The Presidential Election of 2016 has placed a spotlight on many facets of human nature. For example, when seemingly intelligent and professional people state something as fact, or state a thing repeatedly, the public tends to be influenced by it. A problem arises when those seemingly intelligent and professional people are lying.
The sad fact is that some people are willing to sell their integrity for financial gain, a status boost, preferential treatment from wealthy and powerful people, or any multitude of self-serving reasons.
As a society, we must hold these people accountable. Glossing over the lies and ensuing damage only serves to perpetuate the behavior. Why would they stop if nobody holds them accountable? The importance of holding such liars accountable is magnified a hundred-fold by the 2016 Presidential debacle.
First, the Truth
We’ve known for some time that Russia is actively engaged in a cyber-war against the United States. And we’ve long known details, like the fact that Russia has been actively manipulating social media and hacking political operatives as well as U.S. election systems.
Russia’s ongoing cyber-war has been firmly clarified and documented in the Special Counsel’s 448-page “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” (aka, The Mueller Report).
One of the most glaring facts in Mueller’s report is that Russia did, in fact, hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. And Russia did, in fact, hack the DNC servers. Thus, confirming what investigative journalists and the intelligence community have been claiming since the summer of 2016.
Despite the evidence available early-on to the public, the Russian hack was manipulated into a narrative that condemned the DNC, Hillary, and those associated with the Clinton campaign. And the narrative persisted throughout the election and was amplified by Russia’s social media operations.
It wasn’t just fake Russian accounts supporting the narrative. We had very real, public figures like tech guru John McAfee stating the opposite and “backing up” their counter-claims with “facts.” In true gaslighting fashion, McAfee even referred to accusations against Russia for the hack as “propaganda.”
Former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan (and associate of Julian Assange), Craig Murray, also claimed that Russia didn’t hack the DNC. To the contrary, he claimed that the data was not from a hack; instead, it was leaked by DNC insiders.
To be clear, this is not a journalist attempting to protect a source. This is an outright lie from a former UK government official that effectively protected Russia.
Julian Assange, Murray’s associate, unsurprisingly perpetuated the same lie.
Then we have a U.S. Congressmen (at the time), Dana Rohrabacher, supporting Assange’s overt lies, going so far as to say that Assange and Wikileaks had evidence that the hacked data was not from Russia; rather, it was from the DNC itself. Rohrabacher even tried to get Senator Rand Paul to set up a meeting with President Trump and Wikileaks so they could present the non-existent evidence.
Former National Security intelligence officer, William Binney pushed the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory at the top levels of the U.S. government. Additionally, Binney was a fervent defender of the narrative that the DNC was not hacked by Russia.
Keep in mind that as a former member of National Security, Binney was (presumably) an expert matters like national security and foreign cyber-attacks.
But Binney didn’t stop there. He also used his group of intelligence veterans (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, or VIPS) to write a memo to President Trump. This memo supposedly gave an expert analysis of the case. The analysis concluded that the DNC information was an inside job.
President Trump and His Administration
Notably, current U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton purposefully cast doubt on the Russian hacking of the DNC. This was six months after the public knew from intelligence reports that Russia had hacked the DNC.
In a sleight-of-hand political maneuver, Bolton even suggested the hack was simply being politicized by the Obama administration.
And, of course, President Donald Trump has weighed in on the topic.
And here Trump is directly contradicting cyber experts and simultaneously stating that the DNC had perpetuated a “false flag.” Note: This article is a month before Trump’s infamous request for Hillary’s emails. Yet, here he is, already insinuating publicly that he would like to have those emails.
Partisanship Doesn’t Change Truth
Whether you like or despise Hillary Clinton has zero bearing on the fact that Russia launched a cyber-attack against our country before the 2016 Presidential elections. It also has zero bearing on the fact that Clinton told us the truth about it. From the 2nd Presidential Debate 2016:
Alarmingly, the Russian cyber-attack is still happening. It is ongoing, in part, because lies influence public discourse. Lies also influence real-world behavior. So many public lies by seemingly intelligent and professional people influenced public opinion, caused road-blocks to investigations, and hampered the implementation of necessary counter-measures to protect our country. Thus, by default, the liars have facilitated Russia’s attack on America. It is well beyond time we hold them accountable for it.
Written by Virginia Murr
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