Saturday, December 10, 2016

CIA: Russians Hacked Election To Give Us The President They Wanted

This Washington Post story broke late last evening, reporting that the Russian government and its proxies hacked our election system with the deliberate goal of putting Donald Trump into power. The CIA reported this to leaders in Congress but the Republicans blocked any release of this information prior to the election. The Republicans opposed informing the public that the Russian government was helping them to win the election. There are multiple outrages here.

The Russians hacked our political system. Why?

To install someone in the White House who they could manipulate and control, someone who would not stand up to them, who would do what they told him to do.

The Republican leadership knew about the Russian spy agencies hacking our election well before the election but they prevented a bipartisan release of the information to the public. Why?

Two possible reasons. Because they welcomed the help of the Russian spy agencies to get their man into the White House. Or––since we now know the Russians didn’t only hack the Democratic Party but hacked the Republicans as well––perhaps the Russians blackmailed the Republican leadership into collaborating with this violation of our system. Compromising information is useful as leverage only if it is withheld. The Republicans either allowed this Russian intrusion into our election or collaborated with it. Either explanation amounts to treason.

SLATE reports on the Republicans preventing public disclosure of the Russian rigging of the election in their favor.

Retired CIA agent Robert Baer says that if this had happened in any other democracy in the world, if the intelligence agencies of an enemy power had hacked the outcome of a national election, they would re-hold the election.

CNN interview with retired CIA agent Robert Baer

We now know that the Russians hacked the Republican Party as well, but didn’t dish out the most embarrassing material bit by bit to damage the party’s candidate and its standing in the polls. Because they wanted the Republicans to win. They wanted Trump to win. Once he was in power they could use this information as leverage to control him and control our government.

We have no idea what financial or other kind of hold the Russians may have over Donald Trump because he has hidden his financial information. He owes many millions of dollars around the world. We don't know the extent to which he is vulnerable to foreign pressure.

We don’t know what kinds of damaging material the Russians hacked from the Republicans databases, but it is not hard to know why they didn’t release it.

They wanted the Republicans to win, and they likely have information that gives them power over the party that won the election, who they helped win the election. They didn’t release the information. It seems very possible, perhaps likely, they planned to use it for blackmail purposes. Once Trump reached the White House and Republicans controlled both houses of Congress this information would hold them hostage.

It becomes increasingly apparent that the Republican Party accepted the help of a foreign dictator to gain power. And once they had gained power the levers of that power would have been in the hands of the foreign dictator who assisted them. It is difficult to understand this any other way. The kindest judgment upon the Republican leaders and Donald Trump would be that they were fools or powerless to resist. If you believe they are not fools they must be willing collaborators, before and after the event.

The Daily Beast reports on the likelihood that the Russians blackmailed the Republican Party into going along with the Russian interference and keeping it from the American public.

Michael Tomasky’s trenchant analysis of this latest development

What do we call this?

Did the Republican leadership engage in treason? Did they collaborate with an enemy power to seize control of our political system? (In France, after the liberation, collaborators had their heads shaved and were marched through the streets.) During the American Revolution an ambitious general collaborated with the British (a far less sinister enemy than Putin's Russia) by handing them the keys to the fort at West Point. Down through American history anyone convicted of treason against this country became a "Benedict Arnold."

If the Republicans did their best to ignore what the Russians were doing to subvert our election, does that make them dupes? Did they guess that the crime would benefit them and simply let it unfold? Or were they certain that the Russian government was working for their benefit? Did they know. You become a criminal accomplice if you benefit from a crime you have allowed to happen. If that crime is a betrayal of your country you are a traitor. This part is not complicated.

The likeliest explanations for why the Republicans kept this secret suggest that they were complicit. The explanations for why the Russians worked to elect Trump suggest that both Trump and the Republican Party engaged in a criminal enterprise to subvert our democracy and to give a foreign enemy control of our government.

During the debates when Hillary Clinton suggested that Trump might be a puppet of the Russians, Trump's reply was both juvenile and very revealing. "Puppet!. Puppet! You're the puppet!" he said, like a child denying an accusation he knows he is guilty of.

The statistical anomalies revealed last month indicate that it wasn’t simply subversion of public opinion, but likely a careful hacking of key mechanics of the voting in key states.

Reported by The Independent newspaper in London.

One remedy offered by legal expert Lawrence Lessig and reported in The Independent suggests that since Hillary Clinton is now 2.83 million votes ahead of Trump in the final tally, a revote may not be necessary.

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Blogger pasquino said...

Maybe worth chalking on walls around the country:

"Remember, remember,
The 8th of November,
'Twas Putin, and treason and plot;
I see no reason
Why pro-Russian treason
Should ever be forgot."

3:42 PM  

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