Russian Infiltration of the Conservative Movement
By Cliff Kincaid
Before Tucker Carlson became known as an advocate for Moscow’s interests in Europe, there was Alex Jones, the loud mouth who appeared on Russia Today (RT), the Moscow-funded English-language channel, to defend the Russian invasion of the independent country of Georgia, a former Soviet republic, back in 2008.
Tucker is the new Alex Jones.
Jones, who pretended no children died at Sandy Hook and that it was a “hoax,” a position that earned him several lawsuits over the pain and suffering he has caused the families of the victims, is widely known as a buffoon. Carlson figures to follow in Jones’ footsteps.
Many forget Jones also advertised himself as a foreign policy and terrorism expert.
The Boston Bombings
America’s Survival distributed a case study, with screen shots and images, of how Jones linked to several Russian propaganda and disinformation outlets in connection with various international incidents. For example, Jones distributed a Voice of Russia story about the Boston bombings on April 15, 2013 being a “false flag” attack with pictures and footage of fake blood, make-up artists and smiling “victims.”
The bombers turned out to be Islamic terrorists with Russian ties. But Russian media, including RT, had insisted that the U.S. is to blame for the Boston bombings because vague “warnings” from Moscow were ignored about bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radical Islamic connections. If the Russian intelligence agencies were suspicious of the brother’s terror ties, stemming from a Muslim region of Russia, why did they not arrest and imprison him?
Apologizing for Moscow’s foreign policy in general began in 2008, when Jones, described as “the U.S. investigative journalist,” was on RT insisting that the U.S. “private international military industrial complex” had “launched a sneak attack” on the “Russian enclaves” in Georgia in order to support the “U.S.-backed Georgians [and] the Israeli- and NATO-backed Georgians.” Jones said the U.S. was guilty of “unprecedented crimes” and urged Russia to continue to occupy the regions it had invaded.
“I apologize as an American that we have let our government be taken over like this,” said Jones, who went on to blame “the neo-cons in NATO, in the U.S. and Israel” who “want to have a new Cold War.”
Russia Today’s New Hero
RT now asks, in regard to Tucker Carlson, “How did Fox News become the voice of reason?”
The word "reason” means accommodating Moscow, as RT’s approval of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” broadcast on the channel may be as significant as Biden’s approval of the Russian pipeline to Germany, which got us into the current crisis and encouraged more Russian threats against Ukraine.
In this case, however, the Russians have snagged a major conservative, the host of the Fox News Channel’s number one show. “Why is it disloyal to side with Russia” Tucker asks, “but loyal to side with Ukraine?” He says former KGB spy and Russian ruler Vladimir Putin only wants his Western borders “secure.”
As a result of Carlson’s influence, Axios reports that “Republicans running in high-profile primary races aren't racing to defend Ukraine against a possible Russian invasion.”
It’s a tragedy for a political party that once adopted Ronald Reagan’s anti-communist approach to protecting freedom and national sovereignty through a strong national defense.
Victor Rud, past chairman of the board of governors of the Ukrainian American Bar Association and current chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs, points out, “Ukraine is our best chance to have a counterweight to Russia, forcing it to turn inward so that we can address China.”
Figures like Carlson and Steve Bannon of Real America’s Voice and the Mike Lindell “Frank Speech” networks say they want to counter China but argue there is no reason to defend Ukraine against Russia, or else that Biden is responsible for the crisis and exercising a “wag the dog” operation in Europe to distract from his own disasters.
It is a major strategic error on their part.
Keep in mind that if Ukraine had kept and modernized the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the old Soviet Union, Russia would never have invaded in 2014. Those weapons could have been transformed into a deterrent to Russian aggression. But President Bill Clinton signed an agreement to send the weapons to Russia. This agreement obligated America, Russia and Britain to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and borders.
Despite this betrayal, Ukraine is not asking for American boots on the ground today.
