It takes more than a sickle to hack like this

The CIA and now FBI have our President-elect and his supporters with their dress over their head based on their strongly held concerns that Russia attempted to influence our election in favor of the President-elect, hacking not with a sickle but something more high tech. I had a friend who would use this analogy to describe someone’s frustration based on his daughter’s example of getting madder and madder with her inability to get her dress off over her head.

The President-elect and his supporters have condemned this story as unproven and having no impact on the election. The line of attack most used by Trump and his PR people is that there is no evidence of hacked machines, conveniently ignoring the fact that the influence is more to do with what happened before the voting took place.

Trump and his PR folks also blame the liberal media and leaders, which seem to have converged as a composite evil entity. They are in cahoots against this victimized truthful man his supporters imply. And, if so important, why did the President wait until Clinton lost to bring this up his supporters say? The last statement has been said often, but also been confirmed as false as the evidence exists that proves the President-elect is being untruthful. He is saying don’t believe your own eyes and ears, believe me alone.

As for the former claim that story is being made up by the composite liberal enemy, there are several key Republican senators, including Senators Mitch McConnell. Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsay Graham among others, who have said this must be investigated. I have not heard the word liberal used to define these senators. And, as an Independent voter who cares about our country’s governance, I agree with these Senators.

The truth needs to be discovered as these are serious claims made by our intelligence community that must take their job seriously. We need to think of this as if the President was named John Smith and came from the ABC Party. We cannot have Russia or anyone hacking anything to influence our elections, period.

I have also seen editorialists say with conviction that this did not have any impact on the election because it did not change votes. The latter claim is unknown as I have seen security experts discuss back in July that impacting certain machines in select districts was doable and someone was pinging the machines looking for weaknesses. But, the larger issue is more clear to me as I have feared Russian involvement when I first saw reports that pointed fingers at them beginning in July.

One candidate, his team and the press got to read daily feeds of emails from a key staffer of the other candidate. They also got to read emails from larger dumps of hacked data from the other candidate’s political party. That did not seem fair then and as Senator Marco Rubio said in October, this is not right as it could be us (the GOP) the next time. My guess is the RNC emails would have been more entertaining with such infighting and angst over their candidate.

But, let me be as frank as possible. To say that reading your opponents’ emails did not have any impact on the election is a false statement. This is akin to a football coach reading key planning remarks (along with the media) made by the other team’s coaches. It had to have an impact, especially in light of fake news and biased news sources that were like rabid dogs looking to exploit information. And, given the word email becoming a leaky faucet when used with the word Clinton, more meaning was conveyed with each new daily talking point eroding her consideration drip by drip.

One final point should be noted. If the Russians did hack RNC and other emails, what assurances does our President-elect have that those emails won’t be used against him if he happens to do something that the Putin does not like. Putin is a KGB trained agent and it was not surprising to learn that he has a hand in disinformation efforts. If you do not believe this, note a senior newscaster from a Russian American News television network resigned on the air because she was being told what to say by Putin.

 

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33 thoughts on “It takes more than a sickle to hack like this

  1. Mr. Trump is blaming this on HRC’s use of a private server when the hacked data did not come from her private server. He refuses to call Putin into account for this unprecedented attack on our democratic process, to admit that the Kremlin inserted itself into the election to insure HRC’s defeat and to put into office some one they could “use”. Between Russia and our own FBI Director the electorate , not the majority of voters, handed the highest office in the world to a man who is so arrogant he does not feel compelled to address vital issues, turn over his tax returns, apologize for his outrageous behaviour and no one is making him do any of these things. Our president’s recent address was a sad disappointment. I voted for him and regret it, he has let us down in many ways, not the least being his lack of a strong stance in Syria. He needs to declassify some information that would clarify the hacking without endangering anyone, I know he could do that. He lacks the courage to step up. Thank you once again for a most insightful post on current issues Keith.

    • Thanks Holly. Good points. Part of his reaction is his narcissism cannot fathom that he may have won under these circumstances. There is another possibility – he was aware of what was going on. It truly stymies me as to why he cannot admit that Russia is culpable. Thanks, Keith

  2. Dear Keith,

    Thanks for pointing out the following:

    “One final point should be noted. If the Russians did hack RNC and other emails, what assurances does our President-elect have that those emails won’t be used against him if he happens to do something that the Putin does not like. Putin is a KGB trained agent and it was not surprising to learn that he has a hand in disinformation efforts.”

    Yes, I am convinced that both the DNC and the RNC were hacked and yes, DT would be vulnerable.

    But because DT is vulnerable on day one because of all his conflicts of interests, the democrats should start acting like republicans by hitting the courts with legal action. This is where he could be forced to disclose his tax returns. He needs to know that he will not have a free ride.

    Republicans can no longer wag their fingers at the Clintons for their sins when DT beats them in every category by 100 x.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, agreed. His history tells us all we need to know and he is doing his best to hide the financials and his business ties.

      I worked as a consultant for a major consulting firm. To do business with one client, we had to be a tenant in their new building. That is the way it was. But, there will be a tacit requirement that if you want favors from this President, you will have to do business, stay in his hotels, join his courses, etc. This is what pay to play will be like under his regime, the last word selected with purpose. Thanks for your comment, Keith

      • Dear Keith,

        His conflicts of interest are flagrant and dwarfs anything that could be ascribed to the Clintons. Let’s see how many republican led investigations will be started on this point. This is why I am convinced that democrats need to head to the courts asap.

