July 24, 2017

"It is entirely possible that our intelligence agencies know Russia interfered with our elections."

"But they packaged it exactly like a bunch of lying weasels who are simply hoping they are right. I hope that’s just bad brand management and nothing worse."

Writes Scott Adams in "How 'Confident' are Intelligence Agencies that Russia Interfered with the Election?" ("Confident" is the word you'd use when you were not certain.)

61 comments:

mccullough said...

Isn't it interfered in the presidential campaign? The election is just voting, which lasts awhile in many states.

Paco Wové said...

Oops. My semi-OT copypasta on another thread is fully on-topic here, so I'll move it:

David Stockman: crank, visionary, or both?

"The enabling culprits are Obama’s last CIA director, John Brennan, his national security advisor Susan Rice and UN Ambassador Samantha Power. There is now mounting evidence that it was they who illegally “unmasked” NSA intercepts from Trump Tower; they who confected the Russian meddling narrative from behind the protective moat of classified intelligence; and they who orchestrated a systematic campaign of leaks and phony intelligence reports during the presidential transition—-all designed to delegitimize Trump before he even took the oath of office."

J. Farmer said...

Given our "intelligence agencies'" long, inglorious history of failures, we should treat any of their assessments with a high degree of skepticism. Also, it is pretty hilarious to hear American commentators fretting over possible interference in our electoral politics given that the US has a decades-long history of interfering, overtly and covertly, in other country's internal political affairs. Unfortunately, for most US pundits, something is "good" when we do it and "bad" when other people do it.

rhhardin said...

"Confident" isn't the idiom for when you know something.

So it defaults to being a word you use when you're wrong.

Fabi said...

I'm waiting on the final report from Coast Guard Intelligence.

rhhardin said...

It's a bureaucratic word by way of Latin. Latin roots support all of bureaucracy.

Look to anglo fucking saxon for the real stuff.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The word that is used is "meddled", not "interfered." It is an amazingly imprecise word used across all media outlets. "Meddled" doesn't mean illegal, and it doesn't even have to be improper. It means to interfere without invitation, and of course, the loony left and journalists believe -- or hope -- the the interference (if any) was done at the invitation of Trump.
I wonder how many Russian elections the US has "meddled" in over the last quarter century?

Big Mike said...

They interfered. I just KNOW it! They hacked into Robby Mook's computer and jiggled the parameters on his mathematical model so that Hillary would think she didn't have to campaign in Wisconsin or Michigan. Yup.

rhhardin said...

Anybody who likes diversity would be happy with russian meddling in the election.

Bay Area Guy said...

It'd be nice if any of these super sleuths would tell us HOW Russian interfered with the election.

Did they hack the voter rolls? No
Did they hack the election results? No
Did they donate money to the Trump campaign? (No evidence)
Did they hack the DNC or John Podesta's e-mails? (The DNC won't allow the FBI to inspect the server).

Gusty Winds said...

Our intelligence agencies are supposed to keep secrets, secret.

What would make us think they don't just make shit up if they're not even willing to shut their mouths as assigned? I would think it's more believable that the information they leak is the most unreliable.

Adams is right. "All seventeen intelligence agencies" didn't independently confirm anything. They're all like Leonardo DiCaprio pretending to be a doctor in "Catch Me If You Can."

"Doctor do you concur???"

Fernandinande said...

The only "interference" I've heard of in more specific terms than "interference" is some bogus Facebook posts.

Big deal. Interfere to your little hearts' content.

William said...

I wonder how it was possible for the Russians to interfere in our elections but not have a similar amount of success in the British, French, and especially Polish and Hungarian elections. Are we so much dumber than our European counterparts?......Would the Russians also be colluding with these anti-fracking protests?

Gusty Winds said...

Truths from the Swamp:

The Russians hacked our election to swing a three state 70K vote margin in Trump's favor to win the Electoral College, but there is no such thing as voter fraud in California, Illinois, or New York.

Come on....



YoungHegelian said...

What a Russian patsy Trump is!

Doing Moscow evil work he is, working to wax Russian power & wane American.

Things like:

1) Increasing fracking, which lowers the price of oil world-wise, thus wrecking Russia's primary form of state finance.

2) Agreeing with the Poles to give them missile defense, and agreement which the Poles had signed with the Americans & the Obama admin then reneged on, leaving the Poles dangling in the breeze.

3) Forward basing of American troops in the Baltics.

4) The appointment of multiple anti-Russian hardliners to positions of power in the administration, resulting in multiple public dressing downs of the Russians at the U.N., etc.

Hey!!!! Wait a minute... Do you think, maybe...? Nah, couldn't be.

tcrosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...


