Accusations that Russia hacked the election remind me of 911 accusations that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Opponents of Trump are so eager to find something to justify why Clinton lost the election that they aren’t realizing that they are not asking the right questions.
In October, why did Obama state that, for anyone to think that the U.S. election can be rigged is just ridiculous–yet a month later his tune changed? Where is the evidence that Russia hacked the election? Are there confirmed cyber footprints that lead back to the Russian government?
Does this information note any differences between acts committed by the Russian government and acts by Russian citizens—something that we would have clearly differentiated if it were charges against the U.S. government? Or is this merely speculation because Russia lately has been reasserting itself and making the U.S. realize that it is not the only power-player in world government? Why were intelligence committee members of Congress not briefed on this critical hacking stuff, which they only learned about in the Washington Post and on NBC? Why is the CIA director refusing to provide specific information about this to committee members of Congress?
If the U.S. electoral process has indeed been hacked, then why aren’t there questions about Barack Obama’s neglect to manage cyber security as seriously as he has promised to deal with ISIS? If the U.S. election (U.S. government really) has been hacked, then how do we know that the nuclear systems that can destroy entire states and countries cannot be hacked, the codes stolen, and the missiles activated? The point made here is that the focus has been on Russia rather than simultaneously on the ineffective leadership of the Homeland Security department, and the White House, which is clearly admitting it cannot keep its people safe?
Why isn’t Barack Obama ashamed to admit that we have been hacked? Could that be the result of him knowing that journalists will not ask questions about his management on cyber security issues once he mentions the name of an enemy (Russia)? Is it that Obama knows that hate and the need for vengeance make people vulnerable and automatically feeble critical thinkers?
Otherwise, could this all be a corrupt political campaign to upset the Trump government, set in motion a process to galvanize bi-partisan support to deny him his cabinet picks, because Trump comes across as a hateful man? Saddam Hussein was hateful and violent too. As a result, lies were used to capture and kill him. Thousands of U.S. soldiers died in the process. Should we be mindful of how we allow hate for those we consider evil to crush our ability to be objective and think clearly? What’s most important, getting revenge or ensuring the democratic process maintains credibility?
As I end here, we should be reminded that the U.S. government has a long history of interfering in the electoral processes of many countries. It is also known to overthrow democratically elected governments it does not like and governments that threaten its first-place hegemonic status. For these reasons, I am indeed skeptic of information produced in the U.S. about Russia, in the same way I had been skeptic about news of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein . Of course, Vladimir Putin has a pattern of crushing freedoms, objective journalism, gay civil rights, and other human rights. Nevertheless, we cannot assume that the existence of evils by the Russian government automatically means we should accept all accusations by the U.S. government against Russia.
At all times, we need to ask,
Where is the evidence?
How was it collected?
When was it collected?
When and how was it analyzed and distributed?
Why?—for all those prior questions.