        Ciao, Gronda

  3. The whole sad state of affairs has left me hollow and sick. I cannot comprehend the level of bull-headed ignorance that has come to rule the hearts and non-existent minds of so many Americans. There is only 1 promise the President-elect will keep. He WILL shake up the institutions, the systems, and the structure of this once fine nation.It’s like watching the Challenger exploding.

    • Linda, Challenger exploding may be too dramatic, but I agree with your larger point. To make your argument have even more merit, a non-inconsequential number of NSA and other security folks are leaving or considering leaving under Flynn’s tutelage. He does not command as much respect as he led Trump to believe. It was also noted questions by the transition team are more on process than threats. Keith

      • I’m not sure if it’s too dramatic. It feels like the unfolding of a disaster that could lead not to just the disassembly of our nation, but also of the world order, such that it is.

      • Linda, I did not say this well. I agree with the looming concern, but it won’t happen as suddenly as the Challenger. It will be a gradual demise. Wall Street has only baked in the euphoria of change, not the headwinds that have been projected by several economic modelers Our allies and reasonable will be critical of his positions, statements/ tweets and reactions to events. It will be a constant drip. Keith

      • I hope you are right. With his mouth, though, we could open a new paradigm of world war. Who needs bombs these days, when a simple hacking job could result in absolute chaos and mayhem?

      • Linda, an article in The Guardian talked about how even-tempered and studious Xi of China is relative to his opposite in Trump. Xi will do his homework, while the same could not be said for our President-elect. Keith

  4. The ability of the Trump supporters (or, even those who didn’t support him, but are happy with the election outcome) to do a complete turnaround and be OK with what is going on is astonishing. All the lies they perpetrated about Clinton are verifiable truths about Trump. He will be putty in the hands of Putin and the Republicans will look the other way in order to keep their power.

  5. Note to Readers: Apparently, when our President-elect says he knows more about ISIS than the generals, he was not finished. He apparently knows more about intelligence than the CIA and FBI. That must be the case as he says he does not believe them about Russian hacking even though the CIA had confidence even before the election of the Russians involvement. It should be noted The Guardian reported yesterday that a non-inconsequential number of intelligence people may be leaving as they do not want to work under Flynn, Trump’s pick. Maybe since Trump has decided he does not want to briefed and knows it all, maybe we can just get rid of the CIA and FBI.

  6. Between leaked emails and possible Russian involvement, one would have thought that the election was the plot of a fictional book rather than reality. Really, it’s all so hard to wrap my head around! You’ve narrowed down the issue here in your post well and done so succinctly, it’s just that it all seems so unbelievable to me (though sadly I know it is all too real). It will be interesting to hear what the investigation into Russia’s part in the election uncovers one day. You are such an intelligent writer, Keith.

    • Christy, many thanks. The Trump team keeps saying this is political, but the CIA and FBI would not stake their reputation on something of this magnitude without being certain. This issue is well beyond this election and a real leader would see this and want to get to the bottom of it. We cannot allow a foreign entity to unduly influence our election. It does read like a Tom Clancy novel.

  7. Dear Keith,

    You already know that I am convinced that DT knows exactly what he is doing when he does his best to deny, discount and to trivialize the news that Russia has been interfering in the 2016 presidential election to sway the results in his favor.

    It is the same reason as to why he continues to deny climate change and why he is appointing climate deniers to head and then dismantle the EPA. It is why he has refused to publicly share his federal income tax returns.

    Somehow there is a benefit for DT to help expand the fossil fuel industry and fossil fuel just happens to be Russia’s only main resource,

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, I do believe he does know. Attacking the press is like attacking anyone who criticizes him. I must destroy anyone who dares criticize me. Your logic on fossil fuel protagonists is plausible as to why Russia has helped him. Obama’s decision with Canada to ban offshore drilling has to be bothersome to the President-elect. Keith

  8. I fear that if this isn’t addressed and some action taken before January 20th, it will be swept under the rug for at least the time being. It is every bit as bad as Watergate, but will Trump find a way to stop this train? It seems to be getting far less media attention than I would like, and many pooh-pooh it as simply a conjecture by Democrats who are upset at losing the election.

    • Jill, two experts, one of which traced the DNC hack, said it clearly was the Russian Military Intelligence. They made some mistakes and left a trail. They said it is good to investigate further, but the evidence is significant. Keith

      • So … why doesn’t that make the election null and void. I vote we have a new election next year, and ask President Obama to stay in office until such time as we can have an honest election and elect an honest president. 🙂

      • Jill, that would be a good approach. However, it stands a snowball’s chance in hell. It would not surprise me if we see Mike Pence as President in the next four years. Keith

      • I know … most of my best ideas stand a snowball’s chance in hell … 😀 No, it would not surprise me, either. And while I dislike Pence, as he is a bigot, at this point I would choose him over Trump. Pretty sorry lot, aren’t they?

      • True. Pence is at least rational. It will be interesting to see how many of Trump’s picks bail on him as he illustrates he is all over the place.

      • With that said, there has been some frustration with the change in posture with various tweets. It will be like holding mercury.

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