Viewed in retrospect, Tucker’s pro-Russian posturing is a replay of many things that happened in 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine under Obama/Biden and Russia Today ran a Ron Paul column, “Leave Ukraine Alone,” urging the U.S. to stay out of the conflict. Ron Paul is the former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate as well as the father of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
Ron Paul’s RT articles at the time also included:
Direct attacks on the anti-communist freedom fighters in Ukraine continued to come from the Alex Jones’ Infowars.com website, which supported the Russians against Georgia back in 2008 and then sided with the Russians against the Ukrainians.
During the Cold War, the Soviets had their own version of Tokyo Rose, the English-speaking broadcaster of Japanese propaganda. They would cite American and Western sources of information in an effort to convince the world that U.S. foreign policy was imperialist and corrupt. These “active measures,” a campaign of deliberate lies and distortions emanating from Moscow, attempt to control the narrative over what is happening on the ground.
In response, President Reagan launched an information counter-offensive, exposing communist disinformation and propaganda. The rest is history. Soviet lies were exposed, and the Soviets lost the Cold War.
During the Cold War the Russian apologists were mostly left-wing “progressives.” Today, they’re conservatives like Tucker Carlson. However, Tucker has been using left-wing “progressives” on his show, too. One of them was Stephen F. Cohen, who claimed the U.S. had been “provoking” Russian leader Vladimir Putin and was therefore responsible for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Cohen was a columnist for the far-left Nation magazine and a frequent guest on Tucker’s show. Tucker paid tribute to him after his passing.
With another invasion looming, the Russians, led by President Putin, a former KGB spy, are once again using their state-owned media to besmirch the reputation of America. What has changed is how the Russian media use “conservative” Americans to make their propaganda points, such as Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a favorite of Fox News personalities Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who showed up on RT.
Macgregor was used to argue the Russian propaganda point that part of Ukraine belongs to Russia.
In the January 19 RT article praising Tucker Carlson for opposing a “war over Ukraine,” the writer said that such a conflict would be “incredibly destructive” and noted that Carlson’s guest, identified as “analyst Clint Ehrlich,” stated “that bringing Ukraine into NATO – the plan that triggered the current descent toward war – would not serve US strategic interests, or those of NATO itself.”
Ehrlich turned out to be an American living in Moscow affiliated with a Russian university, hardly an objective analyst.
RT declared, “Once considered a sewer pipe of neoconservative jingoism, Fox News is now anti-war – or at least its top-rated host is.”
In using people like Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson, the Kremlin’s purpose is to create the impression that the United States wants to start wars for nefarious reasons. With Jones’ “credibility” in tatters, largely as a result of his lies about Sandy Hook and 9/11 and other matters, generating lawsuits against his business, Tucker Carlson and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon have assumed prominence and are now leading the charge over war in Ukraine.
But the term some of them use, “neo-conservatives,” to demonize supporters of Ukraine, is deliberately confusing. If neo-con is supposed to mean a desire to extend U.S.-style democracy around the world, then this is a philosophy that dates back to the time of America’s founding fathers.
Thomas Jefferson was a firm believer in an American “empire of liberty” and envisioned the young nation expanding into the entire continent of North America. The founders clearly wanted to avoid involvement in European affairs at the time because France and England were formidable powers. But they also saw the American experiment as something to be promoted and spread around the world.
In contrast to Russia, Ukraine has a democratic government. Victor Rud, past chairman of the board of governors of the Ukrainian American Bar Association and current chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs, comments:
“Ukraine has one of Europe’s oldest democratic traditions, and is the home to Europe’s first constitution for a representative democracy, establishing checks and balance among branches of government and drawing on principles of natural law. This was 77 earlier than the U.S. constitution and almost a generation before Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws.”
The purpose in using Jones and Tucker is to suggest to the world that Americans oppose this mysterious neo-con group, sometimes linked in anti-Semitic propaganda to Jewish interests, and instead support Russia’s foreign policy, disguised as “nationalism.”
