Russian Campaigns to Destroy Political Opponents

The U.S. media has been active at tying the election of Donald Trump to Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, but that isn’t the greatest danger from the Russians. That hacking would not have had negative effects on the election if the principals in the Hillary Clinton campaign had not sent messages that were politically embarrassing. I know the Democrats are bent on believing they would have won if the Russians hadn’t interfered, but it seems to me the Democrats had a flawed candidate who didn’t connect with Middle America.

Despite that personal belief, there is something important to understand about the skill of the Russians in shaping opinion. The intelligence operations within the Soviet Union were amazingly effective at destroying political opponents, and Russian organizations are being quite effective at carrying that forward. A recent article describes how Russian “kompromat” is used to destroy political opponents with no facts required. The term is used to describe compromising material for blackmail of those who the Russians have determined to be dangerous. The process involves “.  .  .high quality faked documentation.” The documentation includes “.  .  .hints, images, videos, promises of disclosures, perhaps even some high-quality faked documentation. Sex or pornography often figures prominently.”

We can hope the media with a free press will be able to counteract false reports generated by Russian intelligence services. We’ll see who wins; the free press with freedom of speech or the Russians bent on destroying those they deem to be unfriendly. My primary message is that everyone should be skeptical of any negative Russian campaign against anyone.

Trump Able to Launch Nukes

I’ve heard from people who fear a Trump Presidency that they worry he will have the authority to launch nuclear attacks and that nobody will be able to stop him. From what I’ve learned, that is exactly the case. Donald Trump as President will have the uncontrolled authority to launch nuclear weapons.

A recent article reports that as 45th President of the United States Trump will have 1,367 nuclear weapons under his control. Protocols have been developed that would prevent anyone from stopping him should he decide to use them. President Eisenhower had delegated use of tactical nuclear weapons to his generals in the event the Red Army invaded Western Europe. They didn’t need to ask anyone’s permission. The Cuban Missile Crisis caused pre-delegation to be reconsidered. Command authority was turned over to the “.  .  .President and the President alone. While individuals in the complex chain between the Oval Office and Minuteman III Launch Control Centers might refuse orders, they are trained not to and to acknowledge the President’s authority. Regardless of who is sitting behind the button, it might be wise to evaluate the process one more time.”