THE HACK­ING GETS MURKY

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS -

“What do we know about for­eign hack­ing into the U.S. elec­tion? Quite a lot, ac­tu­ally, even if we don’t have a park­ing pass at CIA head­quar­ters. But there is also a lot of con­fu­sion. Call it the ‘fog of cy­ber­war.’ The fog comes from sev­eral sources,” writes Charles Lip­son, a Uni­ver­sity of Chicago po­lit­i­cal science pro­fes­sor and con­trib­u­tor to Real Clear Pol­i­tics.

“Only snip­pets of in­for­ma­tion have been dis­closed. No pub­lic in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been held, though some cer­tainly will be. The CIA and FBI seem to have reached dif­fer­ent con­clu­sions, and the di­rec­tor of na­tional in­tel­li­gence has not ad­ju­di­cated them. Don­ald Trump has re­jected the idea that Rus­sia was try­ing to help him get elected,” Mr. Lip­son con­tin­ues. “And Democrats, seek­ing to blame any­one but them­selves for their losses, have stressed Rus­sia’s role. Some dead-en­ders have even said Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in­val­i­dates the elec­tion re­sults. It’s time to clar­ify what we know so we can fig­ure out what to do next.”

Should there be a “deep dive,” as Pres­i­dent Obama sug­gested to fer­ret out the truth?

“A se­ri­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tion should not be an ex­cuse for deny­ing the out­come of the 2016 elec­tion or for say­ing it was rigged by a for­eign power. The elec­tion is over, and Hil­lary Clin­ton’s loss can­not be at­trib­uted to Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence,” says Mr. Lip­son, who rec­om­mends that Congress be left out the ef­fort be­cause their work is typ­i­cally “shal­low, back­ward-look­ing, and filled with par­ti­san grand­stand­ing” and a full agenda deal­ing with health care, tax re­form, a Supreme Court nom­i­nee and other press­ing mat­ters.

The pro­fes­sor is more par­tial to a low-key bi­par­ti­san in­ves­ti­ga­tion mod­eled af­ter the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, with sub­poena power and in­put from the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity.

“Its mis­sion should be more than pin­ning the tail on the Rus­sian bear. It should be high­light­ing ar­eas of vul­ner­a­bil­ity at the heart of our democ­racy: the right to free, fair elec­tions,” ad­vises Mr. Lip­son.

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