Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee ruled the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) released by Brennan and friends in 2017 is legit. Their 7-page summary of these findings can be found here:
In response, I finally read the entire “Intelligence Community Assessment” Brennan/ Comey/ Clapper came up with. Ummm…
You can find the ICA here:
It says 25 pages, but there are half this number to read.
I ain’t no journalist. However, what we get in America that passes for journalism is a joke. It isn’t just Fox News or CNN. It’s most of them. 20 minutes of reading the ICA itself should leave any objective journalist scratching their head, going “Huh?!?” If it does not, dunno why they still have a job.
I ain’t no FBI man neither. I do know we all have been told to “take it on faith” the intelligence community is honest and true, especially as it regards this ICA. The intelligence community lies to America every day. This is part of their job.
Just one example of their intentional deceit is Mueller lying to us about the Weapons of Mass Destruction. You didn’t think I had forgotten, did you?
“As Director Tenet has pointed out, Secretary Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its weapons of mass destruction, willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community.
Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material.”
That’s correct, Senator. Current FBI Employee of the Month, Robert Mueller, is a weapons of mass destruction man. Radiological weapons. Mmmm hmm. Radiology… as in X-ray? Radiowhatchucal? Sounds like when Lady Gaga unexpectedly comes on the dashboard jukebox – wailing like an Alpine yeti mountain lion – causing me to run off the road? Now that’s a radiological weapon!
Even worse is the Senators and members of the press who continue to treat this document as if it was handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. There should be much public debate on its content and veracity. Instead, its infallibility is a religious belief.
Then everything changed.
A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment.
This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.
The centerpiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy.
Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders.
If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility—even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind.
Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free “assessment” produced last January by a small number of “hand-picked” analysts—as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them—from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only “moderate” confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies contributed to the report.
And indeed, the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”
Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so, they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those “hand-picked” analysts.
To put it bluntly, it sucks. The document itself is not even internally consistent, which you can see for yourself.
Here are a couple of observations which caught my eye while reading the ICA:
* page 2 (using Adobe Acrobat page numbering) clearly states:
“While the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources, and methods.”
Translation: there is no evidence for any of these speculations included in this report. There may or may not be evidence in the “classified” assessment, which y’all can’t see. You should just trust us. Because we’re the alphabet soup guys, and you’re not.
* page 6
“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.”
So… despite whatever efforts the Russians made, these Russian activities could have had little to no impact on the outcome of the election… and… so… this entire document could be worthless in the case there was no impact, correct? WTF study any of this if there was no impact? Jeff sitting on his couch, minding his own business, eating peanut butter waffles, and watching The Cosby show on TV had little to no impact on the election too.
* page 6
“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… When we use the term “we” it refers to an assessment by all three agencies.”
Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and a Senator and some other stuff. So… is it safe to assume she has seen many of these assessments during her career. I think it is certain.
If we look at this list of Intelligence agencies, which came out at the same time as this ICA, it says: 6. State Department. She was in charge of that one.
And if you skim on down to the end of the list, it says 17. Coast Guard… so… does that mean the Russians spies swim? You know, the Russians interfering with the election were swimming and the Coast Guard saw them. Or something. Pirates. Russian pirates.
So… how come she can’t tell the difference between the number 17 and the number 3?
You know, the “All 17 Intelligence Agencies in the Community agree Russia ripped me off” spiel Hillary Clinton said over and over.
Why didn’t she say 9 out of 10 choosy mothers choose Jif on their kids’ waffles?
We may never know. Keep in mind the 17 charade has never been retracted by Hillary Clinton as far as I know. Therefore, her people still believe it. That’s fraud. She didn’t get that idea from reading this ICA either. Neither did the NY Times.
Well, enough of that. Forget what the report says and what they say about it.
Let’s just skip to the end. The end of the ICA. What does it say?
* page 23 (which is ICA p13)
Here we go… this is the money shot. Tune your dials to Annex B, Estimative Language:
“Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”
If I remember correctly, you said earlier there is supporting evidence for this ICA, which we cannot see, because it is classified. Is that correct? It is. And you are not implying any of this evidence contains facts. Mmm hmm… Gotcha.
So… this entire ICA is a judgement… of 3 agencies… and… this judgement is based on confidence levels. The confidence levels are high and medium (go to page 11, which the ICA calls page 1). It says:
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.
High Confidence (e.g., CIA & FBI) in a judgement does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgement might be wrong.
Moderate Confidence (e.g., NSA) is plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently.
In plain English, even though the CIA and FBI corroborate each other’s information and say this information is of sufficient quality, all the NSA has to say is this stuff is plausible. It might be wrong. Sounds like it could have happened.
Who knows really?
Not even taking into account the stuff we have learned in the year and a half since Jan 2017, when this ICA was released to coincide with Trump’s inauguration, just looking at it, in and of itself… why would anyone take this as gospel?
Seems self explanatory there is nothing factual in this report, nor is any of it intended to be taken as factual. If this information was intended to be factual and authoritative, it wouldn’t have been released as just an ICA. Because a report with weight is called a National Intelligence Estimate:
National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are United States federal government documents that are the authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on intelligence related to a particular national security issue. NIEs are produced by the National Intelligence Council and express the coordinated judgments of the United States Intelligence Community, the group of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. NIEs are classified documents prepared for policymakers.
So… in my amateur non-intelligence opinion… this ICA is crap. And they know it is crap. And they published it anyway. And if this was presented at some scientific or medical conference, people might just throw things. I take that back, they definitely would. They would throw things. My confidence level in my judgement is 100%.
It is a fact, Jack. Final answer.
Here is Colonel Pat Lang’s take on this ICA. Anyone who has worked with the intelligence community – which one would assume includes these Senators on the intelligence committee – would know immediately upon reading it, it is indeed a joke.
Sounds pretty ominous, but the language used tells a different story. The conclusions are based on assumptions and judgments. There was nor is any actual evidence from intelligence sources showing Vladimir Putin ordered up anything or that his government preferred Trump over Clinton.
Notice the weasel language in this release:
“The USIC is confident . . .”
“We believe . . .”
If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC, or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not, because such intel did not exist.
How do I know this? If such evidence existed—either documentary or human source or signal intercept—it would have been cited in this document.
It is genuinely shocking DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI, and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document.
That simple fact should tell you all you need to know. The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them Russia is guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.
What is shocking is there is so little push back to this nonsense.
If the ICA is mostly baloney prestidigitation, how did the Senate Intelligence Committee come to sign off on it now ?
Read the 7-page summary. When asked where their information comes from, the Senate committee frequently refers to “open source” as their source. What does that mean? I’m guessing it means the Senate Intelligence Committee sourced their intelligence from publicly available Towers of Babel such as Hamilton 68, PropOrNot, and DisinfoPortal.
What could go wrong?
Let’s go back to the 7-page summary released by the Senate today. It’s open source.
How about this gem? (page 2):
“The Committee had to rely on agencies that the sensitive information and accesses had been accurately reported.”
Ahhh… doesn’t this mean you had to take their word for it? The agencies’ word. About the information. It’s sensitive. You could hurt its feelings if you take advantage tonight and don’t call information tomorrow.
If I am understanding this correctly, you Senescent guys took a year and a half to review all of this and come to some conclusion. Now y’all are presenting no new evidence to go with the no old evidence we got a year and a half ago in the ICA.
We’re supposed to take Senators’ word what the CIA man told us is true. And the CIA man said, “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”
Spin it, baby!