Author Topic: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers  (Read 19740 times)

Gaoics79

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #200 on: February 18, 2018, 06:13:33 PM »
Quote
I see a lot of hand waving what-aboutism recently - "oooh, our government does it too" but generally, there is little equivalence when you dig down onto the details.

Since you propose nothing concrete, have 0 idea how to prevent it in the future and 0 indication of what you want to do about the "attack", yeah, it's easy to hand-wave it away. The Russians lately called it "blabber" - that's as good a description as any.

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #201 on: February 19, 2018, 02:22:33 AM »
Well, jasonr, how about at the very least doing what Congress and the President have already signed into law?  Sanctioning certain Russians for this attack on our democracy?

But, of course, Putin's puppet has refused to enforce the very law he signed.  ::)

So I guess, as always, it's up to the Democrats to try to figure out some way to prevent this illegal influence from happening in the future.  Because after all, not only will Trump's Republican party will not help, but are actively trying to prevent anything to stop them.  :P

Gaoics79

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #202 on: February 19, 2018, 07:57:27 AM »
Quote
Well, jasonr, how about at the very least doing what Congress and the President have already signed into law?  Sanctioning certain Russians for this attack on our democracy?

You mean economic sanctions? Political sanctions?

What are you talking about, specifically?

What do you want to *do* other than talk about the attack? Be specific please.

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #203 on: February 19, 2018, 11:29:22 AM »
Jason, I see what I would consider the proper responses taking place now already - a special counsel investigation, and legislative body investigations. I see no value in putting the cart before the horse and deciding on sanctions now before the extent of what was done is actually known (and why military is always the first straw man I will not hazard a guess).  I will say that the focus of the special counsel investigation on whether there was domestic (specifically Trump campaign)  assistance was unfortunate, though possibly necessary.

When the thread was opened, however, there was resistance in certain quarters from even considering any investigations into Russia's actions ("I do not believe it's worthy of discussion, no") which is why I periodically update the thread.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #204 on: February 19, 2018, 12:02:21 PM »
But Donald, the point is this: let's say Russia pays for FB ads to promote themselves, or to create subversion within the U.S. We are asserting this is the case by hypothesis. Jason's question is: what do you propose to do? Ban anyone outside the U.S. using FB? Ban foreign persons from speaking with or interacting with Americans on the internet? What kind of firewall do you think you'll ever set up to prevent interactions through media? And more to the point, do you think that it's the government's place to block certain kinds of messages, regardless of who they come from? Since when was it the case that subversive ideas should be blocked or opposed? And what does it matter who introduces them? So you ban a Russian from posting them from Russia based on IP, and then someone within U.S. borders does it for them. So is that banned now too, people in America posting things for reasons of their own choosing?

Note again we're talking about 'meddling' which is a euphemism for participating in the marketplace of ideas (regardless of motive), and not talking about the previous shibboleth, which was 'hacking' the election or altering actual voter results. The latter would be a serious security matter requiring action, but that's not what we're talking about.

Ronald Lambert

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #205 on: February 19, 2018, 12:30:02 PM »
Posting on Facebook a cartoon that shows Christ and Satan competing with each other and says a vote for Hillary is a vote for Satan, is not a very weighty effort at sabotaging the election. (It is claimed that this was posted by a Russian.) While I personally agree with the sentiment, since the facts are that Hillary is a crime lord, such a cartoon would not have moved me one way or the other, beyond giving me a laugh.

Now, more telling was the disclosure of private emails from the Hillary campaign, that it is claimed Russians had a hand in hacking and making public. But the thing is, the Hillary people really did say those things. So by revealing them, the Russians actually did us all a favor, and improved our election by letting us know the truth. So that did not sabotage our election--quite the opposite. It actually interfered with Democrat attempts to sabotage the election.

If the Russians actually did attempt to skew the 2016 election against Hillary, that would seem to be a rather misguided strategy--since Hillary would have been easy for them to walk over (after all, she was part of an administration that gave 150 billion dollars to Russian ally Iran, and as Secretary of State did nothing when terrorists were killing American diplomats in Benghazi), while Trump is proving to be tougher on the Russians and Iran than any previous president since Reagan.

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #206 on: February 19, 2018, 01:10:52 PM »
Quote
let's say Russia pays for FB ads to promote themselves, or to create subversion within the U.S. We are asserting this is the case by hypothesis
Again, this is putting the cart before the horse.  What else might be involved, and might any of those activities rise to the level of political interference that requires a response?

For instance, maybe some individuals might misrepresent who they are while posting information - possibly rising to the level of identity theft; or maybe certain individuals would fail to disclose, as foreigners, their involvement in funding or even partaking in actions aimed at affecting the outcome of a federal election; or maybe being involved in a conspiracy to facilitate the aforementioned activities. Certainly, such activities could, if they occurred, trigger criminal prosecution.

Politically, maybe those aforementioned actors could eventually be linked to the actual government of Russia, in which case a broad set of political options come into play, especially if Russia can be tied to similar activities aimed at affecting other countries' polities and elections.

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #207 on: February 19, 2018, 01:14:45 PM »
Quote
Well, jasonr, how about at the very least doing what Congress and the President have already signed into law?  Sanctioning certain Russians for this attack on our democracy?

You mean economic sanctions? Political sanctions?

What are you talking about, specifically?

What do you want to *do* other than talk about the attack? Be specific please.

