After reading through a lot of the comments on my post about the various pointers to the obvious; namely, that Russia's hacks were done with a mind to tilt the election toward Trump with Mitch McConnell's blessing, I see some are misconstruing the emergency here. This is not about war with Russia. It's about treasonous acts within our own government.
It's absurd to make this about declaring war (or cyberwar) on Russia. As I noted on Facebook this morning, the real devastation isn't what Russia did. Not at all. They've been doing this for as long as I've been alive to remember it.
Russia did what Russia does. We've seen them do it around the world. The single issue here -- the ONLY issue -- is what McConnell, Chaffetz, Comey et al chose not to do.
There is no argument for war against Russia. There is, however, a serious argument for why Constitutional officers -- men who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution -- chose instead to undermine it by allowing Russia to do what they did unchecked.
In Comey's case, it goes one step farther because Comey actually deflected attention away from Russian interference in order to refocus media on emails, which measurably impacted the outcome.
Is there an argument to be made that our fourth estate failed us in this regard? Maybe. But there were many who were sounding alarms. It was a constant theme here in the months ahead of the election, but mainstream outlets were also reporting it. Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek, David Corn at Mother Jones, and more. Hillary Clinton herself used her debate platform to bring attention to it, but most pundits ignored it in favor of other, less important non-issues.
Here she is, saying it in front of everyone who viewed that debate.
Hillary dropped this exact same info about Russia in front of 66 million viewers in October. But I guess no one listened because... emails pic.twitter.com/HCe7oqfknv
— Ess (@ScottyLiterati) December 10, 2016
As we continue to cover this story, please remember that this is not a drumbeat for war with Russia. It is, however, a drumbeat for our Constitution to be upheld, our elected officials to be accountable, and yes, for the truth to be put out in the light.
At this point, I'll consider anyone who tries to deflect by claiming it's all a ploy to go to war with Russia to be a collaborator. We've got to clean our own house, and right now our best hope for that is Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who have already said they want to convene hearings on this and investigate.
From my vantage point, the investigation must begin at once. Remember, Watergate was about bugging DNC headquarters. This is far, far worse. Here's what we need:
- A thorough forensic investigation of all voting machines in Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Pennsylvania, at a minimum
- A full accounting for the breaches of any and all voter databases, whether data was taken, and what was done with that data. Was it sent to Cambridge Analytica? Were the actual databases tampered with to remove voters?
- A full investigation into any and all hacks of the RNC, including the information Russians were able to obtain and an explanation as to why they didn't release it while simultaneously leaking information stolen from the DNC.
- A full investigation into Paul Manafort's role behind the scenes.
- Testimony from Roger Stone explaining his claim that he was in touch with Russians behind the scenes as Wikileaks emails were being rolled out.
- Testimony from FBI Director James Comey about why he chose not to push forward on the Russian hacks but instead released a letter to elected officials about duplicate emails discovered on Anthony Weiner's server. Was he pressured to do so? By whom? And if so, we also need testimony from those who pressured him.
- Testimony under oath from Mitch McConnell about why he chose to disregard the recommendations of a consensus of 17 separate national security agencies that Russia was interfering.
Pay attention. None of those bullet points involve war with Russia. They do involve actually draining the existing swamp in Washington, DC and cleaning it out. And if the Senate and House Oversight committees fail to do their duty in this after holding at least seven separate Benghazi investigations, we should begin impeachment proceedings.
I could not be more serious about this. As someone who watched every single day of those Watergate hearings and learned to respect our constitutional protections as a consequence, this must NOT be allowed to stand. Not today, not next year, never.
The Russians will keep doing what they do. It's our job to make sure they don't do it here.