Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, July 07, 2018

Did the U.S. "intelligence community" judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election? Most commentators seem to think so. Every news report I have read of the planned meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in July refers to "Russian interference" as a fact and asks whether the matter will be discussed. Reports that President Putin denied involvement in the election are scoffed at, usually with a claim that the U.S. "intelligence community" proved Russian interference. In fact, the U.S. "intelligence community" has not done so. The intelligence community as a whole has not been tasked to make a judgment and some key members of that community did not participate in the report that is routinely cited as "proof" of "Russian interference."

More

Alternate links: Google News | Twitter

I spent the 35 years of my government service with a "top secret" clearance. When I reached the rank of ambassador and also worked as Special Assistant to the President for National Security, I also had clearances for "codeword" material. At that time, intelligence reports to the president relating to Soviet and European affairs were routed through me for comment. I developed at that time a "feel" for the strengths and weaknesses of the various American intelligence agencies. It is with that background that I read the January 6, 2017 report of three intelligence agencies: the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

This report is labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment," but in fact it is not that. A report of the intelligence community in my day would include the input of all the relevant intelligence agencies and would reveal whether all agreed with the conclusions. Individual agencies did not hesitate to "take a footnote" or explain their position if they disagreed with a particular assessment. A report would not claim to be that of the "intelligence community" if any relevant agency was omitted.

The report states that it represents the findings of three intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, and NSA, but even that is misleading in that it implies that there was a consensus of relevant analysts in these three agencies. In fact, the report was prepared by a group of analysts from the three agencies pre-selected by their directors, with the selection process generally overseen by James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by "two dozen or so analysts -- hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies." If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions. The analysts selected would have understood what Director Clapper wanted since he made no secret of his views. Why would they endanger their careers by not delivering?

What should have struck any congressperson or reporter was that the procedure Clapper followed was the same as that used in 2003 to produce the report falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had retained stocks of weapons of mass destruction. That should be worrisome enough to inspire questions, but that is not the only anomaly.

Comments

Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Some Russians were active players. Some may have even been paid by Cohen. But, when you consider the total cost of US Presidential campaigns, the state of the economy in 2016, Hillary'd failure to campaign in three key States she lost, Comey's untimely interference, Cambridge Analytica, the CIA and NSA have the capability of posing as Russian hacking sites... Brad Pascal's internet campaign using facebook exceeded everything any Russian did by an order of magnitude. Since 2000, Republicans have been on a multi-dimensional vote rigging crime spree for which they are never investigated or prosecuted. Hillary still won the popular vote. The electoral college is a bigger problem than the Russians. It is ridiculous to conclude that the election was so close that Russian interference made the critical difference.

We need to fix our system, including getting rid of the electoral college. We have no business complaining about foreign interference in our elections so long as we continue to reserve the right to interfere in every other nations free and fair elections, which we do all the time, as if we live by some higher moral authority. Its all BS and its bad for you.

#1 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-07-07 07:15 AM | Reply

Was the o'bummer interference in the Israeli election politically motivated?

#2 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-07-07 04:07 PM | Reply

A little slow on the Obama deflection there Sniper.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-07-07 04:07 PM | Reply

I have never heard of something like a special prosecutor being appointed to investigate the POTUS based on a rumor spread by his political opponent with no actual facts or witnesses to begin the case with. Now I'm not a lawyer, but something seems wrong here. And strangely, it goes back to 2015, when a number of FBI agents, other western intel agents, and people working for Fusion GPS tried to entrap members of the Trump campaign by claiming to be Russian agents with dirt on Clinton.

This fish has scent issues.

#4 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-07 06:30 PM | Reply

^yawn

Does the stuff you swallow actually taste like -------- or do they wrap it in cheese before setting on your nose to eat on command?

#5 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 01:47 AM | Reply

JPW. Are you actually telling me that the President of the United is a pawn of Putin? And the NSA/CIA/Whatever didn't grant itself extreme sanction if it also thought so? I mean, think it through. A fairy-tale about Trump hiring prostitutes to pee on the bed Obama once slept on, and maybe something unmentioned, gives Putin the leverage to control the President of the United States. Where I come from, Trump could have sold the movie rights to that and made a profit. The entire premise is ridiculous.

#6 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 02:04 AM | Reply

The entire premise is ridiculous.

Only if you assume that that is the premise.

I always viewed the hooker pee story as a comic twist in a horribly bad joke and didn't take it seriously.

