I have never witnessed such a spectacle of mass delusion and disinformation like the furor surrounding the claim that the “Russians” hacked the election. They did not. There is not a shred of evidence for such a claim. But reality no longer matters. The anti-Trumpers have found their theme and they are going to beat it incessantly until Trump is driven from office or they are silenced by an avalanche of evidence refuting their nuttiness.

Let’s start with Tom Friedman’s astonishing display of crazy commentary in the op-ed pages of the New York Times:

We need to rerun the tape. Ladies and gentlemen, we were attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and we were attacked on Nov. 8, 2016. That most recent attack didn’t involve a horrible loss of lives, but it was devastating in its own way. Our entire intelligence community concluded that Russia hacked our election by deliberately breaking into Democratic National Committee computers and then drip-by-drip funneling embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton’s campaign. And what have we done about it? Other than a wrist slap against Moscow, we’ve moved on.

When you equate the actual attacks of December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001, where thousands died, with the alleged hacking by Russian intelligence operatives and then compound your hysteria by also claiming that the intelligence community “concluded” that the Russians passed the emails to Julian Assange, then you are demonstrating overt symptoms of dementia. Any sane person who actually takes time to read the Intelligence Community report on Russia’s alleged effort to “hack” our election will not find a single word or sentence in the report that corroborates Friedman’s claim that Russia hacked the DNC and Podesta and then gave the info to Wikileaks.

There also is zero evidence that the states that voted for Donald Trump had their voting machines attacked in any way that compromised the election in favor of Trump. But despite that solid fact, many in the media and world of punditry continue to repeat that lie.

Then you have the deliberately misleading and deceptive headline from the NY Times on Wednesday’s paper:

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

Boy, that’s intended to make you believe only one thing–that the Trump campaign was under the control and direction of the Russians. Moreover, this was source to “current and former intelligence officers.” But then the Times’ reporters provide this off-hand claim:

The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

Well, if there is no evidence of the Trump team colluding with the Russians then what were they talking about? And here I have made a mistake. I wrote “THEY.” There is no evidence of “they.” Could be only one person. You have to read a little further into the article to come across this contradictory factoid:

The officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.

No details on substance of the conversations, nothing regarding the identity (or number) of Russian officials on the calls and, most importantly, no claim about how many Trump advisers were implicated. Got that? It could be one person, maybe. But that is not the claim in the Time’s headline, which uses the plural “Aides” to clearly imply that it was multiple people.

This is nothing more than a smear job. It appears to be part of an organized effort by officials with ties to the Obama Administration hell bent on destroying the Trump Presidency. I do not know if Trump is up to the task of beating these folks back. It is nothing short of a coup attempt.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.