Monday, November 7, 2016

WHAT IS PUTIN's REAL GAME




1.     The Model :  Wag the Dog

Remember the movie: " a tale of politics, power and Hollywood so outrageous it could be true! Two weeks before re-election, the President of the United States is accused of accosting a girl scout. Before the news reaches the media, his advisors call in a political consultant specializing in image rescues. What to do? Hire a Hollywood producer to create a war — distracting public attention from the scandal and rallying Americans to their President in surge of patriotic fever.”

To pass Obamacare, the political consultant/architect was Jonathan Gruber

Obamacare Architect: Yeah, We Lied to The "Stupid" American People to Get It Passed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G790p0LcgbI&ab_channel=AmericanCommitment

Meet Jonathan Gruber, a professor at MIT and an architect of Obamacare. During a panel event last year about how the legislation passed, turning over a sixth of the U.S. economy to the government, Gruber admitted that the Obama administration went through "tortuous" measures to keep the facts about the legislation from the American people, including covering up the redistribution of wealth from the healthy to the sick in the legislation that Obamacare is in fact a tax. The video of his comments just recently surfaced ahead of the second open enrollment period for Obamacare at Healthcare.gov

"You can't do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that," Gruber said. "In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not."
 Today, that political consultant /architect is Ben Rhodes.

Confirmation from NBC News: Obama Administration Plans Cyber Attack ‘Message’ to Moscow

The Obama administration is considering launching a covert cyber attack against Russia to retaliate for the country’s alleged interference in this year's presidential election, according to intelligence officials, with Vice President Joe Biden saying Friday that the White House is "sending a message" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Current and former intelligence officials, said to have direct knowledge of the plans, told NBC News in an an exclusive that the CIA has already been asked to deliver options for an operation to "embarrass" Putin and other Russian leaders.
They did not say what the CIA is planning, but told NBC that the agency has been selecting targets and making other preparations. 

On Friday, Biden dismissed suggestions that the White House has failed to respond to Russia's interference, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that "we're sending a message," and "we have the capacity to do it."
“He'll know it and it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact," said Biden, adding that he hopes the public will not know.

The officials told NBC the Obama administration is still weighing its options, whether to respond with measures such as cyber attacks or through economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the potential cyber operation is being prepared by a team with the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, documents indicate.
******

My major concerns are US Homeland security… Especially protection against EMP and malicious hacking. The Obama administration has done nothing and this has left  us vulnerable. [http://www.blackoutusa.org/vsl/index.php?r=2802&r=6562&hop=lean12    ]

Further Joe Biden irresponsibly threatens Russia with a cyber war attack. This gives Putin the option of deeming any failure in his power system or whatever [and the Russian systems failures abound ] the option to blame the United States for an attack.


2.  Assertions were first floated by political operators (by Democrats in Congress, by the Democratic National Committee and by the Clinton campaign) that  Russia  (Putin) was behind the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s correspondence.These assertions  are  doubtful for several reasons(some of which will be presented here).


Congressional Democrats Call on FBI to Investigate Their Political Adversaries’ Kremlin Ties Glenn Greenwald  8-31-16


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Russia of conducting the cyberattack operation; Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin:” the U.S. State Departments conclusion that the  hack into Podesta’s email servers could only have been ordered by senior Russian government officials."

 Pressure grew on the administration  to publicly name Moscow.
“The Obama administration has been under fierce pressure from lawmakers — led by Senate and House Intelligence Committee ranking members Dianne Feinstein (d-calif.) and Adam Schiff (d-calif.), respectively — to publicly attribute the attacks.”

Soon after, the Obama administration accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections, including  hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security issued  the following joint  statement:

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” agencies. “.. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

[Obama administration publicly blames Russia for DNC hack   http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/299874-obama-administration-publicly-blames-russia-for-dnc-hack]



3.  These assertions  are  doubtful for several reasons(some of which will be presented here).

A. Russian officials have publicly denied involvement in the hackings.If any actual Russian government fingerprints are found then Putin would be subject to very public embarrassment. The attribution  by “government sources” that  there were indications of Russian involvement based on specific “fingerprints” was made by a private consulting company working for the government. These    fingerprints apply  to a major portion of the hacking’s that have occurred during 2016. Further,  review of Julian  Assange’s closed circuit conference with a group of hackers shows him clearly explaining  (to the complete satisfaction of the participants)his technique and activities in this regard.


