The other day the Washington Post had an article that said the CIA says that Russia not only tried to interfere with the election, but was working to get Trump elected as President. Then the New York Times wrote that Russia had also hacked the RNC but did not release any of the information.
The Trump transition team was very quick to dismiss these reports. Trump himself has repeatedly said that there “is no proof that it was Russia. I could have been Russia or China or some guy sitting on his bed in New Jersey.”
Being one who lived in the classified world for many years, I fully understand that intelligence gathering is difficult at best. I also understand that sometimes the information presented could be slanted one way or another. More importantly, the people who receive these briefings have more of an effect of the population with their interpretation of the information they just received.
We saw that with the intelligence before the Iraq War. The CIA was hesitant in its conclusion about weapons of mass destruction. The falsity came from the Bush administration, especially Dick Cheney. He was the one who came up with the mushroom cloud over New Youk not the CIA. The Bush Administration was saying that the CIA’s hesitant conclusions should be discounted because the agency was allegedly filled with doves blind to the real danger only Cheney’s true believers could detect.
When the DNC and Podesta’s emails were hacked, every intelligence agency and several private companies who specialize in hacking all said the hacks came from Russia State sponsored hackers. The evidence was overwhelming.
But, according to the Washington Post report that wasn’t the worst of it. According to that report, the CIA with the Obama Administration’s urging held a classified briefing for several members of the Congressional Leadership. The President did not want to get into partisan politics by unilaterally releasing the information to the public. He wanted both sides to know the information so they could present a united front against Russia.
After being apprised of the information and seeing that a foreign country wa trying to manipulate our election, Mitch McConnell did something very interesting. He went the Cheney route. According to the Washington Post report he “raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”
In other words he put his party above the country in his will to gain power. Once he spoke up about not believing the report, other Republicans joined in against the plan to confront Russia. I find this part of the report most troubling. Here are officials from our own government refusing to believe the report from our number one intelligence agency.
It is even more troubling when you remember that Trump, during the campaign, actually invited Russia to hack our cyber systems during a campaign speech. He claimed he was being “sarcastic” but in the shadows of this report, you have to wonder if he was being sarcastic or just siding with Putin, again.
To complicate things even more, Trump has shown an affinity to name people with close ties to Russia to high diplomatic and intelligence positions. He has named Mike Flynn as his Intelligence advisor. The same Flynn who went to Russia for an RT dinner and sat with Putin. Not to mention the simple fact that Flynn is a paranoid wacko who loves fake news.
Now we are facing the real possibility that his going to name the CEO of Exxon/Mobil as his Secretary of State. Tillerson has no experience with political moves, but he does have a very close relationship with Putin. That seems to be the number one qualifier for Trump to name him Secretary of State.
I am not saying that if this information came out before the election it would have made any difference. I do not know just how much influence Russia exerted over the American People. There are a lot of reports that they were behind a lot of the “fake news” that was floating around, but that is not proof.
This incident is more about what are we going to do about the potential for this happening again? And, if the report from the New York Times is correct that the RNC was hacked as well, did they hold back on that information because they wanted Trump elected or did they hold back because if Trump was elected, and he was, they intend to use that information to blackmail or influence Trump’s decisions on the international front?
The other thing that is extremely disturbing is the very fact that Trump and his transition team are uninterested in getting to the bottom of this incident. They are more than happy to just leave it in the dustbin. They are more than willing to dismiss out-of-hand a report from the CIA and publicly say so.
Their statement was amazing in its own right. They said:
These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’
Just one little thing abut that statement. Trump did not win the Electoral College in one of the biggest victory in history. Actually, it falls into the bottom quarter of victory margins.
These are also the same people that Trump will have to depend on when he is confronted with an international crisis. Is he going to “dismiss” their report as meaningless? Or, will he actually listen to the experts and evaluate what they are going to tell him? The phony statement from his transition team tells me he will do the second not the first.
It is said that ignorance is bliss. However, when you are about to become the leader of the country and the free world, we expect our President would not be ignorant. We expect him or her to evaluate the information given and listen to reasonable people to help make a decision that is best for all of us.
It really doesn’t matter if you believe the report or not. The fact is that our biggest intelligence agency says that Russia not only tried to interfere with our election, but actually tried to help one side. That should get everyone’s attention.
We need Congress to throw off its partisanship infighting and investigate this incident with at least the same vigor they have been investigating Hillary Clinton over the last forty years. Anything less would be a travesty.
We also need our president-elect to stand up and insist that this investigation should go forward. We don’t need him to be quiet about what is in the report or simply blow it off like some bad candy.
People are supposed to run for office to govern on behalf of the American people. They are not supposed to run for office to “rule”. McConnell, if the story is true that he wouldn’t do anything about the information once he got it says he is interested in “ruling” not governing. Problem is Trump also wants to “rule” and not govern. There is only one ruler in an authoritarian government. McConnell won’t be that ruler as long as Trump is President.
I keep hearing that Trump is being “smart” by his tactics. I don’t see anything “smart” about any of this. I find him ignorant about what he has gotten himself into to. And, like the saying, Trump is being blissful in his ignorance.
To the detriment of us all.