Russia's election meddling: A bumbling conspiracy

You'll be shocked when I tell you that movies and television have given us a distorted view of how conspiracies work. The Hollywood version of a conspiracy involves careful planning, skilled operatives, multiple moving parts coming together with uncanny efficiency, and usually a scene where everyone involved gets together so the leader can say, "Okay, here's the plan", which he then runs through so everyone understands how the whole thing will go down.

In the real world, conspiracies are more likely to involve the lack of any coherent plan, a bunch of bumbling fools only partially understanding what the other fools are up to, and then frantic attempts by all concerned to avoid responsibility when the whole thing unravels or gets revealed.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'Russia's election meddling: A bumbling conspiracy'. Print Edition | Subscribe