Friday, December 30, 2016

With Obama Sanctions on Russkies Should New U.S. Elections Now Be Called?

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Many citizens want this little troll dumped before Jan. 20th and either new elections called, or Hillary installed as official President - because of the claimed Russian manipulation of the 2016 elections.

It isn't easy being an obnoxious, entitled little twitter troll drooling at the mouth to fuck the country up as "president" but who is then presented evidence of foreign influence in the recent election. An influence which, arguably, catapulted his lot to power. As noted in a previous post, the deliberate hacking in key battleground states could genuinely overturn the "apple cart" of a free election.

As I noted in my December 28th post, despite the isist4ence of state election officials that their processes are fair and rigorous,

Expert Dan S. Wallach and his colleagues believe a crafty team of pros could strike surgically, focusing on select counties in a few battleground states where “a small nudge might be decisive."

As a battleground state with paperless voting machines, Pennsylvania would be a perfect candidate. In affidavits for the recount. Computer scientist J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan laid out how attackers could conduct a successful hack (ibid.):

—Probe election offices well in advance to determine how to break into computers.

—After identifying battleground states, infect voting machines in targeted counties with malware that would shift a small percentage of the vote to a desired candidate.

—After silently altering electronic tallies, erase digital tracks to leave no trace.

Let's concede that this bears serious scrutiny as the Russkie plan called "Grizzly Steppe" was exposed.. Let us also allow, at least as a strong possibility, that Obama and the intelligence services knew at least one of these methods took place at some level, hence the sanctions which include:

- Steps against two FRS spy agencies

- Similar steps against 4 specific GRU intel officials, and two suspected hackers.

- Ejection of 35 Russian intel operatives from their U.S. enclaves, e.g. in D C  and Frisco.

- Shutting down of two Russian compounds., one in MY the other in MD

- Release of evidence of Russian cyber activity including the network addresses of the actual computers used by the Russians to launch the cyber backs

Let us also agree that such serious steps, including proposed covert sanctions, would not be taken unless the Prez and his intelligence community (all 17 agencies) had very solid evidence indeed. They wouldn't just go out on a lark and initiate these sanctions. Not by a long shot.

This brings up the further question of what to do about the sullied recent election, if true. While Obama and his cohort are careful not to claim the Russian influence actually handed Trump the election, at the same time it is logically impossible to assert there was NO tilt at all. If I load 2 dice by 0.01g as opposed to 0.02 g and they land snake eyes 8 of 10 times, am I not responsible for the unbalanced outcome? What about 80 of 100 times?

What we are getting into is a lot of technical "weeds" and the objective differences between "tilting" an election, "rigging" it and "handing" it to one's opponent. I will argue here that it doesn't matter which as long as we are talking of some kind of stochastic tactic, which the culprits knew to be so, but who were satisfied the outcome would be to their distinct benefit, i.e. having Trump elected.

Thus, the letter appearing in the Denver Post three weeks ago from a person I will call "Ms. X" who wrote that if it is shown how Russians could have hacked the election and people, names are called out, then new elections must be called, or Hillary installed as the rightful president by acclamation and default.

As I read the letter out to Janice, we both had a good laugh, because for one thing, new elections would hardly be called now and the recent one held Nov. 8th will not be "nullified".  To say it was "one for the ages" would be understatement. Further, electoral laws state clearly when general elections are held, and with all the tumult of the recent one and harsh attacks there is little chance of holding a do-over. Let me rephrase that: there is about as much chance of that happening as aliens from the third planet of Tau Ceti landing on the DC Mall on the 20th of January and kidnaping Donald Trump. Maybe to make a gourmet dinner out of him back home. at least it would spare us his asinine tweets.  I would also add - and J. agrees - there is the same chance that Hillary will be named President by default. Perhaps she should be, but it ain't gonna happen..(We'd likely have a new Civil War with the Trumpsters on our hands.)

Meanwhile, as expected, Trump tweeted that "It is time to move on to bigger and better things". Hmmmm, like prosecuting or impeaching him for corruption as a result of his business entanglements  - including in the Philippines, Argentina, Taiwan and China? More on this in a future post!

Most interesting, the GOP congress led by Sens. McCain and  Lindsey Graham now plan to go full bore in an investigation - presumably bipartisan- to get to the bottom of it all next year. It should be interest, especially to see how far they will venture in opposition to the Donald's (aka Twitter Troll's) wishes.  Some have said (in the GOP) Obama "didn't go far enough" - but again, Obama is playing 4 dimensional chess and they are stuck in 3 dimensions, or maybe two.  By leaving space for harsher punishments Obama is leaving it to the Republicans in congress to put their money where their big mouths are. He is leaving it to them to show they really do want stronger sanctions, and are not merely performing a political PR stunt.

Before closing, I should note that not everyone, including on the Left, is convinced that there is enough material or direct evidence to justify the sanctions Obama has taken. Or to inculpate the Russians as the culprits. I leave it to readers to see the "other side" in the link below from Robert Parry:

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