"Confident" isn't the idiom for when you know something.

Degree of Confidence is a Statistical term to quantify how full of shit you are.

7/24/17, 7:5

chuck said...

Lying weasels? Yes, I quite agree. Points to consider:

1. They didn't examine the "hacked" machines
2. Common hacking tools are, well, common.
3. Phishing is at the bottom for sophistication, but it works.

Heck, even if the tools were from, say, the CIA one couldn't conclude that the CIA did the hacking. As we know, some of the CIA's tools were "liberated" from a contractor. Hacking code wants to be free ;)

Bad Lieutenant said...

Unfortunately, for most US pundits, something is "good" when we do it and "bad" when other people do it.
7/24/17, 6:44 PM

J, you're not a ruthlessly unintelligent man, so maybe you don't mean to be childish. But, that's life! Yeah, it's good when the 8th AF pastes Dresden or Schweinfurt, and bad when the Luftwaffe hits London or Coventry. Duh!

Michael said...

It is also entirely possible that our intelligence agencies know space aliens interfered with our elections. Lots of things are entirely possible.

Hagar said...

Fabi said...
I'm waiting on the final report from Coast Guard Intelligence.

Best comment yet on this "17 (or 23!) intelligence agencies" nonsense.

Fabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fabi said...

Thank you Hagar -- and I meant no disrespect to the Multi-National Election Hacking Division of our National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency by their omission. ;-)

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

So if Russia or China or Iran was carrying out a global assassination campaign where they assert a right to identity anyone globally that they think is a security threat to them and blow them (and anyone who happens to be in their vicinity) up with a missile, how do you think that would go down over here?

Lewis Wetzel said...

J. Farmer said...
@Bad Lieutenant:

So if Russia or China or Iran was carrying out a global assassination campaign where they assert a right to identity anyone globally that they think is a security threat to them and blow them (and anyone who happens to be in their vicinity) up with a missile, how do you think that would go down over here?

Fascinating example of moral equivalency, J. Farmer.

Bad Lieutenant said...

J, Ima just go with "moving target / moving the goalposts" on that one. From merry pranksters at election time, to the drone wars?

If Russia had our drone capabilities, they'd be using them, in e.g. Syria, Chechnya and Donetsk. I believe they used an Iskander, which is a nuclear capable short-range ballistic missile, on a Chechen leader some time back. We said to them exactly what?

Putin himself said he would kill Russia's enemies 'in the shithouse' so again, not sure the beef here. Except maybe envy.

I myself admire and advocate assassination, and wish it were used more in place of wars. Who can doubt the world were better off had we just put a. 50 cal in Saddam's ear back in '03 (or had that opening strike on the restaurant succeeded), rather than what actually happened?

karlpopperghost said...

"How 'Confident' are Intelligence Agencies that Russia Interfered with the Election?"

Very confident...it's a slam dunk!

There was a WMD program in Iraq!

James Hatfield was the anthrax letter terrorist!

I believe it because the CIA and the FBI told me so.

vicari valdez said...

i'm glad to see people who were in favor of the iraq war because wmd are finally coming around to the fact that america's intelligence agencies cannot be trusted.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

J, Ima just go with "moving target / moving the goalposts" on that one. From merry pranksters at election time, to the drone wars?

No, I was talking about the way foreign interference in the US is deemed an arrow to the heart of our democracy, while we have interfered in a much grander scale. Also, your counterexample was to bring up WWII bombings. So I don't see how any "goal posts" have been moved.

Compare the coverage of Russia interventions in Georgia and Ukraine with comparable coverage of US interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, all of which have been much more destructive and consequential for the region. If China decided tomorrow that Taiwan's de facto independence was a threat to its national security and it needed to invade, on what principle could we oppose such intervention?

vicari valdez said...

if 'meddling' means other countries trying to communicate propaganda, i agree and it's pretty obvious. we don't need our intelligence agencies to figure that out. but how illegal is it to spread ideas?

with technology and globalization moving full speed forward we will have to deal with lots of 'meddling' from other counties in the future, because they will have more an investment in the outcome of our elections.

Lewis Wetzel said...

No, I was talking about the way foreign interference in the US is deemed an arrow to the heart of our democracy
It depends on what you mean by "interference", doesn't it?
Obama expressed a desire for the Brits to vote no to Brexit, and explicitly threatened trade with Britain if they voted the "wrong" way. It would be foolish to call Obama's spoken preferences and trade threat an arrow to the heart of British democracy.
Obviously, a foreign nation hacking ballot results to achieve a preferred outcome would be an arrow to the heart of our democracy. A foreign nation hacking and selectively leaking legitimate emails? Don't think so. 'Spose Putin revealed details of a private conversation that he had had with Hillary and those details made her look bad. Would that be an arrow to the heart of our democracy. Nope. That would be "business as usual."

