The 2016 US presidential election looks set to become the most investigated of modern times.
Everything seems to be up for a second look. Green Party nominee Jill Stein has crowdfunded recounts of voting in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all of which recorded narrow wins for Donald Trump.
How effective that campaign to force recounts might be is anyone’s guess, however: a judge called off the recount in Michigan, saying that Stein had “no standing” as any recount was not going to change her result in the state.
Elsewhere, the electoral college itself has come under fire in an election where – despite discredited fake news counter-claims – Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by an unprecedented 2.67 million but ended up losing.
Now Democrat politicians have turned to the most explosive issue of all: did Russia interfere in the election?
Leading this are two Democrats, Eric Swalwell and Elijah Cummings, who this week proposed legislation to set up a 12-person bipartisan commission to investigate the issue over the next 18 months. Representative Cummings of the Protecting Our Democracy Act:
Regardless of whether you voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else, Russia’s attacks on our election are an attempt to degrade our democracy.
If that sounds as if he’s pre-judging its findings, some Republicans have expressed similar sentiments. “It’s pretty clear to me that WikiLeaks was designed to hurt Clinton and it could be us tomorrow,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, referring to campaign emails published on the site in October.
Many US politicians and the US Intelligence services think that WikiLeaks was fed the cache by Russian hackers as part of an information warfare campaign designed to embarrass Clinton.
The issue has become so fevered that a group of US politicians want President Obama to arrange a briefing on what the intelligence services know about Russia’s alleged shenanigans.
President-elect Trump has a very different view, insisting that:
It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.
The Russians have denied any involvement but that has become a mere detail in a world where what people think is now more important than what they can prove. If suspicion were a currency, it would be soaring.
Information warfare (if that’s what is going on) isn’t new of course, which makes it surprising that people should be caught unaware by it in 2016. During the Cold War, the US was even considered to be one of its innovators, using Radio Free Europe to beam “uncensored” news behind the Iron Curtain.
In the internet era, a Utopianism took hold in which web and social media were seen as being conduits for democratic subversion. Evgeny Morozov wrote a book about this, The Net Delusion, in which he argued that western commentators naively assumed that the internet was ipso facto a force for spreading their values.
But the internet can just as easily be used to do the opposite. Perhaps Iran, Russia, and North Korea simply noticed this before western politicians.
Democrats and their Republican allies must hope that the Protecting Our Democracy Commission, should it ever convene, will offer a way to lasso their way back to the old reality of facts and consequences.
11 comments on “Did Russia hack the US election? Democrats want an investigation”
Protecting Our Democracy Commission – the government arm that controls what you hear, see and think. Better yet, let’s just go full-bore 1984 and call it The Ministry of Truth.
And as a P.S. – regardless of where the Wikileaks originated, was the information accurate? Just seems that the same people who did a happy dance when Chelsea Manning released documents via Wikileaks are the ones decrying the same channel today. Guess it depends on whose ox is being gored, eh?
The hacking may have happened, as did the ‘Fake News’ that infiltrated the media up to Election Day. The Electoral College votes on December 19th too — but we probably won’t have any ‘investigation’ as Congressmen are already going home for the holidays…
They work really hard and need to spend time with their families, drowning their sorrows while beefing up their stock portfolios before the next crash happens. Classic Republican Leadership, take as much as possible regardless of the ethics or any silly little ‘investigation’. Besides, they’ve already spend all their investigation money and time on Benghazi and emails — so this one is dead in the water.
Regardless of where the “emails” originated, Wikileaks confirmed they were authentic. I also don’t recall any proof from anyone that sent any of the emails that they were tampered or altered in any way. For me, it was an irrelevant, as I didn’t vote for Clinton or Trump. I didn’t need email leaks or fake news to decide that neither of them supported my positions.
The first question a spin doctor asks the subject when a scandal breaks is “is it true?”, this is because issuing a fake denial then having it publicly proven false by further evidence coming to light destroys any hope to spin a story/recover a reputation.
Some stories cannot be spun because of this.
Hillary and her supporters never denied the email’s content just blamed the motives of anyone who cast them into light. let that sink in.
I would go along with it, as long as they investigate illegal aliens who voted as well. And, people who voted twice. And those nice people who vote for elderly folks who can’t get to the polls. And Chicago (Chicago is always doing SOMETHING fishy in politics, isn’t it?)
People who voted twice? Illegal aliens?
Politicians, especially democrats, want to spend as much of our money as possible. They love control and are like a tick on a hound dog when they know that they may lose that control.
Some people always blame someone else for their problems… like Canada sending the cold weather to the US, the Russians held responsible for Trump winning the election, etc. The Democrats should face up to the simple fact they picked the wrong candidate to run for President. Period!
Time to move on…
Trump had a campaigne manifesto that appealed to the average american. That’s what did the magic.
Lame. Was this a high school report on elections and social media in the 21st century? Was hoping for some real technical analysis, not a disclosure of possible *gasp!* misinformation in cyberspace. (say it ain’t so!)
Please leave the politics out of this blog, especially with a misleading clickbait title. Not worthy of this publication.