Network Error: More on Russian Hacks

December 19, 2016 9:57 pm by Jacob McAllister


Trying to Decipher the Barrage of Information

The cries for investigation on the hill are flying in faster than the infinite numer of 1’s and 0’s floating around cyberspace. Suddenly, everyone is chiming in on cyberterror.

The Russian hacking story has continued to grow legs, and new developments continue to materialize. It seems everyone is weighing in on this, and most of the information is still second hand and piece-wise, however the broader picture is emerging, and a consensus is beginning to form. But a consensus of what exactly?

Now that the electoral college has made their vote official, and there will not be any surprises to come, it could be possible that the President-elect’s team is beginning to soften their rhetoric on whether or not they think this was a hack. This issue is no longer able to be framed as being some kind of attempt at a coup d’etat of the electoral college, as was being suggested by team Trump, they can feel much safer in taking this position.

Red Scare?

Is the threat to our Democracy from Putin being overblown, and over-sensationalized by Democrats who are bitter about their loss and still looking for someone to blame? That is the charge being lobbed around by far right circles of the republican party. It seems rather dubious. Republicans as a whole have every reason to want to bury this story and make it go away forever, and pointing the finger at liberal outrage over this issue is an effective “red herring”. Tactically speaking, I don’t see it as a viable strategy in any non-deplorable circles.

Also, in the context of the latest attack on the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, we can only expect Russia’s hyper-nationalist bravado to increase. We will see how that wrinkle affects our relations with Moscow, particularly in light of all of the calls for investigation coming from Congress. It could get very tense as far as that goes…


Anonymous sources are telling us…

A Different Take

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept has looked at this issue from a different angle, specifically dinging members of the news media who seem to be citing leaks from anonymous sources as though they are evidence worthy of a conviction, and stymieing anyone who does’t tow the line. He also calls out Democrats for what he sees as a curious flip-flop on Russia, with president Obama mocking then opponent Mitt Romney’s hard line stance against Russia back in 2012. It would seem that their tune has changed drasticlly on that. I’m not trying to advocate for Putin’s Russia, or delegitimize what is an obvious call for action, but it is important to take into account the legacy of the CIA, and to have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to leaks from them. Here is Greenwald giving his side of the story:

Bringing it all Back

Leave it to Barry O. to find a way to bring the conversation back square one, and suggest that the partisan dissolution in our Nation is mostly to blame for this crisis:

“Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s OK to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like,

Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. And how did that happen? It happened in part because for too long, everything that happens in this town, everything that’s said, is seen through the lens of, Does this help or hurt us relative to Democrats or relative to President Obama.

Of course he is referring to attacks against him, but the larger point remains that bitter partisan opposition should not become so central to our political system that it is seen as more rational to side with a shady foreign dictator than the opposing party. We have to stand together as Americans and not fall victim to the attempts of a hostile foreign power to weaken us using the all too familiar divide and conquer strategy.


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