Obama to Announce Sanctions on Russia for Nonexistent US Election Hacking
by Stephen Lendman
Obama seems bent on being as disruptive as possible during his waning days in office.
Throughout his tenure, he inflicted more harm on more people at home and abroad than any previous US president, including wars of aggression in multiple theaters still raging, Trump inheriting the mess he made.
What further deplorable policies he intends until January 20 remains to be seen.
According to the neocon Washington Post
, he’s “close to announcing a series of measures to punish Russia for its (nonexistent) interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure, according to (unnamed) US officials.”
Details are being finalized. They’re “expected to include covert action that will probably involve cyber-operations…” An announcement could come before the New Year’s holiday weekend.
Fact: Accusations without verifiable proof are groundless.
Fact: No credible evidence indicates Russian US election hacking. None exists. Everything claimed was fabricated - some of the worse kind of fake news.
Fact: Obama’s scheme combines sour grapes over Republicans winning the presidency and both houses of Congress, ending his tenure on a sour note, longstanding Russia bashing, and exerting pressure on Trump against normalizing ties, including cooperating with Putin in combating terrorism.
According to WaPo, imposing sanctions for alleged cyber attacks under existing law requires designating election infrastructure as critical and proving it was harmed, along with showing actions threatened US economic or national security. and stability.
Current law doesn’t cover overseas cyberattacks “influenc(ing) the electoral system,” said WaPo. Another consideration is making it hard for Trump to rescind what Obama imposes.
According to an unnamed senior administration official, “(p)art of the goal here is to make sure that we have as much of the record public or communicated to Congress in a form that would be difficult to simply walk back.”
In April 2015, Obama’s Executive Order blocked “property of certain persons engaging in significant malicious cyber-related activities.”
Legal considerations don’t stop US administrations or Congress from doing whatever they please - domestically or abroad.
On the one hand, previous sanctions helped more than harmed Russia by enabling it become more self-sufficient. New ones will be just as counterproductive.
According to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Trump will rescind up to 70% of Obama’s executive orders straightaway after taking office, adding:
“I think President Obama is beginning to figure out that his legacy is like one of those dolls that as the air comes out of it, it shrinks and shrinks and shrinks.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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