20 questions on all this Russia business

All this business about Russians and elections and surveillance makes my head spin.  I have questions – twenty, to be exact.  Here they are, in random order.

1. During her presidential campaign, did Hillary Clinton have top-secret security clearance and access to Obama's Presidential Daily Report (PDR) – a level of security not available to Donald Trump at the time – and if so, might intel on the Trump campaign have had political cash value for Clinton?

2. During the presidential campaign, did Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin also have access to Obama's PDRs by virtue of their affiliation with Hillary Clinton – or as a result of having their security clearances extended – and if so, might this information have been of value to the Clinton campaign?

3. If millions of global communications are swept up daily by our intelligence community, and then national security queries are made into the data in preparation for the daily PDR, what are the numerical odds that Donald Trump or people affiliated with him will continually pop up if he or they are not part of the search query?

4. If our intelligence community can leave fingerprints on a hacking job to make it look as though another government did the hacking, what evidence can they provide to distinguish between the two?

5. Beyond CrowdStrike's claim about Russian attempts to interfere in last year's presidential race, which they have since walked back, what independent evidence can our intelligence community offer to show successful Russian manipulation of the election – something with a degree of certainty at least as reliable as a weekend weather forecast or a mere harrumph, harrumph?

6. Wasn't it Barack and Hillary who offered a "reset button" to Russia back in 2009?

7. Other than an alleged ax to grind with Hillary Clinton over her interference in Russian elections, what motive would Putin have to undermine Clinton instead of Trump, other than likeability, trustworthiness, and integrity, or the lack thereof?

8. Does the Russian uranium deal and the millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Russian financial sources make one think Trump would fit Russia's interests better than Clinton?

9. If Trump does fit Russia's interests better, despite the waste of money on Clinton, why is that a bad thing?

10. Did the Obama administration get caught with its pants down – thinking Hillary was a lock to win the election – and now has to cover up for treasonous, seditious, or otherwise illegal surveillance of American citizens for political purposes?

11. Why is Barack Obama out of the country for such a long time, concealed from the public eye and unavailable for reporters' questions – and where are Michelle and Valerie these days?

12. Where did those three Awan brothers go, and why isn't anyone asking?

13. Why would Assad use chemical weapons against fellow citizens – as it is alleged he did this week – when such an act was absolutely unnecessary and only would cause more problems for the stability of his regime and his economy?

14. Why would the Russian government want guilt by association with Assad after they spent their own blood and treasure to oppose ISIS to stabilize Syria and the Assad government?

15. Does the Assad used chemical weapons again meme have anything to do with trying to get our attention off the surveillance questions being asked – as in Hey!  Look!  A shiny object!?

16. Given Susan Rice's admirable pedigree and undeniable penchant for hot water – with Benghazi, Bergdahl, and now the unmasking of Trump and associates – is it fair to ask if she's a closet masochist?

17. Is Hillary and Bill, Inc. responsible for creating the Russia meme, the ongoing effort to destroy Donald Trump, the scapegoating of Susan Rice, the redirect to Syria, and the fact that I'm asking five questions instead of one?

18. Why aren't investigative journalists drilling down on these issues?

19. Does that last question make me a masochist?

20. Should I ask Susan Rice?

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal at http://bowdenbeat.blogspot.com.

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