News Release

“13 Russian” Indictment


PETER VAN BUREN, info at, @WeMeantWell
Available for a limited number of interviews, Peter Van Buren is a former State Department foreign service officer who spent time in Iraq. Now in Washington, he writes at his blog, We Meant Well. His first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.

He said today: “Just did a quick read of the ’13 Russian’ indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

“Going forward with ’13 Russian’ story, keep your eye out for how quickly MSM morphs ’13 people who were Russian citizens did this’ into ‘The Russians did this.’ Also keep a look out for any information that suggests their efforts had any impact on outcome, or were just more spam.

“Two years ago, the New York Times did a feature story on the same ‘Internet Research Agency’ Mueller indicted today. The Times described the group as web trolls for hire. Unspecified in the indictment is who hired them, THE critical question if this is to matter.”

Peter Van Buren’s second book, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, was published in 2014. His newest book, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, has just been published.

Background, from the Washington Post: “There’s still little evidence that Russia’s 2016 social media efforts did much of anything.”

From IPA executive director Norman Solomon: “Social Media Madness: The Russia Canard.”

IPA news release: “Dark Money, Not Russia, Best Explains Trump’s Win.”