We Need More Skepticism

Irfan Suharno

The F.B.I. confirmed Monday that it is investigating Russia’s ties to the 2016 presidential election. The Trump administration’s involvement with Russia has become a frequent and fraught discussion, especially as top officials routinely falsely deny their ties. For example, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned in February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence on the extent of his contact with the Russian ambassador, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions incorrectly testified that he had no communication with the Russians. What these incidents have highlighted is that the American people should maintain a skeptical mindset when considering White House statements and decisions.

An important thing to note is the lack of evidence presented by the intelligence communities in their reports. Several of these reports include some ominous disclaimers, like one in a report released by the F.B.I. “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within,” it reads. The fact that an intelligence agency — whose job is to provide accurate intelligence information — does not stand by its own findings calls for some skepticism.

In a similar report, the F.B.I. and National Intelligence Council make it clear that the Russians did not interfere in the vote tallying during the presidential election. However, the media has repeatedly insinuated that the Russians hacked the election. This may be why about 52 percent of Democrats believe Russia did interfere in the election through tampering with vote totals.

However, the biggest point is that despite whether or not Russia did hack the presidential election, there should be more transparency and honesty in regards to the government’s official actions and statements. When holding a public office, especially one as important as the presidency, one has a democratic responsibility to the U.S. public to truthfully inform them of one’s actions and possible future proceedings.

The apparent lack of transparency within the new administration and recent reports released by the intelligence community clearly indicate a need for skepticism. As college students, it’s easy to trust high-ranking sources and ignore the need for further investigation. Yet, the truth is less obvious and may require a bit of digging and skepticism to find.

Email Irfan Suharno at [email protected]

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