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OPINION - Guest writer

NATE BELL: Not above the law

By Nate Bell Special to the Democrat-Gazette

This article was published June 18, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

The rule of law is one of the cornerstones in the foundation of our constitutional republic. For more than two centuries we've agreed as a nation to be bound by a common set of laws. Even when we profoundly disagree with the nation's laws we've understood that it is our civic duty to abide by them while working to change them using the peaceful process established in the U.S. Constitution. With the notable exception of the bloody Civil War, we've upheld our mutual agreement to find solutions to our political differences within the bounds of the law.

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BoudinMan says... June 18, 2018 at 7:54 a.m.

I approve this message. Let's hear it for us independents.

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LRCrookAttorney says... June 18, 2018 at 9:03 a.m.

"... it's about protecting the national security of the United States and the integrity of our elections. All Republicans, Democrats and independents must stand together to preserve our republic. We cannot allow partisan tribalism to prevent full investigation of interference in our political process by a hostile foreign nation."
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Was Obama's interference in the Israeli election not the same (maybe not since they failed). The Russians giving information about an opposing party (if true) and then that candidate disseminating that information, is that interference? I do not understand how Russia could interfere in our election, unless they literally change the votes at the ballot box. People vote (especially idiots in Arkansas) on name recognition and party affiliation in every election. The investigation should center around whether Russia changed the votes at the box and what was the so-called "dirt" they supposedly had on Hillary. Hillary would have been the candidate that Russia should have supported, not Trump.

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hah406 says... June 18, 2018 at 9:19 a.m.

Nate Bell, for maybe the first time in my life, I completely agree with you! Well done, sir. LRAC, there is no comparison. Russia definitely interfered in our election, mostly because idiots like you can't discern how that misinformation campaign could change votes. Your stuff seems to be really weak this morning.

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23cal says... June 18, 2018 at 9:20 a.m.

LRAtt:
About "Was Obama's interference in the Israeli election not the same..." It isn't up to us to protect the sanctity of elections in other countries. It is up to us to protect the sanctity of elections in THIS country.
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Our nation has interfered in the elections of other countries consistently since at least WWII. Your implication that this means we don't have a duty to protect our own elections is absurd. If you want to make the argument that we are wrong to do so, that's a different topic. If you want to make the argument that it is hypocritical of us to do so, that's a different topic. The idea that we make missteps means we should let other countries subvert the foundation of our democracy is ridiculous. That's the idea you are pushing.
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About "The Russians giving information about an opposing party (if true) and then that candidate disseminating that information, is that interference?" Is that all they did? Of course not. Did they do that illegally by stealing that information? Of course they did. You really don't get that stealing information from one candidate and releasing it to the benefit of the other candidate is interfering? We must have very different definitions for "interfering".
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About "Hillary would have been the candidate that Russia should have supported, not Trump." All of the intelligence agencies and investigations (except the whitewashing House joke) have confirmed Russia intervened to help Trump, not Hillary.

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23cal says... June 18, 2018 at 9:22 a.m.

Hah:
Good call. Who doesn't know that a misinformation campaign can change votes?

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GeneralMac says... June 18, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

( last paragraph)

...." No one is above the law, not even the president "...

Bill Clinton was !

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LRCrookAttorney says... June 18, 2018 at 9:31 a.m.

Hah..."Russia definitely interfered in our election, mostly because idiots like you can't discern how that misinformation campaign could change votes."
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First, thanks for the complement. I consider when someone calls me an idiot, they just disagree with me and have no argument in opposition. Second, they cannot change votes, they can only "influence" the information that you get that makes you choose who to vote for. That kind of information (both true and false) is used in every election. Based on liberals, any person who voted for Trump, did so because of misinformation from Fox (now the Russians), and based on conservatives, any person who voted against Trump did so based on misinformation from all other media outlets.

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LRCrookAttorney says... June 18, 2018 at 9:41 a.m.

23..."You really don't get that stealing information from one candidate and releasing it to the benefit of the other candidate is interfering?"
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No I really don't get that. The candidates have always done this. Even Obama was caught on an open-mike telling Russia that he would be in a better position to help them after he won the 2012 election. Politicians try to buy the information from individuals working for the other side. Also, if that information is "informative" on the opposing party, why is it bad to get it and disseminate it? For example, the "Trump dossier" it was created (possibly from lies) and disseminated to hurt the Trump candidacy. If it had worked and Hillary was elected, the conservatives would be screaming from the hill tops that it was collusion and interference, but since it didn't work, the liberals are yelling "no harm, no foul!"
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As to interference in other national elections, I do not see the problem. Unless of course taxpayer (or government money depending on how you want to define it) is used in the course of interference in other nations' elections, then it would cross that line of criminal. However, the Russians and every other nation has been using facebook and many other platforms to spread disinformation (downright false) for years.
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My statement about Hillary is because Putin already had a governmental relation with Hillary. She dealt with Putin in many situations while she was in the Obama Administration, and knew how she would act in a governmental position. Trump was an unknown.

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23cal says... June 18, 2018 at 10:03 a.m.

LRA:
About "The candidates have always done this." Russia---our adversary---isn't supposed to be a candidate.
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About "Even Obama was caught on an open-mike telling Russia that he would be in a better position to help them after he won the 2012 election." How is this illegally stealing information?
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About "Politicians try to buy the information from individuals working for the other side." Is that illegally stealing by our nation's adversaries?
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About "Also, if that information is "informative" on the opposing party, why is it bad to get it and disseminate it?" Your dishonesty in continuing to paint "illegally stealing" to be the same as "to get" speaks volumes. Your implication that no one and no organization has a right to privacy is bizarre for someone who claims to know the law.
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About "For example, the "Trump dossier" it was created (possibly from lies) and disseminated to hurt the Trump candidacy." Apples and oranges. Was the information in it illegally stolen from Trump or the Republican Party? Your claim that the normal give and take of politics is the same as adversarial nations illegally interfering in our electoral process is a nonstarter.
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About "My statement about Hillary is because Putin already had a governmental relation with Hillary." And that explains exactly why he preferred Trump. Putin had an adversarial governmental relation with Hillary, and knew Trump was easily manipulated....as he has proven to be.

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LRCrookAttorney says... June 18, 2018 at 10:08 a.m.

My biggest problem is: if I were to create a blog that gave out information on a candidate (whether true or false, e.g., "Obama was born in Kenya!") and people read my blog, then vote for the other candidate, because of my blog, is that interference? I believe that people have voted based on disinformation for years (more since the prominence of Facebook style social media). This claim is no different than the conservative claims would have been if Hillary had won. The conservatives would be yelling that the "Trump dossier" was false, misleading and funded by the DNC and by connections the Hillary campaign.

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