UPDATE: Sergei Markov, of Russia’s Duma (Congress), has now openly stated that Russia hacked the DNC, and used Wikileaks as a conduit, in order to harm Hillary Clinton. This is a plain statement that Russia hacked America, using Wikileaks, in order to hurt one side of the US political aisle. And Rep. Markov boasts that he personally lobbied Vladimir Putin to take action on the matter.
So we don’t need to wonder about motive any more.
“We cannot exclude the fact that some patriots in the government, or in the intelligence and in non-governmental circles, could help Wikileaks pin down the U.S. criminals [in the Obama administration] so Hillary [Clinton] gets defeated,” Sergey Markov, a member of the Public Chamber, said in a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Monday. Markov said that he wrote “recommendation notes” on this issue to President Putin, which he passed to the country’s leader via Kremlin channels.
‘Thank you sir, may I have another?’
To many, that’s what Donald Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson, personal friend of Vladimir Putin, for Secretary of State sounded like. (Here, in a video on Russia’s propaganda channel RT recorded in 2012, Mr. Tillerson explains how Exxon will be handing sensitive technology like seismic imaging to its Russian partners).
There is a concerted effort in the mainstream media to confuse what’s actually a very simple matter.
Vladimir Putin hacked an American election.
The CIA makes a balance of probability assessment on motives. The FBI, who by some accounts are confusing their law enforcement side with their counter-intelligence side, want a standard of evidentiary proof (although why they do is unclear, as it is hardly likely they will be placing Vladimir Putin on trial in an American court). The Director of National Intelligence has to tie everybody together.
A lack of agreement over Putin’s motives for his attack on America clearly exists.
But what doesn’t exist is any doubt that Vladimir Putin attacked an American election.
To boost Trump?
To hurt Clinton?
Any or all of these are possible. Perhaps Mr. Putin had a different motive altogether. Perhaps he had a bet on with Viktor Orban. Perhaps he was bored with running Russia’s economy into the ground and just wanted a ‘wag the dog’ distraction from his failure without firing actual missiles. Maybe the Free Cell on his computer was broken.
Russia hacked America in the middle of its election. It attacked American democracy. What more does the media need to know?
You don’t need to be a Republican or a Democrat to be angered at that. You just need a spine.
Would John Wayne take that? Would Ronald Reagan? What would Indiana Jones do?
Putin must be chucking at America’s mainstream media hacks chasing their own tails on why, exactly, he hacked the USA.
Russia is a tiny, weak country in comparison to the United States. Its citizens have lower GDP per head than those of Mississippi. If, say, tiny Estonia hacked Russia’s top politicians do you think Putin would waste time while the GRU and FSB debated their motives?
No. He’d attack, proportionately. He’d shut down their internet, go to war on their banks. And maybe more.
Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to act on this while Obama is still President. And by the way, Obama is the President. It’s great that he’s ordered a report into the hacking. But he already knows that America was hacked by Putin – and on his watch.
So, Mr. President, what are you going to do about it?
Covert actions, such as reportedly Western attacks on Russian banks, won’t do. Putin’s attack was public – and the response by America must be public.
Because the issue here is simpler than the media makes out.
Russia attacked America. And weakness in the face of a first strike by the enemy is never a good idea.
Mr. Trump can ask Mad Dog Mattis about that one.