Just when you thought it was safe, the Russians are coming:
Barefoot's email references these "negative attack ads" as well as comments by a NATO leader that "Russians are 'secretly' joining forces with extreme liberal environmental groups to spread misinformation regarding energy exploration." Although Barefoot stops short of saying this explicitly, the overall impression of the email is that "interests as far a field as Moscow and the Kremlin" are somehow playing a part in his state Senate campaign. Here's the text of the fundraising email:
"The environmentalists are on the attack again - and this time, Russia is in the mix...It is time to set the record straight and get this campaign rolling with our own TV ads. We can't let liberal, out-of-state special interests-even interests as far a field as Moscow and the Kremlin mislead the people of our district. That's why I'm coming to you right now."
Ahh! The Kremlin! The next thing you know, they'll be rounding up the Kulaks! (for the purpose of this discussion, the Kulaks would be farmers and private businessmen in Wake County) But it seems our good NATO Commander is angling for a Euro stink-tank position:
That report is based on one paragraph of a lengthy speech Rasmussen gave to Chatham House, a London-based think tank. The same speech was picked up in reports by The Times of London, CNN and The Financial Times, although seems to have dropped out of the news after a few days.
In his speech, a transcript provided by NATO quotes Rasmussen as saying, "But I have one additional remark on shale gas because I have met Allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations, environmental organizations working against shale gas, obviously to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That's my interpretation. So it adds a new aspect to… to this information operation."
Left unsaid in the speech – and unspecified in the reporting on it – is how exactly Rasmussen might know this or what the evidence for such an operation might be. Environmental groups, many of which have been antagonistic to the Russian government, denied any entanglement. A spokesman for Greenpeace called the idea "preposterous" in The Guardian story.
Just a side-note: this guy is sending people into combat situations? Sheesh.