Archive for the Did Russia Interfere in the US Election? Category

Traitor, Narcissist or Fool?

Posted in Did Russia Interfere in the US Election?, On Donald Trump, On Foreign Affairs with tags , , on February 25, 2018 by playthell

Getting their Heads Together?

On Devious Deluded Donald and the Russians

Watching Donald Trump stroll across the White House grounds, after deplaning from the presidential helicopter, I was puzzled about his state of mind.  He seemed slightly giddy about the contents of a 37-page indictment against 13 Russians for having violated American laws; interfering in the 2016 Presidential election to insure the victory of the Trump campaign and the defeat of Hillary Clinton. The indictment, which had just been announced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and can be read online, spells out the criminal violations defendants are charged with:

U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General. And U.S. law requires certain foreign nationals seeking entry to the United States to obtain a visa by providing truthful and accurate information to the government.

Since these indictments prove that the Special Counsel is conducting a real investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election – which Trump has repeatedly call a “witch hunt” and “Democratic ruse” to explain their lost of an election “they should have won” – it is hard to fathom the reason for his glee.  Now that the Russian intervention is an Established fact in the public domain, the world will be waiting to see how the American president responds to this cyber-attack on our democratic process from Russia.

Although there is no specific allegation of Russian government involvement, intelligence experts familiar with Russian covert intelligence methods like Malcolm Nance – author of the prescient book “The Plot to Hack America”–  overwhelmingly agree that an operation of this magnitude could not have happened without Putin’s approval. Mueller’s indictment richly details the extent of the Russian efforts and names Putin’s pal, Yezgeny Peigozin, as a central figure in the Russian disinformation campaign.

A shady character who went from a petty criminal and ex-con selling hot dogs on the street, to a super-rich Oligarch after the fall of the Russian communist system, the indictment fingers him as the money man that financed the activities of the INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC, the major organization that flooded the internet with disinformation that “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The indictment further alleges “Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants” operations included supporting the presidential campaign of the -candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”  Yezgeny is so close the Russian leader he is known as “Putin’s Chef.”  Hence the chance that he acted without Putin’s approval are about equal to a popsicle’s chances of survival in a pizza oven.

All this puts Trump on the spot, as he is pressured to enact the anti-Russian sanctions that has passed both houses of Congress by a wide margin. Or come up with a plausible explanation for his refusal.  It is a sign of the panic that has beset Trump’s advisors that they are running around parroting the President’s view that the indictments have exonerated him, his campaign staff, and them from the charge of “collusion.”  It is a measure of the accidental president’s depravity that the only thing about these indictments that appear to interest him is that he is not charged with anything, and he claims the Russian activities had “no effect on the outcome of the election.”

The fact that the Russians tried to subvert our elections has failed to provoke any serious response from Trump, let alone sanctions.  According to former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who was a member of the Watergate Committee that voted to impeach President Nixon, Trump’s inaction and apparent indifference to the Russian Cyber-attack on our democratic process is more than ample grounds for impeachment, whether his campaign “colluded” or not, because he has violated his oath “to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.”

Alas, while Trump has yet to offer a single word of condemnation against his pal Putin, he has leveled plenty of criticism and invective at the loyal Americans in law enforcement who are investigating the Russian attack.   Devious Donald has even gone to the extraordinary length of conflating the Mueller investigation of his campaign with the school shootings in Florida. Astonishingly, Trump has the unmitigated gall to blame the failure of the FBI to stop the school shooting on the claim that they were expending all their assets investigating him!   However, this statement reveals both an ignorance of Florida law, and how the FBI works.  First, Cruz had a legally acquired weapon and therefore had violated no laws before the shootings.  Secondly, we do not have preventive detention laws in the US, so what could the FBI have done?

There were already numerous reports to local law enforcement agencies, but nothing was done; yet this is their responsibility.  Trump, a political ignoramus who does not exhibit any observable curiosity about the art and science of governing, fails to understand that the FBI is divided into two operational sections.  One section deals with criminal matters the other with national security.  Hence those agents tasked with Russian election tampering have nothing to do with the agents who would investigate the school shooter.

But then, the truth is a relative thing for this president, who believes in “alternative facts.” And seems to only care about covering his ass.  Alas, one does not need specialized training to recognize the symptoms of “Malignant Narcissism” and “Paranoia,” with which a host of distinguished Psychiatrist and psychologists have diagnosed Trump. Hence while it remains to be determined if Trump is a traitor, he is unquestionably a narcissist and a fool!  His tweets in response to the indictments reveal a disorganized and delusional mind at best.  I think it is past time that we give the opinions of professional shrinks their due.  Amid great criticism they have embraced their “duty to warn” the rest of us about the dangers posed by such a deluded instable leader, who holds the fate of the earth in his hands as commander of the US nuclear arsenal.  We should act on the Doctors’ advice and demand that Congress impeach Devious Donald before it’s too late.