What I suspect is that Putin absolutely has dirt on Trump but it's more the money laundering, fraud and tax evasion/fraud type of stuff. So you're right, proof of hookers peeing on a bed in front of Donald wouldn't give Putin leverage of Trump, but having verifiable information of Trump committing criminal acts for financial gain or motive would absolutely be enough to leverage Trump.

A common occurrence in science is the tendency to disbelieve data because it "doesn't make sense" with that is thought to be known. The problem with that mindset is it places our flawed and incomplete knowledge before a functional output that clearly exists whether we can explain it or not.

The reason I think Trump is guilty is not because I place confidence in our flawed and incomplete knowledge about his dealings, but because he's surrounded by too many with Russian connections (who continually lie about them as well, repeatedly...), he himself has multiple Russian connections and his behavior towards Putin, from changing the GOP platform to taking policy positions in line with Putin's and out of line with decades of US policy and IC recommendations, all show a clear function that can't be denied.

BTW anyone who'd write under the moniker Tyler Durden should be disbelieved simply for being a pompous tool.

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 02:17 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But what you saying is "what if"? I mean, we've had two years. Fortunately, Mueller is going to release the results of his investigation in October, just before the elections, now that he is focusing on the Russia connection finally.

I swear to God, I can only imagine what Trump has planned for the exact same date.

#8 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 02:21 AM | Reply

But what you saying is "what if"?

No, what I'm saying is that even if we can't explain why, Trump is observably subservient to Putin. On all occasions and on every topic.

Difficulty explaining why doesn't in any way negate that observation.

I mean, we've had two years.

So? It's idiotic to think this would be neatly wrapped up like a Matlock or Law and Order episode.

Placing an arbitrary time frame on it to determine its legitimacy is partisan nonsense or foolery.

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 02:28 AM | Reply

I swear to God, I can only imagine what Trump has planned for the exact same date.

He'll probably send goons to arrest Hillary.

#10 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 02:29 AM | Reply

#9 | Posted by jpw "Trump is observably subservient to Putin."

Okay, I'll take "a form of perceptual madness for a thousand, Alex".

Trump is obviously subservient to Putin? Can you like, give me a list of reasons why? Because I would like to examine that.

#11 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 02:38 AM | Reply

Trump is obviously subservient to Putin? Can you like, give me a list of reasons why? Because I would like to examine that.

#11 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

If you have to ask, you've already chosen to not understand.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 02:44 AM | Reply

Fortunately, Mueller is going to release the results of his investigation in October ...

Says who? There is no requirement that Mueller release a public report at anytime, ever. When he concludes, he is required to provide a report to Rosenstein who will do with it as is required or appropriate, including File 13.

#13 | Posted by et_al at 2018-07-08 02:54 AM | Reply

Look, people are saying that Hillary Clinton rigged the primary because all of the evidence some unknown Bernie-bro downloaded onto a memory stick at 5:38 PM on June 5th, and handed to an ex-British ambassador who worked for Wikileaks. And that proves Trump is controlled by Putin. I mean, it's so glaringly obvious, I can't understand how I didn't see it in the first place.

Hillary started Russiagate. She made the accusations, she sent the secret agents. Every one of them was not actually a Russian agent. And it started in 2015, as soon as Trump won the Republican primary.

#14 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 02:57 AM | Reply

#13 | Posted by et_al

Here's a good link. I've been hearing this bandied around: www.vanityfair.com

#15 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 03:04 AM | Reply

#15 | Posted by HeliumRat

The speculative ruminations of Vanity Fair?

Do you seriously think the DOJ will put themselves in the position of being accused of interfering with another election? Really?

If so, I question your judgment.

#16 | Posted by et_al at 2018-07-08 03:39 AM | Reply

"And it started in 2015, as soon as Trump won the Republican primary."

What GOP primary did Trump win in 2015?

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 11:21 AM | Reply

"Look, people are saying that Hillary Clinton rigged the primary because all of the evidence some unknown Bernie-bro downloaded onto a memory stick at 5:38 PM on June 5th, and handed to an ex-British ambassador who worked for Wikileaks."

The original DNC hacking was done by the Russians; the Dutch IC caught them in the act. If there was an inside hack done of the DNC, it was done to cover up the original Russian hack and to provide a plausible way for Wikileaks to claim they got the emails without having to say they got them from Putin.

