INTELLIGENCE REPORT FAILS TO ADDRESS POSSIBLE VOTING MACHINE HACKING
FROM RUSSIA TO TRUMP WITH LOVE
There is no denying that President-elect Donald Trump’s victory on Nov 8th elections took many by surprise. It was as most have described the upset of the century. But in view of the newly-released “declassified version of a highly classified” Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) Report, one has to wonder just how legitimate Trump’s victory is.
While the report just confirms what many already knew and stuff already published by counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance in his latest book The Plot to Hack America. Not much is new and no new questions are answered, rather new questions are raised.
Could Trump have won without help from Russia and WikiLeaks? Does he owe Russian President Vladimir Putin a huge favor? Did the Trump campaign collude with Russian operatives to achieve a common objective?
One thing is clear. Trump exploited the information from WikiLeaks and even at one point called on Russia to hack into Clinton’s emails. In that sense, then, it’s reasonable to conclude the hacks contributed to Clinton’s loss.
The ICA report attached, found that Putin and his government forces put their thumbs on the scale bigly or big league (whatever the expression Trump uses to demonstrate exaggerated comparatives.) to help Trump win.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. “
If you are a Hillary Clinton supporter, who doubts the legitimacy of Trump’s win and there are many out there, this statement above makes you go duh! of course he had help from Russia. But before you could digest that, the report then states the following:
We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.
WHAT! How is that possible? Please tell me that information is there but not published because it’s classified. Because I don’t buy the idea that nobody in the intelligence world was curious about the effects and possible reach of the Russian hackfest on the 2016 elections on voting outcomes and tallies.
Imagining that the hack stopped after stolen data was turned over to WikiLeaks for public dissemination is ludicrous.
Why couldn’t the assessment include checking whether there was some kind of tampering of voting machines? At least look into it and report findings.
And then comes the reason why they did not check it out.
The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.
Does that make sense to anyone? Why not look into it to check if the had the intention and capability to hack our voting machines? Whose job is it to check whether a foreign power, say Russia, for the lack of a better example, is trying to steal the election and put their puppet in the White House? The local police? The governor of the state? Who has that responsibility?
Forgive me if I’m being naive here. You know with all these top-secret stuff, there could be a lot we mere mortals don’t know. But how do you distinguish between hacking DNC and several other American organizations including Republican organizations and possible hacking of the actual 2016 presidential election?
Are they saying they did not even check if voting machines were vulnerable to hacking by outside entities such as Russian operatives or even campaigns? Voting and campaigning is the US political process. Casting your vote is part of the process but the integrity of the vote tabulation process goes beyond just the political process. That is a matter of national security. Voters need to know their votes count and there is a mechanism in place to ensure nothing or nobody can tamper with their votes and force upon them a rigged-in candidate.
Are there any federal laws against vote hacking, voting machine tampering and variations of such voter fraud? Voting twice is a crime, what about hacking into a voting machine and making it show wrong or different results? Are there laws against that?
The possibility that voting machines could have been tampered with should at least be viewed as possible “actions or foreign actors” and that should have put it within the scope of our intelligence investigation.
Consider this, if the Russians were willing to hack into computers to steal data with an interest of destroying Clinton and electing Trump, a candidate rated by almost every poll as a sure loser, doesn’t it make sense to think they could go as far as doing some kind of “ballot stuffing” to help ensure his win? Judging from the unexpected results we should be curious if something nefarious happened.
If the investigation looked at Russia’s intentions and capabilities to influence the elections using propaganda, trolls in Moscow and St. Petersburg and similar concerted efforts to help Trump win, why not look at the possibility of them tampering with voting equipment?
That sounds like a half-assed investigation.
The question remains: Did the Russians attempt to hack voting machines in battleground states or at all? Do we have a way to know if that were the case or is there enough evidence to rule it out? Are voting machines in the US vulnerable to cyber attacks?
Unless the Intelligence Community can answer these questions, the integrity of the 2016 presidential election will remain in doubt.
These questions need answers otherwise this assessment is incomplete.