“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. … Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in their U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and the potential presidency. We further assess [that] Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
That’s a lot of assessing from an intelligence community who has not always gotten the story right, notes Wellesley Pruden in the Washington Times.
The spooks have missed lots of things, from the run-up to Pearl Harbor to the events of Sept. 11, the rise of radical Islamic terror and even the collapse of the Soviet Union, sometimes see things that are not there. Finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a memorable “slam dunk.”
A president shouldn’t need an “intelligence community” to tell him that the Russians meddle in other people’s elections, or even that our own government has meddled in other people’s elections in days gone by. Meddling is what governments do, sometimes for good and honorable aims and ends, and sometimes not. You might find a virgin in a bordello (not a likely place to look) but a president shouldn’t employ such an innocent at the CIA.
The Democrats and media notabilities who once derided the intelligence agencies as evil bunglers now treat everything the spooks say about the 2016 election as if it were holy writ, though the “explosive” report released last week offers little evidence, hard or soft. Only speculation. The purveyors naturally hide behind the useful excuse that presenting evidence would compromise sensitive sources and prevent their offering similar thin speculation in future.
Read more here.