Democratic Party witch-hunters target Green Party candidate Jill Stein

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate in the 2016 election, by the neo-McCarthyite witch-hunters on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The SEP has fundamental political differences with the Green Party. However, we unequivocally defend the constitutional right of the Green Party to conduct its work and campaign for office unmolested by the government and its police and intelligence agencies. The attack on Stein, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is an unconstitutional attempt to delegitimize and suppress political opposition to the monopoly of the capitalist two-party system.

Stein warned in a statement that investigations are being “used to intimidate and silence principled opposition to the political establishment” in a climate of “attacks on our civil liberties, with the emergence of censorship in social media and the press, criminalization of protest, militarization of police and massive expansion of the surveillance state.”

On Monday, Stein confirmed that Senate investigators had demanded that she produce documents related to her alleged interactions with Russia. Her suspicious activity, according to the congressional investigators, consisted of attending a dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of RT, the only TV network that gave her campaign any significant coverage, at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was also present.

Stein has absolutely nothing to answer for to the US Congress. As a presidential candidate, she was fully within her rights not only to attend a media event, but to meet and have discussions with any other public figure, foreign or domestic.

Is anyone expected to believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor her campaign had contact with any political leaders of other countries? On September 19, 2016, for example, Clinton met publicly with three foreign heads of state, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, installed in a fascist-led putsch, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the butcher of Cairo who drowned the Egyptian revolution in blood.

The investigations into allegations of Russian “meddling” are based on unfounded claims that Russia manipulated the US elections. However, the fact that Sisi and Poroshenko are in power exposes the extent to which the United States meddles in the political affairs of every country all over the world, staging coups, propping up dictatorships and bombing and invading countries at will.

In addition to the dinner hosted by RT, Stein, according to ranking committee Democrat Mark Warner, had “very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange.” And this is now evidence of potentially criminal activity? Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is a journalist who has helped expose the crimes of the US political establishment.

For having spoken out publicly in support of a political prisoner and dissident, Stein is threatened with being hauled before a congressional committee as if she were involved in treasonous activity.

This is the Orwellian reality of America in 2017, ruled by two right-wing, oligarchic parties that can and will tolerate no political opposition.

The entire premise of “Russian collusion” is made up out of whole cloth, aimed at explaining away the Democrats’ own hemorrhaging support among broad sections of the population and pinning their electoral defeat on the very existence of an alternative to the two-party system.

In her book, What Happened, Clinton fumed that “the Russians targeted propaganda to undecided voters and to ‘soft’ Clinton supporters who might be persuaded to stay home or support a third-party candidate.”

She continued, “Perhaps this is one reason why third-party candidates received more than five million more votes in 2016 than they had in 2012. That was an aim of both the Russians and the Republicans, and it worked,” resulting in Clinton’s loss.

Now, the Democrats are using their institutional power to pursue a vendetta against a party they blame for having contributed to their electoral defeat.

The reason the third party vote grew in 2016 was not Russian “meddling,” but because millions of people hated the candidates of the two big business parties. The Democratic Party is leading the attack on political opposition within the United States because it feels itself under siege from popular sentiment, which is on the whole moving to the left.

For this reason, the Democratic Party has lashed out with a series of provocations, from allegations of Russian “meddling” to the hysteria surrounding sexual misconduct. All the while, it has created the most favorable possible conditions for the Republicans to pass a massive reduction in corporate taxes, a policy that enjoys bipartisan support.

The old tropes of the most right-wing sections of the Republican Party at the height of Cold War McCarthyism—in which the foreign policy setbacks of US imperialism and all political dissent were presented as the result of a conspiracy of foreign infiltrators and left-wing agitators—have been adopted by the Democratic Party.

The Senate’s investigation of the Green Party comes as figures like Warner and House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff are pressing for mass political censorship by technology companies, and as the FCC has ruled to revoke net neutrality, giving internet service providers free reign to block access to oppositional web sites.

The targeting of the Green Party marks a new stage in the drive to criminalize dissent and political opposition within the United States as the ruling elite prepares yet another onslaught on the social rights of the working class and draws up plans for “great power” conflicts that threaten a new world war.