To state my position clearly – I never believed, for a second, that the Mueller investigation would find any evidence of “Russian collusion”. And not simply because there isn’t any. I mean, let’s be honest, the powers that be “find evidence” of things that never happened all the time.
They “found” photos of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle, and they “found” Satam al-Suqami’s passport in the rubble of the World Trade Center. They produced “evidence” the Russians shot down MH17 and poisoned the Skripals. There is “evidence” Assad gassed his own people. There was “evidence” Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that could be here in 45 minutes. (Mueller himself testified to that).
The Deep State have made it more than clear that objective fact does not matter to them. When the CIA, the FBI or the Pentagon want the evidence, they
invent find it.
No, I was sure they wouldn’t find Russian collusion, because they didn’t really want to.
Firstly, it’s dangerous. However mad many of the leaders of the US deep state are, there are some who recognise that going to war with Russia is a bad idea. Publicly stating that Russia performed a coup in your country could lead to an international incident, a civil war, or even a nuclear holocaust. That’s not good for business.
Secondly, it’s an admission of weakness. The bedrock of Imperial power has always been an unwillingness to admit its own limitations. Finding that Russia had installed Trump would be admitting to a major defeat. They can’t afford to lose that much face.
Thirdly, and most importantly, they can’t take down one of their own. Trump might be crude, unpredictable, politically incorrect and lacking class…but at the end of the day he’s a billionaire son of a millionaire. He has been mixing with the elites all his life. He’s one of them, and sending down a member of the in crowd for corruption (or anything else) sets too dangerous a precedent. Trump has to be exonerated, it’s simply a matter of the system’s immune response protecting itself. (Not to mention he’s been President of the United States for over two years now, you take him to trial and who knows what he might start saying).
No, Trump was never going to be charged, let alone convicted. Mueller’s investigation has ended the way it was always intended to end – with a whimper, not a bang.
Do NOT make the mistake of thinking this makes it a failure.
Think about how our reality has been shaped by this investigation.
One, it has established as a “certain fact” in the mainstream media, that “Russian interference” is a thing that happened, even though to this date there is NOT A SINGLE PIECE of publicly available evidence to support this. The often cited “Russian troll factory”, the Internet Research Agency, is a small viral marketing firm that published anti-Trump ads. The “experts” tracking Russian “influence operations” are small-time paranoiacs with nothing but homemade infographics to back up their theories. The “research fellows” of the Atlantic Council are reduced to pointing to real people – be they retirees from England or internationally renowned concert pianists – and claiming they are “Russian bots”, because they cannot find any real ones.
The idea that Russia “hacked” the election, or launched a “campaign in support of Trump” is not even close to being proven, but if we embrace the Mueller report, then we are tricked into accepting that version of reality.
Two, there is the very idea of “collusion”. “Collusion” has no meaning under US law. It simply is not a thing, and yet we’ve all been talking about it for years. Letting “collusion” stand as a concept is a big victory for the establishment. It has no meaning, which means it can have any meaning they want it to have. Tulsi Gabbard can have “colluded” with Assad or Modi by defending them on US TV. Jill Stein can commit “collusion” with Russia by attending a meeting. They have invented an imaginary crime, that can be used to tar anti-establishment figures whenever they want.
If we embrace the Mueller report, we hand the corporate media more power to smear any political candidate, independent journalist or an ordinary citizen.
Three, if we accept Mueller, then we accept the concomitant affirmation of the idea that US institutions are trustworthy, that the FBI is inherently honest, that “Gary Cooper types” like Robert Mueller are the beating heart of US democracy. The narrative is running now that an accusation was made, a special counsel investigated and got to the bottom of it.
If we embrace the Mueller report, we lend credibility to a US system that deserves none. We put our trust in a body that has betrayed the public trust a thousand different times, and we accept the lie that the system is working as intended.
Four, Mueller has been a tremendous distraction. Don’t underestimate the value of that. Most of you will be familiar with the Karl Rove quote: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”, but just as important is the less well-known end to that thought: “And while you’re studying that reality —judiciously, as you will— we’ll act again, creating other new realities.”.
“Russiagate” has consumed hundreds of hours of television, thousands of column inches. It has cost millions and returned nothing but sound and fury. It’s a chew toy, a scratching post. Something to get our claws and teeth into while our owners are busy.
And how busy they have been.
Think about all the issues knocked off the front-pages by “Russiagate” rumours and totally fictitious “smoking guns”. Venezuela inches closer to destruction every day. France is a couple of street clashes away from a second 1789. Trump has slashed infrastructure and welfare budgets, and increased military spending. Again. While every anchor in the country was talking about “the walls closing in”, the US has pulled out of an arms treaty and announced they have already built the weapons that the treaty banned. While the media hammer out the propaganda message that Trump is in Putin’s pocket, the US deep state has been winding the Doomsday clock up to 1 minute before midnight.
Finally, much like the “antisemitism crisis” in the Labour party, “Russian collusion” now exists as a concept that keeps everyone in check. Trump now can’t afford to meet with Putin, not without a chorus of “AHA!” from the punditry. Other political figures, those on the actual fringe (not the fake Trump fringe), have even more to lose. There’s no doubt that “Russian collusion”, or the like, will be used to file down a crowded Democrat primary field. Gabbard, Sanders, maybe even Warren, will doubtless face charges of being “soft on Putin” in one form or other. These McCarthyite smears force the Overton window closed. They control what people feel comfortable saying, even thinking.
All in all, Mueller has been very, very useful to the status quo. He’s a controlled reaction, like in a nuclear power plant, keeping public anger available as an energy to harness, whilst making sure it never boils over into a chaotic meltdown.
There is an understandable feeling of glee throughout the alternative media, emotions are high and “We told you so” always feels good to say. Those of us who have been dismissed as bots, Putin-apologists, useful idiots and “Trumptards” have been officially vindicated.
…but do we want vindication from a corrupt establishment? Should we take any value at all in an admission of “truth” from institutions who been shown to hold the very concept of truth in contempt?
The Mueller distraction has run its course, to the only the end it was ever going to reach. The Liberal cheerleaders who thought that OrangeManBad would be dragged out of the White House in chains might be tearful and angry, and in some ways that feels like a victory, but it’s only on the surface. Maddow and Harding et al might be temporarily humiliated, but their bosses are perfectly fine.
Every step of the way Mueller has been an exercise in narrative control, and every step of the way it has worked. And it is still working now.
They have reinforced convenient myths, stoked controversies from non-stories. Put “evidence” out into the public domain that was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
They have shown that they have total control over the vast majority of public discourse. They can set the agenda. They can dictate terms. They can invent concepts, scenarios, even entire events, and we’ll happily argue over the details of something that never even happened.
“We’re an Empire now, and we act we create reality”. When we accept the Mueller report we are letting them create reality, we shouldn’t be tempted down that path because it feels like we scored some points for the little guy. If we buy into the hype around the announcement, if we let the myth survive that the US government has any interest in objective truth, then we’re playing their game.
I called the Mueller report a sideshow, and that’s just what it is. A fixed ring-toss game, with prizes that seem attainable but are always kept just out of reach. Hustlers always let you win the first one, to make the game look fair. Don’t fall for it. Pick up your money and walk away from the table.
It might FEEL like the good guys won, but that’s only because they let us. Next time they might not. The only real way to win is not to play.