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Botched Russia assessment raises questions of intel chiefs’ motives

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  • Botched Russia assessment raises questions of intel chiefs’ motives

    The worm is turning.

    Fourteen days before President Trump took the oath of office, the Obama administration’s intelligence chiefs made public a unanimous assessment claiming Russian operatives, under orders from President Vladimir Putin, had orchestrated an influence campaign to help Mr. Trump win the presidential contest.
    It was a watershed moment: the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI challenging the legitimacy of a U.S. presidential victory.
    The conclusions in the Jan. 6 document were sharp, but the findings unraveled 10 months later, raising questions about the basis for the evidence and the motives of the Obama appointees leading the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
    “It left me scratching my head,” said one intelligence source with personal access to former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and former CIA Director John O. Brennan, two of the men who had signed off on the assessment.
    The conclusions in the Jan. 6 document were sharp, but the findings unraveled 10 months later, raising questions about the basis for the evidence and the motives of the Obama appointees leading the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
    “It left me scratching my head,” said one intelligence source with personal access to former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and former CIA Director John O. Brennan, two of the men who had signed off on the assessment.
    The 15-page document presented to the president-elect at Trump Tower in Manhattan was mostly filler — a republication of a years-old CIA analysis of the Kremlin’s global television network Russia Today. A mere five pages were dedicated to charge that Moscow blended cyberhacking with state-backed propaganda and social media trolls to defeat Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
    There was no supporting documentation of how America’s top spies arrived at the brazen conclusion that Russians had “gained access to” and “exfiltrated large volumes of data” from Democratic National Committee computers, an explosive claim that sent shock waves across the U.S. political and intelligence landscapes.
    The five pages of the report have hung over Mr. Trump’s presidency ever since, hurting his credibility abroad and at home and shaping the narrative of five ongoing federal and congressional investigations into suspected Russian meddling, even though the document’s core conclusion looks increasingly weak in hindsight. Both Democrats and Republicans now say that Russian efforts were intended not to elect Mr. Trump but to sow chaos in American politics no matter who emerged as the victor.
    In interviews The Washington Times conducted with more than a dozen U.S. intelligence and national security sources at the highest levels as well as foreign diplomats, the overlooked and disturbing question about the lack of evidence has emerged repeatedly.
    “I actually called them both the day after it came out and asked, ‘Why was it so thin?’” said the source close to Mr. Clapper and Mr. Brennan. “The answer I got was simple: There was a serious counterintelligence operation going on.”
    U.S. spies were neck-deep in an elaborate counterintelligence operation, and they didn’t want to jeopardize it by revealing too many details, according to various officials inside and outside the intelligence community.
    Mr. Trump saw it differently.
    To him, the Obama-era intelligence chiefs were conducting a political smear job of the highest order, and, based on their public report, they had nothing to back it up.
    But intelligence sources said that since early 2015, when Washington first began grasping the scope of Russia’s meddling operation, a clandestine network of American operatives and their most trusted international allies had been scrambling to identify and counter threats to U.S. computer networks and government personnel.
    They were covertly watching for Russian espionage, sabotage and, at the most extreme, blackmail. They also might have been using Mr. Trump as a chess piece in their counterintelligence game against the Kremlin, according to a veteran former U.S. intelligence strategist with decades of service.
    Other sources said secrecy was paramount.
    Stephen Slick, a former CIA Clandestine Service officer, told The Times that the Obama administration’s intelligence chiefs knew they would be taking a major risk by exposing the operation in a publicized assessment.
    Mr. Slick, who now directs the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas at Austin, said he had no specific knowledge of what went into the assessment and noted that the publicly released document was based on “a highly classified assessment that was longer”and much more detailed. But he is familiar with the sensitivities associated with counterintelligence.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...s-questions-o/
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    The truth tends to come out.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Kind of reminds you of...

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep.

        Always CB your load and double chain gate it in place........

        Whether it's on a plane, or an intel report.
        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

        Comment


        • #5
          Obama's legacy. The "fundamental transformation."

          Yeah, transforming government agencies into political weapons.
          {}

          "Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight." -Proverbs 18:17

          Comment


          • #6
            The January Intelligence Assessment wasn't 'botched'...

            http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/11/politi...sia/index.html
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BorderRuffian View Post
              Obama's legacy. The "fundamental transformation."

              Yeah, transforming government agencies into political weapons.
              Its how they do it in the nations he is loyal to...
              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

              Comment


              • #8
                And how do you explain the President Trumps Intel chiefs, all of them, agree with the previous administrations Intel assessment?????

                Strange is it not.
                “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                “To talk of many things:
                Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                Of cabbages—and kings—
                And why the sea is boiling hot—
                And whether pigs have wings.”
                ― Lewis Carroll

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Combat Engineer View Post
                  And how do you explain the President Trumps Intel chiefs, all of them, agree with the previous administrations Intel assessment?????

                  Strange is it not.
                  It is indeed strange.

                  Why clutter the issue with facts? The Trumpers don't want facts, they prefer to twist information for their benefit and not the country's.

                  In point of fact, it's still an apple.
                  We are not now that strength which in old days
                  Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                  Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                  To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Massena View Post
                    The January Intelligence Assessment wasn't 'botched'...

                    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/11/politi...sia/index.html
                    And the source for this is the TV station of Deep State .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trump needs to take a quick course in integrity as he doesn't have any:

                      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...cid=spartandhp
                      We are not now that strength which in old days
                      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                        The Washington Times? Who are you trying the kid? It's the 'Mooney' rag and is the in-print equivalent of Fox News.

                        If you're going to refer to a right-wing rag that is inaccurate, you could at least attempt to get the material correct. The Washington Times is both wrong and inaccurate.

                        It is indeed, in this case, 'fake news.'
                        We are not now that strength which in old days
                        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Massena prefers CNN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Trump either can't make up his mind on who to believe or he is just an idiot.

                            http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/11/politi...sia/index.html
                            We are not now that strength which in old days
                            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Massena View Post
                              Trump either can't make up his mind on who to believe or he is just an idiot.

                              http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/11/politi...sia/index.html
                              So you don’t deny anything in the article.
                              Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                              Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                              Comment

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