*******************

 

Playthell Benjamin
Harlem, New York,
February 16, 2016

 

Stumbling Towards Armageddon!

Posted in Did Russia Interfere in the US Election?, On Foreign Affairs, On Nuclear War with tags , , on December 18, 2016 by playthell
atomic-finger
What the end of the World Looks Like
 On the Danger of Covert Cyber-Wars between Nuclear States

As I write a very scary scenario is developing that features a rapidly escalating conflict between the US and Russia.  From all appearances it seems that we are in a state of cyber-warfare with Russia and millions of Americans are giddily pushing our government to become more aggressive in taking the offensive!

The catalyst for this growing hostility toward Russia, a nation situated on the other side of the globe thousands of miles away that Americans love to hate, is an assessment by our intelligence agencies that the Russian government tampered with our recent presidential election in an effort to help elect Donald Trump…who is far more pro-Russian in his views that Hillary Clinton; a warmed over cold warrior with long standing anti-Russian attitudes.  As a consequence of the spook’s conclusions regarding a covert Russian cyber assault on our political process, there is a growing cry among Americans for president Obama to do something dramatic in order to teach the Russians a lesson they will never forget.  They are crying out for a full scale cyber-war while apparently giving but little consideration to where it could lead.

Of all the bizarre behavior that human beings engage in, the euphoria that accompanies the decision to go to war is the ultimate folly. For whatever the outcome there will be bloody murder, massive carnage and destruction, and squandering of large quantities of the nation’s treasures that are making war. The strange and tragic character of warfare is highlighted by the fact that only human beings, who claim dominion over all other animals due to our uniquely developed brains which enable us to reason, engage in the systematic slaughter of their own species.  Yet despite the best efforts of our greatest philosophers, scientist and other deep thinkers, alas no one has found a formula for ending this plague upon humanity.

Yet it is indisputable that in the age of nuclear armed states that stockpile doomsday weapons of mass destruction with the capacity to destroy all life on this planet, humanity will find a way to end war or war will put an end to us. I wish I could share the optimism of Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese revolutionary philosopher/activist, who confidently proclaimed “The bomb will not destroy man…man will destroy the bomb.  The atomic bomb is a paper tiger.”  But knowing what I know about nuclear weapons, having seen them up close and gaining an intimate knowledge of their destructive capacity while serving in the United States Strategic Air Command, empowered with a Top Secret security clearance, I am far more aware than most citizens of the world as to the danger their very existence poses to our survival.

Indeed, I believe that every nation that stockpiles nuclear weapons is existentially engaged in a crime against humanity that dwarfs all the crimes of Nazi Germany….it ain’t even close!   It is no accident that General George C. Marshall, the most important American military officer from the Second World War, was deeply concerned that by dropping atomic bombs on Japan Americans would eclipse the Nazi’s war crimes! Yet when I entered the Strategic Air Command 15 years later, the colonel who introduced us to the atomic weapons on the base at Glasgow Montana – whose mission was the nuclear destruction of the Soviet Union – cavalierly dismissed the bombs dropped on Japan as “little more than fire crackers compared to the ordinance that we have on this base.”  He pointed out that the blast power of those bombs was the equivalent of 20.000 tons of TNT and the ordinance on our base had “megatons capacity.”

The Colonel went on to point out that if fully armed, the 25 bombers on our base could wreak enough destruction that the continuation of life on earth would be problematic.  That was in 1960, over half a century ago, when nuclear weapons system were relatively primitive compared to those deployed by the US and Russia today.  And it has made the world a far more dangerous place.  When I was in SAC the main strategy for nuclear war centered around intercontinental Strato-Bombers, mainly the B-52 on the American side, and some comparable aircraft on the Russian side.  The Nuclear Triad existed then – bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles – but the bombers were the main delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons.

A half century later this equation has radically changed; it is the ballistic and cruise missiles that are now the main nuclear strike force, and these weapons are largely dependent upon computers in the launch process. Herein likes the potential for an accidental catastrophe that could destroy our planet.  In times past the means to launch a nuclear war required a great technological/industrial complex.   But today a computer whiz sitting in a cave in Pakistan could possibly provoke a nuclear exchange by hacking into the military computer systems of Russia, China or the USA.   They only need to access one, and make them think they are under attack by the others to start a nuclear war.

