“Bin-Laden determined to strike in U.S.”

That’s the briefing President George W. Bush received on Aug. 6, 2001. Now America has received similar numerous warnings about our woeful electoral security, including numerous reports from numerous sources showing foreign sources have scanned, and even penetrated, our elections.

The question is whether we’ll do the same thing we did in August 2001, which was nothing, against a pretty intimidating threat.

In that pre-9/11 briefing, Bush was warned Bin-Laden “wanted to retaliate in Washington” and sought to mount a terrorist strike in the United States and “a Bin-Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.” There’s even mention that authorities were trying to corroborate “that Bin-Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft.” The FBI and CIA were also investigating hijackings and surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

“There was nothing actionable in this” National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said. As a result, no additional security was placed at airports or planes, despite the specific mention of hijackings. Nothing was done for New York or Washington, D.C., the only two places specifically mentioned in that report.

Similarly, our government has treated an overwhelming amount of evidence that foreign countries have penetrated our elections with a similar indifference to the threat. While many focused upon impeachment talk during the Mueller hearings, evidence our former FBI director added to what has already been discovered about foreign attacks upon our electoral security needs 100% of our attention. These include a successful hack by Russians of a Florida county election computer network in 2016, as well as the stealing of Florida-related data by “Guccifer 2.0” (controlled by Russian military intelligence), etc.

A pair of bills went forward afterward, providing more funds for electoral security and computer updates, along with improving cybersecurity, verifiable paper ballots and provisions that voting machines in the U.S. will be made in the U.S. The second bill requires any candidate to report attempts by foreign agents to offer dirt on opponents.

Both were blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called them partisan. You can read them here (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s1540/text) and let me know where the partisan part is.

We found out why Sen. McConnell voted against them, as he received campaign contributions from the voting machine companies. Moreover, many of these companies use Windows 7, which is not only less secure but may not even last until the 2020 election. That money from the election security bills would pay for the updates and the paper ballots.

Those who block electoral security, keep our voting machines outdated and stonewall investigations of foreign hackers are no different from those who allowed 9/11 to happen.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in Georgia. He can be reached at jtures@lagrange.edu. His Twitter account is @JohnTures2.