And Keith Olbermann, too.
Gee, government-backed attackers-- I wonder which government?
It is one thing to read that your country's intelligence services, believe that government-backed attackers breach the email systems of the Democratic Party, or that government-backed attackers tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election or that government-backed attackers tried to access the voter registration rolls of at least 20 states.
It is one thing to hear one candidate (who wound up being elected by a minority of voters) flippantly dismiss the evidence that those government-backed attackers were identified, and get also call for the same country to hack the email of his opponent.
It is one thing to read a story suggesting that government-backed attackers help spread the so-called fake news that clearly influenced our educationally-challenged voters and clearly influences still influencing our psychologically challenged President-elect, but let me assure you....
It is quite another thing to see the red stripe across the screen of your laptop put there as a warning by people who are anything but amateurs in this field, suggesting that those government-backed attackers are now targeting you.
It's like a decade ago when I was sent fake anthrax -- three times. The envelopes were disturbing; the gall of the perpetrator was infuriating. But it only became frightening, indeed, it only became real when the FBI showed up and took it seriously enough to quarantine the building and stick me into a Hazmat suit. Extra large.
Like the quote from the father of the dictionary Samuel Johnson: "Depend upon it sir, when a man knows he has to be hanged in a fortnight it concentrates his mind, wonderfully."
I no longer have to have proved to me line by line the claim that government-backed attackers facilitated the spreading of preposterous internet stories to sway the vote.
I no longer need to know the precise motives of the NSA director and would be Trump administration apparatchik Michael Rogers when 18 days after the election he said of WikiLeaks and the publishing of the DNC emails quote "There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind this was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance, this is not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily, this was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect."
I no longer need to have a diagrammed for me of the actions of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and foreign policy advisor Carter Paige and Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
I no longer need to know who the Russian oligarchs are to whom Rudy Giuliani's company has, on the record, provided quote "image consulting."
I no longer need to know why Trump has reportedly begged off his ultra-secret intelligence briefings and I don't need to know if his fawning sycophancy towards Putin is the result of mere manipulation or part of Trump's mental illness.
All I need to know is: someone approached this so thoroughly with such an unnecessarily broad net that they even tried to hack my email. That vague feeling that the idea of massive computer hacking and propaganda spreading could not really have happened because honestly, you can't really picture it in your mind how it would have happened... that protective layer of healthy skepticism?
That is gone.
This is all real.
It has all occurred.
And whether Donald Trump knew about it or he did not, whether he can understand it or he's too far gone mentally to appreciate it, it has been accomplished.
The Russians got who they wanted to run the United States of America for them as surely as if we were East Germany to their Soviet Union in 1954. As surely as if they had invaded us and placed their own feeble-minded manipulated by flattery satellite dictator in the White House.
And in seven weeks we will inaugurate a new President who was not our choice but theirs.