The U.S. Intelligence Community’s (IC) public report on Russia’s Putin-ordered hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee reads like one of those papers that a lazy or doped-up freshman buys from an online research shop and submits in hopes of scoring a C or D. Anyone worth the title of intelligence officer — even a half-assed old bureaucrat like me — could have written a more compelling paper based exclusively on newspaper articles, conjectures, OpEds, and the hysterical fantasies about “the mortal threat” posed by Russia that have been concocted by Senators McCain and Graham, and sung by the one-note, Neocon choir they lead.
The IC paper is so poorly argued and professionally embarrassing that DNI James Clapper was the perfect choice to present and champion it before the committee and the media. You remember Ol’ “Honest Jim” Clapper don’t you? He is the distinguished former general officer who perjured himself under oath when he told Congress that there was no large scale NSA effort to collect the electronic communications of Americans. Now, is that a man anyone would trust?
All you need to say to encompass the essence of this case of Russian hacking is:
- Under Putin’s direction Russian intelligence is doing a lot more hacking and other media operations — and so is every other power on earth, including, hopefully, the United States.
- Putin’s aim, in part, is to use media operations to discredit the U.S. political system in the minds of the citizenry. In this case, however, the publication of the DNC’s e-mails clearly did Americans a service by exposing many excellent reasons not to trust the Democratic elite or the media that works with it and savors its behind. All nation-states with an offensive intelligence capability conduct this sort of political warfare with much the same goal — serving their own interests. If you read, for example, the data published or “leaked” in the past year by the U.S. and NATO governments about Russia, Iran, Syria, China, many other countries, and the Islamic State, it will be obvious that they are playing the same game as Putin, but perhaps not as well.
- Putin and his boys surely hacked the DNC’s e-mails with ease, although they probably were a bit harder to hack than the e-mails that once resided residing Hillary’s home-made and treasonous server, and which Moscow, Assange, and probably dozens of other governments and individuals now have. The point here is that the DNI’s public report does not prove that the Russians gave the documents to Julian Assange. What the report does is assert that there is a Russia-Assange joint operation against — not America — but Hillary Clinton. This is the sort of sophomoric phenomenon that is often seen in the work of novice intelligence analysts, and it is usually called “Analysis by Assertion”. Given his really quite impressive, if despicable, track record, Assange clearly is capable of getting the DNC’s e-mails off his own hook, perhaps from the DNC official who was gunned down in Washington last summer. Countless numbers of governmental and private-citizen hackers have the same ability and probably have had the same success.
- As an attempt to slant the election in favor of Mr. Trump, the release of the DNC e-mails cannot be considered as anything Americans — except tireless, war-mongering mad-hatters like McCain and Graham — need to worry about. The e-mails are irrelevant to U.S. national security and so they endanger nothing important, and they cannot effect the citizenry’s faith in the republic’s “democratic system” because Americans long ago lost faith in the national government and both parties. On this point, Putin and Assange were pushing a ball downhill from the start, and had no chance of harming the United States. At most, the e-mails sketch a more sharply defined portrait of Hillary Clinton as the greedy, lying, lawless, and reckless creep she long ago proved herself to be. Also sketched was a more complete view of senior Democratic Party leaders as men and women who share Hillary’s greed, recklessness, and other shining attributes. Reading the e-mails also leaves a not so faint whiff of what may be a rife sexual depravity prominent among the Clintons and the party hierarchy they created.
So it is time to relax and let the Democrats and their war-loving Neocon, Republican, and Israel-First friends go piss up a rope. They are as mangy a lot of miscreant mongrels as the republic has ever seen, and they will remain so even as their head hound travels to his beloved Chicago, a city where the strict gun laws he adores have obviously created an utterly non-violent Utopia.
For the rest of us, it is time to let Mr. Trump have his at-bats and see if he can begin to keep his promises to undo the damage Obama-and-crew intentionally inflicted on this country, by implementing policies to fix the economy and applying a reliable refusal to intervene in other peoples’ wars, politics, and societies. As that process unfolds, we must do what can be done to keep Mr. Trump up to mark, but we can also hope that either Assange or Putin — or even the Clapper-McCain creation of that ace and dreadful evildoer “Putsange” — will publish all of the classified e-mails from Hillary’s server. Putin no longer can use the e-mails to blackmail “President” Clinton, and Assange probably wants to finish what he started. If either or both do the necessary, Americans will read the e-mails and know they have been far better and more fully informed by the nation’s foes, than they ever would have been by their own government.