Amid Allegations Against Russia, US Intel Community Facing Doubts And Questions Of Credibility
The highly anticipated report on alleged interference in the US Presidential Election has concluded that Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to undermine American’s faith in their electoral system.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” said the report.
It should be noted that while the report says Putin wanted Trump to win, and ran an “influence campaign,” the Russians did not hack any voting machines or alter the counting of votes.
Much of the talk in the media has been about how Russia “hacked the election,” which falsely conflates the hacking of emails with the hacking of voting machines. That’s ironic, since the mainstream media has been complaining of fake news while pushing false messages themselves.
John Harwood Tweet Backfires
John Harwood, a reporter for NBC, tweeted the following poll. I don’t think it worked out how he thought it would, and it shows the level of public doubt surrounding the credibility of the government.
Who do you believe America?
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 6, 2017
Trump was briefed on the report, and released a statement which said in part, “I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation.”
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” said Trump.
Covert Intelligence & Cyber Activity
The intelligence report further stated that Russia’s approach, “blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyber activity — with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or ‘trolls.'”
Since the election concluded, Trump has repeatedly questioned whether Russia was involved in the hacking, including this tweet a few days ago:
Julian Assange said "a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta" – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
In contrast to Trump, the Democrats, and many Republicans have expressed agreement with the findings. The US Intelligence community expressed “high confidence” in the report and their conclusion of Putin and Russia’s role.
James Clapper previously lied about spying on American citizens
James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence who testified on the Russian election issue before Congress, was previously caught lying about whether the US spied on its own citizens.
Years ago, after telling Congress there was no spying, Clapper had to back down and “amend” his earlier remarks after Edward Snowden exposed the extent of the spying.
Added to this is the fact that since the failure of the WMD intelligence in the second Iraq War, the credibility of the US Intelligence community has taken a big hit, and their pronouncements are not as easily accepted as they once were.
As trust in systems and institutions break down, the US intelligence community is not immune. This explains why there is more debate and doubt than usual surrounding reports from the US Intelligence agency.
Photo – Twitter