The New York Post reports on the Obama Administration using the cyber hotline to Russia to warn Putin against interfering in the 2016 US Presidential election:
Michael Daniel, Obama’s cyber czar, said administration officials used the channel — added to the nuclear hotline in 2013 so the countries could communicate about hacking and cyberattacks — to tell the Kremlin to “knock it off.”
“We know that you are carrying out these kinds of activities. And stop. Knock it off,” Daniel told CBS’ “60 Minutes” about the call on Oct. 7, 2016.
Asked if Russia got the message, Daniel said he thinks so.
“The fact that this was the first time we had ever exercised this channel, which was supposed to be, you know, for very serious cyber incidents and cyber issues — I think that, in and of itself — sent a message,” he said.
The Obama administration resorted to using the hotline after earlier the same day, it released its first public statement about how Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
I do not get the impression the average US citizen truly comprehends the problems the country faced in 2016 with the Russian interference. Too many people see this as a US-only political issue, meaning US politicians are using the interference to discredit President Trump, discredit Hillary Clinton, and even discredit and blame former FBI Director James Comey.
That is far too short-sighted and completely misses the point. It is time to look at the Russian interference from a wide-ranging, multi-faceted strategic level. This is objectively an attack on US sovereignty and its democracy.
The country needs to put aside its like or dislike for a particular political candidate, and focus on how a foreign country – in this case, the one foreign country who was the primary US adversary during the Cold War – interfered with a sovereign states election process to sow doubt and discord, effectively using propaganda to confuse citizens from understanding the true issues. Ostensibly the goal was to make sure Clinton was not elected given her relationship with Putin and position on Russia, not necessarily to get Trump elected.
It is time for the country to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take a look at this issue with renewed vigor, unshackled from the constraints of political affiliation and focus on it objectively. This attack unquestionably took place, unquestionably interfered with the election, and unequivocally played a pivotal role in the outcome of who was ultimately elected as the 45th President of the United States.
The time for playing partisan politics ended long ago. It is time to protect the future of the American democratic process. Enough with the games.