Hacking information should concern us

To the Editor:

The information that has been publicized over the past several months and now weeks concerning the probable interference by Russia with our electoral process should concern all citizens of our country.

Given the fact that multiple government intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia was responsible for the "hacking" of multiple organizations it is worrisome that President-Elect Donald Trump on different occasions has elected to either simply deny the possibility, state that no one knows who hacked the Democratic National Committee and has made public attacks upon the competency of the Central Intelligence Agency as a way to deflect the possibility that Russia was involved. It would seem obvious that if he would obtain the national security briefings that a president-elect is offered he would be better informed about why multiple intelligence agencies have come to that conclusion.

I hope that he along with all Congressional leaders will support the creation of an independent investigative commission on the order of the 911 Commission or Watergate Commission to investigate who was responsible for the reported ‘hacking’ of political information, who provided the information for release to Wikileaks, was this activity sanctioned by the government of Russia, and how did this impact the election results.

Personally, I do not believe this "hacking" was responsible for President-Elect Trump’s victory, but unless a full investigation is done outside of the political theater of the Executive and Legislative branches of government we the American people will never know the answers to these questions.

Republicans at both the national and state level in the past several years have made many statements concerning voter fraud. Many states have passed legislation reducing the number of polling places, early voting days, and placing stringent ID requirements in the name of reducing fraudulent voting. While there has not been evidence to support those claims these laws have gone into effect. The current question of possible external interference in our national elections by Russia is truly an issue that goes to the integrity of our democracy and electoral process.

We need our government representatives, whether Republican or Democrat to act to implement an independent investigation to identify what happened, who was responsible, what effect it may have had and recommend steps that need to be taken to ensure that the integrity of our electoral process is maintained.

We can be certain that there will be continued interference in the future if nothing is done to protect the integrity of our elections.

Richard B. Friedman, MD