Is there any evidence that Russia interfered with our election?
Yes, loads of it. The intelligence community as a whole has said that Russia attempted to hack (often successfully) into voting systems in all 50 states. Though they remain adamant that no votes were changed, the attempts were made.
Before you assume that means Russia only attempted to interfere with our election, rather than successfully doing so, do note that most of their interference was the result of spreading online propaganda via social media.
How is Flynn connected to Russia?
We don’t know how deep Flynn’s Russia connections go. We do know that that in 2013, Flynn was the first U.S. official ever allowed into Russia’s military intelligence headquarters in Moscow. Not long after that, Flynn was observed having such a close relationship with a Russian woman that a coworker voiced concerns that Flynn could have been compromised by Russian intelligence. We know that Flynn has earned a lot of money from Russian-connected companies while working as a consultant. We know that Flynn discussed the removal of U.S. sanctions against Russia with a Russian ambassador, which Flynn then lied about, to the FBI and to others, and is one of the counts for which he has been arrested and convicted.
Why would Russia interfere in our elections?
Well, this is where it gets interesting. Back in 1997, a Russian political strategist published a book called Foundations of Geopolitics. This book lays out a detailed strategy for how Russia could become the world’s major superpower, not through military force, but through subversionary tactics, by influencing and destabilizing the politics of the world’s major nations.
This book was written over 20 years ago, and in the years directly after its publication it was dismissed as the crackpot ideas of a lunatic. In the last five years, however, we have seen a number of the items on that list become a reality:
- First is Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The book calls for the annexation of Ukraine as a whole, but it seems Putin thought it wise to start with just Crimea.
- Second is Brexit. The book calls for separating and isolating England from her other allies in Europe. We now know that Russia employed the same tactics to influence the Brexit campaign in England as they did to influence the elections in the U.S.
- Third is the U.S. The book calls for destabilizing the U.S. by division. Playing up racial, ethnic, and social tensions, doing anything they can to sow discord and pit American against American. We now know that Russia was heavily involved with stoking racial tensions in the U.S. via social media propaganda in the lead up to the election, and they continue to do so.
- Fourth, the book calls for generating “anti-Atlanticism” sentiment in Europe. Essentially, that means diminishing the U.S.’s reputation in the eyes of our European allies, and weakening our alliance with them.
- There are several other points. Destabilizing Turkey using the Kurds and the Armenians. Building an alliance between Russia and Iran. Strengthening trade relations between China and southern areas like Australia so that they’re less likely to challenge Russia as it extends its influence throughout Eurasia. We’re seeing all of this start to come together now.