An attack upon America?

Published 12:52 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

There is no disagreement. The facts are overwhelming. All 16 of the U.S. Intelligence agencies report that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election in 2016, with the attacks perhaps altering the outcome of those elections.

The cyber attacks were directed at the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic National Committee. The attacks were intended to divide the Democratic Party, undermine the candidate, benefit Donald Trump, and influence our electoral process.

In a statement released by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, the coordinating agency for the 16 Intelligence gathering agencies, and Jeh Johnson, Director of Homeland Security the following was stated:

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“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” the statement said. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

What could pose a more serious risk to America than interference in our electoral process? Yet, as of this writing there is no congressional committee investigating the Russian actions. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, indicated Thursday that he will lead a senate investigation into Russia’s interference in U.S. election and the hacking of Democratic Party and Clinton. Graham also suggested President-elect Trump take a “tough tone” with Russia. To date, Trump has done exactly the opposite, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House government oversight committee, has indicated he will introduce legislation to establish a bi-partisan commission to investigate the Russian interference in the American election.

In contrast, President elect Trump said on Wednesday, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.”

The president-elect does not have his own intelligence gathering organization and it is questionable that he has any intelligence source to support his statement. Requests for the president-elect to identify the source for his claims have gone without response.

U.S. and European authorities have expressed concern that Trump’s denial could both embolden the Russian efforts here and in Europe to interfere in elections, and could undermine the trust of the U.S. Intelligence community in the incoming administration.

Putin has led Russia to invade Crimea, use Russian airpower to kill civilians in Syria, and shoot down a passenger place over the Ukraine with a ground-to-air Russian missile fired by Russian troops or Eastern Ukrainian rebels.

Putin has also been implicated in the deaths of political enemies in Russia and has imprisoned political opponents.
President-elect Trump has said this about Putin: “Look at Putin — what he’s doing with Russia — I mean, you know, what’s going on over there. I mean this guy has done — whether you like him or don’t like him — he’s doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.”

The question here is, how can the President elect ignore the knowledge of 16 Intelligence agencies who report with clarity that Russia is in fact influencing American elections? There seems no responsible answer to this question, yet Trump continues to both favor the Russian dictator with positive comments and ignore the attack upon America conducted by the Russian leader/thug.

Mr. President-elect, your country needs you to step up and defend the nation, respond with authority to this attack and speak with clarity against the Russian dictator. Anything less is a gross disservice to your country.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.