Rus­sian hack­ing: The left’s lat­est scape­goat

Cecil Whig - - & - Jay Am­brose

— The pres­i­den­tial elec­tion has come and gone ex­cept in the hearts of a for­lorn, des­per­ate, left­ist crew in­tent on tear­ing our democ­racy apart and in­sti­gat­ing a mael­strom of divi­sion un­seen in mod­ern times.

Their great­est hope is to deny Don­ald Trump ac­cess to the White House, but, short of that, to dele­git­imize the elec­tion, to say it was a fraud, a trav­esty, that un­e­d­u­cated, morally chal­lenged mo­ron vot­ers did this thing but ac­tu­ally lost.

Hil­lary Clin­ton won the pop­u­lar vote, the dis­mayed re­peat­edly af­firm, as if they do not quite get how the Con­sti­tu­tion rightly works and for­get­ting that Trump cap­tured most of the heart­land. What’s the goal — to squeeze the East and West coasts to­gether as a kind of penin­sula of power, es­sen­tially dis­en­fran­chis­ing those who re­side in between?

These hope­fuls hardly stop there. What re­ally de­feated Clin­ton, they say, was racism, ho­mo­pho­bia, Is­lama­pho­bia, xeno­pho­bia, anti- Semitism, rigged vot­ing pro­ce­dures, FBI di­rec­tor James Comey, fake news, Fox News, vot­ing ma­chines gone awry and Rus­sians. This last item is the head­line of the day. Our in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have said Rus­sians hacked emails of the Clin­ton cam­paign and the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee with the in­tent of elect­ing Trump.

In that case, some re­ply, the Elec­toral Col­lege should deny him the pres­i­dency when it votes on Dec. 19. Clin­ton is party to this. John Podesta, her cam­paign chair­man, has said the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies should give the elec­tors an ev­i­den­tial brief­ing, not so sur­rep­ti­tiously hop­ing some­thing ma­jor comes of it.

Most on­look­ers say such an un­prece­dented turn­around would never hap­pen. It does not re­quire a minute’s worth of alert­ness to see as well that the re­sult could be a fiery com­bus­tion keep­ing the coun­try in self- de­struc­tive tur­moil for heaven knows how long. The Rus­sians would be tickled to death, of course, and the ques­tion isn’t just whether it might hap­pen, but why any half- sane pa­triot would want it to hap­pen.

First off, we do not yet have the ev­i­dence, just a pro­nounce-


ment. There’s no need for con­gres­sional hear­ings as now con­tem­plated. Just give the data to us, tak­ing care, of course, not to di­vulge any in­ves­tiga­tive se­crets of our own. For the Elec­toral Col­lege to make a de­ci­sion on in­for­ma­tion not shared with ev­ery­one else would in­sti­gate sus­pi­cions.

The Rus­sians al­most surely did it, but un­der­stand that our in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have been mis­taken be­fore and that it is no more dis­re­spect­ful of our gov­ern­ment to await the facts and in­ter­pre­ta­tions than it is for the left to have at the FBI for its han­dling of the Clin­ton email scan­dal. It might not hurt at the same time to note that Rus­sia and China have been hack­ing away at us for years with­out the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion do­ing enough to stop it.

Rus­sia ac­tu­ally once had ac­cess to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s un­clas­si­fied emails, and China ob­tained per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on some­thing like 20 mil­lion fed­eral em­ploy­ees. Both na­tions have swiped our in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and bil­lions of dol­lars worth of trade se­crets. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has spent bil­lions on cy­ber­se­cu­rity with­out se­cu­rity emerg­ing. It has also es­tab­lished a pol­icy of sanc­tions that do very lit­tle. When some­thing goes amiss, Obama gen­er­ally says watch that stuff and not much more.

None of us can want Rus­sia play­ing games with our elec­tions. One con­se­quence of its in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing, if Clin­ton had been elected, is that it might have had the means of black­mail. That is pos­si­ble with Trump, too. But keep in mind that main­stream me­dia did as much to dis­trib­ute the ma­te­rial as Wik­iLeaks and that the vast ma­jor­ity of what has been dis­closed ap­pears ab­so­lutely on tar­get. How much of a fac­tor was it in the elec­tion? It is any­one’s guess, but a tiny speck, I would wager, com­pared to re­ports on the in­creas­ing costs of Oba­macare.

The ef­fort now should be a prin­ci­pled ef­fort to forge a good fu­ture and de­ter the Rus­sians, Chi­nese and oth­ers from dig­i­tal skull­dug­gery.

Jay Am­brose is an colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Readers may email him at speak­to­jay@ aol. com.

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