Back in 2005, David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, identified these forces by name as “Zionist-driven Globalism and its collaborators” and said they were “the greatest enemies of mankind.” He wrote of traveling to Moscow “to interview Russian leaders in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the real policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” disclosing that he met with “some leaders of the Russian anti-globalist, nationalist community.”
One has to wonder if Tucker believes any of this nonsense.
Duke subsequently wrote a book, The Secret Behind Communism, claiming that Jews brought Soviet communism to Russia, and was photographed with Putin adviser Alexander Dugin, a “scholar” who is shaping Russian geopolitical strategy. Dugin’s theory of “geopolitical Eurasianism” involves a revival of the Russian empire that includes Communist China and various Islamic elements such as a nuclear Iran.
Dugin, who also figures prominently in our book, Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire, as a result of his connections to Soviet intelligence, has praised the “American conservative intellectual Steve Bannon,” the former Trump adviser fired and later pardoned by the former president.
Russian Dupes Then and Now
Recognizing growing Russian influence in the conservative movement, this journalist filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in 2014, arguing that an RT host, Adam Kokesh, was illegally raising money for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign because the channel was a foreign entity. The FEC dismissed the complaint, saying RT was a legitimate press organ.
U.S. Broadcaster Jerry Kenney filed a complaint in 2011 with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that both RT and the Al-Jazeera propaganda channel were violating the law by not disclosing in their propaganda broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers. No action was taken on this complaint.
In 2017, however, in response to pressure, RT did register as a foreign agent for Russia.
RT published two articles critical of this journalist, here and here, after I had been exposing how various characters in American politics and the media had given RT credibility by appearing on the propaganda channel.
Today, Tucker has emerged as Russia’s most important apologist, with figures like Ron Paul relegated to the sidelines. Most conservatives are afraid of exposing his controversial statements and actions, except for analysts like J.R. Nyquist, who said it seems as if Tucker has a love for Russia.
But Tucker’s Russian connection doesn’t end with his rhetoric.
Who is Glenn Greenwald?
Another one of Tucker’s favorite guests, Glenn Greenwald, has joined the chorus, referring to the neo-cons as “fanatical” and “war-hungry” over Ukraine. He promoted a Tucker Carlson monologue titled, “Who Will Benefit from War with Russia?”
What conservatives may not know is that Greenwald, a former gay porn lawyer, once accepted an award named in honor of Soviet agent and left-wing journalist I.F. Stone and regularly attended international communist conferences co-sponsored by the International Socialist Organization.
Greenwald assisted CIA/NSA defector Edward Snowden in spilling state secrets to the Chinese and the Russians. Snowden is currently being guarded in Moscow by the FSB, the security service of the Vladimir Putin regime. I wrote about all of this in my book, Blood on His Hands: The True Story of Edward Snowden.
Greenwald spoke publicly in favor of “weakening” America, saying that al-Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist attacks on America were “very minimal in scope compared to the level of deaths that the United States has been bringing to the world for decades—from Vietnam to illegal wars in Central America…”
Greenwald has also encouraged people to donate money to WikiLeaks, the organization started by Julian Assange that disclosed classified information about U.S. counter-terrorism programs. Assange himself worked for Russia Today, where he interviewed such figures as Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah and U.S. Marxist professor Noam Chomsky.
Not surprisingly, apologists for Assange and Assange family members have appeared on Tucker’s show to call for his release. These included such intellectual heavyweights as actress Pamela Anderson (a Playboy model who formerly appeared on the show “Bay Watch”) and Roger Waters of the rock band Pink Floyd.
Tucker Attacks Vets
While serving as a mouthpiece for Assange, Tucker attacks Senator Joni Ernst, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, as “totally ignorant” on Ukraine.
Ernst has referred to the Biden “Doctrine of Appeasement,” a term that could apply to Tucker’s treatment of Moscow.
Rather than hold Biden responsible for his weakness and defend the anti-communist revolution in Ukraine, Tucker echoes the Russians and blames “neo-cons” for the crisis in Europe.