I was thinking specifically about the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act and the Trump administration's refusal to impose these sanctions on Russians.  If the Russians get punished for the attacks, they might reconsider the cost/benefit analysis for continuing such behavior and inviting even further sanctions. 

But if they don't get punished for past behavior...

As for suggestions, here's one from Electoral-vote.com.

Quote
It is not impossible to combat troll farms, but it would take a change of mindset. As a starter, the social media companies could require anyone opening an account (or keeping an existing account) to upload an image of their drivers' license, passport, or other ID. Then they would have to weed out duplicate accounts. Finally, they would have to verify the name and number of the uploaded documents with the issuing authority to catch forgeries. Postings could still be anonymous, but the companies could make it much more difficult for trolls to open accounts. If the social media companies have no interest in something like this, Congress could require it by law and impose heavy penalties for noncompliance.

And seriously, jasonr, are you saying we can do nothing about foreign governments influencing our elections, and we should just give up?  Let anyone sow discord and disinformation from fraudulent accounts without restraint or resistance?  Just pretend it really doesn't matter, even though Russia is paying premium salaries to these guys to influence our elections?  Rely on the belief that Russian intelligence is silly and ineffective?

Or have Republicans simply ceded the responsibility of protecting our national institutions to the Democrats? :P

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #208 on: February 19, 2018, 01:37:28 PM »
What else might be involved, and might any of those activities rise to the level of political interference that requires a response?

Your use of the word "else" sounds to me like a handwaive dismissal of Jason's question. It is exactly that "else" that you, yourself, have to assert factually before you can claim that 'something' should be done. If you don't have evidence you can bring to bear other than the claim made by interested parties about "meddling" then I don't even see why you have an opinion on this. What, exactly, is it you think Russia did? I proposed accepting the premise that they employed shills and internet trolls, but it seems you meant something else?

Quote
For instance, maybe some individuals might misrepresent who they are while posting information - possibly rising to the level of identity theft; or maybe certain individuals would fail to disclose, as foreigners, their involvement in funding or even partaking in actions aimed at affecting the outcome of a federal election; or maybe being involved in a conspiracy to facilitate the aforementioned activities. Certainly, such activities could, if they occurred, trigger criminal prosecution.

Why is this some particular issue with Russia? Shouldn't identity theft always be pursued? I don't see the relevance to this topic. And what do you mean "fail to disclose as foreigners"? Fail to disclose what, to whom? Who is this person they're supposed to disclose to? You mean when making a Reddit post the poster should add a footnote saying "Btw I'm a paid Russian troll"?

Quote
Politically, maybe those aforementioned actors could eventually be linked to the actual government of Russia, in which case a broad set of political options come into play, especially if Russia can be tied to similar activities aimed at affecting other countries' polities and elections.

Actors? Having done what, make posts online? I still don't know what you think was done that needs to be stopped, or how you intend to stop it. I'm not even sure I understand why you think it should be stopped, other than, again, the vague non-committal 'we have to stop Russian interference.'

are you saying we can do nothing about foreign governments influencing our elections,

What do you mean by "influencing"? This is the kind of weird generalization that I think Jason was addressing.

Quote
Let anyone sow discord and disinformation from fraudulent accounts without restraint or resistance?  Just pretend it really doesn't matter, even though Russia is paying premium salaries to these guys to influence our elections?  Rely on the belief that Russian intelligence is silly and ineffective?

Still have no idea what your point is. People from Russia should be banned from...the internet? I have the same problem, by the way, with propaganda issued locally by paid shills and trolls within America pursuing special interests, and yet I recognize that we can't just ban people vocally supporting a cause - even if they're only saying that because they're paid for it. In order to ban paid speech you'd have to revolutionize how media interaction works and somehow establish a system of 'proof' that a person really believes what they say as opposed to they're saying it because they're paid. Dunno how you'll accomplish that! But I fail to see why some people focus so much on Russian meddling when local propaganda dissemination dwarfs anything Russia could ever hope to do. You think it's better when coming from local special interests rather than foreign special interests? I'm not even sure what "restraint or resistance" means. How do you "resist" people saying things on topics that you think are damaging to America? I think Americans say things that damage America all the time, so should they be banned too?

Offhand I can think of one good thing that would help the situation, and doesn't at all involve worrying about Russia: create a focus within America on speaking the truth and removing special interests from positions of influence in both government and social life. How to do this would involve many steps, but if America cleaned its own house first then it would be much easier to spot trolling, regardless of where it's from. But since at present most information being propagated is basically the equivalent of trolling anyhow what Russia adds to mix strikes me as being a drop in the bucket. And they know it, too, by the way. The Russian strategy in sowing discord in America is to pick at the sores created locally, not to invent new ones. It's weakness they prey on, and so the proper answer to that should be to address those weaknesses rather than complain about how they expose the weaknesses.

Gaoics79

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #209 on: February 19, 2018, 02:25:13 PM »
Quote
And seriously, jasonr, are you saying we can do nothing about foreign governments influencing our elections, and we should just give up?  Let anyone sow discord and disinformation from fraudulent accounts without restraint or resistance?  Just pretend it really doesn't matter, even though Russia is paying premium salaries to these guys to influence our elections?  Rely on the belief that Russian intelligence is silly and ineffective?

