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    Explosive Washington Post Story on 'Russian Hackers' Can't Name a Single Source

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    On Friday, the Washington Post published a tantalizing article citing a 'secret CIA assessment' meant to conclusively show that Russia was behind the hack and release of thousands of DNC emails this summer. The only problem, says journalist Glenn Greenwald, is that the story consists of nothing but unverified claims by unnamed sources.

    The Washington Post piece, boldly titled 'Secret CIA Assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House', claimed that the Russian hack was meant not just to "undermine confidence in the US electoral system," but to explicitly "help Donald Trump win the presidency." The article goes on to say that "intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails" from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    The entire 1,600-word piece consists of attributions to unnamed "officials briefed on the matter" to back up its claims, citing these "officials" half-a-dozen times before asking for commentary from more anonymous "senior US officials" briefed on an intelligence presentation for US senators.

    Glenn Greenwald, a journalist at The Intercept known for his critical assessment of unsubstantiated media claims, called the Washington Post piece "classic American journalism of the worst sort," pointing out that the article's key claims are "based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret."

    ​Greenwald also cited a similar second piece, this one in the New York Times, and also released Friday. That article, with the even more authoritative headline "Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, US Says," cited some more unnamed officials claiming with "high confidence" that US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia "acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton's chances and promote Donald J. Trump."

    Significantly, the Washington Post admitted that "intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks." But this admission, meant to protect the authors from potential criticism, is made ten paragraphs down, in an article boldly stating that the CIA assessment said that Russia was to blame for everything.

    Unfortunately, Greenwald noted, the articles in the Washington Post and the New York Times are significant precisely because they will likely help "to shape how people understand the 2016 election and probably foreign policy debates for months if not years to come." Accordingly, he added, "it's critical to keep in mind some basic facts" about the hacks, and specifically the highly contentious allegation of Russian government involvement. After all, despite months of very public accusations by the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, there still hasn't been any substantive evidence presented regarding Moscow's complicity. 

    "What we have instead," Greenwald stressed, "are assertions, disseminated by anonymous people, completely unaccompanied by any evidence, let alone proof…Anonymous claims leaked to newspapers about what the CIA believes do not constitute proof, and certainly do not constitute reliable evidence that substitutes for actual evidence that can be reviewed."

    ​Proceeding to rip into the US intelligence agency for its repeated and systematic lying, citing sources in credible US and UK newspapers, Greenwald noted that "what makes claims from anonymous sources so especially dubious is that their motives cannot be assessed."

    Ultimately, the journalist wrote that "most important of all, the more serious the claim is – and accusing a nuclear-armed power of directly and deliberately interfering in the US election in order to help the winning candidate is about as serious as a claim can get – the more important it is to demand evidence before believing it. Wars have started over far less serious claims than this one." 

    Accordingly, he suggested that the only rational approach would be to "wait to review the actual evidence before forming beliefs about what really happened. It should take little effort to realize that the latter option is the only rational path."

    Following the publication of Greenwald's article, social media users supporting the Democratic Party's claims of Russian involvement exploded with criticism of the piece, going so far as to accuse The Intercept of being pro-Russian propaganda. Known for his witticisms, the journalist casually responded.

    ​Greenwald's critical take on the Washington Post and New York Times pieces has since been echoed by the President-elect's transition team. A brief statement by the Trump team to the Washington Post wryly commented that the CIA's anonymous claims about Russian involvement in the election were coming from "the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." 

    That statement quickly led to a Twitter war of its own, with people claiming to be critical of the CIA bizarrely jumping to its defense, with others patting Trump on the back for the comeback. 

    ​​

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    Tags:
    evidence, unsubstantiated, claims, allegations, hacking, Democratic National Committee, The Intercept, Washington Post, New York Times, John Podesta, Glenn Greenwald, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Russia, United States
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    • avatar
      chchkv
      Why are all the people interested who and how got all the materials? Does it matter? What does is, shall all of you defending Hillary go and vote for her, now?
      If no, why bother digging in, just say thank you, to whoever awaken you. If yes, well...
    • Adrienne Adonis
      It's obvious there is no proof. The west has to stick to their story of Russian interference in the presidential primaries or they will loose face at this point. The obvious narrative is to blame Russia for the election loss to Hillary. Those pulling the purse string know full well Russia was not involved but they have to go with this narrative. They can't accept the fact that Hillary lost fair and square. So they need a villain because they can't let the sick twisted liber progressives feel personally defeated. Also their own corruption is exposed as a whole between the mainstream Fake News media , certain leaders in high positions and the corrupt Hillary Foundation pay for play ..... So instead of exposing their crimes they want to deflect and fabricate crimes created by Russia. You have to remember that the western leaders narrative is the same across the board. Depopulate the white civilization by bringing in brown in every country. Also to destabilize Christianity by bringing in Muslims , create class warfare, get rid of the middle class 100 % so everyone is poor And relies on the govts for handouts and help..... This will allow the 1% to control the masses the way they want. Now the reason why the west also sees Russia as an enemy is because russia is not agreeing to their world wide narrative....... Also the control of oil is involved as well........ Who ever controls the oil controls the world. Russia has become a major oil and gas supplier so that is a problem for the west. Now another problem from everything else I have said, is that there are countries that want to purposely devalue the dollar by not trading with the dollar. Sadaam and Gaddafi wanted to trade without using the dollar and see what happened to them......so there are a lot of reasons why Russia is to blame.
    • avatar
      cast235
      Hillary supporters are the sources.
      The one's telling the truth get interrupted at interviews. And hosts talk loud at same time.

