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Friday, July 19, 2024

US Electoral Interference: but real culprit is Israel not Russia!

American Elections: Democratic Party is worried ' over possible interference from Russia and China. But in reality the country that most influences the US Elections is Israel. Interesting Read for students of International Relations!

Senior US Democrats have demanded an urgent intelligence briefing for lawmakers from the FBI over what they said was a concerted foreign campaign to spread disinformation to interfere in November’s elections.

Four years after Russia allegedly interfered to boost Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the Democratic leaders cited serious and specific threats to the coming presidential and congressional elections.

Democrats: Worried over possible electoral interference

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Senate’s senior Democrat Chuck Schumer and two other Democrats — all with access to high-level intelligence — wrote to the FBI last week in a letter released on Monday.

“We are gravely concerned… that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election,” they said.

They said that due to the nature of the threats, it was imperative that the FBI provide a classified briefing to all members of Congress by the end of July.

Their Republican counterparts notably did not sign the letter, and its release indicated the FBI had not followed through on the request.

The FBI acknowledged Monday receiving their letter, but had no other comment.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of failing to act against the threat.

Biden vowed in a statement that “if any foreign power recklessly chooses to interfere in our democracy, I will not hesitate to respond as president to impose substantial and lasting costs.”

Biden fears meddling from China and Russia

Joe Biden, citing intelligence briefings that he is now receiving, warned Friday night that Russia and China were both actively engaged in trying to sow doubt in the American electoral system.

“We know from before and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said during an evening fundraiser. “The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact.”

“China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome,” he added.

Read more: Facebook boosts ad transparency as it braces for US elections

Biden has warned in the past about Russian interference, but it was perhaps the former vice president’s bluntest warning to date about a potential replay of the 2016 election.

The U.S. government in recent weeks has started briefing the presidential campaigns and the national parties about election threats from foreign adversaries, The Washington Post reported last month. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is spearheading the effort, and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina is leading the briefings.

It is normal for presidential nominees of the major parties to have intelligence briefings, though it is not clear when Biden started to receive his.

On June 30 he said he may ask for a briefing, but that he had not been offered one up until then.

Democrats faced the brunt of electoral interference in 2016

US intelligence and law enforcement chiefs concluded in 2016 that Moscow had mounted a multi-pronged hacking and social media electoral interference campaign to boost Trump and hurt his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

They have also said there were multiple foreign hacker efforts to penetrate voting systems in the 2018 by-elections, as a “test run” for 2020.

Read more: Facebook boosts ad transparency as it braces for US elections

Trump has repeatedly denied it, and has downplayed warnings of interference from abroad in the next elections.

This year, intelligence officials have warned especially of disinformation campaigns over social media from Iran, China and Russia.

Earlier this month, FBI director Chris Wray said that China was pushing its preferences in the 2020 US race in a constant effort to influence the American public.

Russia and China: Influencing US Elections? 

“It’s not an election-specific threat; it’s really more of an all-year, all-the-time threat. But certainly that has implications for elections and they certainly have preferences that go along with that.”

And in February, a senior FBI official monitoring foreign influence, David Porter, warned that Russia was again interfering, seeking to exacerbate divisions and sow distrust in the US election system.

“Russia wants to watch us tear ourselves apart, while it seems that China would rather manage our gradual economic decline over the course of generations,” he told a conference on election security.

Read more: Foreign interference in US elections: Google raises alarm

Also on Monday, General Paul Nakasone, commander of the US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said their primary mission was “a safe, secure and legitimate 2020 elections.”

“How are we going to do that? First of all, we’re going to generate insights about our adversaries. Much like 2018, we are going to know our adversaries better than they know themselves.”

“We’re going to act when we see adversaries attempting to interfere in our elections,” he added.

Country that most influences US Elections: Israel?  

According to a report by Business Insider, foreign interference in US Elections is more widespread than Americans think.

The report says that the foreign government that has long been most active in interfering in US politics and US elections is that of Israel. The only reason Israel’s most organized and influential advocates in the United States have not registered as foreign agents is that the influence thus bought has dissuaded US politicians from pushing for such registration.

Read more: US accused of interference in upcoming Israeli elections

It added that with Netanyahu in Washington, Trump now will do more of the mutual political back-scratching between a president who is currently the defendant in an impeachment trial and a prime minister who is under indictment in his own country for corruption.

Partisanship in the United States has impeded in a couple of different ways full and open discussion of the problem of foreign interference in domestic American politics. When both parties have been involved in this interference, neither wants to talk about it.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources