Anyone who has followed politics and the intersection with intelligence reports already knew the CIA (Brennan) and ODNI (Clapper) report was constructed nonsense. Two more former CIA officials further admit that reality...
(Via Fox News) Friday night, during her last show on Fox News, Megyn Kelly asked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra whether he accepted the conclusion by 17 intelligence agencies in a recently released declassified report that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and that this interference came at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hoekstra gave an answer Kelly did not anticipate. He noted that the declassified report represents the views of only three intelligence agencies, not seventeen. Hoekstra also questioned why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not co-author or clear the report and why it lacked dissenting views.
The declassified report issued on January 6 is an abridged version of a longer report ordered by President Obama that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to undermine the 2016 president election, hurt Hillary’s candidacy and promote Donald Trump through cyber warfare, social media and the state-owned Russia cable channel RT. Although the report’s authors said they have high confidence in most of these conclusions, they were unable to include any evidence for classification reasons.
As someone who worked in the intelligence field for 25 years, I share Congressman Hoekstra’s concerns about Friday’s declassified Russia report and a similar Joint DHS and ODNI Election Security Statement released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and DHS on October 7, 2016.
I also suspect the entire purpose of this report and its timing was to provide President Obama with a supposedly objective intelligence report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that the president could release before he left office to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election.
I am concerned both intelligence assessments were rigged for political purposes.
You may remember when Hillary Clinton claimed during the final presidential debate on October 19 that based on the October 7 ODNI/DHS statement, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had determined the WikiLeaks disclosures of Democratic emails were an effort by Russia to interfere with the election.
Clinton’s remark was not accurate. Although the October memo said “the U.S. Intelligence Community” was confident that the Russian government was behind the alleged hacking, the October memo was drafted by only two intelligence organizations – ODNI and DHS.
Since it came out only a month before the presidential election and was co-authored by only two intelligence agencies, the October memo looked like a clumsy attempt by the Obama White House to produce a document to boost Clinton’s reelection chances. Its argumentation was very weak since it said the alleged hacking of Democratic emails was “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” but did not say there was any evidence of Russian involvement.
Friday’s declassified intelligence report on Russia hacking is even more suspicious. As Congressman Hoekstra noted, this report was drafted and cleared by only three intelligence agencies, not 17. DHS, which co-authored the October statement, added a brief tick to the new report, but did not clear it. The Office of Director of National Intelligence, which co-authored the October memo, did not draft or clear Friday’s report, nor did other members of the U.S Intelligence Community with important equities in this issue such as DIA and the State Department’s Intelligence and Research Bureau (INR).
The declassified Russian report also lacks standard boilerplate language that it was coordinated within the U.S. Intelligence Community. This language usually reads: “This memorandum was prepared by the National Intelligence Council and was coordinated with the US Intelligence Community” or “this is an IC-coordinated assessment.”
Given how politically radioactive the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election has become, why wasn’t the January 6 Russia report an intelligence community-coordinated assessment? Why were several important intelligence agencies and their experts excluded? (read more)