Russian Hacking

Did the Russians hack the election?
The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is a bit more exact, a lot more confusing, and it depends what the definition of “is” is.

First, on my website is m 25 page or so list and discussion ( of the Russian/Soviet spying on the US since 1930, so meddling in American industry, culture and politics. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Russia is meddling still, and once again.

We don’t know if the Russians wanted to impact the election, or just create chaos in the American political system. We don’t know how deep the meddling was.

My columns have previously discussed some of the disruptive computer programs the US, and Israel have used to damage Iranian centrifuge controllers, and Russian use of a hack into a surveillance camera on a Turkish pipeline to over-pressure and rupture the pipeline. Neither of those interventions left a clue. (The STUXNET worm was found years later in a South Sea Iland computer, which had failed to be scrubbed.) 

All advanced countries have both the capabilities to disrupt “enemies” various systems, and only the ability to discover the disruption during the actual operation. Advanced nations can cover their tracks completely.

That is why I believe there is a disagreement between the intelligence agencies and the FBI. The FBI wants the sort of evidence it can take to court, and there is none available. The CIA is accustomed to reading tea leaves, so they accept something less. The intelligence agencies accept something less than proof!

So the intelligence agencies say the Russians hacked. And the FBI says it didn’t. It’s a question of culture.

Of course they did: Somewhere between trying to see how much they can do, trying to create chaos, and actually trying to impact the election, the Russians were certainly active. They have been doing it for almost a century, and if we don’t do something about it, they will continue.

Modern Akhenaten

Trump is a modern Akhenaten, the Egyptian King considered both an evangelist, a heretic, an insane ruler and as a brilliant ruler.
Certainly, Trump’s personal activities show an iconoclast, but his Cabinet appointments are brilliant, if competence is your measure. The question is, will these Cabinet members have a voice or will Trump have a loose rein. 

I am impressed by the Cabinet in that it contains few purely political appointments. Even the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions is an appointment of a man with experience as a U.S. Attorney for The Southern District of Alabama. The appointment of Rick Perry to the Department of Energy may just be to initiate a few long term concepts before ending the Cabinet position along with the department.

I like Trump’s meeting with various people that as a business tycoon he could never get an hour with, Bill Gates, Al Gore come to mind. (The Kayne West meeting is sketchy — the guy just got out of a mental institution!)

I love the way Trump put the Chinese back on their heels by taking the call from the Taiwanese president! He needed to let the staid Chinese that the old rules with that nation no longer apply. They got the message

I can’t wait to see what is next. I was prepared to be a constant critic, but am feeling like an occasional critic today.