As President Trump nears his first hundred days in office, what began as a side story of possible Russian hacking of the Democratic National Party has become the main attraction to a mainstream media that is obsessed with what may well prove to be a non-story.
At the same time China is pushing the boundaries of diplomacy, trade relations, and the safety of long-time allies like South Korea and Japan. The Trump administration now has to have to walk the fine line of dealing with Democratic misdirection over the Russia issue and responding to the very real threat of Chinese expansionism in the Pacific Rim.
The chain of events that led to the Russia story has been little reported by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and at times even FOX.
In June of 2016, Democrat Party operatives realized that their servers had been hacked. They then hired the private cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to determine who stole their emails. In the meantime WikiLeaks obtained those hacked emails and made tens of thousands of them available to the public.
Crowdstrike’s findings pointed to Russia and the following month, intelligence agencies reported to the Obama White House that they had “high confidence” that Russia engineered the hack. The problem with that reporting is that the FBI, CIA, and NSA did not have access to the DNC’s hacked computer servers, something the FBI said it repeatedly asked for.
As a result, all intelligence agencies made their initial report based on Crowdstrike’s findings.
By December of 2016, a number of experts were beginning to question Crowdstrike’s proof. The chief question being, how could a country known for its super-sophisticated hackers leave such an obvious trail of breadcrumbs that led directly to the Russian government?
Sam Biddle of the liberal leaning site, Intercept, said that same month, “it’s very hard to buy the argument that the Democrats were hacked by one of the most sophisticated, diabolical foreign intelligence services in history, and that we know this because they screwed up over and over again.”
In January of 2017, the CIA repeated the claim that Russia hacked DNC servers and furthered the narrative that such hacks were for the express purpose of defeating Hillary Clinton. A few days later, John McCain deemed such an attack “another form of warfare.”
March 21st of this year, Voice of America reported there is a major problem with this whole scenario. It showed that many of the assumptions made by Crowdstrike were based on bad intel from hot spots like Ukraine.
Crowdstrike later revised its report but that admission didn’t follow the ‘Trump elected because of the Russians’ narrative and almost every mainstream media source has failed to report this revision or has eliminated it completely from reporting.
While there is a dearth of evidence that Russia is an eminent threat to American security there is plenty of evidence that China is flexing its muscles like never before. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Trump this week and one of the main topics Trump had to bring up was Chinese expansionism that could well draw the United States and other countries into a conflict.
Mounting military tensions in the South China Sea and now the East China Sea are in danger of becoming a trigger point for a major conflict between superpowers. Japan, our closely ally in the Pacific, controls eight uninhabited islands that are close to important shipping lanes, potential oil and gas reserves, and rich fishing grounds.
China contests Japan’s longtime claim to this part of the East China Sea and has been steadily ramping up military activity for several year. The end result is that Japan’s airborne intercepts of Chinese aircraft have risen sharply.
The increase of Chinese military aircraft intruding into Japanese territory and Japan’s response to that is a formula for trouble. The situation bears the real potential for this to rapidly escalate from misunderstanding to open warfare.
As President Trump admitted security issues concerning China and Japan as well as North Korea were a major topic of discussion with China’s President.
The Trump administration is still trying to find its feet after months of unfounded reports of a Russia connection and China may well try to use that in its favor. Dr. Akio Takahara, an expert on Chinese politics observes, “The Chinese are always looking at what the Americans do,” he says. “So when the Americans aren’t doing well, they think they are doing very well.”
~ Facts Not Memes