Cybersecurity

Senators Seek Retaliation Rather Than Defense for Foreign Hacking Incidents

Don't let the fight over Russia's behavior allow interventionist answers to go unchallenged.

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Sen. McCain
Kevin Diestsch/UPI/Newscom

Next week America's intelligence community will release an unclassified report detailing as much as they publicly can why they believe the Russian government hacked and leaked private emails from the Democratic National Committee and engaged in a campaign of fake news intended to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

Because of the confluence of President-Elect Donald Trump's reflexively defensive personality and the lack of trust good chunks of the public have of our intelligence leaders, it is easy to predict that the outcome of this report's release will be more public squabbling. Was Russia truly responsible? Is Trump Vladimir Putin's willing lackey? Or is he being used and doesn't realize it?

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, though, the emphasis was on what to do about it, whether America has a strategy on cyberattacks, why America doesn't have a strategy, what deterrence and retaliation looks like, and whether we should treat our intelligence community with much more credibility than Wikileaks' Julian Assange. That last part was a little bit strange, given that one of the participants in the hearing was outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who will forever be remembered for openly lying to a Senate committee about the National Security Agency (NSA) engaging in mass surveillance of American citizens. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) said he was "astounded" at the idea that people would grant Assange greater credibility than our intel folks.

As much of a critic I've been of Clapper, it's worth noting that he emphasized a couple of very important facts to the committee. First, they need to grasp the difference between foreign surveillance and espionage and an actual cyberattack for the very obvious reason that America engages in surveillance and espionage of foreign nations (and cyberattacks as well, honestly). A policy of retaliating against other countries who engage in the same practices will result in some nasty blowback and unintended consequences. It's something to keep in mind when discussing things like China's hacking and collection of private information about federal government employees.

Second, he wanted the Senate committee to resist the idea of looking at responses to cyberattacks as a tit for tat game where America strikes back in the same fashion. It's not an arms race with the non-word "cyber" inserted everywhere. "Noncyber tools have been more effective in changing our adversary's behavior," he said.

But after several hours of the hearing, one thing became abundantly clear: This was a debate on how aggressively America should react to these incidents. There was very little to no discussion of taking defensive actions or protective measures to keep Americans safe from hacking. The main of the discussion (when not about how our intelligence operatives deserve all of our respect) was about what sort of interventions or punishments America needs to implement to deter attacks.

Early on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the committee, set the tone by suggesting that while it's clear that the Russian government didn't directly interfere with voting, if the information released by the hackers and if the propaganda and fake news efforts Russia put forward actually influenced the election results, he considered that to possibly be an act of aggression. He later complained that handling incidences of cyberattacks against the United States on a case-by-case basis was not "a strategy."

Other senators on in both parties were also very much caught up in the idea of how America will respond to attacks in the vein of "What do we do to these countries?" rather than from an interest in bolstering American cybersecurity. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) asked what it would take to "impose enough of a cost to get them to stop." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), still living in full fear that the world is out to destroy us all, wanted to know whether America would start "throwing rocks" back at countries who engage in cyberattacks.

We should be concerned at the use of cyberattacks as yet another excuse for more foreign intervention. It shouldn't be a surprise at this point that McCain and Graham are beating the drums for more responses. It's what they do. Geico could make an ad about their propensity for calling for military action and foreign intervention.

But it's a response that, just like reckless military foreign military intervention, fails to focus on outcomes that actually make us safer from cyberattacks (the blowback that Clapper himself warned about at the hearing).

Don't want Chinese or Russian or North Korean hackers snagging vast amount of data about Americans? Maybe have a discussion about data minimization, the idea of maybe not collecting mass amounts of information about people in one place unless it's directly connected to a particular purpose. That might be an awkward prospect, though, given how our own intelligence community is so insistent in trying to collect as much as everybody's data as possible.

The focus on intervention as a solution rather than better defenses is what keeps the encryption fight alive. There are lawmakers and government officials and law enforcement agencies who are insistent on wanting to bypass tech security as an interventionist system of fighting crime and terrorism. That encryption bypasses or "back doors" severely compromises the defenses and privacy protections of anybody using communication tools doesn't factor in as much with these folks.