Such rants are not anti-war but unhinged anti-Americanism, directed against patriotic Senators who have served their country.
Tucker Carlson is the new Alex Jones, but with a bigger audience.
It’s no wonder he once complained about the NSA monitoring his efforts to seek an interview with the Russian president. Such a “back channel” to Russia raises serious questions about the highest-rated Fox News host and those who are influencing him.
The Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to Fox so we don’t have copies of Tucker’s phone calls and/or email exchanges. However, it’s easy to guess why he was under surveillance.
Once burned once by now Moscow-based Edward Snowden, the NSA is the one “Deep State” agency that has remained true to its mission.
Indeed, one of Greenwald’s old media ventures, The Intercept, with whom he had a falling out years later, ran a report alleging that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been unfairly targeted by the NSA.
Monitoring Merkel was entirely proper.
Agent of Influence
Analyst J.R. Nyquist said at the time that Merkel was known to be suspiciously pro-Russian when she ran for high office in Germany but that her political party, the Christian Democrats, nominated her anyway, “and now Germany is more dependent on Russian natural gas than ever before.” Germany’s so-called “unique relationship with Russia” meant that the country got 36 percent of its natural gas imports and 39 percent of its oil imports from Russia.
This was back in 2014, when the first Russian invasion of Ukraine took place. Some 14,000 have been killed as a result, with close to 1.5 million internally displaced refugees.
The increasing dependence on Russia was related to Merkel’s decision, after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, to phase out Germany’s nuclear energy program, in response to Green Party pressure.
German dependence on Russia is even worse today, thanks in part to the Nord Stream 2 Russian pipeline to Europe, which was approved by Biden after the alleged “Russian agent” Donald J. Trump had stymied its final competition.
Now, we see that the fact that the Russians supplied the phony dossier used to investigate Trump makes sense. They got a patsy in the White House named Biden, who seems determine to make a mess in Europe comparable to or worse than the collapse of the NATO effort in Afghanistan. He seems willing to accept a “minor incursion” into Ukraine, giving at least half the country to Putin.
What compounds the problem is that the freedom fighters in Ukraine, so outgunned they have to practice military drills with wooden rifles, are unable to count on support from American conservatives, with the number one-rated “conservative” cable news host perceived to be siding with the aggressors.
With such a stance, depending on the causalities from another war, Tucker may go down in history like the notorious Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who covered up Stalin’s mass murder of seven to 10 million Ukrainians during the period of 1932 to 1933. The New York Times had a deal with Stalin only to report the party news. His dispatches were cleared by Soviet officials and were thus sanitized of the purges and artificial famines that would kill millions.
Victor Rud, past chairman of the board of governors of the Ukrainian American Bar Association and current chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs, comments:
“President Reagan was castigated by the foreign policy establishment for daring to identify the Soviet Union as the ‘Evil Empire.’ Ukraine’s renewal of its independence in 1991 drove a nail into the coffin of that Empire. It’s beyond bizarre that by lauding Putin and Russia Mr. Carlson advocates a reversal, which would monumentally compromise America’s national security. He endorses Putin’s lament about the passing of that Empire, his celebration of Stalin and his executioners, and his drive to extinguish Ukraine which was Stalin’s goal as well. Breaking Ukrainian resistance is the core of Russia’s 1997 blueprint against the West. In my opinion Mr. Carlson has breached his public trust by, at the very least, being grossly and persistently misinformed given that the reality is so easily determined. I cannot but help reflecting on the role played by Walter Duranty.”
We marveled in 2014 at how the Russian government was pumping propaganda directly into American living rooms through Russia Today. It continues to do so, through such outlets as DIRECTV and the Dish Networks.
Now we marvel at how Fox News has become the Russians’ preferred outlet. It’s a major low point for America’s conservative media.
Yet many conservatives, eager to appear on his show, are silent about his betrayal of a freedom-loving people in Ukraine.
*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org