      And of course get edited. Wake up Russia. Prep a list of west liars. And get ready to FORCE to show provable evidence of news inside Russia. FOR all.
    • avatar
      jas
      I don't trust Greenwald. He seemingly plays good cop, bad cop games. He wants the CIA report declassified. What is an Obama CIA report likely to have in it? I don't trust anything from this US government, nothing. Obama has worked hard to destroy any faith the US public or the world has in the US government and he has been successful. US government credibility is zero while under Obama control.
    • avatar
      jas
      Kelly Taylor seems to be completely ignoring that Obama is a compulsive liar.That's what bothers me about radicals of any movement. They have no problem excluding the whole truth, if they can create a false reality (perception management) that achieves their goals by quoting lies. Withholding the truth is the same as lying.

    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      No responsibility for accountability, therefore a complete absence of malice to sue on the basis of. It now becomes the perfect lie guaranteed by the First Amendment.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Greenwald is of the species called "mugwumps". They have their "mugs" on one side of the fence. and their "wumps' on the other side of it
    • Jonathan Ferguson
      We all know who the real 'conspiracy theorists' are then! ;)
    • Drain the swamp
      WaPo and NYT, only HufPo missing in this bizarre fake news stunt. One thing is for sure the entire CIA upper echelon will be sacked within a week of Trump inauguration.
    • Old Nick
      It's not like it's Clinton who sucks with WaPo, CNN and Fox betting on dead horse all the time. Definetly no! It was again Putin the allmighty who changed the world again :))) Hell what a reasoning!
      Next time they will say that more then half of the Murica voting Trump are Putin's agents :)))
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      These fine CIA reports coming from the same people that brought us war in Iraq over weapons of mass destruction. I guess they decided to give this to the Washington Post because this kind of fake news is right up their alley.

      If Clinton was so great, there would not have been enough opportunity for any foreign interests to expose so much dirt on her to make her lose this. They just want to blame someone for their loss. The Democratic Party has taken historic losses this election and that is because they have failed to connect with enough voters. I can see outside forces having an influence on one campaign, but for the party to lose this many, you have to put the blame on failure of the party to connect with the people. The constant Russia blaming did not help them.
    • avatar
      michael
      the washington post, boldly going where truth does not dare follow! :)
    • Adrienne Adonis
      They can't name them because they don't exist
    • avatar
      double bonus
      [the CIA assessment said that Russia was to blame for everything.]

      Yes, just publicly admit that the USA has p*ss poor Security Procedures,
      and the Russians have superior hacking technologies across the board.
      Whose fault is that? Maybe the NSA/CIA's fault??? Worthless RETARDS!!!
    • Gary F.
      Given the account of globalist total dominance, it is actually a good thing to expand the electoral farce on the stage of the world and all the way on the foreign soil. That is kind of the name of the game, right?
    • avatar
      Abid Shah
      We know that the CIA is lying! But for them to make this claim and even if its true, then can this huge security breach be tolerated ?

      Why is the CIA & FBI and the any other Secret Security Agencies formed in a Country - other than to assure the Security of a Nation ?

      If these very same Security Agencies have come up with such absurd allegations, then the Heads of all those who hold such high positions in these Agencies and did nothing until all such compromises / Hacks / Interference happened - need to roll immediately.

      And even if this allegation is only meant to shake the confidence of the American Public on the US Electoral System - so as to go against the President Elect, then also all such people including the Politicians who instigated them to release such false news have to be held to task and severe action be taken against them for such a Criminal Act against the Nation - which only leads to destroy the Confidence & Trust in the "Democratic Electoral System' leading to Civil Unrest, Nuclear War against the accused Country & consequent Global Destruction.
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