Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Russians Are Coming (If They Aren't Already Here)

Before the Coverup (including obstruction of justice), and in a sense even before the underlying Crime (coordination or collusion between the 2016 R campaign--possibly extending into now--and the Russian government/oligarchy under dictator Putin) there is the very strangely forgotten Super Crime: the Russian invasion of the US, attacking our elections.

How could this possibly be forgotten?  Maybe in a virtual age we aren't quite up to imagining a virtual war?  Instead of guns fired or cities incinerated there are votes changed and manipulated, perhaps resulting in outcomes manipulated and changed.  Damage that is harder to see, less visceral, longer term.  The ultimate Trojan Horse.

But this all started with warnings by the western intelligence "community," meaning numerous spy agencies in the US and abroad, that the Russians are coming, and in 2016, they were here, attacking our elections,  attempting a virtual political assassination of one candidate, and skewing the outcome to the one they wanted.

Why hasn't this been a screaming headline for months?  Possibly because of this other problem: the one they wanted, the one who got in, denies that any of it took place, doesn't want anybody to suggest it did or might have, and doesn't want anybody investigating it further.  He certainly isn't leading the charge, despite the certainty expressed by all the nation's intelligence agencies.  Because his Russian pals say they didn't do it.

If anything should unite the country it is attack by a foreign power, but so far the public doesn't seem to care much.  It apparently takes an ex-FBI agent to be shocked by all of this.  It sure doesn't seem to bother the Attorney-General.

Meanwhile, more information on the Russian invasion continues to come out, such as this story about a cyber attack that seemed intended to get access to actual voting machines just days before the 2016 election.  According to Bloomberg News: Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. election reached deeper than previously believed as people with direct knowledge of the investigation say electoral systems of 39 states were hit in the cyberattack.

And guess what?  You know that big congressional election in Georgia that's getting all the buzz because of what it might say about 2018?  It turns out that Georgia's voting system appears to be particularly vulnerable to cyberattack.

And this doesn't even take into account the Russian secret manipulation of social media and Wikileaks.

Some Senators seemed restive about all of this--the Russian attacks, the White House apathy-- during the Comey testimony.  Now, pretty quietly, the Senate has passed--almost unanimously--a package of stronger sanctions on Russia, and more:

"By a 97-2 vote, the U.S. Senate approved stronger sanctions on Russia Wednesday and took the first step toward limiting President Trump’s ability to ease those sanctions."

"More problematically, at least as far as the White House is concerned, the package also codifies into law five executive orders sanctioning Russia issued by President Obama. That means President Trump would not be able to strike them down as easily as Obama ordered them."

According to Politico, the dictator apprentice White House and State Department don't like it (surprise) and are lobbying to stop it in the House.  It also requires a presidential signature, which should be an interesting prospect.

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