While the debate continues to be about who was really, really responsible for the DNC hacks (my prediction is that it's probably Russia, but we'll never be able to prove it in a way that actually ends the argument), we must not lose sight of the core debate of cybersecurity and how similar it is to foreign policy discussions. We must be wary of how politicians' desire to use aggression as a solution to difficult relationships with other countries compromises our long-term safety and security. The end result could lead to really bad policy choices.

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  1. John McCain [control+alt+delete]

    1. Maybe it’s time to put Grandpa in a home where he can’t get out.

  2. “””Next week America’s intelligence community will release an unclassified report detailing as much as they publicly can why they believe the Russian government hacked and leaked private emails from the Democratic National Committee and engaged in a campaign of fake news intended to influence the outcome of the presidential election.”””

    Because we must keep it secret or the Russians will find out what the Russians did!!!!!!

  3. These stupid fucks are going to start something over nothing.

    Obligatory

    1. It’s weird as a child of the ColdWar to see Russia being the adult in the room.

      O, please just leave. You’re drunk.

        1. Borowski, my favorite Pole (well, second favorite)

  4. When in the hell is McCain going to retire already? He’s 80 for Christ’s sake, and I’m sure his insight into hacking is substantial.

    1. Well, he just won reelection here, so probably until he dies.

      1. Put him back in a plane. There’s a 60% chance he’ll end up killing himself, given his track record in his ‘prime’. Just make sure no one’s within a couple kilometers.

        1. One of the biggest lines of bullshit during the election was all of the fainting and pearl clutching over Trump calling McCain out for getting captured. Trump was right. McCain was a shitty pilot and naval officer who fucked so badly he damn near blew up a carrier because he panicked and ejected rather than running the plane off the deck like he was trained to do. He didn’t accomplish shit as a naval officer other than get shot down and captured. It was great that he was such a bull headed obnoxious asshole that even the North Vietnamese tried to give him back once they had him, but that doesn’t make him any smarter or better than what he is.

          1. Well, I’d prefer such criticism to be done by people who have actually gone through the training, or who at least had the balls to take the risk McCain did. Donald Trump didn’t, and neither did most of the Trumpistas who were just fine with his criticism.

            If you weren’t in the military, I’d rather you not criticize someone for their POW status on the grounds that they were incompetent or didn’t do their job.

            1. I am a veteran and I am sick and tired of the cult of the wounded and dead soldier. We used to celebrate people like SGT York and Audie Murphy who did incredible things killing the enemy and helping us win. Somehow during Vietnam we stopped doing that and started only celebrating people who had the misfortune of getting captured or blown up. That is a hell of a sacrifice and one we should all thank God we won’t ever have to make. But, like the movie says, no one ever won a war by dying for their country.

              I have had it with this shit. I thank McCain for his service but I am tired of him being portrayed as something he is not just because he fucked up and got shot down.

            2. I’d prefer such criticism to be done by people who have actually gone through the training, or who at least had the balls to take the risk McCain did.

              I don’t much care, actually. I thought the “chickenhawk” approach, that only people who had been in the military should have an opinion on whether we go to war, was a bad idea, and this watered-down version doesn’t do much for me.

              1. I don’t think there’s much comparison between the process of going to war and attacking a guy on the basis of his POW status, personally.

            3. Your preferences have been noted, and filed appropriately.

          2. You can respect someone for going through an incredibly hard time at the hands of the enemy and still think they’re a useless windbag. They are not mutually exclusive. It’s hard to go more low than to mock a man for being a POW, and frankly you should be ashamed of that John. McCain is a royal fuckwad, don’t misunderstand me, but going after him on those grounds is the lowest of low class moves.

            You’re going to spend the next four years polishing every turd Trump lays down, which really shouldn’t surprise me, but seeing how low you’ll go to do that is disheartening.

            1. It is not low if the person makes an entire political career out of claiming some kind of moral authority over everyone else because they were a POW. If McCain wants to play the “I was a POW card therefore I am a great American card”, it is fair to point out that getting captured doesn’t win wars.

    2. He learned a lot about hacking from something he read on The Google

      1. McCain knows all about computer hackers from the many episodes of NCIS where no good hackers with foreign accents stole the credit card numbers from unsuspecting seniors. He was so alarmed that he almost dropped his teeth into his mug of lukewarm Lipton tea.

