Friday, June 30, 2017

McCain grumps about Russia

The Bold Maverick McCain is carrying on his neoconservative ways with a column in Russia threat is dead serious. Montenegro coup and murder plot proves it. USA Today 06/29/2017.

The Real News presents a useful discussion of the issues here, Debate: Is Putin a Threat to Democracy? 06/29/2017:

On one of my pet peeves on the Trump-Russia scandal, the "17 intelligence agencies," the New York Times decided it was time to insist on being more precise about that particular piece of conventional wisdom.

They appended a correction to a Maggie Haberman story of 06/25/2017 (Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies):

Correction: June 29, 2017
A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.

Yet there was Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing saying that "every single one of America's intelligence services" agrees on the major aspects of Russian interference in the 2016 election and with "full confidence."

From the January 6 report from the Director of National Security's Office on the Russian election interference:

This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies. It covers the motivation and scope of Moscow’s intentions regarding US elections and Moscow’s use of cyber tools and media campaigns to influence US public opinion. ...

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

... We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. [my emphasis in italics]
Everybody needs to make an effort to get the facts as straight as possible on this.

And doing that is the last thing the Republicans want!

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