The big story today is that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded secretly and is telling Congress that Russian spooks intervened in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win. But just how do we know that it was Russian spooks and not our own spooks? As for me, I’m inclined to put my money on American spooks.
Supposedly, certain computer hackers with alleged connections to the Russian government provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, with the intent to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances and thereby boost Trump’s. “That’s the consensus view,” says one unidentified senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators.
Well, sure, someone provided WikiLeaks with the dirt, but unless and until I see solid proof that it was the Rookies, I’m thinking that it’s far more likely our own National Security Agency did it. After all, Edward Snowden established once and for all that the NSA has everybody’s emails, and there is plenty of evidence that many spooks in our own intelligence community were not so keen on Hillary Clinton becoming commander in chief. After what Snowden revealed, why should anyone believe the CIA? They're a pack of professional liars.
The Trump transition team has already dismissed the CIA findings, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” Trump himself has said: “I don’t believe they interfered… “[It] could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.” Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said more than once that the “Russian government is not the source.”
“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
“It's… “ridiculous… just another excuse. I don't believe it,” Trump said. “… Every week it's another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College… Nobody really knows, and hacking is very interesting. Once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them… They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place.”
Trump also points to ambiguity inside intelligence and law enforcement agencies arguing that Russia’s role is not clear. While the CIA pointed to Russia, a senior FBI official suggested to lawmakers that the agency and bureau were not on the same page on the matter. “There’s great confusion” Trump asserts. “Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country.”
So who is spooking who? No one really knows for sure.
All we know is that we’re being spooked.