This presidential election has been the weirdest I have ever observed. First, we had one candidate that only campaigned by attacking her opponent and his voters. The other candidate buried his positions by making numerous public comments that allowed the mainstream media to twist his words and paint him as a racist, bigot and misogynist. The media and polls expected a Hillary Clinton blow-out, and the country was surprised by a near-landslide in the Electoral College for her opponent. Then the party that denounced Donald Trump for qualifying his support for election results, goes out and protests nationwide against the new president-elect. And if that’s not enough, the Democrats’ Green Party surrogate, Jill Stein, tries to get vote recounts in three Electoral College swing states—just enough states to swing the election to Hillary Clinton. When that doesn’t work, we finally hear from anonymous sources in the CIA (via the Washington Post and the New York Times), that Russia’s hacking was intended to swing the election for Donald Trump. Now ten members of the Electoral College want a briefing from the CIA. This last event was just one straw too many, and I cannot resist posting a blog in response.
First of all, let’s be realistic. The Russian hacking had minimal impact on the election. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, and not as a basic truth, that the DNC and Podesta hacks, as well as the WikiLeaks releases on Hillary Clinton and her team, were all carried out by Russian government agents with the intent to get Donald Trump elected president. The revealed emails allowed readers to draw several conclusions: 1) the DNC actively worked to get Hillary Clinton on the ticket as opposed to Bernie Sanders, 2) democratic party operatives (e.g., Podesta), are not very nice people—they gossip, cheat, and hate people that are not like them, and 3) some of the democratic party operatives had a very poor opinion of Hillary Clinton and her judgment.
Now I don’t know about you, but none of that surprised me. Unfortunately, it’s typical behavior for quite a few people. But how many of you would vote against the candidate espousing your beliefs and policies if you knew about such behavior by their team? I doubt it changed any significant number of votes; especially with the low key release it obtained in the media. The DNC in-the-tank for Hillary is slightly different. Releasing that info would tend to bolster Bernie Sanders' chances. It’s arguable that Donald Trump would have performed better against Bernie than he did Hillary. But Bernie wasn’t the Democrats’ candidate. So the Russians, if that was their intent, failed with their Bernie push.
So, we see hacking that was interesting to Republicans and embarrassing to Democrats, but we don’t see any significant effect on the election results. Even if I’m wrong on this, there is still no proof that the hacking and releases were an orchestrated Russian attack with the intent to elect Donald Trump.
The evidence we have is that anonymous senior sources at the CIA released the supposed results of a classified analysis to the media. My belief is that those sources must be the senior political appointees (Democrats), if not the Director, of the agency. Anyone else would get caught, fired, and potentially imprisoned after their next polygraph test. Political appointees will be leaving in January.
Since the analysis is classified, the appointees can say whatever they want to the media and cannot be proven wrong. Claims of consensus by analysts or CIA employees is hogwash. If a report isn’t authored by a single analyst, it will have sections written by multiple analysts and merged by the assigned editor. The report will be reviewed up the chain of supervisors, and is usually changed at the supervisor’s request before he/she signs off and sends it further up. With political appointees at the top of each chain, they will have the final word on what is approved or rejected.
Now, it is likely any report signed off by the agency Director or his delegate is reviewed as a staff package by his two-letter managers (these are heads of sub-organizations within the agency) and his chief of staff. That could be the ‘consensus’ referred to in the media. But that isn’t like taking a poll of 100 climate scientists, and then saying that 57 in agreement constitutes a consensus. Theoretically, anyone ‘disapproving’ on a staff package can theoretically prevent a consensus, and stop release of a report. In reality, those who disagree push changes they think they can get away with politically, then fold and ‘approve’ the staff package. The bottom line is that the Director will get what he wants. And the director in this case is an Obama appointee.
It appears to me, that the release of the CIA conclusions, followed within hours by a letter from Democrats on the Electoral College requesting a CIA briefing, followed again within hours by Podesta endorsing such a briefing, has but one purpose. That is to swing 36 electors from voting for Donald Trump to voting for Hillary Clinton, giving Hillary Clinton the presidency.
Of course, you are free to think whatever you like about these events. My words are just speculation. But I suggest you give some thought to how the millions of Trump voters will react if 36 electors, in a 538 member Electoral College, switch their allegiance and vote for Hillary Clinton when their states went for Donald Trump. Our constitution and voting laws prescribe a legitimate process for electing our President. Letting innuendo and anonymous analysis override valid election results is preposterous and dangerous to the republic.
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