  5. There are royalty in Nigeria that need bombing first.

    1. NOT UNTIL I GET MY CHEQUE FROM THE FORMER OIL MINISTER UZANAG!!!!!

  6. I notice the government didn’t do anything to retaliate when the Chinese were able to steal my social security number along with that of millions of other Americans. I simply got a vague letter in the mail telling me it had been compromised.

    1. That’s your own fault for working with the government at some point in your life, but not working for the DNC.

      1. Yep, If you wanted the government to care, you should’ve been an elite.

  7. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) said he was “astounded” at the idea that people would grant Assange greater credibility than our intel folks.

    I don’t know that I’m “astounded”, “puzzled” might be more accurate. You really have no idea of whatever ulterior motives Assange might have for leaking information, where he’s getting the information from, how accurate the information is, whether it’s his source or he himself that might be spinning the leak, whether in fact he’s not just making shit up – I’d say he deserves exactly the same credibility as our intel folks and not one bit more.

    Joe Donnelly, on the other hand…..well, he’s got “Senator” right there in his name, don’t he? Pretty questionable credibility – not to mention ethics, morals, decency, virtue and a whole lot more.

    1. I’ve never heard Assange say he gave the least untruthful answer he could as Clapper did. A steaming pile of shit has more credibilty.

      1. Clapper is known to have lied to congress, while Assange hasn’t been shown to be untruthful so far. I give the credibility nod to Assange.

    2. Assange has a better track record than the “intel folks” over the past 15 years. Until I see this “conclusive proof” that everyone keeps assuring me really truly exists, I’m going to believe Assange.

  8. Apparently Don Lemon said on CNN last night that kidnapping and torture of the disabled kid wasn’t evil. It was just because those youngsters were not taught any better at home. So black kids need to be taught not to kidnap and torture people? Is that what he means?

    I am sure Robby Soave is in agreement. He was posting last night about how you just can’t ever tell why these crazy kids do these things. Sometimes bullying happens.

    1. So black kids need to be taught not to kidnap and torture people? Is that what he means?

      Yeah. Just like GWB, Dick Cheney, and John Yoo.

      1. Yeah, those guys used to roam around Washington kidnapping people and taking them to their secret torture lair in the basement of the OEOB.

        You called it dude.

        Dumb ass.

        1. It’s different when they roam around the world and take their victims to Guantanamo. Obviously.

          1. Still a total non sequitur, but congratulations for noticing that governments are evil.

      2. Still punishing society for your daddy issues, I see.

      3. congratulations on having invented a new class of rhetorical fallacy. I’m sure one of the more clever commenters here will give it a name, but damn, that’s some logical tap-dancing that would put Sammy Davis Jr to shame.

        1. I think they just call those ‘non-sequiturs’ but this one wasn’t terribly amusing.

          1. it just struck me as a far greater reach than the usual tu quoque, straw man, false equivalence, or other gambits deployed by those who wish to distract. My lord; a group of animals tortured a RETARDED PERSON, for pete’s sake. I’m not sure there is a lower form of human than people who would prey on someone like that.

            1. I’m sure no retards were harmed in the making of the Iraq War.

              1. Because intent to harm specific individuals with heightened learning disabilities was the goal set out in Iraq.

                WMDs, as specious as it turned out to be, never translated to retards that I’m aware.

    2. First of all, it’s pretty damn racist of you to assume that the little pickaninnies should be held to the same standards of behavior as us white folk and second of all it’s pretty damn racist of you to assume a colored fella like Don Lemon should be held to the same intellectual standards of us white folk. The little nappy-headed negroes just can’t help theyselves and can’t be expected to be as good as white folk and it’s racist of you to expect them to act like they are.

    3. So black kids need to be taught not to kidnap and torture people?

      Maybe I’m cynical to believe that probably half of us or more really do need to be “taught” basic morals.

      1. I get it that people need to be taught not to steal or lie or do other things that are pleasurable or benefit them but are immoral. But I don’t think most people need to be taught not to kidnap and torture someone. Where is the benefit or pleasure in that unless you are a sadist or a sociopath?

