Time for Thornberry to step up on this Russia matter?

I’ve been scrolling through U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry’s website, looking for something topical and current about the “Russia story,” the one dealing with Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Russians used cyber attacks to hack into Democratic Party files. They disseminated unflattering information about Hillary Rodham Clinton. They sought to swing the election in Donald J. Trump’s favor.

That’s what intelligence experts have said. Everyone believes the analysis, except for Trump. He’s dissing the intelligence community.

Thornberry, as near as I can tell, has been quiet on this issue.

Where does Thornberry fit into all of this? Well, the Clarendon Republican chairs the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. He also once chaired a Republican-led congressional task force that was supposed to make recommendations to protect our national computer systems against attacks such as the one mounted by the Russians.

His website has a lot of interesting tabs. One of them is marked “Issues.” I found this item:


It’s a policy paper on cybersecurity. It’s all quite interesting … if you are fluent in cyberspeak. 

I looked at it carefully and didn’t see any mention of the current issue: Russian hacking and meddling in our electoral process.

For that matter, as I looked at Thornberry’s press releases I saw no mention there, either, of what has transpired with regard to the Russian-meddling-interference.

I go back a number of years with Rep. Thornberry. I have joked with him over the years that he and I started new careers in the Texas Panhandle at the same time. He took office in January 1995 — after being elected to the House in that historic 1994 election — just days before I arrived to become editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News. I have watched him carefully for most of the past 22 years.

I am waiting to hear from him, though, on this Russia hacking matter. He once was the Republicans’ go-to guy on cybersecurity. Is he no longer that guy?

I know Thornberry is aware of the seriousness of this still-developing story. My hope is that my congressman will contribute significantly — and soon — to the growing public discussion about the integrity of our electoral process.