Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Russian Intervention


Central Intelligence Agency officials provided some members of Congress with a judgment that Russia help make Donald Trump our next president.

The fact that the CIA concluded that Russia intervened in our 2016 presidential election to help Trump win the presidency should play a role in the upcoming decision of the Electoral College regarding whether Trump becomes our next president.  

The framers of the Constitution intended that the Electoral College guard against the possibility that a foreign power influences the outcome of a presidential election.  In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that a major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”  He said that the College would “Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention” from the electors.”

The CIA report should be made public immediately, so that the Electors of 2016 are able to carefully consider what is in that report.

The C.I.A.’s conclusion doesn’t appear to be the product of new intelligence obtained since the election.  Instead, it’s reportedly an analysis of overwhelming circumstantial evidence, that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Donald Trump, and got their desired outcome.

It is unclear why the C.I.A. didn’t produce this assessment before the election, although several officials said that parts of it had been made available to President Obama in the presidential daily briefing weeks before the vote.

The conclusion that Russia ran an operation to help install our next president is one of the most consequential analyses by our spy agencies in years.

Trump insisted that American spies are all bumbling and biased.  And, dismiss the report by citing a 2002 intelligence assessment, that had concluded that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. 

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