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Did Putin Hack the US Election?

Malcolm Nance thinks so… and Electors Want to Know

 

 

 

by Playthell Benjamin

As I write a group of electors led by Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, and elector from California, have asked President Obama to grant them a security clearance and allow them to examine the Central Intelligence Agency’s report which concludes that Russian intelligence agencies not only interfered in the US presidential election but did so in an attempt to help Donald Trump win.

The dissident electors now number has risen to 50 as I write, and it only takes 36,to swing the election to Hillary Clinton if they electors conclude that Trump was fraudulently elected as the result of Russia’s thumb on the scale. Although it would be vigorously applauded by millions of Americans, who gave Hillary nearly three million more votes than Trump in the general election, this would be a dangerous and unprecedented development in US politics. Alas given the Republican denial and win at any cost attitude, a rejection by members of the Electoral College could tear this divided nation apart despite the fact that Trump is perhaps the most disliked presidential elect in history. However it is hard to envision a constructive response from the Republicans, since they have clearly placed the fortunes of their party above the fate of our nation.

According to the CIA – and 16 other US intelligence agencies – the Russian intrusion was accomplished by hacking into the confidential e-mails of the Democratic National Committee and giving the documents to Wiki-Leaks, who put them on the internet. The conclusion that this was an effort to help Trump is based on evidence that they also hacked the Republicans but refused to release any of the information. But now the electors are insisting on examining the CIA findings.

Once it has been established that the hacking operation occurred it is fairly easy conclude that their actions were intended to aid a Trump victory. If we assume that national states act in their best interest one has only to examine the attitudes toward Russia held by Trump and Clinton. Throughout the election process Trump has insisted that he could make a deal with Putin, insisted that there is no good reasons for Russia and the US to be adversaries; expressed a willingness to work with the Russians to destroy ISIS; denounced the Obama Administration commitment to overthrowing President Assad of Syria as dangerous folly that will further destabilize the region and empower the Jihadists; questioned the importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and questioned the sacrosanct but dangerous doctrine of “American Exceptionalism,” even pointing out: “If you are a Russian you might not think America is so exceptional.”

Hillary Clinton was quick to respond with the declaration: “Just because Putin doesn’t recognize it doesn’t mean it’s not true!” A cold war hawk with a deeply antagonistic view of Russia forged during the Soviet era, there seems to have been little adjustment in her perception of Russia as a threat to American security since they abandoned Communism and disbanded the Warsaw Pact.

In fact Hillary Clinton supports NATO now as vigorously as she did during the Cold War and promotes a strategy of encroachment into Eastern Europe with the aim of encircling Russia with pro-American military forces; was implicated in the coup that overthrew the pro-Russian government in the Ukraine – a provocation that could have sparked a nuclear war – and has gone on record with her belief that NATO is the wisest investment that the US has made when Trump suggested that the US insist upon the members paying their fair share of the cos, especially since the alliance is designed to protect their national security. Added to these facts, in an emotional anti-Russian diatribe Clinton once called Putin “another Hitler.” It was such an insane charge she was forced to walk it back. Hence, as the facts show, Putin had more than ample reasons to wish for a Trump victory and to take measures to insure it.

Malcolm Nance, a former Naval Intelligence Officer who has been in the spy business for nearly four decades is so convinced that the Russian intelligence apparatus, directed by Vladimir Putin, a former Director of the KGB – Russia’s counterpart to the CIA – did indeed interfere in the US election with the goal of helping to elect Donald Trump that he has already published a book on the subject: “The Plot to Hack America.”

 

 

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Nance, whose knowledge of this subject so impressive he makes the skeptics look like “useful idiots” for the Kremlin, says that the biggest surprise for him is “the crisis of patriotism” displayed by Republicans in the face of interference into the most important function in our democracy by a hostile foreign power. For instance, during his campaign President elect Trump actually called upon the Russians to hack Hillary’s E-mails and make them public, and there was barely a peep of protest from the Republicans. It is hard to find a more convincing example of the extent to which American politics has become debased and the perversion of the patriotic ideal by flag waving Republicans crying “America First!”

When viewed from historical perspective, one could argue that the present attitude toward Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers is an extension of the Republican attitude that led to the burglary and bugging of the DNC headquarters by former intelligence operatives hired by CREEP – The Committee to Reelect the President – that led to the Watergate scandal under Nixon. This kind of behavior is a reflection of a deeply held belief by Republicans that the Democrats are illegitimate, that their social welfare policies are inimical to capitalism; hence they treat them as enemies, not competitors in the same league. This is why they often look like traitors rather than a loyal opposition when dealing with President Obama (see: “The Case for Treason” on this blog.”

Hence when democrats such as Senator Harry Reid accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation of covering up the Russian role in undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign it is not merely partisan rhetoric spouted by a sore loser. Consider this report in the New York Times filed on December 13th:

“When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.”

The article goes on to tell what the FBI knew of the activities of these Russian Cyberspies, and when they knew it. With this kind of intelligence inventory circulating among US government agencies tasked with maintain national security, it is no wonder the Malcolm Nance was able to produce a book length analysis of the phenomenon in such short order.

Mr. Nance insists that there is no question among intelligence professionals that the Russians interfered in the US elections, and his role was to warn the nation about what they know. As early as October 13th Nance warned that the Russians were putting “not just a finger, but their whole hand” on the scale to help Donald Trump win the presidential election. However, despite his impressive credentials and demonstrated expertise in matters of espionage his warning was largely ignored. But as the major media examines the CIA’s claims and write about it Malcolm Nance’s views are gaining an expanding audience… and the tide is beginning to change.

Benjamin is a veteran political journalist out of Harlem NY. His essays can be read on his blog site Commentaries on the Times.

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