I'm inclined to believe that Obama was boxed in on this. He didn't act last summer, so he says, because he didn't want to seem to be interfering in the election (a la Comey). Of course, he flew around making speeches for Clinton, so one wonders. An equally plausible explanation is that he didn't expect Clinton to lose, so why risk action that may have seemed he was using his office to help her. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.
But then Clinton lost, and suddenly he faced the real possibility that the Russian hacks may have helped Trump win. Media speculation became white hot and, no doubt, so did the most of the Democratic leadership and a good many GOPers, too. Doing nothing was no longer an option for him. That is, if he wants to remain a force in Democratic circles. So, he initiated a "review", which word suggests he had been dealing with the problem all along. The rest you know.
You're absolutely right. It is a problem when insiders know for sure where the hack originated while the outsiders (public) don't. A credibility gap exists, and it would sure be nice if it were closed so we all could be sure the government is telling the truth. But may be too high a price to pay for public comfort. Revealing methods and tech could ultimately compromise our cyber warfare capabilities. Weighing that possibility against the positives of closing the credibility gap, there's no doubt in my mind which way to go--we have to keep our methods under wraps. That means the public has to accept their president's word and whatever skimpy proofs he puts forward. If he's lying, eventually the truth will out, just as the Iraq war exposed the bad intel on WMD.Yes, those who were briefed probably knows the hackers and methods but the problem is we do not and half the population think it's total bullshit while over 50% of Democrats think the voting machines were being hacked.
Also, he didn't take any actions when the Russians and the Chinese were snooping around something imporant, like the Pentagon servers or other national security servers.
Now when a friggin gmail account got hacked and released the Democrats dirty laundry? Now it's a matter of national security????
Oh he also included some sob story of how a diplomat got harrassed at Moscow way back when....as if to try desperately to convince us he was righteous on this.
It's too soon to judge Obama's handling of this.
In fact, some of the Chinese hackers you mentioned have been identified and there are outstanding warrants for their arrest. Also, we don't know what other countermeasures have been taken.
The only reason I can think of as to why Obama mentioned the harassment of US diplomats (spies) in this context was to illustrate Russia's disregard for international norms and maybe to get their goons to lay off.
We ought to care less about how the Russians did the hack than the effect it has had on our election process. I would rather a foreign leader openly support a US candidate than break into his opponent's office, steal files, and give them to the media.Secondly, and I am also replying to snapper' question earlier on here:
No, I am not one damn bit concerned about what the Russians did to us.
I was a bit concerned earlier when I thought they used malwares or zero days to hack into the DNC or other institutions but they used FRIGGIN SPEAR-PHISHING.
Sure, the FBI report made it out to be some exotic method that the Russians developed but as I stated before, it's the same amateurish method used by thousands of kids 20 years ago.
Some common sense would've prevented this whole fiasco.
But this was no Watergate ordinary burglary where the intruders were actual people. It was a cyber crime done through the world wide web using exploits to harvest electronically stored files, and it was a low risk crime. The people behind it were miles away and nowhere near the targeted premises. Given the enormous store of such files all over the world, these types of cyber break-ins pose a huge threat to everyone.
I think retaliation, when state actors are involved, and legal action, when private entities are behind it, will escalate as the number of such intrusions grow and begin to damage national institutions, etc. So, in a way, I don't see Obama's retaliation as overdone this time compared to past countermeasures. I see it as an escalation in countermeasures to deal with the growing number and severity of intrusions.
And, if I may add, I believe we'll begin to see treaties specifically to control international cyber activity.
I bet our American tech geeks probe all over the world too and just because some of theirs managed to trick some of our dumb people into giving them their passwords is no reason to get concenred about.
It's cyber warfare and they managed to win a tiny battle on this one that the Democrats and The Media somehow turned into a huge disaster.
In fact, I would even call it a blessing in disguise as it taught us an imporrant lesson before something really important did leak this same way.
Right. The leaked material was ho-hum, at least for people who are accustomed to the two-faced nature of parties and other entities in the public eye. But for the average Joe, discovering a scrubbed, virtuous, caring, and smiling public figure is the product of careful calculation and bickering behind the scenes, he feels cheated. For a candidate for office, the result may be loss of support.
The DNC/Podesta leaks may or may not have cost Clinton votes. But that is mainly an issue for Democrats. For the rest of us, the issue is attempted manipulation of national elections. This time it was stolen files comprising moderately embarrassing documents. What will it be next time? We have to go after the perpetrators of this kind of crime so that future potential perpetrators will think twice before trying to manipulate future elections.
Also let's strip this down to the bone. They did not release some national secret, they released some emails from Podesta. The contents were embarrassing but there was nothing there that we didn't already know. Did the
Dem party prefers Hillary over Bernie? Yes, and anybody that spends even a minute reading a newspaper knew this. Were the "mainstream" media cozy with Hillary? Yes we knew this. Hell, I bet the whole world knows this.
So what new revelations did we find out because of the leaks?
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.
There is another way to look at it. For example, a girl shoots at President Ford, but misses. A robber breaks into a bank vault and finds it empty. Do we dismiss the acts because no harm was done?
Geez, I thought you were already drunk. ;-0Ooops....gotta cut this short. I need to get drunk in the next hour to celebrate the New Year.