Putin: ‘Does Anyone Seriously Imagine Russia Can Somehow Influence the American People's Choice?'By Patrick Goodenough | October 28, 2016 

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/putin-does-anyone-seriously-imagine-russia-can-somehow-influence-us?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWmpGbE56aGhPVEptTVRFMSIsInQiOiJrWkhlRXBDRkJLVUVldnFyZXB4Yk1jeUNJMnBFcjNiQzVyeHBXa0lZSm5GcytyejZzMDZ4a0htZTd0MStSQStDQ2NjZjJzT2Mwa0FhMnNpb3Q1RldES1ZPcFc4azhaQ1RMZmVWdHpsZXJjVT0ifQ%3D%3D

B.  It appears that  Putin favors Hillary Clinton in the coming election. 


(1)     Putin is a cold-blooded.  realist  with an agenda to expand Russian  influence to encompass all of the areas of the previous Soviet Union and to become a major player in the Middle East.  It is Putin’s agenda that   guides his  actions.[ And,  from Putin’s point of view Hillary Clinton  is much more likely to help him  complete his agenda than  is Donald Trump.]

(2)      Most important to Putin  is the  very favorable political and  economic outcomes to Russia that would occur from Hillary Clinton’s expected actions relating to fracking.Thus, a major reason that he prefers Hillary Clinton is her position and  likely future actions concerning  Fracking.

   Hillary Clinton would  probably attempt to eliminate fracking (or if she could not eliminate it entirely  she would drastically reduce fracking within the United States). She would accomplish this through limiting the areas for  petroleum exploration; instituting rigorous regulations; requiring extensive environmental studies; moratoriums;  etc.

This elimination or reduction of US petroleum production by restrictions on  fracking would increase the world  price for petroleum.

 This increase would give Putin a vast  increase in  the value of  Russia’s  petroleum reserves  [ thus rescuing the currently faltering Russian economy ]; it would greatly increase the value of  Putin’s  petroleum exports.  This would give Putin additional hard currency  to help finance his expansionist  adventures.  It would restore Russia’s  previous  political and economic lock on  East Europe’s  energy supplies.

(3).   A second major reason that Putin probably favors Hillary Clinton in the coming election is Putin’s belief, [based on many years of   observation of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry]  that a  Hillary  Clinton administration would continue the parameters and trend lines  established by Barack Obama .[ The Obama administration has pulled back in every confrontation with Putin’s Russia.  Putin has seen this US  pattern and has resolved to remain the first mover, not expecting much American pushback except in words.] Examples:


a..Bill Clinton offered North Korea  emergency relief supplies and other concessions to obtain their agreement that they would cease their nuclear activities and dismantle their nuclear program. North Korea agreed and Bill Clinton publicly announced complete success of his negotiations with North Korea assuring the American public that North Korea will abandon the quest for nuclear weapons and completely demolish the nuclear development infrastructure. Here is Bill Clinton announcing the “resolution of the North Korean nuclear threat:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TcbU5jAavw&ab_channel=DavidGruen ]

b. During the presidential debate of 2012 Romney identified Russia  as a potential major adversary  of the United States. Obama   forcefully rebuked Romney during the debate[ (Obama to Romney:”……you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,”        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFR8DbSRQE&ab_channel=RT

c.   During a meeting with then  Russian president Dmitry Medvedev , Obama did not know that his microphone was alive. He leaned over to whisper a confidential message that he wanted carried to Vladimir Putin …it was: “tell Vladimir “that after my election I will have much more flexibility” [this signaled that Obama was going to reverse the US  missile defense agreements with Poland and other Eastern European countries. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFR8DbSRQE&ab_channel=RT]


d.   Hillary Clinton’s  presentation of a “reset button” [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sudCmrAsF4&ab_channel=DouglasJohnston  ]  

e.     Acceptance  of Putin’s aggressive intervention  in Ukraine; 

f.      State Department approval of sale of uranium reserves to a crony  of Putin. [Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal by JO BECKER and MIKE McINTIRE New York Times APRIL 23, 2015  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0]

g.     Hillary Clinton initiatied the  negotiations with  the Iranian hardliners which  concluded in a deal which which permits Russia to sell advanced weaponry to Iran and receive hard currency (furnished by the United States); 

h.    Strategy of  bringing Russia into the Middle East as a major player (as discussed in Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease Tony Badran The Tablet September 21, 2016 ) .

