Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 07, 2017

Intelligence Report On Russian Election Influence Is A Flop

Yesterday the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI released a report about alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Council and on Russian influence operation on the U.S. presidential election. The report failed to convince anyone. It is indeed a public relation disaster for the Intelligence Community.

John Harwood covers "the economy and national politics for CNBC and the New York Times." More then 100,000 people follow him on Twitter. He is known as Hillary Clinton supporter and chummy with John Podesta who ran Clinton's election campaign.

Harwood set up a simple poll. It is not statistically representative but gives a picture of a general sentiment.

This result surely shows the limits of power of the so-called Intelligence Community. But it is worse: yesterday's "Russian hacking" claims failed to convince even its most ardent and anti-Russian supporters.

Daily Beast: U.S. Spy Report Blames Putin for Hacks, But Doesn’t Back It Up

Kevin Rothrock (Moscow Times):

I cannot believe my eyes. Is this really part of the US government's intelligence case?

I'll say it: the declassified USG report "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections" is an embarrassment.

Susan Hennessey (Lawfare, Brookings):

The unclassified report is underwhelming at best. There is essentially no new information for those who have been paying attention.

Bill Neely (NBCNews):

Lots of key judgements but not many key facts & no open proof in US Intell. report into alleged Russian hacking.

Stephen Hayes (Weekly Standard):

The intel report on Russia is little more than a collection of assertions. Understand protecting sources/methods, but it's weak.

Julia Ioffe (The Atlantic):

It's hard to tell if the thinness of the #hacking report is because the proof is qualified, or because the proof doesn't exist.

@JeffreyGoldberg Have to say, though, I'm hearing from a lot of Russia watchers who are very skeptical of the report. None like Putin/Trump.

When you lost even Julia Ioffe on your anti-Russian issue ...

Clapper as DNI and Brennan as CIA chief should have been fired years ago. They will both be gone by January 20. The Intelligence Community will remember them as the chief-authors of this devastating failure.

Posted by b on January 7, 2017 at 13:50 UTC | Permalink

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@183 Badass is all I can say Yonatan.. Txs!

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 10 2017 3:49 utc | 201

Evidence – much better evidence than has been produced so far – is building that any hacks – as opposed to leaks – that were done to the DNC were likely done by Ukrainian hackers as a false flag to get Russia blamed for them.

Everyone needs to read these articles:

Why Crowdstrike’s Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart – Say Hello to Fancy Bear

Did a Ukrainian University Student Create Grizzly Steppe?

Russia Hacking the Election the Inside Story

I had been suspicious of the Russian theory due to Jeffrey Carr’s articles on Medium (Google for them, they are vital to understanding the issues) which debunk most of the evidence. I wondered why it was that the equally logical possibility that Ukrainian hackers might have done the hacks as a false flag operation to frame Russian for them was being ignored completely.

I noted that the “evidence” that the compile times for the malware were allegedly during “Russian business hours.” If you look at the time zone maps, you’ll see Moscow is just one hour ahead of Kiev, Ukraine. So that “evidence” was meaningless.

Secondly, I read an article by WordFence, a company which does WordPress blog security, that the PHP malware used was provably Ukrainian and open source, i.e., available to anyone aware of it. There is nothing “Russian” about it.

Then I found the above articles which pretty clearly show connect the dots evidence that the head of CrowdStrike, the company that the FBI RELIED ON for the “evidence”, is run by an anti-Russian Russian ex-pat who has DIRECT connections to Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who are DIRECTLY connected to the Democratic National Committee and who themselves have DIRECT connections to apparently competent Ukrainian hackers. I mean these articles lay it out in chapter and verse based on publicly available data.

I now believe that it is entirely possible that the entire DNC “hack” accusation is a false flag operation organized by Ukrainian individuals, with or without Ukrainian state help, and with or without the knowledge of the Clinton campaign, for the purpose of further ruining US relations with Russia.

The DNC documents themselves were likely “leaked”, not “hacked”. But hacks were done solely for the purpose of getting Russia blamed for them.

Stay tuned. The last word is not the ODNI/FBI report.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 10 2017 6:48 utc | 202

Over at the guardian, a writer laments that the "report" came to late and contained too little information and -- he say -- it failed to convince the American public of what he consider to be the very real even existential Russian threat ... blah blah blah
Interestingly in that he is saying that this whole kabuki failed to sell ...
guardian: No bombshell: the intelligence report on Russia and the election was ineffective -- David Klion -- The report is too late – and too unsubstantiated – to fully persuade the American people of the danger we now find ourselves in.
Don't know the author (and don't agree with him) but he's blaming Obama for failing to do more sooner and more convincingly.

Depending on one’s perspective, this could be seen as either reassuring or concerning. On the one hand, it’s probably healthy for democracy that the CIA did not make a more concerted attempt to release this information before the election and has not taken any kind of radical steps to block Trump’s inauguration since. On the other hand, assuming the report’s main conclusion is basically correct, it means the US government, including the CIA, is about to fall under the control of a dangerous buffoon whose election was facilitated by a hostile foreign power – and that the intelligence community saw this coming and completely failed to prevent it.

