Foothill Technology High School

Opinion: The entanglement of Russia, Trump, Wikileaks, DNC must be treated with nuance

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently wound up exposing the exposers, Wikileaks, in their quest to thoroughly unravel Russia’s threat to democracy and its collusion with the Trump campaign.

Wikileaks’ nearly year-long chain of private Twitter messages with Donald Trump Jr. were released. In the one-sided message history, the site insisted that Trump Jr. promote a quote of Hillary Clinton wishing to “drone” Assange and asked that his father, President Trump appoint Assange as Australian ambassador if he was to win the election. Wikileaks even floated the idea of Trump Jr. forking over President Trump’s tax returns to “improve the perception of (Wikileaks’) impartiality.”

If Trump were to lose, Wikileaks suggested that he “protest the outcome of the election as rigged,” advice that Trump took into action when he peddled the conspiracy of millions voting illegally to sooth his sourness over losing the popular vote.

As big of a let down as it was to learn of Wikileaks’ partisan, self-serving interests, it shouldn’t discredit the substantive content of the leaks proving the Democratic National Committee (DNC) lacks just as much integrity as the Trump Campaign. The news about Wikileaks’ dishonesty and Trump shilling should be just as infuriating as reading the content of John Podesta’s emails.

As more supposed “dirt” comes loose, public opinion continues to split into sheeplike factions that can’t seem to detach their biases from the issue, never mind insert nuances into their stance. Making improvements in discourse and media will quicken our country’s process of learning from the Russia issue, so we can move on to address actual problems of the American citizens. Perhaps, we can see the failure in the Democratic Primary, one that didn’t involve the Kremlin.

There are three factions: people who scapegoated Wikileaks’ Founder Julian Assange and company for Hillary’s downfall from the start, Trump’s apologists who believe the story of the Russian government infiltrating our democracy and propping up the man in the Oval Office is an absolute fairytale, or “nothingburger.” Thirdly is the faction in our media sphere that jams endless Russia speculation into their news coverage.

For Assange scapegoaters, this was the deciding nail in the coffin. After all, who could say otherwise after Wikileaks displayed a clear bias favoring the Trump campaign? The conduit of information looked to by whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, the truth-tellers that taught us of deep-state surveillance and killing of innocent civilians and journalists, is in fact a Trump shill.

Seventeen intelligence agencies conclude that Russia attempted to hack the 2016 vote tally, the same foreign power the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims hacked the DNC emails to give to Wikileaks, something Assange fervently denies. Knowing the truth is a matter of whether hard, presentable evidence points to a “hack” in vote count, not if an authority like the FBI merely propagates the claim.

On top of dismissing his ties to money laundering and his campaign’s meeting with Russian officials, defenders of Trump won’t consider a hack within the realm of possibility. It’s understandable to dismiss all Russia claims out of anger for how Democratic politicians constantly utilize them to avoid introspection and delegitimize their loss, but it’s also important to acknowledge the many confirmed instances of collusion.

The media harbors the opposite obsession, one that begs for the the Russian narrative to be true to the fullest extent—meaning that they’re the email stealers, the voting booth hackers, and the guardians of “The Tape.” Most media tries to connect dots that aren’t actually there. Outlets upon outlets ripped stories down when their claims of the Kremlin hacking into voting machines were debunked.

It’s foolish to gullibly buy every claim made by the intelligence community. Such behavior is always done by “Resistance” Democrats in hope of impeaching Trump and replacing him with Vice President Mike Pence, a man of similar if not identical political leanings. National security is important, but that doesn’t mean that Wikileaks’ accountability of Democratic elite isn’t. Stay informed, objective and think for yourself to avoid the tribalistic instincts of both those who deny and fear monger about Russia.

-Alex Dodos

Featured Image Credit: Lillian Li

1 Comment

  • Reply Doug Campbell January 18, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    A correction: Russia looked into hacking State vote tallies, but never succeeded. They got some source code to voting machines, but nothing they could use to hack. That was the FBI assessment. Russia had no equivalent to Stuxnet that they could use on us.

    As for Russian social engineering, it’s not looking like it panned out at all on the Republican side. They convinced nobody in Trump’s campaign to take their material and run with it. Conversely, GPS Fusion paid Russians for salacious information on Trump, gave the paid information to the Democrats (and, incidentally, via a paid-for ex-English diplomat to John McCain, who promptly forwarded it to Comey and the FBI) who have been using it to this day. That’s the only success the Russians have had — hobbling Trump in the political arena via the Democrats and McCain, but even that hobbling did not affect his decision to supply arms to the Ukraine in order to send more Russians home in body bags than ever before; nor did it affect our ability to operate in Syrian airspace over the objections of the Russians. The Russians could care less about who’s in charge of the USA, provided the rest of the world views them as illegitimate. Putin hated Clinton because she called his election illegitimate, so Putin returned the favor — not just by calling her names but by proving that the Democratic Party apparatus was biased in ways it should not have been. That’s why Bernie Sanders’ folk are now in charge of the DNC.

    But what was Putin able to do to Trump? All he’s managed to do is to provide a specious Dossier which the Never-Trumpers and the Democrats keep trying to use, but of which nothing has been proven factual. It’s the moral equivalent of the Birth Certificate fiasco which the Never-Obama people kept trying to use. The FBI got one conviction for lying under oath, but that lying was not about anything actionable as a crime — so it falls under the same kind of conviction that Martha Stewart got — she didn ‘t break the law, but she was convicted of lying under oath. So there it stands.


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