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Edition: 050917 – Words: 778 – Audio: 07:44

Hack-proof, albeit not tamper-proof.

(I know I said I was was moving and had no time for this nonsense. -sigh-)

This is another of those political subjects I am embarrassed to admit has got me a bit bonkers… in spite of the fact I generally think I can usually critical think something to death.  Ugh!

I suppose in the greater picture we want justice to any of the dirty-doers who attempt to defraud our political system.  Also.. well… if it all leads to Trump somehow, that’s great.  But for the life of me, it seems like we are missing the boat with all this.  It wasn’t until I listened to ex-CIA chief James Woolsey a couple times that I think I found the whole point that we are missing here as a nation.  He is trying to call attention to the idea that this isn’t about the last election… that this is all about the next election.

His approach is that while we are spending all this time and political energy on the Flynn/Trump security clearance debacle and the Russian hacking of the last election we need to ask ourselves, what are we doing to reduce or eliminate outside election tampering in the next election?  Woolsey suggests the statistic that a full 25% of the voting machines in all the states do not provide any sort of a voting paper trail in the event a recount might be required.  In other words, a hacking could tamper with voting results with no way to go back and verify the correct vote if the hacking is discovered.

Along those lines I can add my own questions to all this.

  • Do we need to define exactly how Russia “hacked” or tampered with the election? I don’t recall seeing any results of anything.  Did the Russians simply spin off a bunch of fake emails to some news sources?  I guess that can be a form of hacking.. but I always though hacking was breaking into someone’s computer without them knowing about it.  What exactly was hacked and what exactly was “tampering”?  I mean, the French election people are saying the Russians planted some emails somewhere.  What emails?  Are we blaming Hillary’s 30,000 home-server emails for impacting how voters voted in France?  What exactly did the Russians do here in the States and did it work?  How exactly did the Russians influence Hillary loosing?
  • In the meantime, Congress (and maybe Trump… who knows), are contemplating the hacking/tampering investigation results and trying to decide how to slap Putin’s hand with another round of punitive sanctions. Am I to be led to believe that these sanctions will protect my vote in the next election… from either the Russians, North Korea, Isis, or any other government with a few smart mercenary programmers?
  • Then there’s the Flynn issue. . he violated some Pentagon emoluments clause and took money for giving a speech to some Russia Today group.  Seems he lied about some security clearance thing… and Trump kept him hanging on as National Security Advisor for 18 days after Trump was cautioned about Flynn’s “inconsistencies”.  How does Flynn figure in any election hacking… or tampering?  Other than agreeing he should be held responsible for anything he did wrong… this affects me, or my vote, how?
  • Of course all this is about Trump in some form or another. As much as I would love to see Trump get in legal trouble somehow as a start to get him removed from office… I’m sorry… the guy is a bumbling buffoon and can’t produce a strategy beyond the next day’s headline and I doubt he is covertly or overtly guilty of anything Nixonian.  If he gets busted for something it’s because he was duped by his own staff.  . again… how does any of this affect my future ability in my vote counting?

Seems to me we should be building some lines of defense to save our ability to vote regardless of who is at fault.  If this means developing universal tamper/hacking proof voting machines for all states, or, if this means using less computerization, thus keeping voting data away from being converted to one’s and zeros… or, maybe go back entirely to paper ballot (at least that would keep voter tampering to inside our borders, like it used to be in the old days).

Somehow I don’t quite think submitting the Russians to what essentially amounts to a “harsh language warning” is going to reduce our vote vulnerability in the next election.  I DO know that tossing Flynn in jail or impeaching Trump is not going to make our voting process any safer for the next election.  Hell, the investigation won’t be completed in time!

Carry On, America.