ELDER PATRIOT – John McCain used his opening comments at yesterday’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing into possible Russian hacking of our presidential election to settle a score with Donald Trump for the unkind sentiments Trump expressed about McCain early in his campaign for the presidency.
McCain left no room for equivocation that the Russians absolutely, positively hacked and then disseminated information to influence the presidential election even though the report only expressed “high confidence” that Russia gained entrance to private emails.
McCain opened with this comment: “Our intelligence agencies concluded unanimously that the Russian government directed compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions including from U.S. political organizations.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 5, 2017
That sounds extremely ominous until you realize that the persons were Hillary Clinton who was running for president and her campaign’s CEO John Podesta, and the political organization was the DNC. These persons and organizations should be totally transparent and open to scrutiny anyway so we should be grateful for any incriminating information that may have come to light.
Having said that, while the probability that Russia successfully hacked these emails there is a similar probability that other foreign actors also were successful in gaining access to the same information. This would include China, Iran and North Korea as well as private hackers like Guccifer. It’s naïve to conclude anything else.
It’s also ridiculous to think we aren’t hacking every foreign government and their political leaders every minute of every day or that we haven’t been doing so since the origins of the Internet. As for unduly affecting elections we may be guilty of more instances of that than any other country on earth and that includes military induced regime changes as well.
Though McCain would like to limit the narrative to a budding bromance between Putin and Trump, it’s not a stretch of logic to believe the intelligence community’s Russian hacking conclusion is accurate and Julian Assange is telling the truth when he denies Russia was his source.
Everyone is hacking everyone and, with the unsecured severs used by the offended parties in this case, I can say with “high confidence” that anyone who tried gained access to any or all three systems rather easily.
Russian motivation for hacking was likely conducted with the assumption that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and they were therefore looking for potential information with which to blackmail her.
After all Trump’s declaration that he intends to increase our defense budget, to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production which would obviously harm Russia’s economy could not have been an appealing alternative to Hillary Clinton who Putin believed he could control.
This means that Putin wouldn’t want whatever he learned to be publicly revealed but rather kept secret for use at the appropriate time to achieve maximum political benefit.
This leaves us with Wikileaks. When Assange says Russia wasn’t his source we should believe him, unless, of course, a rogue actor inside the Russian intelligence community supplied the emails to Assange through a non-official channel.
McCain has played fast and loose with intelligence for decades. Who can forget his unflagging support of military intervention to root out Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? Thirteen years later, with hundreds of thousands of deaths and many more casualties, and after spending $6 trillion, the region has been greatly destabilized and no weapons of mass destruction have been found. McCain pays that no mind as long as his donors in the military industrial complex are fat and rich.
It’s time to tell McCain to STFU and implore him to just go away. This disgusting troll had little to say when China hacked massive amounts of intel and personal data from virtually every agency and department of our government including our most highly classified nuclear secrets.
Similarly, he ignored Wikileaks ten-year record of absolute accuracy in its reporting until now. Now he wants to conflate them with Russia but his credibility is gone while Wikileaks’ credibility is soaring because of their record for truthful releases.
McCain’s insistence on echoing Obama’s political appointees who crafted the report interpreting the work of career intelligence professionals rather than wait a few weeks until President Trump’s appointees could view the same intel and come to their own conclusions tells us everything we need to know about the Arizona senator – he, along with his lapdog Lindsey Graham, have been reliable members of the senate who Democrats can count on to undermine conservatives, conservatism and the truth..