Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 former Russian intelligence agents for interfering in the 2016 elections. Rosenstein emphasized that no Americans willingly participated and there was no evidence that any votes were changed or election results altered. Although Democrats and the media are outraged by this proof that Russia tampered with our election, it comes as no surprise. We have been under a barrage of cyber attacks for many years and from numerous countries. The infamous North Korean cyber attack on Sony Pictures that took place in late 2014 was a wakeup call to President Obama and national intelligence agencies. Russia, China and Iran have also been hacking into our networks to steal sensitive information and sabotage our defense systems and power grids. The Russians attempted to infiltrate both the Republican and Democratic National Committees leading up to the 2016 election. The DNC was considerably more complacent when it came to computer security allowing the Russians to obtain and release over 1,000 emails from the DNC server. The damage to House Democrats, however could have been much greater since DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz hired Imran Awan as their IT Administrator. For unknown reasons Awan was chosen for the position over six pre-approved IT contractors recommended by the House. Awan is a private Pakistani contractor who, along with his wife and numerous family members, were placed on the DNC payroll without adequate vetting. His company oversaw the IT needs of more than 40 House Democrats. Despite the fact Awan was being investigated for procurement scams and other crimes, Wasserman Schultz kept him on the DNC payroll until his arrest. Awan was arrested on July 24, 2017, at the Dulles Airport attempting to leave the country. He was charged with equipment theft and bank fraud. Wasserman Schultz displayed blatantly poor judgment when it came to the Awan family. Ineptness aside she continues to play a prominent role in the Democratic Party and is an outspoken critic of the President.
Members of Congress and the media want President Trump to confront Putin over election meddling. This is a bit hypocritical since the U.S. meddles in foreign elections with regularity. Obama spent millions of dollars in an effort to block the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Our government has backed certain individuals and groups in other countries to influence the outcome of an election. The infamous Bay of Pigs was an outright military invasion of Cuba sanctioned by President Kennedy for the overthrow of Fidel Castro. How is it possible to demand that Putin stop his interference when we have been guilty of similar sins. We must enhance our cyber security knowing that nations will continue to break into our computer networks. Topics of greater concern for discussion at the summit are Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East and denuclearization of North Korea. The President also needs to get an assurance from Putin that we aren’t entering another arms race. Meeting with our adversaries is essential for world peace. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”