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SHOOTING AND HACKING: 2017’s First BIG Stories Lead To BIG Questions

It has only been a week into 2017, and there have been quite a few events so far: Congress managed to certify the results of the Presidential Election (despite the objections of a few House Democrats). The speculation over President-Elect Trump’s appointments to government positions. The future of Obamacare and Obama’s policies. A thriller Rose Bowl in which USC rallied to beat Penn State 52-49.

But there are two particular stories to start off 2017. The first one is the hacking of the presidential election by the Russians (a story that actually originated in November 2016). The latest intelligence reports say that the Russians attempted to manipulate the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Amidst all the probing and debate surrounding this story, two questions must be asked: 1) did the hacking actually affect the outcome of the presidential election; and 2) why didn’t the Obama Administration do anything about it? When trying to answer the first question, one must consider how and where such hacking took place. Supposedly there are devices out there which enable voters to rig a machine when voting, but the percentage of voter participation would make it seem unlikely that the Russians have enough people to hack voting machines on Election Day in various states. They would have to dispatch a large number of agents (who could speak English without an accent) to an even larger number of polling stations across America in order to carry out such a task. And it is also unlikely that they would be able to recruit enough American citizens to help them achieve their goal.

As for the second question, Obama said that he was aware of the hacking prior to the election, but did nothing because he was convinced Hillary Clinton would win. If that is the case, then Obama should be held accountable for such inaction, perhaps face prosecution once he leaves office. The individuals serving in his administration who were also aware could also be held accountable, including those in the intelligence services. The election judges at the polling stations could be held accountable as well if they did not ask for photo identification (unless the hackers used false identification).

The second story involves Esteban Santiago-Ruiz, who carried out a mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing five people and wounding six others. A former national guardsman and Iraqi War veteran, Santiago had a history of arrests for a series of crimes (including domestic violence) as well as mental problems. He even visited the FBI field office in Anchorage, Alaska and claimed the government had brainwashed him via forcing him to watch ISIS-made videos.

This story brings up a few questions: 1) why did he travel all the way to Fort Lauderdale to carry out a mass shooting, 2) given his mental problems and domestic violence arrest, how was he able to own a gun (even if he owned it beforehand), and 3) since he went to FBI to report his alleged brainwashing, why didn’t the FBI do a thorough job of investigating him? The investigation is ongoing, amidst the debate surrounding his past, as well as airport security (i.e. extending the security gates to the outer reaches of airports, since the shooting took place in a pre-security area) and possibly another round of gun control debate.

In conclusion, it comes down to this: both the Russian hacking and the airport shooting occurred because someone along the line did not do their job.

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Andrew Linn

Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to and Right Impulse Media.