Thursday, January 12, 2017

Intel Flap

I watched Senator McCain’s Intel hearing the other day involving the top honchos connected to the DNI.  McCain considers the Russian hacking (assuming it took place) as an act of war, never mind that such an act could be answered with military means, not just counter-cyber activity.   

DNI Director Clapper made it clear that he considers the hacking (if it took place) as an act of espionage and mentioned that it’s dangerous to throw rocks if one lives in a glass house, i.e., that the U.S does the same thing regarding hacking into anything it can worldwide.  The point was made, apparently more or less consensually, that any hacking had nothing to do with the election.   

The hacking that took place, whether from Russia or anywhere else, affected the DNC in exposing its corruption, which, of course, had to do with stacking the deck against Bernie Sanders in favor of guaranteeing that Hillary would crack the glass ceiling. Just the possibility of that happening is chilling if not scary.   

Clapper, a former general, also indicated that it would be well for the U.S. and Russia to find “mutual interests,” another way of saying he agrees with Trump in establishing a friendship with Russia, opposite a strictly adversarial arrangement, which has been the Obama/Clinton position even to the extent of Hillary meddling in the Russian election involving Putin’s presidency.  This is not to say that governments must not meddle in the elections in other countries when their own interests are involved.  This world is not Camelot and all governments do not play by the same rules, meaning that taking the the low road (if that can be defined internationally) is always a possibility.  

McCain’s position is hypocritical, of course, in that he, along with Senators Graham and Lieberman, fomented the unprovoked U.S. unilateral attack (NATO not a significant factor) against Libya, totally unauthorized either legally or Constitutionally.  It was a monstrous war-crime that cost thousands of lives over a seven-month period.  McCain and Graham also tried to get Obama to attack Syria, which he almost did, though he provided weaponry against both of those sovereign nations, meddling in their civil wars.   

Putin saved Obama's bacon (those silly red lines) when he took over the affairs of the Middle East, essentially telling Obama to bug out, which he did, and wisely so.  So, when McCain complains about the actual espionage as an act of war, he condemns himself and his position by his own actions, which, as opposed to espionage, actually did involve acts of war.  

A large segment of the current issue of TIME magazine is devoted to this subject, probably because of all the ballyhoo generated by democrats to make a big deal out of nothing.  Supposedly, WikiLeaks guru Julian Assange received hacker-info from the Russians and made it public, thus somehow hurting Clinton's campaign, which she deep-sixed herself account just opening her mouth and posturing, especially as a woman whose time had come.  Assange disavows any Russian connection and folks may believe him or not.  

On page 26 of TIME is a description of this country's efforts to ferret out the private actors linked to the Russian hacking, in which is this phrase: “...which the U.S. spies believed was the main organization behind the influence operation.”  The obvious inference is that the CIA and perhaps the NSA participate in clandestine cyber-activity all the time, not just the Russians.  One hopes this is true and that U.S. intel agencies know even more about Russian secrets than the Russkies know about those of the U.S.  

In the Senate hearing on 11 January of Rex Tillerson as the next State Secretary, the democrats came out with fangs bared, some especially concerned about the Russian hacking, particularly relative to Putin’s authorization of it, as if Tillerson knows more than anyone else or could do much about what the current administration as well as Clinton’s private server-operators were not able to do, though the president said in a recent press conference that he told Putin to “cut it out.”  

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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