Calm Down About Russian Election Meddling

There are a lot of strange things going on with this Trump/Putin press conference. For one, it is surreal and incredible watching the President of the United States stand at a podium and side with Russia over U.S. intelligence agencies. I am not a person who believes that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies deserve our undying respect and allegiance. Any discussion regarding our intelligence agencies should be prefaced with an acknowledgement of the history of the atrocities committed by them. Numerous democracies have been overthrown. Democratically elected leaders have been murdered. Elections have been tampered with. Dictators empowered. Foreign citizens oppressed. We have tortured innocent people in violation of all international laws. We have waged wars based on false evidence. Let us not forget that the last high profile accusation by U.S. intelligence agencies was that weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a “slam dunk”.

That being said, Trump’s willingness to accept Putin’s denial based on seemingly absolutely nothing is downright bizarre. Especially in light that Trump is so eagerly willing to make nearly every foreign leader an adversary. I also find it fascinating that anti-Russia xenophobia, which was perpetuated by Fox News, is the one conspiracy that the ‘Fox News racist grandpa’ Trump has seemed to avoid getting indoctrinated by. What makes Russia an exception to Trump’s scapegoating of foreigners? No one knows the answer to this question yet. It is for sure puzzling.

One thing that is for sure, the actions of Russia in the 2016 election pale in comparison to actions taken by the U.S. in other countries' affairs and elections, including Russia’s. Who could forget Time magazine’s July 15th, 1996 cover “Yanks to the Rescue”
 
For four months, a group of American political consultants clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin’s campaign, here is the inside story of how these advisors helped Yeltsin achieves the victory that would keep reform in Russia alive.”

America’s clandestine involvement in the 1996 Russian election was as important as any other factor in setting the course for the wholesale looting of Russia’s once state owned natural resources and the formation of a government of gangster oligarchs that is now ruled by Vladimir Putin.

The part of this entire saga that I find the most disturbing is the ferociousness of our national discourse and dialog. Anyone who is willingly to acknowledge the historical truths of our intelligence agencies for which we now live in the shadow of is labeled as “traitor”. Anyone who thinks it is wise to remain restrained about taking a hard line approach with Russia, for fear of reverting back to the cold world era where mankind’s future existence was under constant threat, is labeled as “treasonous”. 

Americans should be taking a cautious approach when dealing with Russia’s election meddling. We should acknowledge, on a certain level, that this is our “chickens coming home to roost" moment. America’s irrational response to the 9/11 attacks was to invade Iraq. A country that had never attacked us and was never any threat to us. We need to protect our elections from future meddling, but America’s response to Russian meddling must not be another irrational overreaction. The consequences this time could be far graver.



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