#18 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 11:25 AM | Reply

"I have never heard of something like a special prosecutor being appointed to investigate the POTUS based on a rumor spread by his political opponent with no actual facts or witnesses to begin the case with. Now I'm not a lawyer, but something seems wrong here. And strangely, it goes back to 2015, when a number of FBI agents, other western intel agents, and people working for Fusion GPS tried to entrap members of the Trump campaign by claiming to be Russian agents with dirt on Clinton."

That's right you never heard of something like that because it never happened. From the recently released bipartisan SSCI Assessment, put out by Senator Burr's office:

The ICA did not attempt to address potential counterintelligence investigations- for example, whether Russian intelligence services attempted to recruit sources with access to any campaign. The FBI had a collection of reports a former foreign intelligence officer was hired to compile as opposition research for the U.S. election, referred to as the "dossier," when the ICA was drafted. However, those reports remained separate from the conclusions of the ICA. All individuals the Committee interviewed verified that the dossier did not in any way inform the analysis in the ICA - including the key findings - because it was unverified information and had not been disseminated as serialized intelligence reporting.

www.burr.senate.gov

#19 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 11:33 AM | Reply

#16 | Posted by et_al

A whole bunch of different mags have posted stuff like that. Just google it. I usually start my day with something pretty random on google, or if I'm lucky "latest UFO news" turns something up. But you always find weird stuff from sites that seem pretty mainstream. That's how I found Reason.com.

Also, my other blog is made up of the survivors from Portal of Evil News.

#20 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 11:38 AM | Reply

This report is labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment," but in fact it is not that. A report of the intelligence community in my day would include the input of all the relevant intelligence agencies and would reveal whether all agreed with the conclusions. Individual agencies did not hesitate to "take a footnote" or explain their position if they disagreed with a particular assessment. A report would not claim to be that of the "intelligence community" if any relevant agency was omitted."

Again this is what the recently release bipartisan SSCI report concluded about the "Intelligency Community Assessment [ICA]":

Finally, the Committee notes that, as is the case with all intelligence questions, information continues to be gathered and analyzed. The Committee believes the conclusions of the ICA are sound, and notes that collection and analysis subsequent to the ICA's publication continue to reinforce its assessments. The Committee will remain vigilant in its oversight of the ongoing challenges presented by foreign nations attempting to secretly influence U.S. affairs.

www.burr.senate.gov

#21 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 11:44 AM | Reply

"And it started in 2015, as soon as Trump won the Republican primary."

The first GOP caucus for the 2016 presidential election was held in Iowa on February 1, 2016. It was followed the first GOP primary held in New Hampshire on February 9, 2016.

en.wikipedia.org

If you are going to promote this crap, at least get your basic facts straight.

#22 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 11:50 AM | Reply

#22 So what you're saying is that is started before Trump the primary. That's kind of weird. I wonder if Hillary spied on every potential opponent. Because the stakes for her where really high: take power or go to jail.

#23 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-07-08 12:04 PM | Reply

Article is just more blather from the ZeroHedge alt right conspiracy website.

mediabiasfactcheck.com

Zero Hedge's content has been classified as "alt-right",[2] anti-establishment, conspiratorial, and economically pessimistic,[3][4] and has been criticized for presenting extreme and sometimes pro-Russian views.[5][6][7][5]

en.wikipedia.org

#24 | Posted by Corky at 2018-07-08 12:27 PM | Reply

If you are going to promote this crap, at least get your basic facts straight.

#22 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

Lighten up, he screwed up the year.

#25 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-07-08 12:42 PM | Reply

Lighten up, he screwed up the year.

I don't think so. First he writes this:

"I have never heard of something like a special prosecutor being appointed to investigate the POTUS based on a rumor spread by his political opponent with no actual facts or witnesses to begin the case with. Now I'm not a lawyer, but something seems wrong here. And strangely, it goes back to 2015, when a number of FBI agents, other western intel agents, and people working for Fusion GPS tried to entrap members of the Trump campaign by claiming to be Russian agents with dirt on Clinton."

and then he writes this:

"And it started in 2015, as soon as Trump won the Republican primary."

His whole theory is that all of this begain in 2015 because everyone was upset by Trump's victories.

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 12:50 PM | Reply

"Because the stakes for her where really high: take power or go to jail."

Maybe Trump is waiting until after the midterms to get the DOJ to indict her.

#27 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-07-08 12:58 PM | Reply

Lighten up, he screwed up the year.

#25 | POSTED BY SNIPER

No he didn't.

He forwarded a web spun of BS and hoped no one would notice.

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2018-07-08 01:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Comments are closed for this entry.

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2018 World Readable

Drudge Retort