Monday, December 12, 2016

Fixes, WMD's and The Right to Know

Unnamed sources have told some of the media that the CIA has evidence of Russian hackers helping to elect the next president of the United States.

Reminds me of the Grosse Pointe Little League decades ago.

The Mafia capos were laundering their dirty money through legitimate businesses, whose owners lived in the upscale neighborhoods of “the Pointes” on Detroit’s near east side.  Those businesses sponsored Little League baseball teams.

Back then, Little League teams were selected from among all the eligible boys in all the neighborhoods at a single mass tryout every spring.  Players were “drafted” one at a time by teams following the reverse order of the league standings the previous season.  The idea was that last year’s poorest teams would get first dibs on the new year’s best players.

Since the teams sponsored by the mafia front businesses always won, they faced the prospect of having the best players chosen before it was their turn to pick.  They solved the problem by financing Florida vacations for the entire families of the best players, so that they would not be be in town when the tryouts were held.  The mafia teams then drafted those players in absentia and assured themselves of continuing to win championships.

Yes, children, the mafia put in the fix on Little League baseball.

The Pussy-Grabber and Russian oligarchs share common traits with mafia capos so it’s plausible that powerful forces in Russia might do what they could to assure an election victory for him.  They may or may not hold massive shares of his companies’ debt.  They may or may not have back-door deals with him.  And how much difference is there, really, between the mind-set of 11 and 12-year-old baseball players and the juvenile misogyny of a 13-year-old in a 70-year-old’s body?

I applaud the efforts of the bipartisan group of senators to get to the bottom of this hacking business.  The Pussy-Grabber, speaking as always the argot of playground bullies and churls, tried to denigrate their efforts as sour grapes on the part of the Clintonites.  But Lindsay Graham, John McCain and Mitch McConnell aren’t Clintonites.

Sure, the U.S. intelligence agencies “fixed the intel to suit the policy” as the Downing Street memo famously revealed about the chicanery in Washington before Dubyuh invaded Iraq under a cloud of lies. And sure, James Clapper, U.S. director of intelligence, has been caught lying to Congress and to the American people. And sure, then Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to the United Nations and to the world about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Will the CIA report on election hacking be any more trustworthy than the rigged intelligence we were fed on these prior occasions?  Possibly not.  But foreign interference in the basic mechanism of democracy is serious business, just as weapons of mass destruction are serious business.

Weapons of mass destruction do exist. They have the capacity to destroy the world as we know it.  

We have just elected one to the presidency, and if foreign interests had a hand in accomplishing that, we have a right to know about it.

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