We’re in a crisis.
If you’ve watched any of the 24-hour cable news networks, you’ve heard that phrase hundreds of times a day for the last two years. The conservative networks claim the crisis is liberals attempting to derail a presidency, while the liberal networks claim the president is becoming an autocrat.
The hyperbole from both sides has left us numb, but a recent development involving the nation’s defense and intelligence services has us truly worried we’ve entered crisis territory.
The New York Times reported that the nation’s cyber warfare team has made it known America can interrupt Russia’s power grid. The move was a direct response to Russia’s knocking power out in Ukraine in 2016, as well as interfering in the 2016 American election, including gaining access to the election systems in two Florida counties.
Russia is also believed to have inserted malware and viruses into the American energy system, including the ability to shut down oil and gas pipelines and nuclear power plants.
Responding to a threat in kind is not why we believe we’re at a crisis point — it’s the response by the president and how the president is being treated.
Despite confirmation by every intelligence service at the nation’s disposal, President Trump denies reports Russia interfered in the 2016 election. In fact, he’s gone on record multiple times saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial rather than our own intelligence services.
It was also reported by Yahoo News that, upon assuming office, Trump sought to secretly remove sanctions on Russia, an effort that was stymied when State Department officials leaked the plan to Congress, which overwhelmingly — and in rare bipartisan fashion — voted to affirm and strengthen the sanctions.
The above has resulted in many pundits wondering if Trump is a Russian agent, though we tend to think he is more likely a Russian asset. Russian intelligence refers to these types of assets as “useful idiots” because they don’t realize they are being exploited.
And it is that fear he may be an asset or an agent that has us believing we’re in a crisis.
American intelligence services and defense are reticent to brief the president on what actions are being taken in regard to Russian aggression for fear the president will scuttle those efforts or, worse, inform the Kremlin what is taking place (similar to how Trump shared top secret intelligence on Syrian action with the Russian ambassador in 2017).
Meanwhile Trump has said cyber attacks on Russia are “not true” and called the New York Times reporting “a virtual act of treason,” once again supporting Russia’s interests over America’s.
We can’t have U.S. agencies operating on their own accord, with no oversight from elected officials or following proper protocols — that how military juntas come into being.
But we can’t have a president calling the shots when the country isn’t sure which nation the president actually represents.
Nobody in charge and everybody in charge at the same time is a recipe for disaster. It’s time for us to decide whether we have a president who puts the American people first or a Manchurian candidate once and for all.