Monday, November 13, 2017

Former CIA, National Intelligence heads warn Trump he's being played by Putin

Former CIA, National Intelligence heads warn Trump he's being played by Putin

Well, no shit, Sherlocks. Considering that Putin is basically evil genius Victor von Doom and Trump is basically a somewhat dumber version of Homer Simpson, it is not very surprising that Putin is manipulating him.

OK, I'm kidding-not-kidding, as they say, but to be serious for a moment:

If Trump has even average intelligence, which I think he does, he should know for a fact that Putin is lying. There is no question that Russia meddled in the US election, and there is no chance that it could have happened without Putin's knowledge and consent. That meddling may or may not have determined the outcome, but it is 100% certain that they meddled. If it were just a matter of our spy agencies' conclusions, there might be some room for doubt, but there actually is none because of the electronic trail they left. We know which social media accounts they used; we know which ads and memes they planted; we know precisely when they were planted; and we know the exact IP addresses where they originated. In fact, we even know the exact street address of the building in St. Petersburg that uses those IPs.

But I think the Intel community and the media are ignoring one very possible alternate explanation. They all assume that Putin lied to Trump and Trump is not smart enough to understand (1) the electronic evidence to the contrary, and (2) that none of that could happen without Putin's consent. But another interpretation would also explain the situation, and might in fact explain it better. Instead of assuming that Trump is a total idiot, we might consider the possibility that Putin has been completely honest with Trump, and Trump is simply lying to us about what Putin said.

The common explanation assumes that Trump is unbelievably stupid and naive, but truthful. My explanation assumes that Trump is smart enough, but a liar. Which of those alternatives do you think is more likely?

6 comments:

  1. Or.... third possibility based on the fact the Trump has never said he BELIEVES Putin didn't meddle, he has said on numerous occasions that he BELIEVES that Putin believes he (Putin) is telling the truth.

    Perhaps our President, who has a higher than normal IQ and is intelligent enough to have built a multi-national billion dollar business empire, is playing Putin to see what he might get from him by playing the "Oh, sure, absolutely I believe you" card?

    As for absolute proof that the Russians meddled, sure, they did -- as they have for the last 5 decades. They never really make a difference but they try.

    This is nothing this year except the Democrats crying about the fact that they should have won (it was THEIR turn, damnit!) and they're going to continue this campaign until they can get Trump out of office so 2nd place Hillary can move in (which, of course, is not going to happen).

    I think people are putting too much thought into this whole thing. Remember Occam's Razor? The simplest answer to any question is usually the right one.

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    1. Gent. You have to stop watching Fox News. Trump has said many times that he believes Putin. Here is a recent quote: "He did not do what they are saying he did."

      More important that that is the evidence of his actions. Trump is the guy who said over the summer that he wanted to work with Putin to create “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things” will be prevented. So obviously, he believes Putin and trusts Putin's explanation and intentions. The only other explanations are:

      He is willing to create a counter-hacking force with somebody who he believes to have attempted to hack the election.

      OR

      He and Putin are simply in cahoots. (Or Trump is Putin's puppet.)

      It was only over the weekend, when pretty much every human being on the planet called him an idiot, that Trump tried to walk it back to "Putin really believes it," and even that is either a completely foolish statement, or a lie. I assume Trump is simply lying when he says "Putin really believes it," because he could not be that dumb. Trump is no genius, but he's certainly smart enough to know that the propaganda coming out of that office in St Petersburg could not last a day without Putin's knowledge and complete consent.

      As to whether the Russians actually determined the presidential election with their meddling, nobody knows. To date, there is no conclusive evidence or analysis in either direction. Nobody can say they did make a difference, but neither can anybody say they didn't. I have not formed any opinion on that matter, and have not seen any argument that gets me to lean either way.

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  2. Oh, a little Column A, a little Column B. I don't think he even considers whether anything he hears or says is true or not.

    As far as strategy, Putin v Trump is like Rafael Nadal v a good 6th grade girl tennis player. He will play Trump as much and in whichever way he wants.

    But all we're going top hear out of Trump are things that reflect well on Trump.

    I still can't get over this knob being president. Best summed up by a bumper sticker I saw before the election: red, white, and blue with a flag and an eagle, it just said "2016 - We're Screwed".

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  3. I don't blame Russia one bit for meddling in the US election. It's a good strategy. Just like we would meddle in Russian elections if, in fact, Russia actually had elections.

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    1. Yes. Absolutely true. In evidence, Ukraine actually did have elections, and we tried to meddle even AFTER they elected a pro-Putin guy. America and its allies actually encouraged a street mob to overthrow a democratically elected leader.

      Imagine the outrage if it had been the other way around - if Putin had encouraged the American alt-right to overthrow Obama by force.

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  4. Remember the old joke, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you".

    Trump doesn't have to have above-average intelligence. He just has to be smarter than the bunch of deplorables who believe (or are willing to say they believe) him.

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