Or have Republicans simply ceded the responsibility of protecting our national institutions to the Democrats? :P

Let's break this down:

Quote
are you saying we can do nothing about foreign governments influencing our elections

I am saying that thus far, you have proposed nothing as far as actually preventing this sort of thing happening in the future. Others have suggested that the "cure" in this case would be vastly worse than the disease, which I agree with. But if that's wrong, then put up or shut up - what kind of "sanctions" do you actually propose that would effectively prevent this behaviour in the future? No more vagueries about investigations and sanctions. How do you actually STOP this from happening again? Please be specific.

Quote
and we should just give up?

If nothing effective can be done without going down the China path (and even that strikes me as being unlikely to significantly alter the situation - any real digital solution would require North Korea level intervention) then yes, we should "give up" trying to stop what cannot be stopped.

Quote
Let anyone sow discord and disinformation from fraudulent accounts without restraint or resistance?

Acknowledge the fact that foreigners, both state and non state actors, can and will seek to influence things to their benefit and that you cannot prevent this from happening. Maybe Facebook can crack down on fake news, or colluding politicians can be prosecuted, but actually stop this? Again, through what means? If someone wants to troll Facebook and newspaper forums with pro Kremlin propaganda, you're going to do what, execute them for treason? Good luck with that bucko.

Quote
Just pretend it really doesn't matter, even though Russia is paying premium salaries to these guys to influence our elections?  Rely on the belief that Russian intelligence is silly and ineffective?

I don't really know how to respond to this, because as of right now, there isn't even any evidence that this "attack" actually changed the outcome of the election. Nor is it evident to me that such manipulation will ever significantly move the needle. I know the DNC is desperate to believe that it did, for reasons that should be obvious - it makes them look so much less incompetent to believe that dastardly Russian propagandists sabotaged Clinton's campaign than to believe that she just suck as a candidate and ran a *censored* campaign.

You seem to be of the view that the fact of them spending the money is proof a priori that such propaganda "works", that the mere fact of diverting resources to something is proof that this something is powerful and effective. One thing is certain, I don't for a second believe that the Russians expected Donald Trump to win, unless they were smarter than every pollster in America. I think they were just as shocked at the outcome as the rest of the world.

If Russia's plan all along was to hand the white house to Donald Trump, they are either geniuses or they were very lucky idiots.

Personally, I don't for a second believe that this was their plan. I think their plan was to undermine Clinton, who they assumed was going to win, and to undermine the integrity and the public's faith in the electoral system - which you and and the DNC have been happily helping them accomplish since the day after the election.

Actually, this has to be the ultimate home run scenario for Russia. Not only did Clinton miraculously lose (mostly due to her own incompetence I'll add) but now the DNC is helping subvert the electoral process just like they hoped to do. Why pay Facebook trolls to do it when the DNC is willing to do it for free?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 02:29:05 PM by jasonr »

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #210 on: February 19, 2018, 03:53:46 PM »
One the one hand, the election was close enough that if the meddling had any effect, then they could have easily affected the outcome. The result was determined by a few tens of thousand of votes in a few states. On the other hand, if the Russians didn't have much influence in the relevant states then they could have had a tremendous effect on how votes were cast nationally without affecting the outcome of the election at all. Figuring out where the "truth" lies between both extremes will probably take really fancy math if it's possible at all.

I'd like to suggest that the point of sanctions aren't to directly prevent future actions but to increase the perceived cost. They probably won't interfere with the Russian's ability to interfere in 2018 but, if they are implemented, the Russian may choose not interfere again.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #211 on: February 19, 2018, 03:57:10 PM »
the point of sanctions aren't to directly prevent future actions but to increase the perceived cost.

What is "sanctions"? You mean make economic attacks on the entire country? And you would do this in response to Twitter trolls and Facebook ads, which aren't illegal under the laws of any country?

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #212 on: February 19, 2018, 04:09:58 PM »
The sanctions that Congress passed and maybe others.

Also, something the Russians allegedly did was illegal, hence the indictments.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #213 on: February 19, 2018, 04:23:48 PM »
The sanctions that Congress passed and maybe others.

Also, something the Russians allegedly did was illegal, hence the indictments.

Here's a quote from CNN about what the 2017 sanction bill says:

Quote
What's in the bill?
The bill refers to sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, and it substantially reduces the President's power to waive or ease certain sanctions without Congressional approval.
The Russian sanctions will target people and entities that:
-- undermine US cybersecurity on behalf of the Russia government
-- invest certain amounts in Russia's energy export pipelines
-- conduct "significant" transactions with Russian defense and intelligence agencies (though this will come into effect six months from now)
-- commit, or assist in, serious human rights abuses
-- commit acts of "significant" corruption
-- provide support to the Syrian government to acquire arms
-- invest, or facilitate the investment of, $10 million or more in the Russian government's privatization of any state-owned asset in a one-year period that could unfairly benefit government officials or their associates.
The bill lists 12 types of sanctions that can be imposed and obliges the President to use at least five in many cases against those affected. They can include freezing assets, such as property, revoking US visas and banning exports from the United States to those sanctioned.

It says it will target "people and entities" that do these things. So if a corporation is doing business with Russia they could be hit with sanctions; that's clear enough. If a Russian diplomat or leader is materially contributing to these things they may freeze accounts, cancel visas, etc. Clear enough. So please tell me how this bill (which you say comprises the sorts of actions you'd like to see as a response to 'meddling' {which remains undefined}) should be implemented in response to Twitter trolls and FB posts? How do you 'sanction' someone who created a FB account to post stuff about the U.S. election? You cancel the 'visa' they used to get on the internet? Or what?