Hence when President Obama talks publicly about launching cyber- attacks against Russia, and threaten to do some of them as covert actions, he is setting the stage for a third party to step in and wreak havoc.  Nothing that any of the experts on Cyber-warfare have said addresses this very real possibility.  What the world needs now, most of all, is for Russia, China and the US to convene an urgent summit meeting to hammer out a treaty regarding the use of Cyber-space, just like they have done regarding germ warfare and poisonous gases.

Nevertheless, this event, Russian interference in the US election, should be treated as just another incident in the long history of international espionage; a practice in which the US has engaged more vigorously than any other nation state.  The US has subverted elections; organized the assassination of foreign leaders, overthrown democratically elected governments; engaged in torture; trained torturers and militarily attacked unoffending nations thousands of miles from our shores and slaughtered well over a million innocent souls whose only offense was that they sought to organize their societies in ways that Americans disapprove of.  And these actions are justified by recourse to the bogus doctrine of American Exceptionalism, a dangerous myth with no basis in historical fact.

That these transgressions are not well known to a willfully ignorant US electorate is part of our tragedy.  Yet with such a tawdry record the US government’s pretense that the Russian hacking of the Presidential election represents some special species of evil that they have never seen before is ludicrous and dangerous hypocrisy.  And it is rapidly fueling a hysterical hatred for Russia that could force US leaders to take some actions that we shall soon regret.

Failure to convene an international conference between nuclear armed states with the greatest haste could well lead us down the path to extinction. In the meantime, the critical question facing Americans is whether the election of Donald Trump – a man who lost the popular vote to Hillary by almost three million votes, won the Electoral College by less than a hundred thousand votes spread over three states, and is wholly unqualified for the job – is legitimate.  This is the issue that should consume our interests at this historical moment.

Is The Donald Legit?

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at his South Carolina campaign kickoff rally in Bluffton, S.C., Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

An incompetent Demagogue who got elected President

******************************

Watch Dr. Stephen Cohen Explain US Russian Relations
http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/12/17/exp-gps-1218-stephen-cohen-us-russia-cold-war.cnn
Our most learned and insightful Russian Scholar speaks to CNN
********************
For a quick lesson on Nuclear Weapons watch this video

 What would Nuclear War be like?

https://youtu.be/tW7IgKJWtqk
Watch this brilliant lecture with dramatic graphics on Nuclear War
Presented by Dr. Irwin Redlener
Columbia University Professor 
World Renowned authority on disaster Preparedness
 (What Would Happen in Washington DC was Nuked?)
https://youtu.be/WCme_K6MYLY
A Presentation of the History Channel
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
December 18, 2016

Did Putin Hack US Election?

Posted in Did Russia Interfere in the US Election?, On Donald Trump, On the 2016 Presidential Election with tags , on December 15, 2016 by playthell
malcolm-nanceIntelligence Expert Malcolm Nance: Author of “Hacking America”

Malcolm Nance thinks so…..and Electors Want to Know

As I write a group of electors led by Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, and elector from California, have asked President Obama to grant them a security clearance and allow them to examine the Central Intelligence Agency’s report which concludes that Russian intelligence agencies not only interfered in the US presidential election but did so in an attempt to help Donald Trump win.

The dissident electors now number has risen to 50 as I write, and it only takes  36,to swing the election to Hillary Clinton if they electors conclude that Trump was fraudulently elected as the result of Russia’s thumb on the scale.  Although it would be vigorously applauded by millions of Americans, who gave Hillary nearly three million more votes than Trump in the general election, this would be a dangerous and unprecedented development in US politics.  Alas given the Republican denial and win at any cost attitude, a rejection by members of the Electoral College could tear this divided nation apart despite the fact that Trump is perhaps the most disliked presidential elect in history.  However it is hard to envision a constructive response from the Republicans, since they have clearly placed the fortunes of their party above the fate of our nation.

According to the CIA – and 16 other US intelligence agencies – the Russian intrusion was accomplished by hacking into the confidential e-mails of the Democratic National Committee and giving the documents to Wiki-Leaks, who put them on the internet.  The conclusion that this was an effort to help Trump is based on evidence that they also hacked the Republicans but refused to release any of the information. But now the electors are insisting on examining the CIA findings.

