The question of Russian interference demands an answer

putin_wink_ap

(AP)

It is the opinion of professionals at all U.S. intelligence agencies — from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Defense Intelligence Agency to the Federal Bureau of Investigation — that Russia actively attempted to and succeeded in interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

“The U.S. intelligence community is confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” the agencies reported in a joint statement in October. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

And by “Russia’s senior-most officials,” they mean Vladimir Putin.

Private cyber-security experts who have examined the available evidence have come to the same conclusion as their counterparts in government: The hacks of emails from Democratic Party officials were planned and perpetrated by the Russian government, which then stage-managed their release for maximum political impact.

Now, some people still don’t believe that. For example, it remains the opinion of President-elect Donald Trump that such claims are nonsense.  Despite being briefed on the still-classified evidence, he dismisses the multi-agency conclusions of our intelligence professionals, arguing that their finding was driven by political pressure from the Obama administration, not by the evidence.

In fact, Trump continues to claim, as he does in a new interview with Time, that the hacking could have been perpetrated by almost anyone with a computer, an Internet connection and some mad skills. “I have a son, he’s 10 years old,” Trump explained in one debate. “He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it’s unbelievable.”

Let me put this gently: A 70-year-old astonished by the computer wizardry of a 10-year-old might not be the most sophisticated judge of the evidence in such a case. Furthermore, Trump’s reluctance to accept the evidence is understandable simply as a matter of human nature. He’s trying to claim a mandate for vast political change, which is already complicated by the fact that he lost the popular vote by some 2.7 million votes. The likelihood that he came to power with help from Putin and his government might tarnish that victory further and raise a whole lot of other uncomfortable questions.

So for argument’s sake, let’s label the assertion of Russian interference as “unproved.” Should we be content to leave it in that status? Is an allegation of direct interference in U.S. elections by an unfriendly power something that should just be swept under the rug and forgotten, as if it never happened, or does it require full investigation and exposure?

As Sen. Marco Rubio has pointed out, anybody who takes a purely partisan approach to such questions is extremely short-sighted, because doing so is “an invitation to chaos and havoc.” “Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us,” Rubio warned his fellow Republicans. More precisely, it could also be individual Republican politicians who dare to advocate a much tougher line with Russia than does Trump.

“Do we really want to be a country where foreign leaders or foreign intelligence agencies can blackmail our elected officials and say to them that unless you do what we want you to do, we’re gonna release emails from your campaign manager, your wife, your daughter, your son, and we’re gonna embarrass you,” Rubio warned. “Is that what we want?”

I don’t think that’s what we want.

Because we don’t want to prejudge the outcome of such an investigation, we should also allow for the possibility that Trump is right. However, if U.S. security and intelligence professionals were indeed strong-armed by the Obama administration into producing this finding, isn’t that something that we ought to know as well?  If Trump honestly believes that’s what happened, then the president-elect ought to insist on a full bipartisan probe to identify and fire those who exerted such pressure and who caved to such pressure, and to clear his own record.

After all, we already have men such as retired Gen. Michael Hayden, appointed to serve as CIA director under President George W. Bush, publicly categorizing Trump by the Russian term “polezni durak.”

As Hayden explained the term in The Washington Post:

“That’s the useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited. That’s a pretty harsh term, and Trump supporters will no doubt be offended. But, frankly, it’s the most benign interpretation of all this that I can come up with right now.”

The best way for Trump to repudiate such claims would be to endorse a bipartisan, public investigation into allegations of Russian interference in our national elections. We’ll see if that happens.

Reader Comments 0

744 comments
DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

"The best way for Trump to repudiate such claims would be to endorse a bipartisan, public investigation into allegations of Russian interference in our national elections. We’ll see if that happens." 

Obama is still POTUS.  Why doesn't he endorse such an investigation?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

It must be difficult to be a climate denier.  You gotta know you're being irrational, and yet your political masters demand that you pretend to believe it, even though it doesn't make any sense. 

The cognitive dissonance must be astounding.

Peachs
Peachs

Bottom line, if Obama didn't have a mandate, how does a weak showing like Trump deserve one?

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

@Peachs  Geez o pete, enough with the "mandate" nonsense.  Who, in positions of authority, keep claiming a "mandate" for Trump?  Anyone can claim they have a mandate.  Trump does not have a "mandate" if that term is defined as an authoritarian presidency.  Obama essentially felt he had a mandate...his executive orders indicate that.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Philo took Jammie to school last night about CC. Astonished, he learned the following:

The climate has been changing for millions of years.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@Philo_Farnsworth Philo, the unfortunate reality, for all of us, is that climate change is real.  Your children and great grandchildren will wish those that came before them were better stewards of this precious planet.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Some need repetition for comprehension. Again,

"The climate has been changing for millions of years."

