The Democrats who cannot bear to accept the result of the presidential election, and their toady press, are trying to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump by various ineffectual means.
One was declaring that this time, for the first time ever, the number of popular votes for a candidate should decide the winner, not the number of Electoral College votes (and Hillary Clinton, they say, won the popular vote). Won’t work.
Another was to join with a Green candidate who got a few votes in demanding a recount in certain states that they feel deeply should have preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Didn’t work.
Next comes their attempt to get a majority of the super-delegates of the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton even though their duty is to vote for Donald Trump. Won’t work.
Another ploy is to imply that the election is of dubious validity because the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election.
According to the Washington Post of September 5, 2016: :
A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at”, said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats
The way that’s worded, “a Russian influence operation” is an established fact, waiting only to be explored by intelligence officials. To lend the story a gloss of verisimilitude, the cunning writer adds that “the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats”, which we expect is true because it is only sensible after all.
The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”
The “hint” coming, of course, only and entirely from them.
The same Washington Post story included this:
The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
But the paper and its like changed that part of the story.
The Washington Post reported on December 9 – after the election:
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
Never mind that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has denied that the emails it acquired and released came from Russia.
And no plausible explanation of why Russia would prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton is provided.
Cliff Kincaid comments at GOPUSA:
The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.
Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. …
Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”
These “many’ have come to “believe” it on “a swell of evidence”? What evidence? None – none at all – has been produced.
Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous”. It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.
It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services. …
Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday [today] in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.
Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news”. …
After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!
The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies”. The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.
We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it begins.
What does Michael Hayden himself – Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 – say?
He – who announced in advance of the election that he wouldn’t vote for Trump – writes a Washington Post article headlined, Trump is already antagonizing the intelligence community, and that’s a problem:
A month ago I wrote here about the importance and challenge of the intelligence community establishing a relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.
That has just gotten more important and more challenging.
In my November op-ed, I asked: “What role will facts and fact-bearers play in the Trump administration? . . . Which of the president-elect’s existing instincts and judgments are open to revision as more data is revealed?”
“Instincts open to revision“? And this was a top intelligence official?
I had in mind the president-elect’s confidence in his own a priori beliefs and specifically his rejection of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had stolen American emails and weaponized their content to corrode faith in our electoral processes.
The president-elect has been unmoved in his rejection of this high-confidence judgment. In Time magazine’s article last week naming him “Person of the Year,” Trump repeated, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.”
Such obstinacy, to have confidence in his own judgment!
Shortly afterward, The Post reported that CIA analysts now believe the Russian aim was to help Trump win.
Why Russia might do that, might want that, is not explained.
And some might consider that publishing such a “belief” to be an attack on Trump – especially considering that not a trace of evidence has been produced to support any of these alleged CIA analysts’ alleged “beliefs”. But this luminary of the Intelligence world, Michael Hayden, thinks it is Trump who is going “on the attack”:
Team Trump immediately went into attack mode, employing the bureaucratic equivalent of the ad hominems the president-elect used during the campaign (“Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco”). “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” its first salvo described the U.S. intelligence community.
A failed analogy that. A reminder of a CIA failure is not an “ad hominem” of the sort quoted in brackets.
Then Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer alleged on CNN that “there are people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election”.
How could he say such a thing? How could that possibly be true? As if there were Democrats in the CIA who would be upset that their candidate lost and Donald Trump won!
Incompetent. Politicized. No need to discuss any further. Move on.
“Move on”, Mr. Hayden, is a signature motto of the Democratic Party, not of any Republicans.
To be fair, the “Russia did it” announcement in October was official and well documented.
Was it? To be fair, tell us how. Show us the documents.
No need, Mr. Hayden soothes us, because two absolutely dependable human pillars of integrity attest to the veracity of the announcement:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. attached their reputations to it.
An administration-in-waiting more confident in itself, in its own legitimacy, in U.S. institutions and in the people it will soon govern might have said, “These are serious issues. We intend to hear them out. Nothing is more precious than our democratic process. We have asked the Obama administration for details.”
The fact that that didn’t happen should invite tons of commentary. But not from me.
So, “it needs commentary, but I’m not commenting on it”. There is a Greek word for that rhetorical device: Apophasis. It means that the speaker brings up a subject by saying he will not bring it up.
This article could have been scripted for a villain’s speech in a play!
My narrow concerns as an intelligence officer are the questions raised above. How will this affect the new president’s relationship with the intelligence community?
A lot. And not well.
First is the question of how the incoming administration values intelligence. On Sunday, the president-elect again rejected the Russian role, adding that he was smart enough that he didn’t want or need a daily briefing.
This creates more than hurt feelings. The intelligence community makes great sacrifices, and CIA directors send people into harm’s way to learn things otherwise unavailable. And directors have seen stars carved on the agency’s memorial wall because of it. If what is gained is not used or wanted or is labeled as suspect or corrupt — by what moral authority does a director put his people at risk? …
Now the suppliers of intelligence are victims of callous indifference?
Wasn’t it revealed not so long ago that Centcom (U.S.Central Command] actually served up to President Obama what he wanted to hear about the progress of his tentative little war on ISIS rather than the depressing truth discovered “at great sacrifice”? And that in any case President Obama has skipped more than half his intelligence briefings?
What happens if the incoming administration directs that the “Russia did it” file be closed?
There’s a file? With documents in it? That prove the case? And it is still open?
Would standing intelligence requirements to learn more about this be eliminated? And if they were, what would the agency do with relevant data that would inevitably come through its collection network?
And what about the statute that requires the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about all significant intelligence activities? Data on a foreign power manipulating the federal electoral process would certainly qualify. What will the White House position be when the agency is asked by Congress if it has learned anything more on the issue?
More immediately, what will CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo say during his confirmation hearings about this? He is not yet director, so he can fairly deflect any questions on the substance of this debate, for now. But every TV set at Langley will be turned on during his confirmation hearings, and his most important audience will not be the senators on the dais. His future workforce will be looking for clues about his willingness to defend them against charges of incompetence and politicization simply for saying what their craft tells them to be true. …
And, finally, how does the intelligence community break through and explain itself to the incoming team?
Don’t worry about that, Mr. Hayden. We are confident that Mr. Pompeo will manage it perfectly well.