John Quincy Adams

By John Ruberry

“But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”
John Quincy Adams on America.

The United States has survived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.

But can it survive Russian bots? And a search for “monsters.”

Thirteen Russians were indicted on Friday–none were arrested because they don’t live here–for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by acting as “trolls” from St. Petersburg. These “bots” utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stir up controversy and discord. The group that the accused were associated with was appropriately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, which you’ll recall was initially viewed by nearly everyone as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to promote his businesses and his Celebrity Apprentice television franchise.

Last spring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced his appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and…any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

The Troll Farm issued such click-baity stories like this one, which I recall seeing, “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”

As with the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, who briefly was Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates, none of this has anything to do with so-called Russian collusion between Trump World and Russia. The same can be said of the plea deals between former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and low-lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials but not colluding with Russia. The first two have been charged for actions that predate Trump’s presidential run.

Which led the president to remark on Twitter a few hours ago, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

So far Rosenstein, remember he’s the man who appointed Mueller as special prosecutor, agrees.

“There is no allegation that any American is a knowing participant,” Rosenstein said when announcing the indictments of the 13 Russians. “There is no allegation that the charge altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

And the search for “monsters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to something with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground during his presidency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” in a debate. Shortly before leaving office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”


All the same, America will survive the bots.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russian spy, she assures him.

I’m reading the Mueller indictments and I’m noticing several things that could be charged of dreamers and other fun stuff.

Section 1 and section 24 notes that it’s against US law for “certain foreign nationals” to enter the US without a visa providing truthful and accurate information to the government.  Apparently these laws don’t apply to dreamers and those who brought them.

Section 4 states defendants posed as us Citizens and attempted to use social media to attract US audiences.

Section 5 talks about hiding the actual source of funds used, sort of like the Democrats and the Clinton campaign funding Fusion GPS and hiding the sources of their Trump dossier

In section 16 several of the defendants accused apparently were associated with this organization till 2014 long before the 2016 elections and primaries.

section 30d notes a defendants’ trip to Atlanta for four days in 2014 and the submission of an expense account to his bosses, quelle horror!

Section 34 will get ignored a lot as it notes that the groups posed as black lives matters activists, muslim activists, christian activists, border activists and groups like “south united”.  This suggests they were playing all sides which won’t fit the media narrative.

Section 35  notes they spend “thousands of dollars of US dollars a month” on social media ads.  Seriously THOUSANDS of Dollars a month?  Are you kidding me?

section 41 talks about identity theft including social security numbers, again this could be a charge of against the DACA kids.

section 43 says these activities were directed against Hillary, Ted Cruz and Rubio (and others) by supporting Trump … BERNIE SANDERS

I’m still reading expect a lot of updates

Update: Oh my God section 44 accuses them of using HASHTAGS ON TWITTER and section 45 says other people unknowingly retweeted some of their stuff

Section 57 notes that these groups held and promoted multiple rallies both supporting and opposing the results of the 2016 election including a “Trump is not my president” rally. I wonder what MSM reports about that Nov 12th NY rally says?

Section 58 notes these guys started deleting emails to avoid investigations and did so as far back as 2014 and 2015. I wonder what Hillary might say about that? Maybe they were all about Yoga.

Sections 60 -65 Wow! they bought Facebook ads to promote rallies including a Support Hillary Save Muslims rally in DC (section 63) and even offering to pay for a megaphone and fliers for a “March for Trump” rally (section 62). A megaphone! oh the humanity!

Section 85 completes the list, the illegality here is that they pretended to be americans and didn’t register as foreign agents while doing activities that if done by Americans would be completely legal? Does that mean that DACA folks and illegals who have held political rallies will be indicted next?

Section 89-95 on count 2 and section 96 again notes identity theft and moving money via such theft., boy this could be an indictment of the illegal alien DACA crowd if they wanted. But they don’t.

My take. There seems to be nothing here in terms of a grand conspiracy to change the election. You are talking minor rallies, buying megaphones, tweets and facebook groups and the spending of THOUSANDS of dollars in web ads.

If this is the big conspiracy there seems to be a lot lacking, particularly any kind of link to the actual Trump campaign. I suspect this will not stop the MSM to spin this as proof of the big link to the Trump campaign to sway the election.

This doesn’t even reach the level of small potatoes, and anyone who tells you any different is a liar trying to spin you.

Update: btw just because these are small potatoes doesn’t mean that we should let these folks off for violating the laws concerning illegal lobbying, destroying data in an investigation or identity theft. If these people violated the law they should be prosecuted. I think it would be nice if we held Hillary Clinton, Democrats and illegal aliens to the same standard.

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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.