RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTIONS!
RUSSIA PUT TRUMP ON THE THRONE!
TRUMP IS A RUSSIAN ASSET!
This is what any good, blue-blooded, American, leftist would have you believe. This is what most Democrats also truly hope to be true. If true, then the 2016 election was compromised and the true evils (aka Trump) of American Conservatism, Exceptionalism, and Capitalism would be exposed, and therefore must be abolished!
On the other hand, the acolytes of President Trump would have you believe that he is so important and his work so critical, that all sins must be ignored. They will do this to such an extreme that they will toss out long held principles in order to support the man. Take for example the long held believe that tariff’s are terrible for the American consumer. Or the long held conservative approach that the leaders of evil regimes like Iran or North Korea should never be given legitimacy with a meeting. Trump conservatives toss this aside to support his policy. They actually use the long discredited approach that the ends justify the means. Trump was right in that if he shot somebody in the middle of Times Square, his followers would not have a problem. This is a true cult of personality.
So, what’s really going on, and what has really transpired? Looking into those questions will help the reasoned individual determine heads from tails and decides their appropriate response, if any.
Russia Hacked The 2016 Elections?
The first question that any reasoned individual would ask when presented with this premise is, “REALLY!?” quickly followed by, “HOW!?” Kind of like when you hear that drunk cousin Eddie rode a bull moose through the McDonald’s Drive through in Johannesburg South Africa.
The how, is the most revealing question about this whole thing. The how, reveals what really happened, and exposes motives. To delve into this question, we have to go back several years to see what the Russian’s have been up to.
Meddling in our elections is not new. Russia has been doing this for decades. The CIA has been monitoring this regularly since 1982. They are not alone, the United States has also been intervening in foreign elections as well, to include Russia’s. Attempting to influence foreign elections has been one of the primary reasons for the existence of counter-intelligence programs since the dawn of time. This is what Nations do, in order to secure and advance their own interests. Right or wrong, this is the way the World works, and always has.
Of course, this doesn’t make it right, moral, or even legal. It shouldn’t be tolerated, and it should be fought at every opportunity. The legitimacy of an election is the very foundation of a Republic. Without that, you have tyranny.
We Were Warned
Since this is business as usual, we obviously knew it would continue. DUH! What a lot of people don’t know is that our Government conducted an assessment of our IT Security in which they identified several vulnerabilities. Both the GOP and the DNC were told to patch these. The GOP hired a group to come in and help secure their servers. The DNC refused to comply and let the vulnerabilities sit, on purpose…
It was no secret that Russia was a problem for a long time. Mitt Romney declared them to be our #1 concern. Obama and the media mocked and ridiculed him for saying such. They then downplayed this reality.
Warned again in 2016, the DNC refused to allow anyone access to their servers in order to secure them. Their claim that the vulnerabilities were not specific enough are deceptive as modern security practices and software help prevent the very means that the DNC was hacked.
That is not to say that these patches would have 100% prevented the attacks, but it is to say that they could have, and in the least, would have helped mitigate the severity. As proven when the investigation revealed that the GOP had also been hacked, but only older outdated emails were able to be retrieved.
By the time the DNC allowed CrowdStrike (a private security firm) to look at their servers, after the hack was publicized, the Russians had already been in there for over a year.
The DNC then refused to allow DHS access to assist in the investigation of the hack.
Exactly what did Russia do to interfere with our elections? According to intelligence reports, there were 2 primary attacks, the hacking of servers, and a public relations campaign war waged on social media.
While both were attempts to influence the outcome of the election, Rod Rosenstein, the lead investigator for the Department of Justice on the Russian interference investigation, reported that no American’s, to include the President and his administration, were knowingly involved, and that not one vote was affected in any election.
Finally, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of property involved in the criminal activity. There’s no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There’s no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result. – Rod Rosenstein
The DNC Server Hack
During the 2016 Presidential campaigns, the Democrat National Committee’s private servers were hacked, emails and documents were stolen, and then distributed to various media outlets such as Wiki-Leaks.
This was accomplished through a massive spear phishing attack. Yes, that is spelled correctly. A phishing attack is when a hacker sends off emails that look legitimate, and include a link for you to click. Once you click that link, the attackers payload is deployed to your computer/network and the hacker is in. This all happens in the background in which you, the user, do not see. A spear phishing attack is much more precise, with a specific individual or group of individuals as the target. The “bait” the link in the email, really has to be catered specifically to entice those individuals to click it. The attacker really has to know their target well.
In this particular attack, the target was former White House Chief of Staff under President Obama, and the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, John Podesta. The email looked to be from Gmail, stating that his password had been used by somebody else, and that he should go ahead and change it. The email provided a link to change his password. Podesta asked his IT department if this was legitimate, and they stated that it was, and suggested he change his password. An exact replica site was set up to mirror Gmail’s password reset pages, and this is where that link took Podesta. When he entered his new password, he gave the hackers, the password. They in turn, updated his actual Gmail, with the new information, and bam! They were in.
The hack of the DNC Servers is a separate attack altogether. Often times people believe that this was the same attack. It was not. The DNC attack began long before the 2016 Campaign season began.
This same type of phishing attack is what is reported to have happened to the DNC Servers, although, there is some question about the accuracy of that report. Independent investigators report that the hacking payload, and subsequent download of data off of the DNC Servers were locally conducted through a USB port.
Emails gained through these exploits were publicly released and showed that the Clinton Campaign had rigged the primary elections in her favor against Bernie Sanders. The DNC Chairman, Debbi Wasserman Shults, was fired as a result.
So, the Russian interference with the elections, in this instance, was showing the Hillary Campaign and DNC were interfering with elections…
This was the big hack of the elections. There were no voting booth hacks, there was no actual vote hack. As Rosenstein (who is facing impeachment by the Republican’s) pointed out report, no vote was affected. So, the notion that the Russian’s hacked the elections, is patently false. The Democrats did.
The Social Media Public Relations Attack
The second major wave of interference that the Russians engaged in was through social media.
The way that they did this was two-pronged. They conducted an ad campaign to release thousands (80k+ on Facebook, and 36k+ on Twitter) of ads attacking candidates. These ads were intended to impact voters and cause chaos in a manner that would undermine the legitimacy of the election.
The other way was to create fake accounts and attempt to sway votes via popularity. Creating fake polls, showing individual, personal, support for a candidate.
As the Rosenstein Report shows, this too failed. It turned out that not many voters even saw these ads, and most people only engage with people they know. Personal bias leads people to find bubbles of people that they already agree with. So, dissenting points of view tend to go largely dismissed.
Here, the Russians did exactly what political PAC’s on both sides do. They engaged in attack ads.
The Russian’s did NOT hack the election. No matter what the left wants to believe. The evidence is not there, and even worse, it show’s the opposite. The only one’s to interfere with the election process were the DNC….