It's the same question all over again: what would you actually do if you could have your way? What response are you actually advocating for to either (a) prevent these actions, or (b) discourage them? Bonus points if you can identify why said activities shouldn't be allowed in the first place, regardless of much you dislike their theorized effect. I know, NH, you were just wading into a question originally posed to Donald, but as I'm doing the same let the crossfire continue :)

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #214 on: February 19, 2018, 04:34:32 PM »
The sanctions are listed in the bit you quoted "freezing assets, such as property, revoking US visas and banning exports from the United States to those sanctioned." It probably won't affect the person paid to go trolling but might complicate things for the people who ran the company or members of the Russian government.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #215 on: February 19, 2018, 04:40:40 PM »
The sanctions are listed in the bit you quoted "freezing assets, such as property, revoking US visas and banning exports from the United States to those sanctioned." It probably won't affect the person paid to go trolling but might complicate things for the people who ran the company or members of the Russian government.

So you believe that the property of foreign people should be seized for either posting content that has an opinion about U.S. elections (for instance pro or anti a candidate) or for paying someone to do so? Do you believe that such posting is illegal under U.S. law? If not, do you believe that economics attacks against persons who haven't broken U.S. law is itself permissible under U.S. law?

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #216 on: February 19, 2018, 04:50:54 PM »
Someone is believed to have done something illegal or there wouldn't be indictments. If those foreign people are part of a concerted to interfere with an election by a foreign state or non-state actor, then sure. We aren't talking about Russian 4chan screwing with the election for the lulz but a deliberate attempt to weaken and undermine the US. Suggesting we respond to the latter as if it were the former is an invitation to further attacks.

It's permissible under US law if Congress says it is unless it's unconstitutional.

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #217 on: February 19, 2018, 05:14:27 PM »
Quote
Your use of the word "else" sounds to me like a handwaive dismissal of Jason's question.
I guess I could have been clearer, when I answered my rhetorical in the very next sentence.  Or are you really not understanding that Jason artificially limited the prospective breaches of law to things that are not actually against the law?

Why would I respond to such a pointless question?

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #218 on: February 19, 2018, 05:15:26 PM »
Someone is believed to have done something illegal or there wouldn't be indictments.

The bill is about many things, including Iran, Korea, and Russia. The first entire section, for instance, is only about Russia. As for Russia, it's a cumulative 'screw you' bill which sanctions in reaction to the Crimea affair, among other things. Your claim of indictments should only apply to the election to be on topic; what are those indictments related to that and only that?

Quote
Suggesting we respond to the latter as if it were the former is an invitation to further attacks.


Begging the question here as I've never seen evidence of 'attacks' unless you mean propaganda posts.

NobleHunter

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #219 on: February 19, 2018, 05:27:22 PM »
Those would be the indictments issued by Mueller. The ones accusing assorted Russian with illegal activity during the election?

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #220 on: February 19, 2018, 05:35:28 PM »
I've just realized that Fenring probably hasn't read the text of the actual indictments...http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43091945

Wayward Son

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #221 on: February 19, 2018, 06:54:46 PM »
Quote
But if that's wrong, then put up or shut up - what kind of "sanctions" do you actually propose that would  effectively prevent this behaviour in the future?  No more vagueries about investigations and sanctions. How do you actually STOP this from happening again? Please be specific.

You're right.  I can't STOP this from happening again.  It's impossible.

Neither can I STOP all murder from happening again.  Therefore, we should close all prisons, shouldn't we?  Because we don't have any effective way of preventing murders and crime, we should just give up and accept it, shouldn't we?  Because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate...  ::)

Well, guess what?  We don't have to STOP it.  We don't have to make sure it can't never, ever happen again.  But we can make it harder and costlier.  We can discourage the behavior.  That's what we need to focus on.

And, yes, we can do things that won't inevitably lead us to a totalitarian state!  You're creating a Fool's Choice.  We can curtail our rights some to discourage abuse of them.  We've done it before.  We do it all the time.  We do it now.  So don't tell me we can't do it.

And I did post an idea that would help curtail this behavior.  The idea from Electorial-Vote.com.  Read it again.  Why wouldn't that help?  Would it be 100 percent effective?  Of course not.  But it could help.

Frankly, I don't care if Russia told us on the internet to vote for Hillary, vote for Trump, or whatever.  They can say everything they have said in the last election, on one condition--they identify themselves.  If Russians want to call for a rally against Hillary in New York, let them.  Just don't make us think it is Americans that are doing so.

It is this deceit, specifically aimed at destroying our democracy, that we must fight against.  Making us think we are more against each other than we are.  Spreading lies and making us blame ourselves.  In other words, the dirty tricks.

But don't lie down and take it because you think it might be abused in the future.  That's a coward's way.  Figure out how we can reduce these cold war attacks, and make sure it isn't abused in the future.  That's what an American would do!

Gaoics79

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #222 on: February 19, 2018, 07:35:10 PM »
Quote
You're right.  I can't STOP this from happening again.  It's impossible.

