Somewhat laid-back

I’m still wondering why the official reaction to Putin’s role in the recent US election is so…mellow. The Guardian reports that so is former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The former CIA director and defense secretary Robert Gates has criticised the Obama administration and congressional leaders of both parties for a “somewhat laid-back” response to the discovery of Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Not a thing to be laid-back about, wouldn’t you think?

Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Gates said a “thinly disguised” operation by Russia had aimed to undermine the credibility of the American election and was to weaken Hillary Clinton.

“Given the unprecedented nature of it and the magnitude of the effort, I think people seem to have been somewhat laid-back about it,” he said.

Gates said he was unsure if the aim was to swing the election to Trump.

“Whether it was intended to help one or other candidate, I don’t know,” he said. “But I think it clearly was aimed at discrediting our elections and I think it was aimed certainly at weakening Mrs Clinton.”

If it aimed to weaken Clinton then it necessarily aimed to swing the election to Trump. You can’t do the first without doing the second. You can’t throw a lighted match onto a gasoline-soaked pile of junk without aiming to start a fire.

Gates worked for Republican and Democratic presidents, as CIA director under George HW Bush and secretary of defense under George W Bush and Obama. Asked by NBC host Chuck Todd if the White House, leaders of both parties and Trump had shown enough urgency, he answered flatly: “No.”

On Friday, Obama told a press conference his administration had not acted during the election because it did not want to appear partisan. It has been reported that the White House expected Hillary Clinton to win.

Because it what?

He’s a Democrat! He’s not a Republican! He campaigned for Clinton! Not appearing “partisan” is not an option in that situation.

Gates said Russia had carried out “a thinly disguised, covert operation intended to discredit the American election and to basically allow the Russians to communicate to the rest of the world that our elections are corrupt, incompetent, rigged, whatever, and therefore no more honest than anybody else’s in the world, including theirs”.

And to make us look like pathetic bumbling idiots, and by god he succeeded.

3 Responses to “Somewhat laid-back”