Colonel Stanislav Lunev defected from Russia to America in 1992. He came with a warning: Never mind the end of the Cold War. Russia was increasing its subversive activities against America.
Unfortunately, the authorities ignored his warnings. Lunev’s articles have been wiped from the Internet. His book is out of print. Lunev has only slipped deeper into obscurity as time has passed. He remains in the FBI’s witness protection program because even now the Russian government would love to see him dead.
Which brings us to today, when many Americans express shock that Russia could interfere in American politics. The media ostensibly is apoplectic. But CNN’s anchors would rather interview pundits to get Democrat talking points than bring in an authority like Lunev—so excuse me if I don’t take them seriously.
Political actors have entirely misframed the Russian threat. They informed America something shady was going on—no one knows what exactly—between Donald Trump and Russia. The Justice Department needed a special counsel to investigate links and alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
The facts in Robert Mueller’s recently released indictments, however, don’t confirm this allegation so much as they refute it. Russia supported various sides, including anti-Trump rallies.
A Multi-Year Plan
Nevertheless, the indictment does lay out a real case that Russia continues to engage in significant, aggressive operations against America. Here are the basic facts from the indictment. Russia had a multi-year plan to meddle in the 2016 election and employed hundreds of people who operated outside of American law. They printed fake driver’s licenses, stole Social Security numbers, and laundered millions of dollars. They likely spent tens of millions of dollars to disrupt and manipulate public opinion.
Mueller wrote that Russia’s goal in the 2016 election was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system.” The Russian front company, Internet Research Agency (IRA), backed Sharia Law for Americans. It also helped socialist Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly strong primary challenge against Hillary Clinton (though, curiously, Mueller leaves out any specifics about what Russia actually did on his behalf). They strengthened America’s far-Left to push Americans farther apart. The goal was to make Republicans and Democrats hate each other.
Today, Republicans and Democrats do indeed harbor much animus towards one another. The situation has gotten so bad that The New Yorker had to ask, “Is America Headed For A New Kind Of Civil War?” Either Russia is succeeding in their goal to destabilize America, or, Russian operations to destabilize America and the actual destabilization of America are a coincidence.
From MAGA to “Not My President,” Occupy to Black Lives Matter
The IRA made Twitter posts with the hashtag “#Trump2016.” After the election, the group organized a “Not My President” rally. Russia tried to infiltrate, tarnish, and compromise the opposing sides. Although Hillary Clinton was an exception to this pattern; Russia has always bolstered Clinton’s “anti-Russian credentials.”
Russia interacted with Black Lives Matters in a more sophisticated manner. Mueller wrote that Russia supported BLM, which fits the same pattern of destabilization by controlling and advancing a far-Left group that has provoked riots and violence. Russia also used Black Lives Matter to smear the United States at the United Nations.
There is a Russian spy craft word for this tactic: provokatsiya. First they provoke a response, and then they exploit it. Listen to Vladimir Putin speak—he use the word “provoke” regularly. It’s a Freudian thing. He projects his own behavior onto others. In December, for example, he blamed the United States for “provoking” North Korea.
A predecessor to Black Lives Matter was the far-Left Occupy Wall Street movement. Micah White, a founder of Occupy, explains that, “although it is rarely discussed, the Occupy movement received substantial support from Russia. I remember how the state-owned RT television station (formerly Russia Today) aggressively supported the movement with hyperbolic coverage of police brutality.”
It’s that same pattern again. Sponsor a movement. Foment fights among Americans. And then use it to bash America.
Russia has been waging an ideological war against America for a long time. The Soviet Union’s efforts never really stopped even after the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Then and now, we can see overwhelming evidence that Russia is trying to destabilize America.
Democrats won’t recognize it though. Instead they keep yelling, “Look! A squirrel!” and forcing America to focus on the Trump-Russia-collusion mirage. But Trump couldn’t have stopped the IRA. He was a private citizen then.
The person who was responsible for stopping the IRA was none other than James Comey, who was FBI director, and thus in charge of counterintelligence, for almost exactly the same time frame that IRA was in existence. He failed miserably.
The man in charge of counterintelligence before Comey was Robert Mueller himself. It was Mueller who did nothing as Russia advanced the Occupy movement. It was Mueller who never warned America about a threat from Russia. It was Mueller who laid the foundations for the FBI’s manifest failures today.
Ultimately the FBI answers to the president, and responsibility for failed counterintelligence must also be shared among Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. In sum, there has been a society-wide failure to grasp the threats involved with Russian active measures directed at America.
The special counsel doesn’t stop Russian operations so much as advance them. It acts as a wedge that is daily being bludgeoned between Americans. It’s hard to imagine a more destabilizing force. Further, it distracts from the true breadth and scope of Russian active measures. Mueller may have fun looking through Paul Manafort’s old tax returns, but it’s beside the point.
What is really needed is a total overhaul of America’s counterintelligence; ideology, policy, and personnel must be completely rethought. Maybe we can bring Lunev back to head up the effort. His credentials are better than Mueller’s.
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