        1. I was wondering how many perps and the latest post says “four”. How is it that four people with that level of depravity find each other so easily?

          1. “School”

    4. Shorter Don Lemon: “They didn’t do nuthin! They were going to church and trying to turn their lives around! Two them were getting ready to drop their mix tape! I don’ understand why they’re being treated like this!”

      1. Yup. Standing on the corner, minding my own business, and out of nowhere . . . .

    5. It wasn’t Don Lemon, it was one of his guests. known moron Symone Sanders.

      http://www.mediaite.com/online…..ure-video/

  9. Something I’ve been wondering…. how does the “Russia hackers stole election for Trump” story square with the fact that the GOP was targeted too? Why would they need to hack into their co-conspirators’ stuff?

    1. Well Putin told the Rethuglicans ahead of time that they were going to hack their systems. But the RNC is such a bunch of evil geniuses that they backstabbed Putin by setting up a spam filter, and making sure that people couldn’t use ‘password’ as a password.

    2. The only reason people make it an issue now is becuase Trump won. Rememeber all the articles floating around saying it was almost impossible to rig the election after Trump cliamed it was being rigged on one of the debates? How dems made a big woopteedoo about Trump’s wait and see comment and they were slamming him for not willing accepting the results of the election. All this was because of their arrogance that Hillary was going to win.

    3. Or the fact that the “hacking” was not isolated to this election season and has been going on for years. Apparently the Ruskies were plotting for Donald Trump to win the election since before he even thought about running for President.

  10. “Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who will forever be remembered for openly lying to a Senate committee about the National Security Agency (NSA) engaging in mass surveillance of American citizens.”

    Yeah, why would anybody believe what Clapper says about anything?

    It’s even worse now that he’s resigned. He no longer has any skin in the game.

    First, Clapper said that he has “a high degree of confidence” it was the Russians, which means it might not be them at all, and then Clapper went on to talk about the motives of the Russians–as if he’s got the psychic ability to discern the motives of people he can’t say were behind the hacks for certain?

    I still don’t see what we’re supposed to conclude–even if Putin were personally complicit in the hack.

    Whatever we were going to do policywise, we should still do anyway.

    This is intended to do two things: 1) Reassure Democrat donors and heavyweights that America didn’t reject progressives for being social justice warriors and progressives, ans 2) Drive a wedge between Trump and Putin.

    1. I think it is entirely possible that the media and the progs are once again being played by Trump. Imagine if Trump were being hawkish towards Russia right now. What would the Progs be doing? Going insane calling him a war monger who is going to start World War III and lining up opposition to everything he wanted to do regarding Russia.

      Now consider the present. Trump keeps saying nice things about Putin and waiving his cape in front of the Progs. The progs of course are going insane about the Russians under their bed and claiming that Trump is Putin’s stooge. What is the effect of that? The effect of that is to give Trump complete freedom in how he deals with Russia. If Trump plays nice, the Progs will just continue to go crazy and nothing changes. If he decides to confront Russia, what choice will the Progs have other than to support him? Moreover, the more the Progs go insane, the more he can tell Putin that he better play nice because look at all of the pressure Trump is under to play hardball.

      Trump is a master at manipulating the media and his opponents. If you think I am giving him too much credit here, maybe I am. But you probably thought he couldn’t win the election either.

      1. See my post below about Trump and Putin.

        This was the root of that absurd argument with Sevo the other day.

        Just because we shouldn’t have conceded eastern Europe to Stalin, doesn’t mean it was a mistake to cooperate with him in defeating the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese.

        And if it was okay for FDR to cooperate with a murderous tyrant like Stalin to pursue American interests in winning World War II, then how can Putin be so awful that we can’t cooperate with him in defeating ISIS–if and when it becomes in America’s best interests to do so?

        I answer that question from a neocon like McCain’s perspective below.

        1. You are right.

      2. Since the election, I have started to come around to seeing it this way. He is always one (or more) of the progressives and playing them for fools, and they don’t even realize it. The progressives assume they are the smarter party, and will likely never admit they were outsmarted by him. Watching him use their arguments and positions against them is like nothing I’ve seen in politics in my lifetime.

