aside The Attempted Theft Of An Election By Russia (2016 Presidential Elections)

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House Intel Committee

Dear Republicans, Forget your reticence to even consider the possibility that President Trump colluded with Russian officials to win the presidency, BUT AT LEAST DEAL WITH THE REALITY THAT THE RUSSIANS DID IN FACT STRIKE DEEP INTO THE HEART OF OUR US DEMOCRACY WITH ITS ELECTIONS.

As leaders, like the former head of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, have recently been testifying before the US House Intel Committees (June 2017), “we the people” have been discovering that Russia’s efforts to hack the 2016 presidential election were much more widespread than originally thought. Based on numerous sources the Russian campaign invaded US election web sites anywhere from 21 to 39 states, and in at least one case hackers tried to delete and alter voter data.

Image result for photo of jeh johnson testifying Bloomberg reported on this shocking news on June 13, 2017.  But we are learning from various sources that the extent of the cyber intrusion was so widespread that President Obama administration officials had to resort to the usage of the “red phone” in order to share with Kremlin leaders what they had uncovered.

Although President Obama’s administration had taken steps to assure all of us that the election’s integrity was not compromised, there remains the fact, that there was a very large-scale Russian effort to meddle with our elections. And this means that US future elections, in 2018 and 2020, are at risk of being tainted.

Some inside President Obama’s administration wanted to go public with the above information. But, based on a June 23rd Raw Story post, “we the people” were informed that US republican leaders deliberately blocked and then delayed Americans from hearing about this crucial data at an earlier more opportune time, and where the seriousness of Russia’s nefarious intentions could have been better explained.

So while it’s unclear if Russia’s hacking efforts actually influenced the outcome of the election, the fact that it is able to access such important information is frightening, in itself.

I am counting on the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the inquiry into Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign, to also delve into this possible breech.

With a White House in denial about Russia’s extensive meddling into our election’s processes, what are the republican led majorities in the US Congress doing to take on the task of protecting the entire US voting/ elections infrastructure from future intrusions by Russia and other foreign governments? Why is it that I don’t sense more outrage?

Here’s the rest of the story..

On June 22, 2017, Massimo Calabresi of Time Magazine penned the following report, “Election Hackers Altered Voter Rolls, Stole Private Data, Officials Say.”

Excerpts:

“The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME.”

“In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME. Investigators have not identified whether the hackers in that case were Russian agents.”

 Image result for photos of hackers“The fact that private data was stolen from states is separately providing investigators a previously unreported line of inquiry in the probes into Russian attempts to influence the election. In Illinois, more than 90% of the nearly 90,000 records stolen by Russian state actors contained drivers license numbers, and a quarter contained the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers, according to Ken Menzel, the General Counsel of the State Board of Elections.”
“Congressional investigators are probing whether any of this stolen private information made its way to the Trump campaign, two sources familiar with the investigations tell TIME.”
Image result for photos of michael bahar staffer house intel committee
Michael Bahar (Center)

“If any campaign, Trump or otherwise, used inappropriate data the questions are, How did they get it? From whom? And with what level of knowledge?” the former top Democratic staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, Michael Bahar, tells TIME. “That is a crux of the investigation.”

 “The House Intelligence Committee plans to seek testimony this summer from Brad Parscale, the digital director of the Trump campaign, CNN reported last week. Hill investigators in February asked the White House and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all materials relating to contacts between the Trump administration, transition team and campaign had with the Russians had been preserved. Parscale did not return messages requesting comment for this story. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, referred questions regarding the investigations to Trump’s legal team, which did not respond to requests for comment.”

Image result for photos of voting booths“Both intelligence committees are looking at whether and how the intrusions could have furthered Russia’s larger strategic goals of undermining U.S. democracy, hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump. During the run up to the vote, Obama Administration cyber-security officials took steps to prepare for widespread voter registration manipulation, fearing Russia might seek to cause chaos at polling places to undermine the credibility of the election. Current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials say Russia could also have tried to use stolen voter data to gain leverage over witting or unwitting accomplices in the Trump camp, by involving them in a broader conspiracy.”

“The House and Senate Intelligence committees held hearings on June 22 to highlight the ongoing vulnerability of the U.S. election systems. “I’m deeply concerned,” said North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, that “we could be here in two or four years talking about a much worse crisis.”

Related image“Cyber-security officials testifying at the Senate hearing acknowledged for the first time the extent of the Russian effort to interfere with the election. Twenty-one states saw such intrusions last year, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security, Jeanette Manfra, said. None of the intrusions affected the vote count itself, all the officials testified.”

“That has not reassured some Hill leaders. “There’s no evidence they were able to affect the counting within the machines,” says the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, Congressman Adam Schiff of California. But, he added, “the effect on the election is quite a different matter.”

