U.S. Retaliates Against Russian Hacking, Releases Embarrassing Photos of Putin

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Tough words

As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.”

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Stupid

The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!”

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Stupider

“No doubt Putin regrets his short-sighted actions to disrupt our elections,” says James Corton, a former official at the National Security Agency who now consults on security matters for businesses and public agencies. “I think what people forget is that the United States is well ahead of other countries in its cyber espionage capabilities. We invented the Internet, after all. No one knows it better than we do. So, when you play with fire, you will be burned by fire, and we have the matches—and the lighter fluid.”

The images are already having an impact, say U.S. security officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they are not authorized to speak on U.S. security policy. “People in Russia are laughing at their president, and at a meeting this morning among diplomatic officials in Brussels, one European minister was heard telling a Russian minister that his president ‘looked stupid.’ No doubt Putin is not happy right now.”

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Stupidest

The White House said there’s more to come. “These images are just the first step in a carefully calibrated retaliation,” said Earnest. “The goal here is not to humiliate Putin but to send a signal that if you mess with something as important as the U.S. election, you will face consequences.”

Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee is believed to have influenced the outcome of the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, who has expressed admiration for Putin, by releasing material damaging to the Democrats. Putin is believed to have personally directed the hacking.

“I’m sure Putin wishes he hadn’t done what he did, but it’s too late now,” says the former NSA official. “The images are out there, and he looks stupid. He’s paying the ultimate price.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): pd (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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