6/8/17 – Meddling


Some news outlets have breathlessly reported Russian election meddling [here, here] as if this was a first-time event. Far from it.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

First, understand a nation is expected to operate in its own interest. We do it.  The Russians do it.  Everyone does it.

Meddling in another nation’s democratic elections is actually routine behavior.

According to a UCLA study [UCLA Meddling Study], 117 times democratic elections were interfered with between 1946 and 2000. The culprits were the Soviet Union, and later Russia.  They did it 36 times.  The U.S. did it 81 times.  The U.S. meddled an average of once every 8 months.

This doesn’t include coup attempts such as the U.S. orchestrating the Guatemala and Iran coups in the 1950s.

According to a U.S. Intelligence report, most of the Russian meddling in the last election consisted of news stories that aired on Russia Today and other Russian media outlets. The report explicitly ruled-out any vote tampering.

Here’s an example of heavy-duty meddling.

Last year, a bipartisan Senate report stated the Obama Administration funneled money to a third party organization. This group ran an unsuccessful multi-million dollar campaign to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s 2015 elections.

When it comes to meddling in other countries’ elections the U.S. leads the way.

Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.

Follow Mark on Twitter at @MarkHyman.

Join us on Facebook.