Monday, December 12, 2016

Hacking the Election


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I talk about Mrs Clinton and the recent election.
For John, BLUFRush Limbaugh thinks it is a conspiracy on the order of forcing Richard Nixon from the White House, but I doubt the ability of those folks to be that organized.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This would be Mr Patrick Eddington, blogging at Medium dot Com. Here is the lede:
In the wake of the most remarkable presidential election in at least a century, we now face the very real possibility that "We, the People" didn't actually make the final choice about who will run the executive branch and effectively set national policy for the next four years.  Instead, #Election2016 may have been hijacked by former Soviet KGB officer-turned-Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, according to a still-secret assessment produced by my former employer, the Central Intelligence Agency.
That is to say, if it wasn't for President Vladimir Putin, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be heading for an Electoral College victory on Monday, the 19th.

And, here from The Old Gray Lady and reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Lichtblaudec, we have, today, "C.I.A. Judgment on Russia Built on Swell of Evidence".  Here is the lede plus one:

American spy and law enforcement agencies were united in the belief, in the weeks before the presidential election, that the Russian government had deployed computer hackers to sow chaos during the campaign.  But they had conflicting views about the specific goals of the subterfuge.

Last week, Central Intelligence Agency officials presented lawmakers with a stunning new judgment that upended the debate:  Russia, they said, had intervened with the primary aim of helping make Donald J. Trump president.

Was it to help Mr Trump win or was it to defeat Mrs Clinton, who Mr Putin thinks worked against him as Secretary of State?

Here is the article from The Boston Globe, "CIA: Russia tried to help Trump win".

There is this from The Wash Post"FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks".

The mainstream media, and many Democrats, believe that the Russians hacked the election and helped Mrs Clinton lose (well, they phrase it as helped Mr Trump win).

So, grab your smelling salts!!

I think there are two separate things here.

The first is if the Russians hacked, participated in the hacking, initiated the hacks, and the distribution of the results.

The second is if the Wikileaks (or leaking to other media outlets) changed the outcome of the election.

The second is complicated by another question, which is if you believe that Mr Trump’s win was inexplicable outside of some kind of external force (e.g., Russian interference).  If you believe that, you fall on one side of the question (and perhaps conclude we need to redo the election).  If you don’t believe that (don't believe that Mrs Clinton had it iced) then you see this as just loser sour grapes.

Then there is the sub-question of if the IC really believes the successful hacking happened.

But, if we have to go to a do-over the follow-up question is what we are going to do about this in terms of (1) increasing our defenses in this area and (2) taking offensive punishing actions.

As a minimum, I would say, we need to isolate Russia and force it back on its economic heels (assuming they did it).

Otherwise too many of those voters out in fly-over country will feel the election was stolen from them by spooks and lawyers and the Media and Washington politicians.

UPDATE:  Some wording updated for clarity.

Regards  —  Cliff

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