The Russians Are Coming

The Russian involvement in computer hacking and possible influence in our recent elections should come as no surprise to anyone. We have known about Russian hackers trying to get into both government and corporate systems for years. The Chinese are also actively involved in this type of subterfuge. And guess what folks, the United States does it as well. Has anyone forgot the uproar when it became known that U.S. intelligence communities were monitoring the phone calls of allies, including the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

So here is what the media is telling us. Russian hackers got access to the DNC computer system and copied emails between people. Then they used WikiLeaks to let the world know what was being said.   The DNC had to admit they were hacked since their information was all over the Internet and the media was having a field day with it. Some have said the Republican computers were also hacked by the Russians but the RNC has denied this and said they repelled any such attempts. The Democrats now claim that the Russians did hack the RNC but because they favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton they did not release the RNC emails.

Today we have leading Democrat political figures demanding a complete investigation based on a leaked CIA memo stating the agency believes the Russians did in fact hack both the Democrats and Republicans in an effort to somehow sway the voting public here in the United States. Some Republicans on Capitol Hill have felt the pressure and say they will support a complete investigation.

Then we have the push back within the intelligence community. Remember, this was a leaked CIA memo and was not put out for public consumption. The Democrats don’t seem to object to this type of leak. The FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have questioned the CIA leak and they will not completely accept the claims made by the CIA. They agree that Russians were hacking but they question the conclusions of the CIA that they were just trying to help Trump.

A lot of this is speculation but that has not stopped the Democrats from mounting a full-throated cry of foul. They are still unable to accept that their candidate lost an election that they assumed they had in the bag. Their real problem is trying to show a nexus between the leaked emails and the votes of individual voters. In essence they are trying to say that the voters were duped into supporting Donald Trump and if there were not leaks they would have voted for Hillary Clinton. That is a tough sell and something that you cannot prove.

But lets look at some of the other reasons the Russians might have been doing what they have been accused of doing. This may come as a shock to some in this country but the United States has been meddling in foreign elections for years. There is probably not a single country in Latin America where the United States has not tried to influence the outcome of an election. During Clinton’s tenure as the Secretary of State the U.S. got very involved in the politics of Honduras. There is an email trail showing U.S. attempts to make sure the outcome benefited our policies.

In 2006 while Hillary Clinton was running for reelection to the Senate she visited the Jewish Press editorial board. They actually recorded the interview they conducted with her. Obviously she wanted to say things that would get her a favorable review by the newspaper but one thing stood out. When she was speaking about the recent elections in Palestine that gave a resounding victory to Hamas over the U.S. favored Fatah party she said “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestine territories. I think that was a big mistake, …And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

Now I am not sure how you would interpret this comment but it sure seems to suggest to me she felt the U.S. government should have done everything possible to ensure that the people we favored won.

So how does this tie into the Russian hacking situation.  In 2011 Vladimir Putin came as close as ever to losing his grip on power.  He was running for a third term as the President of Russia and their were large scale protests in Russia.  He put part of the blame on this opposition to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  It does not matter if it were true or not, he believed it and has no love lost for Hillary Clinton.  He objected to her overtures to Dmitri Medvedev to turn away from Putin and characterized them as trying to subvert him.  All this is probably true because it was in the United States interest to try and curry favor with Medvedev because he seemed more interested in liberalizing Russian

This type of meddling by the United States has been going on for as long as we have been conducting foreign policy. I can cite examples of U.S. trying to influence elections in Haiti, Guatemala, Congo and Iran. The list could add multiple other nations as well. As a nation we look at what is best for us and we implement policies and actions that will help us achieve our goals. Now we are suddenly outraged when another nation engages in a similar policy.

So what will happen with all of this excitement? Congress will hold an investigation and there will be accusations of political bias. Democrats will say the Republicans are just going through the motions (they might be) and Republicans will says that Democrats are making a mountain out of a mole hill (probably correct). Then the Democrats will get to what they are really trying to accomplish. They will claim that Donald Trump is not the legitimate President of the United States. If you want to really ruin the democratic process that we use to elect Presidents this will cause more damage than any hacking by some other government. It will call into question the will of the people in this and future elections.

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