Neither can I STOP all murder from happening again.  Therefore, we should close all prisons, shouldn't we?  Because we don't have any effective way of preventing murders and crime, we should just give up and accept it, shouldn't we?  Because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate...  ::)

Assuming, for argument's sake, you believe that trolling Facebook and posting fake articles is some awesome propaganda - the propagandist's equivalent to *murder* in its effectiveness, what pray tell do you propose to do to deter such an act? What punishment or sanction do you think can be imposed on Russians that would deter them from employing a form of propaganda so mighty that it can sway elections to the candidate of their choice?

Again, please be specific.

Quote
But we can make it harder and costlier. 

Yes because apparently they can mess with our democratic elections, even sway entire nations to their will, but I'm sure if you freeze some bank accounts or wag your finger at them they'll just give up all that power. Sure.

Quote
It is this deceit, specifically aimed at destroying our democracy, that we must fight against.  Making us think we are more against each other than we are.  Spreading lies and making us blame ourselves.  In other words, the dirty tricks.

But don't lie down and take it because you think it might be abused in the future.  That's a coward's way.  Figure out how we can reduce these cold war attacks, and make sure it isn't abused in the future.  That's what an American would do!

Funny you mentioned the cold war. Joe McCarthy was very much concerned about the very thing you seem to have gone hysterical over. The difference is, he was probably concerned about actual spies and saboteurs, whereas you seem mostly concerned about some stupid Facebook ads and internet trolls. He was fighting the influence of the actual evil empire.

Sorry, I just think it's kind of funny and ironic that red peril is back in vogue, and that left-wing liberals are leading the charge.
 

Gaoics79

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #223 on: February 19, 2018, 07:43:32 PM »
Quote
I've just realized that Fenring probably hasn't read the text of the actual indictments...http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43091945

Uhh huh. Let's see some convictions and then we can talk about how "deterred" the Russians are.

DonaldD

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #224 on: February 19, 2018, 08:03:56 PM »
Is your point just that convicting foreigners of crimes won't change Russia's actions, so there is no point in the USA enforcing its laws?

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #225 on: February 20, 2018, 09:18:07 AM »
There's another way to look at this. The indictments probably won't deter foreign entities from trying again. Just like capturing a spy and putting them in jail won't stop a state actor from trying to recruit more spies. It might make it harder to recruit either, however. It is also possible that the awareness raised from the publicity just might help some portion of the public to think more critically and suspiciously about outrageous calls to action propagated on social media.

I do not believe that the Russian influence came close to really moving the needle in a material way for this election cycle. But a completely laissez-faire approach leaves the door wide open to perfecting those techniques, and possibly applying them to more regional races. Got a senator or representative who is particularly vocal about supporting the Magnitsky Act? Maybe Russian influence tips a scale.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #226 on: February 20, 2018, 10:04:18 AM »
Jason, I see what I would consider the proper responses taking place now already - a special counsel investigation,...

Can you walk through the logic here.  If we're talking about a Russian attack, rather than a Trump collusion, why would we need a special counsel?  Shouldn't it be the Trump justice department - as a whole - managing that investigation?

Quote
...and legislative body investigations. I see no value in putting the cart before the horse and deciding on sanctions now before the extent of what was done is actually known (and why military is always the first straw man I will not hazard a guess).

Like say the Obama administration expelling Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions between Trump's election and his inaugeration?

Quote
I will say that the focus of the special counsel investigation on whether there was domestic (specifically Trump campaign)  assistance was unfortunate, though possibly necessary.

Actually, if there is no real evidence of collusion, having a special counsel harmed the process.  It turned what should have been a bipartisan response into the worst kind of political gamesmanship.  It literally did the Russian's work for them.

Quote
When the thread was opened, however, there was resistance in certain quarters from even considering any investigations into Russia's actions ("I do not believe it's worthy of discussion, no") which is why I periodically update the thread.

Which is literally the result of trying to use it as a partisan tool to delegitimize a President.

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #227 on: February 20, 2018, 10:46:09 AM »
I do not believe that the Russian influence came close to really moving the needle in a material way for this election cycle. But a completely laissez-faire approach leaves the door wide open to perfecting those techniques, and possibly applying them to more regional races. Got a senator or representative who is particularly vocal about supporting the Magnitsky Act? Maybe Russian influence tips a scale.

Considering the election was basically decided by about 50,000 votes in Penn, 10,000 votes in Michigan, and 20,000 votes in Wisconsin you didn't need to tip the scales very far. With those margins I'm more inclined to say that it is unknowable weather Russian actions had any impact on the outcome of the election.

Other things certainly had larger impacts, Clinton being entirely uninspiring (apart from the potential for the first women president), Weiner's laptop re-opening the Clinton investigation for 3 days a week before the election, and people's general tendency to vote for the opposite party after a two term president.

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #228 on: February 20, 2018, 10:59:41 AM »
Jason, I see what I would consider the proper responses taking place now already - a special counsel investigation,...

Can you walk through the logic here.  If we're talking about a Russian attack, rather than a Trump collusion, why would we need a special counsel?  Shouldn't it be the Trump justice department - as a whole - managing that investigation?

Which is what we had until Trump fired the FBI director over this "Russia thing."

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #229 on: February 20, 2018, 11:16:42 AM »
I hope you aren't serious yossarian22c.  Show me the proof Comey was fired over this "Russia thing."  The Comey firing should also have been bipartisan, his choices - very public choices - have done more to discredit the FBI than any one could imagine.  And if you want to talk about influencing the election, Comey's impact, was quite literally a 1000x bigger than anything the Russians could have ever done. 

