Barack Obama Should Have the Courage Of Ronald Reagan In Dealing With the Russian Hackers

For the past couple of weeks, after a leak of an alleged intelligence consensus that Russia meddled in the election with the goal of electing Donald Trump, the White House and the Democrats have done everything in their power to further that narrative. In fact, there is even a move afoot, backed by the grotesque bag of incompetence that is the Hillary Clinton campaign, to have the Electoral College vote for “Not Trump” because of this allegation.

The former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has endorsed a campaign by 10 electoral college voters to get a briefing on Russian influence in Donald Trump’s victory. In a Monday afternoon statement, John Podesta chided the media for not raising more questions before the election and endorsed the idea of security clearances for the holdout electors.

“We believe that the Administration owes it to the American people to explain what it knows regarding the extent and manner of Russia’s interference and this be done as soon as possible,” Podesta said. “To that end, we also support the request from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to declassify information around Russia’s roles in the election and to make this data available to the public.”

Podesta is 10000% right.

What we are seeing right now is a highly partisan director of the CIA launching a highly partisan and totally scurrilous attack on the winner of the election. He is claiming that the man who won the election did so because of the assistance of Russian intelligence. Never mind that there is not a single iota of evidence that indicates the Russians either intended to help Trump or that their assistance affected even a single vote. (READ CAREFULLY: this is not a denial that the Russians were involved in the hacking but a statement that we cannot know their intent, and there is no reason why their intent would have changed from October-ish, when it was declared that they were were trying to discredit the election outcome to now with an incredible statement that they were assisting a candidate.)

Right now, the intelligence community is cowering behind a self-created and magical wall of secrecy.

“Recently, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has received requests from Members of Congress, several electors of the Electoral College and the general public for additional information on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” the office said in a statement.

President Barack Obama has ordered a “deep dive” on that alleged Russian interference that will be completed before he leaves office on Jan. 20.

“Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the intelligence community stands ready to brief Congress and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods,” the DNI statement reads.

This is not good enough. It is morally and ethically corrupt. This is something Franz Kafka would have dreamed up where a man is accused of an odious act abut the accusers are never required to produce proof beyond their own word. The intelligence community’s political leadership threw this particular polecat into the room and they need to be forced to deal with it.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And Podesta shows us the correct action.

The CIA Director needs to give a prime time press conference and lay out his empirical evidence that the hacking was the direct action of the Russian goverment and that the action was directed at helping Trump. Not his thoughts or his considered opinions. As Joe Friday would say, “just the fact’s, ma’am.

The intelligence community will bleat about “sources and methods” but they sacrificed that consideration when they leaked the report and then publicly defended it. There is precedent.

On September 1, 1983, a Korean Airlines Boeing 747, KAL Flight 007, enroute from Anchorage, AK to Seoul, disappeared from radar over the Sea of Japan. The United States accused the Soviet Union of deliberately shooting down the airliner. The Soviets denied it. This was at a dangerous juncture in the Cold War, thanks to Ted Kennedy and the Democrats the USSR seemed to be winning, and Reagan decided that this incident could not be allowed to change from a story about the callous and calculated murder of 269 innocent people and be made into one of Ronald Reagan trying to cause a war with the USSR. US and Japanese listening stations had monitored and taped the communications between the Soviet fighters and ground control — something the Soviets didn’t know that we could do at that distance. Reagan made the courageous decision to override the objections of the intelligence community and release highly classified information:

The shootdown happened at a very tense time in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Cold War. The U.S. adopted a strategy of releasing a substantial amount of hitherto highly classified intelligence information in order to exploit a major propaganda advantage over the U.S.S.R.[86] Six hours after the plane was downed, the South Korean government issued an announcement that the plane had merely been forced to land abruptly by the Soviets, and that all passengers and crew were safe.[87]

Secretary of State George P. Shultz held a press conference about the incident at 10:45 on September 1, during which he divulged some details of intercepted Soviet communications and denounced the actions of the Soviet Union.[82]

On September 5, 1983, President Reagan condemned the shooting down of the airplane as the “Korean airline massacre”, a “crime against humanity [that] must never be forgotten” and an “act of barbarism… [and] inhuman brutality”.[88] The following day, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick delivered an audio-visual presentation in the United Nations Security Council, using audio tapes of the Soviet pilots’ radio conversations and a map of Flight 007’s path in depicting its shooting down. Following this presentation, TASS acknowledged for the first time that the aircraft had indeed been shot down after warnings were ignored. The Soviets challenged many of the facts presented by the U.S., and revealed the previously unknown presence of a USAF RC-135 surveillance aircraft whose path had crossed that of KAL 007.

Extraordinary claims. Extraordinary evidence.

Obama should have the moral courage (yes, I know, I threw up in my mouth writing that) to direct the CIA to forth-f***ing-with deliver its evidence in unexpurgated fashion to the American public. If they can’t do that, Brennan should be directed to issue a public, prime time apology. It is only fair, he has essentially accused Trump of treason before the entire world. He needs to prove his words or he needs to apologize and, if he had any sense of honor, suck on a 12-gauge shotgun barrel.