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“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Welcome to Putin's America (Update)

Given the indicators that were waving in the breeze during the later stages of the campaign, I can't say that I'm surprised at this. Washington Post broke the story:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

The Hairpiece camp is pooh-poohing the report, obviously. McTurtle isn't talking. The article is a must-read.

There are stories relating to pieces of this all over the place. Rachel Maddow sums up the various aspects nicely. I can't embed the video, but here's the link.

Update: I stand vindicated in my dark suspicions. From Josh Marshall:

We've known this for months. We knew it while the campaign was going on. The major new revelation is that the CIA believes Russia intervened in the US election not merely with the aim of disrupting or delegitimizing the electoral process but with the specific aim of electing Trump. But again, we already knew this. If Russian intelligence was behind the hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails, of course they were trying to elect Trump. The intelligence briefing Senators got back in September was not definitive on this point of intention. But to suggest otherwise is to believe you can intend to knock over the bottle but be agnostic on spilling the milk. Of course, they were trying to elect Trump.


Pieter said...

The interesting aspect, to me, of the Russian intervention in the election was the clumsiness of it. That seems like validation of the idea that Putin, with his KGB background and obvious dictatorial bent, either doesn't have the capability of greater finesse or is so convinced of his immunity that he just doesn't care who knows he stuck his thumb into the pie. I don't for a second believe this news is ridiculous, as the man says it is; if it were, he wouldn't have bothered to respond. The fact of his responding indicates the importance of it. Look forward to a term of cooperation between the Russian thug and the American boor.

Hunter said...

Word is that the hacking was not carried out by actual government apparatchiks (or whatever the term is in the cyber age). The actors were at least one step removed from direct control/interaction with the higher levels of the Russian government, which may explain the clumsiness -- either they were at best semi-professionals or they got careless, or both. At any rate, from what I've read, the sense is that they were not part of Russia's intelligence apparatus.

Which, of course, does not alter your assessment of Putin's personality.