( Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Sculpture by Michael Richards, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina)
Dear President Obama:
I voted for you three times over the past eight years: once in the New York State Democratic Presidential Primary in 2008, once for President in November, 2008, and once for President again, in 2012. I was proud of each vote, and grateful for the outstanding service you have rendered the nation during your two terms as President. That’s why I am perplexed by your silence in the face of the shocking revelation by the CIA that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, throwing its legitimacy into question.
I was also disturbed to learn, Mr. President, that the CIA’s information and that information of Russia’s illegal interference in our elections was intentionally withheld by GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the National Republican Party,and that you chose not to go public with the CIA report one month before the election—despite strong urging from Senator Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
I don’t understand why you have not yet called a major press conference–or called for an emergency session of Congress–to address this very disturbing development and act of cyber warfare which a former CIA official has called the most serious violation of our national security since 9/11. Now, with Donald Trump’s nomination of a top Exxon/Mobil official for Secretary of State, who is a multi-billion dollar business partner of Putin’s, American national interest is being shredded before our eyes, and the Putin/Trump quid-pro-quo is emerging. Yet, strangely you remain silent, even though the very effective economic sanctions you imposed upon Russia in 2014 for invading Crimea are now at serious risk of being reversed, yielding billions of dollars in profits to Russia and Exxon/Mobil.
If this turn of events is not enough for you to make a major national speech–before the Electoral College votes on December 19, and to release the classified CIA information to all Presidential Electors–I don’t know what is, President Obama. The essential underpinning of our democracy—a free and fair election, without foreign interference—is at risk of being traded away to a hostile, anti-democratic power in exchange for billions of dollars in profits for Vladimir Putin, Russian oligarchs and their American Oil company partners.
My father fought totalitarianism in World War II, as did all of my uncles, my wife’s father and her uncles. Her youngest Uncle, Herbert Jacobson, an American Jew, was killed at 20 years of age, fighting Fascism in Europe. They did not sacrifice to see a fascist dictator of Russia tamper with our national presidential election, nor to see American national interests become second to the interests of Russia and Exxon/Mobil.
You still have 5 weeks left as our President, and the power to command the world’s attention to condemn the illegal interference in our national affairs by a hostile foreign power. This act of cyber warfare has directly undermined the legitimacy—and security—of our democratic form of government.
Accordingly, I do not understand your silence, President Obama, nor your reluctance to use your powerful gifts of oratory and integrity–and your high public standing–to deliver an urgent message to the nation and the world, remind the members of the Electoral College of their constitutional responsibility to put the national interest above all partisan ones, and to stand up as true patriots against foreign interference in American elections, particularly in the election of a President.
Why are you waiting to speak out at this critical time in our nation’s history? Less than one week remains before 538 Electors cast their votes for President. Will you remind them of their constitutional duty to protect our democracy?
An tax-paying American Citizen and Patriot