Ironically -- if this is a false-flag -- Domestic or Imported (Ukranian? sure okay) -- it's yet another CIA fail

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Jan 10 2017 7:22 utc | 203

@ Richard Steven Hack | Jan 10, 2017 1:48:48 AM | 202

Excellent summation. Cheers

Just for info, you may wish to copy/retain and repost on a relevant (future/current) thread, where the post count is below 100 ... posts over 100 are lost when the thread drops/rolls-off the sites main page ... takes 7-10 days ... then they're gone into the ether ... posts under the 100 count are archived and searchable for posterity online and also copied to the Wayback machine archives periodically too.

If I'm tellin' ya how to suck eggs, apologies.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 10 2017 7:27 utc | 204

204 or, '... and also copied to the Wayback machine archives periodically too'

who does that?

Posted by: jfl | Jan 10 2017 10:55 utc | 205

@ jfl

It's automatic. the software bots search the entire internet, on a rolling basis, believe it or not, including incremental change snapshots. they will trawl an entire site, UNLESS, the site specifically has configured in it's source content (including webpages, vids, pics, docus, etc)webpages what's called a Robot.tx file, which determines what parts, if any, of the Internet accessible site (including websites) are, 'trawlable(sic)' ... you would be quite surprised to view caches of improperly configured internet accessable locations ... ;)

Note how b's main page 'About' link, further 'links' to the Billmon's Whiskey Bar writings ... which is 'dead' ... or is it ? ;))

Billmon's Whiskey Bar Archives - Wayback Machine

The Following is the link to the cached site as at Jan 17 2006 (copy and paste into your browser URL field, can't make a working link due to syntax). Abra-cadabra! Shazaam!:">">

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 10 2017 11:39 utc | 206

Followup to 204

Correction! The following is no longer valid, and therefore WRONG:

Following is WRONG: Just for info, you may wish to copy/retain and repost on a relevant (future/current) thread, where the post count is below 100 ... posts over 100 are lost when the thread drops/rolls-off the sites main page ... takes 7-10 days ... then they're gone into the ether ... posts under the 100 count are archived and searchable for posterity online and also copied to the Wayback machine archives periodically too. Preceding is WRONG

Posts are retained, including above 100 count, the site is periodically archived and searchable for posterity online being copied to the Wayback Machine archives in 'snapshots'(by Bots).

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 10 2017 12:30 utc | 207

I think I just realized something worth a mention ... Clinton's incessant Russia blaming / Putin demonizing throughtout the campaign largely failed to gain the desired traction -- however, TPTB assumed she would win ... when she failed to do so, they started with the "fake news" story in an attempt to delegitimize the Trump counter-narrative and rehabilitate Clinton's veracity wrt Russian threat ... this then failed too ... pretty much no one cared about the arcane Pizzagate conspiracy (wonder if that shooting the floor guy was a false-flag or FBI aided "conspiracy" to bring the issue to national attention) or the ridiculous claim that stories about Clinton's ill-health represented "fake news" (no a persistent bad cough in a 70 year old who is denying ill-health is not fake, particularly when it turns out -- post-faint -- to be pneumonia) ...
Anyway, this new ""Russian hacking is a national security threat (and congress thwarted Obama from acting sooner)"" is their third attempt at "making America care" and it seems to have largely failed too (although the security state-loving democrats haven't noticed, being too eager -- in their stupidity -- talking a preemptive impeachment and "Trump is traitor" talking point -- both of which could be, I realize, savvy agiprop to discredit them -- the Dems)
Anyway, Counterpunch has a series of particularly interesting articles, especially on Bosnia 25 years later, on the stupidity of the New Cold War (which I bookmarked to "educate" folks about the myth of Russian expansionism and "aggression" -- an Cockburn, not as broad as it might have been, but a summary of KSA's disastrous forays into foreign intervention (if only that witch were dead) ... cheers!

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Jan 10 2017 16:43 utc | 208


Again, you are blunding if you believe folks in general dont believe this hysteria and accusations, time to deal with the facts now.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 10 2017 17:44 utc | 209

Hysteria keeps on, now Nato enters the ring and blame Russia for..well pretty much everything.

NATO Report Blames Russia For Worldwide Rise Of Populism

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 10 2017 18:40 utc | 210

@208, 209, 210 suzy, noname

i tend to agree with suzy. i don't know what 'blunding' means, or if its a typo, but if the point is that one is believing to be true what one would like to be true ... i'm always suspect there. i'm an optimist.

the nato article indirectly cited, Will the populist wave wash away NATO and the European Union?, seems to me to be an extension of us propaganda, an assertion that it is russia and not the us/nato that is the aggressor in europe ...

If there is one crucial lesson in the current discussions about Russia’s way of war — whether we call it hybrid, non-linear, or asymmetric —

... and that it is time to integrate the eu more fully under us/nato command ...

it is that conflict in the twenty-first century is just as much fought in the realms of politics, morale, economics and governance, as on the battlefield. While NATO remains the indispensable military alliance, the EU could play an invaluable role in all those domains rightly outside NATO’s remit.

i think this is an in-house publication, and that they are whistling past the graveyard. i think that europeans have had enough of unification under the us aegis - NATO - and under the anti-democratic, us-dominated EU, and that a little 'constructive' collapse of the us-imposed eu/nato european order must needs be the precedent for a real european union - one that incorporates or in some other way includes russia.

the us 'way of war — whether we call it hybrid, non-linear, or asymmetric' is likely to be between the us - through nato/the eu - and europe for preferential relations with russia than with russia for dominance of europe, because i also think dominance of europe, by either the us or russia, is going to be a thing of the past.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 10 2017 22:27 utc | 211

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