So, it looks like most of the players in this debacle have laid their cards on the table, and the deck is clearly stacked against the President-Elect. In watching the hearings the other day, a person that didn’t know any of the specifics surrounding the events would have garnered that this was serious business indeed. Serious enough, in fact, that the question ‘was this an act of war’ was raised. Think about that for a moment. Senior leaders of the U.S. Government considering war with our major political and military foe, Russia. Let that sink in. Now, consider the details of what they were talking about and how those details pale in comparison to that question.
Let’s assume that everything the intelligence agencies are telling us in correct. If so, we would have the following: 1) Vladimir Putin wanted Russian agents to ‘meddle’ with the 2016 election. 2) The reason for this was that Putin was holding a grudge against then-Secretary-of-State Clinton for stirring unrest in his country in 2011. 3) The ‘meddling’ was intended to make America loose confidence in their election process and give an edge to Donald Trump – the Kremlin’s preferred candidate. Are you with me so far? We will assume all of this is true.
Now, Vladimir Putin has been vilified in plenty of places – being called everything from a stone-cold KGB killer to an Dictator-For-Life. He has plenty of enemies both abroad and at home. In fact, the pitfalls of being an enemy of Vladimir Putin are well know. Former KGB agents poisoned in London, Journalists being shot to death, political rivals being jailed on trumped up charges…the list goes on. Assuming, again, that all of this is true as well – then there seems to be a disconnect between what we think we know about Vladimir Putin and what we do know about the ‘hacking’ during the 2016 election. Let me explain.
First off, you’ll notice I use quotation marks around the word ‘hacking’ in this context. Why? Because to call what happened here ‘hacking’ is to misuse the word, in my opinion. The term itself is a one size fits all and does not begin to make clear the incredibly unsophisticated level of rudimentary computer knowledge that was used to steal John Podesta’s emails or break in to the DNC. This is the kind of stuff your grandmother falls for on her AOL email account. Essentially, they asked for the password and someone gave it to them. In fact, in newly released emails from the Clinton camp, it was clear that they even emailed the passwords to one another in clear-text. In other words, anyone who even saw the email would know the password. Yikes. This was not a brute-force attack using a warehouse of Cray supercomputers somewhere in Siberia.
Secondly, re-read Putin’s track record of what he does to rivals or people he dislikes. He doesn’t seem to go for many half-measures. You can be certain that if Putin wants you dead, it won’t be like our many attempts to kill Fidel Castro over the years. You’ll end up befalling a tragic death one way or another. So, doesn’t it seem at least somewhat surprising that IF he was that vexed over Hillary Clinton, he would have done something much grander? Something like planting fake emails or evidence that would not have been possible to verify prior to the November 8th election? Furthermore, the CIA has said that it is ‘highly likely’ that Hillary’s homebrew server was hacked by several foreign entities (notice, no quotations around the word hacked in that sentence – that was real espionage). One can reliably assume that Putin could have gotten his hands on that material and disclosed it prior to the election – really damning her chances. Why didn’t he, if he indeed had such a vendetta against her?
I don’t have a problem with Intelligence Agencies sharing their evidence. I do have a problem with them playing shrink and divining the purpose behind any involvement in the first place. There are simply too many blank spaces to draw an accurate conclusion as to motive. Vladimir Putin is a shrewd, intelligent, calculating, patient, dangerous man. Dumping some petty emails on to WikiLeaks because he was mad against someone 5 years ago doesn’t seem like his style….especially when that person (HRC) has already demonstrated an ability to be manipulated by the Russians in the first place (Russian ‘reset’ anyone?).
Let’s be honest, the American press did far, far more nefarious meddling to sway this election for Hillary Clinton than any foreign actors. The only reason that any of the politicians have their panties in a wad right now is because (a) their candidate didn’t win (HRC / Obama) and (b) their candidate didn’t win (McCain / Graham). So far, DJT has done what’s right – listened to the evidence and then drawing his own conclusions without being swayed on so important an issue, by media pressure.