We at CounterVortex are not dismissing (nor accepting) Tara Reade’s claims of sexual assault by Joe Biden. But it is certainly instructive to note how they are being politically weaponized, and by whom. It is hardly surprising that her accusations are being widely touted by the Kremlin propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik, nor that RT and Fox News are offering nearly identical spin (the Dems and their “loyalist media” are giving Biden a free ride, despite the fact that the claims are all over the headlines). But things got considerably more interesting with the news that a prominent Trump donor has been named as Reade’s attorney. This is Douglas Wigdor, who according to AP gave $55,000 in contributions to the Trump campaign in 2016. And of greater interest to followers of Russian propaganda efforts on behalf of Trump is a second attorney named in the story…
Over the weekend, another attorney, William Moran, told the AP he was working with Reade.
Moran, who works at a law firm in Columbia, Maryland, previously wrote and edited for Sputnik, a news agency founded and supported by the Russian state-owned media company Rossiya Segodnya. A January 2017 report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign said Sputnik was part of “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine,” which “contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.”
Of course, we didn’t need the Director of National Intelligence to tell us anything that obvious—we were saying it long before he was. However, making this all the more interesting is that William Moran is the same lawyer who was sicced on the Southern Poverty Law Center two years ago to get them to suppress researcher Alexander Reid Ross’ exposé of Russian-lubricated fascist entryism on the American left. We blogged about this sordid affair here.
As related by New Politics, Moran contacted SPLC threatening litigation on behalf of such perennially noxious RT/Sputnik favorites as Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton, Tim Pool, Rania Khalek and Brian Becker. SPLC folded like punks, removing the report from their website and issuing a pusillanimous apology. This despite the fact that there was no admission that Ross had reported anything that was not true! The apology only vaguely stated that the complainants felt they had been “falsely described.”
Further evidence that the threat of litigation was bogus is the fact that Ross’ exposé, entitled “The Left and the Right through Russian political and information operations,” has been up on his own website ever since SPLC removed it from theirs—and there has been no action in the courts.
A recent story on Medium, “The Tara Reade Case: Eight things the media won’t tell you,” provides some critical context on Reade and her possible motives (despite its stupid media-bashing headline). This includes the following excerpt from Reade’s embarrassing gushy love letter to Putin she wrote in November 2018, paradoxically entitled, “Why a Liberal Democrat Supports Vladimir Putin”…
President Putin has a higher approval rating in America then the American President, particularly with women. President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity. It is evident that he loves his country, his people and his job.
All we can say is, “liberal Democrat” our ass. Putin (like Trump) is a fucking fascist. And “liberal Democrats” do not support fascists. (Reade is now claiming that this gush was actually an excerpt from a novel she was writing set in Russia, but that is hardly plausible.)
None of this, of course, means that Reade’s accusations aganst Biden are untrue. But those who are echoing her claims should (at least) be aware of how they are being consciously exploited, and be on guard against abetting sinister agendas.
The bad faith of many of those now aggressively hyping Reade’s claims is revealed by the fact that they rallied behind Julian Assange—an accused rapist whose Wikileaks organization has an overtly pro-fascist agenda, shilling for every Putin-supported dictator, and for the Trump-Putin agenda generally. The inevitable Caitlin Johnstone, to name but one, ran to the defense of Assange against supposed “smears” (including the rape charges!), but now writes: “The Way Liberals Smear Tara Reade Is Everything Rape Survivors Fear.” You can’t make this shit up.
Ever since Obama first picked Biden as his running mate way back in 2008, we have viewed Joe as a depressing choice, and there may be a good case for replacing him as the Democratic candidate, even this late in the game. But the propaganda machine now mobilizing around Reade’s accusations is not interested in a more effective candidate to defeat Trump. It is interested in abetting Trump’s victory. Those who don’t share that aim (possibly including, we are willing to concede, the likes of Caitlin Johnstone) have got to be wary of nonetheless advancing it. Dismissing the political exploitation of Reade’s claims as a “smear” constitutes complicity with that exploitation.
Certainly, paradoxical heroes of the “left” like Max Blumenthal retaining a lawyer who is also in bed with a bigtime Trump donor points again to the strange political convergences of these dangerous times. And the weaponizing of Reade’s accusations by expontents of both ends of the supposed spectrum points again to the growing hegemony of Red-Brown politics on the American and global stage. Precisely the kind of fascist entryism Alexander Reid Ross has been warning us of.