Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trumped by Vladimir Putin: The Russian Strongman Has Upended American Democracy

It is very likely now that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as president of the United States on Jan. 20, in no small part because of the direct intervention in and manipulation of the American electoral process by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s strongman who rose to power as a ruthless agent of the KGB, the former Soviet Union’s secret police.
As we all know, The Washington Post and The New York Times recently reported just how deeply Russian hackers invaded the computers of the Democratic Party, a move intended to confuse voters with leaked excerpts of emails and other documents and thus throw a monkey wrench into the election. Now The Post reports that the CIA believes the Russian meddling was deliberately intended to help sway the vote in Trump’s favor. And NBC News says it was Putin himself who “personally directed” those leaks.
Why did he do this? For one thing, according to Michael McFaul, the former American ambassador to Russia, Putin has a thing about Hillary Clinton. “He has had a vendetta against Hillary Clinton that has been known for a long time because of what she said about his elections back in the parliamentary elections of 2011,” McFaul told NBC News (Clinton had questioned the integrity of the Russian elections). But more important, McFaul continued, “He wants to discredit American democracy and make us weaker in terms of leading the liberal democratic order. And most certainly he likes President-elect Trump’s views on Russia.”
All of which, apparently, now has helped land us in the worst political fix since the Civil War, an electronic invasion that former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson says he believes could be “the largest intelligence coup since the cracking of the Enigma code during World War II.” Read full opinion article here 

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