Obama Wanted to Wait for Clinton Win to ‘Retaliate’ Against Russia

Obama Wanted to Wait for Clinton Win to ‘Retaliate’ Against Russia | Wanted to let Clinton participate in cyber-war planning

Officials have told the press that the Obama Administration did not launch “retaliatory” attacks against Russia over their alleged role in hacking Democratic Party websites because President Obama expected Hillary Clinton to win the vote and was waiting until after the election.

Obama claimed in his Friday speech all the hacking stopped in early September after he told Vladimir Putin to “cut it out,” but officials continued to talk up retaliatory action right through the vote. It was just supposed to happen during the lame duck period, with a President-elect Clinton helping to plan.

This was actually being reported well before the election, with officials then saying Obama was also concerned that starting a big cyber-war right before the election might hurt Clinton’s chances at the polls. The reality that the next president would inherit such a cyber-war was a big part of it, with Obama wanting that president-elect (again presuming it would be Clinton) to help plan it out.

That Donald Trump ultimately won the election made the matter even more difficult, as Trump has expressed opposition to picking fights with Russia, and has dismissed the allegations of Russian involvement in the hacking for lacking any evidence.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • RickR35

    Obama wanting to come out as the guy who tells Putin to cut it out! Lovely narrative to ensure he was “tough” till the end.

    Well, he was good at killing people, that was it.

    • Mark Thomason

      Obama is really smart. He did not use the phrase by accident.

      “Cut it out” was the ineffectual thing Hillary laughably claimed she said to Wall Street, while defying Obama’s desire for more regulation of Wall Street.

      I hear in that a message to Hillary and her supporters — giving her back some of her own. That would be very Obama. I’ll bet Hillary heard her own words loud and clear too, for exactly what they were.

      • Mikronos

        ‘Cut it out’ is usually followed-up by the rejoinder,”So have you ever seen one of these things up close?”

        Obama just knew that Putin would ‘get it’ because Putin pays such close attention to everything Obama says, or used to before he ‘did’ Libya.

  • Bill

    Huh, so now its ‘Democratic Party websites’ that got hacked? What did they do, put a big picture of Trump up on the page instead of the picture of the Wicked Witch?

    Remember of course, that its Hillary’s and the Democrats emails that caused problems for the Wicked Witch during the campaign. The revelations of just how much they cheated and connived to keep Bernie from claiming the support of the majority of Democrats. The emails that showed how much the media and CNN especially colluded with the Wicked Witch’s campaign. These are what hurt. Not a hack on a website.

    And oh, btw, Wikileaks hinted that this was a leak. They offered a reward for information on who killed the young man who was working for the DNC. And now a Brit diplomat is saying he was also offered the same emails that Wikileaks later published.

    Its too bad the story of Pinnochio isn’t true. I’d love to watch some videos of the Democrats trying to deal with noses that are 127 miles long. 🙂

    And, oh, btw, maybe the Democrats got beat because a lot of Americans now regard them as very big liars. Because Obama and the Dems never delivered on hope and change (but immediately bailed out the banks), and because they don’t trust the Clintons a bit.

    If the Democrats don’t dump the Clintons into a dumpster fast and move on, then they won’t win another election for a decade.

    • Bianca

      And the one about debate questions bring passed? I thought that was a serious offence. Enough to disqualify the candidate. Sanders would have won. Of course they are scaremongering to block Trump’s change of foreign policy — and deflect attention from their corrupt party and its candidate.

      As for Obama’s obsession with Russian economy — it is hard to figure it out. Is he trying to say that he, Obama was sucessful in imposing sanctions, and Russia’s economy is in the dumps? Or is he just being basically condescending about anything Russian? He is not clear to me. Russia is doing much better under sanctions, as Russia’s counterssnctions resulted in banning Western food products — and a huge increase in domestic production. Russia has just become a leader in the production of grains — all Russia is GMO free. It is doing in nano tech, and still in many respects more advanced in space. Obama proudly stated that Russia does not have anything people want to buy other then energy. Well, Obama forgot. US is still relying on Russian engines for powering the heavy US rockets. And this embarrassing state of affairs will last until 2018 or longer. Furious McCain pressed for an answer — until one of the grilled scientists said — with all due respect, Sir, this IS a rocket science. Russian science, and Russian motors that are placing our military satelites in orbit. Obama only forgot — that he is the one shopping Russian rocket engines — excepting them from sanctions.
      However, Russia also produces the best internet security products as well. May be DNC needed something better to protect its systems. Why not buy those from Russia? But it will be of no use as Hillary will probably get hold of her new laptop with store installed security — and start firing off e-mails.

    • Mikronos

      A former British ambassador is claiming to have been handed the DNC emails by a disaffected staffer in a Washington DC park. He claims he then gave hm to Wikileaks.

