From The New York Times:
The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded Thursday that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, largely undetected by the states and federal officials at the time, but at the demand of American intelligence agencies the committee was forced to redact its findings so heavily that key lessons for the 2020 election are blacked out.
While details of many of the hackings directed by Russian intelligence, particularly in Illinois and Arizona, are well known, the committee’s report describes a Russian intelligence effort more far-reaching than the federal government has previously acknowledged. It concluded that while there is no evidence that any votes were changed in actual voting machines, “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in the Illinois voter database. The committee found no evidence that they did so. While the report is not directly critical of either American intelligence agencies or the states, it described what amounted to a cascading intelligence failure, in which the scope of the Russian effort was underestimated, warnings to the states were too muted, and state officials either underreacted or, in some cases, resisted federal efforts to offer help.
Remember when we were all told that it was only a couple of precincts, then a couple of cities, then a couple of states? Remember when it was just data? Now, as far as we can read between the blacked-out lines, we are being asked to believe that the Russian ratfckers could have deleted "voter data," that they "were in a position" to jack around with the voter data, but, having achieved this monumental intelligence triumph, they didn't do anything with it? Does that dog even look like it's hunting any more?
I appreciate the fact that even speculating that the ratfckers monkey-wrenched election results is giving them the kind of chaos that was their goal in the first place. But it simply is not plausible to believe that there was anything they wouldn't have done if they'd been in a position to do it. This was part of an ongoing intelligence assault on which this report agrees with what Robert Mueller said on Wednesday—that it will be worse this time around, especially if a number of countries decide to get frisky with our decrepit election infrastructure.
What would happen if the government revealed that votes in, say, Michigan or Pennsylvania were changed? Oh, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago would have a fit, but that's going to happen over something every couple of days anyway, so what's to worry? Sure, the wingnut media apparatus would find some poor sap in New Mexico who accidentally voted in the wrong precinct, which would then allow the elite political press a chance to blame the issue on the "partisan morass" in Washington. But, again, so what? It's not anybody's job to protect the citizens of a self-governing republic from the truth about the attacks being made on its fundamental political institutions.
Which reminds me: why is Mitch McConnell not an object of general public scorn?
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