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The Russians: Lets take a deep breath & look at what is really happening
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
OK, let’s take about 6 minutes, sit down, and take some deep breaths. Look at what we know about the Russian activity in the last election.
First, the Russians did hack into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s data bases and email accounts. That information was given to WikiLeaks and distributed. Others may have hacked the systems as well. A few months ago, two Russian agents, hackers working out of the Ukraine, were charged and indicted for their work. Russia will not extradite them to the US and it is unlikely they will come here on tourist visas any time soon.
Second, apparently the Russians attempted to hack into the Republican National Committee and campaigns of several Republican candidates. Either the hacks were unsuccessful, or there was no useful scandalous information there worth releasing.
Third, there are allegations that President Vladimir Putin hates Hilary Clinton for interfering with the Russian election when he was running for office. The Russians may also been upset that the DNC was messing with Bernie Sanders’ campaign. These are probable cause for action in the first two items above.
Fourth, it is pretty clear that the Russian activity had some negative effect on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Fifth, there has been no evidence submitted that the Russians actually supported any candidate in the 2016 election. There were no campaign contributions or ads paid for the candidates. This is different than the common practices in US politics. Individuals and groups routinely support particular candidates and work and campaign against others. One of the prime examples of these types of activities was President Obama. He actively engaged in the elections in Israel, England, Ukraine, France, and Egypt, supporting one candidate or side of an issue while denigrating the opposition. Some project their own actions onto others, assuming that others act the same way that they do. In contrast, it is pretty clear that the Russians were against Hillary but were not for anyone.
Sixth, ideologically the Russians would be more aligned with Bernie Sanders, the socialist, than any other candidate in the presidential campaign. Ideologically and logically, the last person the Russians would want to see as President of the United States would be a strong Republican/Conservative.
Seventh, so far there has been no evidence presented that shows collusion or cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians. For the last 10 months, the best US intelligence agencies and the FBI have been investigating and trying to find this information. (It is rumored that active surveillance to collect relevant information was started six months earlier than that.) For about the first five and a half months the agencies were under the “control” of the Obama Administration, for about the last four and a half months the agencies have been under the ‘control” of the Trump Administration. For the last three to four months House of Representatives and Senate bipartisan committees have been receiving both classified and unclassified agency reports, questioning witnesses, and otherwise collecting and analyzing information on the issue. While they want to question a few more witnesses and their work is not quite finished, neither committee has found any collusion evidence.
After 10 months of no collusion evidence, let’s stop the investigations. Maybe there could be another month for the committee to finish up and write reports. Instead, let’s turn our time, energy, and expertise to finding and prosecuting those who have been leaking classified information the press and to strengthen our public and private computer systems against hacking. In addition to information gathering, there are serious concerns about the cyber security of our infrastructure systems. These include water, electric power, air and rail traffic control, medical, commerce, and food and goods distribution systems

Henry Bell