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It is a well-known fact (not "fake news") that every intelligence organization in the U.S. government (CIA, FBI, the National Security Council, etc.) agrees that the Russian government used social media and other means to tamper with our last presidential election by manipulating public opinion secretly. The reality of Russia's actions has been demonstrated and repeatedly described too many times to list here.

Before he left office, President Obama acted in several ways against the tampering, including warning us about it. In public congressional testimony on Feb. 27, the intelligence agency directors testified that it is happening again and will continue during the next election - but there is no organized effort to stop it.

Donald Trump has not responded to the threat other than to repeatedly deny its reality. Not only that, but he has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and publicly accepted as truth Putin's denial of Russian meddling, which makes Trump either Putin's fool, his helper, or both. In so doing, he is preventing a concerted effort by this country to counter the Russian manipulation, with the effect of aiding and abetting an enemy country to accomplish their objectives in promoting disinformation, lies, and confusion to undermine our democratic institutions and our faith in them.

The Constitution, Article 3 Section 3, defines two kinds of treason: First, the levying of war against the United States; and second, adhering to enemies of the U.S., giving them aid and comfort. By the second standard, Donald Trump is a traitor.

David Stein

Philomath (Feb. 27)


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