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Obama Threatened Military Attack over Alleged Russian Cyber Hacking of U.S. Election

Dec. 20, 2016 (EIRNS)—A report posted by NBC News late yesterday reveals that President Obama threatened Russia militarily if the Russian government continued with its alleged hacking of U.S. election systems. According to unnamed U.S. officials, the warning Obama’s senior advisors urged him to send to Russian President Vladimir Putin was this: "Mess with the vote and we will consider it an act of war." Obama resisted at first, opting to send Putin less specific language to warn him of consequences if Russian interference didn’t stop, during the G20 summit in China, last September.

A month later, however, Obama used the so-called "red phone"—the system used for emergency communications between the White House and the Kremlin during a major crisis, particularly a nuclear crisis—to send Putin a very specific threat: "International law, including the law for armed conflict, applies to actions in cyberspace," said part of a message sent over the Red Phone on Oct. 31, according to a senior U.S. official. "We will hold Russia to those standards."

The NBC report indicates considerable disagreement within the administration, and between the White House and the Democratic Party, as to whether or not the threat worked—some officials saying that (alleged) Russian meddling stopped before Election Day, while the Democratic Party and some other intelligence officials said it didn’t, in part, because thousands of Democratic Party official John Podesta’s emails had already been leaked and those leaks continued.

Retired Adm. James Stavridis is among those who say that Obama’s response was not sufficient to stop the meddling. But he also said that the word "war" has to be deployed "extremely carefully."

"I think declaring something an act of war, let’s face it, is the ultimate red line," he said.

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