J. Farmer said...

Lewis Wetzel:

It depends on what you mean by "interference", doesn't it?

You're pushing on an open door with me. I think the Russia obsession is a ridiculous distraction. I wrote in my first comment: "Also, it is pretty hilarious to hear American commentators fretting over possible interference in our electoral politics given that the US has a decades-long history of interfering, overtly and covertly, in other country's internal political affairs."

Original Mike said...

"Confident" is the word you'd use when you were not certain."

You don't get to use the word "know" when you haven't actually inspected the DNC server yourself.

Bad Lieutenant said...

NO. My bombing talk was attempting to respond to your bit about "global assassination campaigns." The greater point is that metaphysically, you always want to do to Them and not be done to by Them, that's how you fight and win wars. Doing is good, being done to is bad.

Meanwhile, please identify the words in this passage that were "talking about the way foreign interference in the US is deemed an arrow to the heart of our democracy":


So if Russia or China or Iran was carrying out a global assassination campaign where they assert a right to identity anyone globally that they think is a security threat to them and blow them (and anyone who happens to be in their vicinity) up with a missile, how do you think that would go down over here?

Nobody has yet accused Russia of droning CNN, not even Crazy Comey.

Mike Sylwester said...

Scott Adams:

Remember when all seventeen intelligence agencies agreed that Russia interfered with our elections? Turns out it was only four.

When Hillary Clinton and her supporters criticized Donald Trump about "all 17 intelligence agencies" during the election race, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper knew that the criticism was wrong.

DNI Clapper, a ***CORRUPT*** intelligence official, did not issue a clarification to the public, because he understood that the criticism was working for Clinton and against Trump.

Clapper was supposed to be the Director of National Intelligence for our entire US population, but he served only the Democratic Party.

In order to help the Democratic Party, ***CORRUPT*** Clapper initiated and orchestrated the bogus RussiaGate "investigation".

The ***CORRUPT*** mentality that motivated Clapper to let Clinton get away with her "17 intelligence agencies" falsehood is the same ***CORRUPT*** mentality that motivated him to use the Intelligence Community for the bogus RussiaGate "investigation".

Bad Lieutenant said...

You don't get to take the matter seriously when you haven't actually inspected the DNC server yourself.

FIFY

Mike Sylwester said...

I regularly read the website Consortium News, because it publishes a lot of articles about the sarin-bomb hoaxes in Syria, which is a subject that interests me.

One of the website’s writers is Scott Ritter, who during 1991-1998 served as an UN inspector searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. During that period, he warned the public that Iraq probably did not have any WMD — and he turned out to be right.

Recently Ritter wrote a superb article titled “Russia-gate Report Ignored Iraq-WMD Lessons”. Ritter wrote that the CIA has been making the same mistake about RussiaGate now that it made about Iraq in the 1990s.

* Back then, the CIA based its wrong conclusions on one source, who was called “Curve Ball”, who turned out to be a fabricator.

* Now again, the CIA is basing its stupid opinions about Vladimir Putin ordering alleged meddling in our election on ONLY ONE source.

(continued in my next comment)

Mike Sylwester said...

(Continued from my comment at 10:09 PM)

Following are key excerpts from Ritter’s article:

[quote]

According to reporting from the Washington Post, sometime during this period [the summer of 2016], CIA Director John Brennan gained access to a sensitive intelligence report from a foreign intelligence service. This service claimed to have technically penetrated the inner circle of Russian leadership to the extent that it could give voice to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin as he articulated Russia’s objectives regarding the 2016 U.S. Presidential election — to defeat Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump, her Republican opponent. This intelligence was briefed to President Barack Obama and a handful of his closest advisors in early August, with strict instructions that it not be further disseminated.

The explosive nature of this intelligence report, both in terms of its sourcing and content, served to drive the investigation of Russian meddling in the American electoral process by the U.S. intelligence community. The problem, however, was that it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community, per se, undertaking this investigation, but rather (according to the Washington Post) a task force composed of “several dozen analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI,” hand-picked by the CIA director and set up at the CIA Headquarters who “functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community.” …

The decision by Brennan early on in the process to create a special task force sequestered from the rest of the intelligence community ensured that whatever product it finally produced would neither draw upon the collection and analytical resources available to the totality of the national intelligence community, nor represent the considered judgment of the entire community — simply put, the Russia NIA lacked the kind of community cohesiveness that gives national estimates and assessments such gravitas.