Peachs
Peachs

Global warming is biblical!  It is the hell those Baptist refused to believe, you don't get to heaven lying. 

lvg
lvg

"""Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.""""

http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/


Orange Clown's solutions:

1. Limit Nasa's budget and scope to outer space exploration;

2. Appoint a top climate change denier to EPA

3. Invite Gore to Trump palace so as to humiliate him;

4. Listen only to fake news sources like Alex Jones

td1234
td1234

@lvg Good thing 97% of real scientist do not believe in the same stupidity. 


I am waiting to see how those numbers change over the next 4 years as grant funding for research changes. I seriously doubt it will be close to the 97% number. 


Follow the money and you get the "science" you pay for. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@lvg That 97% is one of the big lies.

If you do your research you find it was not 97% of scientists but 97% of those who responded to the survey.

td1234
td1234

@LordHelpUs Some of the leading Physicists and engineers in the world call man made climate change into question. These are real scientist from disciplines that have been around for thousands of years. They are not weathermen with a masters degree. 

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@Here's_to_Blue @td1234 @lvg LOL!  Almost 100% of coal companies have paid scientists that cast doubt on climate change.  Those are the ones the reality challenged believe...

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@td1234 @LordHelpUs This was my favorite part: "Carbon dioxide isn't as bad for the environment as claimed, he said, and actually does more good than harm.


Among Dyson's suggestions for combating climate change are building up topsoil and inducing snowfall to prevent the oceans from rising.

Dyson is best known for his work in quantum electrodynamics and nuclear engineering.   The fact that this ^ is the best you could come up with should tell you sumpin!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234 @lvg  Good thing 97% of real scientist do not believe in the same stupidity.

ROFLMAO - this is coming from a guy who has probably talked to about 2 "real scientists" in the last year.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@td1234 @lvg Correction to TD's statement above:  "Follow the money and you get the "science" deniers you pay for.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@JohnnyReb @lvg JR, the unfortunate reality, for all of us, is that climate change is real.  Your children and great grandchildren will wish those that came before them were better stewards of this precious planet.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

As with voting against GWB and DJT, I will be proud to tell my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren that I believed the science of climate change. They will wonder why so many believed special interest groups instead of scientists.

td1234
td1234

@LordHelpUs I am sure you were equally as proud to tell them you voted against the great one and voted for Carter and Obama. 

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@td1234 @LordHelpUs Carter was before my time, but, he is a good man and, especially in hindsight, I would have voted for him.  Instead we got the permanent deficit spending trend (except for the BC second term), we armed Iran, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein (how did that work out), had the SNL bailouts, etc.  Your side has screwed the pooch...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The Big Suck! Polar vortex headed our way.

schnirt 

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

JR all worked up over climate change again.  So, that begs the question:  What will you do if Trump, as he so often does, begins to move away from his campaign rhetoric that pandered to the climate change denial congregation?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@LordHelpUs you have never seen me all worked up, as you put it.

While our host and you guys still grieve Hillary's loss, the biggest story out there is Pruitt's pick to head the EPA.

For a guy who buys in to the Dem lunacy and Barry the champion, you are way behind.

We have Barry declaring Climate Change is a bigger problem than ISIS but Trump is putting in a guy to roll back the lawlessness of the Obama years at the EPA.

I suppose in a few weeks you guys will have to face reality.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

What will you cons do when Trump does this?

What will you cons do when Trump does that?

Look, libs, your prediction track record is beyond pathetic. Responding to such nonsense is a fool's errand.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@JohnnyReb @LordHelpUs "I suppose in a few weeks you guys will have to face reality."  We may need the help of experts, like yourself...

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@JohnnyReb BS.  "observed changes" like 12 of the hottest years on record occurring in the last 14 years.  No wonder you got played...again...

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@InTheMiddle2 @LordHelpUs @JohnnyReb  

Nope, we have more carbon in the air than at any time in the last 700,000 years.  And the results are obvious to anyone who bothers to look around, and stop reading CATO nonsense.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@td1234 @gadem Yup, the Dems need to learn that reality isn't reality...perception is reality...knowwhatuhmean...

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

12 of the hottest years on record occurring in the last 14 years. When you must lie to prove a point, you really didn't have a point to begin with, huh, sweetie?

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@DownInAlbany Sorry, it's actually worse:  "The record heat of 2015 adds to other long term warming trends. Of the hottest years on record, 15 out of 17 have come since 2000. By contrast, more than a century has gone by since the planet had a record cold year (1911). In addition, this marks 39 years in a row with above average global temperatures and 372 months in a row with global temperatures above average. "

lvg
lvg

@LordHelpUs @DownInAlbany You can't argue facts with this crowd unless you are quoting reliable souces like Alex Jones, Beitbart, facebook, Limbaugh, Faux News, Mike Flynn,  etc.

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany ain't  near as hot as hell is going to be for your lying Downs, that really is what the earth is turning into.  Hell, is coming Buster, and you are not on the boat. 

Peachs
Peachs

@LordHelpUs @DownInAlbany Downs lives in a nat winter, that with Trump may turn into a nuclear winter, so he is not concern with climate he can't even see the sky. 

td1234
td1234

@gadem And you wonder why the Democratic party currently has the least amount of power in 100 years.