News Release

“Neo-McCarthyite Furor” on Russia and Threat of More War


FuforThe New York Times claimed recently in “Democrats Elect Thomas Perez, Establishment Favorite, as Party Chairman” that: “This year’s contest was shadowed … by the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer system last year by Russian intelligence services. That resulted in the disclosure that the party, under Mr. Obama’s handpicked chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, had sought to undermine Mr. Sanders’s candidacy.”

Katrina vanden Heuvel recently wrote the piece “Neo-McCarthyite furor around Russia is counterproductive” in the Washington Post, which states: “To date, the evidence released publicly for this explosive charge — in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Jan. 6 report — is so threadbare that the Times conceded [in January] that it ‘contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data or had come to their conclusions.’

“Sadly, common sense is getting lost in the frenzy. Clinton supporters inflate the importance of the purported Russian hacks to excuse her painful defeat. Democrats see the scandal as a way to undermine Trump.

“In the targeting of Trump, too many liberals have joined in fanning a neo-McCarthyite furor, working to discredit those who seek to deescalate U.S.-Russian tensions, and dismissing anyone expressing doubts about the charges of hacking or collusion as a Putin apologist.”

STEPHEN F. COHEN, via Caitlin Graf, press [at]

Available for a very limited number of interviews, Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, from Columbia University Press, is Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.

He recently wrote the piece “Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump” for The Nation. The piece states: “The bipartisan, nearly full-political-spectrum tsunami of factually unverified allegations that President Trump has been seditiously ‘compromised’ by the Kremlin, with scarcely any nonpartisan pushback from influential political or media sources, is deeply alarming.”

Cohen addresses a series of “allegations [that] pass as evidence” on the issue, including:
“The crux of the allegations against Trump was, and remains, that Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the dissemination of stolen e-mails through WikiLeaks in order to undermine the Clinton campaign and put Trump in the White House. A summary of these ‘facts’ was presented in a declassified report released by the ‘intelligence community’ and widely discussed in January. Though it quickly became axiomatic proof for Trump’s political and media enemies, almost nothing in the report is persuasive. About half are ‘assessments’ based on surmised motivations, not factual evidence of an actual Kremlin operation on Trump’s behalf. The other half is standard whining about the Kremlin-funded television network RT, which is at worst an above-average ‘propaganda’ outlet.”

JAMES CARDEN, editor [at]

Carden is executive editor of the American Committee for East-West Accord. His articles and essays have also appeared in The American Conservative and The National Interest. His recent pieces for The Nation include: “The #Resistance and Russia” and “McCain Talks Tough as the War in Ukraine Continues Without End,” which states: “Kiev’s recent offensive came almost immediately following a trip to to the war’s front lines by none other than Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. In the presence of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, Graham told a brigade of Ukrainian soldiers: ‘Your fight is our fight… 2017 will be the year of offense.’ For his part, McCain told the troops, ‘I believe you will win. I am convinced you will win and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.’ One could be forgiven for wondering if there is any precedent for such an incitement to violence by two sitting U.S. senators?”