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #230 on: February 20, 2018, 11:53:42 AM »
I hope you aren't serious yossarian22c.  Show me the proof Comey was fired over this "Russia thing." 
Trump:
Quote
He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

Trump says to himself when deciding to fire Comey that this Russia thing is a made-up story. I can't climb inside Trump's mind and know the real reason but he directly connected Comey's firing to the "Russia thing."

Quote
The Comey firing should also have been bipartisan, his choices - very public choices - have done more to discredit the FBI than any one could imagine.  And if you want to talk about influencing the election, Comey's impact, was quite literally a 1000x bigger than anything the Russians could have ever done.

I already stated this had a larger impact on the election than anything the Russians did.

The timing of the Comey firing is important. Firing him after he refused to "let Flynn go" is different that firing him in early Feb right after Trump took office.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #231 on: February 20, 2018, 11:58:02 AM »
Quote
I've just realized that Fenring probably hasn't read the text of the actual indictments...http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43091945

Uhh huh. Let's see some convictions and then we can talk about how "deterred" the Russians are.

I had previously read bits and scraps of the indictments but never the whole document. As it is I skimmed it last night but didn't have the patience to read through and parse every detail. That being said, I already mentioned above that actually illegal activities, such as hacking peoples' accounts and employing identity theft should definitely be pursued, but not as some kind of fancy anti-Russian defence but just as normal crime prevention and investigation. These acts are illegal and should be pursued, as I'm sure they are anyhow regardless of the 2016 election. I doubt that going after identity thieves is something that was invented by this list of indictments, it's just that these guys maybe did so here. But those alleged crimes are a separate matter from the general concept of Russians (or other people) speaking to Americans via social media. Maybe some Russians did so in a manner that was actually illegal, but assuming the wisen up in future and use legal methods of doing so, then what?

And as Jason put it, I'll be curious to see whether these indictments stick. Some of them seem to suggest that masquerading as an American entity is against the law when in fact they should have been registered as foreign interests (which Donald brought up), but that's easy to say when it's an actual company doing the posting and we can easily identify a company as being foreign. And actually I don't even know if it's that easy. For instance, for a multinational can we plausibly say what country that company is "from"? The head office of Coca-Cola may be in the U.S. for instance, but if they have regional offices in various countries is it incorrect for them to claim to be local there and make statements about that country's well-being? So I'm a little fuzzy on who does or doesn't qualify as being a foreign interest. I think the implication being made is that these companies can maybe be linked to the Russian government and that the issue is that it's the government doing these things rather than private citizens or companies. But to make that distinction we'd have to be able to define what is or isn't strictly government or non-government. Are we sure this kind of definition can be coherent? I would suggest that within American itself it's already impossible to draw a line between what is or isn't a private/public activity. Is Google, for instance, a "government entity" since it works closely with the government in some areas? If Google, which has a presence in France for example, made statements about the well-being of the French economy in the interests of Google France (I don't know if there's literally a branch of that name), could that credibly be called "interference by the U.S. government" on account of the company's home office having government ties? This whole thing seems to me incredibly muddy, and I really worry, as Seriati does, that the entire thing is an excuse to find scapegoats to blame for Hillary's loss and to delegitimize President Trump.

That being said, I do agree fully that cyber-security is a very important area in which to be strong and I would totally support initiatives to strengthen defences against hacking, identity theft, and sabotage. But this sort of action should be bipartisan rather than geared towards proving malfeasance on behalf of a particular party.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #232 on: February 20, 2018, 12:02:15 PM »
I hope you aren't serious yossarian22c.  Show me the proof Comey was fired over this "Russia thing." 
Trump:
Quote
He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

Trump says to himself when deciding to fire Comey that this Russia thing is a made-up story. I can't climb inside Trump's mind and know the real reason but he directly connected Comey's firing to the "Russia thing."

This doesn't look like good textual reading to me. In context of Trump saying there was no good time to do a thing he already wanted to do, and that this seemed like as good a time as any, following that up with saying that the Russia story was made-up would be a way of indicating that, in addition to the fact of there being no good time, this time isn't especially bad because since the Russia thing is phony there isn't a real conflict of interest in getting rid of him now. Consider the alternative, where Comey was investigating something quite serious, in which case there could be visibility problems in firing him at just that moment. One might well assert that it actually was something quite serious and that therefore it looks bad, but that assumption would seem to be begging the question, whereas if Trump legitimately (with no BS) believed that the Russia thing was made-up then he'd believe that there was no real reason not to fire him then and there rather than wait.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #233 on: February 20, 2018, 01:11:56 PM »
What fascinated me about the indictment is how much of it is actually not illegal - if you change one fact.  If you make it US nationals instead of Russian nationals, 90% of it drops away.  In fact, the activities that were being engaged in are expressly activities that every political campaign and every interest group was already engaging in, most with budgets hundreds or thousands of times larger.

Why exactly is this Russian propaganda campaign, deemed more effective, that the Clinton or Trump campaign propaganda campaigns, or any of the  political advocacy groups?  There's literally no reason to think it was - other than it fits a narrative.

I hope you aren't serious yossarian22c.  Show me the proof Comey was fired over this "Russia thing." 
Trump:
Quote
He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

Trump says to himself when deciding to fire Comey that this Russia thing is a made-up story. I can't climb inside Trump's mind and know the real reason but he directly connected Comey's firing to the "Russia thing."

