The war to discredit Donald Trump’s presidency escalated Wednesday when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) asked America’s director of national intelligence whether the alleged Russian hacks of some members of the Democrat National Committee constituted “an act of war.”
James Clapper, appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, declined to make that call, saying it was beyond the purview of the intelligence community. Clapper did stand by a previously published assessment that the Russians butted into American politics when they hacked those emails, which were published during the presidential campaign by Wikileaks. Clapper continued to argue that Russia butted in to help elect Trump or to help defeat Clinton.
President-Elect Trump is scheduled to meet with key members of the intelligence community Friday. He has maintained it is impossible to know for certain who hacked the Democrats, and he has cited Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s contention that his organization did not receive the emails from the Russians or any “state party” as evidence against a Russian hack.
This particular line of attack on Trump’s presidency aims to portray him as a democracy destroyer who wanted the Russian hack to negate the real wishes of voters, which would have been to elect Hillary Clinton.
However, the intelligence community has admitted that no voting machines nor any vote tallies were hacked or manipulated by the Russians, and various news outlets have reported that the intelligence community remains uncertain about what impact the hacks and publishing of the Democrat emails had on the election outcome, if any.
Hacking itself is illegal, although it is generally acknowledged that competing or enemy countries routinely attempt to hack each other, sometimes succeeding.
The question for American citizens is what to make of this story. McCain’s hyperbolic question to Clapper, was the hack “an act of war”, shows itself as little more than inglorious grandstanding and a desperate effort to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Why? Because McCain already knew the answer to the question, which was the negative, and which rendered the question as not worthy of being asked. How do we know? Because if McCain believed the alleged Russian hack constituted an act of war, he could have moved for a declaration of war or an authorization of war in the Senate. Has he ever done that? Absolutely not!
In fact, McCain’s sly attempt to disingenuously shift the onus of determination to the national intelligence director scammed American citizens. It was theater. McCain is the lawmaker and the putative statesman. A declaration or authorization for war, or the grounds that merit such, is his and his fellow lawmaker’s call, and the president’s; it isn’t the call of a subordinate who reports to lawmakers and to the president! The intelligence community provides the data to help decision-makers decide. The president and our lawmakers analyze, make sense of, evaluate, and render judgment.
So when Clapper told McCain that calling the alleged Russian hack “an act of war” was not his to make, he meant that in just the way I have described, which is quite telling. Will McCain seek a declaration or authorization for war? Nah! No one is going to war over a few pinched Democrat emails, emails the media should have pursued and published but which they did not.
Those emails had information which every voter had a right to know. They detailed the Democrats true intentions, their condescension toward and condemnation of various ethnic, racial, and religious groups not in agreement with them, and their deliberate hypocrisy in showing voters a faux political persona while sharing their real persona secretly to the wealthy insiders who owned them.
So McCain can stand on top of the tallest soap box he can find and shout at the top of his lungs, as can Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff and a whole host of others who want to make hay out of the alleged Russian hack. We’re not going to war because pinching a few Democrat emails isn’t worth it.
But think of the hypocrisy, my fellow citizens! Our government is spying on us. It listens and watches and reads everything. It intercepts and catalogs every phone call, email, text message, etc., and stores them for future reference (think of Person of Interest). And the big corporations are doing the same thing!
As a citizen, I am not going to rally around a cry of wolf toward Russia when our own government and our own businesses betray our ideals of privacy and respect in the name of “security” and “a more personalized experience”.
Yes, I want to win the cyber war, which has been going on for some time and with worse incidents than the hack of Democrat emails. Let’s keep everything in perspective, however, and let’s keep our intelligence agencies honest and honoring of our tradition of maximum individual liberty.
Now, if only we could keep the media honest… .
So, McCain, stop trying to hinder the changes and improvements Trump will make. Stop trying to incapacitate your president and force him to accept only your agenda, which Americans do NOT want. You better get on the train and help Trump make America great again, and that includes a wall along the border.