“The Russian efforts against state and local databases were so widespread that top Obama administration cyber-security officials assumed that by Election Day Moscow’s agents had probed all 50 states. “At first it was one state, then three, then five, then a dozen,” says Anthony Ferrante, a former FBI cybersecurity official and member of the White House team charged with preparedness and response to the cyber intrusion. At that point, says Michael Daniel, who led the White House effort to secure the vote against the Russian intrusions, “We had to assume that they actually tried to at least rattle the doorknobs on all 50, and we just happened to find them in a few of them.”

“Many hackers, including state-sponsored ones, use automated programs to target hundreds or even thousands of computers to check for vulnerabilities. But confirming intrusions is hard. As far as officials have been able to determine, the number of actual successful intrusions, where Russian agents gained sufficient access to attempt to alter, delete or download any information, was “less than a dozen,” current and former officials say. But that wasn’t the only worry.”

Image result for photos of robert mueller“In addition to the threat to the vote we were also very concerned about the public confidence in the integrity of the electoral system,” says Ferrante.”

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether any laws were broken in relation to the Russian attack. The Congressional intelligence probes also seek to determine the nature and scope of the Russian espionage operation in order to protect future elections.”

“The integrity of the entire system is in question,” says Bahar, “So you need the system to push back and find out what happened and why, so it never happens again.”

13 comments

  1. Dear Gronda, I reckon the republicans all stand with their bums to the wall, but they also wear lipstick in case they have to kiss dumps bum come next November, how slowly the wheels turn, they can afford a 50/50 bet… hugs matey. imagine a frowning smiley face now…

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    On about March 15, 2017 the Georgia election servers located at Kennesaw State University were hacked, this was confirmed by the FBI. It was reported that voter data including names, address, and last four digits of SS #’s were accessed. Fast forward to about April 15th, a Republican election official from Cobb county Ga. had four state election commission owned tablets stolen from his unlocked pickup truck from a local Kroger parking lot. Video released shows a vehicle enter the parking lot and park next to the PU and a man gets out takes only the tablets, and then drives away. The alleged theft went unreported for two days. These tablets contained the names, addresses, identification type, and SS #’s of every registered voter in the voting district (#6). Yet we are assured by the election officials that no threat to the vote existed? Should we be at all suspicious when the Democrat who had led in all the polls leading up to the election was defeated almost the mirror image of the vote he was projected to receive? Yet we are told by our government that it was simply a normal election and no tampering with the vote was done, hmmm, are we simply expected to believe that, or are we as American citizens going to demand truthful answers?

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      The Secretary of State Brian Kemp of GA is one of the fools who turned down the former Homeland Security head, Jeh Johnson offer to assist them with possible voter system problems created by Russia.

      They thought they knew better, and why would they not want to insure the viability of their voting machines? Their refusal to accept assistance was of a partisan gone amok attitude where there is no way that Georgia officials would accept a reasonable, non partisan overture to help.

      And how sick is that?

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. It’s too bad our IC cannot divulge actual hard proof of Russian tampering without compromising national security. I have a feeling Trump knows this very well, which is why he can afford to be so arrogant and critical, is he gonna skate free? We shall see how well Mueller does his job.

    • Dear 1EartUnited,

      The president has done a lot of his business dealings with too many ne’er-do-wells. The Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in a different league, as an honest, competent, well-respected government official who would always place this country’s interests, first.

      By the way, he is a registered republican.

      Hugs, Gronda.

  4. Dear Steele646,

    DDT’S day of reckoning is coming. Then the US Congressional republicans will have to face the music and this time all of their prevaricating singing will fall on deaf ears.

    Hugs, Gronda

  5. Gronda, excellent summary as per usual. It is now clear the Russians meddled in our election. It is telling that Putin changed his story from “no way” to “maybe some zealous Russian Patriots could have hacked.” Yet, all along we have known Putin orchestrated this which is in keeping with his nature and precedence.

    Our President has changed his story from “it could be a lone guy” to “it could have been the Chinese” to “maybe it was the Russians” to “it was the Russians and it Obama’s fault for not acting sooner.

    But, let’s unpack this a little more. There is a lot of evidence that Trump people had multiple conversations with Russian oligarchy and leaders. It is also true that some of these Trump people have not been forthcoming about said meetings.

    Yet, I find it interesting that Trump starting claiming the election was rigged about the same time Obama was learning that the Russians were trying to rig it in Trump’s favor. If Obama did accuse Putin that he had evidence on his efforts, it would not be a stretch for Russia to let Trump people know that they need to ratchet up the “election is rigged” rhetoric.

    While this last paragraph is speculation, given the other truths, it is not a stretch.

    Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      His recent rhetoric just confirms for me that the president has indeed been colluding with Russia as an unwitting Russian agent who had been groomed by Russians over decades.

      Putin is like those angry White rural voters who are loving, watching DDT raise bloody hexx with this country’s systems.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, I would say at a minimum he is an unwitting agent with members of his team more complicit. At a maximum, he is involved up to his eyeballs and knows full well how this went down. Keith

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