It turns out that you can fool most of the people, most of the time – a truth long known to politicians, lawyers, and journalists.
Yesterday DNI James R Clapper released ‘Assessing Russian Activity and Intentions in Recent US Elections’ dated 6 January 2017. This 25-page report was supposed to supply the long-awaited back-up to the ongoing and hysterical national dialogue circling the notion that ‘Russia hacked Hillary’s emails and effectively used these to throw the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.’ In fact, much to the chagrin of Democrats and their lamestream media, the report does none of that. Nevertheless, with stiff upper lip and all that, these desperate folk keep soldiering on for the simple reason that they have no alternative to explain away their political bankruptcy and journalistic corruption.
Here I give my take on the report, its wider background, and its reasonable import on our body politic as we prepare to inaugurate our 45th president. First let me posit that all this is happening in front of an audience that can correctly parse the spectrum of factors between ‘hacked emails’ and ‘Russia’s Election Interference’ about as well as they can distinguish the dots between ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Preventable Anthropogenic Global Warming’.
Let me summarize the readily apparent conclusion that our intelligence community, in coming out with this ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ (ICA), is first and foremost attempting to cleanse itself of a bad reputation it and certain of its members (CIA, NSA, FBI, …) have garnered during the last few decades. As a scrub brush for such ablutions, this report is useless at best, and to the well-read reader comes across as the latest attempt to bamboozle the population in the service of its political boss(es).
At first reading last night with my iPad in front of a cozy fire with Alexa playing its version of light classical muzak in the background, I took the notes you see below. This morning I reread the report in Adobe Acrobat Professional and annotated it for your reading pleasure. You can download this version here. Download ICA_2017_01_gjr (Gott sei verdammt! The free Adobe Acrobat Reader mangles the carefully crafted and pithy annotations generated on its Acrobat Pro version.) My notes and the annotated report should be consumed in the aggregate. First the notes -
Page i: “We will not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome …”
- There is no mention or measure of the items/instruments/factors of Russia’s actually helping Trump or hurting Hillary.
- Did they uncover and release truth that hurt Hillary? Did they generate and release falsehoods about Hillary of which she was innocent? No conclusions.
- Important to note that hackers did not need Russia or anyone else to authorize or enable the hacking of said emails.
Page iii: “… influence campaign by serving as a messaging platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.” What messages?? So what?
Page 1: Putin’s public remarks about Trump & Hillary are of no import here.
Page 3: “Disclosures through Wikileaks did not contain any evident forgeries.” So truth was disclosed, else the parties would have demonstrated fraud to thereby discredit the lot of releases.
Page 3: RT (Russian media outlet) admitted that it had received (not given) info from Wikileaks – “new leaks of secret information”.
Page 3: “… Russian intelligence using hacked information in targeted influence efforts …” No claim that these were products of Russian hacks. (Hackers don’t need to be Russians or Russia’s agents.)
Page 4: “… producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content …” that consistently cast Trump as target of unfair coverage by US media outlets “subservient to a corrupt US political establishment.” Well, so also did all the conservative and right-leaning media in the US. And it all happened in the public forum, here and elsewhere.
Page 8: Example of public propaganda productions designed to serve Russia’s interests – i.e. anti-fracking to keep US energy production to a minimum thereby propping world prices since Russia is a big fossil fuel supplier.
[8jan17 update] Here is how another commentary in The Daily Bell saw the report in a similar vein.
[9jan17 update] And here is how the lead editorial in the 9jan17 WSJ saw the report, again following RR's lead ;-)