The over reliance on a single foreign source of intelligence likewise put Brennan and his task force on the path of repeating the same mistake made in the run-up to the Iraq War, where the intelligence community based so much of its assessment on a fundamentally flawed foreign intelligence source — “Curveball”.

Not much is known about the nature of the sensitive source of information Brennan used to construct his case against Russia — informed speculation suggests the Estonian intelligence service, which has a history of technical penetration of Russian governmental organizations as well as a deep animosity toward Russia that should give pause to the kind of effort to manipulate American policy toward Russia in the same way Iraqi opposition figures (Ahmed Chalabi comes to mind) sought to do on Iraq.

The approach taken by Brennan’s task force in assessing Russia and its president seems eerily reminiscent of the analytical blinders that hampered the U.S. intelligence community when it came to assessing the objectives and intent of Saddam Hussein and his inner leadership regarding weapons of mass destruction.

[end quote]

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/16/russia-gate-report-ignored-iraq-wmd-lessons/

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

NO. My bombing talk was attempting to respond to your bit about "global assassination campaigns."

Your timeline is very confused.

I wrote at 6:44pm: "Unfortunately, for most US pundits, something is "good" when we do it and "bad" when other people do it."

You then addressed me for the first time at 8:10pm: "Yeah, it's good when the 8th AF pastes Dresden or Schweinfurt, and bad when the Luftwaffe hits London or Coventry."

I then made my comment about the global assassination campaign at 8:40pm.

And you replied at 9:02pm: "From merry pranksters at election time, to the drone wars?"

Mike Sylwester said...

The beginning of today's new article in Consortium News:

[quote; emphases in the orginal]

In a memo to President Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, cite new forensic studies to challenge the claim of the key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year.


MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [links to two studies].

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.

[unquote]

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/

Bad Lieutenant said...

Nonetheless, J, my point stands, if I could ask you to address it. What is this expressed need for consistency from you? Quod licet Jovi non licet bovi.

Put it another way, Putin has his election interference all planned, but then says, "No, the Americans never do this, it would be nekulturny." Da? Nyet?

Honestly trying to get you here. You seem to be stuck back where gentlemen don't read other people's mail.

Howard said...

I can't listen or read Scott Adams, it's almost as bad as watching an ISIS snuff video or listening to Rush Limbaugh. His discussion with others are good, like the Sam Harris podcast where he claims Trump is essentially a teabagger concern troll leading the great unwashed from their opioid-induced macho emotionalism into quietly accepting centrist policies.

themightypuck said...

Blog is down.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I am actually operating on a pretty fundamental moral principle: you should not do to others what you would find unacceptable if done to yourself. To repeat a question I raised earlier: if China decided tomorrow that Taiwan's de facto independence was a threat to its national security and it needed to invade, on what principle could we oppose such intervention? In fact, why should we even care? Why do we care about what Russia is doing in Ukraine?

Bad Lieutenant said...

on what principle could we oppose such intervention? In fact, why should we even care?

Do you realize those are two separate unrelated questions with separate unrelated answers?

J. Farmer said...

Hence, there are two questions. Feel free to answer one or both.

Roy Lofquist said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, a Latin phrase from the Roman treatise Satires of Juvenal, written around AD 100, variously translated as "Who watches the watchmen", "Who watches the watchers", "Who will guard the guards", "Who shall watch the watchers themselves", or something similar.

"For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men--"

Tell me again why we should trust people who claim they can't answer our questions because cauliflower.

Feste said...

Scott’s okay. Good luck pure fleeting intelligence.

Ralph L said...

Scott (the commenter) is broccoli, not cauliflower.

Yancey Ward said...

I think it is abundantly obvious that the entire narrative of Russian meddling is based on exactly two things- the claim by the DNC that the Russians hacked and leaked their e-mails and the ridiculous dossier prepared at the request of Trump's Republican and later Democratic opponents, and shopped everywhere before the election, eventually landing on James Comey's desk. Literally all the rest of it appears to be literally nothing at all.

I think it is very telling which people are refusing to testify before Congress in open session, or at all.

You are witness to one of the greatest and most insidious propaganda efforts in the history of the United States.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Bad Lieutenant:

I am actually operating on a pretty fundamental moral principle: you should not do to others what you would find unacceptable if done to yourself. To repeat a question I raised earlier: if China decided tomorrow that Taiwan's de facto independence was a threat to its national security and it needed to invade, on what principle could we oppose such intervention? In fact, why should we even care? Why do we care about what Russia is doing in Ukraine?

Are we going to allow Taiwan to build a nuclear arsenal to defend themselves with?

If the answer is yes then they can defend themselves.

