‘Surreal echo chamber’: Watch ‘Russia hacked US’ narrative challenged in RT debate

The US intelligence community unanimously believes that Russia interfered with US election through hacking and other means, the US Senate heard on Thursday. RT assembled a panel of renowned journalists - with widely differing opinions - to try and separate fact from fiction.

Media analyst Lionel, political opinion writer and columnist for The Hill, Brent Budowsky, and Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul institute, joined RT host Neil Harvey to discuss the hearing in Congress over the alleged “Russian hacking” claims.

READ MORE: Clapper: RT reporting on US problems part of 'multifaceted' Russian campaign to undermine elections

A joint analyst report on the matter was presented at the hearing, but it contained bare accusations, rather than any factual evidence. Despite this, sanctions against Russia will be tightened regardless, unless Russia opens up and begs for forgiveness, Brent Budowsky said.

“Virtually everybody in the Congress including Republicans and including Democrats believes that the intelligence community, all 17 agencies are correct when they unanimously say that Russia involved itself in our election through hacking and other means. They believe that Russia did it for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. They are not saying whether it had any effect or not,” Budowsky added.

The Congress might simply be misinformed due to overuse of western mainstream media, Daniel McAdams said.

“I know I may shock your viewers but what Mr. Budowski said earlier about everyone in congress believing it. I hate to break the news but everyone in Congress gets their information from the Washington Post and the Washington Post is the number one purveyor of fake news. That’s why the Congress is so ill informed about this matter,” McAdams added.

The whole hacking narrative not only lacks proof, but actually lacks any sense, being just a propaganda cliché, Lionel believes.

“What hacking? I have been watching this assiduously… and it’s been said unequivocally that there has been no evidence of any hacking. There has been evidence of ‘wanting to affect,’ ‘wanting to perhaps affect voters views’ through social media, dare I say. But when you ask the question: ‘Was there evidence that Russia, Vladimir Putin, a Russian, somebody who speaks Russian, anybody broken in and affected the election? No. Was any effect on the election? No. Votes? No.’”

“So, what was it exactly? Well, we can’t really say what it was, so what we’re doing right now – and what you’ve just heard – is American and Western media remembered the headline and they will repeat in the Pavlovian kind of dorsal circuit this albescent ‘Russian hacking, Russian hacking…’ Even though I have not heard anybody even vaguely point towards this even happened,” Lionel asked.

The ongoing hysteria about the alleged Russian hackers actually distracts from the content of the various leaks and alleged hacks, surrounding the US elections.

“Let’s assume that there was hacking, fine. The next question is that which was hacked or leaked, whatever it was, was it true? How is this incriminating evidence incriminating? That’s the next part. It’s like extortion is only extortion if it’s true,” Lionel said.

But since the entire intelligence community have come to an unanimous conclusion – based on concealed evidence they allegedly have but will never show to the public – you have to believe them, according to The Hill columnist.

“I just want to make this point – 17 different American intelligence agencies have all said there was hacking, there was interference, there was for the purpose…” Budowsky stressed.

“That’s exactly how the Washington lie machine works. It’s a closed circle, where everyone is in an echo chamber…” McAdams concluded.

Here is the full video of the heated verbal exchange: