December 17, 2016
Obama and his press secretary, Josh Earnest, are now leading the post-election campaign against Trump. That’s evident by their latest accusations and charges against Trump. They have made strong statements of supposed fact that are more extreme than anything they’ve said so far. Their statements are fake news, that is, suppositions that are presented as if they were known and true facts. They are like the lie that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and the lie that Gaddafi was springing a genocide on the Libyan people.
The facts about who hacked or leaked e-mails from the DNC are not known at this time. We do not know who did what or why. We know what Obama is saying about the DNC leaks, and I will argue that what he and his associates are saying is fake news. I will argue that the main accusation against Trump, which is that he’s destabilizing our democracy, applies directly to Obama’s own statements. I do not pretend to be presenting facts in everything I say. I present hypotheses whose truth can only be verified as new evidence is brought forward or as existing facts tend to confirm the suppositions I am making. I present an overall picture that tries to make sense of what is being said by Obama and his spokesmen. I want to present this as a case study in the generation of fake news from the White House. I want to show how it is that we cannot simply accept or believe what is told to us by government officials. We have to go deeper if we are to judge the truth or falsity of their statements.
Beneath his composed and controlled presidential exterior, which is entirely fake, Obama is bitter. He’s a sore loser. He’s filled with hatred. He hates to see Obamacare criticized and threatened with destruction. He hates to see his place in history diminished. He views Russia as an adversary, so he hates to see Trump looking upon Russia as a partner. Obama hates Trump. He thinks he’s “uniquely unqualified” and that’s only what he has said in public. Obama considers himself as uniquely qualified, of course. Obama is extremely partisan in favor of his party, never missing an opportunity to criticize Republicans and push his own agenda. He wants to undermine Trump any way he can. Obama hates Putin too. He has compared him to Saddam Hussein. Obama resents Putin’s interference in Syria in 2013 on the matter of chemical weapons. Obama has been made to look foolish concerning his red line. Obama has joined the president’s club of living ex-presidents, which means he looks upon himself as a saint who believes in a God that’s America as represented by the U.S. government. He views Trump as a boorish sacrilegious upstart and outsider who threatens the ideology that he believes in of American exceptionalism.
We can understand Obama’s attacks on Trump by realizing that he hates Trump and wants to undermine his legitimacy so as to prevent him from fulfilling his agenda. Josh Earnest is Obama’s press secretary and speaks for him. Here’s some fake news from his lips: “Mr. Trump obviously knew that Russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity that was helping him, [and] hurting [Democrat Hillary] Clinton … These are all facts that are not in dispute.”
To the contrary. Trump did not know what cyber activity was being engaged in. He did not know who was engaged in whatever cyber activity may have occurred. If someone was engaged in activity whose content was unknown to him, he didn’t know that it was malicious activity. All the facts are in dispute. There are competing accounts of who did what cyber activity and for what purposes. It is not a known fact that Russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity. It is not a known fact that whatever such activity took place by anyone was helping Trump. Everything that Obama has had his spokesman, Josh Earnest, say so loudly from the top office in the land, is speculation. He asserts that they are “all facts that are not in dispute”. This confusion between facts and suppositions is precisely why Earnest’s statements are fake news. He is making claims as if they were facts when they are not.
Earnest and another high official blame Putin for interfering in the election. They charge him with a motive, which is destabilizing the American democracy. Earnest said “I don’t think anybody at the White House thinks it’s funny that an adversary of the United States engaged in malicious cyber activity to destabilize our democracy.”
This is all fake news. Russia is not an adversary of the U.S. That’s all in the minds of Obama and Earnest and others isolated from reality in the White House and talking to themselves. There is not a shred of evidence that any cyber activity had the intent of destabilizing our democracy. How could it have done so? What does the word “destabilize” mean in the context of an election? Obama is right now doing more to destabilize the democracy than any conceivable impact of revelations of the hanky-panky of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
Providing information during a long campaign is a radically different kettle of fish than attempting to overturn the results of an election after it has occurred. Wikileaks released private e-mails, to be sure, back in May of 2016. This was part of the flow of information occurring in any election, and there was ample time for people to absorb the news and for Clinton to respond. Obama’s attack on Trump, which is joining up with various other efforts to create a movement to overturn the election, is entirely different. An attempted “coup” of the latter kind is definitely an effort at destabilizing the democracy. At a minimum, the attempt to de-legitimize Trump and the election is destabilizing.
Earnest said “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities…” and Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said “I don’t think things happen in the Russian government of this consequence without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.”
This is more fake news. It is suppositions being passed off as facts. We do not know the role of the Russian government and we do not know Putin’s role. We know for sure that these statements of Obama’s underlings are being passed off as facts and not theories because of Obama’s statement that he intends to “take action”.
Obama said “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will at a time and place of our own choosing.”
Obama’s policy statement has to be taken in context with what Earnest and Rhodes have said. It has to be taken in context with Obama’s hatreds. Here we have fake news and destabilization of our democracy emanating from the President of the United States. Unfortunately, this behavior is the rule, not the exception, as we can find countless other instances of it in the past from many presidents. Here we have Obama asserting as fact that Putin and Russia have tried to harm the honesty and fairness of the election. He promises and threatens action, which can only intensify the estrangement between America and Russia.
There will be no coup. Trump will be elected in the Electoral College. That degree of destabilization will not happen. However, the destabilization of the country occurs when high officials promulgate suppositions and outright lies as facts and when they act upon the fake news that they are themselves creating. The replacement of truth by fake news is real and ongoing and always has been. I hypothesize that every war that the U.S. has entered is associated with a flood of fake news that stems from the fake news media and/or high levels of government office.
This election campaign hullaballoo is small potatoes compared to what has occurred to rouse public support for America’s many wars. However, Obama and others are playing with malicious fire when they tie the anti-Russian angle to the anti-Trump angle.
This is Obama’s last hurrah, his last abortive attempt to make a mark on history, his last gasp at taking a phony moral stand in support of Americanism by standing up for the election process. Obama is such a hypocrite in this respect. There have been countless reports of election irregularities that he has never bothered to remedy in his 8 years. His interest in elections has been to bring new voters onto the rolls who would vote Democratic.
Obama will be remembered as the strange case of a man who won a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing more than speeches or perhaps being the first black president, but who frustrated his own objectives once he had gained office. He will be seen as a man of empire who continued and extended the inept policies of his two immediate predecessors in office, while instituting new ones of his own. Obama damages his own reputation by his attempt to tie the recent election around Putin’s neck. This will backfire on him. He thinks it makes him look like a statesman defending his state, but it makes him look like a small man who has leaped to unsupported conclusions. Obama’s signal accomplishment was the successful negotiation concluded with Iran. This is threatened by Trump, which is a shame. If Obama wants to do some real good, he should find ways to change Trump’s mind on Iran. Indeed, Obama should have been using his bully pulpit all along to alter American and congressional attitudes to Iran.