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Sun Dec 11, 2016, 12:25 PM

The alarming response to Russian meddling in American democracy

WHY is it unsettling to see Republicans and Democrats squabbling, afresh, about Russian meddling in last month’s presidential election? After all, the basic allegation being debated has been out there for months: namely, that in 2015 and again in 2016 at least two groups of hackers with known links to Russian intelligence broke into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, as that party’s national headquarters is known, and into the private e-mail system of such figures as John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, then released a slew of embarrassing e-mails to Wikileaks. Before the election a joint public statement by the director of national intelligence and secretary of homeland security saying that intelligence agencies are “confident” that the Russian government directed the hacking—a statement that did little to sway supporters of Donald Trump, who heard their candidate cast doubt on that intelligence finding, and instead revel in the contents of the stolen e-mails as they hit the press. This, Mr Trump, was just more evidence that his opponent deserved the soubriquet “Crooked Hillary”.

All that has changed materially in recent days is that—thanks to reporting by the Washington Post and New York Times—we now know that the CIA briefed senior members of Congress before and after the election that, in the consensus view of intelligence analysts, the Russians’ motive was not just to undermine confidence in American democracy generally, but actively to seek Mrs Clinton’s defeat. These latest revelations have probably not changed any minds at all. Republicans who hate Mrs Clinton are still delighted that she was defeated. Democrats who loathe and fear Mr Trump have one more reason to dislike him. Outside Washington, red-blooded Americans who mostly rather dislike President Vladimir Putin (pictured), according to polls, seem to be shrugging off the latest allegations: President-elect Trump was loudly cheered by spectators when he turned up in Baltimore on December 10th to watch the Army-Navy football game, an annual pageant of patriotism.
And that is what is, or should be, so unsettling. Russian interference in elections across the Western world is like a nasty virus, attacking the body politic. Normally, America is protected by powerful, bipartisan immune responses against such a menace. It also boasts some of the world’s most sophisticated intelligence and cyber-defences, and when spooks tell the Republicans and Democrats who lead Congress and sit on the House and Senate intelligence committees of hostile acts by a foreign power, love of country generates a unified response. That immune response is not kicking in this time.

The problem is not that all Republicans in Congress dismiss the claim that Russia tried to meddle in the election. Committee chairman have promised urgent hearings. “We cannot allow foreign governments to interfere in our democracy,” said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Senator John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and no friend of Russia, told reporters: “Everybody that I know, unclassified, has said that the Russians interfered in this election. They hacked into my campaign in 2008; is it a surprise to anyone?” The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes of California, has said that he believes Russia is guilty, but then turned his fire on the Obama administration, saying that President Barack Obama’s desire for a “reset” of relations with Moscow had led him and his spy chiefs to fail “to anticipate Putin’s hostile actions.” He grumbled that Team Obama had “ignored pleas by numerous Intelligence Committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression.”


http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2016/12/house-divided?fsrc=gnews

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Reply The alarming response to Russian meddling in American democracy (Original post)
ismnotwasm Dec 2016 OP
rzemanfl Dec 2016 #1
ismnotwasm Dec 2016 #2
world wide wally Dec 2016 #3
ismnotwasm Dec 2016 #4

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sun Dec 11, 2016, 12:33 PM

1. No immune response at all and only about half of the folks here have one. n/t

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Response to rzemanfl (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 11, 2016, 12:43 PM

2. It's a bloody mess

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sun Dec 11, 2016, 01:09 PM

3. I wonder if the US still has double agents in Russia.

If Obama needs a plan of action, I suggest finding a way to release the hacks Russia made on Republicans.
They never care about anything until it happens to them.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 11, 2016, 01:29 PM

4. I am not a spy expert

But it would seem so...

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