        1. *one (or more) steps ahead

    2. One thing about Putin, McCain, Clapper, etc. is they all came up their respective pipelines as Cold Warriors. Obviously the Soviet Union is a ghost that haunts, prejudices, and misinforms their respective perceptions.

      1. Clapper is a mouthpiece for Obama and his interests–just like Comey was.

        This is theater.

        Comey didn’t even have the discretion to decide whether to investigate Hilary, that is the determination of the Attorney General, Lynch.

        One of the reasons Hillary was never going to be indicted for her email server was because Obama knowingly sent her classified email to her unsecured server under an alias (common knowledge, Google it)–which is also against the law. In other words, if Lynch had decided to prosecute Hillary, then Obama would be guilty of the same crime–hence, there was never going to be an indictment. Obama would effectively be indicting himself.

        Incidentally, this is why Trump chose Sessions as his Attorney General–Sessions was loyal to him throughout the campaign, and since the Attorney General’s most important job is watching the President’s back, loyalty to the President is the single most important qualification for the job.

        Clapper is the same way–he’s a mouthpiece, and he’s been exposed as a mere mouthpiece. That’s why he’s resigned. He’s out on Inauguration Day. Clapper has no future because he’s lost his credibility, and that’s a an essential qualification if you want to be a mouthpiece.

        1. One of the reasons Hillary was never going to be indicted for her email server was because Obama knowingly sent her classified email to her unsecured server under an alias (common knowledge, Google it)–which is also against the law. In other words, if Lynch had decided to prosecute Hillary, then Obama would be guilty of the same crime–hence, there was never going to be an indictment. Obama would effectively be indicting himself.

          IIRC, the president isn’t bound by those laws, since he’s the “classifying authority”, and therefor can handle classified material however he wants. Might make him look bad, though, and for Obama that’s enough to derail any investigations into Hillary.

          1. This is stupid and false. The President may have original classifying authority, but he CANNOT downgrade on his whim and spit it out on the open internet, no matter how much classification authority he has.

  11. If the DNC had nothing to hide they would have nothing to fear though, right? I mean, that’s what they keep saying about my own data security. Surely they wouldn’t be two faced about that, right? RIGHT?!

  12. OT: Check out Sylvester Stallone’s hot daughters. Some of them are legal.

    “To be honest, my dad never watched awards shows, especially if there was a sporting event on,” says Gigi Garner (Miss Golden Globe 1988), daughter of James Garner. “I think he asked me if I fell.”

    That’s fantastic.

    1. Posting that picture without identifying which are which is entrapment.

      1. RTFA or take your chances.

        The one on the right has better pictures further down the page.

    2. James Garner was the coolest.

      RIP, Rockford.

      1. I mean, he was in Grand Prix and The Notebook.

        1. I prefer his role in The Great Escape.

          Besides, I heard that he only did The Notebook because his kids were being held hostage by terrorists.

    3. Wood, Wood, Wouldn’t

      1. *looks at picture again*

        Right, right, dead wrong.

        1. While she has a bit too much Stallone in her jawline, other pictures indicate she is a definite would.

    4. “If I had to do it again, I would have married Dolph Lundgren and punched out Briggitte Nielsen.”

        1. That was Stallone’s response a few years back when he was asked in an interview what he thought about how the Rocky movies got sillier as they went on.

  13. While the debate continues to be about who was really, really responsible for the DNC hacks (my prediction is that it’s probably Russia, but we’ll never be able to prove it in a way that actually ends the argument)

    This argument is facetious because the issue the media is howling about isn’t whether Russia accessed the DNC or Podesta’s emails, but whether they were the ones who handed the information over to Wikileaks. It’s entirely possible Russia did ‘hack’ the DNC and Podesta (it’s odd how multiple events are being conflated into one, as well), but that others also had access whether through legal or illegal means and leaked the material separate of anything done by Russia.

    So far, the guy who claims to have gotten the information for Wikileaks along with Assange both insist that this was not a state actor, and that the person had legal access to the material. They have specifically stated they were leaks from within. The government can’t even identify who it is they believe leaked the materially publicly, though the likes of CNN refuse to cover in full the statements made by those associated with Wikileaks (their coverage of Asssange’s recent interview with Hannity tried to pretend that Assange wouldn’t disavow any possible Russian connection).

