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Unanswered hacking questions

President Barack Obama retaliated against Russia for cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the 2016 the presidential campaign, imposing sanctions on top Russian intelligence officials and agencies and expelling 35 Russian operatives from the U.S.

I would like to commend The Sun for being pretty much the only mainstream news source with the courage to publish dissenting views — in this case, from William Binney and Ray McGovern — regarding the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. elections ("Emails were leaked, not hacked," Jan. 5). In the interests of reasoned public discourse, the following related questions, some of them answered in the commentary, come to mind:

To what extent have the United States and Russia been spying on each other (hacking or otherwise) for the last 100 years? Has the CIA ever misled the U.S. public since its inception in 1947? If the U.S. were to bring its complaint to an international tribunal, what kind of specific evidence would it bring to the table?

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Has the U.S. ever interfered with elections in other countries (including Russia) or even orchestrated coups of foreign elected governments? Why has a group of seasoned and credible ex-CIA and NSA operatives challenged the CIA's claims with specific evidence and why haven't more of the media at least acknowledged their views?

Is it any surprise that Vladimir Putin would favor a candidate who calls for cooperation with Russia as opposed to a candidate who characterizes him as Adolf Hitler? Even if Russia was responsible for the leaks, were there any actually fabricated or propagandistic documents disseminated or simply disclosure of actual developments that Americans had a right to know about?

Without in any way exonerating Mr. Putin's toxicity, is there anything about U.S. policy toward Russia since 1991 that would have reasonably provoked some kind of reaction from its leaders? What would the U.S. have done in similar circumstances?

Arthur Spencer, Columbia

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