Growing up, my generation was indoctrinated into the Cold War by the “better dead than red” Baby Boomers. We were programmed to understand that the Soviet Union was our enemy, not our ally. While we may have fought against Nazi tyranny together during World War II, our goals were profoundly different.
The Soviet Union seemed bent on controlling as much of the Eurasian continent as possible. Nazi Germany was a threat to that “elbow room” they were planning to conquer. Russia may be an ally, but they’re certainly not showing themselves as “friends” and their president is a product of Soviet influence and he keeps his cards close to the vest.
Putin is not going to show his hand until he has a good one. I am not a scholar of Russia, but Putin behaves very much like the dictators of the country’s immediate past. And there is no way that our sitting president has any idea how to deal with a man like this. This is no business deal, this is a bull by the horns and it’ll take more than slick hand shaking and back-door maneuvers.
Nearly three decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain has seen very little genuine change in the Cold War mentality. Except, in my opinion, those very Americans who should be mistrusting of Russia are turning a blind eye to the country’s covert interference in world affairs.
Some of the conservative argument falls along the lines of, “Who cares? Aren’t we doing that to other countries?” The short answer is, probably so. But the bigger picture likely has a different purpose.
Any interference in American politics can have a lasting and profound an effect on the world stage, particularly if the outcome of a presidential election has been affected. So, yes, it’s a big deal and Republicans don’t seem to want to acknowledge it.
Investigators have proven that Russians had infiltrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee, allowing access to email and chat transcripts along with detailed files on research related to Donald Trump.
According to a 2016 Washington Post report, it was an outside firm that identified Russia as the origin of the hack, not the U.S. Government. The firm, called CrowdStrike, identified two separate groups of hackers, both working for the Russian government. The results were confirmed by two competitors of the firm and conceded by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security in a statement which read:
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”
So, with so much supporting evidence and acknowledgment by the U.S. intelligence community, why is the GOP so ignorant to facts regarding the Russian hacking of American systems? Easy – they won.
If the election had gone in favor of Hillary Clinton, the Republican National Committee would have been jumping out of their own skins to investigate this, maybe even going so far as filing court injunctions to prevent the new president from taking office until it was resolved.
Since they won, they’re not likely to want to go poking around in this thing too deeply and uncover facts that might affect how Trump made it to the White House. Trump’s insistence that any investigation was simply an attempt to undermine his electoral victory is not only incorrect, it’s flat out ridiculous. Ignorance of facts doesn’t make you right, it makes you, well, ignorant.
None of this is really a surprise, however, since the Trump administration has turned a blind eye to just about every type of factual information since he took office. All I can hope, as a citizen and a journalist, Trump wakes up to the damage this could do to our country before more is hacked than a political party’s email system.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at www.deerinheadlines.com.