GOP House Report Says Russia Used Social Media to Influence Dakota Access Pipeline Protest is Diversion Tactic

Taken from Congressional Report.

Commentary 

Published March 3, 2018

A report released by the Republican majority of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology accuses Russia of influencing those who stood in resistance of the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock through social media.

The 21-page report, “Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media,” was released on Thursday, March 1, 2018.  The report accuses Russia of interfering with U.S. energy policy relating to other pipelines as well, such as the Keystone XL pipeline and Sabal pipeline. American Indian tribes have displayed their opposition in all three pipelines.

The report claims Russian operatives posted inflammatory social media posts to disrupt U.S. energy policy. The report also says it found evidence Russian-sponsored agents used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to slow down the research and development of fossil fuels and further expansion of natural gas usage in the United States.

Levi Rickert

“This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market,” Texas Representative Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, said in a statement. “Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change.”

Democrats on the committee did not participate in the report’s research or publication.

Here is an excerpt from the report that deals specifically with DAPL:

“Pipelines and domestic energy infrastructure were a primary target of the Russian agents. Specifically, several posts encouraged protests of pipeline construction, which is illustrative of the Kremlin’s indiscriminate efforts to influence
U.S. energy policy. Numerous posts, for example, directly targeted the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The posts
emphasized and exacerbated the alleged violent nature of the DAPL protests. Additionally, several Russian posts focused
on the counter-narrative and sought to exploit anti-activist sentiment by propagating content supportive of pipeline construction efforts, illustrating once again the Kremlin’s indiscriminate efforts to cause discord
and disruption.”

What the authors of this report may not understand is the indigenous peoples of this country do not need Russia to incite us to wage opposition to potential destruction of tribal lands and waterways. American Indians are quite capable of thinking for ourselves. The resistance at Standing Rock proved American Indians can come together collectively in a united voice to oppose environmental injustices, as evidenced by over 300 tribes opposing the DAPL.

All suggestions otherwise by the GOP majority are merely diversion tactics to take attention away from the real issue of Russia interfering in this country’s democracy. Instead of paying attention to the real Russian scandal that has created historic chaos over this past year, the Republicans used flimsy examples of the so-called Russian influence on American Indians who opposed the pipeline.

Strangely, the right that claims to support the military does not fully appreciate the fact to too many Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of democracy throughout the history of this country. Common reasoning would suggest if they truly understood the Russian interference in this nation’s democratic electoral process, they should be screaming mad and take immediate measures to ensure it never happens again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian operatives used inflammatory social media posts to disrupt U.S. energy policy, including inciting environmentalists to protest against pipeline projects, House Republicans said in a report released Thursday.

 

 

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