Throw the Russian Hack Story in the Trash

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The media will not let go of the story about the hacked emails of Democratic Party leaders and operatives. They and the political establishment continue to assert that Russia hacked the emails and likely used them to favor Trump’s election or to defeat Hillary Clinton’s.

The media effort seeks to brand the hack as an “election hack”, an equivocal term that many media readers/viewers/listeners mistake to mean that election machines or vote tallies were tampered with, an intentional manipulation of perception that is patently false.

The media cites a “report” by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. However, that report essentially provides no details to the press, naturally, to preserve security, choosing out of necessity to offer a summary of conclusions. Omitted are the details of what those agencies discovered, how their information was obtained, and how it was analyzed and interpreted to point the finger at Russia.

What and how much the president and president-elect have been told remains a secret. Perhaps we’ll learn more when the intelligence community briefs Donald Trump on Friday.

The president-elect Trump has disputed the intelligence findings, citing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has said on multiple occasions that Wikileaks did not receive the hacked Democrat emails from Russia or from any “state party”.

In the analyses of what the intelligence community has reported, commentators have stated that the intelligence agencies made their conclusion in part based on certain digital “signatures” hackers use to gain access to computer users.

What I have not seen asked or answered is whether such signatures can be found out and duplicated by other hackers who want the trail to lead to another person or group besides themselves.

On the other hand, if Wikileaks did not receive the data from the Russians, it must be asked whether it was possible for a third party to deliver the data to Wikileaks after receiving it from the Russians and whether that happened.

The problem with the story is the political grandstanding it has created by both Democrat and Republican establishment politicians. All those officeholders want voters to think the election was hacked, that America’s security was breached, and that Americans and their democracy were endangered. They do so for individual and collective motivations, all unpleasantly selfish.

Whether you agree with or like Mr. Trump or not, his campaign and election smashed the iron grip the establishment and its media purveyors held on electioneering and American life. Campaigns of both parties had fallen always within a certain range of mutual acceptability, and the process was monolithicized to prevent outsiders from gaining sway and the American public from being heard, respected, and obeyed.

Instead, the establishment members transmogrified the elections of our democratic republic into their personal power scheme, where the issues they cared about were nurtured and nourished and the common American was manipulated or ignored. Americans had to adapt to the political establishment rather than the political establishment adapting to Americans. The result was massive disappointment, economic and cultural neglect, the diminishment of the desired quality of life, and the marginalization of the American public at large.

That establishment and media effort continues, and the alleged Russian hack is one of its cornerstones. Trump is bad, and by extension his nominees and his policy proposals are bad, because he is the reason democracy is in danger, they have said or implied. He’s a dirty cheat who did anything to get elected, and he suborned the Russian hack when he asked for their cyber help to expose Hillary Clinton’s dirty secrets, dishonesty, and hypocrisy.

That is how threatened the political establishment and the media are. Don’t believe them. They are the liars and cheats, and if Trump is the same, at least he is lying and cheating for us. They seek only their own benefit and ours collaterally, just enough to keep us quiet.

I believe Trump believes in Americans and America first. I have no reason to think otherwise, but those whose iron grip on power he has loosened have reason to want you and me to think otherwise: so they can steal back what they lost even though it wasn’t theirs to begin with!

Don’t fall for it.

The second problem with the story is that it undermines America’s response to the Russians if, in fact, they did hack a private organization. As a citizen, I don’t need a lot of fanfare and hyperbolic, faux congressional questioning and a huge, 500-page report no one will read. I want our intelligence agencies to quietly and patiently strike back at the right time, improving our security and breaking through theirs, which is what they have been doing (hopefully) all along.

We expect our enemies and competitors to spy on us, just as we are spying on them. For the grandstanders to act like the hack of Democrat emails was something shocking and dangerous to democracy is to diminish the significance of what a truly detrimental hack would be: on actual voting machines and vote tallies; on our power grid, knocking out electricity to whole swaths of the country in the dead of winter; on our nuclear and conventional arsenals, turning a simulation or a war game into an actual attack; on our nuclear power plants; on our banking, robbing people and businesses of their identities and their finances; on our air traffic and maritime and railroad and ground traffic controls and signals, to name just a few. Those could result in catastrophe: loss of life and destruction or disappearance of property on a massive scale.

The political establishment and the media want to direct your attention to fake news and to redirect your attention away from what is vital and critical: hackers threaten their machinations and help to upend their grip on power. Hacked emails reveal how they genuinely think and feel, the private persona that contradicts the phony public persona they portray to common Americans, like you and me. I don’t care what their political stripes are: they are liars and cheats hellbent on hoodwinking the American public and preserving their power.

What is the first thing the GOP tried to do when the 115th Congress opened? Shut down the independent ethics counsel! How rotten was that? How impudent and imprudent was that? We have so many things to make right and to do to make this country great again, and the first thing the GOP house members try to do is rid themselves of the agency that investigates congressional misdeeds!

Do not be misled. Toss the Russian hack story where it belongs: File 13. Be watchful. Work to keep our republican democracy alive and healthy. Stay free and independent, my friends!

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