      Not a Russian in sight.

      Which the calls into question the credibility of Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike his anti0– hacking software company. He claims to have traced hackers into the DNC computers back to sources in Russia. if they were in there and what the Brit says is rightn they weren’t stealing the email.

      The evidence needs to be open to public scrutiny.

      • survivor

        Maybe from Seth Rich.

  • Dracaveli

    He was a politician.. nothing more or less….Can’t really be anything else and expect to win in America, all those vipers selling their soul to be pres…

    Honestly Obama lived up to my expectations… After the bragging of killing Somalian teenagers..Then came the drone strike not only on a us citizen but also weeks later on his 15 year old son…In which a official said his crime was that his dad was a criminal…

    • Brockland A.T.

      Eh, most politicians aren’t technical war criminals.

      The Political Question Doctrine states that the courts can’t rule where there is no law to do so, tossing the question back to the Legislative Branch, since the Judicial Branch can’t make up laws, even to fill in the blanks. So being a ‘war criminal’ in the U.S. doesn’t have much meaning beyond the grunt level.

      Rebecca Gordon wrote a book called “American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post 9/11 War Crimes”.

      Although Gordon’s book is partisan against the Republicans, it does suggest a useful focus for antiwar activism. The 1996 War Crimes Act, like the War Powers Resolution of 1973, pretty much leaves enforcement a political question. Like corporations writing the laws the way they want it, humanitarian responsibility has to be spelled out the way humanitarians want it.

      Of course, the original Nuremberg also established enforcement mechanism as a political question. Allied nations were de facto exceptional to international law insofar as far as they had the force to back that up, and never held accountable for their own excesses.

      Nuremberg also saved a lot of Nazis to later serve in the U.S. government and intel apparatus when their original likely fate was unceremonious execution. Similarly, Japanese ultra-Imperialists were spared as long as they promised to rule Japan in accordance with the new political management.

      Still, moving beyond Nuremberg is a direction waiting to be taken.

      As a business person and manic deal-maker, Trump should be familiar with getting to know the regulatory environment of a new business venture. In particular, protecting Trump from liability, which is a legal material concern, and protecting the American brand, which is more a moral concern.

      When handed his first wish list of drone assassinations, maybe Trump should consider making someone else sign on the dotted line and see how confident they feel taking responsibility without Presidential immunity.

      Still, for the first time in 16 years, a President might walk into the Oval Office with hands, however briefly, clean of blood and guilty only of rhetorical ‘tough talk’.

      • Dracaveli

        I disagree that Nuremberg exempted the Allies…You should read justice Jackson’s remarks concerning any future conflict if any nation including his own tries to claim exemption from the law….

        Basically declaring to do so will make the entire Nuremberg trials a waste of time.

        They also touched on the mass Russian rape of German women in Berlin but concluded had Germany not invaded the Russian state…Then the subsequent actions would have never happened.. so they put all blame on Germans themselves…..Americans should take heed because the illegal unilateral invasion of Iraq set off a wave of murder rape n suffering….

        Any judge in his right mind will see who is at fault…And it won’t be Saddam.

        • Brockland A.T.

          Another Nuremberg precedent; blame Russia. The Soviets certainly were vicious, and they were technically ‘Allies’, but hardly core allies.

          In any case no allied leaders and high officials were ever imprisoned or executed to the degree the Germans and Japanese were, including the Russians. The Soviets imprisoned and executed ‘their own’ for entirely different reasons. Only Patton seemed interested in bringing the Soviets to any kind of immediate account.

          The only real difference between the Nazis and the core Western Allies, was that Nazi atrocities were more or less accepted not only in terms of human weakness under duress or mental illness, but exploited as official policy. Nazi crimes were far worse as there were no inhibitions and little perception of wrong, there wasn’t any inhibition to proudly documenting this, nor any inhibition for the Allied victors against using that documentation against Axis survivors.

          The use of war crimes to propagandize against the Nazis was used against the Soviets, who learned quick not to brag about such things. So if any good was achieved, it was the importance of appearances around a discrete set of humanitarian values. Appearances became the closest thing to an enforcement mechanism for those values. The Deep State grew up gaming humanitarian perceptions while dangling psychopathy as a glamorous secret.

          For the Allied heirs, the truth of war was never scrupulously documented. It comes out in bits and pieces over time that have only momentary impact against the prevailing narrative of unblemished heroism.

          Books have been compiled about soldiers accounts and letters home, which describe the realities. Historical fiction helped exposed Dresden (Slaughterhouse Five- Kurt Vonnegut); it was meant to be forgotten. Eisenhower’s starvation policy towards German POWs and civilians was also meant to be forgotten. Hap Arnold, the storied U.S. Air General, fired a subordinate for objecting to firebombing the Japanese as inhumane, and went ahead with the program to the maximum extent technologically and logistically possible. However, that’s historical trivia about a great war leader and military aviation pioneer.

