blandly pious and naively optimisticOur government, as of January 20th 2017, will be run by a man who appears to have collaborated with a foreign government to alter our elections. This was a crime of espionage against Trump's political opponent.
The Kumbaya Law: In any conversation where some of the participants hold an opinion to the left of other participants, someone with the more conservative position will compare said person's opinion to the naivete of "singing around a campfire singing Kumbaya"
It is not important that the crimes were against an opponent; that detail is merely a distraction from the real issues. In attempting to alter the results of an election this way with the collaboration of a foreign government, Trump welcomed and apparently participated in crimes against Americans. It doesn't matter a damn if the Americans were allies or opponents.
As Lincoln, who must be rolling in his grave so brilliantly said about representative government in the Gettysburg Address, our Constitution, the very premise of our nation, is to provide government of the people, by the people, and for the people. To act against that by espionage to alter that election in cooperation with a foreign power is the opposite, the antithesis of government by OUR people.
The U.S. intelligence services clearly identified that Russia provided emails to wikileaks after committing a cyber attack against the Americans campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Russia acknowledges that people from the Russian embassy were meeting with the Trump campaign prior to the election. Equally important, Trump denied involvement with the Russians during the campaign which now appears to be false.
From the NY Times:
MOSCOW — The Russian government maintained contacts with members of Donald J. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the American presidential campaign, one of Russia’s top diplomats said Thursday.“There were contacts,” Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign,” he said.
Mr. Ryabkov said officials in the Russian Foreign Ministry were familiar with many of the people he described as Mr. Trump’s entourage. “I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said.
From the WaPo, we see Trump is still trying to lie and deny his connections and benefits from the Russians and their actions:
The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.
Ryabkov provided no further details, and his remarks drew a swift denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who said the campaign had “no contact with Russian officials” before Tuesday’s election.
...Speaking to Bloomberg News, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said staffers at the Russian Embassy in Washington met with members of Trump’s campaign — meetings she described as “normal practice.” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign refused similar requests for meetings, Zakharova told the agency.
We cannot currently accuse Trump of committing treason; we limit that term to acts of war. I would argue that we should change that definition to include acts that attack, interfere with or undermine our national autonomy. We are not formally at war with Russia, and cyber attacks are not currently included in our definition of attacks. I would argue we have to change our definition of attack now to include cyber attacks as an act of aggression. Clearly this is how the Russians view their own actions. As we know from the much quoted Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.
And from Vox:
Fisher points to a 2013 article, by Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, as key evidence of this new Russian thinking. Gerasimov argued that "non-military means" had eclipsed weapons in their strategic importance. Controlling the information and propaganda environment can inflict serious blows on one’s enemies."The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness," Gerasimov writes. He advocates using "military means of a concealed character," including "actions of informational conflict" in order to accomplish Russian strategic objectives.Gerasimov’s article uses the Arab Spring as a key example, which is telling. The Arab Spring wasn’t about wars between countries but rather upheaval inside countries. Gerasimov’s ideas, then, are explicitly designed to be used in attempts to influence other countries’ internal politics and conflicts.That’s exactly what Russia is doing when it hands over the information to WikiLeaks.
And from a different piece over at Vox, we see that interference in elections and other domestic politics by the Russians against the autonomy and interests of countries is not unique to the USA:
"That Russia is pulling for Trump is at this point beyond any dispute," New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait writes. "Putin’s Russia has been proven or credibly alleged to have boosted friendly candidates in France, Germany, Austria, and, most successfully, in the election of a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. Something like this seems to be happening in the American presidential election now."
From The Tampa Bay Times:
Russia's role in Clinton WikiLeaks seen as move toward global influenceTAMPA — The emails and documents released by the group WikiLeaks are likely part of an effort by Russia to expand its global influence, a cyber security expert said Tuesday at MacDill Air Force Base.Russia "has been engaged very effectively in modern military warfare," said Mark Maybury, former chief scientist with the U.S. Air Force and now vice president with the federally sponsored, nonprofit research and development firm the MITRE Corp.
Maybury cited the example of Crimea, the region claimed by both Ukraine and Russia, where Russians were "engaged in information operations, cyber operations and deception operations."
...Available evidence, Maybury said, supports the view held by U.S. intelligence agencies that the hacks originated from Russia.
"They are trying to influence the election, in my humble opinion," Maybury said, acknowledging that he is extrapolating on publicly available information.
...Maybury is a former Air Force officer, an expert in artificial intelligence and author of 10 books who worked on World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The conference at MacDill, attended by about 100 cyber security experts and interested parties from industry, government and the military, was put on by organizations including the National Cyber Partnership, the Florida Chamber Foundation and the Tampa Bay Innovation Alliance.
We cannot support a man who engages in, or at the very least condones and benefits by crimes against Americans and the rights guaranteed to ALL Americans by the Constitution. We cannot expect Trump to protect or follow that Constitution.
We can only hope to take the House and the Senate in 2018 -- and it won't be easy. If we succeed, I believe this could rise to the required criteria of high crimes and misdemeanors to impeach Trump.