i.     Obama’s White House has cut  the military “out of the loop”in key international  and military decisions [testimony of Secretary of  Defense  Ash Carter and the Joint Chiefs of  Staff…https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-22/obama-kept-military]


C.Mr. Clapper in all of  public statements is very cautious. He will not respond to reporters leading questions but rather keeps referring them back to the written  Joint statement.Mr. Clapper said: “IT’S PROBABLY NOT REAL, REAL CLEAR WHETHER THERE’S INFLUENCE IN TERMS OF AN OUTCOME [OF THE NOVEMBER U.S. ELECTIONS] OR WHAT I WORRY ABOUT MORE—FRANKLY —IS JUST THE  SOWING THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, WHERE DOUBT IS CAST ON THE WHOLE [ELECTION] PROCESS.” 

D.  To put  these specific hacking’s into  perspective, in the year 2o16 ,there have been many hundreds of hackings, intrusions, compromises, hijackings, etc.   The following site presents a very vivid graphic  illustration of the scope and magnitude of the hacking phenomena:  http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/ 

  Here is a sample of other links:





laitin

E. The specific penetrations  [Clinton’s server; the Democratic National Committee; John Podesta; etc.]  were accomplished against sites that exercised very poor site protective security discipline. The specific materials that were   hacked  were not given any special  encryption and/or limited access controls. The level of skill  that is required for the successful hacking of these sites is widely distributed throughout the world.

For example, theWikiLeaks dump reveals exactly how Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, was actually hacked [ a careless response to a false request that  the site’s password be changed …which was  actually routed to a hacker’s computer in the Netherlands.] CHRIS SOMMERFELDT  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS   Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016


F.  Previous  experience demands  skepticism and thorough investigation before acceptance of any allegations of Russian responsibility.

 Intelligence analysts  have complained that their  output is being distorted by the political echelon [50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked 

 Ben Rhodes’ Iran Deal ( “wag the dog”) echo chamber operation) which was  explicitly intended to mislead the US public in order to sell this administration’s desired  Iran agreement [ The aspiring novelist who became Obama’s foreign-policy guru  by David Samuels  New York Times May 5, 2016]; 

and   the false certainty of the US intelligence community that  Saddam Hussein  actually possessed nuclear weapons 

all require  that we demand  a much higher level of proof than the political echelons just asserting “we believe that” [ Eg. “U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested Russia was behind a recent computer hacking operation”]and then surmising[“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,”]that if what  they believe is correct  that they then surmise  that it would require approval at the highest levels in Russia (Putin).

 Below, is an excerpt from the New York Times which reproduces in Ben Rhodes’ own words Rhodes’s  campaign to sell the Iran  
"We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.

