This is a coup d’etat
« ItalyGate », that was it, the key to unravel the conspiracy, « the greatest scandal in the history of the United States », as Donald Trump declared on Twitter. A computer specialist of the Italian aerospace and Defence giant “Leonardo” had interfered in the Presidential elections of the Unites States to secure Joe Biden’s victory. Shared online with the hashtags “ItalyDidIt” and “ ItalyGate”, reported the global Reuter news service (January 15, 2021), the claims are part of a conspiracy theory, “intended to sow doubt in the US electoral system and bolster allegations by Trump and his allies that the election was rigged.”
Reuter’s Fact Check Team discovered that the theory took off when a Florida based organization called “Nation in Action” distributed a press release, allegedly published in Rome on January 5, 2021, which named an Arturo D’Elia as a conspirator in a “shocking deposition detailing his role in the most elaborate criminal act affecting a US election”, using military satellites and computer systems to manipulate American voting machines and tabulators. A dream come true for depressed Trump voters, who until this day can’t understand how their idol could have lost by more than seven million votes, although Trump tallied, in his own words, more electoral votes than any other sitting President in history. Nation in Action leader Maria Strollo Zack did not look any further for the source of the “steal”: “Make no mistake, this is a coup d’etat that we will stop in the name of justice and free and fair elections.”
The former Leonardo employers Arturo D’Elia and Antonio Rossi, had indeed been arrested for hacking 94 computers, the alleged crime though was committed between 2015 and 2017, years prior to the contested US elections. Thus the 108 page, Italian, arrest warrant does not mention US Presidential elections, and Mr. D’Elia called suggestions of his involvement in an anti-Trump complot, ”pure fantasy.” Mrs. Zack, the conspiracy promoter, then confirmed that the falsifications were possibly not programmed at the Leonardo headquarters after all, but by an American Foreign Service employee in the US embassy in Rome, who coordinated the military satellite in the fake-votes- conspiracy for Joe Biden with an Italian general. The Italian’s name does not appear in the warrant, nor was Alia D’Urso or the US Foreign Service officer mentioned.
Another conspiracy disappearing in the cosmos of imagination, the Fata Morgana of self-appointed patriots, ready to accept any lie or phantasy by their Commander in Chief as truth. Didn’t he just declare during a book interview, that he would defeat America’s greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in an election? On social media other Trump allies claimed that US military specialists had raided the office of the Electronic Voting Company Seytl in Germany to seize their servers for evidence of manipulation in the 2020 elections - Seytl corrected the fake news - there could not have been a raid, since the company has no office in Germany. Seytl’s competitors, Dominion Voting Systems, allegedly suddenly were sold for 400 million dollars to a Communist China company, declared social media conspirators, a bogus theory dismissed by its CEO, who testified that his company had no ties to China whatsoever.
Instead Domino sued several Trump allies, including his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani for defamation, for stating at least 50 times in public that Domino did manipulate its voting machines in Biden’s favor. The Voting firm is asking for 1.3 billion dollars in damages. Obviously to remain in the headlines Roger Stone, one of Trump’s close friends and advisers, tweeted a fictitious document that purported to reveal a Democratic plan to attack American voters with mind –controlling pulsed electromagnetic emissions and impose martial law, adding only, “if this is real OMG”(oh my God). Almost 100 Federal and State courts, and even the most powerful judicial institution, the Supreme Court, refused to consider Donald Trump’s attempts to revise the electoral result, and rejected them as baseless. Ten months after the Presidential elections the absolute majority of Trump voters are more united than ever in a voter fraud mythology, convinced that the loss was illegitimate, a steal, the removal of their idol from the White House a historical insult and injustice.” Trump’s fraud claims died in court, noted the New York Times (January 7, 2021) “ but the myth of stolen elections lives on”.
Insidious and lasting
Ever since Trump was elected President, he cultivated the legend that he could not lose any election, unless mysterious powers would sabotage his greatness- Trump sowing the seeds to delegitimize an election he could lose, although Joe Biden was “the worst candidate in history of Presidential elections”, as Trump told his followers in September 2020. “If I lose to him I do not know what I am going to do. I will never speak to you again, you will never see me again.” Possibly he would have “to leave the country.” And then he lost, less dramatic then opinion polls had predicted, but defeated nevertheless, unwilling to concede to this day, publicly and repeatedly claiming that his loss was “a conspiracy.”
Apparently in his mind Trump considers himself President, supported by his devoted, unwavering supporters, who, early January, were willing, by the thousands, to storm the Capital in Washington to halt the ceremony by Congress confirming Joe Biden as President. ”When defeat became clear the President demanded (on November 5) “Stop the count.” And 12 days after the vote clearly showed Joe Biden as winner, Trump wrote on Twitter:”I WON THE ELECTION.“ It is remarkable, but not at all accidental, that a narrative built from minor incidents, gross exaggeration and outright fabrication is now at the center of the effort to reelect the President, stated the New York Times Magazine five weeks prior to the Presidential vote (September 30, 2020). “As we approach an election in which the threat of voter fraud is being used as a justification for unprecedented legal and political interventions in our democratic process, it is important to understand what this claim actually represents: it is nothing short of a decades- long disinformation campaign- sloppy, cynical and brazen, but often quite effective-carried out by a consistent cast of characters with a consistent short line.” In other words: Voter fraud is an adaptable fiction, and the President has tailored it to the moment.”
In the event of an election loss, “they, the Republicans, ”would need a story, and fraud was it”, suggested the New York Times Magazine.” Mr. Trump and his allies, noted the New York Times (January 7, 2021) “have failed to prove definitely any case of illegal voting on behalf of their opponent in court- not a single case of an undocumented immigrant casting a ballot, a citizen double voting, nor any credible evidence that legions of the voting dead gave Mr. Biden a victory that wasn’t his”.
Even this reality did not deter Donald Trump from persuading his base that the election system is rotten with fraud, and to view that fiction as a bedrock party principle.” Trump continues to spread false claims about voter fraud at each opportunity, despite his own former top deputies stating publicly that there was no evidence to back up his assertions. His Attorney General William Barr, had publicly announced that his department had not found any evidence of mass voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election, and five days after Chris Krebs, who worked on protecting the 2020 elections from hackers, (as the head of the Department of Homeland’s Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency), stated that the 2020 vote was “the most secure in America’s history”. Trump fired him. The assault on the US Capitol “capped four years in which Trump relentlessly stoked the nations divisions and simultaneously provided oxygen for the growth of White nationalist extremism through his open embrace of racist language and conspiracy theories”, resumed Ronald Brownstein of CNN in an analysis (January 19,2021), claiming that Trump “leaves America at its most divided since the Civil War”.”A dangerous, unpredictable development”, confirmed the New Yorker- writer John Cassidy :”Trump’s fake history could prove more insidious and lasting, than an actual coup attempt.”
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