    1. It’s obviously an attempt by the government to deflect from the content of those emails as well as an attempt to start up a good ol’ fashioned war with Russia. It was clear from Hillary’s campaign ad’s that the government has an interest in screwing over Russia. The fact that the GOP is going along with the whole thing just shows that this is another example of propaganda that fits the statist agenda in my view.

      Obviously there will be hackers in Russia, just like there will be in any other developed country. For all they probably know, it was a group of 17 year old kids with a botnet. People like to say ‘oh no, it’s far too sophisticated for kids’ but they literally have no clue how untrue that is.

      I’m not trying to make light of the fact that it very well could be state actors in Russia, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was, but at the end of the day it was a failure of the DNC’s own internal protocols. If Russia could get at that information, it stands to reason that any intelligent person with a laptop could have done the same thing.

      1. Neither would I be surprised if it were Russian state actors, but I highly doubt it was. My biggest issue is, is this really the best they can do? Personal emails? Just seems to be too juvenile for a world power government.

      2. Obviously there will be hackers in Russia, just like there will be in any other developed country. For all they probably know, it was a group of 17 year old kids with a botnet. People like to say ‘oh no, it’s far too sophisticated for kids’ but they literally have no clue how untrue that is.

        Russia has more than its fair share of hackers, mostly because the Russian government will only go after hackers if they target fellow Russians. Anyone or anything not-Russian is fair game.

        So odds of the hack originating from Russia, but not involving the Russian government, are pretty good.

  14. War is cheap and they humiliated a long established DC crook.
    We should spend countless dollars and expendable young amercian lives in defense of her integrity.

    1. We must go to war and risk nuclear Armageddon because Jon Podesta is functionally retarded.

      1. To be fair to Podesta, how would you interpret this:

        This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately.

        in context?

        Podesta deserves some blame (no matter what you’re told, youcheck the domain before providing info, and you always use official websites/services to change passwords), but he did the right thing initially and part of what happened can be described as “John Podesta can’t read people’s minds”.

        1. Or, “John Podesta accurately interpreted what his IT guy said, but his IT guy was a moron”.

  15. Podesta’s Password Was ‘Password’

    Is that even hacking? Is it “Breaking and Entering” if you leave your front door propped open and leave town? Podesta is a retarded hack – I’m sure every intelligence agency in the world read his emails since it was so easy.

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/c…..d-n2267069

    1. And he didn’t change his password even after they told him he had been hacked. I don’t think that counts as hacking.

      1. The committee should bring in Podesta and Hillary to testify and spend an hour embarrassing the hell out of them both.

        1. Not even Hillary. Podesta. I have always hated that arrogant little dweeb.

      2. It makes me think that the code to launch our nukes is probably 1 – 2 – 3 -4 – 5; you know, the kind of code an idiot would use on their luggage.

        1. It’s actually worse than that, it was actually 00000 for decades. In that case it was because there is a bit more to launching nukes then entering in a PIN.

          1. They have also lost that card on several occasions. When Reagan was shot, the card was left alone in the hospital, and the suitcase was left on the sidewalk for a bit.

    2. That is beyond parody

      1. How do we know he didn’t want to be hacked? It seems like the most plausible explanation. He didn’t just prop the door open but left a sign, “I’m not here right now!”

        1. His subconscious guilt over his involvement in pizza pedophiling forced himself to be hacked. It’s pretty obvious.

          1. You know why everyone should have known that wasn’t true? Because if Podesta really had been a pederast, given his track record securing his email, no way would have have used code words in describing his activities. The day they find emails showing Podesta fucks little boys those emails will say “hey bring over the litle boys tonight so I can fuck them”.

            1. Everyone relatively sane knew it wasn’t true.

              1. Yes. but that is not my point.

              2. 7 year olds dude.

    3. Calling what happened to Podesta “hacking” is an insult to hackers.

  16. Whatever Russian script kiddie haxxed Clinton’s emails should get The Order of Lenin.

  17. “John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the committee, set the tone by suggesting that while it’s clear that the Russian government didn’t directly interfere with voting, if the information released by the hackers and if the propaganda and fake news efforts Russia put forward actually influenced the election results, he considered that to possibly be an act of aggression.”

