Muftic: Russian Judas goats leading us to democracy’s demise |

Muftic: Russian Judas goats leading us to democracy’s demise

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo |

“A Judas goat is a trained goat used in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.”

Russians were Judas goats, leading willing United States believers to the undermining of the American political system and democracy using social media to exploit and manipulate political inclinations and naiveté. They did it by boosting divisiveness on racial and other issues and intensifying hatred, including trying to divide the Democratic vote by boosting the Green candidate and Bernie Sanders and spreading false news on social media.

The release of the indictments should be particularly instructive to those who believed President Trump’s constant refrain that the Russian investigation was just a “hoax,” a “witch hunt.” No, Mr. Trump, the Russian election interference active measures project beginning in 2014 was repurposed in the summer of 2016 to help you win, and your charge Russian interference in 2016 was all a hoax was not true. The hoax on the American people was yours, perpetuated for your own purposes and continued even after intelligence agencies last summer testified to Congress Russians did interfere in the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Trump trumpeted that the indictment absolved him of collusion. Not exactly. The indictment did not name him, but it did call out three of his staff as unwitting accomplices and that the Russians paid Americans to participate, while not knowing they were paid by Russian spies. This indictment refers to specific instances having to do with Russians use of social media, but there are other individuals under investigation and yet to be indicted for other acts.

The Special Prosecutor’s investigation is not concluded and there are still many facets and findings yet announced. Investigations not cited in the indictments were whether or not there was collusion in hacked emails, trading removal of sanctions for Hillary’s “missing” emails, the obstruction of justice, or unlawful financial dealings such as tax evasion and money laundering. In fact, Donald Trump may be more at risk now than before for a charge of obstruction of justice. What had been missing was evidence of an underlying crime. The indictment provides credible evidence and identification that more than one crime that was committed.

Some voters may be feeling a bit sheepish when they read the text of the Special Counsel indictment. Colorado voters were among three states — Virginia and Florida are the other two — specially targeted for this Russian conspiracy. Instead of curling up with a spy novel tonight, reading the indictment will be just as entertaining. ( The indictment presents specific examples of social media posted by Russians posting as Americans: tweets, advertising, exhortations to attend a rally which the Russians organized themselves. You may even remember re-tweeting, thumbs upping, sharing, and going to a rally the indictment describes.

It is still going on. While not addressed in the indictment, there is evidence Russians are creating discord on social media before our very eyes. In the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high school massacre, Russian bots have been busy hyping pro gun messages, just as they promoted “release the memo” campaign urging release of the Nunes memo. (

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