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Russia successfully attacked us, and Trump was the beneficiary

To the editor:

When I shared with friends that I was beginning to read “The Mueller Report,” the most frequent response was, “Why waste your time?” As our president would say, “Sad!” Here’s my answer: It’s important, because it reveals a presidency that is actually a criminal enterprise. I’m a retired pastor, having spent my life working with texts. This text, “The Mueller Report,” is both rich and clear. I also had the chance in the ’70s to attend the Watergate hearings personally. The criminality revealed in Mueller’s report is far more serious and far more widespread than Watergate.

I commend the edition of “The Mueller Report” published by the Washington Post because it contains several additional documents that help give the report context. You can order it online for less than $10 or find it in our library or listen to it for free on Audible.com. Mr. Mueller, after a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, widely admired by leaders of both parties, has earned an impeccable reputation for honesty and accuracy, and has performed a difficult task for us. He is warning us that we are on the brink of destroying our democracy.

Mueller’s report work has three parts: Volume One covers the involvement of Russia with the Trump campaign. Volume Two covers the attempts by the president to obstruct the investigation into his dealings with Russia. These two volumes are followed by the texts of all the indictments Mueller’s investigation produced. I found two parts especially helpful and compelling: the section of Volume Two in which Mueller meticulously chronicles 11 separate episodes in which the president personally attempts to obstruct justice, and the indictments of the Russian individuals (see “Key Documents” in “Appendix”) who, at Vladimir Putin’s direct instructions, have been attacking our country.

Here is the big conclusion: Russia has successfully attacked us, Donald Trump was the beneficiary of that attack, and Trump is committed to doing nothing to stop a further attack. It’s not rockets, bombs and soldiers shooting at one another. The attack is more subtle and more destructive than open military conflict. Using only 1,000 or so computer programmers and fewer than 100 agents on American soil, Russian propagandists sent hundreds of millions of pieces of computer-driven propaganda into our population, and that was more than enough to tip a close election to their preferred candidate, a man who was deeply indebted to Russian money. It’s an attack not on our bodies but on our minds. Its purposes are to divide us from one another and to so weaken our culture that America will be unable to function as an alternative to the authoritarian regimes of the world. 

Reading this report by the patriots led by Mr. Mueller will help each of us to guard our minds and our liberties for ourselves and for our children.

Rev. Jeff Black

Saranac Lake

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