That's the Lester Holt interview, which by the way if you read the transcript, clearly shows the Comey reference was an after thought.  Flipping that around to being the primary or sole reason as you implied is a bad faith misrepresentation. 

In my view, this is one of those memes that the left has repeated to itself so many times, that they stopped actually presenting evidence and have forgotten that they haven't actually proved it.  It's barely even plausible as - we all know - that firing Comey doesn't stop a "Russian investigation".

And I want to double down on something Fenring said.  If Trump knows there was no collusion, then his comment makes perfect sense, Comey's wasting time and resources.

Quote
The timing of the Comey firing is important. Firing him after he refused to "let Flynn go" is different that firing him in early Feb right after Trump took office.

Now that's the second time you've pulled a partial quote out of context to make it say what you want instead of what it actually said.  To my knowledge, no one in the know has seriously asserted that Flynn was a bad guy.  Asking for leniency if the breaches were unintentional isn't terrible unreasonable, heck Comey had just made up an intent requirement to keep Hillary out of jail and there was little question she intentionally created her server to keep her communications out of the public view.

scifibum

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #234 on: February 20, 2018, 02:59:28 PM »
Quote
That's the Lester Holt interview, which by the way if you read the transcript, clearly shows the Comey reference was an after thought.  Flipping that around to being the primary or sole reason as you implied is a bad faith misrepresentation. 

In my view, this is one of those memes that the left has repeated to itself so many times, that they stopped actually presenting evidence and have forgotten that they haven't actually proved it.  It's barely even plausible as - we all know - that firing Comey doesn't stop a "Russian investigation".

1) You're not making sense, what do you mean by "the Comey reference"?  The question is why did Trump fire Comey, so how can a reference to Comey be an after thought? 

2) Trump can't know that there's no collusion between members of his campaign and Russia.  Even if that's his opinion, what you are suggesting here undermines the narrative that you're trying to sell.  He wasn't trying to interfere with the investigation, except maybe he knows it was a waste of time, so in that case he knows it was a waste of resources anyway so it would be fine to try to interfere with it? 

scifibum

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #235 on: February 20, 2018, 03:01:09 PM »
Quote
Asking for leniency if the breaches were unintentional isn't terrible unreasonable, heck Comey had just made up an intent requirement to keep Hillary out of jail and there was little question she intentionally created her server to keep her communications out of the public view.

How would you feel if Obama had pulled Comey aside to ask for leniency? 

Of course it was horribly improper.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #236 on: February 20, 2018, 03:23:29 PM »
Quote
Asking for leniency if the breaches were unintentional isn't terrible unreasonable, heck Comey had just made up an intent requirement to keep Hillary out of jail and there was little question she intentionally created her server to keep her communications out of the public view.

How would you feel if Obama had pulled Comey aside to ask for leniency?

It's my literal belief that Holder ignored actual crimes on orders of the President.  It never would have occurred to me  that it wasn't within Obama's authority to direct Comey and the entire FBI on his enforcement priorities.

Quote
Of course it was horribly improper.

On what basis?  Unless he is charged with Treason, it's completely within Trump's authority to pardon any crime he committed.  The President is the literal head of the executive branch, which the FBI is a part of, with the full power to declare that his priorities do not include the prosecution of people for innocent transgressions of technical statutes, which would again eliminate this case.

It's also literally within the power of the President to drop an investigation. 

The remedy here is political not legal.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #237 on: February 20, 2018, 03:27:42 PM »
Quote
That's the Lester Holt interview, which by the way if you read the transcript, clearly shows the Comey reference was an after thought.  Flipping that around to being the primary or sole reason as you implied is a bad faith misrepresentation. 

In my view, this is one of those memes that the left has repeated to itself so many times, that they stopped actually presenting evidence and have forgotten that they haven't actually proved it.  It's barely even plausible as - we all know - that firing Comey doesn't stop a "Russian investigation".

1) You're not making sense, what do you mean by "the Comey reference"?  The question is why did Trump fire Comey, so how can a reference to Comey be an after thought? 

Because I've read the transcript and have watched the interview, and it's never stated as the reason he fired Comey.  Do the same, and unless you're a complete partisan you'll have to acknowledge the plausibility of it being an afterthought.

Quote
2) Trump can't know that there's no collusion between members of his campaign and Russia.

But he literally can know if he was involved, ordered it or was aware of it.

Quote
Even if that's his opinion, what you are suggesting here undermines the narrative that you're trying to sell.  He wasn't trying to interfere with the investigation, except maybe he knows it was a waste of time, so in that case he knows it was a waste of resources anyway so it would be fine to try to interfere with it?

No he wasn't trying to interfere with an investigation.  He was firing Comey, for a bunch of reasons, not to mention his fixation on a "fake news" story.

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #238 on: February 20, 2018, 03:33:34 PM »
On what basis?  Unless he is charged with Treason, it's completely within Trump's authority to pardon any crime he committed.  The President is the literal head of the executive branch, which the FBI is a part of, with the full power to declare that his priorities do not include the prosecution of people for innocent transgressions of technical statutes, which would again eliminate this case.

Flynn "innocently" lied to the FBI, the vice-president, and the rest of the administration about the extent and content of his discussions with the Russian ambassador? Seriously something is wrong there. The national security adviser lying about contacts with Russia isn't something to look the other way about because he's a "good guy."

scifibum

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #239 on: February 20, 2018, 03:46:52 PM »
The Holt interview is far from the only evidence there is about why he fired Comey. 

