It is now official that what started as mere allegations that a foreign power may have succeeded in swaying the outcome of the US presidential elections is almost a full-blown scandal. At first, it started with claims that Russian hackers had managed to hack into the computer systems of the Republican and Democratic parties. Interestingly, the hackers chose to leak specific details about Hillary Clinton, the then Democrats party candidate to Wiki Leaks.
Asked why the hackers never bothered to leak the documents that they had stolen from the Republican Party’s systems, senior party officials were quick to point out that the hackers had not succeeded in hacking into the system but rather into the personal accounts of specific party members.
Thus, we were left to believe that, in some way, the hackers had only managed to access incriminating documents against Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump.
But in what may only be described as damning revelations, it has emerged that the intelligence agencies are fully convinced that Russia intentionally interfered in the US presidential elections.
As the NBC reports, senior officials of the intelligence agencies have said that they have all the evidence to show that President Vladimir Putin played a key role in the hacking and that he even personally gave directions on what needed to be done in the course of the process.
Reports further indicate that Putin had several intentions when carrying out the hacking. First, he wanted to get even with Hillary following the role that the later played as Secretary of State in bashing the widely-condemned Russian elections of 2011. Putin had been wishing to put Hillary in her place for a long time, according to a former US ambassador who spent several years in Moscow observing how the Russian government works.
Reports further indicate that as things unfolded, Putin discovered that he could use the hacking to show to the world that the US electoral system was corrupt and unreliable. His ultimate goal was to show the key allies of the US that the US should not be trusted as an authority on democracy and good governance.
As things stand now, it is hard to scrutinise the report. Given that it is the work of intelligence services, we cannot question the sources and methods that the agencies used to collect the information. However, it should be noted that other independent reports indicate that Russian hackers carefully targeted candidates of the Democratic Party during the elections. Therefore, information that the Russians had ulterior motives when interfering in the elections is no longer news.
In light of these recent developments, three things need to be done. The first one is that the Obama administration should launch a thorough investigation into the entire scandal immediately. As things stand now, issuing statements and calls will not shed light on the allegations at all.
Second, the investigation should be made public. Making the investigation public will help to make things clear and keep people well informed. Third, the findings of the report should be released immediately and the recommendations implemented.