For those who see Russians behind every rock, working to subvert the 2016 US presidential election and causing every problem short of our dogs pooping on the carpet, you might want to consider the fact that America meddled in Russia’s elections long before there was any controversy in our country.
Time Magazine’s July 15, 1996 edition carried a fascinating story called “Rescuing Boris: The secret story of how four US advisers used polls, focus groups, negative ads and all the other techniques of American campaigning to help Boris Yeltsin win.”
Reporter Michael Kramer clearly lays out how Boris Yeltsin, the candidate most favorable to US interests, was headed for certain defeat, until he secretly hired a team of US political gurus who used modern methods to pull him from the brink and put him back into the president’s seat. Yeltsin’s people used connections to the California GOP to recruit the consultants. And, using Dick Morris as an intermediary, the Clinton White house specifically helped to make Yeltsin viable:
Communicating in code – Clinton was called the Governor of California, Yeltsin the Governor of Texas – the Americans sought Morris’ help. They had earlier worked together to script Clinton’s summit meeting with Yeltsin in mid-April. The main goal then was to have Clinton swallow hard and say nothing as Yeltsin lectured him about Russia’s great-power prerogatives. “The idea was to have Yeltsin stand up to the West, just like the Communists insisted they would do if Zyuganov won, says a Clinton Administration official. “By having Yeltsin posture during that summit without Clinton’s getting bent out of shape, Yeltsin portrayed himself as a leader to be reckoned with. That helped Yeltsin in Russia, and we were for Yeltsin.
The American team wanted Clinton to call Yeltsin to urge that he appear in his ads. The request reached Clinton – that much is known – but no one will say whether the call was made. Yet it was not long before Yeltsin finally appeared on the tube.
While that was at the behest of the Russian president (we’ve also interfered in at least 80 elections without such an invitation), can you imagine how heads would explode in the US if the situation were reversed? What would CNN say if they found that Trump hired Russian campaign advisors, or that Putin had been asked to “take one for the team” and do something to make Trump look more presidential?
Welcome to America, where our cheap exports are weapons and hypocrisy.