By Norman Solomon
For months now, our country has endured the tacit denigration of American ingenuity. Countless statements — from elected officials, activist groups, journalists and many others — have ignored our nationâ€™s superb blend of dazzling high-tech capacities and statecraft mendacities.
Fortunately, this week theÂ newsÂ about release of illuminating CIA documents by WikiLeaks has begun to give adequate credit where due. And not a moment too soon. For way too long, Russia has been credited with prodigious hacking and undermining of democracy in the United States.
Many Americans have overlooked the U.S. governmentâ€™s fantastic hacking achievements. This is most unfair and disrespectful to the dedicated men and women of intelligence services like the CIA and NSA. Far from the limelight, theyâ€™ve been working diligently to undermine democracy not just overseas but also here at home.
Today, the massive new trove of CIA documents can help to put things in perspective. Maybe now people will grasp that our nationâ€™s undermining of democracy is home-grown and self-actualized. Itâ€™s an insult to the ingenious capacities of the United States of America to think that we canâ€™t do it ourselves.
Contrary to all the public relations work that U.S. intelligence agencies have generously done for them, the Russians donâ€™t even rank as peripheral to the obstacles and prospects for American democracy. Rest assured, throughout the long history of the United States, we havenâ€™t needed foreigners to get the job done.
In our current era, can Vladimir Putin take any credit for purging huge numbers of African Americans, Latinos and other minority citizens from the voter rolls? Of course not.
Did Putin create and maintain the barriers that prevented many low-income people from voting on November 8? Only in his dreams.
Can the Kremlin hold a candle to the corporate-owned cable TV channels that gave Donald Trump umpteen free hours of uninterrupted air time for speeches at his campaign rallies? Absolutely not.
Could any Russian operation claim more than a tiny sliver of impact compared to the handiwork of FBI Director James Comey as he boosted Donald Trumpâ€™s prospects with a pair of gratuitous announcements about a gratuitously re-opened probe of Hillary Clintonâ€™s emails during the last days of the 2016 campaign? No way.
Is Putin anything but a miniscule lightweight in any efforts to manipulate the U.S. electorate compared to â€œdark moneyâ€ American billionaires like the Koch brothers? Give us a break.
And how about the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? The Kremlin can only marvel at the way that the CIA, the NSA and the bipartisan leadership in Washington have shredded the Fourth Amendment while claiming to uphold it.
To sum up: The CIAâ€™s efforts to tout Russia add up to jaw-dropping false modesty! The humility of â€œdeep stateâ€ leaders in Langley is truly awesome.
Letâ€™s get a grip. Overwhelmingly, the achievements of thwarting democracy in America have been do-it-yourself operations. Itâ€™s about time that we give adequate credit to the forces perpetuating this countryâ€™s self-inflicted wounds to American democracy.
To loosely paraphrase the beloved comic-strip character Pogo, when the subject is grievous damage to democracy at home, â€œWe have met the ingenuity and it is U.S.â€ But weâ€™re having a terrible time recognizing ourselves.Î¦
Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books includingÂ War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.