The Rosenstein memo has some reasoning that Trump, interestingly, has failed to repeat or reinforce. 

He has, however, made up some things about the FBI being in turmoil. 

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #240 on: February 20, 2018, 04:11:19 PM »
Well Yoss, at the time Trump made the comment, it did look in fact like Flynn was a good guy that foot faulted.  Whether later information has changed that view is neither here nor there.

And again, since when have we gotten so legalistic that we think the FBI should be sending people to jail for "lies" where there is no underlying crime based on complicated fact patterns and bad memories?  Want to know why Flynn is pleading guilty, and Hillary has never been charged?  One simple phrase, "I don't recall."

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #241 on: February 20, 2018, 04:17:38 PM »
He has, however, made up some things about the FBI being in turmoil.

I'm not aware of the specific things you're referencing, but from what I've read there was indeed significant turmoil in the FBI around the time of the election. Sources in the FBI were saying that Comey was being given the cold shoulder by the entire Bureau, with people walking past him in the hallway declining to even greet him. I've read accounts from at least a few agents saying that in their opinion he disgraced the Bureau.

Of course I don't work there so I can only go by what I've read, but if these accounts are accurate then his firing was an utter necessity.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #242 on: February 21, 2018, 09:08:04 AM »
Well Yoss, at the time Trump made the comment, it did look in fact like Flynn was a good guy that foot faulted.  Whether later information has changed that view is neither here nor there.

And again, since when have we gotten so legalistic that we think the FBI should be sending people to jail for "lies" where there is no underlying crime based on complicated fact patterns and bad memories?  Want to know why Flynn is pleading guilty, and Hillary has never been charged?  One simple phrase, "I don't recall."

By the way of odd coincidences, have you looked at today's news?  Apparently the FBI didn't even think Flynn intended lied to them.  That was a reevaluation that Mueller imposed after he took over, and now there are questions about whether the guilty plea was entered as part of a deal to protect his son from charges (which would be prosecutorial abuse). 

I still would like you to confirm that you think its the "right thing" to compel people to talk to the government on non-illegal matters, then put them into jail if anything they said can be proven inconsistent.  And just to be clear, I doubt that anyone here has ever had a conversation about something that happened in the past that is 100% accurate in every detail, so keep in mind we're talking about jail time, cause you said Uncle Bob got drunk and yelled at Aunt Sharon, but really, it was Uncle Max.

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #243 on: February 21, 2018, 12:55:27 PM »
By the way of odd coincidences, have you looked at today's news?  Apparently the FBI didn't even think Flynn intended lied to them.  That was a reevaluation that Mueller imposed after he took over, and now there are questions about whether the guilty plea was entered as part of a deal to protect his son from charges (which would be prosecutorial abuse). 

I still would like you to confirm that you think its the "right thing" to compel people to talk to the government on non-illegal matters, then put them into jail if anything they said can be proven inconsistent.  And just to be clear, I doubt that anyone here has ever had a conversation about something that happened in the past that is 100% accurate in every detail, so keep in mind we're talking about jail time, cause you said Uncle Bob got drunk and yelled at Aunt Sharon, but really, it was Uncle Max.

I haven’t seen the news.

As to the second point I would say it depends. Did you mistakenly say you had red wine with dinner when you actually had white. In that case no the fbi shouldn’t prosecute. On the other hand did you lie to everyone about conversations about Russian sanctions with the Russian ambassador that potentially has national security implications so I think that lie is worth investigating and potentially prosecuting.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #244 on: February 21, 2018, 01:47:00 PM »
Yoss, the most recent understanding is that Flynn's communication wasn't even illegal, and if the account that the FBI didn't think he intentionally lied is accurate, what exactly is the justification for putting him in prison?  Do we really jail people for accidental lies about non-criminal activity?

scifibum

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #245 on: February 21, 2018, 01:56:27 PM »
If by "most recent understanding" you mean "most recent right wing talking point", I guess.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #246 on: February 21, 2018, 04:23:55 PM »
So educate me, scifibum, what law do you think he violated?

yossarian22c

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #247 on: February 21, 2018, 04:57:41 PM »
So educate me, scifibum, what law do you think he violated?

The Logan act.

If everything was so innocent, why did he lie about the nature of their conversation?

scifibum

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #248 on: February 22, 2018, 12:57:57 PM »
My understanding is that the Logan act has never resulted in a conviction, but that it is still a law that could be used to prosecute someone, and might be used if someone was to deliberately and secretly undermine the foreign policy of the sitting executive.  I think Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador - if they included any pressure to take acts or refrain from acts, in ways that conflicted with Obama's foreign policy - appear to be that kind of violation of the Logan act. 

I understand that many people have offered opinions to the contrary.  However, there is no unanimity of opinion on this topic, and I think there are credible arguments that the Logan act can be enforced constitutionally, and is applicable in this situation.  It has yet to be fully tested in court.

As for the "lying" charge, I think Mueller is probably depending on a difference between what happened, what Flynn knew, and what Flynn told the FBI, rather than an impression the interviewing agents had at that time.

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« Reply #249 on: February 22, 2018, 01:07:11 PM »
I could see how it would totally slip his mind that he talked to the Russian ambassador.  :o

It's not like they asked him what color the chairs were in the hotel lobby or if he had Russian dressing on his salad during the transition.