If the answer is no then we have a duty to protect.

We could give them nukes. Same with Japan and Phillipines. Looks like China is picking on Vietnam too. Maybe we should be arming all of China's neighbors like they armed North Korea?

Seems Ukraine had nukes but we convinced them to give them up in 1994. I think that incurs a bit of responsibility on our part.

Lewis Wetzel said...

like the Sam Harris podcast where he claims Trump is essentially a teabagger concern troll leading the great unwashed from their opioid-induced macho emotionalism into quietly accepting centrist policies.

An Obama of the Right?
And Harris is a charlatan. He's pulling a scam, and he ain't pullin' it on the Right. They aren't the people buying his books and paying his speaking fees. He is a show biz guy, not an academic philosopher and certainly not an ethicist. IIRC, he was once on the managing side of a Cali religious cult.

OGWiseman said...

For a persuasion expert he sure is unconvincing a lot of the time. Started reading him because he was prescient and interesting during election. No longer a must-read because he "guesses" about things and still writes like he's thinking circles around everyone else. Boring.

Brookzene said...

"It's entirely possible that our intelligence agencies know Russia interfered with our elections."

Fuck you. They know Russia interfered with our elections, dumbass.

Tommy Duncan said...

Brookzene said: "Fuck you. They know Russia interfered with our elections, dumbass."

Good morning! Thank you for your enlightening comment. Perhaps you could further enlighten us by responding in factual detail to this post from above:

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...

It'd be nice if any of these super sleuths would tell us HOW Russian interfered with the election.

Did they hack the voter rolls? No
Did they hack the election results? No
Did they donate money to the Trump campaign? (No evidence)
Did they hack the DNC or John Podesta's e-mails? (The DNC won't allow the FBI to inspect the server).

Robert Cook said...

J. Farmer, who does not share my political views, lays waste to the befuddled Bad Lieutentant and Lewis Wetzel, neither of whom can provide a coherent, direct response, much less refutation, to J. Farmer's logically and ethically consistent and correct points.

Birkel said...

Funny stuff, Robert Cook.
You should make videos and post them on the interwebs.
Amy Schumer might steal your jokes, on the downside.

Paco Wové said...

I dunno, Tommy, I find the argument "I know Russia interfered because fuck you" to be as effective and coherent as anything else the Trumpophobes are peddling.

DougWeber said...

An actual legal question on this. If you read the assessment of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, you find that the primary evidence and action are the out put of Russia Today(RT). That seems to be a Russian controlled media source.

Is it legal, in the context of the first amendment, for the Congress to institute sanctions against Russia for interference in the 2016 election when the only concrete indication of interference is that media stories where produced? Does not RT have first amendment rights? And if not why not?

Levi Starks said...

The simple question is not if they know about attempted Russian interference, but rather when did they know?
They reason they're so cryptic is that they don't want to get cornered into explaining why they were perfectly fine keeping the information secret until after Trump won the election. Bearing in mind that there was no chance that he could actually win.
There is I think zero chance that any of the "Russians hacked the elections" which currently consumes the news cycle would seem even remotely relevant had Hillary actually won. Well that is except from right wing nut jobs. Fortunately there are no left wing nut jobs.

Real American said...

From what I can tell from the January report signed off by 4 intel agencies is that the Russians "interfered" with our elections by doing the following:

1. Russian agents, including Guccifer 2.0 who evidently hacked the DNC, collaborated with with Wikileaks to disclose the DNC emails and other hacked info to damage Hillary. They also tried to hack GOP officials and entities with varying levels of success but did not publish much of that.
2. Russia Today, the Russian English speaking TV network had more positive Trump stories and negative Hillary stories and also collaborated with Wikileaks to push the DNC hacked email stories. Russian cybertrolls pushed the RT stories through social media accounts. This is basically just all propaganda. Can't imagine people don't know what they're getting from this channel.
3. Russian hackers sought and gained access to some state and local election boards. None of the compromised systems involved vote tallying.

These agencies believe, based on a lack of public statements ripping Trump and animus towards Hillary, Putin must have wanted Trump to win, but overall his goal was to undermine our Democracy, which is something Russians/Soviets have tried to do for decades.

Now, it certainly seems that this stuff is worth looking into by our government. Doesn't seem like we need a special counsel to do it, though. None of it, however, has anything to do with Trump other than the agencies believe Putin wanted Trump to win for varying reasons.

With all of the leaks we've seen and all of the not-so-smoking guns the media breathlessly pushes which then fizzle out into double bacon avocado nothingburgers, you'd think that they would have something, anything, connecting Trump to any of these Russian shenanigans. They don't. It's a witch hunt.