I do not fully agree with this week’s editorial. There are some things that I agree with entirely. We do need to be wary of the news we consume. We do need to watch out for bias in the media. We do need to listen to both sides of every argument. Most importantly, we do need to care about what is happening across the world. We cared during the 2016 election; we should care now.
However, I cannot, in good conscience, agree with one statement made in this week’s article. I do not agree with the claim that Russia did not hack the election. I believe Russia did hack the 2016 presidential election.
When I say hack, I do not literally mean hack, as in Russia hacked the voter booths on election day. When I say hack, I mean that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
According to multiple news agencies (CNN, MSNBC, POLITICO, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc), U.S. intelligence reports and U.S. intelligence officials, Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. A declassified report released by the CIA, FBI and NSA in January states there were three reasons why.
The report states, “We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency. … We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
The report goes into some detail of how the Russian government went about trying to influence the 2016 presidential election. However, the report does not release all the information supporting this claim for good reason.
The report explains, “Thus, while the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods.”
“The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle… They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government.”James Comey
In more recent news, Former Director of the FBI James Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 and stated while under oath that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
“The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle,” Comey said before the committee. “They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government.”
Comey went on to explain that the entire intelligence community and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were confident that Russia interfered with the election. This matches what the declassified intelligence report released in January said about the confidence of the intelligence community.
Comey went on to say how real and serious this situation is for the United States.
“That’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.” Comey said in his statement. “It is very, very serious, which is why it’s so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that. This is about America, not about a particular party.”
To reiterate, I do agree with many things stated in this week’s opinion article. We need to pay attention to the news. We need to be critical of all the news we consume and fact check everything we see out of CNN, FOX, NBC and other news outlets. We need to care.
However, we, or at least I, cannot ignore the fact the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election.