From:THE ASPIRING NOVELIST WHO BECAME OBAMA’S FOREIGN-POLICY GURU  By DAVID SAMUELS MAY 5, 2016

The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency. “It’s the center of the arc,” Rhodes explained to me two days after the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented. He then checked off the ways in which the administration’s foreign-policy aims and priorities converged on Iran. “We don’t have to kind of be in cycles of conflict if we can find other ways to resolve these issues,” he said. “We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it.’ It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads that the president’s been spinning — and I mean that not in the press sense — for almost a decade, they kind of all converged around Iran.”
In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration. By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making. By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.
The nerve center for the selling of the Iran deal to Congress, which took place in a concentrated three-month period between July and September of last year, was located inside the White House, and is referred to by its former denizens as “the war room.”
Chad Kreikemeier, a Nebraskan who had worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, helped run the team, which included three to six people from each of several agencies, he says, which were the State Department, Treasury, the American delegation to the United Nations (i.e., Samantha Power), “at times D.O.D.” (the Department of Defense) and also the Department of Energy and the National Security Council. Rhodes “was kind of like the quarterback,” running the daily video conferences and coming up with lines of attack and parry. “He was extremely good about immediately getting to a phrase or a way of getting the message out that just made more sense,” Kreikemeier remembers. Framing the deal as a choice between peace and war was Rhodes’s go-to move — and proved to be a winning argument.
The person whom Kreikemeier credits with running the digital side of the campaign was Tanya Somanader, 31, the director of digital response for the White House Office of Digital Strategy, who became known in the war room and on Twitter as @TheIranDeal. Early on, Rhodes asked her to create a rapid-response account that fact-checked everything related to the Iran deal. “So, we developed a plan that was like: The Iran deal is literally going to be the tip of everything that we stand up online,” Somanader says. “And we’re going to map it onto what we know about the different audiences we’re dealing with: the public, pundits, experts, the right wing, Congress.” By applying 21st-century data and networking tools to the white-glove world of foreign affairs, the White House was able to track what United States senators and the people who worked for them, and influenced them, were seeing online — and make sure that no potential negative comment passed without a tweet.
 “People construct their own sense of source and credibility now,” she said. “They elect who they’re going to believe.” For those in need of more traditional-seeming forms of validation, handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor helped retail the administration’s narrative. “Laura Rozen was my RSS feed,” Somanader offered. “She would just find everything and retweet it.”
 In July 2012, Jake Sullivan, a close aide to Hillary Clinton, traveled to Muscat, Oman, for the first meeting with the Iranians, taking a message from the White House. “It was, ‘We’re prepared to open a direct channel to resolve the nuclear agreement if you are prepared to do the same thing and authorize it at the highest levels and engage in a serious discussion on these issues,’
The White House point person during the later stage of the negotiations was Rob Malley,  who is currently running negotiations that could keep the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power. During the course of the Iran talks, Malley told me, he always kept in close contact with Rhodes. “I would often just call him and say, ‘Give me a reality check,’” Malley explained. “He could say, ‘Here is where I think the president is, and here is where I think he will be.’” He continued, “Ben would try to anticipate: Does it make sense policywise? But then he would also ask himself: How do we sell it to Congress? How do we sell it to the public? What is it going to do to our narrative?”
Malley is a particularly keen observer of the changing art of political communication; his father, Simon Malley, who was born in Cairo, edited the politics magazine Afrique Asie and proudly provided a platform for Fidel Castro and Yasir Arafat.

 As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

 Rhodes: “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’

G. Hillary Clinton has willingly engaged in previous public disinformation campaigns.

[Clinton Campaign, White House Coordinated Pro-Iran Deal Talking Point…Leaked emails show effort to mislead public about Iran deal by: Adam Kredo  October 10, 2016 ]

Senior Clinton campaign officials were in direct contact with the White House to coordinate pro-Iran talking points in an effort to boost last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement, according to leaked emails that show the Obama administration and top figures in Clinton’s campaign played a role in promulgating information about the deal that later turned out to be factually inaccurate.

The emails, released late on Friday in a massive document dump by the hacker website WikiLeaks, show coordination between Hillary Clinton’s team and the White House, which spearheaded a massive effort to create what senior officials described as a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Congress and Americans about the nature of the agreement.

An April 2, 2015, communication sent from top White House press liaison Eric Shultz to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri includes several pages of pro-Iran talking points that were later discovered to contain misleading information.

“Love it!!” Palmieri responded to Schultz’s email. She subsequently forwarded the information to leading Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills, Brian Fallon, and Nick Merrill, among others.

The disclosure of these emails threatens to entangle the Clinton campaign in a growing scandal surrounding secret White House efforts to mislead Congress and the public about the nuclear deal. Congress has been investigating these efforts for months and has uncovered evidence the Obama administration inked several secret side deals with Iran, including the rollback of key sanctions on Tehran and a $1.7 billion cash payment.

