Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Upside Down

If I was a conspiracy theorist I would be jumping all over this track attack in New York City.  The timing couldn't be more suspicious -- one day after two indictments were handed down to Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and an associate of his, Rick Gates.  It's long been known that Manafort had ties to Russia, notably in advising former Ukranian President Yanukovych, who was supported by the Kremlin.  In fact, it was this money trail that tipped off investigators, as Manafort never reported the millions he had received in payments from Yanukovych as an "image consultant."  

Not that they come as much of a surprise, but the indictments have put a lot of unwanted attention on the White House and what better than to create a little diversion to get persons to look the other way again.  Trump was quick to tweet on the truck attack,

It's like something ripped out of the script of last season's Homeland, where a similar truck attack was used to turn attention on unwanted Muslim immigrants living in America.  Eventually, the truck attack was linked to a shady set of ties between rogue CIA operatives and a right-wing radio host.  Interestingly enough, the series also delved into the use of trolls and bots to spread fake news stories through social media, very much like what Russia is being accused of in this past election.

Who is to say who ordered this truck attack.  I'm sure ISIS will take credit for it soon enough, but then they also took credit for the Las Vegas shooting, claiming they had "flipped" Paddock.  More likely, the attacks were motivated by events closer to home, and if I want to play armchair conspiracy theorist, orchestrated by some "sick and deranged" right-wing news editor like Stephen Bannon, hoping to deflect attention away from the ongoing investigations, now that it has hit close to home.

Bannon is certainly capable of anything, including providing a conduit for Russian news sites to funnel their fake stories through American social media.  Not that they would have needed much help, since RT, or Russia Today, already has an enormous audience worldwide.  Still, the aim was to direct these "news stories" to specific viewing audiences and Bannon would have been the man to do this.

What I also find odd about many of these terrorists is that they hail from former Soviet states like Uzbekistan or repressed Russian provinces like Chechnya.  It seems that Russia not only funnels fake news stories but also terrorists abroad to help shake things up in the Western world.  I suppose they see this as a form of payback for the sanctions the West has leveled on Russia.

So, we have this guy sitting in Paterson, NJ, just waiting for a call and it comes on Monday.  There's a truck waiting for you at Home Depot in your name, pick it up and see how many persons you can take out on a busy street or bike path in New York.  Who knows where the call came from or if he got some message via the Internet.  Completely untrackable, so he will go down as just another "sick and deranged person" who happened to be of Muslim descent with an ax to grind.  Trump wasted no time assigning blame for the attack, hatching his own conspiracy theory thanks to his "friends" at Fox.  By the end of the week few persons will be talking about the indictments that were handed down on Monday.

This is the cynical world we live in where fact and fiction have become interchangeable and can be easily manipulated through television and the social media.  I would like to think that Robert Mueller is up to the task of sorting all this out, but he is "old school," and those rules no longer apply in a world that now seems "upside down."

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