Lori Falce: Mueller report proves we lost Russian info war
That is the term Special Council Robert Mueller used in his report detailing the two year investigation into Russian hacking and possible collusion or obstruction by the Trump campaign or administration.
Information warfare. The weaponization of people’s thoughts and ideas. The strategic deployment of a mixture of facts, half-truths and outright lies. Carpet-bombing the landscape with explosive doubt.
While Americans seem like they will never come to an agreement on the Mueller investigation, this small landmine on page 4, buried in the third paragraph of the summary of Volume I of the special counsel’s conclusions on collusion, identifies what is the greatest casualty of the pitched battle between liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat.
Pundits and politicians from both camps have muddied themselves pounding their chests about the death of democracy and the loss of liberty, but the real victim is information.
Republicans read a document that says it “does not exonerate” the president as total vindication and proof of a two-year orchestrated witch hunt.
Democrats read the same document which states Mueller could not find “conscious wrongdoing” on obstruction of justice and interpret it as more obstruction and spin by the White House via U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
Truth isn’t truth anymore. It’s just perspective. Facts aren’t facts. If they support your position, they are gospel. If they don’t, they are propaganda. While we have become increasingly more politically polarized for decades, the last two years have totally destroyed our ability to look at a situation critically and agree on an objective account of what happened.
“This is the end of my presidency,” Trump reportedly railed after the May 2017 appointment of Mueller.
He was wrong. It was the end of any semblance of agreement that skies are blue and water is wet.
Objectively, it was important to the future of the nation to determine the extent of Russian interference in the presidential election. Not to impeach or exonerate the president. It was important because electing our commander-in-chief and CEO is the most important thing we do together as a people, and it must be protected.
Objectively, we should accept the Mueller report, and at the same time we should recognize that Congress still has a legitimate oversight role to play — not in Trump’s presidency but in any and every presidency.
We have to find our way to some kind of cease-fire that lets us all agree on our most basic realities: grass is green, fire is hot and government’s role is to help, not to form gangs that rumble in the parking lot after school.
Because while everyone is focusing on the Democrat-versus-Republican skirmishes and finding a way to declare every defeat a victory, the Mueller report’s real indictment is that Russia has already won the information war by convincing us our enemies were in Washington when they were in Moscow all along.
Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at [email protected].