Before I go into this, allow me to say that Russia hacked the elections. The U.S. government said it, and I believe it. Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed what has been alleged to be true. In January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified summarized report that according to the New York Times, detailed what was called a Russian campaign to influence the election. In other words, after many months of a coordinated counter-intelligence investigation that involved foreign intelligence agencies, it was concluded that Russia did hack the U.S. elections in 2016.
I listened to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill this week. At the hearing, during the opening line of questioning into the investigation Comey was asked the following by the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard M. Burr:
BURR: Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections?
BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the D triple C systems and the subsequent leaks of that information?
COMEY: No, no doubt.
BURR: Do you have any doubt the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?
BURR: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?
COMEY: I’m confident. When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.
For some, the talk about Russia and their hacking of the U.S. elections are nothing but rubbish. To many, these allegations amount to nothing but government propaganda. Mind you, it’s propaganda that’s being bandied about for the sole purpose of giving Hillary Clinton an excuse for losing the general election. This sounds crazy, I’m sure. Nonetheless, this is what I’ve been hearing in debates with some of my fellow friends on the political left.
I can’t tell you what the far-right crazies are saying about the talk about Russia. Actually, I can, but I would rather focus on my far-left friends. And to be honest, much of what my “progressive” friends are saying sounds a lot like what I’m hearing in the right-wing bubble of stupidity. Yes, it’s almost like they mirror each other. Who knew that the disdain for Hillary Clinton could bring together ideological opposites like it has in the last six months?
Russia? Hacking? What Russian Hacking?
Some of my far-left progressive friends are on social media pretending to be the Lone Ranger. However, the puritanical high horse that they ride should be renamed. No, it isn’t the great white horse we all know as Trigger. No no no… the horse they’re riding is called Bullshit.
Many of them are of the opinion that Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate. Clinging to their puritanical ideals as hard as some of our right-wing friends cling to their guns and religion, they chose to sit out the general election. Yes, they didn’t vote. They were part of the “Bernie or Bust” crowd. When not on social media, I suspect that they’re all huddled in Susan Sarandon’s basement as they await the bat signal that announces the beginning of the revolution. Until then, they spend time trashing Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party for robbing Bernie Sanders of the presidency, and anyone with sense who dares to mention Russian hacking. What’s interesting is that while they deny Russia’s hacking of the elections, they use the hacked DNC emails dumped by WikiLeaks as evidence of DNC wrongdoing.
Yes, because the elections were rigged. And yes, Russia had nothing to do with those emails being hacked or disseminated. When asked for evidence to support their claims, they become as loud as the fart from an ant’s ass. They have nothing. Well, nothing but their idealism and that Bernie would’ve beaten Donald Trump arguments.
Because you don’t believe that U.S. intelligence agencies are truthful when they say Russia hacked the elections, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. You’re no more intelligent – or informed – than anyone who believes what the government has said if you can’t prove them wrong.
To condemn anyone who believes it to be true while unable to prove it otherwise makes you an idiot. It’s like ignoring science and saying that climate change isn’t real. Forget the evidence as examined and found to be inconclusive by scientists. Yes, let’s ignore that. Let’s be like Trump and deny that climate change isn’t real. Hell, while we’re at it, let’s join the Flat Earth Society. You know, because being on the wrong side of history is no big deal.
Even Bernie Sanders Believes That Russia Hacked Us
The irony of this is that even Bernie Sanders admits that Russia did hack the elections.
“Well, I think, when you have the intelligence agencies saying that that happened, when you have John McCain, when you have Democrats, when you have a bipartisan effort saying that we need an investigation, because this is very serious stuff, I think we go forward.
But I don’t want to go backwards. I think we have got to go forward. We have got to take a hard look at the role that the Russians played in this election process. We will see where the investigation goes.
But for Donald Trump to summarily dismiss all of this makes no sense to me at all.”
This was what Sanders said on Meet The Pres in December. He said this a few weeks before the final report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was released.
But yet, people who think like Bernie on this issue are the stupids.
Just think: there are people who voted for Sanders who didn’t vote for Clinton – who would rather die at a firing squad than vote for Clinton – who today, are promoting Trump’s talking points vis-a-vis Russian hacking of the elections. Yes, imagine that. It’s unreal.
There’s Nothing To Gain By Being A Skeptic
It’s one thing to question the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Yes, we need evidence that supports that claim.
However, it’s asinine to question whether there was ever any hacking by Russia. Hell, even Putin admitted that it happened. Putin said that the cyber attack was not one of his directives. Even so, he acknowledged that it happened. He even called the Rissian hackers “patriotically minded,” for fuck’s sake. Hell, Putin even said this publicly.
What more do you need to be convinced that the elections were hacked by Russians?
To believe that Russia hacked the elections isn’t anything like cosigning a war with a foreign country over WMDs. Nobody is even suggesting that America should pursue that course of action in retaliation for what Russia did. But, of course, trusting the government to whom you pay your taxes because you hate Hillary Clinton is the thing to do. Because COINTELPRO?
Russia Wins If We Ignore The Cyber Attack
Personally, I’m confident that U.S. intelligence has sufficient evidence of what Russia did. And while I can understand healthy skepticism, I think many of my friends are being ridiculous. This isn’t an issue where we’re talking about weapons of mass destruction in a particular country. This is a foreign adversary with nukes being a threat to American democracy. To paraphrase Comey at the Senate hearing this week, this isn’t a partisan thing – this isn’t about party politics. Instead, it’s an American thing. But hey, in America it’s all about freedom and democracy. That said, forgive me for challenging your right to be a dumbass.
For all we know, Russia has the capability to access voting machines and voter registration records. As a black man, I have to be completely honest here. It’s bad enough that I have to concern myself with legislation that makes it harder for black people to vote. The last thing I need to add to that concern is a foreign entity being able to dump registered voters from voter registration rolls. As an American, this threat to democracy should concern you.
Russia Will Not Stop Being A Threat
To paraphrase Comey at the Senate hearing this week, this isn’t a partisan thing – this isn’t about party politics. Instead, it’s an American thing. But hey, in America it’s all about freedom and democracy. That said, forgive me for challenging your right to be a dumbass.
BURR: Okay. When did you become aware of the cyber intrusion?
COMEY: The first cyber — there was all kinds of cyber intrusions going on all the time. The first Russian-connected cyber intrusion I became aware of in the late summer of 2015.
BURR: And in that time frame, there were more than the DNC and the D triple C that were targets?
COMEY: Correct, a massive effort to target government and nongovernmental, near governmental agencies like nonprofits.
BURR: What would be the estimate of how many entities out there the Russians specifically targeted in that time frame?
COMEY: It’s hundreds. I suppose it could be more than 1,000, but it’s at least hundreds.
BURR: When did you become aware that data had been exfiltrated?
COMEY: I’m not sure exactly. I think either late ’15 or early ’16
I’m sorry, but the preservation of American democracy is too valuable to ignore.