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Foreign Affairs Politics

Top U.S. Intelligence Agency Doesn’t Agree With CIA Assessment About Russia

Written by Philip Hodges

This whole “17 intelligence agencies all agree” claim is starting to sound an awful lot like the “97% of climate scientists all agree” claim.

The truth is that not all intelligence agencies are in agreement with a recent CIA assessment that not only was Russia behind the hacks into the DNC and John Podesta’s email account, but they also did it with the intent to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

According to one intelligence official, the CIA assessment was a “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked.” This same official added that it was “a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment.” Reuters reported:

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, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as “ridiculous” in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.

Trump’s rejection of the CIA’s judgment marks the latest in a string of disputes over Russia’s international conduct that have erupted between the president-elect and the intelligence community he will soon command.

Understand that this is coming from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – the agency that oversees the famous “17 intelligence agencies,” all of which apparently are in complete agreement according to media pundits. But even they – the ODNI – aren’t completely buying into the CIA’s conclusions. As officials told Reuters, the CIA hasn’t been able to prove intent with the scant intel that they have.

There really isn’t any evidence that someone hacked into the DNC computers – much less, Russians – stole a bunch of emails and documents, and gave them to WikiLeaks for them to distribute. There hasn’t been any evidence to show that that’s what happened.

WikiLeaks doesn’t employ hackers and has maintained from the beginning that they have sources – whistleblowers – who leak information to them.

In addition, Craig Murray – former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan – makes the same claims:

“As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.”

As Glenn Greenwald notes regarding the CIA assessment that was reported on by the Washington Post, “The key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


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Philip Hodges

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