Is Russia Interfering in the US Election? Why You Can’t Believe the NYT

by Oct 25, 2016Liberty & Economy8 comments

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks (Cancillería del Ecuador/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The New York Times pretends to care about evidence, but applies a completely different standard when it comes to US government claims.

So the Ecuadoran embassy in London last week blocked Julian Assange’s internet access after his organization, Wikileaks, published hacked emails from the Democratic National Convention. This was obviously done under political pressure, as the US government has accused the Russian government of being responsible for the hack.

When Wikileaks asserted that Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access under pressure from the US State Department, the Times was quick to point out that the State Department denied this and that Wikileaks didn’t present any evidence to support its claim.

Of course, the US has not presented any evidence to support its claim that Russia was responsible for the DNC email hack, either, but that hasn’t stopped the New York Times from reporting as fact that Russia was responsible.

Then during the presidential debate on October 19, Hillary Clinton claimed,

We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election…. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.

Did all 17 of the US’s intelligence agencies independently assess that the Russian government was responsible for the DNC hack? Not as far as has been made public, no. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) issued a joint statement saying,

The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.

The DNI is the head of the US intelligence community (a position that was formerly part of the job description of the Director of Central Intelligence, or DCI, the head of the CIA), which includes 17 agencies. But when the DNI says in a statement that the intelligence community is confident that Russia was responsible, it doesn’t mean that all 17 agencies independently came to this conclusion. As Politifact, which declared Clinton’s statement to be “true”, pointed out,

The 17 separate agencies did not independently declare Russia the perpetrator behind the hacks.

So on that basis alone, Clinton’s statement was at best misleading. But look again at what Clinton claimed: that all 17 US intelligence agencies had “confirmed” that not only “the highest levels” of the Russian government were responsible, but “Putin himself”!

How can Politifact possibly declare Clinton’s claim to be “true”, given the actual facts?

Returning to the joint DHS-DNI statement, it continued,

The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.

So did all 17 US intelligence agencies “confirm” that Russia was responsible?

Not at all.

Did even one US intelligence agency “confirm” this?

No.

The head of the US intelligence community has asserted that the hacking was “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”.

That’s it.

It’s pure speculation. The US government has presented no evidence to support its claim that Russia was responsible.

This hasn’t stopped the Times from reporting as fact that Russia did it, of course. After emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, were also leaked, the Times reported,

To date, no government officials have offered evidence that the same Russian hackers behind the D.N.C. cyberattacks were also behind the hack of Mr. Podesta’s emails….

So the Times clearly distinguishes (in an article dated October 20) between the DNC hack and the Podesta hack. Yet here’s the Times editorial board the very next day:

The consensus by United States intelligence agencies is that the WikiLeaks dump of emails from the account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, was the result of a hack by Russia in an effort to influence the presidential election.

That’s a lie.

To review, far from there being a “consensus” among US intelligence agencies that Russia was responsible for the hacking of Podesta’s emails, by the Times‘ own account, “no government officials have offered evidence” to support this assertion. As Politico notes:

While the intelligence community said that leaks earlier this year from WikiLeaks were “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” it has not directly tied the recent WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s personal emails to Russia.

Furthermore, while the Director of National Intelligence has claimed to speak on behalf of the intelligence community in concluding that Russia was responsible for the DNC hack, this does not mean all 17 agencies have independently arrived at this conclusion or that there is no dissent from this conclusion.

Additionally, to date, despite this assertion that the US intelligence community has concluded Russia was responsible, no evidence has been presented to support this claim.

And that’s why you can’t believe anything you read in the New York Times about how Russia is trying to interfere in the US election.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

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8 Comments

  1. Gregory Herr

    Wikileaks commits journalism and the content is overlooked and minimized while Russia is vilified without evidence. The NSA hacks the world, but somehow that’s okay.
    The Times and our “intelligence” agencies have zero credibility…the lead up to the Iraq invasion is just one case in point.
    What the DNC, Clinton, and Podesta leaks reveal is so much more important than the asinine contentions about Russian hacking, even if they were true, could ever be.
    The lies regarding Ukraine, Crimea, the dirty war on Syria, along with the demonization of Putin and Russia are perversely immoral and sickening.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Indeed, the demonization of Russia is simply the establishment’s way of distracting from the actual contents of the leaked emails.

      Reply
      • andy

        Great,now you’re a Putin apologist AND a charter member of the controlled demolition crew!
        As if he didn’t blow up apartment buildings in Moscow and blame it on Chechens.As if official government policy in that miserable fascist run country isn’t grotesquely discriminating towards gay people.As if he wouldn’t have you killed in a heart beat if you turned your words on him.
        And curiously enough,you’re just fine with personal information being hacked and distributed in hostile ways,as long as it hammers your personal non-favorites.

        No doubt a perusal of your output will include generous dollops of numerous variations on: “only the US does false flag operations”.
        Maybe Abby Martin will give you a long,psychedelic blow job! After all,your useful idiot schtick is sparkling and gleaming!

        You give new meaning to sophistry,Senor Glib.
        Obviously you are a complete posturing phony.
        We’re guessing that you were OK with the FSB (read,Putin) murder of Alexander Litvinenko.
        Or was that another CIA plot to defame Uncle Vlad?
        Dollars to peanuts you were all over the Bush Administration when they crossed over that privacy line back when you were cutting your teeth on infamous Holocaust Denier Eric Hufschmid’s controlled demolition nonsense.You know,Hufschmid,an itinerant jewelry maker from California and the Godfather of the Controlled Demolition Cult.Creator of the “pull it” blood libel.

        Anna Politkovskaya trembles in her grave at the thought of craven worms like you.

        And,by the way,your defense of your “Brother Patriot” was truly idiotic.Anyone who spouts the “pull it” nonsense is clearly a garden variety Jew hater ready to believe any blood libels directed at a Jew.
        You and your ilk owe Silverstein an apology because he is guilty of absolutely nothing,except being a wealthy conservative Jew supportive of the state of Israel.

        Oh,can you please do me the pleasure of banning me from your totally irrelevant vanity website,jerkoff.

        Here’s your bosom buddies getting annihilated down at Ground Zero, a perennial and legendary laugh-fest classic:

        I know Jack and Les and they’re just as dense as you and still propagating,making a living off actually,the ludicrous #7 shite.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzpPR6m52Y4

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Thanks for demonstrating the exact mindless acceptance of whatever government claims as fact that I talked about in the article, and otherwise demonstrating an extraordinary inability to reason.

        Go troll elsewhere.

      • john g

        I read it as satire. But apparently it isn’t. How very sad.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        I see you, too, are incapable of independent thought. How very sad, indeed.

      • john g

        No. I read Andy’s comment as satire at first.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Oh. Sorry! I thought you were referring the the article.

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