Cowardice in the face of Russian Aggression

Cowardice in the face of Russian Aggression

By JACOB HICKS | June 6, 2017

In the wake of yesterday’s leak of a highly classified National Security Agency intelligence report, it is clear that Russian involvement in the 2016 election goes far deeper than previously reported.  The report reveals that Russian GRU intelligence operatives engaged in attempts to infiltrate the computer systems of at least one corporation manufacturing electronic voting systems and a number of local election officials.  This is only the latest in a series of revelations that the Russian government was attempting to sow chaos and diminish faith in our electoral system.  Even without earlier reports of Kremlin based media attacks on the Democratic candidate the evidence is now quite clear: there was a concentrated effort made by the Russian government to influence our election and damage our standing abroad. A notion that has been the joint consensus of a great number of United States federal intelligence agencies

Meanwhile, the response from our current elected officials has been utterly embarrassing.  Vague platitudes and “grave concerns” have been stated, yet nothing of actual substance has been done.  Politicians on the left and right have been guilty of this dangerous cowardice, but those especially in power, i.e. the Republicans, deserve the most criticism.  We have allowed a grave threat to our nation to become politicized.  Our leaders at the highest levels have used these revelations for political gain on one side, and ignored the facts before them on the other side.  And we, the voters, seem to be rewarding them for this behavior with campaign donations and blind allegiance in the polls.  Republicans and Democrats alike should be outraged at this flagrant assault on our sovereignty by the Russian Government and demand action by our leaders. 

The greatest blame lies with the Trump Administration.  The President’s cowardice in the face of this Russian meddling has only made matters worse.  Putin openly mocks the United States, while the President openly doubts the claims made by his own intelligence officials.  The President’s inaction not only makes him look guilty, it makes the United States look weak.  The Obama Administration’s response was limited in scope and the Trump Administration’s response has been non-existent.  The very foundation of the United States is under attack.  Our electoral system is the bedrock on which our political order rests.  An attack on it is an attack on the United States itself. The stakes could not be higher, and the evidence seems to suggest that our civil servants in the intelligence community have risen to the task.  It is our elected officials, however, whom have failed us. 

The inconvenient truth is that there was an active attempt to meddle in our election by Russian operatives, an act intended to benefit the President and his Republican colleagues.  They must find the courage to not take the easy route and politicize this issue.  Our nation deserves a complete and thorough investigation, not the current slow and underwhelming efforts by Congress.  The people of the United States deserve to be better informed of the extent of the investigation of Russian meddling.  They deserve political leaders who are brave enough to confront this aggression and work to prevent it.  A clear message must be sent to Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government: The United States will not be beaten by their efforts and we will respond in kind to their aggression.  As it stands, the Russians must be patting themselves on the back because their cyber-war efforts were effective and there will be few consequences should they wish to try again.  Only time will tell if our elected leaders have the character to stand up for their people and act decisively against any attempts to meddle in our democracy.

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