    John McCain is concerned that if Trump works with Putin to fight ISIS like FDR worked with Stalin to fight the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese, then that will undermine America’s ability to intervene in Syria and Iran directly–because we’ll need to respect Russia’s sphere of influence.

    I do not believe ISIS is a sufficient threat to American security to justify us invading Iraq all over again; however, if that situation changed and ISIS did become a significant enough and immediate threat to American security, we would be so much better off with the full support and cooperation of the Russians and the UN Security Council–it wouldn’t be like when we invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003 at all.

    . . . and that’s what scares John McCain. He’s got a neocon heart. He wants America to go it alone, and, ultimately, he wants to invade Syria and Iran.

    1. There’s your mistake, questioning if McCain’s got a heart.

      He’s not the tin-man, he’s the scarecrow.

  18. is it just me or is this fascination with the “hacks” while totally ignoring what was revealed about both the DNC and Hillary a neat package of everything wrong with politics today?

    The DNC actively rigged its own primary. Hillary and her minions actively colluded with multiple media outlets. To date, no one has challenged anything said to be in those emails. In a sane world, a news outlet would have done this, not WikiLeaks.

    1. Assange is basically the modern version of Bernstein, only because of the political environment today he can’t be in America or he would be locked in Prison (example: Snowden).

      Take note of how much things have changed since the 1970’s. Patriotism is treason.

    2. Media won’t report it because it’s just as embarrassing for them as it is for the DNC.

  19. The great Iowahawk expressed this well:

    David Burge ?@iowahawkblog 29 Dec 2016

    Russia invades Crimea: oh well
    Russia shoots down airliner: mistakes happen
    John Podesta falls for phishing scam: RESTART THE COLD WAR

    1. One of the few people that can make me actually LOL with a tweet.

    2. Yeah, all after we were caught spying on every other country.

    3. I think we’ve found Kmele’s running mate for 2020.

    4. If I were ever to get an account on the Twitter, he would be one of the few people I’d read.

  20. Maybe the government could encourage software developers to create more bulletproof Encryption and Security instead of being fascist assholes looking for backdoors to fuck everyone. Fuck the government.

    1. No. If we do that the terrorists will have won. The only solution here is to impeach Trump and start World War III with Russia. Why do you want the terrorists to win JB?

    2. What good would any of that do if your password is ‘password’?

      1. Defends against people with no hands.

  21. Completely OT: I see the line on the Lions game is Suckhawks minus 8. If I weren’t such a big Seattle fan and I lived in some place where betting was legal I’d be tempted to jump all over those points. After the way they looked at San Fran and the last 5 weeks, I’m pretty sure they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs and I’m not so sure they even deserve to be in the NFL. Detroit’s got no running game but as bad as Seattle’s secondary looked they won’t need the run and since Seattle’s O-line looks more like an Oh, shit! line, Detroit’s defense is gonna be good for a couple of scores. I wouldn’t trust Seattle to beat Robin Givens by more than a TD.

    1. Detroit’s defense is bad, and they haven’t beaten anybody in anything less than a fluky outcome. I do think that 8 may be high given how putrid the Seahawks offense has been but they are at home and they do occasionally put it together when they decide to give the ball to Graham.

    2. But, but… 12th Man!

      The Lions lucked out by losing last week. Think right now I’d rather play away to Seattle than at home to the Giants.

      Were I near Las Vegas I would be betting on Detroit this weekend. Probably along with Pittsburgh, because I’m not exactly trusting the Dolphins to play in 9 degree weather.

      1. I can’t wait for Houston to beat the Raiders so I can bet against the Texans. I can’t remember a sorrier playoff team. I’m pulling for KC and Falcons respectively now that the Redskins finally decided to show their true colors.

        1. I’m pulling for KC (because Andy Reid) and Detroit (because they’re the only team left in the NFC I don’t actively hate)

        2. I’m pulling for KC to win it all. Don’t really care who wins the NFC, with neither the Saints nor the Skins in the playoffs. Fuck the Falcons, though.

          1. Too right, Derpie. Roll Chiefs!

    3. Russell Wilson does have a pretty good record for picking up the pace in the play-offs though.

      I think there is some of that going into the thought on setting the scoring line.

