When a foreign government is actively attacking our democracy, many would assume it’s safe to say that most Americans would want to know about it and would want it stopped. So I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you, but that’s where we find ourselves now; in the midst of having been attacked and attack efforts still underway on our democracy through disinformation & divisive campaigns. And it’s also said that our future elections will continue to be attacked if our politicians don’t do anything about it.
This information has been blasted at us in all different directions and we know that these attacks have been happening, but is that an excuse to keep letting them happen? For it may not only be Russia launching social media campaigns, working to release candidates’ and political organizations’ information, and using spear-phishing attempts the next time. Senator Sasse-R mentioned that China may also attempt an attack, putting their high tech resources and manpower to work against our voting infrastructure in 2020.
We know what’s going on and we want the attacks on our democracy to end, but the people that are supposed to be representing us and protecting our rights, the same people we elected and pay salaries to so they will take action for us, are doing none of that. In fact, too many feel as though our elected officials are actively suppressing pertinent information from the public, or allowing others to suppress it as they turn a blind eye. They’re deliberately speaking about this spear-phishing information as though they had proof of this attack on our democracy all along. But they didn’t.
The reason we know all this, why we have proof of election interference, is because of the sacrifice one brave whistleblower made when she decided to tell the truth. US Air Force veteran, Reality Leigh Winner, had taken an oath to serve and protect her country. For some time we had known that Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election, but no one had proof.
Donald Trump, the elected official in our country’s highest office, kept repeating that it was all a big hoax and had even lifted sanctions that were lobbied against Russians for the interference. Trump went even further stating that he believed Vladimir Putin when asked of the interference, of course, Putin denying it. In May of 2017, Reality Winner sent proof of Russian spear-phishing attempts in the election to The Intercept online media organization. The information was out there, and now so was the proof. But horribly, Winner was arrested mere days later, charged with a violation under the Espionage Act.