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DHS official testifies: The Russians Might Have Done Something!

On June 21, DHS’s acting Director of the Cyber Division of the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Samuel Liles, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the endless, increasingly farcical “Russia probe.”  Let me summarize his testimony for the reader (the Remnant digests this important material so that you don’t have to):  

Internet-connected state election systems were “potentially targeted” in 21 states by “Russian-government-linked cyber actors.” This was the equivalent of someone who was “rattling the door knob and was unable to get in,” but in a small number of states “they made it through the door.” There is no evidence that any votes were changed because voting machines are not connected to the Internet.

In short, nothing actually happened, as indicated by the weasel words “potentially targeted.” Nevertheless, Russia’s dastardly “potential targeting” cannot go unpunished!  We cannot allow America’s Greatest Enemy Ever to rattle the sacred door knobs of democracy! 

But, the reader may ask, how do we really know that the “potential targeting” was conducted by “Russian government-linked cyber actors”?  Well, if you knew anything about counter-intelligence work, you would know that the “Russian government-linked cyber actors” left their Russian government-linked digital fingerprints at the scenes of the potential cyber-crimes they could actually have committed if they had wanted to commit them. Their fingerprints are all over the door knobs of our democracy!

But, but, the reader may wonder, why would sophisticated Russian government-linked cyber actors be so inept as to leave their fingerprints at the scene of their “potential targeting”?  Why would they not make their potential targeting untraceable to its source by generating fake IP addresses and using other means of concealment, like pimple-faced adolescents hacking government agencies and credit data bases from their parents’ basement? 

Well, if you knew anything about counter-intelligence work you would know that sophisticated Russian government-linked cyber actors routinely employ reverse psychology whenever they potentially do something they could actually do if they were inclined to do it.  They make it so obvious that Russian government-linked cyber actors were involved that we might think it couldn’t possibly be Russian government-linked cyber actors, who would never be so obvious.  Ah ha!

The incurably skeptical reader may cavil at the phrase “Russian government-linked cyber actors.”  How is a Russian government-linked cyber actor different from simply a Russian government cyber actor?  What constitutes a “link” to the Russian government, and how do we know that the “link” is not just a phony IP address like those pimple-faced kids use?

Well, if you knew anything about counter-intelligence work, etc.

Clearly, the astonishing disclosure that Russian government-linked cyber actors rattled the door knobs of our democracy means that Donald Trump must have colluded with Vladimir Putin to undermine the very foundation of our way of life: the election of Hillary Clinton.  No doubt, Robert Mueller and his army of Clinton donors will get to the bottom of this… in a few years.

Meanwhile, should there not be a Congressional investigation of whether Russian government-linked cyber actors potentially affected the outcome of the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District?  Karen Handel was supposed to lose, like Trump was supposed to lose. Yet she won, just like Trump did.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Indeed, how can America ever trust the election of any Republican again, given the undeniable role of Russian government-linked cyber actors in potentially favoring Republicans and rattling the door knobs of our democracy in order—potentially—to collude with them in some manner that will surely be determined after numerous thorough investigations?

Only an independent commission or another special counsel can determine whether Republican victories will ever be legitimate again.  Until then, RESIST!
Thursday, June 22, 2017

On the Sign of Peace

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A right-minded friend recently told me about a campaign of (shall we say?) nonviolent resistance undertaken by an Anglophone remnant following Vatican II: after the priest intoned, ‘The Lord be with you,’ they would shout, ‘Et cum spiritu tuo!

I’m all for cheeky traditionalism. In fact, we need much more of it. Think of the thousands upon thousands of souls who’ve been formed by great Catholic wits – be it the levitous Chesterton, the acidic Waugh, or the droll Newman. Ours is an uncontrollably joyful faith. Yet we know that underneath it all is a deadly seriousness, too. Think of Saint Lawrence, who mocked his torturers as they roasted him on a spit. ‘Turn me over,’ he teased; ‘This side’s done.’ That’s our greatest example. In the fight to restore the fulness of Faith, we must be solemn, but never dour – humble, not shy.

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