      But you’re right, they’ve had some great games this year (Patriots) but have looked pretty pedestrian overall.

  22. OT: Congress Probes FBI Over Top Obama National Security Advisor’s Security Clearance:

    A top White House national security adviser and key proponent of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran is the focus of a congressional inquiry following disclosures the FBI may have denied him top-level security clearances, according to communications exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

    Ben Rhodes,
    a White House deputy national security adviser who led the administration’s efforts to mislead Congress about the terms of the Iran nuclear agreement, is under scrutiny in the wake of disclosures he was declined interim clearance status by the FBI in 2008, when the administration was moving into the White House.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! This is the asshat that did the expose in the Times describing how stupid everybody else is. As this administration moves out of town the stories that will come out will be mind numbing how venal and retarded these people were.

    1. Ben Rhodes is a con man and an idiot. But i can’t help but like a guy who so accurately describes the media. “20 something liberal arts majors who know nothing, literally nothing” is one of the great truisms of our time.

      1. I’ve heard the guy is may be the biggest asshat in the world if it wasn’t made abundantly clear from the article. My question is how does the guy give that article greenlight (knowing the new york times gave them final say). These people are arrogant on a scale that is horrifying.

  23. This is just the standard proglodyte way of looking at any “war” whether real or imagined. Who is the target? If we hate them, then the tactic is legitimate. If we like them, then it is illegitimate.

    Imagine Russian e-mail hacks coming through Wikileaks and the target had been Exxon-Mobil and the revelations were of financial hanky-panky. Proggies would be playing it the same way: it doesn’t matter where the information came from as long as it’s true. It only matters if it hurts people we hate.

    They have no principles.

  24. Where’s Groovus Maximus? Doesn’t he have a Ukrainian wife?

    How absurd must Obama’s attitude seem to people in eastern Europe who remember American support dor dissidents in Poland during the Cold War?

    What about the U.S.’ hand in Cold War coups in Iran, Argentina, Chile, and elsewhere?

    What about American ties with the Rose Revolution and the Orange Revolution?

    And Obama is throwing a hissy fit over some exposed emails?

    That must seem pretty rich to eastern Europeans.

    1. And make Russia pay for it!

      1. MAKE THEM CONFIGURE IT FOR US.

        1. “Password is set. You have Cyrillic keyboards in all government facilities, da?

  25. And now you know why TrumPutin came out swinging against McCain from the very beginning.

    1. And why McCain didn’t endorse him until he did and changed his mind!

      Oh, wait, were you serious?

  26. I still like intervention sometimes.

    Not changing my mind because a Reason editor is an isolationist*.

    (Yeah, “it’s not isolationism!”, uh huh.

    Hacking things like, oh, a power grid is a lot like Ana act of war. “just defend, never give ’em negative consequences” is … why, a lot like isolationism.

    Sure, improve cyber security, absolutely – it’s good policy.

    But the New Reason Editorial Line is one more reason not to susbscribe.

    Bring back Postrel, or even Welch.)

    1. Taking down the power grid might be an act of war. Installing some malware on a laptop that has no connection to the power grid is not anything like that, however.

    2. Moreover, most of what people seem to be calling “hacking” nowadays would be better described as intelligence gathering. It’s right and fair to call it out but it’s not akin to an act of war. You expel foreign intelligence agents and impose sanctions on their governments; you don’t (generally) go to war because somebody found out sensitive information or gained privileged access unless and until they use that information/access aggressively.

    3. Also, you generally want to have a plausible connection back to the foreign government. Someone collecting cash from a dead drop left there by Russian agents = Russian asset. Phishing emails originating from a Russian IP address = something everybody gets in their spam folder.

      Yes, I should have waited and made this one post. Sue me.

    4. “Hacking things like, oh, a power grid is a lot like Ana act of war.”

      So, if the US was involved in, say, hacking a power plant, outside of a declared war, it would be a usurpation of Congressional prerogatives and an impeachable offense?

      Well, if someone ever hacks our grid, we should do something about it. Right now we have more trouble from hacks in journalism than hackers in Russia.

  27. if the propaganda and fake news efforts Russia the MSM put forward actually influenced the election results, he considered that to possibly be an act of aggression

    My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia the MSM forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

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