Christine Pelosi

christine-pelosi

California Elector

Once it has been established that the hacking operation occurred it is fairly easy conclude that their actions were intended to aid a Trump victory.  If we assume that national states act in their best interest one has only to examine the attitudes toward Russia held by Trump and Clinton.  Throughout the election process Trump has insisted that he could make a deal with Putin, insisted that there is no good reasons for Russia and the US to be adversaries; expressed a willingness to work with the Russians to destroy ISIS; denounced the Obama

Administration commitment to overthrowing President Assad of Syria as dangerous folly that will further destabilize the region and empower the Jihadists; questioned the importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and questioned the sacrosanct but dangerous doctrine of “American Exceptionalism,” even pointing out: “If you are a Russian you might not think America is so exceptional.”

Hillary Clinton was quick to respond with the declaration: “Just because Putin doesn’t recognize it doesn’t mean it’s not true!” A cold war hawk with a deeply antagonistic view of Russia forged during the Soviet era, there seems to have been little adjustment in her perception of Russia as a threat to American security since they abandoned Communism and disbanded the Warsaw Pact.

In fact Hillary Clinton supports NATO now as vigorously as she did during the Cold War and promotes a strategy of encroachment into Eastern Europe with the aim of encircling Russia with pro-American military forces; was implicated in the coup that overthrew the pro-Russian government in the Ukraine – a provocation that could have sparked a nuclear war – and has gone on record with her belief that NATO is the wisest investment that the US has made when Trump suggested that the US insist upon the members paying their fair share of the cost…especially since the alliance is designed to protect their national security.  Added to these facts, in an emotional anti-Russian diatribe Clinton once called Putin “another Hitler.”   It was such an insane charge she was forced to walk it back.  Hence, as the facts show, Putin had more than ample reasons to wish for a Trump victory and to take measures to insure it.

Malcolm Nance, a former Naval Intelligence Officer who has been in the spy business for nearly four decades is so convinced that the Russian intelligence apparatus, directed by Vladimir Putin, a former Director of the KGB – Russia’s counterpart to the CIA – did indeed interfere in the US election with the goal of helping to elect Donald Trump that he has already published a book on the subject: “The Plot to  Hack America.”

Nance, whose knowledge of this subject so impressive he makes the skeptics look like “useful idiots” for the Kremlin, says that the biggest surprise for him is “the crisis of patriotism” displayed by Republicans in the face of interference into the most important function in our democracy by a hostile foreign power.  For instance, during his campaign President elect Trump actually called upon the Russians to hack Hillary’s E-mails and make them public, and there was barely a peep of protest from the Republicans.  It is hard to find a more convincing example of the extent to which American politics has become debased and the perversion of the patriotic ideal by flag waving Republicans crying “America First!”

When viewed from historical perspective, one could argue that the present attitude toward Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers is an extension of the Republican attitude that led to the burglary and bugging of the DNC headquarters by former intelligence operatives hired by CREEP – The Committee to Reelect the President – that led to the Watergate scandal under Nixon. This kind of behavior is a reflection of a deeply held belief by Republicans that the Democrats are illegitimate, that their social welfare policies are inimical to capitalism; hence they treat them as enemies, not competitors in the same league.  This is why they often look like traitors rather than a loyal opposition when dealing with President Obama (see: “The Case for Treason” on this blog.”

Hence when democrats such as Senator Harry Reid accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation of covering up the Russian role in undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign it is not merely partisan rhetoric spouted by a sore loser.  Consider this report in the New York Times filed on December 13th:

“When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.”

The article goes on to tell what the FBI knew of the activities of these Russian Cyberspies, and when they knew it.  With this kind of intelligence inventory circulating among US government agencies tasked with maintain national security, it is no wonder the Malcolm Nance was able to produce a book length analysis of the phenomenon in such short order.

Mr. Nance insists that there is no question among intelligence professionals that the Russians interfered in the US elections, and his role was to warn the nation about what they know.  As early as October 13th Nance warned that the Russians were putting “not just a finger, but their whole hand” on the scale to help Donald Trump win the presidential election. However, despite his impressive credentials and demonstrated expertise in matters of espionage his warning was largely ignored.  But as the major media examines the CIA’s claims and write about it Malcolm Nance’s views are gaining an expanding audience….and the tide is beginning to change.

Malcolm Nance on Voice Of America
nance-on-voice-of-americaDroppin Science on the Pro-Trump Cyber-Spies
***********************
Malcolm Nance on Trump Inviting Putin to hack Hillary
http://www.msnbc.com/kate-snow/watch/nance-trump-s-russia-remarks-a-disaster-733347907519
Malcolm Nance on Russian Hacking of Election
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/has-russia-damaged-us-election-786660931508
********************************
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
December 14, 2016