          Given that nukes are a reality, the U.S. will likely never be formally held to account for their crimes as no external power can make them do so. They will have to do it themselves, for themselves. Robert H. Jackson would appreciate having laws to apply direct instead of having to defer to politicians and the political question doctrine loophole to do nothing. Exceptionalism to Nuremberg for now, is a thing.

          Apart from a contingency, to set a standard for future world powers on the off chance the U.S. isn’t one of them, a clear requirement to enforce for the War Crimes Act would ‘make America Great’ not ‘again’ but in terms it never was before, if carried off competently and sincerely.

          Constitutional patriots make a big deal about making arrests for transgressions; for now its a fallacy, but what if the PQD was out of the way and citizens could, to some workable degree, hold politicians and officials accountable, without unduly infringing on legislator immunity protecting their freedom of action and conscience?

          The closest thing going so far is Captain Nathan Smith’s lawsuit to enforce the War Powers Resolution. The court seems to be delaying indefinitely, but the most likely ruling would be to admit, the political question doctrine does not require politicians to enforce the law if the law does not require and penalize for not enforcing the law. Which would highlight a responsible governance loophole most politicians would just as soon not come to light.

          In terms of natural logic, it would only be possible for independent nations to prosecute their own war criminals to international standards; anything less would be a surrender of sovereignty to international gamesmanship, such as the ongoing nonsense of R2P and humanitarian war fronting for geopolitical ambition.

          That freedom of speech on real news more or less exists despite surveillance and abuse of power, seems to indicate the elitist powers that presume to be, don’t mind the little people venting and flattering them with acknowledgement of their elitist untouchability. To be unimpeachable and never held to account is the ultimate demonstration of power, they’ve concocted a flattering mortal facsimile of the mythical omnipotence and omniscience of God.

          The antiwar movement has gone about as far as it can in advancing the
          humanitarian cause by merely shaming transgressors with the truth and
          high-sounding shame-on-you rhetoric. The psychopath-sociopath class uses
          it as a kind of ‘look upon my works and despair’ bragging and their
          statue of Ozymandias stands all the taller for it. That and/or, they believe in
          Abramic religion enough that they’re gaming Abraham’s ‘fifty righteous
          people’ schtick needed to spare the city of Sodom.

          High time to call their inconvenient blasphemy and bring them back down to Earth. Making them more responsible to the convenient moral truths that make life on Earth so much more worthwhile in so many words of binding just law.

  • EME

    he told Vladimir Putin to “cut it out,”

    Yeah. Right. And I bet Putin was trembling in his boots.
    Oboomer would be a joke if the situation he’s screwing
    around with Russia isn’t deadly serious.

    And as for the wicked b*tch Hillary Clinton, I wonder
    what the corporate mainstream media would say if Trump
    was behind the racist bloodsucking scam the so-called
    Clinton Foundation is involved with in Haiti and the
    African Congo?

  • Mark Thomason

    That is what comes of believing your own, ah, story line.

  • Brockland A.T.

    Um, good call Obama. Waiting for the President Elect to be determined first, is a responsible move.

    Thinking it would be Hilary, doubly so since she would only have the option to start something he would have a say in, and not escalate something ongoing beyond sane limits as seems to be the neoliberal way.

    Especially since, as David E. Sanger of the NY Times reports, there could be an ‘escalation dominance’ problem, which is a neat way of saying the U.S. could get mauled if the bear bites back in a cyberwar and the neoliberal way is to call down with no limits a bigger one-up hammer.

    Of course, this is an internal Democratic leak, and not really a hack let alone a Russian hack… Everyone knows this, and chooses their side.

    Its also hard to believe Obama would not be aware of the USC/L.A. Times poll which saw what others missed; a sizeable wave of Trump support, one of the very few polls to stand out as doing so, so surely it would have caught his attention. Being a Constitutional scholar implies having at least some political science instincts.

    The L.A. Times poll strength was that it polled by state, not by national numbers as did all the others, so it was able to anticipate a Hilary pop vote ‘victory’, which doesn’t count (normally), and a Trump EC victory, which does count (normally).

    As far as the EC goes, it was always meant to stop a demagogue riding on the popular vote via state power. With both leading candidates demagogues, Hilary a demagogue of neoliberalism and Trump a demagogue of… Trump, and competence of of both under partisan question, its hard to see a reason for the EC not to vote Trump as the only constant in original Hamiltonian intent is questioning the national popular vote against state (EC) results.

    Its not clear if the L.A. Times poll has allowances for fraud built into the calculus. Three million illegal non-citizen voters are thought to have voted in the election alone according to Gregg Phillips of the Votefraud monitoring group. Most illegals – if some voted – would have voted Hilary, and this would not be a problem for the minority of Americans who think illegals should have the vote. Illegal votes counting is a peculiar ideal of democracy not legally allowed yet.

