From Charles Hugh Smith at OfTwoMinds:
This is a blatantly politicized “report” that is not supported by any evidence, nor is it supported by the other 16 intelligence agencies.
The recent pronouncement by the C.I.A. that Russian hackers intervened in the U.S. presidential election doesn’t pass the sniff test — on multiple levels. Let’s consider the story on the most basic levels.
1. If the report is so “secret,” why is it dominating the news flow?
2. Why was the “secret report” released now?
3. What actual forensic evidence is there of intervention? Were voting machines tampered with? Or is this “secret report” just another dose of fact-free “fake news” like The Washington Post’s list of 200 “Russian propaganda” websites?
4. The report claims the entire U.S. intelligence community is in agreement on the “proof of Russian intervention on behalf of Trump” story, but then there’s this:
“The C.I.A. presentation to senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior U.S. official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.”
Given that the N.S.A. (National Security Agency) was so secret that its existence was denied for decades, do you really think the NSA is going to go public if it disagrees with the C.I.A.?
Given the structure of the Deep State and the intelligence community, “minor disagreements” could well mean complete, total disavowal of the C.I.A.’s report.
That this is the reality is suggested by the F.B.I.’s denunciation of the report’s evidence-free, sweeping conclusion:
5. The supposed interventions clearly fall under the purview of the NSA. So why is the C.I.A. going public in what is clearly a politicized report intended to influence the public via massive, sustained coverage in the mainstream media?
6. Notice the double standard: so when the U.S. attempts to influence public opinion in other nations, it’s OK, but when other nations pursue the same goal, it’s not OK?
7. What are we to make of the sustained campaign to elevate “Russian hackers and propaganda” from signal noise to thedeciding factor in the U.S. election?
8. Russian hacking and attempts to influence American public opinion are not new. The intelligence agencies tasked with protecting American cyberspace have long identified state-sponsored hacking from Russia and China as major threats. So why, all of a sudden, are we being told the Russians successfully influenced a U.S. election?
What changed? What new capabilities did they develop?
9. And most importantly, what evidence is there that Russian efforts affected the election? Were digital fingerprints found on voting machine records? Were payments to American media employees uncovered?
Shouldn’t statements purported to be “fact” or the “truth” be substantiated beyond “trust us, an agency with a long history of failed intelligence, misinformation and illegal over-reach”?
10. Doesn’t it raise alarms that such a momentous accusation is totally devoid of evidence? If you’re going public with the conclusion, you have to go public with at least some of the evidence.
Here’s the media blitz and some skeptical response:
- CIA: Russia intervened to help Trump win
- Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House
- Former UK Ambassador Blasts “CIA’s Blatant Lies”, Shows “A Little Simple Logic Destroys Their Claims”
Longtime readers know I have proposed a major divide in the Deep State – the elements of the federal government which don’t change regardless of who is in elected office. This includes the intelligence community, the Pentagon, the diplomatic and trade infrastructure, Research and Revelopment, and America’s own organs of media “framing” and “placement.”
Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014)
More recently, I wondered if the more progressive elements of the Deep State recognized the dangers to U.S. security posed by the neocons and their candidate, Hillary Clinton, and had decided to undermine her candidacy:
Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? (August 8, 2016)
In other words, it’s not the Russians who sabotaged Hillary — it’s America’s own Deep State that undermined her coronation. It wasn’t a matter of personalities; it was much more profound than that. It was about the risks posed by the neocon strategies and policies, and just as importantly, the politicization of the intelligence network.
And this is precisely what we discern in the C.I.A.’s unprecedented and quite frankly, absurd “secret report”:a blatantly politicized “report” that is not supported by any evidence, nor is it supported by the other 16 intelligence agencies. (Silence doesn’t mean approval in this sphere.)
We can now discern the warring camps of the Deep State more clearly. On the one side is the C.I.A., the mainstream media, and the civilians who have feasted on wealth and power from their participation in the neocon’s Global Project.
On the other side is the Defense Department’s own intelligence agencies (D.I.A. et al.), the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and at least a few well-placed civilians who recognize the neocon agenda as a clear and present danger to the security of the nation.
From this perspective, the C.I.A.’s rash, evidence-free “report” is a rear-guard political action against the winning faction of the Deep State. The Deep State elements that profited from the neocon agenda were confident that Hillary’s victory would guarantee another eight years of globalist intervention. Her loss means they are now on the defensive, and like a cornered, enraged beast, they are lashing out with whatever they have in hand.
This goes a long way in explaining the C.I.A.’s release of a painfully thread bare and politicized “report.”
Crux note: Charles Hugh Smith is one of our favorite independent financial thinkers and writers. His Of Two Minds blog was listed as No. 7 in CNBC’s top alternative financial sites. And his commentary has been featured on Zero Hedge, The Daily Reckoning, and Peak Prosperity.