Indianapolis, Indiana — On January 6th 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a report purporting to show that Russia influenced and hacked the US Presidential Election. In the report titled ‘Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution’ the report makes the case against Russia citing a lengthy investigation that the National Intelligence Council conducted. Some of the more interesting parts of the report detail that Russia Today (RT) is a quote “Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, (and) has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties”
According to the report, RT has engaged in a pattern of journalism to undermine the United States and its politicians. One of the stories highlighted in the report state that during the 2012 Presidential Election RT gave harsh criticism of the United States democratic process and ran stories about voter fraud and the vulnerabilities of our voting machines. In addition it also ran 2 television shows, one being titled “Breaking the Set” and the other “Truthseeker”. Both shows according to the report, were propaganda aimed at focusing criticism on the US and other Western Governments and also sowing the seeds of what is quoted as “radical discontent.
What is of particular interest to Libertarians is in Annex A in a section titled Russia -- Kremlin's TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US, makes mention of the fact RT in 2012 broadcast a third party Presidential debate between Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. According to the report, the purpose for RT broadcasting the debate between the nominee for the Libertarian Party and the nominee of the Green Party, was to shine light on the fact that a lack of democracy exists in the United States. RT also ran ads that supported both parties’ political ideals, and also stated that that the two party system was a sham and did not represent the views of one-third of the population.
In the eyes of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence if you are a follower of Libertarian ideals e.g. liberty, free markets, property rights and privacy you are inherently trying to undermine the modern day political system. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States behind the Democrats and Republicans, with according to estimates bolsters a roster 326,000 members. If we are to believe the above mentioned report that by televising or giving press to the Libertarian Party is an attempt to undermine US democracy, then we must also include the Fox Business channel which ran the Libertarian Presidential Debate between Gary Johnson, Austin Peterson and John McAfee in 2016. Also included is CNN who ran a Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld not once but on two separate occasions. But one cannot also forget to include print media which has run articles on the Libertarian Party and the Libertarian movement as a whole. Some of the sources running “anti-American” stories include Newsweek (http://www.newsweek.com/five-obama-deeds-libertarians-can-celebrate-548105), Bloomberg (https://www.bna.com/libertarian-challenge-contribution-n73014449366/) and Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/libertarian-nominee-on-the-koch-brothers-and-being-a-trump-alternative-20160520) just to name a very select few.
Libertarian ideals and candidates are catching the public eye at a rate not previously seen and mainstream America and media are starting to sit up and take notice. In a world of eroding civil liberties, a staggering national debt, corrupt politicians, high taxes, bloated government and asset forfeitures it’s easy to see why the modern voter is looking for a different option and something better. For the United States government to single out the Libertarian movement is not only irresponsible but also somewhat dangerous for ill-informed Americans first introduction to the liberty movement as it elicits an unrealistic view of the true principles we believe in and what the party hopes to accomplish. If interested you can read the report in full online at: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3254239/Russia-Hacking-report.pdf
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