    Jill Stein’s recount gambit uncovered 140 more Trump votes in Wisconsin, indications of a possible instance of ‘accidental’ under-counting of Trump votes. In Detroit, Michigan, a Hilary last stand, more votes were cast then voters, indication of a possible instance of Democratic ‘accidental’ Hilary vote buffing.

    Assuming the early pattern uncovered by Jill Stein’s court-stopped efforts held, Trump might better survive something like a nationwide electoral audit.

    One gets the sense Teleprompter-in-Chief Obama leaves the Oval Office with a sense of tremendous relief not unlike an actor closing a disastrous theatrical run.

  • Eileen Kuch

    Bill and Bianca, you hit the proverbial nail right on the head. Of course, it was Hillary’s and the Democrats’ emails that created problems for the Hildabeast during the campaign. As you said, Bill, the revelations of just how much they cheated and connived to keep Bernie Sanders from claiming the support of the majority of Democrats, mainly Millennials. The emails that showed just how much the media – and CNN, especially – colluded with the Hildabeast’s campaign. These are what hurt, not a hack on a website.
    And both Obummer and Hillary have the gall to accuse Putin and Russia of hacking her campaign’s and the DNC’s websites?? The only Intel agency that agreed with their accusations was the CIA .. No other agency backed them. As you said, Bill, so now it’s the “Democratic Party’s websites” that got hacked? What did they do, put a huge picture of Donald Trump up on the page instead of the Wicked Witch?
    And, Bianca, you’re right on target as well. What about the debate questions that were passed? I, too, thought it was a serious offense, enough to disqualify a candidate. That surely would’ve disqualified any candidate other than Hillary Rotten Clinton. She believes she’s above the law, but that’s not true. Nobody’s above the law. As you said, Sanders would’ve won the nomination, but for those debate questions being passed to CNN by the Wicked Witch’s campaign. Of course, the scaremongering by the Clinton Campaign’s an effort to block Trump’s change of foreign policy .. and deflect attention away from their corrupt party and its candidate.
    And, as for Obummer’s so-called sanctions on Russia, all they did was backfire. Russia retaliated with counter-sanctions that greatly improved its own productivity. Instead of importing any foreign grain and/or other goods, the Russians produced all GMO-free foods and continued producing more and more advanced weapons systems and military hardware. As you said, Bianca, all of Russia is now GMO free as a result of banning all Western food products.
    You also mentioned that as for Obummer’s obsession with Russia’s economy, that’s hard to figure out. Is he trying to say that he, Obummer, was successful in imposing sanctions, and Russia’s economy’s in the dumps? Or, is he being condescending on anything Russian? I believe it’s the latter. Besides ratcheting up its oil and natural gas production, Russia has also advanced in space technology. Obummer proudly stated that Russia doesn’t have anything people want to buy but energy. Well, Obummer forgot. The US is still relying on Russian engines to propel their heavy rockets into space, since their own engines don’t have the needed thrust to do it themselves.
    We have to remember, Obummer had NASA end the space shuttle trips to and from the International Space Station, following the last flight of the SS Discovery, which carried the late John Glenn, Jr. on his only trip to the ISS. Obummer wanted the money to go to perpetual aggressive war against defenseless nations, as well as providing welfare and other benefits for illegal aliens, as well as migrants from, mainly, Somalia. He’ll soon leave office with the worst legacy in American history.

    • “We have to remember, Obummer had NASA end the space shuttle trips to and from the International Space Station, following the last flight of the SS Discovery”

      Actually, the decision to end space shuttle flights in 2010 was made by George W. Bush in 2004 — nearly 25 years into what was supposed to be a 15-year program life.

  • It could not and would be this federal agency. Sarc/off!

    Aug 8, 2016 DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge: Final Event Program

    DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge Final Event took place August 4, 2016, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Conference Center. Seven computers developed by teams of hackers played the world’s first-ever all-machine game of Capture the Flag.


  • Mikronos

    I still can’t get my head around the fact somebody, who claims to love America so much, would go ahead and concede an election to Don Trump – who clearly ‘unstated’ that he wasn’t prepared to concede anything except a win for himself, just because she had said she would when asked by a ‘newsie’.

    Clinton actually knew Putin’s hackers were trying to steal her election. And she let them do it without registering a nasty look. Those stories about Willie Jeff ‘immersing’ himself in a 13 year- old must have gotten her attention. But if they weren’t wasn’t true who cares who leaked them?

    Maybe her not doing America a favor did herself and he Clinton legacy and even bigger one.

  • survivor

    Obama and Hillary are two sh*t disturbers of the world. What do they expect when they conduct themselves like they had toward other countries that those countries would love them? HA!