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Of course, the Russians (and Chinese and others) tried to interfere with our elections. They have been doing it since the origination of the KGB in 1954. In his seminal book on the history of Russian intelligence, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and The Secret History of the KGB (1999), Christopher Andrew sites dozens of examples of KGB interference including some fun tidbits about KGB covert operations against former President Ronald Reagan, which began five years before he became president.
What has happened to our educated classes in America? As kids, we learned in Mr. Lafontaine’s 6th grade Social Studies class that the Russians were causing street demonstrations, placing false op-eds, and buying off journalists to try to get Richard Nixon elected because Kennedy was touting the Missile Gap, back in 1960.
We had to read The Ugly American by Lederer Burdick, which was filled with countless stories of the Russians using disinformation (we’d send wheat to some African nation, and upon its arrival, the Russian bureaucrats would stamp the bags “A gift from Russia,” before distributing them). These tales are etched in our brains.