can we do as a nation to defend ourselves going forward and deter Putin from ever doing this again. We all know this is not going to happen, so things like the GMF effort are hugely important to fill the gap.”

The Trump administration is hardly going to be setting up a “national commission” to overthrow itself, so foreign governments will “fill the gap.” In short, “The Resistance,” as the anti-Trump fanatics like to call themselves, is getting help from abroad, as well as from our own Deep State.

What’s so astonishing is how brazen the whole thing is: the German Marshall Fund isn’t hiding its relationship with the “Alliance,” which will be headquartered in the Fund’s Washington digs. It says right there on the Alliance web site who is footing the bill. The scale of this kind of foreign meddling in American politics makes the Russians – who run two little-trafficked web sites, RT and Sputnik – look like a joke, which in large part they are.

The very name of the Alliance to Secure Democracy speaks volumes– on whose behalf is our democracy being “secured”? We aren’t told – but a look at the long list of foreign funders tells the whole story. Our parasitic “allies,” who operate generous welfare states while we pay for their defense and risk war on their behalf, have every interest in “securing” a foreign policy that puts them first and America last. Their agenda isn’t hard to discern: one can go on the Alliance web site and listen to Ms. Rosenberger accuse the President of the United States of “dereliction of duty,” while comparing him unfavorably to Angela Merkel.

Although much of Trump’s “America First” foreign policy agenda – NATO is “obsolete,” foreign wars are a drain we can’t afford, etc. – has fallen by the wayside, the mere expression of such sentiments is enough to enrage the internationalists. That such a man is occupying the White House is an affront to them: they cannot let it stand. Their campaign to cleanse the American political landscape of such sentiments is the most comprehensive – and well-funded – effort by foreign entities on American soil to date.

The “Alliance” is a regime change operation funded by foreign governments and corporate interests: its American servitors, such as Ms. Rosenberger and Mr. Fly, are seemingly exempt from having to register as foreign agents. Their immunity to the laws that govern the rest of us is a mystery, especially when one remembers that the current President of the United States pledged to neutralize the efforts of foreign lobbyists and start putting America first.

These fifth columnists have to be held to account: they’re foreign agents, pure and simple, and should be treated as such. Why are they exempt from the Foreign Agents Registration Act?

Yet registering them, and labeling them for what they are, isn’t enough. It’s long past time to get them out of our politics, and out of our country. This kind of brazen foreign meddling should be illegal. Foreign contributions to political campaigns are currently against the law: extending this principle to the post-election scene is the logical next step, and one that needs to be taken immediately.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

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Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].