by Alice Salles
The scapegoating of Russia is now so widespread, Dirty Wars author and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill took to The Intercept to call the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on its bluff.
In the article, “Obama Must Declassify Evidence Of Russian Hacking,” Scahill and Jon Schwartz called out U.S. intelligence agencies for their record of deceit, asserting that the American people are not going to simply “take their word for it.”
“U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they regularly both lie and get things horribly wrong,” the article argues. But when it comes to the CIA’s case against Russia’s alleged interference with the latest U.S. presidential elections, it’s impossible to claim the hearsay is based on facts if evidence is not made available to support the agency’s claims.
Nevertheless, Scahill and Schwartz argue, it’s possible that Russia may have pulled some strings. But even if the Kremlin had its reasons and acted on them, America is the country with the long history of election meddling — not Russia.
Take Hillary Clinton’s comments on the Palestinian elections, for instance. A leaked audio recording from 2006 revealed then-senator Clinton advocated doing “something to determine who was going to win” in Palestine’s elections. And yet here she is, hoping to use the “Russia did it” talking point to give censorship a boost. The CIA has its own history of meddling in foreign elections.
In order to give Barack Obama’s administration that extra push to release any “proof” the CIA has that the 2016 U.S. elections were “rigged,” the Intercept’s duo encouraged feds or whistleblowers to use the publication’s secure drop link, where a “patriotic whistleblower” within the U.S. intelligence community may drop the leak that proves Russia is behind President-elect Donald Trump’s win. “[W]e will verify its legitimacy and publish it,” they added.
This response seems fitting. After all, assertions are not evidence, and major publications like the Washington Post have been basing their Russia-related reports using nothing but assumptions.
Using an anonymous source, for instance, the WaPo reported that “[U.S. 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.” But Reuters has since reported that “[the] overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election.” This means the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) “has not endorsed [the CIA’s] assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence.”
Caitlin Johnstone put it best in an article for Newslogue:
“Believing something the CIA says is like trusting a meth addict with your car, and trusting the CIA when they’re working with the Washington Post is like trusting a meth addict with your car and leaving your kid in the back seat with the house keys and money for Taco Bell.”
Unless proof is produced either by the CIA or a whistleblower, partisan voices crying wolf in Washington and in the media will continue to run on empty, feeding their base with nothing but “fake news.” But wasn’t that what we were told to unite over so we could “fight” it effectively? Here’s your chance, Mr. President.
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