The White House’s pro-Iran press machine, which was helmed by Rhodes, received support from liberal billionaire George Soros and a network of non-profit organizations that funneled money to those who helped champion the deal in the public sphere. Holes and moles in U.S. intelligence


 H. Others in the community feel as I do. Here is an article by  Cliff Kincaid :



One of the biggest lies is that the WikiLeaks disclosures prove that  Putin favors Trump for U.S. president   By Cliff Kincaid

I'm not naïve about Russia. I co-authored Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire, about a resurgent Russia. There are Russian links to global Islamic terrorism. They also target the U.S. for propaganda and disinformation operations

But The Washington Post has been cheerleading for Hillary Clinton for president, on the spurious grounds that she is knowledgeable about the Russian threat and Trump is not. Have we so soon forgotten the failed Russian reset and the Russian uranium deal?

There's no evidence that the Russians favor Trump over Clinton.  Clinton was duped by the Russians into orchestrating a "reset" that benefitted Russia and its ally, Iran. She played into their hands before, and they probably figured that she could be manipulated into playing into their hands again. This is especially true now that Russia and Iran have made military advances in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton continues to rely for advice on Russia from people like Brookings Institution head Strobe Talbott, a supporter of world government who had questionable dealings with the Russian intelligence service exposed in a book, Comrade J, by a Russian spymaster. In addition,  Clinton's State Department approved the Russian uranium deal, while millions flowed to the Clinton Foundation

Trump has made questionable statements about Russia, and his former campaign chairman had suspicious links to a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician. But Trump is now surrounded by realists on Russia like his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, and former CIA director, James Woolsey. Trump has denounced NSA defector Edward Snowden, who is living in Russia, as a traitor who deserves the death penalty. That's tougher than anything Mrs. Clinton has said about Snowden.


The evidence indicates that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks serve Russian interests. But what difference does it make if the Russians obtained the emails and turned them over to Assange for release to an American audience? Our media routinely steal and obtain documents through confidential "sources" and conduct undercover operations to secretly record their interview subjects. The term "illegal" sounds ominous, but the media have long defended getting stolen documents. Their "origin," in fact, is not the Russians but the Clinton officials who failed to protect their own communications. And, as for the "general lack of corroboration," the Clinton campaign has blamed the Russians for their release, without taking issue with the content. They suggest some portions of the documents may have been altered, but offer no hard evidence. It looks as if they are trying to divert attention from the fact that the emails are real and legitimate.

More importantly, Hillary Clinton and her associates invited this hacking by failing to protect their own emails.

Chenoweth goes on to claim that since U.S. intelligence agencies blame the Russians for the acquisition of the information, media dissemination of the emails means that this places "all of our private means of communication at risk of exposure from illegal invasion" by a foreign power and/or its intelligence agencies. So the same U.S. intelligence agencies insisting that the Russians are behind the hacking have been unable to defend the American people. That's the obvious conclusion. Again, whose fault is that? Hillary Clinton and her associates were the security risks who made all of this possible. If the American people in general are at risk, perhaps the CIA and NSA ought to do a better job of protecting us.

 The Russians are better at what they do than the American CIA and NSA. Rather than blame the Russians for embarrassing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, why not call for an investigation of the incompetence or corruption within the U.S. intelligence community? This should be the logical outcome of witnessing an alleged "interference" in a U.S. election. Instead, Trump is blamed for citing the corruption documented in the emails, and some in the media are blamed for treating the disclosures as news. This is not only silly, but dangerous, for those who seriously want to come to grips with the holes and moles in our intelligence community.

If Putin is behind the WikiLeaks disclosures, he has provided a wake-up call regarding our vulnerability to foreign threats. But the Post is so determined to elect Hillary Clinton that it ignores her role in the debacle that now envelopes her.

Trump didn't set up her server and he didn't operate John Podesta's computer. Hillary Clinton was a security risk, and her illegal computer operations put the entire nation and its secrets at risk. We still don't know the full extent of the damage.

With a track record like that, it could be argued that Putin would prefer Hillary as president.