Let's just skip right to the point here: There aren't enough hyperbolic adjectives to truly and properly express just how big a deal it is that Russia is almost certainly behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee and that the goal of that hack was likely to throw the presidential election for Donald Trump. If you can't fully comprehend the magnitude of what we're talking about, go back and read that sentence again. Russia, a foreign power and enemy of the United States, is now accused of purposely gaining access to the computer network of one of America's two major political parties, stealing material, then making that material public with the aim of influencing who the next President of the United States will be. This kind of thing is absolutely unprecedented, although in our brave new world of omnipresent threats from bad actors armed only with computers, it's likely only the beginning.
The latest and most thorough information on this story comes to us from The Daily Beast and Vice's "Motherboard," both of whom cite cybersecurity experts and U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the investigation. They cite reports claiming that "two sophisticated adversaries" were discovered within the DNC's system back in May of this year, each with code names and digital fingerprints traceable to Russian military intelligence. What we now know is that tens of thousands of pieces of information, from private e-mails to personal details about DNC employees -- experts say it's possible the hackers even gained access to cellphones -- were stolen and much of it was handed off to Wikileaks, an organization that purports to stand for merely transparency but which has over the years proven itself to be irrationally hostile toward the United States.
It was Wikileaks that, as you no doubt know, dumped 20,000 DNC e-mails over the weekend. Out of those 20,000, a handful were mildly embarrassing because they, horror of horrors, showed that some DNC employees were frustrated with Bernie Sanders. Lose your mind over this all you want, but there's no evidence of anything being rigged nor is there an ounce of proof that -- other than a couple of idle snide comments -- anyone at the DNC did a damn thing to hurt Sanders in an official or even unofficial capacity during the primary. But no doubt the point of these leaks was in fact to send Sanders's most fervent disciples, who were already bitter and resentful, into full beast-mode against Hillary Clinton. And here's the thing: It worked. If this really was Russia behind all of this, its plan worked flawlessly. Because the e-mails have sown chaos and discord right when the Democratic party needed unity to face down the threat from BenCheeto Mussolini.
But as Bob Cesca wrote here earlier today, if you're overly concerned with the largely trivial contents of these stolen e-mails and not ready to pick up a torch and pitchfork over the fact that a foreign, enemy government and its rogue coconspirator are trying to hijack the presidential election for their own benefit, you're missing the fucking point. Donald Trump has in the past expressed both respect and admiration for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and as he's more than happy to crow about, that dictator has returned the favor. Trump has already said he would essentially abandon NATO in the face of Russian aggression -- the equivalent of a long, slow blow-job to Putin and his goal of making Russia the Soviet Union again -- and both his willingness to collude with Putin to further his own business interests and his mere existence as an agent of instability in the White House would hand Putin America's superpower status on a silver platter. That's what Putin wants: An America that's servile to his needs and which is so badly damaged that it's no longer a threat.
That's what Trump would deliver to Putin. That's why Putin wants Trump to win.
The mere possibility of this should outrage every single American, particularly the kind who relentlessly profess their patriotism in the face of all comers. The people who won't shut up about how America can kick the world's ass, so don't you dare fuck with the U.S. of A. But alas, the partisan divide in this country is now so untraversable that there are Americans on the fringes of each side of the political spectrum who don't seem to give a shit that a foreign power is probably seeking to decide who becomes president as long as the person they like benefits or the person they don't like doesn't. This is madness. We're standing on the precipice of the abyss here and America doesn't survive the fall. Because if we allow this to happen -- if we allow Vladimir Putin's handpicked candidate the victory the Russian autocrat pulled puppet strings to get -- then we're no longer America. We're basically just another defenseless republic Putin can take over and claim is under his control. And this time he won't even have to fire a shot.