LETTER: ‘How do we deal with Russian interference ...?’

March 28, 2019

I’m very glad there were no findings about President Trump or his campaign conspiring with the Russians. I heard that with a sigh of relief. That would have caused a tremendous political crisis for our nation.

It is the Robert Mueller report on Russian interference in our election process, but we talk about everything but Russian interference.

According to Attorney General William Barr’s letter to congressional leaders summarizing the Mueller report:

- “The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.”

- “The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks.”

Our polarized political atmospherics shouldn’t blind everyone to the very real threat of Russian interference with their goal being to sow discord designed to undermine and destabilize our society and our election process.

How do we deal with Russian interference, then and now? What kinds of added security do we need, how do we find and effectively stop their disinformation campaign designed to sow discord, and what kind of sanctions on Russia are needed? - Jerry Eaton, Sioux City